The 2018 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link. Why are you lifting your computer? Not literally under that link! Okay, you’re thick like a CVS receipt folded in half twelve times. In years past, the top 40 starters is a mix of guys I like and don’t like. Like a high cholesterol cow, it’s about half and half. This year, I really had to struggle to find guys that I didn’t want to draft in the top 40 starters. In the end, there were six starters in this top 40 starter post I was less okay, and more amscray. Each fantasy team needs about six starters total, so tell me again why you need to draft starters early? There’s a ton of them, like, this is simple math. So, simple, there’s no actual number and just ‘a ton.’ As with past rankings, my tiers and projections are included for the low, low price of $19.99! Kidding, they’re free. The oxygen you need to live while reading them is gonna cost you though. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:
STARTERS, UH, STARTED IN TOP 20 STARTERS FOR 2018 FANTASY BASEBALL
21. Alex Wood – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Wacha. I call this tier, “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP.” I considered putting all the guys in this tier in the shruggle tier in the top 20 starters, just as I considered putting some of those guys in this tier. This tier (stutterer!) has problems getting to 200 IP. There’s a chance for Wood to finally put together a 200 IP season. He is only going to be 27 years old and he had one year of 189 2/3 IP. The knock on Wood is you need to knock on Wood every time he takes the mound, and pray he stays healthy and in the rotation. With Tom Koehler as the long man in the Dodgers’ bullpen, there’s a chance Wood even gets bumped at some point. So, what’s a bumped Wood? On the knotty pine. 2018 Projections: 11-7/3.34/1.11/168 in 174 IP
22. Luis Castillo – Already gave you my Luis Castillo sleeper. It shouted “oof” louder than a tennis player. I also talk about Castillo in the video, though my pronunciation of Ka-STEEL-Yo might be Terr-A-Bull, yo. 2018 Projections: 12-8/3.54/1.09/194 in 189 IP
23. Masahiro Tanaka – Already gave you my Masahiro Tanaka sleeper. It was drawn on the back of a menu and used as payment at a cafe in Paris. 2018 Projections: 14-9/3.49/1.14/205 in 194 IP
24. Sonny Gray – Here’s the weird thing about starters. The top 20 was kinda bleh. I wasn’t really excited about drafting any of them as my 1st starter. A 2nd and third starter, though? I wanna draft, like, ten of them. When you skip over the first ten or so starters in a draft this is bound to happen. You’re building your fantasy staffs with this post and the next twenty starters. By the way, a fantasy staff isn’t Gandalf’s cane for those just joining us. As for Gray, so handsome! Wait, I either misspelled my own name or–Oh, Sonny Gray! Right, yeah, I hate The House They Built In The Parking Lot Across From The House Ruth Built for pitchers, and the AL East isn’t terrific, but Gray is like Keuchel with actual good stuff. 2018 Projections: 14-9/3.47/1.19/171 in 190 IP
25. Lance McCullers – Last year I put McCullers in the top 20 overall (then when he was injured in the spring, I moved him to 28th). If his luck was neutral and he stayed healthy, he would’ve made good on that top 20 ranking. As it were, he only threw 118 2/3 IP with a 4.25 ERA, but a 3.17 xFIP. Yet — again with some stank — YET!, I still believe. His K/9 is 10.2 in 325 1/3 IP in his career and he’s only 24 years old. One of these years, McCullers will be a top 5 starter. My guess is it won’t be this year because he can’t reasonably throw 200 IP this year. (Then again, his great xFIP and Ks might mean he’s a white man’s Pineda; I will call him, Pin Tail On The Donkey.) For those with “parenthetical blindness” don’t have anyone read to you what I wrote back there, it’s not important. 2018 Projections: 10-5/3.42/1.22/164 in 145 IP
26. James Paxton – At 29 years old, has he ever pitched more than 140 IP in the majors? Well, not technically. Okay, not metaphorically either. Taking the mound every five days for a number one should produce around six months of 35 IP per month. Last year Paxton stayed as healthy as he’s ever been, and only pitched more than 35 IP in one month. That’s pretty silly. He could have a 2.20 ERA, 220 K season, and I can’t say that about every pitcher, but that’s an-ant-can-lift-a-rubber-tree-plant high hopes. More than likely you’re going to get a terrific 140 IP with large swathes of time when he’s DL’d. By the way, swathes’ definition: large strips or area of something. Used in a sentence: Everywhere you look in old films of Woodstock, you see vast swathes of grass and bush. 2018 Projections: 13-6/3.09/1.07/165 in 142 IP
27. Luke Weaver – I could’ve wrote a sleeper post for about fourteen of the twenty guys in this top 40, and I nearly did. The hype is squarely on Luis Castillo, and I’m guilty of it too, but Weaver or Castillo? Castillo can throw twenty to thirty more innings this year. So, that’s an extra 30 Ks, and a few more chances for wins. Then again…Cards and Busch are better. Walks? Castillo walks more guys. Ks? Weaver strikes out more. Castillo throws walks as in BBs, but as throws BBs as in fast-as-shizz fastballs. No one gets extra points for velocity in their fantasy league. They both have three pitches, Weaver toys with a fourth. Weaver is younger, Castillo has more experience, so more innings on his arm. Weaver had a 2.93 xFIP last year; Castillo’s was 3.41. Weaver could be a 2.75 ERA pitcher this year with a 9.5 K/9 in 160 IP; Castillo might too. Somehow I’m gonna find a way to own both. The big negative for Weaver vs. Castillo is Weaver’s team could move him out of the rotation, and he’s fra-geel-lay. 2018 Projections: 12-6/3.32/1.12/170 in 158 IP
