The Gods Must Be Crazy

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

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

We’ve been through a lot with Zack Godley this season but after his previous start’s 1 walk effort against the Padres, there was some optimism. However he faced the Braves last night and didn’t expect success except…6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks happened. What worked against the Padres was a disregard for his sinker in favor of a ton of curveballs for strikes with a solid cutter. This one? Sinkers returned, but induced a great 77mph EV across seven balls in play, while his cutter did a great job of finding the zone, with 13/17 over the plate across BIP, Fouls, and whiffs. 10 for 38 whiffs on his curveball and I’m cautiously optimistic. Not ready to say he’s back just yet, but this is easily the most promising start as it came against a legit offense. Remember the cautiously of cautiously optimistic, but I’d like to own him for now and see what happens in the second half. Please come back to us, Zack.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Jake Arrieta – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I know it all looks like smoke and mirrors, but Arrieta is boasting a 3.23 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. I expect him to keep beating his FIP/SIERA a little as we carry forward given the limited 28% hard contact, and a 3.60 ERA with a sub 1.25 WHIP helps. Arrieta is the #1 Toby, our Spiderman, and if we keep that expectation, everyone is happy.

Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Great stuff Keuchel, we had some doubts, but that’s 3 ER total in five of his last six starts (albeit, 6 ER in the outlier). It’s not coming with the same K rate that we’ve seen in his stud years, but since we were questioning Keuchel’s contributions this year prior, we’ll take this and run.

Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, I’m cool with this. I want a better K/BB to feel better about it, but I’ll take it Bummy.

Wei-Yin Chen – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. This is some nice Chen Music, really sets the mood, you know? Too bad this is pretty much a Birthday Party as Chen will most likely not have another start like this all year. Not the worst in a deep league, but I’m avoiding in 12-teamers.

Matt Harvey – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Man, Harvey just can’t stop being a considerable option. Yeah, not Top 50 given how his secondary stuff isn’t something to write home about – Dearest family, my slider and I are getting along so well. He just gets me and the way he moves…it’s a dream. I wish you were here to see it, even little Billy too… – but there definitely is value here to be had as long as he’s not getting tossed to the wolves among strong lineups. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the Nationals swoop him up around the deadline. It just seems right.

Felix Pena – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. He got the axe after 74 pitches because, well, because. It might be a few more starts before the Angels trust him to be “actually stretched out” in their eyes, but 16% whiffs are still the M.O for Pena and that’s great. Don’t forget about him when considering streams moving forward.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. And the Sanchez train keeps pumping. This one was against the Diamondbacks and surprisingly it was his splitter that did most of the work here – normally it’s his cutter/slider doing the damage. Keep on keeping on, but keep your expectations in check for a ~3.80 ERA guy, not a sub 3.00 guy.

Noah Syndergaard – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Was this a DLH? I think so but then again it was Thor and the Nationals aren’t what they used to be. His secondary stuff wasn’t all too great – 2 whiffs on 15 sliders/curveballs – but the velocity is there and that’s good. The other stuff will come and feel good heading into the break being a Syndergaard owner.

Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Buehler came back and gave a productive five frames, save for a 1.40 WHIP. It was a semi DLH as Buehler’s limited pitch count was kinda typical of earlier starts we’ve seen. I’d have no fear moving forward with him.

Alex Cobb – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Cobb is a Werewolf and it’s nice for him that it worked for a night against the Rangers. Don’t got cocky, kid.

Edwin Jackson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Ayyyy that’s the EJax we know and hate but kinda love. It’s weird. That’s a serviceable WHIP and ERA despite the 3:1 K per BB, HAISTFMFWT aside, this actually helped. Wild.

Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! And he gave you a quality start, even if it’s of the VVV variety. Y’all know I hate this, and I’m a little surprised some of you don’t.

James Shields – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Believe it or not, Jimmy Bucklers earned himself a co-share of the Gallows Pole here with 17 whiffs to his name. That’s a 3.50 ERA in his last seven starts, which includes his horrendous 8 ER outing last time out against the Astros. It makes you think, right? Just don’t play him against the elite teams and maybe, just maybe, this can work. We’ll see.

Shane Bieber – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m impressed as this came against the Yankees, especially with a sub 80mph average exit velocity on his heater. Meanwhile, sliders earned whiffs – 8/28 – and he threw curveballs for called strikes as well. I’m encouraged and while you don’t need to force him on your squad, I’d be glad to own him in a 12-teamer.

Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Chatwood allowed only three walks but is a man of tradition, so he only struck out two. Traditions are what bind us together.

Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a straight up VPQS from Fiers. We’re still not getting burned and he’s been surprisingly not evil lately, so I don’t mind you rolling with him as long as the matchups are in your favor.

Jeff Hoffman – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, it’s Hoffman! Hey it’s 4 whiffs in 76 pitches! Oh…

Nick Kingham – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Two solo shots in the sixth and seventh put a little bit of a blemish on this outing, but a sub 1.00 WHIP and 9 Ks with a dub is oh-so-lovely. I’m all in, take my out-stretched hand and join me. Streaming Record: 56-31.

