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Rest of Season Fantasy Baseball Rankings: May and McCullers Jr. Moving Up

Since his return on August 2, Jacob deGrom has looked like his old self. He has shown no signs of rust, posting an absurd 0.55 WHIP and 44.7 strikeout rate. Those numbers are nearly identical to the ones he posted in his historic first half last season. But deGrom is not the only pitcher to have returned recently after missing most of the season. Dustin May took the Dodger Stadium mound for the first time in nearly 500 days last Saturday. He also looked every bit as dominant as he did before having Tommy John surgery last May. And Lance McCullers Jr. has posted a 1.69 ERA in three starts since returning from a flexor tendon injury. The arrows are pointing up on both May and McCullers in terms of my rest of season rankings as we approach the final month of the season.

Dustin May Outlook

Dustin May struck out half of the 18 batters he faced in Saturday’s victory against the Miami Marlins. He posted a 41 percent CSW (called strike and whiff) rate. What was most impressive to me about his outing was that he had success with all his pitches. He had at least a 35 percent CSW rate on five different offerings. Sure, he only threw 11 cutters and three changeups, but the point remains. The command of his repertoire right off the bat is extremely encouraging for his rest of season outlook. And yes, the Marlins are not exactly the best offensive barometer in the Major Leagues. They have scored the fourth-fewest runs in baseball. But who exactly is going to string together quality at-bats and make hard contact against this arsenal?

I have bumped May up in my rankings into my top-50 starting pitchers going forward. I may not be high enough based on his massive upside. My main concern is that the Dodgers are likely to use a six-man rotation once Clayton Kershaw returns next week. Because of that, it is very possible that May will never have a week where he gets two starts. Most high-end pitchers will enjoy at least one such week from now until the end of the regular season. The Dodgers also do not need to overextend him, with a playoff berth on the horizon. May threw 71 pitches in his first outing, and will slowly ramp up in the coming weeks. On a per-inning basis, I expect May to perform at an elite level. But I think he will throw roughly 10 innings less than most ace-caliber pitchers.  

Lance McCullers Outlook

Despite the low ERA, McCullers Jr. has been a bit of a mixed bag in his first three starts of 2022. He has shut out opponents in two of three outings. However, he has struggled mightily with his command and control. He has walked a whopping 14.9 percent of batters thus far. McCullers Jr. has never exactly had pinpoint control. His walk rate in nearly 700 Major League innings is almost 10 percent. But he has usually been able to mitigate the damage with a high strikeout rate. That has not yet been the case this season, however. McCullers Jr. has punched out just 19.4 percent of hitters through three starts. When your K-BB percentage is just above Dallas Keuchel’s, that is a problem.

His average fastball velocity is about one mile per hour less than it was last season. That could explain a bit of the trouble he is encountering. McCullers Jr. has generated just one whiff on 29 swings against his sinker so far. In Friday’s start, he maxed out at 95.8 MPH but averaged just 92.7 MPH. Perhaps he is trying to be more judicious when he lets it fly. But he will have to figure that out to become a trusted fantasy commodity over the final six weeks. His slider and curveball have been excellent, with whiff rates of 37.5 and 29.6 percent, respectively. The curveball has long been a weapon for McCullers Jr. But the slider has been extremely effective considering he did not implement it until last season. If and when he figures out his command of the sinker, look out.  

I do think McCullers Jr. will turn it around sooner rather than later despite his struggles. There is usually an adjustment period for most pitchers after such a long layoff. If the Astros stick with a five-man rotation for the next few weeks, his next four starts would be against the Angels, Rangers, Tigers, and Athletics. There are not a whole lot of pitchers who face a friendlier foursome. With wins seemingly being harder than ever to come by for starting pitchers, Lance McCullers Jr. could provide fantasy managers with a boost in that category down the stretch. I moved McCullers Jr. up about 50 spots overall in this week’s ROS rankings based on his upside and upcoming schedule.

