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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 200 Starting Pitchers, #81-120

It’s been a slow off-season. Like, a really slow off-season. With the hot stove frigid, fantasy baseball players haven’t had many ways to quench their thirst, unless they’ve thrown themselves head-first into football, basketball, or hockey. January and February can be some of the darkest months of the year (figuratively and literally), but fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were celebrating the holidays and ushering in the New Year, our brave group of writers has been ranking, debating, re-ranking, re-debating, and re-re-ranking over 600 players for dynasty leagues. The fruits of our efforts will be filling January, February, and even some of March with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, top-500s (of course!), and even ultra-deep prospect rankings.

The Dynasty Guru’s hard-working staff has spent countless hours crafting these rankings, and we hope you enjoy and continue to support our efforts.

So I hope you enjoy the package that the TDG team has put together here. If you like it enough, and just can’t seem to wait for us to roll out the rest of our content, you can donate a minimum of $10 to receive exclusive early access to the entirety of our ultra-deep dynasty rankings. That includes Bret Sayre’s Top 500 for standard leagues, Tom Trudeau’s Top 500 for OBP leagues, Jesse Roche’s Top 200 prospects, and our entire rankings series in downloadable form. For more information, click here.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2018 consensus rankings by continuing to look at the league’s top starting pitchers in dynasty leagues, kicking it off with one of the better teenage arms in the minor leagues.

81) Chase Anderson, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 30 Previous Rank: NR)

Anderson enjoyed a breakout year in 2017, with a career-low ERA/WHIP combo of 2.74 & 1.09.  He was lucky last season, but also made real improvements to his pitching. As a result, regression is coming, but not all the way back to the mid-4 ERA he had before mastering his changeup. Expect a 3.5-3.8 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP and a good, but not great, strikeout rate. (Mike Tanner)

82) Cal Quantrill, San Diego Padres (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 100)

Tommy John surgery in 2015 has slowed down this pitcher prospect’s ascension in dynasty leagues, but a lot of promise remains in the young right-hander. Quantrill has one of, if the not the, best changeups in the minor leagues and his other pitches (fastball, slider, and curve) are progressing well enough that he earned an invitation to Spring Training. Keep an eye on this righty early because his stock will be on the rise in 2018. (Mike Tanner)

83) Michel Baez, San Diego Padres (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

The 6’8″ giant toyed with hitters in Low-A in 2017 to the tune of a ridiculous 36% strikeout rate. His arsenal includes a mid-90s fastball, plus changeup, and a developing curve. He could progress quickly as 22-year-old international signee from Cuba. (Mike Tanner)

84) Jay Groome, Boston Red Sox (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 58)

The young lefty endured a challenging season at High-A, but the outlook is exciting despite the mixed results in 2017.  Groome maintained a 11 K/9 but was hit hard, resulting in a 6.70 ERA (4.24 FIP) over 44 innings. A closer look at his game log shows a lot of inconsistency. As his command improves and he refines his secondary pitches, one can expect Groome to rise back up dynasty ranks. Patience likely pays off in the end with Groome. (Mike Tanner)

85) Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Flaherty will compete for a spot in the rotation in 2018 and is in a position to deliver on his sparkling minor league stats. He has a mid-90s fastball, good slider, and developing curve/change. Flaherty struggled against left-handed batters in 2017 and will need to figure out how to tame their respective .341 AVG (compared to a .225 against RHH). His youth, potential, and minor league performance project him to be a viable SP4 or 5 in fantasy if it all comes together. (Mike Tanner)

86) Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rookies (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

If you designed a pitcher who could succeed in Colorado, that profile would be Kyle Freeland. As an extreme groundballer, he performed better at home (3.72 ERA) than on the road (4.57). Freeland will never be a high strikeout pitcher, but he shows promise and could become a streaming option against weaker opponents in 2018. At best, he becomes a poor man’s Kyle Hendricks. (Mike Tanner)

87) Tyler Glasnow, Pittsburg Pirates (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 46)

If you have owned Glasnow in a dynasty league, you know how frustrating the past few years have been. He has dominated Triple-A on three separate occasions (10-13 K/9, sub-3 ERA) only to get blown up in the majors. 2018 will be the year Glasnow either figures it out or is sent to the bullpen. He is a fascinating lottery ticket in 2018 with an SP2 ceiling and reliever floor. (Mike Tanner)

