Roe Away From Wade

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

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

You know what blows my mind? That after 11 starts and 57.2 innings, Wade Miley is boasting a 2.18 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, including his 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Reds last night. And they are supposed to be solid against left-handers! It’s wild and…you know that I can’t get behind this. It comes with a ridiculous HOTEL of .269 BABIP, 80% LOB rate, and 6.4% HR/FB. None of these will stick. His success can be pointed to moving from sinkers to cutters, going from a heater with a .290 BAA in 2017 to cutters with a .194 BAA in 347 thrown. Crazy low, crazy unsustainable. He’s elected to move his curveball from an ineffective chase pitch to decent strike getter (with a .200 BABIP as well…) while his changeup has filled that void with a 15.5% whiff rate and 44% O-Swing. It’s not terrible, but I don’t see an overwhelming pitcher here without the command that would make this startable moving forward. It’s not like his 16% K rate is helping much either. Oh, and that 2.18 ERA? That’s a 4.79 SIERA. What a TEEs.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Mike Clevinger6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. I want to give him the AGA label as this start is just so gorgeous. I won’t since he’s more like a sturdy #2, but it’s really nice to see Clevinger take the expected step forward this year, especially after having some bumps in the road early in the season.

John Gant5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. He handed us a Philly but this helped you across the board and we’re all super happy about it. Streaming Record: 85-41.

Andrew Heaney6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Heaney has abandoned his changeup recently but made it work in this one with his heater sitting up-and-in often to right-handers and curveballs down in the zone. This can work if commanded like this all the time, problem is that it rarely is. 

Eric Lauer5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Come on Lauer, you know you don’t belong here like a cow on a boat. Where did that– I DON’T KNOW.

Wade LeBlanc7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s four of his last five with 4 ER total and you’re wondering if the magic is returning. Ehhhh, you’re hoping for a Toby and if that’s what you need, then sure, why not. I don’t think he’s a great gamble to take, though.

Lucas Giolito6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Whooooa baby! 36/113 CSW from Giolito against he Red Sox is a fantastic thing. Interesting to see him throw more two-seamers than four-seamers, which averaged just 92.5mph. Sliders and Curveballs combined for just 15 thrown (4 CSW, meh), but his changeup was fantastic with 16/22 SNIP. Good induced contact with heaters and you have yourself a solid start. Not totally sold as his breaking stuff was super blegh, but if Giolito doesn’t come crashing down in the final month, you’re going to see him labeled as a sleeper pick often this off-season.

Robbie Ray5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. There’s the Ray I’ve been waiting for. Here’s to hoping it sticks around through the final month, he doesn’t have the easiest of schedules, but if he is on, it doesn’t really matter.

Cody Reed4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Cody Cody Cody. I remember thinking you weren’t so bad when you first came up but man is your command terrible. Maybe Reed a book on it or something.

German Marquez8.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. HOT DANG. Marquez is absolutely killing it and there is no reason to stop starting him. Seriously, I think I’d stick him in the Top 25 at this point, it’s crazy. 45/108 CSW as well, including 20 whiffs for a Gallows Pole.

Rich Hill5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. You want another inning or one fewer ER, but I’ll take a 1.20 WHIP and 7 Ks from Hill. If he’s on the bump, you let him ride.

Jake Odorizzi5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We didn’t expect Odorizzi to perform well against the Tribe and this is surprisingly not horrendous. He has a tough schedule the rest of the way and if you’re still rostering him, I’d prefer even streaming instead.

Justin Verlander5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces almost gonna ace. 11 Ks and a near 1.00 WHIP are A-OK, but I just don’t want sub six frames with 3 ER from Jimmy V. I guess you can’t have it all.

Mike Foltynewicz6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. After a gorgeous stretch of 5 ER in five games, Folty stumbled against the Cubs, including a spit balk. So it goes, he’ll be a strong asset through your playoffs.

Francisco Liriano4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s the Liriano we all know and hate.

Frankie Montas6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. With Sean Manaea possibly out until the end of the year, Montas will be getting more starts. He’s not as refined as he needs to be with his two-pitch mix, though there will be starts where he cruises based on a low BABIP. This isn’t the savior play you want it to be down the stretch.

Mike Montgomery4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice to see 6 Ks from Monty, but yeah, you shouldn’t be starting him save for desperate streams.

Rick Porcello5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Ugggggh. Now Porcello gets tough starts and I’m super cautious down the stretch. I think it’s asfe to call him a Cherry Bomb the rest of the way.

J. A. Happ4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Come on Happ, I know you’re better than this. It was the Tigers. THE TIGERS. Brush it off.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s another clunker for Musgrove, this time against the Cardinals. Now with a tough schedule ahead, this might not such a smooth September ahead. I still think he’s rosterable – that slider is legit and still underutilized – but I feel it’s a bit riskier than I’d like.

