Raise your hand if you’ve had constant headaches in the pitching department this season. If your hand is up (you know it is) then hopefully my daily starting pitcher rankings can help set things right.
While pitching is always a bit of a minefield to navigate, 2023 has felt particularly trying. Constant injuries, openers, DFAs, innings rest in the minors, blisters, addiction struggles, role changes…if you could think of a way to disrupt a fantasy staff, it’s probably already happened. Fantasy ILs are at max capacity right now.
This leads us to the unenviable position of streaming. To stream or not to stream is an age-old fantasy dilemma. However, that question is one for the beginning of the season not for when your squad is clawing and scratching to get into the playoffs. This is the time when risk and reward are at their maximum, some dreams may be realized while others are certain to be crushed. It’s a bumpy road that’s filled with potholes and booby traps and one that is not for the faint of heart, but with some courage and know-how and not an insignificant amount of good luck, you can come out on the other side with some wins in your pocket and a smile on your face.
In an effort to aid your quest, we’ve put together some daily starting pitcher ranks. Good luck with those waiver wires!
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Daily Starting Pitcher Rankings for August 12
***The list was put together before the Yankees decided on how to replace the re-injured Nestor Cortes***
The Sure Things
Despite his rough outing earlier in the week, Spencer Strider is still the number one option on my list. Certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s against the Mets. Don’t overthink this one!
Second day in a row that a Brewers pitcher sits in the top tier. Woodruff looked great in his season debut and pulls the Sox today. Locked and loaded.
Kirby has quickly become my pitching crush this season, so trying hard to stay neutral here. The O’s can be a tough match-up but T-Mobile is a forgiving place to pitch.
Wild to me that I have Steele over Gallen but I am worried about the Padres in hitting-friendly Chase Field.
The Not-So-Sure Things
Sandy, Sandy, Sandy, what to do with you? Alcantara has been better since the All-Star Break but still provides quite a bit of uncertainty when deciding whether or not to slide him into your lineup.
Bello has been such a revelation this season, interested to see where he goes in drafts next season. The Tigers have only managed a .727 OPS in the last two weeks, Bello’s got this.
Bassitt and Lopez feel like they belong next to each other here. Both are facing teams that run hot/cold and in tough-hitting environments, so I wouldn’t disagree if you could get away with benching them.
Last week’s Fantasy Baseball Darling of the Minute, Cole Ragans takes the mound against St. Louis on a real heater and looking for his third straight quality start. His numbers have been eye-popping so far: a 19:2 K:BB and an ERA of 0.65. My heart keeps telling me no but my body keeps telling me yes so I would start start start in any league.
The Only If You Musts
Andrew Heaney and Tony Gonsolin are one and the same for me. They are zero-consistency, high-high variance guys whose poles are too extreme for my liking. Saturday, both are facing weak NL West opponents. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I would stream/start if I had the opportunity.
As an admitted SP addict, I too love the Guardians’ young stable of starters. And Gavin Williams may very well end up being the best of the group. The Rays are gonna Ray, though; start with caution.
Ohtani will undoubtedly hit a home run against him but J.P. France seems quite capable of continuing his awesome run, though there might be some innings limit.
Do you trust Steven Matz’s “resurgence”? I don’t, not yet. Definitely not against Bobby Witt while he grows into his predestined Superstar status.
Despite all thoughts and predictions to the contrary, Brandon Williamson seems as if he has unlocked something over his last four starts (despite one stinker against the Cubs). Very possible that he is available in your league and could be a sneaky add.
The Hail Marys
My stupid “I’ve Got A Feeling About This One” pick of the day is going to Jake Irvin against the Athletics. Not exactly a hot take, I know, picking the guy who’s pitching against the worst team in baseball.
Matt Manning is going to prove me wrong, watch. I want no part in him against the suddenly-lame-again Red Sox in Fenway.
Last ditch effort to snag some Ks? Stream Medina against the Nationals. Expecting a win, however, would be an exercise in futility.
Just Don’t Do It
The last of the bunch is a group of veterans: Rich Hill, Alex Cobb, Taijuan Walker and Tyler Anderson. The only guys that are even worth considering are Cobb and Walker. That being said, just scan your wire for a ratios guy instead of giving yourself that type of headache.
Thanks as always for stopping by, we’ll be back tomorrow! If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas, or just want to drop a virtual high-five, send a note to loogydo[email protected] and give us a follow on Twitter @LDeePee