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Top-100 2022 Starting Pitcher Rankings: A Gallen of Greatness

Rankings are always important in Fantasy Baseball, regardless of whether it’s pre-season or during the regular season. The purpose of these rankings throughout the season will be to help determine the top-100 pitchers on ROS value. Basically, if you did a draft today, here’s how I would rank the top 100 arms. Hopefully, these ongoing 2022 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings can help with in-season management.

Pitcher Notes

Zac Gallen, ARI: There haven’t been many better pitchers than Zac Gallen over the last 30 days. In 32 innings, Gallen has recorded a stellar 1.13 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 6% walk rate, and a 31% strikeout rate. For pitchers with at least 20 innings over this timeframe, Gallen ranks 11th in K-BB%, 3rd in ERA, 6th in FIP, and 5th in WHIP. This string of dominance has lowered Gallen’s ERA to 2.66 on the season and pushed his WHIP below 1.00 to 0.97. All four of Gallen’s offerings have been effective in the month of August, with his curveball eclipsing a 40% whiff rate for the first month this season as well. He’s back to pushing ace status.

Jordan Montgomery, STL: Sometimes, all a player needs is a change of scenery to give their season the kick in the rear end that it needs. That’s exactly the case with Jordan Montgomery. Here are his four starts since being acquired by St. Louis at the trade deadline:

8/6: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, K

8/12: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

8/17: 5.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 0 BB, 8 K

8/22: 9 IP, H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

Total: 25.2 IP, 13 H, ER, 3 BB, 24 K

One alteration I noticed regarding Montegomery’s pitch usage was the decreased sinker usage and increased 4-seam usage since landing in St. Louis. It appears to be doing wonders too as Montgomery’s 4-seamer has a .097 BAA and SLG this month. Montgomery will never be a huge source of strikeouts, but with how he’s pitching, he’s a top-40 SP ROS.

Lucas Giolito, CHW: Is Giolito broken? We keep waiting for him to snap out of this season-long funk he’s been in, but with each passing start, that glimmer of hope continues to dim. Over the last 30 days, Giolito has posted an unsightly 6.12 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over 25 innings. And at this point, I’m struggling to find reasons to hold onto him in redraft leagues. He’s a decent buy-low in dynasty formats, but this season appears to be a lost cause for Giolito unfortunately.

Edward Cabrera, MIA: In four starts since returning from the IL, Cabrera has yet to allow an earned run over 22.2 innings with a 0.79 WHIP and 33.3% strikeout rate. That 11.9% walk rate remains the wart on this electric profile, but Cabrera is making it work right now thanks to an arsenal that can carve up opposing lineups. All three of his offspeed pitches (Curve, Slider, Changeup) have a whiff rate north of 35% this season and Cabrera’s four-seamer has been highly-effective as well with a .087 BAA, .217 SLG, and even a 27.9% whiff rate. The arrow is firmly pointing up here for redraft and dynasty leagues.

Justin Steele, CHC: While the team is floundering through a sub-.500 season, one massive bright spot lately for the Cubbies has been the emergence of Justin Steele. For the season, Steele has an impressive 3.25 ERA across 113.2 innings, but he’s been especially dominant over the last two months. Since July 1st, Steele has posted a 1.43 ERA and that has dropped to 0.68 over the last 30 days to pair with a 36.4% strikeout rate.

But should we buy in? Steele has always deployed a 4-seam/slider heavy approach and that combined usage has sailed past 90% in both July and August. While his slider has been effective this season with a .130 BAA and .188 SLG, opposing batters are hitting over .300 against his four-seamer which he throws close to 60% of the time. All of his ERA indicators are close to his actual ERA, but mostly two-pitch arms without those two being dominant offerings always give me pause. For this season, you got to ride the streak as basically all trade deadlines have passed, but I might look to deal Steele in the offseason in dynasty leagues.

Merrill Kelly, ARI: It feels like nobody is talking about how quietly excellent Merrill Kelly has been this season. Through 25 starts, Kelley has a 2.87 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while averaging around six innings per start. The strikeouts haven’t been elite, but 21.2% is definitely passable when it comes with those aforementioned ratios and the volume of innings he’s producing. Kelley is currently on a 10-start streak with 3 ER or less and you have to go way back to May 17th to find an outing where he really hurt you. Even without the huge K rate, Kelly should be considered a top-50 SP ROS.

