What Is Happening

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

(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)

You know who isn’t getting enough love? Mr. J.A. Happ who put up a 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks line yesterday against the Red Sox and is now sporting a 3.72 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 5.7% walk rate and an absurd 33.6% K rate for the season, fueled by a 14.1% whiff rate. I wrote about Happ as a strikeout king last Friday, with the emphasis on his four-seamers up in the zone, and he earned a near 12% whiff rate with the pitch yesterday. The biggest questions are his 1.55 HR/9 and 20% HR/FB rates that may stay a bit elevated inside the AL Beast and Toronto’s HR friendly park, with a questionable injury history, but considering that most are not labeling Happ as a Top 40 asset, I’m holding tight and rolling with Happ for a long time. A 30% K rate won’t happen, but a 25% mark moving forward is well within reach and with solid ratios behind it, you should be a fan. Welcome to The Happening that is actually good.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Kyle Freeland – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Sorry Freeland, I totally recognize that you had 14 whiffs with a 33% rate on your slider piece, and I’m super impressed you did this in Coors, but I have to give the Blame it on the Padres label. I really just don’t see a guy that will be good more than bad.

Marco Gonzales – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Super impressive start here with a 38 CS + W in just 89 pitches, though he did get a decent amount of pitches called in his favor off the plate. I watched all of this as I wanted to reassess if Marco is worth your time and…maybe. I like his curveball at times, if his fastball is sitting along the edges and he’s getting the calls, he will have starts like this, but I got the feeling as I watched it that this wasn’t a master commander, but things going his way. Definitely worth it for the flier, but I’m not grouping him with other Spice Girls just yet.

CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. CC, thanks for the win, but I think I’m going to hold back in your next three starts against the Angels, Indians, and Red Sox. Nothing personal. Streaming Record: 16-7.

Tyler Chatwood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Is there a rule that Chatwood has to record the same amount of walks and strikeouts? And how does he continue to allow a stupid amount of baserunners – 9 this game and a 1.71 WHIP on the year – yet allow just 1 ER? Sure, just 25.0% hard contact, but also only 17.9% soft. And an 8.4% whiff rate. And a 5.52 SIERA. Stay away.

Kenta Maeda – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Well this is interesting. Maeda got the Marlins so I have to take this with a small grain of salt, but six innings are six innings, even if it was in just 81 pitches. Are they actually letting him loose or is this just one of those typical Dodgers teases? I really hope so, I had little faith last week that Maeda could be someone that consistently produces for you, but this might be coming around. I’m ready to eat my words from last week.

Dillon Peters – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I know I’ve grounded into DP a bit in these roundups, giving him a hard time and refusing to endorse him. Today is no different.

Andrew Triggs – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. What a fantastic rebound from Triggs after his horrid 6 ER outing last time out. I watched this start and the fella was on. Great movement on his fastball that the Rangers struggled mightily to make contact with, solid curveballs to earn a few strikeouts, and quick innings returning six frames in just 81 pitches. His sole run came from an infield single, weak HBP on a changeup, a full-count walk, then sac-fly. Now the Rangers are not the strongest offense – neither were the ChiSox last week… – but I’ll be rolling Triggs out there against both the Mariners and Orioles next.

Chris Volstad – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Wait, Volstad is still doing things? Why?

Zach Davies – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s two straight solid outings from Davies…with just two Ks each time. SIERA is still 4.49 – a better mark than each of those two starts earned. Hard contact at 45.4% and just 9.3% soft. 9.1% whiff rate. 8.3% walk rate. Sorry Davies, I’m saying no like they’re trying to send me to rehab.

Cole Hamels – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Good news: Hamels had 11 whiffs and 18 called strikes in 106 pitches. Bad news: FOOLED YOU, there isn’t any. I’ll take this any day of the week from Hamels and it’s good to see him get the whiffs again. I’m 50/50 on his next start against the Tribe, but the following Sawx/Astros combo may put him on the wire right away despite the improvement here.

Ty Blach – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sometimes you look at a line and think Blach. If you want to put that in the voice of Clint Eastwood, by all means.

