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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

The final week of the 2020 fantasy baseball season means the Week 10 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks are here to help analyze where the top 101 SPs stand for the final sprint. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide some notes on key movers. Time is short this weekend and most just need a quick eval for charting streamers, so we'll stick to the ranks table.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 10 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet hereCLICK THAT. Next week I'll bring you a top 101 for 2021, but first we'll finish 2020 strong!

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 10

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 43.0 1 Shane Bieber 23.5 43.0 0.0 ▬
2 42.0 1 Jacob deGrom 18.9 42.0 0.0 ▬
3 37.0 1 Gerrit Cole 10.2 33.0 4.0 ▲ Looking legendary, just needed Higashioka behind the dish.
4 35.0 2 Yu Darvish 20.0 37.0 -2.0 ▼
5 33.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 9.9 35.0 -2.0 ▼ Elite arm, but lower K% relative to aces keep him in Tier 2.
6 31.0 2 Trevor Bauer 16.7 31.0 0.0 ▬
7 29.0 2 Aaron Nola 13.2 29.0 0.0 ▬
8 29.0 2 Luis Castillo 16.7 27.0 2.0 ▲ If you bought low midseason...congrats!
9 27.0 2 Lucas Giolito 15.0 25.0 2.0 ▲
10 25.0 3 Corbin Burnes 17.4 15.5 9.5 ▲ He's hotter than heck, mercilessly dominating opponents.
11 25.0 3 Dinelson Lamet 15.6 25.0 0.0 ▬
12 23.0 3 Kenta Maeda 15.1 23.0 0.0 ▬
13 23.0 3 Dylan Bundy 16.0 23.0 0.0 ▬
14 22.0 3 Tyler Glasnow 9.3 22.0 0.0 ▬
15 22.0 3 Lance Lynn 13.0 22.0 0.0 ▬
16 22.0 3 Brandon Woodruff 13.0 14.0 8.0 ▲ Coming on strong in September.
17 20.0 3 Zach Plesac 11.2 14.0 6.0 ▲
18 20.0 3 Max Scherzer 13.0 29.0 -9.0 ▼ Whiffs still there, but too much healthy contact allowed.
19 18.5 4 Zac Gallen 10.3 20.0 -1.5 ▼
20 17.5 4 Kyle Hendricks 16.6 14.0 3.5 ▲
21 15.5 4 Carlos Carrasco 8.6 18.5 -3.0 ▼ Hits are falling against him, not terribly worried.
22 15.0 4 Blake Snell 5.0 17.5 -2.5 ▼
23 14.0 4 Jack Flaherty 2.4 22.0 -8.0 ▼ Still looks off, grooving one too many pitches.
24 14.0 4 Hyun-Jin Ryu 11.3 13.0 1.0 ▲
25 14.0 4 Zack Greinke 15.4 15.0 -1.0 ▼ 6 consecutive starts with 3 ER or more, it'll hurt you.
26 13.0 4 Jesus Luzardo 4.3 10.0 3.0 ▲
27 12.0 4 Jose Berrios 7.4 9.5 2.5 ▲
28 11.0 5 Lance McCullers Jr. 6.0 0.0 11.0 ▲ 7 scoreless, two-hit innings in return, gets SEA next.
29 11.0 5 Andrew Heaney 14.3 9.5 1.5 ▲
30 10.0 5 Zach Davies 10.8 9.5 0.5 ▲
31 9.5 5 Marco Gonzales 11.1 9.5 0.0 ▬ It turns out not walking hitters is a great strategy.
32 9.5 5 Sixto Sanchez 7.6 9.0 0.5 ▲
33 9.5 5 Kevin Gausman 8.0 9.0 0.5 ▲
34 9.5 5 Zack Wheeler 13.0 9.0 0.5 ▲ I still can't get over a putting-on-pants injury here.
35 9.0 5 Masahiro Tanaka 6.8 8.5 0.5 ▲
36 9.0 5 Ian Anderson 5.1 8.5 0.5 ▲
37 9.0 5 Chris Paddack 5.4 2.5 6.5 ▲ Velocity up in six scoreless innings against SEA, nice!
38 8.5 5 Aaron Civale 11.5 12.0 -3.5 ▼
39 8.5 5 Charlie Morton 3.8 11.0 -2.5 ▼
40 8.5 5 Tyler Mahle 7.9 8.5 0.0 ▬
41 8.5 5 Max Fried 15.2 4.0 4.5 ▲ Notched 7th win in 9 starts in return, but <6 Ks in 5 straight.
42 8.0 6 Tony Gonsolin 9.4 8.0 0.0 ▬
43 8.0 6 Cristian Javier 2.8 8.0 0.0 ▬
44 8.0 6 Chris Bassitt 8.1 8.0 0.0 ▬
45 8.0 6 Deivi Garcia 5.3 5.0 3.0 ▲ 3 QS in 4 MLB starts, he's as advertised.
46 8.0 6 Dustin May 2.9 6.5 1.5 ▲
47 6.5 7 German Marquez 14.5 8.0 -1.5 ▼ Finishes 2020 w/ 2 road starts, at SF and at ARZ.
48 5.5 7 Dallas Keuchel 11.9 5.5 0.0 ▬
49 5.0 7 Michael Pineda 7.2 4.0 1.0 ▲
50 4.5 7 Brady Singer 5.8 3.0 1.5 ▲ His strength of schedule fell off and he's taking advantage.
51 4.5 7 Mike Clevinger 5.5 11.0 -6.5 ▼ Scratched Saturday w/ biceps tightness.
52 4.0 7 Triston McKenzie 2.7 8.5 -4.5 ▼ Poor outing at DET, final start a scary one vs. CWS.
53 4.0 7 Adam Wainwright 7.3 4.0 0.0 ▬
54 4.0 7 Framber Valdez 13.2 4.5 -0.5 ▼ Dominated great matchup vs. TEX w/ 11 K's, SEA on deck.
55 4.0 7 Zach Eflin 10.0 4.0 0.0 ▬
56 4.0 7 Julio Urias 8.6 4.0 0.0 ▬
57 4.0 7 Mitch Keller -2.7 0.0 4.0 ▲ Crushed STL w/ 6 hitless innings, gets CHC at home next.
58 4.0 7 Brad Keller 9.3 2.0 2.0 ▲
59 3.5 8 Jose Urquidy 2.7 1.5 2.0 ▲
60 3.0 8 Walker Buehler 2.5 3.0 0.0 ▬ May start on Thursday for tune-up before playoffs.
61 3.0 8 Justus Sheffield 10.1 2.0 1.0 ▲
62 2.5 8 Pablo Lopez 10.2 4.5 -2.0 ▼ 2 wins in a row after 2 stinkers, but faces ATL next.
63 2.5 8 Mike Fiers 5.4 0.0 2.5 ▲
64 2.5 8 Dakota Hudson 3.3 1.5 1.0 ▲
65 2.0 8 Antonio Senzatela 8.4 1.5 0.5 ▲
66 2.0 8 Nathan Eovaldi 4.7 0.0 2.0 ▲ Two strong appearances since return, draws BAL at home.
67 2.0 8 J.A. Happ 2.2 1.0 1.0 ▲
68 2.0 8 Sean Manaea 9.5 2.5 -0.5 ▼ On road at Dodgers next, no thanks.
69 2.0 8 Dylan Cease -0.2 4.0 -2.0 ▼
70 1.5 9 Patrick Corbin 8.7 8.0 -6.5 ▼ His velocity is creeping back up, but results still poor.
71 1.5 9 Dane Dunning 6.5 1.5 0.0 ▬
72 1.5 9 Kwang-Hyun Kim 5.2 0.0 1.5 ▲ He'll miss KC series and should finish season vs. STL.
73 1.5 9 Rich Hill 4.8 1.5 0.0 ▬
74 1.5 9 Kris Bubic 3.8 1.0 0.5 ▲ Solid last 4 starts, gets DET in his 2020 finale.
75 1.5 9 Danny Duffy 2.8 2.0 -0.5 ▼
76 1.5 9 Tanner Houck 1.5 0.0 1.5 ▲ Outstainding debut, but control still concerns me as SP.
77 1.5 9 Dean Kremer 5.0 1.5 0.0 ▬
78 1.5 9 Sandy Alcantara 2.8 1.5 0.0 ▬
79 1.5 9 Keegan Akin 5.3 0.0 1.5 ▲
80 1.5 9 Matthew Boyd -0.1 2.5 -1.0 ▼ 4 good starts, 1 horrid in last 5 - most can take that risk.
81 1.5 9 Alec Mills 4.4 1.0 0.5 ▲ 4 ER vs. MIN following no-hitter, will face PIT before playoffs.
82 1.5 9 Joe Musgrove 2.0 1.0 0.5 ▲
83 1.0 10 David Peterson 1.6 1.0 0.0 ▬ 10 K's against ATL, a QS+W special. At WAS in finale.
84 1.0 10 Daniel Ponce de Leon -0.7 0.0 1.0 ▲
85 1.0 10 Frankie Montas 3.2 3.5 -2.5 ▼ Has been off since early Aug. injury; facing LAD next, ow.
86 1.0 10 Ryan Yarbrough 3.9 1.5 -0.5 ▼
87 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 7.5 1.5 -0.5 ▼
88 1.0 10 John Means -1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
89 1.0 10 Josh Lindblom 4.8 1.0 0.0 ▬ Was sharp prior to brief leave, let's see his Sunday start.
90 1.0 10 Kyle Freeland 9.1 1.5 -0.5 ▼
91 1.0 10 Josh Fleming 0.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
92 1.0 10 Mike Minor 5.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
93 1.0 10 Tarik Skubal 1.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
94 1.0 10 Jaime Barria 5.6 0.0 1.0 ▲
95 1.0 10 Griffin Canning 4.8 1.0 0.0 ▬
96 1.0 10 Luke Weaver 1.7 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Seth Lugo 2.2 1.5 -0.5 ▼ I miss him as a reliever, this just isn't working out.
98 1.0 10 Jordan Montgomery 6.0 1.5 -0.5 ▼
99 1.0 10 Taijuan Walker 1.7 1.5 -0.5 ▼
100 1.0 10 Spencer Turnbull 6.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
101 1.0 10 Drew Smyly 4.9 0.0 1.0 ▲

Thank you for riding along with this column throughout the 2020 season. I will be putting together a Top 101 for 2021 that'll come next week. Best of luck to you all!



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MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance.

In addition to closers and saves, relief pitchers are becoming increasingly important for fantasy baseball pitching staffs, especially in a volatile season like 2020. Bullpen arms with elite ratios will be relied upon heavily, especially for those in Holds (HLD) leagues or Saves+Holds leagues (SV+HLD) formats. But not to worry, the RotoBaller team is here every day to help you stay on top of all closer depth charts for the AL and NL, and dominate in saves, holds and bullpen arms this year.

We will be updating the MLB Closers & Saves Depth Charts every day, all season and off-season long. Be sure to also check out these quick-hit notes from @DavidMarcillo77 and @NMariano53 looking at the biggest daily bullpen news from around MLB:

  • 9/21: All bullpens updated for (maybe?) the last time in the regular season! Check it out and good luck in the fantasy finals!
  • 9/21: Cesar Valdez is all of a sudden seeing save opportunities in Baltimore and might be a good pickup for the last week of the season. The 35-year-old has earned two saves in the last two save chances the Orioles have had.
  • 9/16: Welp, so much for Ken Giles in Toronto. The closer is back on the injured list with the same injury he suffered before. Giles has dealt with issues in his throwing arm since last season and might not return until 2021. The Blue Jays pen will likely go back to being a committee led by Rafael Dolis.
  • 9/11: The Diamondbacks made it seem like Kevin Ginkel was going to get a chance to close, but today they optioned him back to the Alternate Site, so it certainly won't be him handling any ninth inning leads. Stefan Crichton and Travis Bergen look like the next possible guys up, but it could be a day by day thing in the desert.
  • 9/11: Giovanny Gallegos has landed on the IL with a groin injury. Andrew Miller looks like he's next in line, but it could end up continuing as a committee at least until someone stands out.
  • 9/11: Ken Giles is on his way back and could be activated this weekend. He'll get an inning or two of low-leverage work, but should be in the closer's role before long.
  • 9/11: Giovanny Gallegos was forced to leave Thursday's game with a groin injury. It's unclear if he'll miss extended time, but Andrew Miller, John Gant, and Ryan Helsley should step up if necessary.
  • 9/11: Bryan Garcia looks to be rising to the top of the Tigers bullpen committee. He's worth picking up in most formats for fantasy managers desperate for a few more saves.
  • 9/8: The Mariners bullpen is finally somewhat settled, but closer Yoshihisa Hirano still hasn't pitched in back-to-back days since returning from the IL. So yesterday, Yohan Ramirez saved his third game of the year. It's not quite a committee because Hirano will be in there when he's available, but he might not be as locked in as other closers until he can pitch in consecutive games.
  • 9/7: Almost nothing happened in bullpens for several days! That was a nice respite from this wild season.
  • 9/3: Hoby Milner is on the injured list with back spasms, meaning the recently-returned Cam Bedrosian should log several holds in September. If he looks sharp then he may see a save opportunity or two with Ty Buttrey's shaky 1.34 WHIP and poor 10/6 K/BB ratio over 18 2/3 IP treading water.
  • 9/2: Zack Britton is back in the Yankees bullpen and should continue as the primary setup man. Aroldis Chapman has been suspended for three games, and Britton should close if necessary for the games Chapman misses.
  • 9/2: Emilio Pagan landed on the injured list, so Drew Pomeranz and newcomer Trevor Rosenthal will continue atop the San Diego bullpen with a little less competition.

More Closer and Bullpen Articles

In addition to our bullpen depth charts below, be sure to also read our other articles on closers, relief pitchers, and bullpens:

 

AL EAST: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds  Candidates Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Yankees Aroldis Chapman Zack Britton Adam Ottavino N/A
Solid Red Sox Matt Barnes Ryan Brasier Phillips Valdez N/A
Questionable Blue Jays Rafael Dolis Anthony Bass A.J. Cole Rafael Dolis
Questionable Orioles Cesar Valdez Hunter Harvey Tanner Scott N/A
Questionable Rays Nick Anderson Diego Castillo Oliver Drake N/A

 

AL CENTRAL: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Tigers Bryan Garcia Gregory Soto Jose Cisnero Bryan Garcia
Solid White Sox Alex Colome Codi Heuer Jimmy Cordero N/A
Solid Indians Brad Hand James Karinchak Nick Wittgren,
Oliver Perez
N/A
Solid Royals Greg Holland Scott Barlow Jesse Hahn, Josh Staumont Greg Holland
Questionable Twins Taylor Rogers Sergio Romo Tyler Duffey, Trevor May N/A

 


AL WEST: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Rangers Rafael Montero Jonathan Hernandez Brett Martin N/A
Questionable Angels Ty Buttrey Felix Pena Cam Bedrosian, Mike Mayers N/A
Solid Athletics Liam Hendriks Joakim Soria Jake Diekman, Yusmeiro Petit N/A
Solid Astros Ryan Pressly Andre Scrubb Brooks Raley N/A
Solid Mariners Yoshihisa Hirano Yohan Ramirez Anthony Misiewicz N/A

 

NL EAST: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Braves Mark Melancon Will Smith,
Shane Greene
Chris Martin N/A
Solid Marlins Brandon Kintzler Yimi Garcia Brad Boxberger N/A
Solid Mets Edwin Diaz Justin Wilson Jeurys Familia N/A
Questionable Phillies Hector Neris Tommy Hunter David Phelps N/A
Solid Nationals Daniel Hudson Will Harris Wander Suero N/A

 

NL CENTRAL: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Cubs Jeremy Jeffress Craig Kimbrel Jason Adam N/A
Solid Reds Raisel Iglesias Archie Bradley Amir Garrett,

Nate Jones

N/A
Solid Brewers Josh Hader Devin Williams Alex Claudio N/A
Solid Pirates Richard Rodriguez Nik Turley Chris Stratton Richard Rodriguez
Questionable Cardinals Andrew Miller Alex Reyes Ryan Helsley Andrew Miller

 

NL West: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closers & Saves

RotoBaller Stability Rating Team Name Current Closer Direct Backup More Holds
Candidates
Immediate Waiver Add
Solid Diamondbacks Stefan Chrichton Travis Bergen Junior Guerra N/A
Solid Rockies Daniel Bard Mychal Givens Yency Almonte Daniel Bard
Solid Dodgers Kenley Jansen Blake Treinen Brusdar Graterol, Pedro Baez N/A
Solid Padres Trevor Rosenthal Drew Pomeranz Emilio Pagan N/A
Committee Giants Tony Watson Tyler Rogers Sam Selman N/A

 

Previous Closers and Saves News Updates

  • 8/31: TRADE DEADLINE UPDATES! Seattle sent Taylor Williams to the Padres, where he'll settle in somewhere in middle relief. Yoshi Hirano should close in Seattle. Archie Bradley went to the Reds, where Raisel Iglesias should still close, but he'll have much less room for error. Hector Rondon and Junior Guerra should split opportunities in Arizona. David Phelps went to the Phillies, where he might be a good candidate for holds, and Miguel Castro joined the Mets and could get some late inning hold chances too.
  • 8/31: There are sure to be several changes coming throughout the day as the trade deadline approaches, but for now, the Orioles are giving Cole Sulser a bit of a break after he's struggled a bit. There's no clear replacement, but Hunter Harvey seems like a strong candidate if he can get back up to speed and stay healthy.
  • 8/31: For those keeping an eye on committees, Gregory Soto seems to be moving to the top in Detroit, and rather surprisingly, Sam Coonrod got a save for San Francisco. Nothing is determined, but it's something to keep an eye on for managers desperate for saves.
  • 8/30: The Mariners and Padres completed a seven-player trade with some bullpen arms involved. Dan Altavilla and Austin Adams will head to San Diego in the deal. They should both pitch out of the bullpen, but likely won't mix into the late innings now that Drew Pomeranz is healthy and Trevor Rosenthal is a Padre.
  • 8/30: The Orioles traded Mychal Givens to the Rockies, and he should immediately be in the mix for saves in Colorado. Cole Sulser remains the top guy in the Baltimore pen.
  • 8/29: When asked about the closer situation after trading Trevor Rosenthal, Royals manager Mike Matheny hinted at Greg Holland, but also mentioned Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont. The dark horse? Matheny also said Jesse Hahn may get an opportunity. It's a full committee for now, it seems.
  • 8/29: Plenty of news for a Saturday! New closers in San Diego, Kansas City, and Toronto. The Royals traded Trevor Rosenthal to the Padres, making him the top option for the Padres and leaving Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont to likely work the ninth together in Kansas City.
  • 8/29: Drew Pomeranz was activated off the injured list today. He'll rejoin the Padres bullpen, but it's unclear if he or the newly acquired Trevor Rosenthal will work as closer.
  • 8/29: Jordan Romano landed on the injured list, leaving the Blue Jays back to a committee likely with Anthony Bass and Rafael Dolis working the ninth. Romano is expected to miss two to four weeks.
  • 8/29: Hunter Harvey has been on the injured list most of this season, but he'll be activated within the next day or two. He'll probably need time to get back up to speed, but he could work his way into the closer's role before long.
  • 8/27: Keone Kela has only pitched two innings this year and now he's heading right back to the injured list with tightness in his forearm. Richard Rodriguez should pick up whatever save chances the Pirates accidentally end up in.
  • 8/27: Andrew Miller has hit the IL with arm fatigue, which should solidify Giovanny Gallegos as the closer for the time being. This is a bullpen to monitor.
  • 8/26: Shakeup in the Tigers bullpen, as Joe Jimenez will get some time to get things ironed out. In the meantime, manager Ron Gardenhire says he'll play matchups in the ninth inning.
  • 8/24: Daniel Bard got the most recent save chance for the Rockies, and converted it with a perfect ninth inning. The Colorado bullpen is still a committee, but it looks like Bard may be taking over at least as the head of the committee.
  • 8/24: Jordan Romano picked up the save for the Blue Jays and looks to be the new closer in town.
  • 8/23: Nick Anderson is the latest Rays pitcher to hit the IL. He's dealing with a forearm strain, but it's not expected to keep him out for too long. Diego Castillo will probably see the most save chances, but this could be more of a ninth inning closer carousel.
  • 8/23: Just when the Pirates finally got their closer back on the mound, Keone Kela got hurt. He'll be out for a bit, but the Pirates likely won't have too many save chances anyway. If they do, Richard Rodriguez seems like the favorite for the ninth.
  • 8/23: Andrew Miller came in to pitch the eighth inning and Giovanny Gallegos had to bail him out and then pitch the ninth. It's still a committee until we see more consistent usage, but Gallegos seems to be atop the committee now at least.
  • 8/21: TRADE! The Red Sox and Phillies have worked out a trade to revamp the Phillies bullpen. Brandon Workman should immediately become the closer in Philly, moving Hector Neris into a setup role. Meanwhile, Matt Barnes should take over for Boston if they ever accidentally have a lead in the ninth.
  • 8/21: Drew Pomeranz is dealing with shoulder tightness and ended up on the IL, right when he was given the chance to take over the closer's role full time. There doesn't seem to be a ton of concern long term, but any shoulder issue with a pitcher could become a big deal. Emilio Pagan and Craig Stammen figure to fill in for Pomeranz in the meantime.
  • 8/20: Corey Knebel has landed on the IL thanks to a hamstring strain. David Phelps and Devin Williams will move into more prominent roles behind Josh Hader while Knebel recovers.
  • 8/19: Big news out of Queens, as Seth Lugo will be stretched out to become a member of the starting rotation. Edwin Diaz figures to get another shot to lock down the closer's role for the Mets, but Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia could be involved as well.
  • 8/17: Padres closer Kirby Yates has been recommended for season ending surgery. Drew Pomeranz has been working as closer in his place and should continue to do so, although Emilio Pagan could get some chances as well.
  • 8/17: Andrew Miller got another save in Game 1 of Monday's double header, pitching after Giovanny Gallegos. It's two save situations in a row that have gone to Miller, and he's now listed as the head of the committee. This is all subject to change, of course, especially with the Cardinals playing tons of double headers coming up.
  • 8/16: Turmoil in the Rockies bullpen as Jairo Diaz made a mess on Sunday that got cleaned up by Carlos Estevez. Following the game, the Rockies announced that they would no longer use a designated closer, and that Estevez would be sent for x-rays of his throwing hand after taking a comebacker off his hand in the game. Daniel Bard may suddenly jump into save situations after an excellent start to the season.
  • 8/15: For some reason only Gabe Kapler could know, Trevor Gott was allowed into a game tonight after last night's disastrous outing. Gott was bad again and it's hard to see him having any confidence the next time he climbs the mound. Tony Watson and Tyler Rogers were good and may see the next few save chances for the Giants.
  • 8/15: In the first save situation since the Cardinals shutdown, Andrew Miller was on the mound and earned the save in Game 2 of a double header. It's hard to tell what that means going forward since Giovanny Gallegos pitched in Game 1, but Miller is someone to keep an eye on, all of a sudden.
  • 8/15: Craig Kimbrel had his best outing in a while on Friday, inducing more swinging strikes than he had in the entire rest of the season. It was also the first appearance where he didn't allow a run, after seven straight where he did. Rowan Wick still seems to be atop this committee, but Kimbrel could quickly work his way back in if he's Craig Kimbrel again.
  • 8/15: Trevor Gott got got on Friday night, allowing five runs and giving up the lead (bright spot? no blown save because the lead was so big. Okay, maybe not so bright.) He should still stay atop the San Francisco committee, but another bad outing from Gott could shift things around.
  • 8/15: Devin Williams is ascending in the Milwaukee bullpen, and could soon take over for Corey Knebel as Josh Hader's top setup man. Williams has been excellent and has elite swing-and-miss stuff.
  • 8/15: Huge news out of San Diego, as closer Kirby Yates is heading for an MRI after leaving Friday's game. He threw just six pitches and has seemed hurt pretty much all season. Drew Pomeranz will take over the closer's role and could easily be one of the best closers in the game, much like Yates was last season.
  • 8/13: Edinson Volquez is done for the season (and maybe for his career?) after being placed on the injured list with an oblique strain. Rafael Montero has a hold on the ninth, but Joely Rodriguez will move into a position where he could earn some holds.
  • 8/13: Keone Kela has been activated and will be back on the mound for this weekend's series. He's likely to be the closer right away and although the Pirates may not win a ton, Kela is solid enough to be worth owning in most formats.
  • 8/12: Aroldis Chapman will pitch in a simulated game on Friday and that may be the last step before he's activated. He should take over the closer's role pretty soon, but might get a few lower leverage innings when he first gets back on the mound.
  • 8/11: Padres closer Kirby Yates was unavailable on Monday due to "soreness in his body" which to be honest: same. Drew Pomeranz got the save, but Yates should be back on the mound the next time the Padres have a lead to lock down.
  • 8/10: Cole Sulser still looks like the main guy in Baltimore, but Miguel Castro has been pitching important innings and earned a save on Sunday. It's another committee for the Orioles, with Sulser still holding a slight edge.
  • 8/10: The Mariners bullpen continues to be a day-to-day event, but Taylor Williams has three saves while all of the other options have just one. Williams came in to bail Dan Altavilla out of a rough situation and it looks like Williams has moved into the top spot for right now. With Carl Edwards Jr. now heading to the IL, Williams should have a bit of a leash, but this will be a fluid situation all year long, though.
  • 8/10: Looks like Rafael Montero is the guy in the Texas bullpen. We'll keep it as questionable for now just to be sure, but he's a must-add in most formats at this point.
  • 8/10: Oliver Drake ended up on the IL thanks to biceps tendinitis, so Nick Anderson should be the top choice in the Rays pen once again. Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo will be in the mix as well.
  • 8/10: Trevor Rosenthal needed a day off so Scott Barlow earned the save on Sunday. Rosie is still the guy here right now, but Barlow may have moved into the top setup role.
  • 8/9: Seth Lugo has taken over as the closer for the Mets, based on usage over the past few games. Edwin Diaz has been much better lately and should get any chances that Lugo doesn't. Lugo needs more days off than most relievers, so this is still kind of a committee, but Lugo is the clear head.
  • 8/9: Trevors around the league have moved into closer's roles, with Trevor Rosenthal taking over in Kansas City and Trevor Gott in San Francisco. Rosenthal is the better fantasy bet thanks to his strikeout upside.
  • 8/8: The Marlins placed Richard Bleier on the injured list on Saturday because of a mild left elbow triceps strain. He was looking like a solid source of holds in deeper leagues, but won't be back on the mound for at least 10 days.
  • 8/8: When Wade Davis hit the injured list for the Rockies, we knew it would be either Jairo Diaz or Carlos Estevez taking over. While it's still likely to be a committee to some extent, it does look like Diaz has jumped ahead and will be the best bet at least until Davis returns.
  • 8/8: We're seeing more and more committees forming in bullpens around the league. The Mets ninth inning will be split between Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz for now, and the Cubs will go with a combo of Craig Kimbrel and Rowan Wick. There's a chance these committees could be temporary, but if none of the pitchers separate themselves, then it could remain a group effort going forward.
  • 8/8: Taylor Williams and Carl Edwards Jr. seem to be the current best bets for saves in the Seattle bullpen. This has already been one of the most volatile bullpens in the league and should continue to be. There are some decent arms here, but the overall situation makes it a bullpen likely best left alone in most fantasy formats.
  • 8/8: Who knows when the Cardinals will play again, but when they do, it won't be Ryan Helsley taking the ball in the ninth, as he's on the IL with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. It looks like Giovanny Gallegos may end up closer by default.
  • 8/7: Rafael Montero was activated off the IL and immediately picked up a save. He has moved to the top of the Rangers bullpen depth chart. Montero was a promising prospect who dealt with multiple injuries over the years but definitely has the stuff to be a solid closer.
  • 8/7: Trevor Rosenthal picked up the save and has been moved to the top of the Royals bullpen depth chart. Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy continues to struggle after his surprisingly great 2019.
  • 8/5: Shake up in the Cardinals bullpen, as Kwang-Hyun Kim will leave the closer's role and enter the starting rotation. For now, the Cardinals will go with a committee, but Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley seem to be the best bets for save chances.
  • 8/5: The Pirates placed Nick Burdi on the 45-day injured list, so his season is over. Keone Kela will close as soon as he returns, and the Pirates will probably mix and match until then.
  • 8/5: With Hansel Robles struggling, the Angels will make their way to a committee. Ty Buttrey got the first save of the post-Robles era, and he's the best bet to get the most chances going forward.
  • 8/4: Updates on Astros closer Roberto Osuna show what manager Dusty Baker said to be correct: the team will be without their closer for a long time. Osuna has been recommended for Tommy John Surgery, which would knock him out of this season and likely most of next season as well. Ryan Pressly will work the ninth innings in Houston for now.
  • 8/4: The Pirates confirmed that Keone Kela would be the closer once he was back with the team. Kela has been dealing with COVID-19 but has been cleared to return to workouts and is working his way back. Nick Burdi is currently the closer in Pittsburgh, but that will change soon.
  • 8/4: Astros manager Dusty Baker said about closer Roberto Osuna's injury, "Doesn't look real good, actually." We can expect a long absence from Osuna, leaving Ryan Pressly to serve as closer. Pressly has dealt with his own arm issues, though, so Blake Taylor could be the backup's backup in Houston.
  • 8/2: Astros closer Roberto Osuna was officially placed on the IL with a case of elbow soreness. Ryan Pressly just got back on the mound after dealing with elbow issues of his own, but he's still the best bet to be on the mound in the ninth inning for Houston.
  • 8/2: Big shake up in the Colorado bullpen, as Wade Davis landed on the IL with a shoulder strain and Scott Oberg was transferred to the 45-day IL. Carlos Estevez and Jairo Diaz will likely share save chances until one of them stands out.
  • 8/1: Roberto Osuna had to be removed from a save situation due to an injury later reported to be "discomfort" in his throwing arm. He is scheduled for an MRI, but it appears he will miss some time. Ryan Pressly is next in line, but he's been dealing with his own health issues as well.
  • 8/1: Hansel Robles blew another save in grand fashion on Saturday. Robles was solid and consistent last season, but he's having a lot of trouble getting outs in 2020. It's unclear who'd be next in line in Anaheim, as top setup man Ty Buttrey has been struggling this year as well.
  • 8/1: Cole Sulser has jumped to the top of the Orioles committee. He is extremely effective against lefties, so manager Brandon Hyde may choose to use him more in a fireman role rather than limiting him to the ninth inning, but Sulser is the top of this committee for now.
  • 8/1: The Marlins and Orioles made a trade, with Richard Bleier heading from Baltimore to Miami in exchange for a player to be named later. Bleier will likely work in the late innings for Miami if they play another game this season.
  • 8/1: Dan Altavilla looked like he was taking over the Mariners bullpen, but he got lit up in a save opportunity and Taylor Williams earned another save on Friday. The Seattle bullpen will probably feature a carousel of closers this season, but for now, Williams seems like the top dog.
  • 8/1: Kirby Yates, baseball's best closer by a decent margin last season, is on the hot seat already this season. He's allowed four earned runs after allowing just eight in all of 2019. His biggest issue seems to be control, as he usually keeps his BB% under 8%, and it's at 25% right now. Drew Pomeranz got a save on Friday, and is more than just knocking on the door of the ninth inning.
  • 8/1: The Royals bullpen looks like an all-out committee, we'll say Trevor Rosenthal is at the top for now, but that can change from one day to the next.
  • 8/1: Surprising literally no one in baseball, Wade Davis hasn't been great this year. Scott Oberg has been hurt but is on his way back and would be next in line. For now, it's Carlos Estevez and Jairo Diaz at the end of the Rockies pen, along with Davis.
  • 7/31: Will Smith feels "really really good" according to manager Brian Snitker. He'll face live hitters in a couple of days, then throw in a sim game. After that, he should be activated and quickly become the top setup man in Atlanta.
  • 7/31: Sean Doolittle is working on things right now, making Daniel Hudson the choice for saves in Washington, at least temporarily. A good showing from Hudson could keep him in the ninth inning for a while though.
  • 7/31: The Blue Jays sound optimistic about Ken Giles, saying they hope to have him pitch again "relatively soon".
  • 7/31: Aroldis Chapman was dealing with COVID-19 but has been cleared to rejoin his teammates. He'll probably get a few normal innings to get his feet wet before jumping back into the closer's role full time.
  • 7/31: Mets manager Luis Rojas said "we need to talk" about removing Edwin Diaz from the closer's role. It sounds like Diaz is on extremely thin ice, or that he's lost the job already. The Mets have several closer-type arms to choose from, including Seth Lugo, Dellin Betances, and Jeurys Familia.
  • 7/30: Lots to look at in Thursday night's games. James Karinchak got the save for Cleveland. He may be next up if Brad Hand continues to struggle with his velocity. Trevor Rosenthal got the save for Kansas City, but the Royals bullpen still looks like a committee of veterans, including Ian Kennedy and Greg Holland as well. Daniel Hudson got the save for Washington, and he's been off to a much better start than current closer Sean Doolittle. The two Nationals may switch roles before too long.
  • 7/30: Rangers closer/fireman Jose Leclerc is dealing with the same injury as his teammate Corey Kluber. They both have a Grade 2 strain of the teres major muscle in their throwing shoulders. Neither will be on a mound again likely until the postseason. Nick Goody picked up the save on Wednesday night, but it was mostly due to game circumstance. If Leclerc misses more time, the Rangers could send Jonathan Hernandez or Edinson Volquez to the mound in the ninth innings.
  • 7/29: Oliver Drake looks like he's earned the "hot hand" in the Rays bullpen. He earned his second save in a row on Tuesday night and should continue to get save chances until his hand is less hot.
  • 7/29: Nick Burdi earned his first career save last night and will be the favorite for saves in Pittsburgh, but manager Derek Shelton admitted he'd be careful with Burdi because of his previous injury history. Burdi should still easily have the most fantasy value, but Richard Rodriguez and Michael Feliz will find themselves on the mound in the ninth inning when Burdi is deemed unavailable.
  • 7/29: Sergio Romo earned a save last night for the Twins, and Taylor Rogers still hasn't pitched this season. Manager Rocco Baldelli says that Romo was already up and warm when the Cardinals turned the game into a save situation by adding a run. It's a bit concerning for fantasy owners, but it seems Taylor Rogers is fine and should be on the mound soon.
  • 7/28: More injuries in the Pirates bullpen have led to Kyle Crick joining Keone Kela on the injured list. That leaves Nick Burdi as the favorite for saves in Pittsburgh. He's one of the top relief prospects in the game and should be added immediately.
  • 7/28: Many people expected some turmoil in the Mets bullpen, but maybe not this early. On Monday night, Seth Lugo earned a four-out save, bailing out Jeurys Familia in the eighth then pitching a clean ninth to lock down a 7-4 win. Edwin Diaz has already blown a save and the Mets bullpen could be fully on its way to a committee at this point.
  • 7/27: Blue Jays closer Ken Giles officially landed on the injured list with elbow soreness. It's unclear how long he'll be out, but it could be a while. Toronto figures to go with a committee for now, featuring Jordan Romano, Anthony Bass, and Rafael Dolis. Keep an eye on how Toronto uses their bullpen to see if any of those guys are worth a waiver claim.
  • 7/27: Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel did almost nothing right on Monday, walking four and giving up two runs while getting just one out. He threw 34 pitches, just 13 for strikes. Kimbrel was clearly not right last season, and it seems like he's not much different in 2020. Jeremy Jeffress came in to rescue Kimbrel and earned the save, and would likely be next in line if Kimbrel loses his ninth inning role.
  • 7/27: Astros top setup man Ryan Pressly is dealing with elbow soreness. For now, he's listed as "day-to-day", but it'll be important to keep an eye on him. Roberto Osuna remains at the top of the Astros bullpen, but Chris Devenski will likely move into Pressly's spot.
  • 7/26: The Giants (somewhat surprisingly) had two save opportunities this weekend against the Dodgers. Both went to Trevor Gott. With Gabe Kapler as manager, it's almost impossible to say anyone has a leg up on the ninth inning, but Gott does seem like the early favorite, as he was able to save both games he came into.
  • 7/26: Lots of news today, as Will Smith has been cleared to rejoin the Braves after throwing a side session in Atlanta. He'll likely slide into the eighth inning/fireman role and should be an excellent roster piece in any holds leagues for now.
  • 7/26: Trevor Gott earned the save for the Giants last night. Tony Watson and Tyler Rogers pitched in the eighth inning right ahead of him. It'll likely be a full on committee for San Francisco this season, with recent usage and opposing batters determining the closer's role each game.
  • 7/26: The Mariners pretty much had a bullpen day on Sunday, with seven pitchers pitching against the Astros. When a save situation finally came around, though, Seattle gave the ball to Taylor Williams, who earned the save by striking out three in the inning despite allowing a run.
  • 7/26: Blue Jays closer Ken Giles was forced to leave the game today due to an injury. It's unclear how much time he will miss, but the Blue Jays could choose to go with Anthony Bass in the ninth inning, or with a committee that includes Bass, Rafael Dolis, and a few others.
  • 7/26: Some interesting bullpen usage last night, as Greg Holland earned the save for Kansas City and Oliver Drake earned one for Tampa Bay. Ian Kennedy was used in the 6th and 7th innings, and Nick Anderson came in as a fireman in the 7th and 8th.
  • 7/26: Edwin Diaz blew a save on Saturday, an all too common sight for Mets fans after last season. He was used as the closer in Games 1 and 2, but his leash will likely be very short.
  • 7/23: A couple of bits of good news in the Phillies bullpen, as Tommy Hunter and closer Hector Neris are healthy and ready to go for Opening Day. With Joe Girardi serving as manager this year, Neris should have a more solid role in the ninth inning.
  • 7/23: Astros closer Roberto Osuna will be on the Opening Day roster. He got a late start at Summer Camp, so there was reason to wonder if he'd start the season on the injured list, but he's far along enough in his training that he'll be on the team from the outset. Ryan Pressly will likely still get the first few save chances while Osuna gets up to speed, but it's ultimately Osuna's job once he's set to go.
  • 7/22: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is still testing positive for COVID-19 despite remaining asymptomatic. He'll need two negative test results before he can rejoin the Yankees. Zach Britton is expected to handle the bulk of the save opportunities in the meantime.
  • 7/22: Rockies reliever Scott Oberg will begin the season on the injured list. He was set to be the main setup man for Colorado and the handcuff for the volatile Wade Davis. At least for now, it seems like Oberg won't be on the shelf for too long.
  • 7/22: Pirates closer Keone Kela revealed that he has been away from the team due testing positive for COVID-19. He says he has been asymptomatic, but continuously tests positive or inconclusive. He'll need two negative tests before he can rejoin his teammates.
  • 7/22: Orioles rookie reliever Hunter Harvey is "very doubtful" to be ready for Opening Day. He's dealing with soreness in his throwing elbow, although the team is reportedly "not concerned about it at all". Mychal Givens will open the season as the Orioles closer, but Harvey should take over once he's healthy.
  • 7/22: More mess in the Mariners bullpen, as Austin Adams looks like he'll start the season on the injured list. Adams is dealing with a knee injury, but should be right back into the ninth inning mix once he's back on the mound.
  • 7/22: Rays reliever Colin Poche is out for the year and likely most of next year as well. He was diagnosed with a torn UCL and will likely undergo Tommy John Surgery.
  • 7/21: Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Hunter Harvey is dealing with, "a little bit of arm fatigue". It's unclear if he'll just need a couple of days off or if he'll need a stint on the injured list to start the season. Harvey should be a ninth inning option for the Orioles this season once he's healthy.
  • 7/21: Just as the Cardinals bullpen seemed to be settling down, manager Mike Schildt announced that lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim would be starting the season in the bullpen and would likely be the primary closer. Kim does not have the kind of "stuff" you usually see in an effective closer, but his role will give him plenty of fantasy value.
  • 7/20: The Astros bullpen has been downgraded to Questionable as closer Roberto Osuna may not be ready to go when the season starts. Manager Dusty Baker has said that Ryan Pressly will "probably" be the closer until Osuna is able to return.
  • 7/20: The Phillies released Anthony Swarzak, presumably so he'd have a chance to pitch elsewhere. He's more of a middle reliever at this point, but he could work his way into fantasy relevance if he signs with a club with a shallow bullpen.
  • 7/19: Astros manager Dusty Baker said that he is "not sure" if closer Roberto Osuna will be ready to go for Opening Day. Osuna is behind after reporting late to Summer Camp. Ryan Pressly is the top option to take his place, but Osuna's job is safe once he returns.
  • 7/18: Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos (undisclosed) is finally on his way to St. Louis to join the team. He hasn't been with the club since Summer Camp opened, so he's unlikely to be ready to go on Opening Day. Still, he shouldn't be too far behind and will play a key role in the Cardinals bullpen this season.
  • 7/17: Pirates manager Derek Shelton said that he plans to mix and match for his closer's role while Keone Kela is away for "undisclosed" reasons. Kyle Crick is the most likely one to get chances, but he's a bit behind in Summer Camp so Nick Burdi could get some chances as well.
  • 7/16: The Royals and Padres have agreed to a trade that will send Tim Hill to San Diego. Hill will be buried in the Padres bullpen, but should provide solid middle relief and situational outings against lefties.
  • 7/16: Phillies closer Hector Neris was activated from the injured list and cleared to return to action. He should be ready to go on Opening Day.
  • 7/14: Astros reliever Joe Smith has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • 7/13: Jordan Hicks was expected to get a late start to the season after finishing his recovery from Tommy John Surgery, but he's chosen to opt out of 2020 all together. Ryan Helsley seems like the the highest upside add, with Giovanny Gallegos slightly safer, although there's plenty of risk there too.
  • 7/13: Diego Castillo was back in Rays camp on Monday and believes he could pitch in back-to-back games right away. He missed three days of workouts due to a "personal matter" but seems right on track and should have a key role in the Tampa Bay bullpen this season.
  • 7/11: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms. Manager Aaron Boone says he is doing okay, but he won't be around for a while of course. The Yankees bullpen is strong enough to take care of things while Chapman recovers, with a mix of Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino likely handling the ninth.
  • 7/8: Cardinals president John Mozeliak was asked about his team's closer role and the first person he mentioned was Ryan Helsley. He also mentioned Giovanny Gallegos, who hasn't joined the team just yet, and Carlos Martinez if he is unable to stretch out into a starting role. Helsley has the most upside and is worth keeping an eye on.
  • 7/7: The Baltimore bullpen looks like it could be a committee between Mychal Givens and Hunter Harvey. Harvey has the higher upside, but Givens has the experience that managers crave.
  • 7/7: Trevor Rosenthal slides into the backup/handcuff role in Kansas City. He was terrible last season in 15 1/3 innings, but now reunited with manager Mike Matheny, Rosenthal should be given the chance to climb up the depth chart.
  • 7/7: Jose Leclerc is the best reliever in the Texas bullpen, which is this case might not be the best thing for his fantasy value. Leclerc may be used in more of a fireman role than in a classic closer role, making him much more valuable to the Rangers, but potentially much less for fantasy owners.
  • 7/7: Austin Adams works his way into the top spot in the Seattle bullpen, but that whole bullpen looks to be a work in progress, with Hirano, Magill, and perhaps even a few more likely mixing in for saves based on matchups.
  • 7/7: Corey Knebel looks set to be the main handcuff for Josh Hader in Milwaukee, but Knebel may get a slightly late start. He's recovering from Tommy John Surgery and has reportedly been throwing well, but he's not a sure thing to be ready for New Opening Day.
  • 7/7: Nick Burdi sneaks into the Pirates bullpen hierarchy and while he'll likely start somewhere in a middle relief/7th inning role, he could have huge upside as closer if the Pirates move Keone Kela before the deadline.
  • 7/7: John Brebbia was a key part of the Cardinals bullpen and was set to be again this year, but he was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery and will miss all of whatever the 2020 season is, and likely a big part of 2021 as well. Ryan Helsley could have a huge year in a role somewhat like Brebbia's, although he could move up in the pecking order if he pitches well.
  • 7/7: Speaking of the Cardinals, Jordan Hicks should be ready to pitch at some point this season, but he won't be ready to start the year. Giovanny Gallegos should take the closer's role, but he's currently on the injured list as well. The Cardinals expect Gallegos to be ready to go, but if he's not, that bullpen will be mixing and matching to start the season.
  • 7/6: Baseball is back! Maybe? The season is still a work in progress, but bullpen depth charts have been updated to reflect a few recent pieces of news, including a few closers landing on the injured list due to positive COVID-19 tests.
  • 7/6: Key relievers currently dealing with positive COVID-19 tests include Will Smith of the Braves, Giovanny Gallegos of the Cardinals, and Hector Neris of the Phillies. There are reportedly 31 players who have tested positive so far, with more tests and certainly more positives to come. Bullpens could be more of a revolving door than ever before this season.
  • 7/6: New Mets manager Luis Rojas is already making waves, refusing to commit to Edwin Diaz as closer when asked. The end of the Mets bullpen has a lot of great arms in Diaz, Dellin Betances, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia. Diaz should still lead the committee, but may not end up taking the role for himself.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 200 Hitters Weekly Rankings (Week 9)

