Alright, let’s get this out of the way. Despite being a knuckleballer, which usually calls for my typical “Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer” schtick, Steven Wright has been pretty impressive to begin the season, allowing 2 or fewer ER in each of his first five starts. He continued the trend in a big way against the Yankees Sunday night with a line of 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks, lowering his ERA to 1.52 on the year and now features a 8.27 K/9 to go with it. Pretty dang sweet, eh? Now the question is if it’s something you want to invest in, and I don’t believe we’re seeing a R.A. Dickey–esque Cy-Young run on our hands as his xFIP sits at a disturbing 4.08 with a 3.48 BB/9. He’s relied on a gross .219 BABIP despite a 17.4% soft contact rate and 30.2% Hard contact. Get my drift? Mix that with a 3.6% HR/FB and you have a prime-time sell high who is only going to get worse. Womp womp.
Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:
Ross Stripling – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Today was the day of questionable guys doing super well to confuse owners everywhere. Who should you pick up? Is this guy for real? Here’s the quick rundown. Wright = ehhhh, Estrada = better than an average stream, Stripling = straight Toby as he’s a good stream choice, Corbin = a lot of upside, not sold yet that he’s ready to give it you like X, Folty = so tempting and so dangerous (sounds like the slogan for my cologne. You don’t wear cologne. Oh, I guess it’s just me then.), McHugh = not today, Verlander = He’ll be around #45 tomorrow. There you go, no need to read the rest of this article y’all.
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Yeah, I’m most likely keeping him in the Top 50 tomorrow. Look, he can be disappointing at times, but he’s still worthy of your roster spot in a 12 teamer and debateable for a 10 teamer as he still has the strikeout stuff in him. I know his xFIP is disappointing and his hard contact is poor, which is why he’s not Top 35 anymore. He’s not falling off the table like Anibal Sanchez but he isn’t surging like Jose Quintana. Feel me?
Marco Estrada – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Then there’s Estrada who’s still defying his xFIP because that’s what he do. Maybe. I’m not sold since the only season he held a sub 10% HR/FB was last year and he’s sitting at 6.7% now. And it’s not like his 3.35 BB/9 is good to go with his 4.13 xFIP. But let’s say he does keep that home run rate down, then you’re looking at a 3.50 ERA with a good amount of wins and a 7.50+ K/9. Pretty solid and I’ve probably been a little too low on him.
Patrick Corbin – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Corbin could be waking up from his slumber, but he could just be yawning and fall back on the pillow like me in my youth. I was such a foolish child. Seize the day…
Eddie Butler – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I know what I said when we went over Gray yesterday, but I really don’t want to change the blurb! If you feel like I should, let me know in the comments or forever hold your peace…Butler has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.
Mike Foltynewicz – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Don’t tempt me Folty! I fell for this trap last season and it burned me. It burned me real bad.
Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Jeez, when will this party end? Here I was thinking that the Cubs would eat him alive and he gives us his second best strikeout effort of the season with a blissful ERA and WHIP too. Now he has a groundball rate above 50%, a 3.56 xFIP and 8.32 K/9 – that latter of which skewed by that one absurd start vs. the Twins. I simply can’t sit here and tell you that Roark is a must-add. The guy is allowing just 3.7% HR/FB, which is obviously going to regress soon. He’s never been a strikeout heavy guy, which means this is a Grave Mistake and Roark doesn’t seem like the pitcher to go with given his 3.45 BB/9.
Collin McHugh – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeaaahhhh still don’t like you this season McHugh.
Matt Andriese – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Andriese suddenly came up to start this game instead of Moore, displaying reckless abandon as now Moore suddenly gets a two-start week ahead of him. Any way, Andriese isn’t the pitching prospect you’re looking for, he’s just a Cup of Schmo. Not sure why I waited this long into the season to whip that one out. There are so many jokes I can do with that last sentence, but I’ll spare you guys. Prom night was a different story. Okay, I won’t but Italics Guy doesn’t have the same inhibitions.
Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The gift that keeps on giving.
Matt Harvey – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Boom baby. The Padres are kinda a make-or-break team and Harvey’s Slider was looking like its old self today. Start him with confidence moving forward.
