I think Jake Faria read me shorting him at #73 last week, responding with eight shutout innings. It came against an ugly Tigers lineup, but you’ll take it anyway. Unfortunately, it was a tough week for injuries. Just last week I was asked why I didn’t have Johnny Cueto higher, and I sort of shrugged (not that anyone could see me shrugging) and said that I was waiting for the next injury to strike. Sadly it did, and he could be lost for the season this time. Hyun-jin Ryu tore his groin right off the damn bone, which is a thought that makes me cringe more than watching entrepreneurs getting shot down on Shark Tank. Robbie Ray is gone, Jordan Montgomery is gone, and we get screwed with ole dusty balls Adam Wainwright instead of Jack Flaherty. What a world. We do have some fun debuts to get to though, so there is a silver lining. We’ll focus more on them than the risers/fallers this week.

The Debuts

  • Walker Buehler, LAD (SP39) – Buehler has been absolute nails since getting the call to LA. Through three starts he has a 1.13 ERA with a 19:7 K:BB ratio over his 16 IP, including six no-hit innings against the Padres. His stuff is filthy. He was one of the top prospects in baseball for a reason. With all that said, he has faced the Giants (at AT&T), Marlins, and Padres – three cake matchups. He’s done what good pitchers are supposed to do to bad teams, but he has yet to get tested by a good lineup. To that point I guess you can continue to not care though, with the Reds and Marlins (again) on the docket. The other issue I have with him is workload; he’s been monitored very closely by the Dodgers throughout his career, and it’ll be rare that he goes more than five-plus innings. I may be low on him, placing him in front of the next guy…
  • Mike Soroka, ATL (SP40) – Soroka also debuted this week, and the 20-year old put on a better performance than Cats. He went six frames against the Mets, allowing just one run with no walks and 5 K’s. He’s got a terrific fastball that he complements with a slider, and a rare changeup when he needs it. If you’re reading this on Sunday, he’ll get the Giants today and the Marlins next, two nice matchups for him. Both he and Buehler are worth a look in all formats.
  • Nick Kingham, PIT (SP43) – King Ham (not rum ham) debuted tremendously against the Cardinals, yielding just one hit over seven shutout innings with no walks and nine strikeouts. He followed that up with a less exhilarating 5.1 IP 4 ER against the Brewers, but at least he gave us 7 K’s to 1 BB. Kingham has incorporated a slider this year, although he threw it a lot less in his second start. It has given him more whiffs though, and that has me excited enough.
  • Fernando Romero, MIN (SP58) – I also wrote about Romero in yesterday’s Two Startapalooza, so I’ll keep it brief here. He has the potential for three plus pitches, but he’s young and on the small side for a starter. He’s also had some walk issues so I wouldn’t expect him to pitch too deep into games, and he might be pretty inconsistent. Nice potential, but he’s a step below the other debuts to me.

 

The Risers

  • Charlie Morton, HOU (SP16) – The Reverend Morton Heat! The nickname works because at the ripe ole baseball age of 34, Morton is throwing more gas than ever. He’s averaging 96 MPH on his fastball, which has seen a velocity increase every single year since 2014. It’s truly remarkable. And not a “there’s celery in my potato salad” type of remark, it’s more of a “he can now murder someone with a baseball if he wants to” type of remark. He’s swinging strikes at a career-high 13.9% clip, 15th in MLB among qualified starters. Of course, he’s only ever eclipsed 150 innings twice in his major league career, so there’s always the looming injury concern. While he’s healthy though, he’ll give you ace-like numbers. That’s good enough to warrant a top 20 ranking from me.
  • Gio Gonzalez, WSH (SP42) – Gio continues to befuddle me. He still walks a ton of batters (3.72 BB/9) and manages to strand them at an obscene clip (81%). Granted the strikeouts are up this year, which helps, but how he has now stranded batters over 80% of the time since the start of 2017 is crazy. Which do you believe more, the 2.33 ERA or the 1.34 WHIP? I’ll go with the latter. That said, he’s on a great team that puts him in a good spot to rack up wins, and even if the K% comes down, he’s still going to help you there. As long as he continues to find success I’ll keep raising him up, but I won’t be happy about it.

