I’m sure the hottest pickup of the day will be Jimmy Nelson who followed an excellent 10 strikeout game with a 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks, but this time against the high-octane Dodgers as he outdueled Kershaw. How I’ve described Nelson in the past is pretty straightforward: He’s a Cherry Bomb in that he has those impressive outings, while plenty of clunkers that will make you send you a frenzy of indecisiveness. Now, four of his last five starts from Nelson have been fantastic, collecting 37 Ks across those four outings and you know what I’m going to do. Let’s see if he changed anything in those starts to dictate better results! Guess what, there’s something here. First off there’s his Fastball usage. Nelson was throwing his four-seamer 42.6% of the time with Sinkers 27.2% and 6.8% Knuckle-Curves through the first six starts of the year. Starting with his May 11th start against the Red Sox with 8 Ks and 0 ER, Those numbers switched to 28.5% Four-Seamer, 37.2% Sinker, 17.6% Curve. That deuce is getting strikeouts at a 38.1% rate this year, with his Sinker earning 10 points more grounders at 68.1% from 58.0% last year and just 11.1% flyballs…and a 61.7% zone rate, up from 54.6% last season. Throwing more sinkers in the zone allows him to use his Four-Seamer more as a chase pitch than a strike thrower, as its K rate has jumped to 34.0% and whiff rate from 8.1% to an excellent 10.4%. And lastly, his Slider is ole reliable, now throwing it with confidence in the zone at 60.1%, up from sub 50% rates all his career. Nelson has changed his approach, is able to throw strikes, and has pitches to turn to when ahead. He should be owned everywhere and while I’m not talking about Top 25 upside, he’s definitely worth it to see if he can keep it up.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I think some of us were starting to question…slightly…if you were missing a step there, bucko. Glad to see we’re back to a 2.28 ERA and 2.68 xFIP. Phew.
Mike Foltynewicz – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. There were four starts last night that made me go what on earth…The first was Nelson, as we’ve discussed, with the next trio filling out the group. Folty has been heralded as having strikeout upside, though this season two starts above five strikeouts (including a start of just six!) in eight starts prior to this explosion. Did something change? Is he a new man? Is he a must add? I’m not against taking a chance on Folty – 10 Ks and 0 ER don’t just show up er day – but I think this is a case of a guy having a great night more than a grand display of what’s to come. But hey, he gets the Phils next so go right ahead with that one.
Ty Blach – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Then there’s Blach who had this hilarious evening. Yes hilarious. Blach is a Grave Mistake to a startling point, with a 3.55 K/9 and 3.24 ERA. That’s crazy. He’s relying on a 7.1% HR/FB rate and .250 BABIP despite a 50% groundball rate (generally we see higher BABIPs with a lot of grounders), without an exceptional amount of soft contact that would dictate a low BABIP. I’m giving Blach a thumbs up from afar as I can smell his 5.01 SIERA. What does that smell like? Really poorly made pesto.
Jason Vargas – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Last up is Vargas who faced the Indians = a clear start. We all know they’re bad against lefties. The three strikeouts (24 of 27 outs were in play!) help show how I can’t buy into Vargas for fantasy purposes but obviously keep rolling with him until the wall really hits.
Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Keuchel just keeps cruising.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna also ace. Three walks, though? Whatever.
John Lackey – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Let’s be real, Lackey really needed this outing after totalling 13 ER in his last three starts. I’d consider picking him up if he’s out there as he gets the Marlins, Mets, Pirates, Marlins next and that 9.23 K/9 is super tasty.
Alec Asher – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Asher rebounded after a 6 ER outing against the Astros to actually produce against the Red Sox. Don’t be silly, this isn’t going to hang around, it’s a Birthday Party. Let him have a good time, just don’t feel like you need to hang again after this.
Lance Lynn – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s a sparkling 2.97 ERA for Lynn…with a .204 BABIP and 3.39 BB/9. That leads to a 4.80 FIP, 4.32 xFIP and a sub 6.0 IPS. It’s why I’m not as high chasing Lynn than other upside guys, though I wouldn’t object to owning Lynn.
Josh Tomlin – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Should I be impressed with Tomlin after an evening went okay against the Royals? Nah, I’m not. I wouldn’t have even trusted him here and this is pretty meh.
Christian Bergman – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Sorry, still not buying this, I’d rather wait for Black Friday. That’s a terrible joke. What, should I have said Good Friday? That’s an even worse joke.
Francisco Liriano – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Liriano is back and ready to make you cry.
Kyle Gibson – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m proud of you Gibson, you lowered your ERA to 7.23!