Carlos Martinez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. His cutter has been the impetus for CarMart this season and it was kinda meh in this one. You want better, I expected better, but I wouldn’t make any adjustments based on this one. Expect a solid 2nd half from Martinez.

Ryan Borucki – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. There was talk of Borucki’s changeup and how it took down the Yanks and Astros, so clearly he’s meant for greatness against the Sawx. Nah. I see a best case of a Toby here…which means you don’t go against the Sawx. It really isn’t much more to this than that. Feel free to roster him, just don’t go crazy.

Cole Hamels – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. The WHIP is cool, the rest is not and while I want to pull back from Hamels, he’s still maintaining that 12.3% whiff rate. It’s not pretty, but it’s still something to consider in deep 12-teamers.

Tanner Roark – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Roark should be dropped from your team. Be a Greek god and just do it.

Christian Bergman – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. You didn’t realize Bergman was starting and that’s a good thing. Because with 2 walks and zero strikeouts, you got absolutely nothing from this start. NOTHING. Are you gonna do the thing? Of course I’m going to do the thing, what do you think I am, an animal? Ahem…HAISTFMFWT?!

Brad Keller – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. This Keller start made me put my hands over my ears and stay mute for a while, hoping it never happened. Fine, Brad and I are as close as the Mississippi and Japan, but sometimes you have to suspend disbelief for entertainment.

Jake Odorizzi – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Odorizzi was performing well leading up to this, got the Rays, and it wasn’t the same. It doesn’t make sense, and that’s the lesson to take from this. Jake doesn’t make sense.

Domingo German – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Bleeeeeegh. You know me, I’m all about focusing on German’s changeup, and the pitch wasn’t what we wanted – 2/14 whiffs – and the Indians jumped on German’s heater. The Tribe are no joke, so don’t judge him too harshly, though it does keep us in check of the idea that he’s a definitive top 30/40 guy.

Junior Guerra – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Guerra was removed from this game with a forearm injury. Yes you can drop him if you don’t have a DL spot. Don’t overthink this.

Nathan Eovaldi – 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Hooooo boy. This was against the Twins, which means I was 100% for this start. Things were bad. Real bad. It was the extreme of hittable Eovaldi – near 90mph average exit velocity on batted balls – and it’s nice to be reminded for a moment of the floor Eovaldi brings. Nice? This is nice?! I’m just trying to find some positivity, you know?

Rick Porcello – 2.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ouch, this one hurts. Porcello has shown off a solid floor for the most part and this is going to sever some trust. Don’t let it, Porcello will rebound and this is just a tough night. Remember this in context of his overall numbers.

Today’s Streamer

Zack Wheeler vs. Washington Nationals – 19% owned! NINETEEN PERCENT.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. Oakland Athletics – There may be more options as teams decide what to do entering the break, so keep yourself updated come Saturday night.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

ALL-STAR BREAK – Treat yourself to something nice.

Game of the Day

Gerrit Cole vs. Michael Fulmer – This is a fun start waiting to happen. Okay, I lie, it’s a super stressful one for Fulmer that will make me sweat buckets. BRING IT.

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.

7 responses to “The Gods Must Be Crazy”

  1. Rob says:

    Should I drop Blake Parker for Hector rondon? Not sure who is a better option. 12T h2h pts.

  2. Molina Bros BBQ says:

    Benched Bieber against NYY yesterday… was a tough call. Bummer for me.

    Are you in the “there are better days ahead for Jon Gray” camp? I picked him up for nothing in a 12 team keeper with short benches… He’s $8 this year and keepable at $12 and then $15 for following two years… Not a bad flier? I dunno.

    Heaney is out there on waivers but I don’t want to burn my 3rd waiver priority on him. May dump Gray for him if he clears waivers.

    What do you think?

    • Jim says:

      I would rather have Heaney than Gray, obviously. But if you are in a Points league, and Gray looks serviceable today I could totally see wanting BOTH, and therefore you must burn that waiver. You’ve saved it for this very reason. Pounce on Heaney and make the other owner pay for his mistake. If you don’t, someone else will most likely — or worse you allow that owner to use waivers as his extra bench because you don’t have the resolve to use the claim.

      p.s. Waiver claims are not league championships. Don’t treat them as such.

      • Molina Bros BBQ says:

        Thanks Jim. Yeah I understand about waiver priority but.. always tough going back to the bottom. Cheers.

  3. Turp says:

    I’m struggling between Taillion or Kingham for the rest of the season. Am I correct in assuming Taillion is the way to go?

  4. Beauford says:

    Drop Kingham to see how Gray turns out this weekend and moving forward?

  5. Andy says:

    Id trade kingham for taillon so I would see hold taillon over kingham. That’s my 2 cents

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