The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2020 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 also says, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  Simple Math has an attitude problem. Simple Math says, “Try counting on your fingers without me!” Yo, eff you, Simple Math! In most leagues, there’s a ton of pitchers on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April. With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest. (By the by, Razzball Subscriptions are now open. Early subscribers get Rudy’s War Room.) There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck. Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to change, depending on 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. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included with my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball:

ALL PROJECTIONS ARE BASED ON 60 GAMES PLAYED, DUE TO COVID-19. BE SAFE OUT THERE!

1. Gerrit Cole – Went over him in the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball.

2. Jacob deGrom – This tier goes from here until Bieber. I call this first tier, “Let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear.” And when I say let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear, I’m talking about being very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear and not just saying let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear while only being slightly very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear or being very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear in name only. If these guys were to fall in drafts to where I’m willing to draft a starter, I will draft any and/or all of them. It’s not about them as much as it’s about their draft slot. Sure, I have actual problems with guys like, say, Scherzer, which I will get to, but if he fell to the 50s in a draft? Sure, at that point, you have to draft him, because I would be drafting a starter and he’d be above other guys. (Thank you for not laughing too loud when I said Scherzer at pick 50.) For unstints, I always draft a starter around 50th overall (give or take ten picks), so if I’m in a draft with eleven other Greys and we’re sitting there discussing boba and the Maxo Kream album and just general BS’ing, and all of us forget to draft a starter, I’d draft Gerrit Cole at 50th overall, then deGrom, etc. So, this is a ranking of my starters, it’s just unrealistic for me to say I’m actually drafting these guys. They’ll be gone before I’m willing to draft a starter. Yes, I love the pitchers in this tier. They are great. There, I said it. But I will never own them. Last year if you owned Jack Flaherty, Shane Bieber, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Paddack and Tyler Glasnow, you would’ve walked away with your league’s pitching categories and not drafted any top starters. Am I cherrypicking? Yes, just like you could’ve cherrypicked last year’s pitchers based on my suggestions! You could’ve had Ryu, Paddack, Glasnow, Odorizzi, and Giolito and not drafted one starter before 175 overall. I love top pitchers, but you do not need them. 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. Hope that was very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear.  As for deGrom, he’s great, but just had a funny thought that is only partially related. People (I’m one; you might be too) are talking confidently about deGrom’s Hall of Fame chances if he were to retire tomorrow, and I agree. DeGrom is at worst headed for a Hall of Fame career, at best already a lock. He could retire in five years and get into the Hall (he’s already 31 years old, so in five years isn’t crazy). If he were to retire in the landmark case of sooner vs. later, he would be a Hall of Fame starter who didn’t even break 100 wins. Ha! He has 66 wins in 1100 career innings. Good stuff, Mets! 2020 Projections: 6-3/2.58/0.96/98 in 77 IP

3. Jack Flaherty – Before we talk about Flaherty’s 2nd half, here’s something I seriously don’t understand. Every year I tell you who to draft after the top 10 or so starters are off the board. Literally, every year. Yet, every year in the preseason, people don’t trust me to find them pitcher bargains later in the draft and choose to draft a top ten starter. I told you to draft Flaherty last year. This year you can’t afford him. It’s fine, there will be a “Flaherty by a different name” this year, just like there will be a “Bieber by a different name” and others. I owned Buehler, Bieber, Flaherty, Clevinger and Strasburg in multiple leagues last year. You think I just got lucky? Seriously? That’s silly. Also, there’s ‘perts out there who suggest you draft a top ten starter, so how do they explain that seven of the ten top starters change every year? They think last year was special? It wasn’t. It’s like this every year. I know, last year I said to draft German Marquez and he hurt me too, but a ton of people told you to draft Snell too, and he was more expensive and just as crippling! It’s better to get screwed by your 1st starter when you draft him higher? How does this make any sense? It was better to be screwed by Chris Sale than German Marquez? Please explain it to me. Any hoo! Flaherty had a 0.91 ERA in 99 1/3 IP last 2nd half. His K% went up to 11.2, and walk rate down to 2.1. If you think those numbers sound good, but not quite equating a 0.91 ERA, you’re right. His .206 BABIP would’ve been the best BABIP in baseball last year. Still, his 2nd half 2.22 FIP would’ve been best too, and there’s a strong case to be made Flaherty is the 2nd best starter, and easily the 4th. Also, I go over him in the video at the top of the page. 2020 Projections: 6-4/2.69/0.99/89 in 75 IP

4. Shane Bieber – Wrote a sleeper post for him last year and told everyone to draft him. Last year was the year to own him. Don’t worry there will be Biebers to own this year, they just won’t have the name Bieber. Ooh, ooh, I’m sorry, yeah. Okay, now I’m just singing Bieber. Bieber’s a gorge specimen of exactly what you want in every starter — high Ks, low walks — except for his ADP. He’s great, wonderful, adjective, but we can’t own him. 2020 Projections: 6-3/2.81/1.01/92 in 76 IP

5. Max Scherzer – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Strasburg.  I call this tier, “Hot grandmas in your area.” Some spam emails are just too good to not open. A subject line like, “Hot grandmas in your area” is just impossible to not open, but you want to resist. I know, it’s hard! See an email subject line, “Tired of NOT owning a monkey?” And you want to click it so bad. Or an email subject line, “For $5.00 a week you can feed a hungry child, or slap the food out of the hands of a fat one;” it’s so hard to resist! I know! I want to click through too, but you shouldn’t. Same with these pitchers, you want to get in on them, but you have to resist. (Unless they fall far enough as discussed in deGrom’s blurb.) As for Scherzer, he was the 11th best starter last year, according to the Player Rater. That was after being essentially useless for the entire 2nd half. His 1st half with 129 1/3IP, 2.30 ERA and 181 Ks powered him to nearly a top 10 starter year. I could infer from that that (stutterer!) pitching is a mess. Could also infer that Scherzer had a 1st half that was about as good as Max Fried’s entire year. That’s Fried, who was the 28th best starter overall last year. If you drafted only Scherzer and Fried, you’d Maximize your fantasy team. Thank you, please tip your waitresses, they don’t have healthcare. Speaking of healthcare, I don’t fully trust Max’s back. That sentence works as “Max’s back” or “Max is back.” Nifty, huh? 2020 Projections: 5-2/2.83/1.02/93 in 66 IP

6. Walker Buehler – Have much love for Buehler, so don’t take this the wrong way, but the Dodgers have shown next to no inclination at throwing anyone 200+ IP. Not saying it can’t happen. Just because Rich Hill could never throw 200 IP doesn’t mean Buehler can’t, and Dodgers’ rotation is shallower this year than it has been in the past, but to think Buehler would suddenly throw many more innings than 200 feels silly. At best it feels like he will come up just short or just over 200. Why does this matter? All of the starters so far have 240+ Ks and for Buehler to come close to that he’s going to need at least 210 IP. Plus, less IP means likely less Wins, and less effect his ERA will have on your team’s stats. For full disclosure purposes — or porpoises if dolphins have already taken over the world by the time you read this — I nearly started the 2nd tier at Buehler over Scherzer, due to health. Six of one, half dozen of another, and like I’ve said so many times, if guys are in the same tier, they’re all interchangeable like Edward James Olmos and his stuntman, Edward James Almost. 2020 Projections: 6-3/2.91/1.03/87 in 73 IP

