The Glasnow Ceiling

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

We all know that Tyler Glasnow isn’t all that fantasy relevant for the rest of 2019 – the man went just 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks last night in Tampa Bay and will likely fail to hit five full frames in his final two games – but there is an interesting  discussion to be had about his 2020 draft stock. Where do you feel comfortable drafting Glasnow? Our sample of him this season was rather limiting, getting just eight starts before he was shut down in May, and while he excelled prior, it wasn’t really until that Chicago White Sox start on April 10th that he truly woke up, fanning 11 batters in six frames. His skill set is a hard 96/97 fastball that can feature cut action paired with a big hook…and that’s it. We witnessed an arm go through a hot streak in the spring and harness the feel of his breaker in a way we hadn’t truly seen from Glasnow prior. I’m personally not willing to draft Glasnow as my #2 arm based on that notion, likely slotting him near the mid-to-late 20s (which may turn into the #2 SP in some leagues, come to think of it…but I won’t be comfortable doing it!) as we need to keep in mind that we just don’t know what we’re going to get from Tyler next year.

But for now, sure, throw him out there as his innings should help more than hurt. It just won’t be the major impact we all want him to make.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Jacob deGrom7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. That Cy Young is just two more strong starts away. It’s too bad Scherzer was A) hurt and B) isn’t looking quite as sharp in September to make this a closer race. All of their numbers are highly comparable right now…except that deGrom has pitched in 20% more starts (30 vs 25) with 40+ more frames. That’s a lot of weight.

Merrill Kelly7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Kelly’s velocity is still at 93 mph and I’m holding tight as he gets the Padres and Cardinals next. Just 19/91 CSW is blegh, but he’s earning outs with that cutter, playing it off his good heater effectively. Go for it.

Daniel Norris3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. What we really care about is Drew VerHagen after who went four shutout frames and a 1.00 WHIP and two strikeouts…and didn’t get the dub as Garcia blew it. Ugh, IT WAS THE PERFECT SNEAKY PLAN. Stupid Tigers.

Hyun-Jin Ryu7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. See, he just needed a little break and everything is back to normal. Well, I don’t really think he’s this kind of pitcher over a long enough sample, but you get my drift. Start him when the Dodgers let him start.

Devin Smeltzer3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I was hoping the Twins would let Smeltzer go a little deeper in this one, but at least he pitched well during his ~50 pitch outing. It’s hard to think he gets stretched out much more moving forward, so don’t consider him for your lineups. 

Dylan Cease5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Atta boy Cease! Streaming Record: 96-62. It’s a strikeout per inning a sufferable 1.20 WHIP and 1.80 ERA and we’re all so glad we let him fly. He needed over 100 pitches to get there, though, which should be an indication of his lack of polish for those wondering if he’s clicked in yet. I’m hesitant for 2020 because of this – I have no idea when that command will click in (Read: Lucas Giolito) and I’ll be investing elsewhere in the meantime.

Anthony DeSclafani7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Great work Tony Disco, you made it through seven frames in just 78 pitches. Wild. 30% CSW relying on curveballs, changeups, and sliders for a third of your pitches as fastballs did most of the work. This start is what cruising looks like. I think you’re okay adding him for the Mets and Brewers next, though I wanted to see a little more in the whiff department to feel a bit better about the floor.

Mike Foltynewicz6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Good sliders, curveballs for strikes, and 94+ from Folty is all you want to see on a given night. Atta boy, bud.

Zack Greinke6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I wonder what an off-season in Houston will do for Greinke. Likely nothing, but he’ll likely go, once again, around the #20th SP off the board and you can bet I’m still investing there. 

Kyle Hendricks6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I want more strikeouts, but this is just fine. Keep on keepin’ on, Hendricks.

Felix Hernandez7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Whoa, Felix looked like a true King today. He’s still Prince to me, but hey, we all have our moments. Hope it was a lovely Birthday Party.

Jordan Lyles6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. The Brewers actually let one of their starts go 5+ frames, even six here for Lyles against the Cardinals. Why couldn’t we just flip the last two starts and give us this line against the Marlins? The whole thing would make a lot more sense. He gets the Padres next and I think you’re okay starting him there.

James Paxton5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, it’s not the overwhelming start you were hoping for against the Jays, but this’ll help in the end so fine, whatever Pax. Just dominate in your final two and let’s call it a season.

Eduardo Rodriguez6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Eduardo is one of the hottest pitchers out there right now with a 0.92 ERA, 29 strikeouts and near 6.50 IPS across his last three starts, outings against the Yankees, Twins, and now Phillies. Hot dang! He avoided the middle of zone plenty, featuring excellent changeups down-and-away from right-handers, earning – get this – 16 WHIFFS across 39 thrown. Whoa. 38% CSW overall and yes, just start him now. Fastball/changeup is working as good as ever, you ride that feel.

