RotoWire Partners

Weekly Pitcher Rankings: To the Max

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. 26 - Oct. 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

RANKPITCHEROPPONENTCOMMENT
1Justin VerlanderCLE, at ATLMaking a real run at the wide-open AL Cy Young; hard to find those JV haters these days
2Chris SaleTB, MIN
3Corey Kluberat DET, at KCHad a 3.94 ERA thru 14 starts; 2.45 ERA in L17 with a 1.04 WHIP and 130 Ks in 117.3 IP
4Danny DuffyMIN
5Jose QuintanaTB
6Rick PorcelloTORHas 4.50 ERA in 26 IP vs. TOR this year, but 1.00 WHIP, 9.3 K/9 and 6.8 K:BB
7Yu DarvishTB
8Chris Archerat CWSJust 12 ER in L6 (2.77 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) with 44 Ks and 5.5 K:BB
9Aaron SanchezBAL, at BOS
10David Priceat NYY, TORAfter 4.74 ERA thru June, he has a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts since 7/1; 7+ Ks in 6 of L7
11J.A. HappNYY, at BOS
12Marcus StromanBAL
13Kevin Gausmanat TOR
14Cole HamelsTBLooked sharp in Friday's clincher, but TB has best OPS vs. LHP in second half
15Carlos RodonMIN
16Michael FulmerCLEFantastic start on Friday (7 IP/1 ER/9 K), but CLE has blasted him 2x including 5 IP/6 ER on 9/16
17Matt Boydat ATL
18Drew Pomeranzat NYY
19Ian KennedyMIN, CLEERA approached mid-4.00s in late-July before this 2.36 ERA over his last 68.7 IP
20Ervin Santanaat KC
21Hisashi Iwakumaat HOU, OAK
22Marco Estradaat BOS
23Sean Manaeaat LAAJust 1 ER in his last 21.3 IP w/24 Ks and 3.4 K:BB
24Felix Hernandezat HOU, OAK
25Chris Tillmanat TOR
26Masahiro TanakaBALA potential 2-start week pushed to one and could be done altogether if his flexor mass strain doesn't improve
27Jharel Cottonat SEA
28James Paxtonat HOU
29Jake Odorizziat TEX
30Joe Musgroveat LAAI'm not drawing a straight line here, but: 5.20 ERA in first 5 w/3 BB; 3.62 ERA in last 5 w/13 BB
31Daniel NorrisCLE
32Eduardo RodriguezTOR
33Drew Smylyat CWSCouple solid starts last 2x out, but still so volatile and especially worrisome in HR-friendly park (1.7 HR/9)
34Alex Cobbat CWS, at TEXI could just feel a TJ coming: 1.3 IP/7 ER vs. NYY last time out; it never fails
35Michael PinedaBAL
36Blake Snellat TEX
37Mike FiersSEA
38Dylan Bundyat NYY
39Taijuan WalkerOAK
40Kendall Gravemanat SEAWent from perfect thru 5 to a hard-luck 7 IP/3 ER loss; life comes at you fast as a pitcher
41Colby LewisTB
42Daniel Mengdenat LAA
43Trevor Bauerat DET
44Doug FisterSEA
45Luis CessaBOS, BOS
46Collin McHughSEA, at LAA
47Martin PerezMIL
48Francisco LirianoBALHas a 3.20 ERA with 27 Ks in last 25.3 IP
49Ricky NolascoOAK
50Jordan Zimmermannat ATL
51CC SabathiaBOS
52A.J. GriffinMIL
53Yordano VenturaCLEReally volatile and not nearly enough Ks to justify the risk in most cases
54Ariel MirandaOAK
55Raul Alcantaraat SEA
56Jhoulys ChacinHOU
57Cody Andersonat DET
58Brad Peacockat LAA
59Hector Santiagoat CWS
60Derek HollandMIL
61Kyle Gibsonat KC
62Buck FarmerCLE
63Clay Buchholzat NYY
64Josh Tomlinat KC
65James ShieldsTB, MIN
66Luis Severinoat TOR
67Mike Clevingerat DET, at KC
68Miguel GonzalezTB
69Matt Andrieseat CWS
70Jason VargasMIN
71Tyler Duffeyat CWS
72Jose Berriosat KC, at CWS
73Bryan MitchellBOS
73Edinson VolquezCLE
74Yovani Gallardoat NYY
75Ubaldo Jimenezat TOR
76Ross Detwilerat LAA, at SEA
77Jered WeaverOAK, HOU
78Alex MeyerOAK
79Daniel WrightHOU
80Wade Mileyat NYY

