Wood You Rather

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

Yesterday marked the return of Alex Wood, you know, that pitcher that we hated moving away from the Dodger’s lineup & park to go to Cincy, but was also locked for a rotation spot and deserved love. And here we are, on July 29th seeing Wood with just 4.2 frames to his name. Finally. The full line was 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks against the Rockies in GABP and he was…fine. Back when Wood was an All-Star, he was pumping ~92 mph with his heat, nailing changeups underneath like it was his J-O-B. Here? 90 mph with a good knuckle-curve and decent changeup. It was a clear DLH and we still can’t make a proper assessment on Wood, but what I’d expect is a Toby with some strikeout upside and ability to be a good Top 60 arm, maybe Top 50. That’s worth your time in a 12-teamer, but it may take a start or two to truly perform like that. If you have an open spot, he’s worth your time, but maybe sit out his next start against the Braves.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Wade Miley5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Miley keeps cruising, here taking advantage of a start against the Cardinals. That’s a 3.06 ERA with nine wins and a 1.12 WHIP in 22 starts thus far. Yes, I’m just as surprised this has worked out so well for so long and we’re not stopping anytime soon.

Tommy Milone – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Okay, this ain’t so bad Milone, using Matt Wisler as an opener worked well, and facing the Tigers is often a good thing to do. Still not the six strikeouts per game that you had early on, but a K per inning? Sure, why not. Consider him only for these rare weak lineups

Matt Boyd6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. AWWWW YEAH WE BOYD BOYZ UP IN THIS. Aces gonna ace as Boyd earned a Gallows Pole (24 whiffs!) and has had two straight solid outings following his lack of decline on The List last week. Just one HR allowed with 18 Ks in these two games – 10 Ks per game across his last six – and I’m stoked to see where he goes this week. Please be Houston…please be Houston…

Kyle Gibson6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Our feelings for Gibson had been fading lately, but after an understandable struggle against the Yanks, here’s a lovely evening against the ChiSox. 32% CSW, 13 whiffs, and we’re cool. Kansas City is next and we should feel good about that.

Elieser Hernandez4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, he’s back! And still needing a little stretching given his brief stint in the pen. He’s the best of the Richards/Fari Jordan/Elieser trio, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be great. I’d likely bench him against the Rays next, but you could do worse in a 12-teamer.

Felix Pena5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Wait, they actually let Pena start?! He allowed three unearned runs as well but this is alright. I still think he doesn’t do enough to warrant a roster spot, but I can see rolling with him in deeper leagues.

Stephen Strasburg7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. That’s a 1.14 ERA across his last 31.2 IP in five starts – this one against the Dodgers. Hot. DANG. He’s passed last year’s IP and two starts from his second-highest total of his last five seasons. Let’s get it Stras.

Mike Fiers6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Yet another Quality Start for Fiers. I have to keep giving him love as the Vargas Rule continues and I know believe that his innate skill set is helping him overperform his peripherals. Just so we’re clear, I’m not one to flat-out quote SIERA/FIP and call it a day. I will say for a guy like Fiers who doesn’t have an overpowering repertoire and has been known to go on stretches, in general, it’s very rare for pitchers to sustain “overperformance” unless you are a true ace. Seriously, incredibly rare. If you believe Fiers is that arm, by all means. Sometimes I need to just play probabilities and with a guy like Fiers that doesn’t carry that Top 20 SP ceiling – these six strikeouts matched his season high – ignoring this for his reward isn’t the right thing to do. We can agree to disagree and that’s cool. Good talk. Yes. Yes it was.

Peter Lambert5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. See, he isn’t terrible. If only he left the Rockies. If only.

Adrian Morejon1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Looks like Chris Paddack is getting skipped this week – please correct me here if you see otherwise – with Morejon opening and Marcus Stroman Luis Perdomo getting four frames of meh after. Nothing to see here, folks.

Robbie Ray6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. There’s the Ray we’ve been chasing all year. It’s a 3.26 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 35% K rate, and just 7% walk rate across his last five starts now…facing the Rockies on the road, Cardinals, Rangers, Orioles, and now Marlins. Hmmmmm. He’s making a great case to get dealt at the right time and I’d love for him to skip the rough Arizona schedule ahead. Either way, ride it out.

Domingo German5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Great to see Domingo produce against the strong Sawx lineup. Yeah, the ERA stings a little, but I’ll take the sub 1.00 WHIP, dub, and nine Ks any day.

Pedro Payano5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. This was a desperate backup Call Boy as he pitched well last week. But not this day, with not nearly as good of a curveball. Interesting to see his changeup and slider get more love, though, and I kinda like his repertoire. Don’t add, but watch from afar…or take the chance against the Tigers next. That could be another sneaky play.

Jose Quintana4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Quintana got pulled during a laborious fifth frame. While I expect him to survive past 76 pitches in the future, he’s going to be your standard Toby.

Jason Vargas5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. We’re not Vargas Ruling again, are we? He served a Philly, just one out away from a VPQS with five Ks. That’s super blegh, but at least you got a Win? I really don’t care for Vargas. Take your chances if you must.

Walker Buehler5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Buehler, no. 27% CSW as he only got one whiff on four-seamers. That ain’t right. Please be better, k thx.

