Stuck In A Nickle
I feel really weird saying that I have zero shares of Nick Pivetta this season, avoiding him during drafts during the middle grouping of starters as I was worried about his fastball command. My fears have been realized through the season thus far, hitting a major wall in tonight’s ghastly 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Nationals. It’s supposed to be heaters up, breakers low, and Pivetta, well, he often couldn’t put fastballs where he wanted to and it burned him. Meanwhile, his curveball was a far cry from what it should be – just 4/25 CSW is atrocious for his go-to pitch! – and you’re beginning to wonder if you should even own Pivetta. I’ll say this, the man is a Cherry Bomb who we think could rid himself of the label this year. It could be a TIARA sort of deal where he fixes it next time out and everything is bliss, or we could be dealing with this all year. It’s painful, a headache, and I am completely fine moving on from him…if there is something strong on the wire. McHugh, Musgrove, etc., those kinds of names. I’d rather hold onto Pivetta if you’re talking about riskier Spice Girls like PabLo or Turnbull, and it’s up to you to determine if the wire is thick enough to swap him for Caleb or Woodruff or Burnes. It’s not a pretty situation, but we have to come to terms with Pivetta’s wonky consistency. He just isn’t showing us the money.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Tyler Glasnow – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Man, Glasnow was stupid good today. I made a supercut of his filthiest pitches and he overmatched the ChiSox through all six frames. I’m not sure I buy that this fastball (with cut action!) will be this well commanded moving forward, but holy Batman, that deuce was wicked. I’ve seen his deuce before, but I’m not sure I’ve seen it like that. 40% CSW for the game and every bit deserved. I still think you may want to sell high here – just two pitches and I’m skeptical that his heater will find the zone this often…often – but if you don’t get a solid offer, riding this out could be a ton of fun.
Jeremy Hellickson – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Guys, you know the drill. Hellickson is The Devil, it’s right there in his name. He’ll burn down your village if you invite him in.
Felix Pena – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s stupid boring and mediocre and gives little reason to believe Pena is your man as a streamer moving forward.
Trevor Richards – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. We all know Richards’ changeup is his best pitch. So why not throw 48 of them across 108 pitches? It helped him earn a Gallows Pole with 21 whiffs on the impressive, which I’m surprised were pretty even between heat and slow ball. 38/108 CSW overall and surviving HR-Haven Cincy is helping his case for distancing himself from Jeremy Hellickson. But Nick! They had an almost identical line! Well…that’s actually kinda entertaining. I am entertained. Hellickson isn’t leaning into his changeup as much, though, and Richards is flat out dominating with the pitch. I’d pick him up if he’s still out there.
Matt Boyd – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Are you a Boyd Boy? I am, for the most part. I didn’t think he was as sharp in this start against the Tribe, though this was the third straight average or worse offense he’s faced. That said, Boyd has a wonderful schedule ahead and I see no reason not to want him for the next month and change at the very least. There are some signs of regression here, but it shouldn’t be too harsh if he hits it.
Jack Flaherty – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Among all the confusion and poor performances from great pitchers, there’s comfort in Flaherty getting the job done for the second outing in a row. The strikeouts were there, though 31 foul balls on 99 pitches is a bit more hittable than I’d like from Flaherty. The Knuckle-curve missed a ton as well and it wasn’t one of those “wow, I love owning Flaherty” starts as you pump your fist at his dominance. It just went by and you realized, “oh hey, he’s kinda killing it.” Kinda.
Jordan Lyles – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. I’ll take unexpected starts for $400, Alex. This action caused friends to steal coins and stars from each other. What is reading the Mario party mini-game tutorial and not finishing in time before another player hits the button? Daily Doubles aside (was there one hit in this game?), Lyles isn’t this good. He isn’t even good. But hey, Bauer and Thor struggle, so baseball is weird. WHY IS IT SO WEIRD THIS YEAR.
Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. There was a moment I believed that Lynn won the Gallows Pole here, but thankfully Trevor stepped up his game. Still, 18 whiffs on 111 pitches is ridiculous for Lynn, with 16 coming via heaters. Does this mean– No. Definitely not. No way. DON’T.
Tyler Mahle – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. So the new curveball isn’t really anything, but at least Mahle kept heat up and sliders down, helping him return a solid line. It’s cool n all, but not something I can buy on a given night.
