Urena Hot Streak

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

I haven’t been all that nice to Jose Urena this season and all he’s done is string together a series of impressive starts, now returning a quality start in all but one of his last nine starts, including yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks against the Padres. Urena hot streak, Jose. It’s a 2.95 ERA and 1.16 WHIP since April 14th…and that’s where the fun stops. 17% strikeout rate and an acceptable 7.5% walk rate with a not-so-acceptable 4.58 SIERA. The man is a Toby to its lowest extent as he’ll be a Grave Mistake often with that strikeout rate while very rarely giving you one of those sweet starts you see from Cherry Bombs. This isn’t going to last, ride it if you need to a Quality Start league and don’t neglect to follow the matchups. Yesterday was Pads, fine, Braves are next, not fine.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Jose Alvarez2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. The Phils did a bullpen game for the most part, with Cole Irvin getting the biggest chunk of 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yay. I feel like a kid pulling his mother’s dress as she talks to her friend at the supermarket. Can we please keep move on?

Kyle Gibson5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. You see the three Ks and think the whiffs disappeared but NAY! HARK! TWIST! 15/88 whiffs here. Just 11 called strikes though (30%) meant Gibson couldn’t sneak in early strikes as easily for those punchouts, but this line works and we’re all happy owning Gibson. Nice.

Jon Gray6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Great stuff from Gray that will leave many satisfied and relaxed after nervously spinning the wheel

Jacob deGrom6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. deGrom focused on throwing more sliders in this one and 16/22 sliders for strikes helped him tremendously. A 97+ fastball does the trick too and while 25/89 CSW isn’t what we’re used to, we’re certainly going to take it. He would have likely gone into the 8th if it weren’t for a hip cramp that got him pulled in the 7th. He’s fine, ignore the DTD designation. Whoa, color! I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Clayton Kershaw7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s not the Kershaw of old, but even a step back makes for a lovely ace.

Jefry Rodriguez4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He left this one early with a tight lat muscle. Welp, it was forgettable knowing you, Jefry.

Justin Verlander8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s making a remarkable case for #1 SP with his 2.27 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 8 KPS (strikeouts per start). Love it. Enjoy the Gallows Pole with 23 animals, you beautiful man.

Shaun Anderson7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This is a lovely start from Shaun-A, but I unfortunately think this is the ceiling, not a step toward the top of the mountain. There just isn’t enough here for 12-teamers save for a needed stream against a poor offense.

Erick Fedde4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This start did nothing to help you. Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Jack Flaherty5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Flaherty could have gone further if it weren’t for a rain delay, which is really disappointing as he was cruising. You should be feeling better about Flaherty these days after his rough start to the year after just 4 ER allowed in his last three, surviving against Arlington, the Braves, and now Cubs. He’s getting a bump tomorrow.

Lance Lynn6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s. What’s. Up. Streaming Record: 40-23. I’ve been saying that we can drop Lynn after this one and I know, I know, 28 Ks in three starts! But it was the Royals twice and Mariners twice over his last four and I’m thinking this is a hot streak that will fade against the strong Oakland offense in Arlington. Vargas Rule it all you want, I’m skeptical. I’m only suggesting toss him back if there’s a definitive option, FWIW.

Tommy Milone4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I know the ratios are bad, but can we recognize that Milone has punched out at least six in three straight games? The man isn’t supposed to be a strikeout fiend. It was slider usage before that got the whiffs, changeups this time. No, this does not make Milone a pickup, unless you are in an AL-Only league. I just don’t buy that Milone is going to steadily do this + not kill your ratios.

Jose Quintana4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. There was a rain delay that messaged up the delicious meal Quintana was preparing. No QS, no saving ratios, no hint at 8+ Ks. Womp womp. I’ve relegated him to the Toby tier and it’s going to stay that way.

Brett Anderson5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Mr. Anderson, how can you benefit owners when you cannot speak? Wait, that’s not how it goes. It’s been…TWENTY YEARS?! I don’t feel old at all, definitely not.

Domingo German3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. The Red Sox/Yankee rivalry often causes arms to get the hook early as more pitches get thrown and this was no exception for German. Great to see him still rack up the strikeouts despite the terrible ratios and keep starting German with confidence.

Andrew Heaney6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. YES HEANEY. YES. The funny thing here is that he barely touched his changeup – the pitch that I’m waiting for him to get a feel for again so he can actually hit the next gear. 15/36 whiffs on curveballs as he did an excellent job fading the pitch down-and-away from left-handers while putting sinkers up in the zone. If you endured the long wait with him on the IL, you are getting so well rewarded. So while I expect him to not perform this well give just the fastball/changeup combination, I also expect the changeup to come back and quell those concerns.

Ivan Nova7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Nothing like going Super Nova and earning just three strikeouts on the way. It’s a Grave Mistake for those not careful enough with Nova, just treat him like a desperate stream against weak opponents and you’re fine.

