Assess The SS

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

We have one more week left in the year, which means there’s little else to talk about outside of you’re standard Sit/Start, soooo let’s talk about Stephen Strasburg’s 2020 outlook. He’s been cruising to a 1.80 ERA over his last seven games including last night’s 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks against the Marlins. Yes, he should have demolished these fish but that’s beside the point. As of now, it’s the first 200+ inning season since 2014, with a solid 3.37 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and near 30% K rate. This should speak to a Top-15 SP play, but I have my concerns. I’m not willing to expect another hint of 200 frames after averaging under 150 innings across his previous four seasons. Mix in a declining fastball velocity (just under 94 mph, the lowest of his career) and I’m a little scared to make the chase. It depends on the price—his floor his is certainly good and will help any team, it’s just not a target for me as a sub 3.00 ERA across 180 innings just doesn’t seem like a good bet to make. But hey, I feel he’s been a bit underappreciated this year and make sure you give him the love he deserves for 2019. It’s been wonderful.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Zach Davies4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. So this didn’t hurt you, but if you invested a stream or a weekly start on Davies, it might be a bit frustrating to not get enough meat on the bones. Nevertheless, this helped and sure wasn’t as bad as the Sheff or Miley or Pleasc plays so props for that. I’d go for more next week than Davies’ limited usage.

Chi Chi Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Soooo Chi Chi came on after Freeland’s solid two frames and earned a Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs. Yep. That happened. His changeup was stupid good with a 50% swinging-strike rate and 37% overall CSW. Crazy. And not going to happen again.

Max Fried5.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Atta boy Fried, taking advantage of a start against the Giants. Sure, I wanted more strikeouts and a full six frames, but that dub and these ratios will do just fine. Juuuuust fine.

Tyler Glasnow3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Glasnow is really showing off now as he had no trouble with the Red Sox lineup, albeit one without Betts or JDM. Still, he’s cruising and may get four or more frames next time out, so hold on and let it ride. Let it ride.

Travis Lakins1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Welcome to bullpen games where we don’t care and the pitchers don’t matter.

James Paxton6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s just one ER allowed across his last four starts as he’s getting settled in at the right time for your squads and the Yankee playoffs. I wonder if this is going to raise his draft stock a significant amount, I’d love to own him as an SP #3 given the injury concerns and volatility, but a 3.60 ERA with a 30%+ K rate and 1.15 WHIP across 150 frames? That works for me.

Luke Weaver2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This was easy-peasy for Weaver, earning six outs on just 19 pitches, going 4-for-4 with strikes on his cutter and calling it a day. No fantasy relevance this year, but 95 mph on his fastball is super good to see.

Anthony DeSclafani6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Tony Disco went fastball/slider heavy in this one and it worked against the Mets. Low 21/85 CSW and I’m still classifying him as a volatile arm, but I think you’re fine starting him against the Pirates.

Cal Quantrill5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Weird start from Quantrill as he did this in just 60 pitches. 12/60 CSW isn’t impressive and I’m still waiting for one his secondary pitches to take over, but this was cool. Not chasing his next start against the Diamondbacks.

Zack Wheeler7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s better late than never for Wheeler, now holding a 1.41 ERA across his last five starts with just 1 ER per. Fastball command is better, slider is good (still not great) and we’re riding this to the end. Something to think about for next year.

Sean Manaea5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m sure this Philly burned some people, but you can’t be too sad about Manaea’s overall production since making his return this season. He has one outing against the Mariners left and that should help y’all out.

Ivan Nova5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. PHEW. He was our secondary Call Boy and I’m happy it worked out well. He had some rocky starts against the Royals and Mariners, but the Tigers? Pfffft SUPER NOVA TIME. No QS though, but maybe he can do that again next week in a repeat matchup, possibly without this poor WHIP. Maybe.

Jason Vargas6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh don’t you dare, Vargas. I feel happy for the people who had zero expectations here and came out with a lovely line, but don’t get suckered in for his next start against the Nats. That’s not gonna work.

Asher Wojciechowski4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Just 22/94 CSW as he was a little better in breaking stuff, but not that much. We’re still far from the August nights and we’re going to have to wait until a hot streak next year.

Jordan Yamamoto4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It was a DLH for Fair Jordan and he didn’t fare too well. He isn’t a fair lady to pay the fare for, so let’s fare thee well.