88) Fernando Romero, Minnesota Twins (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 197)

Romero is a small pitcher who performed well at Double-A in 2017. In fact, he was boasting a 2.64 ERA until giving six runs in each of his last three starts. The most significant downside to Romero is his health risk, already having undergone Tommy John Surgery and finishing the 2017 season with an injured throwing shoulder. His upside is a fantasy SP4-5 that could arrive in early 2019. (Mike Tanner)

89) Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 128)

2017 was a significant step forward for Anderson, who wasn’t as highly touted as some of the other high school arms in the 2016 draft. He performed well at Low-A with a 3.14 ERA (2.72 FIP) and nearly 11 strikeouts per nine innings. He is likely 2-3 years away from the show in a loaded Braves system, which has the depth to give him time to refine his secondary pitches. (Mike Tanner)

90) Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 126)

Once viewed as a top of the rotation arm, Hoffman may now merely be a road streaming option. He is undeniably talented, but Coors is a tall order for any pitcher and it appears to be too much for Hoffman. Not a free agent until 2023, he will struggle to remain fantasy relevant in Colorado. (Mike Tanner)

91) Steven Matz, New York Mets (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 51)

Matz started out 2017 by carrying a 2.67 ERA to June, though his season quickly unraveled with what we would later find out would be numbness in his fingers. After mid-July, his normally plus fastball and changeup graded out as two of his worst pitches.  The good news is that ulnar nerve reposition surgery carries a 90% success rate and if Matz can stay on the field, he could return a nice profit this season. (Mike Tanner)

92) Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 98)

2017 was a disaster for the promising lefty. Norris struggled to stay on the field with minor injuries, and a closer look at his advanced stats showed that hitters were jumping on his four-seam fastball. 2018 is Norris’s last chance to establish himself as a fantasy force or an afterthought. My guess: he puts it all together, and his game finally becomes more popular than his van. (Mike Tanner)

93) Rich Hill, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 37, Previous Rank: 56)

An old guy under contract with the Dodgers for two more years, Hill is a good bet to give you sweet ratios for 120 innings this year and next. (Mike Tanner)

94) Alex Faedo, Detroit Tigers (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Faedo was a first-round selection for the Tigers in 2017, coming out of Florida after a solid junior year.  He is a Spring Training invitee despite not having thrown a professional pitch, after failing to debut with a minor league team following a 123-inning college season. He could progress quickly through the lower minors and projects to have a ceiling of a fantasy SP4. (Mike Tanner)

95) Lance Lynn, Free Agent (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 88)

Returning from Tommy John in 2017, Lynn had a mostly successful season but seemed to tire out in his last 3-4 starts.  While his landing spot will affect his fantasy value, Lynn is a high-floor/low-ceiling pitcher fantasy SP4 who should have a sub-4 ERA and enough strikeouts to contribute in roto leagues. (Mike Tanner)

96) Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 85)

Wacha has a solid floor and still possesses upside at a surprisingly young 26 years old. Last year, he posted an 8.58 K/9 and 2.99 BB/9 across 165.2 innings. This was his best K/9 since breaking out in 2013, and better than his ‘15 and ‘16 K/9 totals by an entire strikeout. He also continued showing great ability at avoiding the home run ball, as he only gave up 0.92 HR/9. While the strikeouts might fall back to earth this season, at this price he’s got enough present-value and upside remaining to be worth owning. (Jonathan Merkel)

97) Alex Cobb, N/A (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 70)

Alex Cobb is currently without a team. It doesn’t surprise me that clubs are being extra cautious about investing in him. While Cobb posted an ERA of 3.66 last season, it’s not backed up by the evidence. He hasn’t struck out more than 7 per nine in over 200 innings since returning from Tommy John surgery and his swinging strike percentage was a weak 6.7% in 2017. In 2013 and 2014, Cobb’s dominant pre-injury seasons, he posted swinging strike percentages of 9.4 and 10.6%. Can he be the pitcher he was in 2014 once again? I’m skeptical, but he still possesses value as an above-average starter. (Jonathan Merkel)

98) J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 81)

