A Cloudy Forecast

After his first two starts back from the DL, Sonny Gray looked to peeking through the clouds and shining upon owners. He allowed just two ER in those starts and,...

After his first two starts back from the DL, Sonny Gray looked to peeking through the clouds and shining upon owners. He allowed just two ER in those starts and, hey, maybe he could bring SP #2/3 numbers the rest of the way. But that was a foolish thought as he faced his first decent opponent and went a paltry 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks against the Rangers. I really wanted to buy in Gray being back, but I find it hard to endorse him over guys like Jameson Taillon, James Paxton, Danny Duffy, or Joe Ross. There are simply too many question marks and not enough mega upside for me to run with him over the aforementioned young pitchers who can make your week in just one super awesome start. Don’t give up fully on Gray just yet, but he’s sitting in the middle of the 40s on The List, and don’t hesitate to go after anyone above him if he’s available, including Blake Snell who returns to the majors Thursday night.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Noah Syndergaard – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. YEAH THOR, YEAH.

Adam Wainwright – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I have to hand it to Waino. Across his last six starts, he now has a 2.50 ERA, a 8.36 K/9, and a 0.98 WHIP, and he did it while facing tough teams like the Cubs, Nats, and Giants. It’s too bad he’s heading to Wrigley next time out or I’d be all aboard. If that start is solid, you best be owning Waino and I don’t blame you for chasing him down now.

Drew Smyly – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Are you just trying to make this difficult for me? I mean, I should be happy given how much I endorsed Smyly earlier in the season, but I had given up on the kid after recording at least seven strikeouts just twice since the middle of April. And now he performs like this against the Mariners, who are somehow a Top 5 offense these days. So what are you supposed to do? If you own him, let him fly – obvi – but if he’s on the wire because someone was fed up with his near 5.00 ERA, I’d snatch him up for his start against the Tribe. Don’t think I’d go for his start against the O’s thereafter, though. 

Clayton Kershaw – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. BREAKING NEWS: Kershaw is worse than Thor. HA Ha ha ha ha

Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Yet another Top 7 pitcher went today and yet another aces gonna ace.

Hector Santiago – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t care Santiago, you’re not getting an invitation to my birthday party. Or my fantasy team roster. I guess the latter is more important, but don’t underestimate my birthday parties. Do you get a Spiderman inflatable castle? You bet your Mookie I do.

Jason Hammel – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Solid Hammel. Very solid. Now go sell like you’re trying to to find a lab partner before getting paired up with Stacy. Ugh, Stacy blows.

Nate Karns – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Our back up call boy did fine. Not QS fine, not sub 3.00 ERA fine, but eight Ks and a decent 1.20 WHIP fine. It seems like a somewhat standard line from Karns, but be careful – despite now holding a 9.51 K/9 on the season, this was just the third time all year he’s fanned more than six batters. Weird, right? It’s why K/9 is a stat that belongs next to IPS (Innings Per Start). Why isn’t that stat a bigger thing? Why isn’t KPS (strikeouts per start) even bigger?

Johnny Cueto – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. You know, I really should have Cueto at #10 ahead of Carrasco and Kluber. I really don’t like Cueto either and I’m fighting that blob of a bias just to say that to you guys. There are some signs of concern: A full point and change difference between his 2.10 ERA and 3.29 xFIP, as well as just a 7.62 K/9 (6.5 KPS, aha!) don’t scream Top 10, but he’s cruising and other guys aren’t doing so.

Corey Kluber – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Like freakin’ Kluber over here. I gotta drop him in a big way. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, still shame on you – it’s just a blip! – fool me three times, I’m shaking my newspaper at you and warning you of the ramifications of these foul ways, but fool me FOUR times, and now you’re going to fall near #20 or so. He had it coming guys.

Marco Estrada – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Speaking of going against my biases, I really don’t like Estrada and I have to praise him for holding a 2.58 that is more than two full points under his 4.64 xFIP. He’s different than your TEEs as he actually has a history of outperforming his peripherals and I believe in his Changeup that is making all of this possible – to a degree. Just keep working on getting that now 3.50 BB/9 down and we cool Marco. We cool.

Collin McHugh – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. You realize this is coming off a run of 14 ER in four games, right? It wouldn’t be wise to put much stock into this.

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s not the kind of rebound you really want to see from Sale, and I’m starting to believe that his “pitch to contact” approach this year is really hurting his numbers across the board. Some of y’all may be trying to remind me that he did face the Tigers in this outing, which is fair. But what isn’t fair is that he gets the Sawx and Jays next. Obviously start him, but it may be some time before we see him really take off again.

