Finding The Right Polo

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

Like many of you, I’ve written off Marco Gonzales in the past few months, but after yesterday’s 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks I’m sure he’s turning some heads. Marco holds a 3.30 ERA with a 14.5% K-BB rate, 1.13 WHIP, and…4.56 SIERA across his last nine starts. I’ll be honest, they really had us in the first half. Well, I’m not sure I totally buy that SIERA as his HOTEL is fine, with a sub 10% HR/FB probably rising soon, but the crux is a sub 20% strikeout rate. That’s fine, he’s really a Toby at heart and in this one we saw 38/105 CSW with 14 whiffs as his changeup got whiffs, his cutter earned strikes and even deuces confidently found the zone. So, pick him up? Nah, he gets Houston next. Womp womp. Maybe after, though?

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Jon Lester7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Good stuff from Lester, especially against the Brewers and pitching pretty meh against weaker teams in his last two games. He’s a Toby through and through and that’s just fine with me.

Steven Matz9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Matz was at home so he clearly needed to make the Home/Road splits more extreme. Remember when we said the Pirates were a Top 10 offense? In the last 14 days they are 29th in wOBA, only in front of the Marlins. Yikes. Matz was able to cruise through that poor lineup with just 28/99 CSW to earn a CGSHO – a Maddux! – and since his 7 ER disaster in Philly, he’s returned three straight solid starts including two on the road. Am I falling for Matz again? Not really, but I’ll own him for his next start in a repeat matchup against Pittsburgh and roll from there. I don’t think he has the full mix to suggest a Top 50 pitcher here, but as a Toby? That works for me.

Ivan Nova6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. THE GOGGLES ARE ON. Ivan went Super Nova again for the second straight start and we’re all looking at the sky having a wonderful time. And when I say “we’re all” I mean no one because you can’t honestly trust Nova to do this more often than not. Take the chance if you want against the Phils next, I’m sure not.

Mike Clevinger7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Clev, it’s so nice to have you back. Truly. It’s been a year of slog at SP and to see you return and flat out dominate is just…it just feels right, you know? Like everything is going to be okay.

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Not even close to a Gallows Pole at 10 whiffs. What is that Cole, what is that. Who cares, he was a stud. I CARE.

Anthony DeSclafani5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take this, easily from Tony Disco. Streaming Record: 67-43. Now you may want to hold back against the Braves – Top 5 wOBA this year – but it still may work. DeSclafani is kinda hot right now.

Cal Quantrill5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Our backup Call Boy wasn’t too thrilling but did well enough with sliders and heaters to make this work. I’m not overly excited about Quantrill, but I’m cool starting him as a streamer. I don’t think his secondary stuff is good enough to take that leap like Woj, ReyLo, or Gallen.

Chase Anderson5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Another start under six frames that is super borderline. It’s the thrill of the Chase, if riding the Trolly in San Francisco is your equivalent of a rollercoaster. This isn’t for me.

Clayton Kershaw6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yep, another 6+ IP start. Here’s to hoping it lasts the entire season.

Andrew Kittredge3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I see this line and feel like Tom Cruise yelling KITTREDGE! He’s an opener, though, and Jalen Beeks followed with 1 ER in four frames. The Beeks-as-a-true-starter experiment was a failure and this was clearly the way to go. Too bad that none of this matters for your fantasy squads.

Alex Young6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. The Alex Young experience continues, as he gave you a 3.00 ERA, Win, and QS…and the cost of just two strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP. Against the Marlins. See what I’m getting at? He really isn’t special – sub 90 mph, 6/86 whiffs with 27% CSW – and save for a date with the Marlins, I’m leaving him on the wire.

Homer Bailey6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Bailey’s fastball got the job done here, helping him earn 24/105 CSW. Solid stuff there, I think this is more of a product of a meh Texas offense inside O.Co. He does host the Cardinals next, though, and there may be some value to squeeze there.

Chi Chi Gonzalez5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Chi Chi is as significant of a pitcher as (s)he is a fighter during the Cell saga. You really went there. Yep. For the unaware, this is so not worth your time.

Martin Perez6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A PQS from Perez against the ChiSox? Yeah alright. I’m off the Perez train for the most part, so if he’s acting like a Toby, that’s fine with me.

