I Dream Of Heaney
I love Andrew Heaney. I love his curveball that induces whiffs at a 21% clip this year, I love his changeup that has held batters to a .220 BAA and returned to his repertoire in style, and I love his sinker that acts like a four-seamer and finds the zone with confidence. Oh, and I love that he went 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks yesterday against the Rangers to follow a strong seven-inning outing against the ChiSox last week. This start was something special with 46/108 CSW and an easy Gallows Pole at 22 whiffs. WILD. Heaney does an excellent job of separating the locations of heaters, changeups, and curveballs, though I will note that he pounded the heart of the zone with heaters a good amount, and the Rangers simply couldn’t handle it well for whatever reason. Still, well-spotted and -utilized curveballs earned 12/26 CSW and Heaney cruised through this game. Now, the hard part begins with these two weak opponents behind him, it’s @HOU, BOS, @CHW, CLE, @NYY, OAK the rest of the way. I may still toss him out there against Houston and see what happens (no Correa!), but I’m not anticipating smooth sailing through September. He won’t be able to get away with so many middle-middle heaters.
Shoutout to reader Matt S., who sent me today’s headline via email, which is all kinds of wonderful.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Chris Archer – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Archer left this game with a shoulder injury – one of four players to exit early because of injury yesterday. This seems a bit serious, and I have to imagine an IL stint is ahead. Bummer.
Brock Burke – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Nah, you’ll shoot your eye out trusting BB for the long haul. 92/93 velocity is fine, but there’s nothing else there with a deuce that was hung in the zone constantly. No joke, more than 50% of them were in the top half of the zone (or out of it!). This is a Cup of Schmo to me until I see him legit work with secondary pitches as his heater is far from exceptional.
Brad Keller – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bad news here is that his velocity dropped under 94 mph once again. The good news was he faced the Orioles and it didn’t matter. Slider wasn’t particularly sharp, either (1/17 whiffs), and with the A’s next, I’m out.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. We needed this from Stras as he had allowed 16 ER across his past three games. Thank you, bud.
Michael Wacha – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh hey, Wacha wasn’t downright awful for a night. Props to him.
Homer Bailey – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m pretty impressed by Homer Bale here, even if it’s a middling 31/108 CSW. His splitter and slider were both in the bottom half of the zone constantly with 93-95 up, holding off the mighty Yankee offense. It’s a bit of a gamble going with Bailey given his volatility, but now that’s two solid outings back-to-back and the Royals could be a worthy stream.
Dylan Bundy – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Leave it to Bundy to allow just 5 ER in three of his past four starts combined but allow 6 ER in the outlier. I’m glad to see he took full advantage of the Royals here, but unless I saw him hurling 93/94 with legit whiffs on sliders and changeups, I ain’t trusting this man in September. Spoiler alert: It was 91 mph with six whiffs overall. NEXT!
Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. You want a better WHIP, but 1 ER and 6 Ks is just fine from Gio, who relied heavily on changeups out of the zone to get the job done. Seriously, 11/47 whiffs on the slow ball (yes, 47 changeups!) as he grinded his way through this one. He gets the Cards again, and that ain’t so bad.
Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. It’s a 1.44 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 33.5% strikeout rate since July 3 across nine starts. Unreal.
Elieser Hernandez – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Huh. I’m going to take a streaming victory here, although Elieser left this one with a blister. Streaming Record: 82-53. I figure between Ross and Elieser the past two days you got one great start, you know? LET ME HAVE THIS. Anyway, let him go from your teams if you have him as he should hit the IL or at least still not be fully recovered from the blister against the Phils over the weekend.
Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Another strong outing from Keuchel as he’s doing his best to remove himself from the “Toby of Tobys” label. This would be more convincing if it weren’t against the Marlins, though they did rock him for 8 ER just two weeks ago. He did well living at the bottom of the zone, and we’re cool right now. And now he gets the Mets again, so we’re cool.
Steven Matz – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Matz faced the tough Cleveland offense but had the wind at his back given he played at home. It’s like a falling cat with upside-down toast on its back. Lots of heaters up, a ton of called strikes (22!), few whiffs (just four!), and it turned into success. I still don’t truly know what to make of Matz where my gut tells me he isn’t this good, but he’s making it work. I’m OK riding him, but I’m staying away in 2020.
Jaime Barria – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Barria went ham wild with sliders, featuring the pitch 58% of the time across 77 pitches. WHAT. I don’t think I’ve seen an arm go that heavy on breaking ball usage across 70-plus pitches before. The result was fine – not great, but fine – though I wouldn’t put stock that this is truly going to work. Just 12/45 CSW on the slide piece, after all.
