(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
You know what blows my mind? That after 11 starts and 57.2 innings, Wade Miley is boasting a 2.18 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, including his 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Reds last night. And they are supposed to be solid against left-handers! It’s wild and…you know that I can’t get behind this. It comes with a ridiculous HOTEL of .269 BABIP, 80% LOB rate, and 6.4% HR/FB. None of these will stick. His success can be pointed to moving from sinkers to cutters, going from a heater with a .290 BAA in 2017 to cutters with a .194 BAA in 347 thrown. Crazy low, crazy unsustainable. He’s elected to move his curveball from an ineffective chase pitch to decent strike getter (with a .200 BABIP as well…) while his changeup has filled that void with a 15.5% whiff rate and 44% O-Swing. It’s not terrible, but I don’t see an overwhelming pitcher here without the command that would make this startable moving forward. It’s not like his 16% K rate is helping much either. Oh, and that 2.18 ERA? That’s a 4.79 SIERA. What a TEEs.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Mike Clevinger – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. I want to give him the AGA label as this start is just so gorgeous. I won’t since he’s more like a sturdy #2, but it’s really nice to see Clevinger take the expected step forward this year, especially after having some bumps in the road early in the season.
John Gant – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. He handed us a Philly but this helped you across the board and we’re all super happy about it. Streaming Record: 85-41.
Andrew Heaney – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Heaney has abandoned his changeup recently but made it work in this one with his heater sitting up-and-in often to right-handers and curveballs down in the zone. This can work if commanded like this all the time, problem is that it rarely is.
Eric Lauer – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Come on Lauer, you know you don’t belong here like a cow on a boat. Where did that– I DON’T KNOW.
Wade LeBlanc – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s four of his last five with 4 ER total and you’re wondering if the magic is returning. Ehhhh, you’re hoping for a Toby and if that’s what you need, then sure, why not. I don’t think he’s a great gamble to take, though.
Lucas Giolito – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Whooooa baby! 36/113 CSW from Giolito against he Red Sox is a fantastic thing. Interesting to see him throw more two-seamers than four-seamers, which averaged just 92.5mph. Sliders and Curveballs combined for just 15 thrown (4 CSW, meh), but his changeup was fantastic with 16/22 SNIP. Good induced contact with heaters and you have yourself a solid start. Not totally sold as his breaking stuff was super blegh, but if Giolito doesn’t come crashing down in the final month, you’re going to see him labeled as a sleeper pick often this off-season.
Robbie Ray – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. There’s the Ray I’ve been waiting for. Here’s to hoping it sticks around through the final month, he doesn’t have the easiest of schedules, but if he is on, it doesn’t really matter.
Cody Reed – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Cody Cody Cody. I remember thinking you weren’t so bad when you first came up but man is your command terrible. Maybe Reed a book on it or something.
German Marquez – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. HOT DANG. Marquez is absolutely killing it and there is no reason to stop starting him. Seriously, I think I’d stick him in the Top 25 at this point, it’s crazy. 45/108 CSW as well, including 20 whiffs for a Gallows Pole.
Rich Hill – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. You want another inning or one fewer ER, but I’ll take a 1.20 WHIP and 7 Ks from Hill. If he’s on the bump, you let him ride.
Jake Odorizzi – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We didn’t expect Odorizzi to perform well against the Tribe and this is surprisingly not horrendous. He has a tough schedule the rest of the way and if you’re still rostering him, I’d prefer even streaming instead.
Justin Verlander – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces almost gonna ace. 11 Ks and a near 1.00 WHIP are A-OK, but I just don’t want sub six frames with 3 ER from Jimmy V. I guess you can’t have it all.
Mike Foltynewicz – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. After a gorgeous stretch of 5 ER in five games, Folty stumbled against the Cubs, including a spit balk. So it goes, he’ll be a strong asset through your playoffs.
Francisco Liriano – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s the Liriano we all know and hate.
Frankie Montas – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. With Sean Manaea possibly out until the end of the year, Montas will be getting more starts. He’s not as refined as he needs to be with his two-pitch mix, though there will be starts where he cruises based on a low BABIP. This isn’t the savior play you want it to be down the stretch.
Mike Montgomery – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice to see 6 Ks from Monty, but yeah, you shouldn’t be starting him save for desperate streams.
Rick Porcello – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Ugggggh. Now Porcello gets tough starts and I’m super cautious down the stretch. I think it’s asfe to call him a Cherry Bomb the rest of the way.
J. A. Happ – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Come on Happ, I know you’re better than this. It was the Tigers. THE TIGERS. Brush it off.
Joe Musgrove – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s another clunker for Musgrove, this time against the Cardinals. Now with a tough schedule ahead, this might not such a smooth September ahead. I still think he’s rosterable – that slider is legit and still underutilized – but I feel it’s a bit riskier than I’d like.
Steven Matz vs. San Francisco Giants – He’s essentially a Toby and this should work.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Pablo Lopez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – There are some other desperate options including Jacob Nix hosting the Rockies and San Gaviglio on the other side against the Marlins. If you need Ks, Gaviglio is slightly the better play.
Game of the Day