Sticky Leakes

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

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Here’s something I don’t think you realized. After Mike Leake’s line of 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Orioles, Leake is sporting a 2.34 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 7+ IPS over his last seven starts. He’s faced the Sawx twice, Angels, Rays twice, O’s and Twins in that span, allowing 2 ER or fewer in all but one game during the hot streak, and that’s pretty impressive. Sure, the 15.3% K rate is all kinds of lacking and the .214 BABIP + 91.2% LOB Rate is far from believable, though this could be a Vargas Rule situation. With the Angels ahead twice in a row (bottom third in wOBA), I’m game to throw Leake out there and see what happens.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I don’t quote myself often, and I apologize in advance, but just two starts ago I said “I think he’s a solid buy-low right now as his underlying numbers speak to a 26% K rate, 1.15 WHIP, and 3.30 ERA.” He’s since had two straight shutout performances, lowering his ERA from 3.90 to 3.41 in the process, while boasting a 1.11 WHIP and 25.7% K rate. Looks right to me.

Lance McCullers – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I feel like it’s time to give McCullers the AGA label. I talked about McCullers not bringing his A-Game a few starts ago and now he’s gone 25 Ks in three outings. Enjoy the Gallows Pole with 20 whiffs and, please, please stay healthy.

Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You could spend a lot of time discussing this one. Or you could just say Blame it on the ChiSox and call it a day. I suggest the latter.

Ryne Stanek – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Get out of here Stanek, Yarbrough went 6.1 frames of 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BB and 4 Ks afterward, sealing a win against the Astros. Still don’t think it’s worth your time to go with Yarbrough save for SP/RP situations, but hats off for doing well against Houston.

Lucas Giolito – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Giolito walks there and escaped the first unscathed. Then he somehow bore down and cruised through the next 5.1 frames. Interesting. Also interesting are just four whiffs but 19 curveballs thrown – that’s a lot of curveballs! Across BIP, Fouls, CS, Whiffs, it was technically 12 for strikes and that’s significant. You have to understand, Giolito has struggled massively with the big hook and any indication that he’s getting a feel for it is a great thing. We’re not even close to investing but at least there’s something to talk about here.

Brian Johnson – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a long way to the top if you’re going to roster Johnson.

Clayton Kershaw – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. It doesn’t matter who he pitches against (Cubs), Kershaw looks back. Limited to just 68 pitches here, hopefully he can go past 80 next time, which would probably be at least six frames, let’s be honest as it’s great to have TATIAGA back.

Aaron Nola – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I love Nola Day. You should love Nola Day. Aces gonna ace. Also, Nationals are kinda bad offensively. Write that down.

Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Roark got a bit more on track, even with a 1.67 WHIP, as he faced the Phils. Still giving him the skeptical stink eye, kinda Mad-Eye Moody style, and he knows he deserves it.

Jaime Barria – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m surprised Barria was able to tango with the Sawx here and I’m still questioning his next two starts against the Mariners. Second half? Yeah I’m all for it there.

Sean Manaea – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Manaea has had a weird season ERA wise. First it was a six game stretch of 1.03 ERA (April), then six games of 7.13 ERA (May), and for June, it’s been five games of 2.84 ERA. It seems to be a product of his fluctuating changeup, which eluded him during the trough of the season. I bring this up because his slow ball was…pretty mediocre yesterday against the Tigers, earning just 3 whiffs in 25 pitches (4 whiffs overall!), leading to a 19/87 CSW. Blegh. He completely abandoned his slider as well, throwing just a pair all game, and I’d be skeptical to start him next time…except that he gets the Padres next. So that’s nice. Houston after is terrible, but you can’t have it all.

Jimmy Yacabonis – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nothing like waking up to a Cup of Schmo. Seriously, I have the mug and it’s wonderful.

Jose Quintana – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Quintana has been moving down The List all year and it’s hard to see him climbing back up any time soon.

Trevor Richards – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. You survived Coors last time and you clearly used up all your luck.

Anthony DeSclafani – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s one ER away from making this work and we can all blame Amir Garrett for allowing yet another HR to Eric Thames, allowing a pair of inherited runners to score. Thanks for the Careful Icarus – said no one ever.