Steven Wright – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Is the end of the demise of Wright?! Nah, that’s just one ER away from being pretty dang pleasant. Keep riding dat wave duuuuude.

Bud Norris – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nud Borris is trying to be cool with those seven Ks like he’s fooling anybody.

Chad Bettis – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Bettis has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.

Ian Kennedy – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Back when he was doing well I was naming his xFIP as an indicator for his future decline. And whatdoyouknow, a pair of 2-run shots were the only runs on the board under Kennedy’s name tonight. Otherwise those Ks and WHIP are actually pretty serviceable and at least he didn’t walk five batters this time, right?

Patrick Corbin – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Imma need like a five game stretch that will make me feel good inside like I just watched the ending to The Princess Bride. Then we can talk.

Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Luis got the call for the spot start with Cashner injured again because he’s stupid n stuff, but you don’t really care about any of this because A) it’s Cashner and we all Cashed Out B) You have no idea who Perdomo is unless you’re a San Diego fan or root for the Marlins and for some reason elected to watch this exciting matchup tonight.  And you shouldn’t care, because Perdomo is just a Cup of Schmo.

Jeremy Hellickson – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Never again Hellickson. Never again. Hey, isn’t that what you said about getting McDonald’s at 1:00am? …Yes, but I mean it this time!

Mike Pelfrey – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks.  I’m sure soooo many of you feel let down by this outing. I know, I was really gunning for him this time. Just like how I was holding my breath expecting karate stud Johnny Lawrence to put that stupid Daniel kid in his place.

Anthony DeSclafani – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. No injury, no rain, just three unearned runs and a pitch count at 76 in the third inning. Against the Braves. You may be saying that pitch count isn’t high enough to get pulled, but when you’re still in the third inning, it means you’ve thrown a ton of consecutive pitches – a.k.a. “stressful pitches” – and the last thing the Reds want to do is overwork Tony Disco so soon. Anyway, forget about this outing and move on to his next one against the Rangers. I see that as a deeper stream and maybe for some 12 teamers, and I’d be cautious if I could.

Derek Holland – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The Dutch Invasion is back again, this time against the A’s. I really need to stop considering Derek for anything. I think Dale Doback would agree.

Tyler Duffey – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. This is like seeing your ex-girlfriend’s photos on your Facebook timeline. I THOUGHT I DEFRIENDED YOU.

Ivan Nova – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I just realized that “Nova” directly translates to “No Go” in French. The wonders of peak delirium…

Justin Nicolino – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Nicoli….no. I guess that’s what I’m doing from now on.

Kevin Gausman – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I was tempted to lead with Gaus since I’ve been mentioning yesterday and earlier today how I had him ranked too highly on Monday and then this had to show up on our doorstep. My bad about that guys. I still like his overall K/BB numbers, but he’s not dominant enough to hold onto while the sea of upside is crashing down upon us. If I could go back, I would have placed him around Joe Ross in the mid 40s, just so you guys have a reference.

Jeff Locke – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Any sort of bubble Jeff had has been popped and Locked. That’s the best you’ve got? After fourteen starts of Locke jokes? Sure.

Jimmy Nelson – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. I’ve been a bit of a downer on Nelson this year, but even so I never like seeing a guy with potential struggle as Nelson has as of late, now allowing 6 ER for the second time in three games. I would still consider him for his date against Oakland next week, though.

Today’s Streamers

J.A. Happ vs. Philadelphia Phillies – There are a decent amount of options – Scott Kazmir vs. Milwaukee, Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Tampa (UPDATE: Nope, it’s James Paxton now who is an obvious start), and even Colby Lewis against Oakland for the deep stream (still hate him, though) – but Happ is the one that’s probably unowned at the moment.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Julio Urias vs. Milwaukee Brewers – I’m willing to bet Urias got dropped in a bunch of leagues after his first two starts and a matchup against the Brew Crew is pretty dang solid. Also, if Matt Shoemaker is somehow still out there, you best grab him for his game against Oakland, 10 teamers be damned.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Robbie Ray vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Oh boy do I hate the streaming options for this day, which forces me to go with a super volatile upside guy in Ray as he faces one of the worst offensive ball clubs in the bigs.

Game of the Day

Blake Snell vs. James Paxton – Two super fun to watch lefties duke it out for our enjoyment. Sweeeeet.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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