The Jaws Of Life

What if I told you that Jeff Samardzija holds a 10.53 K/9, 2.29 BB/9 and 2.97 xFIP? That’s where Loose Lips stands after his 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11...

What if I told you that Jeff Samardzija holds a 10.53 K/9, 2.29 BB/9 and 2.97 xFIP? That’s where Loose Lips stands after his 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks against the Dodgers last night. Sure, that’s also a 5.03 ERA, but there’s no way I’m ignoring the 3.09 SIERA, 3.63 FIP, 27.5% soft and hard contact, 60.6% LOB rate that will inch closer to 70-75%, and 6+ IPS. Alright Nick, when do we get to the part that you tell me Samardzija is bad. Never! Well, he’s not that good at leat. I want you guys to keep in mind that because this was his sixth start, all of his numbers will get morphed enormously based on this outing (small sample size!) and that he held a 4.54 FIP prior to this start. He’s a guy who will be super dominant like this at times, then have 4+ ER clunkers as well (half his starts thus far!). My ranking of him in the 70s is far from fair – he deserves to be in the 50s at the very least – though I don’t see all of those peripherals taking massive shape and delivering us a Top 30 SP rest of the season. That’s just not how Samardzija works.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Robbie Ray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. With this start, Ray now holds a 3.47 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 12.14 K/9, and 4.46 BB/9. His 15.4% HR/FB rate just isn’t going to go anywhere, which means I’m not going to consider his 3.03 xFIP being the true talent level here. I have to hand it to Ray for being so consistent with his strikeouts – averaging over 8 per start right now, which is crazy – but his numbers really aren’t too far off from what I expected. That 4.46 BB/9 seems right, and a 3.47 ERA could easily sneak up to 4.00 by season’s end. Nevertheless, you obviously should be rolling with him, just don’t expect him to keep creeping toward 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP territory. This is a compete fetch situation – it’s just not going to happen.

Nathan Karns – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. As much as I used to like Karns, let’s be honest here. This is a One Night Bland if I’ve ever seen one. By the way, I might be switching what that term means…I have Birthday Party, which essentially means the same thing (a rare really good start from a good pitcher that comes once per year), while I could use One Night Bland for a super good pitcher that has one bad start out of the blue. Yeah, I’m doing that.

Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Morton was my Call Boy and killed it. Dude is on fire right now and there’s no reason not to pick him up in your 12-teamer. Let it ride, let it ride. Streamer Record 13.5-10-4. 

Carlos Carrasco – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Loving the consistency we’ve seen from Cookie thus far as he holds close to a 7 IPS. Just stay healthy now, okay?

Matthew Boyd – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, this is one of Boy’ds better starts and that’s saying a good amount. Just two starts above 4 Ks all year and those were 5 and 6 K games…

Rookie Davis – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t crown this Rook as a King.

Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 7 BBs, 8 Ks. Seven walks? SEVEN?! Man Gio, you’re making it really hard to believe any of this is real. Maybe I’m in the Matrix. No, you’re Gio, not Neo. Get it right dude.

Julio Urias – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. I discussed with the great Alex Fast yesterday on the Podcast that Urias is a prime sell-high candidate as some might be hyped for the kid. Obviously he’s going to be better than this horrid four walk + 1 K outing, but his IPS is going to stay low and that’s a problem.

Drew Pomeranz – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s getting pretty easy to be a fan of The Dirty Cheerleader again and I’m definitely giving him a B-U-Y.

Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. One walk! Slutter was still a bit lacking and just three whiffs on pitches not named Sinker. I’m still selling here.

Blake Snell – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. We all know the K upside is somewhat real, the problem is the 3 walks that take him out of the game earlier and make his WHIP horrendous. I’m still waiting until I see some consistency with his command. Heck, I’d even take just control consistency.

Antonio Senzatela – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I actually ran with Senzatela in the staff league (I have my reasons) as this is the only scenario where I could see myself starting Senz-a – against the Padres away from Coors. It’s been real bud, hope you have some friends on the wire. Oh yeah, Bubbles and I are super tight. 

Hector Santiago – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. This is so bleghy and typical from Santiago.

Kevin Gausman – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Gausman got ejected after hitting Xander Bogaerts with a Curveball. If you haven’t heard about this already, google it. The whole charade is a farce.

