The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2015 fantasy baseball rankings.  That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies.  It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown.  I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted.  Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth.  Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around.  Simple Math, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  In most leagues, there’s a ton of guys on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April, and then they disappear.  With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest.  To read more about streaming as a draft strategy.  There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck.  Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs.  Finally, the best starters can give you four categories.  The best hitters can give you five categories.  As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

1. Clayton Kershaw – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Sale.  I call this tier, “Security blankets are for bouncers who are chilly.”  If you own Kershaw or any of the guys in this tier, you’re drafting scared.  You’re scared to go into the season without a number one starter.  You’re afraid that if you don’t have an ace you’ll never find a starter off waivers or your later picks won’t pan out.  You’re chicken, as Biff would say, because there’s more pitchers than Michael J. Fox can shake a stick at.  The only people that draft a top starter want a security blanket.  They want to feel like they’re pitching staff is safe.  They want to feel nuzzled like a bug in an alpaca rug.  If you would’ve owned Matt Shoemaker, Tanner Roark, Phil Hughes, Collin McHugh, Garrett Richards and Lance Lynn last year, your ERA would’ve been 2.93 in 1071 2/3 IP.  Sure, I’m cherrypicking guys from last year…Just like you could’ve cherrypicked any of them off waivers in your league.  In some leagues, you could do fine not drafting ANY starters.  Yes, I brought out the caps.  I’m not only talking about H2H leagues where you can carry only relievers.  I’m talking 10 or 12-team roto leagues where you can stream starters.  Maybe you own one starter and stream five spots.  Maybe you own two guys and stream four spots.  Maybe you drink seven cups of coffee and stream all day.  Even if you want to draft an entire rotation and hold them (or try to), you don’t need a guy from this tier.  There’s plenty of options later to fill out your rotation so you’re competitive in leagues where you can’t stream.  I’m not suggesting you Reggie Roby starters.  I’m telling you to Reggie Roby top starters.  Concentrate on your hitting while these guys are being drafted.  As for Kershaw, I went over him in the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball.

2. Felix Hernandez – F-Her’s Hall of Fame speech from 2029, “I like to thank Murray Chass for never believing in me, and making me a second ballot Hall of Famer.  It’s amazing you’re still going strong at 117 years old.  My wins were wonky at times in my career, but have you seen my ERA, xFIP, K-rate and other acronyms made up by guys with a lot less of a social life than I?  When I was 28 years old, I was coming off a year where I had a 2.14 ERA, 2.51 xFIP and a 9.46 K-rate.  Nerds tell me those are beautiful.  Perhaps I’ll best be remembered as the guy that made the colloquialism ‘F-Her in the Big A’ about me pitching in Anaheim and not about anal sex, but I hope you’ll not let Kershaw’s achievements overshadow me completely and give me my just desserts.  I love chocolate lava cake.”  2015 Projections: 16-5/2.41/0.99/239

3. Max Scherzer – With the signing of Scherzer by the Nats, he went from facing major league hitters to facing NL East hitters and Giancarlo.  “Is it already time for the Triple-A All Star game?”  No, Scherzer, that lineup you’re facing is the Braves.  “Oh, fun, I get to pitch during Old Timer’s Day!”  No, Scherzer, that’s the Phils.  Let’s not shortchange the Mets.  Sure, they had the worst home offense in 2013 and the 27th worst in 2014, but they added Cuddyer, who will be 36 years old and coming off an injury-plagued 49-game season.  Oh, and let’s not forget the new-look Marlins.  They have Prado, Dee Gordon and Morse.  That’ll put the shivers into Scherzer.  “Ooh, a perfect bunt laid down by Gordon using Morse’s oblique.”  I wonder if Scherzer could win two Cy Youngs in one year.  Has that been done before?  Prolly by Joel Youngblood.  Sadly, I won’t own Scherzer, but I could easily see 250+ Ks with a sub-2.50 ERA.  2015 Projections:  18-5/2.49/1.10/248

4. Corey Kluber – Pitching is fun to rank.  Or bitching as my autocorrect wanted to write.  I think my autocorrect is being a smart ass.  It’s fun to rank because it’s easier than hitters.  There’s so many different indicators that are predictive.  Does a guy strikeout a lot of guys and not walk many?  Do they have the stuff (velocity, unhittable breaking stuff, Carlin’s stuff) that backs up their K-rate?  Do they get swings and misses?  What was their xFIP last year?  Do they chew bacon instead of gum?  Put it in a pot, mix it up and you have how good a pitcher really is, while not even considering ERA.  You just have to know where to focus your attention.  Luckily, I’m doing all the research for you so you can devote your time to more important things like ignoring my research.  With all of that said, Kluber’s 2014 wasn’t just good, it was indicative of more great things for 2015.  Sadly, we won’t own him.  Though, I fully support bringing a 19-year-old Asian with glow sticks and herbal Ecstasy to your draft so you have your very own Kluber.  2015 Projections: 16-7/2.63/1.07/252

5. Stephen Strasburg – Last year, Strasburg had a 10.1 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9.  That’s so sexy I just wrote the preceding sentence without the use of my fingers.  If you don’t understand that visual, find me on Ashley Madison, you’ll see it there.  There were three starters with a 10+ K/9 and sub-2 BB/9 (Kershaw, Kluber, Strasburg).  That could’ve been the top 3 SP ranks, and if you want them in that order, put them in that order in your rankings of guys you don’t want to draft.  You are quibbling right now, you quibbler.  2015 Projections:  17-6/2.58/1.03/247

6. David Price – His velocity drop from two years ago had me concerned last year, and I still am to the point where I almost dropped him to the next tier, but I kept him here because he seemed to make the lower velocity work for him last year and it’s not like he’s throwing Bronson Arroyo-like; he’s still throwing 93 MPH on his fastball.  If you have Siri read you the last sentence, she’s out of breath by the period.  Stop smoking, Siri!  2015 Projections:  17-8/2.69/1.07/239

7. Chris Sale – If someone came from the future and told me Chris Sale would throw 230 innings in 2015, I’d first ask them why they bring me such crap info from the future, you can’t tell me lottery numbers or something?  Second, I’d say that means Sale will challenge Kershaw for the number one fantasy slot.  Unfortch, assuming Sale throws 230 innings makes an ass out of you and Ming, the DP for your company’s low-budget commercial.  “Ming, are you getting the President’s Day Sale banner?”  “Ming is getting it.”  UPDATE:  There’s a Sale on fractured feet and Chris bought one.  It doesn’t change my ranking and projections because I originally was only assuming 189 IP.  Who’s the ass now, Ming?!  2015 Projections:  15-5/2.41/0.99/217

8. Zack Greinke – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Cueto.  I call this tier, “Still number ones, but my teeth hurt.  It might be the caveats.”  These guys are pretty much the same as the first tier, but I’m separating them because not only would I not draft them, but I also have worries about each of them.  My worries might be for naught, and it’s basically just picking nits why I don’t like these guys since you shouldn’t draft them anyway because they’re going too high.  As for Greinke, two years ago his velocity dipped.  He made it work last year, but it worries me when a guy of slight build in his thirties starts to see velocity decreases.  I told you I was picking nits.  2015 Projections:  18-6/2.95/1.13/212

9. Madison Bumgarner – Wouldn’t draft him in any way, shape or form simply due to how many innings he threw last year.  He’s young, yeah.  He’s ridunk talented, yeah.  He threw 260 IP last year, yeah, no thank you.  2015 Projections:  16-10/3.01/1.06/206

10. Jon Lester – This offseason, I wrote, “‘Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry.  What?  Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk?  Your blank stare tells me nothing.  Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!’  So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife.  It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull.  Imagine the universe breathes in and out.  The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles.  However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze.  For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying.  That constant wheeze of death.  Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat.  The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help.  Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9.  I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray.  For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year.  Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book.  I’ll give you a little hint:  if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league.  Why is K-BB so important?  It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly.  If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I put Lester in this tier of pitchers with caveats because Lester seems to have seasons where he randomly puts up a 7-ish K-rate and terrible ERAs.  2015 Projections:  15-9/2.92/1.08/206

11. Jordan Zimmermann – Going off what I said in the Lester blurb — the blurbster? Word up! — any time a pitcher can walk less than 2 guys per nine and throw hard, then they have a chance to be great.  Zimmermann’s 2014 shows why.  When a pitcher controls his stuff (few walks) and throws hard, there’s the thought they just need to figure out how to use that control to miss bats.  Zimmermann did that last year.  Zimmermann’s caveat comes from him never having such a high K-rate as he did last year (8.2), but unlike other pitchers in this tier, Zimmermann’s downside isn’t that scary.  After all, his worst year was a 3.25 ERA.  After All, Part II:  This Is After All The Other Alls, I think the average starter’s ERA last year was only 3.25.  2015 Projections:  17-7/2.89/1.06/186

12. Johnny Cueto – This is gonna be like a kick to the head as delivered by Cueto himself, but he’s a victim of underlying numbers why he’s not ranked higher.  His ERA is constantly terrific.  Last four years, it’s been 2.31, 2.78, 2.82 and 2.25.  If this were ten years ago, we’d think he was a top five pitcher.  It’s not ten years ago though so you can take off that Wasssssup t-shirt, and we have to look at how much he outperforms his xFIP, due to a low BABIP.  He makes hitters chase (which is different than the portmanteau from “makes hitters” that was a rejected slogan of the National Prune Association).  Cueto was tenth in the majors for getting hitters to swing outside of the strike zone.  It only follows logic:  get a hitter to swing outside of the strike zone and you’re likely to induce weak contact.  Weak contact would equal what?  Kate Bosworth’s terrible and unnecessary plastic surgery?  No, that’s not right.  It equals a low BABIP.  So, Cueto should outperform his xFIP with a low BABIP, but his K and walk rate are still merely solid, not elite.  2015 Projections:  15-8/2.89/1.08/204

13. Jeff Samardzija – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Iwakuma.  I call this tier, “Commence drafting, Drafty McDraftstein.”  I’ll go over in a later post exactly how to assemble your staff (which pitchers to get from which tiers, and how many), but this tier is the first time I can see drafting a starter.  It’s also not necessary.  You don’t need a starter from here.  It’s merely now an option.  As for Samardzija, on our Player Rater last year, Alphabet Soup ranked 32nd overall for all SPs.  Let’s compare him to Jordan ZimmermannOoh, this sounds like fun– Snooze!  Shut up, Random Italicized Voice.  Shut don’t go up but prices do so buy in bulk.  What?  Seriously, I’m going to take a nap.  Last year, Zimmermann’s numbers were:  2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 182 Ks.  Samardzija’s were 2.99 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 202 Ks.  Can we say that an extra 30 Ks is the same as their difference in ERA?  We could be it wouldn’t be completely true.  Samardzija was actually twenty cents better.  (Ks made Samardzija $1.50 better, and Zimmermann’s ERA was $1.30 better.  Voila, snitches!)  So, how was Zimmermann the 13th best SP last year and Samardzija the 32nd?  Was there a glitch in the Matrix?  If you said Wins were the difference, you’re quick, grasshopper.  No, I’m not talking to the Creme de Menthe you have in your thermos.  Why do you have that in your thermos?  Zimmermann had 14 wins last year and Samardzija only seven.  There’s no accounting for wins and Samardzija could easily be more valuable than Zimmermann this year.  2015 Projections:  14-6/3.24/1.12/206

14. Tyson Ross – By the power of Kemp, Myers and Upton, please let Ross win 14 games, right?  Stop sour yilliness, Spooner.  He won 13 games last year.  This ranking isn’t about wins.  It’s about a 9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 from last year.  It’s about a 12.5% swinging strike rate.  That’s the percentage of strikes that were swung on and missed.  I want to break that down one more level for the noobs without boobs aka the prematurely balding men aka your daddy and you fighting over Mookie Betts’s ceiling aka you sleeping through Still Alice aka YOU!  If a pitcher throws the ball and the hitter swings and misses, isn’t that one of the best signs of stuff?  Rhetorical!  It is, dyslexic donuts!  Okay, so some of the best pitchers should have high swinging strike rates, yeah?  Yeah.  Number one last year was Kershaw.  Tyson Ross was fourth best, right in front of Kluber.  Zoinks!  Ross also had the 16th fastest fastball of any starter, the 15th best K-rate, Petco, and a whole array other reasons (not really or I would’ve listed them).  I think I’m ranking Ross higher than most, because I want to own him.  (Oh, and I say I think I’m ranking him higher rather than I know I am, because I don’t really look at other rankings until I’m done with mine.)  2015 Projections: 14-9/3.11/1.15/204

