Not The Man Of Lesterday

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

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

For one last time, let’s talk about Jon Lester who went6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks against the PiratesWith this start, Lester finishes fending off #TheGreatRegressionOf2018, ending the year with a 3.32 ERA, making his ERA look like a bell curve across the full season. Does this make him Top 30 next season? Ehhh, I don’t think I’ll chase it. two-point drop in overall whiff to 8.5% is startling, which led to his fall in K% to sub 20%, while his fastball is still struggling. Even with his rebound over the last six weeks, it’s not enough to convince me his trend is getting reversed. I can see him getting the label of “sturdy” and “high floor” n all, but he’s oh-so-close to getting that Toby label and that’s a terrible thing to be giving a guy with a…170 ADP?! Huh. I’m a bit surprised to see him that low in the early mocks thus far. That seems…correct. Huh. Well okay then, looks like we’re all cool on Lester. Carry on…?

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Marco Gonzales5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Will Marco be a sleeper pick for next year? He did rebound in his final two starts, and that’s cool, but it’s not enough to make me think he holds consistent Top 40 upside, which means I’m looking elsewhere on draft day. 

Ariel Jurado6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I didn’t want to be a part of this world and I will not fall into Ursula’s trap and consider him for 2019. Okay, not much of a trap in any way, but you understand.

CC Sabathia5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. You probably know about it now, but CC was cruising through five at 55 pitches with two frames to go to earn a $500k innings incentive bonus, but instead retaliated for a headshot and was ejected to lead off the sixth. Because that’s your catcher. Too bad for fantasy owners, though, he looked locked for a QS and possibly 7+ here.

Jason Vargas7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Wow, Vargas went on a tear to end the season, boasting a 2.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 23% K rate across his final eight starts. True to his name and hopefully a desperate stream paid off for you. Too bad I have zero interest for next season, but I guess this was a fun little moment.

Gabriel Moya1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. False Start.

Antonio Senzatela4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I asked the Pitcher List Discord if this was a Win or a Loss given a low ERA but bad WHIP. Looks like I have to take a Loss here. Womp womp. Streaming Record: 101-52.

Glenn Sparkman5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Like Skoglund, I really hope Glenn becomes fantasy relevant. Who doesn’t want to find excuses to say Sparkman with a straight face?

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Teheran as he finishes the season hovering a 4.00 ERA. Good for deep leagues, bad for standard. I don’t see my Teheran hate disappearing any time soon.

Josh Tomlin4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. This is better than I ever expect from Tomlin. That says a whole lot.

Jake Arrieta6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Arrieta went to Coors and wasn’t that great. A PQS is blegh outside QS leagues and 3 Ks don’t do a whole lot. I guess the 1.17 WHIP is fine. Y’all know I won’t be chasing Arrieta in 2019 unless his stock is past the 200th pick.

Trevor Williams5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s been an incredible ride for Williams owners, who just couldn’t be a TEEs for one more game, hitting a wall against the Cubs…even if he earned a Gallows Pole with 14 whiffs. Weird. Welp, I guess we can go ahead and drop him now as this was a Vargas Rule. Oh wait…

Francisco Liriano2.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, that’s the Liriano we all know and hate.

Jaime Schultz0.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. The latest False Start for the Rays didn’t go so well. It’s going to happen.

Today’s Streamer

Lucas Giolito vs. Minnesota Twins – I thought I’d be safe to go with Jose Urena against the Mets, but he’s done too well and now sits comfortably above the 20% threshold. That leaves Giolito, who hasn’t been too hot, but has had a tough schedule and gets the Rosario-less Twins. Don’t love it, and I don’t like chasing five-and-done Zach Davies so Giolito it is.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Trevor Richards vs. New York Mets I don’t love the options here and I’ll return to streaming Richards one last time as he looked stellar with his changeup last time out against the Nationals. Not out of the question he has that feel for one more game.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Sandy Alcantara vs. New York Mets – I know it’s a been poor command for two starts straight (both against the Nationals), but with few options here I’ll chase his upside as he could still pull it together. Pay attention over the weekend, these starts are subject to change on a dime.

Game of the Day

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Jose Berrios – Can ReyLo do it for one more? Will Berrios showcase the upside that won our hearts in April?

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.

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