Berri-Oh So Beautiful

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Sunday's games.

(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

I know it’s weird giving Jose Berrios the lead today as aces gonna ace with a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks line, but I have a decent amount to say. I gave Berrios the AGA label nonchalantly last time without thinking much about the trumpets and regality it deserved. So what does he do? Absolutely kill it again to make sure he truly earns your affection. This run of his is kinda nuts – 2.05 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 31.5% K rate, 5.0% BB rate over his last 8 starts with a 7.13 IPS. Whaaaaaat. He faced three great offenses – BOS, DET, CLE – and five poor – STL, DET x2, CHW, TEX – and what’s even crazier is how this isn’t even his final form. His changeup has still been bad in this stretch (-1.0 pVal and sub 10% usage!) as Berrios looks at Chris and says I am the Archer now. I won’t tell you he’ll ever get there (maybe he pulls a Taillon and goes with a slider instead?), but what I will tell you is that as long as his curveball and heater are acting this well in tandem, it sure doesn’t matter. He’s getting a bump today and you’re going to like it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Clay Buchholz – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Buchholz was cruising along, just above 50 pitches through five, but left with tightness in his side. That’s dumb. Don’t do that.

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Sale earned another Gallows Pole at 26 whiffs, boasting a 44 CSW at 93 pitches (47%). Yes that is one of the best of the season. Yes it was against the Mariners. No, he’s not going to move from #3.

Gerrit Cole – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I know what you’re asking, it’s yes. The one ER was a solo shot, so the HRs are still there and he still succeeded. Just try not to have 100+ pitches exiting the fifth frame, okay?

Eric Lauer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s three starts without a loss and just 3 ER after I’ve been calling him El. O. L. and I take full responsibility. It’s saying a lot that despite that run, he still holds a 5.05 ERA and 4.79 FIP.

Dereck Rodriguez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Our Call boy got it done against the Padres, hopefully sealing up a win in your leagues. He didn’t actually get one himself because Lauer was doing his own silly thing, but the ERA/WHIP/Ks were all there for you. Don’t overreact here, he’s still just a streamer and I’d have caution against the top half of offenses. Streaming Record: 47-24.

Jerry Blevins – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. With Jason Vargas getting the late scratch, Blevins had to step in for a pair of innings. This shouldn’t happen again.

Bartolo Colon – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This was the second highest strikeout total of the season for The Groan Ranger. Yup.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This wasn’t going all too well, then the rain hit and I thought he’d be donezo, but he actually came back and somehow ended with seven Ks. Atta baby Pivetta, after one more start against the Nats, you have an easy road ahead. Let’s have some fun.

Adam Plutko – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. See, this is what drives me crazy. Starts like these will keep Bieber out of the rotation when Carrasco is back next week and I can only hope the Indians aren’t this silly. Yes, it would mean Clev 2.0 and I don’t agree that it was “the right thing to do last year.” We got fortunate that Salazar went down for Clevinger to dominate in the second half last season, but that tease for the month or two prior was just cruel. Let’s not do this to Bieber as well. This was about Plutko’s start. Get it out of my sight.

Carlos Rodon – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I want to see more than 19 sliders and just 2 whiffs to go with it. That’s just me. And everyone in the fantasy community. BABIP went his way, though, so that’s nice.

Caleb Smith – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. And Smith heads to the DL with a shoulder injury. It was fun(ish) while it lasted. I still wonder if he can get the consistency with the secondary stuff to take the leap in future. Drop for now.

Luke Weaver – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. 37 CSW in 104 here for Weaver as he killed it with his fastball and earned 9/17 called strikes on his deuce. Things clicked here, though I’m not ready to invest just yet. Deeper leagues, this is enough to jump on board, but I need a larger sample first after looking lost for so long.

Matt Andriese – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. The opener was kinda the starter…? It’s best not to think too hard about these things.

Sam Gaviglio – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s almost Gaviglio was a TEEs or something…

Brandon McCarthy – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, okay McCarthy. I guess that’s fine as it came with a dub. He’ll keep getting starts as the Sanchez vs. McCarthy debate doesn’t matter as Soroka is on the DL and Gohara is in Triple-A.