7. Stephen Strasburg – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Re-signed with the Nats. If you jumped out of a DeLorean and told me you were from the future, I’d say, “Please tell me actionable future information that will help me make money and don’t simply tell me Strasburg is going to throw another 200 IP,” then you’d throw a peace sign in the air and drive off. If you were there to tell me the 200 IP tidbit about Strasburg, I’d be annoyed but would feel more confident about Strasburg being a top five starter, and not more like a top ten starter. It was five years ago when Strasburg last threw 200 IP, after accomplishing it last year. If he’s going to throw 200 IP every five years, wake me in 2025. I’ll be sleeping in my Cybertruck down by the new beach resort town of Juneau, Alaska.” And that’s me quoting me! 2020 Projections: 6-4/3.03/1.03/83 in 71 IP

8. Lucas Giolito – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Paddack. I call this tier, “Fill my holes with dry rice to reduce moistness.” I imagine by now you are moist for starters. Well, before you fill your holes with dry rice to reduce moistness, I have a special treat for you:  You can begin to draft starters. See, that wasn’t too long, was it? Great, I didn’t think so either, and I could tell you were overflowing with moistness, so I’m happy to tell you starters are now available. But you might want to chew on a sanitary napkin or rub deodrant on your forehead, because it might actually be longer before you can draft a starter. Here’s the thing, and, yes, there’s always a thing. I will absolutely draft someone in this tier, but I won’t reach for them. If they make it to around 50 overall, or under $30, then I’d happily draft one to reduce my moistness, and remove the dry rice from my holes. See, I don’t punt all starters, just the very top ones. Just don’t reach for one of these guys. As for Giolito, this year Giolito reminds me of Clevinger and Buehler last year. For whatever reason, after a guy breaks out, there’s people who don’t trust them fully. The projections systems don’t even trust Giolito — putting him down for 4.27 ERA (down from 3.41 ERA) and 1.27 WHIP (down from 1.06). Why though? Or as millennials would say, y tho? Guys need time to find the right mix to use in the majors. Sometimes this takes longer than you’d want. Giolito took three years. So? Jake Arrieta took five years before pounding multiple Cy Young-type seasons; Cliff Lee needed six seasons; Kershaw needed one season. Not everyone is Kershaw. Last year Giolito dropped his curve usage and nearly doubled his changeup. His changeup became the 5th best change in baseball and his curve, which wasn’t great, stopped hurting him. A change, mind you, that is coupled with the 5th best fastball. Only one pitcher in the top 5 for fastballs has a pitch as good as Giolito’s change — Flaherty’s slider. Cole’s slider is not even as good. Oh, and Giolito’s slider at 2 runs above average (his third positive pitch!) is better than Flaherty and Cole’s other pitches. But, wait, there’s more! Giolito’s SwStr% was 6th best — the top five are Cole, Scherzer, Verlander, Castillo and deGrom. Oh…*climbs to the top of a 10,000-foot beanstalk*…kay. Giolito has the 2nd lowest contact made on pitches in the zone. Only one better is Cole. We have to move on before I orgasm, so I just want to wrap this up for those of you slow on the uptake. Giolito cumulatively has three pitches better than Flaherty and Cole, then, when hitters are swinging at actual strikes, they are missing more than anyone, except Cole. If you can draft Giolito this late, and currently you can, do it immediately. 2020 Projections: 6-3/3.27/1.05/90 in 73 IP

9. Patrick Corbin – He has ERAs of 3.15 and 3.25 in the last two years with 200 IP in each, and a 10.6 K/9 or better. Happily drafting that as my first starter. Since it feels like it needs to be said, he is younger than Strasburg and Scherzer. So, he feels old, but he’s not offering kids hard candies or shopping at Suburban Outfitters. He’s just been doing this (and well) for a while. Last year, his chase rate went down a hair, which led to an uptick in his walks. He still had the 7th best Swinging Strike rate and his chase rate was better than Cole and Scherzer, who were one and two on SwStr%. Corbin is elite; he’s just not often thought of that way. You don’t need to roll in cat litter to reduce your moistness, you can draft Corbin. 2020 Projections: 6-2/3.36/1.09/90 in 75 IP

10. Luis Castillo – This post is going on 55,000 words, so I need to be more succinct, which is helped by me starting this blurb in this manner–Anyhoo! Castillo needs to roll his newfound K/9 into his previous year walk rate, and he will be a top starter, easily. Everything here is butter on the “Reds are gonna be good this year” toast. Extra velocity, top 4 SwStr%, the best in the major leagues for Contact% and fifth best for contact in the zone. These are insane numbers. To put it to you nice and simple as if explaining it to you like you were a Hee Haw cast member, hitters are swinging at his strikes and haven’t a friggin’ chance. Let me just grab a pitcher who is considered great by some. Syndergaard has a 75.1% Contact%, Castillo’s is 65.9. Hitters are making contact almost ten percent less of the time on Castillo’s pitches. I’m sorry, since you are so butter, would you mind if I microwaved you so I can dip my lobster meat into you? C’mon, don’t be *pinkie to mouth* shellfish. 2020 Projections: 6-4/3.32/1.09/88 in 73 IP

11. Mike Clevinger – Not only are these hot grandmas in your area that you definitely want to check out because they are smoking (mostly Bensons & Hedges), but they’re also guys who I’m just a little bit concerned about. So, it goes without saying that I’m not drafting these starters, after saying that about fifteen times in the last eight blurbs, because I also have concerns, not just because of how high they’re being drafted. Clevinger missed time last year, due to his back. While he returned looking like an absolute King, ruling over a fiefdom with a lights-out curfew every time he threw his 95 MPH fastball and goodnight-god bless 80 MPH slider, he still needs to stay healthy for 200 IP. Easier said than done, as the diploma reads from your speech therapist. UPDATE: Out with a partial tear of his meniscus. I have a partial tear just below my eye that I got in San Quentin. I miss you, lockdown buddies! I wasn’t drafting Clevinger in any leagues this year, and this obviously doesn’t change that. Just annoyed more people didn’t draft Clevinger in early drafts. UPDATE II: With the delay to the season and rest Clevinger will get, it’s hard not to like him in a very short, fantastic season. Shoot 120 innings from Clevinger right into my veins, then let me make snow angels in a giant pile of coke while twirling a phone cord around my pinkie as I talk to Pablo Escobar.  2020 Projections: 6-3/3.07/1.06/83 in 71 IP

12. Chris Paddack – I just screamed out loud, “Goddamn it, I love pitchers!” I do, men and five womans. They are just so fun. When they’re good, at least. They are also so predictable for strikeouts. (Hitters are predictable for power and speed.) When you see a guy like Paddack, you just have to exclaim. I insist on it. When sorted by 140 IP, he had the best F-Strike%, and an expected batting average of .217, and a 9.8 K/9. What do you deduce from that? Forget it, I’ll tell you. He throws a ton of strikes, gets ahead of everyone, and hitters know strikes are coming, but still can’t hit him. He had the 12th best fastball and 14th best changeup. Expected batting average on those two pitches was under .200. There were only two pitchers with an expected batting average for all their pitches under .200 (Verlander, Cole). Paddack’s curve was his only less than supreme pitch. Oh, and it was still 43rd best in the majors. This tier is ridiculous with wonderful, like accidentally googling Mama June nudes and your Google safe-search saves you. Chef’s kiss! 2020 Projections: 4-2/3.03/0.96/73 in 64 IP

