Da Last Thing You Want

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

We should sit down and talk about Dallas Keuchel, who blew up weeks everywhere with 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks last night against the Marlins. Yeah, the Marlins. On one hand, all I want to say is “remember that 12-strikeout start? Well, we knew that wasn’t who he is and this 8 ER game? That’s not him either. He’s a Toby who will be the middling pitcher most of the time with these rare extremes sprinkled in.” That’s the real bottom linehe’s still a Toby, this start doesn’t change that, and while his current 4.83 ERA sure is ghastly, he’s more like a 3.80 ERA guy who won’t excite you a whole lot the rest of the way. Maybe that means you want to chase upside instead, go the streamer route, or flat out drop for a hitter. That’s fine; just don’t treat this like “Keuchel is terrible now.” Sure, his command wasn’t what we want with pitches more elevated than usual, but it was an off day. It happens, even against the Marlins. This start changes nothing.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Madison Bumgarner7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. We will certainly be thrilled with this start from Bumgarner even if this is hinting at a Minimalist Score instead of pure domination. After four games of three earned runs total, Bumgarner had allowed 12 earned runs in three games, and this is a lovely step in the right direction. Here’s to strolling down Madison Avenue the rest of the way.

Elieser Hernandez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Here I was scared that this could work and BAM! Elieser gave us his best start of the year against a strong offense. Streaming Record: 74-50. 33/98 CSW as his slider super good15/31 on its own!though I wanted to see more out of his changeup, even if it did earn 6/7 strikes. We’re lucky this one worked out as it did, let’s not get emotional and hold him for the Dodgers. That wouldn’t be wise.

Chris Sale8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. I said on the podcast that Sale will likely be lower than Ryu if the Dodger comes back looking strong over the weekend. This start … changes a bit. 39/99 CSW with his heater and slider, each coming with great command. Ryu can’t produce like this. Sure, the ERA/WHIP on a great day but nothing close to that strikeout production. I think I have to reconsider as Sale is certainly fixed.

Mike Clevinger7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace as Clev didn’t care that he faced the Twins.  A Gallows Pole here with 24 whiffs (!) and 43/117 CSW, and any questions about Clevinger’s rank this past week should be quelled.

Domingo German5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh I want more from German during a date with the Jays. It doesn’t change anything moving forward, but just be better, you know? Earn more than one whiff on fastballs and do everything else the same. You’ll be fine.

Jon Gray5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s Philly and a little frustrating but oddly pedestrian coming from Jonny G. Now he hosts the Diamondbacks in Coors, and I can’t be the only one already on the fence, right?

Eric Lauer4.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Annnnnd we’re back to El. O. L. This start flat out hurt you. But hey, you likely didn’t stream him, so things are just chipper, right? Good, I’m glad we’re jonesing to move on.

Aaron Nola5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Nola, what is this. You got the Giantsthe Giants!and returned just three whiffs on 48 curveballs and changeups. That ain’t right. He was just a little off with his fastball command as well, nibbling too much on the corners and missing off the edges frequently. Blegh. Here’s to it just being one of those days.

Dillon Peters6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. A PQS and eight strikeouts with 1.00 WHIP from a guy you’d never consider starting? 32/97 CSW? Huh. Peters went up with heaters, used curveballs to earn strikes, and danced off the corner with changeups. I see this as his peakagainst the Sawx too!and not a plateau, but hey, if he gets a super good matchup moving forward, at least I’ll think about it now.

Cole Hamels3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Hamels needed 77 pitches and the Cubs pulled him early as it was just his second start back from the IL. We wanted plenty more against the Redsat least survive five frames for that win!and expect better against the Phils next.

Jorge Lopez1.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. JoLo returned to little fanfare, to which the fans’ fares for the game was unjustified. Five runs (four earned) in four outs? Three walks? Sure, DLH and all, but do we really expect his next game to be any better?

Matt Boyd2.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Boyd, JoLo gave you a wonderful, cushy 5-2 lead entering the third and you said nah, I want my home run problem to return. Gee, thanks. What a guy you are. 61 pitches in eight outs is all kinds of blegh as the Royals weren’t biting and all his strikes gravitated to the middle of the zone. I’m a little worried that there’s something underlying here, but 92.6 mph velocity should tamper that notion. Next time should be better.

