LeBlanc Check

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Tuesday's games.

(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 Gant4.1 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 Hendriks1.0 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 Ray6.1 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 Stanek1.0 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 Clevinger6.0 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 Cobb6.0 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. Happ6.0 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 Miley6.0 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 Montgomery4.0 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 Porcello5.0 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 Rodriguez6.0 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 Verlander7.0 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 Borucki6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Great start from Borucki, but I’m still way too hesitant to chase this.

Francisco Liriano5.0 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 Lucchesi5.0 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 Marquez6.2 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 Minor5.0 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 Musgrove6.1 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 Duffy0.2 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 Newcomb4.1 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 Arrieta7.1 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 Fedde5.0 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 Giolito1.1 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 Heaney6.0 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 Hill6.0 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 May1.0 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 Vargas3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. We didn’t apply The Vargas Rule to Vargas, right? Good.

Cody Reed5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Well right. It’s Cody Reed ya’ll.

Trevor Richards1.1 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.

Today’s Streamer

Jaime Barria vs. Texas Rangers – Not much to choose from here, with the only other discount option to consider as Dan Straily against the Phils and that doesn’t make me feel good.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Eric Lauer vs. Cincinnati Reds – There are four games total on Thursday, with just Marco Estrada against the Indians and Lauer against the Reds as the only qualifying options. Yeah. Don’t do this.

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

Nick Pivetta vs. Sandy Alcantara – There’s upside hiding in Alcantara and I’m excited to see him start again, hoping it comes out. Then there’s Pivetta who could go nuts against the Marlins.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Jim says:

    I thought for sure you would proclaim Arrieta as an Icarus flight last night. His line was very pretty before that 7th inning but Realmuto is the Realdealo (sorry, you’re rubbing off on us.)
    Dropped Musgrove prior to this start fearing his ROS schedule and grabbed Minor instead. Happy with it and Minor’s ROS.
    But had to bail on Lucchesi today. Next start @SEA, I can prob do better than that. Grabbed Anibal the Animal in his stead.
    Thanks again for doing what you do!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ahhhh I knew I was forgetting something! Definitely should have added it (also touched that it’s gotten to a point that you guys are calling me out for not using my own terms!)

      I honestly think you set and forget with Lucchesi and you won’t be disappointed. Not that Anibal won’t serve you well, though.

  • Josh A. says:

    Nick, I absolutely love your write-ups. Look forward to checking them every day. Of course, I ended up trading for Pivetta instead of Foltynewicz back in May based on your love for the former. I really hope Pivetta finishes strong so it makes keeper decisions easier for me. Anyway, I digress. Going into the playoffs in my standard 5×5 head-to-head league. Would you rather carry K. Gibson or L. Giolito on your roster into the playoffs? The rest of my staff includes Thor, Snell, Corbin, Clevinger, Gausman and Minor.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Josh!

      Ahhhh those were different times when Folty hadn’t fallen in love with his slider just yet. Sorry about that! I’m rooting for ya.

      Gibson. I’m a bit worried about how lost Giolito was against the Tigers and how it mimicked the weird approach against the Sawx prior.

      • Josh A. says:

        Thanks Nick! No worries. I did my research, asked some of my other fantasy baseball buds, and they all said Pivetta over Folty. As a lawyer, I know there are no guarantees, and fantasy baseball should be no different!

  • Perfect Game says:

    Nick,
    In a standard roto league. If you had a decent lead in K’s and QS would you sit Severino against Oakland on the road today? He hasn’t exactly been getting many QS for a while and as hot as the A’s are I’m a little concerned about a ratio blow up in this one.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you’re safe with Severino today. It’s still early in the week and plenty of time for your opponent to catch up.

      • Perfect Game says:

        One more question…I need to drop someone to activate Pax from the DL. I kept him on and went with Wheeler and Marquez, because they were both pitching against the Giants and Pax had a tough assignment against Oakland first game back. This might sound weird, but looking at Marquez and his remaining schedule being a lot more favorable vs. Pax who would you rather keep? Both have the ability to punch people out and I’m not sure either has an advantage over the other in QS. Marquez ratios have been really good too.

        • Perfect Game says:

          Forgot to add that I dropped Wheeler for Marquez after his Giants start so Wheeler wouldn’t be a drop choice.

  • MaxRo says:

    Hey Nick, Thanks for the column

    Ray was pulled one day and now he’s set to pitch Sunday vs ATL instead of Monday @COL. Also note this will set him to face the Cubs instead of Colorado a couple of weeks from now. Looks like the DBacks are buying his improvement? or just trying to clear the way for the rest of the rotation to succeed?

  • Frankie says:

    This may seem like an obvious question but somebody just dropped S Ohtani, SP in my H2H Categories league. Would you drop BIEBER or ROARK to start Ohtani this Sunday @CHW?
    My gut says no way, don’t risk it. Is that wrong?

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