Hey, for a change we didn’t have a devastating injury this week! Huzzah! Not only that, we got ourselves a few newcomers to the list who are pretty exciting. The top 20 remains relatively unchanged, although Patrick Corbin gets a bit of a ding for the continued diminished velocity and a dip in his whiffs. Speaking of whiffs, can you Snell that Snell? Snell has a freakin’ 2.78 ERA and has had to face the Red Sox three times already. He’ll come down from that mark for sure, but he’s still really good. I didn’t write him up fully, but I trashed Zack Godley nearly 20 spots. I was as patient as I could be, but those 2017 K:BB gains have evaporated. I also believe I had Reynaldo Lopez a bit high given his lack of strikeouts, and his .218 BABIP through 10 starts is pretty absurd. Let’s check out some more of the interesting movers and shakers this week.

The Newcomers

  • Joe Musgrove, PIT (SP50) – Jeez, welcome back Joe Musgrove! He had been impressing in his minor league rehab starts, but he rolled up on the Cardinals firing on all cylinders in his debut. He shut the Cards out over seven innings, striking out seven batters without allowing a walk. You don’t want to take too much away from just one start, and the Cardinals aren’t particularly intimidating this year, but this was a really impressive debut nevertheless. His velocity was up a tick from last year and his pitch mix looked different as well with a cutter that he worked in more than his slider. It didn’t register a single whiff, so we’ll see if he continues to use it so much, but regardless of that he was pumping strikes and not simply leaning on that slider. I don’t think he’s suddenly a K per inning guy, but he’s immediately a must-own in anything deeper than a 12-teamer mixer.
  • Ross Stripling, LAD (SP72) – The name Stripling always makes me chuckle because I think it sounds like a baby stripper. Not a baby who strips, which is a terrifying notion, but the offspring of a stripper, a little Stripling. I’ll see myself out. Stripling’s gaudy numbers (1.74 ERA, 10.89 K/9, 1.96 BB/9) are inflated by his 11 appearances out of the bullpen, yet he has surprised me by continuing a higher level of success as a starter that I had imagined. Since moving to the rotation (4 GS, 22 IP) he has posted a 1.23 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.7 K/9, and 0.8 BB/9. Holy crap. Looking further into this stretch, he has induced 56% ground balls and 15% hard contact. “Is he just getting lucky on balls in play, Dokken?? Don’t lead me astray!” Solid question, imaginary reader, and no he is not just getting lucky. He has a .377 BABIP over that span, and the extremely low hard% really has me questioning the Dodgers defense these days to allow such a high BABIP. All these tremendous results, but he really hasn’t changed anything since last year when he posted a 3.75 ERA primarily as a reliever. I can’t blame you if you want to buy in hoping for Alex Wood 2.0, or simply riding the streak. I just don’t see huge stuff here, so I’m gonna carry on expecting SP4 numbers from him.

The Risers

  • Daniel Mengden, OAK (+24) – As I’m writing this, Mengden just completed a two-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks. It is possible I haven’t raised him far enough. His ERA sits at 2.85 over 66.1 innings, and got-damn does he have a fine mustache!! I have a hard time pushing him too high simply because he doesn’t get many strikeouts. A 5.83 K/9 doesn’t do you much good if he stops giving you such a great ERA, and the .246 BABIP doesn’t exactly mesh with the 38% hard contact rate. That said, the WHIP will continue to be sexy, so there’s a place for him on most rosters.
  • Trevor Cahill, OAK (+37) – Another Athletics pitcher! Cahill has only had two truly outstanding games, but he still deserved better than the 96 I put on him last week. With his extensive injury history it’s hard to imagine him making it through the rest of the season healthy, so that’s the primary reason not to get too invested. He’s now over the (Ca)hill in MLB pitcher terms at 30 years old, and yes I wrote that sentence only to use that pun. He’s been a bit fortunate to get that 2.75 ERA, with a .244 BABIP that won’t hold up given his obscene 46% hard contact rate. He is suddenly getting a ton of swinging strikes though at 14%, justifying the near K/inning that he’s given us so far.

The Fallers

  • Masahiro Tanaka, NYY (-20) – We’re a third of the way through the season, give or take, and it’s time to simply take a step back and re-adjust with some of these guys. Masahiro Tanaka is one of those guys. Since the beginning of 2017, Tanaka has given us a 4.79 ERA over 234.2 innings. His K/9 and BB/9 have been very good at 9.4 and 2.1, respectively, yet all that has done to us is string us along as we continue to absorb dud start after dud start. His problem continues to be the long ball, with a 1.8 HR/9 that just destroys his value. I had given him the benefit of the doubt that he could resolve those issues this year, but at this point it’s looking like 2017 all over again. His 3.54 xFIP since the start of 2017 paints a pretty picture of what could have been, but at this point he’s just a streamer for me.
  • Mike Minor, TEX (-15) – Oh no, this is no minor issue, Mike. This is major. Minor has now gone four straight starts without a quality start, and in fact only has a QS in 2 of his 10 starts. The 5.63 ERA on the season is a bit extreme with SIERA putting him at 3.92, but he has allowed 41% hard contact. Right-handed bats are absolutely crushing him with a .380 wOBA. It would be wise to sit him until he proves he can get righties out, but I’m not sure that day is coming. It was a fun experiment, Texas, but Minor was Major Awesome in the pen. Put him back there where he can dominate.

