From Boydz To Men

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

There’s a decent amount to say about the latest talk of the town, Matt Boyd, who demolished the Yankees in a 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 13 Ks performance. Yes, the Yankees are far from a strong squad with their injuries that keep piling up, but Boyd did a phenomenal job with high heat and low sliders, earning a ridiculously high 26 whiffs (co-Gallows Pole!) and 16 called strikes (42/98 CSW!). Fastball at 91mph is what we’re looking for and it does hint at continued success for Boyd…but I have one small concern: his changeup. For Boyd to become a truly consistent producer for your squad, he needs that third option to be there when he isn’t this perfect with his fastball/slider combination. That changeup used to be a prime pitch for him, but took a major step back last season. In this start, Boyd threw the pitch just once. I want to be a Boyd Boy and BeeGee just like the rest of you and I’m all for rostering him — it’s the Indians next! — I just question if this really is Patrick Corbin 2.0.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Jacob deGrom7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Scherzer is a better lock for strikeouts! Is that right? Okay maybe so, but come on, the man just had a career high in strikeouts! Give him something. *Suit man whispers in my ear* Oh! Right! We can give him a share of the Gallows Pole with 26 whiffs today. Crazy, isn’t it? Two guys in the same day hitting 26 whiffs. Baseball, man. Baseball.

Nate Karns2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. This is solid from Karns, but sadly the Orioles are playing it very carefully and pairing Karns with Jimmy Yacabonispreventing Karns from having fantasy relevancy. It’s not fair.

Joey Lucchesi5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s not incredible, but I’ll certainly take this from Lucchesi. Sure, we want that hint of Quality Start, but this helps and that’s wonderful.

German Marquez7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Don’t take your dub quite yet if you were on the Marquez train this off-season, there’s plenty of season left. I am certainly encouraged, though. Let’s see what he does in Coors hosting the Braves next.

Mike Minor7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, look at that! Minor didn’t do it on the back on one pitch here, more of pumping the zone with heaters, while getting a decent amount of sliders and curveballs over the plate as well. Nothing too fancy and he got a little fortunate, but recognize the ability. This is the peak. It should come down, but there’s a chance he stays close to it. Just not a large enough one for me to chase in 12-teamers.

Charlie Morton6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Morton producing on the hill. It makes you think that he could stay healthy the entire year, doesn’t it? The dreams we have in April…

Freddy Peralta8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Ha! It’s rare to see the exact expectations of a pitcher through just two starts of the year, but here we are, one start removed from a three-inning disaster. What do you do now? Well, you do exactly what you were going to do at the beginning of the year. You’ve seen both sides of Peralta and he hasn’t changed. He will dance and sway and glide elegantly between your hearts and your fists, raising a giant sign that reads “YOU KNOW WHAT I AM”. Yes, you whisper softly. A Cherry Bomb. Oh and his curveball was a bit better today than normal so that’s cool.

Carlos Rodon6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. The Indians allowed Rodon to walk away with 16 whiffs and 37/103 CSW, that’s the state of their offense right now. It’s great to see 23/49 CSW on the slide piece alone, but can we truly buy into it against the Indians?

Matt Shoemaker7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Hey, a stream that worked! Like really worked! Has Shoemaker turned a corner? Oh definitely not, but at least he’s acting like his former self. Vargas Rule this one all you like, but just skip the Sawx start first. Streaming Record: 3-3.

Luis Castillo7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Mmmmm y’all know I love me some good Castillo! 42/107 CSW today (39%!) as his slider and fastball found the zone and his changeup induced whiffs. The one worry I have is his four-seamer averaging 94.4mph (two-seamer at 95.4mph, though), which was the catalyst for last year’s early struggles. But if he’s succeeding despite it now, maybe it speaks to an even stronger second half. We’ll see, I’m still a little hesitant, but you best bet I’m rooting for it.

Marco Estrada5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s so boring, it reminded me that the Minimalist Score existed. It may be hard to come close to the marks we’ve had in the past, but I could see Estrada pulling off a contender during the year. WAIT A SECOND. With the Twins, Padres, and Marlins all with intriguing arms in their pitching staffs, it’s time to pass on the team focused Most Fantasy Relevant Starting Pitcher Award onto the Athletics this year, with Sean Manaea out and Jesus Luzardo dealing with a shoulder problem. Who will with the MFRASPA this year? Fiers? Montas? Estrada? This is going to be good.