Last week I wrote that the schedule had begun to have an outsized impact on value. At this point, it's not impacting projected value even more than recent performance. There are exceptions to that, but that's the overarching rule this week. Paul Goldschmidt's value has been buoyed by this aspect for much of the season. The first baseman has had an excellent campaign while hitting in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks, but his value has been inflated since St. Louis was shut down during its COVID outbreak back in August.

While I want this final column to be similar to the ones that proceeded it, these last eleven days are unique even within the context of a season that has been unique. In trying to adjust the column to fit the moment, this update is also less process-based than previous versions and more a reflection of the current state of baseball. For instance, the projections systems maintain optimism about seasonal underperformers like JD Martinez, but these final ranks for the season reflect some of the time limitations and schedule impact of the remaining games. Simply put, these final rankings are more focused on immediate performance than previous versions. Throughout the season, projections and peripheral stats have driven the process. I'm not about to abandon that altogether, but at this point, the median team has ten games left. That changes the situation.

As we look down the barrel of the season's final days, I want to be sure to thank the team here at Rotoballer and Nick Mariano, who has anchored the pitcher side of things. It's been a real pleasure reading his installments each week and getting to collaborate with him. Likewise, I've had a number of readers reach out with feedback about player valuation, formatting, or features for the sheet. A big thank-you to everyone. It's made this process more fun, and I think it has made the sheet much better.

 

Rest of Season Schedules: Strength vs. Volume

Rather than looking at individual players this week, here is an overview of the data that is helping to drive some of the changes in player value.

I took the time to compile opponents, the strength of opposing pitching staffs, normalized both, and then combined the data to provide the relative difference in value for the rest of the season. I believe I have accurately accounted for all the remaining seven-inning double-headers. Factoring all that in, here are the MLB teams ranked by ROS value based on opponents and remaining games. The right-hand column shows each team's strength-of-schedule multiplied by their remaining games.

Team Games Remaining Strength of Schedule ROS wROS
Marlins 12 103.4 120.8
Nationals 12 103.3 120.7
Cardinals 11 101.2 112.4
Phillies 11 100.2 111.3
Astros 10 110.3 110.9
Blue Jays 11 98.5 109.5
Yankees 10 108.2 108.7
Rockies 11 96.3 107.0
Rangers 10 105.6 106.2
Indians 10 104.5 105.0
Braves 9 109.8 104.6
Orioles 10 102.2 102.7
Mets 10 101.4 101.9
Rays 10 101.1 101.7
Pirates 11 90.9 101.0
D-backs 9 105.7 100.6
Royals 9 104.1 99.2
Athletics 9 102.7 97.8
Giants 10 97.1 97.6
Mariners 10 95.8 96.3
Dodgers 9 101.1 96.3
Red Sox 9 100.6 95.8
Brewers 9 98.2 93.5
Cubs 9 96.3 91.7
Angels 9 94.6 90.1
White Sox 10 85.6 86.1
Tigers 9 90.3 86.0
Padres 7 111.1 82.3
Twins 8 95.6 81.0
Reds 8 86.8 73.5

The table above is about the remaining schedule only, and not the quality of the individual players on those teams. Basically, a league-average player on the Marlins should be 20% more valuable than a league-average player on Diamondbacks. In case you had any doubt about Starling Marte's value down the stretch, it should be good. Likewise, if you haven't already been starting players for every single double-header, the table above should prompt you to correct that behavior.

 

Buying Bats with Bulk

The first thing that jumps out is that the top two teams have the most games remaining. Both Washington and Miami have above average schedules, and they'll get to play 12 more games against those weaker opponents. To be frank, I thought that the strength-of-schedule would have a larger impact, but the table above shows volume is king. Again, the wROS scores do reflect double-headers or the Nationals' and Marlins' schedules would be around 25% more valuable than the average team.

By contrast, the Padres' hitters have the easiest remaining schedule. They get to face the Mariners, Angels, and Giants, but the Friars are sitting at the bottom because they have only eight games remaining. The Yankees still have a strong schedule, but they have fewer games to maximize their value. Meanwhile, the Rockies will see two of MLB's worst pitching staffs when they play Arizona and San Francisco, but they'll be away for both of those games, so the benefit of the park factor is reversed.

Obviously, this all exists in a vacuum, but in the context of the final eleven days, managers need to be thinking about this when making roster moves and setting their lineups. For leagues with daily moves, managers can stream hitters against MLB's weaker pitching staffs, especially teams like the Red Sox, Tigers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks. If you can catch one of those teams on the road, it's all the better. For leagues with transaction limits or weekly lineups, it makes sense to go see which Marlins, Nationals, Cardinals, and Phillies are available on the wire for the final week.

 

Where to Find Steals

While most of the fantasy stats aggregate around opposing team wOBA, steals are an entirely separate category. Yes, some teams have particularly noticeable weaknesses: the Diamondbacks and Red Sox give up a ton of home runs, for instance. However, bad pitching staffs generally give up runs, RBI, home runs, and hits in equally generous measures.

For managers in need of a couple of extra steals, the Angels (41), Braves (37), Nationals (36), Diamondbacks (35), and Mariners (35) have been the most susceptible to giving up bases. That makes a player like Leody Taveras, who will face the Angels and Diamondbacks, especially valuable. The same could be true for Jon Berti if he returns from the IL this weekend. The Marlins will see both the Nationals and Braves in this final stretch. If you are a believer in Jazz Chisholm, he should have the same opportunity as Berti. Andres Gimenez has been a pleasant surprise this season, but he's rostered in only 15% of leagues, and the Mets also face the Braves and the Nationals for a combined seven games. Any one of those four players could add two or three steals for a team.

The sprint season has left us with a final run that is closer to something like fantasy football than fantasy baseball. Middle-of-the-pack teams can dramatically change their position with these final games. Hopefully, this schedule breakdown gives you some opportunities to do that.

Here are the Baller Ranks Top-200 hitters and the Meta Report for Week 9/10:

Rank $ Player Pos Trend
1 45.0 Juan Soto OF 1 ▲
2 41.0 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 2 ▲
3 41.0 Mike Trout OF -2 ▼
4 39.0 Trea Turner SS 5 ▲
5 39.0 Bryce Harper OF 1 ▲
6 38.0 Mookie Betts OF -1 ▼
7 38.0 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF 0 ▬
8 37.0 Christian Yelich OF -5 ▼
9 35.0 Trevor Story SS -1 ▼
10 33.0 Freddie Freeman 1B 2 ▲
11 33.0 Francisco Lindor SS 0 ▬
12 31.0 Jose Ramirez 3B 1 ▲
13 30.0 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 9 ▲
14 29.0 Marcell Ozuna DH 4 ▲
15 29.0 Cody Bellinger OF -5 ▼
16 28.0 Nelson Cruz DH 0 ▬
17 27.0 Nolan Arenado 3B -2 ▼
18 26.0 Manny Machado 3B -1 ▼
19 25.0 J.T. Realmuto C -5 ▼
20 25.0 Eloy Jimenez OF 1 ▲
21 25.0 Rafael Devers 3B -2 ▼
22 24.0 Tim Anderson SS 6 ▲
23 24.0 Starling Marte OF 1 ▲
24 23.0 Corey Seager SS 2 ▲
25 23.0 Luis Robert OF -5 ▼
26 22.0 DJ LeMahieu 2B 11 ▲
27 21.0 Xander Bogaerts SS -4 ▼
28 21.0 Keston Hiura 2B 1 ▲
29 21.0 Nick Castellanos OF -4 ▼
30 20.0 Jose Abreu 1B 2 ▲
31 20.0 Ozzie Albies 2B 0 ▬
32 19.5 Whit Merrifield OF 1 ▲
33 19.0 Anthony Rendon 3B 10 ▲
34 19.0 Pete Alonso 1B -7 ▼
35 18.5 Kyle Tucker OF 5 ▲
36 18.0 Charlie Blackmon OF 0 ▬
37 18.0 George Springer OF -2 ▼
38 17.5 Anthony Rizzo 1B 0 ▬
39 17.5 Carlos Correa SS 5 ▲
40 17.0 Luke Voit 1B 15 ▲
41 17.0 Eugenio Suarez 3B 4 ▲
42 17.0 Marcus Semien SS -1 ▼
43 17.0 Gleyber Torres SS 11 ▲
44 16.5 Didi Gregorius SS 5 ▲
45 16.0 Eddie Rosario OF -3 ▼
46 16.0 Josh Donaldson 3B 11 ▲
47 15.5 Michael Conforto OF 5 ▲
48 15.5 Aaron Judge OF/DH 64 ▲
49 15.0 Joey Gallo OF -1 ▼
50 15.0 Alex Bregman 3B -20 ▼
51 15.0 Ramon Laureano OF -5 ▼
52 14.5 Franmil Reyes DH 1 ▲
53 14.5 Gio Urshela 3B 66 ▲
54 14.5 Yuli Gurriel 1B -3 ▼
55 14.5 Kyle Schwarber OF -5 ▼
56 14.0 Andrew McCutchen OF 6 ▲
57 14.0 Miguel Sano 1B 3 ▲
58 14.0 Giancarlo Stanton DH 98 ▲
59 13.5 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B/DH -1 ▼
60 13.5 J.D. Martinez DH -13 ▼
61 13.0 Matt Olson 1B 0 ▬
62 13.0 Yasmani Grandal C 1 ▲
63 12.5 Wil Myers OF 11 ▲
64 12.5 Brandon Lowe 2B 1 ▲
65 12.0 Mike Yastrzemski OF 13 ▲
66 12.0 Max Muncy 1B 1 ▲
67 12.0 Bo Bichette SS/DH 21 ▲
68 12.0 Yoan Moncada 3B -2 ▼
69 11.5 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF 14 ▲
70 11.0 Adalberto Mondesi SS 35 ▲
71 11.0 Willson Contreras C -2 ▼
72 11.0 Jonathan Villar SS -13 ▼
73 11.0 Javier Baez SS -34 ▼
74 10.5 Alex Verdugo OF -3 ▼
75 10.0 Jonathan Schoop 2B -7 ▼
76 10.0 Michael Brantley DH -1 ▼
77 10.0 Ryan Mountcastle OF 22 ▲
78 9.5 Randal Grichuk OF 13 ▲
79 9.5 Cavan Biggio 2B 6 ▲
80 9.5 Brian Anderson 3B 15 ▲
81 9.5 Josh Bell 1B 19 ▲
82 9.0 Teoscar Hernandez OF 75 ▲
83 9.0 Trent Grisham OF -1 ▼
84 9.0 Renato Nunez 1B -5 ▼
85 9.0 Jorge Polanco SS -5 ▼
86 8.5 Dansby Swanson SS -5 ▼
87 8.5 Dominic Smith 1B/OF/DH 3 ▲
88 8.5 Ian Happ OF -4 ▼
89 8.5 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF/DH 26 ▲
90 8.5 Alec Bohm 3B 20 ▲
91 8.0 Dylan Moore OF 25 ▲
92 8.0 Will Smith C -3 ▼
93 8.0 Corey Dickerson OF 8 ▲
94 8.0 Austin Meadows OF -24 ▼
95 7.5 Kyle Lewis OF 1 ▲
96 7.5 Kyle Seager 3B 1 ▲
97 7.5 Austin Nola C 1 ▲
98 7.5 Kolten Wong 2B 11 ▲
99 7.5 Carlos Santana 1B -7 ▼
100 7.0 Yadier Molina C -6 ▼
101 7.0 Mike Moustakas 2B -28 ▼
102 6.5 Jesse Winker DH -16 ▼
103 6.5 Adam Eaton OF 4 ▲
104 6.0 Jake Cronenworth 2B -2 ▼
105 6.0 Hunter Dozier OF 31 ▲
106 6.0 Byron Buxton OF 5 ▲
107 5.5 Maikel Franco 3B 17 ▲
108 5.5 Travis d'Arnaud C 10 ▲
109 5.5 Paul DeJong SS 11 ▲
110 5.5 Edwin Encarnacion DH 13 ▲
111 5.0 A.J. Pollock OF 10 ▲
112 5.0 Mitch Moreland 1B -4 ▼
113 5.0 Pedro Severino C -10 ▼
114 5.0 Willy Adames SS -1 ▼
115 5.0 Aaron Hicks OF 13 ▲
116 5.0 Kris Bryant 3B -40 ▼
117 5.0 Eduardo Escobar 3B -40 ▼
118 4.5 Christian Walker 1B -1 ▼
119 4.5 Donovan Solano 2B 18 ▲
120 4.5 J.D. Davis 3B -16 ▼
121 4.5 Salvador Perez C 50 ▲
122 4.5 Victor Robles OF -16 ▼
123 4.5 Justin Upton OF 13 ▲
124 4.0 Kevin Pillar OF 7 ▲
125 4.0 Mark Canha OF -11 ▼
126 4.0 Jean Segura 2B -8 ▼
127 4.0 Nick Solak OF -2 ▼
128 4.0 Avisail Garcia OF -6 ▼
129 4.0 Gary Sanchez C -36 ▼
130 3.5 Jesus Aguilar 1B 32 ▲
131 3.5 Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B 3 ▲
132 3.5 Alex Dickerson OF 10 ▲
133 3.5 Colin Moran 1B/3B/DH -7 ▼
134 3.0 Adam Duvall OF 26 ▲
135 3.0 Brad Miller DH 8 ▲
136 3.0 David Fletcher SS 67 ▲
137 3.0 Tommy Edman 3B 58 ▲
138 3.0 Tyler O'Neill OF 62 ▲
139 3.0 Sean Murphy C 55 ▲
140 3.0 Joc Pederson OF -10 ▼
141 2.5 Joey Votto 1B 6 ▲
142 2.5 Justin Turner 3B 3 ▲
143 2.5 Andres Gimenez 2B/3B/SS 16 ▲
144 2.5 Jose Altuve 2B 11 ▲
145 2.5 Wilson Ramos C -4 ▼
146 2.5 Max Kepler OF -7 ▼
147 2.5 Jo Adell OF -18 ▼
148 2.0 Hunter Renfroe OF 0 ▬
149 1.0 Bobby Dalbec 1B/3B/DH 51 ▲
150 2.0 J.P. Crawford SS -12 ▼
151 2.0 Christian Vazquez C 49 ▲
152 2.0 Leody Taveras OF 48 ▲
153 2.0 Hunter Renfroe OF -5 ▼
154 2.0 Gavin Lux 2B/DH 25 ▲
155 2.0 Howie Kendrick 1B/DH -6 ▼
156 1.5 Chris Taylor OF 34 ▲
157 1.5 Evan Longoria 3B -24 ▼
158 1.5 Clint Frazier OF 10 ▲
159 1.5 Miguel Cabrera DH 5 ▲
160 1.5 Nick Ahmed SS 40 ▲
161 1.5 Austin Riley 3B -10 ▼
162 1.5 Asdrubal Cabrera 1B -9 ▼
163 1.5 Joey Bart C -9 ▼
164 1.0 Eric Hosmer 1B -14 ▼
165 1.0 Brandon Belt 1B -4 ▼
166 1.0 Brandon Nimmo OF -3 ▼
167 1.0 David Peralta OF -2 ▼
168 1.0 Shohei Ohtani DH -81 ▼
169 1.0 Ryan Braun 1B/OF/DH 39 ▲
170 1.0 Matt Carpenter 3B 30 ▲
171 1.0 Niko Goodrum SS 9 ▲
172 1.0 Austin Slater OF/DH -5 ▼
173 1.0 Chance Cisco C 3 ▲
174 1.0 Tommy Pham OF/DH 0 ▬
175 1.0 Amed Rosario SS 7 ▲
176 1.0 Nick Senzel OF 5 ▲
177 1.0 Jared Walsh 1B/DH 23 ▲
178 1.0 Austin Romine C 0 ▬
179 1.0 Rougned Odor 2B 21 ▲
180 1.0 Jason Heyward OF 20 ▲
181 1.0 Shogo Akiyama OF 19 ▲
182 1.0 Jed Gyorko 1B/3B 18 ▲
183 0.8 Max Stassi C 0 ▬
184 1.0 Josh Rojas 2B/SS/OF/DH 16 ▲
185 1.0 Shogo Akiyama OF 15 ▲
186 1.0 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF -20 ▼
187 1.0 Jorge Soler DH -115 ▼
188 1.0 Luis Arraez 2B 12 ▲
189 1.0 Miguel Andujar 3B/OF/DH 11 ▲
190 1.0 Robbie Grossman OF 10 ▲
191 1.0 Anthony Santander OF 9 ▲
192 1.0 James McCann C 8 ▲
193 1.0 Daulton Varsho C/OF/DH 0 ▬
194 1.0 Andrelton Simmons SS 2 ▲
195 1.0 Ryan McMahon 2B -25 ▼
196 1.0 Miguel Rojas SS 4 ▲
197 1.0 Kole Calhoun OF 3 ▲
198 1.0 #N/A #N/A 2 ▲
199 1.0 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo 3B/OF/DH 2 ▲
200 1.0 Willie Calhoun OF/DH 1 ▲



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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note Featured Baseball Featured Homepage MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Relief Pitchers Weekly Rankings

We're already on the back nine of September, barreling towards the end of fantasy baseball, which means the Week 9 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks are here for a weekly dive into how the top 101 RPs stand for the home stretch. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for SP, RP, and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 9 Top 101 RP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

YOU WILL CLICK THAT^. Time is short this week so I just wrote more notes than usual in lieu of analyzing movers. This is a sprint to the finish, you just need to note the trend and digest the ranks.

 

Top 101 Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 9

Rank $ Tier Player EV $ Trend Notes
1 $15.0 1 Liam Hendriks $8.4 $14.0 1.0 ▲ Continuing his No. 1 RP campaign.
2 $13.5 1 Kenley Jansen $2.8 $14.0 -0.5 ▼
Rebounded from 2 awful outings on Sunday in non-SV opp.
3 $13.5 1 Josh Hader $1.3 $14.0 -0.5 ▼
4 $13.0 2 Brad Hand $5.3 $13.0 0.0 ▬ CLE on a skid, Hand still had a perfect inning this week.
5 $12.0 2 Alex Colome $4.0 $11.0 1.0 ▲
6 $11.5 2 Raisel Iglesias $6.1 $10.5 1.0 ▲ Coming off an amazing week, glad CIN kept him in 9th.
7 $10.0 2 Taylor Rogers $3.5 $11.0 -1.0 ▼ Solid 22.4% K-BB%, but .412 BABIP crushing his ratios.
8 $9.5 3 Rafael Montero $3.4 $9.5 0.0 ▬ Limited chances, strong execution.
9 $8.0 3 Daniel Hudson -$2.2 $8.5 -0.5 ▼
10 $7.5 3 Mark Melancon $1.6 $7.5 0.0 ▬ You know the deal, healthy ratios with fewer K's. Clockwork.
11 $7.0 3 Ryan Pressly $4.4 $6.5 0.5 ▲
12 $6.5 3 Aroldis Chapman $0.2 $5.5 1.0 ▲ Looks sharp w/ 3 perfect IP in last wk, suspension looms.
13 $6.0 3 Trevor Rosenthal $3.0 $4.5 1.5 ▲
14 $6.0 3 Edwin Diaz $4.9 $4.0 2.0 ▲ Not many save opps lately, converted what came his way.
15 $5.5 3 Greg Holland $5.2 $1.5 4.0 ▲ Been lights out, rewarding Matheny's trust.
16 $5.0 3 Daniel Bard $4.8 $3.5 1.5 ▲
17 $4.5 4 Devin Williams $8.1 $4.0 0.5 ▲ The best non-closing RP, must-start.
18 $4.0 4 Drew Pomeranz $7.2 $6.0 -2.0 ▼
19 $3.5 4 Richard Rodriguez $2.9 $2.5 1.0 ▲ PIT SV opps few and far between, but RichRod's been solid.
20 $3.0 4 Jeremy Jeffress $3.2 $2.0 1.0 ▲
21 $2.5 4 Matt Barnes -$0.4 $2.0 0.5 ▲ Had a clunker thrown in, but K's have returned.
22 $2.5 4 Nick Anderson $6.4 $3.5 -1.0 ▼ Only two appearances since returning on Sept. 4.
28 $2.5 4 Yoshihisa Hirano $0.0 $1.5 1.0 ▲ Pitched in 3 straight games, all scoreless outings (w/ 1 SV).
23 $2.5 4 Rafael Dolis $3.4 $1.5 1.0 ▲
24 $2.0 5 James Karinchak $6.9 $1.5 0.5 ▲ CLE ramping back his usage, big K's still coming.
25 $2.0 5 Brandon Kintzler -$1.7 $2.0 0.0 ▬
26 $2.0 5 Hector Neris $3.3 $1.0 1.0 ▲ Neris is the favorite for saves in PHI now.
27 $2.0 5 Craig Kimbrel -$0.1 $1.0 1.0 ▲ Dare I say, Kimbrel almost looks like his old self lately?
29 $2.0 5 Tony Watson $2.1 $1.0 1.0 ▲
30 $2.0 5 Zack Britton $3.1 $1.0 1.0 ▲ May see a save or two w/ Chapman's suspension.
31 $2.0 5 Sergio Romo $2.4 $1.5 0.5 ▲
32 $1.5 6 Diego Castillo -$0.5 $1.5 0.0 ▬
33 $1.5 6 Bryan Garcia $2.7 $1.0 0.5 ▲ Zero strikeouts in September, but two saves, no runs.
34 $1.5 6 Cesar Valdez $2.7 $1.0 0.5 ▲
35 $1.5 6 Stefan Crichton $2.9 $0.0 1.5 ▲ Lead committee man for ARZ.
36 $1.0 6 Tyler Duffey $3.2 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
37 $1.0 6 Ty Buttrey $1.3 $1.5 -0.5 ▼ Incredible that he's still in convo for the 9th, really.
38 $1.0 6 Brandon Workman -$0.4 $3.0 -2.0 ▼ Currently unreliable, Neris the better PHI RP right now.
39 $1.0 6 Archie Bradley $5.5 $1.0 0.0 ▬
40 $1.0 6 Chris Martin $3.3 $0.0 1.0 ▲ 10 IP, 14 K, 0 ER, 0 BB, just 2 hits since Aug. 21 return from IL.
41 $1.0 6 Tanner Rainey $2.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
42 $1.0 6 Andrew Miller $1.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Should receive southpaw shares of save opps.
43 $1.0 6 Hunter Harvey -$0.5 $1.0 0.0 ▬
44 $1.0 6 Yimi Garcia $3.4 $0.5 0.5 ▲ Looks better than Kintzler, could see a few saves.
45 $1.0 6 Yohan Ramirez -$1.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Capable of handling 9th inning if Hirano's worked.
46 $1.0 6 Amir Garrett $1.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
47 $1.0 6 Trevor May $1.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
48 $1.0 7 Evan Marshall $6.8 $1.0 0.0 ▬
49 $1.0 7 Jonathan Hernandez $6.0 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
50 $1.0 7 Joakim Soria $4.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬
51 $1.0 7 Tyler Rogers $2.5 $1.0 0.0 ▬
52 $1.0 7 Tyler Webb $0.5 $0.0 1.0 ▲ Stepped in for the save with other 'pen arms taxed.
53 $1.0 7 Mike Mayers $6.2 $0.0 1.0 ▲ Earning more high-leverage spots, 11/0 K/BB ratio in Sept.
54 $1.0 7 Gregory Soto $2.5 $1.0 0.0 ▬
55 $1.0 7 Scott Barlow $2.6 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
56 $1.0 7 Rowan Wick $3.7 $0.5 0.5 ▲
57 $1.0 7 Blake Treinen $3.9 $0.5 0.5 ▲
58 $1.0 7 Chad Green $2.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬
59 $1.0 7 Nick Wittgren -$1.0 $0.5 0.5 ▲
60 $1.0 7 Alex Reyes $2.5 $0.5 0.5 ▲ Looks sharp, could see late-inning situations.
61 $0.5 8 Jorge Alcala $2.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
62 $0.5 8 Yusmeiro Petit $0.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
63 $0.5 8 Nick Vincent $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
64 $0.5 8 John Gant $3.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Nursing minor injury, but every game is precious now.
65 $0.5 8 Jake McGee $4.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬
66 $0.5 8 Felix Pena $3.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬
67 $0.5 8 Ken Giles -$1.0 $1.0 -0.5 ▼ He gave up a run in both outings since return, no rush.
68 $0.5 8 Matt Andriese $2.5 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Snuck in two saves, but not a steady late-inning fixture.
69 $0.5 8 Matt Wisler $3.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
70 $0.5 8 Anthony Bass $3.7 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
71 $0.5 8 Josh Staumont $1.7 $1.5 -1.0 ▼ He's cooled off and lack of K's & SV's means no dice.
72 $0.5 8 Lucas Sims $1.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
73 $0.5 8 John Curtiss $2.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
74 $0.5 8 Sean Doolittle -$1.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
75 $0.5 9 Andre Scrubb $0.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
76 $0.5 9 Victor Gonzalez $3.7 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Working early in games, but strong results.
77 $0.5 9 Peter Fairbanks $3.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
78 $0.5 9 Matt Foster $5.4 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
79 $0.5 9 Tyler Clippard $5.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
80 $0.5 9 Yency Almonte $5.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
81 $0.5 9 Tanner Scott $2.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
82 $0.5 9 James Hoyt $2.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
83 $0.5 9 Nick Nelson $0.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
84 $0.5 9 Wander Suero $3.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
85 $0.5 9 Codi Heuer $2.8 $0.0 0.5 ▲
86 $0.5 9 J.B. Wendelken $4.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
87 $0.5 9 Kyle McGowin $2.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
88 $0.5 10 Will Smith -$4.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
89 $0.5 10 Mychal Givens $1.6 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
90 $0.5 10 Freddy Peralta $6.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
91 $0.5 10 Joely Rodriguez $3.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
92 $0.5 10 Brad Boxberger -$0.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
93 $0.5 10 Tim Hill $0.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
94 $0.5 10 Alex Claudio $1.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
95 $0.5 10 Emilio Pagan -$0.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
96 $0.5 10 Jason Adam $1.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
97 $0.5 10 Ryan Borucki $2.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
98 $0.5 10 Brad Peacock $0.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
99 $0.5 10 Ross Detwiler $2.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬
100 $0.5 10 Thomas Hatch $2.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
101 $0.5 10 Caleb Ferguson $1.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬

 



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

The penultimate week of the 2020 fantasy baseball season is here, meaning you need the Week 9 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks to help analyze where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 9 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here. I encourage you to click that.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 9

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 43.0 1 Shane Bieber 21.7 43.0 0.0 ▬
2 42.0 1 Jacob deGrom 18.7 40.0 2.0 ▲ Oh my, is deGrom finally getting run support??
3 37.0 1 Yu Darvish 17.6 37.0 0.0 ▬
4 35.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 8.1 35.0 0.0 ▬
5 33.0 2 Gerrit Cole 8.0 33.0 0.0 ▬ HRs have been an issue, but 19 K & 1 ER vs. BAL x2 is great.
6 31.0 2 Trevor Bauer 15.0 31.0 0.0 ▬
7 29.0 2 Aaron Nola 13.5 29.0 0.0 ▬
8 29.0 2 Max Scherzer 13.1 27.0 2.0 ▲
9 27.0 2 Luis Castillo 13.7 25.0 2.0 ▲ That CG against the Cards felt great, good skills win out.
10 25.0 3 Lucas Giolito 16.6 29.0 -4.0 ▼ Still an ace in 7-of-10 outings this year, you'll take it.
11 25.0 3 Dinelson Lamet 12.7 23.0 2.0 ▲
12 23.0 3 Kenta Maeda 15.1 22.0 1.0 ▲ Blowing away my highest hopes for him, love to see it.
13 23.0 3 Dylan Bundy 15.8 17.5 5.5 ▲
14 22.0 3 Tyler Glasnow 8.2 22.0 0.0 ▬
15 22.0 3 Lance Lynn 10.1 18.5 3.5 ▲
16 22.0 3 Jack Flaherty 3.7 25.0 -3.0 ▼ Hasn't gone past 5 IP in any start since Opening Day.
17 20.0 3 Sonny Gray 11.9 22.0 -2.0 ▼ Back-to-back implosions, but draws PIT at home next.
18 20.0 3 Zac Gallen 10.9 23.0 -3.0 ▼ Looked mortal last 2 starts, but RoS schedule still a beaut.
19 18.5 4 Carlos Carrasco 8.2 16.0 2.5 ▲
20 17.5 4 Blake Snell 3.6 14.0 3.5 ▲
21 15.5 4 Corbin Burnes 15.5 10.0 5.5 ▲ Stock ascending faster than his batted balls allowed in 2019.
22 15.0 4 Zack Greinke 15.0 20.0 -5.0 ▼
23 14.0 4 Zach Plesac 9.4 14.0 0.0 ▬
24 14.0 4 Brandon Woodruff 13.2 12.0 2.0 ▲ Had been sliding, but 7 IP, 1 H, 12 K is a statement.
25 14.0 4 Kyle Hendricks 11.5 11.0 3.0 ▲
26 13.0 4 Hyun-Jin Ryu 8.8 9.5 3.5 ▲
27 12.0 4 Aaron Civale 11.1 14.0 -2.0 ▼
28 11.0 5 Charlie Morton 3.4 13.0 -2.0 ▼ Good form in 2 starts since IL, but he won't be pushed.
29 11.0 5 Mike Clevinger 2.8 11.0 0.0 ▬ Has only walked one batter in each of last 3 starts.
30 10.0 5 Jesus Luzardo 5.7 9.5 0.5 ▲
31 9.5 5 Jose Berrios 6.4 9.5 0.0 ▬
32 9.5 5 Andrew Heaney 12.2 9.0 0.5 ▲
33 9.5 5 Zach Davies 10.3 9.0 0.5 ▲ Faces LAD next, but had 7 IP, 2 ER against them in August.
34 9.5 5 Marco Gonzales 11.7 8.5 1.0 ▲
35 9.0 5 Sixto Sanchez 6.1 8.0 1.0 ▲ The fish that was promised? Just wrecking MLB batters.
36 9.0 5 Zack Wheeler 12.3 14.0 -5.0 ▼ Learn how to put on pants, c'mon.
37 9.0 5 Kevin Gausman 8.2 4.5 4.5 ▲ Kevin is throwing gas, man.
38 8.5 5 Masahiro Tanaka 6.4 6.5 2.0 ▲
39 8.5 5 Ian Anderson 2.9 4.0 4.5 ▲ Getting lucky, but creating lots of good fortune as well.
40 8.5 5 Triston McKenzie 4.5 5.0 3.5 ▲ Matchup against MIN will be a good test.
41 8.5 5 Tyler Mahle 5.8 5.5 3.0 ▲
42 8.0 6 Tony Gonsolin 7.4 8.0 0.0 ▬
43 8.0 6 Cristian Javier 2.1 8.5 -0.5 ▼
44 8.0 6 Patrick Corbin 5.8 9.5 -1.5 ▼ Encouraging bounceback with 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 K vs. ATL.
45 8.0 6 Chris Bassitt 5.5 8.0 0.0 ▬
46 8.0 6 German Marquez 13.1 8.5 -0.5 ▼
47 6.5 7 Dustin May 3.8 8.0 -1.5 ▼
48 5.5 7 Dallas Keuchel 12.0 8.0 -2.5 ▼ Hopefully returning from IL this week, re-injury risk.
49 5.0 7 Deivi Garcia 5.2 3.5 1.5 ▲
50 4.5 7 Pablo Lopez 8.8 9.0 -4.5 ▼ Two bad starts in a row, we have little time for patience.
51 4.5 7 Framber Valdez 10.6 4.5 0.0 ▬
52 4.0 7 Zach Eflin 6.3 4.0 0.0 ▬
53 4.0 7 Michael Pineda 4.5 4.0 0.0 ▬
54 4.0 7 Garrett Richards 5.0 4.0 0.0 ▬
55 4.0 7 Julio Urias 6.0 4.0 0.0 ▬
56 4.0 7 Adam Wainwright 6.0 3.0 1.0 ▲
57 4.0 7 Max Fried 14.4 4.0 0.0 ▬ On IL for left-side muscle spasm, hopes to return Sept. 16.
58 4.0 7 Dylan Cease -0.5 3.0 1.0 ▲
59 3.5 8 Frankie Montas 3.5 2.5 1.0 ▲
60 3.0 8 Brady Singer 3.5 1.0 2.0 ▲ Will he face Detroit next? Or Milwaukee?
61 3.0 8 Walker Buehler 2.6 20.0 -17.0 ▼ That blister's back and LAD has no reason to push Buehler.
62 2.5 8 Chris Paddack 4.2 9.0 -6.5 ▼ His good-bad start pattern was interrupted by ankle sprain.
63 2.5 8 Sean Manaea 8.3 1.5 1.0 ▲ Four consecutive wins, looking good - but Coors awaits.
64 2.5 8 Matthew Boyd -1.1 4.0 -1.5 ▼
65 2.0 8 Danny Duffy 4.0 2.0 0.0 ▬
66 2.0 8 Brad Keller 7.5 2.0 0.0 ▬
67 2.0 8 Justin Dunn -1.1 2.0 0.0 ▬
68 2.0 8 Justus Sheffield 8.5 1.5 0.5 ▲ 5 QS in his last six outings, K's ramping up again.
69 2.0 8 Randy Dobnak 5.9 2.0 0.0 ▬
70 1.5 9 Dakota Hudson 2.7 1.0 0.5 ▲
71 1.5 9 Antonio Senzatela 6.1 2.5 -1.0 ▼
72 1.5 9 Dane Dunning 5.5 1.5 0.0 ▬
73 1.5 9 Jordan Montgomery 2.5 1.0 0.5 ▲ Looks amazing at times, but consistency remains an issue.
74 1.5 9 Jose Urquidy -0.2 1.0 0.5 ▲
75 1.5 9 Sandy Alcantara 1.4 1.0 0.5 ▲
76 1.5 9 Ryan Yarbrough 2.4 1.5 0.0 ▬ Ugly return from IL, eye Sept. 15 start vs. WSH.
77 1.5 9 Taijuan Walker 3.2 1.5 0.0 ▬
78 1.5 9 Yusei Kikuchi 9.2 1.5 0.0 ▬
79 1.5 9 Rich Hill 2.1 1.5 0.0 ▬
80 1.5 9 Seth Lugo 4.5 2.0 -0.5 ▼
81 1.5 9 Dean Kremer 2.0 1.0 0.5 ▲ Did well against Yanks in rematch, faces Rays next.
82 1.5 9 Kyle Freeland 7.1 2.5 -1.0 ▼
83 1.0 10 Joe Musgrove 1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬ Looks good upon return, but only 7 IP in two starts.
84 1.0 10 Alec Mills 2.0 1.5 -0.5 ▼
85 1.0 10 Josh Fleming 0.1 1.5 -0.5 ▼
86 1.0 10 Mike Minor 2.9 1.5 -0.5 ▼
87 1.0 10 Griffin Canning 3.0 1.5 -0.5 ▼
88 1.0 10 Luke Weaver 1.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
89 1.0 10 Spencer Turnbull 6.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
90 1.0 10 Tarik Skubal -0.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
91 1.0 10 J.A. Happ 1.5 0.0 1.0 ▲
92 1.0 10 John Means -2.3 0.0 1.0 ▲ Showed life against NYM last time, monitor next start.
93 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto 4.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
94 1.0 10 Josh Lindblom 2.9 1.5 -0.5 ▼
95 1.0 10 Adrian Houser 3.8 1.5 -0.5 ▼
96 1.0 10 David Peterson 2.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Chad Kuhl -0.8 1.0 0.0 ▬
98 1.0 10 Kris Bubic 3.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
99 1.0 10 Carlos Martinez -0.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
100 1.0 10 Brandon Bielak -3.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
101 1.0 10 Jakob Junis -1.6 1.0 0.0 ▬

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Corbin Burnes (SP, Brewers): After a dreadful 2019 campaign where every other pitch of his seemed to leave the yard, Burnes has evolved in ‘20. He hasn’t given up more than three earned in a start this year, but some control issues and pitch limits capped his ceiling. He’d only pitched more than four innings once in his first four outings, but he’s put the pedal to the metal recently.

