The List 7/25: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 17

Welcome to The List, where I rank the Top 100 SP for Fantasy Baseball every single Monday of the year.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 1:00pm ET as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Twitch 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream of The List.

For each edition of The List, I have a set of rules to outline my thought process and how to best use these rankings. Please take note:

  1. This is 5×5, 12-teamer, H2H format focused. It generally is the same as roto as well, but make sure you adjust accordingly.
  2. We have two tables to review before the notes and rankings. First is an injury table that outlines where players would be relatively ranked if fully healthy. It’s the best way to tackle how to value players on the IL.
  3. If a player is on the IL or not confirmed inside the rotation, they aren’t on the List. That includes injuries and guys in the minors, but there are exceptions for players who are expected to be in the rotation but are being skipped this week.
  4. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  5. Since this is a 12-teamer, I heavily weigh upside in the back-half of the rankings. Tier 10 is likely going to underperform those in Tier 11 across a full season, but it’s in your best interest to chase Tier 10’s ceiling vs. settling for Tier 11’s floor.
  6. I’ve made a decision to remove all the labels that I struggle to maintain through the season to instead give each player just one label at a time. It streamlines the process much better and hopefully gives you a more targeted understanding of the player.
  7. The notes outline oh-so-much to help your team. Please read the notes if you can instead of just scrolling to the bottom.

 

Let’s get to the tables. First are all of our injured compatriots:

 

 

I made a decision this year: I’ve removed the “Preseason tiers” and changed “tiers” to “Relative Rank” as it’ll be more consistent week-to-week — Tiers change while their relative rank does not.

Please understand that “70-80” does not guarantee the player will be exactly in that range when they return. Rankings are 100% relative to the landscape and while this table reflects where they would sit in a vacuum, it’s a fluid creature. Sometimes there are oh-so-many options, sometimes I want to see them healthy and stretched out again, and others we’re starving for pitchers and they jump higher than “70-80”. It’s a loose reference point and why it’s called “relative ranking.” It’s difficult to update this week-to-week and I apologize if the ranking is different when the player actually returns from the IL. I hope it helps!

One last point about that – often times pitchers need an extra week or two to ramp up once they do return to the majors. It’s why Still ILL exists and the “relative rank” you see is when those guys have shaken off their rust. Will they be back to normal in their first start or will they need a few? I have no idea! Those ranks are to show what I’d expect once they are fully back to normal.

Now let’s take a look at the pitchers I considered for the Top 100 but didn’t quite make the cut:

 

Other Pitchers I Considered (Not Ranked In Order)

 

Lastly, I heavily recommend you follow my daily SP Roundup that outlines all pitcher performances through the season, or if you want a primer on most of these pitchers, you can check out my 40,000 words from the pre-season via my Top 224 Starting Pitchers for 2022 from February. Both will help you get a grasp of my general thoughts on most of these guys (especially the roundup!) as I simply can’t detail everything about 100 pitchers in these notes each week.

 

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about why “someone moved up” or “why is he at #X?!”
  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

  • As is tradition, I need to tell you about the guys who were removed and added from the Top 60, so you have context for the ranking shifts.
  • Added: Andrew Heaney (51), George Kirby (56), Tyler Mahle (60)
  • Removed: None
  • Net Gain Inside Top 60: (-3..kinda. All of these arms are outside the Top 50, after all.)

 

  • For those hoping to see David Peterson and Domingo Germán on The List this week, I’ve kept them both off for different reasons. Peterson should get one more start before being displaced either by Jacob deGrom or a prospective starter via trade and it’s against the Yankees. No thanks.
  • As for Domingo Germán, I anticipate the Yankees to acquire a starter at the deadline as Germán faces the Mets this week. If he’s still in the rotation by next week, I’ll consider it.

 

  • Now to talk about the guys who actually made it on The List. The top tier gets one switch – Gerrit Cole falling two spots after another crooked number on the scoreboard. Congrats Sandy Alcantara, you’re now the #3 starter and it’s glorious.
  • Outside of that, I didn’t touch anyone until Tier 4…save for bringing Brandon Woodruff into Tier 2 where he belongs. The other non-movers haven’t done anything so remarkable that I’m willing to change it. That includes Robbie Ray and Shane Bieber having an off day to Julio Urías sporting 94.6 mph in his last start – give me more than one game and then we’ll talk.