13.  Yu Darvish – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Nola. I call this tier, “Eat your ideal lover’s weight in cookie dough.” The tier name is a self-help tip. Much like any pizza can be a personal pan pizza with some dedication. Or wait until midnight on Valentine’s Day, go to Wal-Mart and buy 50% off candy so you can gorge yourself. Another self-tip for a person is drafting a starting pitcher. So, stop reading, Who Moved My String Cheese, get off your butt and draft a starter! Now! As for Darvish, I don’t think people understand how good his 2nd half was. It wasn’t good for last year or him; it was good in the historical context of baseball. He had 118 Ks in 81 2/3 IP and seven walks in the 2nd half. That’s 13 K/9 and 0.77 BB/9. He doesn’t pitch every day, because he has to wait five days after registering his cutter with local authorities. Last year I kept saying if he could be as bad as he was in the 1st half, why couldn’t he be that bad again in 2020? Well, 2019 Grey, you are a crank! I’m here to tell you even if he’s as bad as he was in the 1st half, he was still a pitcher with 229 Ks and a 1.10 WHIP. I’m all about self-care, reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and drafting Yu. 2020 Projections: 5-4/3.41/1.09/86 in 67 IP

14. Tyler Glasnow – As for Glasnow, I’m listening to YBN Cordae’s We Gon Make It. Allow me:

And I been tired of chasin’ dreams, but I’m gon’ chase it,
We ain’t never had a shot, how we gon’ take it?
Success is in my arm’s reach, and I can taste it.

This is every Glasnow owner. Yo, if you have a dream, keep chasin’ it. You crazy as f*ck but god bless, homey. Maybe his forearm strain is recoverable without needing Tommy John surgery. I also nearly got through that last sentence without laughing. Let me recap you on his last year. He had a forearm strain; people feared Tommy John was coming up around the bend like CCR; he decided to rehab; everyone held their breath; everyone exhaled, then he had a setback and was out another few months. Finally, he returned for 12 1/3 solid September innings and seven wonky postseason innings. I do think he can be solid, and, honestly, I hope I’m wrong about him having arm troubles in 2020. Success is in his arm’s reach, and you can taste it. Just hope it’s not a sour taste. UPDATE: Due to the shortened season, I’m jazzed about the idea of Glasnow in less innings. Jazznow? *insert GIF of Jack Nicholson with a Cheshire cat grin while nodding his head* 2020 Projections: 5-3/3.77/1.20/73 in 63 IP

15. Charlie Morton – My pitching this year is going to be a lot of guys I’ve never owned before. I’m still dealing with that emotionally — we’re gonna be all right, fam! I’m trust-falling into this tier, hoping Morton catches my dopey ass. Okay, let’s be honest, trust-falling is for your meetings at EST with Philip Jennings. I’m cold-hard on dem facts. Morton’s exit velocity went down, his fatsball velocity, while down, was still 94.4 MPH and elicited a .217 batting average, while his curve, which he threw 1172 times turned out a .151 batting average. He has five pitches, and needs two. He gets so many strikeouts (11.1 K/9) and ground balls (48.2%) his .340 xSLG was 6th lowest in the league. I know, it makes no sense to trust a 36-year-old, but, if you wanna be an ageist, start casting Hollywood films. If you wanna draft a fantasy baseball team, grab Morton. 2020 Projections: 6-3/3.36/1.10/86 in 71 IP

16. Sonny Gray – True story alert! I ranked my starters, then went to look at ADP (so I wouldn’t be unduly influenced) and saw Sonny Gray about 15 spots after this. Then I saw my reflection and I had to stop for fifteen minutes as I was mesmerized by my hair. How does it stay so full and luscious! So, appizzarently, I’m back in on my son in a big way. Welcome back to my good graces, boy! Please don’t disappoint me again by being bad and/or dropping out of pre-med and becoming a fantasy baseball blogger. Wait, I’m thinking of my own father’s disappointment. Daddy, give me love! I screamed that shaking my fists. Okay, let’s go with this Gray breakdown before Grey breaks down. In 175 1/3 IP, he had 10.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 3.42 FIP. Gonna go with 3.42 FIP and tell you that was 12th best in majors last year. Better than Corbin, Flaherty, Giolito, Castillo, Kershaw…Okay, a lot of guys! His 50.8% ground ball rate was 8th best, and above him in these rankings for ground balls was only Strasburg and Castillo. That’s it. His 29% K% was 14th in the league. If you’re more of a results guy, he has five of six seasons with an ERA of 3.55 or under and four of those years the ERA was below 3.10. He had a terrible 2018, but that was the Yankees messing with him and he was just off from the jump. There’s absolutely no reason why he should be drafted any lower than 20th best starter, at worst. 2020 Projections: 5-4/3.27/1.10/80 in 73 IP

17. Aaron Nola – We have a tough one here to project. Drilled down on him for so long I was about to sing the Dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors. Here’s the problem, his walks went up. Why, is the big question. The one thing that really jumps out is he failed to get ahead on hitters. His first strike percentage went from 69.4% to 62.3%. That makes me think his fastball wasn’t working. Well, his BAA on the fastball went from .216 in 2018 to .269 last year, but his whiff% was better last year. So…*puzzled look* I don’t know. I Googled “Nola tipping pitches” and I found a tipping chart for how many beads to give for different breast sizes. I might’ve spelled pitches with a B. If anyone has any theories, I’m all ears like Alfred E. Neuman. My guess is Nola just wasn’t locating, which explains why his walk rate went way up. Nola has long been a walk-free zone, especially in the French Quarter after 2 AM. So, if you draft him, you’re betting his control will be as it was every year in his career prior to last year. That feels like a decent bet. If he struggles again this year, then I suggest the world’s oldest re-gifting and giving Nola back to France. 2020 Projections: 6-4/3.51/1.07/87 in 78 IP

18. Blake Snell – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Using your own streaming password.” There’s a ton of subscription services now, huh? Apple, Netflix, MLB, HBO, Showtime, History — you don’t watch Top Shot or Vikings? Shame on you! — PBS for that Downton binge; Hulu for some DiscoveryID true crime crap; some app that only has BBC shows, wait, that might be BBC…Okay, there’s a ton of streaming services! I have a password from a brother-in-law, father-in-law, three different friends and a password I just found on Reddit. If you use only your own passwords, you’re a sucker. If you draft from this tier, you’re also a sucker. Tee bee aitch, I’m giving you a tier now that I won’t own partially because I like to mix it up, and partially because I’m finding it very difficult to find great starters. As for Snell, as someone who minored in Saberhagenmetrics at the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston, I love the narrative that Snell’s terrible 2019 is going to help him finish top three in Cy Young voting in 2020. To me, that narrative paints a better picture than Bob Ross painting a happy, little Baby Yoda. Sadly, I’m a serious-minded person and I hear Blake Snell had loose bodies removed from his elbow and I think of David Caruso putting police tape around Snell’s arm. Love the discount this year if I felt like a rebound was definitely coming, but gonna take a pass for fear CSI: Snell’s Elbow returns for a 2nd season. UPDATE: Cortisone shot in his left elbow. Awesome! He says he won’t be ready for Opening Day. Superb! So glad everyone fights me on drafting a top starter early. Enjoy your Snell pick, early drafters. But I think…Gonna get shot down cuz you’re over-Snellous! I’ve docked him 20 innings, and I wouldn’t draft him in any league. 2020 Projections: 4-3/3.12/1.09/57 in 70 IP

