There are pitchers that frustrate you and then there’s Reynaldo Lopez, a man I should start calling Austin Powers as he is the International Man of Mystery. He tormented us last year dancing between 0 ER and 6 ER games and after a tumultuous few weeks to kick off the year, ReyLo has returned three straight solid starts, culminating in last night’s ridiculous 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 14 Ks game against the Tigers. That’s 78% of his outs coming the way of the K. WILD. 44/105 CSW is stupid, 24 whiffs earned an easy Gallows Pole and you’re wondering what to do. First, Blame it on the Tigers. A little. Second, I’ve talked about ReyLo being dope when his two secondary pitches are both on. His slider was excellent, darting off the outside corner to righties often (9/20 CSW), while his changeup wasn’t so refined, but each one that he threw inside the zone resulted in a strike or an out (10/16). His heater was as exceptional as we’re seen, though, even if it didn’t have the overwhelming heat we’ve seen in the past. We’re talking 17 whiffs on 69 four-seamers, an unreal 25% swinging-strike rate on a fastball. So what do we do? Do we roll with ReyLo forever now? Honestly, I can’t say that. I want to be more enamored, more convinced that he’s figured it out and this is his life now. I just can’t buy that given the history of Lopez’s undulating nature and how his changeup wasn’t all that great in execution. He gets the Sawx next followed by the Indians and I understand starting him for both – at the very least the Indians. I’d bring caution to the Red Sox start, though. This may be a trap.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Jack Flaherty – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It sure isn’t flashy, but it worked for Flaherty. Just 23/89 CSW is blegh, his third pitch(es) returned 3/9 CSW, which is fine as a rate, but its low usage doesn’t breed excitement and just 3/29 whiffs on sliders is not Flaherty’s style. Let’s be glad it all worked out just fine and not change any feelings on Flaherty.
Chris Bassitt – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Huh. 17 Whiffs from Bassitt is crazy good, even earning 8/66 via heaters on top of all his secondary pitches missing bats. This speaks to one of those where everything was on. One of those days. Yeah, not a path, not a landmark during his journey, just one of those days. In other words, not sustainable. Womp womp.
Zach Eflin – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Dang, a complete game from Eflin?! You may be surprised to hear just 29% CSW as he went two-pitch with heaters and sliders (fine, four curveballs too), but when you think about it, a guy earning 27 outs with just 3 Ks means he’s getting early outs with lots of contact instead of patient batters or getting deep counts with whiffs. 29 Balls In Play for seven hits? A strikezone plot that looks like a Mario Party mini-game of filling in the box with as much color as possible? Yeah, this is a pitcher that through strikes to a poor lineup and it just kept working. Blame it on the Marlins.
Kyle Gibson – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Gibson got the Orioles and did what you’re supposed to do against the Orioles. It’s good to see given his early struggles this year and we can play this start-by-start. Next he heads to the Bronx and…nah, I’m good.
Matt Harvey – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, Harvey did well! Maybe I won’t have to eat that garlic after all…no, I definitely will (I made a Garlic bet with the In This League crew about Harvey vs. Stroman because I wanted some cheap thrills in my life). But hey, at least he was okay tonight. Won’t be tomorrow but at least he has this.
Lance Lynn – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. A night after Minor trounced the Seattle offense, Lynn swoops in and conquers batters for nine strikeouts in seven frames. It makes you wonder if something is suddenly off for this team. I mean, the guy just pumped heaters over the plate and even 20 whiffs on 113 pitches. Seriously, that’s about it. There’s a reason Lynn’s initials are LL, starting him can result in the feeling of earning two losses instead of one. Too much of a Cherry Bomb for my taste.
Wade Miley – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Miley got the Indians and while he didn’t get you the Win (or QS with that Philly), this is a decent outing deserving of a streaming victory: Streaming Record: 17-13. I don’t see a reason to let him go in most 12-teamers, he’s a Toby and that’s fine. The sub 20% CSW is terrible but that’s Miley’s game as a cutter-inside duder.
Trent Thornton – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. 18/47 CSW on breakers is solid – his deuce is legit – but the 10/54 whiffs on four-seamers is great. He went up with heat, down with curves pretty well, though it did get a bit out of control at times. This upside is here, but the heater command is generally too far gone for consistency. That details a Cherry Bomb streamer for those needing to take a chance on gaining quick Ks on a Sunday…soooo I should have realized this on Saturday. My bad.
Matt Boyd – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Man, it’s so lovely that Boyd gets to face the ChiSox often. It wasn’t even his best game, either.
Tyler Glasnow – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. How cool is it to see Glasnow with a near 65% F-Strike rate? It’s a major reason why his walk rate is suddenly 5% and flat out demolishing batters. I do have my worries about his consistency as the season goes on – yes, I’ve been preaching the sell train from the start – and with each outing he acts like this, I have to consider that I may be wrong with that assessment. I really hope his feel and timing sticks. I really do. There is a greater chance that it leaves him than the heavy majority of arms out there, though, and despite the stat line through six games, I still need to preach a little warning. I hope that makes sense…?
Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Gio made his first start of 2019 and it was…fine. I guess. Sure. He’s a Toby if we’re lucky as his strikeout skills depreciated vastly last season and I don’t anticipate them returning in full force this year.
Sonny Gray – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m still waiting for that definitive start where Gray really commands the zone properly, but in the meantime this is fine. The 22/90 CSW and just five whiffs are certainly not, but the line is fine so whatever. Just be better and what I want you to be in May, okay? K.
Steven Matz – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Much better time throwing lower curveballs and changeups this time around as Matz continues to throw high sinkers. Still plenty of room to go throwing low secondary pitches – just three landed under the bottom of the zone for the entire game. THREE. – but this is better.
Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. He allowed a pair of unearned runs as well and we’re happy overall with this line against the Rays. Thing is, he’s still so far from being the ace we love. I don’t expect him to throw 95 mph and maxing in the upper 90s for a good while…if at all this year. That’s a major problem. I’m actually a bit surprised this was the end result given how weak his stuff looked. This isn’t a Top 10 SP.
Jose Quintana – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. While Quintana’s curveball was actually still good, the rest of the stuff was oh-so-blegh and we’re likely back to where we started. Maybe he gets it back and this is the fluke but it awfully looks like a small stretch of success than a full rebound. Nick, just five hits in almost six frames. Yes, this Philly isn’t as bad as I’m making it. Still, the Dbacks are bad and Quintana wasn’t pitching like the man he recent lines hinted at.
Luke Weaver – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Weaver’s changeup was still solid – yay! – but his heater wasn’t the pitch he showcased last week, focusing a bit too low in the zone while his cutter went just 5/14 earning strikes. We’re so close here Weaver. So close. I think you can keep rolling with him.
Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. A lot of meh here from Bailey as his “comeback” is starting to fade a little. At least the WHIP is good?
Dylan Bundy – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Eight strikeouts! But two HRs! It’s hilarious how that is such a staple for Bundy, a man with a 2.86 HR/9 (WHAT) and 26%+ strikeout rate. The fella is so bad and so good. It must be maddening for him.
Carlos Carrasco – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s rare to see a pitcher throw six shutout frames and lose a quality start BUT HERE WE STAND. Cookie was left in to face Chirinos, who launched a three-run shot – Careful Icarus – and ruined all owners needing just one more QS to win their weeks. It’s too bad, it ruined what was a fantastic game in just one pitch. He’s still really good, y’all.
Domingo German – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A bit disappointing given the date in Oracle Park, but he was cruising through five and with a Careful Icarus, lost it in the with singles and a double. So it goes. Keep on keeping on here.
Pablo Lopez – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. The worries of PabLo came to fruition here with meh fastball command and hung curveballs, but it was even worse as his changeup just wasn’t the pitch it needs to be to cover his weaker brothers. Let’s just be happy it was a near 1.00 WHIP and hope there’s more polish against the Braves next.
Joey Lucchesi – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. 15/84 CSW is an atrocity as not one of Lucchesi’s pitches working well. Not even the new “cutter” – it’s a four-seamer with cut action, y’all – that he threw 12 times for 1/12 CSW. It’s a 4.94 ERA with a 3.87 SIERA and 25% K rate, which would speak to better days, but a sub 54% F-Strike rate is a bit worrisome and allowing batters to just sit heat – it explains the .344 BABIP plenty. I think he’s still worth owning for the most part, but if there are strong options on your waiver wire, honestly I’m fine making the swap. He gets the Dodgers next and that’s not a blueprint for a fun night.
Dereck Rodriguez – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. He’s a Toby but faced a hot Yankee lineup. This is the floor against decent teams, just start him against weak lineups and you’ll be fine. But the Yankees are so hurt! Yeah I thought that too. Clearly they are still a strong offense for whatever reason.
Tyler Anderson – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Those nine Ks look really cool but man do we not care.
Jeremy Hellickson – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I told y’all he was The Devil but I get the feeling some of you didn’t listen. There’s a reason he’s had the nickname since 2015, just saying.
Trevor Williams – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Are we starting to see the expected regression from Williams? If you wanted to do a Vargas Rule+ for Williams, consider that plus axed like the second season of Firefly.
Erik Swanson – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The Swansong has been sung. Take your broken wings and learn to fly…
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Tanner Roark vs. New York Mets – Don’t do this. Please don’t do this. I hate all the options today so I’ll go with the one not named Nova or Cashner. John Means is now going against the Chicago White Sox and that’s what I want. So much better.
Clay Buchholz vs. Los Angeles Angels – The other side is more interesting with Griffin Canning, who I expect is already picked up in your league (I’d go for it if he isn’t there!). Bucky could have the better outing though, as he faces a weak Angels lineup.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Spencer Turnbull vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Bleeeegh. I was debating between this, Anthony DeSclafani vs the Mets and a few other meh names at the end. I like Turnbull’s ceiling ultimately so he gets the nod despite the matchup. I’m not a fan of this one.
Game of the Day
Zack Wheeler vs. Cincinnati Reds – He looked oh-so-good last time out, here’s to a repeat.
(Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire)