Welcome back Barflys!

We have just a few installments of this column left to go this season, but in last week’s comments section, LenFuego said:

I think it would be way more useful to have a point of reference at about the number 72 starter level (6 starters per team in a 12 team league) because that is about where you are typically making your “this starter or that starter” decisions, not in the top 20

I don’t think I’ve ever had someone make a specific request about how this column operates, and this, frankly, sounds like a pretty reasonable idea, and I have all the data available to me that I need. So now there will be two Points of Reference: High, for the top 1-start pitcher of the week, to give context to the upper range for the week, and Low, for the 1-start pitcher at (or closest to) the 72nd-ranked SP for the week.

Thanks for the suggestion, LenFuego! Now, why don’t you and I dive right in?


Pitchers’ projected starts for the next week are sourced from Rudy Gamble’s Streamonator as of the update at 10:25am Eastern.

The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.

The High Point of Reference is the best 1-start pitcher of the week. The Low Point of Reference is the 1-start pitcher at or nearest to the 72nd-ranked SP of the week.

The Top Shelf

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Kevin Gausman, TOR WSH(MO) @COL(SU)
Blake Snell, SD @STL(MO) SF(SA)
Bryan Woo, SEA OAK(MO) @NYM(SU)
Chris Sale, BOS HOU(MO) @KC(SU)
Zac Gallen, ARI @LAD(MO) BAL(SU)
Clayton Kershaw, LAD ARI(TU) ATL(SU)
Tarik Skubal, DET NYY(TU) @CHW(SU)
Jesus Luzardo, MIA TB(TU) @WSH(SU)
Alex Cobb, SF CIN(TU) @SD(SU)
George Kirby, SEA OAK(TU) High Point of Reference
Jon Gray, TEX @NYM(MO) MIN(SU)
Seth Lugo, SD @STL(TU) SF(SU)
Kenta Maeda, MIN CLE(MO) @TEX(SU)
Andrew Abbott, CIN @SF(MO) CHC(SU)


  • Damn, the Top Shelf is LOADED this week. A lot of great choices here, and with George Kirby as the High Point of Reference (projected to almost exactly the same value in one start that Alex Cobb is in two) at 10th overall, there are a bunch of opportunities to maximize points this week with double dippers.


The Well

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Bobby Miller, LAD ARI(MO) ATL(SA)
Reese Olson, DET NYY(MO) @CHW(SA)
Taijuan Walker, PHI LAA(MO) @MIL(SU)
Kyle Harrison, SF CIN(MO) @SD(SA)
Tylor Megill, NYM TEX(MO) SEA(SU)
Jameson Taillon, CHC MIL(MO) @CIN(SU)
Michael Kopech, CHW @BAL(MO) DET(SU)
Luis Severino, NYY @DET(MO) @HOU(SA)
Charlie Morton, ATL @COL(TU) @LAD(SU)


  • Kind of a bland group this week, and with only Bobby Miller getting the “top half” treatment, the Dive Bar is really feast or famine this week. These pitchers are basically all startable in most formats, but there aren’t any slam dunks in this group.


The Bar Mat

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Johan Oviedo, PIT @KC(MO) @STL(SU)
Tanner Bibee, CLE @MIN(WE) Low Point of Reference
Wade Miley, MIL @CHC(MO) PHI(SU)
Michael King, NYY @DET(TU) @HOU(SU)
Adam Wainwright, STL SD(MO) PIT(SU)
Josiah Gray, WSH @TOR(MO) MIA(SU)
Xzavion Curry, CLE @MIN (MO) TB(SU)
Bryce Elder, ATL @COL(MO) @LAD(SA)
Adrian Martinez, OAK @SEA(MO) LAA(SU)
Tucker Davidson, KC PIT(MO) BOS(SU)
Austin Gomber, COL ATL(MO) TOR(SU)


  • This new Low Point of Reference really drives home that you should avoid the Bar Mat in general, but certainly the bold section. I’ve said it before but the pitchers in bold in the Bar Mat are projected to negative value on the week, so you’d be better off leaving a spot empty in your lineup (IP requirements notwithstanding).
  • LOL Colorado