Corey Kluber pitched against the Royals today and it was far from we expected, to the tune of 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the season of falling aces and Kluber enters the fray with this horrendous outing, earning just 23/89 CSW and pulling everything too far glove-side. Are we worried? Not really? I see it as a buy low. The under-the-hood numbers won’t say that Kluber deserved better, but that’s not the point. He was bad and pitched poorly. He’s done that before and it’s over. We’ve seen Kluber pitch better and we expect him to rebound just like in previous years. Remember this, few players are true “clear regressions” in that they rebound when they are supposed to or stay high when they should fall. That’s relative to how they played in that game with the abnormal result. Kluber deserved this, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to keep pitching at this level. He won’t. Buy him for a cheaper price than usual.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
German Marquez – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. I hear y’all, you want me to put Marquez definitively Top 15 now and maybe he does indeed deserve it. I’m a little hesitant and it’s pretty clear why. This was the Giants in Oracle Park. His previous start was a disappointment…in Coors, the only game at home all year. The other two outings? On the road in Tampa and Miami. See what I’m getting at? Marquez’s schedule is only getting tougher moving forward and while the man flat out demolished this offense – close to a no-hitter! – I question if he can sustain this production against tougher road opponents and inside Coors. He’ll get a bump tomorrow, definitely, just not the one some of you want.
David Price – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Yes, Price. YES. We need this oh-so badly. Just give me one pitcher excelling in the boring 25-40 SP range. Rays are next and that’s mighty fine to me.
Marcus Stroman – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Errors messed up Stroman (himself included!) and while it’s a 0 ER mark, it cost him any sort of volume and plenty of extra baserunners. I want to say he didn’t pitch poorly, but I really didn’t dig it with just 21 CSW in 91 pitches and only eight overall whiffs. That’s not a dude convincing me he’s a changed man. That’s just a dude.
John Means – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The Orioles are starting John as a Means to an end. The end of what? Their fan support.
Charlie Morton – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Morton should have survived through five, but an error on his final pitch left him out of the possible win. Womp womp. He wasn’t overly impressive here, but he also didn’t do much that made reconsider him moving forward. So there he is, existing in all the wonder that he is. For now. We all know 30 starts just ain’t happening.
Ross Stripling – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Stripling has been shaky and was handed a tough matchup against the Brewers. And he dominated. Okay, not really. 23/88 CSW is average if not below, his slider hung up in the zone, his fastball stayed low, and I’m not really sure how this happened. He’s going to get another outing against the Crew this week and I have a bad feeling it’s going to be plenty worse. 3/19 CSW on sliders? Really?
Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s keeping up the strikeout per inning, while making sure his HR/FB still hovers around 20%. The good news is that Sean Newcomb is now in the minors, making room for Max Fried to stick and even Mike Soroka (whoa, Soroka!) to get a spot start. What about Touki Toussaint?! I think he’s worth a speculative add, though I wonder if the Braves are going to push Soroka first (who I’m a little wary of given the shoulder injury. Is his command fully back?). Anyway, back to Teheran, whose spot in the rotation is obviously locked now – it was before but even moreso now! – and he gets the Tribe next. Y’all know I don’t like Teheran, but I have to like him for that.
Jose Urena – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m pretty amazed by this start from Urena. Just 7 whiffs in 101 pitches is blegh, but the Phils were patient – 27 called strikes! – and allowed Urena to pound the zone, get ahead, and induce swings on pitches batters didn’t want to offer at. It’s all lovely, but he’ll have to do it again as he faces the Nationals and I’m not down with that. After all, if you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Velasquez had an evening with the Marlins and took full advantage. I’m proud of him – so should you – but it doesn’t make you obligated to own him moving forward. Just let him sit out there and everything will be okay.
Brett Anderson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Should we consider Anderson as a streamer? No, it’s the
children baseball gods that are wrong.
Jose Berrios – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I so want to give the AGA label to Berrios…but the lack of changeup dominance is hurting. Is 5/10 strikes good? I guess? That curveball will disappear for long stretches this year and I’m not looking forward to it. At least I’ll slide him up tomorrow and go from there. FWIW, just 3/27 whiffs on his curveball here.
