Moving North To South

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

There’s a decent amount of love out there for Dakota Hudson right now as last night’s 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks line means he has three straight six-inning games without an earned run in sight. Let’s talk about these starts. This one against the Rockies came with 23/95 CSW and only five whiffs, relying heavily on his sinker to record called strikes, fouls, and outs in play. His slider did a little as well, but it really was him letting it fly with heaters and trusting them to guide him to the finish line. It was close to same against the Brewers, though he had a better mix of curveballs and sliders there, while the Royals were met with that heavy sinker often paired with 9/32 whiffs on sliders.

What I’m getting here is how heavily Hudson relies on BABIP, isn’t a big strikeout arm, and this is bound to fade as little has changed across the full season. It’s a .152 BABIP and 4.78 SIERA as he’s fanned 13 in three games while also walking nine. That’s not encouraging. No velocity jump, no pitch usage change, nothing to point to this Hudson being so much better that he’ll last through September. He gets the Reds next and while I’m not foreshadowing that to be a complete disaster – feel free to start him like a Vargas Rule – he’s not a target on my waiver wires. I think smart streaming is a better option.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Kolby Allard6.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I really want to tell you that this is the arrival of Kolby, as if he actually voted out Tina and deserved to win in the second season of Survivor. But no, I’m still a bit cautious trusting Allard moving forward. This was a solid game for his cutter – 10/27 CSW with 21/27 strikes – but his fastball velocity is still 92/93 and his curveball/changeup are still kinda meh. A lot of heaters placed in hittable locations and I’m not seeing enough precision for him to justify an outing like this against a weak lineup. On the other hand, he does get the Mariners next and it’s not the worst gamble out there. I’m not encouraging it, but I can see it working out.

Chase Anderson5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Nice to see Anderson produce five shutout frames after allowing 10 in 2.1 innings last time out. And that’s where the positivity ends. Is this enough of a ceiling to chase with that lava hanging below you? Didn’t think so.

Trevor Williams6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah, it’s 2018 second-half Williams returning for a moment. I see him showing up to the reunion, putting on a face, then being excused to the bathroom as he squeezes through the stall window. THIS PLACE WAS NOTHING LIKE I REMEMBER IT. You’ll be looking at your watch in sadness next time he pitches. “I wonder where 2018 T-Dub went…”

Mike Clevinger5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace with a co-co-share of the Gallows Pole at 18 whiffs. I think the final gear in Clev’s approach is an ability to avoid the deeper counts that prevent him from holding a 6+ IPS. It’s in there, but it may be the talking point of this off-season as the separator between the top tier arms and those below is the sheer dependable volume. We’ll talk.

Tony Gonsolin5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Gonsolin had a date with the Yanks and was able to escape with a dub and decent ratios. He had decent stuff here – nothing that wowed me, but solid – though he doesn’t have a locked spot as Dustin May heads back to the rotation tomorrow for a two-start week. It’s Dodgeritis, alright, but if Gonsolin gets the Diamondbacks next weekend somehow, I’m down.

John Means 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Hot dang Means! 30/99 CSW as his slider complemented his changeup and heater well against the Rays. Now with the Royals next, I’m down to start Means, just don’t go crazy. He’s nothing close to an ace.

Wade Miley5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s a Miley start, alright. Glad to see him right the ship just in time for your playoffs.

Ivan Nova5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Dad! DAAAAAAD. Whaaaaaat. I HAVE MY GOGGLES ON! CAN I LOOK?! Yes Johnny, go ahead. Woooooooow. I LOVE SUPER NOVAS. Don’t we all, Johnny. Don’t we all.

Chris Bassitt5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Bassitt was handed a nice date with the Giants and did his thang with 30/92 CSW and whiffs with his sinker and four-seamer. A ton of strikes here as he pounded the zone, with decent cutters. I still don’t see a whole lot from Bassitt to make me feel confident blindly running with him, but with the Royals + Angels next, I’m holding on.

Madison Bumgarner5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The curveballs were back, but not the same results with just 2/31 whiffs. Overall, he just wasn’t as dominating as he usually is, but he grinded through this one, didn’t give in, and made it work. It should be better against the Pads next week.

Zach Eflin6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Blame it on the Marlins. I’m not big fan of Eflin, but he pumped strikes and the Marlins couldn’t handle it. Streaming Record: 85-54. You can let him go now, I think I’m not starting him against the Mets next. Too much volatility there.

Nathan Eovaldi3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, much better than your previous outing – not hard to do that – as you went 64 pitches here. I think we’re about one or two starts away from actually trusting NEo, but here’s the catch – he gets the Angels, Twins, Yankees, Phils across his next four starts. Yikes. I think we’re just going to hit the ignore button.

Brock Stewart – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Brock is one of those arms that has some decent ability in his arm, but needs to do a lot if we’re ever going to turn our heads and truly believe he’ll be fantasy relevant. In some ways, Stewart will be Forever Young to us.

Zac Gallen5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Gallen, you’re so close. 39/108 CSW is crazy good (co-co-share of the Gallows Pole at 18 whiffs!), elevating heat for 12/61 whiffs on their own but the next step needs to come in polish of your secondary stuff. Changeups were hung a lot, cutters/sliders should be a much bigger part of your repertoire and going 0/5 CSW is a disappointment. He’s one of those arms that could cruise through the end, get drafted as a Top 40 arm, then struggle in April/May only to take off in July/August. There’s going to be hype, just understand it’s built on expected growth.

