Lifting The Ray Ban

Old roundup.

I’m sure you want me to talk about Robbie Ray after his unbelievable line of 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks last night against the Dodgers. Okay I know how this is going to sound and I almost stopped myself from writing it but I going to say it anyway. The Dodgers are a bottom tier offense in the last 14 days as Corey Seager is on the DL and their bats a slumping big time. That means they are not a good offense…which Ray wrecks. And now he has four easy teams the rest of the way and it will be glorious. GLORIOUS. Call that me being a hater, though on a per-start basis he’s easily Top 15 right now ROS, only problem is that other guys have more starts left. Entering next year, I don’t see myself paying the pretty penny that he’ll go for and I’m sure there will be another rant and all that stuff as I will maintain the same stance I’ve always had about him: great against bad teams, bad against great teams. Also, congrats on the Gallows Pole, well deserved with 22 whiffs. Oh and please don’t get the wrong idea from the headline that I had a real ban on Ray. The pun was more about lifting sunglasses in awe n all than saying I didn’t want you to ever start Ray. Because that’s just silly.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Carlos Martinez – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. There’s the start we’ve been waiting all year from CarMart as he’s been more of the “King of Really Good” territory than a guy that you can point to for winning your week. Couldn’t have come at a better time fella.

Chad Kuhl – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ve been calling Kuhl a Young Gun as I think he has the velocity and a Slider that are two great fundamentals for a successful career, but needs one more piece to put it all together consistently. His Curveball helped last night, but it wasn’t the missing element we’re looking for. I wouldn’t let this start dictate a pickup from you right away as he gets the Cards and Reds, and who knows what Kuhl will show up against the Brewers. I need to see one more added piece for me to get on board fully.

Alex Cobb – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. He tied his season high in strikeouts as he faced the Twins, lowering his ERA to 3.68 on the season, though that’s a bit unfair as it includes three games of 8, 9 and 6 ER – and he’s holding a 3.43 ERA since April 26th including those starts. But wait a second y’all. If you read these roundups, you’ll know that I give Cobb the Grave Mistake as he struggles to strike out batters. Now he’s averaged 6 Ks in his last four games, including bumping his Curveball usage to over 40% in the last three games. That number prior? 32.2%. Hmmmmmm. Could be something, could be nothing. Remember, I want to buy into Cobb – heck, I want to buy into everyone – I just need the right argument to get on board. Now he gets the Red Sox twice and I’m curious how he’ll do there. I think you roll with him in the first one and go from there as this is essentially a Vargas Rule, random 8 ER game be damned.

A.J. Cole – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Naaaaah. Cole is a Cup of Schmo and this will hurt if you believe in it.

J.A. Happ – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Just four starts left for Happ now as he’s been fine but not great. Tigers/Royals are sweet, Twins/Sawx are not. Plan accordingly.

Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. The Bauer train keeps cruising as he told off the ChiSox yesterday. His ROS schedule is pretty and if he’s somehow still out there, you best be owning him.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. And the great TEEs of 2017 continues as Cashner went into Atlanta, lowering his ERA to 3.29 despite a 5.16 xFIP. Let’s get that difference to 2.00! Guess what, even with this start, his K/9 is significantly lower than his xFIP at 4.77. Dannnnnng.

Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Save for a two-run shot off the bat of JD Martinez – praise him – this start was pristine. Not to mention that HR ball was a solid Fastball down and away that JD did magical things to.

Dallas Keuchel – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s boring but he went into the eighth and gave you five Ks. Be happy.

Jordan Montgomery – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The Bear is getting more time in the bigs than I expected – the Yanks were supposed to be limiting his innings, but now they aren’t but maybe they still are…?

Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Here I am calling Perdomo a Young Gun and he’s allowed just 5 ER with 6.0+ innings in each of his last three starts. Actually, he’s had exactly six frames in eight of last nine starts, with the only exception being 6.2 frames. Huh. I can see him doing that with 2/3 ER and 5/6 Ks next year with good consistency…but not this year. Dodgers and Coors awaits and he’ll do more damage than good.

