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

Step right up, enjoy the wild ride of Reynaldo Lopez, the man who put us through the gauntlet of emotions in 2018, to which we swore Never Again. But then something changed. Across his previous nine starts entering yesterday, ReyLo featured a 2.82 ERA, 23% strikeout rate, and 1.20 WHIP, boasting an average fastball velocity of 96.7—a full two ticks above his average before the stretch. It was a wonderful and very seducing shift…until last night where he went 0.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks against the Braves. But his velocity was still up at 97 mph, right? Nope. 95 mph. HOW DARE HE.

During the stretch, we came across a few clunkers that were a product of his secondary pitches falling well behind the explosive heater. We have seen ReyLo constantly have one of his slider or changeup on a given night, pushing the notion that with increased velocity and a working #2 option, he could coast through the end. But without that velocity and no #2? We get this. It’s sad, it’s terrible, and we have to move on. I’m not sure why he didn’t have the gas we’ve seen—maybe he simply didn’t get warmed up, maybe he would have been fine if he escaped that first before more damage came through – but now with Cleveland ahead, we have to send him back and monitor the outing. If his velocity is back, I’d consider the Royals, or we can wait for two starts against the Tigers during the final two weeks of September.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Zach Davies4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Davies went legit changeup heavy for 5/38 CSW. That’s just…wrong. It earned him 11 outs and only two hits, though, but you know me and being super reliant on balls finding gloves. Not to mention, under 80 pitches thrown here as he isn’t trusted to go deep into games. This isn’t your championship-winning play.

Sonny Gray6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Not the most overwhelming we’ve seen from Gray with 27/101 CSW, but it only helps. Atta boy.

Stephen Strasburg8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This is what domination of the Marlins looks like: 26 whiffs for a Gallows Pole with 47/107 CSW overall. Seriously, that’s crazy good.

Jalen Beeks – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Good on Beeks for cruising through a pass of the Indians’ lineup. You don’t need me to tell you not to roster Beeks.

Joey Lucchesi6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, I’ll take this from Lucchesi, even if the 1.50 WHIP is disappointing against the Giants. He hosts the Rockies next and let’s keep on keepin’ on.

Tommy Milone5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Milone Schmilone. Seriously, I was intrigued when you were going 6+ Ks per game, but you’ve done that just once since the end of June. Yikes.

Logan Webb5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. He was one of the two backup Call Boys and made it work against the Padres on his home turf. 29/91 CSW is great as his slider was effective and his changeup earned him strikes and outs. I’m still not in love with his heater, but he should be at least considered for the Cardinals and Pirates…and Marlins next.

Homer Bailey5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Bailey’s splitter wasn’t great last time out, but he definitely had a feel for it here against the Yanks once again. It’s almost like it’s a super inconsistent pitch. 32/99 CSW overall and I’d trust him against the Tigers next. Then back to the pool for Houston.

Clay Buchholz5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. I remember when Bucky was super skilled with his cutter last year. It was cool. It was unexpected. It was just a summer fling. We can’t do this again, Clay. Life isn’t molded for us to be.

Brock Burke6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhhh, it’s fine. You were desperate for a streamer and may have selected Burke against the Mariners and we’re glad we escaped unscathed. There wasn’t a whiff pitch in his repertoire save for the rare changeup—four whiffs on 95 pitches!—but he earned outs and strike with his deuce while jamming batters effectively with heat. The Orioles are next and it’s a coin-flip for me there. 

Brian Johnson – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. The primary pitcher here for the Red Sox and he “blew a save.” Weird.

Domingo German5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna almost ace. A Matt Olson longball was the damage ultimately done, but he labored a bit here against the A’s, particularly a tough fifth. You should feel fine with him down the stretch as the Yankees as a whole have a generally decent schedule, even against the Red Sox next.

