Not The Stache You’re Looking For

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

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

I can often smell when I’m going to get a lot of questions about a player and I get the feeling I’m going to get a lot of questions about Daniel Mengden after he posted an 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks performance against the ChiSox, nearly going the distance before meeting a Jose Abreu tate to lead off the ninth. I think Mengden is a guy with a decent amount of moments. I don’t want to call him a Cherry Bomb because that suggests it’s common enough to consider for a roster spot, but Mengden is someone who has his nights spotting heaters while keeping his curveball low in the zone. Today was one of those days. Tomorrow will most likely not be and there is little middle ground here. He held a 16.7% K rate entering today with a 6.19 ERA (4.01 SIERA) in his three starts. This isn’t a guy you want to trust on a given night, but only someone that is a Hail Mary play when he faces a weak team. Don’t let the stache fool you.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Guys, he’s really good. Like #5 SP overall good.

James Paxton – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He did this against Houston and you should have no fear starting Paxton against anyone. He’s everything you want.

Blake Snell – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. I’ve been a man yelling at a cloud since the start of 2017 for Snell to throw his breaking balls over 25% of the time, hopefully 30-35% of the time. Tonight he threw 33 curveballs + sliders over 103 pitches. THAT’S OVER 30%. And what he got back was 15 whiffs and nine strikeouts with 0 walks. What a time to be alive. Hold on tight y’all.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. But wait Teheran, you’re not good and this was at home. Even the home/road splits acolytes were on my side here! Does this mean I have to like Teheran again? Please tell me no. I don’t want to, don’t make me do it.

Jeremy Hellickson – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Nothing like 8 baserunners in under five frames with just three walks to his name. I haven’t had to call Hellickson the devil in a long time and I really hope I don’t have to again. Please continue being this unattractive so I don’t have to convince readers not to chase you.

Dallas Keuchel – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Okay, this is what we’ve been waiting for from Keuchel, especially against a solid Mariners offense. It’s too bad he faced Paxton and couldn’t escape with a win as well, but this has to make you feel good moving forward. If he did this yesterday, I’d probably have elevated him to about #19 on The List to give you an idea.

Reynaldo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. If this doesn’t get you pumped to be a Lopez owner, I’m not sure what will. I didn’t expect him to return for the sixth, but he struck out the side and padded his line for a QS and 10 Ks while lowering his WHIP to a digestible 1.33 mark. His fastball was great hanging around 95-96, earned 22 called strikes to go with 11 whiffs and took that step in the right direction as he utilized all four pitches in his repertoire. Sure, I want to see a few more whiffs with secondary stuff (just four across 49 total), but I’m totally digging his shtick for 2018. The only question is if I’m ready to trust him against Houston next time out and that’s a case-by-case scenario. I think you play it safe in roto, but H2H, keep tabs on your week. If you need a start, I think you take the risk, even with the four walks.

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at this! Marquez went off to Pittsburgh and had a solid outing, earning a K per inning and just four baserunners. Like Mengden, Marquez can be sharp on a given day when his breaking balls are working, but I just don’t see this being something to invest in. Not to mention, Coors does things, and that’s a thing you don’t want to be a part of. Look elsewhere on the wire.

Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It was Nola day and while this certainly helped you (no dub but you’ll survive) you want strikeouts. He had two whiffs today and I’m simply baffled by it. He only had 9 called strikes as well and I guess the Braves simply put it in play a ton – just 85 pitches for six frames – but I can’t help but think I’m a little disappointed in Nola’s efforts thus far. Here’s to hoping he makes me proud of the shirt I’m currently wearing as he faces the Pirates next time out.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Funny enough, before this game started I was thinking to myself “why didn’t I take Marquez as my Call Boy tonight?” Never doubt yourself, Nick. The bad news here is that he gets the Nationals next and this clearly a Blame it on the Padres situation, so you can go ahead and drop him. Yes, that will probably land him on the DL anyway, so you’ll feel good about it right away. Streaming Record: 11-5.

Jacob deGrom – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. You’ll quickly see that today was the day of Careful, Icarus as pitchers had their lines tainted by going slightly too long into their starts. At least deGrom still gave you an ace line regardless, including allowing a broken-bat HR to Bryce Harper, which is as dumb as it gets. Enjoy your Gallows Pole of 23 whiffs.

Brent Suter – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Let’s be honest, you know that this would happen Suter or later.

