Jon Gray vs ARI (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 108 pitches.
Once again, it’s been a weird season following Jon Gray. For the first two months, he was easy to leave on the waiver wire. Then he returned from the IL, fanned ten batters, and sported an uptick in velocity, and we were going berserk. Where are the Rockies going to trade him? Will he finally get the appreciation he deserves? But here’s the thing. The Rockies never dealt him for whatever reason and Gray…hasn’t quite been that dominant as of late. Today’s 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 108 pitches marks his fourth straight game allowing at least three earned runs. Can we continue to trust him down the stretch?
I’m going to say yes…? I like how his four-seamer is still sitting 95 mph (a tick higher than the spring) and his slider continues to be trusted heavily and earns whiffs. I don’t like how difficult his schedule is when you mix the Giants and Dodgers with random starts in Coors. In short, if you can pick your spots, you should feel good with Gray the rest of the way, but if you have to start him against the Giants in Colorado, you’re not spinning the right wheel. He used to be gold, now he’s just silver, and it’s time we understand this boat will be rocked.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Chris Archer vs CWS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 41 pitches.
Hey, remember Archer? He finally came back from his arm injury and promptly was removed for hip tightness. Cool cool cool no doubt no doubt. The slider already earned 5/19 whiffs but the fastball was at 91/92 mph (he did touch 94 mph), though this may be because of the hip issue. Regardless, I wouldn’t chase this as Archer hasn’t been a strong option for a long time, and we have no reason to believe he can hit his classic ceiling on a given night.
Drew Hutchison @ TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 61 pitches.
Are you shocked? No? Why the h*ck not? I mean, the lone strikeout makes sense as this has TEEs all over it (HAISTBMBWT?!), and maybe the Jays aren’t that good these days without George Springer, but what may actually be surprising is Hutchison coming out and firing 92/93 mph after he’s been sitting 90 mph all season. The velocity jump hit his slider as well — three full ticks there! — buuuut it didn’t do a whole for his pitch effectiveness (1/18 slider whiffs, for example). So let’s not do anything hasty, there’s still a lot left for him to tweak.
Craig Stammen vs PHI (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 27 pitches.
Craig opened before Ryan Weathers tossed 56 pitches and allowed three ER across two innings. K. Just one. HAISTBMBWT?! If you still have Weathers on your team, I’m not sure why.
Cal Quantrill vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 71 pitches.
It seemed like his start against the Twins was a sign of his hot streak coming to an end, but hot dang, not even close. His cutter (savant switched from calling it a slider to now a cutter) was fantastic at 39% CSW across 40% thrown, while his fastballs were…fine. I can’t help but still be worried that it’s essentially fastball/slider and neither pitch is elite, and he’ll get a real challenge next as he faces the Red Sox for two straight starts. My gut says that isn’t going to work out the way we want it to, but it’s hard to ween off the Nicoderm CQ and he could still have some magic left.
Frankie Montas vs SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 105 pitches.
That’s a Gallows Pole from Montas as I’m stoked he’s finally showing off what he can look like when his splitter and slider work. The fastballs were much better here as well and it made for an unstable force, even against the elite Giants bats. Who does he face next? Well he faces the Yan—I DON’T CARE WHO HE FACES. Well done. Rude, but well done.
Framber Valdez vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.
Yessss. Framber hasn’t been the smoothest starter as of late and that WHIP has been pulling down your squads, but there’s no way you could drop him. Absolutely not. This is the kind of start that allows you to exhale and makes you believe he can push the needle in your direction down the stretch. All hail 15 called strikes and a whole lot of outs on sinkers.
Adrian Houser vs WSH (ND) – 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 68 pitches.
He returned from the COVID IL to toss nearly 70 pitches decently well against the Nationals. And we all rejoiced. Now it’s the Twins and Giants if he sticks and that’s not what you want. WE WANT ASHBY.
Adam Wainwright vs PIT (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 106 pitches.
I’m in absolute awe of Wainwright’s 2021 season and while an afternoon with the Pirates does wonders to pad a season’s marks, Waino now holds a 3.10 ERA across nearly 163 frames. That’s absolutely wild. Let’s all thank his curveball, shockingly one of the most underrated hooks in baseball, as it went 43% CSW across 42 thrown today. It’s so dang good. Fine, but who does he face next time? It’s the Pirates. Again. Oh snap.
Logan Webb @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.
DON’T YOU DARE BENCH WEBB. Ahem. Webb is on the hottest of runs right now and while I’d sell high in a dynasty (I don’t trust this command forever), he’s your golden goose for the 2021 season through the end. Sling away, Webb. Sling away.
