Staving Off The Dutch Invasion

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

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

I talk about Derek Holland being helpless to the Dutch Invasion that kills fantasy owners, but there’s something interesting here as he went 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks against the Rockies. That’s three straight starts with 7+ Ks from Holland and an impressive 2.70 ERA over his last five starts. Most importantly, though, is how he’s dramatically bumped his slider usage, featuring the pitch over 20% of the time in four of his last five starts (twice over 30%!), pairing with double-digit whiff rates in those four starts. That slider isn’t a money pitch (31.5% O-swing, 35.5% zone), but its 19.3% whiff rate is super interesting and I wonder if he’s fine-tuned it in the last five games to suddenly have this success. At the same time, his last four opponents have been the Nationals (surprisingly below average), Dodgers, Marlins, and Rockie Roads last night. That’s making it harder for me to really buy into this, but those in deeper leagues may want to take a flier here. We may be talking about this plenty in the future.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Digglerx had himself a day, this time actually earning a strikeout. Super proud of you bud, if only you can face the Padres every start.

Nathan Eovaldi – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Eovaldi finally got an easier matchup (right, right, the Nationals aren’t a good offense!), and took his chance to flex his muscles. I see a Toby to avoid starting against Top 5 offenses who will most likely never hit 9 Ks again this year. That’s cool with me.

Charlie Morton – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks. Phew, Morton is back as he earned 24 whiffs and a Gallows Pole. 38/98 CSW and Morton is back. Let’s hope it doesn’t get interrupted by a DL stint at some point, but he’ll get a small bump next week as he’s clearly righted the ship.

Freddy Peralta – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. I imagine some of you expected me to lead with Peralta – I thought I might! – and after watching this outing, there were two takeaways: He trusted his curveball more and it worked super well + the Royals looked on their heels with every pitch, leading to a 35/102 CSW. It’s weird, I could see how Peralta wasn’t being precise in the slightest with his heater, even going through phases of velocity with his heater (I don’t think it was intentional), and I still maintain that he has Cherry Bomb tendencies. Now, I think he’s a must-own in a 12-teamer as if I had to guess, his bombed performances aren’t going to be as often as someone like Velasquez, and his deception/extension/cut fastball will be enough to avoid it most of the time. Just be aware that the floor will show up.

Luis Severino – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Maybe Severino deserves that bump to #4 again…

Kevin Gausman – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Gausman took down the Mariners and I want to be excited. 24 CSW vs 22 Foul balls as his splitter showed up for just 18 thrown (3 CSW, all whiffs…) and was overall ineffective. That’s not good. At the same time, this was a tough lineup and he gave us the results we want with a low 81.6mph EV and I’m thinking he deserves a bump near #50.

Matt Harvey – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I’m oddly impressed by Harvey who tamed the Braves, though the trend of 95+ mph from his previous three games came down to 94mph in this one. That’s still good, but not the “YO YOU SEE DIS?” kind of heat I wanted from Harvey. I’m not ruling out someone that is not the worst in a 12-teamer and his slider earned all 8 of his 24 whiffs, which could mean more Ks in the future. I’m just…eh. I need more to work off of.

David Price – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Ayyyy Price is kinda cruising these days. 2.72 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 25.6% K rate over his last nine starts. He’s killing it with his two-seamer – locating inside crazy good! – and while I’m not sticking him at his preseason #16 spot, he’s looking definitive Top 25. That’s a wonderful thing after what he put us through before.

Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Four strikeouts and just 10 whiffs is kinda weird for Scherzer, but whatever.

Ross Stripling – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The WHIP is a little high and 10 whiffs aren’t peak Stripling, but I’m happy with this and have no reason to alter his #30 ranking.

Chad Bettis – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, Bettis didn’t fall on his face! Well, that near 1.60 WHIP is pretty bad and 4 Ks are super middling, but a sub 3.00 ERA! Wooot.

Ryan Borucki – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. It was his MLB debut and you have to give the kid props for surviving against the Astros lineup. Those walks should come down in the future – low walk rates throughout the minors – but I didn’t see anything here to make me think he can avoid the dreaded Cup of Schmo label. Pretty meh and not something to chase in fantasy save for a super desperate stream against a weak team.

Zack Godley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Ugh, those four walks are super lame (especially against the Fish!) and I was hoping the talk of mechanical tweaks was justified. Just 3 whiffs on 24 cutters, though 16 CSW on 46 curveballs (35%) is a lot better. There’s still hope.

Elieser Hernandez – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Elieser got the chance to start again and was stupid against dBacks, earning called strikes up the wazoo – 21 CS, 9 Whiffs in 76 thrown for a 39% CSW – yet I still can’t get behind him. Sorry, his stuff just isn’t good enough. Look elsewhere.