15. Jake Arrieta – We’re only halfway through this post (I can’t count; sue me!) and we’re already pushing 18,000 words (still can’t count), so I’m gonna have to be economical with my Arrieta flattery.  Flatterieta?  Off to a great start already!  I went over Arrieta so much last year and why his breakout was real that I don’t want to tread on similar ‘scapes.  I need new terrain like Reese Witherspoon cooking meth on the PCT.  (I’d say Spoiler Alert, but that’s actually a You’re Lucky You Don’t Have To See It Now Alert.  This offseason I saw so many movies because not only did I get my WGA screeners, but Cougs joined the PGA in 2014.  Yeah, I’m Ray Knight married to Nancy Lopez.  Cougs can’t golf; wrong PGA.  By the way, I went to the PGA Awards this past Saturday.  Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Bryan Cranston, etc etc etc were there, but my favorite star sighting?  Leslie from last year’s MasterChef!)  Arrieta is an ace, and there’s no reason to doubt it, but if you want reasons, search the site for last year’s articles on him.  2015 Projections:  12-9/2.88/1.06/198

16. Hisashi Iwakuma – People always compare Iwakuma to Darvish or Nomo or other Asians.  So, I guess CC Sabathia can only be compared to Fat Albert.  This might get a Braves fan to throw their laptop out the window, but you know who Iwakuma should be compared to?  Greg Maddux.  Only Maddux wasn’t as good when he was 33 years old.  Oops, yeah, I said it.  Last year, Iwakuma had a 7.7 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and a 2.85 xFIP.  He’s simultaneously the safest number one starter you can get, and also the boringest.  Boringest isn’t bad just because it’s not in the dictionary.  Ain’t says, “Thank you!”  2015 Projections:  14-6/3.15/1.07/177

17. Cole Hamels – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Save your druthers for your mothers, these are (this is?) my druthers.”  I don’t know what druthers are; I don’t even know if they’re plural, but I like these guys.  As for Hamels, would you think less of me if I said I flipped a coin on whether I would draft Hamels this year?  What if Ellis Burks flipped the coin for me?  Okay, good to know how much I can get away with.  I don’t love Hamels’s age or team, but I’ll be a canary’s uncle’s nephew if he doesn’t continue to put up solid stats.  You can say you think Hamels will fall off this year, but you’re just going on gut, and, with what you put in your stomach, that’s not a good decision.  Please, don’t make me have Ellis flip the coin again.  He kept the last one!  2015 Projections:  12-10/2.97/1.15/192

18. Gerrit Cole – I don’t know if he’ll ever average 95+ MPH on his fastball, have a 9 K-rate and a 3.25 and under xFIP.  Oh, wait, he did all of those things last year.  Yeah, in the midst of getting injured last year, Cole had his breakout year and you didn’t even know it because he missed ten starts.  Wanna draft a guy that could jump up to the top 5 for 2016?  Cole will be that guy, and, at the end of this year, you’ll look back on it and it will be so obvious that you’ll be like, “How is Grey the only one that saw the obvious?”  All Cole needs to do is stay healthy in 2015 and he will break out– Sorry, I keep making the same mistake as you.  He will continue to break out.  2015 Projections:  15-8/3.20/1.18/198

19. Carlos Carrasco – I already went over my Carlos Carrasco fantasy.  I wrote it back in November and posted it in December and a funny thing happened on the way to posting it.  Carrasco’s perceived value went up without pitching in any games.  The only thing I’d change about my Carrasco sleeper post is removing the word sleeper.  Even in that post I say he seems overhyped already.  That’s not likely to subside in the next few months.  Whatevs!  I’ll draft Carrasco if he’s around in this draft slot, but if he’s not then SoBe* it.  *This blurb was brought to you by our good friends at PepsiCo, which is not related to CarrasCo, to my knowledge.  ‘To my knowledge’ is also the best way to assuage anything you ever say.  “You’re a total douche, to my knowledge.”  See, softens it.  Okay, I just typed 87,000 words and need to Calgon.  2015 Projections:  13-6/3.27/1.09/192

20. Alex Wood –  I wanted to move Wood into the top 20 starters post and give him his own tier named, “Wood,” but I was afraid of being arrested for moral turpitude.  I’m wicked!  And not wicked like it would be used by a Masshole, but wicked like Elphie.  I want Wood on every team.  Likely someone will get hurt in the top 20 during spring training and I’ll move guys up one and Wood will at long last make it to my top 20.  Shoot, I may just boost him into my top 10 because I have lots of love for Wood; please don’t take that out of context.  Not there’s anything wrong with that out of context.  Wood is a 9 K/9 starter with a low-2 BB/9.  That’s a number one starter.  Now way around it.  Last year, he had a 2.78 ERA in 171 2/3 IP.  That alone makes me wonder why I even have to go into depth why I like him.  He doesn’t throw very fast (90 MPH fastball), but he doesn’t throw his fastball very often.  His knuckle-curve is dominating and his swinging strike rate on that pitch was 15.3%.  To give you an idea, Kershaw’s curve produced a swinging strike rate of 16%.  My only real concern with Wood is twofold, he’s never pitched 200 IP in a year (171 2/3 IP last year was his high), and Fredi Gonzalez occasionally thinks the Braves best pitcher should be the long man in the bullpen.  Assuming Fredi doesn’t give me an aneurysm this year and Wood gets 30 starts, he will be a number one starter.  2015 Projections:  13-7/3.12/1.21/192

 
  1. Joe L says:
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    These articles are just awful. They are literally exhausting to read. I may have to go to one of the 3000 other sites that offer a ranking of fantasy baseball players.

    • Wake Up says:
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      @Joe L: Cool insight, brah…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Wake Up: A real thanker.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Joe L: And i would now like to invite you to my league

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Joe L: That’s why you’re at the site right when the article goes up, reads it first and comments first… If I were at the mall signing Hancocks, you’d just happen to be in Spencer’s gifts for fake vomit but really to see me…

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @Grey: Ha Ha

      • kingforaday151 says:
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        @Grey: Haha. Joe stands outside Golden Corral waiting for the buffet to open just so he can complain about the poor quality of food he gets for $7.99, so don’t take it personal Grey.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HA

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Grey: it’s looking like last year’s Bill James guy is back.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha

      • K Clown Baez says:
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        @Grey: zap!

    • Hawk says:
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      @Joe L:

      If you want someone else to do all the thinking and just spit out a list of “draft him, then him, then him”, go enjoy ESPN.

      If you want some background on WHY these are the right guys to draft along with high school / college age humor, stick around.

      In any case, don’t tell your league mates about this site. They’ll use it to crush you.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Hawk:I take offense to that, this humor is more geared toward adult children, I dont even know what high school kids laugh at anymore.

    • Cram It says:
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      @Joe L: Why are you reading it the blurbs then if it hurts your brain? Just look at the blue highlighted names. See how they’re in order with #’s next to them? Oh hell why are we bothering, he’s not coming back.

    • Natty Boh says:
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      @Joe L: I love the articles.

  2. The Theory says:
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    I had a rough year last year. My once-sparkling keeper options now feels like a crunchy tissue that I found underneath my bed.

    We keep (up to) 4, replacing the first four rounds of the draft.

    -Giacarlo Stanton (obvs. getting kept)
    -Bryce Harper (Getting kept, I guess, but I keep feeling like I’m just entering the potential star/underperformer loop from hell)
    -Robinson Cano (I wouldn’t draft him, but since I have him, I guess I have to keep doubling down?)
    -Jacoby Ellsbury (So unexcited about this. Throwing him back would be a steal for whoever drafts him, but I just really hate drafting guys for speed.)
    -Michael Brantley (Thank you for last year, but I don’t trust him to avoid transforming back into a pumpkin.)
    -Corey Kluber (I know, a pitcher, but he would technically be kept at 4th round value, which feels pretty good to me.)

    h2h each cat, 10 teams, 8×11 (9 of which are relevant to starting pitchers).
    About 80-90 pitchers are owned at any given time.
    (For frame of reference, 12 starters went in the first 4 rounds last year. 14 the year before.)

    So I’m thinking Stanton/Harper/Cano/Kluber. Insane?

    • CMUTIMMAH says:
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      @The Theory: I think your hands are tied to those 4 and you know it. It’s like that TV show where the women don’t know they are pregnant and then they find a baby in the toilet when they thought there was a poop coming.. They knew, they just didn’t want to admit it to themselves.

      Basically what I’m trying to say is that your keepers are comparable to toilet babies. I hope you can scramble at the draft and pull out a good roster. However, if I’m you, with only 10 teams and that weak of a start, I’m looking to wheel and deal for 2016 already.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Theory: Stanton, Harper, Cano, Brantley

  3. Robert D says:
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    Love the ranking, I like guys from the Cobb, Samardzija, and Cole ranking a lot. I’m a huge fan of Jake Arrieta, the best part is he’s getting ranked late 20’s in most other rankings. Meanwhile Adam Wainwright is still being valued in top 10 for many people (hilarious) and he has huge question marks. I like Alex Wood a lot and Marcos Stroman plus Hyun-Jin Ryu. Heck there are probably 10 good pitchers who will fall in the low to mid 100’s.
    I think I’m not going to draft first pitcher at earliest in the 7th-9th round this year.

      • kingforaday151 says:
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        @The Theory: @Grey: Curious about your guys’ opinion of Wainwright. Are you concerned with the surgery last fall? Are there other question marks? Pitching is now a joke in baseball, so I’m not knocking your opinions, would just like to know more…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I promise to go over Wainwright tomorrow

    • RobbyRobDu says:
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      @Robert D:

      Can you elaborate on why Wainwright being a top 10 SP is “hilarious” for someone that isn’t (yet!) a part of this circlejerk going on here…

      Naturally one can be cautious of aging players, but I like to pay attention to a players mental makeup and intelligence well, and I believe that Wainwright as much as or more than ANY SP can compensate for declining stuff and continue to grow into savvy which will allow him to keep his excellent ratios low and not completely demolish his K rate…

      My dynasty uses MANY more cats than the leagues most here play in….Wainwright finished as the #15 player overall and #4 SP….he also had a CG (SO) in his 2nd to last start….his last three starts were all QS…he wasn’t breaking down.

      I used to own Wood, his awkward arm motion certainly won’t lend itself to health and will always carry that risk, why do you like him exactly? Over Wainwright for just next year?

  4. Robert D says:
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    To the Theory:
    I would throw Kluber back, there is a ton of pitching out there.
    in the top 20 that Grey did only 3 guys I thought were off. Bryce Harper’s ranking too low, Hanley Ramirez (overrated), and Nolen Arendo. I want Arendo on my team just not at 20. I feel could easily get in 4th round. But Grey’s point is well taken. I have Cano 16, Tulo, 17 and Ellsbury 19. Keep Ellsbury, although the closer it gets till April I’m sure I’ll rank Ellsbury in mid 20’s. I have Corey Dickerson 18 by the way.
    Hope that helps.

  5. Jeremy Brewer

    Jeremy says:
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    Have a keeper decision that I keep going wavering on. 5×5 12 team roto (2 catcher). We keep 6.

    I am planning on keeping:
    $10 Gomez
    $1 Arrieta
    $1 Carrasco

    I have the following for three slots;
    $5 A Wood
    $1 Calhoun
    $12 Hamels
    $8 Frazier
    $2 D’Arnaud
    $15 Wainwright

    I have been leaning towards the first 3 as I see Wood as a potential breakout, Hamels as reliable and Calhoun as a great value. The remaining 3 all seem to have substantial risk.

    Thoughts?

    • AL KOHOLIC says:
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      @Jeremy: you have to keep frazier there

    • JeF With 1 F says:
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      @Jeremy: Agree to keep frazier….you dont have any other bats worth keeping?…Id have a hard time keeping 4 pitchers and only 2 bats

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jeremy: Agree with others

      • Jeremy Brewer

        Jeremy says:
        (link)

        @Grey: @Grey: I see decent regression potential for Frazier especially with his SB total, however you are correct it could be foolish to pass on that power potential at that price.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yup

  6. One Man Crusade says:
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    Gray, Ventura or Lee as final keeper. At the top of the rotation I have Strasburg, Kluber and Lester

    • AL KOHOLIC says:
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      @One Man Crusade: id keep a hitter with your other sp keepers

      • One Man Crusade says:
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        @AL KOHOLIC: I agree on hitters, but after the ten I am keeping it would be lawrie or laroche

      • One Man Crusade says:
        (link)

        @Grey: thanks Grey

  7. Nittanychris says:
    (link)

    Hey January Grey, no worries at all about Iwakuma’s poor second half? Will June Grey be saying, “Wow, that was the start of a decline and I should have seen it coming.”?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Nittanychris: I think he was nursing something, seemed pretty uncharacteristic from every other larger sample size he’s shown

  8. The Thumb says:
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    You no trust Yu?

    • The JoGarza says:
      (link)

      @The Thumb: Got to assume it’s the injuries, which is probably why Tanaka isn’t up there either. If Yu is going low enough, I’d definitely gamble, but odds are he’s going way higher than whatever Grey ranks him.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @The Thumb: No…do YU

  9. Bocephus says:
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    Thanks, Grey! I know you say strategy doesn’t change much for H2H leagues (still don’t need an ace, just a ton of SP) but the last 4 years in our keeper league, the team with the best SP has won the league. Is drafting a ton of top SP and RP, and then building an offense that hits for average, runs and SBs a terrible strategy? Thanks.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Bocephus: it is so much easier to find pitching than bats…I won my league last year and had about 4 guys who werent even drafted on my staff….you need a few reliable guys but dont need an ace…bats bats and more bats

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Bocephus: It was probably more to do with it being H2H that the guys with pitching happened to win…its a coin flip when your in H2H playoffs…one off week and your out.