 

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

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

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken.

 
  1. Hugman says:
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    I tell everyone who will listen: do not put too much stock in a pitcher’s first start against the Cardinals. (I’m a Cards fan). We’ve seen Musgrove come out firing before only to peter out. We’ll see!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Hugman: I yell that at people on the street all the time and for some reason no one seems to appreciate the advice!

  2. Mike says:
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    Still believe Jon Gray is a top 30 pitcher?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Mike: Yep. Among qualified starters: 17th highest K-BB%, 16th best FIP, highest ERA-FIP in MLB by almost A FULL RUN. Tremendous buy low opportunity in both redraft and dynasty.

  3. Dangerfield51 says:
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    Did Kershaw retire???

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Dangerfield51: I spoke with Clayton’s dog – a corgi – who told me he was going to indeed retire. I got some bad info I guess. That’s the last time I buy him Alpo. Also I don’t rank injured pitchers. Sounds like he will be back Thursday now, so I imagine next week he will slot in at #3.

  4. SwaggerJackers says:
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    I think the Tanaka blurb applies to Godley, too. He simply hasn’t lived up to his draft position and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @SwaggerJackers: Indeed. The pitch usage hasn’t changed, but his breakers just aren’t effective like they were last year and he isn’t locating either. Not sure if he can turn it back around at this point.

  5. Wile E Coyote says:
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    Reyes is starting this Wednesday, and ought to be on the list, assuming your intent is for people to use the list as a tool for future moves, instead of past reflection.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Wile E Coyote: Yeah the intent here is to gauge current value and future value as well. Unfortunately I had already finished this write up by the time it was announced Reyes would come up next week for sure. Last week I mentioned I would slot him in around SP30 though, and that’s about where he’d be. He’s been terrific on his rehab starts but you also have to bear in mind that it was against much lesser competition.

  6. Scott says:
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    Manaea still that high? He has been awful the whole month of may. The lack of K and his peripherals still don’t seem to back up his era which has risen quite a bit. Do you see further regression? I just don’t enough to have him higher than 40. He has potential as we saw but he has a lot of downside.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Scott: He certainly has been stinky, I just hate to drop a guy too far too quickly. Every starter has his rough patch. Given his whiffs and chases out of the zone I think the strikeouts will come up some. That said, if he has another bad week he might wind up around SP35-40 like you mentioned.

  7. Slimcompoop says:
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    Clevinger #56? I politely disagree. I think he’s better than the next 25 guys you have slated till you get to Archer.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Slimcompoop: I appreciate your politeness, Mr. Poop! I really thought about pushing him up more but I’m having a hard time. I’m still not sure I completely buy the improved walk rate. Strikeout rate hasn’t been great either, so he’s not screaming top 35 guy to me just yet. That whole tier of guys between like 40-60 are pretty interchangeable though.

  8. iifish Horton Heat says:
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    Doe Kin,

    What do you think? Bird or Miguel Andujar ROS?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @iifish Horton Heat: I’d go Bird by a comfortable margin if you told me he’d stay on the field for more than a few weeks. If you’re in a standard 10-12 teamer I’d go with Bird. If you have to drop Andujar he’s replacable on the waiver wire. Caw!!!

  9. I don’t think you’re very funny or talented but I am interested in hearing you pronounce Jesus Aguilar on repeat. If only there was a way that could happen! Also you’re damn right Heaney is making his way up the list. He’s good and has a delightfully creepy batch of facial hair himself

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Van Lee: Watch yourself cohost! I think I still have the authority to fire you, although since you do all the production you could technically edit out everything I say and replace it with your own voice. Creepy.

      Almost the entire Angels rotation is really intriguing now that they’re healthy. I really hope they can hold up over the rest of the season in spite of the part of me that wants them all to get hurt just so I can hear you cry on the pod.

  10. Clevinger below Kingham? Wow!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Keith: Have you seen what Kingham has done this year? Not too tough a call for me, not that they’re too far apart. Pirates just have to keep him up.

  11. Alex says:
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    Thoughts on Caleb smith? Dudes dealing right now

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: Ab. So. Lutely. I’ve been really impressed, and that slider does things to me that no woman has been able to accomplish. He’s been ascending quickly and unless he gets blown up his next time out I’d expect him to crack the top 40 here next week.

  12. holthud321 says:
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    Love your jon gray ranking. I am a big believer. In that case, my corbin for his gray + wil myers is a no brainer then right? 12 tm 5×5 H2H with OBP instead of average. The trade analyzer loves that move, but I was curious if my leagues keeper rules would affect that. We get 2 keepers, corbin would be in the 20th round, myers 6th, and gray 13th. Unlikely gray or myers would get kept

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @holthud321: If you’re only looking at 24 keepers in the entire league I would worry very little about keeper value. Pull the trigger on that bad boy.

      • holthud321 says:
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        @Dokken: You are the man!!

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