There’s a decent amount to say about the latest talk of the town, Matt Boyd, who demolished the Yankees in a 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 13 Ks performance. Yes, the Yankees are far from a strong squad with their injuries that keep piling up, but Boyd did a phenomenal job with high heat and low sliders, earning a ridiculously high 26 whiffs (co-Gallows Pole!) and 16 called strikes (42/98 CSW!). Fastball at 91mph is what we’re looking for and it does hint at continued success for Boyd…but I have one small concern: his changeup. For Boyd to become a truly consistent producer for your squad, he needs that third option to be there when he isn’t this perfect with his fastball/slider combination. That changeup used to be a prime pitch for him, but took a major step back last season. In this start, Boyd threw the pitch just once. I want to be a Boyd Boy and BeeGee just like the rest of you and I’m all for rostering him — it’s the Indians next! — I just question if this really is Patrick Corbin 2.0.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Scherzer is a better lock for strikeouts! Is that right? Okay maybe so, but come on, the man just had a career high in strikeouts! Give him something. *Suit man whispers in my ear* Oh! Right! We can give him a share of the Gallows Pole with 26 whiffs today. Crazy, isn’t it? Two guys in the same day hitting 26 whiffs. Baseball, man. Baseball.
Nate Karns – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. This is solid from Karns, but sadly the Orioles are playing it very carefully and pairing Karns with Jimmy Yacabonis, preventing Karns from having fantasy relevancy. It’s not fair.
Joey Lucchesi – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s not incredible, but I’ll certainly take this from Lucchesi. Sure, we want that hint of Quality Start, but this helps and that’s wonderful.
German Marquez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Don’t take your dub quite yet if you were on the Marquez train this off-season, there’s plenty of season left. I am certainly encouraged, though. Let’s see what he does in Coors hosting the Braves next.
Mike Minor – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, look at that! Minor didn’t do it on the back on one pitch here, more of pumping the zone with heaters, while getting a decent amount of sliders and curveballs over the plate as well. Nothing too fancy and he got a little fortunate, but recognize the ability. This is the peak. It should come down, but there’s a chance he stays close to it. Just not a large enough one for me to chase in 12-teamers.
Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Morton producing on the hill. It makes you think that he could stay healthy the entire year, doesn’t it? The dreams we have in April…
Freddy Peralta – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Ha! It’s rare to see the exact expectations of a pitcher through just two starts of the year, but here we are, one start removed from a three-inning disaster. What do you do now? Well, you do exactly what you were going to do at the beginning of the year. You’ve seen both sides of Peralta and he hasn’t changed. He will dance and sway and glide elegantly between your hearts and your fists, raising a giant sign that reads “YOU KNOW WHAT I AM”. Yes, you whisper softly. A Cherry Bomb. Oh and his curveball was a bit better today than normal so that’s cool.
Carlos Rodon – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. The Indians allowed Rodon to walk away with 16 whiffs and 37/103 CSW, that’s the state of their offense right now. It’s great to see 23/49 CSW on the slide piece alone, but can we truly buy into it against the Indians?
Matt Shoemaker – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Hey, a stream that worked! Like really worked! Has Shoemaker turned a corner? Oh definitely not, but at least he’s acting like his former self. Vargas Rule this one all you like, but just skip the Sawx start first. Streaming Record: 3-3.
Luis Castillo – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Mmmmm y’all know I love me some good Castillo! 42/107 CSW today (39%!) as his slider and fastball found the zone and his changeup induced whiffs. The one worry I have is his four-seamer averaging 94.4mph (two-seamer at 95.4mph, though), which was the catalyst for last year’s early struggles. But if he’s succeeding despite it now, maybe it speaks to an even stronger second half. We’ll see, I’m still a little hesitant, but you best bet I’m rooting for it.
Marco Estrada – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s so boring, it reminded me that the Minimalist Score existed. It may be hard to come close to the marks we’ve had in the past, but I could see Estrada pulling off a contender during the year. WAIT A SECOND. With the Twins, Padres, and Marlins all with intriguing arms in their pitching staffs, it’s time to pass on the team focused Most Fantasy Relevant Starting Pitcher Award onto the Athletics this year, with Sean Manaea out and Jesus Luzardo dealing with a shoulder problem. Who will with the MFRASPA this year? Fiers? Montas? Estrada? This is going to be good.
