So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Mike Clevinger for 2020.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2020 rookies — PUT ON YOUR FREAKIN’ SHOES! Not sure why I just yelled that. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Domingo German – Sunday in the Park with German is getting $7.30 worth of value from his wins. So, if SitPwG had as many wins as Berrios (which is still solid), SitPwG would’ve been about as valuable as Bauer. If he had as many wins as Bumgarner, he wouldn’t have made the top 40 list at all. Am I trying to make myself feel better for dropping SitPwG in June? Yes, obviously! I’m distraught! Preseason Rank #115, 2019 Projections: 5-3/3.66/1.34/87 in 79 IP, Final Numbers: 18-4/4.03/1.15/153 in 143 IP

22. Jake Odorizzi – I’d be lying if I said I saw this year coming from Odorizzi. I did draft him in two leagues, so I didn’t hate the flyer in deep leagues, but his K/9 went from 8.5 to over 10 at age 29, which is, brucely, odd. His swinging strike percentage went up along with his fastball velocity, which, again, at his age, is odd. Couple that with a declining walk rate and 3.36 FIP, Odorizzi might be the least talked about breakout. Him or Charlie Morton seems obvious for 2020, but I’m not sure it is.  Preseason Rank #131, 2019 Projections: 7-10/4.41/1.37/161 in 179 IP, Final Numbers: 15-7/3.51/1.21/178 in 159 IP

23. Mike Minor – Not only did Minor have the best season in his career, but he also did a pitcher’s remake of Mr. 3000 to get to 200 strikeouts. “Hello, this is the MLB front office and it seems that a start Minor pitched during the month of June is being disallowed because the umpire was found to be wearing the wrong contacts and calling strikes five feet off the plate.” Minor hangs up the call, realizing he no longer struck out 200 hitters. He decides to do the only thing someone in his position can do, he kidnaps Zack Greinke so Minor can pitch in his place in the playoffs to get one more strikeout. Preseason Rank #110, 2019 Projections: 9-10/4.24/1.24/142 in 166 IP, Final Numbers: 14-10/3.59/1.24/200 in 208 1/3 IP

24. Jose Berrios – The good news is I projected Berrios to nearly identical stats as he ended up with and ranked him at the right spot. The bad news, if I’m being honest — and, eff it, let’s be honest! — I expected Berrios to exceed my projections and finally become a top 10-15 starter. The ‘neither good nor bad news but it’s just news’ news, Berrios’s 2nd half (4.64 ERA) and August (7.57 ERA) were really what killed him. The good news about the ‘neither good nor bad news but it’s just news’ news, Berrios had his highest K/9 in August and worst BABIP. The bads news about the ‘neither good nor bad news but it’s just news’ news, he still had that August. Preseason Rank #23, 2019 Projections: 13-10/3.60/1.15/205 in 196 IP, Final Numbers: 14-8/3.68/1.22/195 in 200 1/3 IP

25. James Paxton – I projected Big Maple to have a career high in innings with 179, but why? I have no idea. “I’m sucking a tree’s teat!” That’s January Grey sipping on Big Maple’s syrup. Preseason Rank #16, 2019 Projections: 14-7/3.64/1.12/206 in 179 IP, Final Numbers: 15-6/3.82/1.28/186 in 150 2/3 IP

26. Aaron Nola – From the Big Maple to the Big Easy in Nola. Beginning to forget why we ever liked Nola. “Maybe it’s because I kick so much butt.” That’s Nola thinking he’s Easy E instead of the Big Easy. Nola’s year can’t be explained with bad luck. He gave up too many homers and the number of swings he elicited in the zone dropped, which makes me wonder if he was tipping pitches. I.e., guys aren’t swinging at his pitches but waiting for their pitches and clobbering them. Preseason Rank #8, 2019 Projections: 16-10/3.05/1.02/215 in 210 IP, Final Numbers: 12-7/3.87/1.27/229 in 202 1/3 IP

27. Chris Paddack – More fun with Player Rater values! If Paddack had as many wins as Domingo German (it’s not like he had that many fewer IP), Paddack would’ve been the 14th best pitcher in the majors, about same as Luis Castillo. One small note on his projections and ranking, I told everyone who would listen to draft him and grabbed him in four of my own leagues. The stuff is undeniable, but I bet he’s still underdrafted next year. Preseason Rank #81, 2019 Projections: 7-4/3.36/1.14/112 in 110 IP, Final Numbers: 9-7/3.33/0.98/153 in 140 2/3 IP

