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Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Season Finale

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 looks incorrect, assume that it was a change that occurred since this was written and feel free to politely bring it up in the comments, I'll let you know where the new arm slots.

For the week Sept. 28 - Oct. 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

RANKPITCHEROPPCOMMENTS
1David Priceat BALWith TOR: 1.89 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 through 2 IP on Saturday
2Cole HamelsDET, LAAKs have been sporadic with TEX, has outings of 2, 2, 3, 4 and 8, 8, 10, 12; results have been good over L8: 2.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
3Chris SaleKCAs long as he's not facing MIN
4Chris ArcherTORArcher absolutely owned TOR until Saturday (5 ER thru 2 IP), I'm still starting him vs. them next weekend
5Dallas Keuchelat ARIRebounded brilliantly from all three of his awful starts this year: 9 IP/0 ER, 6 IP/2 ER, and 7.7 IP/1 ER
6Carlos CarrascoMINHe's faced KC in 2 of his L3 and logged 24 Ks in 15 IP; he's an elite strikeout pitcher after these last two seasons
7Danny SalazarBOS
8Felix HernandezOAKHe's got a 3.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 35 IP vs. OAK this year
9Corey KluberMIN, BOSRemarkably frustrating season for the reigning Cy Young winner can hopefully close strong
10Justin Verlanderat TEX
11Marcus Stromanat BAL, at TBLooks incredible since returning from his torn ACL; Ks are light, but stuff looks excellent and his 60% GB rate covers a lot
12Lance McCullersat SEA, at ARI
13Masahiro TanakaBOS, at BALSolid 2H for Tanaka: 3.18 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 21% K, 4% BB in 82 IP
14Michael PinedaBOS, at BALAllowed 5 ER in his return from the DL, but has allowed just 10 ER in his five starts since: 3.14 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 28.7 IP
15Johnny Cuetoat CHC, at MINBack-to-back 7 IP quality starts calms some of the fears; gets a chance to close big with a 2-start week
16Garrett RichardsOAK
17Collin McHughat ARIIn the 2H, he has nine starts of 1-2 ER and three of 5 ER; so there's risk, but the upside is worth it
18Hisashi IwakumaOAK
19Jake OdorizziTOR2+ BB in five of his last six, uncharacteristic of him: 6% BB in first 21 starts, 9% BB in last 6 plus a 2.1 HR/9
20Sonny Grayat LAA
21Jose QuintanaKCRebounding from his modest August (4.63 ERA) with a sparkling 1.00 ERA in 27 Sept. IP
22Eduardo Rodriguezat NYY
23Ervin SantanaKCRolling of late: 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 39 Ks in 36 IP
24Luis Severinoat BAL
25Drew SmylyMIABest part of his strong finish: 25% K rate
26Erasmo RamirezMIAGreat opponent, espec. at home where he has a 2.39 ERA in 79 IP (4.90 ERA in 79 IP on road)
27Mike Fiersat SEA
28Scott Kazmirat SEAHas been about a run worse than his 2.97 ERA with HOU (3.91 in 69 IP)
29Carlos RodonDETDominating lately, but that doesn't mean he's without risk so be careful if you're tight in ERA/WHIP (1.81 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 54.7 IP)
30Kevin GausmanTOR
31Marco Estradaat BAL, at TB
32Rick Porcelloat NYY, at CLE
33Rich Hillat NYYThree straight amazing outings with 10 Ks in each and just 3 ER in 23 IP; I'm starting him even at NYY
34R.A. Dickeyat BAL
35Andrew Heaneyat TEXQuietly having a really sharp rookie season after an ugly 29.3 IP debut with MIA last year (3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 95.3 IP with LAA)
36Derek HollandLAAI expected a much stronger finish, but he's allowed 17 ER in his L3 starts and four through four on Saturday
37Kris Medlenat CWS
38Colby LewisDET, LAAI'm not going to tell you there's no risk because I don't like lying, but he's been sharp over his last three
39Kyle Gibsonat CLE, at KCMaybe not the two-start you want this week: 4.43 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 87.3 IP on the road for Gibson this year
40Tyler Duffeyat CLEHe's been excellent outside of his 2.7 IP/6 ER debut: 2.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 43 Ks in 43.7 IP
41Edinson Volquezat CWS
42Yordano Venturaat CHC, at MINA highly volatile option espec. with both on the road (5.04 ERA)
43Cody AndersonMIN, BOS
44Hector SantiagoOAK, at TEX
45Daniel Norrisat TEX, at CWSDET easing him back with pitch counts, but he's allowed just 1 H in 8.7 IP since returning from the DL
46Yovani GallardoDETSubstantial risk given the lack of upside; how badly do you need a 6 IP/0 ER? Enough to risk getting a 5 IP/5 ER?
47Chris TillmanTOR, NYY
48Matt MooreMIA, TORA great Hail Mary shot after two gems in a row with 16 Ks in 13.7 IP, but still tons of risk, espec. with TOR
49Jeff SamardzijaKC

SIT

RANKPITCHEROPPCOMMENTS
50Josh TomlinMINI mentioned before that the season might run out before regression catches up to him, so how lucky are you feeling?
51Wei-Yin ChenTORSuper-dangerous matchup, but he's had much better skills at home with a 6.7 K:BB compared to 2.6 on the road
52Martin PerezLAA
53Nick TropeanoOAK, at TEX
54James PaxtonHOUTorn fingernail cut his last outing short, unsure how next week will play out
55Vidal NunoHOU
56Erik JohnsonDET
57Wade Mileyat NYY, at CLE
58Roenis EliasHOU, OAK
59Henry Owensat CLE
60Adam WarrenBOS
61CC SabathiaBOS
62Phil Hughesat CLE, at KC
63Miguel GonzalezTOR, NYY
64John DanksDET
65Chris Bassittat LAA, at SEA
66Sean Nolinat SEA
67Mark Buehrleat TB
68Mike Pelfreyat CLE
69Ubaldo JimenezNYY
70Jeremy Guthrieat MIN
71Jered Weaverat TEX
72Felix Doubrontat LAA, at SEA
73Randy Wolfat CWSThe
74Matt Boydat TEXTigers
75Alfredo Simonat CWSRule!

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

RANKPITCHEROPPCOMMENTS
1Clayton Kershawat SF, SDHow perfect is it that he gets 2 starts to close the season?
2Zack Greinkeat SF, SDIt's not hard to imagine a Dodger homer or even just a savvy player with both Kersh & Greinke; 4 starts in the final week is hot
3Madison BumgarnerLAD, COLTransformed into postseason Bum in the 2H: 2.31 ERA, 0.88 WHIP in 93.7 IP after 3.33 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 119 IP during the 1H
4Max Scherzerat ATL, at NYM
5Jake Arrietaat MILThe last time he threw fewer than 6 IP in a start: June 16; he has a 0.94 ERA in 134 IP since then
6Stephen Strasburgat ATLWhere ya at, Strasburg-haters? 2.24 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 72 Ks in 52.3 IP since returning from the DL plus three straight 10+ K games
7Jose Fernandezat TB
8Gerrit ColeCIN
9John Lackeyat ATLLackey, Garcia, and Zimm all got a boost as ATL is the best matchup an NL'er can get, right or left handed
10Jaime Garciaat ATL
11Jordan Zimmermannat ATLWorst full season by ERA (3.68), but he's owned the hapless Braves all year (1.82 ERA in 34.7 IP)
12Michael Wachaat PIT
13Jon Lesterat CIN
14Tyson RossMILCurrently the only other SP besides Arrieta to have 20+ starts with ZERO 5+ ER outings
15Lance Lynnat PIT, at ATLA rocky September (6.11 ERA), but he went six scoreless last time out and I'm not turing down a 2-start that includes ATL
16Patrick CorbinCOL
17Julio TeheranSTLResponded to the 8 ER Shellacking by NYY with a 1.67 ERA in 27 September IP incl. a solid outing vs. TOR
18J.A. HappSTLThis isn't just riding a hot hand who is doing it with smoke and mirrors, he has 28% K and 5% BB rates with PIT en route to a 2.28 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
19Matt HarveyWASNervous about these baby Mets because these games could be irrelevant and limit all of them in preparation for the playoffs
20Noah SyndergaardWAS
21Steven MatzWAS
22Jacob deGromnone?It looks like Sunday could be his last regular season start, but he could start in the WAS series; I'm putting him here just in case
23Shelby MillerSTL
24Carlos Martinezat PIT
25Francisco LirianoCINSeptember a microcosm of his recent uncertainty: 5 IP/4 ER, 6 IP/0 ER, 2.3 IP/4 ER, 7 IP/2 ER; still gotta start him
26Anthony DeSclafaniCHCJust when you start buying into the K surge (26% in 8 starts before his last two), he drops a pair of 3s on us; he struggled in both (7.59 ERA)
27James Shieldsat LADHe hasn't been able to get beyond that high-3.00s, low-4.00s ERA band, but the Ks have remained strong (23% in 2H)
28Brett Andersonat SF
29Adam Conleyat TB, at PHIHas a 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 26% K, and 9% BB in his L6 starts (33.3 IP); he has an 11% SwStr rate in that time, too
30Jake PeavyLAD, COLHe has a 2.19 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 24.7 IP this month; solid 3.59 ERA in 77.7 IP across the 2H
31Gio Gonzalezat NYM
32Aaron NolaMIADropped 8 scoreless on them last time he faced MIA
33Andrew Cashnerat LAD
34Mike LeakeLAD
35Ian KennedyMILThe bottom has fallen out again: 2.63 ERA in 17 starts from 6/2-9/2; 7.84 ERA in four starts since, going more than 5 IP just once
36Bartolo Colonat PHI
37A.J. BurnettCINHe hasn't finished the sixth inning in any of his three starts since returning
38Mike Bolsingerat SFBolsinger and Ray are two of three starts with 20+ starts and just 1 start of 5+ ER joined by Lance McCullers from the AL
39Robbie RayCOL
40Rubby De La RosaHOU
41Jerad EickhoffNYMFour of this last five are 7 IP quality starts incl. a 10-K effort at WAS
42John LambCHCFinally finding some success to go with the Ks that have been there since he came up (26%)
43Jason Hammelat CINStill missing bats in the 2H (60 K in 58 IP), but averaging 4.8 IP/start and still allowed 3-4 runs regularly
44Taylor Jungmannat SD
45Logan Verrettat PHI
46Jhoulys ChacinHOU
47Kyle Hendricksat CIN, at MIL