19. Justin Verlander – I considered ranking Verlander much lower just to see if I could get Kate Upton mad at me. She becomes radioactive Grrrnobyl and it is so hot. When defending Verlander, she gets madder than when you bring up AOC with your Republican relatives. “Where does this Alexandria Casio-Quartz get the nerve?” That was my uncle getting heated. RIP. When handing out some awe, you gotta give it to Verlander’s recent magnificence. His last two year strikeout rates: 12.2 and 12.1. I’m sorry, are you makin’ provolone and sellin’ it from home, because you got cheese. UPDATE: Shut down with a lat strain. Luckily, you didn’t draft any top starters, right? You did? Aw, shucks. Going onto eBay and put in a one cent bid on the world’s smallest violin, then adopt a baby and teach it how to play from a YouTube tutorial. Not sure how many times I have to say don’t draft a top pitcher, but I’m sure everyone this time next year will have forgotten I ever said it. A lat strain is better than an arm injury, or so I’m told. As in I’m told that it’s a lat strain, but on Sunday it was triceps soreness. Sounds great! *insert giant thumbs up emoji* I told you not to draft Verlander before this, guess what this does for me? I’ve updated Verlander’s projections and moved him down in the rankings. UPDATE II: Now Verlander is having groin surgery. He must’ve really needed it, because if I were being quarantined for eight weeks with Kate Upton, I would’ve pushed back surgery to the winter. 2020 Projections: 5-1/2.66/0.98/71 in 56 IP

20. Zack Greinke – I look at Greinke’s 2.93 ERA from last year and I’m spitting out inconceivable like Vizzini. His changeup is 87.4 MPH and his fastball is 89.9 MPH. His fastball and change cause Statcast to do a double take, and hitters are going to do a single take on his curve and pound the fastchange or changefast or whatever he calls it. He does have more pitches in his arsenal than words in his press conferences, so maybe he can keep everyone off balance for another season, but how long until hitters are like, “Maybe I’ll just split the difference on his fastball and change and swing at everything that is 88 MPH?” Eventually hitters are going to start pounding him like Astros hitters on trashcans. 2020 Projections: 6-3/3.44/1.09/68 in 76 IP

STARTER RANKINGS CONTINUE AT TOP 40 STARTERS FOR 2020 FANTASY BASEBALL

233 Comments
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MikeWill
MikeWill
2 years ago

If I’m keepin 3 bats in a 3 keep league (12 team), you think I should still avoid drafting one of the top 4 starters?

Jason Overy
Jason Overy
2 years ago

Keep Giolito over Snell, ya think?

gino napoli
gino napoli
2 years ago

The pitching landscape has changed with so few SP’s getting 200+ innings. Hence I think Wins (SP’s on good teams), Control, and Strikeouts rank higher.

My strategy this year is to pick an SP with my 3rd, 5th, and 9/10 th pick, then grab 2 closers before pick 13. I refuse to draft more than 2 closers. The volatility is too much. I prefer to grab SP potential, because you can easily drop and pick up the closers who show up every year — rather than get tied up with a relief speculation that you hold because Saves.

This is my pitching statf in a recent draft : Buehler, Bieber, Giolito, T Rogers, K Giles, C Mart, Zac Gallen, D Limet, Sandy Alcantara.

roba
roba
2 years ago

Five Player Keeper League with Gerrit Cole, Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner, Javier Baez, and Matt Olson as keepers. Thoughts? Should I be looking for another starter at Round 6 (for example, Aaron Nola?) or should I be looking at position players in Rounds 6, 7, and 8? 25 man roster with 9 pitchers and 13 position players; standard rotisserie scoring.

Ralph
Ralph
2 years ago

12 team H2H , 5×5 with OPS and QS. 5 keepers. Thoughts?

Definite keepers:

Shane Bieber – 5
Patrick Corbin – 7
Cody Bellinger – 8
Ketel Marte – 14

On the bubble at rd 13:

Sonny Gray (and then I draft just bats in rds 1-12)
LeMahieu
Josh Bell

Steven
Steven
2 years ago

Grey – fantastic responses.

Which 5 would you keep?

Paddack $11
Snell $26
Clevinger $8
Severing $14
Olson $6
Bo bichete $2
Moncada $17

Thank you and keep up the great work.

Danielson
Danielson
2 years ago

Grey,
Not sure if I’m reading you right, but you’d go bats over arms? If so thoughts on this deal?

Lindor, Reynolds, Nate Jones, Lux for Bieber, Fried and Matt Manning?

I’d be receiving the Lindor package.

Thanks!

Eric Liu
Eric Liu
2 years ago

Fantastic stuff as always Grey!

I’m in a 5×5 AL only 12 team keeper. Currently looking to trade the #2 overall pick in the minor league draft.

Would you rather have Giolito B4 and Sano B13 or Bieber 9*(needs contract extension) and Anderson E17 (final year contract)

Thanks!

kjsimon24
kjsimon24
2 years ago

Noticed you say under $30 for your first SP. Can you get behind $31 for Snell since he’s ranked in that top 10?

shawn edwards
shawn edwards
2 years ago

Sonny Gray had an ERA below 3.55 in four of the past six season, not 5 of 6. There is a little more inconsistency in his game than just his poor season in NY.

Shitwolf
Shitwolf
2 years ago

Well done sir!

fun read :)

TualatinTwoStep
TualatinTwoStep
2 years ago

Hey Grey,

Kind of a weird situation with one of my keeper teams, just wanted to get your thoughts. I am the defending champ, and we can keep 9 guys forever. I have a stupid amount of excellent pitching on this team, and no one will trade with me because they know I have to jettison some serious talent.

So far my absolute locks for my keepers are Cole, Bieber, Stras, Corbin, Betts, Robles, Vlad Jr, and Luis Robert. Leaning Wander Franco for my last guy, and punting Suarez (especially with the injury), Tim Anderson, Castellanos, Kirby Yates, and Will Smith back into the pool. I pick 12th, and I can almost guarantee Yates and Anderson will be gone when I pick. Thinking about the near and the long term, am I missing anything here? Shoulder injuries on power hitters terrify me, and though I love Tim Anderson and Kirby Yates, keeping one of those guys instead of Franco in a keep forever league seems like it will bite me in the ass later. Thoughts?

uncle ernie
uncle ernie
2 years ago

Hi Grey please please rate this offer as in a bubble. My Flaherty. Bogaerts and Sanchez for his Yelich. Alonzo. Blackmon and Snell. Thanks

uncle ernie
uncle ernie
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Gary Sanchez

uncle ernie
uncle ernie
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks

The Talented Mr. Dope Man
The Talented Mr. Dope Man
2 years ago

Grey! I’m trying to trade for a closer in a 12 tm AL only dynasty. The guy wants Max Kepler $15 (last year of his contract) for Liam Hendricks $1 can be kept for 5 years.

1. would you trade kepler for Hendriks?
2. If not, Would you counter with Kyle Tucker $2 (can be kept for 5 years) for Hendriks?

Only closers that are available in the draft is Osuna (will go for $30+) Matt MAgill (who knows) and Ken Giles.

