Here we go, ladies and gents! It’s the home stretch! We’re into the last month of the season, and I moved some guys around on the list to reflect that. I don’t like to be super aggressive moving guys around for the most part. However, with just a couple weeks left, it’s more about “who do I trust now” than “who do I trust long-term”. More than ever it’s about immediate return and playing the matchups. This is the point where I’m a lot more apt to cut a fringy player for a matchup I like (shameless Streamonator plug here). We’re going to look at more risers and fallers this week as opposed to any new blood, since there isn’t much of interest. I imagine that will be quite different next week with September call ups flooding our rotations. We did have one last waiver trade of note (I guess) with Gio Gonzalez moving to Milwaukee. It’s a pretty lateral move for him, which is to say that his value will remain close to nil in mixed leagues. Perhaps the Brewers will be able to unlock something in him the way the Cubs have with Cole Hamels, but Milwaukee’s pitching coaches haven’t been known to work wonders, so I’m pessimistic on that potential outcome.


The Risers

  • German Marquez, COL (+33) – I’ve been raising Marquez over the last couple of weeks, but after his recent mutilation of the Padres, he needs to rise to top 40 territory. He gave up two runs to the Friars over eight innings, striking out 13 with just one walk. He has the fourth best August FIP among qualified starters. His 1.72 FIP over those 42 innings trails only Jacob DeGrom, Patrick Corbin, and Carlos Carrasco. His ERA has been 2.14, just in case you were wondering. He’s throwing over 40% curveballs and sliders these days, with each pitch netting over 20% whiffs. That has helped him achieve an 11.4 K/9 with a tiny 1.9 BB/9. This has the smell of a true breakout, and I’m buying everywhere. I’m even using all the bitcoin I have to acquire him! Which is zero bitcoin. I still don’t know how to acquire bitcoin.
  • Anibal Sanchez, ATL (+11) – Anibal has had himself a very nice August, tossing 30.2 innings with a 2.93 ERA / 1.08 WHIP, 9.39 K/9, and 2.64 BB/9. The key for me, however, is the 0.88 HR/9. His continued ability to limit the long ball has brought him great success this year. Like I’ve mentioned in this space before, it’s thanks to more cutters (.124 ISO) and fewer sliders (.435 ISO). He deserves to be in the top 50, although he’s got a tough matchup with Boston coming up next that I would probably bench him for. He’ll get the Giants after that though, which is a full-go.
  • Clay Buchholz, ARI (+13) – It only makes sense that Buchholz has continued to roll since I’ve sworn off ever owning him again. Buchholz put up a sterling 1.25 ERA over 36 August innings with a 0.96 WHIP, although his strikeout totals haven’t been great at 7.00 K/9. He’s really limiting the free passes (1.50 August BB/9), which counter-balances the lack of K’s a bit. He has got away with a 40% hard contact rate thanks to a ridiculous 94.3% strand rate, but his FIP only regresses him to a 3.26 mark. He’s got the Dodgers, Braves, and a date in Coors on the docket though, and none of those matchups are gravy. It’ll be a good test to see what he’s really worth.


The Fallers

  • Stephen Strasburg, WSH (-15) – Strasburg’s velocity has been down since his return from the DL, hitting 92-93 in his start against the Phillies. As I write this, his velo is up a bit more to his 95 MPH average pre-injury, sitting 93-94 against the Brewers. Maybe he’ll continue to work up his velo in September, but he’s been a hot mess since late May. At this point in the season, you have to roll with the guys you trust, and right now it’s really hard to trust Stras. He’s still ranked as a guy you’re starting most of the time, but he’ll have a tough test next time out against the Cubs.
  • Vince Velasquez, PHI (-13) – VV hasn’t had a terrible August by the results. A 4.15 ERA isn’t the end of the world. However, he has averaged just over four innings per start, and his walk rate has ballooned to 4.57 BB/9 over that span. No doubt those two things are related, as his pitch counts have risen quickly as he puts runners on via the base on balls. The Phillies just shuffled their rotation, pushing VV’s start back to Monday, and as a result he’ll get the Marlins and Mets next week. That lines up quite nicely for those looking to stream him, so who knows? Maybe he’ll be back up a few spots next week.
  • Tyler Anderson, COL (-32) – I listed Anderson as a -32, but the reality is that he is -infinity, because he is off the list. The Rockies suddenly have a really nice 1-2-3 in Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, and German Marquez. Anderson, unfortunately, has struggled where those three have improved. Anderson posted an absurd 11.39 ERA over 21.1 August innings. That’s remarkably bad. Just in case you may think that’s just bad luck, his batted ball data is such: 46.1% hard contact rate, 30.7% line drive rate. He’s getting TATTOOED. And not the fun kind of tattoo where you can put Betty Boop’s weird giant head on your thigh. The kind of tattooed that will lose you your league. He’s in the “untrustable” category with Dylan Bundy until further notice.

