Not your Grandfathers top 100 starting pitchers…

It’s been a rough month for Grandpa-Donk. The old Donk isn’t supposed to be climbing ladders in his advanced age of 90, but the garage roof needed to be tarred and he felt he was the only donkey for such an urgent task. You guessed it, gramps fell off the garage roof, but somehow he escaped with only a broken wrist. A couple weeks later, while in a cast, G-Donk decided to use that same hoof to hammer some nails into his barn. This resulted in a second trip to the veterinarian for the stubborn old jackass.

Clayton Kershaw reminds me a little of Grandpa-Donk. I mean, minus the senility, reckless abandon, and tail. Kershaw suffers from a herniated disc in his lumbar spine (lower back). While I’m not a doctor, I have been called “Dr. Donkey” several times; and I think that’s qualification enough for me to assert that, while the symptoms may subside, a disc herniation will not heal without surgery. Mr. Kershaw has had no back surgeries.

All of this is to say, I trust Clayton Kershaw to stay healthy about as far as I can throw him. Which isn’t far, because I’m a donkey, I can’t throw anything. While Kershaw has looked very good so far this season, and I do have him ranked at #10, I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before Kershaw finds himself on the shelf for another two month stin,t or worse. If I happened to own him, I’d sell him for any arm in my top 20. You should be able to get a useful piece added on if you’re forced to settle for one of those back end top 20 names.

Here are some other guys who I do trust to keep climbing the ladder…

Mike Foltynewicz (-1) – Grey suggested in one of this daily write-ups last week that Folty isn’t healthy. As a well known, highly respected doctor, I’m reluctant to admit my prognosis is still pending. While it’s a bit concerning that the fastball velocity is down a couple ticks from last year, I’m still cautiously optimistic and speculate he’s still rounding into form. Minus a few bites, The Foltwich has looked pretty tasty to me in his first two starts. He’s only walked one batter in 10 2/3 IP, plus he’s throwing lots of first pitch strikes (61.2%), and getting swinging strikes at the same rate as last year when he dominated (10%). I highlighted Folty’s slider usage in the top 100 preseason edition, and he’s throwing even more in the early going this season (30%). If the price is right, I’m willing to gamble on Foltynewicz for his top 20 upside over the rest of the season.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (+22) – Maybe trust isn’t a word I should be using in the same breath as Ryu. This guy’s health is more questionable than the bubble boy. That said, Ryu has been an absolute beast since the beginning of August 2018, sporting a 2.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 9.41 K/9 across his last 88 IP. He’s walked only 7 batters during this stretch! There’s a legitimate argument for Hyun-Jin Ryu as a top 10 pitcher right now.

Matt Strahm (+17) – I hoped Strahm’s velocity would come back as we got further into the year. It hasn’t, but Strahm is getting the job done even with his low 90s fastball. The strikeouts are even starting to pile up of late. Can we just keep increasing the number of eggs in his diet and see what happens?

Anthony DeSclafani (+25) – Another guy here that we shouldn’t fully trust since he hasn’t reached 125 IP in any of the past three seasons. But right now he’s enjoying success on the legs of his increased K rate and swinging strike rate. Streamonator also recommends taking Disco out for a dance this week as he’s set to face off against the Giants twice.

Mike Soroka (+51)– I was standoffish on Soroka a couple weeks back due mainly to all the pitching competition in Atlanta, but he’s already rising to the top of the pecking order down there in The ATL. I asked Ralph on the Razzball podcast this week if Soroka could be a Bieber type this year with his elite fastball command and developing slider. Ralph replied that he thinks Soroka could be even better than Bieber. As the President of the Donkeys for Bieber Fan Club, I’m not ready for such bold statements yet but there’s a lot to like here and Soroka has earned himself quite a bit of leash after four impressive outings. He’s still available in a surprising amount of leagues, make sure yours isn’t one of those leagues.

Chris Bassitt (+49) – We profiled The Bassitt Hound in depth on our most recent podcast. Bassitt hasn’t quite cracked 12-team relevance for me yet, but he’s on my radar.


