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Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Ace of the AL

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's incorrect, assume that it was a change that has occurred since this article was posted. Feel free to bring it up in the comments, and I'll let you know where the new arm slots.

For the week of June 3-9



1. Matt Harvey MIA (the second of back-to-back starts against the Marlins)
2. Clayton Kershaw SD
3. Adam Wainwright ARI
4. Jordan Zimmermann NYM, MIN (gave up seven ER in BAL and still posted a 2.68 ERA in May)
5. A.J. Burnett at ATL, at CHC (battled against a tough DET lineup to pull the baseline QS)
6. Mike Minor PIT, at LAD (speaking of DET, it is the only team to post more than 3 ER on Minor)
7. Lance Lynn ARI, at CIN
8. Jeff Samardzija PIT (posted 2.31 ERA, 0.91 WHIP in 35 May IP)
9. Cole Hamels MIA (the ultimate prescription for a pitcher coming off of a tough start)
10. Shelby Miller ARI (impressed by composure after first-inning runs in each of last two outings)
11. Mat Latos STL (he and Minor are most overlooked arms in upper tier as they just quietly dominate)
12. Madison Bumgarner at ARI
13. Gio Gonzalez MIN (shakes off 5.34 April ERA with 2.48 mark in May)
14. Johnny Cueto COL
15. Matt Cain at ARI
16. Cliff Lee at MIL (gave up four ER in first May start, then five ER in next five combined)
17. Trevor Cahill at STL, SF (a challenging week ahead for Cahill and his rotation mates, but I think they come out looking sharp)
18. Kris Medlen PIT, at LAD (liner off calf caused early exit, but isn't expected to impact two-start week)
19. Brandon McCarthy at STL, SF (implosion in TEX doesn't erase his quality May)
20. Andrew Cashner at LAD, at COL
21. Kyle Kendrick MIA, at MIL (10 BB in first eight GS, 11 in last three; matchups keep ranking high)
22. Patrick Corbin SF (those waiting for shoe to drop may wanna get comfy)
23. Zack Greinke ATL (still gathering himself; don't just judge off name value)
24. Matt Garza PIT (Operation: Build Trade Value is under way for Garza and the Cubs)
25. Hyun-Jin Ryu ATL (salvaged May K:BB with 7:0 in shutout of LAA)
26. Jonathon Niese MIA (mechanical fix has spurred three-start run of 1.33 ERA)
27. Homer Bailey COL (has inning of three ER or more in each of his poor start; problems snowball quickly for him)
28. Francisco Liriano at CHC (still not sure what we have as L in DET is hardly a crime)
29. Wandy Rodriguez at ATL
30. Paul Maholm at LAD
31. Travis Wood at LAA (both he and Feldman bounced back from five-ER outings at CIN with two ER against CWS)
32. Scott Feldman at LAA
33. Stephen Strasburg NYM (looks like a strained oblique, which is almost a guaranteed DL trip)
34. Jonathan Pettibone MIA, at MIL (Petti, Hef, Koe all rise due to great two-start slates)
35. Jeremy Hefner at WAS, MIA
36. Tom Koehler at PHI, at NYM
37. Tyler Chatwood at CIN, SD (buying in as his 58-percent GB rate mitigates Coors Field danger)
38. Michael Wacha ARI, at CIN (the rookie will be challenged with these two opponents)
39. Ted Lilly SD, ATL
40. Chris Capuano SD, ATL
41. Ricky Nolasco at PHI (finally stifling hits for first time since '08, he's once again a WHIP stud)
42. Julio Teheran PIT
43. Jose Fernandez at NYM (still has just one outing over 87 pitches, which is just another roadblock to wins)
44. Jeff Locke at ATL (dodged raindrops v. DET to extend scoreless streak to 19.3)
45. Dan Haren NYM (tremendous outing in BAL; can stay hot with favorable match this week)
46. Jorge De La Rosa SD
47. Wade Miley at STL (starts recovery from awful May with third-lowest OPS offense vs. LHP)
48. Marco Estrada OAK, PHI (10 HR in April = 4.58 ER; two HR in May = 5.40 ERA .. good ole baseball!)
49. Bronson Arroyo COL, STL
50. Mike Leake STL (13.7 scoreless in MIA, NYM doesn't move the needle; 1 ER in 7.3 vs. CLE does)
51. Kevin Slowey at NYM
52. Tim Hudson at LAD
53. Jhoulys Chacin SD (home: 4.83 ERA and 1.6 K:BB; road: 2.66 and 2.6; has allowed 16 ER in last three home GS)