Cole Hamels6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. His velocity is still under 91 mph, which is a bit concerning, but 31/96 CSW works for me as he lived up in the zone with heaters. It’s odd, I think the signs of his changeup being mediocre and that lower velocity does suggest a tumultuous September, but he did change his approach to account for it. I’m not sure which will weigh heavier – his ability to keep this approach or his lack of velocity & changeup. He has a schedule of middling teams – Brewers, Padres, Reds, Cards – and I think you have no choice but to see it through.

Dallas Keuchel6.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Looks like the Toby is still in service as he’s making a great case to be Spider-Man, even with his late start to the season. Keep riding this one out.

Steven Matz5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Good to see Matz survive this start on the road against the Phils, relying a bit more on changeups and breakers than we’re used to. Just 24/91 CSW is somewhat typical from Matz, relying on weak contact to get through a lot of his starts. It’s not my favorite play—especially with a tough schedule the rest of the way—but he’s a Toby and that’s fine.

Michael Wacha7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Solid stuff from Wacha here as he faced the Reds. Sure ain’t trusting him, though, with this start marking the first one above five frames across his last six. Too much risk.

Dylan Bundy6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. A VPQS with seven strikeouts from Bundy? Yeah, sure. There’s no way I’m taking anything from this to get him on my teams, though.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. In a season of haze and confusion, of course Musgrove is going to be okay inside of Coors for a VPQS. It’s not stellar, but it’s far from the poor outings we’ve seen in plenty better matchups. The best news here? He was pumping 94 mph. That’s the highest mark he’s had all season. He was averaging 92.2 mph on his fastball prior. And now he gets the Cardinals, Giants on the road, and hosts the Mariners. Uggggggh, I’m so tempted. SO TEMPTED.

Dillon Peters6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Peters did alright here against the Sawx and even was extended in the third due to an error in the field. I think he’s a bit too risky overall, especially with the Angels’ schedule, so give him a thumbs up and be on your way.

Dakota Hudson7.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Whoa, eight strikeouts! Whoa, those 4 ER kinda hurt. But the WHIP is good! This is a terrible blurb. YOU’RE A TERRIBLE BLURB. He’s a sinkerballer who made his day with constant strikes arm-side with the pitch, though his slider earned 19/26 strikes as well and helped him get through this effectively – his curveball and changeup are both super mediocre. A touch of Careful Icarus here as two runs scored in the 8th and we’d be plenty happier if he had just gone the cool seven. Treated like that, it’s four straight 6+ IP starts that we’re excited about from Hudson and now with San Francisco ahead, we’re definitely holding. It could be the last start I’d roll with Hudson for, though, as he could get Coors, the Brewers, Cubs, and Diamondbacks after. Too risky for me.

Jorge Lopez4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. JoLo sounds like that terrible phrase popularized by Drake that people would use to justify poor decisions. An apt name.

Tim Melville2.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Melville continued his slider heavy approach, even returning the same exact 62% slider usage despite throwing only 58 pitches here. It was Coors so an easy sit, I wouldn’t rule out a productive start in San Diego next time, but that’s only for those desperate in an NL-Only league.

Zach Plesac5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Those ratios stink and his secondary stuff isn’t good enough to give you enough strikeouts to salvage the start. Still, you hold with the White Sox, Angels, and Tigers next.

Robbie Ray5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Jeeeeez Ray, that’s a 2.20 WHIP. Why do you do this to us. Between Ray and Boyd, I’d much rather have the latter since the strikeouts are more consistent, so don’t hesitate to move on from the hypocrite for a stream. Hypocrite? The dude is the complete opposite of R&R. Ah.

Matt Boyd6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Man, those in points leagues are still fine with this as his 1.17 WHIP and 11 Ks help—still a salvaged start in H2H as well!—but allowing 4 HRs is just stupid, Boyd. It’s a 2.95 HR/9 across Boyd’s last 13 starts. THAT’S UNREAL. Don’t forget, this off-season we would talk a bout a “1.30 mark that we expect to come down.” Mind-boggling. Like Bauer, it’s up to you if the low floor is worth his WHIP/strikeout ability. I don’t blame you if you’re sick of it.