With a whopping zero earned surrendered in his last three outings alongside a 28/3 K/BB ratio, Burnes is demanding the spotlight. We must keep both feet on the ground and recognize that two of those starts came against PIT and DET, but the man still has to execute. He lines up to face the Cards next and is locked into fantasy lineups.

Kevin Gausman (SP, Giants): I realize rostering the Giants is tough right now given the Covid-19 delay, but Gausman now has 62 strikeouts in 46 ⅔ IP with a clean 3.06 xFIP and 3.24 SIERA behind the 4.05 ERA. He walked into Coors and earned the win by allowing just two solo homers over five innings on Sept. 1 before crushing the D-backs with six innings of one-run ball, once again allowing just two hits. It helps that his splitter is absolutely devastating:

Add on that he’s averaging just 1.5 walks per start and you’ve got a healthy foundation to work off. Out of 63 SPs with at least 40 IP (as of Sept. 12), Gausman’s 27.8% K-BB% is sixth. The five ahead of him are Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola, Trevor Bauer, and Yu Darvish. He’s just ahead of Gerrit Cole. Is that promising company? I think so.

Ian Anderson (SP, Braves): Anderson was bounced by Miami after three frames on Sept. 7, but the rookie rebounded with a career-high seven innings and nine strikeouts against the Nationals on Saturday. The shutout frames dropped his ERA to 1.64 alongside a 0.91 WHIP with a zesty 11.05 K/9 to boot.

I don’t love the 10 walks (4.09 BB/9) and seeing the .184 BABIP over 22 IP, but his 59.2% groundball rate leaves little room for big damage and that clip usually doesn’t accompany heavy K’s. His groundball rate in the minors usually hugged 45% so we must be mindful of the sample size, but ignoring hot streaks with rookies that MLB hitters haven’t figured out yet is a losing recipe.

Pablo Lopez (SP, Marlins): It can’t all be feel-good stories, as López has snuffed out his hot start with two absolute clunkers. Yielding five runs over four frames against Tampa Bay was understandable -- a blip, perhaps. But then he gave up a disastrous seven runs on four hits and four walks in just 1 ⅔ IP at Atlanta on Sept. 9, showing little semblance of command.

Those are two talented lineups, but he gets another one in the Phillies next (on Monday). I’m not saying he’s an instant drop or lost cause, but the risk profile has increased just like his ERA has skyrocketed from 2.10 to 4.50 in a blink. Ditto Matthew Boyd, who gave up seven earned with four walks on Sept. 9 as well.

Brady Singer (SP, Royals): Singer celebrated his first start in a month that wasn’t against the Twins or White Sox by taking a no-hitter against Cleveland into the eighth inning on Sept. 10. He would lose it with four outs to go, but eight shutout frames for the win is nothing to scoff at. 

And seriously, he had faced the Twins or White Sox in five consecutive starts going back to early August. That’s difficult for anyone to navigate, let alone a rookie. It’s unclear whether he’ll face the Tigers on Sept. 16 or wait until Sept. 18 to take on the Brewers. Either one is okay, but obviously Detroit is the preferable draw.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 200 Hitters Weekly Rankings (Week 8)

Welcome to the homestretch. The past week seems to have reversed some of the trends and shifts that we were seeing earlier in the season. Edwin Encarnacion appears resurgent. Brandon Lowe looks like he is scuffling. And Tommy Pham might be coming back. The first two are more complex than they seem, but if Pham returns, it would be one of the most enigmatic parts of an already unpredictable season.

If it happens, the early return could not be more on-brand for Tommy Pham. I don't know of any other player with a more pronounced reputation as a driven athlete who so consistently exceeds expectations. I've thrown him into the ranks, but only at a $1 until we know more. If you have bench space, you could stash him, but keep in mind that we're talking about 11 or 12 games at the maximum. If the news solidifies, consider him a $10 player from now until the rest of the season.

Please remember that the schedule is now having an outsized impact on projected player values. The discrepancy is altering player ranks and causing some disconcerting changes in projected values. If you see a player who has had a bad stretch but an increase in projected value, it's probably tied to their number of remaining games relative to the rest of the league. With that out of the way,  here are the Baller Ranks Top-200 hitters and the Week 8 Meta Report. If you're unfamiliar with the Meta Report, here's a quick guide on what it is and how to read it. And if you missed Nick Mariano's pitcher rankings yesterday, here are his top 101 relievers and his top 101 starters.

Week 8 Hitter Rankings

Rank $ Player Pos Trend
1 45.0 Mike Trout OF 0 ▬
2 45.0 Juan Soto OF 0 ▬
3 39.0 Christian Yelich OF 1 ▲
4 38.0 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 2 ▲
5 38.0 Mookie Betts OF 0 ▬
6 38.0 Bryce Harper OF -3 ▼
7 38.0 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF 8 ▲
8 35.0 Trevor Story SS -1 ▼
9 34.0 Trea Turner SS 1 ▲
10 34.0 Cody Bellinger OF -2 ▼
11 33.0 Francisco Lindor SS 1 ▲
12 32.0 Freddie Freeman 1B 2 ▲
13 31.0 Jose Ramirez 3B -2 ▼
14 30.0 J.T. Realmuto C -1 ▼
15 30.0 Nolan Arenado 3B -6 ▼
16 29.0 Nelson Cruz DH 0 ▬
17 26.0 Manny Machado 3B 1 ▲
18 26.0 Marcell Ozuna DH 1 ▲
19 25.0 Rafael Devers 3B -2 ▼
20 24.0 Luis Robert OF 3 ▲
21 24.0 Eloy Jimenez OF 1 ▲
22 24.0 Paul Goldschmidt 1B -2 ▼
23 23.0 Xander Bogaerts SS -2 ▼
24 23.0 Starling Marte OF 0 ▬
25 22.0 Nick Castellanos OF 0 ▬
26 21.0 Corey Seager SS 11 ▲
27 21.0 Pete Alonso 1B -1 ▼
28 20.0 Tim Anderson SS 7 ▲
29 20.0 Keston Hiura 2B 1 ▲
30 20.0 Alex Bregman 3B 42 ▲
31 19.5 Ozzie Albies 2B 27 ▲
32 19.0 Jose Abreu 1B 10 ▲
33 18.5 Whit Merrifield OF -2 ▼
34 18.5 Matt Chapman 3B -5 ▼
35 18.5 George Springer OF -1 ▼
36 18.0 Charlie Blackmon OF -4 ▼
37 18.0 DJ LeMahieu 2B -1 ▼
38 18.0 Anthony Rizzo 1B 1 ▲
39 18.0 Javier Baez SS -12 ▼
40 17.5 Kyle Tucker OF 26 ▲
41 17.5 Marcus Semien SS 5 ▲
42 17.0 Eddie Rosario OF -4 ▼
43 17.0 Anthony Rendon 3B -10 ▼
44 17.0 Carlos Correa SS -4 ▼
45 16.5 Eugenio Suarez 3B 12 ▲
46 16.5 Ramon Laureano OF 3 ▲
47 16.5 J.D. Martinez DH -19 ▼
48 16.0 Joey Gallo OF -7 ▼
49 15.5 Didi Gregorius SS 5 ▲
50 15.5 Kyle Schwarber OF -6 ▼
51 15.5 Yuli Gurriel 1B -6 ▼
52 15.0 Michael Conforto OF -2 ▼
53 15.0 Franmil Reyes DH 8 ▲
54 15.0 Gleyber Torres SS 32 ▲
55 14.5 Luke Voit 1B 5 ▲
56 14.0 Rhys Hoskins 1B 11 ▲
57 14.0 Josh Donaldson 3B 28 ▲
58 13.5 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B -10 ▼
59 13.5 Jonathan Villar SS -7 ▼
60 13.0 Miguel Sano 1B 8 ▲
61 13.0 Matt Olson 1B -5 ▼
62 13.0 Andrew McCutchen OF 8 ▲
63 13.0 Yasmani Grandal C 2 ▲
64 13.0 Ketel Marte 2B -21 ▼
65 12.0 Brandon Lowe 2B -2 ▼
66 12.0 Yoan Moncada 3B -13 ▼
67 11.5 Max Muncy 1B 4 ▲
68 11.0 Jonathan Schoop 2B 13 ▲
69 11.0 Willson Contreras C 0 ▬
70 11.0 Austin Meadows OF -11 ▼
71 10.5 Alex Verdugo OF 11 ▲
72 10.5 Jorge Soler DH -17 ▼
73 10.5 Mike Moustakas 2B 1 ▲
74 10.0 Wil Myers OF 2 ▲
75 10.0 Michael Brantley OF/DH 9 ▲
76 10.0 Kris Bryant 3B/OF/DH 3 ▲
77 10.0 Eduardo Escobar 3B 3 ▲
78 9.0 Mike Yastrzemski OF 18 ▲
79 9.0 Renato Nunez 1B 12 ▲
80 9.0 Jorge Polanco SS 18 ▲
81 8.5 Dansby Swanson SS 6 ▲
82 8.5 Trent Grisham OF 1 ▲
83 8.5 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF 24 ▲
84 8.0 Ian Happ OF 31 ▲
85 8.0 Cavan Biggio 2B 16 ▲
86 8.0 Jesse Winker OF 4 ▲
87 8.0 Shohei Ohtani DH -10 ▼
88 8.0 Bo Bichette SS 4 ▲
89 8.0 Will Smith C 20 ▲
90 7.5 Dominic Smith 1B/OF/DH 16 ▲
91 7.5 Randal Grichuk OF 14 ▲
92 7.5 Carlos Santana 1B 10 ▲
93 7.5 Gary Sanchez C -46 ▼
94 7.0 Yadier Molina C 9 ▲
95 7.0 Brian Anderson 3B 4 ▲
96 6.5 Kyle Lewis OF 4 ▲
97 6.5 Kyle Seager 3B 22 ▲
98 6.5 Austin Nola C 19 ▲
99 6.5 Ryan Mountcastle OF/DH 39 ▲
100 6.5 Josh Bell 1B -6 ▼
101 6.5 Corey Dickerson OF 27 ▲
102 6.0 Jake Cronenworth 2B 8 ▲
103 6.0 Pedro Severino C 9 ▲
104 6.0 J.D. Davis 3B 4 ▲
105 6.0 Adalberto Mondesi SS 9 ▲
106 6.0 Victor Robles OF -13 ▼
107 6.0 Adam Eaton OF -18 ▼
108 5.5 Mitch Moreland 1B 3 ▲
109 5.5 Kolten Wong 2B 9 ▲
110 5.5 Alec Bohm 3B 3 ▲
111 5.5 Byron Buxton OF -7 ▼
112 5.0 Aaron Judge OF/DH 9 ▲
113 5.0 Willy Adames SS 7 ▲
114 5.0 Mark Canha OF 2 ▲
115 5.0 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF/DH 15 ▲
116 4.5 Dylan Moore 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 29 ▲
117 4.5 Christian Walker 1B 5 ▲
118 4.5 Travis d'Arnaud C 5 ▲
119 4.5 Gio Urshela 3B -55 ▼
120 4.5 Paul DeJong SS 5 ▲
121 4.0 A.J. Pollock OF 8 ▲
122 4.0 Avisail Garcia OF 2 ▲
123 4.0 Edwin Encarnacion DH 47 ▲
124 3.5 Maikel Franco 3B 10 ▲
125 3.5 Nick Solak OF 6 ▲
126 3.5 Colin Moran 1B/3B/DH -8 ▼
127 3.5 Christian Vazquez C 0 ▬
128 3.5 Aaron Hicks OF 25 ▲
129 3.5 Jo Adell OF 15 ▲
130 3.5 Joc Pederson OF 2 ▲
131 3.0 Kevin Pillar OF 9 ▲
132 3.0 David Fletcher SS 1 ▲
133 3.0 Evan Longoria 3B 18 ▲
134 3.0 Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B 1 ▲
135 3.0 Jean Segura 2B/3B/SS 33 ▲
136 3.0 Justin Upton OF 67 ▲
137 2.5 Donovan Solano 2B 49 ▲
138 2.5 J.P. Crawford SS 1 ▲
139 2.5 Max Kepler OF -88 ▼
140 2.5 Shin-Soo Choo OF/DH -4 ▼
141 2.5 Wilson Ramos C 2 ▲
142 2.0 Alex Dickerson OF 18 ▲
143 2.0 Brad Miller 3B/SS/DH 16 ▲
144 2.0 Tommy La Stella 2B 23 ▲
145 2.0 Justin Turner 3B 1 ▲
146 2.0 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/SS/OF 9 ▲
147 2.0 Joey Votto 1B -10 ▼
148 2.0 Hunter Renfroe OF 2 ▲
149 2.0 Howie Kendrick 1B/DH -23 ▼
150 1.5 Eric Hosmer 1B -53 ▼
151 1.5 Austin Riley 3B 37 ▲
152 1.5 Nick Ahmed SS 10 ▲
153 1.5 Asdrubal Cabrera 1B/3B/DH -11 ▼
154 1.5 Joey Bart C/DH 3 ▲
155 1.5 Jose Altuve 2B -93 ▼
156 1.5 Giancarlo Stanton DH -83 ▼
157 1.0 Teoscar Hernandez OF -82 ▼
158 1.0 Anthony Santander OF -63 ▼
159 1.0 Rowdy Tellez 1B/DH -12 ▼
160 1.0 Adam Duvall OF 40 ▲
161 1.0 Brandon Belt 1B 0 ▬
162 1.0 Jesus Aguilar 1B/3B/DH 4 ▲
163 1.0 Brandon Nimmo OF 1 ▲
164 1.0 Miguel Cabrera DH 25 ▲
165 1.0 David Peralta OF -87 ▼
166 1.0 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF -7 ▼
167 1.0 Austin Slater OF/DH -4 ▼
168 1.0 Clint Frazier OF/DH 12 ▲
169 1.0 Ryan Braun 1B/OF/DH -13 ▼
170 1.0 Ryan McMahon 2B -29 ▼
171 1.0 Salvador Perez C/1B/DH -2 ▼
172 1.0 Luis Urias 2B/3B/SS -23 ▼
173 1.0 Daniel Murphy 1B -19 ▼
174 1.0 Tommy Pham OF 26 ▲
175 1.0 Luis Arraez 2B 25 ▲
176 1.0 Chance Sisco C/DH -3 ▼
177 1.0 Victor Caratini C/1B/DH -1 ▼
178 1.0 Austin Romine C -6 ▼
179 1.0 Gavin Lux 2B -21 ▼
180 1.0 Niko Goodrum SS -15 ▼
181 1.0 Nick Senzel OF -2 ▼
182 1.0 Amed Rosario SS -34 ▼
183 1.0 Max Stassi C -1 ▼
184 1.0 Elvis Andrus SS -13 ▼
185 0.5 Miguel Andujar 3B/OF/DH 15 ▲
186 1.0 Sam Haggerty 3B/OF/DH -1 ▼
187 1.0 Anthony Santander OF -92 ▼
188 0.8 Rio Ruiz 3B -36 ▼
189 0.8 Garrett Hampson OF -2 ▼
190 0.8 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF/DH 10 ▲
191 0.8 Andres Gimenez 2B/3B/SS 9 ▲
192 0.8 James McCann C 8 ▲
193 0.8 Daulton Varsho C/OF/DH -3 ▼
194 0.8 Sean Murphy C -2 ▼
195 0.8 Bryan Reynolds OF -21 ▼
196 0.8 Andrelton Simmons SS -5 ▼
197 0.8 Carter Kieboom 3B/DH 3 ▲
198 0.8 Omar Narvaez C -3 ▼
199 0.8 Danny Jansen C -6 ▼
200 0.8 Brett Gardner OF -25 ▼

Key Rankings Movers

Rhys Hoskins (1B, Phillies)

There were some brutal stretches for Hoskins earlier in the season and some hard talk from fantasy managers about whether he was overdrafted based on erratic success.

Through his first 19 games, Hoskins hit .214 with 1 HR, 13 runs, 6 RBI, and a .760 OPS. For those 19 games, Hoskins ranked 421st in value. Since then, the Phillies have played another 19 games, and Hoskins has hit .289 with 8 HR, 18 R, 16 RBI, and a 1.071 OPS. During that stretch, he has been the 11th most valuable player in fantasy baseball.

Which one is the true Rhys Hoskins? Yes.

Here's where it gets worse. Hoskins' numbers looked fundamentally similar to last season. His Hard-Hit rate was down, as was his max exit velocity, but most of the batted ball data made him look like the same player.

We should have been able to see the truth in Hoskins' xwOBA. During those first 19 games, Hoskins' xwOBA was .406. In the second set, it has been .409, so why has Hoskins' performance been so erratic? Some of it is the small and over-weighted nature of this season's sampling. Some of it is also because of Hoskins' approach at the plate. While the Phillies' first baseman has always been a patient hitter, he owns a 23.4° launch angle. Hoskins' swing plane is steep enough that it leaves him subject to truly horrific luck with pop-ups and ground outs. During that initial stretch of futility, Hoskins owned a 40.5% fly-ball rate, which should be a positive, but it was compounded by a 23.5% infield-flyball rate and a 30.9% ground ball rate. Simply put, while Hoskins' aggressive launch angle allows him to generate ample home runs, it also leaves him subject to the type of batted-ball luck that prompts fantasy managers wondering if he's even ownable.

With Hoskins, managers are left with a player who has earned his spot and who looks like a good bet to finish the season as a top-10 first baseman. However, as those two stretches show us, the floor and ceiling are about as far apart as they can possibly be.

 

Kyle Tucker (OF, Astros)

The young Astros outfielder has done something that has thwarted so many rookies before him: he has played his way through the Dusty-Baker-Wall-of-Veteran-Experience.

Despite concerns about playing time, Tucker has been showcasing the type of 20-20 skills that have made him a blue-chip prospect. With his recent surge, Tucker has provided 8 home runs, 30 runs, 37 RBI, and 5 stolen bases with a .272 average. In fact, if we combine Tucker's 2019 and 2020 numbers, he is on a 162-game pace for 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

What's more, the underlying stats support Tucker's performance so far. His barrel rate (11.8%), exit velocity (91 MPH), hard-hit rate (45.4%), and xSLG (.540) are all in the top 25% of the league.

Tucker's hit tool and power are complemented by his five steals and effective speed. Add Tucker's 2019 audition to this year, and he has 10 steals in 64 games without having been caught once. That efficiency will ensure that the Astros keep letting him run.

The combination pushes his value up to the top-40 hitters, and we're getting to see his ceiling right now. Certainly, the talent is there to become a top-10 offensive threat, and Tucker's track record gives us a real reason to believe.

 

Brandon Lowe (2B, Rays)

Lowe offers us an example of the anti-Hoskins. Lowe's prospect pedigree and hot start made him a darling for managers, and he looked like the type of breakout player that helps win leagues. Over the last two weeks, however, he's struggled to produce. The dry stretch and Lowe's relative age have been forcing managers to re-evaluate his first-month success.

Fortunately, while the projections and production have faded a bit, there is good reason to be optimistic that he'll continue to be a top-ten second baseman from here forward. Even during this slump, Lowe has continued to barrel the ball at a 12.9% rate. His launch angle is still a healthy 15.1°, and on Monday night, he smacked a ball at 109.6 MPH, his highest exit velocity this season.

Lowe may need to make critical adjustments to rebound, but the situation doesn't look dire. His strikeout rate is up to 32.1% over his last 50 at-bats, but his chase rate, swinging-strike rate, and contact rates are relatively stable.

Over 165 MLB games, Brandon Lowe has given us a 126 wRC+, and there's nothing in the recent sample to make us doubt that level of performance.

 

Dylan Moore (OF, Mariners)

In his five games since returning from the IL, Moore has hit one home run and two doubles, scored four times, driven in four runs, and stolen three bases.

It's hard to believe in a breakout like this from a 28-year-old who was relatively unheralded as a prospect, but Moore has shown useful power and become the type of cheap speedster that many fantasy owners bank on. Moore's six home runs and nine steals have allowed him to score 20 times despite missing that two-week stretch.

In games, Moore shows the type of tools that made him an above-average offensive player at nearly every stop in the minors. In 2016, he averaged a 134 wRC+ in A ball. In 2017, he struggled at AA, but in 2018, he posted a 131 at AA and AAA. Looking at his numbers more carefully, it seems the only reason to dismiss Moore's MiLB track record was his age and lack of pedigree. While player age does have a clear relationship to overall outcomes, Moore seems a good bet to continue outperforming his current projections.

Moreover, Moore looks like a different, better player than he did last year. We have improvements in his max exit velocity (a key indicator in adjusting our projections for small samples), his barrel rate (up from 6.5% to 13.6%), and his hard-hit rate (36.1% to 43.9%).

Moore is right on the verge of getting caught stealing a bit too much (9 for 12), but the Mariners seem content to let him run for now. The $4.5 value is under Kolten Wong, Jeff McNeil, and Jake Cronenworth, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Moore outproduce all of them.

 

Speed Round

Justin Upton (OF, Angels) The reports of Justin Upton's demise have been greatly exaggerated. I'm guilty of having dropped Upton outside my top-150. Without full playing time, it was impossible to project him for meaningful value the rest of the way. He hasn't returned to everyday player status, but Joe Maddon is getting him onto the field often enough that he should be useful for players in need of outfield help.

Edwin Encarnacion (DH, White Sox) A part of me wants to write that Encarnacion does this to us every year, but there are still real signs of trouble for EE. While he's continued to slug homers, he's struggled to do much else. I know, I know, Joey Gallo, but Encarnacion is in a different territory. Even with his elite 16.9% barrel rate, Encarnacion's xBA is only .179. Compare that number to his .248 from 2019 or .246 from 2018. Moreover, his hard-hit rate has fallen to 29.6%. Those numbers haven't gotten dramatically better over his recent power surge. Like Upton, Encarnacion should offer some value, but based on his current batted-ball data, it's a limited ceiling with absolutely no floor.

Gary Sanchez (C, Yankees) Sanchez's strikeout rate has spiked so much that I had to go and check that the data was right. It's uncommon to see this level of collapse from a batter, even one like Sanchez, whose plate approach can be problematic. In this case, we're talking about a hitter with a batting average at .125 and a 41.5% strikeout rate. Granted, Sanchez's BABIP is also .125, his barrel rate is 18.2%, and his hard-hit rate is 49.1%. The whole Yankees' organization is in some type of funk right now, and you have to figure they will come out of it, but this is…not good. The projections put Sanchez as closer to a $9-10 value, but that seems optimistic based on the indicators from our most stable data so far this season.

 




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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Relief Pitchers Weekly Rankings

We're into the meat of September and that means the Week 8 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks are here for a weekly dive into how the top 101 RPs stand moving forward. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for SP, RP, and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 8 Top 101 RP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 8

Rank $ Tier Player EV $ Trend Notes
1 14.0 1 Liam Hendriks 6.6 14.0 0.0 ▬ Stretch of postponed games stings, still a top arm.
2 14.0 1 Kenley Jansen 3.5 14.0 0.0 ▬
3 14.0 1 Josh Hader 3.5 14.0 0.0 ▬
4 13.0 2 Brad Hand 4.8 12.0 1.0 ▲ Early scuffles are in the past, looks elite lately.
5 11.0 2 Taylor Rogers 5.4 11.0 0.0 ▬ Lighter usage of late, but peripherals remain strong.
6 11.0 2 Alex Colome 3.1 11.0 0.0 ▬
7 10.5 2 Raisel Iglesias 4.2 10.5 0.0 ▬
8 9.5 3 Rafael Montero 2.5 9.5 0.0 ▬ He can only go as far as TEX offense lets him.
9 8.5 3 Daniel Hudson -2.7 7.5 1.0 ▲ High ERA burns, WHIP still under 1 and saves coming in.
10 7.5 3 Mark Melancon 1.1 6.0 1.5 ▲ Lower K's, but perfect in last four appearances.
11 7.0 3 Giovanny Gallegos 4.7 7.0 0.0 ▬
12 6.5 3 Ryan Pressly 4.1 5.5 1.0 ▲ HOU may be skidding, but Pressly's been solid.
13 6.0 3 Drew Pomeranz 6.4 3.5 2.5 ▲
14 5.5 3 Aroldis Chapman -2.2 8.5 -3.0 ▼ Yanks are ice-cold, Chapman's suspension looms.
15 4.5 4 Trevor Rosenthal 2.1 5.5 -1.0 ▼
16 4.0 4 Edwin Diaz 4.4 3.0 1.0 ▲ With over two strikeouts per inning, he's steadying.
17 4.0 4 Devin Williams 6.9 4.0 0.0 ▬
18 3.5 4 Nick Anderson 5.9 1.0 2.5 ▲ Only one appearance since return, a clean save on 9/4.
19 3.5 4 Daniel Bard 5.5 1.5 2.0 ▲
20 3.0 4 Brandon Workman 1.6 3.5 -0.5 ▼ Not perfect, but looks much better in PHI than earlier.
21 2.5 5 Richard Rodriguez 2.1 2.0 0.5 ▲ Looking quite strong, healthy K's, barely any walks.
22 2.0 5 Matt Barnes -1.5 1.5 0.5 ▲
28 2.0 5 Jeremy Jeffress 2.6 1.0 1.0 ▲
23 2.0 5 Brandon Kintzler -2.3 4.5 -2.5 ▼ Two shaky appearances in a row, but that'll come w/ B.K.
24 1.5 5 James Karinchak 6.1 4.0 -2.5 ▼ He's looked mortal lately, but still a top non-closer.
25 1.5 5 Greg Holland 2.8 1.5 0.0 ▬
26 1.5 5 Ty Buttrey 2.8 2.0 -0.5 ▼
27 1.5 5 Scott Barlow 2.9 1.0 0.5 ▲ Barlow notched KC's first save opp of September.
29 1.5 5 Sergio Romo 1.1 1.5 0.0 ▬
30 1.5 5 Yoshihisa Hirano -0.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
31 1.5 5 Josh Staumont 1.1 1.5 0.0 ▬
32 1.5 5 Tyler Duffey 2.9 1.5 0.0 ▬
33 1.5 5 Jonathan Hernandez 5.8 1.5 0.0 ▬
34 1.5 5 Rafael Dolis 2.8 0.5 1.0 ▲ Trending up w/ Bass shaking, though Giles may be back.
35 1.5 5 Diego Castillo -1.1 1.5 0.0 ▬
36 1.0 6 Zack Britton 2.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
37 1.0 6 Craig Kimbrel -1.3 0.0 1.0 ▲ Two perfect innings since Aug. 29 meltdown, ups & downs.
38 1.0 6 Cesar Valdez 2.0 0.0 1.0 ▲
39 1.0 6 Gregory Soto 1.5 0.0 1.0 ▲
40 1.0 6 Hector Neris 3.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
41 1.0 6 Joakim Soria 4.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
42 1.0 6 Tony Watson 1.9 1.0 0.0 ▬ Finally, two saves in SFG's last four games.
43 1.0 6 Bryan Garcia 2.7 0.0 1.0 ▲
44 1.0 6 Kevin Ginkel -1.1 0.0 1.0 ▲ Rough start, but has trust for 9th post-Bradley trade.
45 1.0 6 Archie Bradley 4.5 1.0 0.0 ▬
46 1.0 6 Tanner Rainey 2.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
47 1.0 6 Ken Giles -0.4 0.5 0.5 ▲ Threw live BP on Sep. 8, he may return this weekend.
48 1.0 7 Mychal Givens 2.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
49 1.0 7 Trevor May 0.8 1.0 0.0 ▬
50 1.0 7 Yohan Ramirez -1.2 0.0 1.0 ▲ Has seen saves w/ SEA not overworking Hirano.
51 1.0 7 Amir Garrett 3.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
52 1.0 7 Evan Marshall 5.2 0.5 0.5 ▲
53 1.0 7 Andrew Miller 1.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
54 1.0 7 Hunter Harvey 1.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
55 1.0 7 Anthony Bass 3.0 2.0 -1.0 ▼ Given up runs in 3 of last 5, Giles may return soon.
56 1.0 7 Tyler Rogers 2.1 0.5 0.5 ▲
57 1.0 7 Chad Green 1.1 1.5 -0.5 ▼
58 1.0 7 Matt Foster 4.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
59 0.5 8 Rowan Wick 3.1 1.5 -1.0 ▼
60 0.5 8 Yusmeiro Petit 0.2 0.5 0.0 ▬
61 0.5 8 Nick Wittgren 1.3 0.5 0.0 ▬
62 0.5 8 Joely Rodriguez 3.3 0.5 0.0 ▬
63 0.5 8 Ross Detwiler 2.4 0.5 0.0 ▬
64 0.5 8 Jorge Alcala 2.7 0.0 0.5 ▲
65 0.5 8 Felix Pena 3.4 0.5 0.0 ▬ His first save was followed by his two worst games, ugh.
66 0.5 8 Peter Fairbanks 3.8 0.5 0.0 ▬
67 0.5 8 Lucas Sims 2.8 0.0 0.5 ▲
68 0.5 8 John Gant 3.1 0.5 0.0 ▬
69 0.5 8 Andre Scrubb 0.8 0.0 0.5 ▲
70 0.5 8 Nick Vincent 0.1 0.0 0.5 ▲ Snuck in a save after Kintzler blew his own.
71 0.5 9 David Phelps 1.3 1.0 -0.5 ▼
72 0.5 9 Will Smith -3.0 1.0 -0.5 ▼
73 0.5 9 Freddy Peralta 5.9 0.0 0.5 ▲
74 0.5 9 Jake McGee 3.8 0.0 0.5 ▲
75 0.5 9 Tyler Clippard 5.3 0.5 0.0 ▬
76 0.5 9 Adam Ottavino 0.0 0.0 0.5 ▲
77 0.5 9 Blake Treinen 3.2 0.5 0.0 ▬
78 0.5 9 Tanner Scott 2.2 0.0 0.5 ▲
79 0.5 9 Yency Almonte 5.1 0.5 0.0 ▬
80 0.5 9 Jose Cisnero 5.6 0.0 0.5 ▲
81 0.5 9 John Curtiss 2.1 0.5 0.0 ▬
82 0.5 9 Thomas Hatch 2.1 0.5 0.0 ▬
83 0.5 9 Tim Hill 0.3 0.5 0.0 ▬
84 0.5 9 Brad Boxberger 0.3 0.5 0.0 ▬
85 0.5 10 Carlos Estevez 0.4 0.5 0.0 ▬
86 0.5 10 Nick Nelson 0.7 0.0 0.5 ▲ Gaining confidence w/ recent action, far from saves.
87 0.5 10 Trevor Gott -9.2 0.0 0.5 ▲
88 0.5 10 Yimi Garcia 2.0 0.0 0.5 ▲
89 0.5 10 Sean Doolittle -2.6 0.5 0.0 ▬ It's possible he earns some southpaw saves late.
90 0.5 10 Caleb Ferguson 0.9 0.5 0.0 ▬
91 0.5 10 Miguel Castro 0.7 1.0 -0.5 ▼
92 0.5 10 J.B. Wendelken 3.0 0.5 0.0 ▬
93 0.5 10 Brad Peacock 0.5 0.0 0.5 ▲ First appearance off IL wasn't good, but HOU 'pen is thin.
94 0.5 10 Alex Reyes 1.0 0.5 0.0 ▬
95 0.5 10 Alex Claudio 0.8 0.5 0.0 ▬
96 0.5 10 Emilio Pagan -1.5 0.0 0.5 ▲ Facing live hitters Sep. 8, may be activated Sep. 10.
97 0.5 10 Sam Coonrod -0.3 0.0 0.5 ▲ Only for the truly desperate, aka Gabe Kapler.
98 0.5 10 Ryan Borucki 2.1 0.5 0.0 ▬
99 0.5 10 Steve Cishek -1.7 0.0 0.5 ▲
100 0.5 10 Nik Turley 1.7 0.5 0.0 ▬
101 0.5 10 Jordan Romano 3.2 0.5 0.0 ▬ TOR hopes Romano can return in mid-to-late Sep.

Relief Pitcher Movers of Note

Brad Hand (RP, Indians): Through his first three appearances, Hand had given up five runs (four earned) and frightened many of us. He started to stabilize in the coming weeks, but his appearances were infrequent and command was an issue. By August 15 -- over three weeks of action -- Hand had five saves in seven games and an uncanny four walks to his name.

Since then, Hand has a glorious line to his name: 9 IP, 1 W, 7 SV, 12 K, 0 BB, 4 H. Yup, four scattered hits are the only “damage” to be found. Hopefully, you didn’t panic in the early going and you’re enjoying the ratio relief alongside the saves.

Nick Anderson (RP, Rays): Anderson’s only made one appearance since returning from the injured list on Sept. 4, but it landed him a scoreless save. The Rays haven’t had a save opp outside of that so it’s possible they’re limiting Anderson for September after the forearm injury. It’s hard to blame them with their season likely extending well into October, but ours won’t be. This could be very short-term for his first week back, but fantasy teams had seen heavier usage pre-injury when Anderson appeared in 11 of Tampa’s first 25 games.

Rafael Dolis (RP, Blue Jays): Dolis has stepped up with Anthony Bass scuffling and both Ken Giles and Jordan Romano injured. While Giles could return by this weekend, Dolis is here now with a clean 1.86 ERA/1.24 WHIP and 22 K’s in 19 ⅓ IP. He hasn’t surrendered an earned run since Aug. 12 (11 appearances) and notched a win on Sept. 3, as well as the save on Sept. 6. It may not last the week, but Dolis looks like Toronto’s 1A option and there’s little guarantee Giles’ return goes smoothly.

