RotoWire Partners

Weekly Pitcher Rankings: It's Good to be the King

Paul Sporer

Sporer covers pitching for RotoWire. He also writes for Baseball Prospectus and publishes an annual guide on starting pitcher. In his spare time, he roots for the Tigers.

As always, remember that rotations are subject to change, so if you see something that isn't correct, assume that it was a change that has occurred since this was written and feel free to politely bring it up in the comments, and I'll let you know where the new arm slots.

For the week June 2-8

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Felix Hernandez – at NYY, at TB
Note: 2.30 ERA and 30 K in 31.1 IP since the 0 K effort at OAK
2. Alex Cobb – at MIA, SEA
Note: I don't really hold bad outings vs. TOR against SPs ... they're the AL's Colorado
3. James Shields – STL, NYY
4. Scott Kazmir – at NYY, at BAL
Note: How is his resurgence not getting more love overall?
5. Masahiro Tanaka – OAK
6. Max Scherzer – BOS
7. Corey Kluber – BOS
Note: Logged at least 8 Ks all six of his May (60 in 43 IP)
8. Hisashi Iwakuma – at ATL
9. Yu Darvish – CLE
Note: Pushed back with his neck, monitor his start on Saturday
10. Chris Sale – at LAA
11. David Price – MIA
12. Anibal Sanchez – TOR, BOS
Note: The meeting against TOR puts him behind some other 1-start studs
13. C.J. Wilson – at HOU, CWS
14. John Lackey – at CLE, at DET
Note: Tough matchups, but Lackey has been great with 2 or fewer ER in 8 of his 11 starts
15. Jose Quintana – at LAD, at LAA
Note: Gets overlooked, but he's developed into a very steady option
16. Jon Lester – at DET
Note: Lester, Gray, and Weaver drop a bit with tough matchups in a 1-start week
17. Sonny Gray – at BAL
18. Jered Weaver – CWS
19. Hiroki Kuroda – OAK, at KC
Note: 4.00 ERA in May was markedly better than 5.28 in April; 6.2 K:BB says even better work might be on way
20. Chris Archer – at MIA, SEA
21. David Phelps – SEA, at KC
Note: Has a 3.18 ERA and 2.2 K:BB ratio in five starts since joining the rotation
22. Dallas Keuchel – at MIN
Note: One of the best breakouts of the season so far and his component numbers back it up
23. Collin McHugh – LAA
Note: His curveball has arguably been the best strikeout pitch for any starter this season
24. Phil Hughes – HOU
25. Yordano Ventura – STL
Note: This start is TBD ... stay tuned for confirmation
26. Garrett Richards – at HOU
27. Jesse Chavez – at NYY
Note: Faded a bit in May w/three starts under 6 IP, but his 3.90 ERA wasn't too bad
28. Justin Verlander – TOR
Note: Languished through May, but finished with a gem; rough matchup for him to try and stay hot, though
29. John Danks – at LAD
Note: The Dodgers are trash vs. LHP and Danks has been strong in four of his last five
30. Tyler Skaggs – CWS
31. Mark Buehrle – STL
Note: I'm still a bit skeptical ... but the TOR offense should support him even if (when) the ERA regresses
32. Jake Odorizzi – MIA
33. Drew Smyly – BOS
34. Drew Pomeranz – at NYY
Note: The next time he logs 6 IP will be the first time this year
35. R.A Dickey – at DET
36. Kyle Gibson – at MIL, HOU
37. Roenis Elias – at TB
38. Rick Porcello – TOR
Note: Had 9 BB in first nine starts before a 6 BB nightmare in OAK
39. Chase Whitley – at KC
Note: Still waiting to make his home debut
40. Brad Peacock – LAA
Note: Looked solid in May with a 4.02 ERA and 34 Ks in 31.3 IP over five starts
41. Erik Bedard – SEA
42. Drew Hutchison – at DET, STL
Note: On the fence here as Hutch has severe home/road splits (7.71/2.33 ERA split)
43. Trevor Bauer – at TEX
Note: Looking better in 2014, but still far from a completed product