Mike Pelfrey – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Just one strikeout and a poor ERA? Welcome to the life of Pelfrey. 

Hisashi Iwakuma – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh I’ve seen worse from Iwakuma but this doesn’t do much for me to change my blegh opinion of him moving forward.

Jerad Eickhoff – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m a fan of Eickhoff. I’m not a fan of Eickhoff facing the Cubs.

Adam Conley – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Conley just isn’t a guy I want to trust these days. I don’t think I’d fall back into his hands and that’s the lowest level of trust. I’VE SEEN DOGS DO IT.

Ricky Nolasco – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, I don’t want anything to do with Nolasco.

Jameson Taillon – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nooooooooo, Taillon allowed a pair of three-run bombs, one from Billy Hamilton of all people. I still love him and he looked pretty dang good otherwise. A bit annoyed he didn’t go one more frame at 84 pitches, but so it goes.

Jacob deGrom – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. deGrom just didn’t have it tonight. Don’t do anything silly, he’s fine. I know it’s the Mets who are more crippled than me the day after doing five squats, but don’t get any ideas that now deGrom has to follow suit.

Marcus Stroman – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. The Yankees are red hot and they got in the way of Stroman. Also the fact that Stroman apparently had problems getting loose and had “discomfort in his armpit.” Because 75% of pitchers need to be unhealthy this year. Alright, we need a term that encompasses all of the horrible injuries we’ve already had in just a month of baseball. HSPV? I’ll be thinking about this and please share your thoughts in the comments. Anyway, he’s supposed to start on Tuesday next week, but with the way the Jays are going and 2017’s injury crisis, I wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto is conservative and lets him sit. Either way, I’m a little worried here.

Bartolo Colon – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. The Giant Peach just isn’t what he used to be. I just wish he were a Met again…

CC Sabathia – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Remember when there was that glitter of hope that Sabathia could hold sneaky value this year? It’s gone. GONE.

Kendall Graveman – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. I’ve been preaching sell for a bit and here’s why. Womp womp. 

Nick Martinez – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. But I thought his 0 walks, 7 Ks from last time were legit!” Yeah? Complete sidenote, I have this sweet ifauxne to sell you.

Jered Weaver – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I love to make that joke that Weaver runs into the dugout after games hoping to see that another starter had a worse day than he did. NOT TODAY WEAVER. NOT TODAY.

Today’s Streamer

Joe Musgrove vs. Texas Rangers Not loving this one and was tempted to go with Kyle Freeland against the Padres, but I really don’t feel like going with a Three-Fists Compromise so here we are with Musgrove.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Foltynewicz vs. St. Louis Cardinals – I’m not confident Folty can get 6+ strong, but his K upside alone makes him a worthy streamer.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

JC Ramirez vs Houston Astros – I wrote about Ramirez in yesterday’s GIF Breakdown and his strikeout upside is legit. The worry is Fastball consistency, but there are always going to be warts when streaming.

Game of the Day

Michael Fulmer vs. Danny Salazar Easily the best pitching matchup of the day. Let’s see if Fulmer can continue his ride while Salazar not walk this town and the next one over.

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.

12 responses to “The Jaws Of Life”

  1. Asher Dratel says:

    I’m assuming you’d rather have Morton over Cahill in a 12-tm?

  2. Tim Kroninger says:

    Back of the rotation SP in a points league – Morton or JC Ramirez?

    • Nick Pollack says:


      We gave you a shoutout in the Podcast for your Harvey comments. Please tell us who pronounced your last name correctly.

      I believe Morton sliiightly more, but Ramirez has the easier schedule for the next month, making me go JC.

  3. Manley Ramirez says:

    What’s the fantasy equivalent to a one night stand? A streamer. So I think One Night Bland best fits a streamer/fringy starter you don’t expect to dominate or to stay on your squad afterwards, but was good enough to meet your needs that night if you used him.

  4. Matt Nielsen says:

    Do you think Morton is a good sell semi-high? Also, that Gausman ejection was a damn disgrace.

  5. Matt Nielsen says:

    2017: DL With It.

    Sorry, that’s all I got.

  6. Tim Kroninger says:

    Yes, you got it right!

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