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SP Ranking Outliers

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Listed below are the positional rankings put together by Ryan Boyer, Nate Grimm, Nick Nelson, Matthew Pouliot, D.J. Short, Dave Shovein and Drew Silva. There are ultimately going to be some disagreements, presenting an opportunity for the writer to explain why they’re higher or lower on that player than the rest of the group.

 

Player Boyer Grimm Nelson Pouliot Short Shovein Silva Staff Composite
Clayton Kershaw 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Max Scherzer 3 4 2 4 3 2 2 2 2.86
Noah Syndergaard 4 3 7 2 2 4 4 3 3.71
Madison Bumgarner 2 5 4 6 4 3 3 4 3.86
Chris Sale 5 2 3 3 5 7 6 5 4.43
Corey Kluber 6 7 6 7 7 5 5 6 6.14
Jake Arrieta 7 6 8 5 8 10 8 7 7.43
Yu Darvish 10 10 5 8 6 6 9 8 7.71
Jon Lester 8 16 12 10 9 9 7 9 10.14
Stephen Strasburg 12 8 9 12 14 12 11 10 11.14
Johnny Cueto 9 9 13 16 12 11 10 11 11.43
Justin Verlander 11 17 10 11 10 8 17 12 12
Carlos Carrasco 14 11 17 13 11 14 12 13 13.14
Jacob deGrom 13 14 16 14 13 17 16 14 14.71
David  Price 19 13 11 15 21 16 18 15 16.14
Kyle Hendricks 24 15 15 9 16 20 15 16 16.29
Carlos Martinez 15 19 18 19 15 15 14 17 16.43
Chris Archer 16 12 26 27 17 13 13 18 17.71
Masahiro Tanaka 20 21 14 18 18 19 20 19 18.57
Cole Hamels 17 20 28 23 22 18 19 20 21
Jose Quintana 18 26 23 21 19 28 22 21 22.43
Gerrit Cole 29 18 19 22 23 30 24 22 23.57
Julio Teheran 27 25 24 34 26 23 28 23 26.71
Rich Hill 21 29 33 29 29 22 30 24 27.57
Rick Porcello 42 24 25 26 27 29 21 25 27.71
Lance McCullers 26 23 20 20 30 38 41 26 28.29
Zack Greinke 22 28 36 36 36 24 25 27 29.57
Matt Harvey 35 22 29 24 31 36 36 28 30.43
James Paxton 28 30 32 25 25 37 42 29 31.29
Aaron Nola 51 27 21 17 20 45 45 30 32.29
Jameson Taillon 33 35 22 33 34 35 34 31 32.29
Danny Duffy 23 40 54 46 24 25 23 32 33.57
Kenta Maeda 25 50 46 48 28 21 26 33 34.86
Michael Fulmer 36 39 45 35 32 26 32 34 35
Danny Salazar 37 32 39 40 37 31 29 35 35
Felix Hernandez 38 38 31 37 40 33 31 36 35.43
Dallas Keuchel 34 34 34 38 41 34 37 37 36
John Lackey 31 41 41 30 35 42 40 38 37.14
Marcus Stroman 47 49 35 32 33 40 39 39 39.29
Steven Matz 44 31 42 39 43 41 38 40 39.71
Matt Shoemaker 30 37 37 31 38 47 NR 41 40.14
Julio Urias 49 36 27 42 54 43 35 42 40.86
Aaron Sanchez 45 47 57 55 46 27 27 43 43.43
Joe Ross 48 33 30 28 47 NR 59 44 43.71
Kevin Gausman 32 58 51 53 39 32 43 45 44
Jake Odorizzi 43 46 48 51 44 48 53 46 47.57
Jeff Samardzija NR 45 38 41 49 51 49 47 47.71
Matt Moore 41 60 40 50 50 46 52 48 48.43
Jon Gray 54 43 50 47 55 44 54 49 49.57
Alex Cobb 39 52 44 43 48 NR NR 50 49.71
Sonny Gray 50 44 49 57 45 59 51 51 50.71
Michael Pineda 53 42 43 44 NR 56 NR 52 51.43
Carlos Rodon 46 56 52 54 57 53 48 53 52.29
Anthony DeSclafani NR NR NR 45 42 52 57 54 54.14
Sean Manaea 55 NR NR 59 59 39 46 55 54.29
Marco Estrada 52 59 NR 52 51 56 56 56 55.29
J.A. Happ NR NR NR 58 53 50 44 57 55.43
Vincent Velasquez 57 53 NR NR 60 49 47 58 55.43
Tanner Roark NR NR NR NR 52 NR 33 59 55.71
Lance Lynn 40 NR NR NR NR NR 50 60 56.43

 

 

Starter Outliers

 

Dave Shovein had Jake Arrieta 10. The composite ranking was 7.43.

