Going Full Montas

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

(Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire)

It was another shot for Frankie Montas to make his impression at the major league level, earning his first start since 2015 as a member of the White Sox. The result was a wonderful 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks line against the Diamondbacks with stuff that turned heads. His fastball sat mid-to-upper 90s and did most of the work, using it nearly exclusively to get ahead of batters, while it turned it his better whiff pitch overall. His slider was okay, though not the hammer that you want to see with a budding hard-throwing starter. Changeup essentially non-existent, which explains why he was used exclusively as a reliever for the A’s last season. What I saw was a heater hitting edges often against a bad team – Blame it on the Diamondbacks – that could also mask mistakes when thrown over the plate + get chases if elevated well. I question if he can be a solid Spice Girl to chase given the lack of upside in his slide piece, but if he does see more time in the rotation (this was a spot start and we don’t know if he’ll get another shot yet), I’m not against taking a flier in a 12-teamer.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Jason Hammel – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. This is the first kVPR Excellent Start from Hammel all season, going 0-for-10 prior. Ohhhh right. We haven’t explained kVPR yet. Think a start with a great WHIP and 7+ Ks. Essentially, the numbers that the stud pitches bring to the table. Don’t expect this to happen with any regularity for Hammel.

Matt Strahm – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I TOLD YOU HE WAS DOPE. All joking aside, it was a bullpen game and Strahm is super far away from getting regular starts for the Padres. A man can dream, though…

Stephen Strasburg – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, I want to see better than 103 pitches that gets Stras pulled after five frames, but I’ll take the ratios + 8 Ks.

Walker Buehler – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Buehler got the Padres, again, and dominated, again. we have about 85 innings left with him this year – about 13-15 starts or so – and it will be so worth it.

Mike Foltynewicz – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s a 2.55 ERA with a 3.96 SIERA now for Folty as his K rate is at 27% with an 8.8% whiff rate and 11.4% walk rate. It doesn’t add up but I’m sure not removing him from my squad now. Sell high or hold til the wave crashes.

Blaine Hardy – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I know you may be considering Blaine, but he doesn’t have enough firepower to make this last. Let’s give him a badge for this great start, but don’t make a rapid dash to the waiver wire for a guy that throws sub 90mph and is destined to disappointment.

Mike Leake – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. We have another Minimalist Score contender with Leake’s 7 mark here today (tiebreaker goes to Mengden for the extra frame), and that should make you think “Huh, he needed 22 outs in the field out of 24 to survive. This might not be sustainable.” I hope it does because you’re smart and I like you. Moreso because of the smart part.

German Marquez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. The Rocky Mountain Way told us to start Marquez against the Reds in Coors and BAM! He does his part. Next is hosting the Dodgers and dBacks and that might just be in the cards as well. This isn’t turning out so bad…Streaming Record: 32-17.

Masahiro Tanaka – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Just one solo shot here as Tanaka showed off why he should still be heavily owned. I was harsh on him last time out and there will be a dip today, but you should still be banking on Tanaka through the year.

Jose Berrios – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Berrios’ curveball was as dope as dope gets with 11 whiffs on 32 thrown, while his changeup was…meh. Whatever, as long as the hook is cooking, I’m booking. That’s what I always say.

Zack Greinke – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna barely avoid a VPQS. He’ll be moving a little down today to #13 at least.

J. A. Happ – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. ERA is slowly falling as it sits at 3.84 with a 3.09 SIERA, and his high heaters produce a 29.5% K rate. Soft contact at a career-high 22.2%. I really need to raise him today.

Elieser Hernandez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I feel bad for Elieser, only because I find myself rooting against him. It’s only because I want to see Sandy Alcantara get his shot in the rotation in the next week or two, but I still feel bad. It doesn’t help things that I see this stat line and roll my eyes. Not everyone can get the praises of the BABIP Gods, you know?

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Ayyy, Pivetta recovered from a tough second and gave us another seven strikeouts in the book. He’ll be Top 40 today, I’ll find a way to make it happen.

Tyler Chatwood – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Fun Fact: 70% of Chatwood’s starts this year have come with at least five walks. Hooo boy.

Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace, even if it’s 3 ER. Fun game to watch against the Indians, too bad the pen blew it for him.

Garrett Richards – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. Richards faced the Yankees again and struggled mightily…again. Yes, I have to give him a major hit today – probably the backend of the 30s – but I truly do believe in his stuff that should dictate a phenomenal season. Maybe he tried to do too much today after struggling prior, maybe there’s a simple tweak he can make. I trust there are plenty better days ahead.

Sergio Romo – 0.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. This how “opener” thing is killing me as it screws around with numbers and what we’re to make of it. Vidal Nuno went 3.0 innings after this, with Austin Pruitt getting the final 5.2 frames and a save. The whole game was backwards and yes, they won, but it’s screwing up our lovely stats. SO I’M MAD Y’ALL.

