I’ll Take Improved Velocity For $400, Alex

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Me and Alex Cobb haven’t been the best buds over his 2017 season, where I initially was on board, then came far off as he held a near 1.50 difference from his ERA and xFIP with a sub 6.00 K/9. Now after his 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks, he holds a 2.86 ERA with a 6.39 ERA and 4.09 xFIP across his last 15 starts. However, his last five starts have been a 2.00 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 2.71 xFIP, 9.67 K/9, and 2.33 BB/9. Can’t hate on that! Okay maybe a little with a 5.2% whiff rate in that time with just a 51.4% First Strike rate…but what’s this? Cobb’s last five starts have all been over 92mph, good for a 92.3mph mark. Before that? 91.4mph with just one game over 92mph…A tick jump helps and there could be something to that. Wait, am I back on the Cobb train? …Maybe? He gets the Sawx next and I’m not for that, but the Orioles after looks up my alley. What about for next year? You know, I can’t decide. I think he’ll be overdrafted, and with his lack of Changeup usage this year I don’t like his future prospects. Still, that can come around and he could hint at a 3.00 – 3.30 season with a better K rate next year…We’ll see where he falls.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Stephen Strasburg – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Dude is killing it. Just look at that draft stock rise despite the same injury concerns as always.

Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We talked about him in the Podcast as someone you should keep starting despite his recent struggles. This is why you keep starting him.

Robbie Ray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks. I want to say AGA since Ray should be demolishing the rest of the way via San Fran + Padres, but I can’t since I wouldn’t trust him against good teams like I would someone like Severino, you know?

Michael Wacha – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. After being a bit meh against the Padres last time out, it’s good to see Wacha demolish the Pirates like he should. And I mean demolish in one of his best starts of the year. The Cubs are next and I’d lean to starting him, though there is a reasonable floor there.

Madison Bumgarner – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ummmm, can you stop? This follows a 5 ER game and clearly something is wrong with Bumgarner. In fact, he’s holding a 3.76 ERA with an 8.05 K/9, 4.45 FIP, and 4.26 xFIP since returning from the DL in 11 starts. That’s not the Bummy we remember and I wonder if he can really shine down the stretch. Should you bench him against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers? Nah, I think you still let him fly unless you have a plethora of riches. I wonder what we’ll see though.

Dallas Keuchel – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. And then there’s Keuchel who has been really boring as well since his DL stint. And when I say boring I mean flat out bad: 6.40 K/9, 3.98 BB/9 en route to a 5.02 ERA, 4.86 FIP, and 4.14 xFIP. Very little to salvage strikeout wise and the ratios that you’re hoping for are just not there. Now, he had a good run suggesting he had returned back in the middle of September, but now it’s nine walks in three games with 14 ER. That’s concerning. Same situation with Bumgarner ultimately, though, as you keep starting him (SEA, LAA) unless you have plenty of better options.

Carson Fulmer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. I watched a good amount of this one and Fulmer impressed me more than he ever has…at times. His Fastball has a ton of movement at 94+ with a solid Curveball and Changeup, with a Cutter that can have so great bite, but also floats in the zone. I want to love him more, though it’s all a bit raw right now. There definitely is some potential here if he can pinpoint that heater and get more consistent bite on his Cutter, but as far as trusting him the rest of the way, I have some caution. I think he’ll be my streaming option against the Tigers on Friday, but definitely not against the Astros and I’d worry about the Angels after as well. I’m intrigued but not sold.

Ben Lively – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Look at Raggedy Ann go. That’s six of his last seven starts with 2 ER or fewer and two starts of 7 Ks or more. Okay, not that impressive and he has a 5.23 xFIP along this stretch with a 7.23 K/9 and 2.98 BB/9. I tried Lively, I tried.

J.A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Dannnng Happ. After just a 2.9% whiff rate, you came out with 11.5% today with a 72.0% F-strike rate. That’s what I’m talking about. Or maybe the Tigers are just that bad. Twins + Royals are next and I’m cool with both starts.

Erasmo Ramirez – 6.2 IPS, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, look at that! I went with Erasmo and he happened to have one of his best starts of the year. Sure isn’t enough for me to get on board, but I’ll take it. Streamer Record 72-56-16. 

Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s nice Chatwood, sorry I don’t want to trust you like I did back in April.

Kendall Graveman – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This is after allowing 9 ER across his previous two games as the Ks are still disappointing. No thanks.

Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. In case you didn’t notice, Bauer has a 2.26 ERA with a 9.96 K/9, 2.26 BB/9, 6.5 IPS, and 3.58 FIP, 3.43 xFIP across his last nine starts (and a 0.2 IP relief appearance). Whoa. Don’t stop me now. I’M HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME!

Jason Vargas – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Sorry Vargas, I just go back to how it used to be. I just can’t.

Kyle Hendricks – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. No reason not to keep starting Hendricks, I’m cool with a PQS from him, y’all know I don’t trust him to be all too great over another full season, but for this year he’ll help.

Rich Hill – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Meh, this is fine and isn’t going to make me stop starting Hill, but I want something a little more than five frames, you know?

Jeremy Hellickson – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Hellickson was in the National spotlight and gave a PQS with a great 0.67 WHIP…and one strikeout. Duh. I want nothing to do with you.

Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a PQS as Perdomo now has ten straight games of 6.0+ innings (nine exactly, one with 6.2 innings). Crazy. He’s close to becoming a strikeout threat as well and if he does, I can see Perdomo being a must add. He’s a Young Gun, let’s just hope he can get there (no I wouldn’t make a major investment in it, but the possible upside is there).

Parker Bridwell – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. If you needed to roll with Bridwell against the Mariners, you should be happy with this one. Can’t say I’d suggest you make that gamble again.

Rick Porcello – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Not terrible, but so far away from what I need to believe in him again.

Sal Romano – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Is this the ceiling of Romano? Pretty much and don’t expect those walks to stay as a goose egg for long. Their wings will spread and fly into the night.

Ivan Nova – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks.  If you’re expecting anything better, you haven’t been watching closely. But the seven strikeouts! Weird, right? Yeah, don’t expect that.

R.A. Dickey – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I wonder how much more we’ll see of Dickey. He told me he has about five years left but…Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. I really hope I don’t have to retire that one.

Odrisamer Despaigne – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks. I can see the conversation between me and Odrisamer. “Hey Odris, you gotta stop walking so ma–” Shhhhhh. “But…” Despaigne. Best name in baseball.

A.J. Griffin – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Legit nothing to salvage here. Ouch.

Bartolo Colon – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. I want Paul Funyun around one more year so please don’t be this bad for the next few weeks, okay?

Anibal Sanchez – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, that’s Anibal alright.

Jordan Montgomery – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. I wonder if The Bear has simply run out of gas as he’s thrown more innings than ever in his career. He’ll be one of my sleepers for next season as his second half numbers are weighing down his draft stock. And I expect backlash from that future post…which is why he’s a legit sleeper and not one of those overhyped ones. 12.4% whiff rates across 138.0 innings aren’t grown on trees, you know.

Today’s Streamer

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s 8.1% owned in ESPN Leagues. Julio Teheran is owned in 63.3% of leagues with a 4.77 ERA. Huh.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Kyle Gibson vs. San Diego Padres – He’s on a roll against weak teams and gets the Padres next. Let’s do this.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Lucas Giolito vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s in a great place and gets to face the blegh Royals.

Game of the Day

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Kansas City Royals – I have a good feeling about Lopez and want to watch him dominate.

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Nick Pollack

Founder
Founder of both PitcherList.com and PitcherGIFs.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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