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Even Stevens

I think it’s important to take a moment to appreciate how fantastic Steven Matz has been thus far in the season.  After bulldozing through the Braves with a 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits,...

I think it’s important to take a moment to appreciate how fantastic Steven Matz has been thus far in the season.  After bulldozing through the Braves with a 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks line, Matz now holds a 2.83 ERA (2.36 FIP, 2.76 xFIP), 9.42 K/9 and 2.20 BB/9.  That’s Top 10 material considering how everyone else has performed thus far, and keep in mind, those numbers include his first start of the year where he allowed 7 ER in just 1.2 innings on the hill.  Sure, there are some concerns about his health and he hasn’t faced the most difficult of teams (NL Easy for the win), but I’d be damned if you weren’t stoked grabbing him around pick #120 in your drafts.  Considering that he’ll continue to get excellent matchups – outside of a date with Coors in a ten days – there’s little reason to expect Matz to suddenly hit a wall.  If there’s a owner who thinks he’s selling high and/or is worried about his injury risk, I’d jump on it ASAP.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Corey Kluber – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks.  Aces gonna ace.  See?  April is gone and Klubs is freakin’ Klubs.

Tyler Chatwood – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Dammit Chatwood for making me look up your numbers just in case I was being too harsh with the usual blurb.  Nah, you still hold a 6.50 K/9 and a 3.69 xFIP while playing half your games in Colorado.  Let’s get this over with…Chatwood has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

CC Sabathia – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoaaaa, it’s like CC wanted to put the Yankees on his back after holding a .333 winning percentage this deep into the season.  Sidenote: I would absolutely love a piggyback ride from CC. LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN.  We can’t make that happen.  Ugh, fine.

Clay Buchholz – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I think Bucholz is doing us a favor by giving us a good-but-not-amazing outing when isn’t doing super badly.  It makes it a lot easier to gloss over him as he sits on the wire.

Colby Lewis – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Because I know you’re going to ask, Lewis has a 6.39 K/9 and a 4.81 xFIP.  If that speaks success, Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks eloquent French.  Oh man, I would pay to see that film.  You mean you’d see it in theater like every other film? Hey man, that’s speaking volumes given how home media has progressed.  You’re right, but why are we even talking about this.  Because I do what I want, that’s why.  And what I want is to never start Lewis.  Ohhhhh nice segway.

Stephen Strasburg – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. This was against the Royals y’all.  Aces gonna ace. All hail the goatee-less Strasburg.

Cesar Vargas – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. You know his 1.10 ERA is supported by a 4.55 xFIP, right?  And he has a 97.5% LOB rate?  With a 4.96 BB/9?  Okay, just checking.

Jon Lester – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh, there is so much opportunity for Lester to shoot up the rankings and he has to allow 10 baserunners in under 18 outs.  Whatever, still like Lester and think he’s a stable commodity on any team.

Tyler Wilson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Not even Tom Hanks wants you on his team, Wilson.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Anibal is not good anymore and it’s getting kinda sad to watch him struggle this much.

Zach Davies – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.  Davies Schmavies.

Aaron Sanchez – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  This is the kind of start that does nothing one way or another as far as judging Sanchez moving forward.  Let’s forget it and move on.

Drew Smyly – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  This isn’t Smyly at his best, but even off his game we still get a salvageable start. My man.

Carlos Rodon – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. And so continues the season of Rodon following the footsteps of Garrett Richards and Yordano Ventura.  Well, more G.Rich than Yordano, but the point stands.  He belongs in the group of poor execution and awesome stuff – PEAS for short.  No, I do not like eating my peas and it’s gonna take a lot of buttering to make them easy to swallow.

Dan Straily – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh Danny Boy, I recall when you had intrigue back when you donned the A’s uniform.  It’s like dating that quiet girl who you thought could be really cool once you got to know her.  Now that you guys have hung out the mystique is gone and you’re wondering how she earned your attention in the first place.  

Jose Fernandez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks.  Did you know that JoFer is now sporting a 2.83 xFIP despite his 4.28 BB/9?  I didn’t even think that was possible.  I’d buy low because I fully expect that walk rate to keep falling.

Mike Leake – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks.  I’m looking at Leake’s 2016 game log and there isn’t a single one that’s even flirting with me saying “you know you want this, Nick”.  No, I really don’t and I’ve had six beers plus a shot of Fireball Whiskey I terribly regret.  That’s the lack of allure we’re talking about.

Alex Wood – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Our Call Boy was doing his part through the first five innings before allowing a single and a HR to start the sixth that ruined everything.  Aww shucks but it happens.  Wood gets the Mets next and I’m slightly worried given the amount of dingers Wood has already given up this year.

Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Manaea labored through this entire start despite collecting more than a K per inning.  I think there’s a good amount left for him to work on, and if you’re considering dumping him for streamers, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Hector Santiago – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. I miss early Santiago, not this bum.  What a tease.

Rubby De La Rosa – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Rubby had a pair of impressive outings that made people like his xFIP and K/9 numbers that included his time as a reliever.  Then he faces a mediocre team like the Marlins and falls apart.  Typically Rubby.

Juan Nicasio – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He also allowed 3 Unearned runs as Nicasio had a tough matchup against the Cubs.  I’d pick him up in deeper 12 teams moving forward, though.

Jake Peavy – 6.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Peavy, stop being so Wily!

Mike Fiers – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Stop trusting Fiers.  Please.

Adam Morgan – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. If only Morgan could steer you in the right direction like a solid Captain.  Like that guy…oh man what’s his name…Ah!  He should be more like Captain Crunch.  That guy is super delicious in a non-sexual way.  Okay maybe slightly, he’s just so colorful, you know? 

Phil Hughes – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Psssh, Hughes isn’t worth your time guys.

Jhoulys Chacin – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Neither is Chacin.  Definitely not Chacin.

Kris Medlen – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. There has to be a way to make a “Medlen’s Kids” joke, yet I got nothing.  I feel like I let you guys down like Medlen did those who still believes in him, which I doubt is anyone right now.  Wouldn’t his family still believe in him? I guess you’re right, dang that line would have been decent if it weren’t for those those Medlen Kids.  :)

Felix Hernandez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks.  What in the lord is wrong with Felix?  Well there’s a bunch actually, though I was leaning toward the idea that he would be able to adjust and power through it – or simply fix the elements off in his game.  Nah, Felix is just going to burn you.  Major demotion in The List coming next time out.

Today’s Streamers

Michael Fulmer vs. Cleveland Indians – I saw a lot of promise in Fulmer’s debut and I think he improves upon it against a weak Indians offense.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Drew Pomeranz vs. New York Mets – There really isn’t a good streamer pick today, so I’m going to bend the rules a little and go with The Dirty Cheerleader despite his 41.1% ownage rate in ESPN leagues.  I could understand the desperate gambler going with Tim Adleman against the Brewers, but I really don’t want to trust in that.

Game of the Day

Michael Fulmer vs. Cleveland Indians – Just like Manaea, I’m curious to see how Fulmer looks in this second start in the bigs.  Will it be a step forward like Berrios or a step back like Manaea?

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.

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