The Rey Of Light

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

I’ve been hyping Reynaldo Lopez after his last start where he pumped 97+ for the second straight start (95.3mph average prior!) and with a date against the Marlins, Reynaldo took full advantage, returning 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks and another streaming win – Streaming Record: 65-42. Is it time to buy back into the young ChiSox arm and turn this stream into a hold? Ummmm yes. 42/97 CSW for a Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs, boasting the third-highest velocity of the year at 96.5 mph (all of his last three have been the highest of the year) and showcasing one of the best sliders I’ve seen from him. He didn’t need to turn to his changeup much, either, and his fastball command at heightened velocity with the slide piece was glorious. Now, this was the Marlins, but he has a relatively easy schedule and I’d buy in for the Mets next at the very least. He could hit a wall and feature 94/95 again in a blink of an eye, so keep a somewhat short leash.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Shane Bieber9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace and be the stud we all want him to be so badly. 36/102 CSW as he cruised with sliders and curveballs down while earning strikes with heaters with ease. I really didn’t like the name Shane after hearing him say “RICK!” and tilt his head so often, but Bieber has brought it back. Thanks from all the Shanes I’ve never met, Bieber.

Patrick Corbin6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 92/93 mph on his heater and tons of slider whiffs. Things are great being a Corbin owner.

Kyle Freeland6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh, I’m not back on the Freeland train yet. I’m not seeing enough from his stuff to get onboard – 22/109 CSW here – and I think it’s too much risk, even in the road starts.

Zac Gallen7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Man, what a fun game to watch. For all the hype about ReyLo, Gallen was keeping up every step of the way, boasting 34/95 CSW on his own, using his changeup more often and having the best feel for his curveball all year with an excellent 11/28 CSW. The problem now is that he gets the Twins next. That’s…not good. I really dig this curveball/changeup/high heat Gallen – and his slider/cutter is also really good! – but I can’t justify starting him there. Hold past it, though.

Brad Keller7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Keller really sold out for high heat and low sliders…if you can call 12/88 slider”s”. It worked for a lot of outs in play against the Braves, I’m thinking this is a lucky stretch and not something to buy into.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. 22/109 CSW, with 3/23 on sliders. Yeaaaaaaaah, Teheran, you know this ain’t gonna last.

Vince Velasquez5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Some of you were upset at VV being ranked fairly low despite a matchup with the Tigers. Clearly you had a very good right to be – I ranked him low since VV will do well/poorly regardless of the matchup, just look at his starts against the Marlins & Coors this year. You really can’t anticipate how Velasquez will do on a given night and that gives me the bleeps sweeps creeps. So congrats VV, you did VV well. I have no idea what happens next.

Justin Verlander6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. HRs? What are those?

Jaime Barria5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, a good start from Barria, that’s a cool thing. Now he gets the Tigers on Monday and we’re wondering if he’s worth your time…eh, I know this was the Dodgers but I think he’s too inconsistent to risk ruining your week early. Sorry, bud.

Tyler Chatwood4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Wait, they’re letting Chatwood start again? Why?

Erick Fedde4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Nothing like 16/79 CSW in four innings for me to say Don’t Trust The Feddes. Seriously, he’s been optioned to Double-A since this start.

Jon Gray4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Five walks? No wonder you tossed just four frames. *Suit man whisper in my ear* Oh, a calf injury removed him from the game? I mean, he had 76 pitches already, it’s not like we missed much. I understand those needing to start him, I’d be terrified of his next start in Coors hosting the Dodgers (I’m sure you are too) and the headache continues.

Marcus Stroman7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I love slider-heavy Stroman, but it is weird to see him go 4/60 whiffs and 11/60 CSW on everything else in his repertoire. Whatever, we keep starting Stroman and sell-high if there’s a buyer.

Taylor Clarke6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. This was the highest K total of Clarke’s career and just the second time in 11 starts with more than 4 Ks. Yep, he’s a Cup of Schmo. Sorry Taylor.

Dinelson Lamet4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. He already tossed 80 pitches and the Padres are being cautious with Lamet as he returns from TJS. Still worth your time – he should be a little more efficient moving forward – but it may take some time before seeing a full six frames. I’d look elsewhere in QS leagues.

Charlie Morton7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. And here I was worried about his previous start and how his four walks could be a scary indication of bad times ahead. Carry on being dope, Morton. I don’t expect you to make 30+ starts, but we can hope. We can hope.

Ross Stripling5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Uggggh, Stripling was cruising and left early with a sore neck. Just 62 pitches with near 30% CSW. I wonder if Strip will get displaced by a trade at the deadline and this may be the last we see of him in the rotation this year. It’s sad, really. 

Jhoulys Chacin3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Chacin will get an oblique injury and leave early in a start when Jhoulyst expect it.

Mike Leake7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. There was some chatter that Leake deserved to be on The List on Monday and I see where that’s coming from. My reasoning is that the near perfecto was a massive outlier and the overall 2019 season has hurt more than helped – 4.00+ ERA and sub 20% K rate – though I understand the 1.23 WHIP helping and the nine Wins…fine. At the very least, he’ll be a fringe pitcher, but I’m sure I can find room for him at the backend at least. In standard 12-teamers, I just don’t think these two starts are here to stay. He isn’t reinventing himself.

John Means 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Now you’re debating what to do with Means. Probably hold if you want as he gets the Padres next on Monday and Jays after for a two-start week. Then you can let him fly away.

David Price6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s a PQS and you want more than that from Price, but a 1.00 WHIP and 8 Ks? Yeah alright. We cool.

