Teheran, Bright Eyes

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

This is going to be a pretty short intro as I wanted to give a spotlight on Julio Teheran, a man who disappointed owners last night via 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Yes, HAISTFMFWT?! but the important discussion is about his 2019 season as a whole. Up to now, you guys have had a wonderful time. a 3.50 ERA is fantastic in this SP climate and a 22% strikeout rate? Sure, that’s fine with me. 10 Wins is respectable and we can brush aside the 1.31 WHIP for the rest of the package. But now it’s playoff time where starts like the one from last night are unacceptable. Are you going to trust Teheran to fix things in a repeat matchup against the Phils next week? If you do, there is a tasty matchup against the Royals after to close his season, but it’s a close one. I’m personally going to roll the dice one more time on Julio. Maybe it’s the magic of the season, maybe it’s the fact that he’s home right now and that ballpark has helped him. Maybe it’s because if you made it so far with him up to now, you might as well let him ride into the sunset with you.

Nick, this doesn’t sound like true analysis. Yeah, you’re right about that. I could mention Teheran’s slider disappearing completely yesterday and his secondary pitches as a whole returning just 2/21 CSW. Or how his fastball was mediocre, hovering 88 mph the entire night. But that’s the thing, it’s one game and not a trend. It’s time to go with gut and with Teheran, he defies all logic anyway. I’m leaning start. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Jhoulys Chacin2.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. You couldn’t throw more than fifty pitches Chacin? You do you, man. You do you.

Yu Darvish6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, he gets that title now as Yu Yu Yu Oughta Know that his last 11 starts have returned a 2.44 ERA, 0.78 WHP, 37% K rate, and 2.5% walk rate along with a 6 IPS. RIDICULOUS. 38% CSW overall with knuckle curveballs going 7/14 on their own. A pitch he learned from Kimbrel this year. He’s cruising, you’re cruising, and we’re all oh-so-happy.

Joe Musgrove5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Hot DANG! 28/72 CSW with 95 mph heat is stupid good for Musgrove (94 mph was his season-high…from last start!) and his breakers returned a fantastic 14/31 CSW. He was pulled a little early likely due to him recovering from a foot injury, but it’s hard not to get a little excited watching a pitcher act like the ace you dreamed him to be. Problem is, it could disappear next time, but I’m willing to take that chance against the Mariners. Let’s dance, Joe.

Homer Bailey5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Bailey slogged through it, but he managed to allow just 1 ER against the Astros and is now rewarded with the Royals and Mariners to close off his season and I’m picking him up for it. It’s an easy path to the end of the year, Homer, go cruise to that hammock with lemonade. You gots this. 

Rich Hill0.2 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Annnnnd it’s gone as Hill left this one early with an MCL strain. Tony Gonsolin eventually showed up for three frames and I’d imagine he gets the bulk of the time in this rotation spot.

Marcus Stroman6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m glad you got a good ERA and Ks and hey, that WHIP ain’t so bad. It does make me roll my eyes at Stroman still, but at least you got something out of it if you’re starting him. I’d hate to be relying on him heavily this year.

Alex Young2.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I’ll take how to disappoint owners everywhere for $400, ALEX. This was the Mets and it’s the Marlins next so let’s keep going. I hope you all are okay with my more limited blurbs focusing mostly on the future matchups. That’s all that truly matters right now as ebbs and flows of pitch usage/command/velocity are harder to nail down this late in the season. There are always exceptions, but for guys like Young, you just want to know if you should be holding, targeting, or dropping. Hold Young.

Matt Boyd5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. All things considered, this is okay from Boyd against the Yanks – a start we were all absolutely terrified of. And guess what, it’s Baltimore + ChiSox twice to end the year now. I think we’re okay, y’all. I know he allowed some unearned runs here too and was overall stressful, but I think we can do this together. Let’s be Boyd Boyz one last time…

Dylan Bundy5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, Bundy, go and have one of your best starts of the second half in Camden Yards. Against the Dodgers. You know we have issues when I’m still upset when he does well. I wonder if him leaving Baltimore is the answer to all his problems. I wonder.

Justin Dunn0.2 IP, 2 ER, 0 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks. Poor kid. Jitters are a real thing and it clearly got to him during his MLB debut. I’ll wait to properly assess him until he’s a little more comfortable.

Gio Gonzalez4.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. The Brewers really don’t like guys going a full five frames. Like at all. This entire Marlins series, not one of their four starters went long enough to earn a dub. Against the Marlins. Help us Adrian Houser, you’re our only hope. Nah, he isn’t going to get the leash either. It’s just not what they do.

J. A. Happ4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Blegh. And now Happ is heading off to New York with Biceps Tendinitis. Yeah, drop away y’all.

Jorge Lopez5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Are you happy with this? Yes. Why did you even start him? My cat did it by accident. Your cat. Yes. Okay, that actually makes sense.

CC Sabathia3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. CC went a little longer than I expected with Domingo German getting just fifty pitches after at 32% CSW, but a full four frames and the Win (0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 Ks). I hope we get more than four innings out of German for his future starts, but if he’s positioned like this, expect a few more Wins at the very least, making him still worth your time.

Patrick Corbin6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. You want more than a PQS and three Ks from Corbin. But you know the drill, keep re-starting your PC through the end of September.

Dinelson Lamet5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. We knew the Ks would be there and the ratios are your standard blegh from Lamet across five frames – he’s done 5.0 IP of 3 ER in 25% of his last starts this year. I’d keep starting him against the Yelich-less Brewers next week, especially if you need those Ks.