28. Max Fried – How bad are the top 40 starters? Well, they’re bad and I’m not sure this is relevant to their, uh, badness, but Fried didn’t even start all year, coming in as a reliever towards the end. Unlike Soroka, Fried actually had a better FIP (3.72). He added a slider that he threw 16% of the time, while all but abandoning his change. Fighting myself to make this about last year and next, but Fried over Soroka all day, e’ery day. Preseason Rank #121, 2019 Projections: 4-3/3.91/1.40/84 in 71 IP, Final Numbers: 17-6/4.02/1.33/173 in 165 2/3 IP

29. Madison Bumgarner – I feel like I’m always hating on Bumgarner — maybe because he’s a giant douche — but he’s become a 3.75-4.05 ERA pitcher and he’s been in a great stadium, so *shrugs* I don’t know, man and five lady-mans. He’s kinda Samardzija with high-priced name value. Call him Madison Avenue. Preseason Rank #32, 2019 Projections: 10-9/3.67/1.20/178 in 206 IP, Final Numbers: 9-9/3.90/1.13/203 in 207 2/3 IP

30. Kyle HendricksNoah Syndergaard didn’t even make the top 40; Chris Sale didn’t; nope, no Tanaka (not even close). Those are just a few of the names I think were drafted before Hendricks this year and prolly next year and are way riskier. Hendricks doesn’t even get love from Boomers who were at Woodstock. Preseason Rank #37, 2019 Projections: 13-9/3.51/1.16/158 in 194 IP, Final Numbers: 11-10/3.46/1.13/150 in 177 IP

31. Trevor Bauer – At some point this year, Bauer became the bane of my existence, and like Bane, I wore a face mask when he pitched to muffle my screams. He went from the brink of being something akin to a modern-day Nolan Ryan to being a high-priced Robbie Ray. Call him Robbie Mywallet. “Can’t believe I went to Madison Avenue and got Robbie Mywallet, so I’m broke and lost my league.” Something someone says that only I understand. Preseason Rank #9, 2019 Projections: 15-7/3.14/1.08/248 in 202 IP, Final Numbers: 11-13/4.48/1.25/253 in 213 IP

32. Yu Darvish – Okay, one last time with Domingo German’s win total Player Rater value. If Darvish had won as many games as Domingo, he would’ve been a top ten starter this year. Wow. You should absolutely be ignoring wins totals, by the by. Now, about that insane 2nd half (2.76 ERA, 13.2 K/9). As I’ve been saying, his 2nd half was great, but why wouldn’t he just become “not great” again next 1st half? If shizz went sideways once before, it could happen again. This concerns me, but Darvish just had one of his best seasons of his career, and he’s had some good ones before. Preseason Rank #49, 2019 Projections: 9-10/3.81/1.31/144 in 128 IP, Final Numbers: 6-8/3.98/1.10/229 in 178 2/3 IP

33. Jeff Samardzija – “I owned Samardzija last year for his 6.25 ERA, and avoided him this year.” That’s the first line of my note to Cougs on why I slammed my head through our newly renovated bedroom. Preseason Rank #141, 2019 Projections: 7-9/4.43/1.33/118 in 141 IP, Final Numbers: 11-12/3.52/1.11/140 in 181 1/3 IP

34. Kenta Maeda – He was even more pronounced on not starting all year than Fried. This is the state of pitching in fantasy baseball. There’s about 25 guys you want to own, five to ten guys you are fine owning and another five to ten that you don’t love owning, but do own, then stream. Preseason Rank #57, 2019 Projections: 12-9/3.61/1.22/138 in 131 IP, Final Numbers: 10-8/4.04/1.07/169 in 153 2/3 IP

35. Robbie Ray – Robbie Mywallet vs. Robbie Ray is basically a call on which will get more innings. Mywallet is a better bet for IP, but I can’t think of any other difference. Preseason Rank #35, 2019 Projections: 8-12/3.95/1.32/217 in 177 IP, Final Numbers: 12-8/4.34/1.34/235 in 174 1/3 IP

36. Brandon Woodruff – One of the bonuses to the Brewers getting knocked out quickly from the playoffs was less eyes on Woodruff. For whatever reason, no one cares or wants to care about Woodruff and I’ve now liked him two seasons in a row. You might be thinking to yourself, why would anyone know or care about him? Well, shame on you! Here’s his career numbers:  16-6/3.87/1.19/222 in 207 IP, which is about a full season, and he’s going into his third year in 2020 and I might rank him in the top 20 starters in 2020. You’ve been warned. Preseason Rank #58, 2019 Projections: 8-3/3.09/1.21/135 in 124 IP, Final Numbers: 11-3/3.62/1.14/143 in 121 2/3 IP

