The Boyds Of Summer

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

Alright, we’re finally done with the Matt Boyd experience after his 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks effort against the White Sox on Saturday. It’s a 4.56 ERA (blegh) with a 1.23 WHIP (okay) and 30% Strikeout rate (nice!) in the end, but most importantly, a 5.67 ERA since the start of June. What happened? Where should I be drafting him next season?

This isn’t going to be a long breakdown. Boyd’s fastball velocity grew this year, but its command in those four final months was terrible. Less elevation, fewer corners, and a whole lot of long balls followed. It’s the Robbie Ray situation where he has an incredible slider that misses too many bats and keeps strikeouts coming, but batters sell out for heat, get it, and sit them in the bleachers. I don’t expect this to change a whole lot next year…if his command stays the same. There’s a greater chance than with Ray for Boyd to get this together, not to mention we’re still waiting for Boyd to find the feel of his changeup once again – a pitch that once was labeled as a Money Pitch in previous years.

To put it simply, if you need a strikeout arm after taking good floor pitchers that aren’t elite K producers (Greinke, Hendricks, etc.), then Boyd will be a good fit. I bet there will be a large range of ADP for Boyd as some leagues will flat out avoid him, while others will have a few people wanting to dive back in. I’ll personally be a little down as the fastball command is concerning, but don’t forget that he’s not destined to hold a 23% HR/FB rate across four months. That should improve.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Brett Anderson5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is what you signed up for – a cheap win as you played the matchups via a start against Seattle. A 3.89 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP and 12% – Yes 12% – strikeout rate is a Toby alright, but hey, that’s 13 wins in there. Good on you Brett, you’re not in my Top 100, sorry.

Gio Gonzalez4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Look at that, another Brewers starter failing to go five frames. It’s FA time for Gio, but I wonder if he’ll get a bit of Playoff Tax if he performs well in October in whatever opportunity he gets (maybe nothing). I’m amazed to see a 3.50 ERA at the end of the day, I’m not interested in the slightest with that 4.88 SIERA and 21% strikeout rate that is likely to fall again.

Cole Hamels4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Eight Ks in just 12 outs? Hamels is heading into free-agency and made one last effort to convince teams to sign him. It’s amazing how he repeated his 2018 via his ERA and K rate, but his hittability went way up, featuring the first BABIP above .300 since 2009. I think that’s rooted in skill for Hamels, not luck. I’m not going to be chasing this, but if he looks good out of the gate on a new team and I need something at the end of the draft, Hamels could help. We’ll see.

Steven Matz6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. Phew, we can forget about that Marlins start now as Matz pulled it together in his final outing against the Braves. He held a 3.49 ERA in his final 10 starts of the year – including 13 ER in back-to-back starts! – and was a solid Toby along the way. I don’t see a true path to a Top 30 starter here, but I expect him to be drafted in the final rounds of many drafts next season. Not for me, but I get it.

Hyun-Jin Ryu7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The mad man did it, earning the NL ERA crown at 2.32 across 180 innings – the first season above 155 IP since 2013. A 1.01 WHIP and 22.5% K rate are solid as well and I’m incredibly curious where he’ll be ranked for 2020. It’s not like he’s ever hurt teams that have owned him in the past, but the question is about longevity and how much of his 2.32 ERA is real compared to the 3.77 SIERA elevated by an 82% LOB rate. We’ll talk.

Trent Thornton5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. And there’s another strong performance from Double-Tee, hinting at the possible upside tucked away. You can’t depend on it, sadly, and he hasn’t expressed any sort of consistency over a full year, while also laced with a tinge of smoke-and-mirrors as he’s not this good, but we’re all happy for him. Let’s all hope he continues to develop in 2020 and this becomes a larger discussion.

Luke Farrell2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Be honest. You thought this was Lucas Harrell back from the dead. I’m not dead yet. Harrell’s fame for me was saving Matt Moore from claiming the second worst walk rate in 2013 as Harrell’s horrible near 5.00 BB/9 leap-frogged Moore. What a guy. This is about Farrell. Right, right. Will isn’t what he used to be, you know?

