Tyler Skaggravating

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

I think it’s time to address my feelings about Tyler Skaggs following yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks performance against the Rays. On Monday, I expected to lower Skaggs a good amount on The List. His four-seamer/curveball combo isn’t as pristine as others (like his teammate Andrew Heaney’s for example) and Skaggs’ changeup is nothing to write home about. At the same time, the 50s/60s are a lot of shrugs and Skaggs’ ceiling of a 3.00 ERA arm with a 25% strikeout rate is still nagging at me. I probably should have placed him around 57 or so around Jon Lester and we’d be happy. Maybe even closer to Lance Lynn at #65, but he’s rising after the Sawx start and that’s a whole other story.

Right, so this game. It was actually going well until the lights shut off in Tampa. He finished the fourth inning, but the fifth caused turmoil where the Rays knocked him around for three runs via pitches over the plate. He still had 13 whiffs, but Skaggs’ 91 mph fastball doesn’t leave much room for error and when paired with curveballs left up in the zone, it can go south quickly. That’s the thing, I think he’ll have a good number of 6/7 strikeout games, but it will be with a lot of this – these middling ER games that make you wonder why he’s even around. Maybe he goes on a beautiful stretch this summer that replicates the magic of 2018 again, but as of right now, he’s not locked in enough for me to put up with these blegh outings if there are good streaming options on the wire.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Homer Bailey6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the first six strikeout game Bailey in ten games. Don’t do anything silly, just let the man celebrate a Birthday Party.

Zack Greinke7.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just two outs away from the best MS Score of the year. So close.

Yusei Kikuchi5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, Kikuchi did good things! Against the Twins! With a 94mph fastball! I’m not falling for this again so quickly, but definitely monitor that heater moving forward – 16/47 CSW on the pitch here is phenomenal given how detrimental it has been this season. It sets the tone for everything.

Michael Pineda5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I was hoping to see last week’s spike in velocity stick around, but instead we got a little over 93 mph (not 94/95), but a greater focus on changeups from Pineda. Here’s to hoping the velocity returns with changeups he trusts and this legit turns into something. Streaming Record: 48-25.

Marcus Stroman6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Wanna know something wild? This is just the second game with five strikeouts across the last nine games for Stroman. Bleeeeegh. It’s also the fourth 1 ER game in his last six though, and there’s something to be said about that. It’s also the O’s. It just screams a Toby all around and I guess that’s okay. I wonder where he gets traded to where he can unlock that slider in full. That would be nice.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. We’re in the middle of a Vargas Rule with Teheran and while he had some of his normal antics, Teheran still went out there and did what we wanted him to do in the end. Fine, just strike out another batter or two, okay?

Clayton Kershaw6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace…kinda? A VPQS isn’t really what we signed up for, but the strikeouts are there and that’s all kinds of cool. Way to be cool Kersh, way to be cool.

Gabriel Ynoa5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Ynoa what? Trusting owners never wanted strikeouts anyway. Or good ratios. Or to win fantasy baseball. But seriously, just one punchout? HAISTFMFWT?!

Matt Boyd4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This wasn’t Boyd’s day. Even with the seven strikeouts, he balked in a run, had an error in the field leading to extend the fourth, and I’m sure he wants to forget it ever happened. It’s alright, we’ll give him this one.

Jon Gray6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Gallows Pole winner with a whopping 21 whiffs and 34/95 CSW. If only those ten strikeouts could come with something better a VPQS, just kidding worse than a VPQS. Is that just a VPS then? Maybe. Maybe it is. Anyway, that’s the problem with Gray. He’s volatile, wild, and even with ten strikeouts – TEN! – to his name here, you’re still wondering how to feel. You deserve better.

J. A. Happ5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. I know you’re a Toby, but I was hoping you were figuring out your four-seamer up n all and…blegh. Just 4/46 four-seamer whiffs.

Ivan Nova5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. No Super Nova today. I guess I wasted money on these stupid glasses. THE GOGGLES! THEY DO NOTHING!

Erick Fedde6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Just one strikeout, Erik? HAISTFMWT?! In the end, we don’t trust the Feddes and this is why. He just doesn’t bring enough to the table.

Ryan Yarbrough6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Womp womp. A pair of longballs did The Fratty Pirate in, who actually pitched well save for those gopherballs. I mean, well for our expectations as he still only returned five whiffs overall. I think he’s a decent AL-Only option, but 12-team leagues should dig for treasure elsewhere.

Jon Lester5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Awwww, I was hoping that Lester could survive against the Dodgers but nope. Just 21/95 CSW as the Dodgers jumped on his heater a ton. So it goes. You’re still going to start Lester and you’re gonna like it. Or do it begrudgingly because you don’t have a choice.

Joe Musgrove4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Are we done with Musgrove now? Likely? He went back to sinkers for a 50/50 four-seamer split, but he also hovered 93 mph with the straighter heater. And earned 5/11 whiffs on sliders. BUT I DIGRESS. Too many mistakes, not a good approach, and I’m all okay for dropping him for something else. Will Musgrove be a serviceable option again? Yes. That may not be for a bit, though.

