It’s rough to start a list that brings me as much joy as this with the sad trombone, but this is how we have to begin when we lose Clayton Kershaw. Sad trombone. There’s no current timetable for his return from biceps tendinitis, and the most recent update has him playing catch from 60 feet for five minutes. Yippee. I like to think he’s actually just practicing an eephus and he’s going to start working it into his repertoire. In any case, he’s not close to a return. Sadly, DL trips have become commonplace for Kershaw. At this point you have to bake a DL stint into his projection every year, and to me that puts him squarely behind Mad Max and Sale moving forward.

Kluber is also showing a few chinks in his armor, so that dude has to watch out for pointy objects. While he’s got a cool 2.62 ERA, his FIP is 3.94. His swinging strike rate is down a full 5% from 2017 while his contact rate is up 9%. He’s getting fewer reaches out of the zone and is missing far fewer bats in the zone. I don’t foresee an implosion of any kind per se, but among elite options he’s got my eyebrow raised.

The Risers

  • Kevin Gausman, BAL (+10) – Don’t look now, but it’s the first half of the season and Kevin Gausman isn’t sucking! He’s actually got five quality starts in eight tries with a 3.18 ERA. He’s still just as obnoxiously homer prone as ever with a 1.41 HR/9, but hey, at least he’s consistent – his 2016-2018 HR/9 rates are 1.40, 1.40, and 1.41. He’s chucking his splitter more than ever at 22%, which is a key element to his success. He gets 23% whiffs with it and 64% grounders, which is a great way to limit the damage when you’re pitching in hitter-friendly AL East parks. He’s been fortunate not to have to face the Red Sox yet, but that luck runs out next week as he’ll head to Fenway for a true test of his talents.
  • Andrew Heaney, LAA (+18) – The Injury Bug has been a real meany to Heaney, sapping his 2016 and ’17 seasons almost entirely. He’s proving that he’s back with his recent performance, going three straight starts without allowing more than two runs. He’s throwing more offspeed stuff than ever, with his slider and changeup accounting for 43% of his pitches. Neither pitch has really been elite, but they’ve been good enough to limit batters to a .192 BAA on the change and .177 on the curve. He’s getting enough whiffs and reaches to hover around a K/inning, and his command has been very good. I’m not sure how many innings the Angels will let him throw this season, but in the short term I’m buying in.
  • Tyler Skaggs, LAA (+30) – Another Angel in the outfield…err…on the mound! Skaggs really seems to be rounding into form over his last three starts, with a 25:6 K:BB ratio and 2.28 ERA over 23.2 IP. He has the luxury of being able to feed lefties heavy doses of curveballs while his changeup helps keep righties off balance. He’s in the same boat as Heaney insofar as it’s a bit up in the air how many innings the Angels will let Skaggs toss, but I’m all about riding him until that day comes. Come for the 3.07 ERA, stay for the 9.41 K/9.

The Fallers

  • Jose Berrios, MIN (-8) – Berrios began the season with a 3-hit shutout of the Orioles and followed it up with a clunker, but then posted back-to-back seven shutout inning starts. It’s been pure misery ever since. Over his last four starts he has an 8.84 ERA with just 11 K’s to 8 BB’s over 18.1 IP. The problem? His curveball has left the building. The whiff rate on his curveball while he was rolling was over 22%. His last three starts? 6%. He failed to even record a whiff on his curve in his latest start against the Angels. He’s just an adjustment away from getting back to form, but until you see him put together a good start, he should be on your bench.
  • David Price, BOS (-37) – I had Price overranked a bit to begin with, but a blow up start against the Rangers and a DL scare with some tingly fingies has me dropping him precipitously. Apparently Price plays Fortnite morning, noon, and…nite…and it gave him carpal tunnel syndrome. This is almost as weird as that time Matt Harvey hit the DL because he was holding his pee too long. Baseball is so damn fun! You don’t see stuff like this in any other sport. Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers missing a game against the Vikings because he was playing too much Fortnite and his hand was numb? Or LeBron James missing an NBA game because he held his pee the entire bus ride from Cleveland to Boston? Like Matt Harvey’s pee, David Price is a streamer that you aren’t forced to hold.
  • Dylan Bundy, BAL (-48) – You know when someone gives you a purple nurple, how it only hurts for a short time but the bruise lasts for days? That’s how you felt after Bundy’s start on Tuesday. It hurt to see that box score, and while that immediate pain is gone, your ERA and WHIP are gonna be bruised for a while. Here’s his line, in case you missed it, in the first inning of his start against the Royals: Single, Homer, Homer, Homer, Mound Visit, Walk, Walk, Mound Visit, Homer, Mound Visit to pull Bundy. It was one of the worst starts in the history of baseball, 7 ER without recording an out. So, if you were wondering what it would take to get me to drop a starter nearly 50 spots without an injury, here it is. He had been nothing short of awful for the two starts before that, but that happens to everyone from time to time. Three in a row makes a trend that I am not going to trifle with until further notice. He’s droppable in standard mixers, if you didn’t rage-drop him immediately after that start already. In deep leagues I’d treat him as a hold-and-bench, but I can’t judge you if you have absorbed all three of his miserable starts and just want to wash your hands of him.