Cesar Valdez (RP, Orioles): Valdez looks to be running with Hunter Harvey for Baltimore’s late frames right now. The 35-year-old started with Arizona and has bounced around the minors as well as Mexico before shining with 7 ⅓ IP of scoreless ball for the O’s here in 2020. He’s rarely carried a strikeout rate north of 25% for any period of time, but here he is at 32.1% in today’s swing-happy MLB. There’s some luck, namely the .235 BABIP and no homers allowed, but he’s never been prone to longballs and Baltimore simply can’t be picky. For fantasy teams that can’t either, here you are.

Kevin Ginkel (RP, Diamondbacks): Ginkel is one of the lowest-ranked “closers” within the ranks, but I recognize the role that saves and the ninth inning plays to many of you. If he resembled the pitcher he was during last season’s rookie campaign (1.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 29.2% K rate, 9.4% BB rate) then we’d feel warmer, but strikeouts are down, walks are up, homers are up, AND he’s unlucky on top of that. 

His .415 BABIP is nearly double last year’s .228 mark, though his first nine appearances were far worse than his most recent eight. He had a 7/7 K/BB ratio with nine runs allowed over just 6 ⅔ IP, but eight games since Aug. 21 have seen an improved 9/3 K/BB rate with two runs yielded across 7 ⅔ IP. There’s still a 5.37 FIP and 4.79 xFIP underneath that recent 2.35 ERA, but it’s enough to make him a worthy option in Arizona.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

The final month of the 2020 fantasy baseball season is here and that means we're supplying those Week 8 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks to help analyze where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 8 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 8

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 43.0 1 Shane Bieber 18.8 43.0 0.0 ▬ Still the champ.
2 37.0 1 Jacob deGrom 13.9 38.0 -1.0 ▼
3 37.0 1 Yu Darvish 16.9 29.0 8.0 ▲ Darvish is amazing and getting wins, unlike deGrom.
4 33.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 7.1 30.0 3.0 ▲
5 33.0 2 Gerrit Cole 3.6 38.0 -5.0 ▼ The K's are there but damage is coming with them.
6 31.0 2 Trevor Bauer 11.0 34.0 -3.0 ▼
7 29.0 2 Max Scherzer 9.5 29.0 0.0 ▬ Still immense talent and K's, but less consistent than past.
8 29.0 2 Aaron Nola 10.3 26.0 3.0 ▲
9 26.0 2 Lucas Giolito 13.2 22.0 4.0 ▲
10 25.0 3 Luis Castillo 11.5 25.0 0.0 ▬ Inflated BABIP, but righting the ship.
11 25.0 3 Jack Flaherty 3.3 25.0 0.0 ▬
12 23.0 3 Zac Gallen 9.4 20.0 3.0 ▲ Now sitting on seven consecutive quality starts.
13 23.0 3 Walker Buehler 4.0 11.0 12.0 ▲ Came off the IL with five shutout innings, that's a relief.
14 22.0 3 Max Fried 13.9 19.0 3.0 ▲
15 22.0 3 Sonny Gray 11.3 30.0 -8.0 ▼
16 22.0 3 Kenta Maeda 11.1 22.0 0.0 ▬
17 20.0 3 Tyler Glasnow 7.3 14.0 6.0 ▲ K's for days, command is finally showing up.
18 20.0 3 Zack Greinke 14.1 23.0 -3.0 ▼
19 18.5 4 Dinelson Lamet 9.1 22.0 -3.5 ▼
20 17.5 4 Lance Lynn 9.8 23.0 -5.5 ▼
21 16.0 4 Dylan Bundy 12.0 14.0 2.0 ▲
22 14.0 4 Carlos Carrasco 5.4 15.5 -1.5 ▼
23 14.0 4 Blake Snell 1.8 14.0 0.0 ▬
24 14.0 4 Zack Wheeler 10.0 13.0 1.0 ▲
25 14.0 4 Charlie Morton 2.0 9.0 5.0 ▲ He's back and looked sharp, I'm encouraged.
26 13.0 4 Aaron Civale 10.0 14.0 -1.0 ▼
27 12.0 4 Zach Plesac 8.5 1.0 11.0 ▲ Great pitcher, no longer in timeout for being a fool.
28 11.0 5 Brandon Woodruff 9.7 15.5 -4.5 ▼ Started 2020 hot, but only one W/QS in last six starts.
29 11.0 5 Patrick Corbin 5.9 15.5 -4.5 ▼ His peripherals are rather frightful, velo way down.
30 10.0 5 Mike Clevinger 1.4 12.0 -2.0 ▼
31 9.5 5 Kyle Hendricks 9.1 11.0 -1.5 ▼
32 9.5 5 Jesus Luzardo 5.6 9.5 0.0 ▬
33 9.5 5 Corbin Burnes 11.6 8.5 1.0 ▲ Hitting his stride with huge strikeouts, buy in.
34 9.5 5 Hyun-Jin Ryu 10.8 9.5 0.0 ▬ I was wrong, he's handling the AL just fine.
35 9.0 5 Jose Berrios 5.5 9.5 -0.5 ▼ Last six starts: Three very good, three very bad.
36 9.0 5 Andrew Heaney 11.9 9.5 -0.5 ▼
37 9.0 5 Lance McCullers Jr. 2.9 10.5 -1.5 ▼
38 9.0 5 German Marquez 8.8 9.5 -0.5 ▼
39 8.5 5 Chris Paddack 2.8 9.5 -1.0 ▼ One step forward is followed by two steps back. No good.
40 8.5 5 Pablo Lopez 10.7 9.0 -0.5 ▼
41 8.5 5 Zach Davies 10.7 2.0 6.5 ▲ What a surge from Davies! Expect BABIP to rise, but dang.
42 8.0 6 Dustin May 3.6 8.5 -0.5 ▼
43 8.0 6 Chris Bassitt 3.0 8.5 -0.5 ▼
44 8.0 6 Cristian Javier 2.6 8.5 -0.5 ▼
45 8.0 6 Marco Gonzales 8.9 4.5 3.5 ▲ Barely walking anyone, ripping off QS after QS.
46 8.0 6 Framber Valdez 10.9 8.0 0.0 ▬
47 6.5 7 Dallas Keuchel 10.5 5.0 1.5 ▲
48 5.5 7 Masahiro Tanaka 4.7 4.5 1.0 ▲
49 5.0 7 Sixto Sanchez 4.1 4.0 1.0 ▲ Strong start to MLB career, rarely issuing free passes.
50 4.5 7 Julio Urias 5.7 8.0 -3.5 ▼
51 4.5 7 Tyler Mahle 2.9 4.0 0.5 ▲
52 4.0 7 Garrett Richards 3.3 5.0 -1.0 ▼
53 4.0 7 Frankie Montas 2.8 6.0 -2.0 ▼ Three terrible starts in a row, hard to stomach this.
54 4.0 7 Zach Eflin 7.9 2.0 2.0 ▲
55 4.0 7 Tony Gonsolin 6.0 3.0 1.0 ▲
56 4.0 7 Matthew Boyd 0.8 1.5 2.5 ▲
57 4.0 7 Triston McKenzie 3.4 3.0 1.0 ▲
58 4.0 7 Ian Anderson 2.7 1.5 2.5 ▲
59 3.5 8 Adam Wainwright 6.4 1.5 2.0 ▲
60 3.0 8 Dylan Cease -2.0 5.0 -2.0 ▼ When the K% and BB% are nearly identical, we worry.
61 3.0 8 Antonio Senzatela 7.0 4.0 -1.0 ▼
62 2.5 8 Kyle Freeland 5.5 3.5 -1.0 ▼ Coors will bite everyone sooner or later.
63 2.5 8 Danny Duffy 2.8 3.5 -1.0 ▼
64 2.5 8 Brad Keller 6.2 2.0 0.5 ▲
65 2.0 8 Kevin Gausman 6.2 2.0 0.0 ▬
66 2.0 8 Randy Dobnak 5.7 2.5 -0.5 ▼ Nibbles and notches wins, but that arsenal = low floor.
67 2.0 8 Josh Lindblom 2.5 3.5 -1.5 ▼
68 2.0 8 Adrian Houser 2.6 4.5 -2.5 ▼
69 2.0 8 Casey Mize -0.6 3.0 -1.0 ▼
70 1.5 9 Taijuan Walker 3.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
71 1.5 9 Alec Mills 0.6 2.5 -1.0 ▼
72 1.5 9 Jordan Montgomery 2.1 2.0 -0.5 ▼
73 1.5 9 Ross Stripling -2.6 1.5 0.0 ▬
74 1.5 9 Sean Manaea 4.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
75 1.5 9 Spencer Turnbull 5.4 2.5 -1.0 ▼
76 1.5 9 Kyle Gibson -0.7 1.5 0.0 ▬
77 1.5 9 Michael Pineda 1.9 1.0 0.5 ▲ Looked sharp in his return, but mediocre K's limit ceiling.
78 1.5 9 Justin Dunn -0.4 1.0 0.5 ▲
79 1.5 9 Josh Fleming 1.1 0.0 1.5 ▲
80 1.5 9 Mike Minor 2.2 1.5 0.0 ▬
81 1.5 9 Luke Weaver 2.0 1.5 0.0 ▬
82 1.5 9 Rich Hill 1.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
83 1.0 10 Griffin Canning 1.1 1.5 -0.5 ▼
84 1.0 10 Tarik Skubal -0.8 0.0 1.0 ▲
85 1.0 10 David Peterson 3.6 0.0 1.0 ▲
86 1.0 10 Justus Sheffield 7.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
87 1.0 10 Tyler Chatwood 3.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
88 1.0 10 John Means -3.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
89 1.0 10 Anthony DeSclafani -0.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
90 1.0 10 Dakota Hudson 3.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
91 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto 3.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
92 1.0 10 Jon Lester 1.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
93 1.0 10 Mike Fiers 1.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
94 1.0 10 Ryan Yarbrough 2.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
95 1.0 10 Dane Dunning 4.0 0.0 1.0 ▲ Exciting stuff, but still walks too many.
96 1.0 10 Chad Kuhl -0.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Brett Anderson 2.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
98 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 0.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
99 1.0 10 J.A. Happ 0.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
100 1.0 10 Matt Shoemaker -0.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
101 1.0 10 Elieser Hernandez 3.9 4.0 -3.0 ▼

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Tyler Glasnow (SP, Rays): Glasnow had shown signs of greatness in abbreviated starts to open 2020, but he didn’t go five innings in his first four outings with a poor 12 earned over 15 ⅓ IP. Even with a wild 27 K’s in that span, the damage was too much to stomach -- especially with no chance at a win given the short stints.

But his last two starts, coming against the O’s and Yanks, have seen him tear through offenses with a zesty 22/2 K/BB ratio over 13 innings of two-run ball. Back-to-back lengthy starts with just one walk in each is a welcome sight after issuing multiple walks in all five of his previous appearances. With a feel for his arsenal apparent, we may see a September reminiscent of his beautiful 2019 campaign. Click through for a highlight reel of Glasnow at work:

Patrick Corbin (SP, Nationals): While Corbin’s 3.79 ERA isn’t a red flag, the 1.34 WHIP and middling 20.9% strikeout rate surely are. The southpaw’s Savant profile shows a frightful .302 xBA and .477 xSLG while his Fangraphs page has last year’s 14.2% swinging-strike rate falling to 10.5% so far. What could the problem be?

Whether it’s the main culprit or not, his velocity is concerning. The four-seamer is averaging 89.8 mph, a significant fall from 91.8 mph in ‘19. His other pitches have fallen off at the same rate and hitters just aren’t missing nearly as much. The spin rate on his pitches is down at least 100 rpm across the board.

The result is his contact rate allowed is up nearly 10 percentage points while his O-Contact rate is up a whopping 14 percentage points! I wish I had a bright side to offer, but I can’t see a turnaround coming without more life on his pitches.

Corbin Burnes (SP/RP, Brewers): Burnes has shifted into another gear lately, finally pushing into the sixth inning in each of his last three starts. Now, two of those did come against Pittsburgh, but a 24/5 K/BB ratio in 17 ⅓ IP is heartwarming. He’s faced at least 15 hitters in all eight of his appearances and has only allowed more than three hits once, but struggled with walks early on.

Not only have the walks gone down and his starts lasted longer, but he’s continued to keep the ball in the yard with just one homer allowed across 38 ⅓ IP. Compare that 0.23 HR/9 with his wild 3.12 HR/9 from last season and it’s like night and day. As always, neither extreme makes for a reliable projection moving forward but his current form warrants a boost.

Zach Davies (SP, Padres): Davies may be cruising on a lowly .220 BABIP but the Padres have done all they can to support their starting pitchers. When the bullpen was struggling and injured, they made many deadline moves to call in reinforcements. The offense is offering up insane run support. And Davies himself has made changes too.

After throwing his fastball over 52% of the time in each of his first five seasons, Davies has cut that back to 37% in 2020. He’s increased his changeup to a whopping 40% next to a cutter at 20%, with a lightly-used curveball (3%) sprinkled in. All four pitches have a positive pitch value per Fangraphs. Mix that with his going at least five innings in each of his eight appearances this year and you’ve got a recipe for wins twirled into the picture. I can dig it, even as the hits start falling.

Marco Gonzales (SP, Mariners): Gonzales turned in a complete-game win over the Angels on Aug. 31, which included three strikeouts of Mike Trout, giving Marco his fourth win over his last six outings. You can watch him work for a minute here:

Sporting a 3.09 ERA/0.92 WHIP and nearly a strikeout per inning, Gonzales is succeeding with well-placed fastballs that lead his four-pitch mix. He throws all four over 13% of the time, showing a strong command that’s issued just four free passes over 43 ⅔ IP. Limit those and your floor rises like the sea.

Triston McKenzie (SP, CLE): The young Cleveland right-hander has only allowed three earned runs on eight hits across his first 16 MLB innings, racking up a clean 19/4 K/BB ratio in the process. Some thought his late-August debut was a deadline audition as a potential trade chip, but his 10-strikeout undressing of Detroit wowed us all. The .188 BABIP will rise, but his minor-league track record points to plus whiffs and sturdy control. His spot in the AL Central means he also draws favorable matchups often, such as his next slated start against the Royals on Sept. 8.

Matthew Boyd (SP, DET): Boyd’s turned in two quality starts in a row, tallying 14 strikeouts with zero walks in two starts against Minnesota. He’s given up three solo homers in that span, so the longball issue is persisting (11 HRs in 40 ⅔ IP). But if he’s curtailed the walks then I can feel better about buying into the redemption arc here. And Minnesota does have an affinity for clearing the fence. He lines up to face the Brewers next on Sept. 9.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 200 Hitters Weekly Rankings (Week 7)

The past week brought us one of the coolest trade deadlines in recent memory. It's always a good time when the GM of an MLB franchise starts making trades like a fantasy manager. The changes for Austin Nola, Mitch Moreland, Jonathan Villar, Starling Marte, and Jon Berti are meaningful, but not with clear fantasy implications. At least not yet...

Nick Mariano did capture ranking changes for both starting pitchers and relievers with his top-101 articles. If you missed those, be sure to check them out. If you need help with saves, his reliever article has a quick, useful update on bullpens around the league.

The hitter ranks saw plenty of action and some fascinating developments, but most of those have been performance-related. For instance, Fernando Tatis Jr's collective projections outstretched Story's collective projections for the first time, and you can see that reflected in these rankings. Trea Turner's best base-stealing days may be behind him, but he's been more valuable than ever. And Juan Soto's projections are starting to exceed some of Mike Trout's, even on a per-game basis.

In more frustrating news, the top end of 2B is a mess. Keston Hiura sits at the top of the heap, and he's featured in the write-up below. Whit Merrifield is close behind, and it's entirely possible that the only managers happy with the value of their second basemen are those who drafted Merrifield and Lowe. This type of chaos has been pretty standard for this season, but some of the issues are starting to crystallize.

Likewise, it's worth remembering that many teams have far more games left, as I reported last week. That discrepancy is impacting player value and causing some disconcerting changes in projected values. If you see a player who has had a bad stretch but an increase in projected value, it's probably tied to their number of remaining games. Here are the Meta Report for week 7 and the Baller Ranks Top-200 hitters. If you're unfamiliar with the Meta Report, here's a quick guide on what it is and how to read it.

 

Rank $ Player Pos Trend
1 45.0 Mike Trout OF 0 ▬
2 45.0 Juan Soto OF 0 ▬
3 39.0 Bryce Harper OF 3 ▲
4 39.0 Christian Yelich OF -1 ▼
5 38.0 Mookie Betts OF 0 ▬
6 35.0 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 4 ▲
7 34.0 Trevor Story SS 1 ▲
8 34.0 Cody Bellinger OF 1 ▲
9 34.0 Nolan Arenado 3B -2 ▼
10 33.0 Trea Turner SS 3 ▲
11 31.0 Jose Ramirez 3B 1 ▲
12 31.0 Francisco Lindor SS -1 ▼
13 30.0 J.T. Realmuto C 3 ▲
14 30.0 Freddie Freeman 1B 0 ▬
15 30.0 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF -11 ▼
16 27.0 Nelson Cruz DH -1 ▼
17 25.0 Rafael Devers 3B 1 ▲
18 24.0 Manny Machado 3B 2 ▲
19 24.0 Marcell Ozuna DH 4 ▲
20 24.0 Paul Goldschmidt 1B -1 ▼
21 23.0 Xander Bogaerts SS 3 ▲
22 23.0 Eloy Jimenez OF -1 ▼
23 22.0 Luis Robert OF 4 ▲
24 22.0 Starling Marte OF 6 ▲
25 21.0 Nick Castellanos OF 3 ▲
26 21.0 Pete Alonso 1B 0 ▬
27 21.0 Javier Baez SS -5 ▼
28 21.0 J.D. Martinez DH -11 ▼
29 19.5 Matt Chapman 3B 9 ▲
30 19.5 Keston Hiura 2B 1 ▲
31 19.0 Whit Merrifield OF 5 ▲
32 19.0 Charlie Blackmon OF -3 ▼
33 19.0 Anthony Rendon 3B -8 ▼
34 19.0 George Springer OF 0 ▬
35 18.0 Tim Anderson SS 7 ▲
36 18.0 DJ LeMahieu 2B 89 ▲
37 17.0 Corey Seager SS 17 ▲
38 17.0 Eddie Rosario OF -1 ▼
39 17.0 Anthony Rizzo 1B -4 ▼
40 17.0 Carlos Correa SS 0 ▬
41 17.0 Joey Gallo OF -9 ▼
42 16.5 Jose Abreu 1B 3 ▲
43 16.0 Ketel Marte 2B -4 ▼
44 15.5 Kyle Schwarber OF 14 ▲
45 15.5 Yuli Gurriel 1B -2 ▼
46 15.5 Marcus Semien SS 1 ▲
47 15.5 Gary Sanchez C 2 ▲
48 15.0 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B/DH 11 ▲
49 15.0 Ramon Laureano OF -1 ▼
50 14.5 Michael Conforto OF 1 ▲
51 14.5 Max Kepler OF 2 ▲
52 14.5 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS/OF/DH -6 ▼
53 14.5 Yoan Moncada 3B -12 ▼
54 14.0 Didi Gregorius SS 16 ▲
55 14.0 Jorge Soler DH 1 ▲
56 14.0 Matt Olson 1B -1 ▼
57 14.0 Eugenio Suarez 3B -13 ▼
58 14.0 Ozzie Albies 2B -6 ▼
59 14.0 Austin Meadows OF/DH -9 ▼
60 13.5 Luke Voit 1B 12 ▲
61 13.5 Franmil Reyes DH 8 ▲
62 13.5 Jose Altuve 2B -29 ▼
63 12.5 Brandon Lowe 2B -2 ▼
64 12.5 Gio Urshela 3B -2 ▼
65 12.5 Yasmani Grandal C/1B/DH 2 ▲
66 12.0 Kyle Tucker OF 12 ▲
67 12.0 Rhys Hoskins 1B 17 ▲
68 12.0 Miguel Sano 1B -3 ▼
69 12.0 Willson Contreras C -6 ▼
70 11.5 Andrew McCutchen OF 12 ▲
71 11.5 Max Muncy 1B -3 ▼
72 11.0 Alex Bregman 3B -1 ▼
73 11.0 Giancarlo Stanton DH -13 ▼
74 10.5 Mike Moustakas 1B/2B/DH -8 ▼
75 10.0 Teoscar Hernandez OF 17 ▲
76 10.0 Wil Myers OF -3 ▼
77 10.0 Shohei Ohtani DH -20 ▼
78 10.0 David Peralta OF -3 ▼
79 10.0 Kris Bryant 3B/OF/DH 71 ▲
80 10.0 Eduardo Escobar 3B -4 ▼
81 9.5 Jonathan Schoop 2B 15 ▲
82 9.5 Alex Verdugo OF 5 ▲
83 9.0 Trent Grisham OF -2 ▼
84 9.0 Michael Brantley OF/DH 59 ▲
85 9.0 Josh Donaldson 3B 1 ▲
86 9.0 Gleyber Torres SS -1 ▼
87 8.5 Dansby Swanson SS 15 ▲
88 8.5 Dylan Carlson OF 34 ▲
89 8.5 Adam Eaton OF -1 ▼
90 8.0 Jesse Winker OF 28 ▲
91 8.0 Renato Nunez 1B 4 ▲
92 8.0 Bo Bichette SS -18 ▼
93 8.0 Victor Robles OF -16 ▼
94 8.0 Josh Bell 1B -4 ▼
95 7.5 Anthony Santander OF -1 ▼
96 7.5 Mike Yastrzemski OF -5 ▼
97 7.5 Eric Hosmer 1B 11 ▲
98 7.5 Jorge Polanco SS -15 ▼
99 7.5 Brian Anderson 3B -1 ▼
100 7.0 Kyle Lewis OF 23 ▲
101 7.0 Cavan Biggio 2B 2 ▲
102 7.0 Carlos Santana 1B 17 ▲
103 7.0 Yadier Molina C/1B 7 ▲
104 7.0 Byron Buxton OF -15 ▼
105 6.5 Randal Grichuk OF 2 ▲
106 6.5 Dominic Smith 1B/OF/DH -6 ▼
107 6.5 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF 7 ▲
108 6.5 J.D. Davis 3B -29 ▼
109 6.5 Will Smith C 7 ▲
110 6.0 Jake Cronenworth 1B/2B/3B/SS 42 ▲
111 6.0 Mitch Moreland 1B -6 ▼
112 6.0 Pedro Severino C 5 ▲
113 6.0 Alec Bohm 3B/DH 29 ▲
114 6.0 Adalberto Mondesi SS -34 ▼
115 5.5 Ian Happ OF -6 ▼
116 5.5 Mark Canha OF 8 ▲
117 5.5 Austin Nola C 83 ▲
118 5.5 Kolten Wong 2B 3 ▲
119 5.0 Kyle Seager 3B -15 ▼
120 5.0 Willy Adames SS 13 ▲
121 5.0 Aaron Judge OF/DH -57 ▼
122 5.0 Christian Walker 1B 12 ▲
123 5.0 Travis d'Arnaud C/DH 3 ▲
124 5.0 Avisail Garcia OF -31 ▼
125 4.5 Paul DeJong SS -5 ▼
126 4.5 Howie Kendrick 1B/DH -15 ▼
127 4.5 Christian Vazquez C -28 ▼
128 4.5 Corey Dickerson OF -22 ▼
129 4.0 A.J. Pollock OF -16 ▼
130 4.0 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF/DH -29 ▼
131 3.5 Nick Solak OF 17 ▲
132 3.5 Joc Pederson OF -1 ▼
133 3.0 David Fletcher SS -5 ▼
134 3.0 Maikel Franco 3B 1 ▲
135 3.0 Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B -6 ▼
136 3.0 Shin-Soo Choo OF/DH -9 ▼
137 3.0 Joey Votto 1B -22 ▼
138 3.0 Ryan Mountcastle OF/DH 18 ▲
139 2.5 J.P. Crawford SS 1 ▲
140 2.5 Kevin Pillar OF 14 ▲
141 2.5 Ryan McMahon 2B -2 ▼
142 2.5 Asdrubal Cabrera 1B/3B/DH 5 ▲
143 2.5 Wilson Ramos C -7 ▼
144 2.5 Jo Adell OF -12 ▼
145 2.0 Dylan Moore 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 1 ▲
146 2.0 Justin Turner 3B -49 ▼
147 2.0 Rowdy Tellez 1B/DH 50 ▲
148 2.0 Amed Rosario SS -18 ▼
149 2.0 Luis Urias 2B/3B/SS -12 ▼
150 2.0 Hunter Renfroe OF 1 ▲
151 1.5 Evan Longoria 3B 34 ▲
152 1.5 Rio Ruiz 3B -3 ▼
153 1.5 Aaron Hicks OF 2 ▲
154 1.5 Daniel Murphy 1B 17 ▲
155 1.5 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/SS/OF 32 ▲
156 1.5 Ryan Braun OF/DH -15 ▼
157 1.5 Joey Bart C/DH 0 ▬
158 1.5 Gavin Lux 2B 42 ▲
159 1.0 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF 41 ▲
160 1.0 Alex Dickerson OF 40 ▲
161 1.0 Brandon Belt 1B 39 ▲
162 1.0 Nick Ahmed SS -2 ▼
163 1.0 Austin Slater OF/DH -5 ▼
164 1.0 Brandon Nimmo OF -2 ▼
165 1.0 Niko Goodrum SS -1 ▼
166 1.0 Jesus Aguilar 1B/DH -5 ▼
167 1.0 Tommy La Stella 1B/2B/DH -14 ▼
168 1.0 Jean Segura 2B/3B/SS -1 ▼
169 1.0 Salvador Perez C/1B/DH -6 ▼
170 1.0 Edwin Encarnacion DH 3 ▲
171 1.0 Elvis Andrus SS 9 ▲
172 1.0 Austin Romine C 19 ▲
173 1.0 Chance Sisco C/DH 2 ▲
174 1.0 Bryan Reynolds OF -6 ▼
175 1.0 Brett Gardner OF -37 ▼
176 1.0 Victor Caratini C/1B/DH -7 ▼
177 1.0 Chance Sisco C/DH -2 ▼
178 1.0 Khris Davis DH -34 ▼
179 1.0 Nick Senzel OF -9 ▼
180 1.0 Clint Frazier OF/DH 20 ▲
181 1.0 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo 3B/OF/DH -3 ▼
182 1.0 Max Stassi C 0 ▬
183 1.0 Willie Calhoun OF/DH -2 ▼
184 1.0 David Dahl OF/DH -72 ▼
185 1.0 Sam Haggerty 3B/OF/DH 15 ▲
186 1.0 Donovan Solano 2B -2 ▼
187 1.0 Garrett Hampson OF 12 ▲
188 1.0 Austin Riley 3B 7 ▲
189 1.0 Miguel Cabrera DH 0 ▬
190 1.0 Daulton Varsho C/OF/DH 0 ▬
191 1.0 Andrelton Simmons SS 1 ▲
192 1.0 Sean Murphy C -4 ▼
193 1.0 Danny Jansen C 0 ▬
194 1.0 Justin Smoak 1B -8 ▼
195 1.0 Omar Narvaez C -1 ▼
196 1.0 Carson Kelly C 2 ▲
197 1.0 Evan White 1B -14 ▼
198 1.0 Ji-Man Choi 1B 2 ▲
199 1.0 Shogo Akiyama OF -3 ▼
200 1.0 Scott Kingery 2B/SS/OF 1 ▲

Austin Nola (C, Padres)

Nola has been on my list of players to examine more closely for the last two weeks, but I didn't prioritize him because his projections were still so abysmal. Both weeks, I ran out of space and time to do a full evaluation either week. As a result, I'm behind with this adjustment. Fortunately or unfortunately, the extra time allows me to unpack the playing time implications in San Diego now that we know Nola will be there alongside Jason Castro.

Nola's projections are still underwater at -$1.0, but at this point, we have a clear reason to discard those projections. In particular, the Statcast data has improved enough, and the Padres saw enough evidence to ship out Taylor Trammell in exchange for Nola. That commitment alone doesn't give us a calculable change to Nola's projections, but it does give us some confidence that professional scouts observed similar skills to what the numbers are showing us.

From the performance side, Nola's exit velocity is up from 87.4 MPH in 2019 to 89.7 MPH this year. That has helped boost his Hard-Hit rate to 41.2%, good enough to put him in the 65th percentile.

Nola's better than average exit velocity combines with his 38.8% Sweet-Spot rate to drive his .307 average and .313 xBA, as well as his .525 slugging and .515 xSLG. The HR production is probably exaggerated: he has only five doubles to go with his five home runs and only five barrels on the season. However, as those xStats indicate, the new Padre's performance is still close to his expected outcomes based on batted-ball data.

Take away a bit of the HR output, and Nola's's value falls off the $10 pace that he's's maintained so far this season. However, if he can keep squaring the ball up the way that he has been, it's's easy to see him finishing the year as an $8 player.  Given Nola's success this season, I'd like to move him that far up the list, but I have him projected as a $5.5 player for now. Part of that is tied to the Padres' acquisition of Jason Castro, who is a respectable catcher in his own right. It's not likely that Nola will maintain the same 83.8% plate share that he did in Seattle. The cost to acquire Nola should ensure he sees enough at-bats to be valuable, just not as valuable as he was in Seattle. Look for Nola to continue being a top-10 option at catcher, just not the second most valuable from here forward.

 

Jake Cronenworth (2B, Padres)

Among hitters with at least 100 PA, Cronenworth has the 9th highest wRC+ this season, and his 20 R, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, and .356 average have made him a top-50 hitter to date. Those stats make it seem like Cronenworth's earned value should be higher than his $9.9 so far this season. However, he has about 30% fewer at-bats than most of the players around him. That lack of volume reduces the value of his batting average, which is currently his best category.

Cronenworth's ascent has been driven by a torrid streak in the second half of August when his barrel rate rose to 14.6%, and his hard-hit rate surged to 52.1%. The limited duration of Cronenworth's work makes it easy to discount it entirely as a small sample, and most of Cronenworth's numbers are still a ways off from stabilizing because he didn't become an everyday starter until August 10th. Despite the small sample and lack of pedigree, Cronenworth's offensive prowess is not unprecedented for him. Last year, the San Diego second baseman slugged a 147 wRC+ in 88 games at AAA Durham in the International League.

At the moment, Cronenworth's .483 xwOBA is the third-best in baseball, behind Juan Soto and Corey Seager. The sample size is the only major concern here. The batted-ball numbers have sagged a bit over the last week, but Cronenworth still owns an excellent 47.6% hard-hit rate over that window, and of course, that week is an even smaller sample than the one we're trying to evaluate. Like Brandon Lowe earlier this season, we have the signs that Cronenworth is emerging as a full-blown all-star at a position that is sorely lacking star power at the moment. If the performance holds up, you can expect to see his projected value move accordingly.

 

Franmil Reyes (OF, Indians)

Sticking with our AJ Preller theme for today, we turn our attention to last year's big trade between the Indians and Padres. At the time, Reyes was a swing-first, walk-maybe-never slugger whose power was so obscene that it didn't matter that he was swinging and striking out at rates that would be unsustainable for most major leaguers.

As the season progressed and Reyes was traded to Cleveland, his plate approach showed notable progress. He still finished the year with a .249 average and a 28.5% strikeout rate, but he also crushed 37 home runs in 150 games and managed to push his walk rate up to a very respectable 8.6%.

This year, we've seen the same scorching-hot Reyes that lit up the league in May last year but with one clear-cut difference: he's chasing fewer pitches outside the zone. Reyes' Swing% has edged down from 51.6% to 49.0%, and his O-swing% has dropped from 31.1% to 28.2%. Those aren't monumental changes, but Reyes didn't need to be dramatically better to improve his outcomes, just marginally better so that he was getting a few more chances to maximize his talents.

For now at least, the improved plate discipline has allowed Reyes to average higher exit velocity than he did last year (94.4 MPH vs. 93.3 MPH). Additionally, Reyes' launch angle has crept up from 9.5° to 10.3°, so he's been lofting more hits as well.

Currently, the Indians' outfielder owns a .405 BABIP, so we're due for some unpleasant regression from that .323 batting average. Fantasy managers probably weren't banking on a high average though, so it shouldn't be a major concern, and Reyes' current $13.5 projection puts him in the same tier as sluggers like Jorge Soler, Michael Conforto, and Kyle Schwarber.

 

Keston Hiura (2B, Brewers)

Despite owning a .229 batting average, Hiura finds himself at the top of the second-base wasteland. As I wrote, there is surprising depth later on, but Hiura's ascent here is really more about survivorship rather than a flourishing sophomore season.

Hiura's increase in value is a unique situation: He owns a 95 wRC+ but has earned the fourth-highest value at second. He's hit nine HR, but only two doubles. His team is supposed to be an offensive powerhouse, but they're currently the third-worst offense in the league. Established, professional hitters like Yelich, Smoak, and Garcia have been missing in action, but Hiura has still accumulated 41 R+RBI.

Hiura's strikeout rate has remained too high for his approach, and there is good reason to believe that his batting average may not rebound this season. Consider that his .217 xBA is lower than his actual .229 BA. He has surprised with three stolen bases, but the simple reality is that even his managers are probably a bit disappointed by his overall performance.

At the core then is either a player whose idiosyncrasies defy our expectations and the norms of the game, or he's is due for some type of regression. Moreover, that regression might cripple his value or leave it basically the same. Consider the following possibilities:

Scenario 1) Hiura emerges as a new version of Dan Uggla: a defensively adequate, low-average, high-power player at a position that usually favors players with solid defense, speed, and better than average OBPs.

Scenario 2) Hiura's power regresses, his mediocre OBP and K-rate catch up with him, and his counting stats fall of the same cliff as his batting average.

Scenario 3) Hiura's's power regresses to something closer to his MiLB numbers, but so does the rest of his batted-ball profile. He becomes a .260 hitter who contributes 25-27 HR.

At the moment, the exit velocity and hard-hit rate don't suggest that Hiura will be able to maintain his power output, but his current 16.4° launch angle is identical to last year. That's a healthy number that will generate plenty of high drives capable of escaping the Miller Park fences, so the data is about as muddled as it could be. While there's evidence to suggest that Hiura's numbers will balance out and his value will hold steady, there's also real risk here. That Dan Uggla comp brought two other players to mind: Brian Dozier, which would be an excellent outcome, and Rougned Odor, which would be a lot worse.

Speed Round

Trea Turner (SS, Nationals): Turner has been crushing the ball lately, and he has somehow homered more than twice as often (7) as he has stolen bases (3). I do think there has been a philosophy change in Washington: the Nationals are 28th out of 30 in steals after being 3rd last year. However, Turner has also been caught four times this season. Earlier in the season, I was confident that the steals would come, but the last two weeks of data suggest a definite change for Washington's speedster. It's hard to know exactly what is going on, and we don't have the same type of clubhouse information as last year, but it certainly looks like Turner's days of carrying the SB category could be over. Despite that unhappy news, Turner has actually been the most valuable hitter since August 15th, so his managers are probably doing OK.

Evan Longoria (3B, Giants): Let's not understate the significance of the changes to San Francisco's stadium. When was the last time that the team had seven hitters with a wOBA over .350? However, Longoria also looks like a different hitter at the plate and on the stat line. At the plate, the third baseman has shown the type of collected poise that marked his time in Tampa Bay. Similarly, Longoria has boosted his batting average to .304 over his recent hot streak, and he is hitting the ball with far more authority than he did the last three seasons. In fact, his current 91.3 MPH EV is his best of the Statcast era. His 11.3% Barrel rate is just off his 11.5% from 2016 when he hit 36 HR.

Alec Bohm (3B, Phillies): Philly's prodigious youngster arrived with the reputation as a consistent hitter with useful power, and he has lived up to that billing. Fantasy managers may want a bit more power from the hot corner, but a .291 batting average and 18 R+RBI in 16 games is nothing to scoff at. Since he joined the big-league club on August 13th, Bohm has been about a $6 player. There's little reason to believe he can't maintain that pace: his xBA (.308) and xSLG (.587) both outstrip his actual performance so far. Moreover, Bohm's ceiling and Philadelphia's extra games mean that he could well be a top-80 hitter for the rest of the season.

