I Gant Do It Captain!

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

(Photo by Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire)

I figure there will be some questions about John Gant’s fantasy relevancy after going 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks against the Tribe. It’s 22 frames with a 4.09 ERA for Gant as a starter, though it comes with a solid 25.3% K rate as his changeup has been stupid good – 24% whiff rate, 54% O-Swing, 41% Zone rate in 125 thrown. That’s a super money pitch, Bitcoin, if you will.. With Wacha out, Gant may be seeing more time and I’m not ruling out that he could be 12-teamer relevant. It was just 10 whiffs on 97 pitches here, so it’s not like he dominated despite the 0 ER. He does have the Braves next, which may be trouble for him and I wouldn’t invest until I see something positive out of that one.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Brad Keller – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. In case you’re getting any funny ideas, as a starter in his last five games, Keller is boasting a 5.96 K/9 and 3.86 BB/9. Okay? Okay.

Jonathan Loaisiga – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Honestly, I would have been super disappointed if Loaisiga didn’t give us a lovely outing against the Phils, and I’m glad he could meet my expectations. Changeup wasn’t there, though, with just five thrown across the outing as his slider was the belle of the ball (14 CSW in 29!). The question wasn’t this start though, it’s about the next one against the Braves as he narrowly misses the Sawx – The Yanks might push Severino one start early to face the Sawx on Sunday night instead of Loaisiga as they have Thursday off. That’s good news and I’m tempted to roll with him next Monday & definitely again on Sunday against the Jays.

Joey Lucchesi – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It wasn’t the prettiest start of Lucchesi’s career, but he got through four frames with production and you should feel fine rolling with him moving forward.

Kenta Maeda – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Hot damn, that’s a gorgeous line from Maeda. I really shouldn’t be surprised though, this is what he does. Make us question if we really should be owning him, then spits out an absolute gem next time out. He got pulled with just 84 pitches as well – Dodgeritis! – but this is crazy good. 36 CSW in 84 pitches (43%!) and this was the Cubs. Start him with confidence.

Blake Snell – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Nothing like 40 CSW on 103 pitches and 23 whiffs to his name for another Gallows Pole. Yeah, but he probably played a weak team. Nope, the Nationals. Snell is legit.

Jordan Zimmermann – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Crazy enough, Zim actually has a Money Pitch in his slider, Too bad everything else is so inconsistent that it’s just wasted like my uncle after the Mets lost in 2015. Poor Fred.

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Folty returned from his mini-DL stint and it wasn’t a DLH as he faced the Reds. Not his best work, but this will do. Expect him to get back on track against the Cardinals next.

Edwin Jackson – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s amazing that not only is EJax pitching again, but he went six frames with 0 walks. If you’re unfamiliar, what Chatwood is doing this year is essentially an “EJax”. This start? Like the anti-EJax. It’s Ajax. Wild. Don’t invest, but let’s just marvel at it.

Seth Lugo – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Lugo got the Pirates and did…fine. I question if Lugo can develop consistency and this start does absolutely nothing to push me one way or another.

Cole Hamels – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Sure five Ks are fine, but this was the Padres and you wanted better. They just added foul balls to Baseball Savant’s Gamefeed (it’s where I get CSW stats!) and it will take me a moment to get a feel for what to expect out of the number in each start. For now, I’m thinking if Fouls > CSW, that’s a problem. Here, it was 23 CSW, 24 Fouls. Something to think about.

Tyler Skaggs – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m glad you weren’t hurt too badly and avoided the DL because this is lovely. It ain’t easy getting six Ks against the Royals and 16 whiffs and I have to give credit where it’s due. Still amazes me that he’s had this much success, but I’ve put him in the Top 40 because I have no choice.

Duane Underwood Jr. – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This is a Cup of Schmo as Underwood was called in for Tyler Chatwood as his wife was in labor. Nothing to see here folks.

Mike Clevinger – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. After hovering 40 CSW twice against the ChiSox, Clev pulled it back to 27 in 98 pitches against the Cards. Meh. Just six whiffs is incredibly disappointing as his slider was inducing fouls (9!) instead of whiffs (2). I’m so happy we have that now.

Jameson Taillon – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. The question is if Taillon’s slider did its work and…it didn’t. 3 whiffs on 24 pitches is super blegh – especially against the Mets! – and while this is good across the board, I wanted a little more, you know?

Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. If you see four walks from VV, it means that his secondary pitches didn’t do a whole lot…and that’s true with 2 whiffs and 4 CS on 30 thrown. Ouch. It’s not easy facing the Yanks though, and this was a much better start than expected. I’ll take it and keep rolling with Velasquez.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. A PQS with a sub 1.40 WHIP. Welcome to the good side of Cashner. Yep.

J. A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Happ had a date with the Astros and gave you a VPQS. Yeah, okay. His four-seamer stayed a little too low in the zone in this one, which prevented the Ks from rising. HA Ha ha…Happ doesn’t carry Top 15 upside ala Snell and Co., but you should feel great with him through the year.

Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. After killing it against the Sawx and Yanks, of course he’d stumble a bit against the O’s. Sure, it’s a 1.17 WHIP with a PQS, but it’s all kinda…meh. Welcome back, Prince Felix.

Tyler Mahle – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s about time I took another loss as I went for the wrong arm with Mahle against the Braves. I think he’s a decent option against average or weak teams, but the Braves aren’t that. Womp womp. Streaming Record: 47-25.

Dan Straily – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Barely better than a PQS with a sub 1.00 WHIP and 6 Ks? Straily, this is too indulgent for you.

Justin Verlander – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the first start in 17 games that Verlander has allowed more than 3 ER. So it goes.