Jonathan Loaisiga – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We didn’t expect a long one here and 70 pitches gave us decent production. Not a whole lot, but this helped so that’s cool. I love Loaisiga if he gets 120+ frames as a starter, I just don’t see him coming close to that this year.
Jameson Taillon – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Ahhhh, there’s the Taillon we know and love. Kinda. Only 2/28 whiffs on sliders is heavily disappointing and I think there’s another gear once that pitch acts like its 2018 self. Enjoy this and hope for more.
Julio Teheran – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Teheran sat right under 90mph last year and showed up with 91+ last week. Now? 90.2mph. Womp womp. Who cares Nick, seven Ks and 1 ER! And a soul-crushing WHIP as he squirms his way out of jams. I’m not buying this.
Derek Holland – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s not great, but 7 Ks and meh ratios are fine by me against the tough Dodgers team. Holland really struggled in the first inning, allowing a solo shot off the bat off the bat to Enrique Hernandez, then a pair of walks and a quick 3-ball count to Cody Bellinger. In other words, he looked terrible early, then settled in for four innings. No Dutch pleb to knight tonight, but at least we weren’t invaded.
Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Lester heavily relied on his cutter – 54/105 pitches thrown! – and it worked a decent amount tonight. I’m happy with this start, 1.50 WHIP n all, and that should say a decent amount about the southpaw.
Robbie Ray – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. This looked great early, but then Ray walked four in just two outs between the fifth and sixth. Blegh. I’m still riding him and believe in better days — this wasn’t so bad, you know.
Homer Bailey – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. This. This right here should tell you how ridiculous this season has already been for starting pitchers. Bailey Ks 8, and both Kluber & Nola get shelled. WHY DO I DO THIS.
Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna hint at a VPQS, but make us feel warm with nine strikeouts. It’s why the elite are the elite.
Aaron Nola – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. OR SO I THOUGHT. For real, Nola, I know it all came on three HRs, BUT STILL. I know I put you at #10 and I expected some of this, but I live every day like it’s Nola day and I want to keep living this happy life.
Nathan Eovaldi – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Eovaldi is moving away from the “elevated heat & cutters for strikes” approach that worked oh-so-well last year. Why would he do that? I have absolutely no idea.
Miles Mikolas – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. So, um, this has been terrible. 22/96 CSW is an atrocity, earning just one whiff on 18 sliders. His fastball sat just above 93mph — okay that’s good — but Mikolas had very little deception here. I’m a little worried — not so much to make a deal on it — but a touch worried.
Trevor Richards – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. A slightly better VPQS with 7 Ks from your 8th starter? Yeah, that’s okay with me. Sure, we want Richards to act like an ace n all that, but be happy that his “disappointing” starts still give you strikeouts and don’t ruin your week. Also, 15 whiffs here is mighty impressive, especially when he earned more with his fastball (8) than his changeup (7).
Ross Stripling – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, fine I’ll take it. He even pitched into the seventh inning! And got pulled at just 87 pitches. Fine, but he saw the seventh! Much rejoicing.
Corey Kluber – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Kluber threw everything in the middle of the plate. Note to self: Don’t do that when you pitch in the majors. It’s not an easy thing to pitch, but Kluber has made it look that way for a while, showcasing elite talent to avoid the heart of the plate. Today, he didn’t have a Klue. You can do better. I’ll do better when he does better.
Anibal Sanchez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Sanchez didn’t throw good cutters today, and everything fell apart, ending the game just one strikeout away from being a true fours in your back. Seriously, I’d move on from Anibal, his 2018 magic isn’t coming back, just like the 1995 Magic. *Sniff*
Kyle Gibson – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Jeez Gibson, you really know how to bum a crowd. You were supposed to defeat the Royals offense, not join them in their suffering. Sure, he can rebound as he’ll get a ton more AL Central teams this year, but…bleeeeeeeeegh this is hard to swallow and makes me question owning him in the short term.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Aaron Sanchez vs. Cleveland Indians – The Tribe are bad and Sanchez is showcasing solid velocity. And still under 15% owned! Not after this game.
Trent Thornton vs. Cleveland Indians – Sure, why not. It’s Cleveland.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Lucas Giolito vs. Seattle Mariners – Very few options here and I’ll go with Giolito after he excelled in the zone with his secondary pitches and featured improved velocity.
Game of the Day
Yu Darvish vs. Atlanta Braves – Yes, it’s Strasburg vs. Thor, but who doesn’t want to see how Darvish is looking after that horrid first start?
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)