Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Decisions, Decisions

Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Decisions, Decisions

This article is part of our Weekly Pitcher Rankings series.

The playoff teams may almost be decided, but there could still be a lot to play for regardless in the abbreviated week. The Phillies and Brewers are still contending for the final Wild Card berth, with Philadelphia holding the tiebreaker if their records match after 162 games. The NL East is earmarked for a photo finish, with the winner enjoying a bye. The consolation prize is hosting a three-game Wild Card series. All three AL Wild Card clubs still have a chance for the fourth seed and home-field advantage for the Wild Card Series.

An additional factor is that teams usually skip or truncate the final start of a playoff-bound starting pitcher. However, with the Wild Card series and off days before the Divisional Championship series, some hurlers will be idle for over a week. Will this result in a longer final outing?

While more may be known come Sunday night's update, some speculation will likely be needed when setting weekly lineups. My guess is playoff starters will work four or five innings in their final outing. This is a conundrum for fantasy managers seeking wins. For example, does Gerrit Cole sit or start on Tuesday?

Wednesday could be quite intriguing, with three hurlers worthy of a Wild Card start slated to pitch. Will the Blue Jays start Alek Manoah to secure the home-field advantage? What about the Rays with Drew Rasmussen or the Mariners with Logan Gilbert?

Gilbert seems like a no-brainer to pitch with Seattle still having

The playoff teams may almost be decided, but there could still be a lot to play for regardless in the abbreviated week. The Phillies and Brewers are still contending for the final Wild Card berth, with Philadelphia holding the tiebreaker if their records match after 162 games. The NL East is earmarked for a photo finish, with the winner enjoying a bye. The consolation prize is hosting a three-game Wild Card series. All three AL Wild Card clubs still have a chance for the fourth seed and home-field advantage for the Wild Card Series.

An additional factor is that teams usually skip or truncate the final start of a playoff-bound starting pitcher. However, with the Wild Card series and off days before the Divisional Championship series, some hurlers will be idle for over a week. Will this result in a longer final outing?

While more may be known come Sunday night's update, some speculation will likely be needed when setting weekly lineups. My guess is playoff starters will work four or five innings in their final outing. This is a conundrum for fantasy managers seeking wins. For example, does Gerrit Cole sit or start on Tuesday?

Wednesday could be quite intriguing, with three hurlers worthy of a Wild Card start slated to pitch. Will the Blue Jays start Alek Manoah to secure the home-field advantage? What about the Rays with Drew Rasmussen or the Mariners with Logan Gilbert?

Gilbert seems like a no-brainer to pitch with Seattle still having Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray and George Kirby. That said, would Gilbert be saved for the Wild Card series if the top seed isn't in play?

It's also likely Drew Rasmussen takes the hill if the top seed is on the line with Tampa Bay still have Shane McClanahan, Corey Kluber and Tyler Glasnow/Jeffrey Springs lined up. Not to mention, while all teams prefer playing at home, the Rays advantage at The Trop is more of a factor than the other teams.

Toronto has the toughest choice as Manoah would probably work Game 1. If Jose Berrios were having a typical season, it could be a different story. Kevin Gausman and Ross Stripling are fine, but is it worth burning Manoah and being forced to use Berrios in a potentially deciding Game 3? The Blue Jays are indicating they won't. We'll see.

UPDATED: Sunday October 2, 11:30 PM ET

Week of October 3 - 5

Mixed

RankPitcherTMOPPCommentsMIX12MIX15
1Jacob deGromNYMWASMay only throw 4 or 5 innings if division is decided  
2Brandon WoodruffMILARIOnly if NL Wild Card remains in play  
3Shohei OhtaniLAA@OAKPutting a cap on a Cy Young (MVP?) campaign  
4Zac GallenARI@MILHas he shed injury-prone label?  
5Aaron NolaPHI@HOUOnly if NL Wild Card remains in play  
6Corbin BurnesMILARIDitto  
7Patrick SandovalLAA@OAK   
8Taijuan WalkerNYMWAS   
9Justin VerlanderHOUPHIA short start is likely  
10George KirbySEADET   
11Max FriedATL@MIA   
12Carlos RodonSF@SD   
13Merrill KellyARI@MIL   
14Julio UriasLADCOL   
15Lance McCullers Jr.HOUPHI   
16Yu DarvishSDSF   
17Jesus LuzardoMIAATL   
18Clayton KershawLADCOL   
19Jon GrayTEXNYY   
20Cole IrvinOAKLAA   
21Joe MusgroveSDSF   
22Gerrit ColeNYY@TEXExpect an abbreviated start  
23Framber ValdezHOUPHI   
24Logan GilbertSEADETWill likely start if top seed is on the line  
25Triston McKenzieCLEKC   
26Carlos CarrascoNYMWAS   
27Tony GonsolinLADCOL   
28Bailey OberMIN@CWS   
29Bryce ElderATL@MIA 23% 
30Eric LauerMILARI   
31Marco GonzalesSEADET   
32Luis SeverinoNYY@TEX   
33Braxton GarrettMIAATL 48% 
34Miles MikolasSTL@PIT   
35Eduardo RodriguezDET@SEA   
36Martin PerezTEXNYY   
37Garrett HillDET@SEA 0%0%
38Michael LorenzenLAA@OAK 32% 
39Josh WinderMIN@CWS 6%38%
40Louie VarlandMIN@CWS 1%2%
41Chris FlexenSEADET 23%30%
42Hunter GreeneCINCHC   
43Jeffrey SpringsTB@BOS   
44Ranger SuarezPHI@HOU   
45Paolo EspinoWAS@NYM 0%2%
46Domingo GermanNYY@TEX   
47Ken WaldichukOAKLAA 4%38%
48Johnny CuetoCWSMIN   
49Alex CobbSF@SD   
50Cal QuantrillCLEKC   
51Bailey FalterPHI@HOU 39% 
52Nathan EovaldiBOSTB   
53Tyler GlasnowTB@BOS 0%0%
54Cory AbbottWAS@NYM 1%4%
55Aaron CivaleCLEKC 43% 
56Jameson TaillonNYY@TEX   
57Drew RasmussenTB@BOSNot likely to start  
58Luis CessaCINCHC 7% 
59Jake OdorizziATL@MIA   
60Sean ManaeaSDSF   
61Mitch KellerPITSTL   
62Tyler AlexanderDET@SEA 0%13%
63Zack GreinkeKC@CLE 24% 
64Dean KremerBALTOR   
65Erick FeddeWAS@NYM 1%9%
66Adrian SampsonCHC@CIN 14% 
67Nick PivettaBOSTB   
68Hayden WesneskiCHC@CIN 30% 
69Jordan LylesBALTOR 20% 
70Glenn OttoTEXNYY 6% 
71Rich HillBOSTB 10% 
72Graham AshcraftCINCHC 21%47%
73Andre PallanteSTL@PIT 2%17%
74Lucas GiolitoCWSMIN   
75Tommy HenryARI@MIL 2%17%
76Dakota HudsonSTL@PIT 19% 
77Bryan GarciaDET@SEA 0%0%
78Ryan FeltnerCOL@LAD 0%0%
79Johan OviedoPITSTL 2%15%
80Elieser HernandezMIAATL 6%0%
81Chad KuhlCOL@LAD 15%15%
82Jonathan HeasleyKC@CLE 1%38%
83Jose BerriosTOR@BAL   
84Adrian MartinezOAKLAA 0%13%
85Bryse WilsonPITSTL 1%6%
86Mitch WhiteTOR@BAL 21%40%
87Yusei KikuchiTOR@BAL 19%19%
88Daniel LynchKC@CLE 6% 
89Mike BaumannBALTOR 0%0%
90Jose UrenaCOL@LAD 0%6%
91Javier AssadCHC@CIN 6%43%
92Davis MartinCWSMIN 0%30%
93Shelby MillerSF@SD 0%0%
94Spencer HowardTEXNYY 0%9%

