(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire)
I’ve been talking about the struggle of ranking Jon Gray and it showed itself today as he went 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks hosting the Padres. The man pitches in Coors but has good enough stuff that he would easily sit in the Top 40 if it weren’t for where he parks his car, but that doesn’t matter since Colorado is where he cooks his eggs. Nick, these aren’t sayings. YOU’RE NOT A SAYING. What do we do with Gray now? If he can’t handle the Padres at home, are we supposed to nix all future home starts for the time being? His next three starts are heading to Washington, then hosting both the Cubs and Padres. Do we hate him for all of them? I legitimately don’t have an answer and that’s a major problem. My gut says get rid of him for whatever you can as this headache doesn’t stop tomorrow. Maybe hold to see how he does against the Nats and let him loose. Don’t drop him, though. He’s bound to recover in some way, then you should be able to package him or get some value out yourself. But yeah, being a Gray owner is far from a good time.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Zack Godley – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Tonight’s Gallows Pole didn’t go to Kluber or Scherzer, it went to the holy one himself with 20 whiffs on the night. The best part here is that 15 of them came on 47 curveballs – this is after earning just 4 on 34 thrown last time out. It was my biggest worry after the previous start and Godley killed it + zero walks. YES PLEASE. Y’all better keep the faith.
Jake Junis – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. So Junis still hasn’t allowed a run as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh frame. You might think I’m so on board after this one. Spoiler alert: Kinda. His four-seamer had good command, though I’m surprised he favored it more than double over his two-seamer, which was sporting the same excellent ride we saw against the Tigers. His slider definitely looked sharper, but sometimes too sharp, leading to multiple hit batsmen. His curveball is still taking a backseat and I wonder if that will ever become a proper staple in the repertoire. It makes me think Junis is more of a 50-60 guy than hinting at Top 40 upside, but we’ll see. Pitching is a fluid cauldron of a season. Streaming Record: 5-4. BACK ON TOP.
Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. This is incredibly impressive as Lynn earned a 15% whiff rate across 102 pitches. Yes, pretty much all with his fastball, and sure, it came with four walks that led to a 1.40 WHIP, but can’t we be happy about it for a second? It’s not every day you’re going to get 0 ER and 9 Ks from Lynn. Actually, this will probably be the only day.
Max Scherzer – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Like whoa. I’ve been happy to see pitchers go the distance so far this year, and Scherzer was 3 pitches off from a proper Maddux despite 10 strikeouts to his name. That’s dominance.
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m glad Verlander actually picked up where he left off for once.
J. A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. You should know that this is the second straight nine-strikeout game for Happ. You should also know that he earned 18 whiffs with 15 coming via his four-seamer. That is a ton and he deserves more love on The List than I give him. Just please give me more than 150 innings…
Garrett Richards – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. I watched this one a bit and Richards’ four-seamer coming in around 96-97mph with cut action paired with a 90-92mph slider is just filthy. The problem here was he couldn’t locate his curveball well and his command overall wasn’t as pristine as we’ve seen it. Still, the Rangers had so much trouble getting the bat effectively on the ball – it’s kinda Richards’ thing – and it worked being effectively wild. I’m still a major fan and he will have some unreal starts ahead.
Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Can you be a little more like Kluber or Scherzer, though? I know you’re not in the same tier, but at least give me one K per inning, you know?
Dylan Bundy – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Soooo Bundy is still killing it. He’s holding a 1.35 ERA with 25 Ks in 20 frames and just 5 walks to his name. Fastball velocity consistent around 92, slider still killing it, helping him earn 18 whiffs overall for the day. The only question is durability and if he can keep this command. I sure hope so and I’m starting to feel my ranking of Bundy was a bit too low at 43. More like 35 right now ahead of Corbin/Clev/Hill, etc. Dude is on point.
Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Holland. Buddy. Pal. You’re not supposed to do this. You’re definitely not supposed to do this. Let’s be real, 9 Ks on 7 whiffs? That’s not your jam. That’s nobody’s jam. I hope you enjoyed your Birthday Party as I’m sure the hangover will be terrible.
Francisco Liriano – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh right, Liriano still is a thing. I wouldn’t consider him save for the AL-Only or super deep “why did I ever sign up for this” league that somehow has two catchers and you realize you’re in the bad place.
Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Even though it was against the Nats, Teheran was on the road so clearly he’s going to have a decent start. I really hate how true this has been considering I legit detest arguments rooted in Home/Road splits, but Teheran is the one weird expectation that I kinda need to accept but still just think the pin will drop soon enough. Just you wait…
Chris Archer – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You own Archer for the strikeouts hoping not to get burned on the ratios. You got burned on the ratios…again. Will it end? …Probably? I actually think this is a decent buy low considering there must be owners that are sick and tired of his schtuff. While I’m not telling Archer equates to a Top 15 player, he’s better than his season thus far – duh – and that creates the window.
Jhoulys Chacin – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.
Doug Fister – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh this is pretty mediocre and that’s the story of a man named Doug. A mediocre man with a green vest.
Cody Reed – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s the Reed I remember. He even allowed a Scott Kingery HR on one of his signature sliders that was well off the plate and still turned out terribly. I wonder if Reed is the opposite of Kobe Bryant. Like instead of good shooters saying “Kobe!” as they shoot, do hitters yell “Cody!” when they crush a longball off him? I definitely would.
Jose Urena – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Even if I know it’s not how you pronounce his name can I still make the joke? Yes? Wow what a great audience. If you start Jose, Urena boatland of trouble. Thank you, thank you.
Marco Gonzales – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, I think we can give up on this Marco G thang here. The fella threw 43 pitches in the first, after all. Yikes.
Miguel Gonzalez – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Miguel…No.
Miles Mikolas – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I watched this entire game from Mikolas and I like his shtick. The line makes it look like he got clobbered a bit, but it was really just a couple of legit hits and others that made it painful at times to watch. I don’t see Top 25 upside here, but I legit think Mikolas will be hanging around #40-50 for a lot of the season. He gassed it up to 98mph to fan Thames, while featuring a pair of breaking balls he trusts in and out of the zone. Don’t let him go.
Clayton Richard – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! He did hit an absolute bomb off Gray as well, and it was glorious. Seriously.
Ben Lively – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. His name is Raggedy Ann and this start does absolutely nothing to stop me calling him that.
Homer Bailey vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I stared at this one for a long time and I don’t like any of them. I know the Phils just scored 20 runs, but I feel like Homer Bale can pull it off.
Nick Pivetta vs. Cincinnati Reds – He looked stellar last time out with fantastic breaking pitches and it’s possible it continues against a better offense.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Chris Stratton vs. San Diego Padres – It’s a much better matchup than the previous two games, it’s possible he pulls it off.
Game of the Day