Zack Is Good, Zack Is Great

Not too many major starts today, so I felt like leading with one of my major man crushes this season, Zack Godley who went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2...

Not too many major starts today, so I felt like leading with one of my major man crushes this season, Zack Godley who went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks against the Cubs on Wednesday night. Why are you spending time talking about how great Godley is? We all know this! Do you? He’s owned in just 63.0% of ESPN leagues, with names like Rick Porcello, Ivan Nova, Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, Jacob Faria, Julio Teheranand even Brad Peacock holding more ownership, and it just doesn’t make sense to me. In Monday’s edition of The List, I raised Godley to #15 and I feel the need to really dive into why. xStats absolutely adores him, with about 60% of all his batted balls as what I’m calling “Easy Outs” (It’s his dribbler and pop up rates combined), leading to a bbFIP of just 2.30. That’s absurd. Meanwhile, he’s fanning batters at a 26.0% rate, 17th best in the majors in front of Aaron Nola and Lance McCullers, and there isn’t a single stat that scares me away. Seriously, he’s had just three starts all season where his xFIP for that single game was 4.00 or higher. If he’s somehow on your wire, change that now. If there is some chance you can buy him off someone, do it. Just own him everywhere, okay? Here’s to hoping that he somehow falls outside the Top 120 in next season’s drafts as people overlook him as you’re going to get a #2 with #1 upside. He’s that good.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Jeremy Hellickson – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is following a 6 ER start (and 15 ER in four starts) as he pitched for the Orioles. Don’t you dare fall for this.

Ervin Santana – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Wow, this is how you take advantage of a matchup with the Padres. Santana earned the Gallows Pole with a whopping 26 whiffs – one of the highest we’ve seen this season – as he threw 82 strikes from 110 pitches. That’s fantastic. Unfortunately, I can’t say that this will happen next time when he’s not facing the Pads, but good stuff Ervin.

Austin Pruitt – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. After allowed 5 Er in five frames last time out, Pruitt brought his A-game against the A-Stros. Is that a joke? …no…? I don’t know. Anyway, this has Birthday Party written all over it and I’d look elsewhere.

J.C. Ramirez – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s just so boring. That’s the life of Ramirez these days with just 3 Ks to his name and hoping the BABIP Gods will nod in his favor. Now, eight frames is pretty solid – Blame it on the Phillies – and this is actually the kind of game that Ramirez has been trying to throw since he shifted from aiming to strike batters out to trying to pitch to weak contact. Fantasy wise, there’s little reason to take the risk that he can do this consistently (which he can’t).

Vance Worley – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh boy. The funniest part about this start is how Worley had the fewest whiffs of any starter yesterday with just two to his name. He got 21 outs while missing just two bats. I hope you can feel the weight of my eye roll as you read this. IT’S MASSIVE.

Jordan Zimmermann – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. What is this?! Zim had allowed 23 ER in his previous six starts, then dominates the Yankees because baseball is dumb. He worked in 12% Changeups – just the second time all year above 10% – and they worked well for him here. There’s no way that means I’m trusting him in his next start regardless of the opponent.

Jake Arrieta – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Arrieta started throwing a ton more Sinkers five starts ago and now he’s allowed six total ER in his last four games. It’s good to see him fan 8 after failing to exceed 6 Ks in seven starts prior. Here’s to hoping it continues.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Just like he Drew it up. What happened to Cashed Out? I think you guys deserve something different once in a while. You mean like Cashner actually doing well? Ohhhhh snap.

Daniel Gossett – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. So close to a Gosse Egg. SO CLOSE. I’d hate to put faith that he’ll actually make that happen.

J.A. Happ – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. NOW THAT’S MORE LIKE IT. Happ collected the same amount of strikeouts in one night that he earned in his last three starts combined. Okay, it was the White Sox and a start against the Yankees next brings some hesitation, but I think I roll with it. Happ is better than his previous two starts dictated, and he threw a whopping 25% Sliders in this game despite averaging under 10% across the season – 12.5% was his previous season high. I wonder if we can correlate that with his success…

Robert Stephenson – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Solid, but there’s no way I’m going to think that he can do this consistently. And let’s say this is his ceiling, do you really want to risk his high walk totals for just four strikeouts and 5.2 frames? But this probably isn’t his ceiling. Okay fine, but I think you get the point.

Masahiro Tanaka – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Since June 28th, Tanaka has held a 16.7% HR/FB rate, leading to a 3.40 ERA. Meanwhile, there’s also a 10.80 K/9, 1.00 BB/9, and 51.7% GB rate to love as he holds a 6.5 IPS. Sure, that 14 K start last time out gave him a K/9 boost, but even not including it renders a near 7 Ks per start. Uhhhhh, yes please.

Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. If you’re looking at this and saying “hmmmm” don’t. Please don’t. This will hurt and you deserve better. So much better.

Brock Stewart – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I’m not nearly as intrigued by Stewart as I was last year, which means you should take that raised eyebrow and apply it somewhere else.

Jake Thompson – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Thompson is a Cup of Schmo, that simple.