28. Rich Hill – Difference between Rich Hill in a 12 team league and a 16 team league last year was $2, i.e., he was worth $13 in a 12 teamer, and $15 in a 16 teamer — math! I mention that because if you’re in a deeper league, you should be thinking about replacement player value. If you look at our Steamer pitcher projections that Rudy does, he breaks down rankings for nearly any conceivable league. As I’ve mentioned many times, I use Rudy’s rankings in NL and AL-Only leagues, and deeper than 14 team leagues. In 14 team and shallower, I use strictly my own rankings. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I inherently know my rankings, and have them open in front of me even in deep leagues, just in case. I mostly use Rudy rankings as a check and balance, and to inform my deep picks. His rankings go to about 1350. Yes, thirteen hundred and fiddy. As for Hill, you know what you’re getting. An older Wood — Reclaimed Wood? I bought this 15,000 Types of Wood book, and gosh darn it, I’m using it! 2018 Projections: 11-6/3.14/1.13/155 in 132 IP
29. Jose Berrios – I get the sense I won’t be owning Berrios this year. Not because I don’t like him, I do. Wait, did I just get married to Berrios? Oh, man, I’m a polygamist now, gonna have to put on some magic underpants. I say I don’t think I’m going to own Berrios this year because I’ve seen mock drafts where he’s going before a bunch of guys I have before him. For unstints, if Sonny Gray and Berrios are on the board, I’m obviously taking Gray. This also has a lot to do with how I draft my pitching staff. After the rankings, I’ll go over exactly how I draft a staff, but essentially my first starter drafted is not as safe as what other people will have. Someone will have Scherzer, I’m gonna have, say, Archer. When you draft like that, it’s important to have a bit safer number two. Berrios is not safer. He’s also not Morley Safer. By the way, my uncle tells the same joke every holiday season, “There’s this guy who lost his eye, now it takes him two hours to watch 60 Minutes.” 2018 Projections: 13-9/3.72/1.19/170 in 174 IP
30. Michael Wacha – Already gave you my Michael Wacha sleeper. It was trill without knowing what trill is. 2018 Projections: 14-7/3.61/1.24/176 in 182 IP
31. Kevin Gausman – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Pomeranz. I call this tier, “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers.” By the tier name I mean, I’m rolling the dice with these guys — Baby needs a new pair of shoes! — and baby is going to get some fly Keds or baby is going to be wearing banana peels as slippers, literally. As for Gausman, here’s my Kevin Gausman sleeper. I wrote it while promising myself this would be the last year I predicted a breakout for him. 2018 Projections: 13-9/3.66/1.25/201 in 198 IP
32. Charlie Morton – He’s the Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson of pitchers. Meaning, Morton turned his career around relatively late, and I’m buying in. (As for those hitters, how about the Jays turning around guys? C’mon, Steve Pearce, don’t let us down! Oh, and one more thing about those hitters, I no longer trust two of them, and think they are varying levels of excrement.) What Morton did is even more improbable than those hitters. A pitcher that goes through life as an also-ran to turn it around in his 30’s is rare. One other guy in this post comes to mind, his name rhymes with Bitch Chill. Anyhoo, I’m buying into Morton’s transformation. How about a late-in-career transformation we call The Kaitlyn Jenner? No? Okay. 2018 Projections: 12-8/3.54/1.20/168 in 154 IP
33. Zack Godley – Since this is an ongoing theme in this post, Godley vs. Weaver vs. Castillo? Ends might be similar, means won’t. Godley doesn’t throw very hard, but he keeps the ball down, which should help him in Chase. Plus, giant cigar case. Hmm, I shouldn’t have used a thesaurus there and just said humidor. Live and learnt! It’s learnt, right? Zack Big Guy In the Skyly is another player who could’ve had a sleeper post. Ugh, I want all of these guys. I might get goofy with myself and skip drafting a top 20 starter, and just draft five guys from this top 40. 2018 Projections: 12-9/3.58/1.18/172 in 176 IP
34. Drew Pomeranz – This is weird (not weird), but I think Pomeranz is all but assured a better season than David Price, and has easily backed that up in the last two seasons, but no one is ranking Pomeranz before Price. Told you weird (not weird)! 2018 Projections: 14-9/3.64/1.28/185 in 183 IP
35. Gerrit Cole – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 60 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Even Dave Matthews likes 4:44.” With the tier name I’m talking about Jay Z’s last album, not “almost quarter to 5 o’clock” or some arcane psalm that I don’t know. 4:44 was nominated for a Grammy, people seem to love everything Jay Z touches (raps on), and even Dave Matthews loves his new album. At least I think it’s Dave Matthews. Fast forward to 3:30 on this video. Is Dave Matthews now an intern at Complex? I’m so confused by that video, the hype about 4:44 and people drafting these pitchers. As for Cole, I gave you my Gerrit Cole fantasy when he was traded. The gist of that: The Story of O.J. is a solid track, and Cole might string a few months of O.J. together, but if I wanted an introspective, meditative Hova, I’d convert to Buddhism and fire up the post-Muslim conversion Big Daddy Kane. 2018 Projections: 13-10/3.78/1.23/181 in 195 IP
36. Jake Arrieta – Here’s what I wrote when he signed– Oh, that’s right, he didn’t sign yet, because Scott Boras went on a winter vacation to Luxembourg, so he could launder money at the Paradise Papers Laundromat & Dry Cleaning. At this stage in Arrieta’s career, I don’t see his value changing much no matter where he signs. If he goes to Miller Park, Chase or Coors, then I’ll lower him a little, but I see no way I raise him up outside of a move to Petco, which doesn’t seem likely, because the Padres are playing for 2020, then, in 2020, they’ll be playing for 2023. UPDATE: Signed with Phillies, here’s my Jake Arrieta fantasy. 2018 Projections: 13-9/3.71/1.25/174 in 182 IP
