German of Mystery

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

I think it’s time we talked a bit about Domingo German after serving us a Dusty Donut via 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Indians. You don’t love it, you don’t hate it, you just don’t know how to feel. Well, his fastball has been hurting him plenty lately and while his changeup has nullified batters from launching the heater early in the season, it hasn’t been consistent this year, dropping significantly from 2018 in O-Swing, Zone rate, and swinging-strike rate – all the numbers we love for pitches. In other words, German’s changeup has overperformed and it’s starting to burn him as his fastball isn’t doing enough on its end. What does all of this mean? It means that his repertoire isn’t polished to the level I thought it was and with his questionable innings cap this season, it’s likely coming to be the point to sell. He’s tossed 70 frames this year and 94 frames last year = about 150/160 frames and ~14 starts to go. It could be a demotion to the pen when Severino comes back in July, then return for September, it could mean a lot of other things.

What I’m getting at is I see German more of a 3.50 ERA arm with a 1.15/1.20 WHIP and 25%+ K rate overall. And that’s wonderful, but with ups-and-downs and possibly out of the rotation when you need it for those in H2H leagues. Maybe don’t sell now and wait until he does well next time against the ChiSox, but keep this on your mind in the upcoming weeks.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Yonny Chirinos8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hot DANG Chirinos! His splitter did some work with 7/24 whiffs, though his slider was a bit questionable, not returning a single swinging-strike in fifteen thrown. Still, he faced the Sawx, earned a ton of outs on his sinker, and cruised through eight frames. I’m not sure I buy a true breakout year from him, but you’re going to keep starting him until further notice.

Cole Hamels8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. After his pair of 4.0 IP clunkers, Hamels has responded well with two goose eggs in 15 innings, here showcasing the return of his classic changeup – over 25% whiffs, 20/23 strikes, and 22 whiffs overall are luscious numbers. No reason to stop riding this wave.

Nick Margevicius3.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. He got the early hook and affirmed why we are not rostering Nicky Marge. Like a sensory deprived dog on the street, there’s just nothing to chase.

Drew Pomeranz5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, it’s like Pomeranz saw his high school photos and thought I could be The Dirty Cheerleader once again! Don’t put any stock into this, it’s a Birthday Party. Seriously, just 8/92 whiffs as he went full two pitches and 8/42 CSW on deuces. This ain’t it.

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s super fun watching studs get a favorable matchup and take full advantage of it. 29 whiffs = Gallows Pole because duh. 19/56 whiffs on four-seamers because Cole is a crazy person.

Zach Eflin6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Eflin returned from the IL to face the Reds and wondered if it was a DLH. This works and you were rewarded for taking the chance and feel free to let Eflin loose moving forward.

Merrill Kelly7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Those that see this outing from Kelly following his high strikeout performance against the Mets and are considering a pickup, I’d think twice. His overall stuff was pretty meh here and with the Phils next, I’m expecting a step back. Good to see 92 mph velocity and I’ll tip my cap to generally better command than usual against the Jays.

Antonio Senzatela6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. How does Senz-a go into Citi Field and not fan a single batter in 18 outs? HAISTFMFWT?! Seriously, that takes some legit prayers to the baseball gods.

Mike Soroka8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. And the dude keeps on cruising! 1.38 ERA now with a 0.87 WHIP and 22% K rate. The Marlins are bad and feel bad so it’s not a major shock and I’m still in favor of selling Soroka given the inevitable pulling of the plug and how he’s destined to be more of 3.00 ERA pitcher without a dramtic rise in strikeout rate. Still, he’ll get a little love on Monday. No AGA? No AGA. He just doesn’t fan enough and the ERA will fall.

Jacob deGrom6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Did deGrom have his slider back? Well, he threw 15/27 for strikes, so you’d think so, right? Look at this chart. Take note of how many are in the bottom right corner as completely wasted pitches (save for one whiff there), paired with plenty hung up and off the plate. That’s not a dope slider. But hey, his four-seamer is super good earning 17 whiffs on its own that this didn’t really matter much – Rocky Road n all – and he should have had even one more K as Pete Alonso dove to catch a pitch bunted foul with two strikes. So whatever, keep riding it out and here’s to prime deGrom returning with the improved slider eventually.

