Jakob’s Ladder

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

(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

There are some nights where middling arms act like studs and Jake Junis is sure to make owners consider the pickup after putting up a line of 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks Tuesday night. Thing is, Junis was kinda killing it entering this start, returning a 2.45 ERA and 1.88 FIP across his last four starts. Still, I’m a bit conflicted. You’d think in a start like this that his slider was fantastic and helped him cruise to the finish line -it’s his money pitch and performed well in each of those last four games. Well, the slider was actually pretty meh if not blegh (big difference in meh and blegh, y’all) and his lucky BABIP on fastballs and slide pieces were the difference here. It’s a bit of Blame it on the Tigers, a bit of “good run magic” (is that a thing?), and we have to still consider him as just a streamer. After an easy skip next time against the Indians, the Twins follow back-to-back and you might find yourself okay with him a bit September. Don’t blindly start Junis, but just keep him in the pool of options down the stretch. Streaming Record: 83-41.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Clay Buchholz – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. His stuff just keeps going his way and you should let it ride, let it ride. Don’t trust it for next year, but who cares right now?

Madison Bumgarner – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. He’s going deeper and having success. Not a clean outing, but this helps across the board and I’m a fan. I can see a strong end to the year and I’m super curious where his ADP will fall next year. Maybe Top 20? We’ll see.

Carlos Carrasco7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Great rebound after his 5 ER effort against the Sawx last time out and here’s to a strong September ahead.

Kyle Freeland – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Cutters actually took a step back in this one to about 25% instead of 35%, but still a great game from Freeland and I’m a believer.

Cole Hamels – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks.  His cutter is still killing it, though it’s a bit disappointing to see him leave so soon from the game.  Nevertheless, Hamels is still in a fantastic groove and even if this short start, he helped out plenty. Keep on keepin’ on, fella.

Jacob Nix – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. You’re reading that right. Not a single walk or strikeout, which tallied up to a 79 pitch 8.1 performance, pulled after allowing a Nelson Cruz HR in the ninth. He went 21 curveballs with just 7 changeups, tallying only one whiff across all 79 pitches. Yikes. I think there’s a solid arm underneath it all, but I’m not ready to trust in a BABIP like this agai.

Ryne Stanek1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Another False Start here as Yonny Chirinos followed with 2 ER and 10 baserunners in five innings. Just stop trying to make this work your fantasy team. It’s not gonna happen.

Jacob deGrom8.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s crazy, that’s 6 of his last 10 games with at least 8.0 IP. The dude is the best pitcher in the NL, deal with it. Even though this game suspended and won’t “exist” until it’s completed on Wednesday afternoon, deGrom earns the Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs. Atta boy.

Jack Flaherty7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. We’re going to be talking about Flaherty a lot this off-season, I’m sure, though I have to believe I’ll be slotting him right around #25 come March. The lack of third pitch paired with small(ish) sample size forces me to bake in more regression than I’d like. That doesn’t mention how his IPS is generally plenty lower than seven frames. A #25 rank doesn’t mean I dislike him, just not enough to reach in drafts. And maybe I’ll come around by Spring Trainng. We’ll see.

Brian Johnson4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. You may have started Johnson in hopes to steal a Win. It’s hard to do that when you don’t pitch five frames. Hard? I mean Hard as a Rock. What you thought I’d break tradition and leave out an AC/DC reference? Not a chance.

Aaron Nola7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna aces. Guess who loves Nola Day? ME. I love Nola day.

Walker Buehler4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  Wild to see Buehler needing 84 pitches to get through just four frames against the Rangers but, well, there it is. That 1.50 WHIP and 4.50 ERA sure aren’t pretty but at least it’s five Ks and not many frames of ratio expression? Forget it and move on.

Felix Hernandez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. The Prince had one of the better games he’ll have all season and let’s all have a wonderful Birthday Party in celebration. Let’s not make this more than it is, y’all.

Edwin Jackson4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s as if EJax was performing above his paygrade until his previous start. As my high school basketball coach would say after a suggestion of his worked, WHAT A CONCEPT! WHAT A CONCEPT!

Noe Ramirez1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Another False Start as the Angels are in shambles. SHAMBLES I SAY! But seriously, this is a Noe from me, dawg.

James Shields5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Jimmy Bucklers tried to steal a Quality Start against the Yanks but aaahhhh these coppers! They got him good. I’m amazed he made a 3:4 K per BB survive. Somehow.

Ariel Jurado2.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I don’t want to be a part of this world. I have more. When Ariel parks in the mall, he puts his car under the C. Sometimes I wonder if I should restrain myself a little more.

Lance Lynn5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I can’t help but be impressed by Lynn’s K per BB numbers since becoming a Yankee, but I’m not too shocked by his third 3 ER game in five starts. I think he should be started against middling to poor teams as he’s in pinstripes, but ignored otherwise. Such a hot take, I know.

Charlie Morton4.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeeeeegh. I need you now Morton, if you’re healthy – and I still can’t believe that you are – I need more from you. Please.

Josh Rogers5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Josh is stuck wondering why he can’t be more like Aaron or Steve. Heck, even Kenny. At least he did some good things sometimes. Except for that whole camera incident. Don’t be like that Josh.