37. Marcus Stroman – He has an uncanny ability of keeping the ball down. Maybe because he’s five-five. He’d have to stuff a phone book into his cleats to get the ball up, and I’m not sure that’s within regulations. By the way, I like to think ‘regulations’ is doing gulations again. “You got to gulation again? That’s regulations.” That’s me talking nonsense. Like Jay Z, I may go back in on any of these guys if they drop something worth my time. I’m not done with any of them forever. Well, maybe Arrieta, but I could see returning to Stroman, fo’ sho. He needs to raise his K/9 from its current 7.3 range, before I even consider it. 2018 Projections: 11-12/3.62/1.28/169 in 206 IP
38. Kyle Hendricks – Another name for this tier could’ve been “Being overdrafted for a 7 to 8 K/9 guy.” Of course that isn’t nearly as interesting or confusing as Dave Matthews liking 4:44. Hendricks isn’t bad (I’m sure Dave Matthews agrees), but he’s started walking more guys last year, doesn’t strike out enough, relies a lot on grounders while also giving up home runs, and was lucky last year to have a 3.03 ERA. Honestly, I’m more uninterested in Hendricks than actively despising him. Apathy ain’t a good look, though. 2018 Projections: 13-8/3.54/1.24/156 in 178 IP
39. Madison Bumgarner – He should be healthy to start the year, assuming he doesn’t enter a BMX bike jumping competish, carpool to work with Jeff Kent or T.J. Lavin or be like, “Yo, Sandoval, jump on my pegs and let’s parkour on my bike.” That means 200+ innings, 2.85-ish ERA and a 9.5+ K/9. I don’t know about you, but even if I were in the habit of drafting top starters, the health risk alone is enough for me to ward off the willies. “Ward off the willies” is my new favorite phrase that means nothing, but you can infer a meaning. UPDATE: I only wish he fractured his hand after every single person drafted, because I knew I was never drafting him. Terrible thing to say? Perhaps, but I’m not the poor snook who was still drafting him after I said for the last three months to not draft him. I even put him in a tier originally in the top 20 starters that said, DO NOT DRAFT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Okay, not in that tall of a font, but the sentiment was all over that tier. I said specifically, “This is just like the above tier, and I will be avoiding it, but rather than the above guys who I actually like, just won’t draft, I do not like the guys in this tier, and would never draft them at their price. So, while I wouldn’t draft the above guys, I really wouldn’t draft these guys. Got it? Cool.” And that’s me quoting me! Of course, I can’t claim prescience that I knew he’d be hit by a comebacker, but will I anyway? Hmm… So, I’ve dropped him in the rankings, and adjusted his projections accordingly. 2018 Projections: 11-6/3.21/1.13/153 in 148 IP
40. David Price – I picture David Price having a stand-off with Dennis Eckersley. Only instead of an Old West stand-off with pistols or an old WWE stand-off with steel chairs, they’re staring at each other singing Man In the Mirror, asking each other to change their ways. “No, you take a look at yourself and make the change!” “No, you got to stop yourself and make that change!” Price’s stats last year weren’t awful, but there also wasn’t a lot of them due to elbow stiffness. Elbow stiffness makes my pee-pod flaccid. 2018 Projections: 10-3/3.72/1.18/124 in 120 IP
Machado will begin the season as the starting SS. Does this change your top 10 rankings where he was listed at 8? 3b is deep. Thx
Two hours to watch 60 minutes . . . LOL!!
Great articles as always…I’m in a H2H 10 team dynasty points league w 7 keepers. Curious to get your take on how you’d approach the first 3 rounds. My keepers are
Also have Acuna if you like him over Buxton w it being a dynasty league w indefinite keepers. Would you go hitter heavy (best available will be like Justin Turner, Devers, Gordon type) or solidify pitching (top 20 will be kept)
I can see it now… passing on every SP that gets nominated in my auction and ending up with a pure dollar menu staff.
Ah well… always wanted to try the 90/10% split anyway and see how far I can climb out of a ditch.
(got Arrieta, McCullers, A.Wood and a slew of others off waivers the last 5 years)
Are these guys worth keeping at these salaries: Carrasco $24, McCullers $16, Paxton $17? Thanks!
Number of teams matters, but those prices sound about right
Dynasty points league: Clevinger and Kelvin Herrera for Maeda and Colin Moran? What side you like?
Wasn’t sure how to bring the Carlos Gonzalez comment over here. What would you rank him in OFs?
Would you trade Cueto to acquire an OF from the Hoskins-Mancini tier?
In a second
Why so hatred towards Johnny? Dudes dad is ill!
I have no leagues with an Empathy category.
@Grey: people forget what a human piece of shit cueto is with his cleats to the heads and backs of people over the years. kinda guy if you believed in “karma” this would be the kind of comeuppance that would be appropriate. i don’t believe in karma, but it’s certainly hard to feel bad for anything that might happen to a guy such as him.
Shelby Miller wins Arbitration case! First win since April. He’ll get $4.9 mil to do nothing but rehab.
12 team, 6×6, head to head auction, keepers increase $5 every year For sure Mookie – 32 / Springer – 25 / Benintendi – 10 / Corey seager – 16 / Rendon – 28 / Devers – 5 Would you drop any for a $16 Robbie Ray
In a 12 team 5×5 H2H which side do you prefer;
Votto and Hand or Hosmer and Wacha?
I guess for this exercise we have to assume Hosmer does land somewhere that isn’t Japan.
Hosmer but very close
I’ll assume similar sentiment for E3 and Abreu in Hosmers place.
Yeah, same same
Reading through these posts (slightly erect, no homo) makes me really want to keep Robbie Ray.