SIT


44. Danny Duffy – at STL, NYY
45. Bud Norris – at TEX, OAK
Note: Can't trust any of these next three in TEX, even with their lighter lineup
46. Justin Masterson – BOS, at TEX
47. Ubaldo Jimenez – at TEX
48. Rubby de la Rosa – at DET
Note: I'm a huge fan, but this is a rough matchup for his second start of the season
49. Wei-Yin Chen – OAK
50. Chris Tillman – OAK
Note: Allowed 2 HR in first four w/1.71 ERA; has allowed 7 HR in last seven w/7.30 ERA
51. Jarred Cosart – LAA
52. Jason Vargas – STL
53. Jake Peavy – at CLE
54. J.A. Happ – at DET
55. Samuel Deduno – at MIL, HOU
56. Scott Feldman – at MIN
57. Chris Young – at TB
58. Miguel Gonzalez – at TEX
59. Nick Tepesch – CLE
60. Brandon Maurer – at ATL
61. Matt Shoemaker – at HOU
62. Brandon Workman – at CLE
63. Colby Lewis – BAL
64. Nick Martinez – BAL
65. Ricky Nolasco – MIL
66. Tommy Milone – at BAL
67. Vidal Nuno – OAK
68. Josh Tomlin – at TEX
69. Jeremy Guthrie – NYY
70. Andre Rienzo – at LAA
71. Liam Hendriks – at DET, STL
72. Hector Noesi – at LAD
73. T.J. House – BOS
74. Kevin Correia – MIL
75. Joe Saunders – BAL

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START


1. Clayton Kershaw – CWS, at COL
Note: Holds the top NL spot even with a trip to Colorado
2. Adam Wainwright – at KC
Note: Has allowed 13 of his 22 ER in two starts
3. Johnny Cueto – PHI
4. Gerrit Cole – at SD
Note: Fanned 37 in 37 May IP w/4 QS in six tries
5. Stephen Strasburg – PHI
Note: Since his 4 IP/6 ER dud at MIA – 2.03 ERA, 57 K, 5.7 K:BB in 53.3 IP
6. Madison Bumgarner – at CIN
Note: Bounced back from April w/a brilliant May – 2.08 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 48 Ks, and 9.6 K:BB ratio in 39 IP
7. Julio Teheran – at ARI
8. Doug Fister – at SD
Note: He's been excellent since struggling in his season debut with a 1.86 ERA and 15:1 K:BB ratio
9. Jeff Samardzija – MIA
10. Zack Greinke – at COL
Note: Don't love the matchup obviously, but he's been excellent this year
11. Michael Wacha – at KC
12. Cole Hamels – at CIN
Note: If the 4.43 ERA offers any sort of discount, pounce on it
13. Nathan Eovaldi – at CHC
14. Zack Wheeler – at CHC, at SF
Note: Inconsistency is annoying, but skills are there for an ERA nearly a run lower than his 4.31
15. Homer Bailey – SF, PHI
Note: 5 QS in six tries during May, but still just a 4.26 ERA thanks to his 3.7 IP/6 ER dud at PHI; still running him out there
16. Bartolo Colon – at PHI, at SF
17. Ervin Santana – at ARI
18. Dan Haren – CWS
Note: Has allowed more than 3 ER just once this year (4 ER at ARI)
19. Mike Minor – SEA
20. Hyun-Jin Ryu – at COL
Note: Matchup obviously drops him some
21. Jordan Zimmermann – PHI
Note: 74 H in 59.7 IP is worrisome, but I'm still buying long-term
22. Wily Peralta – at MIN
23. Kyle Lohse – at PIT
Note: Took 11 starts to finally allow more than 3 ER (4 ER vs. BAL)
24. Tyson Ross – WAS
25. Tanner Roark – at SD
26. Jon Niese – at SF
Note: He remains underrated despite yet another great stretch of work
27. Ian Kennedy – PIT
28. Mike Leake – SF
Note: He's not a sub-3.00 ERA guy with these skills, but a mid-3.00s ERA is definitely viable
29. Gavin Floyd – SEA
30. Jason Hammel – MIA
31. Aaron Harang – at ARI
Note: The skills say this is very real so while I understand the skepticism, some of it should be fading two months into the season
32. Brandon McCarthy – ATL
33. Tim Hudson – NYM
34. Josh Beckett – CWS
35. Ryan Vogelsong – at CIN
36. Dillon Gee (or Jacob deGrom) – at CHC
Note: Obviously if it's deGrom, drop him down into the sits
37. Wade Miley – ATL
38. Henderson Alvarez – TB, at CHC
39. Alfredo Simon – PHI
Note: He and Cingrani are battling for their spot each time out with Latos closer to returning
40. Yovani Gallardo – MIN, at PIT
Note: The mid-3.00s ERA is a mirage if these skills continue
41. Charlie Morton – at SD, MIL
42. Brandon Cumpton – MIL
43. Francisco Liriano – at SD
Note: A trip to SD gives him a shot to get hot with back-to-back gems
44. Marco Estrada – at MIN
Note: He's allowed at least 1 HR in all but one start and 17 overall
45. A.J. Burnett – at WAS
46. Tony Cingrani – SF
Note: He's a mess right now and currently fighting for his rotation spot
47. Jordan Lyles – ARI
48. Travis Wood – NYM
Note: Erased a pair of gems w/a 7 ER dud in MIL, but this matchup is too good to pass up
49. Jake Arrieta – NYM, MIA
50. Jorge de la Rosa – ARI, LAD
51. Rafael Montero – at CHC
Note: Unsurprisingly inconsistent early on, but the skills are there and this is a prime matchup
52. Tom Koehler – at TB
53. Tim Lincecum – at CIN, NYM
Note: Had a strong May (2.86 ERA), but left his last outing w/blister so stay tuned