Erasmo Ramirez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s a 3.52 ERA with a 5.48 FIP since he became a Mariner on August 1st in 7 starts. Thank a .222 BABIP and 86.0% LOB rate that will most likely seduce your leaguemates into trusting this TEEs. It’s too extreme to be a Vargas Rule, and I’m staying away completely.

Chase Anderson – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Anderson was able to fend off Coors and the Dodgers prior, but the Reds gave him a tough time. Good news here is that it gets a little easier rest of the way, but it’s still a rough road ahead – Cubs, Marlins, Pirates, Reds, Cards. Five starts are five starts, though, and that should make you want to hold onto Chase through it all.

Jake Arrieta – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a rocky one for Arrieta made worse by a hamstring injury that pulled him from the game. I’m guessing at least one start missed if not two as the Cubs can be a little precautionary down the stretch. The other implication is that it changes the Cubs rotation from a six-man to a five-man and Mike Montgomery doesn’t lose any starts.

Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a PQS from Bailey and now that’s two Quality starts in a row. With five Ks total. Womp womp.

Chris Stratton – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Crazy enough, two pitchers didn’t earn a single whiff today, with Stratton and Bettis failing to miss a bat. I can see it with Bettis, but Stratton’s deuce should do better…Anyway, the Giants have moved to a six-man because they are silly and Stratton’s schedule is lame so I’d ignore him the rest of the way.

Chad Bettis – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Did I mention that the Rockies and Giants played each other? I know it’s the Coors air n all, but this is kinda crazy. Did the Angels from the outfield stop every ball before it made it to the plate? So our data was messed up as Bettis had 14 whiffs and Stratton had six. AHA! I knew something was amiss. I’m actually pretty impressed that Bettis was able to get so many swings-and-misses, too bad he pitches in Coors and not even the Giants could render a beneficial start.

Adam Conley – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ugh, this is so blegh. SO BLEGH. Now it’s the Braves, Phils, Mets…it should say a lot that I’m still not on board with Conley even with that schedule.

Jake Junis – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This is pretty boring across the board, do I have to take a Loss here? I think him getting a Win makes it another tie. Streamer Record 69-53-16. I feel kinda dirty letting a Win make a factor here, but so it goes. Anyway, Junis’ slider piece wasn’t thrown as often (35% instead of the 50% we saw prior) and batters put the ball in play in about 30% of the benders he threw. Doesn’t make me too thrilled for his next outing against the Twins.

Rafael Montero – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Montero had been pitching his best lately, but the floor is still there sadly as he walked five batters here. Proceed with caution but he may still be a decent gamble in certain situations.

James Shields – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, that’s Shields alright.

Jose Berrios – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Berrios actually looked pretty solid through the first five innings, then ran into a trouble in the sixth, allowing a single, walk then an RBI double with the other two baserunners scoring via relief. Welp, so it goes. I’m still trusting Berrios through the end of the year.

Dylan Bundy – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. You hear that sound? You mean that endless wail? They say it’s the Ghost of Fast…his Slider just wasn’t as good as his overall command wasn’t what we saw in the previous outings, though the velocity was there. I wonder if we’ll get to a point where starts like these get eradicated all together. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t stop tossing him out there, especially against the Jays next.

Artie Lewicki – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Artie’s name sounds like a kid from the 90s trying to spin a DJ to make his last name Lew sound a bit cooler. Okay, it sounds dope but you gotta spit better lines than that, Art.

Parker Bridwell – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It was the Vargas Rule with Bridwell entering the previous game, which means we take our foot off the gas pedal once he hits the wall. Because that obviously sounds like the right thing to do when we hit a wall. Next up are the Mariners and I don’t see why you’d want to keep chasing this.

R.A. Dickey – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It was Texas on the road and Dickey said he had it in the bag. Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Rick Porcello – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ohhh Porcello.

Mark Leiter Jr. – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Guess who had the worst start today? It’s not Snowflake, it’s not Snowflake! It’s Leiter Jr. who got trounced by the…um…Mets. Nothing like allowing a pair of HRs to Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera…

Chris Smith – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah right, Snowflake. You’re unique in a bad way.

