The Rocky Silk Road

Marco Estrada is a guy who should not be drafted next season, yet will be picked everywhere and owners will whine. After last night’s middle of the road outing of...

Marco Estrada is a guy who should not be drafted next season, yet will be picked everywhere and owners will whine. After last night’s middle of the road outing of 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks, he has one of the largest gaps between ERA and FIP/xFIP/SIERA in the majors – 3.13 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 4.71 SIERA, 4.99 xFIP – and I just can’t believe he’ll be able to keep up the act next year. It’s incredible and people are going to continue to trust him this season, but I cannot put a lick of faith (or three is you’re that annoying owl who doesn’t understand simple rules of not biting the freakin’ pop) in Estrada for 2016. Once the ERA starts crumbling in your face, you won’t any upside to hang onto with a near 3.00 BB/9 and sub 6.50 K/9. You’re essentially banking on his questionable ERA stays intact so he can accrue those Toronto Wins and giving a bird to your WHIP/Ks. Not my kind of guy for another full season.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:


Jake Arrieta – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna freakin’ ace. If he’s not Top 5 across the board next season, something’s wrong. I’ll probably have the bearded legend at #3 or #4.

Hisashi Iwakuma – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Y’all know I have some Iwakuma love and it’s blowing my mind how great he’s been since August 2nd. 2.66 ERA (including a 7 ER fluke), 8.65 K/9 and a sublime 1.73 BB/9. His GB rate of 51.6% also makes his floor higher and man oh man it’ll be tough to keep Iwakuma outside the Top 30, nay Top 25 next season.

Daniel Norris – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. He was on a strict sub 65 pitch count, so he missed a chance at making history in those final 12 outs. Don’t worry, the Tigers screwed that one up, first with a HBP, then Feliz allowed a hit in the 9th that eventually scored and tied the game. Yuuuup. Do I like Norris for his next start against Texas? Not really, but I understand if you don’t have better options. He’ll probably be limited to some degree – maybe 80/85 pitches – and the Rangers are a solid offense at the moment.

Robbie Ray – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Ray is one of those pitchers I have a hunch will show some surprising VPR/VPRs numbers come this off-season, and make him a decent late-round flier in deeper leagues for 2016. Seven starts of at least 7 Ks isn’t something to ignore with his 8.28 K/9 and 3.54 FIP.

Ervin Santana – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. You know those times when you’re looking for K upside and you get K upside? Feels good man. Feels real good.

Matt Wisler – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. And you know those times when you don’t expect K upside at all and you get it? Feels horrible because there is no way you should have started him in the first place.

Lance McCullers – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. The 9/0 K per BB is glorious, but McCullers seems to have an issue of the big inning, as he allowed a pair of HRs in the first inning that accounted for all of his ER on the evening. There’s a new stat that I’d be curious exploring – how prone a pitcher is to “the big inning” or even what % of their ER come in their final frame. It would give an idea of whether we can shape up an outing to jitters, luck, managers not having a happy enough trigger finger, or just plain poor ability. Maybe one day.

Alex Wood – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Is Wood slowly turning into a Toby? I’m not sure yet, but his next outing in Coors is less inviting than attending my grandmother’s zumba class.

Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Those Ks are tasty, eh? And with only 2 walks? Dang. Too bad he averages under six innings per start with a 3.84 BB/9.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t care, don’t care don’t care don’t care. Don’t care. Don’t care.

John Lackey – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Man, outside of only 13 Wins, Lackey is having the best season of his career. Nuts. You know what that means for 2016…

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, there’s that stable Quintana floor.

Chris Heston – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. The first start of three for Heston, and while the walks are stupid, it’s hard not to love that ERA and Ks.

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Not so bad considering it was in Toronto. I like him against the ChiSox.

Matt Moore – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Is the classic Moore back? Doesn’t matter, he gets the Blue Jays twice moore to end the season. Is that a typo? …no.

Aaron Harang – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh.

Keyvius Sampson – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Brock is the only Sampson I care about. What about Bible Sampson? Nope, not even Bible Sampson. NOOOOOOOOO.

Danny Salazar – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m getting this feeling that I’m not going to be as high on Salazar as most others. His inconsistency makes me wonder if spending a Top ~100 pick on a guy that makes me uneasy every outing. It’s also entirely possible he regresses a bit next year as well, and his under the hood numbers dictate that a sub 3.50 ERA isn’t in the cards.

Hector Santiago – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. His first half dominance will be made into a montage featuring an original soundtrack from Sarah Mclachlan. Yes, I totally had to Google how to spell her name. It looks like someone had food in their mouth while spelling it out which makes absolutely no sense but I’m rolling with it.

Henry Owens – 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh I want a better ERA against the Rays.

Tyler Cravy – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The wrong Tyler. This is super blegh.

J.A. Happ – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. So Coors tacked on an extra ER or two, but the Ks are still alive like the mold in that sandwich you still haven’t eaten from a week ago.

Logan Verrett – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Our Call Boy served up a 3 run shot with two outs in the fifth and my dreams came shattering down. It was a poorly placed fastball and Hector Olivera took advantage of it. Welp, if he gets another shot in the rotation this year with certain pitchers missing starts, sign me up.

Tom Koehler – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. He didn’t take advantage of the matchup like we hoped he would. Cause, you know, he’s Koehler.

Gio Gonzalez – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. And now peeps understand why I labeled him as a pitching bust for 2015. Well, people knew that a while ago but after his mini-resurgence as of late, some folks need some more reminding. Funny story, those last three starts of his that were solid were against the Braves, Marlins, Phillies. Now that he faced the Orioles…down the drain it goes.

Sean Nolin – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Sean! Sean! SEAN!

Martin Perez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s a little funny that both guys that have a last name of Perez both have first names that could also be last names. At any rate, you shouldn’t be starting either, so maybe this means I have a new theory…

Chris Rusin – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Rusin has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

Jeremy Guthrie – 2.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I have plans to do an awards article at the end of the season, and I’m pretty sure I know what I’m giving Guthrie. Is it a piece of your mind? Jeez, no I’m not that lame.

Today’s Streamer

Bartolo Colon vs. Atlanta BravesYep, we know the Braves are very bad and the Mets have a good shot at winning, making The Big Apple an easy stream.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

I hate this outing, but it’s a mess of bad matchups out there for Friday. If you need a chance at a low ERA and Win, Gallardo is the best one I can see, though I’d hate to blindly throw him out there if the H2H matchup didn’t dictate a risky play.

Game of the Day

A lot of people need Sale to rebound a bit, while Verlander has had a surprising amount of upside in the second half. Let’s see what happens.

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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