Tyler Mahle – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Mahle was holding a no-hitter through the first six frames, then got the Careful Icarus treatment in the 7th, beginning with a solo shot from Freddie Freeman., then a double + bomb from Kurt Suzuki to end his night. If you remember the initial assessment of Mahle, his fastball command will create nights like this from time to time – nights like this equating to 20 whiffs en route to a Gallows Pole – but it’s a Cherry Bomb situation and I hate having that stress in my life. Totally get if you want to chase this, I think I’m going to pass.

Brandon McCarthy – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. 3.38 ERA and 25.3% hard contact from McCarthy so far. I actually tried finding another positive stat, but I couldn’t. 4.39 SIERA, 17.1% K Rate, 8.1% BB rate, just a 5.7% whiff rate…I think this is an occasional streamer play and not someone to roster.

Rick Porcello – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Porcello looked out of whack early on, walking a few batters quickly and not being locked in like his earlier starts. Then he woke up like he was late for work – You mean like you today? This Roundup is soooo late! – and got his act together in the final five frames, accruing nine strikeouts. The dude is stupid right now, loving his slider/changeup combo to go along with plenty of sinkers. Don’t sell high unless you’re getting Top 30 value back.

Robbie Ray – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Are you satisfied with this? 11 strikeouts are dope, but those ratios are horrid – 5.13 ERA, 1.56 WHIP thus far – and there’s no real indication that’s going to change, especially with 46.6% hard contact thus far. I am impressed by 36 CS + W in 107 pitches, but he labored a ton to not even escape the fifth before demanding the hook. And this was the Phils! 20th in team wOBA! The Nats + Astros + Nats again are next and I’m a little worried. I think you still need to roll with him, but I feel the headaches of Ray owners.

Ian Kennedy – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Kennedy left this game after taking a line drive to the foot. He should be fine for next time, but only in a physical sense. Fantasy sense, nothing about this is fine.

Charlie Morton – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Womp womp. It’s been a hot start for Morton, but he struggled a bit here with just 4 whiffs and plenty worse fastball command. This was supposed to be the fun matchup of the day and it turned into a sad state of affairs for both squads. This isn’t the beginning of the end – velocity was all fine – and expect Morton to rebound next time.

Shohei Ohtani – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. Ohtani, buddy, you’re making that sell high talk way too relevant. We want to see you succeed, but with these walks and your blister and the whole je ne sais quoi of your shtick you’re making us all a little scared. Sell if there is still significant value here, hold if you’re not getting anything decent.

Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. 1 ER too many for the QS, a 1.33 WHIP that feels dirty, and just four strikeouts without a Win. Why must you not give us anything?

Vince Velasquez – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Get used to this line. It’s one you’ll see often from VV.

Luke Weaver – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Six walks Weaver?! SIX?! Is that because your curveball suddenly couldn’t be trusted for strikes? Or maybe your command was all over the place with your fastball? SIX?! Then you had to serve a horrid changeup to Cespedes that deservedly sent over 400 feet into the night sky. I’m not ready to give up here – but this is super disappointing after wanting a rebound from the last outing.

Zach Wheeler – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh, I was hoping Wheeler could look more like his self against the Marlins than against the Nats, but the Cards were too much for him to get a strong footing in this one. He’s still a clear drop from the other Spice Girls, but I’m not ready to rule him out completely, especially with a start lined up against the Padres on Sunday.

Jose Berrios – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. The Bronx is a tough place to survive and Berrios couldn’t avoid the longball against Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, the latter off a terrible changeup this is still plaguing Berrios. Still, curveball was dope, and he earned 14 whiffs across the board here. Keep the faith.

Josh Tomlin – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. To think that this man prevented Mike Clevinger from getting more starts last year. THIS IS PAYBACK.

Eric Lauer – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Sometimes you don’t need me to tell you it’s a Cup of Schmo. Thanks Eric.

Today’s Streamer

Matt Wisler vs. Cincinnati Reds – The Reds aren’t scaring anyone and Wisler could return another positive performance.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Homer Bailey vs. Atlanta Braves – There are about four options to choose from here and I guess I’m going Homer Bale again. Make me proud.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Anderson vs. Miami Marlins – I debated heavily between this or Mike Minor against the Jays, but I’ll go with Anderson as the Fish are floundering as much as anyone.