Austin Voth5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Here’s the biggest eye-brow inducing start of the night, with Voth earning 20 whiffs in this one. Nice! That must have been his fastball velocity back up to 94+ like we saw in his first start this year. Nah, just a pedestrian 92.4 mph here. But he earned 10/23 whiffs on curveballs and changeups combined getting excellent fastball separation up / secondary pitches down. That’s how it’s done, kids. He performed this well against the Braves and with a possible Marlins start on the horizon, I’d consider Voth for a sneaky stream.

Aaron Nola7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Nola matched Eduardo with excellent curveballs and well-spotted heaters to carve up the Sawx for seven frames. He’s locked in, start him without fear.

Madison Bumgarner7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, I’m giving it to Bumgarner because you just start him now and enjoy the ratios. Sure, it’s not the ace performance of Nola above and Clevinger below, but you expect him to help each time. That deserves the AGA.

Mike Clevinger8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m thrilled to see him last a full eight frames, as it’s one of the bigger questions for next year – how much volume per start is he going to give you? 38/112 CSW is all kinds of lovely but we just expect that now. Enjoy the final two starts as he’s a Top 10 SP option next year.

Jaime Barria5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh cool, Barria did well. I’m hoping his middle name is Oscar because he treated this like it was his J. O. B.

Tyler Clippard2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. This was a bullpen game because of a double-header that included Carlos Carrasco for two innings of 2 ER ball as well. That’s all we’ve got. Yay.

Robert Dugger6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, this worked! Dugger went into Oracle Park and get desperate owners a solid stream, this time favoring his slider a ton – over 35% of his pitches! – and getting over 33% CSW with it. It worked, enough, and we’re all happy for it. Now it’s the Nationals + Mets, so we’re done here, but hey, we had this lovely moment and it was cool, Dugger. It was cool.

Mike Montgomery5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks. Man, Monty has fallen far. Sure, this was the Astros but five walks and just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?! It’s a 2.00 WHIP for those that want to justify the 3.60 ERA. Don’t be that person.

Gabriel Ynoa4.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ynoa what to do. Forget this ever happened, just like all Orioles fans do every day.

Mike Fiers1.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. His hand went numb during this one, forcing Fiers to come out early. We all got numb looking at his beard, so this is understandable.

Jack Flaherty6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s a little sad seeing his second-half ERA rise significantly because of just a PQS in one start, but that’s just how good he’s been. 35% CSW with another Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs should cheer him up.

Jacob Waguespack3.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You were ahead of the pack, knowing Jacob’s schedule was as rugged as it gets and avoided him completely after his “breakout” start. And now he avoids the first Baltimore series to get the Yankees – again – next weekend. What joy.

Eric Lauer2.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Lauer did his best to survive Coors. He gave it an El of a try. Coors is undefeated.

Peter Lambert5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Yeah yeah, we know that this would be bad. Yes, even HAISTFMFWT?! worthy. But next up is the day that we marked on our calendars as he heads into Oracle Park for a date with the Giants. Maybe, just maybe, it works out.

Lewis Thorpe3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. I’d hope that LT Surge could be better than just a Cup of Schmo and maybe at some point, but ho boy don’t invest now.

James Marvel4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Yep, like Thorpe, Marvel is a Cup of Schmo. Far from the superhero you’d think he’d be.

Mike Minor5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Ugh, I really wanted Minor to ride off into the sunset and put a strong cap on a fantastic season. Now at the wrong time, you’re second-guessing Minor as he struggled her against the A’s, gets a repeat matchup next weekend followed by a date with the Yankees after. His changeup wasn’t as polished as we’ve seen this year, with his slider and curveball not doing a whole lot to help. I’m tossing him out there next, let’s hope the slow ball is back.


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.


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.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Reynaldo Lopez vs. Minnesota Twins – Whaaaaat, this ReyLo love is going TOO FAR. Well, Martin Perez isn’t available, Zach Davies isn’t going more than five frames (if even that) as the Brewers get early hooks and there’s nothing else to chase. Plus, ReyLo had 97mph last time out, so that’s cool.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mitch Keller vs. Seattle Mariners – Not much to choose from here, give me a strikeout upside play against a poor offense. Two other options are Trent Thornton after a surprising performance against the Red Sox as he faces the Orioles, and maybe Tyler Mahle against the banged-up Cubs. I prefer Keller, though.


Game of the Day


Jordan Montgomery vs. Toronto Blue Jays – THE BEAR IS OUT OF HIBERNATION.


(Photo by Cliff Welch/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.

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