(Photograph by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)
We talked a good amount about Wade LeBlanc earlier this year and after a tough July, we called it regression hitting and let him fall back to the wire. Now after his 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks performance against the Orioles, LeBlanc has three straight starts of just 1 ER total, with five of his last six tallying 4 ER. It’s playoffs time, which means things get desperate and you might be wondering if LeBlanc can be trusted down the stretch. Well, the answer is probably not. Luck is going his way lately with a 4.40 SIERA despite that 0.47 ERA in his last three starts and I’m not really seeing much of a change to suggest that he’s much better than those 5 and 7 ER clunkers that killed you prior. If you want to treat him like a streamer or even a Toby moving forward, you do you, though I’d like to think you can chase something better than a 4.28 SIERA and sub 20% K rate across the season.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
John Gant – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Five walks took Gant out early and I’m not too shocked. A terrible IPS with control issues spells low floor. He will burn you at some point in September.
Liam Hendriks – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Another False Start for Hendriks with Daniel Mengden going a strong 4.2 frames after against the Yanks. Only 10/51 CSW though for the handlebar mustache wielding gent, and I’m not pleased.
Robbie Ray – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. There’s the Ray we’ve been waiting for. He trounced the Padres and you’re feeling great. Biggest problem is his ROS schedule, but if he’s pitching like this, it just doesn’t matter. Enjoy your Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs.
Ryne Stanek – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Another Stanek False Start with no one going three frames out of the pen. Whoop de doo.
Mike Clevinger – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. It is time. Aces gonna ace. Welcome Clevinger, it’s been a pleasure all year.
Alex Cobb – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey, Cobb did pretty well! And of course still boasting that atrocious strikeout rate, but whatever! Good for him. Bad for your team in the future, though.
J. A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Atta boy Happ. It’s not the 8/9/10 K game we’ve seen plenty this year, but this helps you plenty across the board and that’s what I like.
Wade Miley – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Yes I’m going to write a piece on Miley because how can I not at this point. Another ridiculous start that brings his ERA down to 2.12 with a 4.59 SIERA, such a TEEs that he put it on a shirt. Go ahead and Vargas Rule this if you like, but this is sure to turn into a pumpkin soon.
Mike Montgomery – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Not so bad Monty with 5 Ks, but with just four frames, it’s hard to make me think he’s in any way worth the start.
Rick Porcello – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Porcello has been a bit of a Cherry Bomb, so good on him for being like totally sweet last night.
Dereck Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. D-Rod went into Coors and had his standard ceiling start of 1 ER and 6 Ks in six frames. I’ve been hating on him a bit with his strong ROS schedule (ATL, COL, @STL, LAD), but it does seem like he’s a guy to let ride the rest of the way.
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. As long as Blake Snell makes all his final starts and hits 30, he should win the CY Young, but that’s not to say that Verlander hasn’t made a good case himself. It’s been a fun year.
Ryan Borucki – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Great start from Borucki, but I’m still way too hesitant to chase this.
Francisco Liriano – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Liriano faced the ChiSox and wasn’t terrible. I’m so proud of him. Okay not really. Sorry Liriano.
Joey Lucchesi – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. And Lucchesi is rarely a Fugghesi anymore. It’s a lovely thing and even with a questionable ROS schedule, you still roster him.
German Marquez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Start Marquez. Always. It’s crazy. He might even deserve an AGA label, but it’s too small of a track record for me to really do it. Anyway, just set and forget.
Mike Minor – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Minor continued his great three-month stretch as he took down the Angels. Streaming Record: 88-42. I wonder if he’s worth that last round pick next year. Probably, but I can understand a capped ceiling could turn me away.
Joe Musgrove – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Great start here from Musgrove tallying 32/92 CSW with 9/21 on his slider piece. I think he’ll be a good late round pick next year, but I worry about his ROS schedule of @STL, @MIL, MIL, @CHC to finish 2018. That’s not cool and while he took advantage of the Reds here, I’d check if there were a safer option on the wire.
Danny Duffy – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Duffy left this game with a shoulder injury and will now most likely be shut down for 2018. That sounds like the proper exit for the biggest Cherry Bomb around.
Sean Newcomb – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Yep, Newcomb’s secondary stuff is so far behind and it’s killing him. You can drop him for whatever streaming option or solid Toby you like.
Jake Arrieta – 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. I think I’ll take 11 Ks from Arrieta, but this start is a little anti-Toby with poor ratios and elite Ks. That’s not the Spiderman way.
Erick Fedde – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I know it’s 4 ER, but I’m still a little impressed by this Fedde start against the Cards. Not impressed like get him now! but more like Oh, I didn’t think you had that in ya, kid.
Lucas Giolito – 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yikes. He went two-seamer heavy again and this time wasn’t able to get away with it. Secondary pitches equated to 3/13 CSW in 50 pitches and he just didn’t have it. I really think primarily going four-seamers is the proper long term play here, we’ll see if he adjusts back moving forward.
Andrew Heaney – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. His changeup is still floating up way too often and it’s a problem. Really, it’s as simple as that.
Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. You want better ratios, but those strikeouts will keep us coming for more. Matty? No, never Matty.
Trevor May – 1.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. It’s cool to see May back on the field, but we kinda expected these April Showers.
Jason Vargas – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. We didn’t apply The Vargas Rule to Vargas, right? Good.
Trevor Richards – 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. This could have gone well, but Richards was nibbling the zone the entire time and couldn’t steal a strike. There’s still upside here and this just wasn’t his day.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Steven Matz vs. Philadelphia Phillies – A good amount of options here from Felix Pena vs the ChiSox, Austin Gomber vs Detroit, and even Anthony DeSclafani vs. Padres, but I’d go with Matz as he’s still under 20% owned, hot off his 11 strikeout game, and gets the Phils. Sign me up.
Game of the Day