Marco Gonzales – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This is fine, right? It didn’t hurt you, but it didn’t really do anything either. That sounds about right with Gonzales, who is a solid Toby with the possibility to be slightly better, what we call Spiderman. I’m okay owning him, though I won’t jump for joy. For the record, I jump for joy a lot. It’s really fun and highly recommended.
Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Were you worried about Greinke earlier in the year? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe it doesn’t matter. Things are just fine having Greinke as your #2.
Carlos Rodon – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Some are really digging Rodon these days. 28% CSW and a sub 10% swinging-strike rate isn’t really my jam, as the Yankee lineup isn’t the consistent bludgeoning of lore we expected given their dearth of health. Band name! At the same time, I have to recognize that Rodon survived the Bronx and has a pretty decent schedule with the Tigers and O’s (twice!) next that I’m all for. Just give us more than 6 whiffs on 38 sliders, okay?
Jacob deGrom – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna…have a 1.80 WHIP and 5+ ERA?! 2019 is the worst, I swear. Yeah, the nine Ks are great, but still.
Eric Lauer – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks.Yeah, this is pretty much what El. O. L. is and it should be nothing you want to be associated with.
Miles Mikolas – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This was looking mighty pretty until the fifth inning, which started with an error and led to a three-run shot from Jesse Winker. Like Taillon, the strikeouts are lacking more than I anticipated and he’s getting beat via BABIP plenty more than last year. We expected the ERA to fall, but without the strikeouts, he isn’t returning the Top 30 value we wanted. There’s still plenty of time to get there – of course – and I think it’s best to stay the course. This will come around.
Max Scherzer – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace…though you can’t help yourself from wanting more. Sure, he got through eight frames to justify the 3 ER, but is 1 ER so much to ask from the definitive #1 arm?
Jameson Taillon – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A PQS once again for Taillon and I’m a little disappointed about the lack of strikeouts thus far. His slider isn’t forming into the dominant offering I expected, which means Taillon is solid, but not an incredible #2. He may be as the season progresses, but for now he has to fall a little.
Anthony DeSclafani – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. You came to dance with Tony Disco. Why? I don’t know, but you did. As you step onto the dance floor, you realize it’s an aging man in khakis whose belt is way too big for his pants. Your drive to boogie dies slowly as you realize you don’t want to do this. You don’t want to be here. How could you be this silly, this foolish. How could you forget one crucial thing: disco is dead, my man.
Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. A three-run HR off the bat of Nolan Arenado did Holland in, nullifying the 32% CSW and 17 whiffs earned. I love seeing him get plenty of swings and misses with his breakers – over 40% thrown! – and a date with the Pirates next should be targeted for all in 12-teamers. Streaming Record: 9-8.
Jake Junis – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah…don’t go after Junis. There will be some nice moments, but it’s a Double Bubble when it happens and starts like these will make you wonder what you saw in the first place.
Masahiro Tanaka – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Bleeeeegh. Tanaka was pitching well until the 4th frame, where he effectively walked the bases loaded and allowed a grand slam. Then more damage came in the 5th, allowing three baserunners and getting the hook – luckily just one scored. Tanaka is a bit of a Cherry Bomb, though I do believe he should be good a decent amount more than bad. It’s a hard pill to swallow on days like today, but he is very much worth your roster spot.
Jordan Zimmermann – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ah yes, the Zimmermann we all know and hate.
Jhoulys Chacin – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Huh. Where was this last year? Ohhh right, it was there, we just didn’t anticipate it. Because, after all, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.
Adrian Sampson – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Sampson made you feel like Rocky if you started him for some ridiculous reason. ADRIIIAAAAANNNN!
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Mike Minor vs. Los Angeles Angels – There are terrible options today, I’ll go with the hot hand against a hurt lineup. The rainout pushed back Minor another day. I hate all the options and can’t even take Trevor Richards as he’s above the 20% threshold, so let’s say Martin Perez vs. Toronto Blue Jays because I have to do this and be sad about it.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Spencer Turnbull vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Yep, I’m back for another shot at Turnbull. The stuff is there, the approach is not. Fortunately, he gets a terrible offense and this could go incredibly well. I’d consider something else, but the matchups just aren’t there for me to easily defer. Turnbull it is.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)