Smyly Like You Mean It

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

I’m amazed that I may be endorsing Drew Smyly today but the southpaw went 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks against the Giants, which in itself isn’t so special, but that’s a pair of strong outings and there could be something here. His curveball was fantastic at the bottom of the zone, earning 9/37 whiffs, his cutter and fastball generally found the edges, and it could be something decent for deeper leagues. The best part? ChiSox and Giants are next. It’s risky and be nothing, but we’re looking for streamers constantly and Smyly should be added into the pool of consideration. It’s a wonderful pool with a fantastic lifeguard named Jackson – he’s got your back…son. Hopefully Smyly and his training-wings do too.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Taylor Clarke5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hmmmmm, that’s two straight solid outings from Clarke, earning 13 Ks with 2 walks and allowing just 2 ER in 11.1 IP. The secret? Bumping his slider usage to ~40% across the two games after sitting around 20% prior. Reaaaaaaaaaaly. 11/35 CSW on the pitch in this one paired with 94 mph heat and I’m curious if he’s going to do it again next time against the Phils. There could be something here y’all. It’s a hail mary and we see changes like this that fizzle out all the time…but we also see them work as well. We’ll see.

Chris Bassitt6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m not going to be sold on Bassitt again until he’s getting whiffs with fastballs again. Just 3/48 here is not doing it for me and while I’m surprised he did this well against the Brewers, I’m still a bit cautious buying back into Bassitt. I’d look elsewhere first.

Griffin Canning6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta boy Canning. That’s two straight solid starts – yes, I’m not counting the relief blowup in extra innings the day before he should have started – as he’s finding his rhythm. There was a bit of Blame it on the Tigers here, but he looked good, y’all. I’m still in.

Sean Reid-Foley5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. I inched up in my seat yesterday when I saw Reid-Foley was getting another chance to start for the Jays, and this…this isn’t what I wanted. Fastball command is still a little wonky and his slider didn’t do enough to pull me in. What about the rest of his repertoire? What rest? His curveball and changeup combined for seven pitches. Yeah. So fine, hopefully he gets regular starts now and maybe his next one is the one where he shines again with a strikeout per inning. No need to chase that in your standard leagues.

Noah Syndergaard7.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Gallows Pole here at 22 whiffs as he trounced the ChiSox. We’re getting close to the AGA label as he’s feeling his slider, I really hope he’s dealt today and his value soars. That would be cool.

Justin Verlander7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Barely missed the Gallows Pole and he’s really enjoying his #1 overall ranking. Those that were worried about his HR problem, don’t.

Adrian Houser5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice stuff from Houser – 24/69 CSW is an excellent 35% clip – though I’m not buying in quite yet + we’ll see how many starts he actually gets. It’s possible the Brewers add one more arm to the mix and he gets the ax.

Jake Odorizzi5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. A little bit of Blame it on the Marlins here as Odorizzi POUNDED the zone with fastballs and the Marlins couldn’t handle it. Just 27/103 CSW, but that was the gameplan – make them hit it. They did, found gloves, and Odorizzi had a nice day. A Philly, but whatever, this works.

Adam Wainwright5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Hey, Waino was better! Hey, it came with 22/95 CSW and 1/27 on cutters! Hey, that’s bad! Hey, I should stop acting like Navi and stop saying Hey! On the real, I think you’re taking too much of a risk if you see this and want his next start against Oakland. Nope, not for me.

Shane Bieber7.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace with 37/108 CSW. It’s really been lovely to see Bieber be the arm that we wanted him to be in the pre-season, but didn’t know if he could remove himself of the Cherry Bomb tag. 

Yu Darvish6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Fastball is at 95mph, 32/98 CSW, and while I’m a little annoyed at the few sliders and curveballs, whatever. His fastball command is solid and with his cutter, that’s good enough for me. But imagine if he had confidence in his slide piece too…just imagine…

Zac Gallen7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I shouldn’t have doubted you Gallen. Yes, I prefer Gallen over ReyLo and Woj (I’d swap after Woj’s start tomorrow) as he took down the tough Twins with 35/105 CSW. His changeup was phenomenal (glad it’s back in full force) while his heater did good work as well at 20/53 CSW. Not the best days with his breakers, but with four pitches, he has more chances for one secondary pitch to work and succeed. I wasn’t as high prior as I was worried about this start, but it has won me over a bit. He’s coming together, y’all.

Reynaldo Lopez5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Hmmmmmmm. Sliders were the plan here as he went 2/9 CSW on changeups, but that’s not the issue. The issue is 95.7 mph. NOOOOOOOOO. That’s a full tick down from last week + his fastball command was way off here. But the ERA and six Ks! Yeah, the Mets. Now it’s the Phils and A’s and I’m worried. I know I’ve been excited about him and I’m okay still taking a chance in that Phils start, but it is all based on that new fastball velocity staying up. He has a tough schedule ahead even passed those two games and if the fastball isn’t elite, then you’re better off chasing something else.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Good news is that he’s cooking at 93 mph and went 8/23 whiffs with sliders. The bad news is that the Pirates didn’t let him throw more than 79 pitches, six frames in the books or not. He got quick outs with that heater and used the slide piece when deep and I think that’s what we’re going to see plenty from Musgrove. Is that good? Bad? I’m a little undecided. I have a philosophy that pitchers should not save stuff for later or stick to just one gameplan. Be unpredictable, throw the pitch that will work at any point in the game and at-bat and you’ll have them guessing with every pitch. Musgrove is under the Pirates’ wing who preach early fastballs for quicker outs and it can work, it often creates a little more volatility and isn’t the best recipe for fantasy (fewer strikeouts, volatile ratios). Now he gets the Brewers and I’m on the fence about it. I think you may have to do it in your standard 12-teamer, but I’m okay looking elsewhere.

