Ain’t No Clark Kenta

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

(Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire)

I feel like we don’t talk enough about Kenta Maeda and after a disappointing 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks game that included a blackout delay, it’s time to reflect a bit. It was of the more disappointing starts of the night as it’s back-to-back 4 ER starts now for Maeda (albeit, the last one was plenty better overall). His heater got tagged here and I’m not all too worried about the outlook of Maeda – he’s missing bats at an absurd 14.4% rate overall and it was still there yesterday – but I know you want better. We want better. Did you realize that Maeda’s slider is earning a 28.2% whiff rate?! It’s as bit-coin as it gets with a 54.1% O-Swing and 42.8% zone rate as well. His curveball…well that’s not so good, being used a strike getter (47.2% zone rate), but a sub 20% O-Swing and sub 5% whiff rate. It seems to me he needs to move on from that pitch and throw over 30% slide pieces. It’s just soooo good. But did you also realize that his slider doesn’t even hold the highest whiff rate in his repertoire? That would be his changeup at a ridiculous 30.7% whiff rate. Maeda, just go fastball/slider/changeup. Please. Life will be amazing.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Edwin Jackson5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. The PL community wants us to create a new shirt: “I survived a night with EJax.” I’m kinda enjoying that idea. Because you know, this is a horror film. “The Jax” starring seven walks and destroying your trust in streamers.

James Paxton7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Paxton had a questionable DLH against the Astros. They even limited him to 82 pitches and still dominated after a slight stumble in the first. Watch this game if you can, he was so on point.

Aaron Nola8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace as 15 whiffs were good enough for a Gallows Pole. 38/105 CSW as well against some mediocre team called the Red Sox. How can you not fall for this guy.

Freddy Peralta4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Peralta is a Cherry Bomb and despite the six strikeouts and 1 ER, he earned just 12 outs with 98 pitches. Just like my breakfast sausage, that’s not polish and I need to see a little more shine from Peralta if I’m going to consistently let him fly.

Martin Perez5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, whatever Perez.

David Price8.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Mmmmm nice going Price as you took advantage of your one strong matchup this week. Next is the Yanks and let’s just not do anything silly. I know what you’re thinking. Just bench him. Please. Just do it.

Gerrit Cole6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He flirted with a no-no here and it was sparkling until a sixth frame that just didn’t go his way. Dude is good.

Derek Holland5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Holland now has a firm rotation spot in San Fran and continues killing it, this time taking advantage of the Padres. Go get him. Streaming Record: 62-36.

Carlos Martinez4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa this was going plenty better than expected. Then his velocity dropped under 90mph for his two-seamer and now he’s hitting the DL with a shoulder strain. Womp womp.

Shane Bieber6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Ehhhhh okay. Good to see strikeouts alive, but he’s still a little too hittable and I’m wondering if there’s another level that Bieber can hit. I think still worth your time in a 12-teamer but…I don’t know. I’m sad.

Robbie Ray5.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Awwww Ray was looking so good through four, then walked a pair + a longball to bring this south in a hurry. I think he’s a solid buy low as there has to be some frustrated owners out there and given the minefield that is the SP landscape, it may be worthwhile to chase someone like Ray.

Eric Lauer5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. There’s a reason I call him El. O. L. Is it because he’s not very good? Man, you’re smart.

Julio Teheran5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s the Teheran we all know and hate.

Tyler Anderson6.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Funny story, Anderson cruised through six frames. 1 ER, 0 walks here. Then he walked the first three batters of the seventh frame – Careful Icarus – all of whom came around to score. No Win, no QS, NO NOTHING. 1.00 WHIP and five strikeouts though. Yeah yeah, I’m still a fan of Anderson and hope there wasn’t anything dramatic that forced the walks, but I just wanted this to work better, you know?

Marco Estrada4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. It was a DLH as Estrada returned from the DL to face the A’s and performed as expected: Badly. HAISTFMFWT?! and I’m not sure Estrada is someone to start even without the whole DLH or not. Maybe deep in August, we’ll see.