Luke Weaver – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. A solid 13 whiffs here from Weaver as he took care of the Brewers. I don’t think we should get too used to this and there are still questions about Wainwright’s recovery schedule that could push Weaver out of the rotation, but if he’s starting, I’d be rolling with him until I see a reason not to. Streamer Record 56-40-12.

Trevor Williams – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey that’s 8 of his last 9 starts with 3 ER or fewer…with a 3.86 ERA in that time, 7.01 K/9, and 2.81 BB/9. I think this is his ceiling, so if you want to chase this, that’s what you’re hoping for. Take that as you will, I’m not interested.

Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. He’s not back quite yet with just 5 Ks in two starts since returning from the DL and he hasn’t found his feel for his Sinker just yet. You have to think he wouldn’t have returned if he weren’t fully healthy given last year’s situation, which makes me think there’s nothing to worry about. He also gets the ChiSox, Rangers, Athletics next, which is as good of a schedule as you’ll find to get things back on track.

Julio Teheran – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I think we can put the whole Home/Road thing to rest now, right? Just don’t roll with Teheran in general.

Jason Vargas – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is like Vargas is weening off cigarettes slowly with Nicorette instead of going cold turkey. Alright alright, I’ll still have 6 Ks, but the ERA will be bad. 

Ariel Miranda – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. About time the real Miranda stood up. Sorry if you expected something even closely resembling his last outing, but come on, 10 Ks?

Matt Moore – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. I just feel sad for Moore at this point.

A.J. Cole – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Cole is not worth your time even if he’s pitching for the Nationals. A Cup of Schmo that will have moments in the limelight but falter more times than not.

Chris Flexen – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Unfortunately for Chris, he couldn’t just stand on the mound of show off his biceps. Why would he do that? It’s in his blood.

Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blleeeeggggh. I really want Perdomo to turn on the jets, but I have no choice to call him a Young Gun for now.

Brent Suter – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Okay I’m impressed by the 7 Ks but the rest is as expected. He’s just not someone I want to own.

Tyler Chatwood – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, remember what Chatwood was a decent streaming option? What a weird thing to be nostalgic about. You’re a weird thing to be nostalgic about.

Today’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. Los Angeles Angels – He’s flexed some strikeout upside and gets a great matchup against the Angels.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Adam Conley vs. Atlanta Braves  Conley has shown improved Fastball command from returning from the minors and I’d roll with him against the Braves.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Luis Castillo vs. St. Louis Cardinals – He’s still owned in under 25% of ESPN Leagues and y’all know I love this start. Dinelson Lamet against the Pirates is the other solid option if Castillo is taken.

Game of the Day

Corey Kluber vs. Sonny Gray It’s Gray’s first start for the Yankees and Kluber gets to be Kluber. This just sounds so much fun to watch.

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.

19 responses to “Zack Is Good, Zack Is Great”

  1. Mickey says:

    JC Ramirez went 8.0 IP, 6H, 2BB, 3K’s Yesterday

    • Nick Pollack says:

      He totally did. Not sure how I get that line instead, let me update the article.

      Thanks for catching that!

  2. bravesfan23 says:

    Love the content, Nick. Huge fan.

    Regarding ownership rates, I feel like you, of all people, should know to take the rates with a HUGE grain of salt. It’s because of the huge number of casual leagues, leagues that are abandoned, or real leagues that were mistakenly drafted as a mock draft that cause a skew in the numbers.

    The reason Rick Porcello, Ivan Nova, Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, and Teheran are more largely owned than Godley is because those guys were drafted at the beginning of the season. Can’t necessarily say the same about Faria and Peacock, but it’s not a number to get too worked up about. Regardless, the ownership rates can’t be completely ignored–as there are always exceptions–but they’re just not very accurate of the true numbers.

    Wonder if fantasy platforms can fix this in years to come, giving a more true ownership rate by eliminating abandoned leagues or coming up with a new algorithm or something.

    • Nick says:

      Yep you’re totally right about that! I felt it was important to being though with the context of Faria and Peacock as those are players who were definitely not drafted.

      I’ve also seen some comments asking if Godley should be picked up and felt the need to make sure he wasn’t ignored.

  3. Need More Bangers says:

    Loving Godley! Re: him going after 120 in drafts next year, I think that is very possible considering he is on a small market team (and Fulmer went around 120 or higher going into this year after winning ROY)

    • Nick says:

      I hope so! Fulmer is a little different given a lot of the peripherals suggesting a major regression and a lower K rate, which Godley looks golden across the board.

  4. WasntMe says:

    What do you think the order is ROS? Godley, Castillo, Peacock

  5. Kevin says:

    Duffy, Ray, Godley, Castillo order ROS? Thx Nick.

  6. Chucky says:

    ROS: Godley, Nola, Manea, Castillo, Weaver, Wacha, Vargas?

  7. With Fulmer now on the DL I need to pick up one of the following…

    – Jeff Samardzija
    – Luis Castillo
    – Masahiro Tanaka
    – Brad Peacock

    Any favs from those?

  8. Morgan Cross says:

    Man, that Tanaka blurb escalated REAL quick right there at the end, haha.

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