Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Start Me Up

Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Start Me Up

This article is part of our Weekly Pitcher Rankings series.

I've been thinking a lot about playing time lately. Skills projections are more science than art, but playing time lacks the same reliance on science. The focus is on the player's history, as opposed to how the entire field of players responds to a certain level of recent playing time.

History demonstrates players with "X" years of "Y" innings rarely come close to recent totals, yet we project the high totals. The same is true for batters and plate appearances. 

Things can change, but with only two weeks left in the season, we're looking at an inordinate number of pitchers with at least 30 starts. Here is last season's distribution:

GSNo. of pitchers
334
3217
3113
309
Total43

Including this weekend, there are 16 more days in the season, so the maximum number of remaining starts is three, with the slim chance of four. To reach 30, a hurler needs to currently be at 27.

GSNo. of pitchers
315
309
2917
2814
2713
Total58

There is a chance a handful of pitchers start 34 games. There will almost no doubt be more than last season's four with 33 starts and 17 with 32 starts. Granted, innings are important too, but those are also tracking higher in this group. Projecting the number of starts for some pitchers in 2024 is going to be challenging.

As for this week, there are 95 games, a bit more than an average

I've been thinking a lot about playing time lately. Skills projections are more science than art, but playing time lacks the same reliance on science. The focus is on the player's history, as opposed to how the entire field of players responds to a certain level of recent playing time.

History demonstrates players with "X" years of "Y" innings rarely come close to recent totals, yet we project the high totals. The same is true for batters and plate appearances. 

Things can change, but with only two weeks left in the season, we're looking at an inordinate number of pitchers with at least 30 starts. Here is last season's distribution:

GSNo. of pitchers
334
3217
3113
309
Total43

Including this weekend, there are 16 more days in the season, so the maximum number of remaining starts is three, with the slim chance of four. To reach 30, a hurler needs to currently be at 27.

GSNo. of pitchers
315
309
2917
2814
2713
Total58

There is a chance a handful of pitchers start 34 games. There will almost no doubt be more than last season's four with 33 starts and 17 with 32 starts. Granted, innings are important too, but those are also tracking higher in this group. Projecting the number of starts for some pitchers in 2024 is going to be challenging.

As for this week, there are 95 games, a bit more than an average period. When in doubt, keep in mind rotations will be in greater flux next week with some starters being shut down, or held back for the playoffs, so this is the time to pull out all of the stops.

As always, the schedules are pulled from the Probable Starters page, so please direct questions in that direction. I'm happy to address rankings inquiries below.

