Hitting The Tritone

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

Is it finally time to get off the Mike Minor bandwagon? Yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks came with a lovely array of strikeouts, but those ratios kill you and even in a tough matchup against the Astros, you expected better. That’s 7 ER in his last two starts as his changeup and slider have not looked pretty. But Nick! This is just two starts, it’s too early to jump off! Good, move him when his price is still high. His sub 1 HR/9 just won’t stick, nor will the 85%+ LOB rate, and while I like his 12% swinging-strike rate, I’m not so enamored with his fastball/changeup mix to believe that his 2.73 ERA is going to hide from the 4.41 SIERA through the second half. In the end, I see a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 23% K rate (obviously with a chance to stay above that), which isn’t bad at all, but certainly doesn’t demand the Top 25 SP price that I’ve ranked him as – he’ll likely be around #30 or so tomorrow given the massive cliff that hits at the 30s. I’d consider selling now to see if you can capitalize on an SP weak club before the true wall hits.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Chris Bassitt6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Oh, are we becoming Bassitt Hounds again? Not really. I don’t see something in his repertoire that screams “Oh hey, this guy is dope!” Just a 26/96 CSW here against the ChiSox, too. There’s not enough.

Aaron Brooks2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It was a limited pitch count here as we had to return Brooks to the library. You deserve a late fee for that one. I sure do. Those that believe Aaron is the answer to their fantasy lineups are making a Brookie mistake. TWO LATE FEES.

Madison Bumgarner5.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. You’re going to see Bummy rise tomorrow – he would have last week but the elbow liner was a gray area, sadly. His curveball is earning much-needed strikes, while he’s elevating heaters effectively. Not an amazing CSW here, but I think Bumgarner is doing his thing at a time when we need it badly.

Zach Davies6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. While Davies is sporting a SIERA that’s nearly double his 2.89 ERA (5.25 is laughable with his sub 16% strikeout rate), it’s only the #2 thing that frustrates me the most about him. It’s his name, isn’t it. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE CALL HIM ZACH GREINKE.

Brendan McKay5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I had a feeling McKay would more than double his season strikeout total in this game against the Orioles, and BAM! He did so with seven punchouts here (six on the year prior). He’s been since sent down, though, with the Rays  

Clayton Richard2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Let’s be kind to Richard, he went to Kershaw and said “nah, I’ll be the Clayton to take the injury this year” as he left this one with a rib injury. What a guy.

Matt Harvey5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, Harvey is back! Great, now do this for like 10 more starts to rid us of your horrid first half.

Brad Keller8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Keller?! Really? He has a two-pitch mix that can do this when he’s legit on, which I guess he was here, but come on. You’re Old Keller, we know how that ends.

Merrill Kelly5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh, he labored a little through this one and someone made it not kill you as his changeup and curveball saved the day. I still have my hesitations about Kelly, but he seems like a hold at the moment, pitching above the standard waiver wire add.

Aaron Nola6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The four walks are concerning, but 34% CSW is welcome as always. This could be the second half we dreamed of all year.

Jake Odorizzi5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. He returned from his blister and was good. Enough. Just two strikeouts is weird from Odorizzi, but he stuck to his gameplan of high heaters and low everything else and I’m all for that. Start him.

Ross Stripling5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Really impressive start here from Stripling, who cashed out after five frames with just 68 pitches. I’m surprised that he’s really leaning into that changeup – 16 thrown here – using his curveball as a strike-earning and changeup as the whiff pitch. Just 2 sliders is a little odd and we’re not seeing prime Strip yet. We need that slider cruising for that as the changeup will come and go.

Zac Gallen5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Good to see Gallen utilize more changeups here, but he hasn’t quite found his stride yet. I think the talent is there to cruise through five frames, but he’s still working on fine-tuning it all.

J. A. Happ5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yes, Happ. YES. More of this please. Like a lot more. You don’t need to be 6 IP of 8 Ks or whatever, just this is lovely.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. 16/94 CSW is meh, the four walks make my eyes roll further, and this is all…fine. I guess keep holding Hudson, I’d rather own Daniel Ponce de Leonwho is getting a chance in the rotation now. Might as well chase that one among the current landscape, Daniel will probably be in the 60s/70s tomorrow because why not.

