Iffy Junior

Man oh man Junior Guerra just keeps having the season he’s always dreamed of as he went 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks against the Pirates on Friday. Alright, let...

Man oh man Junior Guerra just keeps having the season he’s always dreamed of as he went 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks against the Pirates on Friday. Alright, let me preface this by saying obviously keep rolling with him in a 12 teamer and in that deep 10 teamer H2H you should be as well. Soooo, I can’t tell you that riding Guerra for the long term is a smart play. Before this start, he had ten walks in just three outings, his xFIP is at 4.14 in a HR home field (Miller Park), he’s riding a .233 BABIP and his K/BB numbers are pretty average – 7.40 K/9 & 2.96 BB/9. He’s just kind of…there. Here’s an interesting stat: His BABIP has been above .265 just five times in all of his 16 starts this year. It’s not like he’s limiting Hard Contact to earn those numbers either (34.7% rate!) and I worry that this Cinderella story is going to end somewhat soon. I say “somewhat soon” because he is blessed with starts against the Padres/Braves/Reds next. Holy Wade Boggs’ mustache that’s fortunate. After that stretch I’d look elsewhere and I wouldn’t be completely shocked if those outings have some gray clouds above them.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Ricky Nolasco – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nolasco debately had a better outing than Guerra and the best start of the night. What is this world coming to. JUST GIVE US BERRIOS ALREADY.

Rick Porcello – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s a 2.73 ERA now over his last 9 nine starts as he’s suppressed HRs at a marvelous 0.30 HR/9 rate. Sure, he’s only racked up 43 Ks in those outings (under 5 per start), but we can put that aside when he’s also providing a decent 1.15 WHIP. I’m worried about his next start against Seattle, though his outing against the Yanks seems like a solid night on the town.

Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Beautiful Lester. Simply beautiful.

Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace.

Tyler Chatwood – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Chatwood has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.

Jake Odorizzi – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. You’re doing a fine job of getting yourself traded Odorizzi. That’s two straight shutout games and you have to be mighty pleased that he gets the Royals next. Just make sure he’s still a Ray by then.

Brandon Finnegan – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks.  He’s a Young Gun that might need another full season to fix those walk issues. Because let me tell you, they are really really bad.

Jose Quintana – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Yes. Quintana. YES. What are you doing in there Nick? Did you bring back a girl? …no.

Tyrell Jenkins – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. You might be considering if you should pull a Leoooorrryy and blindly go with Jenkins moving forward. Okay, you’re probably not because you know that Jenkins is a Cup of Schmo and now has a 6.14 BB/9 with a 4.60 K/9 in his 29.1 innings this year.  Jeez those numbers are terrible.

Kenta Maeda – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s the Maeda we know and love.

A.J. Griffin – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Wow what a great rebound Griffin. You really instilled new confidence in owners everywhere.

Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The False God. Yes that means you shouldn’t go after Zack.

Vincent Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is your typical Velasquez start. It’s not what you’d think from a guy with a 9.95 K/9, but he’s fanned seven or more batters just five times all year. In 18 starts. That’s under a 30% chance. Crazy.

Matt Boyd – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. One ER away from being great, and I’m liking this start from Boyd. I’m no longer Boyd watching, I’m Boyd hunting as he gets the White Sox next.

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is as middling as they come. You know, Estrada has allowed 3 ER in four of his last five starts now. That’s a 4.34 ERA which is higher than his 3.76 FIP and 3.91 xFIP. Is it finally time that Estrada closes the monstrous gap between his ERA and DIPS? Remember, his current 3.02 ERA is grossly lower than his 3.98 FIP and 4.48 xFIP…

Trevor Bauer – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’ll take this if I’m starting Bauer despite how bleghy it is.

Steven Matz – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Matz got Singled Out a bit and I like where he’s headed. I watched a bit of this outing and he induced a lot of weak contact that didn’t go his way (31.8% soft contact, .455 BABIP).  I think you can start him with ease moving forward. I’m a little worried about the strikeout production, though – he hasn’t had 7 Ks since June 18th – and he might see a dip in the rankings because of it with Price and Lester rebounding.