UPDATED: Monday September 18, 12:20 AM ET

Week of Sept. 18-24

Mixed

RankPitcherTMOPPComments
1Spencer StriderATLPHI, @WAS 
2Freddy PeraltaMIL@STL, @MIA2.55 ERA and .51 WHIP with 23 K and 1 BB over last 17.2 IP
3Justin VerlanderHOUBAL, KC 
4Brandon WoodruffMIL@MIA 
5Tarik SkubalDET@OAK 
6Framber ValdezHOUKC 
7Luis CastilloSEA@OAK 
8Zack WheelerPHI@ATL, NYMRisky rematch vs. Braves, but needs to make a statement for the playoffs
9Blake SnellSDCOL 
10Zac GallenARISF 
11Corbin BurnesMIL@STL 
12Max FriedATL@WASMissing time has him fresh down the stretch
13Tyler GlasnowTBTOR 
14Zach EflinTBLAA 
15Pablo LopezMINLAA 
16Gerrit ColeNYYTOR 
17Eduardo RodriguezDET@LAD, @OAK 
18Sonny GrayMINLAA 
19Justin SteeleCHCPIT 
20George KirbySEA@OAK 
21Kevin GausmanTOR@NYY 
22Kodai SengaNYM@MIA 
23Logan WebbSF@ARI 
24Joe RyanMIN@CIN, LAA 
25Bobby MillerLADDET 
26Chris BassittTOR@ TB 
27Jose BerriosTOR@NYY 
28Cristopher SanchezPHINYMDeserves better than a 2-4 record
29Merrill KellyARISF 
30Aaron CivaleTBLAA 
31Nathan EovaldiTEXBOS, SEA 
32Tanner BibeeCLEBAL 
33Jordan MontgomeryTEXBOS, SEARangers leaning on him to turn around with Scherzer out
34Clayton KershawLADSF 
35Lance LynnLADDET, SFAllowing homers is not a good thing
36Kyle BradishBAL@HOUGood rehearsal for playoff ball
37Lucas GiolitoCLE@ KC 
38Charlie MortonATL@WAS 
39Braxton GarrettMIANYM 
40Ryan PepiotLADDET, SFOutpitching peripherals, but good home matchups
41Michael KingNYYTOR 
42Reid DetmersLAA@ TB 
43JP SearsOAKSEA, DET 
44Jesus LuzardoMIAMIL 
45Hyun Jin RyuTOR@ TB 
46Bryan WooSEA@OAK, @TEX 
47Chris SaleBOSCWS 
48Hunter GreeneCINMIN 
49Mitch KellerPIT@CHC 
50Seth LugoSDCOL 
51Griffin CanningLAA@ TB 
52Jordan WicksCHCCOL 
53Yusei KikuchiTOR@NYY, @ TB 
54Andrew AbbottCINPIT 
55Zack LittellTBTOR 
56Javier AssadCHCPIT, COL 
57Reese OlsonDET@LAD 
58Brayan BelloBOS@TEX 
59Wade MileyMIL@STL 
60Kyle HendricksCHCCOL 
61J.P. FranceHOUKC 
62Bailey OberMIN@CIN 
63Joey LucchesiNYM@MIA 
64Mike ClevingerCWS@WAS, @BOS 
65Ranger SuarezPHINYM 
66Kenta MaedaMIN@CIN 
67Logan GilbertSEA@TEX 
68Eury PerezMIANYM 
69Michael WachaSDCOL, STL 
70Bryce ElderATLPHI 
71Nick PivettaBOSCWS 
72Kutter CrawfordBOS@TEX, CWS 
73Logan AllenCLE@ KC 
74Jose QuintanaNYM@PHI 
75Cal QuantrillCLE@ KC, BAL 
76Sawyer Gipson-LongDET@OAK 
77Tanner HouckBOS@TEX 
78Jameson TaillonCHCPIT 
79Mix 12 Reliever   
80Cole RagansKC@HOU 
81Gavin WilliamsCLEBAL 
82Patrick SandovalLAA@ TB 
83Chase SilsethLAA@MIN 
84Mix 15 Reliever   
85Taj BradleyTBLAA, TOR 
86Shane BieberCLEBAL 
87Clarke SchmidtNYYTOR, ARI 
88Aaron NolaPHI@ATL 
89Cristian JavierHOUBAL 
90Carlos RodonNYYARI 
91Hunter BrownHOUBAL 
92Taijuan WalkerPHINYM 
93Ben LivelyCINMIN, PIT 
94Tyler AndersonLAA@MIN 
95Joe BoyleOAKDET 
96John MeansBAL@HOU, @CLE 
97Bailey FalterPIT@CHC 
98Kyle WrightATLPHI, @WAS 
99Grayson RodriguezBAL@CLE 
100Edward CabreraMIANYM, MIL 
101Bryce MillerSEA@TEX 
102Johan OviedoPIT@CIN 
103Adrian HouserMIL@STL, @MIA 
104Ken WaldichukOAKDET 
105Dane DunningTEXSEA 
106Sean ManaeaSF@LAD 
107Alex CobbSF@ARI, @LAD 
108Chase AndersonCOL@ SD 
109Jose ButtoNYM@MIA, @PHI 
110Alex FaedoDET@LAD 
111Gavin StoneLADSF 
112Connor SeaboldCOL@ SD 
113Brandon WilliamsonCINPIT 
114Keaton WinnSF@LAD 
115Dean KremerBAL@CLE 
116Michael LorenzenPHI@ATL 
117Miles MikolasSTLMIL 
118Brandon PfaadtARI@NYY 
119Randy VasquezNYYARI 
120Josiah GrayWASCWS 
121Dakota HudsonSTL@ SD 
122Kyle GibsonBAL@HOU 
123Dylan CeaseCWS@BOS 
124Brady SingerKCCLE, @HOU 
125Johnny CuetoMIAMIL 
126Jon GrayTEXBOS 
127Ryan FeltnerCOL@CHC 
128Ty BlachCOL@ SD, @CHC 
129Ross StriplingSF@LAD 
130Joey WentzDET@OAK 
131Drew RomSTLMIL, @ SD 
132Zack GreinkeKCCLE 
133Ryne NelsonARI@NYY 
134Connor PhillipsCINMIN 
135Kenny RosenbergLAA@MIN 
136Luis OrtizPIT@CIN 
137David PetersonNYM@PHI 
138Alec MarshKCCLE 
139Jack FlahertyBAL@CLE 
140Jordan LylesKC@HOU 
141Jose UrenaCWS@WAS 
142Paul BlackburnOAKSEA 
143Luis MedinaOAKDET 
144Zach DaviesARI@NYY 
145Matt WaldronSDSTL 
146Andre JacksonPIT@CIN 
147Chris FlexenCOL@CHC 
148Pedro AvilaSDSTL 
149Zack ThompsonSTLMIL 
150Jake IrvinWASATL 
151Quinn PriesterPIT@CHC 
152Joan AdonWASCWS, ATL 
153Jesse ScholtensCWS@WAS 
154Jackson RutledgeWASCWS 
155Adam WainwrightSTLMIL, @ SDRooting for No. 200
156Touki ToussaintCWS@BOS 
157Tylor MegillNYM@PHI 
158Kyle MullerOAKSEA 
159Patrick CorbinWASATL 
160Trevor WilliamsWASATL 

