Deep Fried

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

It’s been a really rough month for Max Fried who now holds a 6.10 ERA across his last eight starts including yesterday’s 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks against the Phillies. Uggggh. I really do believe in Fried. It’s weird. I didn’t in the spring, then watched him in April and fell for him hard. Then he started adding his slider and as things started really going forward…his curveball and fastball command suddenly stopped. I know there was expected regression in the first place, but I really did think that he was going to be able to push back against it as his development progressed. I’m still not dropping Fried unless there are definitive options on the wire that will help ASAP, which I doubt because the wire is barren in most leagues at the moment. The Braves should let him ride and I think it’s just a matter of time before he cruises again. Yes, I’m starting him against the Mets next week. I want to believe.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Steven Brault6.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Am I out of touch ignoring Brault’s 1.25 ERA across his last four starts? The games that come with a 1.34 WHIP, 20% strikeout rate, 9% walk rate, 91% LOB rate, and 4.50 SIERA? No, it’s the children who are wrong.

Jesse Chavez3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. What a weird game that had Chavez opening for three frames and the expected False Starter Drew Smyly earning the save with 1 ER in the final three innings. Wild.

Kyle Gibson8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at this lovely MS Score of 8 with six strikeouts! It allowed Gibson to throw just 87 pitches along the way as he earned whiffs on sliders and changeups alike. You’re cool, Gibson. I like you.

Brad Keller7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Nothing like Keller getting through seven scoreless frames with just a 22% CSW. This is a TEEs and not what you’re looking for.

Drew Pomeranz5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, that’s two straight 0 ER outings from Pomeranz, lowering his ERA to 6.43 for the year. Yikes. His fastball wasn’t crushed in either game and that’s the only difference I’m seeing thus far, though props for surviving against the Dodgers and Brewers. If y’all saw something I’m missing, please let me know. And even if there is something, I’m not risking Pomeranz’s history on ten frames. No way, no how.

Lucas Giolito6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. I know we want to give him the AGA label and this was a solid 33% CSW here with 14 whiffs, I just don’t like those four walks and needing a bit of luck to get out of this unscathed. But fine, if he’s dominant next time out against the Cubs, he gets it. Deal? Deal. Wonderful.

Marco Gonzales7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Velocity hasn’t returned, his cutter recorded just 3/28 CSW and some days I just don’t understand baseball. At the very least, it is pretty cool to see Marco create a triangle with brown and green with cutters and changeups. It’s a good idea in general to pitch like this, but completely ignoring the bottom of the zone is not the way to do it. You need more than just east-west separation with changeups and cutters for long term success.

Andrew Heaney5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. It wasn’t a pretty game from Heaney. His sinker wasn’t elevated nearly enough, his curveball struggled to land under the plate, and he returned just eight whiffs total. It was nice to see his changeup show up a bit here, but there’s still another game or two left until Heaney starts using it properly and takes off. Let’s also hope that sinker stays up and curveball stays down as well.

Jeff Hoffman5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s great to see Hoffman provide good ratios for once, it’s sad to see that it came at a sacrifice of strikeouts. Yeah, I’m not buying that Hoffman is suddenly a ratio-focused arm, nor am I buying that he can do so while increasing the strikeout total as well. That just doesn’t sound right.

Daniel Poncedeleon4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Pretty fortunate outing for the wild Poncedeleon to leave with just one ER to his name. He’s a bit of a Cup of Schmo to me, but if he finds his way to 4+ starts, I might start considering him then.

Eduardo Rodriguez7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Solid stuff from The Uni, reminding you why you still have him rostered. It’s going to be peaks and valleys, but forever rostered. Forever rostered.

Gerrit Cole6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just a 15% swinging-strike rate on your four-seamer? Come on Cole, you’re clearly slacking.

Jacob deGrom7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 3/25 whiffs on sliders is blegh, but at least his changeup is doing great things – 21/27 strikes – and everything is just fine.

Adam Plutko6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, can’t say I expected this one nor do I expect to see it again. Looks like Plutko blew out the candles and got his wish during his Birthday Party.

Max Scherzer7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 43% CSW with 23 whiffs and a Gallows Pole as he continues to have a grip on the #1 spot.

Chris Bassitt5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. There’s a lot of that tonight, but I wish we were back to the days of Bassitt being the whiff heavy man with his heater. Sadly, he needs to go back to the waiver wire for now until further notice.

Zach Davies5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s super boring and doesn’t help in any way. Welcome back, old Davies! We missed you. Kinda. Not really. 

Rich Hill7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. There’s something about seeing over 50% curveballs that just makes me inherently happy. 14 whiffs, 32% CSW, and life is wonderful. Just start Hill when he’s pitching and don’t think twice.

Blake Snell3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Snell just didn’t have it here. His fastball was a bit too hittable, changeups here hung, his curveball wasn’t feared, it was just blegh. Don’t think much about it, but this is disappointing.

Steven Matz6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Matz confuses me. On one hand I love that he’s gone five straight games of six frames while maintaining a 24% strikeout rate this year. That’s lovely. He also allowed 1.7 HR/9, holds a SIERA well over 4.00 and shows little indication of taking that next leap to become a consistent arm in 12-teamers that you’re excited to start on a given night. He pulled back sliders this time around – just three in 113 pitches! – and 30/113 CSW is not what you want. So he’s fine. I can’t call him Top 50 because I don’t trust that he’s going to be able to dramatically lower that 1.33 WHIP, but I guess he’s being just fine in 12-teamers. 