 

The Fallers

  • Aaron Sanchez, TOR (SP76) – It pains me to do this, but I’m labeling Sanchez as a JAG. That’s “just a guy” to you laymens out there. Just two years ago Sanchez won 15 games with a 3.00 ERA over 192 innings, but after a lost season due to blisters, he has returned looking like a different pitcher. His powerful curveball has been relegated to a third pitched utilized just 7% of the time, perhaps in an effort to keep those blisters at bay. Instead he’s primarily fastball/changeup, but on the bright side that changeup is quite good. 33% whiffs on the change this year is keeping his overall swinging strike rate up around league average, but it hasn’t translated to reaches (27.1% O-swing%) or K’s (5.97 K/9). He has just 25 K’s to 18 BB’s in 37.2 IP. Yowza. While he’s posted a 4.06 ERA, all other ERA estimators have him around 5. It’s going to take some work on his part to get him out of JAG territory, which is patrolled routinely by David James Elliott.

 

And The List:

Rank Name Prev Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Clayton Kershaw 2
3 Corey Kluber 3
4 Chris Sale 4
5 Gerrit Cole 7
6 Luis Severino 5
7 Justin Verlander 8
8 Noah Syndergaard 6
9 Stephen Strasburg 9
10 Jacob DeGrom 10
11 Carlos Carrasco 11
12 Carlos Martinez 12
13 James Paxton 17
14 Patrick Corbin 13
15 Aaron Nola 15
16 Charlie Morton 32
17 Zack Greinke 14
18 Trevor Bauer 23
19 Lance McCullers 24
20 Blake Snell 30
21 Jose Berrios 16
22 Shohei Ohtani 19
23 Dylan Bundy 20
24 Rick Porcello 26
25 Dallas Keuchel 22
26 Zack Godley 25
27 Alex Wood 35
28 Sean Manaea 33
29 Jameson Taillon 21
30 David Price 27
31 Chris Archer 28
32 Yu Darvish 29
33 Jon Gray 39
34 Nick Pivetta 36
35 Jose Quintana 49
36 Masahiro Tanaka 38
37 Kyle Hendricks 53
38 Jake Arrieta 34
39 Walker Buehler N/A
40 Mike Soroka N/A
41 J.A. Happ 43
42 Gio Gonzalez 58
43 Nick Kingham N/A
44 Michael Fulmer 44
45 Luke Weaver 37
46 Luis Castillo 40
47 Eduardo Rodriguez 41
48 Reynaldo Lopez 42
49 Tanner Roark 51
50 Miles Mikolas 45
51 Jon Lester 47
52 Tyson Ross 69
53 Drew Pomeranz 57
54 Sean Newcomb 75
55 Mike Minor 54
56 Jeff Samardzija 48
57 Garrett Richards 50
58 Fernando Romero N/A
59 Mike Clevinger 52
60 Rich Hill 67
61 Kenta Maeda 55
62 Kevin Gausman 64
63 Jake Faria 73
64 Danny Duffy 59
65 Vince Velasquez 60
66 Sonny Gray 63
67 Kyle Gibson 65
68 Chase Anderson 66
69 Joey Lucchesi 68
70 Trevor Cahill 70
71 Jakob Junis 72
72 Zach Wheeler 74
73 Marcus Stroman 71
74 Mike Foltynewicz 77
75 Marco Gonzales 79
76 Aaron Sanchez 61
77 Cole Hamels 85
78 Marco Estrada 82
79 Jake Odorizzi 81
80 Daniel Mengden 80
81 Andrew Heaney N/A
82 Nick Tropeano 83
83 Brandon McCarthy N/A
84 CC Sabathia 92
85 Felix Hernandez 86
86 Tyler Skaggs 88
87 Chris Stratton 78
88 Homer Bailey 94
89 Caleb Smith N/A
90 Jarlin Garcia N/A
91 Ivan Nova N/A
92 Brett Anderson N/A
93 Trevor Williams 95
94 Junior Guerra 96
95 Tyler Chatwood 97
96 Tyler Anderson N/A
97 Andrew Triggs 91
98 Ian Kennedy 89
99 Matt Boyd 93
100 Jose Urena 99

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

   
  1. Brennan Cassidy says:
    (link)

    Great list! Still high on Pivetta even after the rough start? I know it was the Nats but he got walloped! Also you thinking Mikolas has the stuff to keep up what he’s doing?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Brennan Cassidy: Thanks Brennan! I’ll probably drop Pivetta a bit next week, but I still considering him a number three SP. And I do think Mikolas will continue to be successful! He might even get a bit of an uptick in strikeouts with those two breaking balls.

