I’ve been kinda throwing away questions about Alex Cobb thus far as I was just waiting for him to flounder again and quiet the mob, but it’s getting harder to ignore as he went 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. His last 12 starts feature a 3.38 ERA, which includes his disastrous 9 ER starts against the Mariners. So why is Cobb still not on The List? Because he’s a huge TEEs. The Cobb we used to know what a strikeout fiend due to a Split-Changeup that was simply baller. He threw that pitch under 5% of the time last night against the Pirates and he’s averaging 4.33 strikeouts per start in this excellent 12 start run, with a 4.77 xFIP and just 13.6% soft contact. This is bad. 4.89 SIERA, 34.6% hard contact, 1.28 WHIP, etc. The only thing that isn’t bad is his luck creating the 3.38 ERA. Considering we’re making a Three-Fists Compromise with Cobb, that means his ERA needs to be better than 3.70 rest of the way (and that’s generous) for me to consider him over a strikeout upside arm. That’s not a bet I want to make.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Kenta Maeda – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. With McCarthy on the DL, Maeda is once again out of the pen and in the rotation. I wasn’t expecting six full innings here, but we got seven because the Dodgers enjoy watching us suffer. If nothing screwy happens now, he’ll get the Padres next, which you have to be all over, and if McCarthy needs more time, he’ll face the Royals to close out the first half. No reason not to invest in him now, but it’s hard to bank on a production heavy second half.
Luis Severino – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Phew, the last two starts had me a little worried, let’s be real.
Jose Quintana – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. He did this against the Yankees and I think we can put our fears to bed about Quintana. Just in time for the ChiSox to deal him at the deadline…
Mike Clevinger – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. And even with this start, I’m sure I’ll get emails about why Clevinger shouldn’t be in the Top 60. He’s legit y’all, start believing and start winning.
Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Weird to see such stifling of offense but only six innings of play, but the Nats had a comfortable lead by the seventh and he was pulled at 93 pitches. That’s cool, I guess. Kershaw would have gone seven.
Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is better from Ross – still not great, but better. A ton of Sliders is a good thing, but 90-91 velocity and still throwing Four-Seamers. This isn’t the Ross we once knew yet and I’m still in wait-and-see mode.
Sean Newcomb – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Newcomb came through against the Padres as I was shocked how easy it was to pick him up in some leagues. Don’t get crazy about this though, I do not want to roll with him against the Astros next time out. Streamer Record 42-28-11.
Drew Pomeranz – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Over his last nine starts, Pomeranz has a 10.15 K/9, 2.68 BB/9 and a 2.87 ERA. His 5+ IPS needs work (it’s about 6 in his last seven), but you can feel good owning The Dirty Cheerleader for the forseeable future.
Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. This was one super fun game to watch as Nola dueled with Paxton, but it was so stressful in the first as Nola threw only 6 of his 15 pitches for strikes…which concluded with a double play on a 3-1 count. I’ve preached about Nola that he has the three necessities to be an ace: three solid pitches he can throw for strikes, whiffability, and great command, but in his recent starts, that command just hasn’t been what it has been in the past – this start is no exception. I think over time he will get there, but he’s not right now. Oh and one more thing…how are you going to let Nola throw over 110 pitches on a given night. HOW. Just dumb and he nearly allowed more damage but Maikel Franco – DESTROYER OF WORLDS – snagged a ball down the line to turn the final out of the seventh.
Trevor Williams – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. As I try to cherry pick stats for Williams, what I’ve got is a 3.91 ERA over his last nine outings with a 3.26 FIP. That’s with a 6.39 K/9, 5.6 IPS, and 4.28 SIERA. Blegh. I’m not buying that you want to invest here.
James Paxton – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. This stat line looks worse than he actually pitched and it was really just the fifth inning where he showed any weakness. Dude is baaaaack.
Carlos Martinez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just stop with this 3 walk nonesense.
Kevin Gausman – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s two straight productive outings from Gausman as his league leading BABIP begins to fall…he isn’t as bad as his numbers have been and this is great, but when he does normalzie that doesn’t mean he’ll be a dependable fantasy asset. Be patient here unless you’re desperate.
Jhoulys Chacin – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.
Jesse Chavez – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Unless you’re in a suuuuper deep AL-Only league, there isn’t a reason to own Chavez.
Jeff Hoffman – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I was hoping for a more explosive start from Hoffman since we’re not going to be starting him in his next two games. Womp womp. I hope he stays in the rotation with Jon Gray returning this week, but keep in mind that Hoffman isn’t a guy I want to be trusting in Coors the majority of the time.
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. After allowing the first five baserunners reach as he allowed 3 ER, Verlander then threw seven frames of shutout ball and just five baserunners for the Quality Start. Of course. That first inning was super unlucky as well, with three straight hits where the Royals either barely swung at the pitch or blooped it after getting jammed inside, not to mention a double play ball that Miggy turned into just one out with a bad throw. Yes, I’m starting him out there next time against Cleveland.
Dan Straily – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I was expecting more Straily, but since it’s not detrimental, I’m cool with it.
Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Poor Fiers, he get pulled with the bases loaded and two outs, with Healy smacking a Grand-Slam and all three inherited runners scoring. So it goes. I would have be rolling with Fiers here against the A’s, but don’t get false confidence against actually decent offenses like the Yankees next time out.
Matt Cain – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. A VPQS from Cain is something you should be happy with. Why you ran with Cain is another story. I like to live dangerously. Sure Austin, whatever.