Jack Flaherty5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Hey Flaherty, I know you got 17% whiffs here and 32% CSW – that’s great! – but do you mind finding that third pitch right about now? Just three called strikes on sliders isn’t great as the Mets were aggressive inside the zone on heaters. Sure, you were able to be great with just the slider and four-seamer last year, but we knew that you needed something more. It’s June now and we’d really appreciate if you figured this out for us. Thanks. If you’re an owner, I think you have to just hold on and hope he pulls it together soon.

Tyler Mahle4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. When it’s just four whiffs on fastballs on a given night for Mahle, you know you’re gonna have a bad time. Streaming Record: 48-26. I think I’m taking a backseat on Mahle for a bit.

Luis Ortiz3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. This was a spot start and we can’t make anything of this. He’s a Cup of Schmo and that’s life. Welcome to life, Ortiz.

Nick Pivetta6.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Pivetta’s first three runs all came via solo shots off fastballs. I’m amazed he was allowed to enter the seventh in the first place where 2 ER were tacked on, ending the game with 116 pitches and just 27% CSW. His curveball went 4/44 on whiffs – terrible – though it was used more as a strike getter than a whiff pitch with 29/44 strikes. That’s fine…if his slider shows up to become that deadly weapon and while it was good when he threw it – 8/13 CSW – it’s not enough. It’s the Cherry Bombness that we’re worried about and Pivetta isn’t quite there yet. Is he going to get demoted on The List on Monday? Nah, you’re still better off chasing Pivetta. There’s still work to be done, though.

Cal Quantrill5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. There was a part of me that was hoping Quantrill could pull this off even forced into a date with Coors, but like the Warriors having a three-peat, it wasn’t meant to be. Just start him next time against…wait. This says Brewers. Yeah, that’s a pass.

Kyle Hendricks4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. One of the more disappointing starts of the night as Hendricks has been cruising prior and could only entice five whiffs against the Dodgers. All you can do is keep starting him and hope it was just a case of an unfortunate matchup.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. You were willing to endure the mayhem of the third inning if he didn’t allow those two solo shots in the sixth. Blegh. It’s still a good 1.00 WHIP and the five strikeouts are fine – not Ray fine, but fine – and here’s the hoping he gets it together

Trevor Richards5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Annnnnd we’re back to a mediocre changeup, earning just four whiffs on 38 thrown. Womp womp.

CC Sabathia4.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. CC really isn’t 12-teamer worthy these days. Even the starts where his ratios aren’t bad, he doesn’t go deep into games and his strikeouts are often middling. Just let it go.

Ryan Carpenter3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. As prophecized, the Carpenter’s ratios have risen again.

Aaron Sanchez3.0 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a sad state of affairs for Sanchez. Sure, the Astros are a strong offense n all, but this is far from the man we dreamed of back in 2015. So far away…


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.


Framber Valdez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – He’s currently sitting at 17% and it’s a solid matchup for Framber. I’d also consider Pablo Lopez against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Chase Anderson vs. San Francisco Giants I’m tempted to take the plunge on Peter Lambert, but he’s hosting the Padres and it makes for a low floor. There’s also Dakota Hudson against the Mets, but he’s actually just above the 20% threshold these days, same goes with Anibal Sanchez against the Diamondbacks.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


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.


Game of the Day 


Aaron Nola vs. Sean Newcomb – I think we’re close to Nola putting it all together and this could be the start that gets us there.


(Photo by John Cordes/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.

7 responses to “Deep Fried”

  1. Johnny says:

    Mahle deserved better tbh. And after reading his comments this morning I fully agree with everything he said. He got the early hook, despite battling in the first 3 innings. Pitchers should be rewarded for gutting it out after their defense completely lets them down… a passed ball, an infielder that couldn’t get the ball out of his glove to make the throw to 1st. It was ugly, but Mahle grinded.
    Going forward, you say you’re taking a backseat but what has changed in your mind over the past few weeks? His peripherals are still decent. The lack of Wins has always been an issue but you ranked him despite that.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Secondary stuff.

      Early on, I liked what he was doing with his curveball and splitter, but he hasn’t looked comfortable with the pitches as of late. Without them, he’s going to be ultra reliant on his fastball taking over and while the pitch is good, it’s not *that* good.

  2. rainmaker says:

    I just picked up Plutko in my deep league for yesterday’s game and I think I am forced to roll with him for now, I am in a 14 team league with W, QS, and Net Saves and I need someone at the back of the rotation. His contact % speaks to a greater K upside and he doesn’t walk very many guys. Plutko also allows a low avg velocity with an excellent hard hit% which to me, says that his barrels and thus HRs should lower. Obviously today’s game isn’t the best time for an extreme flyball pitcher to break out but he seems like a decent option for me. Why are you so against him? Do you think I’m wrong to give him a flier?

    • rainmaker says:

      Or to put it more simply, what do you think the the chances are Plutko could give me about 9 QS ROS (15 pace) with ratios at or below 4.50 1.25 and 21%K?

  3. Don says:

    Paddack was dropped in my 12 teamer. He’s a definite pick up, correct? Would you rather hold luzardo, cease, or paddack?

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