Jonathan Loaisiga4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We didn’t expect a long one here and 70 pitches gave us decent production. Not a whole lot, but this helped so that’s cool. I love Loaisiga if he gets 120+ frames as a starter, I just don’t see him coming close to that this year.

Jameson Taillon7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Ahhhh, there’s the Taillon we know and love. Kinda. Only 2/28 whiffs on sliders is heavily disappointing and I think there’s another gear once that pitch acts like its 2018 self. Enjoy this and hope for more.

Julio Teheran5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Teheran sat right under 90mph last year and showed up with 91+ last week. Now? 90.2mph. Womp womp. Who cares Nick, seven Ks and 1 ER! And a soul-crushing WHIP as he squirms his way out of jams. I’m not buying this.

Derek Holland5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s not great, but 7 Ks and meh ratios are fine by me against the tough Dodgers team. Holland really struggled in the first inning, allowing a solo shot off the bat off the bat to Enrique Hernandez, then a pair of walks and a quick 3-ball count to Cody Bellinger. In other words, he looked terrible early, then settled in for four innings. No Dutch pleb to knight tonight, but at least we weren’t invaded.

Jon Lester6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Lester heavily relied on his cutter – 54/105 pitches thrown! – and it worked a decent amount tonight. I’m happy with this start, 1.50 WHIP n all, and that should say a decent amount about the southpaw.

Robbie Ray5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. This looked great early, but then Ray walked four in just two outs between the fifth and sixth. Blegh. I’m still riding him and believe in better days — this wasn’t so bad, you know.

Homer Bailey5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. This. This right here should tell you how ridiculous this season has already been for starting pitchers. Bailey Ks 8, and both Kluber & Nola get shelled. WHY DO I DO THIS.

Gerrit Cole6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna hint at a VPQS, but make us feel warm with nine strikeouts. It’s why the elite are the elite.

Aaron Nola3.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. OR SO I THOUGHT. For real, Nola, I know it all came on three HRs, BUT STILL. I know I put you at #10 and I expected some of this, but I live every day like it’s Nola day and I want to keep living this happy life.

Nathan Eovaldi5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Eovaldi is moving away from the “elevated heat & cutters for strikes” approach that worked oh-so-well last year. Why would he do that? I have absolutely no idea.

Miles Mikolas5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. So, um, this has been terrible. 22/96 CSW is an atrocity, earning just one whiff on 18 sliders. His fastball sat just above 93mph — okay that’s good — but Mikolas had very little deception here. I’m a little worried — not so much to make a deal on it — but a touch worried.

Trevor Richards6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. A slightly better VPQS with 7 Ks from your 8th starter? Yeah, that’s okay with me. Sure, we want Richards to act like an ace n all that, but be happy that his “disappointing” starts still give you strikeouts and don’t ruin your week. Also, 15 whiffs here is mighty impressive, especially when he earned more with his fastball (8) than his changeup (7).

Ross Stripling6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, fine I’ll take it. He even pitched into the seventh inning! And got pulled at just 87 pitches. Fine, but he saw the seventh! Much rejoicing.

Corey Kluber3.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Kluber threw everything in the middle of the plate. Note to self: Don’t do that when you pitch in the majors. It’s not an easy thing to pitch, but Kluber has made it look that way for a while, showcasing elite talent to avoid the heart of the plate. Today, he didn’t have a Klue. You can do better. I’ll do better when he does better.

Anibal Sanchez4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Sanchez didn’t throw good cutters today, and everything fell apart, ending the game just one strikeout away from being a true fours in your back. Seriously, I’d move on from Anibal, his 2018 magic isn’t coming back, just like the 1995 Magic. *Sniff*

Kyle Gibson4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Jeez Gibson, you really know how to bum a crowd. You were supposed to defeat the Royals offense, not join them in their suffering. Sure, he can rebound as he’ll get a ton more AL Central teams this year, but…bleeeeeeeeegh this is hard to swallow and makes me question owning him in the short term.


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.

