Hit Or Chris

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

(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

So do we all hate Chris Archer these days? After going 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks against the Brewers, he’s now holding a 4.72 ERA, 24% K rate, 7.7% BB rate, and 1.45 WHIP on the year. None of his five starts with the Pirates have returned over 5.0 IP and the whole thing is just bad. It’s still the same problem as it has been all year – his fastball just isn’t cutting it – and I’m not really seeing a ticket out of this situation. Sure, I wouldn’t be shocked if Archer goes 3.80 ERA the rest of the way, but keep in mind that his K rate is still under 25%. We were willing to take the ratio hit in favor of an elite strikeout rate (29% last year!) but if we’re not even getting that, what’s the point? Now I’d imagine that your wire is dearth of options and you have to stick with Archer anyway, but I wanted to lead with him today to tell you that if there is a guy out there that will help now, go and do it. Make the swap, feel better about life and roll with the streams if you need to. I don’t see this becoming a strong play for the final month.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Kevin Gausman5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. And the train keeps chugging along as Gausman handled the Marlins with ease. 26 splitters in 80 pitches is a lovely thing earning 8 whiffs as he tucked his slider away. Yes, the Marlins certainly helped here, but 36% CSW is fantastic and should make you feel confident with the Gaus moving forward as long as he avoids elite offenses.

Zack Greinke6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Is he going to be the primo discount ace pick again next year? I’m thinking yes.

Kyle Hendricks7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a 3.21 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP, 23.5% K rate, 3% BB rate, and 3.38 SIERA in 10 starts (6+ IPS). That’s pretty ridiculous, though the only tough opponent was arguably the Diamondbacks or Brewers. Still, he’s in a groove and Hendricks in a groove is a wonderful thing.

Jefry Rodriguez6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey Jefry wasn’t terrible! That’s cool, I guess.

Chris Bassitt4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Drrroooopp The Bassitt. It’s been a while since he’s showed up, he was called up to give the rotation a day off, though he may take the spot of Sean Manaea moving forward as the southpaw hit the DL. Don’t touch it.

Austin Gomber6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Gomber is making you think. After two straight 4 walk games, he found a groove in Coors – duh, right? – but I wouldn’t put much faith in it. 0 whiffs on 28 curveballs + changeups and 20/87 CSW overall. That just doesn’t add up to me and I see a guy that got by instead of earning it. It’s a risky proposition moving forward and I’d consider it only against weak lineups.

Derek Holland6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s not the sexiest of outings, but it sure gets the job done as I expect I won’t be able to use Holland as a streaming option as more. Streaming Record: 82-40. You did good buddy, you did good. Now enjoy the life on people’s rosters.

Michael Kopech6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. After Tuesday’s tease, we saw Kopech actually go more than two innings yesterday and he was solid. I was a little disappointed to see 95mph on average, and his fastball locations weren’t as pristine as the first game. And his secondary stuff wasn’t too consistent. And I was actually not super high on this start. Wait, really? Kinda, yeah? He did adapt and throw more elevated heat as the game progressed, but it’s not quite there yet – this is an 8 IP sample still, so bear with me. Also, I should mention that he’s hit three batters now, so those 0 walks thus far aren’t fully truthful. He gets the Sawx next and I’m not starting him there, but hopefully the next few weeks after will bring you some prime Kopech.

Pablo Lopez5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. He was the reluctant Call Boy and I guess this works? That WHIP is terrible but the ERA is low and four strikeouts, while super meh, still do something. I don’t know. I think he’s a Young Gun with potential for being a Spiderman in future years.

Steven Matz7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta babe Matz! 34/97 CSW as he relentlessly pounded the zone while getting an excellent 11/21 CSW on his changeup. That’s the key here for Matz as his slider/curveball just aren’t enough. Giants, Phils, Marlins, Phils are next and that’s wonderful.

Blake Snell6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Where should I rank Snell for next season? I legit don’t know.

Framber Valdez5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This is the lefty replacing Lance McCullers in the Astros rotation, not Brad Peacocknot Collin Mchugh, a dude named Framber. And I don’t like him. He’s pure Fastball + Curveball and the deuce just isn’t that good. It will be apparent when he’s pumping 92/93 consistently and needing something else to get the job done. Don’t chase this Cup of Schmo.

Hyun-Jin Ryu5.2 IP, 2 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Ryu got a bit Singled Out here, but made it up with a decent ERA and 8 Ks. Just start Ryu until he stops starting…which I’d give him 2 more before a mosquito bite gives him a shoulder contusion.

Luis Severino5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Okay this is a lot better from Sevy, though it was the Orioles and I don’t think he was so dominant. Yes and no. It’s not making me think he’s hinting Top 5 again, but it does make me wonder if his next start against the Sawx will not be terrible. If he works his slider and changeup effectively there, then we’re smooth sailing.

Vince Velasquez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, six Ks are cool and a 3.60 ERA with 1.20 WHIP are all helpful. I just hate seeing meh secondary pitches from VV – 3 whiffs on 34 Sliders/Curveballs/Changeups – and I think this is more of a trap than a trapeze swing to win your ship, you feel me?

Homer Bailey5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhhhh this is as boring as boring gets, like spending a night at the art exhibit entitled It’s Just Purple Paint. 

Jose Berrios5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s super weird to see 4 strikeouts from Berrios in three straight starts now – just two games over six strikeouts in his last ELEVEN. That’s the world we live in now and let us not forget it entering 2019. He could come out with guns blazing and even then, let’s not forget it like a Jet. PLAY IT COOL Y’ALL. I think you’re safe against the Rangers and Royals next, though.

