The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Starting Pitcher Barometer, Week 3: Either Rodon Or Rodon’t

Hold onto your nachos, children! This week has been a fun one. Well, unless you drafted Stephen Strasburg or one of The Fallers. There are plenty of starters who have made tangible adjustments, leading to success stories. Casey Mize is one example, rocking an extra mile and a half with his fastball. Freddy Peralta is riding increased slider usage to a 15.5 K/9 and 2.00 ERA through 18 IP (3 GS). Matthew Boyd has had more success with his changeup (55% CSW in his last start!!) and avoided the long ball. There is a ton more to soak in, so let’s dive into this week’s biggest movers in my starting pitcher rankings.

What?! Your league is not using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.

The Starting Pitcher Barometer

The Risers

Carlos Rodon, CHW (+9) – Rodon wasn’t the biggest riser in my starting pitcher rankings by any means, but I don’t care! You can’t stop me from writing about him! I’ve been a huge Rodon fan ever since he was drafted. He’s made some mechanical adjustments this year which have been very beneficial. So much so that he was one lazy foot-plunking away from a perfect game last week.

Rodon Statcast

Rodon ranks in MLB’s 10th percentile leaders in essentially every expected metric on Statcast. His fastball velo is up two ticks and his control has dramatically improved thanks to his adjustments. His 1.93 BB/9 is easily the best of his career, while his Zone% is actually the lowest at 40.2%. Obviously, based on my ranking, I’m not saying Rodon is suddenly an ace. You always have to worry about his health, and his control isn’t likely to be quite this good moving forward. Still, he should remain a useful starter in all formats this season.


Alex Cobb, LAA (+18) – COVID cancellations have screwed Cobb from making his latest start. I’d like to see more of him, but what we’ve seen so far is encouraging, to say the least. What has fueled his 13.11 K/9? Well don’t look now MacReady, but it’s a lot more of The Thing!!

Cobb starting pitcher rankings

Yes, the splitter/changeup hybrid which Cobb dubbed “The Thing” has been his most used pitch! That’s something that he’s never done before. He has backed off the fastballs with 33% usage and tossed a whopping 45%, uhh, Things. That pitch has a lovely .214 xwOBA and 46.7% whiff rate, so the more the better as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully, I don’t have to tie you to a chair and probe your blood to get you interested.


The Fallers

Patrick Corbin, WSH (-16) – If you endured Corbin’s latest 2 IP, 9 ER start…my condolences. In addition to a 21.32 ERA through two starts (6.1 IP), he has more walks (7) and nearly as many homers allowed (4) as strikeouts (6). Not great, Bob. It’s not just bad luck, either. His velocity dipped in 2020, and it’s still down to this point. It is a small sample, but it’s still baffling that he has tossed just 24.5% sliders – his best pitch.

He’s tried working in a new cutter to give him a legit third pitch, but hasn’t really had a chance to prove if it can be effective. At this point, adding a cutter seems like grasping at straws. I don’t have much confidence in Corbin returning to his ace-level production with the reduced velo and a bad changeup. That said, he should right the ship to an extent and be a competent mid-tier starter.

Carlos Martinez, STL (-18) – Speaking of diminished velocity, we have C-Mart returning to his starting role. Back in his heyday he averaged 96.7 MPH on the fastball. This year, well…not so much. He’s averaging 92.4 MPH in 2021, leaning more on his cutter (90.3 MPH) than ever instead. The cutter has a .468 xwOBA, which is less than idea. Rather than just ragging on everything that has sucked so far, I’ll just drop in this image for your eyeballs to absorb.

CMart Statcast Sliders

Is that bad? He’s not missing bats, and frankly, I don’t think he’ll be useful in 10- or 12-team mixers anytime soon. He could make some adjustments, theoretically, and recover some velocity. I think it’s more likely he leaves the Top 100 list instead.


The Newcomers

Anthony DeSclafani, SF (SP63) – I held out on Tony Disco for a while before adding him to the list. Don’t yell at me, I was busy scrubbing the acrid taste of his 2020 7.22 ERA out of my mouth. He hasn’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of opponents either, with his last two being the Rockies at home and a trip to that weird cave in Miami. He has opted for a few more curves than sliders so far, but the key has been more grounders with the fastball. His launch angle has dropped from 22 degrees in 2020 to seven degrees this year. That has led to more grounders and fewer homers. I’m prepared to go back in time with my fondue set and do the Disco, particularly for home matchups.


