Last night was ridiculous. While technically this opener is focused on Stephen Strasburg and his poor 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks, I’m not sure I’ve seen a night where so many excellent starters fell on their faces. Marquez, deGrom, Sale, Nola, and even Greinke and Cole to an extent joined Stras in a collective effort to make owners livid – I see you Kluber, I see you. Specifically about Strasburg, this is his second start of three with at least 4 ER, though he more than doubled his walk total with his atrocious four-spot here. and I’d be a little worried. Not a whole lot – way too early – but Strasburg’s command was pretty dang bad in this game and earned just six whiffs the entire night. You owned him for the quality of innings when he’s healthy (highly unlikely he hints 200 frames), yet here’s 10 ER in 16.2 innings. It won’t cut it. Here’s to not allowing batters to crush your fastball moving forward and rebounding against the Giants. That really should work out for him.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Aaron Nola – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, let’s lean right into this and talk about each of these aces from last night right at the start. Nola had just 5 whiffs in 99 pitches. WHAT. Not a single one on changeups, 3/42 with his deuce and life was rough. That’s back-to-back poor outings…against the Nationals. Maybe they have his number. Maybe he tried to do too much. Maybe we’re overthinking this. Nola is fine, all of these guys save for one is fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE.
German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Marquez had two excellent outings to launch the season…again the Marlins and Rays outside of Coors. He looked spectacular in Florida and not so great last night. Just 24 CSW on 92 pitches and only six swinging strikes is all kinds of worrisome, though I’ll hand it to Marquez for keeping his slider down. Fastball…not so much. A lot of middle-middle without working the batters properly. Sitting 95/96 is lovely, though, and while I still believe Marquez should be started in 95% of his games, I think this start should sober some people expecting an ascension to the Top 15 or higher this year. Expect him to hover the 20s for a while and that’s just fine.
Chris Sale – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, here’s the one I’m legit worried about. Sale said himself that he’s lost on the mound. He missed up-and-arm-side with all his fastballs – a clear indication of a pitcher’s arm hurting or at least being tired as he’s lagging in his arm-circle. More foul balls than CSW on his slider is flat-out wrong and his average velocity was still under 92mph. I’m so scared. We talked about him a bit last night on the OTC podcast and I’m selling wherever I can get a Top ~20 SP. Yes I do believe that Sale returns to form at some point. No I don’t think that’ll happen in the next month. Cash out at 80 cents to the dollar and rid yourself of the stress.
Jacob deGrom – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Even deGrom got involved in this mess of a day. Who sacrificed to what god and how do I get involved?
Zack Greinke – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. So this started poorly, but Greinke recovered to give a start we’re cool with. 34% CSW is cool, though just 10% whiffs is not Greinke-esque. Whatever, still nine Ks and life is fine.
Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, I’m okay with it. I think we’ll see a decent amount of these starts from Cole with a low WHIP but slightly too high ERA as he’s still longball prone. He won’t be a 2.50 ERA arm, but if he hovers 3.00 with 200+ frames and over a K per inning, that’s all kinds of wonderful.
Corey Kluber – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Hey, an actual Aces Gonna Ace! WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT.
Luis Castillo – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Nick, Castillo belongs in this ace discussion! Does he? He’s certainly pitched like one out of the gate, now holding a 35% K rate, 0.92 ERA, and 0.66 WHIP through three starts and 19.2 frames. Ahhhh, small samples. The Marlins are bad and feel bad as Castillo carved them up. Weird to see him earn more whiffs on heaters than changeups (10 vs 7), but I’m all for it. Keep on riding Castillo and let’s hope his fastball command doesn’t falter.
Max Fried – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Fried went into Coors and was kinda dope. I recommended owners to hold back on Fried after his last start, labeling this start as a risk and I’m glad I was wrong. Wait, really? Yes! I love when exciting arms outperform my expectations. Now, I wouldn’t say that Fried looked incredibly good in this start. No Charlie Blackmon or David Dahl in this lineup, while just 19% CSW is unbelievably low. 22 Foul balls and a ton of balls in play add up to a start that could have gone south quickly, though he did induce a good amount of weak contact. He gets the Mets next at home and while he’s not a must-add (does Wright or Fried survive Folty’s return? Is it Newcomb instead?), I’d consider it for those in desperate need.
Dakota Hudson – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. A sinkerballer that walks four batters? Why on earth would I want anything to do with that?
