The Young and the Restless

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

We need to make a decision. With sub-90 mph velocity and a kitchen sink of pitches, is Alex Young an elite-command guy who deserves your attention? He went 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks yesterday with 34-of-89 CSW, and that’s dumb. Not one pitch earned more than four whiffs, but cutters, sinkers, four-seamers, curveballs, and changeups made up his pitch mix, each thrown in the double digits. He’s acting like a mini-Dallas Keuchel with his approach of getting swings at the bottom of the zone and underneath it, avoiding the top of the zone. He needs the variety of pitches working for this line to show up, which likely won’t happen much moving forward. Maybe one or two starts the rest of the way. The other games would be lucky to represent a Toby, which means I’m hesitant to put a lot of trust in him. But the way he worked batters yesterday makes me consider his next start against the Phils and to take it from there. He’s a quick cut if it doesn’t work, but maybe we can keep squeezing value out of this.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Wilmer Font2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Mr. Comic Sans opened for three strong innings of Nick KinghamYep, that name again. We don’t need to waste time here.

Joe Ross5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Ross was nailing the down-and-in corner against right-handers all game, but was simply throwing nails at the wood with the rest of his pitches. It’s cool to see him use a different repertoire than last time we saw him in the bigs, but we shouldn’t be jumping to grab him. Maybe one day…in the meantime, a rolling team carries no Ross.

Mike Clevinger6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Clev dog is the best dog.

Lance Lynn7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s clearly deserved it, even if this was the Tigers. What a wild season, as he earned yet another Gallows Pole with 23 whiffs. Crazy.

Ivan Nova5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You got out your goggles to look at the sky and you saw…something. Was it a Super Nova? Was it just a smudge on the goggles? Whatever, had an experience, this is cool with me.

Eric Lauer6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Lauer surprised with a 30-of-87 CSW here for the first good start since July 5. Yeah, a month ago. Nine whiffs on four-seamers is pretty impressive, though I’m not going to buy into this for future games. Sorry Lauer, you’re not El. O. L., but you’re not out of purgatory.

Wade Miley6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, we’ll take this from Miley. Weird to see five walks, but another win with a strikeout per inning and non-detrimental ratios are everything we want.

James Paxton6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. YES, PAXTON. YES. He allowed a two-run shot in the first, gave us some shivers, and then calmed us down for five straight dominating frames. He got 20 whiffs on 100 pitches with much better cutters this time around, and plenty of strikes with his curveball. Feel good about Paxton moving forward, especially with Baltimore in his crosshairs.

Jose Quintana6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Quintana, your standard Toby who you’re hoping for decent production each time out. This start means little overall; let’s just be happy together.

Jason Vargas6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I guess the Vargas Rule is back in effect. He gets the Diamondbacks next, and while he is oh-so-boring, he should be given some consideration for a stream.

Alex Wood6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, this is cool to see: 90.7 mph on his four-seamer with a good mix of changeups and curveballs to earn strikes. He had a low CSW at 23-of-90, but against the Braves and his second start back? Yeah, I’m thrilled about this. Not to knock on Wood—well fine because I’m superstitious—but I’m not quite blindly starting him against the Cubs next. That could still present some turmoil.

Shaun Anderson5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Shaun-A went to Coors and gave you absolutely nothing beneficial. Not a single strikeout HAISTFMFWT?! I’ll say it every time, he’s Dereck Rodriguez 2.0.

Aaron Brooks5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. I feel weird giving a blegh to a start I didn’t care about in the first place, but Brooks’ baseball isn’t something I want to endure.

Dustin May5.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I was tempted to lead with May, but there’ll be a lot more on him later today. May is…OK. I don’t think you need to hold onto him, as I wasn’t too impressed with his stuff. 95-96 mph with life on his heater is good but not incredible, and his cutter is solid for strikes, but he doesn’t have that big secondary pitch that makes us excited to chase a prospect. It could come out in future starts, 

Trevor Williams6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Is a VPQS with just two strikeouts and a win a streaming victory? I think I’m taking this one. Please let me know if I don’t deserve this. Streaming Record: 69-47. Lame stuff aside, Williams disappointed me with just two strikeouts as he went two-of-25 whiffs with his slider as we’re back to where we were before. Womp womp.

