Top-Shelf From Po’Keefe

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

If you’ve been reading the roundup, you’ll know that I’m intrigued by Patrick Sandoval, otherwise known as the Irish Panda, and he gave us a glimmer of his ceiling yesterday with 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks against the Rangers. Hot dang! That’s 20 whiffs on just 84 pitches – 39% CSW overall – as his changeup was brilliant. Heaters at 93 mph and touching 95/96 is great by me, with sliders and curveballs earning 9/16 CSW on their own is just what the doctor ordered. Remember this start. Remember it in 2020 in your deep leagues or when you have absolutely nothing to consider on the wire. This man could show up for an extended period of time at any point, but for now, we’re ignoring him. Sorry, he gets the A’s, Indians, Rays, and Astros twice to end the year. That’s not a gauntlet you want to risk this young arm on.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Ariel Jurado – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Jurado did this with three whiffs. Come on man, HAISTFMFWT?! You know this ain’t real and I don’t want to be a part of this world.

Anthony DeSclafani7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Tony Disco was our Call Boy and did exactly what he was supposed to do against the Marlins. Streaming Record: 88-55. Surprisingly, this came with just 31/110 CSW and only eight whiffs overall, but DeSclafani made it work. With this easy start out of the way, he gets the Phils and Diamondbacks in his next three starts. It’s good – not great – and I’d consider holding.

Jordan Lyles5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Our backup call boy was almost as good, with Lyles earning 34/97 CSW and 15/40 on deuces alone. Excellent separation of his heater and breaker made this everything we wanted. I’m even tempted to hold and bench him for the Astros start just for the Marlins, Cards, Padres, and Reds to follow. This could be a playoff winner.

Aaron Civale7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Great stuff from Civale as he took advantage of his start against the Tigers. Nothing too remarkable here, save for great command of fastballs and cutters away from right-handers constantly. I still want more from his changeup/slider/curveball if I’m going to get on board for 2020, but this is fine.

Jack Flaherty6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Sliders at the bottom of the zone with curveballs to help earn strikes and life is good. I wouldn’t say the curveball is really coming together, but it has been nice to see it utilized effectively recently.

Mike Foltynewicz4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s annoying to see Folty need 98 pitches to just get pulled in the fifth. His sliders weren’t as deadly as we want them to be and his fastball couldn’t do it all. Be better, Folty. He gets the Jays and Phils next and I’m still holding there. He can do this.

Kenta Maeda5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh, we’re doing this whole “mediocre for five innings” thing again. Just 14/79 CSW here with one whiff alone on non-fastballs. What on earth. WE NEED YOU MAEDA GET IT TOGETHER.

Jake Odorizzi6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I love extreme high heater Odorizzi. So much.

James Paxton5.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Paxton didn’t have as much faith in his cutter as he did last time out, and it hurt him. Curveballs were a mixed bag as well, and it returned five walks as a result. We’re lucky the ratios weren’t worse, but I guess we can thank the Mariners for that. I’m starting him blindly moving forward, though. I don’t believe it’s a trend that’ll last September and his ceiling is too pretty.

Max Scherzer4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna make the most of their 89 pitches. Kinda. He should be all kinds of lovely starting next week.

Vince Velasquez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. It worked, for now. I think the risk in general isn’t worth this reward of five frames.

Jordan Zimmermann6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Nice start here from Jay-Z. The end will be bad, though.

Eduardo Rodriguez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. The ratios are bad again. Why must the ratios be bad again? We’re never going to escape this purgatory.

Jacob Waguespack3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Waguespack has a horrible schedule the rest of the way and we can expect plenty more starts like this one moving forward. No boosters for the pack in sight.

Trey Wingenter1.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. This was a legit bullpen game. And boy are Wingenter’s arms tired. I don’t get it. Yeah, neither do I.

Ryan Yarbrough6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I was hesitant about this start from The Fratty Pirate against the Astros, but he served a PQS that we’ll very much take, and now has three plenty better starts ahead. Be happy.

Sandy Alcantara6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Solid stuff here from Alcantara despite the 4 ER.  He exhibited overall great precision at the bottom of the zone with sinkers at 96 mph. There’s work to be done with his changeup and slider still, but this is a good start. Cautiously watch this.

Gerrit Cole6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna earn a Gallows Pole with 23 whiffs and fan 14 but still disappoint us. Just one fewer ER next time, okay?