Aaron Sanchez vs. Cleveland Indians – The Tribe are bad and Sanchez is showcasing solid velocity. And still under 15% owned! Not after this game.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trent Thornton vs. Cleveland Indians – Sure, why not. It’s Cleveland.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Lucas Giolito vs. Seattle Mariners – Very few options here and I’ll go with Giolito after he excelled in the zone with his secondary pitches and featured improved velocity.


Game of the Day


Yu Darvish vs. Atlanta Braves – Yes, it’s Strasburg vs. Thor, but who doesn’t want to see how Darvish is looking after that horrid first start?


(Photo by Frank Jansky/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.

33 responses to “From Boydz To Men”

  1. Lion says:

    1. Missed opportunity for an anecdotal conversation between degrom and manager about the offense not getting him Wins last year, and that he should learn to hit, stop complaining and earn his own wins like a man… lesson learned sir. Ohtani, step aside… ok not quite, but pretty cool for the guy to get a dinger in the same game has career high K’s.

    2. Watched Marquez start. The man is on point. Even the walks were AB’s with balls right on the edge of the zone. Coors or no coors, if guys can’t barrel up a ball with solid contact, balls dont fly in any park. This is now ~20 starts… in a row… (with best games in coors) across two seasons (not including the great spring training). What are people still looking for? It can’t just be the Coors argument, can it?

    3. Also hoping Castillo has found a success that can stick. Its been a rough road that has felt like forever.

    4. Nick, you are the best. Keep leading me to championships please! #reigningchamp #thankspitcherlist

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Lion!

      Definitely great to see from Marquez, I think the real test is next week still, but I’m cautiously optimistic at this point.

    • theKraken says:

      Mark me down for never willing to invest in a Coors starter. I still have 29 teams to pick from. This strategy has saved me much heartache so far.. I can live with missing out on one player. The Coors argument is not a weak one without evidence. Everyone who doesn’t believe in the Coors argument has been burned by Jon Gray plenty lol. I think not getting burned is as important as striking gold, but that is me.

  2. Brandon Waddell says:

    Gibson was one out away from getting through 5 innings just fine, but then he somehow walked Billy Hamilton and the wheels fell of after that. I am still hopefully he can abuse the AL Central.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Gibson is a bit susceptible to these collapses, though. At the same time, I with you in that I do believe he’ll be a decent Toby through the year,

  3. Paul McKinley says:

    Here’s what I got for your May streamers last year:

    IP 155
    ERA 3.905
    WHIP 1.224
    SO 135
    W 10

    Ratios a little worse than April; K/9 a little better and a extra W

  4. Steve says:

    Would you drop Mikolas for Boyd?

  5. John Connors says:

    I know Freddy P is a “Cherry Bomb” and he just showed us his ceiling yesterday with that fantastic start…but based on the stuff do you see he has more good outings moving forward than bad outings. I mean 0 walks over 8 innings is very encouraging!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      There’s a chance, but there’s a chance with a lot of guys that don’t come with the same floor.

      I’m all for grabbing now to wait and see if there are few other options, it’s just not my favorite chase as it could be maddening all year.

  6. MookieBestt says:

    The Cole start might be more impressive considering he was being actively antagonized by the home plate umpire throughout the start. Biggest ump show I’ve ever seen.

  7. Jimmy Spiffs says:

    Nick, I revisited your March 31st post about Nick Margevicius’ start. Would you stream him against the Cards this week in a deep league or hold off another week to see how he plays out?

  8. Saint says:

    Hello Nick,

    Great stuff as usual. I’m trying to be patient with my staff as it is obvious still early. Based on the Pitcher List ranking at the time of my draft in a 12 team 6×6 H2H Categories league with both W’s and QS I drafted the following:

    Verlander, Flaherty, Wheeler, Pivetta, Eovaldi, Musgrove, Lucchesi, Strahm and T. Richards.

    With P. Lopez and Boyd on the wire would you advise making a move or be patient with what I have?

    Also, I have one IL spot open and both Heaney and Nelson are on the wire. Which one would you grab to stash?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d drop Strahm for Boyd. PabLo slightly over Richards as well, but I’m a little hesitant to start him against the Braves.

      I’d go Heaney over Nelson.

      • Jack says:

        Wait, whoa. Not to butt into a conversation, but…Strahm currently at #44, Boyd at #59? Yikes, you have Strahm falling like dat!? Or just Boyd making that big a jump after yesterday?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Strahm falling – looked terrible, still hold but needs to fall – and Boyd rising because you don’t see two starts like that back-to-back often.

