Sliced Brad

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

Y’all know that I’m not a big fan of Tobys but Brad Keller was demanding some love after last year’s remarkable ratios and a solid start to the year. Well, after yesterday’s 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks things are looking a bit worse – 3.41 ERA, 1.24 WHIP 18.5% strikeout rate, 12.8% walk rate, and a joke of a 5.28 SIERA. Here’s the thing. When Keller is working, he can squeeze out the most of his meh heater and good slider by spotting fastballs up and sliders down – shocking, I know, but he’s done it a decent amount. Without a strong third option, the times when this just isn’t working, things are going to fall apart like this start here (23/106 CSW). I can understand those still owning him in QS leagues, but even there I’m leaning just put it all in the past and move on to something else. This is a Toby at heart – the most Toby of Tobys, I believe – and I don’t think he gives you enough in the long run to justify it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Manny Banuelos4.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Banuelos is one of Manny faces of Medicrocity. It’s a city with people. The time you spend there is something. The food is edible. The civilians live. Banuelos is.

Chris Bassitt5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, seven strikeouts! Whoa a 4.76 SIERA and four walks after last year’s 9% walk rate and 4.45 SIERA! Drop the Bassssssitt.

Steven Matz6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This certainly doesn’t eradicate the horror of his previous start, but I love seeing Matz avoid the bottom of the zone with heaters…well across his entire repertoire, I guess. Wait, that’s not a great thing as you want both but fine, seeing 7/69 whiffs on sinkers is a lovely thing and doing this against the Phils (maybe with a few calls going his way…) has to earn bonus points. Still proceed with a touch of caution, though.

J. A. Happ7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. So good to see Happ settle in once after another HR elevated his ERA early once again. If he could just not allow a longball in the first inning, life would be bliss. But fine I won’t get greedy and enjoy the strong outing from the so-far questionable Happ.

Matt Harvey6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, Harvey did good things! Ah right, the Yanks are Judge-Less. And he still had just a 25% CSW. Yeah…

Jake Odorizzi5.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. A ton of BIP here with 0 walks and 2 Ks, but Odorizzi got away with it for the most part. A sad Philly for those that needed this one, and I don’t think I’m being contrarian when I say I don’t want Odorizzi near my rosters. The ceiling is too low.

Jake Arrieta6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. A PQS with 7 Ks from Arrieta? YES PLEASE. Last time we saw Arrieta figure it out with his changeup…which had 2/17 CSW here. Fortunately, his slider and curveball picked up the slack and things were fine. I’m not buying the narrative that Arrieta has suddenly figured it out, but I will buy that he could be a little better than last year. Just a little.

Yonny Chirinos6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Chirinos actually started this one and produced with a PQS. I’m not the biggest Chirinos fan – I don’t even have him on The List! – as you don’t know how he’ll be used through the year, what his innings tally will look like, and the fact that he’d be a Toby with regular starts. Maybe a little better given the near 11% swinging-strike rate and 23% K rate thus far. I understand chasing him, it’s just not for me.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. His fastball was a little harder in this one at 91.5 mph, but I’m mostly upset that Musgrove got a Careful Icarus, allowing just 1 ER and five baserunners through six. Then a five-pitch walk followed by a perfect double-play grounder…that was missed due to a shift. The hook given, both baserunners score, and he’s served a PQS. Womp womp. I’m loving owning Musgrove and so should you.

Brad Peacock5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Peacock is back in the rotation was absurdly skilled at avoiding the top of the zone. I’m not sure if that’s inherently a good thing, but the whole area is completely blank as he sat glove-side down all night. He wasn’t all too good here – just 6 whiffs on 84 pitches! – but I think he’s still worth a gander for your 12-teamers as he gets the Indians next. As y’all saw with The List yesterday, Peacock isn’t my favorite of the hot options off the wire.

Jack Flaherty6.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Can Flaherty please stop facing the Brewers? 41/103 CSW is stupid good and a trio of HRs were the only hits allowed as all baserunner scored. That’s dumb and annoying and blegh. Enjoy the WHIP and Ks and the ERA will come soon. Also, 20 whiffs here overall were good for a Gallows Pole. Expect more in the future.

Zack Godley4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. I watched some of this and Godley just isn’t in a place where I can suggest starting him on a given night. It’s just all so up in the air. Like the balls off the bat? Sure, like the balls off the bat.

David Hess5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here!

Mike Minor6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Ahhh dang. I was hoping Minor’s magic could last a little longer and it’s starting to fade already. His changeup – his best pitch, easily – earned just 1/32 whiffs. Yikes. He gets the Mariners next and he could rebound, though I’d explore options. Streaming Record: 14-10

Tyler Anderson3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s back from the IL and clearly Still ILL. Or is that just Tyler? 

Jeremy Hellickson5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Did some of your trust Hellickson for this outing? Don’t forget this, the man is the devil. THE DEVIL!

Adrian Houser4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Houser got the call, making his 2019 debut and first career start. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a Cup of Schmo for now, with a slight chance of being more than that in the future. For our purposes, still a CoS.


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.

Luke Weaver vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – I think he should be owned in 12-teamers at this point, so grab and hold here.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jordan Lyles vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – This isn’t me being a massive Lyles fan, but he should be able to handle the snakes, right?


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Caleb Smith vs. Philadelphia Phillies – His ownage rate is at 10%. Still. I know, I don’t get it at all. On the real, CC Sabathia vs. Los Angeles Angels is the real stream as I just can’t believe Smith is still this unowned. All of this is wrong. Smith is owned near 50%, CC is above 20% and pitching tomorrow instead of today. Blegh. Looks like I have to go…either Trevor Cahill against the Yankees or Anthony DeSclfani against the Braves. Cahill it is and I hate everything.


Game of the Day


Matt Boyd vs. Chris Sale – Sale’s velocity returned, will his command follow? And Boyd got bumped to the tough Sawx offense, will he step up? FIND OUT AT 7:00. 1:00 BECAUSE RAINOUTS ARE A THING.


(Photo by Frank Jansky/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.

10 responses to “Sliced Brad”

  1. Orange WHIPs says:

    Chirinos gets more interesting when in a weekly H2H league with a limit on starts and innings/Ks as categories and SP/RP eligibility, right? I’m rostering him because on the days he has an opener he can get me 5 IP and some Ks with decent ratios while not using up one of my weekly starts.

  2. kleborp says:


    Caleb is 50% owned on yahoo and 40% owned on ESPN

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Huh. No idea why it’s different for me.

      Good to know, thanks! I’ll change the streaming pick. Glad people aren’t ignoring him :)

  3. baseballbanter says:

    Hey Nick, appreciate the write up.

    Can you remind us the relevancy of the SIERA stat and what the optimal range is for a pitcher to hover around?

    I’m mostly trying to gauge if Chris Bassitt is reliable and wasn’t just graced with a fluke performance from the baseball gods.

    • theKraken says:

      From my perspective, all advanced ERA estimators worship K/rate and more or less regress everything else towards the average. You may as well just look at K/9.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Bassitt isn’t worth your time.

      SIERA is essentially FIP but takes into account HRs better than xFIP does.

  4. Rusty says:

    Nick…..just signed up for the newsletter. Wow, great stuff/info here. Thanks!

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