SIT


54. Edwin Jackson – NYM
55. Yusmeiro Petit – NYM
56. Jaime Garcia – KC, at TOR
Note: I'm not sending the three Cards into TOR, especially Miller, who has been awful lately
57. Lance Lynn – at TOR
58. Shelby Miller – KC, at TOR
59. Matt Garza – MIN, at PIT
60. Tim Stauffer – PIT, WAS
Note: Thanks for that start this week, Timmy ... supercool stuff!
61. Josh Collmenter – at COL
Note: Congrats on your shutout, now kindly find your spot on the bench
62. Edinson Volquez – MIL
63. Jhoulys Chacin – LAD
64. Franklin Morales – LAD
65. Donn Roach – PIT
66. Juan Nicasio – ARI
67. Chase Anderson – at COL, ATL
68. David Buchanan – at WAS, at CIN
69. Blake Treinen – PHI, at SD
70. Bronson Arroyo – at COL
71. Kyle Kendrick – at WAS
72. Eric Stults – WAS
73. Roberto Hernandez – NYM, at CIN
74. Jacob Turner – at TB
75. Randy Wolf – TB, at CHC

MLB TOP 100


1. Felix Hernandez – at NYY, at TB
Note: 2.30 ERA and 30 K in 31.1 IP since the 0 K effort at OAK
2. Clayton Kershaw – CWS, at COL
Note: Holds the top NL spot even with a trip to Colorado
3. Alex Cobb – at MIA, SEA
Note: I don't really hold bad outings vs. TOR against SPs ... they're the AL's Colorado
4. James Shields – STL, NYY
5. Scott Kazmir – at NYY, at BAL
Note: How is his resurgence not getting more love overall?
6. Masahiro Tanaka – OAK
7. Max Scherzer – BOS
8. Corey Kluber – BOS
Note: Logged at least 8 Ks all six of his May (60 in 43 IP)
9. Adam Wainwright – at KC
Note: Has allowed 13 of his 22 ER in two starts
10. Johnny Cueto – PHI
11. Gerrit Cole – at SD
Note: Fanned 37 in 37 May IP w/4 QS in six tries
12. Stephen Strasburg – PHI
Note: Since his 4 IP/6 ER dud at MIA – 2.03 ERA, 57 K, 5.7 K:BB in 53.3 IP
13. Madison Bumgarner – at CIN
Note: Bounced back from April w/a brilliant May – 2.08 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 48 Ks, and 9.6 K:BB ratio in 39 IP
14. Julio Teheran – at ARI
15. Hisashi Iwakuma – at ATL
16. Yu Darvish – CLE
Note: Pushed back with his neck, monitor his start on Saturday
17. Chris Sale – at LAA
18. David Price – MIA
19. Doug Fister – at SD
Note: He's been excellent since struggling in his season debut with a 1.86 ERA and 15/1 K:BB ratio
20. Jeff Samardzija – MIA
21. Zack Greinke – at COL
Note: Don't love the matchup obviously, but he's been excellent this year
22. Anibal Sanchez – TOR, BOS
Note: The meeting against TOR puts him behind some other 1-start studs
23. C.J. Wilson – at HOU, CWS
24. John Lackey – at CLE, at DET
Note: Tough matchups, but Lackey has been great with 2 or fewer ER in 8 of his 11 starts
25. Jose Quintana – at LAD, at LAA
Note: Gets overlooked, but he's developed into a very steady option
26. Michael Wacha – at KC
27. Cole Hamels – at CIN
Note: If the 4.43 ERA offers any sort of discount, pounce on it
28. Nathan Eovaldi – at CHC
29. Zack Wheeler – at CHC, at SF
Note: Inconsistency is annoying, but skills are there for an ERA nearly a run lower than his 4.31
30. Homer Bailey – SF, PHI
Note: 5 QS in six tries during May, but still just a 4.26 ERA thanks to his 3.7 IP/6 ER dud at PHI; still running him out there
31. Bartolo Colon – at PHI, at SF
32. Ervin Santana – at ARI
33. Dan Haren – CWS
Note: Has allowed more than 3 ER just once this year (4 ER at ARI)
34. Mike Minor – SEA
35. Jon Lester – at DET
Note: Lester, Gray, and Weaver drop a bit with tough matchups in a 1-start week
36. Sonny Gray – at BAL
37. Jered Weaver – CWS
38. Hiroki Kuroda – OAK, at KC
Note: 4.00 ERA in May was markedly better than 5.28 in April; 6.2 K:BB says even better work might be on way
39. Chris Archer – at MIA, SEA
40. David Phelps – SEA, at KC
Note: Has a 3.18 ERA and 2.2 K:BB ratio in five starts since joining the rotation
41. Dallas Keuchel – at MIN
Note: One of the best breakouts of the season so far and his component numbers back it up
