A Layover In Dallas

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Wednesday's games.

(Photo by: Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)

Dallas Keuchel went 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks last night as I let out a significant ugggggggh that I swear was just my reaction to Keuchel’s outing for my neighbors who read these roundups. Keuchel, buddy, pal. That’s your second 5 ER game in three starts and it’s killing me. you had a fantastic eight-start stretch until the middle of August and it’s been a lot of ups and downs like a spoon plane when serving my nephew. It’s really become a decent *shrug* each time Keuchel starts – spoken like a true Toby – and I think you kinda don’t have a choice but to keep starting him as he gets the Jays next. Don’t let us down. Please. Regarding next season, I’m tempted to place him outside the Top 40, if not Top 50. That doesn’t mean he can’t help over a full season, it’s that his ceiling isn’t high enough for me to chase him over other upside plays that can legit win me the season – Corbin, Snell, Bauer, Clevinger, Taillon, etc. from this year’s drafts. I want to chase that, not a middling helpful but dispensible arm.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Brett Anderson6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s so boring it hurts. Nothing like banking on Anderson to go 3/20 on balls in play, am I right?

Walker Buehler6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. I feel like he deserves an AGA label, though I’ll probably wait until 2019 for that. At least he’s raising the whiff rate (19/101 here) to make people actually believe his strikeouts are real. He’s essentially Wheeler if Wheeler had solid breaking pitchers to complement his heater.

Diego Castillo1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. FALSE START.

Dylan Covey6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t Covey Thy Dylan. Yes, even with this good start against the Indians. On the real though, last night was weird. So many surprising starts.

Zach Eflin5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. It looks like we can begin starting Eflin again versus weak teams. Yes. Now he gets the Rockies in Coors. No.

Matt Festa1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. FALSE START.

Gio Gonzalez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s just 3 ER in three starts for Gio since becoming a Brewer and I’m a bit skeptical if his changeup is really this good. I’m be careful starting him next time against the Cards.

Gabriel Moya1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. FALSE START.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Ray is hot and you best not overthink this. This was the Cubs. It didn’t matter.

Jimmy Yacabonis4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ha, even when Jimmy does well it was still four frames. That’s the life of Jimmy.

Chris Archer7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. This is all kinds of lovely for Archer owners that have endured a very difficult year from Archer. What isn’t all kinds of lovely is an evening with the Cubs next week. Womp womp.

Carlos Carrasco6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Carrasco earned another Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs – 40/111 CSW. Crazy good.

Marco Estrada6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, Estrada was helpful for a night! Seriously, it’s shocking and weird and in no way should we put stock in him now.

Luis Severino7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Would you look at that! Severino survived against the Red Sox, giving a stud start when we had our doubts. It was a risky play and it worked if you had the brass to do it. I’m still a little worried seeing just 4/34 whiffs on his slide piece and just 30/108 CSW overall, but you have to think this is a step in the right direction.

Tyler Anderson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Anderson had a date with the Dodgers and surprised us with a solid outing. Next up are the Phils in Coors and that’s a little better in my book

Heath Fillmyer7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Good on ya Heath, we all know you’re not this good.

Touki Toussaint5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Touki was the strikeout upside play and succeeded against the Cardinals. He’ll probably stick as the sixth man in the rotation, meaning he gets the Mets next and I’m all for it.

Robbie Erlin5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh good, we have another resident in Mediocricity. I’ll be honest, I feel like even saying that is giving Erlin too much credit.

Noah Syndergaard4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Oh great, now we’re back to Thor being unbelievably frustrating. Should he be in the Top 15 next year? You’d think not, right? It’s wild that guys like Buehler, Taillon, Clevinger, Flaherty, etc. would all be drafted higher than Thor if the 2019 season started the day after the 2018 year ended. But it doesn’t as possible tweaks, trends reset, and much-needed rest can all affect a new season. I’ll have my ranks for 2019 out on October 8th and I have no idea what that will be. He gets the Braves next and you have to let him fly.

David Price5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Earlier in the year we were all about starting Price against everyone except the Yanks, then he’s killed it over the last three months including a start against the Pinstripes and we all – myself certainly included – let him fly. Note to self: Follow your notes. Three homers here did the damage, plus an Eduardo Nunez error did little to help the evening overall. He gets the Orioles next but then another possible date with the Yanks to end the season (maybe not as the Sawx could restructure their rotation prior to the playoffs), so let’s start him next time and see what happens after.

Jack Flaherty4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. You just had to pull down your draft stock just a little, didn’t you, Flaherty. I was expecting myself to be a little lower than average on Flaherty, but if he tosses another one of these, I’m curious if the pendulum will swing the other way. Here’s to a successful start next time out.

Chris Stratton3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Nooooooooooooooooo. Seriously, this is a nightmare of a start as it seemed like such a clear success, but of course Stratton had to realize his floor on the night we wanted to chase him. Ugh. I feel for everyone who started him here, it’s the risk we run with streaming and…blegh. Sorry. Streaming Record: 97-48.