  2. Chris says:
    (link)

    Got offered this trade: I get J.A. Happ for Brandon Morrow. I already have Boxberger, Herrera and Iglesias as my CL. My SP are Archer, Wood, Tanaka, Bundy, Bumgarner, Greinke. I need help in W, K, ERA and Whip. Should I make the deal?

    • Josh says:
      (link)

      @Chris: You do that trade yesterday

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
        (link)

        @Josh: Yeah I’d say that’s a solid return, and more importantly it will help your team overall since you’ve got plenty of closers even without Morrow.

  3. eric says:
    (link)

    Chris, Are your rankings for next week or ROS?

    Drop any of my SP for FAs?

    My SPs: Greinke, Quintana, Tanaka, Corbin, G Richards, Castillo, Buehler, Cahill, Soroka.
    FAs: Kingham, Hill, E Rodriguez

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @eric: Dikembe, they are for ROS value. In a league where those starters are sitting on the wire, I wouldn’t feel bad streaming the last five names you listed on your squad. I have less interest in Hill and Cahill than the rest of the bunch though.

      • Chris says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: where would bumgardner be on this list if its for ROS value? Just wondering considering a trade.

  4. Watson says:
    (link)

    What makes Price so high right now?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Watson: I probably should have dropped him more, his last two starts in particular have been pretty brutal. I was under the impression he was getting more whiffs, but after looking into him more there isn’t much to like. Good call.

      • Watson says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: Thanks wasn’t sure if I should rush to grab him or not.

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
          (link)

          @Watson: If it’s a standard 10-12 tm mixer he’s replaceable.

  5. FF8007 says:
    (link)

    Is Gohara a bench stash ROS or just another Streamer until his control improves. A few SP from your top 100 list available on waivers… including; Gonzalez, Luchessi, Romero, and Ross .

    Also many thanks for Bauer, Morton, Corbin, Mr. Great One!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @FF8007: Happy to help! You’d be better off streaming with the roster spot you’d be holding on to Gohara for. Gio is already having the season Gohara would be lucky to achieve.

  6. Stumanji! says:
    (link)

    If/when Flaherty were to get the call again–and was expected to stick with the big club ROS–where would you slide him in to the top 100? Similar question for Alex Reyes…although I’m assuming it’s too early to say for him?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Stumanji!: I’d probably slot Flaherty in around SP45. As for Reyes, yeah he’s still a ways off. Potential is elite, but he’s coming back from TJ and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 so it’s really hard to know what to expect. I’d probably drop him in around 40 if he were back today.

  7. Alex says:
    (link)

    Pivetta or buehler ROS in a H2H league? I’m thinking buehler might not be there for the playoffs when I need him he most, thoughts?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Alex: Yeah, the issue there is innings. By September Buehler might be shut down or in the pen. I would worry about making the playoffs before crossing that bridge though. Due to the innings I’d favor Pivetta slightly, but ask me again in a week and I might change my answer if Buehler continues to dominate.

      • Alex says:
        (link)

        @Dokken:

        I’ve been in first place all year and barring injury I should easily make one of the 8 playoff spots available. I’m stressing so hard cause I have Buehler and I got offered Pivetta for him. I have Corbin Morton Bauer Quintana and Keuchel as my top 5 starters so it’s not necessarily a make or break season kind of trade

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
          (link)

          @Alex: Oh yeah, you’re riding the gravy train with either starter then. If you held on to Buehler and he keeps killing it you could potentially sell him even higher in a couple weeks.