Felix Pena – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Because Skaggs is going tomorrow, Pena went Sunday and started the game with a 78mph slider. I love it. You don’t see it often enough and there was no fear here. Or maybe there was – that’s why he didn’t throw a fastball…Anyway, do I like Pena himself? I like his slide piece, but his fastball isn’t good enough for me to get too behind it and he doesn’t have much of anything else with a weak changeup. I can see him as a decent hail mary for strikeouts – 26.5% whiff rate on 42 sliders thrown thus far…small samples are fun – but there’s the risk of poor ratios every day.

Trevor Williams – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. A PQS with six strikeouts? That’s awesome for Williams, who holds a 17.8% K rate and 4.03 ERA this year. It’s all about the little moments in life.

Rich Hill – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. You wanted more from Hill, who was limited to 89 pitches in this one and just five frames. It was the Mets! He did great against the Cubs! I hope this isn’t standard Hill Headache time, I ran out of Asprin.

Mike Montgomery – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He was bumped up a day early to face the Reds and it didn’t go as well as we hoped. Just 4 whiffs on 81 pitches won’t cut it. Still a good streaming option, but not someone I want to roster.

Jefry Rodriguez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He’s a Cup of Schmo despite the 94-95mph velocity and that’s just how it is. Not a bad curveball, but I’m not seeing enough here to think this will pan out well. This was the Phils, mind you.

Marco Gonzales – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Since his shutout innings stretch ending on June 2nd, Gonzales holds a 5.84 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP. Now, this isn’t super fair as he faced the Yanks and Sawx in his last two, and he’s probably in the middle somewhere, like a 3.80/3.90 guy. That’s…okay. It’s a 21% K rate as well and that low 5.3% walk rate will make it easier on his WHIP as well. All in all, he’s a Toby and that’s cool. As with other Tobys, you bench em against strong teams and roll with the rest.

David Hess – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here!

German Marquez – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It was the Rocky Mountain Way and German let us down again. Ryan Spilborghs came on our Fireside Chat over the weekend, telling us that Marquez’s biggest fault is his opening frame, which rang true here with a crooked 3-spot to kick off the game. The strikeouts were solid, but he just couldn’t get into a groove and it hurt (Sidenote: This is why K% is better than K/9 – 25% K rate but a ridiculous 16.2 K/9 here.). Maybe we should amend the RMW with just Marquez on the road moving forward…

Sal Romano – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. You shouldn’t be surprised to see shredded Romano. We like to live in style.

Paul Blackburn – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. If you play with…wait wait wait. That’s the Fiers bit. Um. If I start Blackburn, it’s Nobody’s Pault But Mine. Ehhhhhhhh alright.

Matt Boyd – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. And this is why we’re still Boyd Watching. It just doesn’t add up like trying to split a check with eight people. IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS HARD.

Domingo German – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. German is a Cherry Bomb. There may be a day when he figures out how to be consistent with his command – the stuff is there! – but for now, he’s a Cherry Bomb and should be treated as such. I was really hoping he could take advantage before facing the Sawx, but now I’m definitely staying away there.

Jason Hammel – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. You can always rely on the Hammel to put the final nail in your week’s coffin. I think you can do better. I know I can do better, but this is what we’ve got today.

Jhoulys Chacin – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Remember, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. It’s just how it works.

Today’s Streamer

Mike Montgomery vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s 21%, not 20%, but this is all I got. We cool? I hope we’re cool. Tyler Mahle vs. Atlanta Braves – Monty had to go make my life difficult, so I’m left with horrible choices. I’ll go with Mahle because of his hot streak, even if he’s facing the Braves. Blegh, it’s about time I took another loss.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs New York Mets – Call me crazy, but I’m going with Kuhl despite getting blown up for 8 ERs last time out. That was the dBacks, this is the Mets.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Ivan Nova vs. New York Mets. The collective fantasy community woke up on Bieber (now at 30%!), so looks like I have to hope Ivan can go Super Nova against the Mets.

Game of the Day

Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a feeling after German’s clunker yesterday that the baseball gods are poetic and will produce Loaisiga’s best start, reversing last week’s “Oh, German is definitely better than Loaisiga.”

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.

21 responses to “Berri-Oh So Beautiful”

  1. Mike says:


    Shelby Miller a DLH today even with it being at Miami?


