So I had a podcast yesterday. We do them twice a week now (woot!) and yesterday we talked about Jacob Faria, who has a decently secure spot inside the Rays rotation with Matt Andriese missing a significant amount of time. I discussed what I saw in his debut start against the ChiSox, which was a good Slider, an inconsistent Changeup and spotty Fastball command. Needless to say, I wasn’t so confident in this start against the Blue Jays and it was…different. 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks different. Thing is, I kinda feel the same way, but with more confidence on the strikeout side. His Changeup and Slider can be outright deadly, with vicious movement on both that will make him a strikeout threat. But I really hate his Fastball. Really. It’s not spotting the edges and it’s super flat. If he could command it high and tight to left handers while elevating properly to right-handers and set up his Slider/Changeup effectively, that’s one thing, but I don’t see that happening consistently. I also don’t believe he’ll have great command of his two secondary pitches to throw them for strikes with confidence – he did at times and made me very happy but I can’t see it happening at will – which means that he’ll get hit hard off his heater or walk batters. His Curveball is meh and not a good enough fourth pitch to be that missing piece right now. All in all, I think you definitely should own him, but I question how many obstacles he’s going to run into. He’s a better Spice Girl than most, though, and given this landscape I wouldn’t be surprised elevating him to the 50s while hinting at the 40s with the strikeout upside he has.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Christian Bergman – 2.2 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. So Bergman had a 10 ER start – the current WHERST leader – then had three starts where he allowed just 3 ER total, then this 9 ER start. This sounds like the worst Russian Roulette game I’ve ever played. And I’ve played plenty…
Jon Lester – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Well hot damn Lester, is this what you’re going to do now? Be the anti-Bregman? He had a very similar CG against the Giants with 10 Ks and 1 ER four starts prior, with his last three being pretty mediocre. That’s the game we’re playing I guess, let’s hope we don’t have to wait until the next expression of upside.
Jason Vargas – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This is getting stupid now. A 5.9% HR/FB rate. 30.1% hard contact with a 45.2% pull rate (that’s bad). 4.46 xFIP and 4.30 SIERA. But a 2.10 ERA. I wonder if this is going to be Steven Wright 2.0 as Wright had one of the greatest first halves we’ve ever seen in 2016, then had some clunkers mixed with a dumb injury that made him worthless in the final months. And it’s not like he’s having this ERA stretch while giving you strikeouts either as he’s averaging exactly 5 Ks per start. That’s fine but not great. I mean, I stand by how I’ve felt the entire time – keep rolling with Vargas until he stops being good and trade him if someone’s buying high.
Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I can see the comments now. He’s fixed! He’s returned! MY SAVIOR! Nah. Nah? Yeah, nah. His Two-Seamer was finally good for a start and I don’t buy that anything really changed from it. His SIERA was 5.80 during this outing with a 5.05 xFIP. I’m selling if I still own him.
Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. I have mixed feelings about Lynn. On one hand, he’s allowing under 30% hard contact, with 10 of his 13 starts coming in with 2 or fewer ER and a 8.67 K/9. On the downside, it’s a 3.67 BB/9 as well and an atrocious 4.73 FIP and 4.35 xFIP. His .207 BABIP is laughably lucky and 86.5% LOB rate is going to come down. Sell high, but don’t drop, of course.
Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. If this convinces you to own Jose, Urena a boatload of trouble.
Clayton Richard – 8.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Problem is that he does this 1-in-4 starts. The house always wins in the end.
Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the right Clayton! And he wasn’t as good. This looks super normal – legit the name of the TV show I want to write – and it feels weird to see Kershaw like any other starter in the majors. Why are you wearing Old Navy?
Brad Peacock – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. 10 Ks! Four walks! Under five innings! I wonder if this is going to be a common theme for Peacock – a bad start followed by a stupid amount of strikeouts and not much else. I doubt we’ll see the pedestrian 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 BBs, 4 Ks outing
JC Ramirez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m a bit surprised that Ramirez did this well against the Yankees, both ERA and strikeout wise – it’s the first game with 6+ Ks since April 30th! Even more shocking is that his hard contact over the last three games has been 50%, 52.6%, 47.4%….Yikes. No thanks.
Tyler Chatwood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. And Chatwood strikes again as a guy you need to start outside of Coors when he’s not facing a top tier offense. Don’t let this blind you into starting him against anyone decent at home, but note the value to be had. Also, thanks for the dub. Streamer Record 34-21-10.