Kendall Graveman – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. What benefit do you get from this start? No Win, a 4.26 ERA, one strikeout, a 1.26 WHIP…and this is when Graveman doesn’t have more than 4 ER. Just sayin’.

Steven Brault – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Brault has some upside after earning an 11.80 K/9 across 10 starts (11 games) and 50.1 innings thus far in AAA, though I worry about his command. Still, his stuff isn’t overly amazing – his Slider is the source of the Ks but I question if he can be dominant instead of a decent source strikeouts and nothing else. With Glasnow on the DL, the Pirates really need the SP help, and I can imagine him sticking the rotation for a little bit. It’s unclear if he gets another chance, though if he gets a start against the Braves/Reds, I can fathom giving him a streaming shot.

Jeff Samardzija – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Loose Lips is still sinking ships just in time for our Thursday stream! For those that don’t know, as long as Vincent Velasquez doesn’t get traded, we’re planning on streaming the 1:00 Giants v Phillies game on Thursday where Alex and I will essentially act as commentators, talking about what’s happening pitch by pitch and dive into what I’m looking for as I scrutinize these players. More details will follow (probably through Periscope) and it should be a blast and a half.

Tim Lincecum – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks. At least Creedence Clearwater was a good revival.

Mike Leake – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Well this is awkward. The week I’m promoting Leake and calling him a good buy, he has his two worst starts of the year back-to-back. Baseball is a evil game. To be fair, both starts had some bad lucky involved – about 3.20 xFIP for both – and his groundball rates were well north of 60% with a walk…I know I sound nuts, but I’m buying Leake for his next two starts against Cincy.

Edinson Volquez – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Look at that trade value soar…

Ivan Nova – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Our reluctant Call Boy’s magic has worn off and there is little reason for you to continue trusting this guy. Just move forward like a Candy Land piece. Unless you draw Gingerbread when you’re about to win. Noooooooooo.

Kevin Gausman – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Gaus allowed a trio of solo shots in the first because this was the Jays. Definitely not a good matchup for him, though I’d be throwing him out there next time against the Rangers.

Hisashi Iwakuma – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Iwakuma had the hard task of facing the Cubs and it didn’t go so well. He almost escaped trouble in the second as everything came with two outs and a bloop single scored two, but this wasn’t a good bet to take in the first place. Can he rebound against Detroit? Probably not, but I’d want him back against the A’s the following start.

Edwin Jackson – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. EJax is totally not good enough to deserve such a nickname where I think of an awesome Mortal Kombat character.

Jose Urena – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah…Urena just isn’t someone you want to own. Kinda like a giant portrait of yourself as a centaur…

Collin McHugh – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Ho’ boy this is bad. McHugh wasn’t looking good in the first, then it just got plenty worse in the second. We knew he had somewhat of a shaky floor – seven starts with at least 4 ER this year – but not this bad. And he gets the Blue Jays again next time out? Yikes.

Today’s Streamers

Nathan Eovaldi vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Man this one feels dirty. If Drew Smyly was dropped in your league I’d prefer to start him, but in other circumstances, Eovaldi has looked better in his return to the rotation and the Rays aren’t a major force to reconsider rolling with him.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Bud Norris vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – He’s only owned in 20.1% of leagues for some reason and you best be chasing that. I’m super interested in Homer Bailey’s return from the DL against the Padres, but y’all know my rule about not starting a guy after an extended DL trip in his first start back, and Norris is the better pitcher anyway.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Jimmy Nelson vs. San Diego Padres – Jimmy is coming off a 6 ER outing, but I expect him to bounce back against the lowly Padres.

Game of the Day

Reynaldo Lopez vs. San Francisco Giants – I really want this kid to show that his first start was more about luck than about his stuff.

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.

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