I have him as a 19th rounder – but we have a 4 keeper max – and with Altuve (7), Rizzo (9), Jose Ramirez (14), and Aaron Judge (23), there’s just no room right?
I know the answer to this question, but sometimes I just need to vent about fantasy baseball since my wife stopped listening to me.
New slogan is what? Vent here when you’re wife tunes you out?
You have no room for Ray
Do you really want your wife listening to you about Fantasy baseball though?
No, that’s why he’s here!
@Grey: More like Razzball: When your wife stops listening to you about fantasy baseball, you’ll always have strangers on the internet. Amen.
Although at this point we’re all slightly more than strangers. Having a first child in April, I’m doing my best to have her middle name be Razzball affliated, something from the glossary at least. Free T Shirt if I fax over a birth certificate with confirmation?
Julia SAGNOF Erad doesn’t sound bad to me
Grey, in a 12 team dynasty keep all with 6 reserves for DL and prospects, I was offered a trade from a guy who needs pitching. I won the league with 11 or 12 points in the pitching cats last year.
His Inciarte and Odor.
My M.Taylor, Gennett and K. Hendricks.
I was low last year in SB’s so Odor over Gennett helps. I see the trade as Gennett and Hendricks for Odor basically. All the ratio guys are FA’s like Miller, Betances and Devenski, not much except streamers for SP’s. So I would have one open spot that I would keep that way for now. What do you think?
You have a number of guys like Castillo and Weaver who have had flashes of greatness, are unproven over a whole season, and will not break 170 innings. Great guys, they have excellent pitching skills, I have them in my dynasty pool, I love them.
Enter Jon Gray, who has just the right number of major league innings under his belt where he should really start clicking in 2018, he arguably has a better pitching repertoire than Castillo and Weaver, especially a fantastic breaking ball, and he could pitch 200 innings easily, BUUUUUUT he pitches at Coors. That is a big BUT and I totally understand the knock down in his ranking.
But rankings are rankings, they are linear and cannot tell the whole story. At the end of 2018, assuming all the above are healthy, Gray stands a real chance outperforming Weaver and Castillo, he MAY have a higher ERA, but those extra 30 innings above 170 and the established stamina will help him rack up more Ks and Wins. Would you agree? Or have you knocked Gray down for other reasons aside from a Coors effect?
I would agree on Gray, but he’ll be harder to stomach so you really starting Gray 220 IP if he gets them all?
@Grey: It may be a stretch to assume Gray gets 200 plus innings after being out last year. He’s never gone more than 176 in a season, counting minor league innings. Plus with Rockies aiming for postseason if he gets 200 regular season innings how many more will he have to pitch in playoffs. Not saying he gets shut down but I could see them somewhat concerned about innings count and managing his innings accordingly. Whereas Castillo was shut down at the end of last year because of innings. He’s a safe bet to get all of 185-190 as a natural progression from the last 2 years.
I’m not projecting him for 200+ IP
@Grey: I know, I meant the reader.
Didn’t Jon Gray do better at home than on the road? Dude loves the challenge. GAMER! And dude took DeGrom’s flowing locks
I’d take Gray over Wacha, Morton; probably Godley too
He could do well at home, but are you trusting him to start him every time out?
I don’t trust anyone with the name Gray.
Hey me either!
But yours is spelled differently so it doesn’t apply. I also don’t trust anyone with the last name Cruise, but I would trust Penelope Cruz with my life.
All great points!
Love the Weaver love! (no not you Jered, the young one that doesn’t look like a troll)
You eluded to it in the Godley blurb but I’ve been seriously considering punting pitchers until this tier in my 12 team league. Is it too risky to roll with a staff of guys like Tanaka, Castillo, Weaver, and Morton?
Yeah, it could work…But just like drafting Scherzer *could* work…
@swaggerjackers: I think of putting a fantasy staff together in terms of maximizing my last starter. If that last starter is good, then the entire rotation is producing – that is a recipe for success. And while it is really nice to have a true ace, having an ace while having to put in a ratio-killer at the bottom of your rotation is usually not a recipe for success.
Please talk me off a cliff:
Just was offered Machado, Kueche,l Margot and a 16th round pick (which is 6th round) for Trout.
Dynasty league and can keep 10 players for a max of 5 years. Machado, Kuechel and Trout all have 3 years left and Margot has 4.
I cant accept that can I?
It’s great to be back to having something to read every morning.
I’m a little concerned with my dynasty pitching going into the season (5×5 H2H). At the moment my “aces” are Hill and Pomeranz.
Can I build a staff from here? Is there still hope for me? Should I start jettisoning bats for arms? Is it time to play for 2020 and in 2020 play for 2023?
Can you add some context around the “he was worth $17 in a 12 teamer, and $15 in a 16 teamer” math?
What are you meaning with these values? Why is he more valuable in a lower team league, and why does that matter?
Anyone this year creating that beautiful draft day offline spreadsheet with all of Grey’s rankings? I’ve used it during draft for 3 straight years, and it’s amazing. Thanks in advance.
@Humm Baby: I am looking forward to that too. I think it usually comes out after all the rankings are complete.
@LenFuego: I don’t think Grey or Razzball creates one. I believe it’s usually an excel-smart commenter that volunteers. I wish I knew excel well enough.
A commenter makes it, so if someone makes it I’ll put it up on the site
@Humm Baby: I think Rudy used to maintain it, and commenter Hot Rod took it over last year. I do hope he is back with it this year – he added a few nice things to it last year.
Which side? Rizzo $16, Pham $8 or Trea Turner $4
I’m in 10 team mixed H2H 6×5 auction league.
Pham for $8 for sure. Definitely not Turner in this situation….
Wood could be the bump on a log?