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

RankPitcherOpponent(s)Comments
1Max ScherzerARI, MIAFinishing brilliantly w/a 1.87 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 50 Ks and just 3 HR allowed in his L6 starts (43.3 IP)
2Noah Syndergaardat MIA, at PHIScratched from last start, but w/strep throat
3Johnny CuetoCOL, LAD
4Clayton Kershawat SFYeah, even with one start he's over some really good 2-start guys
5Kenta Maedaat SD, at SF
6Jose Fernandezat WAS
7Madison BumgarnerLAD
8Kyle Hendricksat PIT, at CINHis 2.90 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the road are good, but not close to his 1.32/0.86 home combo
9Rich Hillat SF
10Jon Lesterat CIN
11Jake Arrietaat PIT
12Tanner RoarkARI, MIAAt home this year: 2.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.0 Ks and 2.5 K:BB ratio
13John Lackeyat PIT, at CINMore Ks and markedly lower WHIP makes this year better than last even w/that 2.77 ERA in '15
14Jerad Eickhoffat ATL, NYMATL has been better offensively in 2H, but Eick has a 2.36 ERA vs. these two teams in 42 IP this year
15Bartolo Colonat MIA, at PHI
16Ivan NovaCHC
17Carlos MartinezPIT
18Julio TeheranDETAveraging a 58 Game Score over his L5 w/just 1 under 57
19Tyler AndersonMILIn 78 home IP: 3.00 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.8 K and 3.8 K:BB; Coors is always risky, but he's been sharp there
20Seth Lugoat MIAHasn't allowed more than 3 ER in seven starts (2.59 ERA as SP)
21Jon Grayat SFJust couldn’t command his stuff consistently on Fri, but still notched 10 Ks in 4 IP
22Matt MooreCOL
23Robbie Rayat WAS
24Jason Hammelat PITSome insane volatility down the stretch, Game Scores in L8: 73, 77, 8, 36, 65, 12, 48 and 66
25Jameson TaillonCHC
26Jeff SamardzijaCOLHas posted a 2.40 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over his L9 thanks in large part to just 3 HR allowed
27Anthony DeSclafaniat STL
28Robert Gsellmanat PHIHasn't topped 6 IP in any of his 5 starts
29Dan Strailyat STL
30Jeremy Hellicksonat ATL
31Zack GreinkeSDSimilar to Tanaka in that he's not going to make his 2-start week and could be done altogether
32Matt WislerPHI
33Tyler Chatwoodat SF
34Brandon FinneganCHC
35Andrew CashnerNYM
36Tom KoehlerNYM, at WASMaybe just use the home start if you can (3.87 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.1 Ks at home)
37Adam WainwrightCIN, PIT
38Chad KuhlCHC, at STL
39Alex ReyesCINLast 5 appearances (3 starts, 2 long reliefs totaling 8 IP): 1.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP (lotta BB) and 27 Ks in 25.7 IP
40Brett Andersonat SD
41Gio GonzalezARI3 QS in his last 5, but he allowed 6 ER in each of the other 2
42A.J. ColeMIA
43Jaime GarciaCIN, PIT
44Wei-Yin Chenat WASShaky return from the DL, but keep an eye on his Saturday start to see if he improves
45Mike LeakeCIN
46Jose UrenaNYM
47Joe RossARI
48Zach Daviesat COL
49Chase Andersonat TEX
50Wily Peraltaat COLHe's quietly been really sharp off the DL w/a 3.26 ERA in 49.7 IP, but not sure it's enough to test Coors
51Clayton Richardat ARI
52Shelby Millerat WASDropped 6 shutout in BAL after three straight 4 ER outings
53Luis PerdomoLAD
54German Marquezat SF, MIL
55Mike FoltynewiczPHI, DET
56Zack Godleyat WAS
57Jake ThompsonNYM
58Jimmy Nelsonat TEX
59Braden ShipleySD
60Edwin Jacksonat ARIER in L7 starts: 8, 5, 5, 0, 2, 8, 2 ... feeling lucky?
61Ryan VogelsongCHC, at STL
62Archie Bradleyat WAS, SD
63Robert Stephensonat STL, CHC
64Albert SuarezLAD
65Ross Stripling?at SDOriginally Scott Kazmir, but he left his Friday start after an inning; could be Strip or maybe Jose De Leon
66Taylor Jungmannat COL
67Steven Braultat STLTyler Glasnow is taking his Saturday start so stay tuned to see if Glas or Brault goes next week
68Alec AsherNYM
69Aaron BlairDET
70Jarred Cosartat ARI
71Adam Morganat ATL
72Chad BettisMIL
73Christian FriedrichLAD
74Tim Adlemanat STL, CHC
75Matt Garzaat TEX
76Paul ClemensLAD