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Rest of Season Fantasy Baseball Rankings

RankPlayer NameTeamPosition
1Jose RamirezCLE3B
2Trea TurnerLAD2B
3Aaron JudgeNYYCF
4Ronald Acuna Jr.ATLDH
5Mookie BettsLAD2B
6Vladimir Guerrero Jr.TOR1B
7Rafael DeversBOS3B
8Juan SotoSDRF
9Gerrit ColeNYYSP
10Corbin BurnesMILSP
11Shohei OhtaniLAASP
12Freddie FreemanLAD1B
13Yordan AlvarezHOULF
14Kyle TuckerHOURF
15Manny MachadoSD3B
16Jacob deGromNYMSP
17Luis RobertCWSCF
18Paul GoldschmidtSTL1B
19Pete AlonsoNYM1B
20Austin RileyATL1B
21Bo BichetteTORDH
22Julio RodriguezSEACF
23Justin VerlanderHOUSP
24Max ScherzerNYMSP
25Sandy AlcantaraMIASP
26Shane McClanahanTBSP
27Bobby Witt Jr.KC3B
28Starling MarteNYMCF
29Aaron NolaPHISP
30Matt OlsonATL1B
31George SpringerTORCF
32Cedric Mullins IIBALCF
33Teoscar HernandezTORDH
34Mike TroutLAACF
35Brandon WoodruffMILSP
36Kevin GausmanTORSP
37Bryce HarperPHIDH
38Shane BieberCLESP
39Jose AltuveHOU2B
40Corey SeagerTEXDH
41Carlos RodonSFSP
42Randy ArozarenaTBDH
43Dylan CeaseCWSSP
44Jose AbreuCWS1B
45Francisco LindorNYMSS
46Nolan ArenadoSTL3B
47Xander BogaertsBOSSS
48Joe MusgroveSDSP
49Robbie RaySEASP
50Christian YelichMILDH
51Marcus SemienTEX2B
52Dansby SwansonATLSS
53Giancarlo StantonNYYLF
54Julio UriasLADSP
55Will SmithLADC
56Anthony RizzoNYY1B
57Bryan ReynoldsPITCF
58Eloy JimenezCWSDH
59Max FriedATLSP
60Jorge PolancoMIN2B
61Carlos CorreaMINSS
62Alek ManoahTORSP
63J.D. MartinezBOSLF
64Edwin DiazNYMRP
65Liam HendriksCWSRP
66C.J. CronCOL1B
67Frankie MontasNYYSP
68Josh BellSD1B
69Yu DarvishSDSP
70Nick CastellanosPHIDH
71Ryan MountcastleBAL1B
72Whit MerrifieldTOR2B
73Ketel MarteARI2B
74Lucas GiolitoCWSSP
75Luis CastilloSEASP
76Willson ContrerasCHCC
77Charlie MortonATLSP
78Jonathan IndiaCIN2B
79Framber ValdezHOUSP
80Chris BassittNYMSP
81Emmanuel ClaseCLERP
82Ty FranceSEA1B
83Freddy PeraltaMILSP
84Tommy EdmanSTL2B
85Pablo LopezMIASP
86Kyle SchwarberPHI1B
87Andres GimenezCLE2B
88Seiya SuzukiCHCLF
89Logan WebbSFSP
90Adolis GarciaTEXCF
91Amed RosarioCLECF
92Brandon LoweTB2B
93Jordan RomanoTORRP
94J.T. RealmutoPHIC
95Alejandro KirkTORC
96Lourdes Gurriel Jr.TOR1B
97Logan GilbertSEASP
98Gleyber TorresNYY2B
99Willy AdamesMILSS
100Jose BerriosTORSP
101Alex BregmanHOU3B
102Nelson CruzWSHDH
103Rhys HoskinsPHI1B
104Daulton VarshoARIC
105Ian HappCHCCF
106Spencer StriderATLRP
107Tyler O'NeillSTLCF
108Sean ManaeaSDSP
109Blake SnellSDSP
110Josh HaderSDRP
111Zac GallenARISP
112Luis GarciaHOUSP
113Lance LynnCWSSP
114Rowdy TellezMIL1B
115Jeremy PenaHOUSS
116Austin HaysBALLF