 

For the past few years I have been one of the most ardent supporters of Arrieta. There are serious concerns about the 31-year-old right-hander heading into the 2017 campaign, however. While he has been unbelievable in his time with the Cubs, Arrieta logged a massive 248 2/3 innings during his Cy Young Award winning 2016 season, an increase of nearly 100 innings from the previous year. Could that be part of the reason for his slight fall-off in 2016? Arrieta saw his velocity dip nearly a full mph, from 94.6 to 93.7 on his average fastball. He also nearly doubled his walk rate (9.6% from 5.5%) while getting fewer strikeouts. His issues worsened as the season progressed, registering a 4.44 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 83/41 K/BB ratio over 99 1/3 innings in his final 16 starts. He was able to regroup and pitch well in the postseason, but still it added an additional 22 1/3 innings to an already large workload. He's entering his walk year and will surely be motivated to pitch for a new contract, but I have my doubts that he'll even be able to replicate the success he found in 2016. Pay close attention to his velocity during his final spring starts, as it could be an indicator of things to come. He's still a top-15 starting pitcher on by board, but not someone that I'm willing to trust as the ace of my fantasy staff this season. - Dave Shovein (@DaveShovein)

 

Matthew Pouliot had Kyle Hendricks 9. The composite ranking was 16.29.

 

It took a .250 BABIP and an ERA a full run lower than his FIP to make Hendricks a top-10 fantasy starter last year. Those facts would seem to make it crazy to bet on him again. I’m doing just that, though. That Hendricks’ ERA was so much lower than his FIP wasn’t a fluke; it was a product of pitching in front of the game’s best defense in Chicago.

 

Hendricks: 2.13 ERA, 3.20 FIP

Jon Lester: 2.44 ERA, 3.41 FIP

Jake Arrieta: 3.10 ERA, 3.52 FIP

John Lackey: 3.35 ERA, 3.81 FIP

Jason Hammel: 3.83 ERA, 4.48 FIP

 

And that Cubs defense isn’t going anywhere. The team is taking a downgrade in left, since Kyle Schwarber is healthy again, but center field looks like an upgrade, what with Albert Almora taking over for Dexter Fowler, and Javier Baez is due to get more playing time in the infield. I think those Cubs starters will keep beating their FIPs, and Hendricks is pretty good regardless; he’s a modest groundball pitcher with a fine walk rate and an above average strikeout rate. He also seems like a great bet to stay healthy, as he hasn’t had any problems to date in his career and he’s not at all a max-effort guy in his delivery. I don’t know that he’ll finish this year as a top-10 SP again – he’s not going to match the top guys strikeout for strikeout – but once durability gets factored in, there aren’t 10 better bets on draft day. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)

 

Ryan Boyer had Rick Porcello 42. The composite ranking was 27.71.

 

I think Porcello has legitimately improved. He’s upped his strikeout rate to a respectable number while at the same time maintaining his elite control. He’s also going to have a terrific offense backing him again, so the right-hander should have no problem compiling wins. However, what can’t be disputed is that Porcello was incredibly lucky last season. He had a .269 BABIP that was 38 points lower than his career mark. He had a 74.3 percent LOB rate that was 4.2 percent higher than his career mark. He had a 9.3 percent HR/FB rate that was two percent higher than his career mark, and that was particularly fortunate since he induced the most flyballs of his career by far last season. He also had a walk rate (3.6 percent) that was easily the lowest of his career. All of the above numbers are likely to regress to at least some degree. Porcello is currently being drafted as the No. 26 pitcher and just outside the top-100 overall in NFBC leagues, which is too high for my liking. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)

 

D.J. Short had Julio Urias 54. The composite ranking was 40.86.

 

I didn’t expect to be the low one on Urias, but here we are. Listen, I like Urias just fine. Despite a bit of a rough introduction to the majors last year, he ended up finishing with a 3.39 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 34 walks over 77 innings. Pretty impressive for a teenager. I think he’s going to be valuable in fantasy leagues this year, but growing pains are possible and the Dodgers are going to be careful about his workload once again. He threw 122 innings last year between the majors and the minors, so we’re not talking about a guy who is going to get close to 200 innings. The Dodgers are already mapping out a plan to get him through the year, which will likely include him starting the year in extended spring training. My ranking list is built on who I would draft leading into Opening Day. Urias won’t be placed on the disabled list if he’s sent to extended spring training, so fantasy owners are likely looking at having a dead roster spot for a bit until the Dodgers call him up. I’d just rather have more flexibility on my roster early on in the season, which is why I put him behind a handful of guys I’m sure he’ll be better than if all things were equal. - D.J. Short (@djshort)

 

Drew Silva had Tanner Roark 33. The composite ranking was 55.71.

 

I’m wondering why Roark isn’t getting more late-round love in fantasy drafts this year after he put up a 2.83 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 172 strikeouts in 210 innings (33 starts) last season for the Nationals. Max Scherzer was obviously the ace of the Washington rotation in 2016, but Roark was in many ways the stabilizer as guys like Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez fought through injuries and ineffectiveness. That’s probably why Roark picked up some down-ballot Cy Young votes at the conclusion of the regular season. The 30-year-old right-hander has put up sub-3.00 ERAs in the past and his career ERA through 573 1/3 major league innings is a shiny 3.01. His career WHIP is 1.146. We saw a jump in strikeout rate last season and another step forward in that department this season would make Roark a sure-thing top-30 fantasy starter. I have him ranked 33rd right now. Some of our writers decided not to rank him at all. There are worse ways to spend an 18th-22nd round pick. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)

 

 

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