The Top 100!

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

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

 
  1. MarvPesos

    Marv says:
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    Hello,

    these lists help so much, thank you for your hard work.

    I warn you this is a bit of a long one. Before you write anything, I know most people like the smaller trades, but I’m a sucker for rolling the dice and going big but these trades (below) I need some wisdom.

    I’m in a 12 team H2H cat league with balanced stats: HIT (R, H, HR, RBI, SB, BB, AVG, OPS, XBH) PIT (W, CG, SV, K, GIDP, ERA, WHIP, QS)

    We’re allowed a max of 3 moves per year (no streaming) and the league is pretty competitive. In the past 5 years of Regular season I’ve finished first overall each year (large part thanks to this site) but playoffs are another story (mix bag of finishes).

    I’ve been in constant trade talks with two managers each wanting different pieces of my team. I would like to strengthen my pitching a bit and a like to trade in general.

    These are the two offers Im considering (am I crazy to part with Arenado?):

    Team 1 (My offer)
    My Arenado, Walker Buehler, T. Anderson, M. Minor, W. Ramos for his W. Contreras, A. Judge, L. Severino, C. Morton
    (the guy is in love with Arenado so I think I could convince him to add Judge here)

    Team 2 (My offer)
    My C. Yelich, J. Quintana, T. Mancini for his A. Rendon, S. Marte, J. Martinez

    My current team below

    I love Arenado as well (he’s my number one guy) but I figure I have the 3B to spare (especially if I acquire Rendon and this will beef up my Pitching, thoughts ?

    C – W. Ramos
    1B – P. Goldscmidt
    2B – B. Dozier
    3B – N. Arenado
    SS – T. Turner
    MI – X. Bogearts
    CI – E. Suarez
    LF- N. Mazara
    CF – C. Blackmon
    RF – M. Haniger
    Util – C. Yelich
    BN – T. Anderson
    BN – T. Mancini
    BN – Nick Senzel (NA)
    DL – J. turner
    SP – J. Paxton
    SP – J. Verlander
    SP – C. Carrasco
    RP – H. Strickland
    RP – M. Minor
    P – J. Quintana
    P – W. Buehler
    BN – J. Junis
    BN – M .Kopech (NA)
    BN – L. Gohara
    DL – D. Salazar

    thanks in advance,

    J

    • batflix says:
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      @Marv: I think I have seen you post this more than once
      A good rule is, if you are unsure of a trade, don’t do it.
      That being said, you probably come out ahead in both deals ,but because of the pitchers being thrown in, you have apples and oranges issue imo

      • MarvPesos

        Marv says:
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        @batflix: posted yesterday but was at the tail end and i didn’t get comments so figured why not (the more comments the better).

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @batflix: THREE MOVES PER YEAR?! How is that even possible with all the DL trips players take? Or do you mean a max of three trades? Anyway, I’d do both of those deals and I don’t even know if you mean JD Martinez or Jose Martinez. Not sure Judge is much of a step down from Nolan, if he even is at all.

        • MarvPesos

          Marv says:
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          @Dokken: my bad, 35 moves per year. Haha
          thanks

          • Dokken

            Dokken says:
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            @Marv: That’s good, I was worried your commissioner was a physopath!

  2. batflix says:
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    Bailey 84… bold
    Not sure hes in my top 200
    Certainly not over Wacha

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @batflix: Man, people love Wacha. I just don’t think he’s that great. I do need to cool it on Bailey though, he’s flashed his previous talent levels but the overall results just haven’t been there.

      • batflix says:
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        @Dokken: I wouldn’t say I love Wacha, but closer to the 60 part of the list than the 90 part

  3. Scott says:
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    Do you think sonny Gray is worth holding in a 10 team roto with QS? Do you expect him to turn it around based on his track record or is he a cut? Thanks

    • batflix says:
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      @Scott: depends who you are dropping him for

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @batflix: I cut him personally in a 12 team league so don’t feel like you have to hang on to him. I wrote him up a few weeks ago on the other site I contribute to, and noticed his FB command has been terrible. It may just be a mechanical tweak that fixes him, but he doesn’t have enough upside to warrant wading through the awful starts in a shallow league.

  4. Alex says:
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    Just trades Morton Wacha and Reynaldo for degrom and Pivetta I think I killed it

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: Great trade as long as DeGrom stays healthy.

  5. The Skrimmer says:
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    I can start three of the following four SPs and RPs…who do I choose?

    B. Norris
    A. Colome
    D. Pomeranz vs BAL
    L. Castillo vs CHC

    Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @The Skrimmer: If I needed the wins or K’s I’d sit Colome, if I needed the saves I’d sit the Pom Pom.

