Go Homer, Bailey, This Ain’t You

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

This is going to be a weird lede today because I’m going to talk about Homer Bailey. The man who went 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks against the Twins yesterday, lowering his season numbers to 4.61 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, but has just allowed 1 ER across his last three. Bailey has also fanned at least five in each of his last three games after doing so once in ten games prior. But here is where it gets interesting. Bailey averaged a 92.5 mph fastball in those ten starts. In the other six? 93.2 mph, starts where he fanned at least six in all but yesterday’s affair. 

Yes, this is Homer Bailey, the man who you made you say “yeah, but come on, Nick” during this entire schpiel. I get that, I’m hit you. He even allowed 7 ER with 3 jacks in one of those six games, the game where he averaged 94.2 mph on the gun. Maybe there’s something to this, though, that gives deep league owners a bit of value, especially with Toronto on the horizon.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Tyler Skaggs5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Skaggs was doing just fine here…and the Angels decided to go to the pen despite Skaggs sitting at just 70 pitches. Pffffft whatever. Not Skagg’s most dominating performance – just three whiffs – and I’m not thinking this is the guy that I was hoping for during the preseason, but I think I still let him fly against the A’s next time out.

Mike Soroka2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Everything is fine. He took a HBP to the forearm and was removed as a precaution. He’ll start his next game. BREATHE.

Ryne Stanek1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The Fratty Pirate Ryan Yarbrough followed for 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks and it’s everything you could have dreamed of. I really don’t think this is a smart investment moving forward in standard 12-teamers, but I understand rolling with Yarbrough if you’re in a SP limit league each week.

Marcus Stroman6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. What a weird and wild start for Stroman. Just look at his strikezone plot. This is all over the place, yet 16 whiffs are lovely – 10/41 on sliders is so very welcome – and he took down the Red Sox. Crazy. The man has fanned six just once in his previous ten games and I’m not buying that his slider is back and here to stay, but it certainly earns Stroman more time in your rotation as he’s somehow keeping his ERA around the 3.00 mark this year. Weird times.

Miles Mikolas5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Maybe this really is one of those cases where Home/Road splits are legit. Y’all know I very rarely put any stock into them – I’m more inclined to believe that Mikolas’ 88+ mph slider is the reason he did well here – but maybe there is some Alex “Think” Fast here where Mikolas gets more comfortable in his routine at home, allowing him to get that 88 mph slider. But Nick, this isn’t even that good of a start. That’s a great point, a 1.80 WHIP certainly didn’t help. Still, that hard slider is so nice to see and I’m throwing him out there on the road against the Padres next, hoping that slider is still coming in hot.

Zach Plesac7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I want more than two strikeouts from Plesac against the Tigers – just 8 whiffs on 97 pitches and 25% CSW is kinda blegh – but whatever, this helps and we keep throwing the Plesac across our back.

Adrian Sampson7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Good to see Sampson rebound, though his slider wasn’t as good as we want it to be, leading to a middling 24/91 CSW. We need more, Adrian. We need more. I think this was a blip and not a spark.

Shaun Anderson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I keep thinking this is Dereck Rodriguez 2.0 and this line is doing little to steer me otherwise. Is that a good thing? Not really, no.

Jacob deGrom6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Apparently deGrom opened a callus on his foot during this game – sounds like a Mets injury – but that didn’t matter as his slider was as good as we’ve seen all year, coming in at 93 mph and earning 15/40 whiffs. Hot dang! It helped him earn a Gallows Pole at 22 whiffs and while we were no longer afraid of deGrom, this…this is nice.

Merrill Kelly6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Yeeessssss. Kelly pumped the zone with curveballs – 15/25 for strikes – while keeping his fastball at 92 mph and not 90 mph. Meanwhile, his cutter actually did decent things, leading to Kelly taking full advantage of the Giants. Thanks bucko, now I’m done with you as you get the…wait. Nevermind. Giants again LET’S GO.

Kenta Maeda7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid outing from Maeda and it’s nice to have a legit #3/4 arm that you aren’t worried about. Thanks, Kenta.

Antonio Senzatela6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Wait, Senz-A did it again? *Suit man whispers in my ear* You’re kidding. Five of his last six have come with 2 ER or fewer?! WHAT WORLD IS THIS. Ohhhhhh, a lucky one. It’s a 5.74 SIERA in those six games. Carry on.

Austin Voth6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. So Nick, who’s this Voth guy? He’s someone who kinda killed it with his heater yesterday with 23/61 CSW (!) on the pitch…and had nothing else to turn to. It was nice an pretty and came in two ticks higher than what we saw last year from Voth, but I’m a bit hesitant to really dive in when I don’t like those secondary offerings. There’s a chance his sticks around for the Tigers, though, and if that’s the case…he’d get the Royals after too. I’d be in on that if he gets confirmed.

