I’ve been taking a ton of flack this season for my love of Sean Manaea. Let it be after allowing 9 ER in his first two games or telling people to stick with him after missing three weeks on the DL, plenty were upset that I had him as Top 35 through it all. As he came back, I’ve been preaching that he would need a few starts to rev the engine, expecting him to be a Top 25 pitcher again starting June 1st. Well, I was one start too late as he dominated the Yankees with a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks outing. Keep in mind, Manaea walked the first batter of the game on four pitches as well. Once he hit his groove, there was not stopping him, collecting 15 whiffs on the night and 46.7% soft contact. He’s generating 24.8% soft contact on the year thus far with just 13.% line drives and a 53.8% groundball rate. Stellar stuff. Pair that with a 9.80 K/9 and an atrocious walk rate of 3.92 BB/9 that I expect to fall (two 5 walk outings are over half his total amount) and I don’t see why we shouldn’t be favoring Manaea over pitchers like Johnny Cueto, Kyle Hendricks, and Marcus Stroman.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Max Scherzer – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It really is a strong top tier of Kershaw, Sale, and Scherzer.
Jacob deGrom – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Sorry deGrom, you’re in that second tier, but at least you’re still definitively #4. I’m actually legitimately curious to hear the argument for degrom not being slotted at #4. Who would take it instead? He’s averaging 8.6 Ks per start with an xFIP of 2.84 and 21.8% hard contact as his walk rate is starting to fall to normal levels. About that xFIP, seven of his 10 starts have been 3.20 xFIP or lower. Dude is legit, y’all.
Tim Adleman – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This is not something that we should expect as it’s a Birthday Party. Move on.
Masahiro Tanaka – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. On this week’s podcast, I told Fast that if Tanaka were to get out of his slump, his next three games against the A’s, Royals, and O’s were the teams he’d want to face. I can’t say I expected a career high in strikeouts, but this isn’t so surprising to me that it is to many others. And of course, it would be remiss not to mention that Austin Romine was catching this game instead of Gary Sanchez. Does this mean that we can fully trust Tanaka moving forward now? Well, he had that CGSHO against the Red Sox and it wasn’t to launching pad we thought it would be, so I have my reservations. At the same time, I’m starting him against the Royals without a doubt.
Joe Musgrove – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Of course Musgrove is going to throw seven shutout frames after allowing seven ER in three in his previous start. Of course.
Antonio Senzatela – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. So that’s a 5.37 K/9 with a .249 BABIP and 4.55 xFIP for a pitcher who makes his home starts in Coors field. Right.
Chris Archer – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s throwing his Changeup more and it’s make me all kinds of happy.
Jaime Garcia – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Jaime? More like “Hi, may I see some ID because there is no way this way you who made this start.”
Alex Wood – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. And the scoreless streak continues for Wood even as he faced the Cubs. There is no reason you shouldn’t be starting him until further notice.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. After a pair of 3 ER outings against the meh A’s and Cards, it’s good to see Erod take advantage of a lefty-hating team in the Mariners. I still have some worries with Edu – 4.03 xFIP (he is a flyball pitcher, though) & 3.42 BB/9 – but I’d love to be owning him right now with his 27.9% hard contact and 9.60 K/9.
Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Some of you were worried after he looked blegh against the Padres. I get that. I think Godley just had a meh evening and he’s actually someone you want to throw often in a 12 teamer. Just avoid the tough matchups and this should work out in the long run. Also, that’s a seven-stream win streak I’m working here. Why would you mention that? Because I want to jinx it, clearly. Sorry if you were banking on JC today, my bad. Streamer Record 24.5-16-7.