37. John Means – We’re trying to be serious-minded people who are being exceptionally serious about fantasy baseball and then the Player Rater goes and puts an Orioles starter in the top 40. And an Orioles starter with a 7 K/9! C’mon! Still mocking us, PR! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 12-11/3.60/1.14/121 in 155 IP

38. Mike Fiers – I nearly projected Fiers for exactly his stats, but ranked him 95th overall. Ha, I oop. I’m so optimistic for major league pitchers I thought there was another sixty decent ones. Preseason Rank #95, 2019 Projections: 12-10/3.91/1.22/132 in 164 IP, Final Numbers: 15-4/3.90/1.19/126 in 184 2/3 IP

39. Zack Wheeler – As someone who owned Wheeler in way too many leagues this year, he felt like a top 80 starter, maybe, and I didn’t even want to start him for at least half of his games. Yo, MLB pitching, you played yourself! Preseason Rank #22, 2019 Projections: 13-9/3.51/1.14/196 in 194 IP, Final Numbers: 11-8/3.96/1.26/195 in 195 1/3 IP

40. Ryan Yarbrough – If you’re tracking how many pitchers I didn’t rank that made the top 40, stop trying to catch me being wrong! We’re all on the same team! The lack of pitchers I didn’t rank who made the top 40 is either impressive for me or really, really sad for major league pitching because only two pitchers came out of nowhere to be decent? Wow, pitching is a mess. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 11-6/4.13/1.00/117 in 141 2/3 IP

  1. Matty says:
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    I knew this post was coming and thought to myself, “Top 40 Pitchers, that must be where leagues are won and lost.”
    I don’t know who I expected to be on the list, but wow, pitching is a mess.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, it’s so bad… Wha’ happened?

      • Huffin Gas says:
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        I don’t typically feel bad for analysts who get to write about baseball year round….but then I think about having to rank 100 starting pitchers coming out of 2019. Sorry man. Extra page clicks coming your way.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yeah, it doesn’t seem so bad in the preseason tho… It’s fun even… It’s in retrospect where it looks crazy (I think, at least)

  2. CliffMay says:
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    Thanks for a great season.

    In a dynasty, which side do you like:

    K. Tucker, Gallen and Senzel or Devers, McKay and O’Neill.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Devers side and not very close for me

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      No problem…Agree with DT

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Fully agreed on Woodruff – can’t wait to draft him next year + here’s hoping he has an average but not insane Spring Training.

    FWIW, there’s been a fair amount of talk around Odorrizzi’s breakout also being helped by the twins knowing to limit his 3rd time through the order exposure. So, maybe another point in favor of the breakout sticking.

    Speaking of next year, would you make any changes at the moment to my current planned keepers in a 12 team weekly roto (keep 7 forever, $260 budget):

    $16 Story
    $29 Acuna
    $19 Just Dong
    $50 Yelich
    $29 Yordan Alvarez
    $8 Villar
    $34 Scherzer (Nola went for $36 in the auction as comparison, Verlander for $40)

    Other Options:
    $4 Urshela
    $15 Voit
    $7 Odorrizi
    $4 La Stella
    $9 Brantley
    $36 Blackmon
    $25 Rhys

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’d guess in most normal fantasy leagues, Woodruff will go very late for what I expect from him

      Those keepers look right

    • M says:
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      Yeah Odorizzi was king of the 5.1, 5.2 IP starts last year

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        True

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Good point on Odorizzi

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      Yuppp! i laid out Baldelli’s usage with Odorizzi along with his other adjustments.

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        his jump in velo also helped a ton

  4. Will says:
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    Which starters would you keep for next season (3 or 4 total)? Here are my choices:

    R Ray
    B Woodruff
    Y Darvish
    N Syndergaard
    K Maeda
    Z Wheeler
    J Lucchesi
    L Weaver

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yu, Woodruff, Syndergaard, though the last one is a coin flip

  5. IV says:
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    In similar thought to Woodruff, I feel like Frankie Montas is going to be undervalued next year as well. While he didn’t pitch as much as Woodruff (due to the suspension), I have a feeling he would have finished within the top 40 starters if he had. None of his peripherals jumped out as lucky, he plays his home games in the Coliseum behind their solid defense, and added a third pitcher.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He would’ve easily been in the top 40 starters, but who knows how much the PEDs were helping him, so there’s risk

  6. Slappy Jack says:
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    I don’t think the Yu Darvish mystery is super tough to explain imo (also it might not be this easy, wth do I know)

    after a crappy April and terrible start to May, mostly due to walks ; and only 8 bad starts btw hardly a whole first half
    ( and this in and of itself, after being injured for most of 2018, was almost expected)
    BUT
    He worked on changing his pitch usage, as well as moving away from trying to hit corners and nibble by mid May.
    Kind of going for a hit-it-if-you-can mentality in the zone instead. In response to the tennis balls being used in mlb.
    His HR/9 ballooned but was otherwise so dominate it didn’t matter, and that was his plan all along I think.

