Walker Walking The Walk

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

I was a bit harsh on Walker Buehler this week as I found myself wanting to reward the Top 20 arms that have consistently produced over Buehler who hadn’t quite gotten into his groove yet. Well, after last night’s 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks against the Diamondbacks, I think he’s acting like llama as he found his groove. Aces gonna ace. I’ve talked about his secondary stuff needing to set up the high heat and that’s exactly what we had here with cutters earning 14/17 strikes, and sliders/curveballs even acting as whiff pitches – 8/31 between them. 36/102 CSW with 18 whiffs is beautiful, 96/97 heat on his four-seamer, and HE’S BACK BAAABY. This could be a long and wonderful summer.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Cam Bedrosian1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s cool, Cam, but your buddy Trevor Cahill couldn’t survive five frames – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks as we took all hope that he could return to his May 2017/18 self again out to the barn and we, um…well the hope is gone. Forever.

Eric Lauer6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, that’s four straight 1 ER starts from Lauer who has become a Vargas Rule. But what if thi— NO. This is a Vargas Rule, don’t make Lauer a thing, please. His hasn’t had a whiff rate above 8% for a game with April 27th. Shudders. Yeah.

Jon Lester7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Lester, bouncing backing after three straight regression slams into the wall. Fun fact: his current 3.32 ERA and 1.31 WHIP is identical to his 2018 marks. Funny how that works. Keep rolling out this Toby and be glad at least he’s raised his strikeout rate two points. For now.

Corbin Martin3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Womp womp. There’s no reason to believe Martin is worth your time at all now in 12-teamers. I’m done with him. He had a nice first start and then…nothing. Seriously, not a single game over four frames since. Streaming Record: 41-24. I always knew I liked Taylors more. One day the 714ce will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.

Cory Gearrin1.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Cory was the opener for Wade LeBlanc who had himself a day going 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – Good for an MS Score of 7, one shy of tying Kyle Hendricks‘ mark of six this year. It was such a good game, that it lowered LeBlanc’s ERA to 5.70. Yeah. 5.70. Welp, we’re done here.

Robbie Ray7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Save for a three-run shot against Corey SeagerRay dominated the Dodgers lineup in this one with 38/98 CSW. Good to see him pull back the walks and finally hit 6+ frames again. Here’s to hoping he can continue to earn 20 whiffs (Gallows Pole) and cruise through the ASB.

Aaron Nola5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwwww this was supposed to be the game! The one where a strikeout-heavy lineup succumbs to the will that is Nola and his finally-commanded fastball! YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! Just 7 whiffs overall – six on curveballs – and 26/93 CSW is meh. This is the zone plot of his fastballs and you can see that this isn’t the Nola we know and love. It’s sad, really. I think he will get there this year, but until this is zone heavy and on the edges, we’re not going to be living every day like it’s Nola day.


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.


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.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dakota Hudson vs. Cincinnati Reds – There aren’t many streaming options here, so I’ll go with Hudson pulling off his sinkerball ways against the Reds offense away from GABP. Also stoked for Jimmy Nelson to finally return.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Mahle vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Not much of a choice here as there are zero good strong matchups to choose otherwise. I’m not joking, zero. Ariel JuradoIn Arlington? Nope.


Game of the Day 


Griffin Canning vs. Frankie Montas – Well ain’t this a fun game of exceptional young arms.


(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

7 responses to “Walker Walking The Walk”

  1. Saint says:

    Hello Nick,

    12 Team H2H 6×6 OPS QS Redraft

    In a vacuum: Brantley or Hendricks


  2. robert danzig says:

    starting Montas, Ryu, Eduardo, Paddack, Smeltzer tonight.. u want to predict how many wins I get?

  3. Stu says:

    Lester was on his way to another bad day, but Cargo saved his bacon with a spectacular grab when the bases were loaded.

    • J says:

      Sort of. Lester absolutely cruised through the first 6 innings and CarGo saved him from trouble in the 7th. I wouldn’t have called that a bad day. Still would have had around a 1 WHIP and 6 Ks.

  4. Sam says:

    Why is Nola doing this to us, Nick? What have we done to upset him?

  5. theKraken says:

    When does anyone start to look critically at the opener? My guess is several years at least – likely never just on to the next fad. SEA cost themselves the game yesterday in the first inning.

    Re: WB – that was the best stuff I may have ever seen from him.

  6. Ionescorhino says:

    Would really appreciate help in this trade.

    A. Giolito and Austin Riley

    B. Buehler and Franmil Reyes

    Which side do you like? 12-team with QS and OPS. Thanks.

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