MLB TOP 100

RANKPITCHEROPPONENTCOMMENT
1Max ScherzerARI, MIAFinishing brilliantly w/a 1.87 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 50 Ks and just 3 HR allowed in his L6 starts (43.3 IP)
2Noah Syndergaardat MIA, at PHIScratched from last start, but w/strep throat
3Justin VerlanderCLE, at ATLMaking a real run at the wide-open AL Cy Young; hard to find those JV haters these days
4Chris SaleTB, MIN
5Corey Kluberat DET, at KCHad a 3.94 ERA thru 14 starts; 2.45 ERA in L17 with a 1.04 WHIP and 130 Ks in 117.3 IP
6Johnny CuetoCOL, LAD
7Clayton Kershawat SFYeah, even with one start he's over some really good 2-start guys
8Kenta Maedaat SD, at SF
9Jose Fernandezat WAS
10Madison BumgarnerLAD
11Kyle Hendricksat PIT, at CINHis 2.90 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the road are good, but not close to his 1.32/0.86 home combo
12Rich Hillat SF
13Danny DuffyMIN
14Jose QuintanaTB
15Jon Lesterat CIN
16Jake Arrietaat PIT
17Tanner RoarkARI, MIAAt home this year: 2.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.0 Ks and 2.5 K:BB ratio
18John Lackeyat PIT, at CINMore Ks and markedly lower WHIP makes this year better than last even w/that 2.77 ERA in '15
19Jerad Eickhoffat ATL, NYMATL has been better offensively in 2H, but Eick has a 2.36 ERA vs. these two teams in 42 IP this year
20Rick PorcelloTORHas 4.50 ERA in 26 IP vs. TOR this year, but 1.00 WHIP, 9.3 K/9 and 6.8 K:BB
21Yu DarvishTB
22Chris Archerat CWSJust 12 ER in L6 (2.77 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) with 44 Ks and 5.5 K:BB
23Aaron SanchezBAL, at BOS
24David Priceat NYY, TORAfter 4.74 ERA thru June, he has a 3.10 ERA in 16 starts since 7/1; 7+ Ks in 6 of L7
25J.A. HappNYY, at BOS
26Marcus StromanBAL
27Kevin Gausmanat TOR
28Bartolo Colonat MIA, at PHI
29Cole HamelsTBLooked sharp in Friday's clincher, but TB has best OPS vs. LHP in second half
30Ivan NovaCHC
31Carlos MartinezPIT
32Julio TeheranDETAveraging a 58 Game Score over his L5 w/just 1 under 57
33Carlos RodonMIN
34Michael FulmerCLEFantastic start on Friday (7 IP/1 ER/9 K), but CLE has blasted him 2x including 5 IP/6 ER on 9/16
35Tyler AndersonMILIn 78 home IP: 3.00 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.8 K and 3.8 K:BB; Coors is always risky, but he's been sharp there
36Seth Lugoat MIAHasn't allowed more than 3 ER in seven starts (2.59 ERA as SP)
37Jon Grayat SFJust couldn’t command his stuff consistently on Fri, but still notched 10 Ks in 4 IP
38Matt MooreCOL
39Matt Boydat ATL
40Robbie Rayat WAS
41Jason Hammelat PITSome insane volatility down the stretch, Game Scores in L8: 73, 77, 8, 36, 65, 12, 48 and 66
42Jameson TaillonCHC