T.J. Zeuch4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Ayyy TJ-Z survived the yanks. For four frames. That’s something, we’re all proud of you bud.

Tyler Alexander4.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. We didn’t get our true T-Lex vs. ReyLo matchup I wanted from last Monday, but it might as well be this game vs. today’s as this is the true T-Lex. His arms can only go so far.

Dakota Hudson3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. And the wall has been hit. VARGAS RULE, BEGONE! He gets the Cubs again next weekend and I’m not chasing this.

Patrick Sandoval3.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. The Irish Panda got the Astros. Soooo yeah, we didn’t expect much of anything. It’s too bad, if he’s starting next spring, he’s sure to get a few streaming picks from me.

Johnny Cueto4.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Cueto got the Braves and it wasn’t a start to chase—I ranked him higher than a decent amount of arms because of DLH galore and guys like Burke ‘n all, but if you owned Cueto, you were looking elsewhere for the most part, but there was a hope that he could pull it off. Welp, not today. Now it’s the Dodgers? Yeah no thanks.

Zach Plesac4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Plesac, no. This was a brutal day for a lot of arms, but we needed you to be better. The ChiSox should be a fine start this week, but we need more from your heater. Your secondary stuff isn’t gonna save you.

Glenn Sparkman4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, yeah, we know Sparkman. We know.

Justus Sheffield4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nooooooooooooooooo I really bought into Sheffield here and no one is more disappointed than I am. Streaming Record: 99-66. He ran into trouble in the second frame, then again in the fourth and the Mariners elected to pull the plug at just 60 pitches. UGH. Baseball is pain. I feel bad for those that have been looking to stream through the weekend—it really hasn’t been a smooth time and even though I know you all understand that ultimately I have no say in what happens—it’s fantasy baseball, there’s a whole lot of luck. I can’t help but feel bad about it. I’ll be better.

Wade Miley1.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. You have to be kidding me. Do you understand this? I don’t understand this. He allowed a HR to the first batter he faced, a walk, two singles, a HBP, and another single. That’s the damage. The Angels didn’t have Justin Upton on top of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and he still allowed four ER in just a frame. What a stupid night. 

Walker Buehler6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Come on Buehler, you too? I wonder if he has one more start in him left, possibly a light tune-up against the Giants this weekend as he’ll be pitching the following Friday. So still hold for that but, dude. Come on.

Jose Berrios6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Then there are guys like Berrios that you just have to throw your hands up and go WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO. 

James Marvel3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Let’s just sit back and Marvel at how smart we are for not Marveling. What. Shhhh it’s fine.

Jose Quintana3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. We were looking to other options here instead of Quintana and here’s why. Let him go to the wind, I wonder what his draft stock will be next year. He’s a longshot to hit a full year of his ceiling, making me avoid him everywhere.

Brock Burke0.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. You didn’t shoot your eye out with this BB Gun, right? RIGHT?!


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.


Austin Voth vs. Miami Marlins – There are a decent amount of options, but I’m favoring the floor of Voth facing the weak Marlins.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dylan Bundy vs. Toronto Blue Jays – There are only five games played on Monday, so I’ll go with the strikeout upside of Bundy against the Jays. Don’t do this.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mitch Keller vs. Chicago Cubs – Keller’s upside is just too dang good to pass up. If you need something more QS/Win/Ratio safe, then consider Brett Anderson against the Angels.


Game of the Day


Reynaldo Lopez vs. Matthew Boyd – Two pitchers that have wavered all year on a huge day for you. Here’s to hoping for a pitchers’ duel.


(Photo by Gregory Fisher/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.

3 responses to “Assess The SS”

  1. Bryan says:

    Sheffield hurt.

    But if Eovaldi throws a no-hitter tonight I may win my matchup.


  2. J says:

    The Red Sox lineup did have both Betts and JDM yesterday

  3. Aaron says:

    Give me your two best stream picks for the week. I had to use some pickups to fill my lineup this week had three guys get bit by the injury bug. Guy I’m going against for the title has really effective starters and 3 of them have two start weeks. Not much on the wire thinking of going with Keller vs Cubs even though I hate that matchup for his ratios.castellanos driving me nuts these lasts two weeks

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