Julio Teheran6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This wild ride of Teheran is still in full force, now holding a 3.38 ERA despite a 5.04 SIERA. His .262 BABIP is sure to hit him hard, but honestly, I’m seeing more of his 4.44 FIP than the SIERA ultimately. That’s still Toby levels and far from the dependable stud n all, but not a “hey, you have to drop him now.” That’s cool.

Julio Urias2.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I like Urias. I really do…as a full-time starter. I don’t trust that 2019 we’ll see A) Urias go 5+ innings constantly or even B) He’s a true starter in the first place for any elongated amount of time. This was his first crack at it as Ross Stripling hit the IL and the Dodgers could even get another starter today before the deadline to push him back to the long-relief role. 2020? I’m so down. Just sit on your hands for now.

J. A. Happ6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Happ is a Toby n all and a VPQS is the language of their people. Well it does help some people. You read that in Toby’s voice, didn’t you.

Ariel Jurado4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I don’t want to be a Part of this World.

Dinelson Lamet5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. We’re still waiting for Lamet to get more than five frames and until then, we’ll have our fair share of these starts. I am a little disappointed in the final line, though, as he really should have done more against the Orioles. They haven’t been so bad lately! Okay, they’re still the Orioles. 3 ER and 1.40 WHIP in five frames? Be better Lamet.

Charlie Morton4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Morton has bounced back between blegh and dope in his last four now, with this clunker against the Sawx. Fine, they are so hot right now and I’ll push down my worries of a Morton collapse as we keep starting him.

David Price4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. You’re a little worried about Price, right? Six HRs in his last four games are more than he had allowed in his previous 15 games. But the strikeouts are still going, the HR/FB will drop, and things will be better. Keep starting him.

Drew VerHagen4.2 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I get the feeling his middle name is Michael as this DMV is a massive waste of your time.

Tyler Beede5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwww, I was hoping that the underlying skillset from his previous start against the Cubs would carry over against the Phils here, but it wasn’t in the cards. Streaming Record: 67-46. Slider went just 1/16 whiffs as he barely touched his curveball with fastballs + changeups taking center stage. That’s not the Beede we fell for. 

Tom Eshelman4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Tom was getting Eshelledman to start this one, then settled down a little bit. Not a lot, but a little. Still a clear Cup of Schmo, though. Sorry bucko.

Mike Montgomery4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. There was a time when this M&M didn’t melt in your hand. Everything sweet about him is gone.

Mike Leake5.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Y’all got upset with me last week when I didn’t have Leake on The List. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, LARRY. He’ll likely be somewhere out of Seattle by tonight, no his value doesn’t rise unless it’s Houston. Does everyone benefit from going to Houston? They sure do.

Tanner Roark3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. It may be his final start as a Red after Bauer was shipped to Cincy and a team – Cough, the Dodgers, cough – could land Tanner on the cheap for some SP depth. Either way, he’s a Toby at best for your fantasy squads and that’s not for me.

Kyle Freeland3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. I stuck Freeland on The List as the absolute final add since I could imagine him holding some value the rest of the way. Maybe he does figure out how last year worked out. Maybe. This one was against the Dodgers in Coors, so it was a very clear avoid, don’t rule out a nice stretch at some point. Watch from afar.

Erick Fedde3.2 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.


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.


Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – Ugh, I guess I’m going with this as Jose Urquidy has been picked up in about 30% of leagues. Risky given he wasn’t sharp last time out, but there isn’t much else.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dylan Cease vs. New York Mets Owners are jumping ship while Cease could rebound in a heartbeat with his 97+ heat. I’d take the chance here.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Aaron Sanchez vs. Baltimore Orioles – Yeah, I know. You could go Jason Vargas against the ChiSox in his new Philly uniform, but I’m going with Sanchez who had his lowest fastball usage of the year last time out and returned 10 Ks. That could stick, right?


Game of the Day 


Jacob deGrom vs. Lucas Giolito – Plesac vs. Urquidy sounds fun, as well as Greinke vs. Tanaka, Ryu vs. Marquez, and Castillo vs….don’t care it’s Castillo. But here’s two studs facing off as deGrom likely deals yet doesn’t get a Win. Again.


(Photo by Kyle Ross/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.

8 responses to “Smyly Like You Mean It”

  1. Thomas says:

    Did you forget about musgroves or is he just not worth talking about lol

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Nope! Wrote a whole thing about it. Sometimes blurbs disappear on us. Thanks for the catch! I’ll re-write it now.

  2. Danny says:

    Was no description for Musgrove on purpose?

  3. Michael says:

    No breakdown for musgrove?

  4. theKraken says:

    I think Bieber is how it should be done. Remain skeptical until he proves otherwise. Its when you don’t apply that thinking that the bigger mistakes happen.

  5. Jeff says:

    Does selling Paddack for Price count as selling high on Paddack?

  6. Nuke LaLoosh says:

    You just know you’re going to regret the Sanchez stream, even against the lowly Os……

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