  2. Paul says:

    Hey Nick! Suter (vs KC), Wheeler (vs Pit), and LeBlanc (@Bal) are all available for pickup to stream on Wednesday. Would you do any of them over Nova? 12T H2H 5X5

  3. Jack says:

    good stuff as always, Nick.

    re: today’s streamer, is it worth bothering to drop Lucchesi for Mahle? Rangers suck.

    and Jon Gray — should he like, totally not be on the wire in a 10-teamer with 11-12 SPs owned per team and categories K/W/QS/SV/ERA/WHIP, despite how bad he’s been in ’18, or is it just me? Like, is #75-80 on The List (he’s #75 right now) about as low as you’d ever have this guy (i.e. he’s basically Luis Castillo pitching half his games at Coors, at worst)?

    I think I’d be ok with him as my ~#10 healthy SP, even with this year’s issues, and I wouldn’t look back; are you talking me out of this or signing off?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d prefer Lucchesi today over Mahle, he just wasn’t an option.

      Do you need 10 starters in a 10 teamer without IP as a category? I’d imagine Gray holds more value in deeper leagues as you won’t find another source for strikeouts. 10-Teamers, I’d stay away as his ratio floor can kill you.

      • Jack says:

        nice…I had previously grabbed Lucchesi over Mahle without the benefit of your consultation, so I’m glad to hear your reply on that subject…but then…I am strangely drawn to Gray despite the fact that I also own Castillo and would be playing Russian roulette at that point…*steps back from ledge*

        as to your question, between W and QS it worked out that 9 of the 10 teams have 10-13 starters and 1-3 closers, with the 10th team at about 8-9 closers/3-4 starters. Anyway I wasn’t sure if this makes my 10-teamer a bit more 12-teamer-ish in terms of depth of FA SP market, and therefore made Gray a guy to look at ROS.

        thanks for the input, sir.

  4. chris says:

    Are you definitely fine with Lucchesi tonight? He was very shaky his first start back, should we wait until he looks back to form first?

    Also do you like streaming Minor home against SD this week?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Not definitely fine, but okay with it. The first start back from the DL is often much worse than the second.

      Love Minor vs. Pads this week, especially with his added velocity last two times out.

    • Frankie says:

      It’s amazing that Minor has gone 6+ IP in 7 of his last 10 starts, yet is owned in less that 5% of leagues on ESPN & Yahoo. His 3.75 ERA over the past month is underwhelming, but in this day and age when Starters rarely get to pitch a 3rd time through the order Minor is a true diamond in the rough. In QS leagues he has that added bonus: 3 QS over past month. As many as Snell, Hendricks, Taillon, et al. with much higher ownerships.

  5. Chucky says:

    Godley…OMGodley. Two starts, @ Miami and home v SF. His splits like his home game, not so much at Miami but the park and lineup make it palatable…I think. More importantly, what do you think?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You should be thrilled with Godley vs. Miami.

      Giants give more pause, but I’m clearly rolling with both.

  6. Turp says:

    My favorite read every day. Thanks for all you do, Nick.

  7. Michaelangelo says:

    You’re sitting Arrieta in two-start leagues this week, right? I just picked him up off waivers, but I figure I’ll hold until he looks like he’s got it turned around. He would either replace Kershaw or McCullers in my lineup this week, and even with one start each I feel like they’re better options. Do you agree?

  8. Taylor says:

    Hill had an uncharacteristic 3 HBP. All 3 were apart of his 4 ERs. I think he wasn’t as bad as it looks.

    I was going to ask about Hellickson for Friday’s start against Philly but saw he gave up 11 runs in a High-A rehab yesterday.

  9. Joe says:

    Which two of Mikolas, Bundy, Maeda would you start this week?

    • Joe says:

      In hindsight, Bundy was the bad choice. He surreptitiously rolled his ankle in the top of the 5th inning on Saturday before continuing to pitch effectively for another 2 frames before getting the hook in the middle of the 7th. After Monday’s action commenced and rosters locked, the first mention of his ankle ailment made the rounds, and the next day he was on the DL. Good times.

  10. Perfect Game says:

    Trade Folty for Flaherty in a standard league using QS, K, ERA and WHIP? Not a lot of difference between the two in the current ranking.

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