    • The JoGarza says:
      (link)

      @JeF With 1 F: @Bocephus:

      I always find some way to trade for a strong starter before the deadline. In H2H, it’s really nice to have an ace to fall back on during the playoffs, especially if it was someone you traded for. I wouldn’t draft one, I’d just trade for one eventually using a keeper of yours as bait.

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @The JoGarza: I dont know…i wouldnt give up a good bat for a good pitcher

        • The JoGarza says:
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          @JeF With 1 F:

          Well, theoretically, if you follow Grey’s strats, you should have a nice surplus of bats. Trading one away, even an above average one for a pitcher who’s dominating 2015, is worth it if bolsters your playoffs. Few things are more deflating than heading into your next playoff matchup and realizing your opponent has all three of his best SP starting twice.

          Streaming matchups is definitely an option, and last season I probably streamed the best 48 innings of my life in the first round (shout out to Yusmeiro Petit), but it can also be very risky. I’d rather a strong SP that yes, can still blow up, but is more of a sure thing than a streamer.

          • JeF With 1 F says:
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            @The JoGarza: If you have a surplus i agree…the key is picking the right one to move…sell high on someone at the right time.

    • jay says:
      (link)

      @Bocephus: my H2H is pretty much the opposite. The teams that drafted the better pitching almost always traded them off to make up for a lack of offense.
      I do see some logic in your theory though especially in H2H. If you can dominate the pitching cats consistently and squeak out a win in SBs and runs you have a pretty good chance if getti.g to the playoffs. Once there you just have to win your match ups to advance so who cares how you do it.

  10. Matt says:
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    I enjoyed Price’s 2014 season, but you don’t have any worries about Price’s full season in DET? The run support (should) be there, but the Tigers defense was definitely worse than TB’s and seemed to hurt him.

    • Fastpitch says:
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      @Matt: Detroit will be better at defense at SS,LF and CF.

      • CMUTIMMAH says:
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        I was expecting to see all four of my keeper pitchers on here… but I’m surprised that Waino was the one that didn’t make the cut and Zimmermann was that high! I know Wainwright has some concerns coming into the year though, so I can understand that. We keep 6, and on top of that I’m calling up Rendon and Abreu from my minor league roster, so Wainwright is essentially a 8th round pick for me, I’m good with that. In a league with Complete Games, Shutouts, and Quality Starts, Waino and Zimmermann have slightly more value.

        If Waino is healthy this season, he could be top 20, if not, he’s only my 8th best player.

        • CMUTIMMAH says:
          (link)

          @CMUTIMMAH: …. not sure why last comment posted here, but to actually reply to this:

          Detroit’s defense is going to be leaps and bounds better, but their offense will suffer due to this.

          First, Gose in CF for the large side of a platoon is a big step up from the post Austin Jackson CFs from last year.
          2nd, Torii Hunter was replaced by Cespedes’ cannon in the OF.
          3rd, Jose Iglesius, who is one of the best defensive SSs in the league, will be back.

          I wouldn’t be concerned about Price. He’s pitching for a contract, he’s in a good pitcher’s park, and he doesn’t have a weak offense behind him. He’s going to be top 10 barring injury.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Matt: I wouldn’t draft him either way

  11. Blue says:
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    Just gotta say this–you’re far more likely to blow up your team drafting the the Tier 1a guys than the Tier 1 guys. At least with the top ones you’re going to get something like the value you paid for them. You could burn a 4-6 Round pick/$20 bucks on the Greinkes of the world and get a $5 starter performance, easy.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Blue: So lets say you spend 50+ on Kershaw…he gets injured (not far fetched most pitchers do)…now the rest of your team is thin because you paid top dollar for guys who always get hurt…that being said i wouldnt pay for Greinke either…This is what i won with last season…
      Carrasco
      Wheeler
      Fiers
      Gausman
      J.Zimmerman
      A.Wood
      Tillman
      L.Lynn
      You have to be on top of it and adjust/stream through out the season but you get the point….not one Ace

      • Blue says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: Yeah, I’m not arguing for drafting an Ace–I generally target the 8th round for my first SP. I’m just saying if you’re gonna draft an Ace draft an ACE not a guy who kinda-sort looks like an Ace.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @Blue: Gothcha

      • Matt says:
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        @JeF With 1 F: yeah I gotcha, last year I finished top 3 in every pitching category minus saves with Price, Kluber, A.Wood, Smyly, Richards, Anderson, McCarthy and Latos. Only Price cost me $30+ at the auction and everyone else was a $1-5$ flyer

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Blue: and by the same logic a batter can blow up in your face like many top ones did last year. I draft on value and if an elite arm drops where you’re paying 75 cents on the dollar then I grab them. Drafting is fluid not rigid.

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @J-FOH: Agree …sometimes something falls in your lap too good to pass up

  12. Fastpitch says:
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    I love the write up. Grey, just wondering if you have caveats for Cobb, Cole and Carrasco concerning last years injuries. To debate with myself each of the 3 had great 2nd halves.

    • Blue says:
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      @Fastpitch: Cole is a tough one for me. I have him as an 8th Round keeper, but I’d have to not keep A. Chapman in the 9th or Starlin Castro in the 12th to do so.

      I’ll have to watch his ADP and see where I can pick him up this year, I guess.

    • Cram It says:
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      @Fastpitch: Cobb’s oblique injury in April? I think you answered your own concerns.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Fastpitch: I wrote on Cobb in the post, the other ones seemed to return fine

  13. Allan says:
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    Grey,
    Thank god its time for baseball again. If you’re playing in a points league instead of roto does that change your thinking on when you draft pitchers at all?

    • The JoGarza says:
      (link)

      @Allan:

      That’s a difficult question to answer without any information on the points system. It’s not uncommon for leagues to be structured so that SP are either extremely valuable or average. I’ve seen leagues where Victor Martinez was the #1 player last year, more than 200 pts ahead of Kershaw. If your league values pitchers (just look at the top fantasy players from last season in your league), then you’ll know if you need to spend a pick on an ace.

      • Allan says:
        (link)

        @The JoGarza: it’s a variation on ESPN standard scoring. We make a few small tweaks but nothing major.

        • The JoGarza says:
          (link)

          @Allan:

          Guess it depends on what those small tweaks are. If it’s more or less status quo like you said, then Grey will probably tell you to stay away from the aces and use those picks on hitters.

          Again, looking back at how pitchers fared with your system is a good way to guage just how important they are in your league.

  14. Charles says:
    (link)

    Per ESPN’s rankings, you can comfortably get Samarzjia, Ross, Iwakuma, and Arrieta in the 6th-9th rounds, respectively. Perfect time to grab your first pitcher, I presume?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Charles: Yup, 6th round is about right

  15. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    did i miss something, or did joyce not make top 100 OF? i’m reading he’s batting 2nd for LAA and on good side of platoon.

  16. danny almonte says:
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    Hoping you’re wrong on Waino! My ace in my dynasty…

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @danny almonte: older and riskier.

  17. Jimmy Two-times says:
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    4 Keepers from this motley crue. Go!
    Pujols
    H Kendrick
    Longoria
    R. Zimmerman
    Rusney Castillo
    JD Martinez
    Joe Votto
    M. Carpenter
    A. Godron
    Wainright
    Carlos Carrasco

    • CMUTIMMAH says:
      (link)

      @Jimmy Two-times: Punt! If you can get a draft pick instead of keeping a player, I would totally do that.

    • Orval Overall says:
      (link)

      @Jimmy Two-times:
      Pujols
      Longoria
      Votto
      Waino

  18. Orval Overall says:
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    I would have thought Julio Teheran would have been a top 20 SP…I like Teheran over most of the bottom 10 of your top 20 rankings…

    • Cram It says:
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      @Orval Overall: Your analysis generally stinks, but I half agree with you here.

      • JeF With 1 F says:
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        @Cram It: Ha Ha

    • Del Griffith says:
      (link)

      @Orval Overall:
      Ranking will probably be fueled by wins for him, and that Braves lineup will be poo….

  19. Big Nate says:
    (link)

    How much does a QS (instead of Wins) league help Hamels? Would he jump to the Top 10?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Big Nate: Nah, top ten guys here aren’t bad for QS

  20. The Pine Tar Incident says:
    (link)

    No Darvish?! Early in the winter you advised me to keep Darvish over Sale because of his ability to have an INSANE year. What has changed in the off season? Elbow scaring you off?

    Very interesting. Loving the rankings posts.

  21. Todd says:
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    Reggie Roby was awesome.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Todd: A fine man

  22. Fireball Feliz says:
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    Why Yu no include Yu in top 10, let alone top 20? 278K season ahead for the Japanese wunder

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Fireball Feliz: Too risky with the elbow injury…not worth drafting that high….same with tanaka

      • Fireball Feliz says:
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        @JeF With 1 F: Don;t blow the elbow injury out of proportion. Rangers fell into comatose and shut him down because there was nothing worth competing for anymore. Tanaka’s injury was far worse

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @Fireball Feliz: You can draft him then…..ill pass

        • Fuzzy Dunlop says:
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          @Fireball Feliz: not one person here is gonna argue that Tanaka’s injury is better; but what does that have to do with Darvish not being top 20, unless you thought you say Tanaka above.

  23. Mostsuckass says:
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    Who would you rather have in a keeper league (no salaries, no contract length restrictions), Alexei Ramirez or Samardzija?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Mostsuckass: Samardzija

      • Mostsuckass says:
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        @JeF With 1 F: Thanks, JeF! I think if Samardzija increases his win total significantly (which is very doable), he becomes a top-10 SP.

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Mostsuckass: If it was any player X or Ramirez, I’d go with Player X

          • Mostsuckass says:
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            @Cram It: I dunno. I think I’d go with Ramirez over Eric Stults.

            • Cram It says:
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              @Mostsuckass: Well now you’re just being ridiculous! This whole court is out of order! Danger Zone!

              • Mostsuckass says:
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                @Cram It: Ha!

          • Ante GALIC says:
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            @Cram It: LOL, me 2.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @Mostsuckass: As long as everything else holds up….i dont fully trust him though

          • Mostsuckass says:
            (link)

            @JeF With 1 F: There aren’t a lot of pitchers I trust fully. I think Grey’s top 3 are pretty darn trustworthy, but I’m not 100% convinced even Kluber is a lock for great numbers this season (though I’d love to have him on my teams, of course). That’s why, like most here, I’m on board with the hitting-first strategy.

  24. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
    (link)

    Great read my man, this is how leagues are won. Last year my ace was Teheran, following your advice, and I’m right on board this year with not wanting a SP till the 15ish range. Can’t wait to see the further rankings, solid work. Oh, I also dropped Kluber after his poor start and still won the league with streaming/waiver adds for SP.

  25. PK says:
    (link)

    Fantastic work, as always, Grey!

    Your pitcher rankings always get me excited about the upcoming season. Or maybe it’s due to the cup of coffee I just chugged.

    Speaking of coffee “streaming”, I can always smell coffee in my urine after drinking a bunch. Same with asparagus. And for Sugar Smacks cereal. The first two make sense to me, since their aroma is so strong before consumption. Why Sugar Smacks, though? So very weird.

    • Wake Up says:
      (link)

      @PK: Asparagus is from the same sulfur compounds that make it good for you to eat. Akin to garlic.
      Coffee, urine for wild ride here. I happen to have completed my thesis on coffee urine smell while studying in Peru. Coffee urine is most highly prized in WV for making JBs family’s special recipe, Gilpin Whisky, aka Urine Trouble. Oh and the sugar cereal, that’s prolly from diabetes, one way to be sure is to taste it. You then pee it out and drink it again two more times. I can’t remember exactly why. But I don’t eat sugary cereal anymore and still haven’t been back to Peru…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @PK: Ha!

    • claw dog says:
      (link)

      @PK: THANK YOU. Whenever I bring up this coffee urine smell with someone they think I’m crazy. Not that I bring it up very often…

      • Fuzzy Dunlop says:
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        @claw dog: anybody that doesn’t smell the coffee in their urine either don’t drink much to no coffee or have very bad senses of smell.

