Positive Pivetting

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

(Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

You know we have to talk about Nick Pivetta today after going 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks against the O’s. Yeah, they aren’t a strong team, but Pivetta was all kinds of dope, earning a Gallows Pole with 22 whiffs, using all of his pitches to get the job done. Hell, he was 10-for-30 with four-seamers on whiffs at one point. I lowered him on The List this week and I regret that. I graded him too harshly for those bad starts against the Braves and Nats – starts that I even talked about being unlucky to him – and if I could do it again, I’d have Pivetta around the mid-40s. This start just reinforces how he’s killing it with breaking stuff and heat alike and you should hold on tight. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s considered Top 30 entering 2019.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Trevor Bauer – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. There, I said it. Try to tell me he doesn’t deserve it.

Christian Bergman – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. You may remember Bergman’s name. I certainly do: it’s because he was a co-owner of The WHERST from 2017 with a score of 26. So color me a little surprised when has this kind of start. Just a touch.

Bartolo Colon – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. The Groan Ranger is somehow still getting it done, maybe it’s because he’s using his stomach to help bat down balls now. Whatever the reason, he has a crazy good 2.82 ERA through seven starts with a .204 BABIP and 86.0% LOB rate and 5.65 K/9. Riiiiiiight. Don’t TEEs me like that!

J. A. Happ – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Phew. After stumbling for two starts, Happ got his balance and gave us 10 Ks against the Mets. I’ll be honest, I thought he would settle into a 6-7 K guy, but this is Happ throwing all of that out the window, en route to 17 whiffs – 13 on fours-seamers alone. Now that he gets a solid schedule of Angels + Phils + Tigers, I feel like Ron Paul when I say IT’S HAPPENING.

Garrett Richards – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Garrett started the season poorly and had that one start against the Yanks and…well that’s about it. Now he holds a 3.47 ERA, 10.22 K/9, but it does come with a near 1.20 WHIP and a low IPS hanging just above five frames. That is 19 innings in his last three starts though and now it’s the Jays + Tigers + Rangers next and that’s lovely.

Justin Verlander – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Where do you think he should be on The List come Monday?

Tyler Chatwood – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Speaking of TEEs, Chatwood had a 5.64 SIERA entering today. You really think that will change much today with this lovely 2 strikeout performance and a 7.12 K/9 that is…wait hold on, sorry. That’s not his strikeout rate. That’s his walk rate You see those hills over there? Run to them.

Elieser Hernandez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Kinda nuts to see Elieser in the bigs after pitching most of 2017 in A+ ball (28% K rate, 8.0% BB rate, and 3.98 ERA, FWIW), but here he is and after two appearances in the pen, Jarlin Garcia is off the pen and Hernandez gets a shot at the rotation…and you shouldn’t care. He’s a Cup of Schmo with a meh fastball, meh slider, and a decent changeup. Nothing here that warrants your attention, sorry I probably should have said that first.

Brandon McCarthy – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. This is great n all and if you had the brass to do it after consecutive nightmare starts from McCarthy, hot damn that’s sweeter than my morning coffee. However, I’m a big Mike Soroka fan and I also want to see Luiz Gohara get his chance in the rotation. I was kinda hoping this start would go south as well and make easy choices for moving around the rotation, BUT I GUESS NOT. He gets the Phils next, which I guess could be a stream, but we’ve seen the floor lately and I’d rather pass.

Miles Mikolas – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhh Mikolas got off slow against the Twins and could never get into that solid groove we’ve seen him coast in lately. Don’t knock him hard here, I still think he’s dope.

Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes he gets that with nine Ks to his name. Just go a little deeper and all this becomes clearer, Sale.

Hector Santiago – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Who let Hector off his island? Jack, did you send him a lifeboat? I had to… Oh come on Jack, now he’s going to infest leagues with mediocrity. It’s why we gave him Santiago Island in the first place. What have I done… You’ve done messed up Jack.

Jameson Taillon – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. What is the term that we came up with for missing a QS by one out? If we don’t have one, I’d propose a Philly in honor of Kapler’s April habits + “close but no cigar” i.e. a Philly. Anyway, I’ll take this from Taillon after his concerns prior with his blister and just plain being bad. Pretty standard as far as his actual stuff, just keep moving forward with him for now.