Marco Gonzales5.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh okay. He’s a Toby n all now and his 89 mph velocity is far from encouraging while his cutter still isn’t what it used to be, and just seven whiffs in 109 pitches but okay. I have to think there’s something better out there for you.

Clayton Kershaw7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s weird seeing plenty of other arms have these overly dominant outings and Kershaw is doing well but not studly, but hey, we’ll take this.

Lance Lynn6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Unreal. Lynn had a touch matchup against the A’s and I thought it was going to be the beginning of the end. Like a horse who is against opening a new race track, NAY! 36 strikeouts in four games now, with only one start above 3 ER in his last eight. Wild times we live in. Wild. Okay, not it’s legit tough as he gets the Sawx next. No way he survives that, right? Right?!

Tyler Mahle5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s not super pretty, but we’ll take this from Mahle. Streaming Record: 43-25. He’s hosting Texas next and that should be okay. Keep holding if you like.

Zach Plesac7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Sooo let’s talk about this. I encouraged you not to start Plesac against the Yanks and this happened. 30/111 CSW is meh, his changeup was okay but not great and a 9% whiff rate is pretty boring. He focused more on sliders this time and they worked – 9/23 CSW, 74% strikes – but I feel like this one could have gone either way for Plesac. I’ll say this: He’ll get volume for the Indians and he’s good enough to be rostered in a 12-teamer, but I think he’ll hit a wall eventually and it we’ll be letting him go. Reds are next – that’s a go – and then he heads to Arlington after…which isn’t as scary with Gallo in the lineup. If he does well against the Reds, I’m down for that Arlington start as well. I’m warming up to the guy a little.

Brett Anderson6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, a near VPQS from Anderson is just dandy. It’s weird, we’re cool with this and it’ll settle to be near a 4.50 ERA. Such is the life of Brett.

Homer Bailey6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. A PQS from Bailey is a good day. Not enough to deserve another book from Homer, but a good day.

Matt Boyd7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, he deserves it now. 3.08 ERA (3.20 SIERA), 1.04 WHIP, 31% strikeout rate as he can’t be stopped. BeeGees and Boyd Boys for life!

Rookie Davis3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. I love the Pirates. I love that they have a wonderful arm in Mitch Keller just hanging out in the minors and elect to have Rookie get a start instead. It’s just so wonderful.

Erick Fedde6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take a PQS from our secondary Call Boy as we normally don’t trust the Feddes. I think this is a low ceiling play in general and wouldn’t suggest Erick save for rare streaming needs.

Miles Mikolas4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeeeeegh. Sure, he left this game after the final out in the fourth came from a comebacker that hit Mikolas in the forearm, but his slider was 86 mph again. NO. We were just getting so amped about Mikolas with that hard slide piece sitting 88 or so – just like last year! – and this was…this was blegh. Maybe it’s a blip now and he’s all good and fine next time as he’s not expected to miss any time due to the comebacker, but it adds skepticism to his rise. Here’s to hoping it returns next time out – I’m still starting him. 

Michael Pineda5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Pineda is back as Smeltzer is no more and this was…meh. Maybe a touch of Still ILL here n all, let’s see how he looks next time. 

Brandon Woodruff6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Good to see Woodruff return to his high ceiling self, though it was weird to get this line despite his changeup and slider underperforming – 8/29 CSW between them is middling for secondary pitches. Fastball did the dirty work per usual and next time, just pull back on like one earned run for me, okay? K thx.

Gabriel Ynoa6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Ynoa what? I’m going to pickup Gabriel. Really?! Ha, no. Definitely not.

Ivan Nova5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. No Super Nova today, who knows when the next one arrives when we look at the evening sky. Sometimes I get lost and question my place in the universe. Yeah, I feel the same way when Ivan actually does well on a given night. It really blows your mind.