          • Alex says:
            (link)

            @Dokken:
            Yeah I’ll try todo that since his next two starts are CIN and MIA I think, thanks

  8. Sam says:
    (link)

    Wait!! Is that in reference for the Reverend Horton Heat? The band with the insane bass player?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Sam: You know it!!

      • Sam says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: I knew it well many years ago when in Texas….the things he did with that bass…. Luved the Reverend – they were tight!

  9. RICE says:
    (link)

    Wacha?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @RICE: Either I subsonsciously hate Wacha or he’s eminently forgettable to me because I’ve just fail to squeeze him on twice now. He deserves to at least be on the list, right around 90. I have it written down in big letters to make sure he’s on next weeks list!

      • RICE says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: hahaha, I feel you. I want to drop him every day… but then I look and his last 4 starts have all been good. I look again and he’s @ Petco this week. Next thing you know, he’s in my starting lineup for the week.

        Any additional thoughts on Bundy? 12 earned runs in his last 9 innings but stellar before that. Stuck in that scary AL East. He’s available in my league but I’m just staring at him doing nothing.

        I could drop Wacha, Castillo, or Newcomb.

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
          (link)

          @RICE: In a vacuum I would much rather have Bundy than Wacha or Newcomb. That said, Bundy seems to go through these rough patches every year where he dips in velocity and struggles. He’s there right now, but he’s got two starts this week with favorable matchups, which was enough to get him into Tier 2 of Startapalooza. Wacha in Petco is nice but I’d take Bundy.

  10. holthud321 says:
    (link)

    Teheran really isnt a top 100 starter?!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @holthud321: Nope, at least not to me. You could argue he’s better than some of the back-enders, but I’m not digging him. He’s been incredibly fortunate to have a sub-4 ERA, and with a fastball that now sits below 90 I’m not too optimistic he’ll get any better this season.

  11. Christian Herman says:
    (link)

    So start double starter castillo over caleb smith this week with confidence?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Christian Herman: Well “with confidence” is strong, it’s more like “adjust your neck tie and wipe the sweat from your brow while inserting him into your lineup”. But yes, I’d go Castillo over Smith.

  12. Paul says:
    (link)

    Two questions:

    Why so high on Taillin? It’s questionable how many Ws he’ll achieve, and the PIT insistence on upping FB usage over breaking stuff seems to be sapping his K value, turning him more into a contact/GB pitcher without an elite infield defense behind him (notice HOU turned Cole into an elite SP when they allowed him to throw his breaking stuff more and limit FB usage). So, Ws will be hard to come by ROS, and K upside appears limited. But he’s a Top 30 SP for you – wondering why.

    Second question: You’ve got Garrett Richards ranked essentially as a streamer. He has strong K upside with an elite defense behind him. He’s been building up his arm strength and starting to go longer in games, enhancing QS in addition to Ws. Angels should win a lot of games with a strong offense. Best of all, he’s starting to reduce the BBs. Not seeing how he’s not Top 30 arm here. Is there something under the hood that I’m missing?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Paul: Good stuff, Paul! I’m still a bit entranced from Taillon’s shutout I watched earlier this year, but there is also plenty to like. Great WHIP, limiting the hard contact (12th best rate in MLB), only thing not to like is the league average K rate. I really only use wins as a tiebreaker since they’re so fluky.

      I actually like Richards, but he’s just one start removed from a total disaster, and there’s also that walk rate over 13%! He’s certainly got top 30 potential, but I’m gonna bump him up slowly as long as he continues to give me reasons to.

      • Paul says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: Good points. Wins are fluky, but if you remove Taillon’s first two starts, I believe he has a decidedly below league average K rate (only 1 game in 5 with more than 3 Ks and very few whiffs). I wonder if a middle reliever like Gsellman or McHugh offers essentially the same value, minus an inning or two, in a given week (unless Taillon has a 2 start week). I just have a hard time envisioning Taillon as a top 30 starter after getting blown up twice in his last 5 starts (lasting a combined 6 innings) and Bundy sliding in at 22 (also blown up in his last two starts), but Garrett Richards, with a stronger defense, mounting innings, and elite K upside finds himself stuck in streaming purgatory at 57. It seems like Taillon and Bundy are being given a pass for getting lit up twice while Richards, on a better team with a stronger defense, has only been lit up once. I wonder if Taillon would make a fine SP4, with upside for more, while Richards looks like the definition of an SP3, with upside for more. Bundy is tricky because he demonstrated elite K upside as well, so it’s tough to let him slip too far. For the record, I like all three! I really want to see more Ks from Taillon, and if he can show that this week, then I’m all for aggressively ranking him as a top 30 starter because keeping hard hit down and not walking people is huge. Thanks for answering!