Clayton Kershaw5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Awwwww, I’m really sad to see Kershaw’s 6+ IP streak come to end as he failed to hit the mark for the first time all year. He was cruising at first, but a pair of longballs in the fourth and a tough fifth did all the damage here. You just have to brush it off and keep starting him.

Jason Vargas4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. The Vargas Rule has been over for a while. Don’t hold on to that feeling, despite what Journey tells you.

Trevor Bauer4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Man, this hurts. A lot. To see him struggle early but get his footing only to become an absolute liability down the stretch is a horrible feeling. Sporer made a solid comparison to Chris Archer’s 2017 season, where Archer provided plenty of 7+ IP games with double-digit strikeouts paired with absolute clunkers. I inherently feel it’s a bit different given the variety of Bauer’s offerings, but the comp is much better than I initially gave it credit. I can’t act like I have any idea how Bauer will perform in the next few weeks. He’s such an apparent risk that it’s completely up to you. Want to spin the roulette wheel for a start that can massively sway your week? Or swap him for a streamer that comes with a better floor? It’s up to you.

Pablo Lopez3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Blegh. We haven’t seen PabLo’s changeup or curveball look great since his return from the IL and while we weren’t risking this one against the Nats, I still wanted better. I’d be cautious and wait for his stuff to return first before taking the plunge.

Framber Valdez5.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Womp womp. I had much better hopes for Valdez carving it up in his last start and now facing the Jays. Streaming Record: 89-57. He still has a relatively lax schedule the rest of the way, so if he recalibrates next start, we may be featuring him once or twice down the road.

Martin Perez2.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh Perez, this was Detroit. And now you have the Sawx and Nats next. It’s been an interesting year, my friend.


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.


Eric Lauer vs. San Francisco Giants – Not much to choose from here, I’ll hope that Lauer can pull himself together for a date inside Oracle Park.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mike Leake vs. San Diego Padres – It’s him or a Woj Bomb and I don’t trust Asher quite yet against the Rays. Joe Ross vs. New York Mets – He’s confirmed for the start and I’d prefer to take this gamble than Leake in a non-QS league. There’s a slightly better floor with Leake, but give me that strikeout potential with Ross.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mitch Keller vs. Miami Marlins – Yes he did just blow up. Against the Phillies. With eight strikeouts. Now it’s the Marlins. I’ll take this gamble. Mike Montgomery against the Tigers is another great play here, the ceiling is higher for Keller, but there’s a sturdier floor in Monty. Sandy Alcantara on the other side of Keller isn’t a terrible choice, either. A solid day for streams.


Game of the Day


Sean Manaea vs. New York Yankees – OH SNAP HE’S BACK. And killing it in the minors, too. Super curious how this shapes up.


(Photo by Quinn Harris/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 “ReySlow”

  1. aka Panlo says:

    Ugh Bauer.. I actually benched him yesterday and of course I’m real glad I did. What to do next- dunno.
    Someone in my league actually dropped Ryu- do I swap one heartbreak for another? Seems silly

  2. John says:

    Has anyone considered that Bauer isn’t healthy this year? Consider this from late June:

    “On multiple occasions this year, Bauer has mentioned after starts that he’s been battling something physically. It hasn’t allowed him the mobility he needs during his deliver to really rear back and get the bite and spin on his pitches that he wants. He said on Wednesday that he felt better, but, he still hasn’t felt entirely comfortable on the mound. He hasn’t given any details on what he’s dealing with, but, something is there.”


  3. Lester says:

    Domingo German has the AGA?

  4. Ryan says:

    Can’t tell you how depressing it is to own both Bauer and Boyd….be cruising through 8 straight H2H wins until this week, and then see these guys implode. I hate to see “it’s your call” on both, but who could blame you. I should have the playoff bye week to figure out what the hell to do.

    Thanks, John, for that post. That would explain a lot if it’s still the case. But Cincy would have known about this when they traded for him??? One would certainly think so. They just threw him right out there from day 1 after the trade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login