Don’t put a prestain on him
@Grey: Ive seen both arguments for his usage. My gut says he will start and get skipped from time to time and have some mystery DL stints but what does my belly know. It wanted Hometown Buffet one time and I ended up in the ER with food poisoning
That you were able to live through Hometown Buffet is a feat, don’t sell yourself short
@Grey: I need a “I survived Hometown Buffet” T-shirt
Haha, why don’t they sell these? Missed opportunity!
@Grey: I still want to make a “I wrote for Razzball and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt”
And on the back, “And I was one of the people who was paid!”
@Grey: barely….I wrote for free for almost two years
HAHA, but you joined a loving community!
Yeah my email fight with Tehol after my third baseball post was all love
@J-FOH: honestly I enjoyed it more when I did it for free. The money changed it
Damn, just like sex!
I thought it was the other way around because you dont care how they feel about the sample size nor the duration. They probably prefer it to be over faster
You make good points, JFOH.
Now if I could just get people to not over draft Tommy Pham
You high on Ed-Rod this year? Big step forward?
He’s injured, out a few months
@Grey: O that sucks. Mid season pick up maybe then.
Yup, or late DL pick
Just want to say thanks a ton for doing these rankings on a yearly basis – they are my main resource for my leagues, which start drafting in late January. Much appreciated.
Did my first half-mock, trying to simulate with my likely keepers* and my draft slot (12th). This squad seems a little too young, but the projections like it and so do I. Thoughts?
Util Edwin E.
Yeah, super sexy half a team
@Grey: Thanks February Grey. Those players should all be available in our draft this year, and I think I can land a Bregman/Hoskins combo at the turn. First rd this year for us is like first rd in re-draft league up to about pick #10 so I’ll likely miss out on the true top 20 overall types.
Thank you for these rankings, i always look forward to yours the most!
I have an interesting offer on the table,
i would Get Mazara and Dahl and give up Carrassco and G. Richards.
This is a h2h 16 team keeper (keep 18 forever). My current OF is kinda crowded but it may be nice to inject some young talent into it. Currently i have the following OF on my roster: Betts, Braun, Brantley, A. Jones, A. Garcia, D. Peralta, D. Fisher, A. Hayes. As you can see i have a mix of young/old.
My current SP worth keeping are Kershaw, Verlander, Carrassco, C. Mart, Richards, Berrios, E. Rodgriguez. Is it worth trading two good keeper SP for the two young OF then use my surplus OF’s to then trade for some lesser SP?
Looking for some keeper advice. 12 team ESPN points league. Can keep 8 by round forever. Can keep guys in same round, just moves to next round.
I’m keeping Goldy 1st, Arenado 2nd , Sale 2nd, JD Martinez 4th
Which other 4 which you go with?
Nelson Cruz- 6th
Michael Taylor- 30th
Segura, C. Taylor, Cruz, Gallo
After the Yelich trade is Domingo a bench/platoon bat now? I had him as a keeper but if he is not an everyday player can’t keep him now. Other options I could keep would be:
Daniel Murphy (could trade for him easily)
He’s a platoon guy for now… I have guys above him now in my rankings…
Luis Castillo for Gleyber Torres straight up? thoughts? (my rotation is very thin…only James Paxton to work with and I have Arenado & Correa blocking Torres)…
Mainly just wanting to see if my Avatar works….That Dave Matthews intern video was hilarious though HA.
It takes about 30 minutes to appear the 1st time
@Grey: that’s what she said!
Thanks… that range is for Standard leagues, no? So I should cut that in half for AL Only?
Oh, yes, that would be mixed league… So, 25-30
I’m in an AL Only 1 year keeper league, 3 players total. Meaning whomever I draft (really whoever’s on my roster at year’s end that I didn’t keep from last year) can be kept for 2019. I’m wondering how this affects Ohtani re: draft ranking. In other words, I’m not expecting too much from him this year, but I’m wondering if a year acclimating to the MLB game and building up his innings will lead to a major breakout in 2019. With that in mind, do I reach a little for him over his current ADP? (yahoo league if that matters). I guess the same question applies for him as a hitter as well….
@omar: I could see going for him around top 50-60
Thanks… that range is for Standard leagues, no? So I should cut that in half for AL Only?
Dave Matthews, yes!!!!
@The Biz: It is him, right?
Our 16 team league requires us to keep one pitcher.
DeGrom (round #3) or Nola (round #9) ?
@Teddy BB: Nola
I own Arenado in a 10-team, H2H keeper league. There is a week of pre-draft trading next week, and I have an offer of Bryant and a 3rd round pick for Arenado. I really enjoy owning Arenado, but is Bryant and a pick too much to pass up? Thanks.
@CO Jason: I’d take Bryant and a 3rd rounder
No Jon Lester…hmmmm
@Gigorilla: Cowboy Jon from the old MTV Real World
@Grey: Jon Hamm?
@Grey: Jon the guy who lives next door to you who always asks you if you have hot water?
Don’t you mean, Lil Jon?
@Grey: John Jacob Degromerschmidt. His name is my name too.
Okay, this is weird, but that’s also my name.
@Grey: I wouldn’t draft lester ever
Neither would I
This is a Rudy comment really but wanted to check in about Ozzie Albies on the 2018 Player Rater. At $-14.2 he’s just ten spots or so above Clay Buchholz. That can’t be right…?
@knucks: ^^^ Please ignore. Had the 2017 Player Rater up. User Error!!
Albies is at $8.8
In dynasty league, keep 15 players a year, i was planning on keeping Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Gio….you have me second guessing myself now. I have Morton, Wacha, who you obviously have over Cole and Gio. Any suggestions? (The top 15 is who i was planning on keeping). Great stuff as always!
