Fantasy Baseball Shuffle Up: Updated starting pitcher values you must know

·5-min read

Ranking fantasy starting pitchers at any moment in time feels like chasing a butterfly, but we’ll give it a shot anyway.

Usual rules apply. What’s happened to this point is an audition. Assume a 5x5 scoring system. The salaries are unscientific in nature and meant to show where I see talent clusters and drop-offs. Players at the same salary are considered even.

I did not rank any hurt pitchers — I mean, who ever knows with pitcher injuries? Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, sure, we hope they all come back strong, and soon. Maybe they will.

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We also hope the pitchers on this list stay healthy, but we know some won’t. It’s an unnatural act, pitching. It’s a battle of attrition. We do the best we can.

The Big Tickets

$36 Gerrit Cole

$36 Joe Musgrove

$34 Justin Verlander

$34 Corbin Burnes

$32 Zack Wheeler

$28 Yu Darvish

$28 Shane Bieber

$28 Kevin Gausman

$27 Luis Severino

$27 Alek Manoah

$26 Sandy Alcantara

Musgrove’s been better than his 2021 breakout, despite a drop in strikeouts. He’s cleaned things up nicely with better control, and he’s also keeping the ball in the park, perhaps at an unlucky rate. Still, if Musgrove were to “regress” to his FIP of 2.65, no one would complain. San Diego is no longer an extreme pitcher park, but it’s still a nifty place to do your business . . . The Yankees offense has been the big story as the Bombers crush everyone, but Severino’s comeback has been heaven-sent. His slider is once again a knockout pitch, and his Statcast-suggested ERA is even better than his front-door 2.80. There has been some good fortune — a high strand rate, a low BABIP — but Severino looks like a full-season ace . . .

Luis Severino #40 of the New York Yankees has been a fantasy ace
Welcome back to fantasy ace-hood, Luis Severino. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Maybe Verlander is an eyelash over his skis, as Statcast suggests a 3.12 ERA, not the current 1.94 number. And Verlander’s strikeout rate is slightly under one per inning, the first time it’s been there since 2015. But Verlander still is pumping in mid-90s gas and has four plus pitching grades. May we all age so gracefully.

Legitimate Building Blocks

$25 Lucas Giolito

$24 Aaron Nola

$23 Shane McClanahan

$23 Framber Valdez

$21 Tony Gonsolin

$21 Tarik Skubal

$21 Nestor Cortes

$20 Kyle Wright

$20 Max Fried

$20 Logan Webb

$20 Luis Castillo

$20 Dylan Cease

$19 Nick Pivetta

$19 Carlos Rodon

$17 Triston McKenzie

$17 MacKenzie Gore

$16 Jameson Taillon

$16 Tyler Anderson

$16 Miles Mikolas

$16 Julio Urias

$16 Lance Lynn

Gonsolin and Anderson are the shocking stars of the Dodgers season. The big question is load management — how many innings can we expect from breakout stars like this, especially when you consider that LA is one of those teams that’s basically in the playoffs already . . . Webb’s strikeouts have dropped a speck, but otherwise, everything looks solid on his profile. He still generates chases at a high rate, which makes me think this week’s gem is a sign of more good things to come . . . Rodon was unhittable for a month, and rather hittable since. He’s had trouble locating his fastball and has fallen behind in the count some — and paid for it. He’s also had a dip in his strikeout and walk rates from last year, though equalling last year was perhaps unrealistic. The expected ERA per the Statcast data is still an impressive 2.97, so we’ll stay the course.

Talk them up, talk them down

$15 Jordan Montgomery

$15 Michael Lorenzen

$15 Frankie Montas

$15 Adam Wainwright

$14 Martin Perez

$14 Jose Berrios

$14 Clayton Kershaw

$13 Charlie Morton

$13 Eric Lauer

$12 Logan Gilbert

$12 Taijuan Walker

$12 Chris Bassitt

$11 Sonny Gray

$11 Tyler Mahle

$11 Devin Smeltzer

$11 Michael Kopech

$11 Pablo Lopez

$11 Sean Manaea

$10 Spender Strider

$10 Cal Quantrill

$10 Robbie Ray

$10 Patrick Sandoval

$10 Luis Garcia

$9 Reid Detmers

$9 Aaron Ashby

$9 Carlos Carrasco

$9 Joe Ryan

$8 Trevor Williams

$8 Ross Stripling

Wainwright needs that angelic St. Louis defense more than ever, as his fastball is down to 88.5 — to be fair, he’s been doing surgery in the 80s since 2017. Remarkably, he still has multiple plus pitches, even if he hasn’t commanded his curve nearly as well this season . . . Lauer has hit a rough patch of late, but he’s still carrying a low-3s ERA since the beginning of 2021, with better than a strikeout per inning. His issue this year has been keeping the ball in the park . . . Quantrill is never going to be a major strikeout source, but he’s always around the plate and usually good for a quality start. The AL Central is also the best division to attack, especially if you don’t pitch for Detroit . . . Just when we thought we were out on Berrios, that 13-strikeout gem drags us back in.

Some plausible upside

$7 Alex Wood

$7 Kyle Gibson

$7 Ian Anderson

$6 Michael Wacha

$6 David Peterson

$6 Drew Rasmussen

$6 George Kirby

$6 Zach Plesac

$6 Zac Gallen

$5 Graham Ashcraft

$5 Alex Faedo

$5 Trevor Rogers

$4 Hunter Greene

Greene still has a major home-run problem, but check his stats over the last six weeks, they’re pretty good (3.20/0/99) . . . Every Anderson indicator is headed in the wrong direction, though he has that surging Atlanta offense working for him . . . Kirby had some pedigree coming into the season, and that K/BB rate is dreamy . . . Statcast doesn’t believe Wacha is real, putting a 4.04 expected ERA next to that front-door number of 2.33.

Bargain Bin

$3 Brady Singer

$3 Marco Gonzales

$3 Corey Kluber

$3 Cristian Javier

$3 Cole Irvin

$3 Shane Baz

$3 Blake Snell

$3 Jose Urquidy

$3 Kyle Hendricks

$2 Johnny Cueto

$2 Zach Davies

$2 Justin Steele

$2 Nick Martinez

$2 Jose Quintana

$2 Dane Dunning

$1 Chris Archer

$1 Keegan Thompson

$1 Rich Hill

$1 Noah Syndergaard

$1 Madison Bumgarner

$1 Adrian Houser

$0 Kris Bubic

$0 Mike Minor

$0 Yusei Kikuchi

$0 Ranger Suarez

$0 Chris Flexen

$0 Dylan Bundy

$0 Merrill Kelly

$0 Patrick Corbin

$0 Chad Kuhl

$0 Daniel Lynch

$0 Austin Gomber

$0 Kyle Bradish

$0 Bruce Zimmermann

$0 Brad Keller