 

  • So here we are in Tier 5 where the real changes begin. Okay, not really as Frankie Montas fell down two as he’s still getting ramped up – he only tossed 53 pitches since the last update. Chris Bassitt and Framber Valdez are sturdier propositions right now.
  • I also added Kyle Wright to the tier as he hasn’t fallen off like I thought he would by now. Here’s to hoping the curveball stays elite through September.

 

  • The sore thumb of Tier 5 is Charlie Morton dropping two spots, but please believe me when I say it’s only because Kyle Wright and Jon Gray were promoted. Gray’s heater has maintained its velocity with Wright pitching a bit more consistently. I still love Morton for the second half, don’t let this fool you.
  • Logan Gilbert is a little different. Sure, he only dropped because of Triston McKenzie and Nestor Cortes rising above him (as they should), but some may be upset to see the “drop” after a promising start over the weekend. It came via the most curveballs he’s thrown all season and I’m in the stage where I see that as an exception, not the rule moving forward. If you believe otherwise, by all Johns means, you do you.

 

  • Tier 6 begins with Spencer Strider, who showed off the floor we so want to ignore. I want to believe he’s going to be at his peak more than his valley the rest of the way, with that peak being so monumental that it pushes him above a stable option like Jordan Montgomery. Weighing those probabilities and impacts is highly difficult and I can see this being a little contentious. I hear y’all, I do.
  • I did a lot of spring cleaning with tiers six and seven, which means you’re seeing a lot of major moves for guys like Zac Gallen, Cristian Javier, and Joe Ryan, who I believe won’t be dropped the rest of the way and should be strong 12-teamer plays.

 

  • I elected to remove the small tier of “elite Toby pitchers” and just leave Taijuan Walker and Tyler Anderson inside the Top 45 as they’ve proven to be the most consistent ones. Props to them.
  • I want to believe Tarik Skubal is turning the corner, though it’s hard to raise him after taking down the Athletics. I hope he forces me to push into the Top 35 soon.

 

  • Tier 7. Ohhh boy. Tier 7. I elected to take all the guys we know have legit potential and stick them into one tier…mixed with Miles Mikolas. Call it the “I really want this to be great” tier and if you want to take most of these underperformers – Lucas Giolito Nathan Eovaldi with their depressed velocity, Patrick Sandoval, Blake Snell – and put them behind everyone in Tier 8, that can make a whole lot of sense, too. It’s difficult to find the balance between chasing ceiling and relying on floor –  do what’s right for you.

 


 

  • By the way, it’s the end of July and I can’t thank all of you enough for sticking around to read the notes. As a token of my thanks, here’s a Promo Code for PL+ Yearly – THENOTESRULE – that will let you save an extra $26 off PL+ Yearly at checkout. Use it here and become a member of our Discord!

 


 

  • There’s also Andrew Heaney in Tier 8 as he returns to the Dodgers this week. We’ve barely gotten a look at him this year and I’m curious if he’ll still have the command of his slider. I think you’re safe to start him against the Nationals this week given his rehab start lasting five frames last week, and I’ll be watching closely.
  • As for the aforementioned Tier 8, if I were in love with these arms, they’d be up in Tier 6 and they all have their warts. José Urquidy is on a roll, but is his fastball really that good? Marcus Stroman finally hit his stride, but we know how that WHIP can soar without enough punchouts to justify it. Martín Pérez is absurdly hot right now as he spots his pitches, and it can end in a heartbeat.

 

  • It goes on. George Kirby returns against the Rangers followed by the Astros (will either of them be worthwhile?), Sonny Gray found his curveball last start, though the slider is still missing and it was the Tigers, Sean Manaea is as volatile as they come, Carlos Carrasco has a 4.07 ERA and 1.35 WHIP this year even if I expect those to improve, Tyler Mahle could be changing teams…or not and still struggle at home, and Alex Wood is barely above the mark of being worth it to hold instead of chasing the ceilings of Tier 9.

