New Sheriff In Town

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

You own Chris Paddack and you have no idea how to feel. After yesterday’s 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Phillies, Paddack has failed to fan more than six in any of his last five starts, with a 6.12 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in that time. Yikes. Then there’s the whole assumed innings cap around 140/150 frames with Paddack sitting 115.0 right now. Let’s say that’s six frames per game, that’s roughly five starts left, especially given that the Padres are 7.5 games back from the Wild Card, have an injured Tatis Jr., and won’t push Paddack down the stretch. My guess is that they let him pitch to his cap and pull the plug, likely in mid-September.

Are those starts going to be worth it? Yes, Surprisingly, I know, but yes I think so. Paddack still has room to grow with his curveball to complement a changeup tht goes in-and-out, but his heater is more often good than bad and this seems more like an off stretch than the true talent of a rookie. Keep starting him and when the time comes that cap approaches, we pay our respects and move on. I’m likely going to be a little lower than most ranking him for next year – to assume growth in that curveball is not wise – but I’d imagine around a #30 rank or so. Maybe higher or lower, but in the SP #2/3 range. Here’s to hoping he acts like that the rest of the way.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Jon Gray8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. 33% CSW with Gray’s slider taking the spotlight – 11/36 whiffs alone! – and while I’m proud of Gray succeeding in Coors, this was against the Marlins sooooo yeah. Headaches are still to come.

Mike Montgomery6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Our new Call Boy had a lovely evening with the Mets, helping our weeks across the board. Streaming Record: 79-53. We were excited about Monty after his 12 strikeout game, but moreso that he showcased strength with cutters and changeups to pair with his solid curveball. It wasn’t as pristine here against the Mets, but he flexed variety effectively, and I liked how he could turn to any offering at any point. And now he gets the Orioles? Yes please.

Charlie Morton7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 38/94 CSW is crazy good and I need to give him love again. I have been worried about the inevitable injury, but it’s gametime. About 8 starts to go, make it happen Morton.

Daniel Norris3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. No injuries or anything, the Tigers just don’t want Norris pitching deep into games. Yeah, a super fringe arm is now not planned to ever go six frames. Yep.

Patrick Corbin6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Corbin earned himself a Gallows Pole with 24 whiffs as the slider was the slider once again. I love good Corbin.

Kyle Hendricks7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. This is the opposite of his last start. We like opposites. And when opposites become reaaalllity. It’s almost like the BABIP reversed itself entirely for a HAISTFMFWT?! and that’s definitely cool with us. Glad we’re all okay now.

Adrian Houser7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I was a little scared of this one as the Nationals have been super hot lately, but hey, this works. Four strikeouts are a little underwhelming as his four-seamer and two-seamer led the way once again. I’d love to see one of his breakers or changeup to take over, but hey, this works. Cardinals are next and let’s do this LEEEERRROOOOOOY.

Rick Porcello6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. The Thief stole another good start, just two strikeouts should tell you how much he deserved this one. Don’t risk this unless you’re desperate for Wins.

Sandy Alcantara7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Alcantara survived Coors. Don’t ask how, baseball is weird. 21/92 CSW isn’t what you want and I’m as amazed as you are. Oh Sandy Dee, how could you be.

Aaron Civale6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. He made it work against the Yankees despite 10 baserunners and now it’s the Mets, so that’s nice. I’d hold Civale for that start, though, his cutter worked well here and he should be worthwhile in 12-teamers the rest of way…unless Carrasco makes his return.

Lucas Giolito6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. One off the Gallows Pole with 23 whiffs in this one, dominating with heaters up and changeups in the zone as he settled on 37% CSW for the night. A few too many pitches to get it done in six frames, sitting at the 113 mark, but all is good. Except the WHIP. Is this your WHIP? Stop raising your WHIP. STAHP IT.

Joe Musgrove7.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. MUSGROVE YOU’RE KILLING ME. Nick, he did well today. I know, I know, and I’m happy for him…it’s just, man I want to cold quit you. Just let me heal. This one even had a touch of Careful Icarus as he allowed two baserunners in the eighth who came around to score via relief. Is he back? Nah, He threw about 30% breakers and they worked well, but I didn’t see anything here to suggest this wasn’t anything more than BABIP + attacking the zone for outs. He’s still very susceptible to the floor we all know and hate.

Tanner Roark6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s a bad WHIP, few strikeouts, but fine, you got your QS and a good ERA, and against the Astros! That’s a nice surprise. Still don’t trust him, but okay Roark. Okay.

Jeff Samardzija5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The ride continues, but I assure you: he’s named Loose Lips because he sinks ships. Your championships. Feel free to ride now, but this shouldn’t last.

Noah Syndergaard6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Slider was up to 91mph – yay! – but its placement is still thigh high and fastballs still aren’t commanding the zone like we want them to. Good to see him go inside with the slide piece to left-handers, though. I’m still a little hesitant to give him the full on AGA label, but you’re clearly starting him regardless right now as his raw stuff is making it work. So that’s cool.