TC
TC
2 years ago

Scherzer(2), Hiura(19), Bryant(25) for
JRam(14) and Alonso(15)

Can keep in those rounds as long as I want. Standard scoring. Keep 15, 10 team league.
Which side?

Andrew N.
Andrew N.
2 years ago

I can keep six guys. Stats for batting: r, rbi, hr, sb, and ops. Pitching: w, sv, era, whip, and k/9.

Yelich
degrom
Judge
Tatis
Albies
Corbin
Luis Castillo
Victor Robles

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Buttered Bread
Buttered Bread
2 years ago

My favorite kernel from this post:
“You don’t need to roll in cat litter to reduce your moistness, you can draft Corbin”

I am experiencing some internal grief about kicking Darvish back in a keeper league. Cats include K’s against and OBP, so considering replacing a benched Mondesi with Darvish as an SP3. I expect to settle on Mondesi with a side of FOMO.

Dude at Dudes
Dude at Dudes
2 years ago

My 2 cents. In my big money keeper league , I have ALWAYS avoided the crazy high price for starters, especially the elite ones. But last year as I was very close to a playoff berth, I decided what the hell and paid the crazy price for starters and it ended up getting me a big pot of sweet delicious money. I felt like Cartmen in that episode were he is bathing in money.

Anywho, yea I kind of agree with Grey starters can be overpriced but man if you a couple of elite starters it makes it a WHOLE lot easier to win a championship.

BallFour
BallFour
2 years ago

Reading about a Bryant for Arenado blockbuster scenario. Just curious how this would effect your rankings for each of them.

The Scrant Dog
The Scrant Dog
2 years ago

Me: Grey is finally coming around to starting pitching!

Grey: “Let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear.” And when I say let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear, I’m talking about being very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear and not just saying let’s be very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear while only being slightly very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear or being very, very, VERY, very, vewy, berry, berry clear in name only.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh
2 years ago

Grey: 20 team roto dynasty. Swap my Arenado/Greinke/Aquino/Pagan for his Olson/Sano/Darvish? Is it close or is there a clear winner? Thanks my mustachioed man!

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks. Pun point! Nothing like swapping a Torenado for a Whirling Darvish…*dad joke emoji*

Alex
Alex
2 years ago

What would be the appropriate round to take my first SP? 13 team league/ 3 keeper/15 SP already kept. I was thinking 6, but could I hold out to 7 or 8? I did not keep a SP.

herschel
herschel
2 years ago

@Grey: in a two keeper only league, i am keeping acuna in the 6th and can keep one of the following. who do you like (loss of round pick in parentheses)?

flaherty (4)
clevinger (5)
conforto (7)
caleb smith (24)

thanks!

J-FOH
J-FOH
2 years ago

Grey!

After the Magoo post Im too exhausted to say anything, not that it would be meaningful anyway.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh
2 years ago

Grey: 20 team roto dynasty. Swap my Arenado/Greinke/Aquino/Pagan for his Olson/Sano/Darvish? Is it close or is there a clear winner? Thanks my mustachioed man!

Curious George
Curious George
2 years ago

Grey. I have been doing research and I am on the precipice of cracking the code to know which SPs will bust and which won’t. But I need your help interpreting the data…

Curious George
Curious George
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Haha no – “you are not my brother”. I was looking at pitcher lists top 20 for last season (see below).

Rank Player
1 Max Scherzer – battled injury all year
2 Jacob deGrom
3 Chris Sale – struggled and then was injured
4 Justin Verlander
5 Trevor Bauer – forgot how to keep the ball in the park
6 Gerrit Cole
7 Corey Kluber – shattered forearm
8 Blake Snell
9 Noah Syndergaard – was such a bad trade to give up Bieber and moustakas for him and machado. And got hurt.
10 Aaron Nola
11 Carlos Carrasco – leukemia
12 Walker Buehler
13 Jameson Taillon – Tommy John Sx
14 Mike Clevinger
15 Patrick Corbin – only exception to this theory
16 Zack Wheeler
17 Luis Severino – shoulder and lat issues basically didn’t get to pitch in 2019

(Almost) EVERY ODD RANKED SP IN THE TOP 20 FLOPPED!
This begs the question: how do we apply this knowledge? Do we not draft odd ranked SPs? Does it switch to even numbers? Or is it more of a SF giants thing where it only is applicable during odd years?

Curious George
Curious George
Reply to  Curious George
2 years ago

For completeness sake: flaherty was 19 and was a major flop for the first half. Strasburg was 20. Hope you appreciate my upper level analytics.

Curious George
Curious George
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Such an odd finding though right?! Odds of that had to be low

Task Force
Task Force
2 years ago

Hey Grey, one of the other managers in my league must on here because he just sent a trade offer of my Stanton for his Flaherty in a 5 keeper 6×6 holds and OBP league.

My other keepers are Rendon, Yordan, Abreu and Blackmon. Should I bite on the top pitcher for a falling OF?

Thanks in advance.

Task Force
Task Force
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

It probably won’t because keeper $ go up every year you keep them and we have a total of $10 a year. So Blackmon is $5 where Stanton right now is $2 and Flaherty will be $1.

ERad
ERad
2 years ago

I love you – no homo

But for reals – Shane Bieber as a keeper in the 9th round gives me all sorts of weird feelings, so thank you for that.

Keeping with this theme – my last keeper spot is between Altuve (7th) or Paddack (16th) – this is also a keep forever league taboot. I know pitching is volatile but if I go with Paddack and Bieber, I basically don’t have to draft a pitcher ever again (kinda JK). My Yankee bias is also really making it difficult to root for Altuve this year, like really difficult.

I know you and I know you’ll say to keep Altuve, but I just don’t know G, I just don’t know.

For reference – my other 3 locks are Judge (23rd), Vlad ((25th), and Ketel Marte (26th).

ERad
ERad
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thas what I’m sayin’ B

Floyd
Floyd
2 years ago

NL keeper choice – pick 2 please (can keep for this season and next potentially:
Soroka $2
Kingery $3
Woodruff $7
Paddack $11

Test Kitchen
Test Kitchen
2 years ago

Grey,

In our league we get 1 “prospect” keeper slot.

Any strong preference for Gavin Lux vs Luis Robert in an OBP/SLG league?

Thanks!

Huffin Gas
Huffin Gas
2 years ago

It’s true what you say about the French Q-T after 2am. The most aggressive hookers I’ve ever seen in any US city (and not the greatest looking). You don’t walk when exiting either end of the Quarter, you sprint. They aren’t shy with their hands either…not at all.

Huffin Gas
Huffin Gas
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I wonder what would happen if i went over to foto-praphs and tried to make the same analogy, tied directly to the analysts rankings. Couldn’t do it Grey, couldn’t do it. Some personal experiences just belong on Razzball.

Dong Show
Dong Show
2 years ago

Grey, just wanted to do a follow up to that Alonso for Judge trade convo we had a few days ago. I’ve decided I’m keeping Alonso no thanks to you (today is our self imposed deadline if we decided to do that trade)

But what I did was I actually went out and just traded Kelenic for Mucny hoping to replicate some Judge like numbers for my UTL spot. I basically do not need to make a FA offensive grab all year with how I can play my lineup. I have 0 holes offensively and I’m pretty sure I have the deepest depth of any team in our dynasty league’s history.

