There are times when I see the numbers in front of me and I don’t want to believe them. Cole Hamels was featuring a poor walk rate and a FIP/xFIP hinting at a decline, yet I still wanted him inside the Top 30 because, hey, it’s Hamels right? Well, after going 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks in his repeat matchup against the Twins, Hamels now holds a 3.78 BB/9, with a 4.56 FIP and 4.13 xFIP. Welp, I think it’s time to add yet another name to the list of underperformers this season and I don’t see this as a buy-low situation. The problem lies in his Changeup that has lost about an inch of horizontal movement and isn’t generating the same whiffs as last season. Its contact rate is up a full nine points, O-Contact up over 15 points, and he’s throwing it for a strike much less often, going from 39%.2 to just 30.2% this year. It’s a major issue and I’d hate to be invested in Hamels for the second half.
Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:
Corey Kluber – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Okay I can’t actually say that since Kluber has been a little shaky as of late. Still, you have to keep throwing him out there because this is freakin’ amazing and he’s going to be in the Top 20 all year.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Now that’s a real AGA.
Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. But this sure isn’t. Jesus Sale, you allowed 8 ER against the Braves??
Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Jose Fernandez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Okay okay, we’re out of the woods here as JoFer was the stud that he is.
Noah Syndergaard – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. NO WE’RE NOT. Syndergaard struck fear it the heart of the baseball world after getting pulled mid at-bat in the fifth following a pair of Fastballs registering 93 and 91 mph on the gun. It’s been labeled as “Arm Fatigue” instead of elbow tightness – thank the lord – but I’d expect the Mets to give him a good amount of rest – maybe three weeks or more – to heal up. They have this guy for a long time and they can’t risk breaking him down in the short term.
J.A. Happ – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. So now Happ wants to act like he’s an ace n stuff. Over his last nine games, he does have a 3.29 ERA and a 8.56 K/9…but it also comes with 33%+ soft contact and a 3.94 SIERA. So obviously keep rolling with him if you’ve got him, just don’t bank on it being there in September.
Jon Gray – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. The rules of starting Gray are simple: A) Against really weak teams in Coors or B) Against below average teams on the road. The Phils rank 29th in the majors in wOBA, so this one checks out.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Iwakuma has had a really tough schedule since the start of june, facing the Rangers twice, Red Sox, Tigers, Orioles, Pirates, and now Royals. It should get a little easier in the second half, which means Iwakuma might be a decent guy to target for the backend of your 12 teamer staffs.
Michael Wacha – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Ehhhh that 4.50 ERA makes it tough to really enjoy a thumping of the Brewers. 8 Ks and a sub 1.00 WHIP are solid though.
Jeff Samardzija – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Loose Lips isn’t necessarily sinking ships after this outing, though his K/BB numbers are essentially identical from his horrible 2015 season (6.90 K/9, 2.06 BB/9) as his ERA is floating near 4.00. Oh how I hate you Samardzija.
Yordano Ventura – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ventura was coming off allowing 14 ER in his previous three starts. He’s a PEAS and I don’t believe that will ever change.
Mike Pelfrey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Pelfrey is the face of the Anti-List where I rank the worst qualified starting pitchers. Don’t buy into this, please.
Francisco Liriano – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Francisco is buddy buddy with Pelfrey.
Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Impressive stuff as VV said GG to the Rockies in Coors. While it’s assumed Velasquez will be shut down in September even with his brief injury stint, there is a slim chance the Phils let him loose as they did with Aaron Nola last year. Just a chance.
Jimmy Nelson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhh that 1.67 WHIP and 2 Ks makes it tough to enjoy a 3.00 ERA.
Dan Straily – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Straily was given the dreaded TEEs label and a 4.50 ERA shows he’s right in line.
Matt Shoemaker – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This could have been worse against the Orioles and would have been better if not for a pair of solo shots from Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop. He has a decent schedule to start the second half, so expect a rebound.
Collin McHugh – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. This is really boring, McHugh.
Sean O’Sullivan – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. O’Suckivan is living up to his last name. He’s a family guy, you know?
Kyle Gibson – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Carrying Gibson is weighing you down. Was that a guitar joke? Damn right it was.
Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Annnnnd we’re back to the normal Archer. His success last season was due to averaging 96-97 on his Fastball, and considering that he hasn’t come close to averaging 96 this year, I’m still waiting for that moment where I can begin to believe.
Scott Kazmir – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Our Call Boy was pretty poor with his command against the Friars, and it led to 86 pitches in just three innings of work. Jeez, that’s a bad day at the office.
Patrick Corbin – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks. Corbin is as lost as my Gameboy when I was eight-years-old. I miss that old brick…
Daniel Mengden – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Mengden was actually cruising through three, allowed a two run shot in the fourth, then it all fell apart in the fifth. I still like him for the second half and don’t see this as the first step in a major decline.
Matt Wisler – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. If you started Matt, you are none the Wisler.
Chad Green – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Welp, I liked what I saw last time out and he just didn’t have it against the Indians. Nothing like allowing three HRs in the first inning, amiright? Obviously I expect him to be a little better next time out, but it’s tough to invest in him before seeing that step forward.
Ubaldo Jimenez – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Yep, that’s Ubaldo alright.
Andrew Cashner – 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Some suggested that Cashner had turned a corner last time out. Hopefully you Cashed Out instead.
Brandon McCarthy vs. San Diego Padres – He looked super good in his first start back from TJS, and he gets a welcome back gift wrapped in the form of San Diego. Adam Conley against the Reds should also end well for owners taking the risk.
A.J. Griffin vs. Minnesota Twins – It’s the last day before the All-Star Break (it’ll be super weird not doing an SP Roundup for four days…I’ll miss you guys!), and you need that Win. Go with Griffin as he faces the Twins and has a decent floor against weak teams.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
None – All-Star break is among us. It’s gonna be tough not having any fantasy stats for four days.
Game of the Day
Max Scherzer vs. New York Mets – Scherzer is our current #1 and I want to see him prove it.