We’ve seen a rough season from Walker Buehler thus far, but we might be seeing the man break through the dark forest after last night’s 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks start against the Nationals. It’s his second straight game of 7+ Ks and seven frames, but more importantly, the second start of dominant heaters. There’s still room to grow with his breaking stuff on the whiffs front, but both pitchers hovered the zone plenty, which was the biggest catalyst of his 5.22 ERA in April. This was an outing where he attacked with heat, backed it up with breakers, then shut the door with more heat. The Reds are next and you can put your chips in on Walker doing more of the same. I can hear the exhales across the country now.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Trevor Bauer – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, the walks are still a little high, but everything is lovely.
Zach Eflin – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. So just nine whiffs, but 31 called strikes. That’s 40/110 CSW and that will certainly work. It’s still a very prominent slider/fastball combo, but it’s working against teams like the Royals and even though it’s nuts that we have two CGSHO already from Eflin, I still think he’s just a Toby. Sorry, I know you want more from me here but I’m not seeing anything that jumps out to say “Hey! This guy is legit Top 30 potential!” He pumps the zone, has a good slider, doesn’t miss a ton of bats, leading him to be a bit volatile. Some nights are above, others he’ll get hit around a bit. That’s fine, that’s a Toby, and he’ll stay off the wire.
Ryne Stanek – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Finally, the OG Rays elected to give Yonny Chirinos the nod in the 3rd frame and got us the cheap Win at the cost of a 4.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with just 2 Ks. Is it worth y’all? IS IT?!
Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I love getting texts at night from Fast, geeking over pitching performances. Here we got “50 four-seamers and just three put in play” not to mention 15 whiffs. 30% whiff rate ON A FASTBALL. Stupid. 24 whiffs total for a Gallows Pole, duh.
Zach Davies – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The dream keeps on dreaming. Or something. It’s a Vargas Rule that is so obviously a TEEs, it hurts. Seriously, it’s a 1.54 ERA with a 4.97 SIERA now. Do it with me now, tilt your head, give that look you’d give to a child saying they didn’t steal a cookie when you see the chocolate on their face, and say the words. Come on.
Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Look at this, aces actually doing things. Maybe the storm is over. Maybe it’s just begun. No, definitely not that, we’re not stuck in Twister and this isn’t the eye. Or maybe— Stop that.
Kevin Gausman – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. After a pair of 5 ER disasters, Gausman has improved with just 5 ER in three starts against the Fish, Blue Whales (LA), and Snakes. (I’ll admit, I called the Dodgers “Blue Whales” to make the animal thing work, but I kinda love that name as “whale” refers to those that spend an exuberant amount of money relative to the heavy majority. It’s sticking.) It’s kinda nuts how much he’s still just hanging out arm-side, and he had better up/down separation with that four-seamer and splitter here. On one hand, hard up, slow low is what I preach and I’m happy about this. On the other, I wonder if this is becoming too predictable, not to mention, he has to get separation between the two for it to legit work on a given night. We’ll see.
Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Keep on keepin’ on Hamels. While I don’t think a 3.08 ERA and 1.07 WHIP are here to stay, you’re a Toby at worst and that’s fine by me.
Joey Lucchesi – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Good to see Lucchesi not act like a Fugghesi, I’d still like to favor others on the wire instead, though.
Jordan Lyles – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid stuff here Lyles, I don’t love you a whole lot given your middling repertoire, but you have the ability as a Toby to have starts like this one. Not my favorite one out there, but there are certainly worse options.
Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The man went Super Nova as we continue to scan the night sky wondering when we’ll see the next one. Not all of us can be Bart Simpson.
Matt Harvey – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Harvey try to make us forget that he has a 6.69 ERA on the year. No, that is not nice.
Miles Mikolas – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. YES MIKOLAS. YES. Slider was up to 87.5 mph again – 14/17 for strikes! – and everything came into place because of it. Y’all hear that? It’s the sound of his buy-low window slamming shut. Here’s to hoping Mikolas has truly turned the corner with the slide piece as I need to have some hesitation as he faced the Pirates n all.
CC Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhhhh. You’re not going to see CC past five innings often (if ever?) and you’re hoping he has the ratios + lead when that happens. It’s a bit too little reward for a decent amount of risk for me.
Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, he’s still #1.