  9. David says:

    Mikolas had 3-4 awful starts to begin 2018 and then settled into his groove, so hoping maybe more of the same.

  10. Zoolander says:

    Are we starting Darvish today?

    PS. Why male models?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I just told you.

      If you can play it safe, go ahead. I’m letting him fly in my 12-teamer. I don’t expect the same struggles.

  11. nick g says:

    if you were to sell high on Castillo, who would you target?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d focus on a bat.

      Find an owner who needs pitching and could give up a Top 40/50 bat and negotiate from there.

  12. Perfect Game says:

    Glasnow or Boyd?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Super close, Glasnow slightly right now.

      My gut says that’s wrong, FWIW. I just don’t love Glasnow.

  13. BundyWillRiseAgain says:

    Long time follower, first comment, love all that you do here.

    I’m in a 14-team, H2H pts, keeper league with the following staff:
    C: W. Ramos
    C: Empty
    1B: J. Abreu
    2B: B. Lowe
    3B: M. Chapman
    SS: W. Adames
    MI: D. Swanson
    CI: R. Devers
    OF: B. Harper
    OF: Y. Puig
    OF: G. Springer
    OF: C. Pinder
    OF: T. Hernandez
    UTIL: S. Kingery
    Bench: C. Frazier, G. Polanco, CJ Cron, M. Olson (IL)

    P: Streamer
    SP: M. Clevinger
    SP: D. Bundy
    SP: C. Smith
    SP: T. Richards
    SP: P. Lopez
    SP: S. Bieber
    SP: C. Burnes
    RP: A. Miller
    Bench: J. Nelson, N. Pivetta, B. Woodruff, M. Kopech (IL)

    I feel I’m too light on bats, and that my staff is too upside based –> what do you think the better trade play here is?


    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey man! I hope you’re right about Bundy.

      I think you left off the trade offers.

      Also, how many keepers do you get each year?

      • BundyWillRiseAgain says:

        Sorry about that!
        6 keepers plus 1 inflation-less prospect slot

        Darvish, Berrios, Mikolas, Taillon, merrifield, and moncada have all been used as starting points

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Berrios will give you back the biggest return right now – I’d deal him over the others that aren’t worth it to sell low.

  14. Chief says:

    It’s incredibly encouraging to see Boyd come out of the gate like this. I remember a younger me sitting on the bench of a disc golf course taking a water break and pouring over minor leaguer statistics thinking how legit Matt Boyd looked. Fast forward a few years when the Tigers announced a trade for Daniel Norris and Scooby and the rest of my gang (I’m Freddy obvs) taking the mask off the abandoned carnival monster “This was a trade for Matt Boyd his whole time!”

    Couple terrible seasons fly by, but my Boyd watch continued with mixed results in streamer situations. I watched all the boring lame-o pitchers slide off the board, see ya Quintana, have a great season Madison Bumgarner, maybe throw a strike Robby Ray.

    I watched his first two starts on game day and boy am I surprised by how dominant he has been, he’s literally getting guys to swing and miss at an 0-0 count 91mph fastball because of the slider threat.

    What I think is going on is pretty smart to say the least. Like everyone else, I get a little put off by guys who abandon a 4th pitch. But by throwing the change up to the wolves he has turned his fastball/slider control into a two headed monster. The velocity differential is 14mph and difference in directional break is 18 inches.

    More importantly by dropping the change up he had began using his curveball as an x-factor. Sitting at 11.5% usage into the season it sits 20mph less than his fastball, 8 less than the slider. By elevating his slider usage he hasn’t dropped a change up from his arsenal, he just changed up his change up from a change up to a curveball, resulting in a Changeball or Curveup, but definitely not a ChangeCurve or CurveChange.

    Matt Boyd is currently giving lectures in Game Theory and I’ve been taking some notes.

  15. theKraken says:

    Re: Taillon – I have never been in to the extent that some folks have become. I feel like that SL may have come at the cost of the CB. It makes a a lot of sense that adding a pitch mid-season would yield immediate results – the question is how does it play when everyone has had a look at it? I don’t know if Taillon won’t be a lot like old Taillon, which is good but not great.
    Re – Mikolas – also a bit worried!

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