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Updating the MLB fantasy points league top 300, and solving the Rick Porcello puzzle

After a rocky start, where is the rest of Rick Porcello's season headed? AJ Mass digs deeper. Elsa/Getty Images

The task of coming up with a perfect set of rest-of-season rankings is always an impossible one. After all, nobody can predict the future of so many moving parts with any degree of certainty, and there will always be, in retrospect, glaring mistakes that bring about head-scratching derision.

But I'd like to address today one player's performance prediction that has brought a lot of questioning comments my way over the past week -- Rick Porcello. During a conversation with my colleague Eric Karabell on the Fantasy Focus podcast, I planted my flag on Porcello being a top-10 starting pitcher for the rest of the season. My sanity was questioned in ways both kind and unkind on Twitter as a result, so I'd like to use Porcello as an example of the process involved in my making such a claim.

Firstly, I deal with numbers, not names. When I create my rankings, a variety of predictive mathematical formulae are used in order to take every player's past performances and turn them into a future projection. I then take those projections and translate them directly into a range of potential points league outcomes that those stats will produce, and rank them from most to least valuable.

It's only then that I take a gander at the names. I do this to avoid putting any personal bias into the equation, and where there seems to be an outlier ranking, I try and take a closer look as to why that might be the case rather than simply dismissing it, because the math is the math. After all, nobody seemed to be upset with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Greinke all being in my top 10 entering this week of play. There's got to be some validity to the process, no?

So let's take a closer look at Porcello. Before