American League

RankPitcherTMOPPComment
1Justin VerlanderHOUBAL, KC 
2Tarik SkubalDET@OAK 
3Framber ValdezHOUKC 
4Luis CastilloSEA@OAK 
5Tyler GlasnowTBTOR 
6Zach EflinTBLAA 
7Pablo LopezMINLAA 
8Gerrit ColeNYYTOR 
9Eduardo RodriguezDET@LAD, @OAK
10Sonny GrayMINLAA 
11George KirbySEA@OAK 
12Kevin GausmanTOR@NYY 
13Joe RyanMIN@CIN, LAA 
14Chris BassittTOR@ TB 
15Jose BerriosTOR@NYY 
16Aaron CivaleTBLAA 
17Nathan EovaldiTEXBOS, SEA 
18Tanner BibeeCLEBAL 
19Jordan MontgomeryTEXBOS, SEARangers leaning on him to turn around with Scherzer out
20Kyle BradishBAL@HOUGood rehearsal for playoff ball
21Lucas GiolitoCLE@ KC 
22Michael KingNYYTOR 
23Reid DetmersLAA@ TB 
24JP SearsOAKSEA, DET 
25Hyun Jin RyuTOR@ TB 
26Bryan WooSEA@OAK, @TEX 
27Chris SaleBOSCWS 
28Griffin CanningLAA@ TB 
29Yusei KikuchiTOR@NYY, @ TB 
30Zack LittellTBTOR 
31Reese OlsonDET@LAD 
32Brayan BelloBOS@TEX 
33J.P. FranceHOUKC 
34Bailey OberMIN@CIN 
35Mike ClevingerCWS@WAS, @BOS
36Kenta MaedaMIN@CIN 
37Logan GilbertSEA@TEX 
38Nick PivettaBOSCWS 
39Kutter CrawfordBOS@TEX, CWS 
40Logan AllenCLE@ KC 
41Cal QuantrillCLE@ KC, BAL 
42Sawyer Gipson-LongDET@OAK 
43Tanner HouckBOS@TEX 
44Cole RagansKC@HOU 
45Gavin WilliamsCLEBAL 
46Patrick SandovalLAA@ TB 
47Chase SilsethLAA@MIN 
48Taj BradleyTBLAA, TOR 
49Shane BieberCLEBAL 
50Clarke SchmidtNYYTOR, ARI 
51Cristian JavierHOUBAL 
52Carlos RodonNYYARI 
53Hunter BrownHOUBAL 
54Tyler AndersonLAA@MIN 
55Joe BoyleOAKDET 
56AL Reliever   
57John MeansBAL@HOU, @CLE 
58Grayson RodriguezBAL@CLE 
59Bryce MillerSEA@TEX 
60Ken WaldichukOAKDET 
61Dane DunningTEXSEA 
62Alex FaedoDET@LAD 
63Dean KremerBAL@CLE 
64Randy VasquezNYYARI 
65Kyle GibsonBAL@HOU 
66Dylan CeaseCWS@BOS 
67Brady SingerKCCLE, @HOU 
68Jon GrayTEXBOS 
69Joey WentzDET@OAK 
70Zack GreinkeKCCLE 
71Kenny RosenbergLAA@MIN 
72Alec MarshKCCLE 
73Jack FlahertyBAL@CLE 
74Jordan LylesKC@HOU 
75Jose UrenaCWS@WAS 
76Paul BlackburnOAKSEA 
77Luis MedinaOAKDET 
78Jesse ScholtensCWS@WAS 
79Touki ToussaintCWS@BOS 
80Kyle MullerOAKSEA 