Brendan McKay3.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Noooo, even against the Rangers McKay isn’t quite there. I wonder what kind of discount he’ll be in drafts next year. If I can get him around round 18 and beyond, you can sign me up. This is a young arm working out how to wield his stuff for an organization proven to help cultivate young pitching talent. He should be dropped with the Dodgers and Yanks ahead.

Miles Mikolas5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Mikolas went into Coors and it wasn’t so bad. Velocity was a little down and just 22/99 CSW is awfully discouraging but hey you were desperate and this works. Now it’s the Nats + Cubs twice and we’re still flipping coins like we’re upset with the outcomes.

Caleb Smith5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. He hasn’t quite gotten his changeup back and fastballs sitting 90/91 aren’t enough to get him through the tough moments. I wonder what his draft stock will be next year with many surely avoiding completely and this could be a Nick Pivetta kind of situation. Given a low enough draft stock, I’m in, but let’s see where the chips fall. It’s still a toss-up in each start the rest of the way this season. Up to you if you want to spin that wheel.

Drew Smyly4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. A bit better than expected against the Braves, but still not enough to justify owning Smyly. And guess what! He gets the Braves again. Yeah, no thanks.

Justin Verlander6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace while giving you a Gallows Pole and a PQS. That WHIP is still solid and 11 strikeouts are 11 strikeouts.

Kolby Allard4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeah, we’re done Dracula All(uc)ard for the rest of the year. And probably most of next year as well as there isn’t much more than fastball/cutter here.

Clay Buchholz4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Bucky went against the Red Sox, so duh. Maybe worth a few weeks of streaming next year, but that’s all I can think of for relevancy.

Tyler Mahle3.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Come on Mahle. His fastball was sitting 95/96 and he returned 37%(!) CSW but the fastballs he missed were slapped by the Mariners and it went south fast. Streaming Record: 94-62. I think he pitched better than that WHIP and ERA looks – six Ks in 10 outs does tell a bit of that story – but with the Cubs next, you may want to consider something else in the short term. It’s not a bad upside play, just a worrisome floor.

Jeff Samardzija6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. There’s a reason he’s called Loose Lips. HE SINKS SHIPS. Clearly even against the Pirates.

Spencer Turnbull5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Huh, another start where he really felt his slider. I’m glad to see that and if it weren’t the Yankees, Turnbull likely would have returned some value. Let’s see how he does against the Indians before his dual-ChiSox starts to end the year before considering this.

Kyle Gibson4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. This was a clear DLH against the Nationals and I’m glad it’s out of the way. I know some are scared to trust Gibson after this, but going from the Nats to the ChiSox + Royals twice is a massive difference. I think you let him fly for all three.

Lucas Giolito6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. 34% CSW, good changeups but a decent amount floated up in the zone. Two HRs that accounted for 4 ER. Giolito deserved better, couldn’t escape a laborious sixth and now you get a ghastly Dusty Donut against the Royals. Shrug it off, he’ll help down the stretch.

Tim Melville3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. There’s only one start we’d consider from Timmy the rest of the way: a date in San Francisco next week. Only for those in NL-Only leagues.


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.


Sandy Alcantara vs. San Francisco Giants – He looked good against the Royals and with two-seamers inside + sliders and changeups for strikes, Sandy could cruise in Oracle Park.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dylan Cease vs. Seattle Mariners – I wrestled with this one. He’s a volatile arm, but the upside should outweigh the floor here. Robert Dugger against the Giants could be a safer ratio floor and I’m avoiding Jordan Lyles since I question how deep the Brewers will actually let him pitch in this game.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Ivan Nova vs. Seattle Mariners – If you want strikeouts, you go on the other side with Justus SheffieldIf you’re chasing ratios, Nova has the better floor.


Game of the Day


Charlie Morton vs. Andrew Heaney – I just want them both to have fun.


(Photo by Adam Bow/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.

3 responses to “Teheran, Bright Eyes”

  1. theKraken says:

    I was amazed to see how great Darvish’ season line is! I was never a hater as I will always chase the players that have exhibited real, sustainable talent.. but damn! I tried buying everywhere early in the season with no luck. Good for Yu!

  2. theKraken says:

    I think your take on McKay and TB is off. McKay isn’t going to come cheap – the hype was really high pretty recently and people generally overvalue prospects. TB gets more hype than any org outside of the NE so you just are not going to find value there…unless they are in their mid 30s and come over in a trade.

    Beyond the value, McKay was the most polished arm in his draft class – I am not sure how much untapped upside and polish there is. On top of that, I absolutely dispute that TB has a track record of cultivating pitching. They trade for pitching and then they burn the candle at both ends until they get injured. The rest of the cycle is to trade them away/demote them and essentially just stream arms. TB is bad organization – they don’t value their players, they only value wins/cost ratio. They treat players like disposable commodities. For them it is a business, which is sad because it dint’ always work like that but it is increasingly common. Its only a matter of time before players should start to realize this. If you want a career, this is not the place for you. Bats get platooned. Young SP get converted to the bullpen. SP get hurt. They acquire a lot of arms from tankers. I would say that is their MO – its not an organization concerned with development. In the tanking era it makes sense – let the other tanking orgs develop the talent and acquire it cheaply once the shine wears off (sound about right? It really is as simple as players exceeding prospect status + a year). Supply exceeds demand these days – you can see it in FA every year. I don’t think TB cares about their players even a little bit. They are just busy trying to field a competitive team as cheaply as possible – I don’t think they are trying build anything special just competitive… and that is a weird idea. I think they realize all you need is a competitive team and you are going to win half your games. They are analogous to the company that only cares about the bottom line and thinks of employees as expendable. I think they are the real evil empire.

  3. Dan says:

    Doesn’t Boyd miss Baltimore due to the PPD?

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