Protect The Young

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

Sometimes we get a pitching line that is stupid good, but didn’t really feel real. Last night’s start of 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks from Alex Young was not one of those starts. 41/109 CSW is crazy (20 whiffs for a Gallows Pole, too) as we saw him dominate with both curveballs and cutters. Excellent work against right-handers jamming cutters and heaters inside, changeups away, and curveballs down. It was peak Young and was the ultimate display of finesse that can’t help but make me proud. The question now is if Young can continue producing at a level close to this one and to that I’d say go for it. His schedule is good without major risky matchups and if this is the ceiling, you might as well jump. Here’s to hoping it carries your through September, unlike some SchMichael Schmineda who got suspended two hours after saying the same thing yesterday.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Tyler Beede5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, Beede survived the Dodgers! And now it’s the Pirates annnnnd I’m not going to take the chance.

Yu Darvish5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. That forearm scare is over and I’m glad to be back on the “Darvish is dope and makes me feel dope for owning him” train. It’s a lovely train, with free Wi-Fi THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.

J. A. Happ6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Dang Happ, you did this against the Sawx. That’s back-to-back goose-egg starts from Happ, here with 16 whiffs and 31/92 CSW, and now he gets the Tigers. Um, yes please.

Travis Lakins2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. The Red Sox went full bullpen. It didn’t go great, but hey, Lakins did okay.

Joey Lucchesi6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. No Fugghesi today as Joey Lukes gave you production hosting the Rockies. Sadly he has a rather tough schedule ahead now—Cubs, Brewers, and twice against the Snakes—and while I think I’d start him against the Cubs, I could see people moving on after if he doesn’t look sharp. This is his ceiling here, I don’t expect it through September.

Caleb Smith6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. ATTA BOY CALEB. He had a wonderful matchup hosting the Royals, though, and I’m not sure I saw what I wanted to see in order to trust him through the tough matchups ahead. His changeup is still a bit off, but fastballs were effective up and sliders earned outs and whiffs. It’s not ideal, we’re still in coin-flip mode, and it’s up to you if the gamble is worth it.

Drew Smyly7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s 14 strikeouts and just one ER across his last two starts in 12.1 frames and you’re a bit curious to jump back in. I’d be too…if he weren’t getting the Braves for each of his next two starts. Womp womp.

Aaron Civale5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Civale survived the Twins and now has to do it again. Sadly not something I want to take a risk on, though if you’re looking ahead to the following two weeks, he does get the Tigers and ChiSox and I’m cool with that.

Danny Duffy6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Nicely done, Duffy. Streaming Record: 93-58. The Marlins were a great matchup and he gave you the Quality Start you needed. Don’t be silly now and hold as he gets the Astros and Twins the rest of the way. That’s a bad time.

Tony Gonsolin4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. This isn’t enough, Gonsolin. And it feels like the entire rotation is going through a Dodgeritis of “this ain’t enough.” I mean, Rich Hill is suddenly starting this week in what’ll be two innings or thirty pitches and it’s just annoying. Stupid Dodgers.

Gio Gonzalez5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, I guess this is a solid start from Gio. Yeah, this is solid.

Jonathan Hernandez2.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It was essentially a bullpen game for the Rangers so let’s move on.

Yusei Kikuchi5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Kikuchi had the Astros and I expected much worse. We all expected much worse. He didn’t have the approach that made us so excited a few starts ago and sadly he’s going to stay on the wire in my leagues.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Glad to see Teheran produce against the Nationals, now it’s the Phillies back-to-back and I think if you own Teheran, you need to go with it.

Justin Verlander7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 34/102 CSW with 16 whiffs is somehow disappointing. That’s Jimmy V for you. Jimmy V? Yeah, I don’t know. I started calling him that years ago for some reason and I can’t stop.

Adam Wainwright7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, I’ll take this Waino. You made good work of the Pirates and maybe you can handle the Brewers next week. I don’t love that, but it’s not the worst play.

Chris Bassitt6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Fantastic work from Bassitt as he took full advantage of a date with the Tigers. The problem here is that it could be the Astros next if the A’s are five-man…or the Rangers if it’s six-man. Hold if you like until the water clears, but if it’s the Astros, we’re clearing out.

Luis Castillo7.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 36/111 CSW with 24 called strikes here from Castillo as he lived at the bottom of the zone. It’s been such a wonderful year for Casty, I’m so proud of him.

Anthony Kay5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Huh. I’m a little impressed with Kay, featuring 94 mph heaters up constantly with two distinctly different pitches in his changeup and curveball lower in the zone. There could be something eventually here, but his curveball command isn’t there yet. Definitely someone to pay attention to in the future, but it’s too much of an unknown for this year.

Jake Odorizzi5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Man, I absolutely love seeing prime Odorizzi feature heat so exclusively up in the zone, with splitters and cutters middle and down. It means starts against the Indians are A-Okay. Keep riding this one as he gets them again next week, then a trio of smooth matchups to close the year.

Austin Voth4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ross was scratched with forearm pain, and Voth stepped in for a start that y’all knew not to take part in. Cool seeing six Ks, but with a rough schedule ahead, there’s zero interest here. Zero interest, that’s a great thing! Wrong kind of investment, bucko.

Jeff Hoffman5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s nice to see a little taste of Hoffman’s ceiling that we got a glimpse of a few years back, handing us a Philly with eight strikeouts. It’s far from something to take a chance on at this point of the season, but this was cool.

Charlie Morton6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Sure, you want better than a PQS, but the fact that Morton is providing value still in September is a beautiful thing.

Andrew Heaney6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I wanted better than the 4 ER spot against the ChiSox, but hey, that WHIP and eight strikeouts sure help. Now he’s slated for the Rays, Yanks, and A’s and I think we keep going with him. For now.

Marcus Stroman4.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. And another Stroman start for the Mets that demolishes your WHIP. You don’t have to put up with this. You’re meant for better things.

Steven Brault5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Forgive me for these final guys, but there’s nothing left to say outside of the their typical lines. Like Steven, if you start him, it’s nobody’s Brault but your own.

Aaron Brooks2.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Don’t go chasing Brooks, stick to the streams that you’re used to.

Jordan Zimmermann5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Once again, Jay-Z doesn’t have a blueprint for success.

Dylan Covey2.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember Kids, Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.


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.


Mike Montgomery vs. Miami Marlins Ohhhh yes. Please. Other Sunday desperate streams could be Asher Wojciechowski vs. Texas, Sandy Alcantara on the other side of Monty vs. KC, and Dylan Cease against the Angels if you need a strikeout surge.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Merrill Kelly vs. New York Mets That’s two starts above 93 mph from Kelly and out of the few options, I’ll take chance here with Kelly.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mitch Keller vs. San Francisco Giants He was pushed back to Tuesday and I’d love to roll the dice on his upside.


Game of the Day


Max Scherzer vs. Mike Soroka – Here’s a great matchup of strikeouts and finesse.


(Photo by Matthew Pearce/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.

4 responses to “Protect The Young”

  1. larry says:

    Would you stream R. Lopez vs KC next week?

  2. Jerry Battier says:

    Great read, as always. I want to drop Montgomery after his start today, but who to grab (redraft): Caleb Smith, PabLo, McKay, Cease, Mitch Keller, Webb, Luzardo. Thanks.

  3. J says:

    Do you not like having to watch an ad for the MTA wifi before connecting, only to have it not load until you’ve already left the station anyways??

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