Derek Holland – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa! Hey! Holland! I’ve been lukewarm on Holland after his first start of the year, but I’M ROARING BACK. No one cares about Derek – 5% owned in leagues! – yet that was 35% CSW as he pounded the zone with heaters and cruised with sliders and curveballs. Sure, I want him using both sides of the plate more instead of going exclusively glove-side, but I’m okay hosting the Rockies at home next week after collecting 21 strikeouts in just 16 frames to kick off the season.
John Means – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. If you want to tank your season, John is a Means to an end.
Brett Anderson – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, whatever Anderson. You do well, but deGrom, Nola, Strasburg, Marquez all tank. That’s baseball, Suzyn.
Marco Gonzales – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Marco, who has already earned four wins. These Mariners are ridiculous. What about Marco? Sure, he’s fine. I feel like I labeled someone Spiderman already, was it Hamels? Marco vs. Hamels sounds like a fun season-long game.
Jonathan Loaisiga – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I like Loaisiga if he’s properly stretched out and earns 120+ frames as a starter. I don’t like him in his first start of the year against the Astros. I want to call him a Young Gun as his true fantasy relevancy probably won’t show up until 2020.
Mike Minor – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s two strong starts in a row from Minor – don’t call it a trend – whose 29% CSW is exactly how I feel about him. A Toby, average and without that major thing that makes me believe he deserves a Top 50 spot on The List. Play this start by start – the Diamondbacks last night made sense – and I’m okay hosting the Angels in Arlington next week.
Charlie Morton – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Yep, I’ll take this from Morton. I’m not surprised to see the five frames, though. I feel like that will be a bit typical for the oft-injured Morton on the bullpen-focused Rays.
Matt Shoemaker – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Some wanted to stream Shoemaker here and he handed you a Philly with decent ratios. It’s fine, impressive really when you consider the Sawx in the batter’s box. Why would I care about the cotton on their feet? IT WAS ARGYLE. Anyway, Shoemaker is a bit of a Vargas Rule and Cherry Bomb in one, where he’ll go on hot streaks where his splitter is wonderful, then lose it suddenly and kill your team for a month. I think we’re nearing the latter now.
Kyle Gibson – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. And the 2019 Toby season of Gibson continues. Sure, he’ll have K upside at times, he’ll also kill your ratios at times. Keep starting him against weak teams and call it a day.
Jake Junis – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Love the six Ks, hate everything else. Junis, we just aren’t going to be friends this year, are we. He is a really nice guy, though. Okay, that’s true but I wouldn’t take Jake to make cake by the lake, if you know what I mean. I know you mean to rhyme and make no sense. Yep, you know what I mean.
Ross Stripling – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Nooooo, Stripling too? I’m stoked he has a comfortable roll in the rotation, but I’m wondering if he’s worth it right now. His whole approach is a bit out of whack and the Brewers are next. If you have a clear-cut starter to chase on the wire, I’d make the swap. Otherwise, tough it out and I’ll give him a TIARA.
Jose Urena – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember kids, if you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Jordan Zimmermann – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. We thought that Jay-Z’s hot start matched up against the team with the worst strikeout rate would be a Blueprint for success. It was not. Get off this train! Streaming Record: 7-5.
Matt Harvey – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Oddly enough, I’m seeing a 14.5% swinging strike rate here from Harvey – fuelled by well-executed sliders – and wondering if he’s going to turn it around sometime this year. If so, it’ll come down to figuring out either his changeup or curveball as his fastball is just oh-so-hittable.
Joey Lucchesi – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s no ace, but I’m sure many were highly disappointed with Lucchesi’s outing as well, especially during a date in Oracle Park. That “new pitch” of a four-seamer with cut action was thrown six times here, so let’s kill that narrative for those still on the fence about it. His two-seamer was hit a little too much and it just wasn’t in the cards here. I actually think he pitched better than the line suggested, FWIW.
Freddy Peralta – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Peralta allowed 6 ER in the first frame alone, then settled down a bit until the second Tommy La Stella blast of the game. The man is a Cherry Bomb. Please don’t forget it, too many people got burned here after his unreal performance last week and you best be truly afraid now.
Ervin Santana – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Hey, Santana is back! Hey, we don’t care!
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Frankie Montas vs. Baltimore Orioles – Just 5% owned in leagues and armed with a new splitter. Paired with a date against the O’s, this looks like the safest stream.
Spencer Turnbull vs. Cleveland Indians – He has a solid ceiling and the Indians have a wonderful floor.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Michael Pineda vs. Detroit Tigers – Still at just 18% owned, Pineda deserves to be owned in your 12-teamer, especially against the Tigers.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)