Shane Bieber – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. Bieber allowed a pair of longballs in this one, though a two-run shot is off the books as an error elongated the inning. Everything is wonderful as a Bieber owner.
Jalen Beeks – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. This ain’t bad from Beeks, but we’re still so far away from truly trusting him in our rotations. Maybe one day. Maybe.
Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. Man, do I love Nola Day. The best day. Yes, yes it is.
Tyler Beede – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I still find it hard to jump back on the Beede train without his breakers doing well, and here it was 5/23 CSW across his curveball and slider. That’s not enough.
Kyle Freeland – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Freeland, you’re not doing enough for us to consider you in any way down the stretch. It’s just bad odds, like 15 in BlackJack.
Cole Hamels – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Lots of PQS games tonight, but we’re happy to see it from Hamels … though we’re not out of the woods yet. His velocity dropped once again, now to a season-low 90.2 mph. I’m still a bit worried. I’d be cautious against the Nats next.
Brian Johnson – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Running with Johnson is like playing with T.N.T. OY! That’s a bad idea.
Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. He kept the streak alive – 100% 6-plus IP games this year – though a VPQS from Kersh is not what you want. We want so much more.
Reynaldo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. We saw ReyLo hit 98 mph last time out, and I was so upset he got the Twins after. Well, he got them, gave you a PQS with a solid 1.00 WHIP and held 97 mph on his heater, surviving through six. Phew. Secondary stuff was so not here – 20/88 CSW overall is super blegh – but we made it out on the other end. Now it’s the Rangers (woot!) and Braves (shoot!) next. Let’s spin that wheel.
Joe Palumbo – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Palumbo was opposite of Heaney, and he struggled with command as he dealt with a blister. I could label him as a Young Gun given his 94/95 mph heat and developing secondary stuff, so ignore him for 2019 and we’ll be on the fringe on him for 2020.
Cal Quantrill – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa, a PQS with a fantastic WHIP and nine strikeouts?! HOT DANG! His slider was better and relied on heavily, but it was his fastball hitting the edges and executing well that really carried Nicoderm (CQ!) in this one. There’s little reason to stop chugging along with Cal, though I understand the hesitations with the Dodgers next. That’s unfortunate, and I’d play that one by your weekly matchup. Roto leagues, I wouldn’t risk it.
Aaron Sanchez – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Sanchez disappointed once again as he left this one early with a pectoral injury and was hastily placed on the IL after. Womp womp. It was a fun(ish) ride while it lasted.
Alex Young – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. We’re happy with a PQS from Young as you’re hoping for a Toby here. That’s the ceiling.
Michael Pineda – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m a little on the fence about Pineda, but he did well here against the White Sox, featuring low secondary stuff and high fastballs for 29/88 CSW. That plays. Expect more strikeouts next time in a repeat matchup against the ChiSox.
Tommy Milone – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Milone Schmilone is back. And no one rejoiced.
Domingo German – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Domingo, no. We need you buddy! That’s a 6.21 ERA across his past six starts, but really just two that truly burned you (the July 23 start against Minnesota and this one here). Strikeouts are still flowing, near a 10 K/9 in this stretch, but his fastball and curveball command simply hasn’t been as sharp. It’s not something that can’t be corrected, but definitely see if he’s getting the same action on his deuce and preventing mistake heaters moving forward. I know some will be afraid to start him now against the Dodgers, but not this guy. I’m in. Still 33/99 CSW in this one, FWIW.
Sean Reid-Foley – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Here’s to hoping the Blue Jays let SRF fly the rest of the way. His slider is super good, velocity is good enough, and there could be long term value here … if he’s given time to thrive. A Young Gun through-and-through.
Spencer Turnbull – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. It’s not there yet, and like SRF, he’s a Young Gun as well. Lots of ’em today. I think you’re better off pushing him aside the rest of the way.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Mike Montgomery vs. Baltimore Orioles – The man is feeling his secondary stuff right now. You want him against the O’s. I’d also go with Adrian Houser as he faces the Cardinals. These two are clearly attached at the hip right now.
Asher Wojciechowski vs. Tampa Bay Rays – Civale and Anibal are both over 20% and there’s nothing else to chase here save for Sandy Alcantara against the Braves. I’ll chase Woj’s curveball instead of Sandy’s command. Only because I have to.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – He gets the Pirates and still holds near a 25% strikeout rate. Sign me up!
Game of the Day
(Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire)