Yesterday was a bittersweet day. On one hand, we saw our sweet prince Aaron Nola dominate per usual via 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. On the other, it was in all likelihood his final start of the 2017 season. The season comes to a close with a 3.54 ERA, 9.86 K/9, 2.63 BB/9, 6.2 IPS, 1.21 WHIP, 50% grounders and one stolen heart. More interesting in my mind is what he did starting June 22nd, after I kept battling the comments stating that Nola was droppable and not worth a roster spot: 3.00 ERA, 10.54 K/9, 2.54 BB/9, 6.5 IPS, 1.15 WHIP. That’s Easy A, alright. The question now becomes where he should be drafted in 2018. I wouldn’t be shocked if I found myself passing on Nola, which may come as a shock, but you know it all comes down to value. I loved Nola this season as he was being taken as the #49th SP off the board. Now I quoted yesterday a mock draft currently going on, where Nola was drafted at #76 overall and the #18th SP off the board. That may be what I want for this season, it may also be a little too expensive for me. Like last year, I see a tier forming from the late teens to the early 30s where I’d wait until the first half is off the board…including Nola. I’m not setting this in stone, but I can see it happening and already a bit sad by it. I still will live every day like it’s Nola day.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Seth Lugo – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m looking forward to reading the “Seth Lugo Sleeper” posts as people cite his 7.50 K/9, 2.31 BB/9, and 3.92 FIP. His LOB rate is poor at 67.7%, BABIP high at .322, and his Curveball has one of the highest spin rates in the majors – just like Collin McHugh did before his breakout! Yeaaaaah no. McHugh’s success was more than his Curveball (it was his Slider), Lugo has a terrible defense behind him that doesn’t make me believe in a sub .280 BABIP, and he just isn’t a great pitcher that I can believe in regardless of the opponent. Is he someone that might be worth a stream every so often? Sure, I can see that. Is he someone to draft? Definitely not.
A.J. Cole – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is as solid as you’re going to get from Cole. Yep.
Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This was the easy start against the Pads, now do it in Coors and we’ll see if your 2018 draft stock is still high. Alright, fine. It won’t matter. People in March aren’t going to be looking at Darvish’s last two games of the season when ESPN has him ranked at #43 overall. Just how it works.
Max Fried – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Fried is a Cup of Schmo and is making me starving as I write this. But Fried what? FRIED ANYTHING. I’m a healthy man, I swear.
Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Felix was hinting at a Minimalist Score, which hasn’t seen any updates in a long long time.
Despite the low strikeouts, it looks like he’s at a place where you can roll with him this weekend against the Angels. Update: Welp, it looks like he won’t be starting on Sunday after all. I wonder where he’ll be drafted as he hurt your team more than helped this season, but it’s possible he becomes a decent #45/6 for your team next season. I imagine someone else chasing the name over the stats, making me miss him in all drafts.
Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Some didn’t want to start Lester after his previous mishaps. I think Lester isn’t a pitcher that will suddenly be so terrible that we have to bench him after bad starts, right? The veteran starters who have gone through all of the bumps and bruises of seasons before can get a little more lee-way after two bad starts. They’ve had them before and haven’t just fallen off a cliff. Now, over time that may change if it’s incredibly consistent (i.e. Cueto this season for the most part), but it was one bad start with 7 ER last time out with 3 ER allowed total in his previous two. That doesn’t spell “bench” to me. I know, I know, this is coming off badly as I’m saying all this after the start (I did label him as a “Start” in the sit/start, though), but I’m not trying to get credit or anything like that. Just making discussion about how we should treat pitchers after a bad start or two.
Johnny Cueto – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. And on cue, there’s Cueto, who surprised me by killing it despite pitching in Arizona. I can see him being one of the more fluctuating ADPs next season, with some reaching too high based on name value, or falling too far as people don’t want anything to do with him. I’m all for taking a stab at Cueto in the later rounds if he’s there as there’s little denying his upside that could return next year. Go and look at your draft and who you selected past round 16. How many of them were still on your team by the end of the year? Then why not take a chance on Cueto?
Odrisamer Despaigne – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. It makes me happy that I can say Odrisamer’s name in a good context for once instead of coming from a sensual place. Despaigne.
Collin McHugh – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s a 2.00 WHIP, but this doesn’t make me hesitate rolling with McHugh. A possible sleeper for next year if he keeps this Slider.
Ricky Nolasco – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, whatever Nolasco.
James Shields – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. That’s 20 Ks for Shields in three starts and a near 9.00 K/9 across his last 10 starts. And a horrific 4.92 FIP, 4.33 ERA, 3.43 BB/9 n all, but hey that is something, you know? 11.6% whiff rate overall as well. I’m amazed I’ll say this but if he’s starting Sunday and you’re chasing strikeouts, Shields is actually a good option.
Andrew Cashner – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Cashner was on the bad end of seven unearned runs that sent him out of the game early. So it goes, but I can’t say that I had high hopes for Cashner anyway.
Lucas Sims – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Is this Sims’ ceiling? I think so. Blame it on the Mets. Hard not to love the Mets these days, am I right? Streamer Record 83-58-17. One more Win away from sitting above .500 for the year (including ties).
Brett Anderson – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Anderson alright.
CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a PQS for Sabathia, with a bearable WHIP and a meh 4 Ks. I’m cool with this if you ran with it.
Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Chatty should not be starting when pitching in Coors or against the Dodgers. Or in like 85% of his starts.
Chris Flexen – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. No beach day for Chris today. Just one-on-one time with the mirror to flex those muscles.
Zack Godley – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Man, Godley just isn’t killing it with his schedule like he should be after his first half. Y’all know I love Godley n whatnot, but it makes me question if I’ve been overrating him a bit. If he doesn’t have the boosted velocity next season and keeps walking batters, a Top 20 ranking is going to look terrible. Problem here is that it isn’t out of the question that it could happen – his Sinker was averaging just 91.4mph in this one. Hmmmmmm.
Drew Pomeranz – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. The Dirty Cheerleader was far from what has been advertised this year, hurting when you need him most. And not a single strikeout! HAISTFMFWT? Yep, we’re at that point now. I wonder where he’ll get drafted next season. I’m not too high on Pom, but at the same time he’s a decent strikeout/Win arm that will only hurt in WHIP across a full year. There has to be value in that in 12-teamers as a Toby, right?
Jake Junis – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Junis went from facing the Tigers today to facing the Yankees yesterday and that’s just unfortunate like having gym class right before your class picture. That happened way too often in middle school.
Travis Wood – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong wood!
Daniel Gossett – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Another day, another Gosse Egg.
Luke Weaver – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I know this is going to sound bad but I love this. Seriously. I’m a big fan of Weaver for next year and with a start like this, his ERA plummeted from 2.05 to 3.23, and will make anyone that was theoretically encouraged to now have plenty of hesitation. Me? Nah, I still love the guy. Yes, he wasn’t on point in this one with a little worse Fastball/Changeup command than we’ve previously seen and he needs to work more on his Curveball & Cutter, no question. I see Weaver as a Top 30 arm without a pristine deuce or Cutter, meaning there’s room to grow if he seals that third pitch. I don’t think this start changes anything for his next start, either, and if he’s going on Saturday against the Brewers, I’d still let him fly.
Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – I like Junis’ K upside as he faces one of the worst offenses around. Daniel Mengden vs. Seattle Mariners – Not much else to turn to here and I prefer Mengden’s recent hot streak over Parker Bridwell against the ChiSox.
Sean Newcomb vs. New York Mets – With the way Lopez is pitching (4 total strikeouts in four games!) and Richards now owned in most leagues, Newcomb gets the call against the lackluster Mets.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Miguel Gonzalez vs. Oakland Athletics – Y’all know I don’t like Miguel, but it’s the A’s without Matt Olson and that could mean a decent outing here.
Game of the Day
James Paxton vs. Oakland Athletics – I have a feeling this will be vintage Pax and I want to see it.
Thoughts on Luke Weaver? I don’t see him in here
Huh. I must have accidentally deleted his line. Give me a moment as I have a lot to say there.
Added! Thanks for catching that in the first place.
Thanks! Love this column and your takes on every guy, so I appreciate you adding him back in!
King Felix is done for the season. They are having that last start as his final of the season.
You’re right, I didn’t catch that. Thanks, it’s been updated!
Will this also be Pax last game of season or is he the Sunday starter?
I just double checked and I haven’t seen anything specific about Paxton. We’ll have to wait and see and he’s slated for Sunday currently.
Darvish is probably droppable now, they said they are only giving him 75 pitches in his last start (in Coors)
Yep, I’d agree with you there. Didn’t see the quote on 75 pitches.
Would you stream Kuhl vs. Balt & Yoan, Wahca vs Cubs & Lackey, Salazar vs. Minn & Mejia and Porcello vs Tor & Estrada?
Do you like any of these?