Game of the Day

Zack Greinke vs. Jake Arrieta – There have been some questions about Greinke’s effectiveness thus far mixed with Arrieta hopefully building on last week’s gem.

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.

45 responses to “What Is Happening”

  1. Barry says:

    I’m not sitting too bad at closer with Allen, Hand and Greene, however another manager is short on starters and has 6 closers and is dangling them. Verlander, Car-Mart, and Godley are not available from me, however I also have Manaea, Mikolas, J. Gray, Lucchesi, Estrada, and Montgomery to offer.

    I’m looking at Doolittle or Iglesias to upgrade from Greene, but will hang onto all four closers if I can secure one of his. I’m just not sure how trading a starter(s) is valued by you. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

  2. larry womack says:

    At this point do you think Weaver is a streamer?

    Thanks and nice work

  3. J says:

    Do you ever change your streamer pick once you set it 2 days in advance?

  4. Manny aka DGM says:

    Gotta say though that Berrios got royally screwed by both his catcher and the ump on several calls. One of the runs should have been unearned – that was clearly a passed ball and not a wild pitch.

    That being said, I’m simply glad the game is over – I can’t begin to think what I would do if I had to listen to Michael Kay every freaking game. Good lord the Yankees announcers are horrible – Kay actually said this yesterday:

    “Everyone though Blackmon was going to get a ton of offers but he ended up re-signing with the Rockies before free agency started and didn’t get any”

    No shit Michael….no shit.

    • Manny aka DGM says:

      Also, tell me I still did good moving Manaea & Chase Anderson for Berrios. I feel like I’m rolling with the “all disappointment” all stars. Why is my ERA at 7!?!?!?

      Verlander, Price, Castillo, Weaver, Godley, Berrios, Ohtani, Samardizja, Lopez

      • Nick Pollack says:

        That’s a fair deal, don’t stress about it.

        • Manny says:

          Would u move ohtani for ozuna straight up or hold tight?

          C – Realmuto
          1 – A Rizzo
          2 – I Kinsler
          3 – A Rendón
          SS – C Seager
          OF – M Betts
          OF – S Marte
          OF – E Rosario
          UTIL – J Lowrie
          UTIL – J Martinez
          DL – D Murphy
          DL – a Eaton

    • theKraken says:

      Thank you! I didn’t want to be the one pointing out the bad breaks for Berrios…again.
      Here is a series that resulted in an earned run: out, K, error… 1) The runner that scored struck out. 2) That should be three outs. 3) The batter struck out on a wild pitch – yeah… that’s a passed ball. Ultimately, an official scorer can do whatever they want, but yes, that should have been 4 ER -and more importantly, that painful 4th should have been 1-2-3. Not bad for a tough day?

      • Nick Pollack says:

        Yep, I didn’t think this was a start that I needed to mark as the beginning of the end.

        Still a terrible changeup to Didi though – the biggest flaw in his game.

  5. Pablo says:

    Worth holding onto Chase Anderson and Miles Mikolas or drop one to stream someone like Faria @BAL today?

  6. Kam says:

    You feel more confident with Wisler over Faria against the O’s today?

  7. PJ says:

    Happ, Mikolas, or Minor rest of season? Looking for upside.

    • PJ says:

      Or jorMont….

    • theKraken says:

      You can see the volume of Mikolas ?s in the comments daily, which tells you that he is getting some real looks from a lot of owners at this point. I think if he puts together a good start v PIT, then he might blow up a bit in value. Regardless of ROS, I think he could end up being a good guy to flip shortly for someone better ROS.

  8. Jake says:

    Nick, please tell me what you think, I’m in a 14 team league and have a solid offense, I turned Ray and Cespedes into Severino. Now my rotation is Sevy, Archer, Richards, Castillo, Mikolas, Minor, Junis and Tropeano.