Today’s Streamer

Robert Stephenson vs. Milwaukee Brewers – He’s striking out a ton and while that floor is poor, it may still be salvageable if it happens. Garrett Richards also returns this day against the A’s and I’d be tempted to start that one…but he has to be on a strict pitch count and you’re better off waiting for the next one.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. New York Mets – It’s the Mets. Yes please.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Mahle vs. New York Mets – You might notice a pattern here…

Game of the Day

Luiz Gohara vs. Texas Rangers – The 21-year-old was acquired in the Mallex Smith trade with the Mariners over the off-season and he’ll show off his hard Fastball and heavy Slider tonight. Here’s to a potentially electric debut.

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.

13 responses to “Lifting The Ray Ban”

  1. The Kraken says:

    Every team has ups and downs. I think it is a bit misguided to adjust the offensive rank of the opponent as opposed to backing off your statement that Ray dominates bad offenses. I agree that Seager is the guy that makes that Dodgers offense special, but I think that you have swung and missed on Ray this year. Thats OK. Everyone is wrong all the time about this type of thing. The real mistake is creating a web of mistakes to prop up the underlying mistake.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I like to think that I’m always the first person here to say I’m wrong on a guy.

      In my mind, there is no reason to deny that a guy is good or bad as the whole purpose of these roundups and rankings isn’t for my ego, it’s to give y’all the best advice moving forward for your teams. Who cares if I was right/wrong about one guy as long as we can all understand why I think he’s going to be good/bad in the future.

      I don’t think there is a single pitcher here that I haven’t explained my thought process for. I think that’s a really important part of this site as it makes all my decisions fully transparent and easy to have a discussion with. Instead of making you, the reader, go with a guy just because this voice on the internet said so, I instead tell you why I think he has a higher chance than expected to do well. It sets a solid foundation for discussion and a launching point to dive deeper on a player.

      So I think I’ve made my argument really clear about Ray. Start him against bad teams and avoid the tough ones. Let’s look at it!

      His bad starts this year have come against the Rockies, Dodgers, Tigers (in may with JD/Upton), Pirates, Phillies, Rockies, Nationals (with Harper).

      His good starts this year have come against Giants, Dodgers (twice in his past two starts, once early in the year), Nationals, Padres twice, Brewers twice, Phillies, Reds, Mets.

      I don’t think I’ve every said that you shouldn’t own Ray, of course not! I’m saying that he’s not a stud that you can start against top tier teams blindly like many other aces we have. And that’s a major distinction to make.

      • The Kraken says:

        Thanks for the reply! It is hard to avoid your ego, but you do a great job of it. I was just trying to point out that I think you were getting caught up in a bit of a trap.

  2. nick g says:

    i’m in week 1 one of our playoffs playing the best team in H2H categories. i have a spot open for a streamer. is gohara a high enough upside play to give him a shot? relevant pitching categories are K, QS, ERA, and WHIP.

  3. larry womack says:

    Would you pitch Snell tomorrow vs Minn

    • Nick Pollack says:

      What’s your situation?

      I think if you don’t have a plethora of options Snell is worth the gamble given how well he’s pitched recently.

  4. Brent Erickson says:

    Happy early Nola day to me! Someone dropped him to pickup a 2-start Paul Funyon. I’m a little concerned with the schedule and maybe hitting a wall with 40 more innings then last year. I’m dropping Pomeranz who is the lowest on your list who has done nothing since I picked him up. My staff sits at deGrom, Verlander, Godley, McCullers, Cole, Rodon, Clevinger, Weaver and Paxton (DL). Thanks for everything this year! I feel ready for the playoffs next week.

  5. gb says:

    pick 2 of 3 tomorrow:

    McCullers vs Seattle
    Gonzalez vs Atlanta
    Flaherty vs SD

  6. Matt Nielsen says:

    Nick! I’ve been going crazy with the football drafts but I’m still here! Locked for the playoffs too, thanks to you.

    I was wondering what your take on Gibson’ recent success was? I’ve read he’s made some mechanical tweaks that have yielded positive results. Do you trust him with his mostly soft schedule ROS?

    • Nick Pollack says:


      No worries, hope you’re checking out for your Fantasy Football needs…

      I think it’s a Vargas Rule situation and you should roll with him until it doesn’t pan out, with the easy schedule ahead as you mentioned

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