42. Collin McHugh – LAA
Note: His curveball has arguably been the best strikeout pitch for any starter this season
43. Phil Hughes – HOU
44. Hyun-Jin Ryu – at COL
Note: Matchup obviously drops him some
45. Jordan Zimmermann – PHI
Note: 74 H in 59.7 IP is worrisome, but I'm still buying long-term
46. Wily Peralta – at MIN
47. Kyle Lohse – at PIT
Note: Took 11 starts to finally allow more than 3 ER (4 ER vs. BAL)
48. Tyson Ross – WAS
49. Tanner Roark – at SD
50. Jon Niese – at SF
Note: He remains underrated despite yet another great stretch of work
51. Ian Kennedy – PIT
52. Mike Leake – SF
Note: He's not a sub-3.00 ERA guy with these skills, but a mid-3.00s ERA is definitely viable
53. Gavin Floyd – SEA
54. Jason Hammel – MIA
55. Aaron Harang – at ARI
Note: The skills say this is very real so while I understand the skepticism, some of it should be fading two months into the season
56. Yordano Ventura – STL
Note: This start is TBD ... stay tuned for confirmation
57. Garrett Richards – at HOU
58. Jesse Chavez – at NYY
Note: Faded a bit in May w/three starts under 6 IP, but his 3.90 ERA wasn't too bad
59. Justin Verlander – TOR
Note: Languished through May, but finished with a gem; rough matchup for him to try and stay hot, though
60. John Danks – at LAD
Note: The Dodgers are trash vs. LHP and Danks has been strong in four of his last five
61. Tyler Skaggs – CWS
62. Brandon McCarthy – ATL
63. Tim Hudson – NYM
64. Josh Beckett – CWS
65. Ryan Vogelsong – at CIN
66. Mark Buehrle – STL
Note: I'm still a bit skeptical ... but the TOR offense should support him even if (when) the ERA regresses
67. Jake Odorizzi – MIA
68. Drew Smyly – BOS
69. Dillon Gee (or Jacob deGrom) – at CHC
Note: Obviously if it's deGrom, drop him down into the sits
70. Wade Miley – ATL
71. Henderson Alvarez – TB, at CHC
72. Alfredo Simon – PHI
Note: He and Cingrani are battling for their spot each time out with Latos closer to returning
73. Yovani Gallardo – MIN, at PIT
Note: The mid-3.00s ERA is a mirage if these skills continue
74. Charlie Morton – at SD, MIL
75. Brandon Cumpton – MIL
76. Francisco Liriano – at SD
Note: A trip to SD gives him a shot to get hot with back-to-back gems
77. Marco Estrada – at MIN
Note: He's allowed at least 1 HR in all but one start and 17 overall
78. A.J. Burnett – at WAS
79. Drew Pomeranz – at NYY
Note: The next time he logs 6 IP will be the first time this year
80. R.A Dickey – at DET
81. Tony Cingrani – SF
Note: He's a mess right now and currently fighting for his rotation spot
82. Jordan Lyles – ARI
83. Travis Wood – NYM
Note: Erased a pair of gems w/a 7 ER dud in MIL, but this matchup is too good to pass up
84. Jake Arrieta – NYM, MIA
85. Jorge de la Rosa – ARI, LAD
86. Rafael Montero – at CHC
Note: Unsurprisingly inconsistent early on, but the skills are there and this is a prime matchup
87. Tom Koehler – at TB
88. Tim Lincecum – at CIN, NYM
Note: Had a strong May (2.86 ERA), but left his last outing w/blister so stay tuned
89. Kyle Gibson – at MIL, HOU
90. Roenis Elias – at TB
91. Rick Porcello – TOR
Note: Had 9 BB in first nine starts before a 6 BB nightmare in OAK
92. Chase Whitley – at KC
Note: Still waiting to make his home debut
93. Brad Peacock – LAA
Note: Looked solid in May with a 4.02 ERA and 34 Ks in 31.3 IP over five starts
94. Erik Bedard – SEA
95. Drew Hutchison – at DET, STL
Note: On the fence here as Hutch has severe home/road splits (7.71/2.33 ERA split)
96. Trevor Bauer – at TEX
Note: Looking better in 2014, but still far from a completed product
97. Edwin Jackson – NYM
98. Yusmeiro Petit – NYM
99. Jaime Garcia – KC, at TOR
Note: I'm not sending the three Cards into TOR, especially Miller, who has been awful lately
100. Lance Lynn – at TOR