Jake Junis6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The breaker was good, not great here, and Junis needed more to give you the start you wanted against the A’s. Now it’s the Tigers and Marlins, though, and maybe this could work. Maybe. Be careful.

Tanner Roark6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get at least a PQS here from Roark against the Royals. He still has an excellent schedule the rest of the way and I’d keep starting him for the Angels and Tigers next.

Ross Detwiler4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. A rolling team carries no Ross.

Peter Lambert4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Maybe one day Peter will pitch for a team outside of Colorado. Maybe one day.

Justus Sheffield4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. His slider was much better in this one, and we did see that changeup…return two strikes on ten thrown. Yikes. There’s polish left here in his command as we patiently wait for the tweak to come. Here’s to hoping that’s early next year. I don’t like waiting.

Asher Wojciechowski4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Better sliders in this one, but still the blegh curveball. We have one more start against the Rays until the matchups ease up for the Woj. Stop serving us bombs and bring the BOMBS.

Kyle Hendricks4.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Look at these three stooges at the bottom here. Hendricks lived at the top of the zone with his “heaters,” but the problem was changeups that didn’t do what he wanted, with few falling down in the zone properly. Meanwhile, while he was trying to go upstairs a lot, he didn’t feature any at the bottom properly to change eye-level. We needed him to excel, he let us down…today. Stick with him.

Mitch Keller4.0 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. His command was plenty worse against the Phillies and while his breakers helped earn the strikeouts, his heater sat in the middle too often, failing to elevate or shoot knees effectively. He’s a legit Cherry Bomb these days, but I’d still be considering him down the stretch against weak teams. Just understand the risks at play.

Noah Syndergaard3.0 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Jeeeeez Thor, stop being so hittable. His sliders sit thigh-high as he can’t get them down in or even out of the zone properly, while his fastball can’t make up its mind where it wants to be. Curveballs and changeups didn’t do a whole lot either and we’re just so sad. You can’t drop Thor, you just need to ride it out like Bauer and hope for the best. Until he changes teams, I don’t think we can reasonably expect Syndergaard to reach the upside we believe he can hit.


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.


Felix Hernandez vs. Texas RangersThis is the worst. All streaming options are either arms I don’t want to chase at all or have horrific matchups. So fine, I guess I have to dine with questionable royalty for an evening. Please figure out how to get a win here. Please.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Kolby Allard vs. Seattle Mariners – He did well going fastball/cutter last time out, and it could carry over here.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Joe Ross vs. Miami Marlins Ross has the stuff to take advantage of this great matchup. Framber Valdez vs. Toronto Blue JaysThe Nats are bumping Ross because reasons, so I’ll go with Framber getting the start against the Jays. Logan Webb against the Padres could also be considered as well as Brock Burke against the Mariners.


Game of the Day


Jacob deGrom vs. Jon Lester – It’s a tense matchup for two playoff hopeful teams, which could make this a great duel.


(Photo by John Cordes/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.

9 responses to “Top-Shelf From Po’Keefe”

  1. Derek says:

    I picked up both Keller and Alcantara in anticipation of their matchups against each other early next week. Even though they both tanked, Keller gave up a bunch of infield hits and Sandy didn’t pitch all that bad, so I think I’m holding. What do you think?

  2. Josh says:

    You’ve been preaching DeSclafani for a while, and yesterday, I finally listened. Turned my good pitching week into a great pitching week. Thank you, bless your heart.

    Now I just have to figure out what to do with the Kenley Jansen-sized elephant in the room.

  3. Felix Millan says:

    About Thor, when you say, “Until he changes teams, I don’t think we can reasonably expect Syndergaard to reach the upside we believe he can hit.” Is this because of the Mets coaching/philosophy? Pitching in NY?
    It IS a great ballpark to pitch in..

    • rainmaker says:

      Nick has negatively referred to the Met’s pitching philosophy before so I assume he means that. But it is not a good ballpark to pitch in either, the park factors may be friendly but the defense is atrocious and has been for a while.

  4. Orange WHIPs says:

    Thor had 8 straight QSs and had given up just 5 runs total his last 5 games.

  5. sturock says:

    Maybe Thor just throws up a crappy game now and then. Could happen if he’s an Astro too.

  6. Peter O'Keefe says:

    Gotta ask- as a long time reader, longer time P. O’Keefe, what’s the headline mean?

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