Noah Syndergaard7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. So many interesting things here. 11/15 CSW on curveballs is excellent. 30:29 Four-seamers to Sinkers, with 10/30 CSW on four-seamers. LOVE that. His slider was the primary secondary pitch with 23 thrown and returned 13/23 CSW…at 89mph. It added up to 42/109 CSW and that’s fantastic, but there’s the problem above – 13 baserunners in 7.0 IP. What gives?! Syndergaard pumped the center of the zone endlessly. Look at this. Remember Keuchel’s plot yesterday? This feels like the opposite as the holes are around the edges and the center/thigh-high is overloaded. There’s still a lot to work on with Thor, but to see that he has a good amount of options and clear results on an individual level is a great foundation. Now just have a better approach/execution, bucko.

Chris Bassitt6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey Nick, what’s the thing to look for with Bassitt? Whiffs on his four-seamer. The man was getting a ton with them early on and it’s fallen off the table. Just 1/22 here (albeit 5/45 on sinkers) and while it was 30%+ CSW overall, I don’t trust that he’s back. Way to kinda stave off the Astros, though. Stupid HRs.

Tyler Beede5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. This is why I was a little low on Beede than people anticipated…yet what’s this? A GALLOWS POLE?! Just kidding, ReyLo has that but Beede earned 20 whiffs on 105 pitches, featuring sliders at a 30% rate while earning 5/17 whiffs on changeups as well. Huh. The Cubs are a good offense and swatted mistake pitches in the zone, but instead of me easing off the gas, I’m kinda interested in buying once again for his next start against the Phils. BACK ON THE TRAIN I GO.

Mike Minor6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Is this the Minor descending the scale? Maybe. It could just be a half-step, though. You’re having way too much fun with this. That’s a thing? He gets the Mariners again next time out (if he’s still a Ranger) and I’m down for that.

Adam Wainwright5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Soooooo Waino isn’t feeling it right now. Okay, just consider him against a good matchup for a stream and lay him softly back down on the wire. He’s an old vet, we have to be careful.

Jordan Zimmermann4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Jay-Z doesn’t have a Blueprint for success.

Jordan Lyles1.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Awwwww, I had high hopes for this one as Lyles improved his curveball and fastball over the weekend. He could rebound against the Reds next week, but it’s clearly risky.

Lucas Sims4.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. We love Sims over here and his phenomenal curveball, but sadly his supporting cast needs a bit of work. The Brewers are not a team you want to face, either, so keep an eye on him if he gets more time in the rotation. Who knows if a trade will happen.

J. A. Happ3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Happ is a Toby who faced a top tier offense in the Twins. We don’t pitch Tobys against strong offenses.

Jake Odorizzi4.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Odorizzi has been sputtering since his blister injury and a date with the Yanks sure isn’t going to help get this sorted out. I get the feeling that Jake and J saw each other before this game, each with fear in their eyes, knowing the fate that lay ahead. We’re just soldiers in this war, they nodded at each other silently. 


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.


Adam Plutko vs. Kansas City Royals – Not a whole lot to choose from here. Aim to stream elsewhere first.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Asher Wojciechowski vs. Los Angeles Angels – I could go with Jose Urquidy against the Cardinals, but I think Woj’s curveball is the best pitch here and could carry him through another fantastic day.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Anthony DeSclafani vs. Colorado Rockies – It’s not in Coors and Tony Disco has been on a nice little roll.


Game of the Day 


Lucas Giolito vs. Jose Berrios – This is a fun one, poor Giolito has another tough matchup while Berrios could cruise with his deuce.


(Photo by Samuel Stringer/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.

14 responses to “The Rey Of Light”

  1. Sam says:

    If you can only choose one in Redraft League – Would you go ReyLo or Gallen?

    • Greg says:

      I dropped Gallen for him. Reylo plays for a better team and in a points league quality starts/wins are gold.

  2. Philip Sperling says:

    So, ummm are we gonna talk about Keller at 98mph consistently last night?? Cuz I kinda feel like we should be talking about that…

    I’m going in for the two-start week next week. Wish me luck.

    • Nick Pollack says:


      Didn’t realize that he averaged 95.5 mph in this one, his peak of the year.

      Thanks for the catch!

      • Philip Sperling says:

        I was watching the game on statcast and I definitely did a double take. Honestly i figured the gun was juiced, but Teheran on the other side was normal range.

        anyways, could be something, could be nothing, but with what’s out there in a 16 team league i’ll run with him. The Twins start could hurt, but nothing ventured, blah blah…you know

  3. Popeye Doyle says:

    Hey Nick– I have Soroka, feeling antsy about him..
    Available on wire – Darvish, Sonny Gray, Reynaldo Lopez, Chiniros, Stroman , M. Kelly
    Would you make a move or stand pat for now? Tx…

  4. Chucky says:

    Starting Beede @Phil and @Col (ugh) in a points league, over Paddack @ LAD? Or go with Gallen v Minny. I’m willing to close my eyes and hold my breath with Gallen at home, no Cruz DH at Miami.

  5. Don't be a Hader says:

    I know this column is for MLB, but what are your thoughts on guys like Mike Foltynewicz and Alex Wood?

  6. aaandylim says:

    Thank you for the ReyLo call. THANK YOU.

  7. Greg says:

    Reylo= 2017 2nd half Luis Castillo

  8. Chelsa says:

    Hi Nick,

    Listened to you AGAIN and started Reynaldo vs the Marlins and……LOVED the results!!! I also started Gallen vs Reynaldo, plus, I had Bieber going too!!! It was an all-around good night for my team pitching-wise. The Reynaldo start erases the Merrill Kelly one!! Will be mindful as you have cautioned that Reynaldo could implode, but will hold until he does.

  9. J says:

    For the record, they only let Chatwood start because Lester was scratched with an illness and half the bullpen was dead. Definitely not slotting into the rotation.

  10. Facenda says:

    Hey Nick: Appreciate your early enthusiasm on ReyLo. Nice call.

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