Here are some guys I’d like to push off the garage roof right about now…

Carlos Rodon (NA) – The FIP and xFIP fairies are whispering that there should be some positive regression in Rodon’s future, but I don’t want any part of him until he strings a few quality starts together. Even then, I think I’d rather just let him be someone else’s headache. Rodon isn’t a rookie, but he has all the other token qualities of a notorious roofier: he lures you in with all that sexy strikeout potential, then suddenly you awaken in a bathtub full of ice minus one kidney and plus 8 earned runs on your ERA.

Edit: Rodon is now injured and may need Tommy John.

Freddy Peralta (-26) – See: Rodon, Carlos

Edit: Freddy isn’t hurt like Rodon, at least not right now.

Brad Keller (-34) – I was drawn to this young arm in the preseason due to an impressive 2018 2nd half led by improved slider effectiveness. Unfortunately, the gains Keller saw in the 2nd half haven’t seemed to stick. His first pitch strike rate, swinging strike rate, and ground ball rate have all faded in the early going with his walk rate increasing. Helen Keller, I mean Brad Keller, has been searching for the strike zone at times this year. I’m not fully writing him off long term, but for now it’s time to move on even in some deeper formats.


Anyway, here’s my updated Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2019 Fantasy Baseball:

Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Jacob deGrom NA
3 Trevor Bauer 2
4 Justin Verlander 4
5 Gerrit Cole 5
6 Chris Sale 6
7 Blake Snell 3
8 Carlos Carrasco 8
9 German Marquez 9
10 Clayton Kershaw 13
11 Jack Flaherty 14
12 Walker Buehler 10
13 Tyler Glasnow 22
14 Patrick Corbin 11
15 Noah Syndergaard 15
16 Luis Castillo 19
17 Zack Greinke 20
18 Shane Bieber 17
19 Stephen Strasburg 24
20 Hyun-Jin Ryu 42
21 Aaron Nola 16
22 Zack Wheeler 23
23 Charlie Morton 26
24 Madison Bumgarner 18
25 Jose Berrios 27
26 Chris Paddack 33
27 Matt Boyd 37
28 David Price 25
29 Mike Foltynewicz 28
30 Caleb Smith 55
31 Yusei Kikuchi 30
32 Robbie Ray 29
33 Joe Musgrove 32
34 Domingo German 36
35 Cole Hamels 39
36 Max Fried 46
37 Matt Strahm 54
38 Kyle Hendricks 34
39 Mike Soroka 90
40 Collin McHugh 41
41 Jose Quintana 45
42 Masahiro Tanaka 35
43 Steven Matz 49
44 Miles Mikolas 40
45 Jon Lester 60
46 Rich Hill 52
47 Eduardo Rodriguez 48
48 Pablo Lopez 68
49 Luke Weaver 71
50 Yonny Chirinos 50
51 J.A. Happ 53
52 Anthony DeSclafani 77
53 Mike Minor 86
54 Yu Darvish 43
55 Jon Gray 44
56 Frankie Montas 56
57 Kenta Maeda 59
58 Rick Porcello 73
59 Zach Eflin 67
60 Jake Odorizzi 95
61 Spencer Turnbull 93
62 Trevor Williams 57
63 Merrill Kelly 87
64 Kevin Gausman 38
65 Brad Peacock 51
66 Marcus Stroman 64
67 Marco Gonzales 69
68 Jake Arrieta 62
69 Vince Velasquez 61
70 Sonny Gray 84
71 Jared Eickhoff 122
72 Brandon Woodruff 76
73 Julio Teheran 91
74 Drew Pomeranz 72
75 Lucas Giolito 74
76 Tyler Skaggs 98
77 Chris Bassitt 126
78 Martin Perez 135
79 Wade Miley 83
80 Zach Davies 92
81 Jalen Beeks NA
82 Joey Lucchesi 70
83 Trevor Richards 58
84 Kyle Gibson 82
85 Jake Junis 94
86 Jordan Lyles 79
87 Trent Thornton 113
88 Aaron Sanchez 85
89 Brad Keller 63
90 Michael Wacha 66
91 CC Sabathia 78
92 Kyle Freeland 65
93 Jeff Samardzija 105
94 Griffin Canning NA
95 Tyler Mahle 103
96 Danny Duffy 108
97 Gio Gonzalez NA
98 Erik Swanson 89
99 Reynaldo Lopez 102
100 Drew Smyly 97
101 Jhoulys Chacin 109
102 Chase Anderson 106
103 Dakota Hudson 128
104 Felix Pena 119
105 Brett Anderson 99
106 Matt Harvey 139
107 Mike Fiers 136
108 Tanner Roark 117
109 Freddy Peralta 75
110 Sandy Alcantara 81
111 Michael Pineda 80
112 Eric Lauer 125
113 Nick Margevicius 114
114 Felix Hernandez 132
115 Adam Wainwright 129
116 Trevor Cahill 107
117 Anibal Sanchez 118
118 Daniel Norris 121
119 Lance Lynn 120
120 Jeremy Hellickson 116
121 Dylan Bundy 131
122 Clay Buchholz 111
123 Tyson Ross 96
124 Homer Bailey 112
125 Jason Vargas 137
126 Jose Urena 123
127 Jorge Lopez 133
128 Mike Leake 127
129 Andrew Cashner 145
130 Adrian Sampson 146
131 Aaron Brooks 134
132 Dan Straily 140
133 Antonio Senzatela 130
134 Manny Banuelos NA
135 John Means NA
136 Dereck Rodriguez 101
137 David Hess 142
138 Shelby Miller 138
139 Alex Cobb 144
140 Ivan Nova 115
141 Tyler Anderson 143