Nick Margevicius – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Another shocking line from Margevicius – did you think today’s headline was about him? – and I think you’re going to be awfully disappointed if you chase this. I tweeted out a collection of outs earned by Margevicius today, on pitches that should have been crushed, or were and found gloves. His .167 BABIP and 93%+ LOB rates suggest plenty worse days ahead, especially when throwing 88 mph and needing to face the Giants to get a taste of strikeouts. This won’t end well. Feel free to Vargas Rule if you must.
Robbie Ray – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. So get this. Ray had 38/95 CSW with 27 called strikes. In a surprising turn of events, Ray nibbled super well, even handing over his slider to the deuce for 36 curveballs in total. I’m not sure how confident I am in that labeling – they are only 2 mph apart and some were probably mislabeled – but the breaker was incredibly placed through this outing. This could be the start of a patented Ray hot streak, so hold onto yer Betts.
Collin McHugh – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. That’s a 33% K rate and 2.65 ERA through 17 frames now for McHugh and it shouldn’t be overlooked. Get him if he’s available and ride this until he gives you a good reason not to. That slider is working oh-so-well these days.
Dereck Rodriguez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s still a low strikeout rate, but he’s walking few and is a true Toby. He’s been more of a D-Rop lately and at least this start brings him back into the fray. The Freys? Why bring them up? I HATE THEM. We all do…We all do.
Yu Darvish – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. A pair of HRs were the major story here as I think Darvish took a mini-step forward here against the Pirates. He only needed 77 pitches and wasn’t quite there yet, but small steps. Zero walks and not as ridiculously wild, now he just needs that last layer of polish. Still a great buy low, especially since he should be even lower now. Nick, please, give it up already. Is that what you want? Me to be dishonest and just give in to a three-start sample to begin the year, ignoring everything else? Lots of pitchers are going to have these stretches through the year. Darvish will come out of it as will the majority of those slumps you’ll see. Take advantage of it.
Heath Fillmyer – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh how I never wanted to be a Fill-Myer Weiner.
Yusei Kikuchi – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I want a little more from Kikuchi, but that 1.00 WHIP is lovely so fine.
Frankie Montas – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. A Quality Start with a sub 1.00 WHIP? Yeah I think this counts as a win as a streamer. Streaming Record: 8-5. Those hoping for a big push in whiffs with his new splitter, Montas earned just six in this start. So…yeah.
Trevor Bauer – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Oh great, we’re still carrying over from yesterday’s “Aces Wild” roundup. I’M SO HAPPY CAN’T YOU SEE HOW HAPPY I AM. This hurts the week.
Noah Syndergaard – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I know it’s still a phenomenal WHIP and 7 Ks, but like guys, this has been two wild and crazy weeks.
Brandon Woodruff – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Woodruff had himself a poor third inning, allowing a HBP on a deuce that slipped out of his hand, a walk, and a couple base-knocks that returned 4 ER. All of the damage came in that sole frame, as he looked pretty dominant otherwise. I’m still in here and I’d start him next time against the Cards.
Kenta Maeda – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I was really excited when I grasped that Maeda would be pitching out of the rotation to begin the year, and we’ve been served a 4.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across three starts. Hey, that’s, like, the opposite of what we wanted! We Kenta catch a break! He still had a wonderful 31/82 CSW (38%!) and he tossed nearly 50% sliders, going to near Tanaka approach with just 18% heaters. I think this can work, he just needs a touch of polish and avoid the hangers a little more.
James Paxton – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. You’re going to want to panic about Paxton. He did poorly against the Orioles twice and even against the tougher Astros matchup, you’re still going to panic. I’m here to tell you to buy low on Pax. I know the numbers don’t look great in his favor (just 20/91 CSW tonight = blegh) but give it time. It’s a new ballclub and a new experience for the tall left-hander, get him while owners are nervous and smile before April ends as we hand him a lovely TIARA.
Dan Straily – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Straily doing what Straily does. And what’s that? Making people question why he’s still in the majors. You know, the usual.
Reynaldo Lopez – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I guess I have to label ReyLo as a Young Gun for yet another season. Please figure out your secondary stuff sometime soon. Next week would be great, k thx.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Spencer Turnbull vs. Cleveland Indians – He has a solid ceiling and the Indians have a wonderful floor.
Michael Pineda vs. Detroit Tigers – Still at just 18% owned, Pineda deserves to be owned in your 12-teamer, especially against the Tigers.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Merrill Kelly vs. San Diego Padres – I could also go with Caleb Smith, but he faces the Phils in a harder matchup, making Kelly the safer play. Those that are searching for strikeouts should favor Smith, though.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)