Mike Soroka6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh no! His ERA fell all the way down to 1.41! We did see a little bit of the expected regression here as that .228 BABIP and 0.16 HR/9 still have a ways to go. Still love Soroka and will not touch his name on The List for yet another week, though I can’t help but think he is a decent sell high still with his expected step back and the vague innings volume.

Marcus Stroman7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I’m actually super impressed with this one as Stroman found a way to survive Coors, especially after allowing all three earned runs in the first frame. I definitely don’t trust Stroman in the slightest for your 12-teamers these days, but I guess you could do worse…?

Homer Bailey3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaaaah, Homer Bale is acting that kid who clearly skipped out on reading The Odyssey in high school. It’s what he was named to do, it’s the scorpion and the frog! Fine, I’ll allow it.

Yonny Chirinos5.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Chirinos looked good to start the game fanning the side in the first, then ran into trouble as his changeup wasn’t as good anymore and his fastball was hit. Still, 19/91 whiffs is wonderful and I think I need to give Chirinos a bit more love on The List. The Twins are one of the top offenses, after all.

Zack Greinke4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, um, Greinke, why are the Mets the team that finally gets your number? Buy low if someone is foolish enough to react to this, he should be his ace-like-self against the Jays next.

Nick Margevicius3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ah yes, the TEEs is serving up HAISTFMFWT?! as he’s been a Grave Mistake and a Panda all year. You’re just trying to throw in as many phrases as possible. You got me.

Tanner Roark6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Roark had a nice stretch of just seven ER allowed total in five starts, and while he hit a wall here against the Nats, I’m not ignoring his fifth 6+ strikeout game in six starts. Fine, he’ll get a spot on The List tomorrow. It won’t be high though.

Nick Kingham3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The Bacon Ruler is not nearly as delectable as you’d think.

Daniel Norris5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeaaaaah. It’s going to be a lot of this from Norris. There’s still a slight chance he strings together a good month or so for deep leagues, but we’re so far away in 12-teamers.

Rick Porcello4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The Thief couldn’t handle the Yankee offense – he is a Toby after all and we don’t start Tobys against elite offenses. The Rays should be better.

Brandon Woodruff4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Woodruff has been killing it and it came to screeching halt against the Pirates – The Pirates! – as his secondary stuff wasn’t good enough to mask a day where his heater wasn’t getting the job done (30 total fouls today on 92 pitches and just 17 CSW. WILD!). That’s not totally fair as his changeup showed up for 6/20 whiffs, but it does make me wonder if batters were so ready for his fastball that they became a bit too aggressive on the slow ball. At the end of the day, this is a reminder of Woodruff’s repertoire being so heavily reliant on his fastball command and I imagine he’ll get back on track against the Marlins next time.

David Hess4.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember kids, For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here!


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.


Zach Plesac vs. Chicago White Sox – I think he brings enough to the table to give owners a solid start with his heater and changeup. Trevor Richards against the Padres is another option.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Corbin Martin vs. Seattle Mariners – There are just four games on Monday and I’ll go with Martin’s strikeout upside instead of Lauer, Cahill, and LeBlanc against tough opponents.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Devin Smeltzer vs. Cleveland Indians – I didn’t expect Smeltzer to get this start – I thought the Twins would skip him! – and now slated against the Indians, I’m game.


Game of the Day


Jose Suarez vs. Seattle Mariners – Sure, let’s see what the kid can do.


(Photo by Tony Quinn/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 “Urena Hot Streak”

  1. Jim says:

    Dare I say that Urena at home against nearly any east team is worth the start. Especially on the streak he’s on. It really doesn’t matter what the secondary numbers say, when a professional pitcher (on any team) is this hot you have to roll with them.
    p.s. Marlins are actually winning games. /gasp

  2. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    Love the slight Matrix reference in the brett anderson blurb!

  3. Ross says:

    Hmm, what’s the real game of the day?

  4. E says:

    DeGrom vs. Greinke happened last night

  5. Jason says:

    I love your site! I have a question. Who is the better SP stash right now — Alex Reyes or Zac Gallen? Thanks!

  6. Justin says:

    Love your work Nick, you are my baseball hero. Been reading everything you have on Soroka and you seem to love the guy long term. Where would you place him in a dynasty league? Top 15? 20? 25?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Honestly, I have a lot of concerns about Soroka’s health long term, but I’d place him inside the Top 25 for Dynasty based on skills alone.

  7. Morgan says:

    The Bacon Ruler, lol!

  8. hscer says:

    Max must have read your Verlander blurb and been like… naaah… ; )

  9. theKraken says:

    Isn’t it kind of weird that Lynn meets the streaming criteria every time around and he keeps getting the Win? Good news for the streaming crew I guess!

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