Alex Wood, SF (SP73) – Making his triumphant return from a back injury, Wood pitched like a redwood among shrubberies. He tossed five shutout innings, giving up just three hits and striking out four without issuing a walk. He hasn’t actually been an effective fantasy asset since 2018, but this start leaves room for optimism. Wood used his breaking ball 44% of the time with an effective 42% CSW on it. His fastball was a solid 91.6 MPH and he spotted it well, earning 10 called strikes. As long as the command and the offspeed usage remain elevated, I’m gonna be excited to get some Wood.


Huascar Ynoa, ATL (SP77) – We saw the good and the bad with Ynoa over this past week. After a 10-strikeout gem against Miami in his first start, Ynoa blew up for six runs against what had been a sleepwalking Cubs lineup. Huascar also happens to be the sound I make when I get kicked in the nuts, and that’s how you felt after that last start. We can expect that sort of volatility as long as he’s in the Braves rotation. He has been working in more changeups, but in all reality, Ynoa is a fastball/slider pitcher. Without a viable third pitch, his innings will be limited. He’ll miss plenty of bats and be useful just because of that, but his ceiling is limited.


Top 100 Starting Pitcher Rankings

RnkNamePrev. Rank
1Jacob deGrom1
2Gerrit Cole2
3Shane Bieber3
4Aaron Nola4
5Trevor Bauer5
6Clayton Kershaw6
7Lucas Giolito7
8Yu Darvish8
9Walker Buehler9
10Tyler Glasnow10
11Corbin Burnes14
12Max Scherzer11
13Lance Lynn12
14Luis Castillo13
15Brandon Woodruff16
16Zack Wheeler19
17Jack Flaherty17
18Blake Snell18
19Hyun Jin Ryu25
20Jose Berrios20
21Sandy Alcantara21
22Zac Gallen22
23Kenta Maeda15
24Sonny Gray23
25Max Fried24
26Zack Greinke26
27Charlie Morton31
28Aaron Civale28
29Joe Musgrove29
30Lance McCullers27
31Dylan Bundy32
32Marcus Stroman37
33Frankie Montas35
34Julio Urias36
35Freddy Peralta46
36Pablo Lopez41
37Kyle Hendricks33
38Zach Plesac30
39Tyler Mahle50
40Ian Anderson38
41Yusei Kikuchi42
42Michael Pineda43
43Jesus Luzardo39
44Chris Paddack44
45Trevor Rogers45
46Shohei Ohtani47
47Mike Minor48
48Carlos Rodon57
49Zach Eflin58
50Patrick Corbin34
51German Marquez49
52Ryan Yarbrough51
53John Means52
54Kevin Gausman54
55Dustin May55
56Matthew Boyd56
57Triston McKenzie63
58Jameson Taillon59
59Eduardo Rodriguez60
60Nathan Eovaldi61
61JT Brubaker71
62Jordan Montgomery62
63Anthony DeSclafaniNA
64Brady Singer75
65Jose Urquidy78
66Casey Mize91
67Matt Shoemaker66
68Andrew Heaney67
69Corey Kluber68
70Robbie Ray65
71Carlos Martinez53
72Alex Cobb90
73Alex WoodNA
74Dallas Keuchel64
75Dylan Cease73
76Taylor Widener94
77Huascar YnoaNA
78Taijuan Walker85
79Sean Manaea79
80Dane Dunning87
81Logan Webb70
82Marco Gonzales76
83Luke Weaver81
84Adbert Alzolay82
85Justus Sheffield84
86Garrett Richards72
87Steven Matz100
88Kyle GibsonNA
89Jordan Lyles88
90Griffin Canning89
91Mitch Keller77
92Chris Bassitt83
93Christian Javier92
94Adrian Houser93
95David Peterson92
96Jeff Hoffman95
97Spencer TurnbullNA
98Zach Davies74
99Bruce Zimmermann86
100Tarik Skubal99

Fell Off The List

Stephen Strasburg (Injury), Johnny Cueto (Injury), Drew Smyly (Injury), Brad Keller (Performance), Aaron Sanchez (Performance), Adrian Morejon (Injury), JA Happ (Performance).

Are you on board with Nathan’s starting pitcher rankings? For more help in getting ready for the coming week, check out Eric Cross’s latest Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020 and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.