(Photo by Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire)
Where are you drafting Jack Flaherty in 2019? After last night’s meh performance of 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks against the Brewers, Flaherty has now allowed at least three ER in three of his last four games. You smell that? It’s Flaherty draft stock slowly falling down the ladder. That doesn’t have a smell. YOU DON’T HAVE A SMELL. It’s a 3.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 30% K rate sponsored by a 13.5% whiff rate, and most would think definitively Top 20 because of it. I’m not so sure. There’s the 9.3% walk rate to go with an unsustainable .251 BABIP and 81% LOB rate (15.3% HR/FB sounds about right, though), leading to a 3.51 SIERA. Fine, let’s say he’s a 3.50 ERA with a 1.15/1.20 WHIP and 28% K rate. That’s still dope, right? Yeah I’d think so…except I’m not sure that’s where he settles. We’ve seen young arms have that solid first season and not pick up where they’ve left off, not to mention Flaherty has a major red flag: his IPS. Just a 5.5 mark in 27 starts this year is giving me a ton of Lance McCullers vibes – especially with those K and BB rates! – and I wonder if Flaherty can find that perfect third pitch to complement his slider + four-seamer combination. I get a sense that we may have a 2019 bust, not a stud #2 starter that acts like a #1 through the year.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Dylan Covey – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Don’t Covey Thy Dylan. Even after this gem against the Indians, it’s just too chaotic and inconsistent for me to suggest chasing this late in the year.
Jonathan Holder – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. The Yanks went full bullpen here for a proper FALSE START of their own.
Dan Jennings – 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Speaking of which…
Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Enjoy the Gallows Pole at 19 whiffs and suddenly he’s boasting a 2.83 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP. He’s had his rough patches this season, acting a little like a Cherry Bomb here and there, but ultimately you have to be happy as a Kluber owner. I think he’s out of the Top 5 next season, but he’s easily Top 10 and that’s cool.
Bryan Mitchell – 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Mitchell, bud, wanna pull back a little on wasting all your upside on one start? It’s not healthy on your bones.
Nathan Eovaldi – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Is Eovaldi going to be a Top 40 pick next year? I’m starting to think he should be, especially if he returns in a Red Sox uniform. I’m loving his cutter, and he’s boasting a 3.50 ERA with a 17-5% K-BB% since he bumped up its usage significantly 15 starts ago. And that’s including the silly rough patch in August! We’ll see where the pieces fall in the 30s and he may move to the 40s, but he’s a solid discount option in my book as your #5/6 next year. Hopefully the off-season plays out well for him.
Jon Gray – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, alright Gray! You got the Phils a day earlier than we expected in your home field and looked like the man we love. I have plenty of worry for 2019, but this is cool. The Nationals at home await and I’d only go with that if you’re chasing hard in the final weekend.
Stephen Strasburg – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Strasburg needed 100 pitches for 12 outs. Against the Marlins. Yikes. He gets Coors next and I think you still start him there, though it’s a little more volatile than I’d like.
Cole Hamels – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hamels had a horrendous outing last time out and glad to see him in his stride as he smacked a longball.
James Paxton – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. In his first start back after battling pneumonia, Paxton kinda helped your team. a 0.75 WHIP and 5 Ks are cool, hopefully the 4.50 ERA is alright if it’s just over four frames. Start him freely over the weekend.
Robbie Ray – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. And the Ray train keeps cruising, even if he faced a tough Dodgers lineup. Just got an extra inning next time so seven baserunners don’t create a terrible WHIP, okay?
Derek Holland – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ugh, Holland you’re killing me. Two starts against the Padres, two starts that hurt more than help. That’s so not like you. Yeah, I might be out against the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. A PQS from TATIAGA is kinda meh, honestly. It’s fine but I want dominance, bucko.
Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Bleeeeegh. Needless to say, I’d be shocked if I owned Keuchel in 2019. I will start him for his final start of the year over the weekend against the Orioles, though. Don’t let me down.
Daniel Mengden – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Not a bad effort from Mengden against the Mariners, though a HR in the sixth did him in, missing out on a Win, QS, and solid ERA. He gets the Angels next and it’s possible that’s worth your time. Don’t love it, but there are worse plays this week.
Felix Pena – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s one ER more than ideal, but it’s still a digestible 3.86 ERA and with a sub 1.00 WHIP, six strikeouts, I’m adding this to the win column. Streaming Record: 100-50. That would be a lovely tally if the season ended today…anyway, Pena gets the A’s next and you can let him go back on the wire.
Dylan Bundy – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Bundy got the Red Sox and none of us expected any different.
Marco Estrada – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. We’ve been out on Estrada for a long time, and what do ya know, I have to hand him a HAISTFMFWT?! today. Somethings never change.
Adrian Sampson – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. If only his hair actually did something.
Zach Eflin – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Eflin went to Coors. Eflin struggled. Eflin gets the Braves next. Eflin shouldn’t be on your team.
Sandy Alcantara – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s like a repeat of last week’s poor showing and it’s frustrating that he failed during his second chance. Don’t count him out against the Mets this weekend, but it’s certainly harder to be on board now.
Touki Toussaint vs. New York Mets – I love this. You should too. I also love Josh James against the Blue Jays. If you have some brass, maybe consider Chris Stratton getting a second shot against the Padres, Edwin Jackson against the enigmatic Mariners, or Matt Harvey against the Royals.
Eric Lauer vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants are terrible, and Lauer could make this work. Possibly.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Antonio Senzatela vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Just eight games on Thursday and the options are terrible, so I’ll go with Senz-A as he gets the Phils. Blegh. Don’t do it.
Game of the Day
Josh James vs. Toronto Blue Jays – He would be a Spice Girl if it were May, and I’m excited to see more of the kid on the hill.