Jason and the Golden Fleece

Pop quiz: Who holds the 7th best ERA in the majors?  You may be cheeky and guess Jason Hammel based on the horrible headline pun, but the answer is Johnny Cueto....

Pop quiz: Who holds the 7th best ERA in the majors?  You may be cheeky and guess Jason Hammel based on the horrible headline pun, but the answer is Johnny Cueto.  GOTCHA. But who has the 6th best ERA in the majors?  Why that’s our boy Hammel with a 2.14 ERA after yesterday’s line of 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks against the Diamondbacks.  But is it legit? Hammel holds a career 11.0% HR/FB rate, failing to record a mark lower than 9.7% in his entire career. This year he’s holding a miniscule 6.3% rate without making any major changes to his approach.  When paired with a scary 3.43 BB/9, his xFIP is nearly two points higher at 4.20, matched with a 4.22 SIERA. Yikes. Then there is also his history of falling apart in the second half and suddenly hammel is amazing of sell high as any pitcher out there.  It’s time for a golden fleecing as you jump off a train headed for a troubled station.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks.  Aces gonna ace.  Just four Ks and six innings Kersh?

Dan Straily – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Straily makes me very frustrated since he is not nearly as good of a pitcher as his 3.34 ERA indicates.  3.88 B/9, FIP/xFIP/SIERA chilling around 4.50 and just two games above five strikeouts – one with 11 that is throwing off his entire K/9 numbers. Don’t buy into this y’all.

Josh Tomlin – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The main thing I like about Tomlin is his super low 1.04 BB/9 that leads to a 1.10 WHIP for the season.  Sure, he may not stick under 3.75 ERA this year, but he’s a decent guy to throw out there in the right spots to provide value.

Stephen Strasburg – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. The good news is that Stras fanned 10 batters in 16 outs.  The bad news is that he allowed 3 ER and limped off the field with a calf cramp.  Word is that he won’t miss a start, but those thoughts that “this was too good to be true” are starting to creep in.  Don’t scare me like this Stras!  No, you shouldn’t read this anywhere close to a “sell now”, and while Bumgarner may slide in above him tomorrow, it has nothing to do with this outing.

Bud Norris – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Nud Borris got the start after Folty was placed on the DL.  For those unaware of Norris, I suggest it stays that way.

Mike Pelfrey – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Pelfrey is not worth your time at all.  He’s been nominated for consideration in the Anti-List, after all.

Steven Wright – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. 0 ER?  Awesome! 3 Ks?  Ugh. 5 Walks? WHAT THE HELL. Keep rolling with Wright, but I really can’t take this sporadic nature of the fella.

Jeff Locke – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Nope.  Nopenopenope.

Bartolo Colon – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Super boring but this Colon is alright.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Our Call Boy was pretty meh against the Phillies as Guerra isn’t much of a preemo guy.  Don’t drop him if you own him since he gets the Mets next, but regardless of that outing he’s droppable afterwards given his next matchup against San Fran.

Matt Andriese – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks.  It’s okay, not great but okay.  Sounds like Andriese, whose low floor doesn’t warrant chasing his poor ceiling.

Collin McHugh – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh, what is this McHugh?  His control was much better last time out and now he seems to have lost it again with three walks against the stupid A’s.  But getting A’s means you’re smart, not stupid.  Thanks for the update bucko. Anytime.

Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Nova had to face the O’s, which isn’t a fun time for many pitchers, and while he could turn into a decent streamer down the road, we aren’t close to that point right now.

Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Perez had just one strikeout and ten baserunners through six.  Sounds about right.

Justin Nicolino – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. More like Justoff, am I right?  Not your best, Nick. Not my best.

Jeremy Hellickson – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Here I go getting pulled into the Hellickson ordeal and he gives me a 2.00 WHIP with just four strikeouts against the Brew Crew. What am I supposed to do with you? Actually, pretty easy.  He gets the Nats + Toronto next and I’m not picking him up til he gets past that thorny brush.

Ian Kennedy – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Did you know Kennedy’s 3.44 ERA is over a point lower than both his FIP and xFIP?  I mean, I don’t see Kennedy as a 4.50 ERA guy, more like hovering around 4.00 like his 4.08 SIERA, but even that isn’t someone you want to be trusting in often.

Ervin Santana – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Well that’s a pretty awful start.  Not even enough strikeouts to call it salvageable.

Michael Wacha – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeeeeggggggghhhhh.  He’s pretty droppable, you know. Weird to say that.

Andrew Cashner – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. You Cashed Out, right?

Jhoulys Chacin – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. I hope those who believed Chacin was a solid addition to your staff get the picture.  I did! Such a lovely photo from our time in Bermuda. Not at all what I meant, but yeah, okay, that one too.  Never forget those wonderful moments…

Chris Sale – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ugggghhh, that’s 12 ER in his last three starts now, and I didn’t even think it was possible for Sale to just strikeout two batters.

Edwin Escobar – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. You really don’t want Escobar.  There are no redeeming qualities to be found here.

Chad Bettis – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Bettis 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.

Tyler Wilson – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Not even Tom Hanks wants Wilson on his team.

Kendall Graveman – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Starting Kendall will put you in a Grave, man.

Jeff Samardzija – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Loose Lips is back sinking ships again…I had no choice but to elevate him in the rankings over the past few weeks and I’ll be so glad pulling him back down tomorrow.

Marcus Stroman – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. This was an easy bench given that he hasn’t looked great in a bit and faced the Red Sox, but it still doesn’t make it hurt.  He gets the O’s next and you should keep benching him.  :(

Nate Karns – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Ouch. You know, despite the 9+ K/9, Karns has fanned more than six in a game just twice all year.  I think I need to start rolling out the stat “KPS” for strikeouts per start…then again getting VPRs fully implemented might do the trick as well. Anyway, Karns isn’t a going to be a Top 50 guy, but he generally isn’t so bad to have around when needed a little strikeout help here and there.

Today’s Streamers

Jon Gray vs. San Diego Padres – He’s got two things going for him here:  It’s not in Coors and it’s against the Friars.  This was going to be Tyler Duffey’s spot, but he couldn’t handle the A’s and it’s hard to put faith in him even against the Rays. 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

James Paxton vs. Cleveland Indians – I don’t love this start, but there really isn’t much else to turn to + if Paxton brings the heat he had last time out, it could be a super fun time.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Adam Conley vs. Minnesota Twins – Conley is your best option as he sits under 20% owned in ESPN leagues.  The other considerable option is Sean Manaea against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Game of the Day

Jose Fernandez vs. Matt Harvey Today is also the day Sonny Gray returns from the DL, but I don’t care.  I want to see this fantastic matchup and hope Harvey keeps moving in the right direction.

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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