SIT

RANKPITCHEROPPCOMMENTS
48Jarred Cosartat TBHe's been solid since returning; not going deep into games so not your best bet if you're chasing Ws
49Alex WoodSD
50Chris HestonCOLSputtering to the finish line: 4.60 ERA since the start of Aug., averaging just 4.8 IP/start
51Jon Nieseat PHIThese are three Hail Mary options likely to be available and you can't get much better with the matchup (PHI almost as bad as ATL)
52Tom Koehlerat PHI
53Justin Nicolinoat PHI
54Charlie MortonSTL
55Zach Daviesat SD, CHCThree good starts, two bad ones; getting two good ones here would mean four straight to close the season
56Brandon Finneganat WAS, at PITIf you're desperate and Ks are your big need since you could still get those even if the ratios are modest-to-poor
57Tanner RoarkCIN, at NYMIf you're desperate and just hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with a couple good starts
58Alec AsherNYM
59Jeremy HellicksonHOU
60Chase AndersonCOLNice 6 IP/1 ER with 1 H & 10 K start at LAD after a layoff, but can he do something similar again?
61Tyler CravyCHC
62Jorge Lopezat SD
63Robbie Erlinat LAD
64Casey KellyMIL
65Jeff LockeSTL
66Ariel PenaCHC
67David Haleat SF
68Dan Harenat CIN, at MIL
69Chad Bettisat ARI
70Chris Rusinat SF
71Christian Bergmanat ARI
72Tim HudsonLAD
73Keyvius Sampsonat PIT
74Aaron HarangMIA
75Yohan Flandeat ARI
76Ryan WeberWAS
77David BuchananNYM, MIA
78Kyle Kendrickat SF
79Williams PerezWAS
80Matt WislerWAS, STL
81Josh SmithCHC, at PIT