J.A. Happ has been a reliable arm since 2014 when he first got his unsightly walk issues under control. Since that breakthrough season, he has put up almost 500 innings of 3.61 ERA ball. While his peripherals suggest he should be posting ERAs closer to 4.00, Happ has been striking out almost three batters for every issued walk the past few years. He has also posted solid ground ball numbers. At age 35, it’s unlikely the good times will last much longer, but Happ appears to have some gas left in the tank. (Jonathan Merkel)

99) Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 32)

2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello fell back to the 2 WAR neighborhood in 2017. What happened? Rule No. 1 of the Regression Gods: What they giveth, they taketh away. For Porcello, it was no different as they punished him on every front in 2017. His BABIP, LOB% and HR/FB% were all worse than his career averages. Not to mention those damn finicky wins. The main concern with Porcello is his ground ball percentage. It has fallen every season since he has been in Boston, from 45.7% in 2015 to 39.2% in ‘17. That doesn’t scream “bad luck” like some of his other peripherals…at Fenway, it looks downright hazardous. (Jonathan Merkel)

100) Tyler Skaggs, LA Angels (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 118)

Skaggs feels a little out of place here. While his strikeouts–8.05 K/9–and age–26–are tantalizing, his health-concerns and uninspiring track-record are not. Most of the guys in this neighborhood have a stronger performance history, more exciting upside, or both. The Angels are praying Skaggs can stay healthy enough to give them 180 innings of what he did last year. Dynasty owners who draft Skaggs won’t be disappointed if they keep their expectations low. He could surprise us all, but as of now he looks to be a very average pitcher. (Jonathan Merkel) 

101) Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 103)

There are certain players who seem to live on “Maybe This Will be the Year” lists, and ever since Patrick Corbin succumbed to Tommy John Surgery in 2014, he has done just that. Corbin’s pre-TJS 2013 was a beaut. He pitched 200 innings of 3.41 ERA ball. After sitting out 2014, Corbin has shown himself to be both very good (2015), and very bad (2016). Last year Corbin was better than bad, but worse than good. He’s a guy that gets hit pretty hard, pretty often. Perhaps the humidor will benefit him — I believe it will. But I’m not sure he’ll ever be anything than an average starter. (Jonathan Merkel)

102) German Marquez, Colorado Rockies (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 179)

German Marquez may be the dynasty gem of this neighborhood. If he played on any other team, the 22-year-old would be ranked 30 spots higher. Marquez proved himself to be a valuable starter in 162 innings last year. I was surprised by how often Marquez turned up on lists I’d compile when working to identify late-round pitching targets. His K/BB, GB% and SwStr% were all elite in 2017. Yes, he does play for the Rockies. Yes, he will always be susceptible to excess amounts of homers. But this guy can really pitch. (Jonathan Merkel)

103) Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 82)

Marco Estrada has been a solid pitcher for the Blue Jays. Incredibly, he managed to out=pitch his xFIP by over a run in both 2015 and 2016. Estrada was on pace to do it once again last year  until the calendar turned to June. He got absolutely clobbered in June, and it didn’t get much better the rest of the way. At 34 years old, he still possesses good control and strikes out over eight batters per nine innings. However, Estrada is unique in that he’s the premier flyball pitcher in baseball. In the age of the juiced ball, it might be best to let someone else figure out where all Estrada’s flyballs land. (Jonathan Merkel)

104) Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 39)

Velasquez took a tumble from the lofty rank of 39 he held on this list last year. At 25 years old, there’s still of time for him to return to those heights. Last season was marred by inconsistency and a blood clot in his finger. He finished the season having pitched only 72 underwhelming innings. Velasquez’s walks were up, strikeouts down, and he coughed up almost two home runs per nine. None of that is good. Word around the club is that Velasquez is working on refining his mechanics and building his mental toughness. He will get another shot to prove he can be a dominant starter. Can he seize the opportunity? If he doesn’t, the former Astro could be a candidate for an Archie Bradley-esque transition to the bullpen. (Jonathan Merkel)

105) Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 15)