Brandon Woodruff – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. I really don’t see Woodruff as a capable arm for the Brewers for a long period of time, which means I definitely don’t see Woodruff as a capable arm for your fantasy squad this year.

Trevor Cahill – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. It was a DLH situation against the Sawx and while I want to feel like I’m all ready to start Cahill moving forward, I can’t really say that. It’s weird, I know he wasn’t supposed to be good here, but watching it didn’t make me think “oh hey, he’s going to be great next time out.” I think you’re still okay going with him, but his curveball wasn’t great here, changeup had its moments, and sinker was okay. Cutter did some work but was still far from consistent. Not the astounding review you wanted, but he should be better next time out. Only question is how much better.

Andrew Cashner – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Have you Cashed Out? But all I get now is a pencil. YOU BETTER TAKE THAT PENCIL.

Jacob Faria – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Faria never looked all too settled here as we still haven’t seen a start where his full repertoire is firing on all cylinders. You can drop him if you haven’t yet. Streaming Record: 23-15.

Matt Harvey – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll be honest, I was kinda hoping Harvey’s scoreless streak would continue in a Reds uniform, just for the stupid drama that would follow. Welp, onto the next dream.

Lance Lynn – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. This justification for being the biggest TEEs of them all in 2017 is getting a little overboard. This was just the Cardinals, baseball Gods. Let Lynn have some breathers for cryin’ out loud.

Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I gotta say, I’d have thought that Buehler would have done better against the Fish, but he still gave ya 7 Ks. We knew he wasn’t going to be impeccable, but he’s skilled enough to rebound from this.

Andrew Suarez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah yeah, I get it, it was smoke and mirrors. I feel bad I ever stuck you inside the Top 90, okay?

Ryan Carpenter – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. This is the final nail in the coffin for a man dead on arrival. You think so? I was thinking of putting a nice rosewood finish once we get that done. Dammit Ryan, you aren’t supposed to build your own coffin. I’m the one putting the final nails in, aren’t in? That’s…that’s a great point.

Jason Hammel – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t say a word, just drop the Hammel.

Zach Wheeler – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. 11 whiffs for Wheeler here and it does make you wonder if the game of inches could spare an inch or two for Wheeler to make this not so bad. Him and 3/4 the men in America. On the real though, Wheeler allowed a pair of longballs and simply isn’t the man that I think is tucked in there somewhere. If he can’t handle the Jays, who can you trust him against?

Matt Koch – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Koch? No, Pepsi is okay. No, MORE THAN OKAY. Wait, I’d rather be handing a cop a Pepsi during a protest than have to deal with this Koch.

Today’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs. San Diego Padres – He’s collected 14 Ks in his last two starts and it could continue against the lowly Pads.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Tropeano vs. Tampa Bay Rays – I think he can be a Toby this year and the Rays don’t scare me, so I’m giving Trop (not in Trop) the nod.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Heaney vs. Tampa Bay Rays – He’s still owned in just 17% of leagues and that’s wonderful for you. I’d go with Freddy Peralta or Nick Kingham as well, but they’re more owned, if you can believe it.

Game of the Day

Michael Soroka vs. Chicago Cubs – This is a real test for Soroka and I think the hype train will come to a full stop or get all the coal it needs based on this outing.

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.

29 responses to “Positive Pivetting”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Verlander went 9!

  2. Lieonlion says:

    Watched pivetta. Amazing start. 4 seams all right above the zone. K #7 vs sisco was a 2 seam that needs to be a gif with the lateral movement inducing a stupid swing outside the zone. Of course the curve was filthy. Then struck out the side in 7th. If the dude had this every game… wow.

  3. marinersfan says:

    would mikolas for berrios in h2h points leagues with 3 points a qs be a good trade? i have no clue what to think about berrios’s floor

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think it’s pretty even, it comes down to how your league values strikeouts. If a consistent Mikolas start of 5 Ks with a QS is better than the 50/50 of QS with 8-9 Ks from Berrios, then go ahead.