Rick Porcello6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s the Toby life of The Thief. “Is this okay?” he asks, pulling his head up eager for approval. Your eyes roll back but stop as you can feel his pain inside. “You did your best, thanks Rick” you say, bending down to meet his weak expression. You wonder how much long you have to endure this. “Not until that new shipment arrives on the wire,” you mutter, closing the door behind you. It’ll arrive soon, it must.

Andrew Heaney5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. 37/107 CSW. Full on Blake Snell Blueprint. A three-run home run with two outs in the sixth. YOU WERE SO CLOSE HEANEY. 12/32 whiffs on curveballs and what’s still so shocking to me is how Heaney’s changeup is still not factor. Maybe if he had that pitch, he’d have not thrown a meaty 0-2 sinker to THE Tom Murphy. That’s something to consider, but hot dang I’m so on the Heaney train right now. He can be even better, y’all.

Marcus Stroman5.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Seven of Stroman’s last eight games have come with four strikeouts or fewer. Including this one, Stroman holds a 3.64 ERA in his last five starts…with a 5.02 SIERA, 1.38 WHIP, and sub 15% strikeout rate. Help me y’all, what am I missing with Stroman?

Jose Urena3.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It was a Vargas Rule and, well, womp womp. Now that he’s his the wall, if you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble. For 12-teamers, keep in mind. Deeper leagues, you can keep this up.


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.


Trevor Richards vs. Atlanta Braves – It’s not the best matchup, but Richards’ changeup has been solid lately.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Pablo Lopez vs. Atlanta Braves PabLo does well at home and I’ll take the gamble here.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Anibal Sanchez vs. Chicago White Sox – Easy choice here, hopefully you can snag him early for his two-start week.


Game of the Day 


Lucas Giolito vs. Kansas City Royals – Force me to elevate you further. FORCE IT.


(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/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.

11 responses to “German of Mystery”

  1. Lassetjus says:

    Seems like this year Soroka is a better pitcher in real life than fantasy. He pitches to weak contact with crazy 2 seam movement, keeps it on the ground limiting HR, and is efficient eating innings. If he did strike out more guys would he still be able to go deep into games? I guess the trick is to do both. Maybe he can develop his change up and or slider to be more put away pitches.

  2. Perfect Game says:

    How many more IP does Ryu throw? He’s matched last years’ total and hasn’t thrown over a 100 for 3 years. Hopefully, my third time asking will get a response. Really want your opinion on this.

  3. Michael says:

    I heard that the Braves broadcast mentioned that Soroka and Fried aren’t going to be innings limited this season, so take that how you will.

  4. raimaker says:

    That 37 foul balls from Wheeler yesterday got me to thinking, wouldn’t CSW be more accurate if it was the percentage of total balls minus foul balls? It will require a ratio adjustment but if say Pitcher A had 30/100 CSW with 0 foul balls while Player had 25/100 CSW with 40 foul balls then we would like Pitcher B more right? Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about but I would think Player B’s CSW should be considered 25/60

  5. Eric says:

    Is Kirby Yates and Mikolas too much for Boyd? 5×5 Roto with QS instead of wins.

  6. Justin says:

    Why the hate for Soroka? The reason we used to discount low strikeout pitchers with good ERAs was because we couldn’t measure batted ball quality. Considering Soroka’s Statcast profile, he’s more likely to be the kind of guy that outperforms his ERA estimators for his career. Think of a guy like Matt Cain.

  7. Rob says:

    Boyd seemed Meh. 9 hits, 3er, barely over 1K/ip. Oprah must be handed out AGA’s. You get an AGA, and you get an AGA…!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! Well, highest fastball velocity of the year, and ” barely over 1K/ip” is legit!

      AGA is more about an overtime award, not based on one outing. Boyd has done nothing but continuously produce and it’s June. He deserves it.

  8. Tal Sercarz says:

    Would you trade yordan Alvarez for Matt Boyd in a 10 team keeper points league were you get to keep 6.

  9. Locke says:

    Is Framber Valdez’s start not on here?

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