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 17
The Padres are impossible to figure out so we can throw that out of the equation. And Zac Gallen has continued his transformation into one of the elite pitchers in MLB, compiling a 5:1 K:BB this season in 155.2 IP.
The Royals have been raking lately, cruising to a 125 wRC+ over the last two weeks. George Kirby was DOMINANT in his last start, though he was a hard-luck loser after the Mariners lost it in extra innings. I think this is going to be a fun game to watch. (Also, quick aside: how exciting is it to watch Bobby Witt Jr. go off? The amount of young, dynamic talent that is taking over baseball is something to behold.)
Lance Lynn’s been absolutely fantastic in his first three starts for the Dodgers, striking out 22 in 15 innings while only walking four. Excited to see if he can keep it up against a light-hitting Brewers lineup.
Taking on Lynn’s Dodgers will be Corbin Burnes, who has put together what is quite possibly the most frustrating 3.60 ERA season ever. As a Burnes owner, I’ve never been so torn as to whether or not to bench him. The Dodgers are too good. But I think at this point in the season, you probably have to bite the bullet and hope for the best.
The Fun Dice Rolls
Tarik Skubal probably should be a must-start against the Guardians in Cleveland, honestly. He’s been great. But his name just calls to be in this category.
If we’re being disciplined, we wait one start to see how Sale looks. That would be the measured and smart play. But seeing as this is making-playoffs time for so many of us, Chris Sale’s strikeout-upside is just too tantalizing to pass up.
The Not-So-Sure Things
This is a Stars and Scrubs list if I have ever seen it, after Sale it gets ROUGH.
The Only If You Musts
I would only suggest using Jose Quintana in the hope of a Mets win against the Cardinals and the wounded spirit of Adam Wainwright’s fastball.
The Hail Marys
Rich Hill and Patrick Corbin are certainly capable of pulling out a win, as they face the Diamondbacks and Red Sox, respectively. Please only use them in the most dire of circumstances. It’s called self-care, people!
Just Don’t Do It
A moment of self-disclosure: I love Adam Wainwright. As a lifelong Cardinals fan, he (along with Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina) represents a whole decade of enjoyable memories and great baseball. Waino has been solid and fun and honest and a great competitor. So watching these struggles as he attempts to win 200 games before he retires at the end of the season has been tough. He’s been BAD. Like 12.00+ ERA bad; I legitimately won’t look it up because I can’t stand to look. But maybe, just maybe, he makes it happen! I am pulling for him!
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