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

I’ve been expressing my hesitancy to trust Marcus Stroman a fair amount this year and after yesterday’s 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, are you starting him in his final start against the Braves? His transition to the Mets has done little to correct his BABIP-heavy approach, a method to madness if your defense is the worst in the majors. It’s been a 1.51 WHIP in his 10 starts with the Mets, and I just don’t want to touch it against Atlanta.

Shifting gears, where are you drafting Stroman next year? He’s always drafted based on name value alone, and the 3.23 ERA is sure to grab the attention of many (and ignoring the 4.49 SIERA). I just don’t see a situation in which I own Stroman save for a QS league where we’re well past the 200th pick. I’m not convinced I can’t find similar value off the wire + his ceiling is clearly capped as his current 20.2% strikeout rate is the highest since his 2014 season. That’s not what you want.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Luis Severino5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. I know I can’t give him the AGA label, but the man is trying his best to make up for lost time. Just start him and here’s to hoping it’s a full six frames next weekend.

Brandon Woodruff2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. We were hoping for a little more than 38 pitches from Woodruff in his second game, but understanding that he didn’t have a single rehab start gives this a bit more light. The real question doesn’t pertain to fantasy – if the Brewers get the Wild Card, does Woodruff get the ball? And for how many innings? Fantasy-wise, he’ll get one more start and hopefully get pushed to 50-60 pitches this time, which speaks to roughly four innings if we’re lucky. That’s not enough production to turn down a streamer in his place.

John Means 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. After disappointing us dramatically early last week, Means showed up in a big way when we needed him most. I can see him being targeted next year for those in 15-teamers, though I don’t think the ceiling is high enough in a 12-teamer to grab him out of the gate next season. Take some chances first. If Means doesn’t have a good start among his first two, I’m sure he’ll be on the waiver wire. He’s not an arm to secure.

Miles Mikolas7.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s coin-flip city with Mikolas, and I’m glad he acted like his 2018 self here against the Cubs. Velocity was solid at 94 mph, but that doesn’t really matter. Here’s the hoping he can do it again vs. Chicago next weekend. One more time …

Adam Plutko4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh, if you started Plutko, you were chasing either a win or a quality start. You got neither and you’re annoyed and frustrated. Now it’s the Nationals, so yeah, we’re done here.

Vince Velasquez4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. You got a taste of both the floor and ceiling here from VV, and that’s enough to steer me away. It’s not every day you’ll get near 50% strikeouts across 13 outs. I’d look elsewhere.

Austin Voth5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This was far from the same dominance we saw last week, but it earned a win and we’re happy. Streaming Record: 100-66. If Voth gets another start as the Nats rest up, I wouldn’t start him against the Indians. I don’t think you need me to tell you why.

Logan Webb6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Webb, I’m sorry but I’m not getting myself wrapped up in you again. Yes this was the Braves, no I don’t care. Too risky.

Marco Gonzales7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Atta boy, Marco, this was a wonderful send off. Send off? Yep, he gets the A’s next so we’re definitely out there. You did your job well, now be freeeeee.

Dallas Keuchel6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Good Keuchel, we’ll take you acting like a Toby for another outing. Just one more time against the Mets, please. Thanks.

Lance Lynn5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Atta boy Lynn, even if that WHIP is a bit off and you didn’t last he full sixth. I’m probably going to be a little down on Lynn next year because I don’t expect this kind of production to repeat while you’ll need to spend that high price to get him. I expect pushback there, we’ll talk later.

Justin Verlander5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace but in the meekest way. He’ll likely get that last start as he won’t be pitching until Thursday the following week –> right in line. He doesn’t seem like the guy that wants to get out of rhythm.

Trevor Williams5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Oh hey, it’s T-Dubs from 2018. He now gets the Reds, and that’s a middling start where I wouldn’t bank on this returning. But maybe it does, just maybe.

Matt Boyd5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Blegh. I know we’re just chasing for the strikeouts at this point, but still. He’s a better pitcher than this second half and it’s frustrating to watch it happen. He gets the ChiSox one more time and it’s likely to be more of the same. It’s another Ray or Archer or I guess Boyd at this point.

Yu Darvish8.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Darvish was so close. He deserved a win from this incredible effort (45% CSW! 23 whiffs for a Gallows Pole!) and it just didn’t work out. Anyway, you’re obviously starting Darvish in full now, but where does he go in drafts next year? You’ll be hearing about the second halves of Darvish and Jack Flaherty and even the September of Zack Wheeler in the mix, and I’m not sure how much stock to put into it just yet. I think you’re still going to have a good dosage of Darvish volatility next year.

Nathan Eovaldi6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Oh, cool Eovaldi! You gave us the start we wanted early last week, the one that made a lot more sense. But hey, if you needed to chase Eovaldi here, you got yourself a VPQS with a win, and I guess that’s fine. A sneaky play for 2020 drafts that you shouldn’t forget, but I’m not taking the risk again this week.