Masahiro Tanaka6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. We want Tanaka’s splitter to be fixed. We really do. I can’t buy that it is when I’m seeing 3/27 whiffs on the pitch. Nope, not today. 20/83 CSW is blegh and I think Tanaka escaped with this one. He’s pretty much a toby.

Justin Verlander7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We had a fun time debating the Top 5 SP in the Discord and I just can’t see myself removing Verlander from the throne for now, even with Scherzer coming off the IL. Let’s see the Nat King do his thang first.

Jacob Waguespack5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s a 2.57 ERA across his last four games with…a 5.57 K/9 and 5.35 SIERA. When you can confuse the K/9 and SIERA, you’re gonna have a bad time. Don’t chase this.

Kenta Maeda4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Look at this Dusty Donut. You want to enjoy those nine strikeouts, but only 4.2 frames with horrible ratios is really stinging. Is he just a Cherry Bomb these days? That would be sad. The Dodgers need him through the final stretch, so we’re holding Maeda and hope he can produce something close to the seven frame performance from last week, but blegh man. Blegh.

Mike Minor7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Minor had another tough matchup, this time against the Twins, and it didn’t matter. Well, kinda, those ratios aren’t great and five strikeouts are…okay. But against the Twins! So we’re still happy Minor has staved off the heavy regression I anticipated in the second half.

Jake Odorizzi5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh, he served you a Philly in a super middling start. I guess we’re fine with Odorizzi simply not blowing up on you, so alright. You’re kinda the Spider-Man at this point and let’s keep this going.

Patrick Sandoval4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I wanted this game to be where I’d be forced to lead with the Irish Panda, but it wasn’t mean to be, even against the White Sox. Good changeups, but I didn’t like what I saw from his breaking balls and fastball was pretty mediocre. He’s starting to lose his shine. I don’t like that. Maybe a Young Gun, maybe just a Cup of Schmo. 

Mike Soroka6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Pretty close to a VVPQS here for Soroka with just four strikeouts and the mediocrity of Soroka shows itself again in the second half. Don’t get me wrong, I like him more than your standard Toby and he can be comp’d closely to Kyle Hendricks and that’s a good thing, but I want him to blow by that label. Soar, be your own man and dominate. Maybe next year.

Vince Velasquez5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. We want more VV, if you’re going to hurt our ratios, can you at least give us six strikeouts? That would be nice. At least he gets the Marlins next so if you picked him up for this one, keep him around.

Adam Wainwright6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, I’ll take this from Waino. We lost him for a moment, his cutters and curveballs have improved and this is fine against the Reds. Now it’s the Brewers, though, and I’m out.

Wade LeBlanc – 7.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The Mariners just let him go and who cares about seven runs when you’re the Mariners, right? HA Ha ha…

Mike Leake6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Well, yeah. It’s Leake. I imagine his MLB profile pic is a shrug.

Aaron Brooks5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t go chasing Brooks. Stick to the rivers and streams that you’re used to.

Luis Castillo4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Whoa, what?! A trio of longballs did nearly all the damage but it’s not like Castillo was in rhythm. 23/93 CSW with 12 whiffs is far from his norm – it should be just 12 whiffs on changeups alone! – and this start really wasn’t him. It’s sad and disappointing, but he should be fine next time and the time after that. And the time after that.


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.


Jake Junis vs. New York Mets – His slider wasn’t quite back last time, but the upside is there to take advantage of the Mets. Jordan Lyles is another decent option against the Nats, though I wonder if he has a slightly lower floor. Trent Thornton is a huge sleeper play here against the Mariners, with a terrible floor but enough stuff to make that work.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Griffin Canning vs. Chicago White Sox – It’s likely the last start of the year that I hold onto Canning and I do have slight hesitations with it given the wonkiness of his heater in his last outing, but there isn’t much else to chase here. Maybe Chase Anderson vs. the Nats or even Mitch Keller against the Cubs could work as well.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Joe Ross vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Guess we’re doing this. Not too many options so let’s hope his sinker/slider combination is enough to earn a dub against the Pirates.


Game of the Day


Logan Webb vs. Taylor Clarke – Maybe this is two Cup of Schmos. Maybe it’s a fun day of young arms. WE’LL SEE.


(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

5 responses to “New Sheriff In Town”

  1. Luciano Mulazzi says:

    I finally cut bait with Musgrove, and I’m praying one of my future playoff matchups picks him up and starts him agaisnt me. I feel like I’ve moved on from a toxic relationship. Feels good.

  2. Derek Nolan says:

    Do you see Monty or Houser as reliable ROS pickups?

  3. Jerry Battier says:

    At least I have chicken.

  4. Vinny says:

    “Well, yeah. It’s Leake. I imagine his MLB profile pic is a shrug.”

    This is top 5 for me this year and a literal lol moment as the subtle sarcasm is always appreciated and revered!

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