Jordan Yamamoto5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. I’ve seen a lot of chatter about Fair Jordan and the nickname stays. I really don’t love his stuff a whole lot. 10/99 whiffs with 27% CSW as his heater is middling and his slider isn’t good enough to win me over. Then there’s the four walks that pushed his pitch count to 99 in five frames, going against the notion that he’s a crafty arm that squeezes the most out of his slightly above-average stuff. I think this is going to burn people, while I also recognize that you may not have a choice. He gets the Phils again now and…I think I’m out if there’s any other options out there.

Steven Brault5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, we can all stop using our Brault-account now.

Cole Hamels7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. His changeup wasn’t as good as we’ve seen, but I’ll certainly take this from Hamels. He’s been the one arm you drafted to be sturdy through the year that actually has been that.

Yusei Kikuchi6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. I think you’d take a VVPQS from Kikuchi, even if it was against the Orioles. Remember when I got amped for his 94+ mph velocity? This was 91.2 mph tonight. Hooooo boy, I don’t want none of this.

Ivan Nova6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. A VPQS with a strikeout per inning from Nova is everything you could have hoped for. Yes, this constitutes Super Nova.

Justin Verlander7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Verlander allowed a 362 ft. longball here that accounted for all three runs and that’s a little sad, but that WHIP and strikeouts…mmmmm…that’s what’s up. Expect the HR/9 to fall and Verlander to rise.

Brandon Woodruff7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Hot dang Woodruff! His fastball was stupid good here, still sitting 96/97 and dotting corners. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I definitely picked the wrong horse here and I’m pleasantly surprised that Woodruff has been able to maintain his fastball command across the previous two months. But Nick, he’s allowed at least 3 ER in each of his last five starts. Definitely true! He’s also gone at least six frames in his last four while earning 34 strikeouts in those games. I’ll definitely take this and even expect those ER to dwindle a bit.

Enyel De Los Santos4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. I was a bit excited to see Enyel on the hill and I was a bit disappointed to see he’s still a bit raw. His mechanics don’t speak to a consistent arm and his slider was far from polished. There’s a touch of hope in that arm, but I’m not touching him in 12-teamers for a while.

Joey Lucchesi5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwww, we wanted a little better against the Pirates from Lucchesi, but he struggled to get his sinker down at the knees consistently in this one. Whatever, just gotta keep starting him n all.

Michael Pineda5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I thought that Pineda could hint at 94 mph again while cruising through the Royals, leading me to choose him over Kelly. I chose…poorly. Streaming Record: 51-32. That fastball velocity? 91.4 mph. Yikes. Like a stoner in the 70s, I’m so far out, man.

Rick Porcello6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ohhhh no, Porcello. I know you’re The Thief n all, but don’t steal away championships from the people that need you as a Toby. That’s just 20% CSW against the Blue Jays and it’s just mean at this point.

Anthony DeSclafani4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. I could spin this by saying Tony Disco faced the Brewers, so we expected poor ratios anyway, but the nine strikeouts are a positive in his book. 33% CSW n all with 15 whiffs ain’t bad! But so is him facing the Cubs next and I just can’t see myself going after it.

Daniel Norris7.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Norris’ changeup is still on the rise, but sadly his fastball is on the decline with another sub 90 mph game. If we saw Norris back at 92+ again, there could be something here.

Brett Anderson3.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. And this is why we don’t touch starters named Brett. What about- yeah, not him either.

Gabriel Ynoa2.1 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Ynoa what? Gabriel was the #1 SP in Worstball this week. Yep.

J. A. Happ4.0 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeah, I was completely wrong on Happ. I expected his high four-seamer to return this year while he kept up his good floor of ratios and…nope. Just seven strikeouts combined in his last three starts and even with this being the Astros, you can’t trust him at all these days. Maybe as a streamer, but I’d hate to have to run Happ out there constantly in a 12-teamer.

 

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.

 

Adam Plutko vs. Kansas City Royals – I really have maybe three choices here. Not a fan of this one.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Tyler Mahle vs. Los Angeles Angels – He’s the clear choice as we’ll continue to stream him against middling offenses as long as we can.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Dylan Bundy vs. San Diego Padres – Here we GOOOOOOO.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Clayton Kershaw vs. Zack Greinke – This is all kinds of fun.

 

(Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor. Worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

  • Avatar Chucky says:

    Two start ERod v CHW and NYY, Ray v LAD @ SF, Gallen v Wash, Lucchesi v STL and Nola v Mets. I need for a weekly H2H, thanks.

  • Avatar Chucky says:

    Sorry, I need two for this weeks schedule

  • Avatar Willlankford8 says:

    Is folty worth the stash in 12 team points leagues or should I abandon ship

  • Avatar sturock says:

    A conundrum for you, Nick: Turnbull vs Tex (or Was) vs. Maeda @ Coors. The better matchup/venue or the better pitcher/team?

  • Avatar Jim says:

    Bundy on Tues over Allen? Why?

  • Avatar Ionescorhino says:

    Is Lamet an arm worth speculating on in a 12-team? Every time I pick up a pitcher coming back from TJ, it’s a wild ride.

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