Sir Lance? Why Not

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

Today we’re going to talk about Lance Lynn if you can believe it. The man went 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks, raising his overall K rate to 23%, but more importantly, fanning 8+ for the third time in five games. That’s…kinda nuts. Lynn is an arm that I’m sure is sitting on a ton of waiver wires and the whole point of this lede is to showcase the volatile nature of Lynn that could save you over a weekend. This isn’t a call to action to roster Lynn – there is no way I’m trusting him to do this consistently, even if it’s 7 IP in four of his last five games – but a spotlight that if you are hurting in strikeouts as you plan out your week, Lynn could be a decent last-resort play. There’s value in that and a reason to not just trust overall numbers. In 4 games, Lynn has 37 strikeouts, in another four he has 13. Yeah, it’s that kind of season. I know you want more than this, but there really isn’t. Sometimes his fastballs work, sometimes they don’t. Baseball is weird, so is Lynn, and we’re just along for the ride.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Sonny Gray6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Sure Gray, struggle against good matchups, then show up in Miller Park. On the real, I wanted a little more than the middle-ground 30% CSW in a start with 9 Ks and shutout ball – especially more than 1 whiff on only 7 curveballs! – and I’m not sold that this was a game-changer, which I realize now is a phrase that I should be using a lot more. All that said, he hosts the Pirates next and that’s a 100% start. Here’s the hoping both breakers show up there and we can all celebrate.

German Marquez8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Marquez’s worst asset is his four-seamer and it’s great to see him earn 13/30 CSW with the pitch with six whiffs too boot. Sure, it might not go that way inside Coors and pitching in Pittsburgh is an easy way for starters to improve their numbers, but let’s be happy he’s helping you out.

Jose Quintana6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, this works Quintana. I don’t really expect a fantastic season but hey, you’re owning and going to keep owning him.

Hunter Wood2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Wood opened for Jalen Beeks who went 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Glad we all got to see the floor of trusting False Starters.

Trevor Cahill5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Good to see Cahill perform well against a solid Twins offense as his changeup did work for 26/34 strikes and eight whiffs. Curveball is still lacking though and I don’t think this was the turning point for us to reconsider him. At least he left that Irish doppelganger go away for a moment.

Zach Eflin6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhhhh, it’s a bit of a Dusty Donut with that WHIP and lack of Ks, but Eflin is making his case to be the new Spider-Man and this is exactly what Tobys do. Keep riding it.

Erick Fedde5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Erick survived while giving you a HAISTFMFWT?! This doesn’t breed confidence and I have no choice but to say Don’t Trust The Feddes.

Marcus Stroman6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Six walks?! 26/105 CSW? Just three whiffs on 36 sliders? I know this was the Sawx, but seriously man, how did you go through six frames and 11 baserunners with just 1 ER? Baseball is weird and without Stroman’s slider doing filthy things, I’m out, regardless of opponent.

Julio Teheran5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s four games of allowing 2 ER. Total. Does this mean I need to be endorsing Julio now? What’s weird is that his slider, the pitch that was stupid good last year, has been bad in the last three of these starts and I’m not super thrilled with Teheran overall. I guess you can Vargas Rule it n all, he’s just not a must add to me as this will likely sputter out soon. Oh and don’t let me forget, Blame it on the Giants.

Justin Verlander8.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s making a stupid good case for #1 with a 2.24 ERA and 0.73 WHIP to go with his average 8+ Ks per game.

Shaun Anderson5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh I’m not sold that you need to care about Shaun of the Dead Dynasty.

Domingo German5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It was the O’s and Domingo should roll through them but we can still be happy to he executed to our expectations. That’s nine wins now, leading the majors. Whoa.

Clayton Kershaw6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. A 3.33 ERA and 25% K rate is a little underwhelming for Kersh, but the 12.6% swinging-strike rate and 0.98 WHIP are very welcome sights.

Tommy Milone5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Wait, he’s still a thing? Milone Schmilone. Nick, it doesn’t really work when it’s still the same name after the SCH. WHATEVER I DO WHAT I WANT.

Caleb Smith5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The dude deserves the label, even if it came with a 3.60 ERA – that’s a 0.60 WHIP and 7 Ks. Be happy.

Matt Strahm6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I feel like I say the same thing every week with Strahm where I’m stuck in this purgatory of loving and hating him at the same time. Just 2/18 whiffs on sliders and a 25% CSW doesn’t scream upside city to me and I’m still encouraging a sell high here as the strikeout rate doesn’t seem to be what we want and that 3.06 ERA is going to rise.

