You Forgot About Ray

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

It’s time we talked about the volatile man himself, Robbie Ray. Or is he “the volatile man”? After last night’s 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks outing against the Pirates, Ray holds a 3.14 ERA with just three starts above 3 ER and only of four or more. His last three have returned just 2 ER total, and while his walk rate is still stupid high – 12%?! Really?! – the 29% strikeout rate makes up for it. A bit. That 1.32 WHIP is killing me. Annnnyway, the whole point of this schpiel is how Ray is stuck in this purgatory for fantasy owners. Is he the Cherry Bomb that will destroy my teams or is he the consistent producer that I play every game? I believe it’s the latter. The 4.05 SIERA dictates worse days ahead (that walk rate + 10% HR/FB is the reason for the one point difference), but I see him around 3.50 or so moving forward, with that ~30% strikeout rate and a 1.25 WHIP. That’s great, helps a ton, and makes everyone happy. Sure, you’ll have some games that frustrate you, you’ll also have these stretches of bliss. But seriously Ray, can you please just walk fewer guys? Just one a start will do wonders. It’s preventing you from closing the sixth and is killing your WHIP. You want to be Top 25 again, don’t you?

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Mike Fiers5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Come on Fiers, you’re supposed to not allow a hit. Don’t you know anything?! I imagine he was picked up and started just because of that last game and I guess congrats to those that fell for that trap and avoided the spikes. I’m just naturally skinny, I don’t work out or anything. Genetics, man. Please don’t step into this pit again.

Reynaldo Lopez7.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Considering that Jonathan Loaisiga was placed on the IL and won’t pitch for a long time now (and the game was rained out!), ReyLo became the Call Boy against the Tribe and didn’t disappoint. Streaming Record: 25-18. Phew, you never know what you’re going to get from ReyLo, especially when it comes to his secondary stuff, and here we saw 17/54 CSW with changeups and sliders. That works, especially when his slide piece was 17/30 for strikes. Not the most pristine with his heater, but to see strikes across the board and 15/103 whiffs – Gallows Pole! – it’s a positive outing for Lopez. Toronto is next and I’m signing up for another round.

Brad Peacock5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Despite the 1 ER, I feel like we’re talking to Radioactive Man. THE WINDUP! IT DOES NOTHING!  The man got a bit fortunate today and was pretty mediocre overall – 20/87 CSW – and we have completed the transition from Bad Peacock to Rad Peacock now to just regular old Sliced Bread Peacock. Do we roll with him? Well, his future schedule is horrendous, with the Sawx twice and Cubs ahead. No thanks, I’ll just have lettuce buns.

Freddy Peralta4.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. The epitome of Cherry Bombs had himself an okay outing as his WHIP is terrible, but at least he gave you 5 Ks and a fine ERA. Yay.

Matt Boyd4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. We are Boyd Boys and Bee Gees here at Pitcher List and this is not what gets us excited. I love that he separated fastballs and sliders, but his heaters weren’t high enough and his slide piece wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen – just four overall whiffs tonight! The Astros are tough and I’m willing to cough this up to a meh night, but don’t force us to have a talk Boyd. Please.

Yusei Kikuchi6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, it was a PQS and we’re fine with that from the Toby that is Kikuchi, but where is his velocity? 92 mph. Noooooo, that was 94+ mph in the “pine tar” game and the hope of Kikuchi breaking out of his middling ratio life – i.e. the aforementioned Toby – is dwindling once again. Show me the velo!

Aaron Nola3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Jeeeeeeez Nola, you needed 84 pitches to get just eight outs. This was after three games of just one-run ball and we seriously need to worry. I believed the curveball was coming back around after last time with his two-seamer working against left-handers, but this is a clear step back with just one whiff on 35 curveballs. ONE! I could have led with Nola instead of Ray, and ultimately I’m getting the air of a sell. GASP. I know, but man to see a guy known for his command not to have his command this far into the season with the major whiff pitch missing from his arsenal once again – just 3/84 whiffs total! – is horrifying. It’s all about what you get on the market, but if you can someone in Tier 2 at this point, I’d heavily consider it. Of course he will likely turn it around at some point, but Tier 2 arms are already here and shouldn’t fall off dramatically through the season. How much is his ceiling worth the slog to get there?

Tyler Skaggs5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Keep waiting for Skaggs to find his groove, he’s simply not there yet. Maybe take the chance that he gets it against the Royals next week, I’d prefer to play it safe as we’ve seen what has happened in the past. Does this mean we drop him? If there’s a great stream out there, go for it. Otherwise, I’d imagine he becomes better than a Toby no later than June 1st, health permitting.

Jose Berrios5.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Dude. What. Only 3/47 whiffs on his curveball and his changeup did nothing to help (0/5 CSW). Just 23/101 CSW is atrocious and it’s the floor that we didn’t want to admit early in the year. It’s fine, it’s just one bad start…ish. Four of his last five games have come with 5 Ks or fewer and that’s a little concerning. Maybe this is the period that I talk about with his curveball missing and normally it’s paired with worse ratios. The pitch will be dope again and things will be fine. Stick with it.

Shane Bieber6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. We’re all disappointed but let’s be real. He’s not going to allow four bombs in another start. And hey, that WHIP and 6 Ks are actually pretty good. Don’t worry, be a Belieber.

Nick Kingham4.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. At least this time none of us actually went after it and we can simply sit back, give a heavy sigh, and open up a newspaper muttering under our breath. He’s not ready.

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.


Trent Thornton vs. San Francisco Giants – He has strikeout stuff and among a sea of blegh options (assuming Wade Miley is taken), I’ll chase the Ks of Thornton vs the weak Giants.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Gio Gonzalez vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I’d bet “the field” if I could here as I hate the options today. But here’s Gio and I guess there’s a chance he pulls it off again. Yay.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Lance Lynn vs. Kansas City Royals – There are few games and a lot of bleeeeeegh. So I’ll take Lynn’s strikeout upside against the lowly Royals.


Game of the Day


Chris Paddack vs. Clayton Kershaw – Paddack took down deGrom last time, can he slay another ace?


(Photo by Kevin Abele/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.

4 responses to “You Forgot About Ray”

  1. Ryan Fickes says:

    Robbie Ray is the Game of Thrones final season of starting pitching. Wild, all over the place, capable of greatness, sometimes rushed and sometimes plodding, with inexplicable plot points. And yeah, there’s gonna be fire and bloodshed.

    I think something fell apart in that metaphor…

  2. theKraken says:

    I watched about half of Berrios’ start last night. He didn’t have a lot going for him. FB was not good in any way, CB was the worst I have seen and I didn’t notice any CH for strikes. I think the next start will be telling for Berrios – either he is going to prove capable of making some serious adjustments or this could be the beginning of a bad stretch.

  3. pB says:

    I see you have Cease in at #100. Thoughts on Zac Gallen? I just stashed him yesterday. Who has more upside? Gets called up first? Which one has the biggest rest of season impact?

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