  4. angelsfan says:

    Verlander threw a CGSO

  5. Ninjayooper says:

    Hi Nick, love the column. question for ya – Someone dropped Godley in my H2H Cats league with QS instead of W (other cats standard).

    a) Should I pick him up?

    b) If so, who should i drop? Strasburg, Mikolas, Richards, E-rod, Heaney, Caleb smith, Castillo, and Archer are my SP. also have kela, boxberger, and morrow for RP

  6. Larry says:

    Smith or Pivetta ros

  7. Justin says:

    Trevor Bauer has a 0.46 HR/9 and a 6% HR/FB rate this year. Maybe he’s an ace, and he has been pitching well this year, but he’s been pretty lucky too.

  8. Matt says:

    Mikolas, E Rod, Soroka, Pivetta

    That’s how they’re ranked now, would you change those at all with recent starts? Feel like Pivetta is trending up

  9. Wile E Coyote says:

    “Aces gonna ace. There, I said it. Try to tell me he doesn’t deserve it.” –

    He does deserve it, but he probably deserved it a few weeks ago, and giving it to him after doing that to a Detroit lineup, one that might actually be WORSE than a AAA lineup right now… its anticlimactic at best.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Sorry to disappoint, he’s been performing like one for a while, but it comes down to doing it with consistency and regardless of the actual opponent, adding another ace start to his resume was enough to give him the title.

      • Wile E Coyote says:

        Don’t confuse my comment with disappointment. I’ve also been higher on “Tyler” than most since late last season, so it feels less of a disappointment and more of an … anticlimax. Your work here does not disappoint, its the gold standard.

  10. Ryan Hicks says:

    Garrett Richards over Tanaka?

  11. Big League S. Choo says:

    Not even a real discussion on Harvey? The stuff looked better than it did against LA, 8 swinging strikes, and ran into some pretty crummy luck in the first two innings (though he allowed a lot of hard contact too.)

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Sorry, no real discussion on Harvey yet. I don’t want to give the impression that there is legit hope you should hold onto.

  12. Vinny says:

    It could be pointed out that Buehler’s start yesterday would have gone a lot better with an MLB defense behind him. Cody Bellinger in cf and Chris Taylor at ss hurt him a lot yesterday. Competent players up the middle would have possibly led to a pretty dominant start. I counted four routine plays between the two of them that they didn’t make. Add four outs and he is at 7.1 ip at least and maybe one run. I get that you can play that game with anyone but Bellinger in cf says enough – its cute and all but the rest of the team deserves better. It reminds me of Brandon belt in lf which I have seen. Big difference between shagging bp and what needs to happen in an MLB game.

    • theKraken says:

      Here is some fun data – hit probabilities (courtesy of baseball savant) of batted balls for the 5th inning (the bad one) – 73%, 71%, 75%, 26% – all were consecutive hits and one was a HR… then a sac fly with a 1% chance. A quality defense probably limits that to a run or two at the most and that was where the outing went wrong. His defense didn’t make an above average play all night.

  13. Paolo Villanueva says:

    was just offered Albies and Fernando Romero for Sevy but why am i actually considering this? rest of staff: Berrios, Weaver, Castillo, Mikolas, Clevinger, Flaherty, Kingham, Peralta, Velasquez – feel like i have lots of good pitchers but is it worth giving up my one sure thing to get Albies?

  14. Jack says:

    Let us pray to the fantasy gods for Soroka today. And if not, let my battery of Contreras, Bryant, and Rizzo do the damage LOL

    Speaking of hype trains (in this case one that had been temporarily derailed) getting coal, and at the risk of a total jinx, I can’t wait for Luke Weaver to turn in another good start — and, fantasy gods willing, his first quality start since friggin 4/13 — tonight against VV and the Phils, who can’t possibly get two pitching gems in a row from young arms. Plus Velazquez is due for a bad game, right? That’s the pattern, anyway.

  15. ionescorhino says:

    With the Soroka DL move, is it time to pick up Gohara? If someone doesn’t follow baseball, sounds like made up names. Would drop Pom, Junis, or German. 12-team H2H

  16. D says:

    Better DL stash ? Ervin Santana or rodon ?

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