Today’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. New York Mets – It’s between Suarez and Austin Gomber vs. Cincinnati Reds and I’m going to bet against the offense over the starter.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Steven Matz vs. San Francisco Giants – He’s essentially a Toby and this should work.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Pablo Lopez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – There are some other desperate options including Jacob Nix hosting the Rockies and San Gaviglio on the other side against the Marlins. If you need Ks, Gaviglio is slightly the better play.

Game of the Day

Michael Kopech vs. Nathan Eovaldi A good amount of games to choose from here, I want to see more of MK and if Eovaldi can bounce back.

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.

17 responses to “Roe Away From Wade”

  1. Name says:

    Hey Nick,

    Based on that ROS schedule, do you have any faith that giolito can help us win a title or should he just be considered among the viable streaming options?

    • Harry says:

      Same question. Looks like an easy schedule ahead (DET, @KC) and I’m taking the risk. Wondering what Nick thinks…

      • Nick Pollack says:

        I’d roll with him for now against the Tigers and Royals and take it from there.

        I see him still as just a streamer and not a dependable arm to roster.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think he’s a streaming option over viable ROS guy…but the schedule is solid in the short term.

      Go for it now and let’s take it start by start.

  2. Frankie says:

    A few things.
    1. Musgrove salvaged a rough couple of innings by ending strong with 7Ks. Next week, during playoffs, he gets CIN at home, the following week we probably hit the Eject button @STL and @MIL.
    2. Heaney. Oh, Heaney. He looked great last night. But going to Texas for the first round of the playoffs may be a bit too much risk for most. The following week is 2 at home vs Tex and Sea. Gosh, I think I’ll pass on all three.
    3. Please dear fantasy gods, don’t let Giolito come crashing down during our playoffs! He has been a savior the last few weeks for drops like Pivetta (sorry, Nick) and the aforementioned Heaney. Detroit at home next week looks amazing on paper — that is what scares me.

  3. KingsFullOfAces says:

    Last 11 starts for marquez have been crazy. And 10 of the 11 had .500+ records. In and out if coors. Only two other guys are close in ERA and K/9 over that time frame and they are deGrom and Nola.

  4. Devin says:

    Who had to Gallows Pole?

    • Kyle says:

      Pretty sure it was Marquez at 20. He also had 25 called strikes for an insane 45/108 CSW. I feel like that’s gotta be in the running for most in a start this season, but I’m not sure where I’d go to check that out.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ah! I’ve totally dropped the ball there lately. 20 from Marquez here (Verlander at 18, Clevinger at 17), amazing outing.

  5. Cason Jollete says:

    Just picked up Ohtani, with a bye next week and the current week inconsequential, think I can get a couple good starts out of him? Dropped L Castillo to pick him up.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Maybe? It’s a clear DLH this weekend against the Astros, but it’s not out of the question he gives you something after.

      It really does seem like a massive disaster waiting to happen, though.

  6. Perfect Game says:

    Marquez is reminding me of last year when Bauer broke out in the 2nd half and put it all together.

    Regarding Pax, would you start him @ Oakland in his first start coming off DL?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Bauer still had a few kinks here and there to iron out and he’s done that this year tenfold. Marquez is just being stupid right now.

      With Paxton, it totally depends on your situation. Roto leagues, I’d pass. If you need the start in H2H, I’d go for it.

  7. bbboston says:


    For a while, I owned Berrios and Clevinger and thus paid attention to their starts. If memory serves, you’ve given Berrios the AGA :-) title. All I can say, I’d take Clevinger over Berrios every day of the week. Bottom line, Berrios relies so heavily on his curveball and he’s just not consistently good enough. Meanwhile, while Berrios may have a slightly higher ceiling, from an average performance perspective I’d rather have Clevinger. The guy just has so many good pitches and rarely has a stinker, because he fights through bad starts, while Berrios succumbs to them.

    • bbboston says:

      PS: My favorite thing about Clevinger is his ability to keep batters off-balance with a perplexing mix of pitches that are all above average. Strangely, he’s an old-school SP who uses mix really well…..

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Yeah, I thought Berrios had gone through his adversity and had settled in to be a strong ace the rest of the way, granting him the AGA label.

      It’s been obviously removed, his case shouldn’t set the precedent for Clevinger, though. Not to mention, Berrios was consistently putting out legit stud outings during his peak this year. Clevinger…not as much. Still fantastic, just not the same bliss.

  8. Jim says:

    Just peeped my matchups next week, basically nothing I can do about it. Played 21 weeks and it comes down to the most BRUTAL matchups imaginable.
    @COL, @BOS, @LAD, @COL, @TOR, BOS.
    Wow, thanks fate for this amazing chance to lose every pitching category.
    I got a few soft ones in there: @MIA, @CIN, CIN but unreal man.
    And no, I’m not dropping Kershaw, Buehler, Cole, Arrieta or Wheeler. Gotta just ride this wild bronco til I’m bloodied and ready for football!!

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