Junior Guerra – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I was tempted to lead with Guerra since it was just his second start of the season after hitting the DL following his first outing. Do I believe he can return the value of last year’s miraculous run? If the phrasing of that question didn’t spoil it, no I don’t. What are we really chasing here? It sure isn’t his 7.40 K/9 or 3.18 BB/9. It’s the 2.84 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Well, those aren’t going to repeat themselves as they were super lucky. A .250 BABIP despite 33.8% hard contact won’t be repeated, making that 1.13 WHIP look more like 1.25 to 1.30. That sub 3.00 ERA? Yeah, more like a 4.42 SIERA as he held a 8.3% HR/FB in Miller Park. Not going to happen. I see Guerra as a decent streaming choice, but not someone I want to rolling with constantly to warrant a roster spot.
Carlos Martinez – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Yeah, I’m cool with this. I mean, I want one fewer ER and one fewer baserunner but nine Ks makes me forget all of that super fast. Good too see him stay under the 3 BB threshold.
Mike Pelfrey – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Wait, Pelfrey can be good at times? *Suit man whispers in my ear* Oh, I didn’t realize! Happy Birthday!
Matt Cain – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Cain…The man with a 5.93 K/9, 3.95 BB/9, and a 5.03 xFIP. Just felt like that was necessary if people had any curiosity to pick him up.
Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Another start, another low walk total for Arrieta. Too bad he couldn’t avoid the longball that accounted for 3 ER, especially a 2-run bomb in the sixth that took away a possible Quality Start. Womp womp.
Kevin Gausman – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh right, Gausman is still a thing. Plus side here is the zero walks. Downside is two strikeouts. I think this is a better step in the right direction than a 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 BBs, 6 Ks outing.
Hector Santiago – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s nice Santiago, I hope you enjoy the time on your island. I don’t get this. It’s a terrible reference to a joke from last year. Just move on, no one should care about Santiago.
Luis Perdomo – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhh it’s a PQS for Perdomo and I can’t really hate this since the Nats are the Nats. Problem here is that he gets the Cubs and Diamondbacks next. And also the Reds that are somehow not a bad offense. Then the Brewers + Tigers…then the Dodgers…then the Indians. WHEN WILL IT STOP.
Dan Straily – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I feel bad being a bit happy to see Straily struggle, but you have to understand. When you have a pitcher clearly pitching over his head that is defying everything else you see, it’s a bit frustrating. I tend to believe this start is much closer to what you should be expecting for one of the leaders of TEEs.
Ian Kennedy – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Kennedy’s second start back continues to make you wonder why you own him.
Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This was painful to watch, not because Nola wasn’t pitching well – he looked pretty dang good – but each of his runs were a big eye roll instead of “yup, deserved that one.” Well okay, the solo home run to Scott Schebler was a 2-1 Fastball that peeled too far over the plate. But Billy Hamilton walked in a full count, stole two bases, then scored on a groundout. Another solo shot was actually a good inside Fastball that got muscled out. Then in the sixth, three groundball singles turned into two earned runs, both coming on a weak two out single through the hole. Bleeeeegh. I still believe in Nola and will keep him Top 25 on Monday. The stuff is too good and he has such a good schedule ahead – Marlins, Braves, Cardinals, Dbacks, Cardinals, Mariners, Pirates, Padres. Yes please.
Yovani Gallardo – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks. With those six walks, Gallardo managed to put up a WHERST score of 21. Not bad kid, I want to see more ER and maybe we can start talking.
Mike Clevinger – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This is dumb. Clevinger was doing great through three, then allowed a 3-run shot to Brandon Moss with two outs and a solo shot to Moose in the fifth. Why do you have to do this Clev? Why?
Mike Bolsinger – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Bolsinger is the answer to no one’s problems.
Matthew Boyd – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Let’s continue Boyd Watching together.
A.J. Griffin – 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Griffin had an “injured side” that required him to leave the second inning. If you’re still owning him for whatever reason, please stop doing that.
Chad Kuhl – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Kuhl story, bro. I have to imagine some of you were enamored be his 98+ velocity last time out, to those people I say Don’t be a fool, don’t start Kuhl.
Jesse Chavez – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Every time Chavez has a bad start, all I want to do is berate him like Walter White. JESSE!