  6. jon says:
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    Maeda or Samardjai ROS– Wins and Qs

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @jon: Back to back in my rankings! I don’t have full confidence that Maeda will remain in the rotation all season, but Shark has been bad enough that I don’t really care.

  7. GrassyKnollRedding says:
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    Second game they’ve pinch hit for Dustin Fowler. Way to develop talent, Oakland.

    • GrassyKnollRedding says:
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      @GrassyKnollRedding: Hey Dokken, sorry I got so angry at the A’s manager I forgot my question. Do you think I should cut Weaver for someone like Skaggs or even to stream guys like VV and C Smith going forward? Or do you see a turnaround happening for Weaver? His peripherals seem pretty murky for a layman like me to figure out. Thanks!

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @GrassyKnollRedding: Haha! I’m rostering Fowler in a couple spots too, so it would be nice to see them just let him go. Weaver is definitely into streaming territory. Walks are up and his K’s might only go down. He’s looking like a 4-4.50 ERA type with league average K’s, which you can find anywhere in a standard mixer.

  8. john says:
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    Hey man,

    What are your thoughts on Joe Musgrove? Looking good in his rehab starts; was a bit of a preseason sleeper and should be back at the end of the month.

    Thanks!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @john: Worth a stash in 14+ team leagues for sure. Shallower than that and I think you can take more of a wait and see approach with him. He could still wind up just being a reliever in the long run.

  9. Molina Bros BBQ says:
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    Thoughts on Junis ROS and beyond? Seems some of the luster has worn off. He was just dropped in my league but is close to 90% owned in CBS. Streamer? More? what the floor/ceiling in your opinion? Thanks for your thoughts :)

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Molina Bros BBQ: He’s basically a two pitch starter with great control, which is good enough to make you a back-end starter when one of your pitches is as good as that slider is. His floor is that he’s a reliever (although a filthy one), his ceiling is he develops one of his other offerings to the point where it’s a viable third offering and he’s a #2. Most likely for this season he continues to be a mixed league streamer.

  10. coacher says:
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    Reliever question. 5×5 roto where last category for RPs is “Saves+Holds” and most teams carry 2 of their 9 pitchers as RPs. I am thinking about carrying 3-4 for a few weeks. I grabbed Clippard when the arrest happened, had Hirano active and Middleton on the DL. I’m thinking about grabbing Joe Kelly. How do these 4 rank for the next week or two?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @coacher: Middleton might be going back on the DL, he left today’s game with another elbow injury. With that in mind, I’d go Clippard, Kelly, Hirano, Middleton.

  11. coacher says:
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    Is Lance Lynn ever gonna get it together?? I grabbed him for a buck at our auction and thought I had a steal. The only thing he has stolen is the spot on my (ONLY) pitcher bench spot.

    Can I drop him with NO REGERTS?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @coacher: NO REGERTS!! Dude has completely lost the strike zone. He’s pitching like Velma without her glasses. Unless it’s an AL Only league, you can safely drop him.

  12. Alex says:
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    Godley has been very mediocre thus far. Any insight on his performance? He’s certainly not pitching like a #30.

    In a 12 team, is he droppable when it’s time to activate Alex Reyes?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: He’s been trending downward since my first list. Keep thinking he’ll get it together and he keeps disappointing. Reyes is a wildcard himself when he returns. Who knows how that control will be, he’s always struggled with it. If you don’t have anyone worse than Godley to drop for Reyes, your staff is outstanding.

      • Alex says:
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        @Dokken: It is pretty outstanding. It’s either Godley or Newcomb who goes.

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @Alex: I actually can see Reyes performing a lot like Newcomb has. Either way it sounds like you’ll be in good shape!

  13. John H says:
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    If Bumgarner were to be active and ready to pitch tomorrow, where would you slot him?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @John H: Right around SP15. If he looks like the MadBum of old right away I’d move him up quickly.

  14. Alex says:
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    Where are jimmy Nelson and ryu ranked when they come back you think?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: Slippin Jimmy will probably slot in around SP35. Ryu is harder because he’s so inconsistent and always one step away from injury, so he’d be closer to SP60-65.

  15. MW says:
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    I know I should stick it out with Chris Archer but… right now he’s a thorn in my side.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @MW: Ugh, tell me about it. I have him in a league myself and it’s like shoving a pencil in your eye once or twice a week. He’ll lock it in for a stretch at some point, at which time you should take that opportunity to sell at full value. At least that’s my plan.

      • MW says:
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        @Dokken: I like that plan. Get some value outta him at least!!

  16. Griff says:
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    Kingham at 51 seems generous. Him or Tyson Ross this week? I’m leaning Kingham anyway, but just curious what folks think.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Griff: Kingham is slated to handle the Padres at home, so I’d go with him there. Nice matchup.

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