Tyler Alexander5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. You were chasing his nine-strikeout game if you ran with Tyler. Don’t chase his nine-strikeout game.

Taylor Cole0.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ouch. Dillon Peters was the False Starter here, but that doesn’t really work when Cole opens poorly. Three earned runs over 7.2 innings is pretty decent from Peters, but this isn’t something to discuss further. Let’s let this Peters out.

Zach Davies4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. The massive regression of Davies continues. We’re off of this now, right? Good.

Peter Lambert6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Womp womp. Keep him in mind as a deep streaming option, but for the most part, ignore Lambert. 

Eduardo Rodriguez6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 8 Ks. Six walks? Seriously? And yet he somehow made it into the seventh, with a grand slam acting as his only damage. We had our hesitations with him facing the Yanks, and now he gets the Royals and Indians. This should be fine.

Kevin Gausman4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Gausman’s fastball command was all over the place, while he didn’t get on top of his splitter, allowing the pitch to ride too far inside to right-handers and too far away from lefties. This line isn’t Gaus, but he’s not a 6+ IP, 0 ER, 8 Ks guy either. He’s an above-average Toby. Yay.

Steven Matz3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I hate how much I have to buy into “don’t start Matz on the road.” There are always exceptions. And Matz is the one where I will actually take into account home/road splits. Seriously, this was the Pirates. You should be able to handle the Pirates, Matz.

Martin Perez5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Fourteen-of-68 CSW (21%) is all kinds of disappointing as his fastball sat around 93 mph. Mph. And now he gets the Braves? Yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

Yusei Kikuchi4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Kikuchi, buddy, I hate how you’re going to be compared to Kei Igawa. I feel like we should call him Y2K since it was this big thing that ended with a massive It’s Nothing.

Glenn Sparkman4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeaaaaah, there’s a reason he sounds like a B-side superhero. There’s just no electricity left, you know?


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.


Homer Bailey vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Hooooo boy. This ain’t good. There are a lot of rotations still figuring out their starters, so this may change, but there are very few choices at the moment. I’ll take the shot at Bailey making it work in O.Co against a middling lineup.

Aaron Sanchez vs. Seattle Mariners – Bailey went Thursday, and Sanchez will start for the Astros. I’m a little surprised I’m going for this, but I do believe his recent reduction of heaters will align with Houston’s approach, and this could turn into a strong outing once again.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Pedro Payano vs. Detroit Tigers – Yep, I’m doing it. The Tigers are even worse now, and Payano has surprisingly good stuff.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Adam Civale vs. Texas Rangers – He’s back in the majors, and this could work out well for Civale.


Game of the Day 


Chris Sale vs. Domingo German – Will Sale still be Tier 1? Will Domingo pull a Paxton to produce as he should despite the Sawx?


(Photo by Kyusung Gong/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.

6 responses to “The Young and the Restless”

  1. Joe says:

    Yo r we getting a gif breakdown of gingergaard

  2. rainmaker says:

    Hahaha Y2K. That has to be the cleverest stupid joke I have ever heard(seen)

  3. J says:

    I lovethat Y2K nickname for Kikuchi! Another layer of it is that he usually gets around 2 Ks in most of hist starts..

  4. A pitcherlist fan says:

    Love the Y2K nickname and also you absolutely deserve the streaming win, it wasnt dominant but it certainly helped us

  5. Nels J. says:

    I imagine the home-road splits are not a favorite metric for this site, but they seem to be real for a surprising number of pitchers this season. Matz and Mikolas are completely different pitchers at home, but there are others with an ERA home-road split of 2 or more runs (Miley, Fiers, Teheran).

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