Marco Gonzales7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We were a bit on the fence about Marco as he went up against the A’s, but he continued his groove one more time, earning a lovely QS and helping your squad. He lowered his ERA just under 4.00 to a cool 3.99 mark, to pair with the mediocry of a 17% K rate and 1.31 WHIP. I mentioned Fiers as a potential Spider-Man, though you have to wonder if Marco fits the bill himself.

Chi Chi Gonzalez6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Man, that’s two straight dope games from Chi Chi to end the year. This one wasn’t close to a Gallows Pole, but still, I’m impressed. Not impressed to bring your name up in February next year, but still, impressed.

Reynaldo Lopez8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Oh the wonderful and horrible world of ReyLo. Streaming Record: 103-67. We needed you for just one more game and you gave it to us, the lovely upside that makes us infatuated and forgetful of all the pain you’ve caused us. 37/105 CSW with 95/96 fastball velocity as your changeup/slider were…fine. I’ll be out on ReyLo, don’t worry, but I can’t help but suggest him for deeper leagues. Sure, there will be pain, but there will be pain with all of your late round picks. Might as well win some weeks along the way.

Ivan Nova5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The man was so close to going Super Nova one last time for owners, getting limited to just 83 pitches in this one and getting denied the Win. Womp womp. Still a desperate streaming option next year, there’s no reason to draft him.

Garrett Richards3.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. There’s the volatility of Richards showing up again, but obviously we give the fella a break as it was just his third game returning from TJS. He’s a very intriguing arm to consider in 2020, though I do wonder if the Padres will still baby him a bit at first (not in the second half as his contract will be up). There’s a ton of upside, but you have to expect a lot of bumps along the way.

Cody Stashak2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Here’s the thing, Cody “opened” for Kyle Gibsonbut Gibby only went one frame and it took 32 pitches. Yeah. It’s almost like Gibson can’t use rosewood again. Guitar jokes are the best jokes. Thank you! Finally someone agrees.

Tyler Alexander5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. T-Lex got one more decent matchup against the White Sox and kinda capitalized? No Win, a 3.60 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. Okay not really. He had that one start and it was a glorious Birthday Party. I can see a comet coming in right now…sorry T-Lex, your time is up.

James Marvel5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Let’s be happy for James, he got Spider-Man back!

Luis Severino3.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Come on Sevy, this was a clear start for us as you’re getting stretched out for your playoff start against the Twins, but four walks? Three frames? Blegh. I’m going to rank him tomorrow assuming full health in the spring as it’s the most likely scenario, which means he’s going be hovering #15 or so. There’s more depth at pitching this year than last – MILD SHOCK – and I wonder if a lot of us can score big chasing Sevy as our SP #2 after a lost season.

Lucas Sims2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I was really hoping this wasn’t going to just be a bullpen game as we’ve seen what Sims has done in the past, but alas, he got pulled after two. With a full Reds rotation, I wonder if Sims will ever get his chance to truly excel in the bigs – his curveball sure is good enough for him to make an impact. Maybe one day…

Glenn Sparkman5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Better late than never, right? No. Okay, fair point, fair point.

Jose Suarez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m glad Suarez got a nice start to end a rugged season in the bigs. You’ll be asked in Janaury “who was in the Angels’ rotation last year?” and you’ll forget Suarez. It’s okay. We all do.

Logan Webb6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Another surprise here from Webb as he did this against the Dodgers. He’s a volatile arm and one I’d be shocked if we really got behind in the spring as there just isn’t anything special inside his repertoire to chase – 23/90 CSW sounds about right to me.

Zach Eflin7.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Good stuff Eflin, I’ll take this against the Marlins from you. Definitely someone I will not care about entering 2020 drafts – limited ceiling and the floor is blegh – but maybe there’s a stable Toby in there.

Mike Foltynewicz4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh you wanted more from Folty. At least I did. I’m not surprised they limited him with the playoffs ahead and it’s too bad he couldn’t get you five strong innings. I haven’t nailed it down yet, but I expect him to be targeted as a #4 SP or so in my rankings, so think around the 50s or so. I don’t love him and don’t expect a 2018 repeat in any way, but I think he’ll help more than hurt.