 




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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Relief Pitchers Weekly Rankings

It's now September and in this shortened 2020 season, that means it's time for the Week 7 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks and our weekly dive into where the top 101 RPs stand moving forward. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks as well. I've updated this piece through Sept. 1st.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for SP, RP, and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 7 Top 101 RP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 7

Rank $ Tier Player EV $ Trend Notes
1 $14.0 1 Liam Hendriks $6.0 $14.0 0.0 ▬
2 $14.0 1 Kenley Jansen $3.7 $14.0 0.0 ▬
3 $14.0 1 Josh Hader $3.0 $14.0 0.0 ▬ That walk rate induces heartburn, but elite stuff is there.
4 $12.0 2 Brad Hand $2.9 $11.0 1.0 ▲
5 $10.5 2 Taylor Rogers $4.2 $12.0 -1.5 ▼
6 $10.5 2 Alex Colome $3.0 $10.5 0.0 ▬
7 $10.5 2 Raisel Iglesias $3.0 $9.5 1.0 ▲ Look at those fantastic K & BB rates, trust in him.
8 $9.5 3 Rafael Montero $2.0 $8.0 1.5 ▲
9 $8.5 3 Aroldis Chapman -$1.5 $12.0 -3.5 ▼ Light usage and iffy results in those appearances.
10 $7.5 3 Daniel Hudson -$2.4 $8.0 -0.5 ▼
11 $7.0 3 Giovanny Gallegos $4.5 $3.5 3.5 ▲ Even if he isnt' the sole closer, he looks amazing.
12 $6.0 3 Mark Melancon $0.1 $6.0 0.0 ▬
13 $5.5 3 Ryan Pressly $4.1 $4.5 1.0 ▲
14 $5.5 4 Trevor Rosenthal $1.4 $6.0 -0.5 ▼ He and Pomeranz form quite the closer committee.
15 $4.5 4 Brandon Kintzler -$0.3 $4.0 0.5 ▲
16 $4.0 4 James Karinchak $7.5 $5.5 -1.5 ▼
17 $4.0 4 Devin Williams $5.1 $2.5 1.5 ▲
18 $3.5 4 Brandon Workman $1.2 $2.0 1.5 ▲ Looks to be the man in PHI.
19 $3.5 4 Drew Pomeranz $5.3 $1.0 2.5 ▲ Back in action, but re-injury risk lowers current slot.
20 $3.0 4 Edwin Diaz $3.2 $3.0 0.0 ▬
21 $2.5 5 Gregory Soto $1.7 $1.0 1.5 ▲ Chair of the DET closer committee; well-deserved.
22 $2.0 5 Anthony Bass $3.6 $1.0 1.0 ▲ With Ken Giles and Jordan Romano out, Bass is their guy.
28 $2.0 5 Ty Buttrey $1.2 $1.5 0.5 ▲
23 $2.0 5 Richard Rodriguez $0.4 $1.5 0.5 ▲
24 $1.5 5 Sergio Romo $1.6 $1.5 0.0 ▬
25 $1.5 5 Greg Holland $2.2 $0.5 1.0 ▲ Got first save post-Rosenthal trade, he's a Matheny guy.
26 $1.5 5 Rowan Wick $2.2 $1.5 0.0 ▬
27 $1.5 5 Josh Staumont $2.2 $1.5 0.0 ▬
29 $1.5 5 Yoshihisa Hirano $0.2 $0.5 1.0 ▲ Suddenly Hirano is Seattle's closer.
30 $1.5 5 Diego Castillo -$0.3 $1.0 0.5 ▲
31 $1.5 5 Matt Barnes -$3.1 $1.5 0.0 ▬ He may get you saves, but it's very risky.
32 $1.5 5 Tyler Duffey $1.3 $1.5 0.0 ▬
33 $1.5 5 Chad Green $1.0 $1.5 0.0 ▬
34 $1.5 5 Daniel Bard $4.5 $2.0 -0.5 ▼
35 $1.5 5 Jonathan Hernandez $5.7 $1.0 0.5 ▲
36 $1.0 5 Jeremy Jeffress $2.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
37 $1.0 5 Scott Barlow $3.7 $0.5 0.5 ▲
38 $1.0 5 Nick Anderson $5.5 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Set for a simulated game on Sept. 2nd.
39 $1.0 6 Junior Guerra $0.1 $0.0 1.0 ▲
40 $1.0 6 Craig Kimbrel -$2.3 $1.0 0.0 ▬
41 $1.0 6 Zack Britton $2.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
42 $1.0 6 Emilio Pagan -$1.5 $3.0 -2.0 ▼ Quite the brief stint as closer, slides behind Rosey/Pom.
43 $1.0 6 Hector Neris $2.0 $1.5 -0.5 ▼ Workman's got the ninth for now, little time left in 2020.
44 $1.0 6 Joakim Soria $4.8 $1.0 0.0 ▬
45 $1.0 6 Tony Watson $1.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
46 $1.0 6 Mychal Givens $2.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
47 $1.0 6 Archie Bradley $4.0 $6.5 -5.5 ▼ Bradley is now behind Iglesias in CIN.
48 $1.0 6 Tanner Rainey $3.6 $1.0 0.0 ▬
49 $1.0 6 Freddy Peralta $6.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
50 $1.0 6 Matt Foster $3.8 $1.0 0.0 ▬
51 $1.0 6 Adam Ottavino $0.8 $1.0 0.0 ▬
52 $1.0 7 Miguel Castro $1.7 $0.5 0.5 ▲
53 $1.0 7 Hunter Harvey -$0.3 $0.0 1.0 ▲ Just made his 2020 debut, but BAL bullpen is wide open.
54 $1.0 7 David Phelps $2.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
55 $1.0 7 Andrew Miller $1.3 $1.0 0.0 ▬
56 $1.0 7 Trevor May $0.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
57 $1.0 7 Will Smith -$2.3 $1.0 0.0 ▬
58 $1.0 7 Amir Garrett $1.7 $0.5 0.5 ▲
59 $0.5 8 Carlos Estevez $2.7 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
60 $0.5 8 Ken Giles -$0.5 $1.0 -0.5 ▼ Working through live batting practice right now.
61 $0.5 8 Yusmeiro Petit $0.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
62 $0.5 8 Evan Marshall $3.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
63 $0.5 8 Nick Wittgren $1.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
64 $0.5 8 Joely Rodriguez $3.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
65 $0.5 8 Ross Detwiler $2.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
66 $0.5 8 Jordan Romano $3.1 $4.0 -3.5 ▼
67 $0.5 8 Peter Fairbanks $3.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Just another excellent Tampa reliever to help w/ ratios, K's.
68 $0.5 9 Craig Stammen -$0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
69 $0.5 9 Lucas Sims $2.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Not much in SV+HLD, but still a strong arm.
70 $0.5 9 John Gant $2.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
71 $0.5 9 Jake McGee $2.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
72 $0.5 9 Tyler Clippard $4.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
73 $0.5 9 Blake Treinen $2.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬
74 $0.5 9 Blake Taylor $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
75 $0.5 9 Yohan Ramirez -$0.5 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Walk rate is way too high, but has K's for late innings.
76 $0.5 9 Tanner Scott $2.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
77 $0.5 9 Felix Pena $3.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
78 $0.5 9 Sean Doolittle -$2.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Two scoreless appearances since return, is he back?
79 $0.5 9 Ryan Helsley $1.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Returned to action on Sept. 1.
80 $0.5 9 Taylor Williams $1.3 $1.5 -1.0 ▼
81 $0.5 9 Yency Almonte $4.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
82 $0.5 9 Cole Sulser -$1.5 $1.5 -1.0 ▼ Removed from closer seat, not a team to target committee.
83 $0.5 9 Tyler Rogers $2.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬
84 $0.5 9 Tim Hill $0.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
85 $0.5 10 Brad Boxberger -$0.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
86 $0.5 10 Trevor Gott -$8.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
87 $0.5 10 Hector Rondon -$2.3 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Outside shot his closing experience yields crack at 9th.
88 $0.5 10 Thomas Hatch $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
89 $0.5 10 Caleb Ferguson $4.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
90 $0.5 10 Rafael Dolis $1.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
91 $0.5 10 John Curtiss $0.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
92 $0.5 10 Ryan Brasier $1.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
93 $0.5 10 Luke Jackson $1.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
94 $0.5 10 J.B. Wendelken $2.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
95 $0.5 10 Alex Reyes $0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
96 $0.5 10 Alex Claudio $0.6 $0.0 0.5 ▲
97 $0.5 10 Nik Turley $1.2 $0.0 0.5 ▲
98 $0.5 10 Ryan Borucki $1.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
99 $0.5 10 Joe Jimenez -$4.1 $1.5 -1.0 ▼ No longer the closer, unlikely to regain status in 2020.
100 $0.5 10 Hansel Robles -$0.9 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
101 $0.5 10 Matt Magill -$1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬

Relief Pitcher Movers of Note

Aroldis Chapman (RP, Yankees): Chapman’s fourth appearance of 2020 made headlines thanks to an errant heater that went right for Michael Brosseau’s head. Benches cleared after the game but when the dust settled, we had Chapman’s first save in the books. His first two appearances were tough, with three earned coming in 1 IP and a 10-day gap between those two games.

That said, he notched the win with a scoreless frame against the Mets on Aug. 29 and Tuesday’s save gives him three appearances in five days. That’s good, but three strikeouts in three innings is un-Chapmanlike. He may be shaking off the rust but he can’t live that high up the chart without delivering.

Giovanny Gallegos (RP, Cardinals): Gallegos has allowed a mere two baserunners over eight scoreless innings so far, logging a win and two saves on the way. He’s been used in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings over the past week, with that flexible usage representing his only barrier from the top tiers.

The 29-year-old enjoyed a breakout 2019 with a 2.31 ERA/0.81 WHIP and 93 K’s in 74 IP, providing STL with a true fireman. With a CSW rate near 40% and a 41.7% strikeout rate against zero walks, it’s safe to say he’s in the groove.

Devin Williams (RP, Brewers): With James Karinchak proving mortal over the past few days, Williams continues to push for “best non-closing RP” honors. He scored his third victory of the year on Monday, striking out four over 1 ⅔ IP to further boost his 52.7% strikeout rate. Now with 29 K’s in 14 IP, Williams and his 0.64 ERA/0.71 WHIP sometimes make me question if Josh Hader didn’t split himself in two and bestow a mystical changeup upon his other half.

Greg Holland (RP, Royals): It was Holland, and not Josh Staumont or Scott Barlow, who got the first save for Kansas City following the Trevor Rosenthal trade. Holland has pitched in the eighth and ninth innings for KC over the past few days, with Staumont and Barlow working the seventh and eighth.

Holland’s found his grip on the mound after posting walk rates north of 11% in his past four seasons, settling at 7.6% through 19 innings through Sept. 1. That’s helped him keep a tidy 1.16 WHIP, and the career-best 51% groundball rate helps limit damage on long balls. He doesn’t have to be the full-fledged closer for us to benefit.

Yoshihisa Hirano (RP, Mariners): With the Mariners going cuckoo for cocoa puffs at the trade deadline, Hirano has little competition for the ninth in Seattle. The M’s dealt Taylor Williams, Dan Altavilla, and even the injured Austin Adams to San Diego. While Hirano’s only notched four career saves, his career 3.36 ERA/1.22 WHIP underscores his reliability.

Keep expectations modest, as his usual 91-mph fastball is averaging just below 90 mph so far and three walks against three strikeouts isn’t heartwarming. Don’t go in expecting a top-20 closer, but if you’re unhappy chasing committee situations and panhandling for fringe saves then Hirano should an earnest crack at being the primary closer.

 

Other, more obvious, fallers include: 

-Emilio Pagan, who falls behind Trevor Rosenthal and Drew Pomeranz.
-Daniel Bard, who now deals with added competition in Mychal Givens.
-Archie Bradley, who is firmly planted behind Raisel Iglesias in Cincy.
-Jordan Romano, who sadly is on the injured list.
-Cole Sulser, who was removed from the closer’s role for lower-leverage spots.
-Joe Jimenez, ditto Sulser’s note - don’t target displaced committee members on teams that aren’t vacuuming up wins. The season is too short for that anyhow.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

With September around the corner, the Week 7 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks are here to help analyze where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward in this chaotic season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 7 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 7

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 43.0 1 Shane Bieber 16.7 40.0 3.0 ▲
2 38.0 1 Gerrit Cole 4.9 38.0 0.0 ▬
3 38.0 1 Jacob deGrom 12.8 35.0 3.0 ▲ Mets' inability to supply wins are only limitation here.
4 34.0 2 Trevor Bauer 9.3 34.0 0.0 ▬
5 30.0 2 Sonny Gray 11.9 30.0 0.0 ▬
6 30.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 5.2 28.0 2.0 ▲
7 29.0 2 Yu Darvish 12.2 25.0 4.0 ▲
8 29.0 2 Max Scherzer 9.1 27.5 1.5 ▲ Top-end strikeouts, but perhaps attacking too aggressively.
9 26.0 3 Aaron Nola 7.4 27.0 -1.0 ▼
10 25.0 3 Luis Castillo 11.0 26.0 -1.0 ▼ Steady buy-low if possible, that .400 BABIP is unwieldy.
11 25.0 3 Jack Flaherty 3.0 25.0 0.0 ▬ Still a stud, but only 64 pitches this last time out.
12 23.0 3 Lance Lynn 10.4 23.0 0.0 ▬
13 23.0 3 Zack Greinke 11.6 23.0 0.0 ▬
14 22.0 3 Kenta Maeda 10.8 21.0 1.0 ▲
15 22.0 3 Dinelson Lamet 8.0 18.0 4.0 ▲
16 22.0 3 Lucas Giolito 12.2 13.0 9.0 ▲ Two straight 13-K gems, can he repeat vs. good teams?
17 20.0 3 Zac Gallen 7.0 14.5 5.5 ▲
18 19.0 3 Max Fried 12.3 14.0 5.0 ▲
19 15.5 4 Patrick Corbin 6.1 19.0 -3.5 ▼ 4 K's or fewer in 3 of his last 4 starts, stock will fall from that.
20 15.5 4 Carlos Carrasco 2.1 16.5 -1.0 ▼ 3 QS to start '20, then 3 non-QS. Saturday rebound w/ QS.
21 15.5 4 Brandon Woodruff 10.4 14.5 1.0 ▲
22 14.0 4 Dylan Bundy 8.8 14.5 -0.5 ▼
23 14.0 4 Blake Snell 2.8 13.0 1.0 ▲
24 14.0 4 Aaron Civale 8.7 12.0 2.0 ▲
25 14.0 4 Tyler Glasnow 4.6 10.0 4.0 ▲ 7 IP, 13 K against BAL. Yes, it's BAL, still a dreamy sight.
26 13.0 4 Zack Wheeler 8.2 14.0 -1.0 ▼ Limiting hard contact well but the whiffs are way down.
27 12.0 4 Mike Clevinger 0.1 11.0 1.0 ▲ Got BABIP'd some in return, but 6 K's and 1 BB works.
28 11.0 5 Kyle Hendricks 8.3 13.0 -2.0 ▼
29 11.0 5 Walker Buehler 2.1 22.0 -11.0 ▼ Hopefully just missing the minimum, risk can't be ignored.
30 10.5 5 Lance McCullers Jr. 2.7 9.5 1.0 ▲
31 9.5 5 German Marquez 7.8 10.0 -0.5 ▼
32 9.5 5 Chris Paddack 0.5 11.0 -1.5 ▼ Can he rebound at Coors? His heater is getting smashed.
33 9.5 5 Jesus Luzardo 4.3 9.5 0.0 ▬
34 9.5 5 Jose Berrios 3.7 9.5 0.0 ▬
35 9.5 5 Andrew Heaney 9.7 9.0 0.5 ▲
36 9.5 5 Hyun-Jin Ryu 8.6 9.0 0.5 ▲
37 9.0 5 Pablo Lopez 8.2 7.0 2.0 ▲
38 9.0 5 Charlie Morton 1.4 9.5 -0.5 ▼ Throwing another bullpen session this weekend.
39 8.5 6 Dustin May 4.0 9.0 -0.5 ▼
40 8.5 6 Chris Bassitt 5.3 8.5 0.0 ▬
41 8.5 6 Corbin Burnes 9.3 8.0 0.5 ▲ Crushed the Pirates with 10 K's in 6 scoreless IP, love it.
42 8.5 6 Cristian Javier 1.8 8.0 0.5 ▲
43 8.0 6 Julio Urias 4.5 8.5 -0.5 ▼
44 8.0 6 Framber Valdez 9.1 3.5 4.5 ▲ That curveball is working, improved command paying off.
45 6.0 7 Frankie Montas 3.0 11.0 -5.0 ▼ Turned in third straight brutal outing on Aug. 29.
46 5.0 7 Garrett Richards 1.8 8.5 -3.5 ▼
47 5.0 7 Dallas Keuchel 9.1 4.5 0.5 ▲
48 5.0 7 Dylan Cease -0.6 5.0 0.0 ▬
49 4.5 7 Masahiro Tanaka 3.7 4.5 0.0 ▬
50 4.5 7 Adrian Houser 1.4 4.5 0.0 ▬
51 4.5 7 Marco Gonzales 6.5 3.0 1.5 ▲ Doesn't wow, but offers steady hand as back-end option.
52 4.0 7 Tyler Mahle 3.3 1.5 2.5 ▲
53 4.0 7 Elieser Hernandez 3.4 1.5 2.5 ▲
54 4.0 7 Sixto Sanchez 2.7 1.0 3.0 ▲ Amazing in second start, MIA will cap upside.
55 4.0 7 Antonio Senzatela 4.3 1.5 2.5 ▲
56 3.5 8 Josh Lindblom 2.7 4.0 -0.5 ▼
57 3.5 8 Kyle Freeland 6.0 1.5 2.0 ▲
58 3.5 8 Danny Duffy 4.7 4.0 -0.5 ▼
59 3.0 8 Tony Gonsolin 4.9 1.0 2.0 ▲ Draws the Sunday start, deserves every opportunity.
60 3.0 8 Triston McKenzie 1.1 1.5 1.5 ▲
61 3.0 8 Casey Mize 0.3 4.0 -1.0 ▼
62 2.5 8 Spencer Turnbull 5.9 3.5 -1.0 ▼
63 2.5 8 Alec Mills 2.9 2.0 0.5 ▲
64 2.5 8 Randy Dobnak 3.8 1.5 1.0 ▲ Streak of five straight wins smashed by Tigers, go figure.
65 2.0 8 Kevin Gausman 7.1 3.5 -1.5 ▼
66 2.0 8 Zach Eflin 5.0 0.0 2.0 ▲
67 2.0 8 Brad Keller 4.5 3.0 -1.0 ▼
68 2.0 8 Zach Davies 9.4 2.5 -0.5 ▼
69 2.0 8 Jordan Montgomery 4.1 2.5 -0.5 ▼
70 1.5 9 Matthew Boyd -0.2 1.5 0.0 ▬ Boyd's first win of the year, a clean QS. September surge?
71 1.5 9 Ian Anderson 0.5 0.0 1.5 ▲
72 1.5 9 Ross Stripling -2.6 6.0 -4.5 ▼ Another poor start on Saturday, barely playable right now.
73 1.5 9 Taijuan Walker 1.3 1.0 0.5 ▲
74 1.5 9 Sean Manaea 4.5 2.0 -0.5 ▼
75 1.5 9 Kyle Gibson 1.1 2.0 -0.5 ▼
76 1.5 9 Kwang-Hyun Kim 2.4 0.0 1.5 ▲ Two straight starts w/ six innings, zero earned. Huzzah.
77 1.5 9 Mike Minor 3.3 2.0 -0.5 ▼
78 1.5 9 Luke Weaver -1.4 1.0 0.5 ▲
79 1.5 9 Adam Wainwright 3.9 1.0 0.5 ▲
80 1.5 9 Rich Hill 1.2 0.0 1.5 ▲
81 1.5 9 Griffin Canning -0.4 2.5 -1.0 ▼
82 1.0 10 Zach Plesac 7.5 1.5 -0.5 ▼ No room in rotation for his shenanigans. I'm not stashing.
83 1.0 10 Tyler Chatwood 3.1 1.5 -0.5 ▼
84 1.0 10 Alex Cobb 2.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
85 1.0 10 Justus Sheffield 7.5 1.0 0.0 ▬
86 1.0 10 John Means -2.3 1.5 -0.5 ▼
87 1.0 10 Anthony DeSclafani 0.5 1.5 -0.5 ▼
88 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto 3.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
89 1.0 10 Jon Lester 1.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
90 1.0 10 Mike Fiers 1.7 0.0 1.0 ▲
91 1.0 10 Ryan Yarbrough 2.4 1.0 0.0 ▬ Slated to miss only one start with minimum IL stint.
92 1.0 10 Jon Gray 5.1 1.0 0.0 ▬ Could flourish if traded away from Coors.
93 1.0 10 Chad Kuhl 0.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
94 1.0 10 Ryan Castellani -0.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
95 1.0 10 Brett Anderson 1.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
96 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 5.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 J.A. Happ -2.3 0.0 1.0 ▲ Back-to-back decent outings (spread over 2 weeks).
98 1.0 10 Michael Pineda 0.0 0.0 1.0 ▲
99 1.0 10 Justin Dunn -1.6 0.0 1.0 ▲
100 1.0 10 Matt Shoemaker -0.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
101 1.0 10 Dakota Hudson 1.2 1.0 0.0 ▬

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Yu Darvish (SP, Cubs): Darvish has earned a promotion through firing off six consecutive starts with one run or fewer, each of them resulting in a win. Now 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA and immaculate 52/8 K/BB ratio, Darvish isn’t dancing on luck either, with a slightly-elevated .314 BABIP and sturdy .274 xwOBA behind the .238 wOBA. He’s been a top-tier SP since last season’s All-Star break.

Lucas Giolito (SP, White Sox): Giolito’s no-hitter stole last week’s show, but it wasn’t even that much better than his previous start on Aug. 20 where he also struck out 13 over seven shutout frames. Now, these two gems came against Detroit and Pittsburgh. Keep your head on straight for Monday’s tilt against Minnesota, who touched him up for seven earned in his 2020 debut. 

But after schlepping through some command woes to open the year (13 BB’s in 23 ⅔ IP across first four starts), Giolito’s only issued four free passes in his last 21 IP. Let’s see that trend continue of attacking the zone. His 72.7% zone-contact rate is the lowest among all pitchers with at least 20 IP through Aug. 28, giving hitters the least opportunity to capitalize on hittable pitches.

Chris Paddack (SP, Padres): Paddack’s changeup and curve are still as effective as 2019, but his fastball is getting destroyed. After hitters only mustered a .204 average/.212 xBA and .391 SLG/.393 xSLG against it in ‘19, they’re tagging it for a .333 average (.344 xBA) and .797 SLG/.762 xSLG. The average exit velocity on it has risen by three ticks to 92.1 mph, surrendering eight homers already. For context, he’d given up 14 homers on four times the amount of heaters last year. This is cause for legitimate concern, especially with his next start coming today (Sunday) at Coors.

Framber Valdez (SP, Astros): Valdez continues to throw an elite curveball just as he did last season, but his walk rate has more than halved compared to 2019. His first-strike rate climbed from 58.7% to 61%, but the overall walk rate is down to 5.8% from 13.4%. You can find further evidence of this in his 53% Zone%, up from 49.9% last year (per Savant).

His curve has gone up a tick, from 79 to 80 mph, in exchange for a few inches of drop compared to ‘19 per Brooks Baseball. One cannot expect the current level of production to simply become his norm, but it feels great to see the 2.61 FIP/2.85 xFIP underneath the hood.

Tyler Mahle (SP, Reds): Mahle ripped the Cubs for a season-high 11 strikeouts on Friday, giving him a clean 33% strikeout rate over 23 innings. While the 10.3% walk rate is shaky, his season hasn’t allowed him to settle into the starting role. He tossed six innings of one-hit ball against Cleveland on Aug. 4 only to be pushed out of the rotation, and perhaps now we’re seeing him get his groove back. 

Sixto Sanchez (SP, MIA): Sánchez defended his status as Miami’s top prospect on Friday, twirling seven scoreless innings with 10 K’s and one walk against the Rays. This came after giving up three earned over five innings versus Washington in his debut, with the Tampa performance closer to his true talent.

One can’t expect 10-strikeout days on the regular, but a 14/1 K/BB ratio in his first 12 MLB innings is tied to a history of strong control in the minors. He had a walk rate below 5% between High- and Double-A last year, and the bump in K’s may point to Major Leaguers being more aggressive. With a heavy 98-mph fastball that can touch triple digits, an 89-mph change and slidepiece to toss in with an infrequent curve, Sánchez has the tools to be a must-start arm. If the 22-year-old continues with healthy command and a higher floor then he’ll keep on rising.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 200 Hitters Weekly Rankings (Week 6)

The Baller Ranks have a new player at number two, and his name is not Tatis, Yellich, or Acuna. While all three of those players have their claims to the second spot, the change is primarily based on volume. With that hint, can you guess which superstar has more remaining games than any other player in the top 10?

As we turned the halfway point in the baseball season, we've been exposed to a slew of postponed games. That change is wreaking havoc with the projected values. Players with extra games are getting meaningful bumps, and players with fewer are seeing their values decline by comparison.

That means that players for teams like the Cardinals, Phillies, Marlins, and Pirates are seeing a boost in their value. I started documenting this two weeks ago with the dramatic changes to the Cardinals' schedule and how that caused the fantasy value for their players to skyrocket. In the interim, several other teams have seen their schedules changed. Here are the teams with the most games remaining in the season. Last night's cancellations will impact this some, but it captures the most notable teams.

 

Team Games Remaining
Cardinals 41
Phillies 35
Marlins 35
Pirates 34
Yankees 33
Nationals 33
Tigers 32
Reds 32
Mets 32
Brewers 32
Blue Jays 32
Rangers 31
Orioles 31
Cubs 31

 

Schedule Shenanigans

While most teams have only 28 or 29 games remaining, there are many with 32 or more. For players on those teams, we're seeing value increases from 5% to 25%. The simple reality is that five or six games can mean another two or three home runs, four or five runs and RBI, extra weight for a player with a strong batting average, and another steal or two.

The answer to the question about which superstar has the most remaining games probably depends on whether you consider Bryce Harper to be a superstar. Harper does have more remaining games than anyone else in the top ten, but I don't think he's quite earned honorary of "superstar." Our new number two in the rankings is none other than Juan Soto.

The schedule anomalies I referenced above are particularly significant for players like Harper, Soto, and Goldschmidt, who are not only offensive heavyweights with excellent production per game, but also players who hit at the top of their team's order every single day.

That said, working from the list above, here are the players from those teams with the highest plate shares.

Player Team Plate Share
Jonathan Villar Marlins 108.9%
Trea Turner Nationals 108.1%
Cavan Biggio Blue Jays 106.7%
Paul Goldschmidt Cardinals 105.4%
Keston Hiura Brewers 105.1%
Anthony Santander Orioles 103.3%
Rhys Hoskins Phillies 101.9%
Anthony Rizzo Cubs 101.7%
Christian Yelich Brewers 100.9%
Brandon Nimmo Mets 100.8%
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays 100.0%
Jonathan Schoop Tigers 100.0%
Michael Conforto Mets 99.2%
Eugenio Suarez Reds 99.1%
Renato Nunez Orioles 98.4%
Pete Alonso Mets 98.3%
Javier Baez Cubs 98.3%
Bryce Harper Phillies 97.1%
Josh Bell Pirates 97.1%
Jesus Aguilar Marlins 97.0%
Teoscar Hernandez Blue Jays 96.6%
Brian Anderson Marlins 96.0%
Nick Solak Rangers 95.8%
Niko Goodrum Tigers 95.6%
Joey Gallo Rangers 94.9%
Joey Votto Reds 94.6%
Adam Eaton Nationals 94.6%
Didi Gregorius Phillies 94.2%
Ian Happ Cubs 94.1%
Asdrubal Cabrera Nationals 93.7%
Kyle Schwarber Cubs 93.3%
J.T. Realmuto Phillies 93.3%
Kolten Wong Cardinals 93.2%
Bryan Reynolds Pirates 93.1%
Andrew McCutchen Phillies 92.3%

Soto is conspicuously absent from that list because his quarantine period cost him eight games.

For Soto, the bonus games are bumping his value by about $5. He's earned the rest of his increase with his performance. Over the last two weeks, he's hit six home runs, 13 R, 13 RBI, and hit .380.

The spike in Soto's projected value is not merely based on the increase in his counting stats, but his ability to contribute a high average. That's not an expectation that he'll hit .380 all year long, but if he just manages his career average of .293, it will have significant value relative to the .242 league-wide batting average this season.

As I said, Harper is a similar case. The Phillies have even more games remaining than the Nationals, and Harper has had a superlative season in his own right. His barrel rate (17.5%), wOBA (.448), and xwOBA (.463) are all in the top 5% of the league right now. Given an extra five or six relative games, there's an argument for pushing Harper's value up to Acuna's at $43.

 

Young Superstars

The shift to Soto's value is tied to another, larger conversation about whether we are being too slow to accept young superstars as the value equivalents of older, more established players. Baseball's aging curves have shifted, and I can't remember any other time when three of the ten best players in baseball were 22 years old or younger. I am, of course, referring to Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Juan Soto.

That list omits many other excellent young players who are either on the cusp of ascending to a new level or who did not arrive in the majors until they were older because their teams deemed it financially beneficial to hold them back.

To that end, I'd love to hear more about how to weigh the performances of young players. While I have no intention of discarding what we know about small sample sizes and data stabilization, baseball is doing better at helping young ballplayers reach their ceilings at younger and younger ages.

Having wandered into that quagmire, here are the Meta Report for week 6 and the Baller Ranks Top-200 hitters. If you're unfamiliar with the Meta Report, here's a quick guide on how to read it. And if you missed Nick Mariano's pitcher rankings yesterday, here are his top 101 relievers and his top 101 starters.

 

Week 6 Hitter Rankings

Rank $ Player Pos Trend
1 47.0 Mike Trout OF 0 ▬
2 46.0 Juan Soto OF 1 ▲
3 44.0 Christian Yelich OF -1 ▼
4 43.0 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF 38 ▲
5 38.0 Mookie Betts OF 0 ▬
6 37.0 Bryce Harper OF 4 ▲
7 36.0 Nolan Arenado 3B -3 ▼
8 35.0 Trevor Story SS 0 ▬
9 35.0 Cody Bellinger OF -2 ▼
10 34.0 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 1 ▲
11 32.0 Francisco Lindor SS -2 ▼
12 31.0 Jose Ramirez 3B -6 ▼
13 29.0 Trea Turner SS 3 ▲
14 29.0 Freddie Freeman 1B -1 ▼
15 28.0 Nelson Cruz DH -1 ▼
16 28.0 J.T. Realmuto C/1B/DH 1 ▲
17 27.0 J.D. Martinez DH -2 ▼
18 25.0 Rafael Devers 3B 0 ▬
19 24.0 Paul Goldschmidt 1B/DH 21 ▲
20 23.0 Manny Machado 3B 4 ▲
21 23.0 Eloy Jimenez OF 1 ▲
22 23.0 Javier Baez SS -3 ▼
23 22.0 Marcell Ozuna OF/DH 4 ▲
24 22.0 Xander Bogaerts SS -1 ▼
25 22.0 Anthony Rendon 3B 5 ▲
26 22.0 Pete Alonso 1B 2 ▲
27 21.0 Luis Robert OF 5 ▲
28 21.0 Nick Castellanos OF 1 ▲
29 20.0 Charlie Blackmon OF -3 ▼
30 19.5 Starling Marte OF 3 ▲
31 19.5 Keston Hiura 2B 17 ▲
32 19.0 Joey Gallo OF 4 ▲
33 19.0 Jose Altuve 2B -12 ▼
34 19.0 George Springer OF -3 ▼
35 18.5 Anthony Rizzo 1B 4 ▲
36 18.0 Whit Merrifield OF 14 ▲
37 18.0 Eddie Rosario OF 0 ▬
38 18.0 Matt Chapman 3B 0 ▬
39 18.0 Ketel Marte 2B -5 ▼
40 17.0 Carlos Correa SS 4 ▲
41 17.0 Yoan Moncada 3B 4 ▲
42 16.5 Tim Anderson SS 11 ▲
43 16.0 Yuli Gurriel 1B 17 ▲
44 16.0 Eugenio Suarez 3B -3 ▼
45 15.5 Jose Abreu 1B 19 ▲
46 15.5 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS/OF 15 ▲
47 15.5 Marcus Semien SS 0 ▬
48 15.5 Ramon Laureano OF 4 ▲
49 15.5 Gary Sanchez C 7 ▲
50 15.5 Austin Meadows OF/DH 1 ▲
51 15.0 Michael Conforto OF 7 ▲
52 15.0 Ozzie Albies 2B 13 ▲
53 14.5 Max Kepler OF 4 ▲
54 14.0 Corey Seager SS/DH 23 ▲
55 14.0 Matt Olson 1B -6 ▼
56 14.0 Jorge Soler DH 6 ▲
57 14.0 Shohei Ohtani DH -11 ▼
58 14.0 Kyle Schwarber OF -4 ▼
59 14.0 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B/DH -4 ▼
60 13.0 Giancarlo Stanton DH 9 ▲
61 12.5 Brandon Lowe 2B 28 ▲
62 12.5 Gio Urshela 3B 16 ▲
63 12.5 Willson Contreras C 7 ▲
64 12.0 Aaron Judge OF/DH -39 ▼
65 12.0 Miguel Sano 1B 9 ▲
66 12.0 Mike Moustakas 2B/DH 5 ▲
67 12.0 Yasmani Grandal C/1B/DH -4 ▼
68 11.5 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B/DH 0 ▬
69 11.0 Franmil Reyes DH 3 ▲
70 11.0 Didi Gregorius SS 11 ▲
71 11.0 Alex Bregman 3B -59 ▼
72 10.5 Luke Voit 1B 20 ▲
73 10.0 Wil Myers OF 10 ▲
74 10.0 Bo Bichette SS -39 ▼
75 10.0 David Peralta OF 1 ▲
76 10.0 Eduardo Escobar 3B -1 ▼
77 10.0 Victor Robles OF -4 ▼
78 9.5 Kyle Tucker OF 12 ▲
79 9.5 J.D. Davis 3B/OF/DH 17 ▲
80 9.5 Adalberto Mondesi SS -14 ▼
81 9.0 Trent Grisham OF 13 ▲
82 9.0 Andrew McCutchen OF/DH 0 ▬
83 9.0 Jorge Polanco SS -16 ▼
84 9.0 Rhys Hoskins 1B 1 ▲
85 9.0 Gleyber Torres SS -65 ▼
86 9.0 Josh Donaldson 3B -2 ▼
87 8.5 Alex Verdugo OF 4 ▲
88 8.5 Adam Eaton OF -1 ▼
89 8.0 Byron Buxton OF -9 ▼
90 8.0 Josh Bell 1B/DH -11 ▼
91 7.5 Mike Yastrzemski OF 20 ▲
92 7.5 Teoscar Hernandez OF 9 ▲
93 7.5 Avisail Garcia OF -5 ▼
94 7.0 Anthony Santander OF 13 ▲
95 7.0 Renato Nunez 1B/3B/DH 13 ▲
96 7.0 Jonathan Schoop 2B 9 ▲
97 7.0 Justin Turner 3B -38 ▼
98 7.0 Brian Anderson 3B -1 ▼
99 7.0 Christian Vazquez C -13 ▼
100 6.5 Dominic Smith 1B/OF/DH 20 ▲
101 6.5 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF/DH -8 ▼
102 6.0 Dansby Swanson SS 1 ▲
103 6.0 Cavan Biggio 2B 11 ▲
104 6.0 Kyle Seager 3B 21 ▲
105 6.0 Mitch Moreland 1B 12 ▲
106 6.0 Corey Dickerson OF/DH -2 ▼
107 5.5 Randal Grichuk OF -1 ▼
108 5.5 Eric Hosmer 1B 39 ▲
109 5.5 Ian Happ OF 10 ▲
110 5.5 Yadier Molina C 28 ▲
111 5.5 Howie Kendrick 1B/DH -12 ▼
112 5.5 David Dahl OF/DH -12 ▼
113 5.0 A.J. Pollock OF 8 ▲
114 5.0 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF 4 ▲
115 5.0 Joey Votto 1B -5 ▼
116 5.0 Will Smith C 12 ▲
117 4.5 Pedro Severino C/DH 34 ▲
118 4.5 Jesse Winker OF/DH -3 ▼
119 4.5 Carlos Santana 1B -21 ▼
120 4.5 Paul DeJong SS -8 ▼
121 4.5 Kolten Wong 2B 3 ▲
122 4.5 Dylan Carlson OF -9 ▼
123 4.0 Kyle Lewis OF 13 ▲
124 4.0 Mark Canha 1B/OF/DH 17 ▲
125 4.0 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B 9 ▲
126 4.0 Travis d'Arnaud C/DH 36 ▲
127 4.0 Shin-Soo Choo OF/DH 22 ▲
128 3.5 David Fletcher SS 12 ▲
129 3.5 Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B -6 ▼
130 3.5 Amed Rosario SS -4 ▼
131 3.5 Joc Pederson OF -9 ▼
132 3.5 Jo Adell OF -5 ▼
133 3.0 Willy Adames SS 0 ▬
134 3.0 Christian Walker 1B -25 ▼
135 3.0 Maikel Franco 3B -4 ▼
136 3.0 Wilson Ramos C/DH -20 ▼
137 3.0 Luis Urias 2B/3B/SS 65 ▲
138 3.0 Brett Gardner OF -1 ▼
139 2.5 Ryan McMahon 1B/2B/3B 28 ▲
140 2.5 J.P. Crawford SS 4 ▲
141 2.5 Ryan Braun OF/DH -2 ▼
142 2.5 Alec Bohm 3B 57 ▲
143 2.5 Michael Brantley OF/DH 57 ▲
144 2.5 Khris Davis DH -9 ▼
145 2.5 Travis Shaw 1B/3B/DH -3 ▼
146 2.0 Dylan Moore 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF -3 ▼
147 2.0 Asdrubal Cabrera 1B/3B/DH -2 ▼
148 2.0 Nick Solak OF 18 ▲
149 2.0 Rio Ruiz 3B -20 ▼
150 2.0 Kris Bryant 3B/OF/DH -107 ▼
151 2.0 Hunter Renfroe OF -21 ▼
152 1.5 Jake Cronenworth 1B/2B/3B/SS 27 ▲
153 1.5 Tommy La Stella 1B/2B/DH 23 ▲
154 1.5 Kevin Pillar OF 46 ▲
155 1.5 Aaron Hicks OF -7 ▼
156 1.5 Ryan Mountcastle OF 44 ▲
157 1.5 Joey Bart C 43 ▲
158 1.0 Austin Slater OF/DH -3 ▼
159 1.0 JaCoby Jones OF 16 ▲
160 1.0 Nick Ahmed SS -3 ▼
161 1.0 Jesus Aguilar 1B/DH -8 ▼
162 1.0 Brandon Nimmo OF 16 ▲
163 1.0 Salvador Perez C/1B/DH -68 ▼
164 1.0 Niko Goodrum SS -4 ▼
165 1.0 Cesar Hernandez 2B -2 ▼
166 1.0 Yandy Diaz 3B 11 ▲
167 1.0 Jean Segura 2B/3B/SS -9 ▼
168 1.0 Bryan Reynolds OF -7 ▼
169 1.0 Victor Caratini C/1B/DH -19 ▼
170 1.0 Nick Senzel OF -11 ▼
171 1.0 Daniel Murphy 1B -69 ▼
172 1.0 Kevin Newman 2B/SS -4 ▼
173 1.0 Edwin Encarnacion DH 0 ▬
174 1.0 Danny Santana 1B/OF/DH 12 ▲
175 1.0 Chance Sisco C/DH 25 ▲
176 1.0 Luis Arraez 2B -2 ▼
177 1.0 Kurt Suzuki C/DH 10 ▲
178 1.0 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo 3B/OF/DH -9 ▼
179 1.0 Mitch Garver C/1B -47 ▼
180 1.0 Elvis Andrus SS -28 ▼
181 1.0 Willie Calhoun OF/DH -10 ▼
182 1.0 Max Stassi C 8 ▲
183 1.0 Evan White 1B 17 ▲
184 1.0 Donovan Solano 2B/3B/SS -30 ▼
185 1.0 Evan Longoria 3B 15 ▲
186 1.0 Justin Smoak 1B -4 ▼
187 1.0 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/SS -41 ▼
188 1.0 Sean Murphy C 12 ▲
189 1.0 Miguel Cabrera DH -8 ▼
190 1.0 Daulton Varsho C/OF/DH -7 ▼
191 1.0 Austin Romine C -11 ▼
192 1.0 Andrelton Simmons SS -3 ▼
193 1.0 Danny Jansen C -29 ▼
194 1.0 Omar Narvaez C -24 ▼
195 1.0 Austin Riley 1B/3B/OF 5 ▲
196 1.0 Shogo Akiyama OF -12 ▼
197 1.0 Rowdy Tellez 1B/DH -12 ▼
198 1.0 Carson Kelly P/C -10 ▼
199 1.0 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF/DH -8 ▼
200 1.0 Carter Kieboom 3B/DH 1 ▲

 

Key Rankings Movers

Eric Hosmer (1B, Padres)

No batter has surprised me more than Eric Hosmer this season. For years, Hosmer has been a fantasy afterthought: a stable but unappealing player whose ceiling was barely rosterable in many leagues.