You think this was smarter to go this route by trading a higher end prospect asset instead of flipping Alonso for Judge? I’m going for it this year and I want a Ship very badly if you can’t tell haha. Unlimited Flex with this squad

Grandal – C, 1b
Alonso – 1b
Ketel – 2b, SS, OF
Javy – SS
JRam – 3b
Mookie, Brantley – OF
Bryant – OF, 3b
UTL Spot- Muncy – 1b,2b,3b

Bench
Soler – OF
Villar – SS, 2b
Bell – 1b

IA List
Donaldson -3b
Andrus – SS

I just want the season to start already, getting border over here making trades just because I can haha

Dong Show
Dong Show
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Flags fly forever right? I’m doing everything I can to make it happen, including mortgaging some of my future.

Hope you have a great rest of the day Grey!

Brett
Brett
2 years ago

Grey,

Love the ranks. Keeper question. 260 budget, we use QS instead of wins and I can keep one of these for the next 2 years.
Bieber @ 7
Paddack @ 2

Thanks

Skip Mcgillicuddy
Skip Mcgillicuddy
2 years ago

Me: *see Jack Flaherty ranked 4th*
“Holy shit Im gonna cum” *Howard Ratner voice*

Skip Mcgillicuddy
Skip Mcgillicuddy
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Pure stuff standpoint, Buehler or Flaherty? Is the IP the only thing setting the two apart?

Game Of Throws
Game Of Throws
2 years ago

I love it when Grey negs starters.

I’m surprised people are all in on Flaherty and not Yu. They had very similar years.

First Half
97 IP / 107 Ks / 4.64 ERA / 1.23 WHIP
97 IP / 111 Ks/ 5.01 ERA / 1.34 WHIP

Second Half
99.1IP / 124Ks / 0.91ERA / 0.71 WHIP
81.2 IP / 118 Ks / 2.76 ERA / 0.81 WHIP

Obviously, Flaherty has the higher ceiling, but their floors seem very similar. For dynasty, Flaherty has the youth, but in redraft, I’m going to be happy to take the guy who’s done it multiple times before, a handful of rounds later.

Game Of Throws
Game Of Throws
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Haha I know… I just wanted to underscore it.

Donny
Donny
2 years ago

I gave away verlander rd 2, fried rd 26 and woodruff rd 14 for bieber 23 rd. Now I’ve acquired degrom rd 2 for hiura rd 26, gallen rd 24 and merrifield rd 27. The rest of my keepers are acuna rd 5, judge rd 28, beuhler rd 27 and yordan rd 25.

This is a points league so pitching is a priority. I’ve always tried to keep the most valuable rounds but last year I kept trout round 1 and now evidently this year I’m keeping degrom rd 2. I believe that when I have the other values I do for keepers it’s best to go out and get a guy like degrom round 2 because some players cannot be duplicated. Anyone else have thoughts on the matter?

Donny
Donny
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I more or less tradeD to get him for the commodity that he is. I haven’t ruled out trading one of these pitchers for a top ten bat. I’m usually pretty ok with selling high before it’s too late and buying low before it’s too late so I don’t worry so much about pitching. I get conflicted in points leagues because you need pitchers but hitters score more.

Donny
Donny
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Yes I am.

Tyree
Tyree
2 years ago

Hey! Looking for advice. Got offer for George Springer and Jared Kelenic for Patrick Corbin.

Dynasty league. 15 teams, 20 man minors. I already roster Benintendi, Mazara, Calhoun, Santandar, Bryan Reynolds

7×7

K/9, QS
OBP, SLG

Thoughts?

englishmetsfan
englishmetsfan
2 years ago

“For $5.00 a week you can feed a hungry child, or slap the food out of the hands of a fat one;” it’s so hard to resist! I know! I want to click through too, but you shouldn’t.

I literally shook with laughter. Great piece, with wonderful insight. Tomorrow the juicy 21-40…

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
2 years ago

I’m not usually one to name my tiers, but in the spirit of your rankings, I’d group Giolito, Castillo, Darvish, and Syndergaard into a tier called “gas station sushi.” It looks just as good on the surface as the restaurant quality stuff, and it comes at a nice discount. You could get a great deal, or you could be stuck in the bathroom the rest of the day. Feelin’ lucky?

I’m all in on Clevinger. Lowest Z-Contact% among all SPs. From July on (last 17 starts), he posted a 2.17 ERA, 0.67 HR/9, 11.54 K/9, and 2.26 BB/9. Velo is top notch. You made a fair point about the time he missed on the IL, but his injury wasn’t arm-related and he’s just a year removed from a 200 inning season. Plus he has a Jimi Hendrix tattoo on his finger. What’s not to like?

The Great Knoche
Reply to  Big Magoo
2 years ago

Only his price. Going 22nd right now, and went 16 in last NFBC I did.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  The Great Knoche
2 years ago

Wow. I guess it’s time to check ADP. Figured he’d be in demand, but not quite at that price point.

The Great Knoche
Reply to  Big Magoo
2 years ago

Seen or heard from Oaktown yet this year?

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  The Great Knoche
2 years ago

Not yet. I’ll reach out in the coming weeks.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Nah, I’m not in on Syndergaard. Like I said above, I’d group him in with those other three guys though. A Marquez-from-last-year kind of tier. Syndergaard has been the best of the four over the last two seasons though.

Yeah, like I mentioned to Knoche, I still haven’t checked ADP yet. Pretty much finished my rankings though, so I should get on it. Didn’t expect Clevinger to be quite so high.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Finally checking in on ADP for the first time this offseason, and… I won’t be owning any of those top 10 guys. Yay! Snell is the lowest at 30.67 overall (among all NFBC online drafts). Giolito and Castillo are in the mid 40s.

I might own Kershaw for the first time in years. He’s outside of the top 50. I kind of like Severino at 62.58 too, though that’ll move up if he’s healthy in ST.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

There’s usually a few guys I like in the mid-30s through low 40s overall range, but not this year. I was thinking due to the injury that I might be able to grab Clevinger in that area, but it looks like I was way off.

Kershaw has gone from an all-time great stretch to a top-15 SP. His velocity has been diminished for a couple of years now. Offspeed and breaking stuff is still top notch. Great ratios, a K per inning, and elite win potential. I’d be in at the right price. Just doesn’t give you a full workload anymore, but 175ish IP isn’t bad. That’s Giolito and Sonny Gray territory.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Ol’ steady Kyle Hendricks is the 68th pitcher off the board. Maeda is 73rd. I’ll be pulling the trigger at those prices.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I love Hendricks every year. Always undervalued. And someone has to make up Ryu’s (and Hill’s, though that’s not that tough) lost innings.

Coolwhip
2 years ago

Grey –
1. “If anyone has any theories, I’m all ears…” – how about the article I wrote last season? I know its been awhile, ;-) summary: he lost command of his pinpoint fastball, thus pressing for strikes. corners became middle-in, edges became balls. ergo, blast-off! improved as season wore on, but most of first half was a hot mess.

2. I told you you’d come around on Yu for this year! 2019 Grey was so silly wasn’t he? we had some laughs. Regarding Yu – the pitcher, not You, you – the key with him will be watching his release point and velocity in ST and April. If his FB avg velo is 95+ we’re good, and if his release point is 5.75+ we’re good.

