Archers! Loose!

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

Are you dropping Chris Archer? After yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks explosion, it’s a 5.85 ERA for the year with four of his last games coming with at least 4 ER. You can’t, right? It’s funny, we often talk about this guy being Top 30 or that one being Top 50 or whatever, but the nature is that it’s all relative to the field. The waiver wire is dark and full of terrors at the moment (give it a few weeks as hot streaks reveal themselves as more owners become unaware, callups fill rosters, and injured arms return), meaning that you just can’t drop Archer as what you’re going to get back isn’t enough of a step up to turn down another spin of the wheel to grab Archer’s ceiling. Wait. You probably can. Wait, what. Yeah, I don’t really buy that Archer is going to turn a corner any time soon. Here was the perfect start to showcase that as Archer went hard on sliders and shifted from sinkers to a heavy majority of four-seamers. And a 2.00 WHIP was the result. There’s more than just pitch usage at fault for Archer’s decline – command and velocity aren’t helping – and I don’t see him getting those two elements back any time soon. Let loose y’all. Let loose.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Trevor Bauer9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Here’s a live shot of me after this game. THANK YOU BAUER. His cutter was stupid good in this one, nailing the corner a ton while his curveball took a backseat. I’m still looking for a touch more out of his slider – 5/25 whiffs – but the fact that Bauer goes over 110 pitches each start is a major plus. GIVE ME THAT VOLUME.

Hyun-Jin Ryu7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, yes he’s gonna rise today on The List. He’s unreal right now. He also earned a co-share of the Gallows Pole at 17 whiffs.

Ryne Stanek1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Step aside Stanek, Jalen Beeks went 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Okay, you can step back in front, Stanek.

Trent Thornton6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s nice to see Thornton’s strikeout upside peak its head above water every so often, too bad none of us could capitalize on it given his tough matchup against Houston. Props to him for pulling it off, now do it against the Red Sox. HA Ha ha…

Mike Foltynewicz6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Some haven’t liked my favor of Folty and I completely get it. He’s been a shell of his 2018 self and his last start was a major step back. This game against the Phils? Another step back. Womp womp. 20/100 CSW and just four whiffs with his slider – the pitch in his repertoire last year – was bleeeegh. 0/10 whiffs on the breaker as the man needed fortunate balls in play to make it out alive. 

Brian Johnson3.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Trusting Johnson puts you on a Highway to Hell.

Tanner Anderson5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, Tanner is a little bit of a Cup of Schmo and I wouldn’t put stock into this. But this is a 2.35 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with an 18% K-BB rate across his last three starts against Houston, Minnesota, and Oakland! With a 4.14 SIERA. .231 BABIP. 92% LOB rate. 8% swinging strike rate. You’re not falling for this, right?

Jake Junis3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Junis needed 92 pitches to get through just eleven outs. Why are you trusting him in the slightest in your 12-teamer?

Mike Leake7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. There’s normally one start every night that forces me to roll my eyes heavily. This is that start.  

John Means 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Some are on the Means train as he now has a full two-point separation between ERA and SIERA with  2.67 and 4.68 marks, relatively. I haven’t seen someone use “relatively” like that since the SATs. But hey, if you want to Vargas Rule it, by all Johns. Keep in mind that this start was detrimental to many with its 3.60 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, and just two strikeouts. Just saying.

James Paxton6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Ahhhh there we go. Sure, one run away from a VPQS, but we’ll take those seven strikeouts and a better fastball to the bank. Enjoy you co-share of the Gallows Pole at 17 whiffs.

Jose Quintana5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, it’s boring, but that’s the life of a Toby. J Qrew is still as stylish as ever.

Anibal Sanchez6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Sanchez elegantly concluded his two-start week, now boasting four straight solid starts for your squad. I don’t see a reason to let this one go just yet and I think I’m letting it ride against the Braves next.

Jason Vargas4.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. This could have been another stop on the Vargas train, but the man had a cramp and had to leave the game. Cubs are next…I think you pass there.

Sandy Alcantara6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. So it was a VVPQS with a strikeout per inning from Alcantara. You’re happy with this…right? It followed three starts of 2 ER total and he didn’t royally mess it all up here. Now’s the time to cash out before this really starts to hurt.

Chase Anderson4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah this was definitely not the correct streaming pick. Streaming Record: 49-27. I just couldn’t see Leake doing that well against Oakland, okay? I think Chase goes on the back burner now for a bit.

Sonny Gray5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Great to see the strikeouts return, collecting more in this start than his previous two games combined. Just eight whiffs and 26/90 CSW, though, with just 5/31 whiffs on breakers. That’s not terrible, but not the overwhelming marks we’d expect from a game like this. Given the dearth of strong options out there, you have to keep going with Sonny and here’s to him taking the full step forward.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Hudson is a sinkerballer and you’re relying on his ratios to be worthwhile as his strikeouts are going be hovering the three mark often. What ratios did you get? Well a VVVPQS. Yeah, you don’t want Vs. Not at all.