MLB TOP 100

RANKPITCHEROPPCOMMENTS
1Clayton Kershawat SF, SDHow perfect is it that he gets 2 starts to close the season?
2Zack Greinkeat SF, SDIt's not hard to imagine a Dodger homer or even just a savvy player with both Kersh & Greinke; 4 starts in the final week is hot
3Madison BumgarnerLAD, COLTransformed into postseason Bum in the 2H: 2.31 ERA, 0.88 WHIP in 93.7 IP after 3.33 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 119 IP during the 1H
4Max Scherzerat ATL, at NYM
5Jake Arrietaat MILThe last time he threw fewer than 6 IP in a start: June 16; he has a 0.94 ERA in 134 IP since then
6Stephen Strasburgat ATLWhere ya at, Strasburg-haters? 2.24 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 72 Ks in 52.3 IP since returning from the DL plus three straight 10+ K games
7David Priceat BALwith TOR: 1.89 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 through 2 IP on Saturday
8Cole HamelsDET, LAAKs have been sporadic with TEX, has outings of 2, 2, 3, 4 and 8, 8, 10, 12; results have been good over L8: 2.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
9Chris SaleKCAs long as he's not facing MIN
10Jose Fernandezat TB
11Gerrit ColeCIN
12Chris ArcherTORArcher absolutely owned TOR until Saturday (5 ER thru 2 IP), I'm still starting him vs. them next weekend
13Dallas Keuchelat ARIRebounded brilliantly from all three of his awful starts this year: 9 IP/0 ER, 6 IP/2 ER, and 7.7 IP/1 ER
14Carlos CarrascoMINHe's faced KC in 2 of his L3 and logged 24 Ks in 15 IP; he's an elite strikeout pitcher after these last two seasons
15Danny SalazarBOS
16Felix HernandezOAKHe's got a 3.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 35 IP vs. OAK this year
17Corey KluberMIN, BOSRemarkably frustrating season for the reigning Cy Young winner can hopefully close strong
18John Lackeyat ATLLackey, Garcia, and Zimm all got a boost as ATL is the best matchup an NL'er can get, right or left handed
19Jaime Garciaat ATL
20Jordan Zimmermannat ATLWorst full season by ERA (3.68), but he's owned the hapless Braves all year (1.82 ERA in 34.7 IP)
21Michael Wachaat PIT
22Jon Lesterat CIN
23Tyson RossMILCurrently the only other SP besides Arrieta to have 20+ starts with ZERO 5+ ER outings
24Lance Lynnat PIT, at ATLA rocky September (6.11 ERA), but he went six scoreless last time out and I'm not turing down a 2-start that includes ATL
25Justin Verlanderat TEX
26Marcus Stromanat BAL, at TBLooks incredible since returning from his torn ACL; Ks are light, but stuff looks excellent and his 60% GB rate covers a lot
27Lance McCullersat SEA, at ARI
28Masahiro TanakaBOS, at BALSolid 2H for Tanaka: 3.18 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 21% K, 4% BB in 82 IP
29Michael PinedaBOS, at BALAllowed 5 ER in his return from the DL, but has allowed just 10 ER in his five starts since: 3.14 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 28.7 IP
30Johnny Cuetoat CHC, at MINBack-to-back 7 IP quality starts calms some of the fears; gets a chance to close big with a 2-start week
31Garrett RichardsOAK
32Collin McHughat ARIIn the 2H, he has nine starts of 1-2 ER and three of 5 ER; so there's risk, but the upside is worth it
33Patrick CorbinCOL
34Julio TeheranSTLResponded to the 8 ER Shellacking by NYY with a 1.67 ERA in 27 September IP incl. a solid outing vs. TOR
35J.A. HappSTLThis isn't just riding a hot hand who is doing it with smoke and mirrors, he has 28% K and 5% BB rates with PIT en route to a 2.28 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
36Hisashi IwakumaOAK
37Jake OdorizziTOR2+ BB in five of his last six, uncharacteristic of him: 6% BB in first 21 starts, 9% BB in last 6 plus a 2.1 HR/9
38Sonny Grayat LAA
39Jose QuintanaKCRebounding from his modest August (4.63 ERA) with a sparkling 1.00 ERA in 27 Sept. IP
40Eduardo Rodriguezat NYY
41Ervin SantanaKCRolling of late: 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 39 Ks in 36 IP
42Matt HarveyWASNervous about these baby Mets because these games could be irrelevant and limit all of them in preparation for the playoffs
43Noah SyndergaardWAS
44Steven MatzWAS
45Jacob deGromnone?It looks like Sunday could be his last regular season start, but he could start in the WAS series; I'm putting him here just in case
46Luis Severinoat BAL
