Into The Lion’s Den

Even this late into the season, there are still surprises to be had, with Daniel Mengden being the latest following a CGSHO with 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4...

Even this late into the season, there are still surprises to be had, with Daniel Mengden being the latest following a CGSHO with 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks against the Tigers. I can see many running to wire right now to snag him before anyone else, but I’m not so sure that you should. First off, the Phils and Tigers are far from powerhouse offenses and Mengden is slated to face the Mariners and head to Arlington in his final two starts. Not great…and I know that face. That’s a face of “Maybe the Mariners…?” I’m not loving it. The only change I’m seeing here from Mengden in these two outings in his Fastball, which returned 5.3 pVAL in these two starts alone. The velocity didn’t change, the movement didn’t change, he just had two great nights with the pitch while the Phils/Tigers couldn’t take advantage of the mistakes he threw with it. This isn’t a new man and while it’s conceivable that he keeps that feel for one more start against the Mariners, it’s a tough bet to make while there’s no chance I’m starting him in Texas. And no, he won’t be a target of mine for 2018.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Chris Sale – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I said I had a feeling this was going to be a good one. It was okay.

Matt Moore – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Lots of good starts for questionable arms today, which started with Mengden and continues here with Moore. I don’t see him suddenly turning the corner here after a full season being a massive detriment to anyone’s team and I’d hate to trust that down the stretch. Yes, I know he has a 3.25 ERA across his last 7 starts. That’s with him demolishing his 4.40 FIP and it’s his best selling point. That’s not so good that I want to chase it and overlook a meh 7.50 K/9 and 2.84 BB/9 in that time.

Blake Snell – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. From a pitch selection standpoint, nothing has changed here for Moore. Whiff rates are still up, though, with a 13%+ rate for the fifth time in six games. Yanks are next with a chance to get the Orioles in his final start of the year and I want to say I’d roll with it. I do worry about facing the Yankees, though, and with his zone rates hovering around 45% mixed with a F-Strike rate well under 55% still I worry he’s still very prone to a blowup.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. What on earth has gotten into Sanchez? That’s nine strikeouts in his last two starts (against the ChiSox and A’s, keep in mind) as he earned a Gallows Pole via 17 whiffs last night. He’s been getting more whiffs with his Split-Change and overall with 17.7% and 16.5% whiff marks in these two outings, but it’s not such a large leap with the pitch specifically that I’m completely buying it. Still, he gets the Royals next and there is clearly strikeout upside after these two starts. Obviously not an ideal stream but could be helpful.

Lucas Sims – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is Sims’ ceiling. The one I made for him and all that he’s going to get because I hate being pieces of flair for my Sims.

Jake Thompson – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He had those two starts of 6 and 7 Ks, which made rethink Thompson for a moment, but seeing a pair of 5 ER starts so close by and one without a strikeout is enough to turn me away.

Steven Brault – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Even with time as a reliever this season, Brault still carries a 5.46 K/9. Yikes.

Gio Gonzalez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Super solid from Gio, who still gets the easiest of all schedules. Man, it’s good being a National.

Jake Junis – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Our Call Boy got the job done, though I’m a little disappointed it didn’t come with a few more strikeouts. It’s kinda like getting a small burger with just a few fries. It was tasty, but they couldn’t throw in a few more? Streamer Record 78-58-17.

Ricky Nolasco – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, whatever Nolasco.

Brad Peacock – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Stop flaunting your feathers, Peacock. It’s getting annoying watching your draft stock continue to rise. At the same time, I hope it gives him a better chance of holding a rotation spot out of the gate in 2018 so…Fine.

Josh Tomlin – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. You ran with Tomlin and you’re happy about it. Really happy about it. I wouldn’t have done that as I don’t like Tomlin all too much, but that’s because he asked for a bite of my PB&J when we were kids and ate half the freakin’ thing. Also because he’s not a good fantasy starter, but that’s not the point.

Jose Urena – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the 3 ER rule and Urena pulled it off. This time…Seriously, I don’t like Urena much even with his schedule. Just not good enough stuff even with a heater in the mid 90s.

Luke Weaver – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. And Weaver just keeps dealing. I have to say, I watched some of this and his command is simply phenomenal and he’s pitching like a seasoned vet who happens to touch 97+. I think people are going to think he’s overrated entering 2018, but I’m on board. Wish I could love his Curveball more, though.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Beautiful Wood. BEAUTIFUL. It’s possible he gets two starts next week as the Dodgers let Wood finish the season on Sunday to allow Kershaw/Darvish/Hill to line up for the opening playoff round, so monitor the situation carefully as I’d start Wood for both possible games.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a VPQS for Cashner with 2 Ks. This is as boring as they come.

Tyler Chatwood – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Our back up Call Boy got the job for Quality Start leagues, though there isn’t much to write home about here.

Luis Severino – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Talk about disappointing as Severino labored through three innings, getting pulled without even getting a taste of the fourth. Blegh. Obviously you’re starting him next time, but still. Blegh.

James Shields – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Every time I look at Shields’ line, it looks like the equivalent of a 15-year-old’s messy room. There’s stuff everywhere as I feel like a parent asking “what is this Shields?!”

Aaron Wilkerson – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. He’s a Cup of Schmo. Just move on and pray for Jimmy Nelson’s career.

Rookie Davis – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. He’s back with a vengeance. Actually, I hope not because otherwise he’s gotta learn a thing or two about rampages from Sterling Archer. I don’t have much hope for Davis – he’s a Cup of Schmo as well – and I’d ignore him for the rest of the year. Probably next year too.

Felix Hernandez – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Felix is still in rehab mode here, though I expected a little better than this. I think you’re okay starting him against the A’s next week.

Rafael Montero – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. It was a fun two weeks Montero, but we’re done here.

Robbie Ray – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. But it was the Padres! It’s weird that I was on the Ray train here, but he’s pitching against poor teams and that generally means good things. Great things! ELITE THINGS! This is more like Tilite, which is Chris Tillman quality. You don’t want Tillman quality.

Bartolo Colon – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay okay, I’m getting a little worried that he won’t survive in 2018, but someone has to sign Paul Funyun for a one year deal, right? Please?

Dinelson Lamet – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Probably the most disappointing start of the night as I expected before from Lamet facing the dbacks in Petco. The strikeouts weren’t even there to make up for the poor ratios! Ugh, now you get the Dodgers and I can’t start you there. It’s been fun Lamet, I wonder where you go next year…he could fall flat on his face or actually be a decent arm through the season. While I’m leaning toward the former, he’s an intriguing starter to consider at the end of your draft.

Wade Miley – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Miley alright.

Jon Lester – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. I know Lester, the Rays are soooo intimidating. What a strong offense you had to deal with there inside the Trop. But seriously, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEED MY FAMILY WITH THIS? 

Brett Anderson – 1.1 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. There are times in life when you realize the person in front of you just isn’t someone that you’re going to connect with. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend and they don’t have to be yours. Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.

Today’s Streamer

Tyler Anderson vs. San Diego Padres – I know some of you are going to be chasing Danny Salazar against the Angels. I’m not doing that. I doubt he goes far in the game, he’s showed how inconsistent he can be, got demoted oh-so-recently and the Angels aren’t the “bad” offense you think they are with Mike Trout and Justin Upton.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Kyle Gibson vs. Detroit Tigers – I know Gibson didn’t do well against the Jays last time, but he also fanned 8 and had to deal with Josh Donaldson being ridiculous. Other considerations are Reynaldo Lopez against the Royals and Ben Lively against the Braves if you need an extra arm.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Miguel Gonzalez vs. Oakland Athletics – It’s in O.Co and as much as I dislike Miguel, there’s a chance he pulls this off. Shudders

Game of the Day

Danny Salazar vs. Los Angeles Angels A lot of people are streaming him. I’m not and I want to be wrong.

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.

32 responses to “Into The Lion’s Den”

  1. Rob C says:

    What are your thoughts on Jordan Montgomery Sunday against the Jays?

  2. Rob says:

    So the Padres have roughed up 3 straight starting pitchers (2 of which are lefties like Tyler Anderson) that are certainly better pitchers than Anderson. How confidently should we be starting Anderson tonight? He has a nice GB% but apparently his velocity was down a bit in his last start. Any extra thoughts? Also, any confidence in rolling Adelberto Mejia out against the Tigers? Thanks!

  3. twoods says:

    Rolling with Paxton today? I heard Servais said his issues last Friday were mechanical, not health-related.

    • Mets014 says:

      They were last time too after he came off the DL the first time. Took about 3 starts to fix it

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m not. Still concerned he’ll be limited pitch count wise and I want one more start before letting him loose after last week’s red flag.

  4. Rhino says:

    I really like everything that you do on this site – and tend to agree with most of your opinions… but opinions are just that and can be wrong from time to time. With that being said, I really enjoy logging in to see you stick to your gun about Jose Urena – no matter how good the guy pitches. He is one guy that i am glad I did not follow your advice on. Maybe his peripherals suggest regression, but you can’t deny that a 14-6 record and a 3.55 ERA is usable in pretty much any fantasy format.