Chris Archer5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. It’s certainly a recovery from two straight 6 ER games sandwiching his IL stint, but I was hoping he wasn’t Still ILL. Here’s the hoping he gets his groove back next time against the…Dodgers?! Yeah, that’s a sit.

Chris Bassitt3.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. Nooooooo, right after Shelly’s fantastic article went up, us Bassitt Hounds got a whiff of despair as Chris walked six batters. He still earned a 25% whiff rate on four-seamers, but the other half of the BSB – secondary pitches down – didn’t really happen. I don’t think this is the stop we get off the train as the strikeouts were still flowing, but it’s a failure tick on the Death Saving Throws. I don’t get this reference. That’s probably a good thing.

Gio Gonzalez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s been a Vargas Rule with Gio and I wouldn’t call 3 ER the wall that forces the drop. He’s matching up against Pineda next time out and I’m pretty blegh about that one, though. If you had to go with Gio, make sure there isn’t something better on the wire for later this week or next.

Zack Greinke7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Not incredibly pretty, but that WHIP is sparkling as it sits comfortably under 1.00. One of the underrated aces out there as his strikeout rate won’t force your fist in the air, but he’s winning you weeks.

Michael Pineda6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yes, it’s a 4.50 ERA, but it’s also a PQS, 1.00 WHIP, and a dub. That’s a streaming win. Streaming Record: 32-19. Sad to see just three Ks though, as Pineda earned only six whiffs total and…WHAT. He threw 21 changeups and 15 sliders. WHY. I guess he didn’t feel his slide piece – 7/15 strikes & 2/15 CSW – and needed something else to get through it. Yeeeeesh. Now he gets the Brew Crew and I’m sitting this out.

Spencer Turnbull5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. The Marlins bats are suddenly ruining all of these pitchers and it’s getting a little annoying. On the real, Turnbull couldn’t find his curveball, though I do like his preference for four-seamers. There’s polish left to be added here, but the core stuff is there and still demands your ownership in 12-teamers…unless you have a lot of the options inside the Top 55 on The List. Then you can play all the hot potato you want (though I would like to own Turnbull and his next start against the Mets).

Zack Wheeler7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Entering this start, Wheeler had allowed 17 ER against the Nationals in three games, with a sub 3.00 ERA in six games against different opponents. Great to see him get over this hurdle and never face the Nationals again. I want to say he performed well and finally conquered his enemies…but he kinda blegh. 33/118 CSW is bad and only 96 mph on his heater turned into just four whiffs on about 55 heaters thrown. His slider was 20/29 with strikes, and his splitter/curveball were fine, I just wanted that start. Now the good thing is that he gets the Tigers next and Snakes to follow, so I’d feel confident tossing him out there in both.

Trevor Bauer6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Bauer, STOP. Three bad outings in four starts now, though this one wasn’t as bad as we’ve seen. After his last start, I went on about how I expect Bauer to tinker and move away from his changeup. Looking at this line, what do you think he did? In 123 pitches, Bauer threw three changeups total. That’s it. On one hand, that’s terrible since his curveball, cutter, slider, and four-seamer didn’t get the job done. On the other, he’s aware of his problems and doing what he can to fix it. I’m happy here. I’m a believer that he’ll figure out the problem and continue to tweak until he’s locked in again. I’m buying low where I can and I suggest you do too.

Dylan Covey4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Remember kids, Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.

Eduardo Rodriguez5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. What is going on with The Uni? That’s three of his last five games with 4+ ER (11 ER in his last two!) as his ERA soars to a bloated 5.43. You’re frustrated, you want to drop and…it’s weird. He’s a Cherry Bomb because his changeup – this incredible offering that returns a near 55% O-Swing and 22%+ swinging strike rate – is erratic. Even in this game, half were down and arm-side like they should be – 8/27 CSW – but the other half were hung up a ton and some were laced as a pair went over the outfield wall. That ain’t right! So should we bank on his changeup being great more than it is detrimental? I think so? I should also throw in that his 65% LOB rate and .355 BABIP are surely going to fall and he’s more of a 3.80 ERA arm with a 25% strikeout rate and 1.25 WHIP. That should be owned in 12-teamers and while this rough patch is here, I think this is still a guy you own for the long haul, Cherry Bomb n all. Blegh.

David Hess5.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here!


