Don’t Ditch Keller
It was the highly anticipated MLB debut for Mitch Keller and our excitement dissipated quickly with a six-run clunker in the first, including a grand slam off Jose Iglesias’ bat. Thing is, debuts often come with jitters and this one was no exception. Those that stuck around past the first frame got to see the real Keller, though, ending with a 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks line that speaks to plenty better days if you grasp the three frames that followed. What I saw in the first was a pair of breakers that were hung a decent amount and a heater that tried to do too much to cover for it. In the following frames, he was able to get ahead with heat and effectively put away batters with a good curve and slider. I like this. I think he’s a buy and I’m sticking with him in 12-teamers, though I wonder if his low-heater approach may need a bit adjusting. Y’all know me, I want that Blake Snell Blueprint and Keller has the three tools to make that happen in his four-seamer, slider, and curveball. We’ll see, I think you’ll be happy overall, though he has a real test next time out against the Brewers.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Yonny Chirinos – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Opener shmopener. Too bad Chirinos isn’t stretched out enough to make a proper no-hit bid and I think he’s more than earned his keep in your 12-teamer.
Chad Green – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. If you’re gonna open, might as well fan the side, right? David Hale followed and I’m just going to stop this right there.
Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s three straight games of 7+ Ks and he took advantage of a solid matchup against the Pirates here. He relied a bit heavier on curveballs here and it worked and I’m all for running with Sonny, if you had any worry left. Cards are next and I’m gonna for it.
Zack Greinke – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. After opening day’s disaster, Greinke now has 11 straight games of 6+ IP. Dude is a ROCK.
Aaron Sanchez – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. And what do you know, Sanchez left early with a finger issue – “Middle finger anil avulsion” – Ah yes, just what I was thinking. There has to be something better to chase on your wire. There just has to be.
Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yep, still #1.
Luis Castillo – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s 12 walks in three of his last four games and you’d think a matchup against the Pirates would go a bit smoother. Well, when you’re elite money pitch goes 2/22 CSW with just one whiff, yeah something is off. It’s wild, Castillo’s changeup is always so good that we worry about the slide piece and heater, but there are times when those two are working and the studly slow ball takes a day off. It’s annoying and you just have to shrug it off. If you don’t believe in Castillo’s changeup showing up, I don’t know what to believe in Castillo. It’ll be back.
Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 26 whiffs for a Gallows Pole – 26! – and a 44% CSW is really all you need. Dude had 22 whiffs on 57 four-seamers. Please don’t doubt Cole.
Jacob deGrom – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Aces gonna, I guess do well but legit underwhelm. Sure, the Dodgers are a super legit offense n all but 24/105 CSW? That ain’t cool. His slider was bad and it’s still scary as the pitch has a -0.4 pVal so far after last year’s 15.9 mark. Same with his changeup: -0.7 vs. 12.8. deGrom, we’re not going to sell you or anything, but can you, like, you know, do something about this?
Jon Gray – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s weird to see such a neutral start from Gray but there is it. I guess we’re cool with this, right? Sure.
Tommy Milone – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Milone Schmilone. It’s the second time since 2015 that Milone has returned 7 Ks in a game and maybe it has to do with his increased sliders this year. That’s cool n all, but the dude is so blegh and he’s not this 30%+ strikeout guy. Not a chance. Maybe worth a desperate stream against the Angels (Vargas Rule, maybe?) but not for 12-teamers, nah. Too low of a floor.
Daniel Norris – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. The Norris curiosity is waxing and waning in this one. I love seeing 27 changeups for six whiffs, but I hate seeing just 90 mph on his heater. He has the feel for the slow ball that we saw last time and that could be something, but overall not worth our time in standard leagues. AL-Only, I’d go after this.
Jose Urena – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Another strong outing from Urena that we just can’t buy into for the longhaul. When this is 5 IP at 4 ER and 3 Ks, you’ll thank me. If you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Gabriel Ynoa – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ynoa what? I think I’m going to pass on Gabriel. Well, yeah, we knew that. Oh. Right.
Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. A VVVPQS from TATIAGA? That’s not right. It’s a fine season, just not studly from Kersh this year, now with 5 Ks or fewer in three of his last four. Solid gold in QS leagues, though, with 6+ frames in all of his starts this year. I think I need to lower him slightly today, though.
Nick Kingham – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. One day I may be excited in the Boar of Royalty again. One day.
Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Hmmmmmm. Lynn served a VVPQS and didn’t get a Win, but gave you 10 Ks. Is that a streaming victory or loss? You guys tell me, I’m leaning loss given how this hurt your ratios for the week. Womp womp.
Streaming Record: 35-23. Update: The people have spoken. We’re calling it a Win. Streaming Record: 36-22. If you did stream Lynn, though, it was for strikeouts and he gave you that. So at least y’all can be a little happy.
Michael Pineda – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. You’re going to take a 0.50 WHIP PQS with six Ks from Pineda all day. ALL DAY. He gets the Rays next and he could replicate that, I’m seeing more of a five-inning start there, but it could happen.
Rick Porcello – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleggggh. That’s the life of a Toby like The Thief. Can I just call this a VVVPQS? Please? He’s a legit Toby so you gotta hold unless you have some solid options on the wire.
Matt Strahm – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. FINALLY. 8/32 whiffs on sliders as he had 37/95 CSW and 17 whiffs on the day. Okay, sweet. I’ve been waiting for the slide piece to miss bats for ages and that’s one piece of the puzzle for Strahm to become legit this year. The next is to sit 92 mph consistently and…oh. 90.2 mph on his heater. Whatever, I’m down with this. He’s getting a bump today – not massive as it’s one game and it could disappear but you’ll see green – and here’s to praying the heat comes with time.
Gio Gonzalez – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The Twins are no joke and he gets the Pirates next. I’m cool with that.
Chris Bassitt – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. Bassitt returned just six whiffs here and everything in his repertoire was lacking. We could see a big wave of drops coming as he gets the Astros next, I’m down to swoop him up after that Houston start.
Trevor Cahill – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Womp womp. We’re back to Trevor O’Cahill and it’s unfortunate, though we can’t judge too harshly as the A’s are a solid offense. Maybe an occasional streamer in a great matchup, but that’s it.
Cole Hamels – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. This was just a terrible, horrible day. The dude that has a surprisingly good swinging-strike rate gave us zero strikeouts. HAISTFMFWT?! Don’t be rash and I feel your pain.
Jefry Rodriguez – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I mean, you trusted Jefry on a Monday? Why?
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Trevor Richards vs. San Francisco Giants – It’s a solid matchup and Richards was able to perform well against the Tigers last time out.
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Tony Disco has faced some tougher opponents and the Pirates are an exploitable offense.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Chase Anderson vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Pomeranz and Alcantara are facing off and that just seems so risky on both sides. But so is this. True, not as poor of a floor, though.
Game of the Day
Nick Pivetta vs. St. Louis Cardinals – OH SNAP. It’s a coin flip if you should start him – like all Pivetta starts – I’m telling you to do it because it is oh-so-fun when it works. Just have zero expectations and you’ll be happy.
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)