54. Edwin Jackson PIT
55. Ian Kennedy at STL (scratched from Monday start, stay tuned for details; cautious ranking)
56. Shaun Marcum at WAS (lefties pounding him; WAS has 4-5 LHB in the lineup on any given day)
57. Yovani Gallardo OAK (has just two no-walk outings)
58. Tyler Lyons at CIN (StL spinning gold from this non-prospect who gets his first big test this week)
59. Eric Stults at LAD, at COL
60. Juan Nicasio at CIN, SD
61. Kyle Lohse OAK, PHI (Elbow has to be a factor in 6.51 May ERA after a 2.53 in April, right?)
62. Tim Lincecum TOR (if it weren't for name value, would you even *consider* starting him in mixed leagues?)
63. Jacob Turner at PHI (season debut was impressive, let's see more)
64. Jeanmar Gomez at CHC
65. Mike Fiers PHI
66. Dillon Gee at WAS
67. Jason Marquis at LAD (four BB in four straight outings; 14:16 K:BB, 2.03 WHIP during stretch yet only 4.58 ERA ... run)
68. Barry Zito TOR
69. Tyler Cloyd at MIL
70. Nate Karns MIN
71. Clayton Richard at COL
72. Chad Gaudin at ARI
73. Jon Garland at CIN
74. Wily Peralta PHI
75. Edinson Volquez at COL



1. Felix Hernandez CWS, NYY (the only unquestioned AL superstud with two-start slate)
2. Yu Darvish at TOR
3. James Shields HOU (Shields, Iwakuma, Kuroda top JV because of matchup only; CLE is that scary)
4. Hisashi Iwakuma CWS (Sox have second-lowest OPS vs. RHP, fourth-lowest vs. LHP; they're a new team to stream against)
5. Hiroki Kuroda at SEA
6. Justin Verlander CLE (9:1 K:BB last time he faced CLE, but 10 H, five ER; very intriguing start)
7. Max Scherzer TB
8. Chris Sale OAK (scratched start followed by washed out start creates two-week gap between outings)
9. Jake Peavy at SEA, OAK (still has that one dud every five or six outings keeping ERA in mid-3.00s instead of low-3.00s)
10. Anibal Sanchez TB, CLE (gets the top two scoring teams from May that he can face: TB 166, DET 148, CLE 146)
11. Jered Weaver CHC, at BOS
12. Justin Masterson at NYY, at DET (finally taming LHBs with consistency; facing a big week)
13. John Lackey TEX, LAA (he's a better HR/9 rate away career-bests across the board)
14. Alex Cobb at DET, BAL (BAL trailed CLE by four runs to finish fourth in May scoring)
15. Jon Lester TEX (several tough matchups for next six one-starts arms)
16. Clay Buchholz LAA (can afford a 9.6-percent BB rate when you're giving up just 6.1 H/9)
17. Derek Holland at BOS
18. Doug Fister TB (hit parade boosted ERA to 4.15 in May, but 7.4 K:BB and one HR allowed impressed)
19. Matt Moore at DET (11-percent BB and 91-percent LOB rates say 2.18 *must* rise eventually)
20. CC Sabathia CLE
21. Jason Vargas CHC (2.53 home ERA in 42.7 IP as he once again leverages a great home park)
22. Ervin Santana HOU
23. Alexi Ogando at TOR (could return earlier and start in BOS; rank wouldn't change)
24. Zach McAllister at DET
25. Joe Saunders CWS, NYY (not a fan, but 2.41 home ERA and two weak LHP-hitting teams says start)
26. A.J. Griffin at MIL, at CWS (21-percent K and 5-percent BB rates in May led to 3.55 ERA)
27. Andy Pettitte CLE, at SEA (rough landing with outing vs. CLE after DL stint; be careful)
28. David Phelps CLE, at SEA
29. Jarrod Parker at CWS (gave up more than three ER just once in May: four ER in CLE)
30. Bartolo Colon at MIL (takes 18 scoreless IP streak into MIL)
31. Chris Tillman at HOU, at TB (three HR in first six GS; 11 HR in five GS since explains the 5.02 in that span)
32. Jose Quintana OAK
33. Dan Straily at CWS (back-to-back gems with a chance to extend it to three against anemic CWS)
34. Corey Kluber at NYY (since demolition in DET: 3.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 32-percent K rate, 3-percent BB rate, 13.0 K:BB in 21 IP)
35. Phil Hughes at SEA (was either brilliant or downright awful in May)
36. Tommy Milone at MIL, at CWS (has the ugly home/road ERA split again, but 2.9 K:BB on road is much more palatable)
37. Justin Grimm at BOS, at TOR
38. C.J. Wilson at BOS (10-percent BB rate against LHP gives BOS the third-best rate in MLB)
39. Scott Diamond at WAS (the 575 OPS v. LHP for WAS is MLB's worst)
40. Scott Kazmir at NYY
41. Jason Hammel at TB
42. R.A. Dickey at SF (so maddening; can barely be trusted)