Julio Urias drops 90 spots a season after we aggressively ranked him at 15th in 2017. Major injuries and drawn-out recoveries are the risks inherent in betting on prospect arms, and Urias’ anterior-capsule injury is a painful reminder of exactly that. It’s the same rare injury which derailed the career of Johan Santana. Only time will tell what sort of pitcher Urias will be when he returns. However, since he is still just 21, he has plenty of time to recover and plenty of stash value in dynasties. There may be no higher-risk, higher-reward pitcher drafted in dynasties this year. (Jonathan Merkel)

106) Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 22)

That previous rank of 22 sure looks a little aggressive, don’t it? 34-year-old Cole Hamels is aging fast. 2017 was the worst ERA he has posted since a fluky 2009 campaign, and it’s the first time he has posted less than 3.0 WAR since his 2006 debut. He did battle through a right-oblique injury last season, which probably contributed to his uncharacteristically poor performance. Still, draft with caution. Unless Hamels reverts back to the guy who could strike out over eight batters per nine, he’s not likely to turn a profit. (Jonathan Merkel)

107) Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 30)

Kenta Maeda is one of my favorite imports in the Major Leagues. All he has done since arriving in the MLB is strike out over a batter per inning while exhibiting masterful control. He has also won 29 games with the mighty Dodgers. How do the Dodgers reward him? By putting him in the pen. Perhaps that’s fair after he suffered a rash of home runs, but I don’t think so. Maeda needs to be pitching (at least) 60 innings for the Dodgers this year. Like my boy Kyle Hendricks, Maeda won’t win your league, but he will provide great depth and stability for any team lucky enough to draft him. (Jonathan Merkel)

108) Ivan Nova, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 96)

Ivan Nova has been a wonderful reclamation project for the cost-conscious Pirates. Since arriving in Pittsburgh, Nova has maintained a miniscule walk rate. His ability to avoid the base-on-balls has helped him get the most of his ground ball oriented approach. He, like many others, suffered the effects of the juiced ball in ‘17. No matter. Nova has proven he can be a reliable starter for teams not needing a lot of strikeouts. There’s not a lot of upside with Nova, but at 31 he can still provide a few years of steady innings. (Jonathan Merkel)

109) Kolby Allard, Atlanta Braves (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 80)

Allard is another product of Atlanta’s scorched-earth rebuild. The 20-year-old former 1st round pick spent all of 2017 with Double-A Mississippi. While adjusting to the level, his strikeout and walk numbers took a step backwards. This isn’t a surprise given how young he was for the level. However, it is becoming very clear that Allard is not, and will not be, an overpowering arm. While he does have solid pitches to work with, his fastball excluded, scouts around the game are tempering their expectations for Allard’s future value. Dynasty owners should probably do the same. (Jonathan Merkel)

110) Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 94)

Reynaldo Lopez has pitched 91.2 innings in the majors. The toolsy but flawed pitcher has finished each brief stint with numbers that suggest degrees of both hope and worry. To fulfill his potential, he’ll need to control his pitches better and avoid the home run ball. Pretty standard recipe, I know, but Reynaldo has struggled with control since arriving at Triple-A. As for the homers? I suspect he will be victimized often. Lopez is intriguing enough at this price, but right now he looks like his tools are worth more than the final product. (Jonathan Merkel)

111) Sean Newcomb, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 131)

Acquired by the Braves in a deal that sent Andrelton Simmons to Anaheim, Newcomb has had a steady track-record of piling up a bunch of strikeouts and a bunch of walks. His ability to limit damage is almost heroic, as his strand rate has constantly been above league average… with amount of batters he walks, he’ll need to keep it that way. If able to reign in the free passes, Newcomb actually has the ability to push SP2 limits. If he can’t, he’s leaning back-end SP3/SP4 territory. (Keaton DeRocher)

112) Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 143)

Manning has the potential to be a top of the rotation arm with the Tigers. His long 6’6″, 190 pound frame and compact motion give him plus arm speed, and said length gives him a higher perceived velocity to hitters. His fastball has tremendous life to it and sits in the mid 90’s with control. His curve is another potential plus offering, sitting in the low 80’s with a good amount of bite to it. He has feel for a change-up as well giving him a well rounded three-pitch mix. There’s plenty of upside to be had here, though the risk and ETA are certainly high. (Keaton DeRocher)

113) Frances Martes, Houston Astros, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 54)