James Shields – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. The ratios actually are pretty decent, it’s just…you know. Shields.

Jameson Taillon – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Much better from Taillon as he faced the Cardinals as he’s fresh off an outing where he deserved better. He gets the Cards + Dodgers + Diamondbacks next and I’d love to stick with this.

Trevor Bauer – 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks. A Gallows Pole here for Bauer with 18 whiffs as he went 127 pitches against the Astros. I talked with Sporer in the weekly Fireside Chat about Bauer and he’s clearly an ace in my book as he’s pumping strikes with a new money pitch in his slider. It’s legit.

Matt Harvey – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Harvey’s heater was hinting 94-95 in his first starts for Cincy, here it was slightly under 94 in Coors. It was a longshot for success here, but there’s still a glimmer of hope that the velocity stays up and Harvey has some success in his new uniform. No way I’m investing in 12-teamers, but I’ll still keep an eye out.

Miles Mikolas – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I can’t be too upset here as a 1.00 WHIP and 5 Ks still work. A three-run fifth did Mikolas’ start a number and he didn’t have the same whiffs like we saw last time out, but if your Mikolas faith is wavering, you need to stay strong. This man is legit.

Zach Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Wheeler is so interesting to me. That’s five of his last six with 6+ Ks now (38 punchouts in those five), but he’s dancing back-and-forth between ES and PS in these starts – Excellent and Poor starts in VPR terms. The good news is the decision is easy for you as he faces the Cubs and Yankees next.

Ty Blach – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Looks like Blach made a Grave Mistake.

Jhoulys Chacin – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

Cole Hamels – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh, I still think Hamels is essentially a Toby, and all Tobys are going to have days when you want to fire them.

Chris Sale – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna make you throw things. Come on Sale, don’t be stupid.

Kevin Gausman – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Uggggh Gausman, you were so good last time, why do you have to do this? That third frame was so difficult to watch as he got Singled Out a bit, as now he gets the Yankees and Sawx in two of his next three starts. Like just isn’t fair, you know?

Today’s Streamer

Brandon McCarthy vs. New York Mets – Not many good choices here, so I’ll bank on the Mets against a guy that has had his moments.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Dan Straily vs. San Diego Padres – Am I petrified by the hard/soft contact splits? Definitely. But it is enough to deny a rolling Straily a start against the Padres? Probably not. Nick Tropeano against the Tigers is another option, and so is Jeremy Hellickson against the Orioles if you’re into those kinds of deals.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Eflin vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s this of Joe Musgrove against the Cubs, so I’ll go with the worse lineup. Don’t feel too good about this one.

Game of the Day

Justin Verlander vs. New York Yankees – The Yanks/Astros series are way too much fun to watch and let’s see if Verlander can dominate one of the better lineups around.

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 “Going Full Montas”

  1. eric says:

    In Yahoo league 5×5 league and own 9 solid SPs: Geinke, Bauer and Castillo (thank you – picked up in trades), Pivetta (thank you – picked up as FA), Tanaka, Buehler, G Richards, ERod, Heaney. Fulmer is a FA. Would you recommend:
    1. Picking up Fulmer as 10th pitcher
    2. Adding Fulmer and dropping one

  2. Barry says:

    6×6 H2H OPS QS Redraft. I have Semien and was just offered Wood/Simmons for either Mikolas or Car-Mart. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d hold Mikolas + CarMart.

      • Barry says:

        I declined, however he has now included Giles or Vizcaino in the offer. Yes, 3 for Mikolas. I already have Hand, Allen, and Greene in a Saves only, with Verlander, CarMart, Mikolas, Godley, Manaea, Cahill, C. Smith, Heaney, and J. Gray. With Wood currently ranked 23 on the list I’m very tempted to pull the trigger, however I would probably need to drop Gray and Semien. Your thoughts on this complex deal would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Ionescorhino says:

    Want to pick up Kingham. Drop Schwarber? Or drop Kopech from NA and slot Gohara there until his return?

  4. theKraken says:

    Tommy Pham was responsible for anywhere from one to three of the Mikolas earned runs. He took a blooper-reel quality route on a “triple” – only thing missing was circus music. He was a little better than his final line indicates. Same can be said for Berrios, who left with a tie game and a runner on first which came around to score. I believe that Bauer and Taillon both had Icarus things going on… multiple runs in the the last inning after a QS was already in the books. Just a lil additional context for those earned runs.

  5. D says:

    I have Donaldson … and he’s been bleh … my offense is ok and I can afford to hold him till he possibly turns it around … but I have a potential trade where I can give him up for Richards and fulmer …. would u make trade or sit tight with Donaldson ?

  6. Buttermaker says:

    Yo Nicolations-
    Someone just dropped Garrett Richards and Heaney is also available. Would you consider dropping Godley and/or Flaherty for either/or of those guys?
    thx dude

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login