Paddack of the Zones

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

It’s about time I lead with Chris Paddack after his marvelous 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. This was one incredible start to watch and if you have any way to watch it, seriously spend some time to check it out. Paddack outdueled deGrom, featuring 41% CSW, and 21 whiffs (Gallows Pole!) on just 91 pitches. Unreal. He topped out at 98 mph, featured changeups down in the zone – 10 whiffs on both changeup and four-seamer, sharing is caring is DOPE – and we’re all still in love. I’m beginning to wonder if my expected downturn for Paddack in dynasty leagues via his lack of curveball is negligible as by the time 2020 arrives, his curveball could be here. Meanwhile, you don’t know what to do. He’ll get shutdown at some point and his HOTEL is far from sustainable, does that mean trade him now? I’d say no, honestly. Unless you’re getting a legit bat that will help through the year, Paddack is going to be a massive help in H2H leagues to get you to the playoffs. You can’t win it if you’re not in the ship. Not to mention, it’s not 100% clear that Paddack will be missing September vs. another month of the year. Maybe they send him to Triple-A in June/July to preserve him. Maybe there’s an injury because he’s a pitcher n all. Baseball is weird and if we try too hard to be clever, it could burn us. Be happy this is working. Be happy you have this in the bag. Enjoy it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Miles Mikolas7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Well look at that. Mikolas now has two good starts under his belt, with this one holding more weight as his slider sat at 87.5 mph. That’s a major improvement from the 86 mph we’ve seen last year and close to the 88 mph last year. Why does this matter. Well, the only flaw in Mikolas this season has been that slider, a pitcher that held a 20+ pVal in 2018. It has been loopy and overall worse this season and to see it work for Mikolas is a major plus. Meanwhile, heaters were also up to 94 mph on average, curveballs predominately featured and earned strikes, and I’m liking this. Not in love and ready to say he’s Top 30 again or whatever, but I’m encouraged. Here’s to another strong outing with more of the same next time against the Pirates.

Martin Perez7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. He was the secondary Call Boy and it’s hard not to wonder why he wasn’t the first choice. He holds the #1 cutter in the majors by pVal, has bumped up his velocity, threw effective changeups, and faced the Jays. The result was a 36% CSW and that’s ridiculous. This isn’t a Top 50 arm, but I’d be making room for Perez as he gets the Tigers next and pitches for the only good offensive team in the AL Central.

Blake Snell6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m glad that thing last week wasn’t a thing.

John Means 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I feel like a caveman talking about John. What does this start dictate? It, Means, that we maybe could consider him as a streamer through the year. I’m still removing the taste of the ChiSox start from my mouth, so I’m holding back still but we’ll see where it goes.

Ivan Nova7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Look at Ivan going all Super Nova on us. It’s become such a rare feat and takes ages for us to see it, but it makes an impact when it arrives. And then it was gone…

Max Scherzer6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. And everything was right in the world of baseball.

Jhoulys Chacin5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This is the rule, isn’t it? Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

Jacob deGrom7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. deGrom didn’t execute against Hunter Renfroe and it cost him against a pristine Paddack. It’s 2018 all over again. Much better sliders here from deGrom – 8/32 whiffs – and everything should be good moving forward.

Sandy Alcantara5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks. I wonder how many days Alcantara has left in the Miami rotation with Zac Gallen killing it in Triple-A. A week? Maybe two? Gallen is a solid stash right now if you want to take the chance, though be warned – I haven’t been able to find anything detailing how Gallen is having his success, so it’s a complete “wait and see” from me before giving a proper assessment.

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Buehler has been struggling with his breaking stuff. So what does he do? 77% heaters, of course! Thing is, it completely worked, going 43% CSW on fastballs alone. Crazy. He was able to feature the half nearly all of the lone 13 curveballs for strikes as well and things turned out well. I get why he did it and it does give me some hesitation since he needs that slider to return before we can buy a long stretch of dominance again, but good to see the kid make it work.

Anthony DeSclafani6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Sure, I wanted a bit better than a PQS, but eight strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP from Tony Disco is wonderful. 36% CSW even without strong curveballs should raise an eyebrow, though his four-seamer earned 12/53 whiffs is all because of San Francisco. They really are bad at hitting four-seamers. Good news, he gets the Giants AGAIN. How are we this lucky. Streaming Record: 21-16

Kevin Gausman4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the game before the suspension and this is his equivalent of saying “screw this, I’m out of here.” Thanks Gaus. Thanks a lot. The Dodgers are tough and he didn’t succeed at getting his heater up in this zone. That’s not a good recipe, like putting butter on pizza. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT.