Carlos Hernández @ CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 107 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Streaming Record: 76-56. I’ve been wondering if we’d see whiffs show up from the secondaries and…we didn’t. But! That doesn’t matter if he gets strikes with them and his heaters miss bats and that’s what we had here. 10/61 whiffs on fastballs + 29/46 strikes on secondaries and while that second number is a little on the low side, we’re not expecting Carlos to be legit ‘n’ all tomorrow, nay, we just want him to have some decent starts ahead. And that’s what he can do as he pumps 95-99 mph heaters. This was the Cubs, sure, but the Mariners should struggle as well. Hold onto him for that one.
Steven Brault @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 81 pitches.
Ehhhhh, I don’t think you need me to tell you that this 2.50 ERA isn’t worth the squeeze. I mean, seriously, one strikeout in 81 pitches?! HAISTBMBWT?!
Steven Matz vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 95 pitches.
Do I want more than one strikeout? Absolutely, I ain’t got time for a HAISTBMBWT?! from Matz, even if he is a Toby. But hey, those ratios are great and I can’t be sad about that. He’ll get the Tigers + Orioles next, and that’s all good with me.
Touki Toussaint @ BAL (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.
So Touki evened his splitter and curveball usage two starts ago and has since made his curveball act as the #3 pitch. Do I agree? Nah. But hey, he’s feeling it better than usual right now, and I don’t blame him for leaning on it while it’s at its best. The worse news here is SFG + Coors up next, and I’d be very cautious there. I already am worried the splitter will disappear soon and in those matchups, it can get poor quickly.
Taylor Widener @ COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.
The mad man went into Coors, walked five batters, and escaped with just one run to his name. He went 75% fastballs in this one for just 19% CSW and I’m not ready to trust this. At all.
Kyle Gibson @ SD (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 103 pitches.
Ooooooo wee! This may be another hot streak on our hands with Gibson, who managed to go 0/56 earning a whiff on his fastballs. But he got outs and outs are better than whiffs. Write that down. He has a lovely schedule ahead against the Sneks and Marlins and I’m all for those two outings. Don’t expect the strikeouts to come, though.
Vladimir Gutiérrez vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 89 pitches.
Vlady has one the cushiest schedules down the stretch and I’m so glad to see him take full advantage, here earning a King Cole and eight strikeouts against the Fish. His command has been ridiculously good with his four-seamer and with another Marlins start next, I see zero reasons not to hold.
Sandy Alcantara @ CIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 111 pitches.
Go and watch this start and try to tell me that Alcantara isn’t destined to be Zack Wheeler 2.0. The man hit 101 mph on his four-seamer and tossed a 94.6 mph changeup. He’s filth-McGee and the more innings he gets, the better his ability to stave off those ghastly 8 ER games will be.
Tyler Anderson @ HOU (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.
We didn’t want Tyler for this outing — he’s a Toby and this was Houston — but hey, props to him for allowing just one earned run. Now he gets the Royals + Sneks, and I’m in. He’s in a good rhythm.
Marcus Stroman @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
Well ain’t this lovely. I was incredibly hesitant to trust Stroman as he faced the mighty Dodgers, but he carried over what worked last time — his splitter and slider — and survived six frames to help your squads fully across the board. And look at him now, past the gauntlet of the West to feast on the depleted of the East with dates against the Nationals and Marlins ahead. Keep it up Stroman, you have a chance to truly impress now.
Sean Nolin @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 81 pitches.
You’re looking at Sean and wondering who he pitches for. It’s the Nationals but really, you don’t need to know that. He’s not fantasy-relevant and you don’t want to keep track of this SN.
Reynaldo Lopez @ TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.
Hey it’s ReyLo! And he’s throwing decent fastballs with a decent slider and nothing else! I don’t think that’s enough for him to succeed. Me neither!
José Suarez @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 61 pitches.
Blegh. Suarez has the ability to be helpful, but you’re chasing a Toby, not rostering one and hoping for more. He gets the Yankees next and that’s not the play I’d make.
John Means vs ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.
It’s a PQS for Means and I guess that’s fine against Atlanta. He struggled to miss bats with his changeup (1/22 whiffs?!), though his curveball stepped up to earn strikes when needed. I think you’re okay starting him against the Rays, but I’m getting anxious waiting for it to click once again for him. At least he’s comfortably at 93 mph again.
David Price vs NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.
This just hasn’t gone the way we’ve wanted it to. That’s the Price of loyalty. Is it thought? I think most of you dropped him a week or two ago and in most cases, being loyal = a good thing. The cliff notes on Price is he’s sitting ~93 mph (not 94) and he doesn’t have a legit secondary pitch working for him. You’re better off chasing something else, especially with limited pitch counts in each game.
Alec Mills vs KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.
Awwwww. Mills has been a back-end Toby and a date with the Royals normally spells production. This one spelled Y. Y? Yes. W-H-Y. Oh. O? W-H-Y-O? Noooo, I was just acknowledging. Oh. I See. W-H-Y-O-I-C?! I’m so sorry to put you through this. It’s the ChiSox next so no need to hold, unless you want the Pirates after. That could work.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch Livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)