Hosmer may be a year late to the party, but he's become a devout follower of the church of Latter-Day Launch Angles. Hosmer's launch angle this season is 11.9°, almost double his previous career-high of 6.0° in 2015. That change has improved Hosmer's barrel rate from the 5.8% he maintained from 2015 to 2019 to the 13.3% that he has this year.

That launch angle change seems to be driving Hosmer's entire improvement. His exit velocity is almost identical, and most of his plate discipline numbers are remarkably similar. One key difference in Hosmer's plate discipline is that his contact rate has improved. With that, his swinging-strike rate has dropped from 13.4% to 7.3%, and his contact rate has jumped up from 73.0% to 84.7%. Meaningfully, Hosmer has seen more first-pitch strikes. It's possible that change is related to the improved Padres' lineup, but we know that lineup protection has very little evidence behind it.

Regardless, we have a certified swing change with enough data behind it to indicate that fantasy managers can bank on Hosmer's power surge as being real. Whether he ends up as a player with 30 HR power remains to be seen, but his previous pace of 25 HR/162 games seems a very safe projection.

Jonathan Schoop (2B, Tigers)

Schoop has had a few weeks of climbing projections, but unlike Hosmer, there hasn't been an evident change in his game that has improved his value. Instead, Schoop's move to Motor City and its supply of unlimited at-bats is helping to bolster his value.

Despite being an eight-year veteran, Schoop has only gotten full playing time twice in his career. In 2016, he had 647 plate appearances and hit 25 home runs. In 2017, he had 675 plate appearances and hit 32 home runs. Keep in mind those seasons were in the pre-rabbit-ball era, so the power output is even more impressive.

Granted, other factors have hurt the second baseman's value since then. In particular, Schoop's profile shows years with spikes in ground-ball and infield-fly rates, hard-hit rates that plummeted, and walk rates that have been in the bottom tenth of the league. Despite that, Schoop has managed to put it all together in Detroit this year. The consistent playing time and some modest improvements to his plate discipline are allowing Schoop to maintain a pace that would equal his 2017 season.

He's been around so long that it's easy to assume that Schoop is 30 or older, but this is only his age-28 season. While Hosmer, JD Martinez, and Lance Lynn are reminders that a player will sometimes develop dramatically in their later careers, that's not exactly what Schoop has shown. So far, it seems to be more a case of the player we knew, but finally in a situation where he can put his talents to their best use.

Adalberto Mondesi (SS, Royals

When managers drafted Adalberto Mondesi this summer, they were probably taking him as a top-50 player. Mondesi has fallen to 80th in this update, and there are probably many managers who feel he should be lower than that.

Believe it or not, the projection systems have barely changed their outlook on Mondesi since the start of the season. I'm not sure what part of Mondesi's dataset keeps his projection so stable, but the machines have real confidence that he will rebound.

It's not clear to me that he deserves all of that confidence. The $9.5 tag on him isn't a total collapse of Mondesi's projected value. However, it is a definite correction that accounts for his inability to barrel the ball this season and the fact that critical numbers like his barrel rate (5.3%), walk rate (1.8%), and hard-hit rate (30.7%) have started to stabilize.

I worried in the spring that Mondesi would struggle this season because of the combination of his high-strikeout tendencies and his recovery from shoulder surgery. I also thought that the delayed start would give him time to recover, but that's not what he's shown so far this season.

Free-swingers like Mondesi are always prone to bouts of extreme streakiness, and the frantic nature of this season is distorting our ability to regard players like him with the perspective they deserve. However, it's hard to dismiss a 31-game, 115 PA period with a .199 xwOBA as a negative indicator of his status.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Relief Pitchers Weekly Rankings

With September on the horizon, it's time for the Week 6 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks. Let's take our a weekly dive into where the top 101 RPs stand moving forward in this strange sprint season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks as well. I've updated this piece through Aug. 25.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for SP, RP, and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 6 Top 101 RP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 6

Rank $ Tier Player EV $ Trend Notes
1 $14.0 1 Liam Hendriks $5.3 $14.0 0.0 ▬ OAK simply not holding him back and he's producing.
2 $14.0 1 Josh Hader $3.6 $14.0 0.0 ▬ Results are there, but usage is down.
3 $14.0 1 Kenley Jansen $2.9 $14.0 0.0 ▬
4 $12.0 2 Taylor Rogers $3.7 $12.0 0.0 ▬
5 $12.0 2 Aroldis Chapman $0.3 $10.5 1.5 ▲ Yankees got swept then postponed last week, no chances.
6 $11.0 2 Brad Hand $2.6 $9.5 1.5 ▲ Early bumps still skew numbers, but he's looked much better.
7 $10.5 2 Alex Colome $3.0 $8.0 2.5 ▲
8 $9.5 3 Raisel Iglesias $2.6 $8.0 1.5 ▲
9 $8.0 3 Rafael Montero $1.4 $6.5 1.5 ▲
10 $8.0 3 Daniel Hudson $0.3 $4.5 3.5 ▲
11 $6.5 3 Archie Bradley $4.1 $7.0 -0.5 ▼ Hadn't pitched in eight straight games before Aug. 25.
12 $6.0 3 Trevor Rosenthal $0.6 $4.0 2.0 ▲
13 $6.0 3 Mark Melancon $1.4 $6.0 0.0 ▬
14 $5.5 4 James Karinchak $7.1 $3.0 2.5 ▲ Saves be damned, he's a must-start arm.
15 $4.5 4 Ryan Pressly $2.9 $2.0 2.5 ▲
16 $4.0 4 Brandon Kintzler -$0.5 $1.5 2.5 ▲ Providing stellar late-round RP value.
17 $4.0 4 Jordan Romano $4.5 $1.0 3.0 ▲
18 $3.5 4 Giovanny Gallegos $2.8 $1.0 2.5 ▲ Notched a perfect four-out save on Aug. 22.
19 $3.0 4 Edwin Diaz $3.7 $3.5 -0.5 ▼ Still spotty command, but all 7 outs were K's last week.
20 $3.0 4 Emilio Pagan -$2.3 $1.0 2.0 ▲ Two clean saves this past week, he should be the guy for SD.
21 $2.5 5 Devin Williams $4.0 $1.5 1.0 ▲ Rostering Williams and Karinchak = Fantasy ace
22 $2.0 5 Brandon Workman $1.4 $4.0 -2.0 ▼ Took L in PHI debut, nearly blew SV in second game. Scary.
28 $2.0 5 Daniel Bard $3.9 $0.5 1.5 ▲ Appears to be COL's 1A closer.
23 $1.5 5 Hector Neris $1.2 $5.5 -4.0 ▼ Competiton with Workman, but both are struggling.
24 $1.5 5 Joe Jimenez -$2.8 $2.0 -0.5 ▼ Two implosions in last two games, no saves in two weeks. Ow.
25 $1.5 5 Chad Green $4.2 $2.0 -0.5 ▼
26 $1.5 5 Cole Sulser $0.5 $1.5 0.0 ▬
27 $1.5 5 Sergio Romo $1.8 $1.5 0.0 ▬
29 $1.5 5 Taylor Williams $1.9 $1.0 0.5 ▲
30 $1.5 5 Ty Buttrey $0.3 $1.0 0.5 ▲
31 $1.5 5 Richard Rodriguez $1.6 $0.5 1.0 ▲ PIT's strongest RP right now.
32 $1.5 5 Tyler Duffey $2.9 $1.5 0.0 ▬
33 $1.5 5 Matt Barnes -$3.0 $1.0 0.5 ▲ New BOS closer, same BOS command problems.
34 $1.5 5 Rowan Wick $1.4 $1.5 0.0 ▬
35 $1.5 5 Josh Staumont $2.2 $1.0 0.5 ▲
36 $1.0 6 Craig Kimbrel -$2.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Looking better lately, whiffs way up, did walk two on Aug. 23.
37 $1.0 6 Jonathan Hernandez $5.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
38 $1.0 6 Drew Pomeranz $4.8 $12.0 -11.0 ▼ We all cry when Pomeranz is injured, hope you can stash.
39 $1.0 6 Joakim Soria $4.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
40 $1.0 6 Andrew Miller $1.3 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
41 $1.0 6 Anthony Bass $2.1 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
42 $1.0 6 Jeremy Jeffress $2.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Few K's and the xwOBA stokes some fear, but results!
43 $1.0 6 Tanner Rainey $3.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
44 $1.0 6 Freddy Peralta $5.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
45 $1.0 6 Matt Foster $4.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬
46 $1.0 6 Will Smith -$1.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
47 $1.0 6 Nick Anderson $5.5 $11.0 -10.0 ▼ Both Anderson and Pomeranz injured is a true curse.
48 $1.0 6 Tony Watson $1.1 $0.5 0.5 ▲ Quietly logging sub-1.00 ERA & WHIP, best SF RP.
49 $1.0 6 Gregory Soto $1.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
50 $1.0 6 Diego Castillo -$1.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
51 $1.0 6 Ken Giles -$0.5 $0.5 0.5 ▲ Working his way back.
52 $1.0 7 Adam Ottavino $1.3 $1.0 0.0 ▬
53 $1.0 7 Mychal Givens $3.0 $0.5 0.5 ▲
54 $1.0 7 Hansel Robles -$0.8 $1.0 0.0 ▬
Was improving, but has yielded 2 ER in 2 of his last 3 outings.
55 $1.0 7 Zack Britton $2.2 $1.5 -0.5 ▼ Won't be closer upon return, but still many HLDs when back.
56 $1.0 7 David Phelps $3.7 $0.0 1.0 ▲
57 $1.0 7 Trevor May $2.1 $0.5 0.5 ▲
58 $1.0 7 Carlos Estevez $2.4 $0.5 0.5 ▲
59 $0.5 8 Yusmeiro Petit $0.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
60 $0.5 8 Nick Wittgren $1.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
61 $0.5 8 Miguel Castro $0.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
62 $0.5 8 Ross Detwiler $2.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
63 $0.5 8 Greg Holland $0.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
64 $0.5 8 Craig Stammen $0.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
65 $0.5 8 Jake McGee $3.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
66 $0.5 8 Tyler Clippard $3.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
67 $0.5 8 Blake Treinen $1.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
68 $0.5 9 Amir Garrett $1.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
69 $0.5 9 Blake Taylor $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
70 $0.5 9 John Gant $2.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
71 $0.5 9 Jalen Beeks $5.8 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Forearm injury suffered on Tuesday night? Edgar Garcia?
72 $0.5 9 Yoshihisa Hirano $0.2 $0.0 0.5 ▲ 2020 debut yielded 2 K's, clean IP. Could find closer work.
73 $0.5 9 Peter Fairbanks $2.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
74 $0.5 9 Evan Marshall $2.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
75 $0.5 9 Joely Rodriguez $1.7 $0.0 0.5 ▲
76 $0.5 9 Yency Almonte $3.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
77 $0.5 9 Scott Barlow $3.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
78 $0.5 9 Jairo Diaz $0.8 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
79 $0.5 9 Trevor Gott -$9.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
80 $0.5 9 Tyler Rogers $2.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
81 $0.5 9 Alex Reyes -$0.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
82 $0.5 9 Tim Hill $0.3 $0.0 0.5 ▲
83 $0.5 9 Matt Magill $0.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
84 $0.5 9 Thomas Hatch $0.8 $0.0 0.5 ▲
85 $0.5 10 Dan Altavilla $0.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
86 $0.5 10 Ryan Brasier $1.2 $0.0 0.5 ▲
87 $0.5 10 Ryan Borucki $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
88 $0.5 10 Luke Jackson $1.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
89 $0.5 10 Felix Pena $3.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
90 $0.5 10 Rafael Dolis $1.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
91 $0.5 10 Josh Tomlin $2.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
92 $0.5 10 Ryan Helsley $1.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Scheduled for a bullpen session on Aug. 26.
93 $0.5 10 Caleb Ferguson $3.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
94 $0.5 10 Brad Boxberger -$0.6 $0.0 0.5 ▲
95 $0.5 10 Lucas Sims $2.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬
96 $0.5 10 Brusdar Graterol $2.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
97 $0.5 10 John Curtiss $0.5 $0.0 0.5 ▲
98 $0.5 10 J.B. Wendelken $1.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
99 $0.5 10 Buck Farmer $0.3 $0.0 0.5 ▲
100 $0.5 10 Edgar Garcia -$0.3 $0.0 0.5 ▲
101 $0.5 10 Chaz Roe $2.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬

 

Relief Pitcher Movers of Note

Liam Hendriks (RP, Athletics): Liam Hendriks surpasses Josh Hader for the top spot because his usage is as elevated as his form. He’s only given up two earned runs in 15 ⅓ IP, posting a sub-1.00 WHIP with an outstanding 32.1% K-BB%. The strikeouts are coming in droves while Liam has shown superior control to Hader, issuing just three unintentional free passes to Hader’s five despite throwing almost double the innings.

The A’s are happy to lean on him, with no other closer pitching more innings thus far. When you mix frequent usage with a league-leading saves tally, elite ratios, and plus strikeouts, you’ll often find your No. 1 RP. Perhaps even a Cy Young award?

Hector Neris (RP, Phillies) & Brandon Workman (RP, Phillies): Héctor Neris continues to struggle, surrendering seven earned runs (10 runs) over his last five appearances through Aug. 22. With a measly 7/5 K/BB ratio and a frightful .455 BABIP, it’s no surprise that Philadelphia felt pressed into making a move for relief help.

Enter: Workman, who promptly absorbed the loss in his first game in a Phillies uniform on Aug. 22. And while he managed a save on Aug. 23, it came with an earned run and three baserunners. His .483 BABIP refuses to be outdone by Neris’ mark, so there’s certainly an argument for regression to help both of them in the long run.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a long run in 2020 and the poor command will lead to batted balls of a higher quality. And both have a walk rate above 13%! At least Neris has a .342 xwOBA, far better than Workman’s .379 mark (but still troubling).

Brandon Kintzler (RP, Marlins): While Kintzler’s 4.84 FIP/4.17 xFIP through Aug. 25 isn’t setting the world on fire, he’s got six saves and a win to his name alongside sturdy command. Only seven strikeouts in 12 ⅓ IP won’t help, but a career 6.32 K/9 means that’s par for the course. But just three walks in that span is also expected (2.19 BB/9, career 2.33) alongside the 59.5% groundball rate (56.3%). With a first-strike rate over 70%, let’s see if Kintzler keeps on attacking and inducing poor contact en route to strong value in 2020.

Jordan Romano (RP, Blue Jays): Romano's last three appearances have garnered two saves and a win for fantasy teams (and the Blue Jays, of course). He’s more than earned the shot, as his electrifying slider that he’s throwing 61.3% of the time next to a casual 96-mph fastball has produced an overall 19.4% swinging-strike rate and just one earned run over 14 innings.

Pair those whiffs with a healthy 58.6% groundball rate and a digestible 9.3% walk rate and you’ve got a budding star. The .214 BABIP and 94.3% strand rate will regress some, but the underlying picture is that of a strong bullpen arm.

Daniel Bard (RP, Rockies): Absolutely call it a comeback. Bard was a force for Boston back in 2010-11, setting a team record with 25 consecutive scoreless appearances and hurling triple-digit heat before falling off at the end of ‘11 and failing as a starting pitcher in ‘12. He would be DFA’d in ‘13 and lost all semblance of command in subsequent years before retiring in 2017.

But 2020 saw him sign with the Rockies and earn a spot on the 40-man with solid command at camp. Now he has two saves and a beautiful 15/1 K/BB ratio across 13 frames. With both Wade Davis and Scott Oberg injured, Jairo Diaz got the first crack but command woes sank his stock. On Monday night, Carlos Estevez got out of a seventh-inning jam and pitched the eighth before Bard secured the save. In case you were wondering, the man can still bring the heat:

David Phelps (RP, Brewers): Phelps is Milwaukee’s eighth-inning man behind Josh Hader, running alongside Devin Williams to keep the setup innings running smoothly. Phelps did yield a two-run homer on Aug. 23 -- his only homer surrendered this year through 12 innings -- but carries a strong 17/2 K/BB ratio with four holds and two wins for the Brew Crew.

Like other successful pitchers in 2020, Phelps is throwing his fastball less (40%) with a heavy cutter at 38.5% and a curve around 21.5%. Even with Hader being a beast, Phelps is yet another middle-relief/setup arm that offers plus K's and ratios in 5x5 leagues.

***Keep an eye out for Matt Barnes and Richard Rodriguez rising, with RichRod looking like the head of Pittsburgh's committee. At least, he's the only one there that you'll want to roster right now.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

It's time for the Week 6 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks, where we analyze where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward in this chaotic season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 6 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 6

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 40.0 1 Shane Bieber 14.4 35.0 5.0 ▲ Bieber is the best pitcher in baseball right now.
2 38.0 1 Gerrit Cole 6.2 40.0 -2.0 ▼
3 35.0 1 Jacob deGrom 8.7 38.0 -3.0 ▼
4 34.0 2 Trevor Bauer 9.8 28.0 6.0 ▲ Spin-rate maestro firing, that .175 xwOBA is criminal.
5 30.0 2 Sonny Gray 10.4 29.0 1.0 ▲
6 28.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 3.3 24.0 4.0 ▲ No health issues, no problem.
7 27.5 2 Max Scherzer 5.6 31.0 -3.5 ▼ Hit a wall against MIA, that 1.40 WHIP is not ace material.
8 27.0 2 Aaron Nola 6.2 27.0 0.0 ▬ That last start burned, but one bad day doesn't erase it all.
9 26.0 2 Luis Castillo 9.0 27.0 -1.0 ▼
10 25.0 2 Jack Flaherty 1.4 25.0 0.0 ▬
11 25.0 2 Yu Darvish 10.3 23.0 2.0 ▲
12 23.0 2 Lance Lynn 9.5 23.0 0.0 ▬ Shooting up charts faster than an oft-thrown fastball.
13 23.0 2 Zack Greinke 10.1 20.0 3.0 ▲ Toying with offenses, same mid-range K's though.
14 22.0 2 Walker Buehler 2.1 17.0 5.0 ▲ Ran through the road Rockies, gets SFG in SF next.
15 21.0 3 Kenta Maeda 9.5 17.0 4.0 ▲ Hopefully elevated pitch count from no-hit bid doesn't hurt.
16 19.0 3 Patrick Corbin 5.8 24.0 -5.0 ▼
17 18.0 3 Dinelson Lamet 7.9 14.0 4.0 ▲
18 16.5 3 Carlos Carrasco 2.9 21.0 -4.5 ▼
19 14.5 3 Brandon Woodruff 7.7 14.5 0.0 ▬
20 14.5 3 Zac Gallen 5.9 14.0 0.5 ▲
21 14.5 3 Dylan Bundy 6.6 12.0 2.5 ▲
22 14.0 3 Zack Wheeler 6.6 13.0 1.0 ▲ Appears strong, but where are the strikeouts?
23 14.0 3 Max Fried 10.2 12.0 2.0 ▲
24 13.0 4 Kyle Hendricks 8.0 12.0 1.0 ▲
25 13.0 4 Blake Snell 1.5 12.5 0.5 ▲
26 13.0 4 Lucas Giolito 7.6 11.0 2.0 ▲ The Giolito we fell in love with last season has arrived in '20.
27 12.0 4 Aaron Civale 8.9 9.5 2.5 ▲
28 11.0 5 Frankie Montas 3.0 14.0 -3.0 ▼ Awful last start, is the back okay or did it throw mechanics?
29 11.0 5 Chris Paddack 0.7 13.0 -2.0 ▼
30 11.0 5 Mike Clevinger -0.7 11.0 0.0 ▬ Will he be back after service time has been manipulated?
31 10.0 5 Tyler Glasnow 2.2 11.0 -1.0 ▼
32 10.0 5 German Marquez 8.8 10.0 0.0 ▬ No one is immune to Coors and its low floor.
33 9.5 5 Lance McCullers Jr. 2.7 10.0 -0.5 ▼
34 9.5 5 Jesus Luzardo 3.2 9.5 0.0 ▬
35 9.5 5 Jose Berrios 3.7 9.5 0.0 ▬ Reversed early woes with six shutout frames, 9 K's.
36 9.5 5 Charlie Morton 1.4 9.5 0.0 ▬
37 9.0 6 Andrew Heaney 6.3 9.0 0.0 ▬
38 9.0 6 Hyun-Jin Ryu 6.3 8.0 1.0 ▲
39 9.0 6 Dustin May 2.8 9.0 0.0 ▬
40 8.5 6 Julio Urias 4.4 8.5 0.0 ▬
41 8.5 6 Chris Bassitt 5.2 5.0 3.5 ▲
42 8.5 6 Garrett Richards 4.4 8.0 0.5 ▲
43 8.0 6 Cristian Javier 0.9 4.5 3.5 ▲
44 8.0 6 Corbin Burnes 3.8 4.5 3.5 ▲
45 7.0 6 Pablo Lopez 7.2 2.5 4.5 ▲
46 6.0 7 Ross Stripling -1.3 9.0 -3.0 ▼
47 5.0 7 Nate Pearson -2.0 8.5 -3.5 ▼
48 5.0 7 Dylan Cease -0.7 7.0 -2.0 ▼ I find his lack of K's...disturbing. Where are the whiffs?
49 4.5 7 Masahiro Tanaka 1.8 6.0 -1.5 ▼
50 4.5 7 Dallas Keuchel 7.4 4.5 0.0 ▬ Continues to cruise, but huge gap in wOBA vs. xwOBA.
51 4.5 7 Adrian Houser 2.3 4.5 0.0 ▬
52 4.0 8 Nathan Eovaldi 2.6 4.0 0.0 ▬
53 4.0 8 Josh Lindblom 1.7 4.0 0.0 ▬
54 4.0 8 Casey Mize 1.0 3.5 0.5 ▲ Some shaky luck but showed strong control, putaway stuff.
55 4.0 8 Danny Duffy 4.8 0.0 4.0 ▲
56 3.5 8 Spencer Turnbull 4.4 8.5 -5.0 ▼
57 3.5 8 Framber Valdez 7.4 3.0 0.5 ▲
58 3.5 8 Kevin Gausman 6.6 2.5 1.0 ▲ Look at those strikeouts, that'll play in 12-teamers.
59 3.0 8 Merrill Kelly 5.3 2.0 1.0 ▲
60 3.0 8 Marco Gonzales 5.9 1.5 1.5 ▲
61 3.0 8 Brad Keller 4.1 1.5 1.5 ▲ Three starts, three scoreless wins.
62 2.5 8 Zach Davies 8.8 1.5 1.0 ▲
63 2.5 8 Griffin Canning -0.4 3.0 -0.5 ▼
64 2.5 8 Jordan Montgomery 2.1 5.0 -2.5 ▼
65 2.0 8 Mike Minor 0.0 3.5 -1.5 ▼
66 2.0 8 Sean Manaea 3.1 3.0 -1.0 ▼
67 2.0 8 Alec Mills 1.5 2.5 -0.5 ▼ Implosion last week, but he was due for some regression.
68 2.0 8 Kyle Gibson 2.0 2.0 0.0 ▬
69 2.0 8 Austin Voth -0.7 1.5 0.5 ▲
70 1.5 9 Randy Dobnak 3.8 1.5 0.0 ▬ Randy's ripped off five straight wins, but only 16 K's in 30 1/3 IP.
71 1.5 9 Kyle Freeland 4.5 1.5 0.0 ▬
72 1.5 9 Antonio Senzatela 7.9 1.5 0.0 ▬
73 1.5 9 Tyler Mahle 2.7 1.5 0.0 ▬ That new slider of his is playing nicely.
74 1.5 9 Elieser Hernandez 3.9 1.0 0.5 ▲
75 1.5 9 Triston McKenzie 1.6 0.0 1.5 ▲ Beautiful 10 K's in MLB debut; job security in rotation low.
76 1.5 9 Zach Plesac 7.5 1.0 0.5 ▲
77 1.5 9 Tyler Chatwood 3.9 2.0 -0.5 ▼ Hopefully returning shortly.
78 1.5 9 Matthew Boyd -0.2 2.0 -0.5 ▼ Unlike Ray, Boyd now has one decent start on the books.
79 1.5 9 Robbie Ray -4.0 2.0 -0.5 ▼
80 1.5 9 John Means -1.6 1.5 0.0 ▬
81 1.5 9 Anthony DeSclafani 0.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
82 1.0 10 Ryan Yarbrough 0.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
83 1.0 10 Luke Weaver -2.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
84 1.0 10 Adam Wainwright 3.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
85 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto 3.8 1.0 0.0 ▬
86 1.0 10 Tony Gonsolin 4.9 0.0 1.0 ▲
87 1.0 10 Jon Lester -0.4 1.5 -0.5 ▼ Lack of K's and ratios tied to good luck means I'll pass.
88 1.0 10 Alex Cobb 2.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
89 1.0 10 Chad Kuhl 0.6 0.0 1.0 ▲
90 1.0 10 Brady Singer -0.5 1.0 0.0 ▬
91 1.0 10 Spencer Howard -1.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
92 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 5.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
93 1.0 10 Asher Wojciechowski 0.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
94 1.0 10 Sixto Sanchez -0.2 0.0 1.0 ▲ Solid debut with 98-mph heat, but he tired at the end.
95 1.0 10 Justus Sheffield 7.5 0.0 1.0 ▲
96 1.0 10 Jon Gray 3.7 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Touki Toussaint -0.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
98 1.0 10 Matt Shoemaker -0.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
99 1.0 10 Taijuan Walker 1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
100 1.0 10 Dakota Hudson 1.2 0.0 1.0 ▲
101 1.0 10 Tyler Anderson 2.3 0.0 1.0 ▲

 

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Kenta Maeda (SP, Twins): Maeda made headlines last week by taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Milwaukee before a bloop single broke up the bid. His .257 xwOBA trails only Shane Bieber and Max Fried(!) among pitchers with more than 100 plate appearances against, though Trevor Bauer would lead them all (he sits at 94 PAs).

Maeda has enjoyed a .162 BABIP thus far, which doesn’t typically go in step with an elevated 51.3% groundball rate (career 41.4%). While he’s got a career .274 BABIP, he carried a .243 BABIP through 153 ⅔ IP last season (in the DH-less NL, that is). He’s throwing his fastball at a career-low 27.3% clip, throwing his slider 34.2% of the time with the changeup at 31.1%. Everyone’s leaning away from the heat, with Maeda making it No. 3 on his list to great success.

Frankie Montas (SP, Athletics): Montas allowed a painful nine runs on six hits and four walks over 1 ⅔ IP against the D-backs last Tuesday, inflating his ERA to 4.74 in the process. He now has a 5.09 xFIP and 5.14 SIERA with a poor 9.4% K-BB% through 24 ⅔ IP, as two four-walk outings in five tries is not what we want to see. The good news is that his velocity wasn’t down after he was scratched from a previous start due to upper back tightness, but one can’t feel good about the health unless his form improves next time. For now, he falls due to health/mechanical concerns.

Danny Duffy (SP, Royals): Duffy’s enjoying some luck with a .225 BABIP through six starts (29 ⅓ IP) but he’s also trimmed the walks and upped the whiffs. After posting a shoddy 30/14 K/BB ratio in 29 ⅔ IP versus left-handed batters last season, he’s got an early 8/2 K/BB mark in 7 ⅔ IP and looks to be jamming his curve and changeup more often in there. Michael Simione raised how Duffy followed a coach suggestion to move towards the third-base side of the rubber to allow his changeup more space to operate. His 3.83 SIERA is the best we’ve seen since 2016’s 3.53 mark, though we must expect some BABIP give.

Pablo Lopez (SP, Marlins): López hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his four starts thus far, amassing a polished 2.28 FIP and 2.84 xFIP behind the 2.42 ERA. He had some command woes against the Mets on Aug. 9, which is responsible for four of his five free passes on the season thus far. Otherwise, it looks like increased changeup usage is working out very well for him, throwing it the most out of his four-pitch mix.

As a result, his 60.3% groundball rate is sixth in the league out of 92 starters with at least 20 innings. Of the 24 pitchers with a >50% GB rate, Pablo’s 14.7% swinging-strike rate is surpassed only by Clayton Kershaw, Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, and Luis Castillo. That’s fine company!

Spencer Turnbull (SP, Tigers): Turnbull started red-hot, allowing just four runs through his first three outings en route to two wins with a healthy 18 K’s in 18 innings. But two starts since then have been frightful, with six earned and eight walks against just three strikeouts in 6 ⅔ IP. 

He showed some control issues in his first start of 2020 with four walks, but reeled that in with just three walks over his next two games. The upward trend was encouraging, but four walks in each of his next two starts make for tough sledding. We don’t have a long season to let blips iron themselves out, and Turnbull doesn’t have the stuff to overcome poor control.

Robbie Ray (SP, Diamondbacks): Ray showed something on Aug. 16, limiting the Padres to one run across five innings of no-hit ball. I don’t want to say “progress” because he still walked six, hence the one run on zero hits. And then he turned around and gave up four runs on seven hits and five walks with eight strikeouts over five innings on Aug. 21, which is classic Ray. Having 25 walks in 27 frames is unforgivable, but when that compounds with nine homers (3.0 HR/9) then we really have problems. Every single start so far has been littered in red flags and even the big K’s that came with iffy command before are down, with a swinging-strike rate sinking to 11.3% from 13.6% in ‘19. It’s not worth the madness anymore.



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Yankee Yo-Yo: Bronx Bombers to Buy or Sell in Fantasy

For most teams, we've now reached the 20+ game mark of the season meaning we are over one-third of the way through this shortened season. There are of course some exceptions with teams needing to make up games missed after Covid-19 outbreaks but for the most part, we have enough data on how things are going to start making roster decisions based on statistics rather than where you drafted a certain player.

One team which has avoided much disruption from the Covid-19 outbreaks is the New York Yankees, which is good news for us fantasy players as they represent one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses. Although the Yankees have missed most of the schedule disruption so far, the last two weeks have seen some significant roster problems with a flurry of key injuries coinciding with their star closer return from the Covid-19 restriction list.

We're going to take a look at the fantasy impact of the recent Yankees news, how the injuries will affect your rosters and ways to capitalize on the activity both short-term and long-term.

 

Outfield

This is the more complex portion of the Yankees' current roster dilemma but also has the potential to be the most impactful in fantasy. The Yankees outfield sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both hit the IL within a few days of each other. Stanton is expected to be back in early September from his hamstring injury, while Judge was only placed on the IL as a precaution with the most minor of minor calf strains and is expected back as soon as eligible this weekend.

When Stanton hit the IL, the expectation was for Mike Tauchman to get everyday playing time. This seemed optimistic however as Stanton had been exclusively used as a DH and since he went on the IL, the DH spot has been used by Mike Ford (four times), Clint Frazier (twice), Gary Sanchez (once) and Miguel Andujar (once). Only when Frazier is the DH, does that open up any more playing time for Tauchman. In fact, from the time Stanton went on the IL, Tauchman didn't start a game until Judge got hurt (August 12th). Since then, Tauchman has only started in four of the Yankees' six games.

Frazier has started in all six games in which Judge and Stanton have been on the IL and has been the Yankees best hitter in that span putting together a .409/.458/.818 slash line with two homers, eight RBI and scoring three runs. Tauchman has been no slouch himself this year as he's put up a .333/.412/.444 slash line with four stolen bases but is yet to hit a home run. It has been clear that Frazier's benefitted more from the slugging duo's injuries than Tauchman has so far and Frazier's power shouldn't be in question at this stage.

When Judge returns (potentially this weekend), I expect the Yankees will use him as a DH more going forward as a precaution especially as the calf issue was blamed on playing three days running on turf. Given that will mean less playing time for Ford and allows the Yankees to utilize the plethora of outfielders they have, it seems like the best option for them to put the most productive lineup on the field.

That will free up the spot in right field which Tauchman and Frazier will likely share time at. Although Tauchman does have the stronger side of a potential platoon and is the better defensive outfielder of the two, the Yankees appear to favor Frazier's bat. When Judge does play the outfield, Frazier is more likely to be the DH than Tauchman so I expect Frazier to have a significant role in some form when Judge returns.

There is another wrinkle in the Yankees outfield as Brett Gardner's bat continues to run cold and Aaron Hicks is still working his way back from Tommy John Surgery. As long as Hicks is healthy, he will be the regular center fielder for the Yankees. His plate discipline (21.3% BB%) alone is enough to keep him in the lineup and being a switch hitter should prevent any possible platoon. Gardner is still hitting below .200 and despite a 15.5% BB%, still only has a .167/.293/.396 slash line. He's sat out the Yankees first two games to start this week and appears to be losing his spot in the lineup if he hasn't already. That should open up more playing time for Tauchman and Frazier too, who have similar Major League career numbers at this point.

Games PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Mike Tauchman 157 416 13 62 56 12 .264 .352 .448
Clint Frazier 129 453 18 59 64 2 .263 .316 .482

Going forward, if you roster Judge and/or Stanton, you keep them and hope they can stay healthy for the remainder of the season. I understand frustrations with their health and wanting to trade them but you get so much less for players on the IL. And did you really expect either of them to go through this season without an IL stint at some point? If you do want to move on from either, you're better off waiting until they return, play a handful of games and then look to flip them. Depending on your trade deadline, that might be too late for teams rostering Stanton.

Hicks is playing almost every day and hits in the top half of the lineup so should be rostered in all leagues, especially those counting walks/OBP. Frazier looks in line to play regularly until Stanton returns, especially if Judge sees more time as the DH. When Stanton returns, Frazier should still see action in left field, especially against left-handed pitchers. Tauchman appears poised to take over Gardner as the regular left fielder for now but could find himself in a timeshare with Frazier when Stanton returns.

Frazier is a must-add in all league sizes while Tauchman is more of an option in 12+ team leagues. Both are having productive seasons and when they are in the Yankees lineup, you likely won't have better options to warrant them not starting for your fantasy teams. It is entirely feasible the Yankees lineup consists of Stanton as the DH, Judge in right, Hicks in center and Frazier/Tauchman platooning in left when (or if) all are healthy.

 

Second Base

The Yankee injury bug didn't stop at Stanton and Judge, as DJ LeMahieu left Saturday's game with a sore left thumb which was later diagnosed as a sprain. He joined Judge and Stanton on the IL and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks, although there is still a small possibility of season-ending surgery. If LeMahieu needs surgery he's an obvious cut in redraft leagues, but until such time, he's someone you put on your IL and keep until he returns.

Now, what about LeMahieu's replacement? Miguel Andujar took his spot on the active roster and there was a school of thought that Andujar would play third base, Giovanny Urshela moves across to shortstop and Gleyber Torres shifts to second base. That hasn't happened in the three games since LeMahieu's injury. Tyler Wade started at second base the first two games and Thairo Estrada filled in the next two days. In all four games, LeMahieu's replacement has hit ninth in the lineup.

Although this could pan out as a platoon with Wade being a left-handed hitter and Estrada hitting right-handed, both have started against a rightie and leftie on the mound. Wade is still more likely to get the greater share of playing time at second base in LeMahieu's absence given he started the season on the active roster, but Estrada did homer on Monday night while playing third base to give Urshela a day off which is likely why he got the start at second base the following two days. Estrada didn't take advantage of the opportunity, going 1 for 6 with four strikeouts in those two games. Both replacements are predominately a glove-first player and you may be forgiven in thinking neither has any fantasy relevance. But that isn't strictly true.

If as I suspect, Wade gets the greater share of starts at second base, he can help tally some stolen bases and some runs in the time LeMahieu is out. Last season, Wade appeared in 43 games (28 starts) and stole seven bases without being caught. Despite just five starts this year, Wade has scored four runs with two of them coming as a pinch-runner so the Yankees have faith in him on the basepaths. The Yankees also haven't been afraid to get Wade to bunt for a hit during his time in the Majors which will help his average and stolen base opportunities.

While Wade isn't someone I consider a must add, if you are in need of steals then Wade should certainly be on your radar in leagues of 14+ teams. Although batting ninth isn't ideal, it does mean when he gets on base he'll have the top of the Yankees lineup coming up behind him. Wade will need to improve on his .190/.292/.238 slash line, but he's unlikely to hit a home run and his value comes from what he can do once he gets on base. As long as he can improve his OBP to nearer last year's .330 mark, Wade can bring you some fantasy value with steals and runs.

If Estrada finds himself in front of Wade in the pecking order, he too is someone worthy of consideration in deeper leagues as a stolen base contributor. He's tallied 52 steals in 454 Minor League games and also has a career .280/.337/.389 slash line in the minors. While Estrada isn't much of a power threat either, he does hit for a solid average as shown by his .274 Major League batting average in his 78 career plate appearances so could find himself a better real-life and fantasy option than Wade.

 

Closer

Aroldis Chapman returned to the bullpen this week after missing the start of the season due to a positive Covid-19 test earlier at the preseason camp. Now healthy, Chapman came on to pitch in the ninth inning on Monday night with a four-run lead. After inducing a soft lineout, he gave up a triple and a double before striking out the next two hitters to seal the victory, albeit without getting a save. Importantly for Chapman, his fastball velocity was where it usually is with six of the 11 fastballs he threw topping 100 MPH. Chapman threw 14 of his 20 total pitches for strikes so while the two extra-base hits weren't ideal, there doesn't appear to be any concern stemming from his first outing of the season.