Madison Bumgarner7.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhh, Bummy allowed a pair of longballs and four runs in three frames, then gave owners four strong innings after to make up for it. Appreciated, as always. He’s fine, I wonder if he’s sticking around. All indications that he’s staying, but this could be a wild three days.

Dylan Bundy5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. In standard Bundy fashion, Bundy allowed a two-run HR, then allowed another in the sixth to ruin the day. Don’t hold out for this. Just don’t.

Danny Duffy6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s almost helpful as Duffy did get a Win, but the WHIP and ERA both hurt + five Ks aren’t enough. Streaming Record: 67-44. His breaker just wasn’t what it’s been in recent games and there you have it. 

Aaron Nola6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Ugh. That’s 4 ER in two of his last three games, with at least three walks in five of his last six. At the same time, this was 40/102 CSW. WHAT. Yeah, it’s kinda crazy. He was so dominant yet got burned a decent amount. I think this is a buy low – his heater really isn’t as bad as the line would make you think.

Aaron Sanchez5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Ten strikeouts?! 32/95 CSW with 14 whiffs?! 55% curveballs and changeups for 10 whiffs between em? THIS IS OKAY. Good curveballs for strikes, changeups under, this could work. I’m not picking up now, but watch his next game. This was his lowest fastball usage of the year. There may be something to that.

Chris Archer5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Annnnnnd we’re back to standard Archer. I know we shouldn’t be surprised but I just can’t help but always want more. It never feels just, does it.

Dylan Covey0.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. He couldn’t record a single out, allowing two HRs in five batters. Hoooo boy. Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.

Dakota Hudson4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, drop him in the East River. Don’t you mean– I don’t mean this at all. How about that? Yeah, okay. But seriously, he shouldn’t be on your team.

Kevin Gausman6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. You trusted Gaus after his last start and he kind burned you…unless you need those Ks. He’s still pure two-pitch here, amazingly with 42% splitters here. Wild. Fastball wasn’t hitting the edges like we want it to and this what you get. He should still be fine to roll out there regularly.

Chris Sale5.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. You’re worried. Stop that, don’t be. Yes, he gets the Yankees again and that’s a little concerning, but overall Sale will be strong through the end.

Trevor Bauer4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. What a disappointment. Heaters, curveballs, even sliders were hung in this one against the Royals, even the pitch to dead center was hung. It’s been frustrating dancing between dope and horrid all year – is he the elite Cherry Bomb? – but at the end of the day, he’s still helping a lot more than hurting. So it goes.

Yonny Chirinos4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We let you off the hook against the Yanks, but Toronto?! Chiri-Changa, you gotta get your stuff together. Just figure out your heater and make the fix. Great news here is that he gets the Marlins next. That can’t be bad…right?

Zach Davies5.0 IP, 7 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. That’s 13 ER in two starts as his regression is coming oh-so-fast. He managed to at least give you seven strikeouts last time, but here it was just one. ONE STRIKEOUT?! HAISTFMFWT?!


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.


Brad Keller vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Keller had 95.2 mph velocity last start…after peaking at 94.2 mph this season and averaging 93.2 mph thus far. Now he gets the Jays? Yeah, I’ll give that a chance.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Beede vs. Philadelphia Phillies A bit of a risk here, but I liked what Beede brought to the Cubs last time out and could improve against the Phils. Both Reynaldo Lopez and Griffin Canning are better options…but have 21% owned rates. Pick them up where you can.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – Ugh, I guess I’m going with this as Jose Urquidy has been picked up in about 30% of leagues. Risky given he wasn’t sharp last time out, but there isn’t much else.


Game of the Day 


Dinelson Lamet vs. Baltimore Orioles – Maybe this is the day Lamet goes off. Maybe.


(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.

9 responses to “Wood You Rather”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Nola was fantastic until the 7th where he gave up all 4 runs including a 3 run bomb.

  2. Don't be a Hader says:

    Based on his progress in AAA, when can we expect to see Mike Foltynewicz back in the Braves rotation?

  3. Dawn says:

    How are you ranking Musgrove moving forward?

  4. Dorian says:

    According to Padres.com, Paddack is going today, not Lamet.

  5. theKraken says:

    I am not sure that Morejon was an opener and I do think he probably deserves some attention. He is one of the top SP prospects in the minors and he pitched badly yesterday – I am not sure that they would not have let him pitch 5 innings if he held up his end of the deal… but he was struggling mightily. He is not some scummy reliever which is usually what openers are. SD is really doing a bad job of building IMO – spending tons of money on Hosmer and Machado and now they are burning through young arms. Granted heavy bullpen use is their best bet this year, but that comes at a pricey long-term cost. They are an average team at best so I don’t know why they are pushing so many chips in this year.

    • BB says:

      Morejon would have had to be super-efficient to make it through five innings, he hasn’t thrown more than 41 pitches in a game since his first three AA starts of the season (before he got hurt).

  6. Dan says:

    FYI Junis is against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, not the Tigers.

  7. Dave says:

    I was looking forward to seeing your breakdown of Trevor Bauer’s pitching yesterday… but, he had his own breakdown – straight over Mercado and the CF wall – haha! I can’t help but wonder how much of that aim was because of Mercado’s miss-play earlier in the inning.

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