  26. Selsnerd says:
    (link)

    Arrieta could be even higher on these rankings based on value.

    (Super) lazily prorating his stats from last year over 31 starts (why the eff am I even bothering? Oh right, attempting to make a general point) you get basically a line of

    195/2.53/.99/207/13-6. And he underperformed his FIP by .3 of a point (dafuq).

    Now the rest of the division’s offenses have improved slightly, and if the Reds are back to full offensive strength, that’ll be a tough offense added back in. But his own backing offense is improved too, at least on paper. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his ERA go up a bit into the 2.80 range, but win potential probably increases too. I’d take the over on your 12 wins and 198 K’s.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him beat/tie Lester in many of the counting stats he can control (ERA, WHIP, K, K/9).

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
      (link)

      @Selsnerd: rankings are done as better players over lesser ones, the value comes from drafting them higher than other people would. Kershaw wouldn’t be #1 for value, since he’s drafted in top 12 picks. these lists aren’t “pitchers ranked by value, 1-100”

  27. marti says:
    (link)

    Grey always appreciate your hardwork. I have a keeper question for you. N/L 10 team 5 by 5 roto cbs league. Auction unlimited keepers $260 budget. With unlimited keepers there is quite a bit of inflation.

    Here are the guys I am thinking of keeping. Some are obvious.

    Au Shizz 21
    Rizzo 24
    Frazier 16
    Desmond 31
    Yelich 13
    Hamels 17
    G Cole 14
    Melancon 6
    Gyorko 16
    Francisco Rodriguez 6
    Strasburg 28
    So my question is I think eveybody is an obvious keeper except for gyorko 16, K Rod 6 and strasburg 28. If he is signed by the brewers as there closer, I think he is worth keeping but I got fucked last year by keeping the muppetter for 6. So with inflation do you keep gyorko at 16. I don’t like to spend much more than 60 to 70 on pitching so not sure if I would keep strasburg either. Your thoughts are always appreciated

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @marti: I def wouldn’t keep Gyorko.

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @marti: At those prices im losing….Desmond…Strasburg…Gyrko….F-Rod…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @marti: Agree with F

  28. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, I just wanted to get your opinion on my auction strategy for the upcoming year. Its early, so feel free to rip it apart. Our offense consists of 10 slots (C, 1, 2, 3, S, 3 OF, 2 Util) and 13 pitchers (2 RP). 5×5 with 12 teams, auction ($250).

    Here are the guys I will be targeting
    C – Anyone that costs me $1
    1 – Goldy (K), 2 – Wong ,3 – Arenado, S – Segura/Xander
    O – Harper (K) ,O – Marte (K) ,O – Rusney (K)
    U – Saunders
    U – Polanco

    This will be a relatively cheap offense, but last year, premium SP’s were so valuable for some reason. Do you think this offense will be sufficient? I know I’d be lacking power…

    • Bryce Krispie Treats says:
      (link)

      @Bryce Krispie Treats: Oh, and my keepers on offense are costing me a total of $48.

        • Bryce Krispie Treats says:
          (link)

          @Cram It: Thats the problem… Id like to spend more, but I think most guys out of the first two rounds will be kept… Stanton, Abreu, Rendon, Desmond, Trout, Gomez, A Jones, Encarnacion, Brantley, Rizzo, Donaldson, Altuve…

          Id like to take a shot on any of these players, but unfortunately, I have to choose from guys that are aging… and thats always hit or miss.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Bryce Krispie Treats: I like the guys you are targeting as you know from my rankings… You should normally spend $150-160 on hitting

  29. The JoGarza says:
    (link)

    Awesome rankings, Grey.

    I waited to see what Zimm was ranked to ask a keeper question.

    12-team H2H OBP. Other keeps are Goldie, Arenado, Soler and C.Dickerson.

    I’m down to either Zimmermann in the 5th round, or Mookie Betts in the 21st round ( and I can keep him in 2016 and ’17 with three round inflation each year).

    My league LOVES to keep pitchers, so the pool is always thin at the top. Someone like Zimm will be drafted around the 3rd or 4th round. I want to keep Mookie, but his playing time situation scares me.

    What’s your take?

      • The JoGarza says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Awesome. First time keeping all hitters. Got an excitement boner.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Ha!

  30. zigga_what says:
    (link)

    Grey–help a brotha out! In my 12 team mixed, we keep 12. I’m definitely keeping G-Cole, Ryu, Carrasco and Wood at SP. I’ve also got Smyly, and he’s the next in line. Right now I’m leaning toward keeping him over Bailey or Gausman. Am I nutz with a z? I’m also debating between whichever one of those pitchers I go with and a fourth outfielder/utility hitter. We use three OF but I’ve got Stanton, CarGonzalez, Kemp, and Pedersen. Can’t keep em all. What Would Grey Do?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @zigga_what: Id keep cole…carrasco…wood and let the rest of the pitchers go, keep more offense if you can….Does round matter?

      • zigga_what says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: Well right now, I’m definitely planning on keeping Mesoraco, Santana (at first), Altuve, Arenado, Stanton, CarGo, and one of Kemp/Pedersen. So I could keep both, which I guess would make sense because Kemp+Cargo might only get me one full season. And then room for Cole, Wood, Carraso, and Ryu–gotta keep Ryu. Believer. And the top staffs in this league are ridiculous–like I need those four to pan out and then I MIGHT be able to hang. But if I didn’t keep Ryu, my other choices for more offense would be Wong (like him, but with Altuve, redundant), Avisail, or maybe Lindor, though I’m not a big believer in the bat.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @zigga_what: Redundant or not i would keep wong over Ryu everyday of the week….if not wong i would still keep avisail over Ryu …but Wong would be my first choice

      • JeF With 1 F says:
        (link)

        @Grey: We are vibing today

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Hell yeah

          • zigga_what says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Thanks guys!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              No problem

            • JeF With 1 F says:
              (link)

  31. Wilson says:
    (link)

    Hi Grey, thanks to your articles.

    Understood hitting is important, but pitching score is equal to hitting score in a 5×5 league, even the league is shallow.
    Like what you said, I really scare if I don’t own the top tier starters, especially I won champions with high pitching scores last two years by owning two top starters. (Kershaw & Wainwright in 2013, Kershaw & Scherzer in 2014)

    Am I worry too much?

    And, which round in draft do you think to pick the first starter in a shallow league (9 or 10 teams)? Thanks.

    • Blue says:
      (link)

      @Wilson: Two years ago I won my league–a league that has been around for over 20 years–with the highest pitching score in its history. My first pitcher was Kimbrel in the 5th or 6th round and my first SP was Jordan Zimmerman in the 8th. I had Harvey and Cobb as well as Greg Holland but the real key was streaming the last two months of the season using this site.

      I went back and summed up all of the stats from my streamed pitchers. They contributed the equivalent of James Shield’s total production in 2013. In two months.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Wilson: Around the 5th or 6th round

  32. jay says:
    (link)

    Awesome stuff here grey as usual.

    I have scherzer and sale both as keeper options and reading through this has helped me figure out my keepers. Keeping scherzer and dealing sale to a pitching starved team with a major mancrush on sale.
    Thoughts: keeping Stanton puig Upton arenado and max.
    We allow off-season trading and you can move anyone from your 2014 final roster. I also have Freeman, who is valued kinda high in my league so I’m gonna try and take advantage of that and move Upton and Freeman for Rizzo and a draft pick.
    If I can pull it off I’d be able to choose from Stanton puig rendon Rizzo arenado and scherzer. But we can only keep 5. With those choices does arenado make the cut? Also affecting my decision on keepers is the fact that with draft pick trading I do not pick until the 11th rd hence the max consideration.
    I guess my question is with my draft position do I keep max or arenado assuming I pull off my moves

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @jay: Thanks! How many teams?

      • jay says:
        (link)

        @Grey: ugh finally able to get back to this. Busy freaking day, but like your polish neighbor would say “what can do”

        10 teams. I know it’s shallow. However one of the quirks of this league is several teams focus on pitching and they’re taken pretty quickly. 2 teams right now profile to keep 4 SP based on current roster and past tendencies. This is the only reason max is in consideration. Otherwise hitters all the way.

  33. Cognoscere says:
    (link)

    Help from the peanut gallery please:
    Keeper league…
    I trade Jose Fernandez (3 years of control) and Brandon Belt (2 yrs)
    for
    Adam Wainwright (1yr) and Corey Dickerson (3yrs)

    Yes?

    I have Gray and Teheran for the next 2years as well…

  34. Mike says:
    (link)

    Drafted Bum last two years between 40 and 47. Very few in my league draft pitchers in the first 3 rounds. I have always drafted a pitcher in the third round but with so much pitching I will wait to the 7th round in my 14 team yahoo league. I am in a H to H 6×6 holds and OPS. I like drafting to power hitters in the first two rounds, looks like first 6 rounds this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Gotcha

  35. Shifty says:
    (link)

    Love this post and I was in a similar situation last year – having the #1 seed and losing in the championship battle with a staff led by guys like Garrett Richards (until he was hurt), Carrasco, Ross, Fiers, Yordano and Iwakuma.

    I’m in a brutal keeper conundrum though as I’m debating between keeping a $16 Carlos Gomez for the final year of keeper eligibility or picking up a $5 Tyson Ross for the first of 3 seasons. I love Gomez and find there’s so few legit power/speed combos anymore but goddamn there are SO MANY pitchers being kept in my 12 team league and I hate going into the draft without at least one arm. Not to mention the fact that Gomez is 30, gone from my team after this season and with the Padres bolstered lineup I can be sitting on a top 10 SP in Ross for the next 3 years.

    It’s simply do I give up a keeper potential like Ross for just one more year of Gomez?

    • Wake Up says:
      (link)

      @Shifty: Which one will help you win this year?

      • Shifty says:
        (link)

        @Wake Up: The value is definitely Gomez without a doubt and starting off a draft with Abreu/Gomez/Rendon is an exponential offensive boost for sure.

        My problem with keeper leagues is that I find myself thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead and sometimes forget to focus on the now. I would just love to be able to rely on Ross for 3 years at such a great discount – that potential is so enticing that it’s blinding my focus on 2015. DAMMIT!

        Thanks for putting it into perspective haha.

        • Wake Up says:
          (link)

          @Shifty: You’re welcome

    • Bye Felicia says:
      (link)

      @Shifty: I still want Gomez on my team. There’s not enough guys like him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Shifty: Thanks! Answer to Wake’s question helps

  36. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
    (link)

    Grey! At least you have one hater (that first commenter at top), which keeps your cred strong. Anyhoo, strongly considering keeping Hamels in my NL-only league. A significant consideration beyond his history and projections is his likelihood of being traded to the AL. So, in your view,
    a) What’s his likelihood of being traded? 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%?
    b) Is four months of Hamels better than, say, SPs #21-40?
    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: Yup… 50% chance he’s traded… I’d likely drop him a few rounds in your league

  37. Gus says:
    (link)

    Grey, I know lots of people can’t see him, but you too?! Where’s Harvey? Should he be stuck somewhere between Seattle (Iwa) and Phillie (Hamel)?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Gus: Need to see that hes fully back

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Gus: Not coming off surgery. Same reason Yu and Tanaka aren’t here. You want to use a top pick on your SP1 with all that injury uncertainty?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Gus: He didn’t pitch last year

  38. Bye Felicia says:
    (link)

    I’m taking Kershaw or Felix this year then filling my rotation with high K/9 closers & set up men. I watched my opponent destroy me by 27 roto points using this method. I win HR,Runs,Rbi’s was close in saves and K’s. He dominated every other cat

    • Cram It says:
      (link)

      @Bye Felicia: I wouldn’t base my draft strategy on what happened last year. I doubt he won solely because he drafted one top tier ace. Probably more to do with him just being better than you at fantasy baseball.

      • JeF With 1 F says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: I missed you

      • Bye Felicia says:
        (link)

        @Cram It: Well he finished 6th overall in the RCL. Do I guess he’s better than you too :-)
        I just said that’s my strategy, didn’t tell you that you had to like it.

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Bye Felicia: You could say last year, in that one RCL league, he was better than me. Can’t win ’em all! But I’m not turning my usually strategy upside down because of that. I’m not telling you that you have to like my dislike of your new found strategy ;)

          • Bye Felicia says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: I just see a distinct advantage in using RP’s for 90% of the year with add/drops for streaming SP’s that are dropped. You’ll easily win 5 Categories hands down. Wins/K’s/Saves/Era/Whip

            • JeF With 1 F says:
              (link)

              @Bye Felicia: I agree with using the relief pitchers with high K rates…i did it last year and worked well…you dont need an ace though to do it

          • Bye Felicia says:
            (link)

            @Cram It: it wasn’t in.that one league?
            He finished 6th in the master standings and if he had Kershaw all season plus our league index sucked bcuz of inactive owners he could have won last year. I was just saying that I’m going to give it a try in one league just to experiment with the idea. No harm, no foul wanting to approach a game from a different angle is there?