With Chapman back, where does that leave the interim closer Zack Britton? Britton had been exemplary closing games during Chapman's absence, converting all eight save opportunities with his one loss coming after entering a tie game and giving up the winning run. That changed on Wednesday night when he was tagged for his second loss after giving up two runs (one earned) in the eighth inning of a tie game. Britton stuck out Austin Meadows to end the seventh before coming back out in the eighth. The unearned run was due to Britton failing to catch a soft toss while covering first base to lead off the inning which was followed by a walk, a fielder's choice out and two singles.

After the games, it emerged that Britton had a hamstring issue and now could head to the IL himself. Given Britton had a 1.08 ERA from his 8.1 IP before Wednesday night, the hamstring issue does appear to have been the cause for his disappointing outing against the Rays. Britton has thrown his sinker 80% of the time this season and if we look at the pitch percentage by location prior to Wednesday, you will see why hitters find it so difficult to get hits against Britton.

Compare this to Britton's pitch chart against the Rays on Wednesday night:

The two green "in play" dots up in the zone were the two base hits Britton coughed up before leaving the game so the outing was pretty out of character given his usual pitch location. Because of this, I'm prepared to put down the bad outing to his apparent hamstring injury.

For fantasy purposes, we'll assume Britton has to go to the IL. If he does, then Adam Ottavino is likely the next in line to be Chapman's setup guy. So far this year, Ottavino has a near-identical line to Britton's before Wednesday; 8.1 IP, 1.08 ERA and nine strikeouts. Because of Aaron Boone's refusal to have anyone pitch three days running, Ottavino could see save opportunities as long as Britton is out. In leagues counting holds, he is someone who should be rostered and is a viable option in 12+ team leagues for the help he'll offer in your ratios alone.

If Britton does avoid the IL (or when he comes back from a potential IL stint), he should be back as the next in line for saves and should resume as the everyday setup guy for the Yankees, bumping Ottavino back a place in the queue. If you have a spare IL spot available to use on Britton, do so but he's certainly not a must keep and can be cut in any league if he misses time.

 

Conclusion

Any roster change with the Yankees demands fantasy consideration purely based on their collective production. When three players who were all drafted inside the first 70 picks all go on the IL at the same time, that will garner even more attention when looking for their replacements. The Yankees outfielder replacements carry the most fantasy intrigue as they both have hit well and been productive when they play, opening a door to more playing time which will only inflate their value. All of the current IL players we've covered should return in time to contribute throughout the final third of the season and there's no reason to suspect their production will diminish so should be held on to as potential fantasy title winners down the stretch.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 200 Hitters Weekly Rankings (Week 5)

When I started writing up the column for this week, it was going to focus on the esteemed gentlemen of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Bo Bichette as well as the broader shortstop landscape. Then I started looking at first base and DH and got fixated on what was happening with Cody Bellinger and Shohei Ohtani, and whether or not Luke Voit had the potential to be a top-five first baseman. Now it turns out that Yordan Alvarez is done for the season and off the chart. That's an unhappy turn of events, but there's nothing more to say about it for this season.

Similarly, Bichette's injury is a frustrating development. I had Bichette slotted just between Baez and Bogaerts. Supposedly, it's only a mild knee strain, and he'll be back before you can say, "Whoa Bichette!" Until then, I'm keeping his ranking steady. Expect an update after Bichette returns from the IL. Jon Heyman is now reporting that Bichette's injury has no timetable, but it's possible he's done for the season. If you can sell for a player at $10 or better, you should do it. If you feel like you need to settle for less, go for it.

Also, as long as we're on the subject, Jayce Tingler owes Fernando Tatis Jr. an apology, and that's all I have to say about that.

 

Week 5 Overview

This week gives us quite a bit of stabilized data and the human tornado that his Jesse Winker. I'll get to him in a moment, but one anomaly that caught my attention is that Paul Goldschmidt (and other Cardinals) have seen their value jump now that they're playing baseball again. Those extra games go a long way to turning the Cards into value plays. Game limits will still apply, but there's some real room for profit from the extra at-bats.

I've added two new features to the Meta Report this week. On the Early Indicators sheet, you'll see a column labeled PA%. Plate Ratio is designed to be a simple indicator of how often a player is getting to the plate relative to their team. I'll cover it in a follow-up article, but it should help fantasy managers to see player usage in a season when there are huge discrepancies in games played.

The other new feature is the addition of a column for new max exit velocity. I pulled hitter data from the last three seasons and grabbed the maximum exit velocity from hitters over that time period to give us a baseline for this season. The column is solely there to show us if someone has recently hit a ball harder than their previous high. Given max EV's relationship to offensive breakouts, I'm hoping it will prove useful to managers.

Here are the top-200 hitters and the week 5 Meta Report. If you missed them yesterday, be sure to check out Nick Mariano's top-101 SP rankings and his top-101 RP rankings.

Rank $ Player Pos Trend
1 47.0 Mike Trout OF 0 ▬
2 43.0 Christian Yelich OF/DH 0 ▬
3 40.0 Juan Soto OF 3 ▲
4 38.0 Nolan Arenado 3B 1 ▲
5 37.0 Mookie Betts OF 3 ▲
6 35.0 Jose Ramirez 3B 1 ▲
7 35.0 Cody Bellinger OF -3 ▼
8 34.0 Trevor Story SS 4 ▲
9 32.0 Francisco Lindor SS 2 ▲
10 31.0 Bryce Harper OF 3 ▲
11 31.0 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 5 ▲
12 30.0 Alex Bregman 3B 2 ▲
13 28.0 Freddie Freeman 1B 4 ▲
14 27.0 Nelson Cruz DH 6 ▲
15 27.0 J.D. Martinez DH -5 ▼
16 27.0 Trea Turner SS -1 ▼
17 26.0 J.T. Realmuto C/1B/DH 2 ▲
18 25.0 Rafael Devers 3B -9 ▼
19 25.0 Javier Baez SS 2 ▲
20 25.0 Gleyber Torres SS -2 ▼
21 24.0 Jose Altuve 2B 2 ▲
22 23.0 Eloy Jimenez OF 7 ▲
23 23.0 Xander Bogaerts SS -1 ▼
24 23.0 Manny Machado 3B 3 ▲
25 23.0 Aaron Judge OF/DH 3 ▲
26 22.0 Charlie Blackmon OF 5 ▲
27 22.0 Marcell Ozuna OF/DH -2 ▼
28 22.0 Pete Alonso 1B -4 ▼
29 21.0 Nick Castellanos OF 8 ▲
30 21.0 Anthony Rendon 3B 2 ▲
31 21.0 George Springer OF/DH -5 ▼
32 20.0 Luis Robert OF 1 ▲
33 20.0 Starling Marte OF 2 ▲
34 20.0 Ketel Marte 2B 2 ▲
35 20.0 Bo Bichette SS -1 ▼
36 19.5 Joey Gallo OF -6 ▼
37 19.0 Eddie Rosario OF 2 ▲
38 19.0 Matt Chapman 3B 7 ▲
39 19.0 Anthony Rizzo 1B 8 ▲
40 18.0 Paul Goldschmidt 1B/DH 22 ▲
41 18.0 Eugenio Suarez 3B -3 ▼
42 18.0 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF -39 ▼
43 17.5 Kris Bryant 3B/OF/DH -3 ▼
44 17.0 Carlos Correa SS 4 ▲
45 17.0 Yoan Moncada 3B -4 ▼
46 17.0 Shohei Ohtani P/DH 40 ▲
47 16.5 Marcus Semien SS 2 ▲
48 16.0 Keston Hiura 2B/DH -5 ▼
49 16.0 Matt Olson 1B 1 ▲
50 15.5 Whit Merrifield OF 9 ▲
51 15.5 Austin Meadows OF/DH 22 ▲
52 15.5 Ramon Laureano OF/DH 3 ▲
53 15.0 Tim Anderson SS 24 ▲
54 15.0 Kyle Schwarber OF/DH -2 ▼
55 15.0 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B/DH -4 ▼
56 14.5 Gary Sanchez C/DH 11 ▲
57 14.5 Max Kepler OF 7 ▲
58 14.5 Michael Conforto OF 11 ▲
59 14.5 Justin Turner 3B 1 ▲
60 14.0 Yuli Gurriel 1B -6 ▼
61 14.0 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS/OF/DH 9 ▲
62 14.0 Jorge Soler OF/DH -6 ▼
63 13.5 Yasmani Grandal C/1B/DH 12 ▲
64 13.5 Jose Abreu 1B 15 ▲
65 13.5 Ozzie Albies 2B -21 ▼
66 13.0 Adalberto Mondesi SS -20 ▼
67 13.0 Jorge Polanco SS 4 ▲
68 13.0 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B/DH -11 ▼
69 13.0 Giancarlo Stanton DH -8 ▼
70 12.5 Willson Contreras C/DH 2 ▲
71 12.0 Mike Moustakas 2B -8 ▼
72 11.0 Franmil Reyes DH 19 ▲
73 11.0 Victor Robles OF -7 ▼
74 11.0 Miguel Sano 1B -9 ▼
75 10.5 Eduardo Escobar 3B 5 ▲
76 10.5 David Peralta OF 26 ▲
77 10.0 Corey Seager SS/DH 6 ▲
78 10.0 Gio Urshela 3B 25 ▲
79 10.0 Josh Bell 1B/DH 5 ▲
80 10.0 Byron Buxton OF 2 ▲
81 9.5 Didi Gregorius SS 4 ▲
82 9.0 Andrew McCutchen OF/DH -4 ▼
83 9.0 Wil Myers 1B/OF/DH 51 ▲
84 9.0 Josh Donaldson 3B -16 ▼
85 8.5 Rhys Hoskins 1B/DH -4 ▼
86 8.5 Christian Vazquez C/2B/DH 6 ▲
87 8.5 Adam Eaton OF 3 ▲
88 8.0 Avisail Garcia OF/DH -1 ▼
89 8.0 Brandon Lowe 2B 23 ▲
90 8.0 Kyle Tucker OF 15 ▲
91 7.5 Alex Verdugo OF 7 ▲
92 7.5 Luke Voit 1B 22 ▲
93 7.5 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF/DH -19 ▼
94 7.5 Trent Grisham OF 12 ▲
95 7.0 Salvador Perez C/1B/DH -6 ▼
96 7.0 J.D. Davis 3B/OF/DH 11 ▲
97 6.5 Brian Anderson 1B/3B/DH 21 ▲
98 6.5 Carlos Santana 1B 23 ▲
99 6.5 Howie Kendrick 1B/DH 0 ▬
100 6.5 David Dahl OF/DH -12 ▼
101 6.0 Teoscar Hernandez OF 60 ▲
102 6.0 Daniel Murphy 1B/DH 40 ▲
103 6.0 Dansby Swanson SS 6 ▲
104 6.0 Corey Dickerson OF/DH 4 ▲
105 5.5 Jonathan Schoop 2B 14 ▲
106 5.5 Randal Grichuk OF/DH 16 ▲
107 5.5 Anthony Santander OF 55 ▲
108 5.5 Renato Nunez 1B/3B/DH 17 ▲
109 5.5 Christian Walker 1B/DH 17 ▲
110 5.0 Joey Votto 1B 1 ▲
111 5.0 Mike Yastrzemski OF 20 ▲
112 4.5 Paul DeJong SS 5 ▲
113 4.5 Dylan Carlson OF 37 ▲
114 4.5 Cavan Biggio 2B/OF 26 ▲
115 4.5 Jesse Winker OF/DH 45 ▲
116 4.5 Wilson Ramos C/DH 7 ▲
117 4.5 Mitch Moreland 1B 72 ▲
118 4.0 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. OF/DH -17 ▼
119 4.0 Ian Happ OF 11 ▲
120 4.0 Dominic Smith 1B/OF/DH 40 ▲
121 4.0 A.J. Pollock OF/DH 18 ▲
122 4.0 Joc Pederson OF/DH 11 ▲
123 4.0 Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B/SS 23 ▲
124 3.5 Kolten Wong 2B 36 ▲
125 3.5 Kyle Seager 3B 10 ▲
126 3.5 Amed Rosario SS -32 ▼
127 3.5 Jo Adell OF -34 ▼
128 3.5 Will Smith C -18 ▼
129 3.5 Rio Ruiz 3B/OF 49 ▲
130 3.5 Hunter Renfroe OF/DH -14 ▼
131 3.0 Maikel Franco 3B 13 ▲
132 3.0 Mitch Garver C/1B -36 ▼
133 3.0 Willy Adames SS 8 ▲
134 3.0 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B -81 ▼
135 3.0 Khris Davis DH -35 ▼
136 3.0 Kyle Lewis OF 21 ▲
137 3.0 Brett Gardner OF -22 ▼
138 2.5 Yadier Molina C -2 ▼
139 2.5 Ryan Braun OF/DH -15 ▼
140 2.5 David Fletcher SS 18 ▲
141 2.5 Mark Canha 1B/OF/DH 25 ▲
142 2.5 Travis Shaw 1B/3B 9 ▲
143 2.5 Dylan Moore 1B/3B/SS/OF 38 ▲
144 2.5 J.P. Crawford SS 1 ▲
145 2.0 Asdrubal Cabrera 1B/3B/DH 11 ▲
146 2.0 Tommy Edman 3B/SS 19 ▲
147 2.0 Eric Hosmer 1B 7 ▲
148 2.0 Aaron Hicks OF -1 ▼
149 2.0 Shin-Soo Choo OF/DH 6 ▲
150 1.5 Victor Caratini C/1B/DH 3 ▲
151 1.5 Pedro Severino C/DH 49 ▲
152 1.5 Elvis Andrus SS -15 ▼
153 1.5 Jesus Aguilar 1B/DH 46 ▲
154 1.5 Kurt Suzuki C/DH 5 ▲
155 1.5 Donovan Solano 2B/3B/SS 45 ▲
156 1.5 Austin Slater OF/DH 44 ▲
157 1.5 Oscar Mercado OF/DH -60 ▼
158 1.0 Nick Ahmed SS 42 ▲
159 1.0 Jean Segura 2B/3B/SS -46 ▼
160 1.0 Nick Senzel OF -32 ▼
161 1.0 Niko Goodrum SS 10 ▲
162 1.0 Bryan Reynolds OF -30 ▼
163 1.0 Travis d'Arnaud C/DH 37 ▲
164 1.0 Cesar Hernandez 2B -16 ▼
165 1.0 Danny Jansen C 9 ▲
166 1.0 Nick Solak OF 31 ▲
167 1.0 Sean Murphy C 1 ▲
168 1.0 Ryan McMahon 1B/2B -5 ▼
169 1.0 Kevin Newman 2B/SS 7 ▲
170 1.0 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo 3B/OF/DH 30 ▲
171 1.0 Omar Narvaez C -22 ▼
172 1.0 Willie Calhoun OF/DH -34 ▼
173 1.0 Edwin Encarnacion DH -69 ▼
174 1.0 Luis Arraez 2B -1 ▼
175 1.0 JaCoby Jones OF -8 ▼
176 1.0 Tommy La Stella 1B/2B/DH 4 ▲
177 1.0 Yandy Diaz 1B/3B/DH 0 ▬
178 1.0 Brandon Nimmo OF 20 ▲
179 1.0 Jake Cronenworth 1B/2B/3B/SS 21 ▲
180 1.0 Austin Romine C 20 ▲
181 1.0 Miguel Cabrera DH 1 ▲
182 1.0 Justin Smoak 1B/DH 4 ▲
183 1.0 Daulton Varsho C/OF/DH 17 ▲
184 1.0 Shogo Akiyama OF 1 ▲
185 1.0 Rowdy Tellez 1B/DH 15 ▲
186 1.0 Danny Santana 1B/OF/DH 2 ▲
187 1.0 Eric Thames 1B/DH 13 ▲
188 1.0 Carson Kelly P/C -19 ▼
189 1.0 Andrelton Simmons SS 11 ▲
190 1.0 Max Stassi C 10 ▲
191 1.0 Garrett Hampson 2B/OF/DH 1 ▲
192 1.0 Ji-Man Choi 1B 8 ▲
193 1.0 Daniel Vogelbach DH -2 ▼
194 1.0 Scott Kingery 2B/SS/OF -11 ▼
195 1.0 Andrew Benintendi OF -100 ▼
196 1.0 Kike Hernandez 2B 4 ▲
197 1.0 Nomar Mazara OF -13 ▼
198 1.0 Matt Carpenter 3B/DH -3 ▼
199 1.0 Alec Bohm 3B 2 ▲
200 1.0 Michael Brantley OF/DH -124 ▼

Jesse Winker (Reds, OF)

Winker is the last player added to this article, but he's the first player I'm featuring because players like Winker are the entire reason I wanted to start assembling the Meta Report. The truth is that I've followed Winker's progress since he was in AA. His bat-to-ball skills, elite batter's eye, and strong GB/FB ratio seemed like a recipe for a guaranteed all-star. However, I gave up on Winker after his 2018 season when he teased with 90.9 average exit velocity and  a 42.2% hard-hit rate but a .132 ISO.
I should have paid more credence to his 16 HR campaign last season when he slugged for a .204 ISO, but I looked at the Reds bringing in outfielders and wrote Winker off as a platoon player.
A quick look at Winker's line on the Early Indicator's Delta page shows us exactly why he is no platoon player. If you look at that data, you aren't reading it wrong. For the last two weeks, Jesse Winker has put up an absurd 27.3% barrels per plate appearance. That rate is 23.7% higher than the 4.3% barrel rate Winker owned last year when he compiled that .204 ISO.
I'm going to leave a full swing breakdown to our own Mike Kurland, who has been churning out swing-analysis like a well-seasoned scout. However, it looks to me like Winker is getting a bit lower as the ball is coming in and doing a better job at planting his front foot in order to create the pivot and leverage.
Winker has used a fairly upright swing and generally done a bit more to slash at the ball. This year, he appears to be loading more, swinging more aggressively, and relying on his bat control. The more aggressive approach is not without penalty: Winker's swinging-strike rate has jumped from 5.8% in 2018 to 12.1% this year. However, the change has allowed Winker to hit the ball much harder this season. His average exit velocity is up to 94.1 MPH, and his max EV is 111.9 MPH. Last year, Winker did manage a 110 MPH max velo, but his average EV was a mere 89.1 MPH (the 46th percentile).
Winker is a real hitter. We've always known that. Now, he's found a way to leverage that skill into slugging power. Let's see where this goes.

Luke Voit (Yankees, 1B)

One player who could definitely use some extra at-bats is the Yankees' 29-year-old first baseman. Despite owning a career .229 ISO and .273 batting average, Luke Voit entered 2020 as something of a sleeper pick. There were still plenty of analysts championing his value, but the projection systems were way down on him. A close look at the playing time showed why: Voit was only projected for somewhere between 60% and 75% share of the at-bats.

Some of that was an already crowded Yankees' lineup, and some of it was tied to lingering injury concerns. However, unlike Judge and Stanton, Voit's injuries have been a bit more discrete and limited in nature. For instance, 2019's sports hernia should be a less chronic concern than Stanton's troubled legs or Judge's wrist/shoulder/rib issues.

Where does that leave Voit now? Well, it's pretty close to where he's been the last few weeks. Voit appeared to be in good health during March when he played ten games without issue. Rather than adjusting for that, the projections held steady on Voit's playing time, and it's only over the last two weeks that they've started to trend up towards where we've had him since the preseason. At this point, Voit would need a season-ending injury or a four-week slump for him not to outperform even his updated projections that put him around a $3 player and rank 140. Instead, this new rank bumps him into the top 100 and projects him to maintain production a bit below his current pace.

I'd love to push Voit into the top 70 right now, but there are two major impediments: playing time and his BB/K ratio.

The Yankees still don't seem committed to playing Voit nine games out of ten. The injury to D.J. LeMahieu may change that, but it remains to be seen. Secondly, Voit's K% has edged higher from 2019's 27.8% to 31.1% this year. Meanwhile, his BB% has fallen from 13.9% to 6.8%%. Yes, this is the year of high-K hitters who are dominating the fantasy rankings (e.g., Fernando Tatis Jr., Matt Chapman, and Luis Robert), but I'm not convinced that a .22 BB/K rate is OK. Strikeout rate is one of the first predictive stats to stabilize, and Voit's number suggests he might be selling out for power. That 31.1 K% puts Voit too close to boom-or-bust players like Franmil Reyes, Teoscar Hernandez, and Maikel Franco. That's a valuable group, but it's not the same territory as rocks like Jose Abreu.

Fortunately, Voit still only has 74 plate appearances, so there's plenty of time for those ratios to normalize. Voit is probably a buy-high candidate in many leagues, but right now, his value likely maxes out in the $12 range.

 

Cody Bellinger (1B, Dodgers)

It's easy to blame these early-season struggles on Bellinger's swing change, and maybe we should. It's difficult to fathom how a player can come off an MVP season and think that he needs to change his swing, but that type of motivation and desire for progress are what push guys like Bellinger to become MVPs in the first place. Moreover, if Manfred and the owners had consented to give us more than our 60-game pittance, there would be less anxiety and compulsion to downgrade a player like Bellinger before we've even played a month of baseball.

In this context, Bellinger's poor start demands attention and adjustment. Even if he settles in by the end of this week, Bellinger would need a remarkable hot streak to reach the $43 value we had for him at the start of the year. At this point, ZiPS, Steamer, and Depth Charts have all dropped Bellinger's projection from a comfortable 4th overall to around 30th. That's the fickleness of early-season projections, but there's good evidence to support the change.

Bellinger's contact profile is dramatically different than last season. His infield-flyball rate has increased from 8.9% to 12.9%. His ground-ball rate has surged from 31.5.% to 41.0%. Similarly, his line-drive and flyball rates have dropped by 7% and 3.5%, respectively.

Those are not the kind of changes you want to see in a batted-ball profile. Bellinger's sweet-spot ratio is a career-worst 21.5%. Despite his launch angle being almost identical to last year's, Bellinger is not actually launching the ball the same way he was last season. The similarity is primarily coincidence. If there is any good news here, it's that Bellinger's max exit velocity and average exit velocity are basically the same as last year, and his xwOBA (.317) is far better than his actual wOBA (.236). His five home runs have been nice, and the Dodgers have padded his counting stats, but managers who drafted him are definitely operating at a loss.

Shohei Ohtani (Angels, DH)

Ohtani might be the only player in history where an injury has actually improved his fantasy value. Now that the Angels have committed to using him as an every day DH, Ohtani will see more at-bats, and managers will be able to start him with greater confidence, especially in weekly leagues. Since returning to the lineup after straining his flexor-pronator mass, Ohtani has batted .276 with 2 HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, and snuck in a stolen base for good measure.

At the risk of over-hyping the value, Ohtani's per-game projections would make him more valuable than Nelson Cruz if the Angels keep him in the lineup for the rest of the season. To be clear, that will push him into the top-15 hitters. What would that look like over 162 games? 88 R, 32 HR, 104 RBI, 16 SB, .272 BA, and .345 OBP.

Mitch Moreland (Red Sox, 1B)

As I'm writing this, Moreland is the fifth most valuable first basemen so far this season. Despite his middling projections and not having particularly strong predictive stats, I struggled with what to do with him last week when his sustained performance had pushed him past hitters like Matt Olson, Yuli Gurriel, and Pete Alonso. I'd like to admit that I failed you.

In this case, another week has boosted Moreland's batted-ball-events over 30 and his plate appearances to just under 50, so we're approaching some stabilization points for his data. Moreland's 2020 barrel rate has been an impressive 16.3% so far, but the smallish sample means that his seven barrels have had an outsized effect (6 HR) on his $6 earned value so far.

We've seen more Moreland go on hot-streaks like this before, so this type of production isn't out of the question for him. It's whether he can stay on the field and sustain something close to a 110 wRC+ for the rest of the season, and that's where things seem less likely since he's only done it three times in the last decade. Despite those limitations, Moreland did provide a 112 wRC+ last season, but his final stats calculate out as a negative value because he only played 91 games. If we extend his numbers out to 140 games played, he ends up closer to a $7 player, which would have made his performance the rough equivalent of Rhys Hoskins in 2019.

Moreland's track record and ability to provide per-game value is significant. He's currently owned in just 33% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, so his price is perfectly reasonable. Moreland has already had knee trouble, and the Red Sox have practiced gentle use with him. The $3 ranking reflects his ability to sustain something like that 112 wRC+ pace from last year and the fact that he might disappear to the IL at any time.

Miguel Andujar (Yankees, DH)

Seven days ago, I dropped Andujar down to around 250 on my list — I don't publish that many. When the Yankees left him at their reserve site, I just reconciled myself to the fact that no matter his talent, Andujar wasn't going to be fantasy relevant this season. Even with Judge missing time, the team seems inclined to use Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman to bridge the gap. Then the Yankees recalled Andujar and played him two games in a row. Welcome back,  Miggy! Just kidding, they sat him back down last night. So long, Mr. Andujar.

At this point, it's not at all clear what will happen with Andujar. His ceiling is top-50 hitter, but if he's not going to play, it's an automatic drop. Monitor the situation, but I don't think Andujar is likely to be useful this season.

Mitch Garver (Twins, C)

I counseled someone to be patient with Garver the other day, and I've regretted it ever since. Even for a catcher, Garver has been unsustainably bad. Most notably, as he approaches the 60 PA threshold, his K% is lingering at 37.9%%.

Like Bellinger, there are still some positives with Garver. His sweet-spot percentage is down by only 1.6%. His average exit velocity is down by only 1.3 MPH. And his max EV from 2019 was 109.7 MPH, only 1.6 MPH higher than the 108.1 that he already has this season. Last but not least, Garver's chase rate is down by 7%, a huge drop.

It's too early to write off Garver entirely, but his drop here does consider the unexpected nature of his 2019 breakout. Given that Garver has been taking more pitches this season, it's possible that it's just a matter of him needing to be more aggressive at the plate, but managers should start looking for more useful options.

Teoscar Hernandez (Blue Jays, OF)

Hernandez is an interesting case. His walk rate is down to almost unsustainable levels (2.5%), and he's chasing more pitches out of the zone (32.8 O-Swing%). However, he's hitting the ball harder and with a better launch angle than ever before, and Hernandez was a Statcast darling before this season.

Hernandez is swinging a bit more than last season (48.5% versus 47.3%), and he's actually swinging at pitches inside the zone less often (63.3% versus 72.9%). He's simply pummeling the baseball, as demonstrated by his 11.3% barrel rate.

The 27-year-old wouldn't be the first high-velocity hitter to eschew walks in favor of driving the ball, but that walk rate is in the 6th percentile, and it's hard not to forecast meaningful regression. However, Hernandez may be evolving into a player like Javier Baez, who has made a career from hitting the ball hard and walking only if the pitcher walks over and rips the bat out of his hands.

Matt Chapman (Athletics, 3B)

Like Hernandez, Chapman has been more aggressive this season. His 4% walk rate is a career-low. Unlike Hernandez, Chapman has an established history of patience and plate discipline. Chapman's 44.6% swing rate is a bit higher than last year 42.2%, but it's really his Swinging-Strike rate that has spiked from 9.2% last year to 13.2% this season.

That huge bump suggests that Chapman is being more aggressive early in the count and then hitting more defensively later on. The change would explain his increased power that has allowed him to smack six home runs and 17 RBI already this season.

The underlying stats are even more compelling. Chapman's barrel rate has soared to 10.9% while his exit velocity has improved to 93.3 MPH, and his launch angle has peaked near the optimal 25.7°. The combination has Chapman's xwOBA at .351, so there's a real chance we haven't seen his best yet.

 

 

 




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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Relief Pitchers Weekly Rankings

It's already time for the Week 5 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks, where we take a weekly dive into where the top 101 RPs stand moving forward in this strange sprint season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks as well. I've updated this piece through Aug. 18.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for SP, RP, and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 5 Top 101 RP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Relief Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 5

Rank $ Tier Player EV $ Trend Notes
1 $14.0 1 Josh Hader $3.4 $14.0 0.0 ▬
2 $14.0 1 Kenley Jansen $2.9 $14.0 0.0 ▬ That offseason Driveline work is paying off.
3 $14.0 1 Liam Hendriks $3.9 $14.0 0.0 ▬ The No. 1 RP through Aug. 18 in 5x5 formats.
4 $12.0 2 Drew Pomeranz $4.7 $4.0 8.0 ▲ Could be 5x5 No. 1 RP but will be used outside of 9th.
5 $12.0 2 Taylor Rogers $2.7 $11.5 0.5 ▲
6 $11.0 2 Nick Anderson $4.8 $10.0 1.0 ▲
7 $10.5 2 Aroldis Chapman $0.3 $10.5 0.0 ▬ Encouraging first outing despite earned run on the books.
8 $9.5 3 Brad Hand $1.5 $11.0 -1.5 ▼
9 $8.0 3 Alex Colome $2.8 $7.5 0.5 ▲
10 $8.0 3 Raisel Iglesias $2.6 $7.0 1.0 ▲ Lack of SV opps early, but nearly 50% K rate and zero walks.
11 $7.0 3 Archie Bradley $3.9 $6.5 0.5 ▲
12 $6.5 3 Rafael Montero $2.8 $2.5 4.0 ▲ Excellent start in a largely-uncontested bullpen.
13 $6.0 3 Mark Melancon $1.3 $6.0 0.0 ▬ Looks solid, but lack of big K's bars him from top tiers.
14 $5.5 4 Hector Neris $1.5 $8.0 -2.5 ▼
15 $4.5 4 Daniel Hudson -$0.5 $4.0 0.5 ▲ Washington's man with Doolittle out, little behind him.
16 $4.0 4 Brandon Workman $0.8 $5.5 -1.5 ▼ Only one appearance since Aug. 7.
17 $4.0 4 Trevor Rosenthal $1.6 $3.0 1.0 ▲
18 $3.5 4 Edwin Diaz $2.2 $1.5 2.0 ▲ Often looks unhittable, earning back high-leverage spots.
19 $3.0 4 James Karinchak $5.5 $2.0 1.0 ▲ Absolute beast, worth rostering in any format despite Hand.
20 $2.5 5 Seth Lugo $1.9 $3.5 -1.0 ▼
21 $2.0 5 Joe Jimenez $0.7 $4.5 -2.5 ▼
22 $2.0 5 Ryan Pressly $2.1 $2.0 0.0 ▬ Three steady outings in a row, looks to have stablized.
28 $2.0 5 Chad Green $4.2 $1.5 0.5 ▲ Your No. 2 RP through Aug. 18.
23 $1.5 5 Sergio Romo $1.6 $1.0 0.5 ▲
24 $1.5 5 Tyler Duffey $3.7 $1.5 0.0 ▬
25 $1.5 5 Zack Britton $2.2 $1.5 0.0 ▬ Had a great run, but Chapman's back now.
26 $1.5 5 Brandon Kintzler $0.4 $1.0 0.5 ▲ Looking strong early - need to see more to fully buy.
27 $1.5 5 Andrew Miller $0.8 $0.5 1.0 ▲ Two saves upon STL return, earning the role.
29 $1.5 5 Cole Sulser $0.5 $1.0 0.5 ▲
30 $1.5 5 Anthony Bass $2.2 $1.5 0.0 ▬ Giles coming back soon and Romano joining 9th.
31 $1.5 5 Devin Williams $2.5 $0.0 1.5 ▲
32 $1.5 5 Rowan Wick $3.2 $1.0 0.5 ▲ Looks like the 1A option for CHC.
33 $1.0 6 Jordan Romano $3.0 $0.5 0.5 ▲
34 $1.0 6 Emilio Pagan -$1.6 $1.5 -0.5 ▼ Chance at saves w/ Pomeranz usage flexible.
35 $1.0 6 Will Smith -$1.4 $1.0 0.0 ▬
36 $1.0 6 Keone Kela -$0.7 $0.0 1.0 ▲ PIT should want to drive trade value up, give him opps.
37 $1.0 6 Taylor Williams $1.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
38 $1.0 6 Jairo Diaz $0.6 $2.0 -1.0 ▼ Looks like he lost hold on interim closer gig.
39 $1.0 6 Giovanny Gallegos $1.2 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
40 $1.0 6 Ty Buttrey $1.0 $1.5 -0.5 ▼ Robles turning a corner, Buttrey has more BB than K.
41 $1.0 6 Joakim Soria $4.1 $1.0 0.0 ▬
42 $1.0 6 Craig Kimbrel -$1.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬ Two consecutive clean outings, but Wick/Jeffress more trust.
43 $1.0 6 Hansel Robles -$1.4 $0.5 0.5 ▲ Five straight scoreless appearances, may return to 9th soon.
44 $1.0 6 Jonathan Hernandez $4.9 $1.0 0.0 ▬
45 $1.0 6 Tanner Rainey $2.6 $0.5 0.5 ▲
46 $1.0 6 Matt Foster $3.7 $0.0 1.0 ▲ He's been opening for CWS, but results are worth rostering.
47 $1.0 6 Gregory Soto $2.2 $0.0 1.0 ▲
48 $1.0 6 Josh Staumont $1.7 $0.0 1.0 ▲ Rising quickly in my ranks, great to see him steady.
49 $1.0 6 Freddy Peralta $4.8 $0.0 1.0 ▲
50 $1.0 7 Adam Ottavino $1.3 $1.0 0.0 ▬
51 $1.0 7 Diego Castillo $1.0 $1.0 0.0 ▬
52 $1.0 7 Matt Barnes -$2.6 $1.5 -0.5 ▼
53 $1.0 7 Jeremy Jeffress $3.2 $1.0 0.0 ▬
54 $0.5 7 Trevor Gott -$9.5 $1.0 -0.5 ▼ This past week will mar his ratios for eternity.
55 $0.5 7 Tony Watson $0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Gott crashing, Rogers shaky. Watson looks best right now.
56 $0.5 8 Ken Giles -$0.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Clean MRI, making progress.
57 $0.5 8 Pedro Baez $0.5 $0.5 0.0 ▬
58 $0.5 8 Trevor May $1.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Resembles his strong form flashed in 2018.
59 $0.5 8 Matt Magill $0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
60 $0.5 8 Yusmeiro Petit $0.0 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
61 $0.5 8 Mychal Givens $2.6 $0.0 0.5 ▲
62 $0.5 8 Ross Detwiler $1.9 $0.0 0.5 ▲
63 $0.5 8 Carlos Estevez $0.8 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Escaped major hand injury, could be part of COL committee.
64 $0.5 8 Nick Wittgren $1.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
65 $0.5 8 Greg Holland $2.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
66 $0.5 8 Miguel Castro $1.2 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
67 $0.5 8 Alex Reyes $0.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Perfect first appearance, command woes the second time.
68 $0.5 9 Dan Altavilla $0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
69 $0.5 9 Tyler Rogers $1.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
70 $0.5 9 Corey Knebel -$2.0 $1.0 -0.5 ▼ He's behind Hader and Williams in the 'pen w/ weak start.
71 $0.5 9 Rafael Dolis $0.6 $0.0 0.5 ▲
72 $0.5 9 Jose Alvarez $1.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
73 $0.5 9 Jake McGee $2.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
74 $0.5 9 Richard Rodriguez $1.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
75 $0.5 9 Tyler Clippard $2.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
76 $0.5 9 Blake Treinen $1.6 $0.5 0.0 ▬
77 $0.5 9 Amir Garrett $0.0 $0.5 0.0 ▬
78 $0.5 9 Blake Taylor $1.7 $0.0 0.5 ▲
79 $0.5 9 John Gant $1.5 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Early CSW leader with nearly 50% (min. 50 pitches)
80 $0.5 9 Daniel Bard $5.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
81 $0.5 9 Jeurys Familia $0.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬
82 $0.5 9 Daniel Ponce de Leon -$0.1 $0.5 0.0 ▬
83 $0.5 9 Yency Almonte $3.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬
84 $0.5 9 Scott Barlow $2.3 $0.5 0.0 ▬ KC no stranger to spreading late-inning responsibility.
85 $0.5 9 Dennis Santana $0.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
86 $0.5 9 Evan Marshall $2.1 $0.0 0.5 ▲
87 $0.5 9 Ryan Borucki $2.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲ Looks incredible early, another sneaky ratio/K+ add.
88 $0.5 10 Luke Jackson $0.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
89 $0.5 10 Dellin Betances $1.0 $1.0 -0.5 ▼
90 $0.5 10 Chaz Roe $3.4 $0.5 0.0 ▬ Early low walk tally encouraging, snuck in a save on Tues.
91 $0.5 10 Josh Tomlin $4.0 $0.0 0.5 ▲
92 $0.5 10 Josh Osich -$0.6 $0.0 0.5 ▲
93 $0.5 10 Caleb Ferguson $1.9 $0.5 0.0 ▬
94 $0.5 10 Cody Stashak $0.1 $0.0 0.5 ▲
95 $0.5 10 Lucas Sims $1.8 $0.0 0.5 ▲
96 $0.5 10 Brusdar Graterol $2.2 $0.5 0.0 ▬
97 $0.5 10 Felix Pena $2.1 $0.0 0.5 ▲
98 $0.5 10 J.B. Wendelken $0.7 $0.0 0.5 ▲
99 $0.5 10 Peter Fairbanks $1.9 $0.0 0.5 ▲
100 $0.5 10 Travis Lakins Sr. $1.4 $0.0 0.5 ▲
101 $0.5 10 Tyler Kinley $0.7 $0.5 0.0 ▬

Relief Pitcher Movers of Note

Drew Pomeranz (SP/RP, Padres): Pomeranz could be the game’s best closer with Kirby Yates out for the foreseeable future. The southpaw has pitched 9 scoreless innings, totaling 12 strikeouts with a 0.44 WHIP. Of course, even Pomeranz isn’t capable of holding a .063 BABIP for too long

He held a 1.88 ERA with an incredible 50/8 K/BB ratio in 28 ⅔ relief IP last season, but a .289 BABIP is closer to my expectation moving forward. The Pads may use Emilio Pagan against weaker portions of the order so don’t expect 100% closer usage for Pom just like that, but be very excited if you’ve got him.

Hector Neris (RP, Phillies):

Neris is struggling early, much like the entire Phillies bullpen in 2020. We saw him rebound from an ugly 2018 where he was demoted thanks to zero splitter control with an elite 2019 (2.93 ERA/1.02 WHIP/32.4% K rate). He’s only thrown 5 IP so far, walking three and allowing four runs in his last three appearances. 