Injured: Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Mike Clevinger, Chris Archer, Nate Eovaldi, Jimmy Nelson, Carlos Rodon, Derek Holland, Jordan Zimmerman, Andrew Heaney, Alex Wood, Carlos Martinez, Marco Estrada, Wade LeBlance, Danny Salazar, Taijuan Walker, Ryan Borucki, Edinson Volquez

On the Farm: Forrest Whitley, Alex Reyes, Jesus Luzardo, Jon Duplantier, Zac Gallen, Casey Mize, Corbin Burnes, Jonathan Loaisiga, Nick Pivetta, Touki Toussaint, Brent Honeywell, Mitch Keller, Kyle Wright, Daniel Mengden, AJ Puk, Luiz Gohara, Justus Sheffield, Bryse Wilson

Unsigned: Dallas Keuchel, Ervin Santana

Out of the Pen: Julio Urias, Josh James, Ross Stripling, Sean Newcomb, Zack Godley, Luis Cessa, Nick Kingham, Framber Valdez



Find Donkey Teeth on Twitter @DonkeyTeeth87. Subscribe to his podcast: Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs & Baseball Savant.

  1. dontbichetteme says:

    Hey Donkey,
    Just lost Kluber and Paxton to the IL this week so I need to drop 1 pitcher to open up a IL slot. Are you dropping J.Nelson or A.Heaney?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hey dontbichette,

      I’d lose Heaney.

  2. Ephus says:

    one start Peacock @ KC

    or two start Pomeranz both vs CIN

    Im first in ratios, second in k’s but can use some wins


    • Big Daddy Jeats says:


      • dontbichetteme says:

        Kinda late there Ephus. Pomeranz already got destroyed this morning. Hopefully you chose Peacock

        • Ephus says:

          Well my tardiness helped out here then

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:

            Sorry, guys. Out playing 36 right now!

  3. Chucky says:

    Ten Gallen Zach a better Hold than Pablo?
    Would you burn your #2 WW on Pablo?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d prefer Pablo. How deep is the league? If it’s shallower you could probably save it.

  4. AllTheDudaDay says:

    Would you trade Kershaw for JoRam? Kershaw is my #1 after trading JV for Betts but I also have Castillo, Smith, Musgrove. Points league. Just looking to upgrade my utility spot and also worried about an injury to Kershaw.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d want JoRam

      • AllTheDudaDay says:

        Perfect! Here’s to hoping he turns it around soon. Thanks!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          No problem!