Archie Bradley1.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. As someone who really enjoyed being a starting pitcher and getting the ball from the first pitch of the game, there’s a sinister pleasure I get when I see an opener fall on his face. I feel guilty about it – poor Bradley – and I’m not blind to the effectiveness of it, I just…don’t like it. Anyway, it’s not like it saved Zack Godley from being The False God as he went 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks after. This just wasn’t Arizona’s day.

Griffin Canning6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Those 4 ER are frustrating as he allowed another two longballs (1.61 HR/9 is blegh), but it came with 34/93 CSW (dope) and I’m still a fan of what Canning brings to the table. How could you not? That’s still a 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks, you know.

Brad Peacock5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. That’s two straight 4 ER games from Peacock with this one being a bit more of a letdown given his matchup against the Jays. CSW is all fine at 28/89, I wonder if his two HRs are a product of him still avoiding the top of the zone. As we talked about with Archer, though, I think you have to tough it out. It’s plenty believable that Peacock gets back on track here.

Martin Perez6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. A touch of Careful Icarus here as the Royals scored their fourth run in the seventh, removing the QS and pushing Perez’s WHIP a bit higher. Still, 13/105 whiffs is great from Perez, though his sub 94 mph velocity is a little meh. I’ve been on the fence about Perez lately, but I think he’s worth another go against the Royals this week at the very least.

Jeff Samardzija5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. But what more do we expect from Loose Lips these days? To think I endorsed him as a last round pick in the preseason…

Vince Velasquez2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s almost like VV is meant for the bullpen as he opened for Cole Irvin

Spencer Turnbull5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This one was a bit unexpected as Turnbull’s ERA jumped from 2.78 to 3.27 in one day. He’s been teetering a bit in his previous starts, essentially in this purgatory of not being bad enough to warrant a change, but not taking the step forward we wanted either. Here, it was just 19/92 CSW (Yuck) and just one whiff on all secondary pitches. Wow. That volatility with his slider and curveball have me a bit worried and while I’m still starting him next week in a repeat matchup against the Tribe, I’m worried long term.

Odrisamer Despaigne4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. The man with the sexiest name in baseball (Despaigne…) is about to disappear in the shadows once again. Don’t forget the impact he’s had on our lives.

Ariel Jurado3.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Zero strikeouts? HAISTFMFWT?! Do you want to be a part of this world? I sure don’t. 

Peter Lambert3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. COORS IS UNDEFEATED. Poor Lambert, even after surviving against the Cubs last week, this was still a huge risk. I’d consider streaming him this year in good road matchups – the Dodgers are not that.

Nick Margevicius1.1 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Marge in Coors? I thought they only had Duff.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Tommy Milone vs. Kansas City Royals – It’s wild that I’m endorsing Milone, but he’s fanned at least six in three of his four games and the Royals have been doing a lot of that lately.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Adrian Sampson vs. Cleveland Indians – I’ll take a shot on Sampson’s slider against the struggling Indians lineup.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Daniel Poncedeleon vs. Miami MarlinsI stared at this day’s slate for ages before settling on Poncedeleon as he gets the Marlins. There’s just nothing else.


Game of the Day 


Mike Clevinger vs. Lance Lynn – THE CLEV DOG IS BACK YALL.


(Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

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.

10 responses to “Archers! Loose!”

  1. Moscowitz says:

    Hey Nick, Archer should have been dropped 5 weeks ago and if people gave attention to his development and underling number they didn’t draft him to begin with. This guy is toast and I don’t see him pitch him in the majors in 2 years.

    Ryu, well he’s is not unreal since today, he has been unreal for number of weeks now and easily and I mean eaaaasily top 10.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! The only thing that’s been holding his ranking back has been injury history – it’s the most inevitable one out there – but I’m being given no choice but to raise him.

      • Facenda says:

        Archer was dropped in my 10-teamer five weeks ago and no one has gone near him. Why would you?

        Nick, when you write that you have to ride bad stretches out with pitchers— and you do this often — you might want to indicate what size league this would hold true. Because in a 10-teamer, the options aren’t plentiful but they sure are better than guys like Archer.

  2. Philip Sperling says:

    Cheers, Nick.

    That Perez start was much better than it looks on paper, he got absolutely BABIP’d to death in one bad inning, and hit 95 on the gun in the 7th. Couple different bounces this coulda been a real sparkler.

    I’m back in on him(not that anyone cares).

  3. Greg says:

    Trading Ryu for Bauer better be a win ROS.

  4. Chucky says:

    Not starting Pablo@ St L, right?

  5. Kev says:

    Assume Clev is on a pitch count today. Also command might be rusty. Standard 200 start Roto. Bench until next start – or roll the dice? Thx.

  6. Bon Scott says:

    Your AC/DC metaphor is mixed, if it is indeed a metaphor. But I don’t really care.

  7. Jimmy Foolery says:

    Hey Nick,
    I own a share of Alcantara in my points keeper league. Would you drop him for Sampson or Plutko? Not a whole lot on the wire, these days. Could also stash Brendan McKay, if that makes more sense.


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