John Means 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. He got the Red Sox as we crossed our fingers for a Quality Start. We didn’t get it. It’s been a surprisingly decent season for Means, who did have his bumps along the way to dampen our excitement. Don’t expect anything more than a Toby next year and there could be surprising value in the draft.

Justin Verlander6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace and get exactly 300 strikeouts. He had under 80 pitches through five frames despite striking out 11 batters already. It’s been a stupid good year and I’m partially leaning toward him for the Cy Young. It’ll be fun to see how the voting goes. What about for 2020? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that.

Ryan Yarbrough5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Dang, I was hoping The Fratty Pirate could return a QS against the Jays, but it wasn’t meant to be. His Sepetember slowed him down quite a bit, but there is something to consider here for 2020. I think some are going to label him inside the Top 40, but that’s a crowded place and I’d personally rather go for options that have the potential to reach the Top 20 – like Tyler Glasnow or Shane Bieber in this year’s drafts. Something to consider, I’ll have that too-early Top 100 for y’all tomorrow.

Jhoulys Chacin2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Chacin, I wonder if you’ll be in any way relevant next year. Probably signing with the Tigers or Orioles because why not. Blegh.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Ray, you are what you are, enjoy your Gallows Pole at 22 whiffs. There’s always potential for just a little bit more, but a 4.34 ERA with a 31.5% strikeout rate is what you signed up for. It’s too bad he didn’t have that one unreal month to even out the ratios a little, it’s possible he gets it next year. We’re going to get a lot of “he’s a 4.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, but 30% strikeouts” analysis and while I don’t necessarily disagree, it does overlook the innate potential to click for a stretch that would bring it down to a 3.50 ERA or better. Having a 30%+ strikeout rate gives you that luxury. 

Caleb Smith3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. And thus ends one of the saddest second halves we’ve seen. I wouldn’t say I’m “in” on Caleb for next year, but I will say I anticipate people avoiding him completely, allowing him to turn into an incredible value on draft day. Do I expect a Top 20 arm? No. Do I anticipate a solid SP with over a K per inning? Sure do.

Patrick Corbin4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. We kept restarting our PC because we knew it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do! I wonder if this start, which added .20 ticks to his ERA from 3.05 to 3.25, is going to actually change his draft stock. That’s a huge change in ERA! And should have zero effect on our drafts, but hey, we’ll see.

Adam Wainwright4.1 IP, 6 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. We wanted the feel of his cutter and curveball to still be solid, but this really killed people who needed him for two-starts and it’s a sour way to end the year. Well, for Waino he’s likely to be in the NLDS, so he’ll get another chance, but blegh. This stinks. Nope, not in my Top 100.

Adam Plutko1.1 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Whoa. I don’t think many of you chased Plutko here against the Nationals – it just isn’t a good matchup – but I can see those desperate for a QS really getting burned. I wonder how much we’ll see of Plutko in 2020 with Carrasco and Kluber healthy, but maybe some deals are made and the world is a different place. He’s hoping to be a Toby – i.e. just a streaming candidate through the year.


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.


Spencer Turnbull vs. Chicago White SoxThere are some other desperate options for the final day – Sandy Alcantara against the Phils if he’s available, Trevor Williams against the Reds could work, but I’m going with Turnbull’s recent hot streak for a date against the Tigers. It’s been a long year, here’s to hoping we go out the right way.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


None – This is it y’all. It’s been a blast hanging with all of you this season. Seriously.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


I SAID NONE – It really is wild to think we did another full season, tallying five full years of SP Roundups. Here’s to many more.


Game of the Day


Taijuan Walker vs. San Diego Padres – He made it back just in the time for one start. Of course I’m curious to see how he looks.


(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.

One response to “The Boyds Of Summer”

  1. Ryan says:

    Just dropping a note of thanks. Championship won today. Led the league in wins and strikeouts. Much respect and appreciation.

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