Max Scherzer5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna wonder what happened to owning the #1 spot. WHAT HAPPENED.

Anthony DeSclafani6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. His Slider was still solid, but the just isn’t enough overall to make him a consistently strong play. A decent Hail Mary stream, but not a good overall play.

Ivan Nova3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Nothing like a good ole Grave Mistake from Nova to make you wonder why you ever thought things could be different. Just one strikeout Nova? HAISTFMFWT?!

Julio Teheran5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah that’s about right. A little too much pain without enough reward from Teheran.

Jose Urena6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a VPNQS and I’ll never do that acronym again. It’s terrible. Just like rolling with Urena costly because, as they say, if you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Matt Boyd6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Super disappointing here from Boyd as he faced the Royals. Fastball was on the lower end hover 90/91 instead of the 91/92 we’ve seen + 28/97 CSW is a little too average. He’s been a bit better than expected lately and this step back may make me turn elsewhere if he is one of many options.

Kyle Gibson5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Gibson has been in a rut and facing the Indians isn’t fair. Good news here is his ROS schedule is plenty more favorable. I’d be tempted to chase Gibby if he were dropped in my league

Junior Guerra1.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, I would have ran out with this and it’s terrible. Straight terrible. Not saying that his pitches were straight, but they sure weren’t sharp and it’s hard to believe in Guerra against the Nationals and Giants next.

Thomas Pannone3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. We all knew this wouldn’t Pannout like the Jays wanted it to. Enjoy your Cup of Schmo label, Tommy.

Today’s Streamer

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

Tomorrow’s Streamer

John Gant vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Not much of a choice here, hopefully he can go 5+ strong.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. New York Mets – It’s between Suarez and Austin Gomber vs. Cincinnati Reds and I’m going to bet against the offense over the starter.

Game of the Day

Michael Fulmer vs. Kansas City Royals – He doesn’t get a ton of favorable starts and I’m 50/50 on this one. Here’s to hoping he looks pristine.

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.

12 responses to “Jakob’s Ladder”

  1. Cason Jollette says:

    10 team h2h league with limited moves ($70 dollars left in budget: $3 this week, $5 starting next week). 1st place is a lock and then I have a bye next week, so I am really only looking at 2 weeks worth of match ups. My weakest two pitchers:

    Castillo: @CHC, @MIA (Last 30 days: 4.97 FIP, 9 K/9, 1.71 BB/9, 11.8 swK)
    Gibson: KC, @DET (Last 30 days: 5.31 FIP, 5.31 K/9, 4.55 BB/9, 10.2 swK)

    Best available options* for that 2 week period:

    Eflin – MIA, NYM
    Velasquez – WAS, NYM, @ATL
    Heaney – TEX, SEA, @HOU
    Minor – @LAA, @SD, SEA
    Junis – MIN, @PIT
    Giolito – @KC, @BAL, CHC
    Gomber – PIT, LAD, SF
    Matz – MIA, @PHI, @WAS
    Keller – CHW, MIN, @DET
    Lucchesi – TEX, @LAD
    Musgrove – @STl, @MIL, MIL

    * Ohtani is also available, could potentially stash him now

    Any suggestions on any moves you would make or just hold both for right now?

    Thanks Nick!!

  2. Angel says:

    Prince Felix’s stats are wrong. He threw 7 IP and struck out 9. Not that it changes much though.

  3. Derek says:

    My playoffs start next week, and my spot is already locked in. I picked up Urena for his start on Monday at home against the Phillies… How does he compare to some of the other pitchers I could stream early in the week (Reylo, Luccesi, Harvey, etc)?

  4. Gene says:

    What pitchers are starting to come up against innings limits?

  5. AC says:

    Nick, I have a FAAB choice this morning between Minor and Fulmer – roto, just looking to stream an extra start before Paxton and Ed-Rod return from the DL this weekend. Need Ks and good WHIP, trying to eke out a couple gettable points in the standings to climb into 1st. Which way would you go?

  6. Joe says:

    Musgrove and Gant are both available in my league. Who would you rather stream tomorrow?

  7. Inzane Johnny says:

    In a deep league with the ability to manage starts would you keep Janis or Boyd or a good reliever? I have been holding on to both but with Edu coming off the DL I will need to drop one and either would be picked up immediately. I have a lead and can afford to just run out the pitcher against the bottom offenses, none of the super valuable relievers are available, looking like Jimenez or CJ Edwards. I’m thinking I will hold Janis since his highs will be a lot higher but maybe in my position playing more prevent and using a reliever is smarter, already have 4 relievers.

  8. Fred Dognuts says:

    Where do you rank Skaggs next year to start the season?

  9. Jaybird says:

    There’s a reason you can’t believe Morton is still healthy. Because he isn’t: https://twitter.com/rotoworld_bb/status/1034851112287985664

  10. Southern Marylander says:

    Nick, have you ever mentioned how you feel about Nola? I haven’t seen much about him here considering the okay season he’s having… maybe a streaming option going forward?

  11. Jim says:

    Cahill @ #38. When can we officially pronounce him unusable on the Road? He is @ TB during the fantasy semi-finals. No thanks. And his home starts next week are Yanks and Rangers. Can we eject?

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