National League

RankPitcherTMOPPComment
1Spencer StriderATLPHI, @WAS 
2Freddy PeraltaMIL@STL, @MIA2.55 ERA and .51 WHIP with 23 K and 1 BB over last 17.2 IP
3Brandon WoodruffMIL@MIA 
4Zack WheelerPHI@ATL, NYMRisky rematch vs. Braves, but needs to make a statement for the playoffs
5Blake SnellSDCOL 
6Zac GallenARISF 
7Corbin BurnesMIL@STL 
8Max FriedATL@WASMissing time has him fresh down the stretch
9Justin SteeleCHCPIT 
10Kodai SengaNYM@MIA 
11Logan WebbSF@ARI 
12Bobby MillerLADDET 
13Cristopher SanchezPHINYMDeserves better than a 2-4 record
14Merrill KellyARISF 
15Clayton KershawLADSF 
16Lance LynnLADDET, SFAllowing homers is not a good thing
17Charlie MortonATL@WAS 
18Braxton GarrettMIANYM 
19Ryan PepiotLADDET, SFOutpitching peripherals, but good home matchups
20Jesus LuzardoMIAMIL 
21Hunter GreeneCINMIN 
22Mitch KellerPIT@CHC 
23Seth LugoSDCOL 
24Jordan WicksCHCCOL 
25Andrew AbbottCINPIT 
26Javier AssadCHCPIT, COL 
27Wade MileyMIL@STL 
28Kyle HendricksCHCCOL 
29Joey LucchesiNYM@MIA 
30Ranger SuarezPHINYM 
31Eury PerezMIANYM 
32Michael WachaSDCOL, STL 
33Bryce ElderATLPHI 
34Jose QuintanaNYM@PHI 
35Jameson TaillonCHCPIT 
36Aaron NolaPHI@ATL 
37Taijuan WalkerPHINYM 
38Ben LivelyCINMIN, PIT 
39NL Reliever   
40Bailey FalterPIT@CHC 
41Kyle WrightATLPHI, @WAS 
42Edward CabreraMIANYM, MIL 
43Johan OviedoPIT@CIN 
44Adrian HouserMIL@STL, @MIA 
45Sean ManaeaSF@LAD 
46Alex CobbSF@ARI, @LAD 
47Chase AndersonCOL@ SD 
48Jose ButtoNYM@MIA, @PHI 
49Gavin StoneLADSF 
50Connor SeaboldCOL@ SD 
51Brandon WilliamsonCINPIT 
52Keaton WinnSF@LAD 
53Michael LorenzenPHI@ATL 
54Miles MikolasSTLMIL 
55Brandon PfaadtARI@NYY 
56Josiah GrayWASCWS 
57Dakota HudsonSTL@ SD 
58Johnny CuetoMIAMIL 
59Ryan FeltnerCOL@CHC 
60Ty BlachCOL@ SD, @CHC 
61Ross StriplingSF@LAD 
62Drew RomSTLMIL, @ SD 
63Ryne NelsonARI@NYY 
64Connor PhillipsCINMIN 
65Luis OrtizPIT@CIN 
66David PetersonNYM@PHI 
67Zach DaviesARI@NYY 
68Matt WaldronSDSTL 
69Andre JacksonPIT@CIN 
70Chris FlexenCOL@CHC 
71Pedro AvilaSDSTL 
72Zack ThompsonSTLMIL 
73Jake IrvinWASATL 
74Quinn PriesterPIT@CHC 
75Joan AdonWASCWS, ATL 
76Jackson RutledgeWASCWS 
77Adam WainwrightSTLMIL, @ SDRooting for No. 200
78Tylor MegillNYM@PHI 
79Patrick CorbinWASATL 
80Trevor WilliamsWASATL 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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