Halftime Show

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

And we’re back. We had some fun with the HR Derby and All-Star game, but I’ll be honest, it felt empty. Sure, I was able to get a lot of planning done for our Fantasy Football site launching on Monday, outlining our off-season schedule, and getting a head start on Pitcher List 5.0, but I needed more. I needed the Roundup. 

I did think a bit about this season as a whole, though, and how despite all my claims that “SP will be deep” it’s been as shallow of a wire as I’ve ever seen. And yet if I add “SP will be deep entering 2020″ I would actually still believe that. There are so many young arms that are still developing and taking their steps forward – Griffin Canning, Max Fired, Andrew Heaney, Julio Urias, Pablo Lopez, Joe Musgrove, Zac Gallen, Dylan Cease, Tyler Mahle, Spencer Turnbulletc. – and a host of injured arms that will be re-entering the fray come February. It’s been a wild and tumultuous year and I look forward to waiting on pitching for yet another season in March despite everyone jumping on Scherzer and Verlander and deGrom. There’s still just so much talent left to surprise you.

Let’s see how the two SP did Thursday:

Lance Lynn7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Like this guy. It’s CRAZY. It’s a 2.66 ERA, 30% K rate, sub 4% walk rate, and 1.03 WHIP across his last twelve starts. That’s absurd. 3.21 SIERA during that time as well, rooted in a 9.2% HR/FB that should rise (though it is a .316 BABIP…).  31% CSW here with his four-seamer dominating once again, while his cutter wasn’t brilliant but got the strikes it needed. Some may have hesitated since he faced the Astros, but don’t do that again. Don’t you dare stop starting Double Hockey Sticks.

Framber Valdez0.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. And on the other side we had a little bit of excitement as Valdez could have been returning to the Astros rotation and…nah. That’s just not going to happen. There isn’t much more to say than that, I would have had him on The List before this start and removed him on Monday after it. Cy Sneed came on in relief and did a solid job – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – and that’s wonderful, but with Brad Peacock likely returning on Monday and the Astros certainly adding another starter to their staff, there’s little reason to jump on Young Sneed here. He’s just going to be their cleanup guy.


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. Detroit Tigers – Few options here so I’m going with Duffy. I’m glad Spencer Turnbull is making his return today and I’m definitely interested in watching that and treating it like a lovely DLH. WAIT. Give me Jason Vargas vs. Miami Marlins – Completely forgot that people don’t actually listen to the Vargas Rule. Please go with that instead as he’s well under 20% owned.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Kyle Freeland vs. Cincinnati Reds – This is crazy and stupid and don’t do it. I KNOW. But look at the options I have, I can’t even take Chris Bassitt against the White Sox as he’s owned at 22%. So maybe Freeland figured something out in that last minor league start and can run away with this one. The legit only other option I have is Brad Keller against the Tigers and come on man, that’s not fun.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jhoulys Chacin vs. San Francisco GiantsAt least here I have a decent matchup with Chacin and who knows? After all, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.


Game of the Day 


Jason Vargas vs. Caleb Smith – I really want to officially put Vargas’ Vargas Rule to rest while getting amped about Smith’s return to dominance.


(Photo by John Bunch/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 “Halftime Show”

  1. Jeff Berckes says:

    I sat Lynn last night… never again.

  2. manny dgm says:

    Nick – would you trade Matt Carpenter for Lance Lynn? I honestly have more faith in Carpenter turning it around then I do in Lynn keeping this up in the 2nd half.

  3. AC says:

    Nick, I’ve been holding off on activating Caleb Smith thanks to a roster logjam, hoping someone else’s injury or bad performance would make for an easier decision, but here we are. 10 team redraft H2H, and my (heavily PL-influenced) staff is SPs Nola, Bauer, Berrios, CSmith, Boyd, Soroka, Lynn, Musgrove, and RPs Yates, Doolittle, Colome, LJackson, and Eovaldi (IL). Since I can’t make any trades with my roster technically illegal, which of the active guys would you drop? My leaning is Musgrove, but he sure seems to have re-found himself lately — I’d almost certainly be enriching my competition by putting him back in the FA pool.

    • rainmaker says:

      That’s a sweet pitching staff but I’d definitely cut Jackson as he’s not a lock to stay a closer and you seem to have more than enough. If you really wanted to cut a SP, I suppose it would have to be Musgrove

      • AC says:

        Thanks. I wound up dropping Didi Gregorius from my bench – just couldn’t decide on a pitcher (and maybe I can deal SP depth for a hitter better than Didi). Agree that Jackson has risk of losing his job, but then again so does Colome if traded – odds are I’ll lose one or the other (or both) in a few weeks, but I figured I might as well wait to see if Eovaldi really does get the closer gig in Boston before giving up on a current source of saves.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t think you need so many closers, honestly. I’m okay dropping Musgrove and dealing a closer for a better starter.

  4. Donk says:

    You really think Vargas is a better play than Duffy?

  5. Don't be a Hader says:

    Are Yonny or Lance Lynn sell highs? Or can they be trusted enough so I can deal Price for Hader or Price for a needed bat?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t think you’ll get much from Yonny, while Lynn could be. Can’t say what the market is there, but I’ll have him inside the Top 25 on Monday.

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