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Jose Urena vs. Detroit Tigers – Why are y’all picking up all the good pitchers. On the real, there are no good options and I’ll go with Urena who has the ability to cruise six frames on 1 ER every so often, especially against a bad offense like the Tigers.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trevor Richards vs. Detroit Tigers – Few options here and I’ll go for the strikeout upside inside Richards’ changeup against the weak Tigers. It’s a rocky week of streams.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trent Thornton vs. San Diego Padres – Thornton has strikeout upside and the Padres are the #1 strikeout prone offense in the majors.


Game of the Day


Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer – Two aces that weren’t aces last time out now forced to out-duel the other? HAVE MERCY.


(Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

16 responses to “Sir Lance? Why Not”

  1. Sam says:

    Are we going to see Stripling get a start with Maeda on the DL?

  2. Vinny says:

    Happy Birthday Nick!

  3. James says:

    As a manager who owns both Strahm and The Uni, I find the discrepancy in your opinion of them difficult. Strahm has been pretty consistent while Eduardo only consistency is my frustration with him. Sell the one who’s been a decent start all season (3 ERA), but hold the guy who’s sitting with a 5+ ERA and continue to trust him?

  4. Manny DGM says:

    hey nick, would you try and move Flaherty & Paddack for Degrom or Bauer? My pitching is deep but relatively weak:

    Flaherty, Musgrove, Price, Mikolas, Canning, Eickhoff, Giolito, Paddack, Taillon (DL)

    • theKraken says:

      I can’t imagine the other owner buys that even in a keeper. If so, then yeah go and take the superior floors and ceilings and lack of innings caps.

  5. Barry says:

    Hello Nick,

    Need to make room soon for Heaney.

    Drop P.Lopez, Gausman, or Strahm? 12 Team H2H 6×6 QS Redraft


    • Nick Pollack says:

      Drop Gaus if you want to chase a higher ceiling in PabLo, drop PabLo if you want a safer floor in Gaus.

    • theKraken says:

      Those players are all right on the border of the waiver wire I would imagine. I wouldn’t sweat it – drop the one you like the least or who has the worst match-ups on the horizon. Strahm would be the last one I would cut, but I don’t see him moving the needle going forward. As solid as the Ks are from Lopez, then wins will be few.

  6. Philip Sperling says:

    What to do with Strahm indeed? He isn’t missing bats, but he WALKS NOBODY. He just gets outs and outs and outs.

    I guess sell high, but he’s been reliable and there could be a second gear here. Tough one.

  7. mitch says:

    Nick, would you drop Archer for Darvish?? Thanks

  8. Chelsa says:

    Hi Nick,

    Good article, as always. Upon discovering SP Roundup, I don’t let a fantasy day pass without me reading your articles. I really find them informative and useful. I am not an athlete, just an avid fan of baseball and its fantasy component, so I don’t know as much about pitching or pitchers as you do. I just know that owning ERod has hurt to the core! I don’t know if it’s his mechanics or his mental space, but SOMETHING is off with him!!! I am a rabid Red Sox fan, which is why I’ve tried to on hold and keep the faith. But for the past 2 months, all he’s done is crap all over my pitching stats on BOTH of my teams!!! Thus, making it especially hard to co-sign with you on “I think this is still a guy you own for the long haul, Cherry Bomb n all. Blegh.” ERod’s been WORSE than a Cherry Bomb, he’s been a Fossilized Turd!! Respectfully, his owners can’t justify continuing to start or own him when the results have been SO DREADFUL!! I am in awe that you have him ranked so high. Despite his promising peripherals, I dropped him. But with my luck, he’ll start pitching like an Ace…on SOMEONE ELSE’S team!!!

  9. theKraken says:

    Lynn was nails just two years ago. He is underappreciated for sure like lots of other players that have played long enough to be exposed. I watched last night and the line doesn’t really do him justice. He was scoreless through 6. He was throwing some kind of 2-seam variant that was uninhabitable and a 4 seamer up to 97. It was legit.
    5 IP is awfully weak from an ace – that is all I will say about that Smith.
    Bauer has the ability to destroy himself beyond just about any other pitcher. He found a way to nearly lose his rotation spot before he started to roll in late 2017. He has always been blessed with all the talent in the world and the results have come any gone throughout his career. He was better than G Cole in college, then really lost it for half a decade. Things could spiral out of control for him more than any of the other AGAs. I am not guying the idea that he will fix himself as much as the possibility that he gets out of his own way.

  10. Doug says:

    I’m assuming yes because of The List, but would y’all take Bauer for Paddack straight-up? I’m seriously considering it, but it’s really hard to play the long game and let go of Paddack, even knowing regression is almost assured and innings are limited.

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