Spencer Turnbull – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhhhh, I guess if this wasn’t a Philly we’d be fine with it, and the Twins are solid so fine. We’re cool Turnbull. The slider was strong, he focused on more four-seamers, though his curveball isn’t acting as strong as we’ve seen. There’s still room to grow – that’s a good thing, ultimately! It means there’s a higher ceiling to reach – and here’s to hoping it comes out against weaker opponents.
Dylan Bundy – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. I highly doubt there’s a day when I tell you to roster Bundy again. I hope there is, but I don’t think there’s a day for Ted.
Jon Gray – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. A VPQS with 8 Ks? I’m a little surprised to see it since Gray is normally on the extreme ends, but I guess this is what we ultimately expect, right? Strikeout upside with shaky ratios. He heads to Philly next and I’d start him there.
Merrill Kelly – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, that’s fine Kelly. You’re still a Panda but this is fine.
Michael Pineda – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. His slider was solid, helping him earn 15/96 whiffs, and I’ll take a PQS from Pineda with that WHIP and five Ks. Streaming Record: 24-18. Seattle and the Angels are next and that’s a maybe for each. I’d like to look elsewhere if possible for my ratios, but the Ks should be a double-digit total.
Jeff Samardzija – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. At least we can all exhale as Loose Lips’ ERA finally matches his actual ability on the bump. Man, I really wanted Samardzija to work out this year but he looks like a shell of his former self. So it goes.
Kohl Stewart – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. I now understand why kids get so upset when they get Kohl in their stockings.
Marcus Stroman – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Okay, I guess. The whiffs are still not there and the hope of Stroman becoming that strong arm once again fades with every outing. But this wasn’t bad! Sure, it’s fine. It was the air of “phew, that was close” instead of “awww man.” That’s the problem.
Sandy Alcantara – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. This is a guy using his spell slots in the morning and realizing he’s helpless through all of the events ahead. Yes, I just made that joke, don’t care, it’s Sandy who had one brilliant moment early and has no idea how to get it back. I mean a HAISTFMWT?! in 17 outs? Really?! I wouldn’t be shocked if Sandy is removed or makes just one more start and is replaced by Zac Gallen. It’s time.
Anthony DeSclafani – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The super hot topic of the past week or two couldn’t take advantage of the Giants and now gets a super tough schedule of LAD and @CHC in his next two. No thanks, I regret placing him as high as I did last week on The List.
Rick Porcello – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, sure. I mean it’s one ER from your acceptance as Porcello is a Toby for a winning club (he got the dub here). You have no choice but to nod and continue to roster him.
Brad Keller – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeeeeep. Now just a Panda as I question more of the Effective Velocity discussion. Let me make that point clear – I agree with EV and how it explains how a pitcher with middling stuff squeezes out the most from it to be effective. What it gets taken as is a method that is repeatable and can be trusted. Keller isn’t executing, neither is Kyle Freeland, and it means they aren’t performing up to snuff. So while I nod my head reading these pieces as a great exposition on how they have been successful, I don’t see it as a reason to believe they will be successful.
Felix Hernandez – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, just a week ago we were wondering if his curveball had returned and a possible zombie season was ahead. Ha. Ha. Ha. Guess we’re back to the new normal. The true Prince That Was Promised.
Gregory Soto – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Poor Soto. He made his MLB debut for the Tigers and was lit UP, returning a HAISTFMFWT?! in the process. He’s a Cup of Schmo for clear reasons and maybe things get better moving forward as we’ve seen worse come through the ranks. But yeah, poor guy.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Baltimore Orioles – I’m lucky to have a variety of choices for a 7-game Monday, and I’ll go with Loaisiga surviving 5+ with solid stuff against the O’s. Could have gone with Reynaldo Lopez against the Indians and I’d go with Brad Peacock vs. the Tigers, but he’s most likely gone after his last start.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Corbin Martin vs. Texas Rangers – Sure, why not. Collin McHugh has been demoted to the pen and Forrest Whitely hasn’t been pitching well enough in the minors to justify a call-up, so we get Martin. I could cite stats – 13% swinging strike rates, strong ERAs, etc. – but we never really know until he shows up and pitches. Speculative add? Sure why not, but I doubt we’ll want to start him against the Sawx next time if he sticks around. So if you haven’t yet, you might want to wait.
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)