Luis Castillo – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. This is so cruel. Castillo was as dominant as ever for six frames – albeit, super close to allowing a 3-run shot in the fifth that just went foul – and with one out to go in the sixth, he allowed a pair of singles, a walk on BALL 1, an RBI double to the relief pitcher, gets pulled, and of course Cody Reed allows both inherited runners to score. It was a 0 ER, QS with 4 baserunners and it ended in this abhorrent unjustified monster. Okay fine, you still got 8 Ks out of it and feel much better about still owning Castillo, but it’s just not right. I’d definitely send out some offers to Castillo owners in your league as they could just see the line and get frustrated. I’m all in here.

Martin Perez – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Perez alright.

Robbie Erlin – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. One of these days I want Robbie to do well so I can call him Twirlin’ Merlin Erlin and feel really lame. One of these days…

Steven Brault – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. If you were in a supermarket and saw Braults were 3 for the price of one, you still wouldn’t buy it. In fact, you’d think “pffft, who would fall for that?” I’d buy six. Well, yeah, you also bought a clam shucker. I love that shucker. YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO SEAFOOD.

Caleb Smith – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. I know it’s crazy, but I’m not going to give up on Smith. I still think his curveball speaks to a sneaky strikeout threat at some point. Maybe it means he’s a Young Gun and that’s okay. Obviously don’t touch him with a Rauch-long stick but I’m watching you Smith. You’ve got time.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. Atlanta Braves – I’m a little intimidated by the Braves right now, but let’s see if Pivetta can pull off another exciting strikeout performance.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Triggs vs. Chicago White Sox – I can understand rolling with Tyson Ross or Ian Kennedy, but I’m going with Triggs, who’s looking good out of the gate.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

CC Sabathia vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I have to pick someone, and while this is a DLH and CC isn’t even good, he gets the Jays and I can fathom a 3 ER start where he gets a Win. I’d want to go with Nick Tropeanobut he gets the Sawx and that’s too bad.

Game of the Day

Shohei Ohtani vs. David Price This has everything you want, heat, breaking balls, a man seeking redemption, and a man proving he’s no fluke.

Nick Pollack

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

  • Avatar Barry says:

    I’m lacking on starts this week and need to stream a couple in a 6×6 with QS. Would have to drop Wacha to pick up Chirinos/Wheeler/Bettis. Would hope to grab Wacha back for his start Friday unless my streamer pitches well and maybe is scheduled again by Sunday. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  • Avatar Christian says:

    Nick what’s up man. Loving the new look site! In your opinion, who are the best buy low options on the list?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Castillo after last night’s game. I’d also consider Chris Archer or Quintana if their owners are upset.

  • Avatar Chris says:

    Starting Chirinos vs TEX today?

  • Avatar Fish says:

    Would you drop A Sanchez, clevinger, or Manaea, for R. Lopez ROS?

  • Avatar Figgerring says:

    Trying to figure this- can only keep two of these ROS….
    Manaea,Snell,Taillon,Clevinger
    lemme know what u think Nick, thx

  • Avatar Sticki says:

    I didn’t want to jinx it but I started watching the Reds game with 2 on and 2 out in the sixth. Boy did I ever jinx it. That 1/3 inning was the wherst.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      THE WHERST. It’s all your fault.

      I guess I can be a little happy if it means we can buy him super low now.

      • Avatar Sticki says:

        Le sigh. I own him and had him on my bench until last minute when I plugged him in and held my breath!

        Thoughts on Manaea?
        FIP 4.09 – bbFIP 2.80

  • Avatar Brushback Mountain says:

    Better headline: DON’T STASH THIS ‘STACHE

  • Avatar Eloy Kopech says:

    Excellent analysis. Love reading the site. Traded López before the year started so am having some regrets; guy that got him is very smart. What’s your opinion on Yonny Chirinos as a viable long term fantasy option?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I question his stamina through starts as he’s barely seen lineups the third time through thus far + he’s still in the process of comfortably being stretched out.

      Still, fastball has good movement and his slider can work. Splitter is a bit too inconsistent right now and will lead to some punishment, but he should definitely be rostered in a 12-teamer.

  • Avatar Dustyfingers says:

    Would it be worth it to try and package Lopez and Anderson for Castillo?

  • Avatar Mike Bourg says:

    Let me just say I love this site and the podcast, and I cannot believe I just discovered it before this season!

    I’ve seen several questions about Chirinos already so i will just say I was happy to grab him off the wire the other day (would not have done so without reading about him on this site). Also, I was able to draft Lopez and could not be more pleased with his performance so far. I was initially disappointed that i did not get Giolito and felt like Reynaldo was a “consolation prize” but man has that worked out so far.

  • Avatar Earl says:

    Would you drop Manaea, Haap, Stroman or E rod to make room for Shark when he’s activated?

  • Avatar AB says:

    L Weaver and Manea for Nola?
    Which side? I’d have to drop Wacha to make room

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