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              @Bye Felicia: You won’t easily win all 5 categories, but no there’s no harm in experimenting. It takes more than just an ace to be that highly ranked. You need a lot to hit and come together to finish that high in the standings.

  39. Todd says:
    (link)

    Great as always, Grey. Thanks for all your insight.

    So, two of my six keepers are Kershaw and Felix (the other four are hitters: Miggy, Cano, Arenado, Puig). It’s a points league, not a roto league. When should I look at taking my #3 pitcher? I can probably afford to wait and load up on batters first, right?

    And I’ll say it again: Reggie Roby was awesome. Especially at Iowa.

    Thanks, Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Todd: Thanks! Nice on Roby… How big is the league? You don’t need a pitcher to around the top 50 likely

      • Todd says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Twelve teams. Pitchers score points for innings and strikeouts, but not for wins.

        Thanks, Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Todd: You don’t need a pitcher until around a #3 to 4…Think around SP 50

      • Todd says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Awesome. Thanks!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  40. Ante GALIC says:
    (link)

    Grey!

    Nice stuff. Like the list a lot. Can’t wait for the 50 to 100 group who are on the rise.

    Cheers,
    Ante

  41. the swinging says:
    (link)

    If a difference of 7 from k/9 to bb/9 is great, then how good is 8? Darvish is up over 11k/9 consistently and his bb/9 just over 3. He’s healthy now, seems silly to not have him as a top 20 pitcher. 180 innings of darvish would be top 10 SP stats, no?

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @the swinging: not worth the risk of a high pick

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F:

        How so? He still threw into august before getting shut down last season. He’s by all accounts in great shape, rest and rehab went well in off season and he’s ready to start his normal routine. If he’s healthy and that’s not really that much of a stretch he will be top 5, forget top 20.

        • JeF With 1 F says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: Never mess with an elbow…plenty of pitching and not worth the risk

          • the swinging says:
            (link)

            @JeF With 1 F: gerritt cole had shoulder soreness, and pitched 138 innings and is in the top 20. There are many joint issues that cause missed time it’s unfair to assume Yu’s injury is somthing more than it seems to be.

            Yu darvish pitched 144 innings and was ready to go in early September for more but the team decided to shut him down since they were out of it.

            Darvish also started the season with a back issue, he didn’t pitch opening day I recall. That messed up his offseason last year and Yu still had over 11k/9 and just about 3bbs/9 innings, he was dominant. He’s healthy now and to not have him top 20 is crayyy.

            • JeF With 1 F says:
              (link)

              @the swinging: Well i just dont see the point in taking the risk…when there are so many other options.

            • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
              (link)

              @the swinging: you are attempting to argue for Darvish, yet are trying to use the injuires (that’s MULTIPLE injuries) for your argument in 2 ways (both why he’ll be great now, and why he would’ve been last year had he not had them); you seem to want to ignore that those things could most certainly show up yet again now, and clearly, if they do he won’t be top 20. If Cole had same injury history as Darvish he wouldn’t be this high either.

  42. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    Flatterieta? Sounds Deeeeee-licious. Where can I get some?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: With some cotija cheese?

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: hhmmmm, sounds italian, maybe a dollop of ricotta

        • Wake Up says:
          (link)

          @J-FOH: Flatterietta sounds like something that would give Sky Flatterietta…
          Italian comp for cojita is Parm…too much Tyler is making your game soft…

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Wake Up: Tyler Florence dumbs me down!….. and yes I know the parm comp, I eat roasted corn with cojita, mayonesa and chile all the time

            • Wake Up says:
              (link)

              @J-FOH: Razzbao!

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Wake Up:RAZZBAO!

                It needs to happen. i need to contact one of my nerd friends…oh wait, I’m here, anyone know how to start a website that is not Go Daddy

                • Wake Up says:
                  (link)

                  @J-FOH: I am a good source of a lot of useless nerd knowledge…unfortunately technology is not one of them…

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @Wake Up: and what you share with us in the FCL is a combination of VICE and surealism

                    • Wake Up says:
                      (link)

                      @J-FOH: Thanks!

  43. JeF With 1 F says:
    (link)

    Outside..3 feet of snow….in here…sunny and warm…except for that first post…but like you said…hes the first one here in the am…I bet hes growing a mustache

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Wow, you got hit hard… My family got only like 18 inches

      • JeF With 1 F says:
        (link)

        @Grey: yeah some spots on the island got more than others…..from town to town it was all over the place

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Where are you again? Port Jef?

          • JeF With 1 F says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Yes…with 1 F

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Nice! Yeah, my mom’s further north (I think)

              • JeF With 1 F says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Yeah …5 minutes from my house got about ten inches less…crazy

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yeah, totally… My moms is driving to Wildwood tomorrow, says South Jersey got nothing

                  • JeF With 1 F says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey:yeah I heard the Bronx only got like 8 inches…so it was all over the map

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Hope you had you roof fixed in time

                    • JeF With 1 F says:
                      (link)

                      @JeF With 1 F: Damn you have a good memory….15,000 dollars later…no leaks

              • JeF With 1 F says:
                (link)

                @Grey: nassau county (Western Long Island) and into the city got a lot less

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yeah, Nassau is my mom’s county

                  • JeF With 1 F says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: Yeah that makes sense then

                    • Buge Hoobs says:
                      (link)

                      @JeF With 1 F: Levittown here, one side of my house has grass peeking through. The other side got 3 feet. Guess which side the driveway is on ? :{

      • nick the dick says:
        (link)

        @JeF With 1 F: @Grey: Blizzard musta heard this is the home of Sagnof cuz that shizz hung out long enough to hit me the hardest of out the whole state of CT. Can’t wait for it to snow again Friday! #shitisreal

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Stay warm… With episodes of Top Chef! (Haven’t watched yet)

          • nick the dick says:
            (link)

            @Grey: These rankings get me all hot and bothered so I’ll be okay….ya havent watched either yet. Will say, though, that last week Gregory should’ve been gone baby gone. Some foul play going on with these judges.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Don’t speak badly about Gregory. He’s going to win!

              • nick the dick says:
                (link)

                @Grey: It took time but he has now rubbed me the wrong way. Lost his touch. Too much talk about being a druggie before. We get it, you did drugs, you’re gay, trendy glasses and haircut, cooking saved you….take a damn risk Greg! One more curry or coconut and i’ll flip! Mei all day Grey…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  How dare you! Haha… Yeah, I agree, I wouldn’t choose him now, but you have to dance with the girl that brought you

                  • nick the dick says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: Ha yeah he went from talk of the town to town drunk real quick. Next time i’m going stag to the dance to avoid getting my heart broken by another beard. I can’t keep putting myself through this!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Dougie had so much promise too…

  44. Yo-Yo Ma says:
    (link)

    All things equal, in a Roto league (OBP), please rank

    D.Gordon
    J.Zimmermann
    G.Cole
    D.Mesoraco
    R.Odor

  45. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
    (link)

    love the stuff Grey.

    question – my first year in 12 team, 3o-man roster roto keeper league. my keepers suck. would you trade my 1st round pick (9th) for 3 years of Arenado in the 28th round?

    It seriously has me thinking

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yup

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Oh and thanks!

  46. the swinging says:
    (link)

    Grey why u so bearish on Yu? He’s a monster fantasy stud muffin and a bag of chips. His innings 3 years as a pro are 191, 209, and 144 respectively. Reports are good, arrow up.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      144 has me worried

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Huh there are guys on your top 20 with less innings than that last season.

        Did you just forget about ranking darvish?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No

        • goodfold2 says:
          (link)

          @the swinging: even if he did the 5 questions in the last 6 hours about darvish would’ve made him remember.

  47. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
    (link)

    Grey, what a dope Keith Murray reference. You sir truly are the number one chief rocka. Could you rank your top 10 classic hip-hop tracks?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      So hard to narrow it down to a top ten… So Watcha Sayin’ is prolly top 3 though

      • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Solid statement right there. What are your thoughts on Audio Two – Top Billin and Schooly D – Gucci Time? They have both been creeping up my list recently.

  48. Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca says:
    (link)

    Always enjoy reading post and comments on here – good job, fellas.

    Please rank for keeper league:

    Bryant, Springer, Pederson, Braun, Cespedes, Bruce, Sano, Syndergaard

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! Springer, Bryant, Pederson

      • Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Thank you – Sano vs Syndergaard

      • JeF With 1 F says:
        (link)

        @Wake Up: Thats what she said

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Wake Up: ;)

  49. the tone ranger says:
    (link)

    hey grey, does the travis snider trade clear a full time spot for polanco now? if so, does that bump your projection up any?
    thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Polanco always had a job

  50. Tracy says:
    (link)

    Thanks for gearing things up with your preseason articles! It’s been a long off-season. I have been waiting for your article on SP and where to draft. The question I have is where to slot SP’s in a keeper league?
    I am in the 4th year of a 10 team keeper league, 5X5 H2H using OBP, QS and this year saves+holds. We keep between 7-12 players this year. For the first two years, using mid-level pitchers and streamers worked well. Last year, the rest of the league caught up and started filling their bench spots with SP and streaming, so the open pitching supply is not as great as in most leagues.
    My first nine are relatively easy: A Jones, Bautista, Cano, E5, Rizzo, B Hamilton along with Felix, Cueto and Kimbrel. I would like to go up to 10-12, with more hitters as I already have 2 SP, but the following are my options for any remaining slots: C Davis, M Betts, Iwakuma, G Gonzalez, J Shields, Melancon and C Lee. Right now I am leaning toward C Davis and Iwakuma [trade bait] and would appreciate your thoughts.
    As always, thanks in advance.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem… Betts, Iwakuma, Davis

      • Tracy says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Glad to hear that you are that high on Betts. Thanks for the advice.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  51. Cram It says:
    (link)

    You know what’s fun…looking at your fantasy baseball teams from 10 years ago and the players you drafted. Rocco Baldelli in the 5th round. Yes please!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      HA

  52. Joe says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,

    If you were drafting, rankings notwithstanding, would you go for a Carrasco or a Cobb over Iwakuma out of concern for his age? Every year since the post-HGH era I worry more about drafting starters in their 30s, even those with a track record.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nope

  53. Cram It says:
    (link)

    Grey do you do auction drafts at all? From above, you only spend $160 on offense generally? ($260 budget). Rudy’s auction draft values seem off. Wondering if you’ve looked them over.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Besides RCLs, I think all my leagues are auctions… Well, maybe most… I think Rudy does $90 on pitching… Similar to what I would do…

      • Cram It says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Right on. I think next year you should put your auction value cost with each ranked player. I feel like you’d pay more than $10 for Cobb or $8 for Ross, based on your rankings. Rudy said the values are based on Razzball stat predictions, but those dollars don’t seem to align.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          In my top 400 there will be auction values for everyone

          • Cram It says:
            (link)

            @Grey: But I don’t care about everyone, Grey. Really I just want to know if I can conference call you in during my draft. I’ll feed you whiskey!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Blech, I don’t drink whiskey

      • i set pre-season auction values for ESPN and Yahoo at 67/33 ($174/$86). this is the best fit I’ve found with standard auctions.

        if you go with no skew towards hitters, then your hitter $ are always low and your pitcher $ always look high.

        this way, it’s clearest to determine the best values vs what the market will typically pay for hitters/pitchers.

        of course, they’ll be certain hitters/pitchers that my values are markedly divergent. those are the guys that hopefully net big returns (like my 2014 crush Corey Dickerson).

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Rudy Gamble: I guess your values are based on your 67/33 algorithm on a $250 budget? I hover around $190/$70 in my leagues, so maybe it’s throwing me off on what I think their perceived values will be. Maybe I’ll just wait for closer to season to understand because I stink at applied math.

          • $260 budget ($174/$86). You can adjust to your 190/70 by multiplying all hitters by 190/174 and all pitchers by 86/70.

  54. Q says:
    (link)

    Hoping for some keeper advice if you’d be so kind. Shallow Weekly Points league where we only start 3 OF, no CI or MI, and 5 starters a week. Counting stats are good, steals are worthless, batter Ks are bad. Pitching basically the same, but no daily streaming.