David Price1.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Wait, what. Price got Singled Out (kinda, Pence nearly had a homerun) and needed near fifty pitches to secure four outs. Yeeeeeeesh. Cutters and changeups couldn’t save his poor fastball command and things just didn’t go right. It was a lot 90.8 mph heater as well after sporting 92+ last time out and I really hope he’s back up to 92 mph next time out. I wonder if there was something in his pre-game prep that didn’t get him ready to go or something like that. I’d have no fear starting him next time. Shake it off, y’all.

Adrian Sampson5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ahhhhh, there’s the Sampson we’re used to. I will mention this was the Red Sox so you didn’t roll with him anyway and we can’t judge him too harshly – he’s a possible option for average to poor offenses – but his opportunity to win our love after surviving against a strong offense wasn’t taken advantage of. Good luck against the Tribe next, we’re all counting on you.

Matt Strahm3.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. I have Strahm on the IL and there was no way I was taking him off prior to this start in Coors. It was DLH and the terrible elevation all in one so let’s just ignore this start happened and maybe wait and see how he looks next time against the…Brewers?! Yeah, he’s staying on the IL for another week.

Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I knew something seemed off and then I remembered this game didn’t officially end – the Mets were leading heading into the 9th, there was a rain delay, the Mets insisted to finish the game, Diaz was cold, and the Cards tied it up…removing deGrom from his possible Win. Typical. Anyway, this game may not count until a later date, but I’m talking about it now. Aces gonna ace as he tallied 37/111 CSW…though just 3/23 whiffs on sliders. One day this year he’ll get it back in full. One day.

Jack Flaherty – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Here’s the other side of that with Flaherty hitting a wall in the sixth and getting the ax. I think he pitched well in this one with 9/33 whiffs on his slide piece, but there still isn’t a strong third option in there and it may have helped a lot in that final frame. This isn’t enough to hold back on letting Flaherty loose for each of his starts, but it doesn’t give me encouragement that he can return to the Top 25 just yet.


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.


Tyler Mahle vs. Texas Rangers – I can’t do Trevor Richardsso I’ll go with Mahle hosting the Rangers.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Framber Valdez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – He’s currently sitting at 17% and it’s a solid matchup for Framber. I’d also consider Pablo Lopez against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Chase Anderson vs. San Francisco Giants I’m tempted to take the plunge on Peter Lambert, but he’s hosting the Padres and it makes for a low floor. There’s also Dakota Hudson against the Mets, but he’s actually just above the 20% threshold these days.


Game of the Day 


Nick Pivetta vs. Max Fried – Can Pivetta make it three straight? Will Fried put it back together? I NEED TO KNOW.


(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.

6 responses to “Tyler Skaggravating”

  1. Paul says:

    Nick, I come here so that I can make sure you’re yelling at my players when they’ve been bad, not give them a pass. Come on, it’s the Royals! Let Boyd have it.

  2. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    I finally got around to ordering my Nola day shirt today! Hopefully it’ proceeds a turn-around and a great summer from our friend Aaron.

    Thanks for taking some time to go into more detail on Skaggs, based on a 12 team points league, would you rather take a chance on skaggs, musgrove, jimmy nelson, or stash a guy like Luzardo/Cease/Gallen/etc?

    Have a great weekend man!

  3. Jim says:

    Nick does dropping Skaggs to add either Mahle or Pineda make much sense on a Points league? Or kind of s lateral move? Could always add a bench hitter like Hiura too. Hmmm…

  4. Mr. French says:

    Great writeup as always Nick. Just got a trade offer, my Jose Ramirez for Matty Carpenter and Lucas Giolito. Do I accept? Head-to-head categories, non-OBP.

  5. David says:

    I used this list “DRAFT PREP 2019” done by Nick, for my pitching, as I’m sure as many others of us did. I’m looking at it now. Am I the only one struggling? My pitching sucks everywhere! lol HELP!

    Trevor Bauer Late 3rd/Early 4th
    Noah Syndergaard Late 3rd/Early 4th
    Jameson Taillon Late 5th/ Early 6th
    Mike Clevinger Late 5th/ Early 6th
    Zack Wheeler Rounds 7/8
    Miles Mikolas Rounds 9/10
    Yu Darvish Rounds 9/10
    Ross Stripling Rounds 12/13/14
    Nick Pivetta Rounds 12/13/14
    Andrew Heaney Rounds 12/13/14
    JA Happ Rounds 12/13/14
    Alex Reyes Round 14+
    Yusei Kikuchi Round 15+
    Tyler Skaggs Round 15+
    Kyle Freeland Round 15+
    Jimmy Nelson Round 16+
    Joe Musgrove Round 16+
    Michael Fulmer Round 18+
    Derek Holland Round 18+
    Collin McHugh Round 18+
    Matt Strahm Round 18+
    Reynaldo Lopez Round 18+
    Jesus Luzardo Round 18+
    Forrest Whitley Round 18+
    Merrill Kelly Round 20+
    Jeff Samardzija Round 20+
    Justus Sheffield Round 20+
    Jerad Eickhoff Round 20+
    *Luke Weaver Round 20+
    *Chris Paddack Round 20+
    *Brad Peacock Round 20+

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