Felix Pena4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Pena, despite being a decent streamer lately, just isn’t good enough to handle the A’s. It’s okay, we didn’t expect it to go well.

Spencer Turnbull4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. For a guy that sounds like he wants his chance to prove his bucking skills at the local bar, Turnbull sure didn’t put on a show. He’s a Cup of Schmo from reliever turned starter for this one, so it’s not a surprise in any way, but you always root for the underdog, you know?

Cole Hamels6.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeeegh. Hamels has been killing it in the second half and it fell apart with two longballs. Let’s move past this.

Matt Harvey5.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. He was able to handle the Cubs last time, but the Brew Crew were too much for him. Even with this atrocity, he’s still holding a 3.91 ERA in his last eight starts with a 3.50 SIERA and 25% K rate. Don’t ignore Harvey as an option after this game as he gets the Royals next.

Yohander Mendez3.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Do yourself a favor and get off the Mendz. Is that supposed to be a pun on Meds? Maybe. Yes. It’s not a good pun. YOU’RE NOT A GOOD PUN. 

Today’s Streamer

Edwin Jackson vs. Los Angeles Angels – I hate him, but this slate is terrible. Here’s to hoping we can Survive A Night With EJax.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Davies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Tough day for choices here with a lot of different ones right at the same level as Davies. Ian Kennedy vs. Detroit Tigers. Davies was pushed to tomorrow, so I’m going to with Kennedy against a poor Tigers offense. Ivan Nova may work as well against the Brewers, but that offense is a bit scary for me while I’d favor Reynaldo Lopez against the Cubs instead, but none of them make me all too confident. I’d choose John Gant vs the Giants if I could, but his 22% ownage rate just puts him out of my threshold of 20% or lower.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Davies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Few options under the 20% threshold here, so I’ll go with Davies still who was pushed from his Friday start.

Game of the Day

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Masahiro Tanaka – Both are great starters, but they have to deal with potent lineups. Should be a fun matchup.

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.

30 responses to “A Layover In Dallas”

  1. Quinn R Armstrong says:

    NICK! Would you really trust Ejax? I need help climbing out of the hole Price so graciously dug for me. The Price is wrong, B!&@#!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      No I wouldn’t! I don’t have a choice though, I have to pick a streamer every day :-/

      Now, if you’re in too big of a hole, it might be worth it to chase Wins/Ks in a H2H league, though.

  2. Joe says:

    Who’s the best 1 or 2 options if you mostly just need a win tomorrow?

    Ian Kennedy @ DET

    Jhoulys Chacin v PIT

    John Gant v SF

    Wei-Yin Chen v CIN

    Joe Ross v NYM

  3. Jim says:

    Chris Stratton sunk my battleship.

  4. Scott says:

    In fairness to price that last homer by boot that chased him in the 6th would have been a routine fly out to right in every other ballpark.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Yep, mentioned that in the First Pitch cast. I don’t think Price pitched *so* poorly, but he clearly wasn’t his incredibly sharp self, regardless of that HR.

  5. Bob says:

    Would you start sabathia tomorrow vs Balt (h2h playoffs)? He didn’t do well last time vs Toronto in a seemingly good matchup. Thx

  6. Nick says:

    Thor should undoubtedly be a top 10 starter next year.

    He’s actually allowing the lowest exit velocity and barrel rate of his career this season. Best xBACON of his career as well.

    His 332 BABIP will be heading down significantly.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Will that BABIP head down significantly?

      I highly recommend reading this piece I wrote about Thor’s BABIP in March – https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/pitcher-spotlight-the-noah-syndergaard-flaw-were-all-ignoring/

      There have been an influx of studs showing up this year, including Bauer, Snell, and Corbin. I think I’ll have him in the Top 15, but not Top 10.

      • Nick says:

        That’s good analysis, and I think it’s reasonable to expect that Syndergaard is more “hittable” than one would think based on his velocity and stuff, but a 330+ BABIP is not sustainable. The highest starter BABIP from 2015 to 2018 (min. 500 IP) is Corbin and Syndergaard at .318.

        On top of that, one would expect that a true talent high BABIP pitcher gives up hard hit ground balls and line drives. Syndergaard doesn’t. His 86.1 exit velo on those batted balls since 2016 is 85th percentile.

        All the xstats paint Syndergaard in a strong light. His barrel rate, exit velo and xBacon are the best of his careers this season.

        I agree that anecdotally it can seem like Syndergaard is a bit care free in how he pitches, but there’s solid evidence that he’s gotten very unlucky the last couple years. I bet his BABIP is below 310, and probably even 300, next season.

        I also bet that Syndergaard outperforms Snell next year. While Blake is a great pitcher, that 88% strand rate and 237 BABIP aren’t sustainable.

  7. Phil says:

    Is Bauer worth the start coming off the DL on Friday? Doesn’t seem like he’d offer much since it’s probably going to be a short outing, and it’s against the Sawx? DLH?