Ervin Santana5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. You could say the longball is what killed him as he earned a HAISTFMFWT?!. I’d say it’s having a terrible slider (1/24 whiffs) and a heater that’s now sitting sub 90mph, but hey, Tomato, Tomato. That doesn’t work in writing. YOU DON’T WORK IN WRITING. 

Wei-Yin Chen5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. This is the kind of Chen music that makes me charge a mound. Or like nothing for the vinyl as I want none of this. Come on, one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!

Today’s Streamer

Homer Bailey vs. Detroit Tigers – He’s the only option that faces a weak offense. Hooo boy.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Kingham vs. Chicago Cubs – Okay. I don’t expect this to go well after how poorly he looked last time out. I was tempted to do Jake Junis against the ChiSox instead and that might be the safer play ultimately (there’s really nothing else).

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Trevor Richards vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Very limited options here and I’ll go with the guy who has allowed 3 ER in his last four against a weak team. Don’t trust it, but not much of a choice as I don’t care for Mike Montgomery.

Game of the Day

Kolby Allard vs. Miami Marlins – It’s an MLB debut! Can’t say I’m pumped for a guy with a 10% whiff rate and sub 20% K rate in the minors, BUT WHATEVER.

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.

15 responses to “Ain’t No Clark Kenta”

  1. AC says:

    Do we even have to wait on a firmer timetable for his return, or is CarMart instantly droppable in shallow leagues for SPs in the 40s-50s on the List?

    • Frankie says:

      Since the MRI did indeed reveal a strain, my guess is a shutdown is imminent since this is his 3rd trip to the DL and it’s still July! Very sad. I don’t even have the DL spot for him with Correa, Stripling and Belt hanging out there. I think we need to drop him prior to any LT plans become obvious.

  2. Frankie says:

    Shows you the state of my rotation: C Mart, Stripling, Pivetta, Kingham…. the Bieber outing actually made me very happy! For once, one of my SPs didn’t have his arm or toe fall off, give up 7ER, but instead gave a QS! More Bieber please.

  3. Chucky says:

    Let’s talk about Luis Castillo, shall we? Can he give fantasy GMs two months of what was expected to be from a full year? As the fantasy season turns towards the home stretch, and the injuries mount to the CMarts, Cuetos and their ilk….does Luis have any value?

  4. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    I held Paxton in my DL spot yesterday just in case of a DLH, but now that it’s all systems go, I would need to drop either Castillo or Bieber. I was leaning Castillo but he’s put together a few good starts in a row now including this past Sunday where he looked like the guy we fell for last year.

    If you were locked into the playoffs already and had to choose between either Castillo or Bieber as an upside option at the back of your rotation ROS, who would you pick?

    Even if you don’t get to this one, I appreciate all your efforts!

    • Steve says:

      I’m not Nick (of course) but I think you gta roll with Castillo given what we’ve seen from his last few outings (2.59 FIP over his last 6 starts). We know about his upside from last season, he can be a top 20 guy, and its looking like he’s starting to hit his stride. Bieber is solid, but he doesn’t have the same ceiling as Castillo. Castillo could win you the league.

  5. Big League S.Choo says:

    Paxton outside of the top 10 (5?) is a crime against humanity my dude

  6. Dan Baich says:

    Hey Nick…need a guy to replace Stripling…options are Hamels, Fiers and Weaver bc he was dropped. I’m thinking Hamels due to his extreme home/road splits now that he’s out of Arlington. What do you think?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d personally like to take a chance on Weaver instead of the steady mediocrity of Hamels and Fiers.

  7. larry womack says:

    Do you like Pivetta vs MIA on 8/2 or S. Gray vs Balt. tomorrow or stream both?

  8. Dutch empire says:

    What was the reason you liked Derek Holland so much now? What changed?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Moved from 3B to 1B side of the rubber.

      2.96 ERA, 30% K rate, 7.3% BB rate since after 45.2 IP.

  9. TheKraken says:

    Pax was great but that wasnt the hou lineup that people might think it was. Hou without correa or altuve isnt too fearsome at all.

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