  5. NJ says:

    Anyone starting Bumgarner in Coors tomorrow?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      No for me

  6. Don't Be a Hader says:

    Pablo Lopez seems to be everyones darling for some reason. When I’ve owned him I’m sporting a 4+ ERA, 1-2 record, and less K’s than IP. Why does everyone like a this guy with a bad offense and a shaky to bad bully??

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I can’t say I fully trust him but the k rate is up, he doesn’t walk many and he’s in a good pitchers park. I wouldn’t start him against good offenses on the road…

  7. Slappy Jack says:

    Their Haniger for my Kershaw?
    12t 5×5
    my infield is solid

    my OF:
    Dom. Santana
    Dan. Santana
    IL: A.Meadows

    my SP:


    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d keep shopping him around, feels like you should be able to get a little more…

  8. Nick Markakis says:

    Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards, Eickhoff, or Kikuchi in a dynasty league

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Kikuchi for me

  9. Jeremy Burke says:

    Fan of you n B dons podcast-keep up the good work. I see you have Martin Perez at 78–but do you think what hes done so far in this small saple size could be real and do you see him as having a pretty high upside?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:


      I think the upside is real which is why hes at 78, but it’s also a small sample size so the jury is still out. Classic hedge there!

  10. dontbichetteme says:

    Hey Donkey,
    Which of these streamers do you like this week? Can you pick 1 for each day?
    Canning @DET 9.2
    Peralta vsWSH 16.4
    Quantrill @ NYM -7.1
    Woodruff vs WSH 18.1
    Loaisiga vs SEA 12.5
    Gibson @ TOR 9.1
    Miley vs TEX 7.3
    Pena @ DET 5.6
    Cahill @ BAL 6.6
    P.Lopez @ NYM 0.9

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d go Canning, Woodruff, Pena, Lopez

    • Hebrew Hammer says:

      16 team H2H DYNASTY keeper LEAGUE

      Start Lester vs. Miami?
      Start Caleb Smith @CHC?

      Thankyou DT!

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:

        I’d start both in H2H.

        No problem!

  11. Ceasar says:

    Let’s quantify that Ryu trust.

    Trade Pham for Ryu and Hand in a 14-team 5×5 roto dynasty?

    Don’t normally like trading bats for arms in this format, but I’m competing this year so Ryu’s short-term value means more than his long-term injury risk.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Yep, I’d do that if you need the pitching. Fair deal…

  12. Primetime says:

    So you trade D German for folty?

    My rotation is sick already

    Severino IL

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I would but I have I high risk appetite. It’s a fair swap…

  13. Thurman says:

    kluber was dropped in my 12-team mixed league. i have 63 faab dollars left. how much do i bid for him ?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Maybe $3 if you have the room to stash. I won’t be surprised if Kluber’s a non-contrinutor at this point.

  14. johnnyhobbes says:

    According to this I should probably drop Martin Perez for Pablo Lopez. Correct?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I would

  15. The Eye of Horus says:

    In a dynasty, would you trade away K. Bryant for 2 of these :Pablo Lopez/Cease/Puk? I’m dead out of pitching after losing Kluber, but have Bryant, Vlad, Andujar covering 3B.

    Thanks! Enjoyed your podcast additions.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d want more for Bryant.

      No problem, thanks!

  16. BrewHaHa says:

    Who’s more likely to be relevant in 5×5 this year, Kluber or Jimmy Nelson

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’ll guess Nelson but complete guess…

  17. mthom42 says:

    Still think you’re too bearish on Berrios. Do you have concerns? Can’t argue with much though.

    El Marco

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      No real concerns. I wish there was a little more K upside and he’s faced a lot of weak competition so far…but he’s also in the pathetic AL central so there’s plenty more weak competition ahead.

      I think there’s a decent argument for bumping him 5-10 spots higher…that tier is pretty fluid for me and I might have a slight anti-Berrios bias.