43Jeff SamardzijaCOLHas posted a 2.40 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over his L9 thanks in large part to just 3 HR allowed
44Anthony DeSclafaniat STL
45Robert Gsellmanat PHIHasn't topped 6 IP in any of his 5 starts
46Drew Pomeranzat NYY
47Ian KennedyMIN, CLEERA approached mid-4.00s in late-July before this 2.36 ERA over his last 68.7 IP
48Dan Strailyat STL
49Jeremy Hellicksonat ATL
50Ervin Santanaat KC
51Zack GreinkeSDSimilar to Tanaka in that he's not going to make his 2-start week and could be done altogether
52Matt WislerPHI
53Hisashi Iwakumaat HOU, OAK
54Marco Estradaat BOS
55Sean Manaeaat LAAJust 1 ER in his last 21.3 IP w/24 Ks and 3.4 K:BB
56Felix Hernandezat HOU, OAK
57Chris Tillmanat TOR
58Masahiro TanakaBALA potential 2-start week pushed to one and could be done altogether if his flexor mass strain doesn't improve
59Jharel Cottonat SEA
60James Paxtonat HOU
61Jake Odorizziat TEX
62Joe Musgroveat LAAI'm not drawing a straight line here, but: 5.20 ERA in first 5 w/3 BB; 3.62 ERA in last 5 w/13 BB
63Daniel NorrisCLE
64Tyler Chatwoodat SF
65Brandon FinneganCHC
66Eduardo RodriguezTOR
67Andrew CashnerNYM
68Drew Smylyat CWSCouple solid starts last 2x out, but still so volatile and especially worrisome in HR-friendly park (1.7 HR/9)
69Alex Cobbat CWS, at TEXI could just feel a TJ coming: 1.3 IP/7 ER vs. NYY last time out; it never fails
70Tom KoehlerNYM, at WASMaybe just use the home start if you can (3.87 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.1 Ks at home)
71Adam WainwrightCIN, PIT
72Chad KuhlCHC, at STL
73Michael PinedaBAL
74Blake Snellat TEX
75Alex ReyesCINLast 5 appearances (3 starts, 2 long reliefs totaling 8 IP): 1.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP (lotta BB) and 27 Ks in 25.7 IP
76Dylan Bundyat NYY
77Brett Andersonat SD
78Mike FiersSEA
79Taijuan WalkerOAK
80Kendall Gravemanat SEAWent from perfect thru 5 to a hard-luck 7 IP/3 ER loss; life comes at you fast as a pitcher
81Gio GonzalezARI3 QS in his last 5, but he allowed 6 ER in each of the other 2
82A.J. ColeMIA
83Jaime GarciaCIN, PIT
84Colby LewisTB
85Daniel Mengdenat LAA
85Trevor Bauerat DET
86Wei-Yin Chenat WASShaky return from the DL, but keep an eye on his Saturday start to see if he improves
87Mike LeakeCIN
88Doug FisterSEA
89Luis CessaBOS, BOS
90Jose UrenaNYM
91Joe RossARI
92Zach Daviesat COL
93Chase Andersonat TEX
94Collin McHughSEA, at LAA
96Martin PerezMIL
97Francisco LirianoBALHas a 3.20 ERA with 27 Ks in last 25.3 IP
98Wily Peraltaat COLHe's quietly been really sharp off the DL w/a 3.26 ERA in 49.7 IP, but not sure it's enough to test Coors
99Clayton Richardat ARI
100Shelby Millerat WASDropped 6 shutout in BAL after three straight 4 ER outings