Cole Hamels6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. A PQS with a good WHIP and 7 Ks? Sure, that works Hamels.

CC Sabathia5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh this is a blegh. He got a Win – yay! – but this hurts if you started him. I dont’ expect to see a lot of six frame starts from Sabathia, so keep him round if you need that Win chance and maybe a decent WHIP. Maybe.

Gerrit Cole6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Did you realize that Cole now has a 4.17 ERA? His HR problem is creeping in again with a 20% HR/FB and 1.45 HR/9 thus far – exactly double his HR/FB clip from 2018. It’s a 2.79 SIERA at the end of the day so buy low if someone is selling at a discount (37% K rate!)

Josh Smith3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Well, yeah, it was THAT Josh Smith. For those that legit don’t know who he is, the Red Sox needed a starter and tossed Smith into the wind. Even the O’s had a field day.

Jake Junis5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. We’re not trusting Junis for a long time now. I can’t deal with his two-faced nature.

Marcus Stroman4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Rut-roh. That’s two straight duds from Stroman as we wonder if the train is coming to screeching halt. MY VALUABLE POTTERY!  Can you guess what has gone wrong? His slider? BOOM. Just 3/29 whiffs on the pitch here as Stroman couldn’t fool the Minnesota lineup – 24% overall CSW with just 5/71 total whiffs on the day. I’m not completely out on Stroman now as we’ve seen the slide piece go in and out, but you’re running out of time, Marcus.

Vince Velasquez4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. VV just can’t last through innings and while some will say “it was just homers!” (will people really say that?) the walks and poor pitches and everything dictated this start. I feel like I should start capitalizing letters in Cherry Bomb to indicate where they are on the spectrum. For VV, he’s a Cherry BOmb.

Felix Hernandez5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I was hoping Felix’s curveball would carry him through this one. Things just don’t always go how you want them to, young prince.


Merrill Kelly4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaaaaaah. This one is done for a long while now. Maybe it’s a Cherry Bomb at the end of the day, maybe a Toby, but for now, this needs to be put on the shelf and forgotten about for a few weeks.

Drew Pomeranz1.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This is dirty but in the wrong way. Too much dust and being bad.


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.


Lucas Giolito vs. Cleveland Indians – He looked better than the stat line against the Sawx and this could work well against the Tribe.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Reynaldo Lopez vs. Cleveland Indians – The Sawx game didn’t go perfectly, though his raw stuff was much better than the line suggested. Now against the Tribe, this could work well. I’d also consider Brandon Woodruff as he faces a banged up Nats lineup.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Wade Miley vs. Texas Rangers – It’s Miley or Bassitt vs the Reds and while I’m going for the cheap Win over Bassitt, both are solid.


Game of the Day


Max Fried vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu – Will this be a pitching duel of stud southpaws? I hope so.


(Photo by Mark Goldman/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.

9 responses to “Paddack of the Zones”

  1. Vinny aka PitcherList_SuperFan says:

    Hey Nick,

    Happy Nola day!

    The blurb on bauer (courtesy of obi wan) is just way too real a depiction of how starting pitching has been in 2019.

    I traded fried/Turnbull for Flaherty, did I make a mistake?

  2. IMAPNess says:

    To say pitching has been horrendous this year is an understatement! Need your opinion in my Roto league..My hitting specs are first in all categories but pitching I’m bottom 3. I need another good closer and starter. I was offered Buehler and Osuna for Machado and Lucchesi. Thoughts? Thanks!

  3. Satchel says:

    Janus, the two-faced god – nice. That Jake Junis Janus joke was jake.

    I’ll show myself out.

  4. Perfect Game says:

    Would you rather have Buehler or Corbin ROS is a quality start league?

  5. stacktherotation says:

    Nick, after his last two starts I’m considering Mikolas over McHugh.

    I’m not sure I’ll get 150 solid innings out of McHugh, and have some injury risks in my rotation. Do I make the move with the stable of arms I’ve amassed? — deGrom, Bauer, Buehler, Musgrove, Soroka, Skaggs, Weaver, McHugh, Taillon (IL), Luzardo (NA)

    • Nick says:

      That’s a solid staff!

      Can we wait until McHugh’s performance tonight?

      Pretty even in my book, McHugh has a touch more strikeout upside when all is said and done.

      Good news is I’m sure someone else will come along through the year who could replace one or the other if things fall apart.

  6. Gigorilla says:

    Hi Nick — Darvish. Please throw some of your technical excellence as to why all the walks? He’s not throwing strikes, I get it. But is there something hidden regarding regression or injury?

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