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Jacob DeGrom 2
3 Corey Kluber 3
4 Justin Verlander 4
5 Aaron Nola 5
6 Gerrit Cole 6
7 Clayton Kershaw 7
8 Zack Greinke 8
9 Blake Snell 9
10 Carlos Carrasco 10
11 Patrick Corbin 11
12 James Paxton N/A
13 Noah Syndergaard 12
14 Charlie Morton 13
15 Luis Severino 14
16 David Price 15
17 Jack Flaherty 19
18 Mike Clevinger 17
19 Zack Wheeler 22
20 Madison Bumgarner 16
21 J.A. Happ 20
22 Rick Porcello 21
23 Alex Wood 23
24 Jose Berrios 18
25 Jameson Taillon 27
26 Michael Kopech 29
27 Mike Foltynewicz 25
28 Jon Gray 26
29 Miles Mikolas 30
30 Walker Buehler 28
31 Kyle Freeland 31
32 Eduardo Rodriguez 34
33 Rich Hill 33
34 German Marquez 67
35 Cole Hamels 37
36 Sean Newcomb 32
37 Carlos Rodon 40
38 Dallas Keuchel 35
39 Stephen Strasburg 24
40 Tanner Roark 39
41 Nick Pivetta 42
42 CC Sabathia 45
43 Kevin Gausman 53
44 Chris Archer 38
45 Trevor Cahill 43
46 Kyle Gibson 44
47 Tyler Glasnow 63
48 Robbie Ray 50
49 Dereck Rodriguez 47
50 Anibal Sanchez 61
51 Masahiro Tanaka 48
52 Joe Musgrove 49
53 Derek Holland 52
54 Jake Arrieta 46
55 Mike Minor 55
56 Andrew Heaney 41
57 Joey Lucchesi 62
58 Clay Buchholz 71
59 Hyun-Jin Ryu 54
60 Jose Quintana 59
61 Andrew Suarez 65
62 Kyle Hendricks 60
63 Mike Fiers 73
64 Vince Velasquez 51
65 Shane Bieber 58
66 Nathan Eovaldi 56
67 Wade LeBlanc 66
68 Zach Eflin 57
69 Mike Montgomery N/A
70 Zack Godley 82
71 Michael Fulmer 69
72 Luis Castillo 70
73 Steven Matz 76
74 Jhoulys Chacin 74
75 Jordan Zimmermann 72
76 Trevor Richards 75
77 Jon Lester 81
78 Matt Boyd 77
79 Chase Anderson 78
80 Reynaldo Lopez 79
81 Julio Teheran 80
82 Anthony DeSclafani 83
83 Lance Lynn 100
84 Alex Cobb 85
85 John Gant 94
86 Jaime Barria 93
87 Gio Gonzalez 88
88 Robbie Erlin 86
89 Jake Odorizzi 92
90 Austin Gomber 89
91 Freddy Peralta 95
92 Lucas Giolito N/A
93 Matt Harvey N/A
94 Yonny Chirinos 91
95 Brad Keller N/A
96 Felix Pena 98
97 Jake Junis N/A
98 Junior Guerra 90
99 Mike Leake 96
100 Edwin Jackson 99


You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Sven

    Sven says:

    Drop Gibson for Barria or Minor for a two-week playoff h2h matchup?

    Gibson throws against Houston, NYY

    Minor and Barria both have three starts over the two weeks.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Sven: Yeah I think I’d rather roll with Minor there. That third start against the Padres is nice.

  2. Shopgurrrl says:

    Are you starting Marquez vs. the Giants tonight at Coors?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Shopgurrrl: Hey, sorry I am getting to this too late. Super busy day back at work after the holiday weekend. FWIW I started him in my 12-teamer. He’s not a guy I’m afraid to start in Coors. In fact, he’s approaching auto-start status right now.

  3. uncle ernie says:

    Thanks for the write up. With less than a month to go in regular season how many starts would you expect a starting pitcher to get? I have 40 starts remaining out of my 200 allowed in ESPN. I’m carrying 6 starters now. Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @uncle ernie: It depends on the situation, like if managers want to take it easy on a guy and skip a start or push a guy back. But for the most part you’re looking at 3-4 starts the rest of the way. So even if you have all six of your starters go four turns and average six innings, you’ll be well under those start and innings limits.

  4. Mr. Meaty says:

    What is your reasoning for ranking Pivetta so high?

    Drop Bieber and Pivetta for Miley & Edwin Jackson?

    Please help!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Mr. Meaty: Pivetta has an ugly ERA, but you could argue he’s been the unluckiest pitcher in baseball. His K-BB% is ace like, and every ERA estimator has him at a full run or better below his 4.66 ERA. Bieber is similar but to a lesser extent, and he gets hit hard more often. Miley and Jackson are the inverse of that, pitching over their heads. Bieber might be out of a job as soon as next week, whenever Bauer gets back, so you can drop him to stream someone else for sure. I don’t trust Miley or Jackson at all though.

  5. uncle ernie says:

    Thanks for your last comment. Your opinion please. Ros looking at wins mainly QS not as important. I’m ahead in era and whip so I have a buffer. Best 2 of these guys for wins taking into consideration the time of year with xtra rest and the like. E Jackson. Mike Minor. Jon Lester. Mikolas. Happ. Robbie Ray. W Miley. Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @uncle ernie: I’d go with Happ and Mikolas for dubs.

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