Jeff Samardzija – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Alright guys, Samardzija is getting a good amount of love tomorrow, okay? Not crazy love and definitely not Beyoncé crazy in love, but some love.
Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. Perez with seven strikeouts? What, were they on sale at Walmart?
Tyler Duffey – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Our Call Boy allowed maybe one ER too many, but I’ll take 9 Ks and just 8 baserunners over 7 IP.
Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Pretty good Cole, not ace like, but pretty dang good.
Luis Severino – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Oh come on Severino. It’s clear it’s been rough when I’m upset that he went out and got himself nine strikeouts. He gave up a two run shot to the second batter of the game, then allowed a pair of solo shots to Ortiz across the rest of the evening, the second of which coming to start the 7th on his 95th pitch. What I’m trying to say is that this was easily Severino’s best outing of the year and I would be shocked if he were demoted like the rumors were suggesting. I’m actually suggesting that he’s a good buy in AL-Only leagues right now because clearly something clicked. Clickity-freakin’-clack he’s possibly back.
John Lamb – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The bigger news is that Lamb was pulled from the game with a jammed thumb. For real? Lamb, you were supposed to be the chosen one, that secret pick no filthy casual would have touched only to become a successful #4/#5 on fantasy staffs everyone. Was this commandment on that third tablet that Mel Brooks broke?
Chris Tillman – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. You can’t spell Win with Tillman. Well you can today because he got the Win with the O’s facing freakin’ Kendall Graveman, but the point stands that Tillman ain’t so good.
Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s up for a little bit, which is funny because no one cares. Dude, that was harsh. Yeah, my bad, sorry Junior. It’s just, there are so many guys that throw baseballs and you’re not one that owners should be focusing on, you know?
Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Still love you Nola. I mean, for realsies, he has a 9.59 K/9, 1.57 BB/9, and a 2.32 FIP (2.52 xFIP). Why do I still have him out of the Top 30? I have no idea.
Nick Tropeano – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Whoa, 10 Ks from Trop? There’s the high K/9 we saw from his brief stint last year that was inflated from that one double-digit strikeout game. Don’t expect it to last, sadly, and he’s still just a occasional streamer. He’ll be sticking in the rotation for good now, though, which is nice.
Jake Arrieta – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. What is going on with you Arrieta? This is now the third game in your last four where you’ve walked four batters. How did the Plague of the 18 affect you too? Man, the Top 18 pre-season SP rankings are in more disarray than an array that is in shambles, yeah? Only Sale, Kershaw, Thor, and Strasburg have actually performed to their name so far. Everyone else has had their issues to some degree and it’s really starting to annoy me. Whatever, it’s not like you should sell Arrieta or anything.
Michael Wacha – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. And this is why I find it tough to make Wacha a Top 40 guy.
Justin Nicolino – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. How am I supposed to feed my family with just one strikeout in eighteen outs?
Hisashi Iwakuma – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Does anyone else get the feeling that Iwakuma is really close from a month long stretch of awesomeness? Unfortunately, he hasn’t put up a truly great start yet and it’s silly to bank on that turnaround now.
Josh Tomlin – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Tomlin is still a sleeper in my book, but he’s more of a solid streamer than a solid asset.
Andrew Cashner – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I Cashed Out in 2014. Hopefully you’ve already done the same.
Edinson Volquez – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember that awesome start to the season Volquez had? Treasure it, since I doubt he’ll be so consistent moving forward.
Kendall Graveman – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. If you really felt that this was the moment Graveman was going to turn it around, I question your gut. Yeah that’s right gut, I’m talking to you.
Jon Niese vs. Cincinnati Reds – Very little choices here and Niese used to be a decent option when he was a Met. He gets one of the worst offenses around and it’s possible he has a good start in him.
Alex Wood vs. New York Mets – There are a decent amount of options from Adam Conley (who is the best option but already should be owned), to Wade Miley, Michael Fulmer, and even Chris Devenski. I’ll go with Wood given his recent success and the Mets’ high K rate against lefties.
Game of the Day
Ivan Nova vs. Kansas City Royals – Nova is getting the bid in the rotation with CC injured, and while this isn’t going to be a long outing, it’ll be interesting to see him back in the rotation.