117DJ LeMahieuNYY1B
118Alex VerdugoBOSLF
119Justin TurnerLAD3B
120Tommy PhamBOSCF
121Jordan MontgomerySTLSP
122Tony GonsolinLADSP
123Sonny GrayMINSP
124Nathaniel LoweTEX1B
125Brendan RodgersCOL2B
126Cody BellingerLADCF
127Javier BaezDET2B
128Byron BuxtonMINCF
129Kenley JansenATLRP
130Hunter RenfroeMILCF
131Salvador PerezKCC
132Oneil CruzPITSS
133Steven KwanCLECF
134Ke'Bryan HayesPIT3B
135Cristian JavierHOUSP
136Craig KimbrelLADRP
137Andrew VaughnCWS1B
138Kolten WongMIL2B
139Mike ClevingerSDSP
140Matt ChapmanTOR3B
141Charlie BlackmonCOLDH
142Jake CronenworthSD1B
143Joe RyanMINSP
144Patrick SandovalLAASP
145Andrew BenintendiNYYLF
146Alex WoodSFSP
147Franmil ReyesCHCRF
148Max MuncyLAD1B
149Mitch HanigerSEARF
150Trevor StoryBOS2B
151Zack WheelerPHISP
152Dylan CarlsonSTLLF
153Alex CobbSFSP
154Kyle WrightATLSP
155Taylor WardLAALF
156Josh RojasARI2B
157Triston McKenzieCLESP
158Josh NaylorCLE1B
159Dustin MayLADSP
160Yuli GurrielHOU1B
161Adley RutschmanBALC
162Camilo DovalSFRP
163Adam WainwrightSTLSP
164Luis ArraezMIN1B
165AJ PollockCWSCF
166Gavin LuxLAD2B
167Eduardo RodriguezDETSP
168Christian WalkerARI1B
169Devin WilliamsMILRP
170Alec BohmPHI3B
171Randal GrichukCOLCF
172Wander FrancoTB3B
173Anthony SantanderBALDH
174George KirbySEASP
175Marcus StromanCHCSP
176Jean SeguraPHI2B
177Jameson TaillonNYYSP
178Aroldis ChapmanNYYRP
179Brandon NimmoNYMLF
180Ryan PresslyHOURP
181Brandon DrurySD1B
182Jazz Chisholm Jr.MIA2B
183Jeff McNeilNYM2B
184Clayton KershawLADSP
185Jon BertiMIA2B
186Alek ThomasARICF
187Nick LodoloCINSP
188Ranger SuarezPHISP
189Scott BarlowKCRP
190Yandy DiazTB1B
191Ryan McMahonCOL2B
192Ozzie AlbiesATL2B
193Andrew HeaneyLADSP
194MJ MelendezKCC
195Chris TaylorLAD2B
196David RobertsonPHIRP
197Nico HoernerCHC2B
198Christopher MorelCHC2B
199Keibert RuizWSHC
200Brady SingerKCSP
201Andrew McCutchenMILDH
202Corey KluberTBSP
203Tanner ScottMIARP
204David BednarPITRP
205Tyler AndersonLADSP
206Luis UriasMIL2B
207Kris BryantCOL1B
208Joey GalloLADDH
209Gregory SotoDETRP
210Daniel BardCOLRP
211Eric LauerMILSP
212Michael Harris IIATLCF
213Jesse WinkerSEADH
214Jose IglesiasCOL2B
215Jeffrey SpringsTBRP
216Jorge LopezMINSP
217Ramon LaureanoOAKCF
218Ryan HelsleySTLRP
219Paul SewaldSEARP
220Thairo EstradaSF2B
221Jose QuintanaSTLSP
222Joc PedersonSFCF
223Travis d'ArnaudATLC
224Giovanny GallegosSTLRP
225German MarquezCOLSP
226Josh DonaldsonNYY3B
227Mike YastrzemskiSFCF
228Merrill KellyARISP
229Jose UrquidyHOUSP
230Mark CanhaNYMLF
231Lance McCullers Jr.HOUSP
232Jhoan DuranMINRP
233Luis GarciaWSH2B