Yovani Gallardo5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I don’t want to lay on this YoGa mat. It’s too old and makes me feel dirty every time I use it.

Felix Pena6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. A PQS with 5 Ks and a 1.17 WHIP against the Astros from Pena? Yep that works. I’m sure you recognize that the 12 Ks last time where the outlier and this is the kind of start to expect moving forward. Make it circumstantial and play the matchups.

Chase Anderson5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This doesn’t help in any way and that’s annoying. Not my favorite pitcher to…go after.

Shane Bieber5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Ugh, Bieber, just don’t be so hittable! And when I say hittable, I mean throwing meatballs that get crushed for three HRs. Everything else is cool but I wonder if this will be a continued problem.

Dylan Bundy5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. He got the Yankees and actually didn’t pitch so badly. 38/100 CSW is actually super good as he was able to throw strikes with curveballs (12 thrown!), sliders, changeups for a combined 22/49 CSW. That’s wild. Velocity up to 92+ mph, 16 whiffs overall, KCR + TBR + ChiSox + TOR next…it could easily fall apart but I’m also kinda thinking now is the time to jump on Bundy like it’s the bounciest bed you’ve ever experienced. 

Robbie Erlin4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh great, it’s Erlin. Hey Nick. Hi Robbie. Don’t…rob me, Robbie. Why do I talk to you. I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING.

Nathan Eovaldi4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Ya wanna know what’s crazy? Eovaldi earned a Gallows Pole here with 18 whiffs. I KNOW. I think this was a case of bad fortune and less of “Eovaldi is trash” as his cutter and four-seamer combined for a lovely 21/56 CSW. That’s production out of your 1-2 punch. But it was a bad start. It’ll turn around.

Marco Estrada2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Here’s not expecting Marco to find his own silk road again. Ain’t nothing gonna spice this up.

Mike Leake6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Well yeah, Leake isn’t all that good. So much for the Quality Start machine thing.

Jorge Lopez4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. JoLo is a Cup of Schmo that sounds like he’s asking a fantasy geek to stop giving him all the back story. Hold The Lore! HOLD THE LORE!

Jordan Zimmermann6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Jay-Z didn’t drop a hit today. Or wait, he had too many hits and it was too much to handle. This is a weird joke now, I want out.

Tyler Anderson0.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Uggggggh, this is bad. You wanna know what else is bad? That I still feel like he’s worth the pickup for the Padres next. I mean, it’s the Padres and Anderson still has a great whiff rate. It was a bad day – like really bad – and it shouldn’t be repeated…right?

Today’s Streamer

Sam Gaviglio vs. Baltimore Orioles – Looks like he’s getting the two-start week, which means he gets the Orioles again and could have another field day.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – As long as he faces weak teams, I’m fine taking a chance on Junis’ slider.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – He’s improved his velocity and makes for a decent streaming option the rest of way.

Game of the Day

Stephen Strasburg vs. Zach Eflin – I want to see primetime Strasburg and if Eflin can pull a Foley and get back on the right track.

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.

14 responses to “Hit Or Chris”

  1. Frankie says:

    Really interested in where Heaney, Pivetta, Bieber, Musgrove, and Lucchesi end up on today’s (final) Pitcher’s List! Since discovering your work, Nick, my pitching roster has had massive turnover in a good way. Like many, my pitching has endured so many injuries this year that without this site I would have had a dartboard approach while pillaging the free agents in my leagues. 100% of my teams are in the playoffs and now the real work begins! So thank you for all of yours, and my eyes are locked on your site for the next few weeks!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Frankie!

      The traditional List is dead, today’s edition is going to be sorted with estimated ROS schedules attached and will be updated each Monday the rest of year.

      It’s…a lot. Hope you enjoy it :)

  2. theKraken says:

    Berrios got a visit from the trainers in the first inning yesterday. Over the next handful of FBs the velocity was 91, 90, 89. He did recover and get better velo, but something was wrong with him. Not sure what was going on, but it could be the start of something… he was pointing to his abdomen for what it is worth. Wouldn’t be surprised if he got shut down soon.

    • Something Fierce says:

      They were concerned he was going to have an accident on the mound. LaVelle E. Neal tweeted after the game, “Berrios was sick today. Twins were worried they would have to yank him in the first inning, but he pledged to stay in as long as he could. Was not available after the game. Had to stay in range of the bathroom.”

  3. JQ says:

    Any guidance on which 3 of these 6 starts for my 2-week championship with a 20 start limit?

    Castillo at SD (9/9)
    Gray at LAA (8/27)
    Strasburg at PHI (8/27)
    Price at ATL (9/3)
    Price at HOU (9/9)
    Greinke at LAD (8/31)

    • theKraken says:

      These are really hard questions that I have to answer myself… Castillo has been pitching well, no? SD is close to an auto-start. I don’t see how you can skip Price the way he has been pitching. That is what I would do… maybe Greinke over Castillo, depends on the whole floor/ceiling factor.

    • JQ says:

      Price vs HOU & Castillo vs SD are actually at home.

      • JQ says:

        Thanks for the advice. That’s how I feel about Price too, I think I’m OK sitting Greinke and not taking a chance (his matchup is against Kershaw too). In my head I was debating Gray & Castillo and whether I could actually sit Strasburg in a good matchup. The tough part is 2 of the guys go today so I can’t gauge whether I need the upside as much.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Greinke + Gray + Price @ ATL.

  4. theKraken says:

    Just be glad you didn’t trade your farm for Archer #pirates

  5. Scott says:

    Would you start Strasburg today. We already seen his dl and it wasn’t pretty. Thanks

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