Chad Kuhl – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Kuhl left this one with forearm discomfort. AHA! This is why he was so bad last time! Kidding aside, I hope he’s okay as there is talent in that arm. Also, you know, these pitchers are humans. Streaming Record: 47-26.

Jon Lester – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, sure. I’m still waiting for the disastrous 2nd half to arrive, but even that shouldn’t be horrific. Just a 3.60+ ERA or so (hey, that’s what this is!), which is still good n all, but nothing close to what he’s holding now.

Carlos Martinez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I had a feeling this would be the start that would turn it around for CarMart as he showed signs of it last time out and after I hated everything after the first frame, he shut down the Tribe for the next five innings. 36/103 CSW and his slider was better – not studly, but better. You should feel super confident with CarMart moving forward and he’ll get a bump next time. He’s not one to regress that quickly after rebounding from his trough.

James Paxton – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Beautiful start here from Paxton. Just stay healthy fella.

Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah okay. I want to see a 6/1 K per BB start one of these days, but this is fine.

Anibal Sanchez – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Sanchez left this one early with a calf cramp as he continues to pitch well. Yes it was the Reds and I still have my skepticism, but I’ll at the very least acknowledge that he’s impressing.

Jake Arrieta – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s never easy having a date with the Yankees, especially when your teammates extend the inning with an error. I consider Arrieta as a 3.50 ERA/1.20 WHIP kind of arm – I guess he really is Spiderman over Tanner Roark (who doesn’t deserve it anymore) – and this doesn’t change that.

Blaine Hardy – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Okay, so I can go back to making Cinnabar Island jokes with Blaine now, right? Good, because I clearly have more steam to let off here.

John Lamb – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Lamb got chopped by the Red Sox. It was inevitable, just like that joke.

Steven Matz – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Maybe I should give Matz a little more List love. This was his most impressive outing with 5/21 whiffs on his curveball – FINALLY – and 38/110 CSW overall. The Pirates aren’t the best measure of skill, but I need to give credit at Matz not killing you much at all since the start of May. Fine, maybe he’s a Toby with questionable strikeout upside, okay?

Reynaldo Lopez – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. There’s something to be said about ReyLo often finding himself past the sixth frame – two starts of 2.0 and 2.2 frames kill his IPS to 5.9, which would be around 6.4 otherwise – but I’m still waiting for him to get into a groove with his slider and changeup…expect he showed up with 15 curveballs in this one. Not sure why – just 2 CSW – and I hope he can get the feel back for the slow ball.

Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Alright, I’m legit impressed despite the near 2.00 WHIP and 4 ER. Lynn isn’t supposed to have an 8/1 K per BB and maybe this was his way of saying “See? I shouldn’t avoid walks and get strikeouts. I get burned!” Looks like we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

Jake Junis – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Junis allowed 3 HR – two off poor pitches and one off a solid away slider – and that turned this night from a decent one to a horrid 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP day. But hey, at least you got 7 Ks? Don’t love Junis but still think he’s 12-teamer relevant.

Corey Kluber – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This…this was terrible. His cutter was hanging a ton, he got under plenty of pitches and it was just bad. It happens to the best of us, don’t do anything rash.

Frankie Montas – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Blegh, easily the most disappointing start of the night came from Montas as he was supposed to walk all over the Tigers. He simply couldn’t buy a strike – 11 CSW and 14 fouls in 74 pitches (I’m still thinking Fouls > CSW is a terrible sign) – and hopefully he can rebound from this one. I was going to say that I’m not ready to abandon ship, but he gets the Indians twice in a row now + the Giants after. Yikes. I’d drop if there’s anything that helps on the wire.

Today’s Streamer

Ivan Nova vs. New York MetsThe collective fantasy community woke up on Bieber (now at 30%!), so looks like I have to hope Ivan can go Super Nova against the Mets. Mike Minor vs. San Diego Padres – Commenter Rob pointed out over the weekend that Minor’s velocity is up two ticks in his last two starts and I overlooked this one was against the Padres. I’m switching this pick – Nova isn’t a bad option either – don’t hate me for it.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chris Stratton vs. Colorado Rockies – I’m limited to four choices – Lucas Giolito vs. Twins (nope), Trevor Richards vs. Diamondbacks (ya right), and Anthony Desclafani vs. Brewers (maybe). I’m going with the best matchup as the Rockies are poor on the road over Disco, but it’s close.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Felix Pena vs. Baltimore Orioles – I kinda dug his shtick last time out, this is the Orioles, and I don’t love the other options. It’s between Pena and Tyler Anderson against the Dodgers, and I don’t blame you for rolling with Anderson instead.