  18. Curious George says:

    I’ve tried everything to sell off my extra hitters (Pete alonso (who can be kept in the 24th next year), Domingo santana (also keepable in 24th), and dejong). Can’t find anyone who will give me a top 15sp for any 2-3 of them. Should I continue to hold out or sell off individually for lesser players?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hard to say without more info.

      Depending on options I’d be open to selling off for lesser players.

      Don’t force anything.

      • Curious George says:

        10 team h2h cats. Keep 2 (or 3 if you win the league). I have the following keepers available: acuna (6th round), soto (21st), vlad (22nd), and tatis (24th).

        C (none-they all suck and I would rather have an extra pitcher haha), 1b Alonso, 2nd Danny Santana/whoever is hot, 3rd Machado, ss Bregman, mi dejong, ci rizzo, of acuna, Hoskins, Dahl, d Santana, Marte, utl mondesi. Bench/IL vlad, tatis, soto

        SP: verlander, flaherty, Glasnow, Marquez, syndergaard, darvish
        RP: Doolittle, Giles, colome, Jeffress, Parker (sv/hd)

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Yes I’d sell for lesser players if they help or see if you can get bites on guys like Marte or Dahl instead. With only 2 keepers for most teams their keeper value is very limited…

  19. Bobby says:

    How long until Duplantier is stretched out and do we see an extended stay in the second half of the year? Is Soroka a fair comparison as far as floor and ceiling go?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Probably 2-3 weeks. I think we do see and extended stay in the 2nd half. Soroka is probably a good comp for ceiling but floor is a little lower I think…he doesn’t have quite as good command.

  20. Harley Earl says:

    No comments or thoughts on Pablo Lopez???

    He’s all the rage this week after six wonderful innings against Atlanta on Sunday. I see you gave him a nice bump up the rankings, so you’re onto him as well!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I posted this in reply to a comment above, “I can’t say I fully trust him (Pablo) but the k rate is up, he doesn’t walk many and he’s in a good pitchers park. I wouldn’t start him against good offenses on the road…”

      I only have time to write-up so many guys!

  21. EB says:

    Whats good DT? So Im in 10 team HTH 5×5 with QS and OBP. I’ve been holding on to Jesus Agulilar but I have Meadows returning soon from the IL (he’s already on my roster due to Clevinger and Kluber occupying my 2 IL spots) and I generally only like to keep one bench bat.

    With my current staff Im sitting pretty low in ERA, QS and WHIP. I was thinking of dropping Jesus to add to my staff but my choices are somewhat slim… There’s John Gray, Spencer Turnbull, Canning, or Woodruff. Or I could go with a ratios RP like Trivino, or speculative closer like AJ Minter, Jeffress, Guerra, Buttrey, Allen, or Robles. What would you recommend?

    SP Joe Musgrove
    SP Jack Flaherty
    SP Mike Soroka
    SP Shawn Kelley
    SP Matthew Boyd
    SP Kyle Hendricks
    RP Edwin Diaz
    RP Raisel Iglesias
    RP Jose Leclerc
    SP Walker Buehler
    SP Eduardo Rodriguez
    Corey Kluber(IL)
    Mike Clevinger(IL)

    • EB says:

      Turnbull got scooped up so it would now be Gray, Canning, or Woodruff… or my closer situation isnt great either with Iglesias, Leclerc, and Diaz(I did add Shawn Kelley as a handcuff for Leclerc)so would you take a shot that Barnes can take the closer role from Braiser or add one of the 3 aforementioned SP’s.

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:

        Hey EB,

        Sorry I missed this yesterday.

        I’d try Canning over Jesus. I think he could really fool the league the first time thru. Pick your match ups wisely with these guys in that shallow of a league though…

        • EB says:

          No worries and thanks man!

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:


  22. Malicious Phenoms says:

    Very solid top 141!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Thanks MP!

  23. rhodyballer says:

    Would you trade D. German for Puig or aim higher?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d take Puig for him if you need that bat, it’s fair

  24. holyscheisse says:

    I’m curious how you have Musgrove in the 30’s range. You’re not concerned after his recent shellackings?…especially considering he’s a low K/9 guy and his FB velocity is down.

Comments are closed.