The Gray Line

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Congrats to Jon Gray for the most shocking line of the night with 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks against the Diamondbacks…though it actually shouldn’t be surprising. That’s 12 whiffs for Gray, nine with breaking stuff and he absolutely trounced the snakes in Arizona. I have to admit, I didn’t realize Gray was doing this well over his last nine starts prior: 2.82 ERA, 8.28 K/9, and a 2.32 BB/9. Sure, he had a decently lax schedule, but he had Coors to deal with thrice and had a few tough opponents thrown in. I’ve been low on his lack of whiffs during this stretch – 8.5% overall with just two games above 9% – but I missed that he had 25.8% soft contact and just 28.4% hard in the same time frame while inducing just 24.7% flyballs and 53.9% grounders. The best part? Now he faces the Padres twice. My bad guys, I should have been giving him more love.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Kyle Gibson – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. He was one of my favorite two-start options for cheap this week and so far, so good. Just one more Gibson, please. Streamer Record 74-56-16. 

Corey Kluber – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I hope you understand that Kluber has a 12.62 K/9, 1.37 BB/9, 1.89 ERA (2.11/2.12 FIP/xFIP) and 0.75 WHIP over his last 19 starts since returning from the DL on June 1st. Aces. Gonna. Freakin’. Ace.

Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It was away! No wonder Teheran did well. I keed I keed, you know he had just allowed five walks in five frames last time out in Arlington. No, I don’t want anything to do with this.

Justin Verlander – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Too bad your first three months were so bad that a 2.25 ERA across 12 starts still leaves you with a 3.74 ERA overall. Yikes. Let’s raise a glass to all those that didn’t follow the Tanaka Clause (is that what I’m calling it now?) and gave up on Verlander before he turned it around. Could you really blame them? Verlander held a 4.96 ERA through his first 17 games…

Matt Boyd – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s nice Matt, I’m still Boyd Watching, though.

Dylan Bundy – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Excellent rebound for Bundy as he had four walks and 5 ER last time out. Sure, the Jays are a much easier team than the Yanks, but we don’t care. We just want that bottom line. That smooth…luscious…seductive…bottom…liiiiiine. He gets the Yanks + Rays twice to end it and I’d roll the dice on a better start this time ’round against the pinstripes.

Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Phew, thanks for coming back Kershaw….wait. Is that a 1.50 WHIP? Remember your mantras Nick. “Steps, not jumps.” Right right, okay I’m glad you took a step forward today, one more step left until flat out domination, alright bucko?

Garrett Richards – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I had my concerns about Richards in this start against the Astros since he was most likely going to be limited pitch count wise (cough 63 pitches total cough) and of course Houston can make that a bad outing fast. Glad he did well, though I wonder how much he’ll get stretched next time out as he hosts the Rangers.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Nothing like needing 109 pitches to get through six frames. Kluber needed four more pitches for a CGSHO, but you do you Erod. I ain’t complaining. Enjoy your Gallows Pole with 19 whiffs.

Blake Snell – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. After allowing 7 ER last time out, Snell more importantly allowed 2 walks or fewer for the ninth time in his last ten starts. This is huge for a guy with a 4.12 BB/9 over the year but a near 2.50 BB/9 in those ten starts. Can’t say I’m thrilled about the lack of Sliders and Curveballs overall (he went super Fastball heavy with 64 thrown in 88 pitches), but I will take this from Snell, who may turn into a fantasy relevant entity in 2018. But for this year, I think I stay away if I can against the Cubs, Orioles, and Indians to round out the year.

Joe Biagini – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, it’s not the K happy game I deserve, but it’s the start I need. Now he gets the Twins and Yankees twice and…I’m not so sure. Label Biagini as one of the better desperate options.

Sam Gaviglio – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, whatever Sam.

Sonny Gray – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Man, Gray killed it against the Rays and allowed two solo shots that did him and the Yanks in. Dude is absolutely killing it, just give him some run support for the love of Jete!

Dillon Peters – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s not pretty with that 1.80 WHIP, but the rest is good enough that I think we’re okay rolling with this streamer.

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta boy Quintana. I can’t be too thrilled since it’s the Mets and you should have dominated, but still. Atta boy.

Brent Suter – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is boring, Brent. ENTERTAIN ME.

Taijuan Walker – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhh okay. If getting a 3.00 ERA and 6 Ks means a 1.50 WHIP, fine.

Marco Gonzales – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Hmmmm, this was the first game we got to see something majorly positive (people say that, right?) out of Gonzales. It ain’t easy going into Texas and having a party. It’s also not easy getting six strikeouts on just two whiffs. Yeah, no thanks.

Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Both Gio and Lynn took a step closer to their xFIP, a relationship that has a massive wedge shoved in the middle because of a lady. A lady named Luck. Keep starting Gio.

Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. And I’m not totally sold that the Vargas Rule is done quite yet. Keep going with Lynn against the Cubs.

Dylan Covey – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t Covey thy Dylan.

Johnny Cueto – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You may have taken a chance with Cueto after his last start was successful in Coors and, Hey! The Dodgers have been bad. Well they stopped being bad and Cueto stopped being good. Now he hosts the Rockies, which could work out well, but I consider this like a streaming option than a start I want in my week.

Robert Gsellman – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. We knew this wasn’t going to last like Pivetta’s perfect game through the first four outs.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Pivetta alright. It’s too bad, I thought he could be a decent streaming option at one point. BUT NOT ANYMORE.

Robert Stephenson – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Well blegh. The walks are still a problem and it kicked him out before he could get you enough strikeouts to warrant it. Yes this is always going to be a problem for Stephenson, no I’m not targeting him next year. But if he figures out the walks…He won’t figure out the walks.

Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Huh. This isn’t what the King of Really Good does, as it’s too extreme. Too much excitement, TOO MUCH STUFF. He actually pitched pretty well in this one with a tough third inning doing nearly all the damage. At least we got 10 Ks to salvage, right? Where does Cole end up in next year’s rankings? That…that’s a very good question. Probably late 20s? I’m aiming to have it out the day after the regular season ends as a hint for what’s to come in February. Think of it as a loose “general idea” as opposed to the super in-depth revamped version for the preseason. Anyway, yeah I’m thinking late 20s for now. There are some other names I’m more excited about that the constant headache of Cole.

Miguel Gonzalez – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Miguel…no.

Sean Manaea – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Noooo, well this was the start that I had caution about with Manaea and I think I’m cool starting him against the Phillies + Rangers in his next two starts.

Travis Wood – 2.1 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Wood! Seriously, this is ghastly. I can see the crowd’s shock as Wood was revealed.

Today’s Streamer

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

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Montgomery vs. New York Mets – Call me crazy after the short start on Saturday, but I think Monty is much better than that and the Mets are fun.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Rafael Montero vs. Atlanta Braves – I don’t love it, but it could go decently well. What a resounding endorsement. YOU’RE A RESOUNDING ENDORSEMENT.

Game of the Day

Tyler Glasnow vs. Chase Anderson – Not only do I get to see Anderson dominate the Pirates, but I get to check out if the hype surrounding Glasnow’s return is in any way legit.

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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.

21 Responses to “The Gray Line”

  1. nick g September 13, 2017

    in week 2 of a 2 week playoff and it’s a dead heat in h2h categories. i am practically interchangeable in terms of era and whip, and i have 4 guys available to start tomorrow: archer (v nyy), lester (v nym), clev (v det), and lamet (v min). i lead qs 7-4 but could use some buffering. seems like definite yes to lester and clevinger, but i am questionable with archer (seems like lamet is a def sit situation, especially after min’s 16 r outburst today). what do you think?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      How many starts are left for your opponent?

      I’d actually be okay starting all four, even with Archer’s latest bumps in the road and the Twins looking good yesterday.

      Reply
      • nick g

        after today, i have berrios, morton, happ, paxton (who i will probably sit, given dlh and astros), and keuchel, with spot starts available.

        including today, he has glasnow, matt moore, brad peacock, luke weaver, robbie ray, newcomb, cole, and richards, with no spot starts available (he basically streamed the entire season.

        i like my chances, even with archer blowing up early, but i still have a lot of guys whose floors are low. should be interesting, since in all other categories we are pretty much blowing each other out.

        Reply
        • Nick Pollack

          I think he’s going to run into trouble with Glasnow, Moore, and Newcomb, meaning you’ll be alright if you roll with the full crew today.

          Reply
  2. Mauro

    Montero really? Over Newcomb in the same matchup? Braves offense is much better than New York’s.

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      I actually considered this exact flop. I think Montero is a better pitcher right now as Newcomb is a much more wild pitcher.

      Reply
  3. tim

    what’s jon gray’s outlook in a keeper league?

    Reply
  4. Dave Cherman

    I watched Garrett Richards’ start last night and he concerned me, as he was very effectively wild. He increasingly missed his spots as the game went on and the Astros kept bailing him out, mostly because his stuff was excellent. For example, his inning ending double play in the 5th: Maldonado called for it down and in, Richards missed badly high and McCann somehow got on top of it and grounded it to 2nd. I’m hoping its just rust that he’s still shaking off.

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      Well, yes and no.

      I watched a bit of this one two and he did miss his spots a decent amount…but he also executed a ton and got outs every time he did.

      Richards is never going to be a precision pitcher. What makes him tantalizing is exactly what you described: he can miss his spots and batters still have trouble squaring him up. It’s because of his elite velocity and ton of movement on each pitch that will mask plenty of mistakes.

      I wouldn’t also classify Richards as your prototypical wild arm. Yes, he misses spots and isn’t a finesse guy, but he’s still much more around the plate than other arms and I think he can be a sub 3.00 BB/9 guy easily. There’s something to be said about that.

      Reply
      • Dave Cherman

        Fair enough. I hadn’t watched too much of him prior to this start. You’re absolutely right about him being around the plate. Even when he missed spots, he wasn’t throwing balls in the dirt, he wasn’t throwing many meatballs, he has general command of the plate, and his stuff is superb.

        Reply
  5. Cubblue1

    So McCullers has been scratched from tonight’s start due to arm fatigue… Would you drop him to stream for Weaver or Morton later this week. Or would you hold, hoping he will pitch again soon?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      I get the feeling that the Astros are going to be super conservative with McCullers here, and considering there are only 10 days left in most leagues, I think you can drop McCullers.

      I prefer Weaver of those two options.

      Reply
  6. Matt Nielsen

    Is Stephenson worth holding or ok to drop for a streamer? Also, how confident are you with Nola tonight? Miami scares me lately. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      My gut says stick with Nola, but if you can be conservative, it’s okay to bench him.

      This was Stephenson’s tougher start, I think you’re okay rolling with him next time against the Pirates.

      Reply
  7. Soggy Arm

    Would you rather stream Montero @ATL or Carson Fulmer @DET?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      I’m leaning Fulmer. Totally possible he doesn’t come out firing like he did last time out, but I slightly prefer that to Montero’s floor and the Tigers look a lot worse than the Braves.

      Reply
  8. JSpring

    Hey Nick. Thanks for all of your help this year. After Archer’s performance today and Gray’s yesterday, would you drop the former to pick up the latter?

    Reply
  9. dubjay

    Hey Nick,
    Im in the playoffs in my H2H keeper league. Would you take a chance on starting Lamet tonight against the Twins? I like the advantage of him seeing the Twins for the first time.

    Reply

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