Shelby Miller – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This was as clear of a DLH you’ll find and it went as expected. I’m actually a bit amazed they let Miller throw 85 pitches in under four frames, but there it is. There was one great takeaway here, though – 94.8mph heater. It’s the reason we got excited last year before he went under the knife and it’s possible that sticks with better feel for his secondary stuff. I’m intrigued.

Gio Gonzalez – 1.0 IP, 6 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. The first was an unassuming inning with a walk and three outs. The second was a disaster, with four walks – he walked in a run – and capped off with a grand slam. Even that wasn’t enough, allowing a single after before getting the hook. Gio has descended The List rapidly and I’m thinking of lowering him into the 50s already for next week as he’s just not getting it done like before. We’ll talk about this on the OTC cast as he’s now allowed 17 ER in his last four games. Ouch.

Today’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs New York Mets – Call me crazy, but I’m going with Kuhl despite getting blown up for 8 ERs last time out. That was the dBacks, this is the Mets.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Ivan Nova vs. New York MetsThe collective fantasy community woke up on Bieber (now at 30%!), so looks like I have to hope Ivan can go Super Nova against the Mets. Mike Minor vs. San Diego Padres – Commenter Rob pointed out over the weekend that Minor’s velocity is up two ticks in his last two starts and I overlooked this one was against the Padres. I’m switching this pick – Nova isn’t a bad option either – don’t hate me for it.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chris Stratton vs. Colorado Rockies – I’m limited to four choices – Lucas Giolito vs. Twins (nope), Trevor Richards vs. Diamondbacks (ya right), and Anthony Desclafani vs. Brewers (maybe). I’m going with the best matchup as the Rockies are poor on the road over Disco, but it’s close.

Game of the Day

Corey Kluber vs. Carlos Martinez – I have a feeling CarMart is going to wake up after three terrible starts and one where it didn’t go his way. We’ll also get Kluber against the Cards, which should be a blast.

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.

19 responses to “I Gant Do It Captain!”

  1. Ryan says:

    Who do you like better going forward, Bieber or Loaisiga?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      If Bieber sticks in the rotation, he’s the guy to own.

      I can’t tell you if that will happen, though, and I’d ideally play it where I own Bieber for his next start, with the option to pick up Loaisiga for his two-start week after.

  2. Frankie says:

    Sir Nick,
    For the first time this season I am benching a lot of my starters in my H2H categories league due to awful matchups; Arrieta, CMart, and perhaps even Heaney @ BOS. Would you roll Gausman vs Seattle with any confidence? My opponent has Scherzer, deGrom, and Bauer so I am probably destined to lose ERA anyway. What say you? Should Gausman join the crowded pine today?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d roll out all those guys in hopes to steal Wins or Ks this week.

    • Southern Marylander says:

      Ugh, I had the same issue.

      My opponent this week has a 10 – 7 advantage in expected starts for the week, so I figured I couldn’t compete on K and W and decided to focus on ERA, WHIP, and SVHD. I benched Happ yesterday (and missed out on the W) since he was facing the Astros while my opponent picked up 18 K, 2 W, 2.89 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP from Maeda, Taillon, and Foltynewicz. Today, I’m faced with Martinez against an Indians offense that is 4th in MLB in runs per game and Arrieta against the Yankees who are 1st.

      My plan has been to start Greinke in Miami on Thursday, Happ against Detroit on Sunday, and Hamels against Chicago also on Sunday, then rely on my bullpen of Knebel, Hader, Janson, Ottavino, Watson, Tepera, Peacock, and a streamed Trivino to get my IP above the league’s 25 minimum and take ERA, WHIP, and SVHD.

  3. Upton Funk says:

    Taillon was a bit of a Careful Icarus too . . . seems like he’s hit with those a lot. He entered the 7th with 0 ER and 2 fewer hits (double, double, then Glasnow took care of the rest). Not his best stuff yesterday for sure, but what’s nice is that he at least still almost escaped with a 0 ERA / sub-1.00 WHIP.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s a solid point, I should recalibrate my position on the Nats. Thanks!

      • theKraken says:

        As soon as you do that they will start hitting. I think generalizations about team offense are in most cases not very productive. One big series doesn’t really make an offense tougher does it? It would in by that metric. Sure, the Padres and Marlins do exist, but I think most teams are really in flux most of the time. Of much more importance than yearly counting stats (and derivatives) is how has the team been hitting over the past week or two – crazy to me how we seem to be diverging from that type of analysis in favor of ratios over longer periods. Sometimes the SSS is what you actually want… That being said, the Nats have struggled in the short term – throw out the early season and they are even worse – that can turn around any time though. Maybe Bryce Harper will shave his head and turn around the team’s luck… I would love that so much. He could even start wearing helmets that fit his head instead of ones that keep his doo looking fresh.

  4. Cason Jollette says:

    Are you ok starting Musgrove @SD this week? He has a pretty rough schedule after this start, so I was planning on dropping him after this start regardless, maybe moving on to someone like Lucchesi for his start this weekend against the Pirates?

  5. MH says:

    Hey Nick, I should have Carrasco, Archer and Richards coming off the DL within the next two weeks. Once all are healthy I can only hold onto one of the following: Mike Montgomery, Dereck Rodriguez and Tony Disco. 14 team H2H league, who do you keep?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think we make that decision in two weeks.

      It’ll probably be between Monty and Dereck, and I’m thinking it’ll be Dereck.

  6. Perfect Game says:

    I was offered Berrios for my Folty. Should I take it? I’m in a standard roto league – QS, K, ERA, WHIP?

  7. Johnny Ryall says:

    Hi Nick,
    Looking to up my pitching game. I have 2 questions:
    1. Who would you rather have ROS in a 12 team points league, Freddy Peralta or Kingham?
    2. Same question as above, but with Snell or Berrios?

    Thanks buddy!

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