Eduardo Rodriguez5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. The Uni gave you the ratios you’d expect when facing the Yanks, though you want a little more than a K per inning…right? It’s too bad he gets the Yanks again next, I think he should help through the rest of the year, save for these tough matchups.

Trevor Williams7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. So here’s something. Williams has never had a slider over a 15% swinging-strike rate for a season. Last night, he earned a Gallows Pole with 18 whiffs, going 8/22 on whiffs with his slide piece. REAAAAAAAALY. I’ve been anti-Williams for a while as he relied on seemingly good luck in the field to get his outs without the same command as Kyle Hendricksbut seeing a slider work effectively? Now we’re talking. This was the Mets, though, so I’m going to wait another starter before really jumping in, but this is intriguing. 

Tyler Alexander4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa whoa whoa, nine strikeouts in 13 outs? IS THIS DANNY SALAZAR?! But seriously, he did this earning most of his whiffs with a 90mph fastball…that he barely elevated. He is not a strikeout threat, and you want nothing to do with T-Alex.

Shaun Anderson5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Those seven Ks came with 29/92 CSW (32%!) as his slider was as good as we’ve seen, earning 12/45 whiffs on its own. Nothing else was there to help, though, and that’s the life of Shaun-A. Don’t chase him save for a fantastic streaming matchup.

Max Fried5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It was a DLH here for Fried whos is still struggling to execute his curveball. 33% CSW is still solid, though, and while I’m not super confident moving forward at the moment, I know at some point this will come together and impress. It’s in there.

Aaron Brooks5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. You’d think that Brooks would fit well with streams. Sadly, you can’t river bank on it.

Dillon Peters4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. More like Dilloff Peters, am I right? Is he ever on? That’s…a great question.

Daniel Poncedeleon2.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Poncedeleon struggled last time out and it got worse against the Astros this time out. He’s just a fastball tosser with very inconsistent secondary weapons and it returned four walks without a single strikeout. Not one strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?!

CC Sabathia4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. CC took a step back last time against the Twins and it didn’t get easier for him here against the Red Sox. And guess what! He gets them again. Yeah, no thanks CC.

Adrian Sampson6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. He lost his hair a long time ago. Still a considerable stream given the strikeout upside – praise the sun slider – but the low ratio floor will always be there.

Ryan Borucki2.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. RyBor – you know, the cyboarg – sounds like an intimidating boss that you beat with your weak “scratch” attacks during the tutorial level despite RyBor looking fabulous in his sleek silver armor and bleeding circuitry. What does this have to do with baseball. Nothing. Well, everything. RyBor is something you pass over and never touch again.

Zach Eflin2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Yep, that body is still feeling “heavy” alright. So is your roster with Eflin still on it. Let him go, feel lighter and go fllllyyyyyyyy.

Jordan Yamamoto4.0 IP, 6 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The Marlins announced that Eliser Hernandez is back in the rotation today, but oddly it came at the expense of Trevor Richards instead of Yamamoto. Fair Jordan may have just one more start left in him before the swap happens…or he may survive if Caleb Smith somehow gets dealt. We’ll see, either way, you should be out.

Joe Ross – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Joe had a tough matchup against the Dodgers and it went about as planned. Interesting to see him use a curveball as his primary #2 pitch – not his famous slider of old – while also featuring 13 changeups for four whiffs. He’s also a four-seamer focused arm suddenly, moving away from the sinker and I have to say I’m a little curious to see how he develops. He’s only 26-years-old if you can believe it.

Glenn Sparkman5.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember when Sparkman was really good for that one day? Those were days. The best days? Nah, just days.


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. Cleveland Indians – I’m not in love with this, but I could see Duffy continuing his current ride against the Tribe. Pedro Payano could also be a sneaky play against the Athletics.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Brad Keller vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Keller had 95.2 mph velocity last start…after peaking at 94.2 mph this season and averaging 93.2 mph thus far. Now he gets the Jays? Yeah, I’ll give that a chance.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Beede vs. Philadelphia Phillies A bit of a risk here, but I liked what Beede brought to the Cubs last time out and could improve against the Phils. Both Reynaldo Lopez and Griffin Canning are better options…but have 21% owned rates. Pick them up where you can.


Game of the Day 


Stephen Strasburg vs. Walker Buehler – Yeah, that’s a ton of fun. I am a little worried about Strasburg here – not Buehler – but we’ll see.


(Photo by Cody Glenn/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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login