    From MAY 15th – RoS

    142 ip!

    11.7 k/9 33%k 13.7SwStr%

    1.46 bb/9

    2.92 xFIP

    Can he keep it up next year ? I’d wager absolutely, barring injury
    His cutter, curve , and split were all dirty and played well off each other

    after 2020 Idk
    but for now I’m hoping everyone forgets how good he was so I can get some value out if him next year

    xoxo

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Interesting, thanks for digging in!

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      I dug into Darvish’s season pretty deep in July, some of what you just laid out and more. ;-)

      • Slappy Jack says:
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        Well, I feel ashamed for missing it @CoolWhip … def will try and give you more clicks

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:
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          No worries my dude, I posted on saturdays ha. thanks, appreciate it! you can still read the ones from this season too! Might still have some entertainment value, maybe some data prescriptive for next season too. LOL ;-)

          I too am hoping Darvish’s 2nd half is forgotten, so I can get him for a bargain especially if his adjustments hold true in spring training.

  7. Smitty says:
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    Gonna be interesting to see where Madison Budweiser and Zach Wheeler sign. Like Berrios and Bauer to bounce back. Very high on Paddack and like Fried some too

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I’d guess Bum stays and Wheeler goes somewhere else

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nice autocorrect btw

      • Smitty says:
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        HA – new nickname

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha

  8. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Man, how awesome was that Coolwhip guy? What a major confidence boost this was.

    Odorizzi – “There will be some regression coming because obviously he can’t sustain a sub-2 ERA, but, his FIP of 2.82 suggests it won’t be horrible. His outstanding 5.3% HR/FB rate will be the stat most likely to bounce back toward the mean. If this creeps back towards his rate of 8.9% from last year, he can still finish the season around a low 3 ERA. That’s still a top 30 pitcher boys and girls!” self quoted! (i see why you like doing it, lol) he didn’t keep the era below 3.40, but 3.51 still solid, finished with HR/FB of 8.8, and within top 30.

    Nola – “He was once the Big Easy, set it and forget it, an easy auto-start and reap the reward. This season he’s been the Easy At-bat, bleh… because he is having trouble locating his Fastball batters are punishing the missed locations and biting less at his offspeed stuff… So proceed with caution, but he could be a potential buy low candidate. This pitcher is under reconstruction.” boom goes the dynamite!

    Darvish – “I’m not prepared jusssst yet to say he’s ‘back’ back, but it’s looking like he’s finding his way back… I’ll call him a tentative buy for now, while advising to keep an eye on his walks and I’ll be watching his velocity and arm slot. In fact, I just picked him up where I could to see what happens.” Odorizzi was prob the best since I planted a flag so early, but Darvish is prob my 2nd best and accurate.

    How’d I do boss? these 20-40 pitchers, i think i nailed it. #CherryOnTop

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, awesome! You did good, whip! Really nailed these especially Odorizzi, I mean that’s a chef’s kiss… Now starting nailing 2020!

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        haha, preseason predictions are harder (at least i think so)! I’m trying to decide on a couple/few I might look at over the winter here. Though, I’m a lot better (i think) at analyzing players as its happening. we’ll see! all my offseason posts (if i can carve out the time) will have a huge asterisk at the bottom *ask Grey first before using this information* LOL

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, the other side of the coin is if you’re wrong no one holds you to it…all speculation

          • Coolwhip

            Coolwhip says:
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            HAHA! true.

            Ya know, if people used your pitcher rankings in their draft (Corbin, Castillo, Bieber, Ryu etc), and then followed DT and my pitcher hype (Flaherty, Odorizzi, Darvish) you could have won pitching in nearly any league without drafting a pitcher before like round 5 or 6 (forget where corbin/flaherty was this year). The Razzball way.