  9. Let's Play Two says:

    After Weaver’s start last night, do you like Pivetta and/or E-Rod better ROS in a standard, 5×5 season-long roto?

    What say you sage one?

  10. Upton Funk Gon' Give It To Yu says:

    Headache-ridden Ray owner here. I plan to keep taking the Ks and hoping for improvement in the ratios eventually, but if you did have an opportunity to swap him at his low (ie. now), what sort of return would you be looking for? Someone looking to sell high on Corbin, maybe? Or a Yu / Tanaka owner?

  11. A big fan says:

    Which side do you like better (can keep 2 players; points league): Castillo/Moncada or Paxton/Nunez?

  12. Joe says:

    Hey Nick, I haven’t been able to make any adds/drops/trade offers in my 12 team points league since Pomeranz came off the DL on Friday because I haven’t activated him yet. I know you have him ranked behind guys like Lopez and Junis right now, but is that because he just returned from injury? I guess I’m wondering if the 60s is where you see him all year, or if he has an obvious path towards top-50. I’m trying to decide which one of the three to drop so I can make other roster moves.

  13. Tom says:

    How confident are you that Snell is going to remain an ace?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Not confident enough to put him in the Top 20 – he hasn’t done this long enough yet and we know his horrendous floor.

  14. Tim says:

    which side do you like more in a points league ROS?

    Gardner/Maeda/Mikolas vs A Jones/J Gray/Folty.

    Thanks for the ongoing excellent analysis its part of my daily routine to check PL!

  15. David says:

    re Porcello… two of those runs should be unearned as Devers missed a hard, but fieldable groundball at 3B. I thought it was off his glove, but apparently he was so awful he couldn’t make contact. Watch the replay…it’s gross.

    re Happ… how are guys swinging at all these high fastballs out of the zone? He kept throwing them and the Sox kept whiffing. It was perplexing.

    Anyway, good work as always!

  16. Cheech N Dejong says:

    Hey Nick!
    You think its worth it to shop Robbie Ray? Or is he someone to hold, like Gray and Castillo?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you’re better off right now to hold Ray. I think his value is going to shoot up the second he has one of his patented stud outings.

  17. James says:

    Would you drop Reynaldo, Lucchesi, or Mikolas for Rich Hill? He is on my waivers and is looking quite tempting.

  18. An Ungodley Odor says:

    Hey Nick. Discovered the site this season thanks to FantasyRundown and am really enjoying it

    Curious why Mike Minor is so much higher on The List than Sean Newcomb? Trying to decide which to pick up off waivers today and most people seem to prefer the upside of Newcomb.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks man!

      I think Minor is a pitcher that will get better with more time on the hill. Newcomb’s two-pitch mix speaks to high walks through the year, while I can see Minor helping across the board consistently as it gets deeper into the season.

  19. Martin says:

    I’m thinking of dealing Johnny Cueto for Robbie Ray and a reliever like Boxberger. I’m thinking I’m selling high with Cueto’s health concerns, and buying low on Ray, although you seem to indicate Ray may not turn it around.

    Would I be wise to make this deal? Thanks!

  20. Steve says:

    Would trading out Ohtani for Manea straight up be a good deal in a keepers league? Asking for a friend…

  21. DodgerTom says:

    Nick…..Need to get Jeff Samardzija back into my lineup after his face-off with Scherzer in a 5×5 roto with all AL+NL West. Need to drop one of Mike Minor or Tyson Ross to make room. Rest of pitching staff……Severino, Carrasco, Corbin, Clevinger, and Cueto with Chapman and E. Diaz in my bullpen. Any help appreciated.

  22. Prescott Herbert says:

    Just wanna say that everyone one of Rick Porcello’s earned runs came off hits that were literally errors by Devers. Dude should have had a shutout.

  23. Shark says:

    Lovullo was right about Weaver’s low pitches not being strikes. Now that the umps are aware, maybe Weaver is no longer getting those calls. I mean, isn’t Weaver’s strength supposed to be his command? I haven’t watched his last 2 games, I wonder if you have?

  24. Mike says:

    Would you consider after Morton’s last outing it a good idea to trade Morton for Carlos Santana?

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