3. So looks like going Corbin, Yu as a 1-2 punch for SP this year, seems pretty legit no?

Coolwhip
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Well… I’m slightly more cautious with Nola than others in his tier range. I think i’d be more likely to go with Gray, Morton, unless it looks like he’s locating the FB well on the corners in spring training. That’s his key to success and the most important thing to watch for. The thing that gives me pause… is his monthly avgs, he got better in july and aug… but then sept/oct his bb/9 ballooned back to over 5 and he fell apart again. Can’t remember if he injured or something, but his middle was good but the bookends were pretty bad. Morton and Gray make me feel a lot safer. I will likely let others have him unless other drafters share concerns and he drops to top 30 range (pending ST).

Coolwhip
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Gotcha, then yeah we are in same space.

So looks like Astros are going to hire Dusty… greaatttttttt. Hello pitcher overuse, goodbye Tucker playing time. Another 500 ABs for Reddick. He might even sit Alvarez lol (doubt it, but hey, Dusty has done crazier things).

Jason
Jason
2 years ago

I can keep 10 in my 10-team H2H league. I am sure on Arenado, Bregman, Abreu, Machado, Nola, Severino, and Glasnow.

Please pick 3 from Benintendi, Semien, Hoskins, Eddie Rosario, and Yates.

Thanks for the rankings, I appreciate the time and effort!

Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good
Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good
2 years ago

Mr. Grey,

I like what you said about streaming starters. How many times you draft a staff that should be the tops and 2 or 3 of those pitchers sink your ERA and WHIP like the Titanic. And then its a year long struggle to get them back to respectability.

Would rather draft three starters max and then fill out with top saves/holds guys. Over the year once you start locking in ERA/WHIP you can then pick up starters to stream or in some cases find a midseason gem i.e. Lynn last year to start picking up ground in W’s and Ks.

Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good
Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good
Reply to  Pretty Pretty Pretty Pretty Good
2 years ago

Did not realize there was another Larry David fan posting in these comments. Apologies for the coincidental hijacking of the other dudes moniker.

Threading the Needle
Threading the Needle
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

(Switched to a new name) :) Exactly. Lynn was a great pickup last year. There are always pitchers coming out of nowhere. And your streaming service is great way to pick up on those gems.

Boomer19
Boomer19
2 years ago

Great post Grey. Love the pitcher ranks! Was offered Austin Meadows for Luis Castillo in my 13 team 5×5 Roto league. Who is higher in your top 100? Thanks.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Boomer19
2 years ago

I’d want Meadows

Zig
Zig
2 years ago

My favorite post of the year!

If you had the chance to keep Paddack or Realmuto as your final keeper which would you go for?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Zig
2 years ago

Paddack

Succos Baseball
Succos Baseball
2 years ago

Grey,

Going for the 3-peat in my 12 team mixed H2H keeper league with OBP instead of AVG, QS instead of W. We keep at round value and can keep for 3 total years, initial draft year and 2 additional years. Our draft is 25 rounds, I traded away my 3rd round pick, but have an additional 8th round pick. I don’t know my exact draft location, but probably in the 9-12 ballpark. I’m debating my last keeper, here is my situation:

Locks:
Mike Trout -1, last year
Ronald Acuna – 10, last year
Blake Snell – 16, last year

Debates:
Adalberto Mondesi – 15, last year
Chris Paddack – 14, 2 years left
Sonny Gray – 18, 2 years left
Bo Bichette – 13, 2 years left

Main debate is Mondesi vs Paddack.

Thanks!

Succos Baseball
Succos Baseball
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Yea, 1 more. Thanks, I was leaning Mondesi as well.

Big Ticket
Big Ticket
2 years ago

Our league mandates keeping one pitcher. I listened to you and ended up with Flaherty, Bieber, and Glasnow. Seems like Flaherty has higher ceiling and Bieber higher floor. Am I thinking about that right? Or is there room for Bieber to take another step forward?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Big Ticket
2 years ago

I’d keep Flaherty..

Big Ticket
Big Ticket
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

Yeah that’s my plan, but was hoping to get under the hood a bit more on those guys

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
2 years ago

Now THIS is a freaking actionable top 20 SP list!!! Can’t argue with anything either. Give me all the Giolito Sonny (unexpected!) and Paddack.

Who’s the odd man out from the below keeper list? (Can only keep 7 of these 8). 12 team roto weekly lineups and limited FAAB (only $100, no $0 moves) . . . so quality starts on a week to week basis have more value, since streaming is very difficult to do. Thanks!

-$50 Yelich (he was drafted last year for $47, but now finished even better than the year prior. He would also be the only top 20 bat available at the auction).
– $16 Story
– $29 Acuna
– $7 Eloy
– $8 Villar
– $34 Scherzer (would go for ~$50)
– $12 Glasnow
– $7 Matt Chapman

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
2 years ago

I’d throw back Glasnow.

happyhartry
happyhartry
2 years ago

Hey Grey, Good stuff as usual!! 10 team, H2H, Auction redraft..Can keep up to $50. I was leaning toward the first seven players listed, stopping at Berrios…Not keeping JoRam. What do you think?
Omar Narvaez C | MIL – $1
Francisco Lindor SS | CLE – $21
Anthony Rendon 3B | LAA – $3
Mookie Betts OF | BOS – $9
Shane Bieber SP | CLE – $9
James Paxton SP | NYY – $3
Jose Berrios SP | MIN – $4
Jose Ramirez 3B | CLE – $9
Franmil Reyes OF | CLE – $9
Raisel Iglesias RP | CIN – $1
Eddie Rosario OF | MIN – $17

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  happyhartry
2 years ago

Top 7 for me.

bigbear
bigbear
2 years ago

My favorite post of the whole year! Your daily recaps are a delight, but the SP rankings are awesome! Thanks G!

My teams last year we filled with Flaherty, Bieber, Buehler, Giolito, Paddack, Stras, Castillo. Thinking Darvish, Severino, and Gray will be catching my fall this year. Hoping for two in the Gio-Paddack tier and a trust fall into the arms of Yu/Sevy/Gray. BTW – You should change that tier to “You sexy Grey”.

Sadly, this dinosaur will probably go Morton’s career not owning him. It not you or him. It’s me. I’m also for letting the fat kid keep his food.

We need to have a moment of silence for Kershaw. … … … He’s been the poster boy for the ‘ranked too high to draft’ SP philosophy for years.

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I’ve “punted” top SPs for years. When I found Razzball it was like a homecoming. I’m not nearly as good at picking the breakouts as you are though. That’s what keeps me in the nest! Those picks were me at Piggly Wiggly with your shopping list and some minor tweaks. SPs are your wheel-house!

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Well you certainly were spot on with quite a few guys last year but looking back at your rankings I see you had Sonny Gray (102), Soroka (106), DeSclafani (107), Lance Lynn (108), Mike Minor (110), Fried (121), Boyd (124), Stroman (128), Odorizzi (131), Lamet (135), Giolito (144) with projections of 8-12, 4.66, 1.46 132 in 156 ip. Most of your readers were not drafting those guys based on those rankings and they certainly weren’t touching Giolito.

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I only play DC’s these days with the draft and hold format so picking up is never an option.

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

I only play DC’s these days with the draft and hold format so as you say you need to draft the SP’s right especially when picking up in the season is never an option.

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Well those guys after a 100 certainly would have made a formidable staff.

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

One certainly could have put together a formidable pitching staff with those guys last year ranked after 100.

Tom
Tom
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

OK

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

This is the year you have to draft top starters.

Or not.

