Electing The New MP

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

We’ve been a fan of Michael Pineda, then not, then maybe, then not, then kinda and now after yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks against the Twins, WE’RE BACK ON THE TRAIN. 35% CSW here with excellent separation of fastballs and sliders up-and-down across the zone. That’s how you take down the Indians in style. Yes, I understand he’s owned in over half of leagues, so this doesn’t really apply to a lot of people trying to stream, but the reason for this lead is the important question: Do we start him against the Nationals next week? I’m going for it. This is the approach that works and if you need to commit past that Nationals start, it’s a lovely trio of starts against the White Sox, Royals, and Tigers. This should be a smooth September and riding Pineda to the end could be everything.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Jhoulys Chacin2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. So this happened. Chacin will start when Jhoulyst expect it (Thanks Jahep!). Obviously don’t do anything, but yeah. Chacin pitches for Boston. This is a thing now.

Dallas Keuchel6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Atta boy Keuchel, keep on keepin’ on through the final month.

Jorge Lopez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. JorLo got the Marlins and this is the ceiling. It was a really big jump that needed a spot to touch it. Well all know, you never ask for a second spot.

Brendan McKay3.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. So here’s the thing. I love this outing – of course – but it was essentially McKay dominating the Jays with fastballs. Just two cutters and mediocre curveballs, and in concert with a likely low pitch count again for this next start, I’d be hesitant to let him fly against the Rangers next. It still a decent option four roughly five frames, but not a must stream. But what about after that? Then it’s the Dodgers and Yankees. Oh. Yeah. It’s too bad, I am a huge fan for 2020, though. 

Patrick Corbin5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna give you a Dusty Donut as that WHIP (six walks?!) is brutal. But hey, it was a Gallows Pole at 19 whiffs and you’re going to keep re-starting your PC down the stretch because duh.

Zach Davies5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. If you had to start Davies against the Cubs, you’re stoked about this one. Davies isn’t something that in any way I’d like to bank on down the stretch or for a full season for that matter, but hey, who knows what could happen on a given night. 

Dinelson Lamet6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Six frames! Tons of breakers – 43/94 pitches! – and not a changeup in sight as he got a bit fortunate with balls in play. Now it gets a bit rough – Cubs, Brewers, Snakes x2 – and if you’re searching for ratios, you may want to look elsewhere. Strikeouts needed? Let him fly.

Miles Mikolas5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Fastball velocity was up again at 94 mph, with a larger reliance on curveballs…once again. Great to see as it helped him take advantage of the Pirates, sadly he gets Coors next followed by the Nationals…and Cubs twice. Too much risk there, sadly.

Homer Bailey6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Way to go Bailey. Streaming Record: 92-58. 29/101 CSW as his splitter earned some outs and he got ahead with heaters against the Tigers. Now it’s the Astros, so we’re out there, but maybe we’ll be back again soon.

Zach Eflin5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Eflin pounded the zone – 21/86 CSW per usual from Eflin – and it worked this time against the Mets. This is the ceiling, for the most part, and I’m not a big fan of trusting it to work out.

Lucas Giolito7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Near 30% CSW and if you’re not starting Giolito, you’re doing it wrong.

Pablo Lopez6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Beautiful start here from PabLo, locating changeups and curveballs at the bottom and below the zone effectively. Yes, this was the Royals, but we’re more about PabLo getting his secondary pitches in order and this is that. It’s the Brewers next and that could be a decent start.

Steven Matz5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I think we’re in “it’s alright, start Matz” mode. I don’t love it, but if you own him, you kinda need to do it.

Alex McRae5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. With Joe Musgrove hurting his foot, the Pirates looked to McRae to step in and with the fortune of the BABIP gods – HAISTFMFWT?! – he survived. Just because Pittsburgh had to rely on him, doesn’t mean you have to.

Tim Melville5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Whoa, he did it! We pointed to this start and a future one in Oracle Park as two sneaky streams to consider. Maybe we’ll return then. Maybe.

Adam Plutko6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Surprising stuff from Plutko as he went against the Twins. I don’t think I’d take the chance against the Angels next and I wonder if Kluber is going to return and take his spot.

Clay Buchholz6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Look at Bucky go, earning a PQS. Cutters were great again just like peak last year and this would be something to consider if it was May and he had a decent schedule. This is neither of those things.