Pablo Lopez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. You got nothing. A 2.00 WHIP, terrible ERA, and just one strikeout. HAISTFMFWT?! I’m not drafting PabLo next year as there really isn’t a reason to trust that his curveball and changeup will get it together consistently over any other volatile pitcher, so I’ll likely be looking elsewhere to start the year. A sneak-peek at the off-season plan will tell you that I’ll have more to say about PabLo and the Marlins rotation in just a few weeks, so hold your breath until then if you can.

Jose Rodriguez2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Rodriguez and Suarez each tossed a pair of innings and it’s as significant as an old Jerome Williams start. Who? Oh, summer child.

Hyun-Jin Ryu7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. He even tacked on a longball of his own for good measure as he made it feel like the spring again. Ryu could get one more outing against the Giants and obviously you’re starting him if he does. 

Trent Thornton – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Yikes. He had been pitching better of late but the Yankees offense was a bit too much for Double-Tee. Not the very worst idea to start him against the Rays but still not one that I would go after.

Robbie Ray5.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. You started him for the strikeouts and you got what you came for. It’s the story of Ray, with the discussions of Archer 2.0 well intact. You know what you’re getting, it’s up to you if you need it against the Padres.

Garrett Richards1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ouch. After looking so good in his first outing, Richards was a bit uncomfortable here. Now with just one start left in a repeat against the Diamondbacks, I wouldn’t take the gamble. Obviously very much in for 2020, though.

Antonio Senzatela4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. He even allowed a HR to Ryu. The dude is trying to win the coveted Worstball crown. So coveted.

Trevor Bauer7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Weird to see such a good WHIP and 8 Ks get paired with a horrible ERA but there it is. The roller-coaster is almost over, and I know it’s going to turn so many people away in drafts next year. I’m not sure where I’m placing Bauer for next year yet. It comes down to where I think the threshold of risk begins – what’s the point where arms are innately risky where chasing upside is worth it at the price. This could be 3.60 ERA of a 30-35% strikeout rate and 1.15 WHIP next year. Just sayin’.

Reynaldo Lopez4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay okay okay okay OKAY. We’re done. I’m glad we went Voth instead but jeeeeeeeeez ReyLo, you know how to play with hearts like my grandmother – she’s way too good at Bridge. I think we need to look elsewhere than his next start against the Tigers (again) if he couldn’t handle them yesterday. Just the sad state of affairs.

Martin Perez2.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Bleeeeggggh. We were hoping he could keep it together against the Royals, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m OK giving him another shot against the Royals, but man, he’s making it harder than it should.

Tanner Roark3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Roark, seriously? Just 8/51 CSW is laughable after looking plenty better last week and he burned a good amount of us yesterday. I still think he’s better than, say, ReyLo next weekend against the Mariners, but come on fella. Be better.

Ryan Yarbrough3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. We were hoping for better things from The Fratty Pirate against the Sawx, but there was an air of worry as you often hate facing an elite offense, even if they were missing Mookie Betts (I apologize, I said Betts and JDM were out for Saturday’s game, they both played!). He gets the Jays next and that should be just fine, but I feel for those needing him to come through here.

Jorge Lopez2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. JorLo had a start like this last year that completely ruined seasons. At least this was the Twins and we had zero expectations (the same amount as his strikeouts, HAISTFMFWT?!) to keep him on the wire. So thanks for that, I guess.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Dylan Bundy vs. Toronto Blue Jays – There are only five games played on Monday, so I’ll go with the strikeout upside of Bundy against the Jays. Don’t do this.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Mitch Keller vs. Chicago Cubs – Keller’s upside is just too dang good to pass up. If you need something more QS/Win/Ratio safe, then consider Brett Anderson against the Angels.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Mahle vs. Milwaukee Brewers – This isn’t the greatest stream, but I can see Mahle earning a good amount of strikeouts against a Brewers squad missing Yelich, even if they have some of that September magic.


Game of the Day


Caleb Smith vs. Steven Matz – I’d love a start of Caleb showing off what he could do. Give us some confidence entering the offseason.

(Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)

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.

  • Jim says:

    Lol! I love this, “Okay okay okay okay OKAY. We’re done.”

  • Frankie says:

    Oh no, Nick.
    After listening to your First Pitch podcast, I am scared now to start Alex Young today.
    I have one SP slot that I was planning to stream all week — as I have done all year. It got me to the big dance, so why stop now? Right?
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop biting my nails.

  • Phil says:

    Hey Nick.

    Phew. I started Reylo and Perez last week and I’m still going to the finals. AMA

    Special thanks to Eovaldi, needed that W and QS bad, bud. Appreciate it.

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