234Trey ManciniHOU1B
235Luke VoitWSH1B
236Danny JansenTORC
237Trevor RogersMIASP
238Drew RasmussenTBSP
239Joey WendleMIA2B
240J.P. CrawfordSEASS
241Max KeplerMINCF
242Felix BautistaBALRP
243Riley GreeneDETCF
244Jose MirandaMIN1B
245Miles MikolasSTLSP
246Reid DetmersLAASP
247Josiah GrayWSHSP
248Christian VazquezHOU1B
249Nolan GormanSTL2B
250David FletcherLAA2B
251Miguel RojasMIASS
252JT BrubakerPITSP
253Garrett WhitlockBOSRP
254A.J. PukOAKRP
255Aaron CivaleCLESP
256Andres MunozSEARP
257Mark MelanconARIRP
258Nick PivettaBOSSP
259Noah SyndergaardPHISP
260Carlos CarrascoNYMSP
261Kyle GibsonPHISP
262Dany JimenezOAKRP
263Marcell OzunaATLDH
264Eddie RosarioATLLF
265Avisail GarciaMIARF
266Myles StrawCLECF
267Manuel MargotTBCF
268Jake McCarthyARICF
269Clay HolmesNYYRP
270Aaron AshbyMILSP
271Jesus LuzardoMIASP
272Michael KopechCWSSP
273Seth BrownOAK1B
274Steven MatzSTLSP
275Brandon CrawfordSFSS
276Nick SenzelCIN2B
277Nestor Cortes Jr.NYYSP
278Nathan EovaldiBOSSP
279Luis GarciaSDRP
280Jason AdamTBRP
281Sean MurphyOAKC
282Dane DunningTEXSP
283Adam FrazierSEA2B
284Eugenio SuarezSEA3B
285Isiah Kiner-FalefaNYYSS
286Harold RamirezTB1B
287John SchreiberBOSRP
288Tyler MahleMINSP
289Yusei KikuchiTORSP
290Oscar GonzalezCLERF
291Ross StriplingTORSP
292Harrison BaderNYYCF
293Alexis DiazCINRP
294Patrick CorbinWSHSP
295Zach PlesacCLESP
296Patrick WisdomCHC1B
297Kyle FinneganWSHRP
298Jonah HeimTEXC
299Jon GrayTEXSP
300Connor JoeCOL1B
301Trent GrishamSDCF
302William ContrerasATLC
303Carson KellyARIC
304Kendall GravemanCWSRP
305Gio UrshelaMIN3B
306Raisel IglesiasATLRP
307Colin PocheTBRP
308Austin MeadowsDETDH
309Taijuan WalkerNYMSP
310Jorge SolerMIADH
311Raimel TapiaTORCF
312Mike MinorCINSP
313Hector NerisHOURP
314Jurickson ProfarSD1B
315Dillon TateBALRP
316Cal RaleighSEAC
317Roansy ContrerasPITSP
318Tim AndersonCWSSS
319Rowan WickCHCRP
320A.J. MinterATLRP
321Martin PerezTEXSP
322Austin SlaterSFLF
323Emilio PaganMINRP
324Taylor RogersMILRP
325Zach JacksonOAKRP
326Keegan AkinBALSP
327Matt BushMILRP
328Eric HosmerBOS1B
329Joe MantiplyARIRP
330Ian KennedyARIRP
331Jonathan HernandezTEXRP
332Ryan TeperaLAARP
333Wilmer FloresSF1B
334Pete FairbanksTBRP
335Christian BethancourtTB1B
336Wil CrowePITRP
337Edward CabreraMIASP
338Matt BarnesBOSRP
339Ian AndersonATLSP
340Rafael OrtegaCHCCF
341Brooks RaleyTBRP
342Dylan BundyMINSP
343Yoan MoncadaCWS3B
344Matt MooreTEXSP
345David PeraltaTBDH
346Andrew BellattiPHIRP
347Garrett CooperMIA1B
348Rafael MonteroHOURP
349Justin SteeleCHCSP
350Diego CastilloSEARP
351Gary SanchezMINC