Felix Hernandez5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Whoa, it’s Prince Felix! I kinda forgot we had those two starts of intrigue back in late April/early May with his deuce and then faded into the crowd as he turned into Pauper Felix. You already know not to put stock in this.

Joe Ross4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. I know he faced the Cubs and we weren’t really going to chase this, but I was hoping Ross would and make him the talk of the town, you know? Being a sinker/slider arm without the same slider of old dictates starts like these, but I would at the very least consider him as a stream against the Marlins next weekend. That could work out well.

CC Sabathia4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. His low innings count against the Dodgers sounds about right, but tallying seven strikeouts is certainly eyebrow inducing. It’s an anomaly for Sabathia, while the questionable length and ratios are not. I’d avoid for the most part.

Kyle Gibson5.1 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Weird to see such a disappointing ratio start despite owning a co-co-share of the Gallows Pole at 18 whiffs. Even weirder was Gibson’s hesitation to elevate in this one, staying low in the zone with everything, possibly making batters a little too comfortable in the box. I think he got a little Singled Out in this one, though it’s too bad he couldn’t take full advantage of the weak Tigers lineup. Well, you get another shot next weekend. Make it right, Gibby.

Dinelson Lamet5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Lamet got the Red Sox and I was curious if he was going to keep up his recent performances. It looks somewhat right, just add on a few more baserunners and a run or two given the stronger lineup. Now with Arizona and San Fran next, feel confident owning Lamet as you give him a pat on the back. It’s okay kid, I still trust you. Yes, we’re Dinel in this situation.

Jose Quintana4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Now that we have data to see if Quintana’s locations were good or not, he does poorly. Womp womp. Now, it didn’t seem he still tried to go heaters up and curveballs down again, just a little too much in the middle that got thwacked + he struggled to earn strikes like before. I think you’re okay starting him against the Brewers next, though.

Glenn Sparkman4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I try every time not to make a “he just doesn’t have that Spark, man” joke, but I can’t hold back today. I have disgraced my family.

Zack Wheeler6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Uggggggh. What a season it’s been following Wheeler. I truly believed he’d take the next step this year and it’s been a mix of fastball velocity going up-and-down, command being inconsistent, and lack of truly finding a strong secondary offering. Sliders were too elevated here, fastballs didn’t hit the edges, and Wheeler couldn’t hold off the Braves. Yet I’m still starting him. Call him a Cherry Bomb if you like with his clear highs and lows, I still think his innate stuff dictates a start and a worthy spin of the wheel. No, I don’t think I’ll have him in my Top 30 next season.

Alex Wood5.1 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Blegh. Wood never got comfortable with his curveball, his changeup returned just 4/29 CSW, and his fastball was under 90 mph. None of these things are what we want and he served us a HAISTFMFWT?! Even though he didn’t capitalize on the Pirates, he’s still worth your trust against the Marlins next.

Max Fried5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwww, I think Fried pitched a little better than this line indicates. A tough fifth frame capped off with a three-run shot did him in, while Fried’s slider overall was effective and fastballs were good around the edges. There’s still more needed in his curveball, though, and I’m obviously frustrated that Fried didn’t cruise through this as I think his stuff speaks to, but this isn’t the same as Wood or Wheeler’s lines above.

Chi Chi Gonzalez4.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong CC! But is there truly a right one? Truly?

Dillon Peters4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. And now it’s the Red Sox?! Yeah, no thanks.

Austin Pruitt – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeaaaaaah, Pruitt isn’t the Austin that you want. Who is the Austin that we want? Bristow II, of course. But seriously, while there may be some sneaky days to start Pruitt, if you can’t rely on him to be a good False Starter against the Orioles, it’s tough to put faith in him moving forward.

Edwin Jackson5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Let’s get AjAx to wash away EJax’s start. And while we’re at it, the Jax cinematic from Mortal Kombat 4. On second thought, that’s a masterpiece, just EJax please.

Jordan Yamamoto3.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Awwwww the kitchen sink has been falling apart across the last month for Fair Jordan, returning 4+ ER in six of his last seven starts. Yes, it has been a stupid hard schedule in that time (Coors, Twins, LAD twice), but stop doing this to yourself. Please.


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.


Logan Webb vs. Oakland Athletics – I don’t love this, but there really isn’t much else to chase on Sunday.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Homer Bailey vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s going against his old team with a good splitter in his back pocket. Considering the lack of games Monday, I feel lucky to have this play available.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Taylor Clarke vs. SanFrancisco Giants – It’s between Clarke and Adam Plutko against the Tigers and while Plutko may be safer, I’ll go with the upside of Clarke’s slider.


Game of the Day


Clayton Kershaw vs. Domingo German – This has been a great series thus far and enjoy the rubber match with the ace of our generation against a budding new talent. Should be wonderful.

(Photo by Keith Gillett/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.

3 responses to “Moving North To South”

  1. zano says:

    I have the option to keep either gallen or giolito next year in the 23rd round, who would you want out of those two?

  2. Derek says:

    Nick, did you watch the Gallen game? In his first three starts, ESPN reports that 30 percent of his fastballs and 29 percent of his curves landed in the strike zone. The Rockies surely saw this and were patient enough to draw the 6 walks, but since he’s a bit of a kitchen sink pitcher, he kept them off balance enough for them not to get the big hit. Then in this game, he goes to a crossfire delivery, I presume to help him get strikes? It seems like an adjustment-counter adjustment game that makes me nervous to trust Gallen in the playoffs, not knowing if he or the batters will be ahead

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login