    I can keep 10, so pick 4 of these guys to let go. Thanks

    Jose Abreu $20
    Big Papi $16
    Lester $16
    Kinsler $10
    Desmond $10
    Beltre $10
    Greinke $10
    Jordan Zimmermann $10
    Dickerson $3
    Alex Wood $3
    Arrieta $3
    Polanco $1
    Avisail $1
    Gausman $0 (but takes a spot)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Papi, Lester, Kinsler, Greinke

  55. MB says:
    (link)

    Well I was going to ask you arrieta or lester but now I dont have to. Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem

  56. Warren says:
    (link)

    Grey, pumped it’s razzball season again. My first click when I get to work (gotta stick it to the Man somehow)

    Keeper deadline approaches in my league. $1000 budget, 6 keepers. H2H

    Definitely keeping these dudes:

    $70 Goldy (drafted him a few seasons ago at a major bargain thanks to you)
    $19 Abreu (the steal of my draft last year)
    $129 McCutchen (too safe, too good)
    $67 Gomez (makes me nervous, but too good of a price)

    Out of these remaining guys, which 2 should I keep?

    $104 Puig – decent price, but his streakiness is annoying.
    $46 Arenado – Love him, but I think I could get him for the same price/cheaper in the draft
    $16 Cueto – great price for a steady ace, can really wait on pitching with him anchoring staff
    $10 Sandoval – good price for Panda who I like in Fenway

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Stick it to him! Cueto, Arenado

  57. NCPhilly says:
    (link)

    In ranking Tyson Ross higher than others have or likely will, I like to think that you are just making up for forgetting him last offseason.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ha

      • Wake Up says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I see Sky’s otiboner from here…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          HA

        • Cram It says:
          (link)

          @Wake Up: haha

  58. Homerj24 says:
    (link)

    5×5 Roto (OBP instead of Runs)
    12-team
    23 player rosters
    $260

    Move MadBum $27 for Donaldson $20?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sure

  59. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
    (link)

    Reading all 228 of these comments was literally exhausting. I may have to go read an Ayn Rand novel…

    Piling on Braves fans Grey. You know they have no laptops left to toss out windows since they all got broken over their knee when they saw the 2015 projected lineup card…ugh.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ha

    • goodfold2 says:
      (link)

      @MattTruss: wait till it’s up to 1100.

  60. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Drafting starting pitchers is always an interesting study in risk management. Based on the omissions of Darvish, Harvey, and Tanaka in this first set of rankings, I assume you’ve determined that the perceived risk of drafting those pitchers outweighs the potential rewards. While there’s no denying that there’s some risk involved with all of those players (particularly Tanaka), there are a few other pitchers who look to have some red flags in their profiles. One of these players for me is Tyson Ross.

    In his write-up, you referenced Ross’ strikeout, walk, and swinging strike rates. All of them were well above the league averages, and have been over the past two years. This is mainly due to his approach of working outside of the strike zone and attempting to get batters to chase. The pitch that he does that with far more than any other is his slider. His SL% of 37.7% is the highest mark in MLB among all starting pitchers over the past two seasons, and his 41.2% mark last year led all other SPs by a 7.1% margin. He threw 1,284 sliders last season alone. 1,284. That’s a lot of stress on the elbow. Quite a bit of risk here.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      If he was shutdown in July due to elbow stress and limped to the finish line, I would’ve dropped him too

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Don’t forget Wainwright’s omission

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Yeah, forgot about Waino. Probably because his profile is full of red flags too. I don’t consider him to be a glaring omission. Not really Tanaka either. His elbow is a ticking timebomb.

        Darvish and Harvey are surprising though. While Ross is very good, I don’t consider him to be an elite option like those two, and a case can easily be made that he’s the riskiest of the bunch.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Surprised to hear you say Harvey is an omission

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Why? He’ll be 18 months removed from TJS by the start of the regular season, and was as good as any pitcher outside of Kershaw in ’13. Should be fully recovered and ready to roll.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      @Big Magoo: Rudy used to write a “risky pitchers” article way back when. He’d go over slider usage in that I believe. I think he stopped because the correlation really wasn’t there. It’s something I’ve always looked at too, but then you get a guy like Bumgarner who I avoided for a while because of slider use that just doesn’t seem to care.

      I did notice though in researching that a few places have started labeling Bumgarner’s slider as a cutter. That could be why he’s shown no signs of breakdown. Still, he threw 1420ish sliders last season if you do call them that.

      • Wake Up says:
        (link)

        @MattTruss: I’ve been here saying it was a cutter for years

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Wake Up: I just cut one reading that

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        @MattTruss: Yeah, I remember the risky pitcher post that Rudy used to do. The results tend to be all over the place, but the slider is still generally considered to be the pitch that creates the most stress on a pitcher’s elbow.

        I’ve seen that about Bumgarner too. He’s called it a cutter in the past, but it’s still classified as a slider in a lot of places.

  61. Corey says:
    (link)

    Assuming equal playing time, who do you like between Betts and Yellich. The Betts hype train is out of control. As a sox fan, I drink the kool aid. As the owner of a fantasy baseball team, I am loathe to let rookies go through their growing pains on my roster. Which is why I lean towards Yellich.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      They’re a toss up, see OF rankings

  62. Alan says:
    (link)

    Which five do you like for next year? 7×7 obp slg hold QS. They are our first five picks, no prices. 11 team yahoo league (so 10 offense spots and 1300 IP limit)

    Freeman
    Cano
    J Upton
    Chris Davis
    Seager
    Soler
    Dickerson
    Jose F
    Arrieta
    Lester

    Thank you

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Cano, Upton, Dickerson, Davis

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Lester

  63. Fungazi says:
    (link)

    Oh no Yu diínt!

  64. ar says:
    (link)

    I have a sort-of weird keeper league, where you can only keep players for one year. Also, it’s a weekly league, and you have to pay for transactions (each transaction is 2% of the league’s entry fee). So streaming pitchers is way less advantageous than in most other leagues. With that said:

    I’m definitely keeping:
    Arenado (15th)
    Dickerson (24th)
    Harvey (22nd)

    and I have to choose between:
    Jose Fernandez (20th)
    Salazar (20th)
    Hamels (8th)
    Torii (14th)
    Melancon (27th)

    I’ve somehow convinced myself that it’s right to keep Melancon. But that seems so impossible. I’m starting to think Fernandez, but i’m just not buying he pitches more than 100 innings… and getting 45 saves from the 27th rd seems like incredible value?

    Thanks man. Love your stuff.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Salazar

  65. Hawk says:
    (link)

    Love, love love these rankings. Especially seeing Carrasco so high up. Think of the looks you’ll get when you draft Carlos Carrasco ahead of Yu Darvish….and then win with it!

    I’m in a 10 team, 5×5 keep forever league (no cost or rounds. We have to protect 12. Keeping 6 hitters (Rizzo, Encarnacion, Wong, Arenado, Stanton, Kemp).

    Which 6 pitchers should I protect out of:

    King Felix
    Tanaka
    Jake Arrieta
    Yordano Ventura
    Michael Wacha
    Alex Wood
    Carlos Carrasco
    Colin McHugh

    Or should I protect 5 pitchers and include Devin Mesoraco as a hitting protect?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yup! Felix, Arrieta, Carrasco, Wood, Tanaka, Ventura

    • Ryan says:
      (link)

      @Hawk: Except that’d never happen because no group of 12 fantasy baseballers in the world would let Darvish fall that low. Trying to project pitcher injuries is very foolish.

  66. Matt says:
    (link)

    Is Soria a good trade target since Nathan sucks so bad and is at a good price. Lost Doolittle

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Matt:

      Soria is a “fine when healthy” pitcher. The question is do you trust his health?

      I don’t.

    • Baezaworldseries says:
      (link)

      @Matt: Seems like I’ve read this every day this week. For real. All these guys are not worth keeping. A “closer” will appear out of thin air and will be better than all 3. Watch the WW for one.Use your keeper on someone else.

  67. Schwab says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,
    Keeper league questions. 8 teams H2H Points.
    Would you trade Cargo for Tyson Ross?
    Would you trade Hosmer/Paxton/Waino for Goldy?
    Thanks.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Schwab:

      8 team league you want the best player in any deal.

      I wouldn’t take Cargo at all (personal preference against perennial injury guys)
      I’d definitely do that deal to get Goldschmidt

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d take Goldy

  68. Garrett says:
    (link)

    Grey I love your raniings

    I got offered Gerrit cole for Alex cobb

    cole is $6 and cobb is $12 I guess by your rankings I should do this ?

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @Garrett:

      I’d take Cole and save $6

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yup

  69. GhostTownSteve says:
    (link)

    Times change. People change. Things change. Sometimes people ask for things like change.

    I’m working on a theory. This from me, who you may remember from such films as “You All Need To Be Streaming in RCL or You’re Doing It Wrong.”

    It’s time to draft elite pitchers. The dawn of a new era. You want them and you need them.

    Here’s my thinking and this will be somewhat loose for the moment because I’m too lazy to do the full analytics (that’s not true…I’m not lazy. I’m at work. From my employer’s standpoint this is lazy. From where you’re sitting it’s rather industrious multi-tasking).

    1. Elite pitchers tend to return something closer to their draft slot. Go back and just do a back of the envelope check of the rankings for the last year and note which guys were busts and which guys were close in value to their pre-season rank. You’ll find the top pitchers fare a lot better than hitters in avoiding washout seasons. See if you can dig up any of Mike Gianella’s old work on the subject. He had years and years of supporting data on his old blog before he moved to I think BP.

    2. In times of scarcity, you need less. In times of abundance you need more. This is incredibly counter intuitive but I’m convinced it’s true. After the first round (don’t take a pitcher in the first round), the projections for hitters become very compressed. NFBC ADP says you’re looking at getting an elite starter somewhere starting around pick 25 and down to around pick 75 for the bottom of the tier 1 aces. The difference in the projections between hitters ranked at 25 and hitters ranked at say 150 and the pitchers ranked at 25 vs 150 is much smaller because there is a much smaller total stat pool to draw from on the hitting side because hitting is so scarce. Restated, the fewer the raw materials (sbs, hrs, rbis, etc.) the less margin there is between each hitter. Therefore you actually do better by striving for mean performance with depth than a little top tier offense mixed with scrubs. But on the other hand, while there is great depth at pitching, there is also a wider spectrum of performance. The performance probability ranged is elongated. And if you look at the numbers, there is a good gap between the projections of the elite starters and those in the tier below.

    Keep in mind that I am talking about projections which means possibility ranges, which is one of the basic building blocks of draft ranking. Which brings me to the next point.

    3. Streaming has become less desirable from a game theory perspective. This is going to be particularly true in RCL. All the competitive leagues will feature heavy streaming. This has boosted the value of the elite starters once more. The critical component of streaming in the RCL has never been the starters themselves. It’s always been leveraging the elite MRs to boost K’s and Ws while seriously lowering ratios within the parameters of the games started limit. When streamers were abundant, one could stream exclusively. But when streamers become scarce, all things being equal a higher percentage of starts from the top starters becomes an edge.

    My strategy this year is going to be get an ace (Price or Scherzer) and a tier 2 ace (Cole or Cobb) and then pack the rest of the staff with Brandon McCarthyses. The talent pool on the offensive side seems skinny on each end and fat in the middle. Pitchers are skinny on the top and then consistent from middle to end. That’s just how I’m feeling it when I look at the distribution.

    Course I could be wrong.

    Course I could be wrong.

    • I’ve been saying/doing for two straight years – Aces are undervalued, all 2nd-tier pitchers are close to worthless. I drafted 4 SPs/year in RCL. Last year, I drafted Wainwright (3rd), Verlander (4th), Hamels (8th-10th?), Miller (teens). Grabbed SPs on waivers throughout year for pickups/streams. It worked out okay (finished 3rd out of 1008)…and that was with picking Verlander over F-Her.

      Year prior, I drafted Cliff Lee and F-Her which were a great duo that helped mask some bad luck/choices in streaming.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Rudy Gamble:

        Last year was the first year for me where the amount of streaming overcame the value in the streaming strategy for RCL. I still think you need to stream enough there, but I feel like where I used to want to hold somewhere between 7.5 and 8 daily line up spots for relievers, you might be able to get by with 6.5 now.

        In the NFBC I think the marketplace is very efficient and the SP ADP for aces has moved up consistently. Of course it’s exaggerated there because it’s a weekly league with a 7 man bench. But I still feel like the scarcity/abundance analysis will hold when I get around to it as does the talent distribution curve idea.

        • i was never a fan of massive streaming. i like to opportunistically use it throughout the year for maybe 25% of my starts.

          the nfbc format (both weekly and 15-team) tend to boost up aces a bit. i’ve yet to go two aces in that format b/c of the need for hitting + closers

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Rudy Gamble:

            I don’t think you need closers. Bob Particelli won the Auction overall last year drafting only Huston Street. He added McGee and Casilla but didn’t use all three with any consistency and finished with 51 saves. The no innings limit and the weekly line up changes greatly devalue RP in NFBC.

            • I’m undecided on closer strategy in 15-team this year. Just hate spending tons of faab on speculative closers.