Game of the Day

Shane Bieber vs. Jack Flaherty – The battle of the Spice Girls, while Flaherty is clearing Posh here.

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.

31 responses to “Staving Off The Dutch Invasion”

  1. DGM says:

    How crazy would it be to start Luis Castillo today against the Braves in Atlanta?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Kinda crazy. It’s a Hail-Mary play.

      I’d avoid if possible.

    • Frankie says:

      As crazy as starting Carlos Martinez against the Indians and Kluber last night. Yup, had to look at that line on my bench this morning. *sigh*

  2. Nat says:

    Nick, where can you drill down to pitch-specific plate discipline data (e.g. to quantify “money pitches”)? Obviously FG has this info, but it’s not really dashboard-friendly to get at.


    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s all I’ve got :-/

      Would love to create a simpler leaderboard for it…

      • Southern Marylander says:

        Could you use a Google Sheets document to pull the data from FanGraphs once you have the custom report setup? FanGraphs is pretty good about the links showing all filters on their tables, so using a QUERY + IMPORTHTML formula should work really well. You could create a different tab for each pitch type, then have it pull the plate discipline data from a leaderboard table filtered by pitch type.

        • Nat says:

          Yes, you’re correct re: google sheets but the trick is the left hand-column and getting it set up by player–>pitch type. Most of FG’s reporting is player (column) and metrics (rows), not multiple columns.

  3. Southern Marylander says:

    Well, I got cute with my roster decisions and it wasn’t a good choice in hindsight.

    Leaving Arrieta on the bench was fine, but not getting the Martinez start and also missing out on Strahm’s vulture because I had no idea how San Diego would be using him (my 8 P slots – we have no differentiation between SP and RP – were already filled with other RP). C’est la vie. I got burned last night and would have a 3 – 2 lead in W, but trust the process, right?

    Also, a suggestion: maybe change the behavior of your glossary links so that on hover the pop-up text shows the definition of the term so that it doesn’t require an actual click through to the glossary and search for the term to get the definition. That breaks up the flow of reading the article. Another option would be to have the link go directly to the specific term instead of just the glossary in general, though I think using the hover text would be the best solution to help out new readers unfamiliar with your terminology.

  4. Frankie says:

    The real question everyone has this morning is what to do with that streamer that is expendable, such as ReyLo, or Montas?
    Should we jump on Nick Kingham now? Or wait until there is a more definitive report on Kuhl’s health? Forearm tightness already shut down two of my pitchers this season; T Walker and Jordan Montgomery.

  5. Steve says:

    Hour and a half rain delay in that STL-CLE game. Read Kluber never really felt comfortable.

  6. Brandon says:

    I’m so tempted to start Castillo and Ray (DLH) today against the Marlins. Not sure why to be honest. Mostly because I’ve been waiting on Ray for a while. Ray did have 9Ks and 1 ER in his last rehab start.

    In total I have 6 starts left (Castillo, Ray, Nola, deGrom, Paxton, Price) with the option of streaming three more if needed. My opponent has 5 starters left with 3 WW adds.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • Southern Marylander says:

      Danger, Will Robinson!

      Ray did not look particularly good in either of his rehab starts I think. At Visalia, he gave up 6 fly balls to 4 grounders, 3 extra base hits, and a stolen base. 3 of his 5 R were unearned due to an error, but it wasn’t on a run-scoring play.


      For Reno, he had the strikeouts, but 7 fly balls and 4 liners to 1 grounder is troubling.


      Even against Miami, I’d be wary of the DLH. Miami is also slightly better against lefties.

    • Southern Marylander says:

      I would avoid starting Ray for a few reasons:

      1. The Good – In 6.2 IP in his two rehab starts, he had a 12 : 1 K : BB ratio.
      2. The Bad – He gave up 8 R, though only 3 were earned. The thing is, the unearned runs weren’t necessarily due to bad defense on scoring plays. For Visalia, an error put a runner on, but then he got two outs (separated by a SB) before giving up a double and a dinger. For Reno, he gave up one run due to a passed ball that let Lucas Duda advance to 3rd after a leadoff double. Two more runs scored on a single and throwing error (though the replay isn’t working, so I can’t see what impact the throwing error had on the runs scoring).
      The Ugly – 13 fly balls, 4 liners, 1 pop-up, 5 grounders. I don’t think that’s a batted ball profile that works well for Ray.

      It’s entirely possible that Ray was simply trying to pound the zone to get his stuff back and you can’t look too much into rehab appearances, but still.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ahhh sorry I didn’t get in here in time for Castillo, but don’t do Ray.