Michael Fulmer – 8.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Fulmer is such a ridiculous man. His changeup still isn’t doing what it has in the past, which is holding back his upside, but this start was something else. He allowed 4 ER through four frames and we all were upset and frustrated and forcing dogs to bark around the neighborhood as I wailed. But then he went another four innings allowing just two hits and suddenly it’s a start that isn’t so bad. A 1.13 WHIP and 5 Ks are cool and a 4.50 ERA is…okay I’m not happy with that but at least he went 8 to save us…? Yeah, I’m upset too. Thing is, I’m still starting him against the Cubs and Rangers in his next two starts. I know. I know.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. One ER too many for us to accept this Guerra, but you got us a Win and 6 Ks so fine, whatever. Twins are next and that’s gravy.

Jon Gray – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nothing like Gray to make a slumping team like San Francisco to get hot. Come on Jon, you know better than to wake up sleeping Giants! Do you guys still believe he’s going to fix this season? Why?

Chris Stratton – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. All I could choose was him or Tony Disco, so I was destined to fail today. Womp womp. You could have gone with Giolito. Like that was ever going to happen. Streaming Record 48-27.

Today’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.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Matt Boyd vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Nothing is jumping out at me – Dereck Rodriguez gets the Diamondbacks, blegh – so I’ll go with Boyd and hate myself.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Dan Straily vs. New York Mets – Not a huge fan at the options here with tough opponents for some other options, so I’ll go with the worst team in Straily and the Mets.

Game of the Day

Jacob deGrom vs. Sandy Alcantara – Alcantara is finally getting his chance to start and I’m excited to see how he looks. Oh, and deGrom n all.

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.

22 responses to “Sticky Leakes”

  1. Frustrated in Cincinnati says:

    Nick I’m in a 14 team H2H league and strongly considering making Castillo my next drop over guys like Descla, Montgomery and Dereck Rodriguez when I get Archer and Carrasco off the DL. What do you think? Those 3 certainly don’t have the ceiling of Castillo but they may have safer floors right now which is what I need at the back of a rotation that fronts Kluber, Severino, Carrasco, Archer, Richards and Mikolas.

  2. Mallex P. Keaton says:

    Nick, who do you think is the better add in a 12 team H2H: Eflin, Kingham (assuming the Pirates ever announce a diagnosis for Kuhl and Kingham replaces) or Freddy Peralta? Thanks as always for your input!

    • Mallex P. Keaton says:

      And let me also say that I realize Kingham is probably the answer here, but Eflin’s upcoming schedule is tasty and he plays for a better team (albeit with one that plays yucky defense)

  3. Ryan says:

    Heaney or Fulmer ROS?

  4. kuzmickimantle says:

    Yes – please expound on Fulmer little more. He’s driving me crazy!

  5. peter tosh says:

    SP roundup is fantastic, thank you for doing it each day.

  6. Vinny says:

    With yelich likely going on the DL I’m wondering if soroka is still worth the DL stash. Do you expect much from him when(if) he comes back?

    Oh and Nick, your the man. Cant say it enough!

    • Arte Moreno says:

      debating on scooping up Ohtani as a DL stash instead of Soroka, just as a flier. Was debating if his upside pending the test results etc would outweigh Soroka possibly coming back late in the season…

  7. Greg says:

    Really not understanding why Gray is so bad. How can you have such a high swinging rate, low contact%, high Fstrike%. I get that his hard hit rate and soft hit rate is low but so is Kluber’s this year. Trying to understand it. Any ideas?

    • theKraken says:

      He has been like that forever. Data is never going to tell the whole story, so I wouldn’t knock myself out trying… Gray as a prospect moved down the rankings every year, which is really rare considering the pedigree, all of the graduations and the fact that he was supposed to be a finished product right out of college. Point being, he is just not a good pitcher – he has stuff, but he has never done a good job of executing or being consistent. Trevor Bauer spent the first several years of his career derailing himself for a similar example. Bauer always had great stuff, but he found ways to make it play down. The difference for me is that Bauer had demonstrated sustained brilliance as a prospect, whereas Gray has been hinting at this outcome his entire career. Sean Manaea and Jon Gray have always had a lot in common.

    • Qbe says:

      If there’s runnners on, Gray can’t hit the broadside of a barn with his fastball; the thing is all over the place. I haven’t looked at the splits, but I’d wager a bet that his stats with no one on vs. runners on base are night and day.

