Get Rich Slow Scheme

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

Those that have followed me since the days of Pitcher GIFs will know that I have a soft spot for Garrett Richards. High-velocity fastballs moving in different directions paired with an excellent slider and curveball for strikes? SIGN ME UP. He’s dealt with injuries forever and finally returned from TJS yesterday for the Padres going 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks and I don’t really care about the end line. I’m just excited he’s pitching again. But let’s talk about this start. I was reminded of all the lovely things he can do, and the pain, but mostly the beautiful! Seriously, 26/60 CSW = 43% CSW. His velocity was great hovering 95 mph, featuring sliders for strikes, two-seamers one way and naturally cutting four-seamers the other, even with a few curveballs sprinkled in, just like the days of old. It was a wonderful time watching him on the hill again, but that’s all this really is. I don’t think I’d trust him for more starts this year as the Padres are unlikely to truly let him go deep into a game, but if you’re looking for a last-round stash in your dynasty league, or even a super off-the-radar arm for 2020, this is your man. I’m already excited for his potential next spring.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Tyler Alexander6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I had a good amount of people wanting to roll the die on T-Lex against the O’s and I pushed back in favor of ReyLo. WHAT WAS I THINKING. Well, that a 91 mph arm without a good secondary pitch isn’t a good bet to make. 20/85 CSW with good BABIP is all you need, though, and props to those that ran with it and benefited. For the rest of us, forget this ever happened.

Zach Davies5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I preached a lot of caution starting Davies here and he eked out a Win for those that ran with it. Phew. I’m glad it served those trusting well, I hope you can see why I had hesitation as this was his ceiling. It’s hard to recommend an SP when you need their best outcome. Now it’s the Pirates and I get the feeling those that had him for this one are going to hold tight. I’m still suggesting you reconsider, but hey, good luck.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Welcome to Ray, where the strikeouts are large and the walks don’t matter. Now that he looked good against the Marlins, you feel just fine starting him twice against the Padres.

Jose Berrios7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Great work Berrios, you had a smooth matchup against the ChiSox and took full advantage. 16 whiffs and 36/94 CSW are excellent with your curveball as good as ever. Please keep that feel through the end, K thx.

Cole Hamels3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s getting really hard to trust Hamels. Lester, Quintana, Hamels, the Cubs rotation of Tobys are just not cutting it and in playoff time, it’s hard to have the patience with any of them. You may not have a choice, but I’d really like to not have my season hinge on Hamels getting it together in time for the Cardinals on Saturday. That would be tough to swallow.

Dakota Hudson7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. The Hudson train continues, even if it had a stop against the Nationals. I can’t be the only one finding his success incredibly odd, right? When I watch Hudson and see just one strikeout (HAISTFMFWT?!) and ultra reliance on balls finding gloves, I don’t think “oh definitely, this is the man I want to ride the championship with.” At the same time, it’s as clear a Vargas Rule as any right now, so hey, keep on starting him until he hits that wall…which may just be the cold, barren days of winter. How much I hate that prison of seasons…

Stephen Strasburg5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, even with the 1.40 WHIP I’ll give it to Stras for today. Just two more starts buddy, let’s make it a comfortable 200+ frames for the first time since 2014 and second time of his career.

Kevin Gausman2.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The Reds want to give Gausman some time to start before 2020, so they pushed back the rotation to give him a “start” here and likely another as the sixth man. I guess that’s cool for him, but completely irrelevant for us…unless you want to get super sneaky and consider Lucas Sims as the one to follow and possibly vulture a Win. That would be very sneaky.

Pablo Lopez6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Yes, I’ll take a PQS with a sub 1.00 WHIP and a strikeout per inning from PabLo. And against the Diamondbacks? Beautiful. Speaking of gorgeous, he had 29/84 CSW with his four-seamer doing a ton of work and I’m a little sad he gets the Nationals next. That’s too risky on Sunday, though I understand if you have nothing to lose. There is a chance he pulls it off.

Tanner Roark4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Blegh. Sure, the eight strikeouts are cool, but we want Roark for the ratios and Win. We got neither. Against the Royals. And I’ll continue starting him against the Angels next because that offense hurts right now. The craziest part about this? He earned a Gallows Pole with 21 whiffs and returned 35% CSW. A weird start overall as he missed plenty, then made quality strikes but when the Royals made contact, it hurt. Just one of those days.

Antonio Senzatela6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Is it bad that I think this is a decent outing from Senz-A? Yes, Nick, that’s terrible. Well whatever, I’m proud of you bud.

Glenn Sparkman4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Man, that one start earlier this year truly was a Birthday Party and shows up just once a year. Huh.

John Means 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The most disappointing start of the night as Means couldn’t handle the Tigers. Uggggh, this was your safe stream. The arm you felt lucky to snag off the wire for two starts and to set the early foundation of the week. Now it Johns that you’re in a hole and wondering if he’s even worth the second start against the Mariners. The answer there is yes, but I’m gonna be giving him the evil stare the entire time.

Reynaldo Lopez5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. I didn’t like the streaming options (T-Lex? Really?!) so I chased upside with ReyLo. Streaming Record: 96-64. Velocity fell back to 95/96 and his slider nor changeup were there in full. That’s not the ReyLo we like and I’m just sad now. Yesterday was kinda a sad day. Anyway, now it’s a matchup against the Tigers and that’s a coin-flip. It’s on Sunday – against T-Lex no less! – and I’d start ReyLo. Their floors are the same with a better ceiling in Lopez. Plan accordingly if you want to make that start or not.

Steven Matz4.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Matz went into Coors and it was a pretty clear sit, but among the other horrid options you may have considered letting him fly. I don’t blame you, people have survived Coors before. Now you woke up, looked at the line and can’t quite understand why you made the choice. We’re here for you, just start Matz against the Reds and move on.


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.


Mitch Keller vs. Seattle Mariners – Not much to choose from here, give me a strikeout-upside play against a poor offense. Two other options are Trent Thornton after a surprising performance against the Red Sox as he faces the Orioles, and maybe Tyler Mahle against the banged-up Cubs. I prefer Keller, though.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Justin Dunn vs. Pittsburgh Pirates OK, this day is terrible for streaming. I should probably go Danny Duffy against the A’s – still hate that but it’s a decent QS chance – but I’m going to be bold today. Dunn is a solid arm who had to deal with the jitters in his MLB debut. That’s behind him now, facing a blegh offense sans Josh BellI could see him get through the first with ease, then dominate with confidence through 5+. Figured I’d give him the spotlight for people that have no idea who to stream on Wednesday.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Anthony Kay vs. Baltimore Orioles – With a short slate and only five pitchers eligible as a streamer, I’ll go with Kay and his decent stuff against the Orioles. It’s a bad play. Don’t make it.


Game of the Day


Luis Severino vs. Los Angeles Angels – Three straight days of injured arms returning. So good.


(Photo by Samuel Stringer/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.

2 responses to “Get Rich Slow Scheme”

  1. Josh says:

    Absolutely loved what I saw from Richards. His stuff seemed to be as good as it was two years ago. Not surprised he was hittable, though, and also not surprised that Cory Spangenberg became the 15000th ex-Padre to do damage against his former team.

    What’s your immediate 2020 outlook on Richards? Top 30?

  2. Nick says:

    This is kind of off-topic, but do you yourself play fantasy, or just write about it? Would love to see your team(s)!

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