Bronson Arroyo – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. OH SNAP. Arroyo got another! Weaver is up only 4-3 in the GQSB 2.0. YOU GOTS THIS.
Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Now Porcello’s Hard Contact rate is up to 42.7%. That’s horrendous and as much as I like his K/BB numbers, it’s hard to get on board until he brings that under a 33% mark.
Yu Darvish – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Let’s see where we’re at with Darvish….9.64 K/9, that’s good! 3.13 ERA, sure! And…well that’s actually all the good. 32.8% hard contact is meh, that .259 BABIP will go up and his 84.6% LOB rate will go down, which all lead to his 4.01 FIP and 3.94 xFIP. That’s terrible. I almost forgot one stat that makes me laugh a ton. I remember in the preseason saying I didn’t trust that Darvish was going to keep his walks down. It’s been coming down every year! Yeah, tell that to a 3.74 BB/9, the highest since his 2012 season mark of 4.19. The dude just isn’t looking as sharp as he can be and this is without missing any time with injury, which, let’s be honest, is going to happen. If I could get an elite bat for my lineup for Darvish, I’d make that deal in a heartbeat.
Michael Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Noooooo! It was the first start Fulmer didn’t collect a Quality Start as the White Sox had their way with Fulmer in the fifth inning. Whatever, I still adore Fulmer a ton, especially when he’s throwing 99mph with life. Wait, you have a Twitter?! Oh, yeah I don’t promote it on the site but yeah, check us out. Ask me questions there whenever you want and you’ll often get GIFs of pitches like these through the day. It’s fun stuff. JUST LIKE OWNING FULMER IS. Buy low if you can…?
Clayton Richard – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton!
German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. The Ks are alive like they normally are against San Diego. How he allowed 6 ER in Petco is beyond me, well that’s a lie. Marquez isn’t an elite arm, just one with strikeout upside and not the best command. I think this start is a good hint at the caution you need to hold with Marquez. Don’t get complacent after that four start run he had.
Matt Harvey – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Are you guys ready to get off this cruise ship? Cruise ship? You know, where the pamphlet looked nice and you got aboard not really caring where you went. Then when you wake up from basking in the sun, you have no idea where you are and why you made this decision. Harvey isn’t your savior.
Patrick Corbin – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The story of me and Corbin seems like a horrible film where the man ruins the relationship, comes back acting like he’s a changed man, and just does more damage. YOU’RE AN EVIL MAN CORBIN.
Gerrit Cole – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ohhhhh boy. This is getting rough. Fast and I talked about Cole in his podcast where we highlighted his Two-Seamer for being an absolutely atrocious pitch. Well, it was actually the only pitch to have overall success in this one, with his Four Seamer getting crushed some more. Against the Mets. For the second start in a row. At this point, if someone wants to give you a solid return for Cole, I’d take it. Otherwise, I’d hold and imagine that he’ll rebound to raise his stock again…which I’d sell after. Welcome to the 30s Cole.
Jake Odorizzi – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. A Brad Miller error did little to help this outing for Odorizzi and he had to get lifted in the third. Whatever, I still toss him out there against the White Sox, but that might be the last straw if it doesn’t go well.
Michael Pineda – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Uh oh, is Pineda’s HR/FB rate going to kill him again? We’re back to absurd levels again at 22.0%…I really need to lower him on The List. Late 20s mid 30s sounds right because we legit shouldn’t believe he should be at his 3.34 xFIP and his 3.76 ERA sitting between that xFIP and his 4.37 FIP seems right to me. I should have demoted him before this start there really wasn’t a reason to believe that those longball problems had been eradicated, my bad.
Jerad Eickhoff – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Five walks from Eickhoff says it all. The dude just shouldn’t be trusted and I’m a fool. A FOOL. Streamer Record 27-19-8.
Jose Urena – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. If you start Jose, Urena boatload of trouble. Yes, I think that’s what he’s been demoted to now.
JC Ramirez – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Well this sucks. Obviously Ramirez was going to have some clunkers this season, but 7 ER is a mighty blow, especially when facing the Twins. Such a blow from a Call Boy. Anyway, he gets the Tigers next, which I’m not on board for, meaning he’s droppable for a streaming spot for now if you need one.
Andrew Triggs – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I like Triggs overall, just not against like 10% of teams. The Nationals are the 10%.
Derek Holland – 2.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. The Dutch Invasion has arrived, giving Holland now a 3.43 ERA that is still too low for his 5.03 FIP and 4.96 xFIP. There are more disasters to come.