43. Ryan Dempster TEX (K'd seven-plus in all five April GS; topped six just once in May)
44. John Danks at SEA, OAK (still working into form)
45. Dylan Axelrod at SEA
46. Kevin Gausman at TB
47. Jeremy Guthrie MIN (0.60 ERA v. CWS in 15 IP; 4.68 ERA vs. rest of league in 57.7 IP)
48. Jeremy Hellickson BAL (cannot be trusted in any format)
49. Brandon Morrow TEX (see above)
50. Nick Tepesch at BOS
51. Bud Norris BAL
52. Tommy Hanson at BOS
53. Chris Archer at DET (currently penciled, but rotation is influx with Moore being rain-shortened after 11 pitches and David Price eventually coming back; stay tuned)
54. Rick Porcello CLE
55. Ubaldo Jimenez at DET
56. Samuel Deduno at KC, at WAS (not a bad slate, but how many formats can you really run him out there?)
57. Luis Mendoza MIN, HOU (3.14 ERA in last five GS despite 1.46 WHIP, 15-percent K and 8-percent BB rates; pass)
58. Lucas Harrell BAL, at KC
59. Joe Blanton HOU, at BOS
60. Esmil Rogers at SF (sharp in GS at ATL, but only went 3.3 IP)
61. Kevin Correia at WAS
62. Felix Doubront LAA (Franklin Morales is at the doorstep if Doubz doesn't keep up the recent good work)
63. Miguel Gonzalez at HOU (two, maybe three of these remaining 13 will throw gems, but guessing which is a fool's errand)
64. Roberto Hernandez BAL
65. Mark Buehrle TEX
66. Freddy Garcia at HOU
67. Chad Jenkins TEX
68. Wade Davis MIN
69. Jordan Lyles at KC
70. Erik Bedard at KC
71. P.J. Walters at KC
72. Mike Pelfrey at KC
73. Jeremy Bonderman NYY
74. Aaron Harang NYY
75. Dallas Keuchel BAL


1. Felix Hernandez CWS, NYY
2. Matt Harvey MIA
3. Clayton Kershaw SD
4. Adam Wainwright ARI
5. Jordan Zimmermann NYM, MIN
6. A.J. Burnett at ATL, at CHC
7. Mike Minor PIT, at LAD
8. Lance Lynn ARI, at CIN
9. Jeff Samardzija PIT
10. Yu Darvish at TOR
11. James Shields HOU
12. Hisashi Iwakuma CWS
13. Hiroki Kuroda at SEA
14. Justin Verlander CLE
15. Chris Sale OAK
16. Max Scherzer TB
17. Cole Hamels MIA
18. Jake Peavy at SEA, OAK
19. Anibal Sanchez TB, CLE
20. Jered Weaver CHC, at BOS
21. Justin Masterson at NYY, at DET
22. John Lackey TEX, LAA
23. Alex Cobb at DET, BAL
24. Shelby Miller ARI
25. Mat Latos STL
26. Madison Bumgarner at ARI
27. Gio Gonzalez MIN
28. Johnny Cueto COL
29. Matt Cain at ARI
30. Jon Lester TEX
31. Clay Buchholz LAA
32. Derek Holland at BOS
33. Doug Fister TB
34. Matt Moore at DET
35. CC Sabathia CLE
36. Cliff Lee at MIL
37. Trevor Cahill at STL, SF
38. Kris Medlen PIT, at LAD
39. Brandon McCarthy at STL, SF
40. Andrew Cashner at LAD, at COL
41. Kyle Kendrick MIA, at MIL
42. Patrick Corbin SF
43. Zack Greinke ATL
44. Matt Garza PIT
45. Hyun-Jin Ryu ATL
46. Jason Vargas CHC
47. Ervin Santana HOU
48. Jonathon Niese MIA
49. Homer Bailey COL
50. Francisco Liriano at CHC
51. Wandy Rodriguez at ATL
52. Alexi Ogando at TOR
53. Zach McAllister at DET
54. Paul Maholm at LAD
55. Travis Wood at LAA
56. Scott Feldman at LAA
57. Stephen Strasburg NYM
58. Jonathan Pettibone MIA, at MIL
59. Jeremy Hefner at WAS, MIA
60. Tom Koehler at PHI, at NYM
61. Tyler Chatwood at CIN, SD
62. Joe Saunders CWS, NYY
63. A.J. Griffin at MIL, at CWS
64. Michael Wacha ARI, at CIN
65. Ted Lilly SD, ATL
66. Chris Capuano SD, ATL
67. Andy Pettitte CLE, at SEA
68. David Phelps CLE, at SEA
69. Jarrod Parker at CWS
70. Bartolo Colon at MIL
71. Chris Tillman at HOU, at TB
72. Ricky Nolasco at PHI
73. Julio Teheran PIT
74. Jose Fernandez at NYM
75. Jose Quintana OAK
76. Dan Straily at CWS
77. Corey Kluber at NYY
78. Jeff Locke at ATL
79. Dan Haren NYM
80. Jorge De La Rosa SD
81. Wade Miley at STL
82. Phil Hughes at SEA
83. Tommy Milone at MIL, at CWS
84. Justin Grimm at BOS, at TOR
85. Marco Estrada OAK, PHI
86. Bronson Arroyo COL, STL
87. C.J. Wilson at BOS
88. Scott Diamond at WAS
89. Mike Leake STL
90. Kevin Slowey at NYM
91. Tim Hudson at LAD
92. Scott Kazmir at NYY
93. Jason Hammel at TB
94. R.A. Dickey at SF
95. Jhoulys Chacin SD
96. Edwin Jackson PIT
97. Ian Kennedy at STL
98. Shaun Marcum at WAS
99. Yovani Gallardo OAK
100. Tyler Lyons at CIN