Joey Lucchesi5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s probably the most boring line of the night. Are you proud of that Lucchesi? Are you?

Charlie Morton6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The quiet ace did what you should do against the Orioles as he ain’t be so quiet anymore.

Noah Syndergaard7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Guys. GUYS. Thor’s slider was 90.5 mph in this one, even hitting 93 mph and returned over 50% CSW with 7/19 whiffs. The total was 36% CSW, 20 whiffs, and a DOMINANT game against the Fish. Yeah, the Marlins, but this is very much of the ability that should have been here all year and Thor with his slider is a floor that brings him into Top 25 conversation again. I don’t love the location of sinkers thigh high all day, though, but just fastball/slider with changeups and curveballs mixed in is honestly good enough for me.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, whatever Teheran. It’s a coin flip each time. If that’s what you want, by all means, Ju do Ju.

Trevor Bauer6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. The dude had 25 whiffs in this VPQS. TWENTY-FIVE. Yes that’s a Gallows Pole, duh. Just stop pitching to Max Kepler and everything is glorious.

Patrick Corbin6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna almost give us a VPQS but make us forget that with 10 strikeouts and a 36% CSW and 21 whiffs. Keep on keepin’ on.

Jon Lester6.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s pretty boring, but that’s fine with Lester. He’s not killing you and giving you the volume you want. It’s ain’t 11, but a nice steady 6 as you get that cool vibe, you know? Not every day is about releasing energy.

Wade Miley6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, I’ll take the excellent WHIP and five strikeouts from Miley. That sounds just lovely.

Matt Boyd7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. 19 whiffs from Boyd here as his fastball sat 92/93. Astros, this is what you want, right? I appreciate that Boyd is doing what he can to lower the price to ensure he gets moved at the deadline, such a nice fella. But Nick! That ERA and WHIP! Really, don’t worry about that. He’s Top 20 in the second half as he changes teams and will still fan a ton of batters.

Kyle Freeland4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Awww, I don’t think he pitched as bad as the line suggested – his defense didn’t help – and we’re still off the train until we really sit it all work again. Streaming Record: 55-41. It hasn’t been a fun time streaming for a bit.

Chris Sale4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. So that’s another disappointing start from Sale and you’re wondering what’s up. Well, his command wasn’t good here. He normally doesn’t sit so deep in the heart of the plate with his heater and his slider was hung a bit as well. Velocity is still there, don’t worry about this. Seriously, he’s not reverting.

Dylan Covey0.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Remember kids, Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.

Wade LeBlanc4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, that’s the LeBlanc we all know and hate.

John Means 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. We knew regression was coming, but serving a lot of it on one day feels like a Take Out The Trash Friday to me. But Nick, it was Saturday. You really should watch the West Wing.

Jordan Lyles0.2 IP, 7 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. He really hasn’t found his way since returning from the IL. We know the skillset and this is a rough patch that may legit set him back through the year, but keep an eye out if he gets that one strong outing where it clicks again.

Tanner Roark4.2 IP, 7 ER, 13 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Roark in Coors just isn’t the thing you want to do. Like ever.


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.


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.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jakob Junis vs. Chicago White SoxThis one may change as we get six more starters confirmed for Monday’s game, but it’s Junis or Norris and I’ll go Junis’s strikeout upside.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Daniel Mengden vs. Seattle Mariners – I could see Mengden cruising for a QS here.


Game of the Day 


Jose Berrios vs. Shane Bieber – This will be so filthy.


(Photo by John Cordes/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.

4 responses to “Hitting The Tritone”

  1. Barry says:

    12 Team H2H 6×6 QS Redraft

    Swap out Gallen for Stripling?


  2. Larry says:

    Would you trade Hand or Osuna for Strasbourg. Currently have as other relievers are Holland and Pressly

  3. Jim says:

    I feel like a yo-yo with Stripling again. Start him for the weak opponents and get rocked, then bench him for the tough ones and watch him throw a gem. I hate when that happens.

  4. stacktherotation says:

    Came here to state my appreciation of the musical reference in the title. Carry on.

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