Feeling The Heat

I’ve talked a lot about Jose Berrios this season and his narrative takes yet another turn after he spun a sparkling 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks outing against...

I’ve talked a lot about Jose Berrios this season and his narrative takes yet another turn after he spun a sparkling 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks outing against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. To give some contest here, seven of his previous nine starts had come with 4+ ER, where he tallied, holding a 6.20 ERA in that time. Absolutely horrific. So you’re probably wondering if this start is a sign of a major turnaround or just one outlier as he continues down his terrible path for the rest of the season. I’ve talked about how Berrios’ Fastball command has been the root of his problems (-4.0 pVal on his Four-Seamer, -0.4 on his Sinker in that poor stretch) and it was fantastic last night, earning a 2.7 pVal mark for both heaters combined yesterday, which sets up his Changeup and Curveball proper. That’s a great sign and a necessary one if he were to turn it around. Obviously we can’t be sold after one start and it’s a bet that depends on your situation entirely. Do you need to take the risk in Berrios or are there higher floor options that you can run with instead? Do you need a major upside play and are the other options just not good enough? The best news here is that he gets the ChiSox twice in a row now followed by a struggling Rays offense, then the Royals and Jays…dang that’s good. This could go either way the rest of the season, with this start being just a good outing or one where he made a tweak we weren’t aware of. Only time will tell.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bauer clearly is a new man with his Cutter/Slider getting more love over his Four-Seamer, with his recent stretch coming right after making the change in approach. I’m buying this even against the Red Sox and Yankees next up.

Michael Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. The Tigers faced the Dodgers and after his first start off the DL, I had my concerns here. Great to see Fulmer look like the Fulmer of old and I feel good for the foreseeable future. Yes, there’s concern that his injury will affect him again before season’s end, but I wouldn’t do anything drastic and ride him until he gives us good reason not to. ChiSox, Coors, Royals, Toronto, ChiSox, Oakland all up next and I’m all in for those save for Coors and I’d even consider that in some cases if he’s still cruising through Chicago.

Collin McHugh – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. So he didn’t have the strikeouts, but that 7 ER blowup sure looking like the outlier across his last five games as four of them combined for just 4 ER. I keep talking about the Astros ROS schedule and here’s what McHugh should see through the end of the year: @LAA, TEX, @SEA, @OAK, SEA, CWS, @TEX. Um, I want all of those starts. There’s a chance he squeezes one more start in against the Sawx in the final series as the Astros work out their playoff rotation as well. I’m aiming to have a massive ROS schedule article out this week or next (fingers crossed), for those wondering. Anyway, grab McHugh while you still can.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. With Darvish on the DL because he’s now a Dodger, you might think Ryu gets more time in the rotation, but Darvish should be back by the time Kershaw returns, making Ryu’s long term spot still in question. Still, keep rolling with him at the very least through his next start against the Pirates, then we can talk about Arizona, San Diego, then hosting the Rockies after.

Travis Wood – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Wood! Or is it…No it definitely is. Yeah okay. 

Chad Kuhl – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Kuhl was the good kind of Kuhl today, though lasting just five innings isn’t going to make us run to the wire. I would have caution regardless of Kuhl’s next opponent, but he makes it very easy to say no with a date against the Dodgers.

Rafael Montero – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Montero was coming off his best start of the year against the Yankees and while the WHIP is a poor 1.50 here, this is still as good as it gets with him. Too bad he has the face the Nationals and Reds next. Womp womp.

J.C. Ramirez – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Zero strikeouts in 5.2 innings? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEED MY FAMILY WITH THIS?

Robert Stephenson – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. If you’re digging for treasure on your wire, avoid Stephenson. We’re still plenty of paces away from being able to trust him.

Brandon Woodruff – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. A near 2.00 WHIP under five innings. This just isn’t what I want.

Kendall Graveman – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. A 1.50 WHIP but 2 ER against the Astros. If you had to run with this, it’s acceptable. Still just an occasional streamer in my book opposed to a guy I want to roll with in 12-teamers.

Jose Quintana – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Gorgeous start from Quintana who needed one of these to give owners the confidence they need in Quintana for the final stretch.

CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. For whatever reason, Sabathia has had good outing against the Red Sox in his day. This outing gets a Nick Pollack Certified Shrug.

Stephen Strasburg – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. You’d think it would be DLH, but as Ian and I discussed on the podcast, Strasburg against the Padres is one of those situations where you throw it out the window. Great to have you back Stras, we missed you.

Nick Tepesch – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This is bad Nick and you should feel bad. Is that what you tell yourself after writing these articles? Daaaaaaang that’s cold.

Vance Worley – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Take a chance on Vance? …Why?

Chad Bettis – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I wouldn’t have ran with Bettis, but it’s nice to see him continue to pitch well given his circumstances. Can’t say I want much to do with him for fantasy, but it’s nice.

Ariel Miranda – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I don’t want to be a part of this world.

Jerad Eickhoff – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh come on Eickhoff, you had the Giants and you’ve been feeling good lately. Why do you have to be like that? I still think he can be serviceable against the Marlins ahead, but he’s not the sure-fire stream now. Streamer Record 64-47-14.

Zack Greinke – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. 4 Ks and 11 baserunners? What is this Greinke. Seriously. Don’t be like this.

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Sale allowed a three-run bomb to Tyler Austin in the second, followed by a solo shot to Todd Fraizer in the sixth. This wasn’t a laborious outing and he still struck out nine. It’ll be great again next time.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. But this was at home! Is that because he was good with 7 Ks? Or because he was bad with 4 ER and a near 2.00 WHIP? It wasn’t on the road! I see.

Jason Vargas – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Ian and I came up with The Vargas Rule during the cast, which is a term stating that you should keep rolling with a pitcher until he hits the wall as he’s clearly not as good as he’s been pitching. Vargas is way past that point now, but it is interesting to see 7 Ks from him. Huh.

Ty Blach – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blach. Yep, that’s all you get Ty.

Kevin Gausman – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Gausman had that stretch of four games that got us pumped. Then he had a 4 Er clunker, 2 ER rebound…then this. This is terrible with four walks – the most since the middle of June when he was well in the thick of being horrible – but he also allowed four HRs in this outing. Four! It’s pretty easy to derive that his Fastball just wasn’t good like it had been during his solid stretch. It’s possible this was just a bad day, but if you’re debating between Gausman and other names in the 40s/50s, I’d elect to choose the other options.

Michael Wacha – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. After a solid stretch, Wacha has been all kinds of disappointing in his last two starts, allowing 4 and 5 Er with just 4 Ks in total. And he faced the Braves and Pirates! Get it together Wacha, I’m going to have to push you down a little tomorrow in favor of a few other intriguing guys.

Derek Holland – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. The Dutch Invasion is a lesson on how long and brutal wars can be.

Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Perez alright.

Jake Odorizzi – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Man, I really want to think that Odorizzi can get back to where he was in terms of a Toby you can rely on over the course of a season. There’s no reason to do anything about it until he starts showing consistent life.

Today’s Streamer

Luis Castillo vs. Atlanta Braves – I’m amazed he’s still so unowned in leagues and obviously I’m starting him here. For those ahead of the game, Adam Conley against the Mets could work out okay, while I’d sit Dinelson Lamet against the Harper-less Nats.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Skaggs vs. Texas Rangers – As much as I don’t want to trust Skaggs and his two-pitch approach, he’s the best choice of the lot. Chris Stratton is getting another chance in the rotation and faces the Brewers, and I’m more inclined to go with him over Stratton. His Fastball command could elude him and he’ll fall on his face, but I’ll take my chances over Skaggs.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. Miami Marlins – This was a tough one as I was oddly tempted to take possible Dodger starter Brock Stewart against the Pirates, but he’ll be limited pitch-wise as he hasn’t been stretched out. Then there’s Clayton Richard against the Cardinals, but come on, that’s the wrong Clayton. The last choice was Paul Blackburn against the Orioles, which could work, but that reads super prone to getting lit up and I’d rather chase Pivetta’s strikeout upside instead.

Game of the Day

Justin Verlander vs. Kenta Maeda Let’s see if Maeda can last and if Verlander can keep it going against the tough Dodger lineup.

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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