No Paint Nick

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

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

You guys read these roundups and you know when I’m conflicted. When I feel like the results don’t match the numbers or even when I’m not entirely sure how to feel about a particular start. Nick Pivetta has been one of those players I’ve felt in my gut that I need to defend and after yesterday’s game against the Padres that resulted in 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks, I’m feeling that struggle again. On one hand, it was 37/94 CSW where a tough first inning on all groundballs, Pivetta allowed 3 ER then cruised the rest of the way. But this was the Padres and he wasn’t particularly sharp in that opening frame, even if the batted balls weren’t harsh. Overall, it was a super low 77.8mph average exit velocity for the day – that’s elite! – and the more I think about this start, the more I feel like you have to keep the faith. Is this a Jeff Samardzija or Michael Pineda situation of high BABIP/HR rates paired with stellar K/BB numbers? Maybe, maybe he is more hittable than I think and his 4.69 ERA is going to stay inflated despite the 3.55 FIP and 3.36 SIERA with that .341 BABIP failing to fall dramatically. Considering the price on his head isn’t close to Top 30 in your league, I think he’s worth the cost, and things should be better in the long run, especially with teams like the Reds and Marlins on the horizon. Trust the process.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Yovani Gallardo – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. YoGa, you realize that you’re not supposed to follow the Chatwood formula, right?

Chris Sale – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Sale is so good and it’s wonderful.

Vince Velasquez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. 32/87 CSW is lovely, though Velasquez didn’t have much success with secondary stuff. It’s the Padres, though, and you can get away with it if you’re spotting your heater well. Spoiler Alert: VV spotted his heater vv well. Reds and Marlins are next and you should be thrilled about it.

Andrew Cashner – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Leave it to Cashner to give you a Philly even when he’s actually having a good day.

Zack Greinke – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This is starting to be an overcorrection from what I talked about back in June, as he’s boasting a 1.13 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 27.6% K rate in his last six starts. Don’t expect that moving forward, but he’s definitively Top 15, that’s for sure.

J. A. Happ – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Happ was carving up the Orioles until he ran into a little trouble in the fifth that racked up his pitch count and removed his possible dub. I’m not going to tell you to trust the 9 K performance given the O’s n all, but it’s nice to see him take advantage of his weak opponent.

Andrew Heaney – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This was against the Astros and Heaney was still productive across the board…save for just four Ks. BUT WHATEVER I’ll definitely take this against an elite offense. Get. On. The. Train.

Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s wild to see Odorizzi earn another Gallows Pole with a whopping 22 whiffs (33/100 CSW), but there it is as he demolished the Royals. 12/58 whiffs on four-seamers as he elevated like a king while keeping splitters down in the zone. Seriously, it’s a wonderful strikezone plot and it makes me somewhat believe this moving forward. However, he gets the Sawx next so let’s put that idea on the backburner for now as you can let him fly on the wire if you need the space.

Trevor Richards – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Trevor, buddy, we know this isn’t legit. Stop trying to make you a thing.

Mike Clevinger – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. 14 whiffs on 31 sliders and curveballs is wonderful, 0/20 on changeups is not. Still, because of the breadth of his secondary stuff, he doesn’t need everything to work on a given day to make it well worth your while. That’s my man.

Marco Gonzales – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Gonzalez keeps cruising along, now with a 3.38 ERA and 16.8% K-BB rate. This was a bit of Blame it on the ChiSox but hey, he’s performing.

Sean Manaea – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll gladly take this from Manaea as he earned 15/98 whiffs here. Much better fastball command here with changeups down in the zone, though there’s still room to grow with the slide piece. Still don’t see a return to the Top 25 here.

Miles Mikolas – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’ll take it against the Cubs, though just five frames is kinda blegh from Mikolas…which really shouldn’t have happened since he was under 80 pitches here. No reason to stop starting him and it’s nice to see over a K per inning, just don’t find a way to get pulled early I guess?

Ivan Nova – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s far from exciting, but Nova got you a Win and didn’t kill your ratios, leading to an easy streaming Win. Streaming Record: 59-32.

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhh okay? It feels weird to be content with a four walk and 10 baserunner performance, but six Ks and 2 ER are fine from Quintana these days. The times of excitement surrounding owning Quintana is long gone, but we’ve seen him have dramatically improved 2nd halves before so don’t fully count it out.

Tyson Ross – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Five Ks just isn’t going to cut it Ross. I NEED MORE. Matt? Why on earth would you want him? I ask the same about you every day. Touché.

Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace…though I wanted better than a 1.50 WHIP, you know?

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. This is the prototypical Wood start these days and it doesn’t get me excited like it used to. I think we need to accept him as Toby and not make a big thing of it.

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. 44/101 CSW. 50% sliders. A stupid 4th inning that ruins everything. Sure, there’s a tinge of Blame it on the Marlins here, but his slider is looking as gorgeous as ever.

Brad Keller – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Brad, I’m so sorry but I don’t buy this like I don’t buy used lottery tickets. Seriously, even after this start, he’s boasting a 15.1% K rate. Nope.

Luis Perdomo – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. If there were some forsaken reason you had to roll with Perdomo here, I’m happy for you. Enjoy the Birthday Party.

Johnny Cueto – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I’m still waiting for Cueto to show me something that makes me say “Ah, Cueto!” and I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m not giving up on it – still just 3 games removed from his length DL stint – but like y’all I’m getting a little impatient.