    • chaz says:

      There’s no maybe about it, his peripherals SCREAM regression. For example his .243 BABIP which is 3rd lowest in the majors. Also there’s the fact that his FIP, xFIP, and SIERRA are all over 5.

      I would think about it less in terms of “the author’s opinion was wrong” and more in terms of “Urena’s performance this year fell on the outlying edge of the bell curve of possible outcomes.” The author’s analysis is absolutely sound. As they say, “That’s Baseball”.

      • The Kraken says:

        At the point where the season is over and you had Urena for free, the underlying data doesn’t mean much. There were some owners that didn’t touch Lynn or Ervin Santana because of the screaming data – those owners missed out in 2017 and those guys would have greatly helped any staff as your #4 and #5 starters unless you play in a K only league with 4 teams. To be clear, I won’t be drafting them as my #1 next year, but I will be happy to add them to the back of my rotation.

        I don’t know if I will ever understand the elitism that accompanies the advanced metrics. IMO, I give half weight to the advanced stats and half weight to reality. I find it crazy how much people want to discount reality. The ERA indicators are often nowhere near convergence, but we still regard them as valuable? ERA is valuable too, but WHIP is still my favorite tool as it is based on real events that actually happened as opposed to some convoluted formula that gives arbitrary weights to select outcomes.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      A 3.55 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 5.10 SIERA, .243 BABIP, 6.03 K/9, 3.16 BB/9…

      I mean, yeah it’s worked out for Urena. Baseball isn’t a definite thing. Everything points to him being someone you don’t want to own on your team and he’s be an anomaly.

      I think it would be a lot worse if I told you guys he was someone you wanted to own despite everything glaring in our face.

      But fair, I can’t deny that he has performed better than expected. So it goes.

    • The Kraken says:

      I don’t think there is a content author that doesn’t get a bit stubborn about things. That being said, I think Nick does about as good a job as possible to keep things objective. If you want to dismiss something, then go ahead and do it, but gloating about it is doing the same thing that you are trying to point out. I agree with you that advanced metrics (peripherals) do miss their mark frequently.

  5. David Richard Johnston says:

    How you feeling now about Garrett Richard’s start for tomorrow’s game against the Astros. It’s a big game for the Angels and I have a feeling that Richards might have to bring his best stuff… Is his best stuff good enough… him or not?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think in a 12 teamer looking for starts, it’s not the worst option, but I’m leaning that it won’t go well. He was limited once again pitch count wise last time out and I’m not sure that won’t happen again.

  6. Turp says:

    I started Corbin, Godley and Ray against the Padres while fighting for 1st place…yup, that went well…


  7. Rick B says:

    Safe to drop Nola because he’s starting Monday, not Sunday? One week fantasy championship this week. Redraft league. Looking for confirmation of Monday start. Thanks, Nick (President of the Aaron Nola Fan Club).

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d wait until the last moment, but yes it looks like he’s slated for a start on Monday.

      • President of the ANFC
  8. Patrick says:

    Why not Ryu vs SFO for Saturday’s streamer?

  9. Paul Mitchell says:

    I can’t decide whether to go all in with Lopez as my last pick up or replace Britton with Hand…injuries to inciarte, seager, britton have made the score a lot closer than it should be thanks to your streamer advice…what are your thoughts on 4 potential saves from Hand in Colorado versus one start from Reynaldo Lopez when ks are paramount to points?

    • Paul Mitchell says:

      I guess the other option would be brach in tampa or belisle playing for the wild card in detroit…beauty call on Salazar btw, my opponent picked him up and is gonna be kicking himself despite picking up 4ks.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think I’d prefer to go after Lopez, since he has a higher floor to give you some points.

  10. Andy says:

    Who’s the best streamer option, J Mont, Woodruff, Chacin or Pivetta? Only one transaction left this week.

  11. Cubblue1 says:

    Nick how would you rank the following streams for the rest of this week? Thanks!
    Gibson @ Detroit (Daniel Norris)
    Morton vs Angels (Bud Norris)
    McHugh vs Angels (Skaggs)
    Montgomery @ TOR (Stroman)

  12. Peter DG says:

    I’ve got ONE pickup left for the season (championship!). Who would you go with?

    Chacin vs COL
    Gohara vs PHI
    Fister @ CIN
    Ryu vs SF
    Perdomo vs COL

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