1 Mike Trout
2 Francisco Lindor
3 J.D. Martinez
4 Dee Gordon
5 Domingo Santana
6 Jonathan Schoop
7 Justin Verlander
8 Craig Kimbrel
9 Wil Myers
10 Travis Shaw
11 Khris Davis
12 Gerrit Cole
13 Roberto Osuna
14 Salvador Perez
15 Gio Gonzalez
16 Ian Desmond
17 Ryan Zimmerman
18 Ender Inciarte
19 Michael Wacha
20 Charlie Morton
21. Jeff Samardzjia
@inferiorhippo: Cole has upside in future, Gio I would not keep for Wacha
@Grey: Ok great, thanks Grey. No one in my league wants to buy high on Gio, i’ve been trying to deal him for the last 3 months
Where is Severino?
@Randy: How many burgers you drive in that belly there today Randy?
@knucks: Sorry…I completely missed him. Thanks.
If I have to keep Scherzer and Ray (6 keepers) in a H2h Cat league, when would you consider drafting your next SP? Would you wait until after pick 200?
@Ghost Ride the WHIP: Nah, prolly around 120
I have deGrom and Thor in a dynasty league because both of their owners sold super low on them this off-season. 12 team keep forever with escalating prices. Both are fairly priced. However, I need to get to 1800 IP. Would you flip them for starters you have ranked lower? Let’s say if I could get Wacha and Godley for one of them. I don’t need to cut salary but they are a good chunk of change together. Currently my staff is: Thor, deGrom, Nola, Quintana, McCullers, Nelson, Duffy, Weaver, Reyes, Aaron Sanchez, and I plan to drop Ivan Nova but we’ll see where you rank him.
@Jensen: If they’re cheap, I could see keeping them, but you haven’t told me their price
@Grey: $16 for deGrom, $21 for Thor ($260 auction) Wacha and Godley tier is mostly $1-$4 guys.
Sound like solid prices for them
@Grey: Yeah, I think they are both pretty fair. So guessing no then, you wouldn’t flip one of them for say two guys from the Alex Wood tier.
Someone is not as high as others on Salazar.
I don’t see Salazar in many peoples top 40. I like him though. As a ballplayer and as a man.
“I never had a 10 but one night I had 5 twos” – George Carlin and my 2018 pitching staff
Thanks Grey. I’m trying to parse through these SP rankings to find the equivalent of the 2017 “click yo’ mouse… time to draft” tier and I’m just not seeing one. Is this just reflective of how yawnstipating pitchers have become? Seems like the guys who are good & reliable are way overpriced, and the guys who are fine are super boring, and the guys who are upsidey are risky as hell.
I’m in a 10-team H2H category league with weekly match-ups, so around what tier would be comfortable taking your first SP? I never go for aces, but streaming constantly is a big ol’ time-suck, so I’d like to have a couple SP2’s to roll with.
@I Have Terrible News for You: I like a bunch of guys in this post… SPs are down tho overall after last year… I’d be comfortable with a guy from Archer’s tier…
From Wacha to Pomeranz, that cluster I think is a tad high – except maybe Gausman, he tickles my prostate. Not crazy bout any of those fools. I could easily see Morton getting bumped from rotation for Peacock if he has a couple rough starts.
No Cueto yet, no Duffy, no Fulmer…will be interested to see where they end up.
@Justin: Haha, prostate/Peacock, I see what you did there
Don’t stop with your Jay-Z impression. Fantastic!
I’m warming up to Pomeranz. And I’m souring more and more on Hendricks/Arrieta/Lester. All had velocity drop last year. Not by a small margin either. You want me to list them? Dammit, ok. Hendricks 2 mph down, Arrieta 1.6 mph down, Lester 1 mph down. What the hell are the cubs doing? Will the firing of Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio stop the decline? Too much fried chicken? I don’t get it. I keep looking up Cubs pitchers and its all declining. Mike Montgomery, sweet ginger of my dreams, down. Quintana, stayed the same…but I bet if you looked at velocity with splits from ChiSox to Cubs its down, I just don’t have the aptitude to do it. Wade Davis down. Pedro Strop up. Nevermind.
Ha, thanks! Plus, last year with the new placement of the radar guns, everyone gained a mile on their velocity, so if you lost 2 miles, you actually lost 3
Does this apply to the radar gun at Chucky Cheese?
No, that would’ve been a scandal everyone would’ve heard about
Thank god! My 50 mph heater is legit then
You won that SpongeBob plushie fair and square!
I prefer man doll over plushie
What you do to your plushies is your business.
Auction Keeper League, I’m keeping a $20 Thor, $18 C-Mart, and $1 Alex Reyes to start my staff, what SPs (or tiers) would you recommend I target to round out my staff? I’m thinking someone like a Charlie Morton, Gausman, or Pomeranz is a good #3 starter.
Truthfully, I’d like to snag Cole, but I have a feeling he’s going to get bid up in the auction.
@Jbona3: That works for me
Ahhh. I’m bummed. In my keeper auction league there will likely only be 4 guys available from this list (not counting guys in the Cole tier). Sad emoji….
@Sweatpants Nation: Get one!
@Grey: Or all 4!
Thanks Grey. I know Knucks was asking yesterday about the NFBC 50 player draft and hold 12 teams, and I think Razzball will get a couple leagues together again this year. Last year I played in the league with Cram It and the writer who does pitchers. Anyhoo I decided out of boredom and as a glorified mock to play in two $50.00 slow drafts and a Cutline slow draft. Here is how it is going so far and my thoughts and learning curve. Mostly the pitching part.
Trout, Rizzo, Lindor and Rendon. I was feeling good about all 5 cats and filling 4 different positions. At this point 13 SP’s off the board along with Jansen and Kimbrill.
Round 5& 6 I get CMart and G. Cole.
R7. First mistake, Domingo. Lost out on Paxton,Castillo,Arrieta,Tanaka and 6 closers.
R8,9 I took W. Davis and Baez 2B and SS. I didn’t have a 2BM yet…..
Now here is where I feel I blew it big time.
R 10,11,12, 13. Margot, Rosario,Happ, Mancini. Yes my offense is doing well but…. I lost out on Godley,Lester, Stroman,Wood,Bauer,S. Gray,Cueto, and 6 more closers.
To wrap it up so far I have CMart ,Cole, W. Davis, Bundy, Corbin, Roark, Porcello and Odorizzi.
It gets thin quick. This is thru 24 rounds out of 50. I outsmarted myself with multi-position guys and getting pissed with taking 2 catchers in a row. Dumb! Like I said it was for practice and a learning curve.
@Packers: I’m in a slow draft right now that isn’t even to the 4th round yet after 2 full days. It’s brutal.
I did the NFBC last year, and yes the drafting is brutally brutal. Some guys always used the 8 hours with no auto picks.
Best part was getting to know really deep sleepers and prospects, but I am saving the 3+ weeks of my life this year and passing on it.
@Packers: Thanks for posting, this is right up my ally at the moment, as you know. I’m in Round 7 today of a $50 NFBC. I appreciate all of your retrospective points, as I’m obviously targeting a lot of the same guys that are ON the Greydar.
I got Rendon/Hosmer in round 5 and 6. Took my first closer in Osuna in Round 7. Guy right before me sniped Khris Davis. The snipes in these drafts really hurt after waiting all this time and also having more time to dwell. Anyways, I have no OFs at the moment so I’m prob grabbing Puig in round 8 today, a little early (according to his ADP.) Hoping that Tanaka/Castillo are there for me in Round 9… fingers crossed, as I see they were not for you.
Thinking about grabbing Acuna a bit earlier than his ADP. Wondering where he went in yours…?
@knucks: Acuna went at the end of round 7 in one draft before Puig, with Cutch and Eaton right there, and the other he went in the 11th round with Eaton and Inciarte around him. Any more questions I’ll gladly help for the Razzball nation. I’m in round 20 and round 15 in the other. Still want to see who is drafted from round 35 till the end before I try the $150 leagues.
@Packers: You da man. Really appreciate this info. Good to know about Acuna. I’ll take him if he is there and other targets get sniped. I just took Puig a moment ago at Pick 92.
Only have Verlander as an SP so far and we are getting into the 9th round. Hoping either Tanaka or Castillo is there for me. If not, I might go either Inciarte/Acuna or Brad Hand in the 9th. There was just a run on RPs and I already have Osuna, so not entirely looking forward to drafting Hand, but will do it if those other targets are gone.
Hoping to have a rotation of Verlander/Tanaka/Bauer or Sonny Gray after Round 12 and I’d feel pretty good about that I think.
For starting bats I’ve filled 6/14 slots. I have the 2 Catcher slots, 4 OF slots, 1 MI and 1 Util left to fill. Using Grey’s projection numbers, feeling pretty good with the Power/Speed average I have at this point when I add up all 6 of the bats I have and average them out.
Is there anything you see in my plan in the next couple rounds that appears flawed? Thanks Packers!
@knucks: Knucks, keep in mind you will need 10-12 SP’s, and 5-7 relievers for ratios and to have 9 starters for your active roster. I try to grab a couple set-up relievers. It’s best if you can handcuff a coupe guys like Rodney-Reed who you can wait on. You need at least 3 catchers. Multi positional guys break ties when choosing between two guys. In July and August it gets hard to roster a solid team but everyone is in the same boat. Remember it’s a weekly league for pitchers and hitters you can change out on Fridays. Keep track of hitters parks. Last year I was stuck on 43 saves for like 3 months. Steals can hurt too for SGP’s. !2 staels and 20 saves separated me from 4th to 1st in one league. I finished 3rd in one and 5th in another. Grab a couple ratio guys too.
@Packers: Thanks man. Yea I was reading through the post from Rudy in 2013 which had a lot of this info that your speaking to. I’m going to try and do 4 catchers and like 15 SPs.
I just grabbed Tanaka a minute ago. Castillo (pick 97) and Hand (pick 98) both were picked before my Pick 101. Would have thought both of them would be there over Tanaka at pick 101. Will prob spend my 10th Rounder on Acuna if he is there still at pick 116, then go SP heavy for a while. Which times out kind of perfectly for me with Grey’s posts today and tomorrow. Outside of guys we are pretty sure have jobs right now, the RP darts I’m hoping to snag later are prob Nate Jones and Kela/Diekman, and Tyler Lyons.
Al Koholic and other commenters were on Smokey’s post talking about those guys in the comments a few weeks back.
This may be annoying to those not in our convo here but here is my starters so far after 9 rounds…
OF- Puig, Empty (x4)
P- Verlander, Tanaka, Osuna, Empty (x6)
@Packers: Do I understand this correctly. I can change pitchers out on Mondays (weekly) and hitters on Fridays ONLY? Or on both Monday and Friday for hitters?
@knucks: hitters Monday and Friday. Pitchers just Monday. Ratio I have had in leagues where I have done well is 15-16starters 5 relievers. You want to start 7 guys a week or 6 if you have 3 closers earning saves.
@The Great Knoche: Appreciate it Knoche. Some of the specific settings have been hard to locate at times on the site.
Thanks for the ratio tip, that’s my plan as well.
Recently realized that the ADPs within the draft room are not up to date. Love the website that allows you to set a calendar for ADPs. More realistic and pretty in tune with whats been going on in my draft when I set it to 15JAN-01FEB.