        • Wake Up says:
          (link)

          @GhostTownSteve: “Last year was the first year for me where the amount of streaming overcame the value in the streaming strategy for RCL”

          If only someone would have emailed this to you in March of last year…

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Wake Up:

            you were ahead of the curve as usual

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @GhostTownSteve: I love the boldness and I have a lot of observations from the competitive RCL world.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      I honestly have a hard time agreeing here given that at least 25% of Grey’s top 20 were either drafted as SP3 or later or not drafted at all. Carlos Carraso/Jake Arrieta were basically top 10 pitchers from the moment they became starters last year, but the problem was they didn’t start until May or June. And let’s not forget Garrett Richards – who probably would’ve been a top 15 arm here had he not got hurt – was a top 20 arm in 2014. We could also include your second ace call in Cole Hamels as a counter argument: he finished as the 21st best pitcher behind Lance Lynn, Tanner Roark, Tyson Ross, Jake Arrieta, Phil Hughes and Garrett Richards. I think we both know where we drafted all those arms last year (if we had to draft them at all).

      • Sky

        Sky says:
        (link)

        Let me rephrase: I don’t agree with you about needing a top arm but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to draft one later. Streaming can be tight, I won’t argue that. But I also can’t get behind the ‘need’ for an ace given the data tells us that our top 20 pitchers for 2015 aren’t all holdovers from those consider top arms from 2014. You can still build a great – and sometimes greater – staff without an ace.

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Sky:

        I would counter with you need not only a Kluber to compete, you need a Kluber and a King Felix. Because of the inflation in the stats the margins widen. The argument must also be taken as a whole. It’s: a. the compression of value ranges among hitters taken outside of the top 25 where you begin to draft aces, b. the relative reliability of those aces compared to their hitting counterparts and c. (and there is a c.) the inflation of the stats means that you need a great deal of pitching to compete (more than you are likely to accumulate by hitting on the right second tier aces). This presupposes a league where streaming is minimized due to depth or competition for streamers.

        Go look at last year’s year end player rater: Kershaw, King, Wainright, Price, Baumgartner, Scherzer, Sale and perhaps Greinke all finished in the top 30.

        Trout, Cabrera, McCutchen and Jones were the only consensus 1st rounders who finished in the top 30. Bautista, Stanton, Gomez and Upton were possible 1st rounders.

        Only Cueto, Lester and Kluber were surprise top 30s with Lester and Cueto having excellent track records.

        Meanwhile on the offensive side you had: Altuve, Brantley, Martinez, Abreu, Rendon, Frazier, Donaldson, Dozier and to a lesser extent Kinsler and maybe lesser still Desmond returning insane profit.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
          (link)

          A few problems I have with your argument:

          1) It’s very 2014-centric. Similar arguments were made about why you needed a top tier arm heading into 2014 and were disproven as well if you…

          2) Are actually comparing apples to apples. Top 30 players and whether or not an arm was an impact arm are two different conversations. Top 20 pitchers still tells me what I’m arguing: I had at least six arms that didn’t even have to be drafted in the top 100 to finish the year in the top 20 of SP and some of them were FA pickups. This is important because…

          3) Your argument regarding hitters makes me question which of those guys wasn’t drafted? Abreu was a top 100 guy. So was Altuve and Donaldson. Of the arms in the top 20, how many could’ve been had after round 10 or from the FA pool? We are looking at the same data but viewing through a vastly different lens.

          In the end, I feel your argument stands in stark contrast to what Grey’s top 20 shows and would’ve shown/said about last year had you made a similar argument (as many others had). I think the supposed moat between the tiers at pitching is a lot murkier than you make it out to be (this is where we’ll always agree to disagree, methinks). To clarify, I don’t dislike your approach but I don’t think the stats and the players involved actually back that an upper-tier ace is needed this year any more than it would’ve been proven in years’ past. I think it’s a valid draft approach but to say it is needed based on the stats, I have major cause for concern since I don’t think the evidence supports it. But again, this is the fun part of the year where everyone is right. I’ll see if I can nail my Kluber of 2015 and we can rehash in September :)

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Sky:

            I think you missed the point. Of course top 30 overall is important because you don’t draft pitchers and hitter separately. At that early point in the draft you have to decide whether or not to take a pitcher or a hitter. See below for further explanation of why a top pitcher is likely to outperform the hitter you will take relative to their opposites taken later in the draft. The reason you need a top pitcher is because your competition who will have both Klubers and King Felixes will not be yielding equivalent ground in the hitting relative to draft slot.

            You also missed the point on hitters vs pitchers, where top pitchers were more likely to perform according to draft slot where hitters were more likely to underperform relative to draft slot and more hitters in the top tier of overall fantasy value came from draft slots well below that final performance.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
              (link)

              @GhostTownSteve:

              In look at the top 30, 9 of the top 30 were OF. Does that mean that 3 of our first 5 picks should be OF? I said apples to apples because you’re pointing at a subset of pitchers from 2014 that were actually good all year while glossing over the ones that were good (some times just as good, sometimes better than) from a certain month on. Garrett Richards vs Stephen Strasburg by month: $15.3/$5.5, $0.5/$18.1, $35.1/$0.4, $30/$10.6, $11.1/$26.9. Richards season ended August 20th with a start that barely went 1+ innings. My point is, if we’re going by the data and drawing lines saying a top arm is needed, I’m saying the top 20 SP tells me there was more than one way to do this. Top 30 just tells me who stayed healthy and neglects the pitchers who were in the ace/sub-ace category last year who either got hurt (which is usually a sticking point about drafting pitching early) or underperformed. I do not think it’s a fair assessment of pitcher value had in 2014 nor should it be that aggressively applied to a 2015 draft strategy.

              I think I’ll defer back to what Grey said up below with regards to your hitter/pitcher comparison in the second paragraph (Altuve/Scherzer, et al). I think he says it best.

              And of course, as always: fantasy baseball convos in January are the best. Cuz you’re right and I’m right and Grey is right and…it’ll be fun to see how the hypothesis plays out.

              • Sky

                Sky says:
                (link)

                @Sky: To tie this all together, though, that maybe puts us in a similar ballpark, when I did my mock this off-season, Kluber fell to the 5th round. I would’ve gone all in there had he gone the couple of spots I needed. He went at 5.52, would’ve taken him at 5.55 without hesitation. But it wouldn’t have been because I thought I needed an ace that high in the draft: just that it was a value pick.

              • GhostTownSteve says:
                (link)

                @Sky:

                Misses the point entirely. Probably my fault though. I’ll see if I can frame it up better.

      • Ray says:
        (link)

        @Sky: for every Carrasco and Arrieta there is a Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon, Dee Gordon who were either drafted late or not drafted last season. JD Martinez is another.
        Aces like Kershaw and Felix are the Todd Helton’s and Barry Bonds from a decade ago. Elite fantasy talents.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
          (link)

          @Ray: But that’s not really his stance based on the language of his argument. His ace is possibly David Price. If that’s an ace, there are other arms that could go later with comparable numbers when the year ends.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I agree with Sky… I don’t buy into the top starter drafting… You need around a 3.25 ERA to be near the top of your league… If you can’t do that with 2nd tier starters and streaming, I think you’re doing it wrong or unlucky… Rudy says Lee and F-Her balanced him in 2013, and he lost the league that year… Last year, he had Wainwright and Verlander, which is about as much as a push as you can find, but he had Trout which helped more than anyone… I think if anything Rudy’s saying the opposite with his examples about buying an ace…

      • I finished 2nd in our league in 2013. Lost to you as you crushed me in first 3 rounds (you had best case scenario w/ your top 3, i had braun PED debacle w/ my 1st pick). i still finished top 10% or so in RCL.

        Last year, Trout certainly was a key but Wainwright and Hamels were also huge factors. You’re irrevocably biased on this topic. You selected Jay Bruce and Ryan Zimmerman in 3rd/4th round last year when I picked Wainwright/Verlander. Sale and Bumgarner got taken right before Verlander (i had both ahead of him) and I was dumb not to take F-Her.

        You’ve had success drafting first pitcher in 6th-8th round. It works for you. But while you drafted Cole/Teheran, I drafted Rizzo and Altuve :)

        So I think this comes down to preference but both strategies work if you pick the right players (i’m 2nd/2nd/1st in our league the last 3 years)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I object! Kidding…

          I could find hitters that I could’ve made work instead of Bruce and Zimmerman (those bastards), and anyone would’ve been better than them, but you said it with

          “…both strategies work if you pick the right players”

          I prefer the 6th round-ish drafting; people can make other strategies work; I just don’t have to agree with them…

          • Sky

            Sky says:
            (link)

            New Grey/Rudy draft strategy code: ‘You Do You’.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Ha

          • Wake Up says:
            (link)

            @Grey: This is also completely league dependent…
            If you have 12 players all streaming obviously it’s going to be a lot harder.
            If there are only 2 or 3 players that are really active (read the experts league) you’ll have your pick of steamers and don’t really need the ace.
            Both strategies are completely dependent on the other 11 players, and how they are going to play/draft.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Agreed, but there’s always guys to stream… You just might need to be a day or two ahead in some cases…

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Trying to jump into this convo is like the jump rope game with four ropes and someone lobbing maltovs at you. I hear its big in Indonesia.

                This discussions centers around the RCL/ESPN format. I want to ask a question I’m sure some Yahoo users would like to ask. For those that use the Yahoo default settings, they use innings limit as opposed to GS, and cant stream MR’s to balance their ratios out, what does this do to values of pitchers in term of where to draft? I know what my take on this is and wont post it because no one gives a crap what I think in January, but I’m sure would like to hear January Grey’s thoughts on the strategy.

                • GhostTownSteve says:
                  (link)

                  @J-FOH:

                  The yahoo settings hurt MR value because of wins, but the top ones are still useful. But you can still use them, especially in deeper roster formats with IP limits.

                  As to the value of top tier starters versus waiting on starters, it doesn’t reframe the argument that much.

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @GhostTownSteve: I always used MR’s when I played, Broxton pre closer comes to mind. But I’m talking about the streaming of MR’s on the daily in the RCL’s. Its nucking futs

                    • GhostTownSteve says:
                      (link)

                      @J-FOH:

                      Yeah I never was a fan of streaming MRs even RCL. I think it’s much better to get a core group and hold them.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  HA… Good pitching is good pitching, I don’t stream MRs in Yahoo b/c our leagues don’t have transactions day of, but I do carry MRs… Good innings are more valuable when it’s an IP limit… So K/9 comes into play…

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: by mid August I was jumping 2 to 3 days ahead

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yeah, you have to once you know who’s good and what you need

      • GhostTownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        I think you need an ace but not a first or second round ace. I think the NFBC is valuing them correctly in the 25-50 ADP range.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Gotcha

          • GhostTownSteve says:
            (link)

            @Grey:

            It’s interesting because I used to be a very staunch wait on pitching guy. 60 overall was my starting line and often much later. But I really think there’s been a shift because of the lack of offense. It’s a compelling idea, don’t you think? The idea the offensive scarcity actually devalues the majority of offensive players relative to pitchers?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              I’ve long said punt catchers and MIs (to extent) because of their scarcity, so there could be something to it… I can’t wrap my head around one thing, why is it that I can get good ratios and Ks in every league (maybe a small exaggeration, but not much) and never draft pitching early? It’s because I can find value later and on waivers. Side note that’s related, it’s very hard to piece together a top 30 hitter, i.e., just picking up a hitter a day to get those stats. You’d have to be right more often than not for six months straight. If you stream pitching, you have to be right 30 times. The odds are easily in your favor you could stream pitching better than hitting…

              • Wake Up says:
                (link)

                @Grey: In the RCL you don’t really have to be good at streaming hitting. You need to draft HR and SB. Runs and RBI comes from just making sure that you have someone going everyday, quantity. And AVG, as you know doesn’t matter. Pitching, you need MRs going everyday for the same reason, quantity. There is no IP limit, you need to take advantage of that.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yup, agreed on all counts

              • GhostTownSteve says:
                (link)

                @Grey:

                This is the thing you have to wrap your head around. You can and you will of course find deep pitching past the aces. But so will your competitors. And if they find as much deep pitching as you do, then their aces trump yours. You need a lot of pitching. There’s a huge inflation in Ks and downward pressure on ratios. I think the disconnect that will start to be a loop that closes is that in leagues where you could stream, folk either semi-punted and streamed or they drafted pitching and didn’t stream. But all things being equal, where players are drafting top starters and competing with you for the second tier aces and for the late gems and streaming, they are going to beat you. Now it used to be that because there were more hitting stats…there were guys hitting 60 homers and guys hitting 0 homers…there were larger gaps between hitter projected values from round to round. So your edge for waiting on pitching was getting more hitting. But the reality is that there really isn’t much difference between the hitters you draft in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and the ones you draft 10 rounds later. It’s not like it drops from 50 to 20 homers. It drops from 22 to 18. And when the margins are that thin, you really begin to look at depth and playing time as the determining margins at offensive positions rather than talent level.

