Kyle High State

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

I really like what I saw from Kyle Freeland last week in Miami. It wasn’t a strong slate of arms today and I felt with Freeland’s solid performance in Coors last year mixed with his increased whiffability last week, he could hold off the Braves for an evening. I was so very wrong, allowing a horrid 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks and I probably should have been a little more conservative in my daily rank. His slider earned just 6/38 CSW, barely touching his changeup and curveball, and 26 foul balls on just 91 pitches is a solid indication of Freeland’s inability to end at-bats quickly. Does this mean I’m out on Freeland? Definitely not. Does it mean I have to be a bit more cautious with the southpaw in his home field? Very much so. At the very least, his next start is in Oracle Park – a clear opportunity for a rebound – and let’s take it from there.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Jon Lester2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Today was the day of early removals, starting with Lester getting the early pull with hamstring tightness. Ah, to be not-young again.

Jameson Taillon2.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a dumb start. Taillon has six unearned runs to his name in a stupid second frame that included a bounced 0-2 pitch with two outs that Javy Baez threw that bat and earned an RBI single. I just feel for Jameson, especially after a start like this, flailing my arms wildly for the whiskey bottle. I feel for Taillon, too. He deserves better.

Blake Snell6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Go to the strikezone plot. Study it. Execute it. And of course, enjoy the Gallows Pole via 23 “cut and a miss” pitches that I felt through my monitor.

Masahiro Tanaka6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Tanaka pitched well here against the Astros and unjustifiably got pulled with fewer than 80 pitches after a stressful but manageable sixth frame. I loved his tact around the zone here and I think you can feel strong him moving forward for a bit.

Trevor Cahill6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. This may have been the most impressive outing of the night, as it came from the unassuming Cahill, leaving his mediocre Irish doppelganger Trevor O’Cahill behind. Now, I’ve said that Cahill is an arm that we can consider once he has that first good outing, though I’m not sure it’s this. Just nine whiffs on 90 pitches is kinda meh, with 25/90 CSW overall. I want to see a bit more than that under the hood to truly buy it, and a start against the Cubs next just isn’t for me. 

Felix Hernandez1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. The Prince was removed early with “virus-like symptoms.” That sounds terrible. Poor guy.

Hyun-Jin Ryu1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ryu left this game early with a groin strain because of course he did. I would expect him to miss significant time, which means Julio Urias is BACK ON THE MENU. Well, at least until Rich Hill returns in a few weeks as Clayton Kershaw will return for Ryu’s spot on Sunday.

Vince Velasquez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks.What a weird line from VV. He earned just four whiffs on 80 pitches and that alone should make you pack up and leave. Seriously, go, I need my space after the Freeland and Taillon starts. PLEASE.

Madison Bumgarner6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh this is terrible. Sure, that WHIP is low, but 5 ER and just 3 strikeouts? How am I supposed to buy that this is the Bumgarner of old?

Andrew Cashner5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Look at this line. Now look at me. Now back to the line. Now at your fantasy team. Nothing has changed. Nothing. Oh, just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!

Jhoulys Chacin6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Is there anyone that chases WHIP and WHIP alone? I do. But why? And like Cashner, you just had to fan only one batter? HAISTFMFWT?!

Miles Mikolas6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Mikolas had a tough first frame, then settled down nicely through the following five. I’m fine with this one as he needed a rebound start, and I think he can make this work moving forward. 

Anibal Sanchez5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhh Anibal handed you a Philly as he was one out away from a VPQS with six Ks. This was the Phils and I’m okay starting him against the Pirates next.

Justin Verlander6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. A true VPQS here from Verlander is not at all what you want. That’s two straight blegh from JV, though I’m not really buying that he’s degrading much. I’d buy low if that’s even a thing right now.

Carlos Rodon4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 9 Ks. Rodon earned 20 whiffs in this one – 16/54 on just his slider! – but man was he wild. A ton of pitches were located over the plate, plenty more well out of the zone above and below, and it was weird. He looked so good and so bad during this performance against the Rays and I’ll continue having hesitation in the southpaw moving forward.

Homer Bailey4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, at least he earned seven Ks, right? Right?!

Eric Lauer6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m shocked at the strikeouts, but the rest makes a lot more sense. He’s just not good.

Marco Estrada4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I don’t like Estrada but took a chance here against the O’s because I didn’t have much else. Just like Estrada and his repertoire. Womp womp. Streaming Record: 7-4.

Julio Teheran5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Teheran? In Coors?! Who would have thunkit. That’s not a word. YOU’RE NOT A WORD.

Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

Jordan Zimmermann vs. Cleveland Indians – He’s hot out of the gate and the Indians are not.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Frankie Montas vs. Baltimore Orioles – Just 5% owned in leagues and armed with a new splitter. Paired with a date against the O’s, this looks like the safest stream.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Spencer Turnbull vs. Cleveland Indians – He has a solid ceiling and the Indians have a wonderful floor.


Game of the Day


Chris Sale vs. Matt Shoemaker – What’s Sale velocity going to be? Can Shoemaker keep going?


(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

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 “Kyle High State”

  1. Felix says:

    Bumgardner wasn’t a QS though, charged 5 ER, or will there come a stat correction

    • Lion says:

      He also hit Tatis twice with a pitch in this game, let Tatis hit a HR off him, Mejia hit a double off the wall, myers a HR. Worth mentioning because Bumgarner was all over the place if you watch this start. Put a fork in him.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You’re right, it’s 5 ER not 3 ER. Thanks Felix!

  2. vape says:

    Underselling Lauer here imo, sat 93-94 instead of 90-91 like his last ST start. Bad luck sequencing for the salami but the upside is there.

  3. Bones says:

    Do you like any of Margevicius, Mahle or Dereck tomorrow?

  4. Tommy says:

    JV’s stuff looks fine, he was touching 97 in the 6th. You think it’s more of a command thing right now? I don’t want to be nervous but it’s hard not to overreact to everything this early.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think it’s more of a getting into his groove thing. I wouldn’t worry in the slightest.

      • Chucky says:

        Not sure that I recollect exactly, but did we say the same thing about The King? It happens justlikethat. I think we may be watching the demise of JV right before our eyes.

  5. Al says:

    Pick one to keep in a H2H points league:

    Aaron Sanchez, Steven Matz, SPARP Matt Strahm, or SPARP Luke Weaver??

    Best website in the business…keep up the great work!

  6. Saint says:

    I have room to add a SP. Kelly or Burnes ROS.

    Miley, P. Lopez, and Anibal Sanchez are also available.

    Thank you

  7. Perfect Game says:

    Decided to drop Freeland for Musgrove. Freeland’s BB/9 his first few starts in addition to his inability to put people away as you mentioned was the clincher. He should’ve dominated the Marlins offense and didn’t. He struggled big against two quality lineups after. Freeland to me is a ratio risk and may not be the innings eater and QS machine he was last year. Will see if Musgrove will be that pitcher.

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