      Please don’t do Ray. DLH is a real thing and this isn’t a case where I’d take the risk. I’d find a stream instead (Minor today!).

      • Brandon says:

        Thanks Nick! I didn’t end up starting Castillo. He has been on my bench for a while. I’m hoping he turns it around at some point. Not even sure what to do with this guy at this point. Should I drop him?

        I actually traded for Mikolas this morning (rotation is now : Castillo, Ray, Nola, deGrom, Paxton, Price, Mikolas, and Kingham (NA spot).

        Minor was taken off waivers last night right before I was going to add him. I’ll sit Ray tonight and watch it and hope for the best for his subsequent starts. I’ll look for future streamers this week if I need them.

        I know there is a streamer section on the site, and not sure what Mike’s record is vs. yours, but I feel very confident in your suggestions. It would be great, if possible to get these all in advance for the week.

        • Brandon says:

          All I gotta to say is I can’t wait to read your write up of Ray tomorrow morning. This was everything I’ve dreamt about.

  7. careagan says:

    FYI Dodgers offense has turned it around since their start to the season. Top ten in most categories.

  8. theKraken says:

    I know you weren’t giving Lynn the business at all, but I wanted to add that of those 4 ER, 3 were allowed by the bullpen… which means that he left with the bases loaded and they got unloaded… 2 of those runners were infield singles. It was just the game that I watched last night and Lynn was actually pretty good – certainly good enough to win. Molitor really should not have lifted Lynn as he was pitching quite well and was about to face right-handed 8 and 9 hittters. Molitor gets my vote as worst staff/pen manager in baseball. I am pretty sure he uses a magic 8-ball… it is decidedly so!

  9. Christian says:

    Should I have did a Brandon Crawford for Skaggs trade in a 16 team 12×12 H2H league? I just picked up Marte at SS, but idk about it. Crawfish just keeps on hitting. My pitching staff is Kershaw, Noah, Berrios, Eduardo, Taillon, Ross, and Bieber. You’re the man.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you hold Crawford if Marte is the next option. Skaggs doesn’t move the needle enough with that staff.

  10. David says:

    Would you drop Godley for Freddy Peralta at this point or hold fast? Those BB bummed me out.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      In a shallow league, I can see it.

      Standard 12-teamer and deeper, I still think Godley is the smarter longterm play. It’s pretty close, though. Godley is bumming me out too :-/

  11. BB says:

    Hey, Nick – nice read, as always. Question: How would you compare the fantasy value of Reynaldo Lopez vs. Jalen Beeks going forward for 2019-20?

    • theKraken says:

      I don’ t think they are in the same class. As much as Reynaldo is frustrating he is far more talented and more valuable IMO. I would bet on Beeks as a LOOGY. Not an expert on Beeks by any stretch, but he sounds like a crafty lefty with some funk succeeding in the minor leagues – he is repeating the level at that. You never know what anyone will become, but the fact that he didn’t sniff any top 100 lists tells you something. Maybe he figured something out, but the smart bet is always that he did not. I don’t imagine either help you at all this year or next, but I think Reynaldo could more realistically take a step forward to an MLB asset. There is also the reality that Beeks isn’t going to be handed anything as BOS has a talented roster.

      • BB says:

        Yeah, kind of what I was thinking – thanks for the response. I know Beeks gets a lot of love in the Stash columns here, but I’m not sold; James Anderson from Rotowire says “Beeks’ numbers are probably the most misleading of any pitcher at Triple-A right now,” and adds that he’s “just fooling Triple-A hitters in a manner that won’t translate against the best of the best.”

  12. CGR says:

    We dropping Castillo now? Please say yes, I’m tired. 14 team QS league.

  13. Chris says:

    It wasn’t an easy call, but I took your advice on dropping Montas today. I’m in a 10 team AL-Only, so that’s why it wasn’t easy, but with those next two starts against the Indians it made it easier. Plus our league’s K category is K-BB, where Montas is not too helpful. I needed an extra bat, so I snagged Jorge Bonifacio, who comes back tomorrow. Am I crazy or clever?

    • Chris says:

      I guess I should say, I didn’t totally follow the list in dropping Montas. My staff is Paxton/Fulmer/Gausman/Gibson/Bieber/German/Stroman/Lynn, with Tropeano/Faria/Shoemaker on the DL. So…fire away!

  14. Vinny says:

    Nick! I know you might not see this but I’m dying for your input. For the back of my staff do I hold stroman or grab loaisiga?

  15. Edwin says:

    Is Morton still a sell-high or is he worth hanging on to. Just got an offer of Erod and Carrasco for him

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