Matt Manning, DET: Due to his name and former prospect pedigree, I’m sure many are excited by Matt Mannings’s recent success. I’m included in that group as well. Manning was considered a top-5 pitching prospect by many just a couple of years ago but has struggled with consistency and staying on the mound in general. He’s also transformed into a completely different pitcher than when I saw him back in Double-A in 2019, incorporating a slider as his primary breaking ball while limiting his curve usage, a pitch that was considered plus as a prospect. That slider has been highly effective, however, with a .190 BAA, .238 SLG, and 40.4% whiff rate this season, but Manning still has middle of the road whiff and chase rates with a strikeout rate under 20%. Until he can get that K rate a bit higher, he’s going to settle in as a back-end top-100 fantasy arm for me.

Cade Cavalli, WAS: With not much else going on in Washington, the Nationals will try to create some excitement by promoting Cade Cavalli for his Major League debut on Friday. Cavalli has long been considered one of the best pitching prospects in the game but command and control inconsistencies have plagued him over the last 12-18 months, dimming his prospect shine a tad. Overall in 2022, Cavalli has a solid 3.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with a 25.9% strikeout rate, but the walk rate remained an issue. However, Cavalli has made gains lately with a respectable 8.3% walk rate since July 1st. The upside is worth a look in 12+ team leagues.

Injured Arms

Both Eovaldi and Carrasco have dropped out of my top 100 for now along with Clayton Kershaw who did last week. Tyler Mahle will remain in for now. Aaron Ashby also fell out this week after landing on the IL with “fantasy manager annoyance syndrome”.

Nathan Eovaldi, BOS: Right shoulder inflammation caused the Red Sox to place Nathan Eovaldi on the IL earlier this week. it’s retroactive to the 19th, so Eovaldi could return early next week, but with Boston falling out of contention, they’re likely not going to rush back Eovaldi who has demonstrated severely diminished velocity recently. He’s a hold for now if you can, but keep an eye on updates coming out of Boston over the next few days.

Carlos Carrasco, NYM: Carrasco hit the IL on Tuesday due to an oblique strain which likely means he’s not going to pitch much more in the regular season outside of a postseason tuneup or two. He can probably be dropped in 10 and 12-team leagues.

If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. For more rankings, check out Eric’s Top-400 Prospect Rankings or Chris Clegg’s Top-500 OBP Dynasty Rankings, and make sure to check out the Fantrax Toolshed Podcast for more dynasty talk!

Top-100 2022 Starting Pitcher Rankings

NOTE: Prospects will not be added until they have been called up to the Majors.

1Jacob deGromNYM1
2Max ScherzerNYM3
3Corbin BurnesMIL2
4Shane McClanahanTBR4
5Justin VerlanderHOU8
6Sandy AlcantaraMIA5
7Gerrit ColeNYY6
8Julio UriasLAD11
9Dylan CeaseCHW7
10Brandon WoodruffMIL10
11Zack WheelerPHI9
12Carlos RodonSFG14
13Aaron NolaPHI12
14Shohei OhtaniLAA13
15Max FriedATL15
16Shane BieberCLE16
17Zac GallenARI21
18Luis CastilloSEA17
19Spencer StriderATL19
20Charlie MortonATL20
21Kevin GausmanTOR22
22Yu DarvishSDP18
23Freddy PeraltaMIL23
24Joe MusgroveSDP24
25Chris BassittNYM27
26Cristian JavierHOU28
27George KirbySEA34
28Alek ManoahTOR25
29Framber ValdezHOU29
30Triston McKenzieCLE30
31Nestor CortesNYY31
32Blake SnellSDP32
33Tony GonsolinLAD33
34Dustin MayLAD43
35Logan WebbSFG26
36Jordan MontgomerySTL56
37Jesus LuzardoMIA35
38Lance LynnCHW36
39Adam WainwrightSTL40
40Edward CabreraMIA55
41Reid DetmersLAA37
42Robbie RaySEA38
43Kyle WrightATL39
44Alex CobbSFG41
45Justin SteeleCHC59
46Luis GarciaHOU42
47Merrill KellyARI48
48Logan GilbertSEA45
49Pablo LopezMIA46
50Frankie MontasNYY47
51Jeffrey SpringsTBR61
52Jose UrquidyHOU49
53Sonny GrayMIN57
54Brady SingerKCR58
55Drew RasmussenTBR60
56Tyler AndersonLAD51
57Mike ClevingerSDP52
58Hunter GreeneCIN53
59Lance McCullers JrHOU54
60Joe RyanMIN62
61Nick LodoloCIN63
62Ranger SuarezPHI68
63Kyle GibsonPHI74
64Jon GrayTEX76
65Alex WoodSFG50
66Andrew HeaneyLAD77
67Jose BerriosTOR71
68Martin PerezTEX69
69Marcus StromanCHC72
70Jameson TaillonNYY73
71Eric LauerMIL75
72Tyler MahleMIN44
73Patrick SandovalLAA91
74Ryan YarbroughTBRNR
75Noah SyndergaardLAA80
76Jose SuarezLAA96
77Eduardo RodriguezDET88
78Cole IrvinOAK70
79Braxton GarrettMIA66
80Lucas GiolitoCHW79
81Nick PivettaBOS93
82James KaprielianOAK86
83Michael WachaBOS94
84Dane DunningTEX95
85Cal QuantrillCLE84
86Aaron CivaleCLE98
87Michael KopechCHW65
88Jose QuintanaSTL90
89Josiah GrayWAS85
90Domingo GermanNYYNR
91Drew SmylyATLNR
92Ross StriplingTOR100
93Matt ManningDETNR
94German MarquezCOL81
95Cade CavalliWASNR
96Sean ManaeaSDP89
97Corey KluberTBR92
98Brayan BelloBOSNR
99Graham AshcraftCINNR
100Ryan PepiotLADNR

Media Credit: 

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  1. Daniel C. says

    Thank you! I am in a guillotine league, and roster adds/drops are locked for the playoffs which starts in a couple of weeks. I have great bats, but need to improve my starting pitchers, and I have the FAAB to do so. I didn’t think guillotine baseball could be so fun, but it has been a blast, and your lists are especially helpful!

    I don’t know anywhere else to play fantasy, guillotine baseball, but for those who may be interested next year:

  2. BB says

    I realize guys get pushed up because of movement around them, but still surprising to see Jon Gray rise 12 spots while on the IL.

  3. Kevin Weber says

    How much did Jacob deGrom’s injury impact his rating?

    1. Eric Cross says

      I was worried he’d just get reinjured soon and not pitch a ton ROS. I’m moving him up.

  4. Drew says

    A little disrespectful towards Gausman having him at 21, no?

    1. Eric Cross says

      He has a 3.81 ERA and 1.47 WHIP since June 1st.

  5. AJ says

    “The Brewers have worked their magic on arms frequently over the last few seasons, but Ashby is proving to be more of a challenge than his predecessors. ”

    I think you forget… Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta had HUGE challenges to start their careers

  6. Joe says

    Great work as always, Eric. Can I get your opinion on this trade in a 16-team dynasty keeper league? Scoring categories for pitchers are QS, W, Ks, ERA, WHIP, K/9, Saves, Holds.

    Team 1 is the defending champion and fighting for playoff position this year:

    Team 1 receives: Tyler Mahle
    Team 2 receives: Andre Pallante, James Kaprillean, James Karinchak

    1. Eric Cross says

      Thank you! I’d want a lot more than that for Mahle.

  7. Edwin says

    Fair enough… thanks for the hard work!

  8. Edwin says

    Curious about the absence of Taijuan Walker… sub-3.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, K’s picking up, hasn’t had a klunker since May 5 @PHI, last two starts have been dominant. Still concerns about inconsistency, or just didn’t make the cut?

    1. Eric Cross says

      I almost put him in and probably should have. Big cluster of names at the back end. Likely in next week if this continues.

  9. Johnny Swish says

    Kevin Gausman? I don’t get it

    1. Eric Cross says

      What don’t you get?

  10. Ben Polin says

    arent you doing verlander a little dirty?he has the best era in baseball as of now and one of the best wars?

    1. Eric Cross says

      WAR doesn’t factor into fantasy rankings. He’s easily top-10 for me, not sure how that’s doing him dirty.

  11. Wally😃 says

    Adam Wainwright at 70? Come on

  12. Bruce Carlson says

    Great stuff. Minor correction- Tyler Anderson LAD, not SEA

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