Mike Fiers6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, a PQS from Fiers! And now it’s likely the Astros next…and that’s a no. But hey, the final two starts should work. So that’s cool.

Clayton Kershaw4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Kershaw, NO. This was the Giants, you should steamroll the Giants. Don’t be silly, keep going with Kershaw.

Tommy Milone – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Milone Schmilone. We’re so done with you these days.

Robbie Ray4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You know what you signed up for here with Ray, I hope those strikeouts were worth it.

Jeff Samardzija6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh snap, Loose Lips survived the Dodgers! Okay, with a PQS and in a non-QS league, that’s a harmful 4.50 ERA. I need to preach caution here. Stream instead if there’s something decent, even the Pirates could ring his bell next week.

Gregory Soto4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh cool, Soto’s starting again!” – said no one. Poor guy.

Framber Valdez4.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. Bleegggh. It’s a coin flip on given day for Framber and I was hoping a date with the Mariners would bring out the heavy pounding strikes guy. This wasn’t that guy. Oakland is next, so that’s a no.

Dillon Peters4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Awww, I was hoping this would be a sneaky desperate stream against the ChiSox, but Peters’ stuff wasn’t good enough. Welp, that’s enough of Peters for a long time. If ever again.

Spencer Turnbull1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Turnbull is a Young Gun. Not a Spice Girl, just someone to look at next year. And even then, I’m a bit Turnbearish.

Dylan Bundy6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Womp womp. I know some of you went with this one, sadly Bundy’s strikeout upside didn’t show up and the ratios destroyed you. Is there any hope for him to turn it around? Maybe if he gets traded?

Domingo German4.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. German got the Sawx and unfortunately Red Sox-Yankees generally brings the best out of hitters and worst out of pitchers, leading to 18/92 here across just four frames for Domingo. I took the chance personally where I own him, I’m sad his fastball couldn’t put guys away like he needed to. Brush this off and start him the rest of the way.

Cole Hamels3.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Still relatively low velocity from Hamels as his changeup and cutter combined for 7/33 CSW. Blegh. I think you’re safe starting him against the Padres next time, but if you don’t see an improvement in his stuff, I’d consider other options against the Reds and Cardinals to end the year.

Tyler Mahle4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.  On the plus side, he earned a ton of strikes with fastballs and curveballs. On the negative side, his fastball couldn’t end at-bats like he’s used to, returning 17/47 fouls on the pitch. He should get another pass in the rotation sitting in for Alex Wood and I’d consider him against the Mariners. Plenty safer than the Diamondbacks here.

Brock Burke5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Look at the Orioles go. On the real, I’m disappointed Burke couldn’t do more against the birds, but at the same time, he’s a volatile arm. Can’t say I expected just one strikeout though, HAISTFMFWT?! That’s it for us considering Burke the rest of the year, unless you want to shoot your eye out with this BB gun.


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.


Danny Duffy vs. Miami Marlins The Royals had a six-man rotation. They may still have it, but Duffy is acting like it’s a five-man. Cool cool cool no doubt no doubt no doubt, now we can do both Duffy and Alcantara on separate days if we wanted!


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mike Montgomery vs. Miami Marlins – Ohhhh yes. Please. Other Sunday desperate streams could be Asher Wojciechowski vs. Texas, Sandy Alcantara on the other side of Monty vs. KC, and Dylan Cease against the Angels if you need a strikeout surge.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Merrill Kelly vs. New York Mets – That’s two starts above 93 mph from Kelly and out of the few options, I’ll take chance here with Kelly.


Game of the Day


Caleb Smith vs. Danny Duffy This should be a pitchers duel. Please be a pitchers duel.


(Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

6 responses to “Electing The New MP”

  1. Dangerfield51 says:

    Would you drop Boyd or Caleb Smith for any of Eovaldi, Reylo or Jordan Lyles. H2H points. THanks

  2. Jason Norman says:

    Kluber isn’t even pitching yet, still only doing aquatic exercises. I think he’s safe to rule out for the rest of the fantasy year.

  3. Mallex P. Keaton says:

    So much for that smooth Pineda September

  4. Jim says:

    Yup. I drafted Montas, Skaggs and Pineda. It’s been one helluva season.

  5. Ryan says:

    At least it’s known now that he wasn’t doing it all on his own.

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