@knucks: scuba went in 8th in one of mine. I had him teed up to draft in 4 more picks too.
@Bterry: acuna *
@Packers: Gotcha, yeah, I’ll be doing an NFBC league for sure that will open up to everyone, and I’m sure Rudy will too, and we’ll try to get a third one going with Ralph
Do you have to win it again Jon Grey?
Thanks Grey. Man, I love Paxton and McCullers and keep drafting them. In a H2H points league should I just stay away or roll the dice again? Thinking Tanaka plus either Wacha or Gausman
@El Marco: No problem, don’t see why I wouldn’t draft them, when I just said in the post I would draft them…This is a trick question?
Not a trick. Was asking in a points league would who hesitate on drafting them?
It’s an illusion! Nope, wouldn’t hesitate drafting them
@Grey: Ha! We all know what a trick is…
What are you thoughts on LD% for pitchers? Wacha is north of 22% last three seasons
Thank you for the great work! Looking forward to another season of religiously reading Razzball
@ThE sHiT: Good to see you!
I gotta ask, and this is a serious question, what is the freakin’ obsession with whether a pitcher throws 200 innings? Is that only a points league thing?
I finished 2nd in pitching in my 12 team weekly 5×5 last year and I only had 3 guys who threw more than 122 innings and only 1 threw more than 165 inning (Stroman had 201,but I actually probably sat him 5 or 6 weeks) … and it was not because of saves that I finished that high (I was 6th there).
@LenFuego: Kinda depends on the league. I play in a league that has innings pitched as a cat so obviously it matters there. IP also leads to more Ks and has a greater impact on ERA and WHIP (assuming low ERA and WHIP it’s poisitve). In some leagues it’s tough to find adequate replacements for guys that are consistently not pitching. Some formats allow for a bigger impact from RP so a guy like Andrew Miller can impact certain categories (the league I’m in it’s tough to play a non-closer RP because their counting stats, specifically Ks and IP, are less than an SP). For example, a guy like Stroman is actually pretty good for me as long as his ERA and WHIP stay low because he gives me IP and more chances at wins (a guy can’t win if he’s not pitching). His lower K/9 rate is less important- it’s more about total Ks. Compare Stroman to the McCullers tier and total Ks is about the same as it is for all those guys because they aren’t projected to pitch as much.
@LenFuego: how did you finish overall?
@Curious George Springer: 4th overall. I was just shy in a lot of batting categories – if I had pulled the trigger on a Josh Donaldson trade that I turned down in late July, I would have easily finished 2nd overall. (The team that finished 1st overall was waaaaaaaay out front.)
Good job responding. However, not a good job finishing 4th.
Not sure why you think anybody wants to get advice from a guy who finished 4th…
Try harder next time kid!
My league has 12 teams, rosters 26 players, and has 1 DL spot. My team last year had McCullers, Paxton, Rich Hill and some others who got injured and I constantly had to analyze whether or not they were worth holding a roster spot for. In the meantime I would miss out on FAs like Alex Wood or Rhys Hoskins because I had all these injured players I was holding. So, in hindsight, I would definitely not roster a bunch of injury-prone players because they messed with my ability to pick up other players. Does that make sense? Anyway, I’m avoiding the McCullers types unless they drop a bunch.
@Justin: Maybe roster depth is the difference. My league rosters 41 players for a standard 23 starter lineup with 2 catchers. (We have that many at least partially to accommodate a rule that allows you to keep up to 5 players if they never made it into your lineup, so owners tend to roster a fair number of minor league players to develop under that rule.)
I also had McCullers and Paxton (2 of my top 4 innings guys), plus some other guys that missed time with injuries, some significant (Aaron Sanchez, Robbie Ray, Jose De Leon, Vince Velazquez), but with the large roster size and some astute FAAB pickups, I was able to fill in with guys like Clevinger, Faria, Lamet, Montgomery and Giolito.
@LenFuego: Considered the cut off for a full season for a pitcher, like saying a hitter will get 500 ABs
@Grey: Sure, but there is an important difference between pitchers and hitters — hitters tend to be under 500 ABs because of being regularly rested while pitchers tend to be under 200 IPs because of injuries that keep them out for blocks of time.
E.g., Marwin Gonzalez (.303/23/8 in 455 ABs) put up pretty good numbers last year, but ended up with only 455 ABs because he was consistently sitting a day or two each week. There was no way in a weekly league to fill in the missed value of those days off – every time he sat, that was just a day you were going to go without HRs, Rs, RBIs and SBs in that lineup spot (at least in a weekly lineup league). If you had a player with the same numbers as Gonzalez, but it was because they missed 6 weeks of the season with an injury in a single chunk of time, they would be way more valuable than Gonzalez because you could fill in those 6 weeks with a pickup like Paul Dejong or Matt Adams or Jose Martinez.
That is exactly how pitchers tend to miss time – in large chunks because of injury. E.g., Robbie Ray had only 165 innings last year because he missed 4 consecutive weeks after getting hit on the noggin. During those weeks you could fill in with a Faria or a Clevinger or stream various guys, and still pick up Ws and Ks those weeks without hurting your ratios much at all.
So, yeah, you’d prefer your top pitchers to give you as many innings of their goodness as they can, but that is way less of a concern to me than the number of ABs a hitter can be expected to get because of being rested. Give me a roster full of injury-prone guys like Robbie Ray, James Paxton and Lance McCullers that miss some innings in large chunks but kick ass when they are in the rotation and I’ll be very content.
Hitters under 500 ABs are well rested, they’re platooned… 140 games*4 ABs is 560 ABs, so we’re already assuming less than 140, by a lot for less than 500 ABs
@AL KOHOLIC: No problem