Sean Manaea – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This was a laborious outing for Manaea who never got comfortably with his Fastball, getting into way too many deep counts and close calls. There’s a part of me that wants to lower Manaea a ton, but then there’s the fact he’s had the toughest schedule of anyone and now he’ll get: Braves, Mariners, Indians, Rays, Jays, Twins, Angels, Orioles, Royals in his next eight starts and that’s pretty solid. Stay strong.
Hector Santiago – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Santiago returned from his DL Island and was pulled with 49 pitches after two for precautionary measures. But that doesn’t really matter since he shouldn’t be owned in your 12-teamer.
Joe Biagini – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah…I’m giving up on this now. I don’t want to start him in his next two outings and who knows if he’ll still be around come the second half. It’s too bad since I really think his skill set dictates a solid floor #5 guy, but it’s not going his way now and the Jays may toss him aside with a healthy rotation.
Tim Adleman – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. This is why you keep him idle, man. That joke never landed. That’s because it’s got more hops than a dogfish IPA. Neither did that one.
Robert Gsellman – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Main story here is that Gsellman was running to first and pulled a hamstring. Because of course he did. It’s not like he was fantasy relevant in the first place right now, but it’s just tough to see him continue to have an incredibly rocky 2017.
Taijuan Walker – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks. Oh man. Man oh man oh Manowar. Five walks and zero strikeouts? Why did we hold you on the DL for this? Were we stashing him on the DL? Okay, fair point but still, this is absolutely atrocious – and it was against the Cardinals who are far from an intimidating offense. Now he gets the Rockies and Reds to close out the first half and I’m not taking part in that, no way.
Matt Strahm – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. We knew this would be tough in the early going and I’m just hoping Strahm is still in the rotation come the second half when he has more starts under his belt and not facing teams like the Red Sox and Tigers. Don’t invest just yet.
Jake Arrieta – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Man, Arrieta looked so lost in this game. I keep going back and forth on Arrieta and he has changed his repertoire like I was hoping for, but clearly he just can’t find his feel like he used to with his awkward mechanics. I’m getting the urge to let him fall to the low 30s at this point.
Junior Guerra – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. If you’re still holding onto Guerra, don’t.
Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Los Angeles Angels – No reason not to roll with him while h’es on the field and against bad offenses. Luis Perdomo has been pretty consistent lately, and is another option with a good floor against a poor offense.
Dinelson Lamet vs. Atlanta Braves – Love the strikeout upside here against a weak lineup.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Daniel Gossett vs. Atlanta Braves – He can do this again right? Just one more Gossett after two straight solid outings.
Game of the Day
Carlos Rodon vs. Masahiro Tanaka – Rodon makes his first start of the year and we get to see if Tanaka can keep staying good.
is Cobb a sell-high?
who’s a good buy-low target to flip him for 1-1?
Anything that helps, honestly. I wouldn’t be owning Cobb in the first place.
Nola’s command abondoned him only at the start of the 5th (or 4th?), where he threw 10 straight balls all over the place. After that, he was solid and impressively unrattled vs a tough lineup, even after made to go way past 100 with Philly showing no trust in their pen.
He definitely looked questionable in the first and seventh (pitch count up) as well. That’s the thing, he’ll look so amazing and out of of control in the same start.
I’m used to seeing his Fastball be the rock for everything and seeing it go in-and-out of focus through the night was a bit unnerving.
Nola and Pax were getting squeezed – I’d love to replay that game with a pitcher friendly ump. Even 6 innings in they couldn’t expand the zone at all… Too bad.
With Biagini I’ve noticed he has had difficulty locating his fastball low like he used to consistently. Mix leaving the fastball up with not getting a curve over and that leads to trouble.
On the Manaea front, if he nearly got the QS against the Astros on a night when he didn’t have his stuff I’m all on board. Doesn’t do much for his ceiling, but I believe that speaks to a high floor.
For tomorrow’s streamer, did you mean Dinelson Lamet? Luis is pitching today.
Thanks for the heads up! Looks like it got swapped around.
Yep, I’d be rolling with Lamet.
Even with his 2 most recent starts, can’t start Lackey at Washington tonight, yeah?
Correct, I’d sit this one out.
i cant catch a break with clev. i see mike montgomery is trending up and clev down but theyre pretty close on the list so who would you rather at the moment
Clevinger. Much better overall stuff.
How comfortable would you be starting Rodon tonight in NY?
Not at all. DLH and it’s the Yankees. And it’s Rodon.
re: Scherzer leaving after 93, seems like maybe it was because of recent high pitch totals in addition to the nats lead at the time. 120 pitches last time out and 985 pitches in his last 9 starts.
I need a streaming option today. Who do you feel most comfortable rolling out?
Bauer vs Rangers
Porcello vs Twins
Ryu vs Angles
Also, I can play a SP with RP designation as well.
Meyer vs LA
Perdomo vs ATL
I’m leaning towards Porcello (cringe) and Perdomo given matchup and pitching opponent. Thanks in advance for your insight.
Ryu or Perdomo, but if I needed strikeouts I’d go Bauer instead.
Hi Nick. Curious, how big of a bump on the list would you give Mike Leake for QS leagues? Dude pitches 6 innings almost every single outing (all but once so far this year). Trying to decide between him & Clevinger (who has much more K upside but almost never gets through 6)
A little, but I think owning Clevinger will be better still. He has the skill set to be a QS guy as well.
2 of Walker’s BB’s were intentional.
Gossett bumped up to starting today @ Houston (vs Peacock). Guessing you’re not starting him here?
No I am not. Womp womp.