Kyle Gibson4.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks. Uggggh, Gibson, come on. You got the Indians, and while I know they are a much-improved offense, your fastball was downright terrible, especially your sinker that induced 12 balls in play, two CSW, and one foul ball on 30 thrown. That’s called getting laced. And now you have to head to Milwaukee? That may be OK with Christian Yelich nursing a back injury, but I’d proceed with caution if his fastballs are this out of whack.

Alex Wood3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. After he survived the Braves, I was hoping for something better out of Wood against the Cubs, but it wasn’t meant to be. Fastball is still hovering 90 mphnot 92 mph like the golden days of oldand his curveball and changeup were good but weren’t quite enough to mask the heater here. However, with the Nats and Cardinals next, I think I’m holding for the next few weeks. He’s a Toby with upside to break out of the dreaded label.

Thomas Pannone2.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Well, yeah. Of course you were going to get TP’d starting Pannone against the Yankees. 


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.


Devin Smeltzer vs. Cleveland Indians – I’m debating between this and Cal Quantrill against the Rockies in San Diego. I believe in Smeltzer’s stuff a little more, but Nicoderm CQ over here could take advantage of Rocky Road. Take your pick. There’s also Drew Smyly vs. San Francisco Giants that I’d also heavily consider.



Tomorrow’s Streamer


Vince Velasquez vs. San Francisco Giants He’s performed well and displayed a good slider last time in Arizona. Among a sea of meh options, VV is the clear choice. Aaron Sanchez vs. Baltimore Orioles – Not that I dislike VV, but I didn’t realize Aaron holds an 18% ownage rate for some reason. So yeah, he gets the nod above VV – I’m fine starting both!


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dinelson Lamet vs. Colorado RockiesThis is in San Diego and I don’t quite understand why people are jumping over Lamet yet, but go for it as he was as dominant as we’ve ever seen last time out. Jordan Lyles hosting the Rangers could be a cheap stream if you need one for a Sunday, while Jakob Junis‘ slider could return to form and get back on the right track against a poor Detroit lineup.


Game of the Day 


Yu Darvish vs. Trevor Bauer – Darvish has been cruising while Bauer needs to prove himself to Cincy. Over/under 15.5 strikeouts between them?


(Photo by Mark Goldman/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 “Da Last Thing You Want”

  1. Michael says:

    Definitely over 15.5 k’s

  2. Boy oh Boyd says:

    Nick- Tough question pondering am I. Boyd has a 5.56 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in his last 12 starts. And of course the wins are practically non-existent with the stinko Tigers. For all his great stuff and K’s, let’s face it, Boyd is not giving us ace production.
    I have Gallen, Aaron Sanchez and Fried on the wire.. is it crazy to treat Boyd as a streamer at this point and swap him for one of those guys? Tx…

    • Boy oh Boyd says:

      …and Darvish available as well…

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely don’t drop Boyd.

      There has to be someone else to drop for Gallen or if you need Aaron Sanchez’s stream tomorrow.

      • Boy oh Boyd says:

        I have a strong staff and roster – the only other player I can even consider dropping for Gallen would be Soroka.

    • theKraken says:

      Throw out the obvious outlier and where do those splits stand? Averages are an absurd measure when the most recent performance is an outlier. Those other players are not better unless you really are chasing wins… which are damn hard to chase. I’d take Darvish above those other likely flashes in the pan. Analysis has generally gotten so poor that flashes in the pan get way too much hype/love.

      • Boy oh Boyd says:

        With Boyd- In those last 12 starts he’s given up 4+ ER seven times. would you call that the obvious outlier?
        Darvish I’m terrified to trust, he’s hurt me deeply the past 2 years. But he’s not available anyway.

  3. Scott says:

    Are you buying Gibson rest of season at least for some good matchups he has coming up with Detroit, kc and cws? He walked 6 yesterday but I am looking for wins and qs. I dont want to use him vs mil next but for spot starts do you like him? Thanks

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