47Drew SmylyMIABest part of his strong finish: 25% K rate
48Erasmo RamirezMIAGreat opponent, espec. at home where he has a 2.39 ERA in 79 IP (4.90 ERA in 79 IP on road)
49Mike Fiersat SEA
50Shelby MillerSTL
51Carlos Martinezat PIT
52Francisco LirianoCINSeptember a microcosm of his recent uncertainty: 5 IP/4 ER, 6 IP/0 ER, 2.3 IP/4 ER, 7 IP/2 ER; still gotta start him
53Scott Kazmirat SEAHas been about a run worse than his 2.97 ERA with HOU (3.91 in 69 IP)
54Carlos RodonDETDominating lately, but that doesn't mean he's without risk so be careful if you're tight in ERA/WHIP (1.81 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 54.7 IP)
55Kevin GausmanTOR
56Marco Estradaat BAL, at TB
57Rick Porcelloat NYY, at CLE
58Rich Hillat NYYThree straight amazing outings with 10 Ks in each and just 3 ER in 23 IP; I'm starting him even at NYY
59Anthony DeSclafaniCHCJust when you start buying into the K surge (26% in 8 starts before his last two), he drops a pair of 3s on us; he struggled in both (7.59 ERA)
60James Shieldsat LADHe hasn't been able to get beyond that high-3.00s, low-4.00s ERA band, but the Ks have remained strong (23% in 2H)
61Brett Andersonat SF
62Adam Conleyat TB, at PHIHas a 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 26% K, and 9% BB in his L6 starts (33.3 IP); he has an 11% SwStr rate in that time, too
63Jake PeavyLAD, COLHe has a 2.19 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 24.7 IP this month; solid 3.59 ERA in 77.7 IP across the 2H
64Gio Gonzalezat NYM
65Aaron NolaMIADropped 8 scoreless on them last time he faced MIA
66Andrew Cashnerat LAD
67Mike LeakeLAD
68Ian KennedyMILThe bottom has fallen out again: 2.63 ERA in 17 starts from 6/2-9/2; 7.84 ERA in four starts since, going more than 5 IP just once
69Bartolo Colonat PHI
70A.J. BurnettCINHe hasn't finished the sixth inning in any of his three starts since returning
71Mike Bolsingerat SFBolsinger and Ray are two of three starts with 20+ starts and just 1 start of 5+ ER joined by Lance McCullers from the AL
72Robbie RayCOL
73Rubby De La RosaHOU
74R.A. Dickeyat BAL
75Andrew Heaneyat TEXQuietly having a really sharp rookie season after an ugly 29.3 IP debut with MIA last year (3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 95.3 IP with LAA)
76Derek HollandLAAI expected a much stronger finish, but he's allowed 17 ER in his L3 starts and four through four on Saturday
77Kris Medlenat CWS
78Colby LewisDET, LAAI'm not going to tell you there's no risk because I don't like lying, but he's been sharp over his last three
79Kyle Gibsonat CLE, at KCMaybe not the two-start you want this week: 4.43 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 87.3 IP on the road for Gibson this year
80Tyler Duffeyat CLEHe's been excellent outside of his 2.7 IP/6 ER debut: 2.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 43 Ks in 43.7 IP
81Edinson Volquezat CWS
82Yordano Venturaat CHC, at MINA highly volatile option espec. with both on the road (5.04 ERA)
83Cody AndersonMIN, BOS
84Hector SantiagoOAK, at TEX
85Daniel Norrisat TEX, at CWSDET easing him back with pitch counts, but he's allowed just 1 H in 8.7 IP since returning from the DL
86Yovani GallardoDETSubstantial risk given the lack of upside; how badly do you need a 6 IP/0 ER? Enough to risk getting a 5 IP/5 ER?
87Chris TillmanTOR, NYY
88Matt MooreMIA, TORA great Hail Mary shot after two gems in a row with 16 Ks in 13.7 IP, but still tons of risk, espec. with TOR
89Jeff SamardzijaKC
90Josh TomlinMINI mentioned before that the season might run out before regression catches up to him, so how lucky are you feeling?
91Jerad EickhoffNYMFour of this last five are 7 IP quality starts incl. a 10-K effort at WAS
92John LambCHCFinally finding some success to go with the Ks that have been there since he came up (26%)
93Jason Hammelat CINStill missing bats in the 2H (60 K in 58 IP), but averaging 4.8 IP/start and still allowed 3-4 runs regularly
94Taylor Jungmannat SD
95Logan Verrettat PHI
96Jhoulys ChacinHOU
97Kyle Hendricksat CIN, at MIL
98Jarred Cosartat TBHe's been solid since returning; not going deep into games so not your best bet if you're chasing Ws
99Alex WoodSD
100Wei-Yin ChenTORSuper-dangerous matchup, but he's had much better skills at home with a 6.7 K:BB compared to 2.6 on the road