 

  • Or maybe Alex Wood isn’t as I originally had him at #67. It’s a tough call as all of the arms in tier 9 could break out in the second half and I’d love to have my hand in as many pots as possible. I love how Aaron Ashby is getting a proper crack in the rotation, Reid Detmers has an improved slider and fastball, Braxton Garrett is boasting a 23.5% SwStr on his slider (please don’t let his success just be his schedule), and Nick Lodolo hasn’t gotten a chance to properly blossom yet. Between Detmers, Garrett, and Lodolo, it’s awfully close and we may see all three prosper or none at all.
  • That leaves Michael Kopech and Jeffrey Springs, and it’s not clear what to do there. With Kopech, I wonder if the knee injury is still affecting him, while Springs just displayed mediocre command over the weekend. I’m a little more tepid on them.

 

  • Tier 10 is where the ole Toby types with a sprinkle of chaos. Alex Cobb and Eric Lauer make many managers throw their hands up in frustration and I understand if many simply want off this train.
  • The likes of Corey Kluber, Merrill Kelly, Noah Syndergaard, and Adam Wainwright are all similar to me – arms you don’t start against tough teams but always have a chance for six quality frames. Some may want to go after these pitchers than those in Tier 9 – it’s the same discussion of Tier 7 vs. Tier 8. Suit your needs as there’s a lot of nuance here.

 

  • Tier 11 is back to intrigue, with Josiah Gray leaning more on breakers recently (and when he features the heater, it’s because he’s feeling it that day) and it speaks to a higher strikeout ceiling. There’s still some work to do with consistency, though.
  • I recognize that Brady Singer is on a hot stretch at the moment and it could keep going, but don’t read too much into the +17 – he’s still just ranked at #80, it doesn’t take much to jump in the bottom quarter of The List.

 

  • As for the others in the tier, I’m not loving the overall arsenal of Jameson Taillon at the moment, Ross Stripling didn’t have it at all against the Red Sox, and Zach Plesac still has a solid slider with a changeup for strikes. Not the worst options out there, but I’d prefer to try on different hats instead.
  • And don’t forget about Jake Odorizzi – he gets the Athletics for a third straight game this week and could be in the Astros rotation through their cushy AL West schedule across the final 10 weeks.

 

  • Tier 12 has some hot arms that could last for a little while longer. Mitch Keller now has three straight solid performances under his belt, Madison Bumgarner just stunned against the Nationals, Johnny Cueto has discovered magic, and José Quintana is spotting his pitches. All deep streams, though, and too risky for a standard 12-team play.
  • I’m keeping my eye on Jakob Junis as he enters the rotation for the Giants with Tony Disco on the IL. He gets two starts this week and may return value with his excellent slider and improved changeup.

 

  • I know Kris Bubic just had a great start over the weekend, but I’m pretty skeptical that it’ll last. It came with a worse heater and a lofted changeup – the two signs we see when things go poorly for Bubic. I’m not buying it, but I’ll raise him a few spots just in case.
  • I’m sad to see Ian Anderson this far down, but he’s a detrimental Cherry Bomb who still hasn’t figured it out. We may see him replaced with Kyle Muller in the near future and I’d grab Muller once he gets the call – he’d be near Lodolo and company.

 

  • If you need something, consider Spenser Watkins as he’s performed well with his heater for the Orioles during their blistering hot stretch. Just someone to consider for a deep stream, nothing more.
  • And if you’re still struggling to find innings, there are some options in the bottom tier. The final arm is Kutter Crawford (we added an easter egg inside his “Repertoire” section on his player page), who could be decent enough with Kutters and four-seamers for the Sawx as they struggle to find pitchers to start consistently.

 

  • I’d heavily reconsider if you’re still rostering Cal Quantrill or Marco Gonzales on your squads. Streaming would be better than relying on them to come through each week.
  • And can someone please tell Graham Ashcraft to get it together? He gets the Marlins twice now and I’d love to trust him in those outings.

 

  • Update: Ethan Small is entering the Brewers’ rotation for Tuesday’s game against the Twins and he shouldn’t be of consideration – the Brewers can skip him after this outing with a few days off this week. This is a wait-and-see situation.

 

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

FOR REAL

 

Labels Legend

Aces Gonna Ace

Ace Potential

Injury Risk

Strikeout Upside

Low IPS

Quality Starts

Playing Time Question

Cherry Bomb

Toby

Ratio Focused

Streaming Option

Stash Option

 

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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