Falling Grades

It was really hard to watch Aaron Nola struggle last night against the Twins where he went 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. There are a bunch of fun-but-you-know-it’s-not-actually-fun facts about...

It was really hard to watch Aaron Nola struggle last night against the Twins where he went 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. There are a bunch of fun-but-you-know-it’s-not-actually-fun facts about his last three starts: He’s raised his ERA 1.46 points to 4.11, he hasn’t gotten past the fourth inning, and he’s held a 3.00 WHIP. It’s been really bad. So what on earth are we supposed to do? Buy low. Yep, buy low. No I’m not being stupidly biased and overlooking the trend at play here. This issue isn’t a FIP coming to bite him in the butt, or a loss of velocity, or hidden injury. I watched these outings and I saw how he wasn’t hitting the spots that he normally hits. This is the case of a guy even claiming himself that it’s a mechanical, and I think you’ll see him recover and become the stud we want him to be. It might not happen next time out or even the start after. Luckily for Nola, he gets a ton of weak opponents in the next month, and I think you can get a steal if your Nola owner wants to get out while he can. Go grab that Easy A.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Corey Kluber – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. After being forced to demote you Monday (a pair of 6 ER+ starts within four games, after all), Klubs gave us a CGSHO and now we have no choice but to call him out king again. Oh you.

Jose Fernandez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He has a 0.68 WHIP across his last six starts, jeeeeeeeeeez. For those still curious about JoFer’s future, he has a limit around 180 innings and he’ll probably miss another start or two before the end of the year. Maybe one in August and one in September. I wouldn’t trade him away in a H2H league.

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Good to see Sale give us a true ace outing.

Johnny Cueto – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Ace day is one of my favorite days of the year.

Hector Santiago – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks.  Oh lord I don’t want to deal with this. Is the velocity back? Is it noise? I honestly don’t care. I don’t trust Santiago to be consistent with it all to make me a proud owner. NO BUMPER STICKER FOR YOU!

Anthony DeSclafani – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Well hello Tony Disco, I seeee you. I see you. I also see that you get the Padres next and I’m absolutely loving that.

Collin McHugh – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Pretty good outing from McHugh, and that’s back-to-back outings of solid stuff after four straight bleghy starts. Too bad that I need to end this blurb this way, though. What way is that? I’m going to make you say it. Say wha–oh noooooo.  Yup.  Blame it on the Angels.

Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwwww yis. Love me some Verlander.

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Another QS from Estrada – 4.50 ERA be damned! – and he’s still playing that fun game of allowing few hits but adding some walks to make it interesting. Gotta love that K production, though.  For the record, he was pulled a little early for precaution with a “tight back”. I’m not worried about it.

Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. So Gray is now 3-for-3 against poor teams, and 0-1 against a good offense. I could just write that off and be done – I am already late with today’s edition- but nay, you guys deserve better. His biggest issue before his injury was an inability to throw his Slider/Curve for a strike. We’re talking like 20% levels of incompetence. Now Gray is around the 40% mark and it’s fantastic. I’ll be raising Gray above the “Sea of Upside” next week – I needed a good enough sample to be sold and four games is enough unless he breaks down on Sunday but that’s the Angels so pffffft yeah right – and I’m on board with a return to Top 30 levels. 

Tanner Roark – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take it Roark, now recognize your sweet schedule and don’t screw it up, okay?

Jimmy Nelson – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Our Call Boy was pretty dang boring but whatever, you’ll take it from Nelson who has been pretty inconsistent lately.

Clay Buchholz – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t let this sucker you in. Bucky has been really bad this season and while he’s now back from injury with a 1.00 WHIP, don’t spend any time with Clay.

Chad Bettis – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Bettis has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.

Adam Wainwright – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Hmmmm, I’ll let Waino off the hook here as he faced the Cubs.

Scott Kazmir – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Pretty boring but I’ll take it from Kaz after a trio of 3 ER outings.

Bartolo Colon – 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Freakin’ flawless. Nah, he has a bruised thumb and got pulled right away. He’ll miss at least one start and it’s up in the air if he’ll be forced to hit the DL.

Blake Snell – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. So there are a lot of emotions here. I believe prospect pitchers need a few starts to really find their groove – look at Fulmer/Urias/JoFer in 2013 off the top of my head – though I can’t shake the feeling that Snell is a prime sell high. There’s a lot of hype around the kid, but he’s really a two-pitch hurler who lives in the AL Beast. Doesn’t seem like the perfect recipe that will make Snell become a Top 30 asset.

Bud Norris – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Nud Borris has been actually better than expected in his last three starts, but I’m sure not buying into it.

Patrick Corbin – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Man that 2.00 WHIP is a tough sell.

Ian Kennedy – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He was pinch-hit for as he pitched in Citi Field. It’s not the worst start ever, just kinda incompl

Tyler Wilson – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Even Durden is cooler than Wilson and he wasn’t even real.

James Paxton – 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Bleeeggggh. It was against the Tigers and the command wasn’t all too great. Still got that velocity and now he gets the Cards + O’s. Oh lord. Just put him in a coma for 10 days, K?

Jason Hammel – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Welp, there goes that window to sell.

Luis Perdomo – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. You may be intrigued by the strikeout upside, and I feel the need to remind you that this lowered his ERA to 9.00 on the year as he holds a 4.40 BB/9. Just don’t.

Colby Lewis – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. And that’s why we call him a TEEs.

Ivan Nova – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. You don’t want anything to do with Nova these days. It may be a long time before we do.

Tyler Duffey – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. If he can’t even get a strikeout against the Phils, there is zero hope left for Duffey.

Wilfredo Boscan – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh no. Is this some second cousin of Alfredo SimonSure looks like it…

Today’s Streamers

Junior Guerra vs. Oakland Athletics – Assuming CC is gone in your league, it’s not a bad idea to abuse an A’s team that let both Tim Lincecum and Jered Weaver trounce them. Likewise, if you need another option there is Guerra’s opponent Daniel Mengden who could feel out a good outing against the weak Brew Crew.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. Minnesota Twins – He’s owned in under 25% of leagues, and it may be the last time you can sneak him onto your roster for free. Meanwhile, I can understand taking either pitcher in the Reds/Padres matchups in deeper leagues (John Lamb Christian Friedrich), and in dire situations, you could do worse than John Gant against the Mets. The Mets are just that bad.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Cody Reed vs. San Diego Padres – The Friars are as bad as they come against hard throwing pitchers and Reed can dial it up. He should be owned in most 12 teamers anyway given his upside, but he’s owned in under 12% of ESPN leagues for some reason, so get on that.

Game of the Day

Julio Urias vs. Joe Ross – Love watching both of these guys, and it may be one of the last chances we get to see Urias on the hill. Also looking forward to Thor v Duffy.

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.

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