American League

RankPitcherTMOPPComment
1Shohei OhtaniLAA@OAKPutting a cap on a Cy Young (MVP?) campaign
2Patrick SandovalLAA@OAK 
3Justin VerlanderHOUPHIA short start is likely
4George KirbySEADET 
5Lance McCullers Jr.HOUPHI 
6Jon GrayTEXNYY 
7Cole IrvinOAKLAA 
8Gerrit ColeNYY@TEXExpect an abbreviated start
9Framber ValdezHOUPHI 
10Logan GilbertSEADETWill likely start if top seed is on the line
11Triston McKenzieCLEKC 
12Bailey OberMIN@CWS 
13Marco GonzalesSEADET 
14Luis SeverinoNYY@TEX 
15Eduardo RodriguezDET@SEA 
16Martin PerezTEXNYY 
17Garrett HillDET@SEA 
18Michael LorenzenLAA@OAK 
19Josh WinderMIN@CWS 
20Louie VarlandMIN@CWS 
21Chris FlexenSEADET 
22Jeffrey SpringsTB@BOS 
23Domingo GermanNYY@TEX 
24Ken WaldichukOAKLAA 
25Johnny CuetoCWSMIN 
26Cal QuantrillCLEKC 
27Nathan EovaldiBOSTB 
28Tyler GlasnowTB@BOS 
29Aaron CivaleCLEKC 
30Jameson TaillonNYY@TEX 
31Drew RasmussenTB@BOSNot likely to start
32Tyler AlexanderDET@SEA 
33Zack GreinkeKC@CLE 
34Dean KremerBALTOR 
35Nick PivettaBOSTB 
36Jordan LylesBALTOR 
37Glenn OttoTEXNYY 
38Rich HillBOSTB 
39Lucas GiolitoCWSMIN 
40Bryan GarciaDET@SEA 
41Jonathan HeasleyKC@CLE 
42Jose BerriosTOR@BAL 
43Adrian MartinezOAKLAA 
44Mitch WhiteTOR@BAL 
45Yusei KikuchiTOR@BAL 
46Daniel LynchKC@CLE 
47Mike BaumannBALTOR 
48Davis MartinCWSMIN 
49Spencer HowardTEXNYY 

National League

RankPitcherTMOPPComment
1Jacob deGromNYMWASMay only throw 4 or 5 innings if division is decided
2Brandon WoodruffMILARIOnly if NL Wild Card remains in play
3Zac GallenARI@MILHas he shed injury-prone label?
4Aaron NolaPHI@HOUOnly if NL Wild Card remains in play
5Corbin BurnesMILARIDitto
6Taijuan WalkerNYMWAS 
7Max FriedATL@MIA 
8Carlos RodonSF@SD 
9Merrill KellyARI@MIL 
10Julio UriasLADCOL 
11Yu DarvishSDSF 
12Jesus LuzardoMIAATL 
13Clayton KershawLADCOL 
14Joe MusgroveSDSF 
15Carlos CarrascoNYMWAS 
16Tony GonsolinLADCOL 
17Bryce ElderATL@MIA 
18Eric LauerMILARI 
19Braxton GarrettMIAATL 
20Miles MikolasSTL@PIT 
21Hunter GreeneCINCHC 
22Ranger SuarezPHI@HOU 
23Paolo EspinoWAS@NYM 
24Alex CobbSF@SD 
25Bailey FalterPHI@HOU 
26Cory AbbottWAS@NYM 
27Luis CessaCINCHC 
28Jake OdorizziATL@MIA 
29Sean ManaeaSDSF 
30Mitch KellerPITSTL 
31Erick FeddeWAS@NYM 
32Adrian SampsonCHC@CIN 
33Hayden WesneskiCHC@CIN 
34Graham AshcraftCINCHC 
35Andre PallanteSTL@PIT 
36Tommy HenryARI@MIL 
37Dakota HudsonSTL@PIT 
38Ryan FeltnerCOL@LAD 
39Johan OviedoPITSTL 
40Elieser HernandezMIAATL 
41Chad KuhlCOL@LAD 
42Bryse WilsonPITSTL 
43Jose UrenaCOL@LAD 
44Javier AssadCHC@CIN 
45Shelby MillerSF@SD 

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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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