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Life has been rough for Folty as his ERA has climbed from 2.02 to 2.85 in three games, allowing 14 ER in his last 18.1 frames. His slider – the pitch that got me super pumped for him – hasn’t been the same lately, here finding the center of the plate way too often and getting fouled off 10/38 times. That should be a good idea of how it’s not as deceptive as it once was. Am I concerned about the next two months? A little, yeah. I need to see that slider return to form for me get back on the train and a date with Dodgers next does give me some hesitation. I’ll be watching closely and I don’t blame you for taking a day off here.

Blaine Hardy – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Hardy with the Tom-foolery as I’ve run out of jokes. I’m so sorry.

Antonio Senzatela – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Senz-A was far from masterful. That’s kinda his shtick. We don’t like this shtick.

Reynaldo Lopez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. One day ReyLo, one day we’ll sing your praises from the tops of every mountain. ONE DAY.

Lance McCullers – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. McCullers why. I legit just started to say “huh, he really is turning into an ace” and now it’s 11 ER in two starts, raising your ERA from 3.41 to 4.01. His changeup was terrible and his heater earned just 10/42 CSW, struggling to find a groove. I’m tempted to buy low here as he shouldn’t be a 4.00+ ERA guy moving forward, but at the same time, he’s at 20 starts and never eclipsed 22 in the majors. I wonder if he’s starting to hit that wall and if he can make it out proper on the other side. He’ll get a small hit today, but still comfortably inside the Top 30, so don’t do anything silly here.

Brent Suter – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. You knew this was going to happen Suter or later.

Matt Harvey – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Welp, there’s the floor that makes us petrified, though I think there will be some value to be had now as Harvey will mostly get rage dropped in leagues. He’s still a possible Toby – at worst a decent streamer – and don’t ignore him moving forward if the right matchup appears…like the Phillies next time out.

Today’s Streamer

Brett Anderson vs. Texas Rangers – This will probably change as ten starters haven’t been claimed yet. This is bad. Jaime Barria vs. Chicago White Sox – Aha! They announced Barria as the starter and I’m so much happier with this than Anderson. Do it.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Ryan Borucki vs. Minnesota Twins – Do I expect much? Not really. Borucki could turn into a Toby though and the Twins don’t scare me. Joey Lucchesi vs. New York Mets – I love when rotations are actually solidified so we can make better streaming picks. Lucchesi is under 20% owned and gets the Mets, making me think he can avoid being a Fugghesi.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Sam Gaviglio vs. Minnesota Twins – Blegh, but there really aren’t any other choices. Yes, Danny Duffy is owned in over 20% of leagues…it’s 55%. Wild.

Game of the Day

Daniel Poncedeleon vs. Luis Castillo – If you listened to the Fireside Chat with Paul Sporer from last night, I’m suddenly excited to see what Poncedeleon looks like for the Cardinals in his MLB debut. This could be super fun.

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.

15 responses to “No Paint Nick”

  1. PitcherList Veteran says:

    Hey Nick,

    Hope you had a good weekend. I know the options are uninspiring and these guys will be back soon but who would you stash out of the following : Fried, Pomeranz, Shark, Santana (Ervin)

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey there! A PL vet or a Pitcher GIFs vet?

      Hooo boy, I want nothing to do with any. Fried has intriguing upside if he has his curve on a given day, Pomeranz could be a decent arm with some strikeouts, Samardzija isn’t as bad as he has been, and Santana may etch himself into being a Toby.

      I guess Santana…?

  2. Lucky Day says:

    Hello Nick.
    In a 12 team, points-keeper, would you drop Pivetta for Cahill, Kingham or Anibel Sanchez?
    I was holding onto him for the long haul, but who has the best upside to help my team in the playoffs?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d still favor Pivetta there.

      Is there someone else to drop for Kingham?

      • Lucky Day says:

        Bieber or Jon Gray would be my only others. Unless Andrew Miller does nothing, i’ll drop him for Kingham. Figured i’d hold onto Miller to see if i can grab some free points, since i have a start limit on pitching.

  3. Husky says:

    When I see Pivetta has started 20 games and only has 6 quality starts, that’s not someone I would normally be eager to own. In my league quality starts are worth 10 points. Nick, I do take your point that Pivetta should be doing better than he is and am open minded. How much of a factor is quality starts in your analysis?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t take Quality Starts into consideration as it’s a focus on standard 5×5 leagues. That should be a major factor in a 10 point QS league, though.

      The way it normally is expressed is through IPS, which can be an issue for Pivetta. However, over half his games have come with 7+ Ks this season, making the biggest problem with limited innings not a factor.

  4. Jack says:

    Hey Nick, you’d go Barria over Castillo vs CWS, right? Just asking because Castillo is more owned and maybe didn’t fit your streamer criteria.

  5. TheKraken says:

    Its hard to imagine average ev for a start meaning much. A few dribblers would go a long ways towards that… Median would be better but even then I just cant imagine it being valuable.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think it does a good job in a given start to assess if a guy was hit hard plenty or not. It’s normally a sample of 15-20 batted balls.

      I’ve also seen enough of these by now that I can get a sense of what the average EV number is and seeing a sub 80mph mark is abnormal.

  6. sturock says:

    I got offered Patrick Corbin and Noah Syndergaard for Charlie Morton, who’s a potential $3 keeper. 5 x 5 roto, ten-team mixed but big rosters (37, including reserves and DL). Roll with Charlie or go for quantity, assuming Noah doesn’t contract some other crazy ailment? In 4th and trending upward, could use wins and K’s.

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