  8. Greg says:

    Or is it a Pineda thing where he has one great pitch that gets all the swings and missses and they crush his other stuff?

  9. Southern Marylander says:

    I appear to have accidentally built a bit too much SP depth, albeit lacking in top-end options. My rotation is now Greinke, Martinez, Carrasco (DL), Happ, Arrieta, Hamels, Wheeler, and Gibson. I’d like to package one of the latter five guys with either Kemp or Piscotty to acquire an OF upgrade (I’m starting both, but Cain will come off the DL at some point). Any ideas on who would be a reasonable target in a 16 team H2H (R, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG) league for that type of package?

    Another owner has Peralta and Puig on the table, but is asking Greinke for Puig, which… no. Other guys I’d like to target on the competitive teams are Khris Davis, Daniel Descalso, maybe Teoscar Hernandez. One potential option would be a Martinez for Flaherty and Teoscar trade with a secondary piece on my end to balance it. (Thoughts from other commenters would be appreciated, too.)

    • Southern Marylander says:

      Puig for Happ and Kemp was just put on the table, but I’m still not sure about that given Puig’s complete lack of R and RBI.

      • theKraken says:

        I am as knowledgeable about those three as anyone you will find. Is it a keeper? I think Kemp and Puig are close in a re-draft – in a keeper, you have to like Puig a lot more. I would think that you could get a lot of production out of the combination of Kemp/Happ if you play the hot hand. Happ has eligibility all over the place as well, which is undervalued. As much as Happ kind of sucks in many ways, he is a heck of a super-utility type – none have higher upside. I don’t think it moves the needle much for you either way unless there is some underlying value. I don’t think Puig is a huge asset in a redraft… I wish he was but he is streaky and as you said, he hits 8th… I am a little skeptical of Kemp going forward – he swung the bat well yesterday, but he has been really struggling of late. I think he is a tough guy and plays through injuries… I worry that he may be breaking down and the second half could be a wreck – that is the only reason I would consider that trade. If Kemp doesn’t break down, then he is better, but Puig has the edge in health. I would try to do better than Puig for those two.

        • Southern Marylander says:

          That’s JA Happ, not Ian Happ.

          It is a keeper with $260 budgets for 26 roster slots. No limit on how many players you can keep as long as you’re under budget. Happ would cost $13, Kemp $6, and Puig $17. I don’t think any are particularly keepable for those costs, though Happ maybe at $13 because SP is so valuable.

  10. Calipers L says:

    I was hoping you would comment on what happened to Beuhler yesterday. Yeah, he didn’t start, but he’s a starter and was his meltdown more of a bad decision by Dave Roberts and a red eye flight before the game? I was hoping to start him next week, but now I’m not so sure.

    • theKraken says:

      I also was hoping, but also knowing it wouldn’t happen. I would be hesitant to start him if I were you. I am curious what they will actually do with him now – yesterday did not go as planned. I think skipping the rehab start tells you how much they value him – they don’t want to waste a single inning. I think it also tells you how careful they are trying to be with him… which isn’t a good thing for fantasy.

      • Sherbs says:

        They sent him down now, he may not be back until after the All Star break to stretch him out. I was wondering on Nick’s take on the situation too.

  11. Matt says:

    Fulmer is never gonna be more than a streamer and even then you won’t know when he’ll blow up, but I gotta respect that you’re going down with the ship.

  12. AC says:

    Nick, thoughts on my trading Merrifield (from my surplus of SB and MIs, to a team in need of both) for Carrasco in 9 team mixed redraft (OBP roto)? I have a DL slot opening up when Matt Chapman gets back and can stash CC until he’s healthy.

  13. Ian H says:

    FWIW (not that much) I’m finishing an article (that I’ll probably submit here) on FIP-ERA differential and Leake popped up in terms of over-performance for scFIP & bbFIP. To be fair, I’ll need to update it after his start last night. ERA dropped by .10, but before his start last night, those two FIP peripherals were around 5.00, while his ERA was 4.11. Was a pretty large difference. Will be interesting to see if he is still in the top 10 for ERA out-performing those peripherals.

    This is by far my favorite post each day, and has really helped shape my rotation. Amazing work as always, Nick!

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