352Nicky LopezKC2B
353Cole SulserMIARP
354James KarinchakCLERP
355Erik SwansonSEARP
356Jeimer CandelarioDET3B
357Jesus AguilarMIA1B
358Brock BurkeTEXRP
359Trevor StephanCLERP
360Adam CimberTORRP
361Evan PhillipsLADRP
362Bryan AbreuHOURP
363Madison BumgarnerARISP
364Chris StrattonSTLRP
365Yadier MolinaSTLC
366Bobby DalbecBOS1B
367Nick FortesMIAC
368Jorge MateoBAL2B
369Matt FestaSEARP
370Matt StrahmBOSRP
371Cole IrvinOAKSP
372Brusdar GraterolLADRP
373Vinnie PasquantinoKC1B
374Tyrone TaylorMILLF
375Brandon HughesCHCRP
376Jake FraleyCINLF
377Jose QuijadaLAARP
378Jonathan LoaisigaNYYRP
379Caleb ThielbarMINRP
380Ben GamelPITCF
381Brayan BelloBOSSP
382Seth LugoNYMRP
383Shane BazTBSP
384Jimmy HergetLAARP
385Carl Edwards Jr.WSHRP
386Bailey OberMINSP
387Luis SeverinoNYYRP
388Brad HandPHIRP
389Clarke SchmidtNYYRP
390Eli MorganCLERP
391Tylor MegillNYMSP
392Dominic LeoneSFSP
393Brandon BeltSF1B
394Cal QuantrillCLESP
395Kike HernandezBOS2B
396Wandy PeraltaNYYRP
397Matt BrashSEASP
398Santiago EspinalTOR2B
399Drew SmylyCHCSP
400Drew SteckenriderSEARP
401Kyle FarmerCIN3B
402LaMonte Wade Jr.SF1B
403Brett MartinTEXRP
404Isaac ParedesTB1B
405Ian GibautCINRP
406Marco GonzalesSEASP
407Cesar HernandezWSH2B
408Yasmani GrandalCWS1B
409Chris ArcherMINSP
410Jonathan SchoopDET1B
411MacKenzie GoreWSHSP
412Owen MillerCLE1B
413Evan LongoriaSF3B
414Tyler NaquinNYMCF
415Juan YepezSTL1B
416JT ChargoisTBRP
417Tanner HouckBOSSP
418Carlos EstevezCOLRP
419Reynaldo LopezCWSSP
420Elvis AndrusCWSSS
421Hunter GreeneCINSP
422Jarren DuranBOSCF
423Josh StaumontKCRP
424Michael WachaBOSSP
425Mitch KellerPITSP
426Ryan ThompsonTBRP
427Brandon MarshPHICF
428Trevor RichardsTORRP
429Jesus SanchezMIACF
430Nick MadrigalCHC2B
431Miguel CabreraDET1B
432Glenn OttoTEXSP
433Zach EflinPHISP
434Lou TrivinoNYYRP
435Keegan ThompsonCHCSP
436David PetersonNYMSP
437Daniel LynchKCSP
438Seranthony DominguezPHIRP
439Dylan FloroMIARP
440Joe BarlowTEXRP
441Art WarrenCINRP
442Eduardo EscobarNYM1B
443A.J. GriffinFASP
444Jake OdorizziATLSP
445Tyler WellsBALRP
446Tommy La StellaSF2B
447Robbie GrossmanATLLF
448Nolan JonesCLE3B
449Elias DiazCOLC
450Elehuris MonteroCOL1B
451Omar NarvaezMILC
452Michael FulmerMINSP
453Hunter StricklandCINRP
454Will SmithHOURP
455Ji-Man ChoiTB1B
456Jalen BeeksTBRP
457Jonathan VillarSEA2B
458Ryne StanekHOURP
459Mike MayersLAARP
460Frank SchwindelCHC1B
461Dylan LeeATLRP
462Victor CaratiniMILC
463Sam HentgesCLESP
464Austin BarnesLADC
465Jake DiekmanCWSRP
466Tony KempOAK2B
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