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
          (link)

          @Paul: I’m gonna keep a keen eye on those guys for sure. I don’t want to be too reactionary based on just a pair of starts or my rankings would be all over the place! Richards has had so many health problems too that it has to factor into my ranking a bit.

  13. C Bentley says:
    (link)

    Why so high on Pomeranz? He’s available in my league which is full of Bosux fans. I would love to pick him up and sell high after a few good starts but I just don’t see it. He hasn’t looked great and his career numbers are mehh beside K/9. only upside I really see is he’s on a great team but I’m more concerned about ERA, WHIP and K/BB than I am W’s.

    • C Bentley says:
      (link)

      @C Bentley: Also, I’m in a 12 team mixed keeper league with J.A. Happ, Manaea, Wood, Maeda, Newcomb and Mahle as starters currently.

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
        (link)

        @C Bentley: I’ll still take the Pom Pom over Mahle, but I should probably cool it on his ranking. I like the K:BB well enough, and the win potential as well. His velo is down tho and he’s not missing many bats. Was thinking he would get better but my rank is maybe a little toooo optimistic.

        • C Bentley says:
          (link)

          @Dokken: Yea, maybe I will add Pom and drop Mahle. I’m really holding onto Mahle mostly for keeper potential if he ends up having a good season. The future of my pitching staff is not too strong as of now.

          Thanks!

  14. Pipa says:
    (link)

    Cole, Verlander or Corbin plue Soler for Trout? Which Ace should I part with!?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Pipa: As much as I love Corbin, his track record is lesser than the other two so I’d be most apt to deal him. Big win if you can get that done!

  15. Utah Green Sox says:
    (link)

    Someone just dropped Taillon in a 12 teamer. Are they mad??

    I have the likes of Waka and Samardja in my lineup

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @Utah Green Sox: They mad bro!! I’d much prefer a shot of Jameson over Wacha and Shark.

      • Utah Green Sox says:
        (link)

        @Dokken: Damn, Sonny Gray just got dropped too!

        Another instant add?

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
          (link)

          @Utah Green Sox: I actually dropped him in a 12 teamer myself, so he’s not an insta-add necessarily. He’s every bit as good as Wacha or Shark though.

  16. JB2 says:
    (link)

    Where does MadBum slot in once he’s back? Would you deal Robbie Ray and Rendon for MadBum and Abreu?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
      (link)

      @JB2: Even if I’m being conservative I think I have to put him in the top 20, but as long as he looks right when he’s back he’ll be in the 10-15 range easily. I would deal for the MadBum/Abreu side. Bummy’s on his way back and Ray is out for a long time. I don’t see Abreu as a big step down from Rendon.

  17. Jan says:
    (link)

    I’m so happy that the SP top 100 is back!

    There seems a lot of secrecy regarding Danny Salazar’s shoulder. Is he droppable or even worth using a DL spot on? I’m in a 14 team mixed league.

    Thanks!

    • Jan says:
      (link)

      @Jan: Typo: There seems to be…

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
        (link)

        @Jan: Happy to revive it, Jan! We just got some news today on Salazar, and it is not good. He’s shut down from rehabbing for at least a week. In the rare circumstance that he’s healthy and dealing, he’s plenty valuable in a 14 teamer. That may not be for a month or more though, if at all this year. If you have plenty of DL slots to play around with then by all means hang on, but if your DL is crowded and you have to drop someone, I wouldn’t feel too bad cutting him.

        • Jan says:
          (link)

          @Dokken: thank you!

Comments are closed.