                Right now Scherzer’s ADP is 30 and Cano’s is 22. Neil Walker’s is 130 and Zach Britton’s is 128. But last year Scherzer produced 24 bucks and Britton 15.6, a gap of just over 8 dollars. Cano produced 19 and Walker 15.2, a gap of under 4 dollars. You see what I mean about compression? There’s just not as much distance between the values of the hitters because they all look very the same. There’s a lot of good pitching out there but even still the best pitchers are further ahead when you look at comparable because they are putting up ridiculous stats.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Rather than what might be the case, let’s take what was the case. Altuve was drafted in the 60s, he produced $30.1; Scherzer was drafted in the 30s and he produced $24. So does that disapprove what you’re saying or is that exception? Rendon was drafted in the 160s, he produced $27; Darvish was drafted in the 2nd round, he gave $10.3. Does that disapprove what you’re saying or is that exception?

                  • Wake Up says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: One more thing, then I’ll burn this soapbox cuz I’m cold. There’s a saying in Texas, I don’t know if they say it in Tennessee, regarding pitching is sooo deep. When the shoeshine boy gives you stock tips, it’s time to sell…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Ha! I love George Bush Jr sayings!

                  • GhostTownSteve says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey:

                    It’s totally irrelevant to what I’m saying.

                • jal179 says:
                  (link)

                  @GhostTownSteve:

                  I’m beginning to see Ghostowns’ argument.

                  It’s preferabe to not lay an egg in the early rounds obviously, and taking a Price type in the 4th is a fair plan.

                  Your league mates are just as capable as scooping up the Arrietas

            • Wake Up says:
              (link)

              @GhostTownSteve: Streaming MRs is for GS limit.
              Holding a core group is for IP limit.

  70. Derek says:
    (link)

    Keep 8 of the following 10 players (or leave out two), all entering year 2 of a 3 year contract. $260 auction, 5×5, 12 team head to head.

    Devin Mesoraco ($1)
    Kyle Seager ($4)
    Kris Bryant ($1)
    Charlie Blackmon ($5)
    Joc Pederson ($3)
    Gregory Polanco ($4)
    Jorge Soler ($5)
    Avisail Garcia ($1)
    Alex Wood ($1)
    Matt Harvey ($13)

    I’m leaning towards leaving out Garcia and Harvey??

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Mesoraco and Harvey

      • Derek says:
        (link)

        @Grey:

        Thanks! Love this site btw… 2 catcher league, still axe Mesoraco?

        This would leave with me 5 OF and no room to auction any more also… Still the way to go?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Ah… No, lose Avisail for Mesoraco then

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Oh, and thanks!

  71. Ryan says:
    (link)

    The non-ranking of Darvish here is pretty odd. It’s based on injury? If you’ve discovered the ability to project pitcher injury time, I know about 30 professional baseball organizations that would love to hire you.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No, but you can weigh risk, which Darvish is, and not draft him

      • JeF With 1 F says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Amen

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: He is so ending up In Jays bold prediction post.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Good call, ha

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Grey: I need my own contrary to popular opinion post because I like to be contrary just for the sake of being contrary.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Go for it!

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Grey: damn I have more ideas than fingers

    • goodfold2 says:
      (link)

      @Ryan: D7! (or 8, i’m turning into Gareth with his counting)

  72. Q says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the help above.

    Follow up question:

    I have the option of signing these guys to long term contracts.
    All of these guys would be $10 for 1 year, $15 per year for 2 years, $20 per for 3 years, etc.

    Any of these guys worth locking up beyond 2015? If so, how many years?

    Desmond
    Beltre
    J Zimm

    Any of these I want to adore long term?

    Thanks

    • JeF With 1 F says:
      (link)

      @Q: Nope

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I wouldn’t tie myself to any of them for longer than a year

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Q: whats your budget?

      • Q says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: $270. It’s a shallow league, only 8 teams. 27 man rosters. 80 guys will be kept.

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Q: then at that price I like Zimm and Desmond if Im reading it right.

  73. Swinging Friar wears brown says:
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    First of all, I very much enjoy reading your articles and want to thank you for giving me a leg up in my leagues over the past 3 years since I stumbled onto your site. I’m Coming into the second year of my first keeper league. It’s 5×5 rotisserie (OBP) w/ 5 OF positions and CI/MI slots on top of standard IF. Get to keep 8 players every year. Keeper rules are draft price plus additional 3 dollars for each new year of control. Player who went undrafted and picked up through waivers over the course of the season are treated like they were drafted for 1 dollar. Scrambled together some short-sighted trades got lucky with a few waiver pick ups to finish 3rd in the leaugue last year, but I didn’t leave myself with too many controllable prospects. Trying to decide who stays on my team and would very much appreciate your insight. Thinking Yelich, Cueto, Fraizer, T. Ross, and Gordon for sure…

    Cruz ($5), Yelich ($1), Cueto ($2), Tulo ($30), T. Ross ($1), Duda ($1), Gordon ($1), Kemp ($18), Fraizer ($1), Tanaka ($18), Posey ($17), C. Carter ($1)

    Left out others on my team who defintely don’t fit the bill.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Those five, and Cruz, Duda, Posey

  74. Rackethat says:
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    Keep one: Mookie Betts, Marcell Ozuna, Jeff Samardzija, Alex Cobb, Devin Mesoraco

    Already keeping Goldy, Carlos Gomez, Billy Hamilton.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ozuna

    • Ghost says:
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      Why not keep Devin? Regression? Ozuna gonna Smash 35 bombs???

    • Fuzzy Dunlop says:
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      @Rackethat: ozuna 49% GB rate last year, i’m betting if mookie was either guaranteed more playing time, or had more positive experience (not the kind gotten at burning man) it could be him, and if this was being asked next year it will be him.

  75. VinnyECB says:
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    Hey RB Regs. I’ve been an avid reader the last couple years but don’t get around to comment. I couldn’t resist. I think people like Joe L should just be ignored since they don’t know (or want to comprehend) what they’re reading. It’s tough to read a Grey article since you’re on the floor half the time! You eventually get through it though. Thanks & keep up the great work.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks for the kind words!

  76. Boomer19 says:
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    One of the pools I am in is a weekly lineup league. Does it change the values of pitchers? Its a 14 team 5×5 roto league. Streaming isn’t an option. What round would you look at drafting your first pitcher? Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Around the 4th… Around 50th overall is a decent rule of thumb across most leagues

  77. Ghost says:
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    So how many spots will Polanco climb now? (I told you on your top 60 OF post that Snyder would get traded).
    I hate to waste any pick in the first ten rounds on a pitcher. In today’s game pitching is everywhere. Ross is a Stud for sure.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Polanco always had a job… Keeping the job due to being very young is the issue…

      • Ghost says:
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        I’m pulling my hair out, wanting to keep, Abreu, Arenado, Springer and you keep telling me to keep Gomez! 10 team 3 keepers Roto 5×5. Y am I not wanting Gomez? Is it Because I have hope Springer will be 30/30 for years?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It’s a ten team league with 3 keepers… You could not keep anyone and draft a competitive team… Not sure why I didn’t say keep Abreu, but you might not be telling me the full story here.

  78. J-Man says:
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    Well I can understand Darvish not being on the list with risk and all; it seems with Iwakuma and Carrasco you are just trading one risk for another. Especially Iwakuma, as a life long M’s fan, I can’t see him be more viable for more than 1 to 3 years, and this year might be it. His late season drop-off seems a huge red flag to me. Luckily the M’s staff has a bunch of talented young arms.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hopefully he’s good for one more year then

  79. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    RE: joyce not in top 100 OF yet is no worse than good side of a platoon currently, while listed as #2 in batting order. So i’m assuming you think there’s a good chance some of the guys you do have in top 100 OF, like presley/ruggiano/lake/coghlan, and are more likely to get at bats than joyce (at least eventually). I’m not saying Joyce is great by any stretch, but dude batting #2 against righties sure seems more likely to produce (maybe you think he’ll lose that spot/role of course)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t think much of Joyce… I don’t think he stays in the 2 hole or does much… I tried to rank guys that had at least a modicum of upside or in for a possibility of more playing time… Joyce could be right there though, it’s not like I’d not rank him in the next 20 OFs if I went further

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Grey: ok, so some of it is that these are ranked for standard sized leagues, and by this point the upside trumps the boring production of joyce. that makes sense. In 12 team leagues having Presley get demoted to minors (if you drafted him with a flyer ahead of Joyce) is less hurtful to one’s team than if in a 20 or more team league you drafted Presley ahead of Joyce.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Exactly

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I t really deends on your league, if you have dee benches and can hold a platoon layer or two then sure why not, he is a matchups guy who we use a lot in DFS. Trying to figure out the batting order of the Angels in January is like trying to figure out why women want what they can’t have and criticize what they do have that treats them good….

      • nick the dick says:
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        @J-FOH: you have an analogy for everything

        • J-FOH says:
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          @nick the dick: where is the zombie avi?

          • nick the dick says:
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            @J-FOH: in the other post. Forgot to save it, could go back and hook it up

            • J-FOH says:
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              @nick the dick: I’ll Email you a copy

  80. J-FOH says:
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    This is a football discussion we had but I wonder if it could/would be applied to baseball. The above council of brett provided me time to think about why…or why not? (I was deciding between a mounds or an almond joy) In football the biggest issue in the emergence of the IDP league or individual defensive players (thisis for the ignorant and grey) is assigning a value to a defensive player that reflects their relative value to an offensive player.

    On twitter, myself and a few well known football guys discussed this and we came to the conclusion that a separate draft is the best way to iron it all out. Basically a draft of offensive players and a draft for defensive players. Yes two drafts. And an after thought is that it would make teams more balanced. Could this work in baseball, where you actually have a pitchers draft and a hitters draft?

    The following crazy has been brought to you by my mother, making us nuts since ’71.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, that’s kinda crazy

    • Fuzzy Dunlop says:
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      @J-FOH: that certainly makes it easier, but i don’t know if it’s better.

    • RobbyRobDu says:
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      @J-FOH:

      It would definitely work, and probably add to parity…but it would take away from the oh so important overall draft strategy.

  81. nick the dick says:
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    You were asked to do a top 10 favorite hip hop tracks above. Geez what a tough task, damn near impossible. Gotta be way as tough as baseball rankings. Ya know what I don’t like? How Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek re-did So Whatcha Sayin. You don’t mess with the classics!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, agreed… Don’t touch So Watcha Sayin

      • Happy Vegans says:
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        @Grey: Thanks for the workout, Grey. I’m tooootally exhausted from reading the entiiiiire article and all of these comments.

        Somebody needs to call the initial poster a wha-mbulance.

        BTW, you fellers use some purty big words ’round here.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, no problem

  82. james says:
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    dynasty league question… just got this offer and I am on the fence…

    Taijan Walker, Jurikson profar and Sean Manea for Andrew Cashner, Hutchingson, M. Saunders, and Jose Berrios

    Is this a good deal or not (thought this was a decent place to ask since 5 of the 7 guys in the trade are SP)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds fair

  83. Oppo Taco says:
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    Howdy, first post of the new season! this website helped me win my big money keeper league last season. major props grey! I have a team full of studs but can only keep 8 of these guys. who ya got?
    c- yadi
    1b – goldy
    2b – wong
    ss – hanram
    3b – frazier
    of – Jup, Joey Bats, Cutch,
    util – Rizzo, Vmart
    bench – soler, segura, gracia

    sp – madbum, price, gerrit cole, cobb, iwakuma, alex wood, degromm,
    rp chapman

    Not sure who to keep besides Cutch, Goldy and rizzo. who ya got? 8 players total. thanks

  84. RobbyRobDu says:
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    The blurbster is very Lesturbing.

  85. Steve Frogs says:
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    I must say, Grey, I respect you and your rankings but leaving Alex Wood out of the top 20?

    DROPPED

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Word

  86. Softie says:
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    Great writing once again Grey. Here’s a quick question: How much higher would you be on Hamels if he went somewhere like STL, BOS or SD? Think it would jump him up a few spots and gain him 3-5 wins?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Maybe two or three spots

  87. Clint says:
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    I always love the rankings, Grey, but I often find myself wondering where your lines on pitchers are for keeper leagues? I’m in 2 leagues (1 h2h; 1 roto) from last year and have a few guys like Bum & Scherzer as well as a few more in the top 40 to choose from. Obviously hitters would come first but where’s your Mendoza Line to start considering some? After 5 keepers? 10?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You should go to my newest post

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Oh, and it matters more about what the leagues are like, size and how long on the keepers… Go to my newest post so I don’t have to jump from post to post, thanks

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