Cheers to you all out there in Razzland as we dive headfirst into the final week of the regular season! It’s been a mega weird year for pitching. Between the whole Opener/Primary Pitcher thing catching fire and fewer starters pitching deep into games, starting pitching is turning into a relatively fluid position. Looking towards 2019, it will be very interesting to see not only where the Primary Pitchers are drafted, but where the other uber-relievers are taken. Josh Hader is the most prominent name of the bunch, but there are plenty of other useful long relievers like Chad Green, Jeremy Jeffress, and Collin McHugh that are terrific for cheap K’s and ratio stabilization in deeper leagues. Heck, even in 10-12 team leagues with no move limits they make great fill-in options between streamers.

Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We’ve got one week left in front of us, and if you’re reading this you are probably still in the fight. There’s less movement than last week since I weighted our SP’s by skill and opponent last week and now basically there’s just 1-2 fewer starts left on the table. I’ll roll through some of the more notable options for the final week of the season. I also wanted to thank all of you for reading this year. I was truly impressed by the great commenters. Even if you disagreed pretty hard with something I wrote, you presented your case respectfully rather than getting all Twitter angry. I hope I’ve been able to help your season in some way with my analysis. Good luck in your final week, and I’ll catch you next year!

 

  • Chris Sale, BOS (-7) – The drop here is simply because we don’t know how deep Sale may pitch into his final start against the Yankees. It’s not an easy matchup to begin with, but even as Sale works his way back to normalcy from his DL stint, I consider him matchup-proof. He’s only pitched 3 and 3.1 innings in his last two starts, so if he only goes 4-5 innings in his last start, that doesn’t do you much good. I would still trot him out in almost every case and hope for 8 K’s in 5 IP or something, but it’s riskier than you’d like with a title potentially on the line.
  • Stephen Strasburg, WSH (+7) – Stras embarrassed the Fish his last time out, striking out 11 over six innings with two walks and two runs. He gets Miami again in his next start, but unfortunately will finish the season in Colorado. You’re starting him anyway.
  • Walker Buehler, LAD (+9) – Buehler has been just plain silly over the second half, posting a 2.14 ERA / 0.89 WHIP over 67.1 innings with an 11.23 K/9 and 2.54 BB/9. Jinkies, Velma. He’s even pitched six innings or more in eight of his last ten starts, something I really didn’t think we’d see from him this year. He’s a straight up stud who looks like a top 20 pitcher for 2019. Fire him up this week in humidor-enhanced Arizona.
  • Madison Bumgarner, SF (-6) – Bummy has to take on the Dodgers in his last start, in which he is very unlikely to pick up the win. On top of that, he’s kind of been a JAG (just a guy) this year. An 11.6% K-BB% is completely underwhelming, and his 4.00 FIP is the worst of his career. I’ll be wary to invest next year. Even though he’s just 29, he’s got a lot of innings on that arm. I’m worried he could be the next Felix Hernandez.
  • Luis Castillo, CIN (+10) – Castillo took advantage of the Fish just like Stras did, shutting them out over 8.1 innings with five K’s and one walk. The Reds have not one but two days off next week, so there’s a chance Castillo doesn’t pitch again this year. I think they’ll squeeze him in for one more start, but keep an eye on the schedule just in case. You wouldn’t want to get Munsoned here in the final week of the season.
  • Trevor Bauer, CLE (SP48) – Bauer is back, baby!! Well, sort of. He only tossed an inning and a third in his return from the DL, and with only one week left to get stretched out, he probably won’t get through too many innings. The Indians have mentioned that he could be utilized out of the bullpen in the playoffs, so it’s possible they limit him to 2-3 innings per start next week (he lines up for two: @CHW, @KC). He should probably be looked at as a Josh Hader type this next week, so if you need wins you should look elsewhere.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD (+30) – Ryu shut out the Rockies over seven innings in his last start, and he (for now) lines up against the Padres and Giants to round out the season. That is just about as good as it gets. Hopefully the Dodgers actually let him get those two starts, because if he does he can take full advantage of those two tanking teams…and so can you. Shoryuken your opponents with Ryu!!!
  • Wade Miley, MIL (+11) – I’m still not believing that Miley is really good per se, but good enough to count on for two more starts while he’s rolling here in the second half. The matchups are decent with Pittsburgh the day this is posted, and randomly the Tigers in the last series of the season. You can go back to forgetting Miley next year.

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

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Drew says:
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    If I’m looking for a win and to bring down my era/whip, do I start Leblanc today?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Drew: Probably not.

      • Drew says:
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        @Dokken: Benched him. Won championship.

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @Drew: Hell yeah!!

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Great stuff all year, Dokken!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Grey: Thanks a million, Grey!

  3. gc tacos says:
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    After finishing the regular season over 1000 points ahead of the second seed (h2h points), looks like I’m gonna lose in the Championship round with injuries to Story, Rosario, and Cabrera. Have Streamanotor— who do you like this week? Pena (+17) Shoemaker (+22) James (+21) Merritt (+29) Reed (+19) Gonzales (+23) Oswalt (+17) Beeks (+29) Vargas (+21). Need 5. I need a prayer!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @gc tacos: Yikes. That’s a lot of fire to play with. Guess I’d go Pena, James, Gonzales, Oswalt, Shoemaker.

  4. Jon says:
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    Let’s say you’re hypothetically desperate for starts in the last H2H week and you have to choose TWO of Pivetta @ COL, Giolito @ MIN, or Borucki @ TB, who do you go with?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Jon: I’d take my chances with Pivetta in Coors.

  5. scott says:
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    Trevor Williams did not make your list. Do you prefer both Gant vs MIL and Suarez vs LAD to Williams @ CHC? (I have all 3, currently thinking Williams)

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @scott: Williams should have made the list, that’s an oversight by me. I don’t believe in a lot of what he’s done this year but at this point you might as well keep rolling with him. I don’t have a ton of faith in Gant or Suarez either with their not-too-great matchups.

  6. manormachine? says:
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    Thanks for this shizz all year. I’m in the finals of my H2H playoffs and I have 9 out of your top 40 starters so I should be fine.

    Two things:

    Andrew Heaney is listed twice at 64 and 69. 69 is what I set the temperature in my car at BTW. I keep waiting for girls to ask me about it but so far only my buddy has noticed.

    I’m in a dynasty league and I’m losing a bunch of pitchers next year. I’d like to throw a buck and keep a WW guy for the back end of my rotation. This is a league where the top 80 plus SP are relevant. Are Skaggs or Tehran worth it for 2019?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @manormachine?: That’s a very nice temperature if you ask me. Perhaps the double Heaney’s explains the lack of Trevor Williams. Bah. Anyway, I like Skaggs a fair bit for 2018, so I’d give him a look for sure. Teheran wasn’t on the list for much of the season, but if it’s a deep league for pitching like you mentioned, he could be relevant. I don’t expect him to be any better than he was this year though.

  7. Bob on the Lam says:
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    1. Is Morton still at 20 given his shoulder concerns? I’m worried he’ll pitch 2 innings and get the Vaudeville Hook.

    2. You would take 1 Mikolas over 2x Hamels this week?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Bob on the Lam: Valid concern with Morton, but I figured he can go 5 good innings. Perhaps I am too optimistic. Mikolas and Hamels are about a coin flip for me, I don’t like Hamels against STL so it’s more of a volume play with K’s if you go with him.

      • Bob on the Lam says:
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        @Dokken: True. Thanks!

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