Martes can spin himself a curveball. He can also throw himself a fastball. Martes boast one of the best two-pitch mixes in minors with both of the aforementioned offerings grading out at potentials 70’s. His major fault is his command, which lead to decent amount of walks and a bunch of homers when his location became predictable. If able to reel in the walks, Martes can have one of the more elite strikeout rates in the majors. If he can’t, he probably grades out better as a high leverage reliever. (Keaton DeRocher)

114) Chance Adams, New York Yankees, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Adams has had an incredible run in the minors since being drafted in the fifth round out of Dallas Baptist University. In 313 innings pitched through the minors, Adams has compiled a 3.0 walks-per-nine and a 9.3 strikeouts-per-nine all while keeping his opponents batting average against at a microscopic .182 along with a WHIP of 0.99. He shows great feel for his pitches and tremendous command and he really doesn’t have much left to prove at the minor league level. (Keaton DeRocher)

115) Zack Wheeler, New York Mets, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 106)

After putting up some decent numbers in his first taste of the majors in 2013 and 2014, Wheeler was bitten by the Tommy John monster and missed all of the 2016 season and most of the 2017 season. In a few words, his return to pitching post Tommy John so far has been… not great. He posted a 5.21 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP while allowing a .284 batting average against. Finishing last season healthy and having a normal offseason will help Wheeler get back to his pre-TJ form, but the risk is sky-high here. (Keaton DeRocher)

116) Robert Gsellman, New York Mets, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 76)

After a rather successful cup of coffee in 2016 (2.42 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 42 K in 44.2 IP), Gsellman was a hot commodity coming into the 2017 season and laid a giant egg. Only able to piece together 82 strikeouts in 119.2 innings pitched, his earned run average ballooned to 5.19 and he have up plenty of walks and homeruns. I expect we’ve now seen Gsellman’s two extremes, with his realistic output somewhere in the middle of those lines. (Keaton DeRocher)

117) Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 59)

Tommy John surgery didn’t stop the Twins from signing Pineda to a 2-year, $10 million dollar deal this offseason. In his first taste of the bigs, Pineda was rather impressive and painted the picture of someone who had the ability of being a top of the rotation pitcher. Of course, he then posted three seasons with an earned run average in the mid 4’s and a WHIP in the low 1.3’s. After three sub-par seasons and now Tommy John surgery at age-29, Pineda’s stock is trending down. (Keaton DeRocher)

118) Mike Leake, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 112)

At this point, Mike Leake’s value is pretty much settled into what it is. He actually has some pretty reliable value as a late-round arm. Leake’s ERA will be in the high 3’s like it has been five of the last seven years, while his WHIP will be in the 1.2’s like it has his entire career. He’ll be a lock for 180 innings pitched, 130 strikeouts, and 30 starts. It’s not exciting, but it’s not going to hurt. (Keaton DeRocher)

119) Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals, (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 83)

First reaction for this write up: Tanner Roark is 31? It feels like last year he was 28 and locked in as the fifth starter in an interesting Washington rotation. Since then Roark has alternated between really good seasons and not so great seasons: 2.85 ERA in 2014, 4.38 ERA in 2015, 2.83 ERA in 2016 and 4.67 ERA in 2017. The good news is if the trend continues he’s due for another sub-3 ERA season this year. More good news: he was able to top 166 strikeouts each of the last two seasons. He may not be consistent but if you like to gamble, Roark is your man. (Keaton DeRocher)

120) Riley Pint, Colorado Rockies, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 120)

Drafted 4th overall by the Rockies in 2016, Pint has a large frame (6’4”, 195 lbs) and a massive fast ball to go with it. His fastball touches triple digits with movement, and he has a plus curveball which misses plenty of bats. However, there’s something else he misses quiet often as well: the strike zone. Pint’s command is very poor, and in order to reach his max potential of a top-of-the-rotation arm, he needs it at some point or he’s the next Daniel Bard. (Keaton DeRocher)

The Author

Ben Diamond

Ben Diamond

Ben is an annoyingly enthusiastic fantasy baseball player and Yankees fan, and he writes about those passions at Baseball Prospectus and The Dynasty Guru. There's a 95% chance he's ranting about Michael Pineda right now.

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