Scott Feldman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. But then I just had to add Feldman Schmeldman. IT WAS THE PADRES. Blegh, I’m done with you. Streamer Record 34-22-10.
CC Sabathia – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I was looking forward to a great two-start week from Sabathia and now he’s headed to the DL with a hamstring strain. Well this is stupid. I’d guess Chad Green takes his place given his spot start on Sunday, which may be somewhat decent if Sabathia has to stay out more than one or two starts. Good strikeout upside with questionable command.
Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Now that I’ve convinced everyone to avoid you, Holland strikes back with a vengeance. Whatever, we’ll invade you next time.
Nick Martinez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Leave it to Nick to total just one K or BB in 18 outs. He has some serious Minimalist Score potential, but that doesn’t mean you should own him. Definitely don’t own him.
David Price – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. A PQS against the Phillies? This was supposed to be the start where you establish yourself once again, not be mediocre n stuff. Alright, alright, one more…
Trevor Bauer – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Ah yes, we’re comfortably back to Trevor “DESTROYER OF WHIPS” Bauer.
Zack Greinke – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You couldn’t just give us one more out Greinke? ONE MORE?
Ben Lively – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh Raggedy Anne, we can already see the crimes owners will commit by thinking this is good enough to possibly roll with you in the future. Don’t do it.
Brent Suter – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. THe Brewers needed a spot start and though Brent was the perfect Suter. Yes, just a Cup of Schmo.
Jimmy Nelson – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Nelson, don’t tell me you’ve regressed already. We only just got started!
Jharel Cotton – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I hate that I have to call Cotton a PEAS but…you’re a PEAS.
Alec Asher – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Yep, that’s Asher alright. Of course he’s pitching for Baltimore, of course.
Joe Ross – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Ohhhhhhh man, this is so Ross. Why can’t you be more like
Joey Chandler? Yes, you can drop him. I hate playing the shrug game of not knowing when he’ll be good and bad and we can’t look at one start and say “okay, now he’s going to do it again!” He’s not that kind of guy at the moment.
Marco Gonzales – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Gonzales was called up because of a double-header and while I think there might be some future potential here, he’s just a Cup of Schmo for now and will be back in the minors. Womp womp.
Kyle Gibson – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Thanks Gibson for being Gibson as I quoted you during the Podcast as someone who is consistently bad.
R.A. Dickey – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Dickey he was going to Miami in July. It was just to say hi to his Uncle. Don’t trust a knuckleballer.
Ty Blach – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blach. I think that works, right?
Buck Farmer – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Barmer is reinforcing why his nickname exists. The Diamondbacks are a solid squad, to be fair, but unless he has masterful command of his Changeup on a given day, it’s tough for Barmer to succeed. He’s a streamer in my book over an ownable asset.
Marco Estrada – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. And it just keeps getting worse for Estrada after being so dominant to start the year. That’s three straight clunkers of 7 ER, 4 ER and 6 ER, raising Estrada’s ERA from 3.15 to 4.54. What’s interesting is that he’s increased his Curveball usage a ton in these starts – going from around 5% to 13% – …and it’s his worst pitch by a mile. But more importantly, his FB/CH hasn’t been as strong as it has been, and I think he can recover from this. The whiffs are still there (not as many last night, but around 12% in the other two) and I’d pick him up if someone is done with him. You’ll see Estrada around the 30s/40s next week as I’d bank on him getting over this hump.
Zack Wheeler – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. If I were on the Cubs, I’d be singing “The Wheels On The Bus” the entire time as I pranced – yes pranced – around the basepaths. I can see people starting Wheeler here as the Cubs have been laughable lately, and this is a huge hit. He’s avoided the major blowup thus far and it did feel like he was going to sway one way or another at some point…hopefully in the other direction. There’s still upside to be tapped into, but for now I’d prefer to chase proper Spice Girls instead.
Mike Montgomery vs. New York Mets – Montgomery might not go very long, but he could eek out five innings and get the Win against a meh Mets offense. German Marquez vs Pittsburgh Pirates – I previously had Monty here, but Marquez’s ownage rate has dropped and he’s a much more secure choice as he can go deeper into the game and has had 2 ER or fewer in five of his last six starts.
Zach Davies vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Blegh, I hate this. I’m not denying a point either way here, but I wouldn’t roll with this one. Sorry for those who thought it was Biagini/Guerra, I completely messed up my dates in the previous article.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Francis Martes vs Texas Rangers – This should only be one start as Lance McCullers is missing one turn in the rotation to rest a sore back. Still, I want to see Martes as a starter and this should be fun.