            • Coolwhip

              Coolwhip says:
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              throw Lynn in there too. as we all talked about him.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Yeah, true

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, there was ways around not getting screwed or at least not paying a lot to get screwed

              • Coolwhip

                Coolwhip says:
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                the fact that Bauer is #31 is extremely telling of how bad pitching was this year, to me (based on how much he made me want to punch a wall), moreso than John Means making the list.

                which makes me sob and then laugh hysterically through my tears like Joakin playing the Joker. pitching will drive you mad!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Haha, yeah, Bauer was the height of frustration for the entire 2nd half… He was like when Robbie Ray goes bad

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      *appalauds*

    • Good job C-Dub!

  9. normgi says:
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    John Means Top-40 — wow! Totally replicating your words; I don’t believe how many times I thought I might grab him and then sobered up (Balt: 7 K/9-inn). I don’t care what happens; no way I’d draft him up.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, same, I don’t like him at all… It’s more sad about SPs than great about him

  10. Crazy J says:
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    Dude… call me next time you’re doing cheddar scones at the bux! Happy offseason… well, for a Dodger fan it’s already offseason. /cry

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      My cheddar scones are all soggy now /sobs loudly

  11. TarmanGotHim says:
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    Hey Grey!

    Early keeper question for next season.

    Going into the 4th year in me keeper. Won year one, second year 2, my keepers, my draft, everything went awry and I finished pretty much last this year.

    Next year I’ll be staying 5th in a 12 team league

    This is our settings

    Yahoo H2H 6X6 12 Team
    R HR RBI SB AVG OPS
    K ERA WHIP K/9 QS S+H

    I’m leaning on keeping the following:
    Juan Soto OF
    Yordan Alvarez OF
    Ozzie Albies 2B
    GIancarlo Stanton OF
    Jack Flahtery SP

    I said I’d never keep Stanton again but can I really not keep him? I mean I couldn’t and I don’t want to but he’s due for a healthy season next year and a 100/40/100/5+ type season IMO.

    Here’s are the guys to consider keeping. What would you do?

    The above
    +
    Andrew Benintendi (in his dream, chump) the numbers he put up with the juiced ball and on the Red Sox and to be elite and essentially be in a season long slump, you have to wonder if he was injured or his head was elsewhere. He was dreadful and I came in 2nd in my other league and didn’t drop him because he’s the guy you drafted so high you just had to keep thinking, even u til the finals that he would bust out of him. As I’m writing league I just realized I dropped him at the end of season due to spite LOL. Forget it, but can’t we get a chuckle?
    -Tim Anderson
    -Marcus Semien
    -Rhys Hoskins (OBP, I can see, not OPS AVG, I kept him for 2 years, never again, in the juiced ball era, I can get similar if not better stats from the likes of Gruichuk, Renata Nunez, Pederson, etc.
    -Shane Bieber
    -Luis Castillo
    -Victor Robles
    -Bichette

    I’m considering keeping Robles over Stanton.

    Hope I didn’t confuse you with the banter, but thanks for your input Grey.

    KEEP 5

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Bieber over Giancarlo if anyone, you have a lot of good options tho

      • TarmanGotHim says:
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        So would you say keep the following:

        Yordan Alvarez
        Juan Soto
        Ozzie Albies
        Jack Flahtery
        Shane Bieber

        And don’t keep

        Stanton
        Robles
        Hoskins
        Anderson
        Semien

        ?

        I do have a lot of great options, I just drafted horribly, all my keepers less Soto screwed me, and I just made some waiver wire and draft mistakes in regards to my offense.

        So keep 3 hitters and 2 pitchers or should I switch Flahtery and or Bieber with Stanton (I just don’t trust him but I know he’s going to play 162 next season if I don’t keep him and is going to lead in almost every offense I’ve statistical category, I have that feeling either way) and Robles?

        I really dig Robles next season and on, but he and others will be available to draft in the first few rounds I assume.

        Thanks!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You’re getting at least one of these guys back in the draft, no? So you could just redraft Stanton or Robles (or Bieber)

          • TarmanGotHim says:
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            No no no,

            My bad. I keep 5 and that’s all. Sorry. I meant I could just get them back when we draft. I pick 5th.

            • Smitty says:
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              Only 5? Leaves Bo out…barely

        • Bichette

  12. Kablooy says:
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    I saw you wrote Mike Minor and just wanted to point out you spelled Glasnow wrong. I won my league because of your advice but I am taking a quick detour from the “Grey gets me another championship” ride and keeping Glasnow over Minor. :)

    • Kablooy says:
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      I just realized you are recapping the year. My bad! Thanks again for the championship!

Comments are closed.