Snacks Zillion
Snacks Zillion
Reply to  bigbear
2 years ago

Greys daily re-caps are the best-

michael
michael
2 years ago

Keep 5, $260 start. OPS and QS league

Yelich – $40
Torres – $25
Springer – $20
Semien – $8
Gray – $8
Robert – $5

I’m thinking Yelich, Torres, Springer, Robert, and maybe Gray?

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  michael
2 years ago

Yelich, Springer, Semien, Gray, Robert

hip hop panda
hip hop panda
2 years ago

Favorite day of the year!!! Thanks!

Got offered Paddack and Osuna for my Alvarez. Thoughts?

Charlie
Charlie
2 years ago

Gray,

In my keeper league one owner is looking to jumpstart his team with talent since his team is a bit lacking. I’ve already determined my keepers and know which players I’m throwing back into the pool to be drafted.

Would you recommend me trading Scherzer + one of the players I wasn’t going to keep for Flaherty?

I know it’s crazy trading away Scherzer, but you have Flaherty rated higher than Scherzer and in a keeper league Flaherty is much younger.

I took a look at rankings around fantasy baseball to see if I can take advantage of someone not using your superior knowledge, and every other place has Scherzer rated higher than Flaherty so I thought maybe I could use that as a selling point. “Well (insert shitty publication) has Scherzer rated much higher than Flaherty plus I’ll throw in one of my non keepers.”

Thoughts?

Prettay, Prettaaay, pretty good
Prettay, Prettaaay, pretty good
Reply to  Charlie
2 years ago

Do the trade. Almost always better to be on the right side of the aging curve, but particularly in a keeper league

Peacecoast
Peacecoast
Reply to  Charlie
2 years ago

ya do it

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

Thanks Gray and others!! I’ll send him a text and see if I can get him to bite.

Prettay, prettaaay, pretty good
Prettay, prettaaay, pretty good
2 years ago

Grey,

I’m hoping January Grey is also the most philosophical Grey. I’m in a keeper league where I can keep 6 at their contract price.

Typically I favor hitters over pitchers as keepers and never keep closers. However this year I am tempted by a couple of closers at favorable contracts.

Context: Trout goes for $65 and Chapman $25 typically

I’m already keeping:
Meadows $4
Eddie Rosario $12
Rendon $28
Bieber $12

Need to keep two more of:
Hader $12
Yates $6
Hiura $12
Suarez $13

What say you January Grey? SAGNOF forever! Or keep a closer or two?

Also, For those new to the site, I think your pitching rankings and philosophy are the secret to winning your league and somehow most people still haven’t picked up on it. Your writing is awesome Grey, as well as your advice.

Matty
Matty
Reply to  Prettay, prettaaay, pretty good
2 years ago

Assuming that’s Eugenio Suarez?
Just had a shoulder procedure, they say he should be ready “near the beginning of the season” but worth noting as you come into the season.

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  Prettay, prettaaay, pretty good
2 years ago

I’d keep Suarez definitely. Probably Hiura too. If you go the CL route, I’d lean toward Yates.

JAscher
JAscher
2 years ago

In Grey we trust!!!

The fantasy baseball bible is back!!!

5 keeper, 27 round keeper league.
Including corner and middle infield 5 outfield spots and 2 UTIL.

Have Acuña and Hoskins in the 21st
Eloy in the 24th

Need two of the following 5, all 27th round keepers…
Sean Manaea, Scott Kingery, Wander Franco, Jo Adell and Hansel Robles…

Leaning towards Adell given his unreal talent and path to play and not sure who else…

Thoughts?

NUX
NUX
Reply to  JAscher
2 years ago

I’d go Adell and Kingery. Wander is the truth! But he is too far away in a just a Keep 5 league. Good luck in 2020!

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  NUX
2 years ago

Agree with NUX and his new spelling of his name..hehe

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

Whats NXT? NXM?

Coolwhip
Reply to  NUX
2 years ago

haha… the new edgy name. i like it.

Steve-O
Steve-O
2 years ago

Keep 4 in 10 team H2H league…. 21 Rounds

Cole – Round 2
Rendon – Round 3
Acuña – Round 7
Flaherty – Round 7
Baez – Round 9
Bieber – Round 13
Buehler – Round 19
Soler – Round 21

If I want both Acuña and Flaherty, I can keep Acuna in Round 6

Who ya keeping?

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
Reply to  Steve-O
2 years ago

I would go with

Acuna
Buehler
Bieber
Baez

michael
michael
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

ya this

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

Agree with MP.

Peacecoast
Peacecoast
Reply to  Malicious Phenoms
2 years ago

nah it’s HTH so I would take Soler instead of Baez

Homer's got the Runs
Homer's got the Runs
Reply to  Steve-O
2 years ago

Just on round for round value I would keep Acuna, Flaherty, Bieber and Buehler. I then would go heavy on hitting at the draft. If there was a change because of not wanting 3 pitchers I like Buehler in the 19th more than Flaherty in the 7th. More bang for your buck.

Jonny Baseball
Jonny Baseball
2 years ago

As a Geologist I approve this article.

TC
TC
2 years ago

15 keep, 10 team league, standard categories. Over 6 years of league I have four of these pitchers. Keeper round is locked and I can keep them as long as I want. Obviously Scherzer is first to try and trade, based on his round. The others are great value. What level hitter would be a fair return for Scherzer? Thanks
Scherzer round 2
Cole round 6
Clevinger round 7
Corbin round 14

Dave D
Dave D
2 years ago

While your comments about top pitching is historically true, I think if the ball is juiced again it may be worth being more top heavy on arms.

That being said I think you comment about Glasnow helping a team win a championship last year is totally untrue. I drafted him in several leagues, including our Razzball DC, and he harmed me more than he helped me by being injured 2/3 of the year and giving me only 60IP. In a draft and hold that is devastating. If Glasnow was healthy I would have walked away with the league title in our league, yes, but he was INJURED.

For some reason people this year are dismissing or completely overlooking Glasnows injury and, I believe, a body type that is more prone to injury. Sure, I like him when healthy, but his current ADP doesn’t consider his big risk at that ADP. Maybe you consider that in your rankings though since he’s not top 20 here. But you did mention him falsely as an asset in 2019 IMO.

Jonny Stash
Jonny Stash
Reply to  Dave D
2 years ago

I agree about Glasnow. Forearm strain last year…yikes town. One season over 150innings total. I was trying to find an injury history on him but couldn’t find anything. I’ve seen Pirates fans call him GlassNow when he was traded to the Rays.
As a Rays fan I hope he stays healthy but as fantasy baseball GM I wouldn’t over pay for him.

Cram It
Cram It
Reply to  Dave D
2 years ago

Agreed, Glasnow only threw 60 IPs.

He had a forearm strain, I don’t know if I’d necessarily correlate that with his body type. If he was shorter, maybe. But I am concerned about his workload this year, coming off of the injury and yet to throw more than 111 innings yet. What’s his ADP going at currently? Because I am definitely in on him as a high-end #3.

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Cram It
2 years ago

I still have trauma from JR Richard dying in my early baseball fan years. Big men appear more prone to health negatives.

Dave D
Dave D
Reply to  Grey
2 years ago

You would be very disappointed in me if it were 1979 because I would definitely draft him before #50 overall. You would be ridiculing me and I would shake it off with a gleeful sh*t-eating grin.