  8. IvebeenheresincePitcherGIFs says:

    Hey Nick,

    Do you think Stripling is finally stretched out to provide good value against the Padres this weekend, or am I better off rolling the dice on Reynaldo (vs CHC), Heaney (@HOU) ?

    Thanks as always, i hate to bother you im just in desperation mode to make a last stand comeback this weekend for a championship that I wouldnt even be in if it wasnt for your advice!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Never hesitate to ask! You should know if this is your fifth season with me and Pitcher GIFs/List :-P

      I think I’d roll with Striping there. If I need a huge push of the needle, ReyLo gets my vote.

  9. Dave says:

    Are you starting Bauer against the Redsox tomorrow or is he a DLH? I need to maintain my insanely low pitching ratios from Taillon, Kershaw, and Nola (thanks for the year pitcher list!)

  10. theKraken says:

    I really don’t enjoy criticizing these… but how can you comp Buehler to Wheeler? He is better in every way and Wheeler doesn’t even have a track record. WB strikes out more, walks less, throws more ground balls – furthermore WB has a minor league track record of all these things where Wheeler is throwing strikes for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I think Wheeler is really interesting, but one has pitched like an ace and the other is interesting. Pitch classification is tough and I don’t trust it, but I think WB is a 4 pitch guy with a distinct slider and curve along with a change that I think looks pretty good at times… I think he is just scratching the surface because he has so many weapons and he is trying to figure out how to use them – don’t forget that he missed a year plus with TJ and has had his innings babied since he left Vanderbilt. I haven’t seen much Wheeler, but the stats are not particularly comparable. I have a feeling that if Wheeler was looking like WB on a daily basis that the NY hype machine would be calling for Cy Young votes. My only concerns with WB are his health, I think dominance is pretty much in the bag. I think it is also interesting to pick out the starts / appearance that line up with those DL stints – if you throw out the appearances that directly follow a DL stint with no rehab apps, the numbers are scary good. I get that picking out starts is kind of bad, but in this case… I think it makes some sense.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Kraken, I called him a better version of Wheeler. We’re on the same page.

      The main comp is from them both having a fantastic four-seamer. The separation, as you brought up, is plenty stronger secondary pitches from Buehler.

  11. theKraken says:

    I am a frustrated Thor owner and I would draft him over Taillon, Clevinger, and Flaherty without any hesitation. I would probably take him over WB… Thor is a headcase – he is not a model of stability but I am not sure this isn’t his floor either, which isn’t that bad. You wanna know what I think is going on with him? I think you are right about the hard contact and lack of command. He is down a tick or two on the FB and I think that is the difference between the pitch working and not… which is weird because that is never how it works, but when you throw as hard as Thor I think it actually matters. Not sure what the future holds, but I think it is all pretty close to being what it was when he was a top 5 guy. The injury stuff is legitimately scary…

  12. Dejected owner says:

    Because of injuries and guys getting limited (Bauer, Paxton, Sale), I had to run out Stratton and Holland the last two nights in my championship game. It might cost me the season as the pair combined for negative 7 points. If I didn’t know better, I would have never guessed the Padres are as bad as the are. They sure played well the last two. This is a QS league with a weekly start cap, so guys like Bauer and Sale are useless at 2-3 innings.

  13. Mike says:

    I am blown away that WB and Wheeler are even in the same sentence. I also don’t like to criticize anything on here, because I am also a big fan of this website….but putting them in the same sentence is pure blasphemy and it won’t go unpunished. 3 laps around the gymnasium and 3 around the quads….we’re going streaaaaakkkinggg ?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m a bit surprised that two of you guys have responded this way!

      I wouldn’t be shocked if they are separated by 10-15 spots in ADP in 2019 drafts, while they both sport excellent rates, WHIP and ERA marks this year.

      At the same time, I’m also saying Buehler is a *better* version of Wheeler, not that they are the same save for a minor difference.

      • theKraken says:

        Sorry! I guess we read it a bit differently than you intended. I actually think WB has a meh-ish FB but it plays up because of the secondaries. I really don’t claim to know where WB will be drafted. He certainly hasn’t gotten the headlines of a Snell, but the numbers are not that far off. Oddly enough, his playoff performance will probably have a lot to do with it whether he is top 40 or top 20. He could very well lead them through the playoffs to a WS or they could lose in a WC game? Offseason hype is king and I don’t know where that will end up.

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Well, 124 innings vs. 170 is a major difference between Snell and Walker. Not to mention, Snell’s ERA hovering 2.00 is a deserves plenty more attention.

          About Buehler’s Four-Seamer, did you realize it had a 12% whiff rate and a .191 BAA? Crazy good!

  14. Greg says:

    How can Flaherty dominate for 3 innings and then just lose it. Is it the 3rd pitch?

  15. Jesus... Aguilar says:

    Any concern with Nola’s increased hr rate? Should I not consider his Sunday start the lock it also is?

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