While his 2.54 FIP is well below the 7.20 ERA to start and his .438 BABIP is a joke, Neris can’t be leaving us with innings like last Friday where hitters average over 100 mph exit velocities. Luckily, his leash is long with the whole ‘pen yielding a 8.32 ERA through Tuesday.

Ryan Pressly (RP, Astros): Pressly is not "moving" but he's stopped falling so I consider that a win/change. He'd shown a drop in fastball velocity out of the gate, sitting around 93 mph instead of 95. But he's only surrendered one hit and one walk over his last three appearances (3 IP) with five strikeouts in there, with BrooksBaseball showing his fastball averaging around 94.5 mph instead. We can breathe a little with that. There's hope here and while Blake Taylor has been a happy surprise for this beleaguered bullpen, Pressly's recent run should give him some security for being the preferred closer.

Hansel Robles (RP, Angels): Ty Buttrey only has four strikeouts in 10 2/3 IP, though he’s posted six straight scoreless appearances since notching a save on Aug. 4. This isn't an automatic switch, but Robles has looked like his old self again after his first four games resulted in nine runs and a demotion to lower-leverage spots. 

He’s blanked opponents in five consecutive outings (4 ⅓ IP, 0 ER, BB, 7 Ks) and looks more impressive than Buttrey, who has just four punchouts over 9 ⅔ IP. We’ll see if they let him get the job back without a massive Buttrey stumble, but Robles appears ready.

Devin Williams (RP, Brewers): Williams is one of those rising relief stars that should be rostered in anything with a K/9 aspect. His changeup torched social media on Friday -- you can see why here:

And to have an upper-90s fastball to casually toss in is just unfair. While Josh Hader is still a first-tier RP, Corey Knebel is wavering in his return after missing 2019. Knebel has blown two saves, allowing three homers (eight hits) in six innings of work. 

This has opened the door for Williams’ 0.93 ERA/0.93 WHIP with 20 K’s in just 9 ⅔ IP to join Hader at the top of their hierarchy. His 20.4% swinging-strike rate is eighth among 212 qualified relievers and his 52% contact rate is third-lowest among the same group. His 5x5 ceiling is capped by Hader, but he can be an elite setup arm with handcuff potential.

Josh Staumont (RP, Royals): Staumont's 59.7% contact rate is 11th, right behind Williams. If it wasn’t enough to see Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland rise up to relevance, Staumont’s 98-mph fastball and sharp curve are working beautifully. He brought his BABIP down to “only” .400 with a perfect inning on Saturday, adding two more strikeouts for 19 in just 9 ⅔ IP. He’s only given up one run (0.93 ERA) and clearly feels comfortable on the mound, making him a strong add despite his being far from the ninth.



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The New Big Red Machine

For some, the nickname Big Red Machine conjures up fond memories of former WWE superstar and current Knox County, TN mayor Kane (real name Glenn Jacobs). However, the mere mention of the Big Red Machine in the mid to late 1970s made many big league pitchers shudder in fear at the prospect of facing a Reds lineup that indiscriminately terrorized any pitcher who dared to oppose them on the mound.

The Reds teams of the '70s were so good, that instead of a meager “Core Four”, they featured a “Great Eight”! The Reds’ lineup included Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez as well as baseball’s all-time hit leader, Pete Rose, who was a Red for parts of 19 seasons. George Foster led the NL with 52 home runs in 1977 and that was in a dead-ball era! Shortstop Dave Concepcion and centerfielder Cesar Geronimo were fine hitters who won multiple gold gloves. Ken Griffey Sr. was a Red for parts of 12 seasons and finished his 19-year career with a .296 batting average. Oh, and he also helped sire Ken Griffey Jr., one of the best all-around players in the history of the game.

The 2020 Reds lineup reminds some of those explosive Cincinnati teams of the 1970s, albeit to a lesser extent. Today’s Reds lineup features the type of firepower that can carry your fantasy team for a couple of weeks. Despite their offensive potential, the Reds entered this week with an unimpressive cumulative .220/.324/.430 triple-slash. Those numbers are pretty weak, but they’re an improvement from last week’s .198/.320/.377 mark. The Reds have had to postpone some of their recent games due to positive COVID-19 test results but prior to the pause in their season, their lineup had been slowly starting to gel. This could be the perfect time for you to try to target some of their slumping players and seek out buy-low opportunities.

 

Nick Castellanos, Outfield

Nick Castellanos will benefit from playing his home games at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. He has a career .675 slugging and 1.013 OPS at the Reds’ home park. He began the week with an overall .267/.353/.680 triple-slash and a 1.033 OPS. Several predictive stats suggest that Castellanos will continue mashing the ball. He entered this week with a .298 xBA and his line drive rate, which typically correlates to a high batting average, was an above-average 28.0. He began the week in the top one percentile in baseball in barrel percentage.

Rotoballer recommendation: Buy!! You’ll have to pay a premium for him in trades but he’s worth it.

 

Nick Senzel, Outfield

Nick Senzel is a former can’t miss prospect with five-tool potential who’s been plagued by injuries early in his MLB career. He started the week with a .244/.327/.489 triple slash however, MLB’s Statcast suggests Senzel’s bat could heat up in the near future. Senzel started the week with a.288 xBA, and a .516 xSLG. His 44.4 hard-hit percentage is significantly higher than the 34.7 league average.

He’s also becoming a more disciplined hitter. In 2019 Senzel was chasing pitches outside the strike zone at a rate of 31.3 percent. That rate has dropped to 23.7 this season. That’s helped him cut last season’s strikeout rate of 24.4 to 18.9 in 2020. With a sprint speed in the top three percent in baseball, the Reds will probably give Senzel the opportunity to try to steal a few bases before the season is done.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Buy low. Senzel had been dealing with a groin issue and he has been a bit injury-prone, but he has a high ceiling. His expected stats and above-average line-drive rate suggest that he will finish the season strong.

 

Shogo Akiyama, Outfield

Shogo Akiyama, who has above average contact and on-base skills, has been batting leadoff for the Reds. The Reds targeted the nine-year Japanese league veteran in free agency and even though he’s slumped early this season, they’re likely to be patient with him. His resume is impressive. He compiled a .304/.379/.457 triple slash during his time in Japan and he has enough pop in his bat to potentially hit 15 home runs or more across a full season. He’s also a smart baserunner with enough speed to steal a base if the situation warrants. His outstanding defensive skills and ability to play all three outfield positions should keep his bat in the lineup.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Buy low. Akiyama entered this week with a .231/.322/.208 triple-slash. His bat has started to warm up a bit as evidenced by his modest .273/.385/.409 mark in his last seven games. He has the opportunity to score a ton of runs before the season is over.

 

Mike Moustakas, Second Base/Third Base

Mike Moustakas has been dealing with a quad injury of late, and despite the fact that he’s struggled in 19 career games at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, it’s likely that his power bat will be making some noise before the end of the season. Moustakas has averaged 34 home runs over the past three seasons, but he doesn’t strikeout much for a power hitter.

Last season, he was one of only four big leaguers with 35 or more home runs and less than 100 strikeouts. His 29.2 strikeout rate in his first seven games is way higher than his career 15.9 rate but he’s also chasing fewer pitches outside the strike zone (29.5 percent) compared to his career (35.5) rate. His 57.1 fly ball rate and .524 slugging percentage suggest he’ll be hitting a lot more home runs in the near future.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Buy. He’s multi-position eligible in most leagues and has been a consistent source of power. There aren’t too many power hitters who play the keystone position.

 

Eugenio Suarez, Third Base

Eugenio Suarez began the week with a putrid .123/.278/.246 triple-slash but once his bat begins firing on all cylinders he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Suarez has averaged 32 home runs over the past four seasons and yet it seems he’s hardly mentioned in fantasy circles. He hit 49 home runs last season and so far he’s increased his launch angle for a third straight season and he’s continuing to barrel the ball at an above-average rate (10 vs. a league-average 6.3). The fact that he’s walking at the highest rate of his career (16.5 percent vs. his 10.0 career rate) and chasing pitches outside the strike zone at the lowest rate of his career (23%) is a good sign. Despite his early-season troubles, he’s not in panic mode yet.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Buy low. It’s only a matter of time before he snaps out of his funk.

 

Joey Votto, First Base

Joey Votto’s career .306 batting average is a testament to the type of stellar career he’s had. Unfortunately, the end has come quick and he appears to be in the twilight of that career. The Reds have already started to sit him against left-handed pitching. He’ll still have his moments at the plate from time to time and Votto will continue to lead, but moving forward he’ll be leading primarily by example.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Avoid.

 

Jesse Winker, Outfielder

Jesse Winker is a solid contact hitter, but left-handed pitchers are his kryptonite. Entering this week’s action Winker has a lifetime .311 batting average against right-handed pitching and just a .190 batting average against southpaws. He began the week red hot, posting a .586/.657/.1.207 triple slash and 1.864 OPS in his last 10 games.

Despite his weakness against lefty pitching, there’s still a lot to like about Winker. He entered the week with a career-best 50.0 hard-hit rate (40.2 percent for his career) and an above-average 26.3 percent line-drive rate. Together those stats are good predictors of future success at the plate. Some wonder if he’ll eventually develop moderate power. The dramatic increase in Winker’s hard-hit rate is encouraging, but his 23.7 percent fly-ball rate is not.

Rotoballer Recommendation: This might be a good time to sell high. He’s got enough talent to overcome his inability to hit lefties and provide good fantasy production in season-long leagues but his trade value might never be higher.

 

Aristides Aquino, Outfield

As this article is being written Aristides Aquino is rostered at the Reds’ alternate site. Aquino took baseball by storm last August, batting .320 and slugging 14 home runs that month, which is a record for an NL rookie. Opposing pitchers quickly adjusted and Aquino hit five home runs, batted .196, and posted a 31 percent strikeout rate during the month of September. Aquino has huge power potential but as a free swinger, pitchers will continue to target his weaknesses.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Keep him on your watch list. His power is real, and power hitters can be streaky, both hot and cold. The only way he gets regular ABs this season is if the Reds have a large number of injuries.

 

Phillip Ervin, Outfield

Phillip Ervin is another power hitter who will have a hard time getting regular ABs in the Reds lineup. He does have value in DFS. He can’t hit righties but has a .301/.364/.508 career triple-slash against left-handed pitchers.

Rotoballer Recommendation: Ignore in mixed leagues.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

Welcome to the Week 5 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks, where we take a look weekly at where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward in this strange sprint season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike (CSW) rates, xwOBA, and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 5 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 5

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 40.0 1 Gerrit Cole 5.3 43.0 -3.0 ▼ 4-0, 34/5 K/BB ratio -- that'll do, even if not 2019 form.
2 38.0 1 Jacob deGrom 5.9 37.0 1.0 ▲
3 35.0 1 Shane Bieber 10.5 34.0 1.0 ▲
4 31.0 2 Max Scherzer 5.7 24.0 7.0 ▲ Certified SP1, but minor injuries weigh heavily in short season.
5 29.0 2 Sonny Gray 9.1 23.0 6.0 ▲
6 28.0 2 Trevor Bauer 7.0 23.0 5.0 ▲
7 27.0 2 Aaron Nola 8.5 14.0 13.0 ▲ Masterful command out of the gate, increased CH usage.
8 27.0 2 Luis Castillo 7.9 27.0 0.0 ▬
9 25.0 2 Jack Flaherty 2.8 28.0 -3.0 ▼
10 24.0 2 Patrick Corbin 4.5 27.0 -3.0 ▼
11 24.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 1.2 25.0 -1.0 ▼
12 23.0 2 Yu Darvish 7.8 20.0 3.0 ▲ Last season's second=half surge has arrived in 2020.
13 23.0 2 Lance Lynn 9.0 21.0 2.0 ▲ Casual complete game at Coors, elite FB in peak form.
14 21.0 3 Carlos Carrasco 1.8 25.0 -4.0 ▼
15 20.0 3 Zack Greinke 6.6 17.0 3.0 ▲
16 17.0 3 Walker Buehler -1.0 28.0 -11.0 ▼ Uncanny high walks'; low BABIP helping. Sad .383 xwOBA.
17 17.0 3 Kenta Maeda 5.5 13.0 4.0 ▲
18 14.5 3 Brandon Woodruff 5.9 14.0 0.5 ▲
19 14.0 3 Zac Gallen 3.2 10.0 4.0 ▲ Conquered Coors, this kid's for real.
20 14.0 3 Frankie Montas 6.1 14.0 0.0 ▬ Upper back tightness, scratched from Friday start.
21 14.0 3 Dinelson Lamet 7.0 11.0 3.0 ▲
22 13.0 4 Zack Wheeler 3.1 14.5 -1.5 ▼
23 13.0 4 Chris Paddack 0.2 15.0 -2.0 ▼
24 12.5 4 Blake Snell 2.7 11.0 1.5 ▲ Pitch limits hurt, but he's stellar when on the bump.
25 12.0 4 Dylan Bundy 9.1 8.5 3.5 ▲ Lady Luck in his corner, but creating much of good fortune.
26 12.0 4 Kyle Hendricks 8.3 10.0 2.0 ▲
27 12.0 4 Max Fried 8.5 9.5 2.5 ▲
28 11.0 4 Mike Clevinger -0.8 29.0 -18.0 ▼ Optioned, Indians can gain year of control w/ week's time.
29 11.0 5 Lucas Giolito 3.9 12.5 -1.5 ▼
30 11.0 5 Tyler Glasnow 1.6 13.0 -2.0 ▼ Strikeouts are cool, but you know what's cooler? Control.
31 10.0 5 German Marquez 8.5 9.0 1.0 ▲ Tough to buy Coors, I know, but he's been there before.
32 10.0 5 Lance McCullers Jr. 1.0 12.0 -2.0 ▼
33 9.5 5 Charlie Morton 1.3 11.0 -1.5 ▼ Injury City is no bueno, but he's throwing from 120 feet.
34 9.5 5 Jesus Luzardo 1.3 10.0 -0.5 ▼
35 9.5 6 Aaron Civale 5.7 8.5 1.0 ▲ Civale stepping up with Clev & Plesac out.
36 9.5 6 Jose Berrios 1.1 12.0 -2.5 ▼ Sluggish start, xwOBA has expected even worse.
37 9.0 6 Ross Stripling 0.8 8.5 0.5 ▲
38 9.0 6 Andrew Heaney 6.2 9.5 -0.5 ▼
39 9.0 6 Dustin May 3.2 2.5 6.5 ▲
40 8.5 6 Nate Pearson 0.1 9.5 -1.0 ▼
41 8.5 6 Julio Urias 3.4 9.0 -0.5 ▼
42 8.5 6 Spencer Turnbull 5.3 4.5 4.0 ▲ Rough go against CLE, but solid in 3-of-4 starts.
43 8.0 6 Hyun-Jin Ryu 2.3 9.0 -1.0 ▼
44 8.0 6 Garrett Richards 3.8 8.0 0.0 ▬
45 7.0 7 Dylan Cease -1.3 4.5 2.5 ▲
46 6.0 7 Masahiro Tanaka 2.5 4.5 1.5 ▲
47 5.0 7 Chris Bassitt 4.1 4.0 1.0 ▲
48 5.0 7 Jordan Montgomery 0.6 4.5 0.5 ▲
49 4.5 7 Adrian Houser 1.5 4.0 0.5 ▲
50 4.5 7 Dallas Keuchel 4.2 1.5 3.0 ▲ Keuchel's corner-nibbling plays well w/ Grandal framing.
51 4.5 7 James Paxton 1.0 8.0 -3.5 ▼ The ~.400 BABIP is a joke, but lower floor at 93 mph.
52 4.5 7 Corbin Burnes 2.4 3.0 1.5 ▲
53 4.5 7 Cristian Javier 2.0 2.5 2.0 ▲
54 4.0 7 Nathan Eovaldi 1.3 3.5 0.5 ▲
55 4.0 8 Josh Lindblom 0.3 3.5 0.5 ▲
56 3.5 8 Stephen Strasburg 0.4 12.0 -8.5 ▼ Nerve issue in hand re-emerged, IL stint tough to sit on.
57 3.5 8 Casey Mize #N/A #N/A #N/A Is this week, *the* week? Nova to IL may be the opening.
58 3.5 8 Mike Minor 3.7 3.5 0.0 ▬
59 3.0 8 Griffin Canning -0.4 3.0 0.0 ▬
60 3.0 8 Framber Valdez 5.3 2.0 1.0 ▲
61 3.0 8 Sean Manaea 2.4 4.5 -1.5 ▼ Doesn't have the stuff to conquer poor luck.
62 2.5 8 Alec Mills 2.4 2.0 0.5 ▲
63 2.5 8 Pablo Lopez 5.1 1.0 1.5 ▲
64 2.5 8 Kevin Gausman 5.6 1.5 1.0 ▲
65 2.0 8 Kyle Gibson 0.0 3.0 -1.0 ▼
66 2.0 8 Tyler Chatwood 3.9 1.5 0.5 ▲ Mid-back tightness, hmm.
67 2.0 8 Robbie Ray -3.2 7.0 -5.0 ▼
68 2.0 9 Matthew Boyd -0.8 5.0 -3.0 ▼ It's hard to watch Boyd and Ray compete for Most Lost
69 2.0 9 Merrill Kelly 4.6 1.0 1.0 ▲ He doesn't believe in issuing walks anymore?
70 1.5 9 John Means -0.4 1.5 0.0 ▬
71 1.5 9 Austin Voth -0.3 2.0 -0.5 ▼
72 1.5 9 Brad Keller 2.7 0.0 1.5 ▲
73 1.5 9 Jon Lester 2.7 1.5 0.0 ▬
74 1.5 9 Anthony DeSclafani 0.2 1.5 0.0 ▬ BABIP pendulum swung back and knocked off many.
75 1.5 9 Jake Odorizzi -0.3 0.0 1.5 ▲
76 1.5 9 Kyle Freeland 2.0 1.0 0.5 ▲
77 1.5 9 Marco Gonzales 2.7 1.0 0.5 ▲
78 1.5 9 Randy Dobnak 4.6 1.0 0.5 ▲ What a start, but lack of K's make this quite the tightrope.
79 1.5 9 Zach Davies 5.4 1.0 0.5 ▲
80 1.5 9 Antonio Senzatela 5.0 1.0 0.5 ▲ Early 6.9% BB rate, 10.2% SwStr are 3 pct. point swings from '19
81 1.5 9 Tyler Mahle 2.7 1.5 0.0 ▬
82 1.0 10 Kris Bubic 0.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
83 1.0 10 Ryan Yarbrough -0.3 2.5 -1.5 ▼
84 1.0 10 Luke Weaver -3.6 5.0 -4.0 ▼
85 1.0 10 Brady Singer 1.0 1.5 -0.5 ▼
86 1.0 10 Elieser Hernandez 1.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
87 1.0 10 David Peterson 2.8 1.0 0.0 ▬
88 1.0 10 Spencer Howard -1.9 2.0 -1.0 ▼ Rough first couple starts, but talent still worth eyeing.
89 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 4.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
90 1.0 10 Touki Toussaint 2.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
91 1.0 10 Alex Cobb 1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
92 1.0 10 Asher Wojciechowski -0.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
93 1.0 10 Jon Gray 2.8 1.5 -0.5 ▼
94 1.0 10 Steven Matz -2.5 1.0 0.0 ▬
95 1.0 10 Adam Wainwright 2.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
96 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto 1.6 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Zach Plesac 7.4 2.0 -1.0 ▼
98 1.0 10 Matt Shoemaker -1.2 1.0 0.0 ▬
99 1.0 10 Patrick Sandoval 0.9 0.0 1.0 ▲
100 1.0 10 Taijuan Walker 2.1 0.0 1.0 ▲
101 1.0 10 Brandon Bielak 2.0 1.0 0.0 ▬

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Aaron Nola (SP, Phillies): Nola is leaning on his changeup more to fantastic results, throwing it ~30% of the time compared to 18.5% last season. Out of 57 qualified starters through Aug. 15, Nola’s 1.89 xFIP and 2.23 SIERA are second only to Shane Bieber, as is his 35.5% K-BB% mark. And yesterday he stayed hot by blanking the Mets over seven frames, meaning he's faced the Marlins, Yankees, Braves, and Mets so far, only “struggling” against the Marlins (go figure) before destroying NYY, ATL, and now NYM. Feel good about him as a rotation workhorse as he stares down a potential NL Cy Young run.

Yu Darvish (SP, Cubs): Darvish was in ace form last week, holding the Brewers to one hit (a solo homer) over seven innings. He struck out a season-high 11 while walking only two, giving him a 27/4 K/BB ratio over 24 frames thus far. This gives him three straight quality starts with one run or fewer allowed, continuing his dynamic second half from 2019. After the All-Star break, Darvish posted a 2.76 ERA with a ridiculous 118 K’s in 81 ⅔ IP and a paltry .199 batting average against. Lean into the strong momentum here and feel comfortable with him as a top-tier starter.

Walker Buehler (SP, Dodgers): We know Buehler is good and he’s entitled to his speed bumps, but spotty command out of the gate is tough. He’s coasting on a .167 BABIP through four starts, but he’s now given up five homers and has an ugly 17/9 K/BB ratio through 19 IP. It’s one thing to struggle with homers or walks here and there, but dealing with both at once from the jump...not ideal. The 6.35 FIP/5.27 xFIP still causes heartburn and you can't have that from an upper-echelon SP, so let’s hope he evens this out.

Mike Clevinger (SP, Indians): Clevinger and Zach Plesac have both been optioned after sidestepping the COVID-19 protocols established by the team on a visit to Chicago. When it comes to Clev, the Indians also gain an extra year of control over him if he stays down for the required 10 days. But aside from the off-field shenanigans, Clev has an unusual 14.7% walk rate. And while the early 22.1% strikeout rate is quite low for him, his 31.3% CSW% is healthy.

Dallas Keuchel (SP, White Sox): Keuchel is in vintage form to open 2020, rocking a 57.9% groundball rate with tremendous command. Yasmani Grandal is one of the best defensive catchers around and his framing abilities pair well with Keuchel’s painting the edges. Though his early 3.46 FIP is strong and the 11% swinging-strike rate would be a career-best, we cannot go overboard after four starts with his 4.01 SIERA and 45.3% first-strike rate. But I don’t want to nitpick his approach on a small sample if it’s working, just take note.

James Paxton (SP, Yankees): Paxton’s velocity isn’t back, but he finally showed he can make that work with 11 strikeouts over 6 ⅓ IP against the Rays on Aug. 9. He was still touched for two homers and has an ugly 7.04 ERA through four turns, but the strikeouts helped instill confidence. If you can believe it, his 2.95 SIERA through three starts was in line with his 2.96 SIERA from his elite 2018 season. This metric isn’t everything, no one metric is, and his 4.96 FIP is still an eyesore. 

Even with suspect command, a .409 BABIP is near-impossible to maintain. But that’s only one piece, as his fastball velocity is down from the 95-mph range to 93. It actually fell below 92 on Aug. 2 against Boston, but rose back to 93 against Tampa and his second start versus Boston. His max velocity was 94.8 mph on Saturday. Let’s hope that’s an upward trend.

Merrill Kelly (SP, Diamondbacks): Kelly is 3-1 through four starts, posting a clean 1.71 ERA/0.91 WHIP with 22 K’s in 26 ⅓ IP. You know the deal, he’s obviously not that good and the .233 BABIP/100% strand rate will regress, but a 2.9% walk rate assists any pitcher. If he can keep that below 5% then he’ll be a viable streamer even as his BABIP regresses towards the .292 mark from last year. He’ll never be a strikeout arm, but the ~21% K rate will play for plus matchups -- again, as a streamer.



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What Is A 2020 Fantasy Championship Worth?

It feels like much longer, but it was only five months ago that the NBA and NHL suspended their seasons. MLB, in the midst of spring training and bearing down on Opening Day, wasn't far behind.

We didn't know when - or even if - baseball would return. What we did know was that, assuming there were games, 2020 would be a season unlike any we've ever seen before. And as time went on, it became evident that the ongoing pandemic wasn't the only hurdle to clear for the sport to conduct business this year. At times, it seemed that ownership and the players would never come to an agreement.

Of course, they ultimately did, but not before we wound up losing over 100 games from the schedule. And MLB has already weathered multiple outbreaks, while players are also (predictably) suffering non-COVID injuries at a notably higher rate than usual. It's made for an incredible amount of uncertainty for fantasy owners - including, for some, uncertainty over what a championship in 2020 is even worth.

 

Does 2020 Deserve An Asterisk?

It's been suggested that whichever team emerges victorious in this year's World Series - again, assuming we get that far - will forever be viewed as a less-than-legitimate champion due to a much shorter regular season and an expanded playoff field. We certainly won't see any volume-based records broken this year, but rate stats - no matter how impressive - won't carry the same weight as they would in a full season. Sure, we might see a .400 hitter for the first time in decades, but it won't really "count," right?

You could apply the same logic to whatever happens in fantasy this year. In a 60-game season, there isn't enough time to determine which teams are truly the best. Even the best players have slumps, sometimes lasting for weeks. And that's in normal circumstances, which our current situation does not even remotely approach. Those slumps may now constitute a significant chunk of the season. Injuries that would be minor in the context of a 162-game slate now may be serious enough as to cripple a squad. And as we've already seen, COVID has the potential to wreak havoc on any team at any moment. All this chaos has the effect of neutralizing many of the edges that experienced players have worked hard to cultivate over many years. To put it bluntly, there is just too much that is completely outside of fantasy owners' control.

That's one side of the argument, and it's largely compelling. But the opposite side of the coin has its merits as well.

Over the course of six months' worth of games, fantasy owners have a lot of room to maneuver. That provides more opportunities to make mistakes, but also allows for plenty of time to learn and recover from them. (At least in my view, this is what makes resiliency a crucial attribute for success in fantasy baseball.) This is a luxury not afforded to us in 2020. Batting 1.000 obviously isn't a realistic expectation, but we do need to hit on our roster decisions at a higher rate than usual in order to succeed.

Not only that, the shortened season means that a strong draft was more important than ever. With a much shorter runway, a mediocre showing in the draft room has likely already doomed a large number of competitors. Owners who drafted before the proverbial excrement hit the fan deserve some slack here, but those in leagues that held their drafts once we knew the shape the season would take needed to make adjustments to their approach. It reflects well on those who did and poorly on those who didn't.

As far as the chaos goes? Everybody's been dealt the same crappy hand. We're all dealing with uncertainty over health, roles, or even if games will be able to be played. If you can navigate that better than your rivals, you deserve credit. In many ways, winning it all this year is arguably more challenging than it's ever been.

So what is a 2020 fantasy title worth? It's a fascinating question - one that defies an easy answer.

The Friday Meta is Kyle Bishop's attempt to go beyond the fantasy box score or simple strategic pointers and get at the philosophical and/or behavioral side of the game. It is hopefully not as absurd, pretentious, or absurdly pretentious as that sounds.



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The Baller Ranks: Top 101 Starting Pitchers Weekly Rankings

Welcome to the Week 4 Starting Pitcher Baller Ranks, where we take a look weekly at where the top 101 SPs stand moving forward in this strange sprint season. You can check out my weekly Top 101 Relief Pitcher Baller Ranks as well.

David Emerick rolled out an introduction to our Baller Ranks here -- I suggest you read for a full explanation of our purpose, but the TL;DR is here we're providing a one-stop-shop for pitcher and hitter valuation. We'll explore value produced to-date, their current standing, and provide context with analysis.

And for those who want stats like the usual 5x5 categories, strikeout rates, Called + Swinging Strike rates, xwOBA and more on a decked-out spreadsheet, we've got you covered - you can view the full Week 4 Top 101 SP Baller Ranks core sheet here.

 

Top 101 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 4

Rank $ Tier Player EV $PV Trend Notes
1 43.0 1 Gerrit Cole 3.2 43.0 0.0 ▬ Love to see 10 K's on Sat, but not qualifying for W burns.
2 37.0 1 Jacob deGrom 5.6 37.0 0.0 ▬
3 34.0 1 Shane Bieber 7.8 33.0 1.0 ▲ This year's No. 1 SP? In top-heavy AL Central, could be.
4 29.0 2 Mike Clevinger -1.0 31.0 -2.0 ▼
5 28.0 2 Jack Flaherty 2.7 28.0 0.0 ▬ Hard to wait for STL to play again, I get it.
6 28.0 2 Walker Buehler -2.5 26.0 2.0 ▲
7 27.0 2 Luis Castillo 6.2 26.0 1.0 ▲ Early ratio troubles, but laughable .415 BABIP & still big K's.
8 27.0 2 Patrick Corbin 3.0 25.0 2.0 ▲
9 25.0 2 Carlos Carrasco 2.1 23.0 2.0 ▲ Classic Cookie, love to see him healthy.
10 25.0 2 Clayton Kershaw 0.2 16.0 9.0 ▲ Healthy and sharp, SP1.
11 24.0 2 Max Scherzer 3.5 34.0 -10.0 ▼ No injury is minor in such a short season.
12 23.0 2 Trevor Bauer 6.9 13.0 10.0 ▲
13 23.0 3 Sonny Gray 5.5 14.0 9.0 ▲
14 21.0 3 Lance Lynn 5.4 22.0 -1.0 ▼
15 20.0 3 Yu Darvish 6.3 19.0 1.0 ▲
16 17.0 3 Zack Greinke 4.0 17.0 0.0 ▬
17 15.0 3 Chris Paddack 2.8 14.5 0.5 ▲
18 14.5 3 Zack Wheeler 1.6 14.0 0.5 ▲
19 14.0 3 Frankie Montas 6.1 12.0 2.0 ▲ Eventually he'll give up a HR, but he's always beaten his xFIP.
20 14.0 3 Aaron Nola 3.7 12.5 1.5 ▲
21 14.0 3 Brandon Woodruff 4.7 13.0 1.0 ▲
22 13.0 4 Kenta Maeda 3.2 11.0 2.0 ▲
23 13.0 4 Tyler Glasnow -0.3 20.0 -7.0 ▼ Not working deep, took lumps on Saturday but 3.35 xFIP.
24 12.5 4 Lucas Giolito 0.7 19.0 -6.5 ▼
25 12.0 4 Stephen Strasburg #N/A 15.0 -3.0 ▼ Set to debut Aug. 9, hope for a strong 75-pitch outing.
26 12.0 4 Jose Berrios 1.3 13.0 -1.0 ▼
27 12.0 4 Lance McCullers Jr. -1.0 12.0 0.0 ▬
28 11.0 4 Blake Snell 0.4 12.0 -1.0 ▼ Stretching out more, looked extremely sharp w/ 5 no-hit IP.
29 11.0 5 Charlie Morton 1.4 11.0 0.0 ▬ Stock stablized with decent start, velo coming back.
30 11.0 5 Dinelson Lamet 3.4 11.0 0.0 ▬
31 10.0 5 Zac Gallen 1.3 10.0 0.0 ▬
32 10.0 5 Kyle Hendricks 5.4 9.5 0.5 ▲
33 10.0 5 Jesus Luzardo 2.4 9.0 1.0 ▲
34 9.5 5 Max Fried 4.9 8.5 1.0 ▲
35 9.5 6 Andrew Heaney 3.3 8.5 1.0 ▲
36 9.5 6 Nate Pearson 1.4 8.0 1.5 ▲ Not afraid of MLB hitters, Pearson's the real deal.
37 9.0 6 Julio Urias 3.5 9.5 -0.5 ▼ He's done okay, but you'd like to see more K's.
38 9.0 6 Hyun-Jin Ryu 1.4 8.0 1.0 ▲ Bounceback start gives some hope, but skepticism remains.
39 9.0 6 German Marquez 6.2 6.0 3.0 ▲ Early victory laps coming, I'm hopeful, but Coors is scary.
40 8.5 6 Ross Stripling 1.7 6.0 2.5 ▲
41 8.5 6 Dylan Bundy 5.6 5.0 3.5 ▲ The .184 BABIP will rise, but that 2.5% BB rate!
42 8.5 6 Aaron Civale 5.3 4.5 4.0 ▲ Another late-round value pick cruising up the charts.
43 8.0 6 James Paxton 0.4 10.0 -2.0 ▼
44 8.0 6 Garrett Richards 2.4 5.0 3.0 ▲ Hit a bump against LAD, but 3.57 FIP, 16/5 K/BB is solid.
45 7.0 7 Robbie Ray -3.3 9.0 -2.0 ▼ Here come some plummeting arms.
46 6.0 7 Madison Bumgarner -0.4 9.0 -3.0 ▼
47 5.0 7 Luke Weaver -2.8 8.0 -3.0 ▼
48 5.0 7 Matthew Boyd 0.1 8.5 -3.5 ▼
49 4.5 7 Jordan Montgomery 0.0 4.5 0.0 ▬
50 4.5 7 Sean Manaea 2.1 3.5 1.0 ▲
51 4.5 7 Dylan Cease -1.3 2.5 2.0 ▲
52 4.5 7 Masahiro Tanaka 2.8 3.0 1.5 ▲
53 4.5 7 Spencer Turnbull 3.7 4.0 0.5 ▲ Two strong starts vs. good CIN lineup, can he punish PIT?
54 4.0 7 Chris Bassitt 4.8 2.5 1.5 ▲
55 4.0 8 Adrian Houser 1.2 2.5 1.5 ▲
56 3.5 8 Josh Lindblom 1.6 3.0 0.5 ▲
57 3.5 8 Nathan Eovaldi 3.0 2.0 1.5 ▲
58 3.5 8 Mike Minor 2.5 4.0 -0.5 ▼
59 3.0 8 Griffin Canning 1.6 2.0 1.0 ▲
60 3.0 8 Corbin Burnes 1.8 2.0 1.0 ▲ 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K on Saturday. You love to see it.
61 3.0 8 Kyle Gibson 0.9 1.5 1.5 ▲
62 2.5 8 Ryan Yarbrough 0.2 1.5 1.0 ▲
63 2.5 8 Dustin May 3.1 1.0 1.5 ▲
64 2.5 8 Cristian Javier 3.2 1.5 1.0 ▲
65 2.0 8 Spencer Howard 0.0 1.0 1.0 ▲
66 2.0 8 Austin Voth 0.8 1.0 1.0 ▲
67 2.0 8 Alec Mills 1.4 0.0 2.0 ▲
68 2.0 9 Zach Plesac 7.4 1.0 1.0 ▲
69 2.0 9 Framber Valdez 4.4 1.0 1.0 ▲ 19/3 K/BB ratio, 55.1% groundball rate, 2.09 FIP. Hello!
70 1.5 9 Tyler Chatwood 3.8 1.5 0.0 ▬ Buy low. Pounding strike zone, victim of .417 BABIP.
71 1.5 9 Dallas Keuchel 3.9 0.0 1.5 ▲
72 1.5 9 Jon Lester 1.4 1.0 0.5 ▲
73 1.5 9 Anthony DeSclafani 3.6 0.0 1.5 ▲ Two scoreless starts in the books. 1 BB is great, .172 BABIP.
74 1.5 9 Tyler Mahle 3.1 0.0 1.5 ▲
75 1.5 9 Kevin Gausman 2.7 1.0 0.5 ▲
76 1.5 9 Joe Musgrove -1.3 3.5 -2.0 ▼ Erratic command, lower velo, start pushed back. Not good.
77 1.5 9 John Means -0.6 1.0 0.5 ▲
78 1.5 9 Brady Singer -0.2 1.0 0.5 ▲
79 1.5 9 Jon Gray 2.9 1.0 0.5 ▲ Whiffs way down, living off .204 BABIP.
80 1.0 9 Pablo Lopez 3.1 0.0 1.0 ▲
81 1.0 10 Steven Matz -1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
82 1.0 10 Alex Cobb 1.4 1.0 0.0 ▬
83 1.0 10 Johnny Cueto -0.5 1.0 0.0 ▬
84 1.0 10 Merrill Kelly 2.0 1.0 0.0 ▬ He doesn't believe in issuing walks anymore?
85 1.0 10 Kyle Freeland 2.0 1.0 0.0 ▬
86 1.0 10 Kris Bubic 1.0 0.0 1.0 ▲
87 1.0 10 Randy Dobnak 3.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
88 1.0 10 Marco Gonzales 1.7 0.0 1.0 ▲
89 1.0 10 Zach Davies 3.1 1.0 0.0 ▬
90 1.0 10 Matt Shoemaker -1.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
91 1.0 10 Dakota Hudson -0.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
92 1.0 10 Jonathan Loaisiga -0.9 1.0 0.0 ▬
93 1.0 10 Brandon Bielak 1.4 0.0 1.0 ▲
94 1.0 10 Touki Toussaint 2.3 0.0 1.0 ▲
95 1.0 10 Antonio Senzatela 3.9 0.0 1.0 ▲ Early 6.9% BB rate, 10.2% SwStr are 3 pct. point swings from '19
96 1.0 10 Yusei Kikuchi 4.3 1.0 0.0 ▬
97 1.0 10 Elieser Hernandez 1.1 0.0 1.0 ▲
98 1.0 10 Asher Wojciechowski -0.1 0.0 1.0 ▲
99 1.0 10 David Peterson 1.6 0.0 1.0 ▲
100 1.0 10 Kyle Wright -0.6 0.0 1.0 ▲ If this continues, we may see Ian Anderson very soon.
101 1.0 10 Anibal Sanchez -1.2 1.0 0.0 ▬

Starting Pitcher Movers of Note

Carlos Carrasco (SP, Indians): We can wax poetic about Shane Bieber but we can’t let Cookie go without some love. Part of his move up into the heart of Tier 2 comes from others dropping, but he’s earned it too. Firing on all cylinders, Carrasco is benefitting from a .237 BABIP (.308 career) but has looked marvelous against Cincinnati and Minnesota -- strong lineups -- as well as undressing the Royals in his 2020 debut. Batted-ball luck can’t create a 23/6 K/BB ratio out of thin air. No one expects the 1.00 WHIP days to last, I hope, but Carrasco is an established veteran in a favorable pitching spot on Cleveland.

While I have him ahead of arms with higher ceilings, I value his stability against Clayton Kershaw, who just returned to action and carries an elevated re-injury risk, Max Scherzer, who has a minor quad issue, and Mr. Bauer, who looks amazing but is as volatile as they come. I just wanted