Shuffle Up: Max Scherzer makes the leap; Hisashi Iwakuma can’t be stopped

Alright, gamers, this is the one Shuffle Up that matters the most. If you could consistently figure out the fickle sighs and signs of these sirens, everything else would be a breeze.

Our goal is to rank all the roto-relevant starting pitchers for the rest of 2013, thinking 5x5 value in a mixed league. The prices are used for comparison tools; don't worry about the numbers in a vacuum. Players at the same cost are considered even.

I'll add commentary later today and I welcome your intelligent disagreement. Win the debate, win the rank. But remember to support your dissent, and never forget the golden rule of roto: a player doesn't gain (or lose) 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because you're rostering him.

Meet us on the mound. Rosin bag sold separately.

$30 Clayton Kershaw
$28 Yu Darvish
$27 Adam Wainwright
$26 Felix Hernandez
$26 Justin Verlander
$24 Cliff Lee
$23 Chris Sale
$22 Max Scherzer
$22 Matt Harvey
$22 Hisashi Iwakuma
$21 Madison Bumgarner
$21 Mat Latos
$20 Jordan Zimmermann
$20 Shelby Miller

Although Scherzer's K/9 rate has dipped a little bit, it's still elite - and his strikeout percentage (a better meter) has actually gone up. That's what efficiency will do for you, not to mention the additional dip in his walk numbers. Mad Max used to be the king of the 5-6 inning start, big strikeouts but a pile of no decisions. That's no longer a problem; he's just under seven innings on average for his 12 starts. Welcome to the big time, kid. You're a stealth Cy Young contender . . . Iwakuma has turned into my favorite American League watch, a mix of control, decisiveness, missed bats and pitching environment (no matter what they do to the Safeco dimensions, they can't touch the marine layer). Here's what Iwakuma has done since the Mariners put him in the rotation: 29 starts, 14-5 record, 2.31 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 157 strikeouts against 41 walks. If you're still waiting around for proof, you're missing a helluva game.

$19 Cole Hamels
$19 Jeff Samardzija
$19 Matt Cain
$19 CC Sabathia
$18 Gio Gonzalez
$18 Matt Moore
$18 Lance Lynn
$17 Anibal Sanchez
$17 James Shields
$17 Zack Greinke
$17 Jon Lester
$17 Mike Minor
$16 Alex Cobb
$16 Jered Weaver
$16 Clay Buchholz
$15 Hiroki Kuroda
$15 A.J. Burnett

You don't win friends with salad, unless it's a Cobb salad. It's been a glorious year for him, moving the strikeout and walk numbers where we want them, getting more swinging strikes, surviving nicely despite the AL East environment (stil the best place for scoring in the majors). Cobb's ground-ball rate is also a beautiful thing, checking in at 57.6 percent. His strand rate is going to come down at some point, but he's also been unlucky with the HR/FB clip - call that a wash. Life under the catwalk also hides a few mistakes. Enjoy the ride.

$14 Patrick Corbin
$14 Doug Fister
$14 Homer Bailey
$13 Hyun-Jin Ryu
$12 R.A. Dickey
$12 Derek Holland
$12 Travis Wood
$12 Julio Teheran
$12 Francisco Liriano
$12 Kris Medlen
$11 Matt Garza
$11 Justin Masterson
$10 C.J. Wilson
$10 Ervin Santana
$10 Scott Feldman
$10 Yovani Gallardo
$10 Bartolo Colon
$10 Tommy Milone

Medlen has commanded his curve a little better in his last couple of starts, so maybe he's back in the SP3 discussion. But obviously he doesn't have knockdown stuff if he's forced to work in the zone regularly. Life in the NL East helps the cause, where there isn't one opponent with a scary offense. It's the lowest scoring division in baseball, by far.

$9 Trevor Cahill
$9 Paul Maholm
$9 Alexi Ogando
$8 Ryan Dempster
$8 Jarrod Parker
$8 Wandy Rodriguez
$8 A.J. Griffin
$8 Jose Fernandez
$8 John Lackey
$8 Paul Mather
$8 Zack Wheeler
$7 Phil Hughes
$7 Tony Cingrani
$7 Andrew Cashner
$7 Dan Straily
$7 Corey Kluber
$7 Shaun Marcum
$6 Josh Johnson
$6 Tim Hudson
$6 Mike Leake
$5 Jonathon Niese
$5 Kyle Lohse
$5 Dan Haren
$5 Bronson Arroyo
$5 Chris Tillman
$5 Jeremy Hellickson
$5 Gerrit Cole
$5 Rick Porcello
$4 Barry Zito
$4 Tim Lincecum
$4 Jeff Locke
$4 Kyle Kendrick
$4 Jorge De La Rosa
$4 Edwin Jackson
$4 Ricky Nolasco
$4 David Phelps
$4 Ian Kennedy
$4 Jerome Williams

Here's the thing with Wheeler and Cole: it's all about the K/9 rate and K/BB rate. I don't care about the ERA. Cole is hardly striking anyone out and his K/BB rate is well under 2 - that's a pass for me. Maybe he's bored, maybe he's tinkering, but I can't grab him on spec. Conversely, Wheeler has that pretty strikeout clip over one per inning, so I'll go to war with him right away in any sort of mixer (despite the messy supporting cast around him) . . . Porcello could get interesting if this strikeout clip over the last month is a sign of legitimate growth. He came up early and struggled for a while, but he's still just 24 . . . Nolasco is starting to tease us again, though the supporting cast is horrid. How many times is he going to be favored? Wins are random, but I'll take my chances on the Cardinals and Rangers and Tigers over the dregs of the league.

$3 Marco Estrada
$3 Jason Vargas
$3 Andy Pettitte
$3 Ubaldo Jimenez
$3 Tyler Chatwood
$3 Hector Santiago
$2 Kevin Gausman
$2 Wade Miley
$2 Tommy Hanson
$2 Jeremy Guthrie
$2 Tyler Skaggs
$2 Tyler Lyons
$2 Jhoulys Chacin
$2 Jason Marquis
$2 Eric Stults
$2 Jose Quintana
$2 Bud Norris
$2 Kevin Slowey
$2 Chris Archer
$2 Dylan Axelrod
$1 Jason Hammel
$1 Nick Tepesch
$1 Miguel Gonzalez
$1 Jonathan Pettibone
$1 Dillon Gee
$1 Roberto Hernandez
$0 Felix Doubront
$0 Mark Buehrle
$0 Scott Kazmir
$0 Edinson Volquez

Courtesy Injury Ranks - Not for Debate
$18 Stephen Strasburg
$15 David Price
$14 Johnny Cueto
$13 Brandon Beachy
$7 Brandon McCarthy
$6 Jake Peavy
$6 Michael Pineda
$5 Ross Detwiler
$4 Brandon Morrow
$4 Brett Anderson
$3 Roy Halladay
$3 Wei-Yin Chen
$3 James McDonald
$2 Ryan Vogelsong
$2 Zach McAllister
$2 Chris Carpenter
$0 Josh Beckett

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