Here’s something I didn’t expect to see. After last night’s line of 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks, not only does Wade Miley hold an impressive 3.25 ERA and 1.14 WHIP this year, but he now has 17 Ks in his last two starts with 7+ in three of his last five. What. This is Miley, the man who held a 15% strikeout rate last season. Last night the man had a ridiculous 39/102 CSW, earning sixteen whiffs via 5/26 on changeups, 3/16 on curveballs, and even 6/33 on cutters. This is wild. He’s increased his changeup and curveball usage lately, though I’m not totally sold that the curveball is really the impetus here – just a 10% swinging-strike rate this year. However, his changeup is raising an eyebrow with a sudden 19% swinging-strike rate after just a ~13% clip in previous seasons. He featured the pitch 26%+ last night despite averaging under 15% for the season. There may be something there, I’m not truly buying into that, though add in the Win potential (five thus far!) and his solid ratios, any suggestion that Miley can be a ~22% strikeout arm is just icing on the cake. He’s apparently owned in just 30% of leagues so those that have questionable arms at the back of your staff, maybe consider making the swap for Miley with the Mariners now in his crosshairs.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Steven Brault – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Please don’t. Seriously. He hasn’t eclipsed six frames, his ERA is 5.87 on the year for a very good reason, his walk rate is chilling at 13%, and it’s nobody’s Brault but yours if you roster him.
James Paxton – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes I’m giving him that label after just four innings, removed as it was his first start back from the IL – not a DLH (yes DLH!) situation given his ability.
Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The dude had a perfecto going in the sixth frame, denying the laws of the DLH, featuring the cutter of old. Not the worst streaming option next week against the ChiSox, but I don’t want to put a whole lot of faith in Anibal again.
Griffin Canning – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Can we all be happy that we finally saw Canning go six frames? It may surprise you that he has a 3.06 ERA and 26% K rate thus far with a sub 1.00 WHIP, but there it is, even beating down a solid A’s squad last night. The only negative here is the 24/91 CSW is a bit meh, with just 4 whiffs on 41 sliders & curveballs. The deuce wasn’t really there and the slide piece had moments, but wasn’t as devastating as we’ve seen. Still, the four-seamer was up and effective and that’s so good to see.
Kyle Hendricks – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Hendricks faced the Astros and it didn’t matter as he cruised through eight frames. Now it’s a 3.09 ERA, 21% K rate, 6.67 IPS, and 1.11 WHIP. In other words, exactly what you wanted when you drafted him.
Pablo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. So we’re just going to start PabLo at home and every other start, right? Okay, cool. 21/89 CSW and just eight whiffs does little for me to believe in a big comeback coming – just 3/37 whiffs across changeups and curveballs. Womp womp.
John Means – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. This is why we still talk about Johnny Boy, but don’t get suckered in. He’s just a streaming and nothing more, sorry y’all. You just don’t know if his changeup can mask his weak fastball on a given night. Vargas Rule it if you like – 9 ER in his last five starts total – but I think you’re going to get burned pretty soon.
Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. NICK! IS THIS THE START?! Kinda? 36/102 CSW with decent fastballs and one of the better changeup days I’ve seen from Nola this year. Not totally there but he’s pulling himself out of the fourth tier of starters now. Much more than I can say about Thor.
Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This is fine, but I wanted more from Bummy against the Marlins. I’ve seen a lot of explanations about Bumgarner’s season thus far – “His fastball is back!” is a popular one – and honestly, it’s his cutter/fastball working well, though he’s performing a delicate dance as his curveball still ain’t what it used to be. It’s just those two offerings and if either aren’t there one night, he’s gonna have a bad time. That’s fine – it’s not a coin flip, after all – just don’t consider Bumgarner like a Top 20 arm or anything. I almost want to call him Spider-Man as the master Toby, but I think he’s separated himself from that label enough with his 24% strikeout rate.
Ryan Carpenter – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Just like the Carpenter of old, his ratios will rise again.
Liam Hendriks – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. This was an opening for Daniel Mengden whose 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks line ain’t so bad. I’m still far away from relying on him in 12-teamers, but I understand deep leagues considering Mengden. You could do worse.
Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s not your overwhelming, I-Just-Won-My-Week start, but it’s fine.
Genesis Cabrera – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I wanted to label him a Cup of Schmo, but when a lefty is sporting 97/98 with a decent hook and changeup and I can’t help but be a bit intrigued. He’s a bit too raw for me to roll out there with confidence, but this is a Cherry Bomb in the making if he gets more time in the rotation – the Cardinals can skip his spot next week. Not a pickup, just monitor it.
Anthony DeSclafani – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh, maybe I could call this a win if he got that extra out for a VPQS, but this just doesn’t help you at all. Streaming Record: 37-23. If Tony Disco can’t handle the Pirates, who can you trust him against?
Jeff Hoffman – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Cool to six strikeouts, but we’re oh-so-far away from rostering Hoffman. Just don’t.
Wade LeBlanc – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s cool Wade, there’s a reason you’re LeBlanc and not Perry or Aniston.
Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Alright, what do we have today. A VPQS is kinda a standard affair but…wait. 20 whiffs?! Ohhh, 116 pitches – 37/116 CSW for a 32% CSW rate – with a ton of changeups and sinkers. Ehhhhh, at least he had 6/11 CSW on sliders, and he’s putting four-seamers where I want him too…okay I’m a little encouraged. Better fastballs this time and I want to see more from his breakers, but this isn’t terrible. He wasn’t as lost as before. Give this one time, I’d be shocked if his second half isn’t the one of old.
Trent Thornton – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Thornton did well against the Padres and the Rays are a much stronger offense. This is why he’s so available in leagues and just use him as a strikeout upside streamer, nothing more.
Chris Paddack – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Paddack’s changeup was pretty blegh in this one, leading to mistake pitches that were sent out of the yard + his four-seamer was surprisingly jumped on as well despite not the worst locations. It’s too bad he didn’t get the Jays / Marlins instead across the last week, but so it goes. Keep on keepin’ on.
Robbie Ray – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. The Chocolate Box – you never know what you’re going to get from Ray – wasn’t the sweet man we hope to see often as he endured Coors. Honestly, Ray is the kind of arm that can survive Colorado if he’s on, but he wasn’t and, well, this is what we got. Womp womp. Keep starting him, he’ll help more than hurt.
Glenn Sparkman – 1.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. While Sparkman was as good of an opener as me with wine, Jorge Lopez was surprising after – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Those Ks are shocking and in no way am I putting stock in this, but I’ll celebrate this Birthday Party with you.
Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Buehler, no. He got the strikes he wanted from cutters – 17/20 – but his four-seamer wasn’t nearly as effective as we’ve seen it. Meanwhile, his slider is meh – 3/12 CSW – and curveball is still figuring it out, though 5/20 whiffs are fine. He’s getting there, I expect the four-seamer to be fine moving forward so don’t fret.
Reynaldo Lopez – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It was a wet rain. The man in front of me had seen better days, defeated wearing a tan trenchcoat turned brown by the last five minutes. His head turned up as he heard the clink of the quarter leaving my hand, turning over and over in the air. It fell back on my palm, disappearing under my clenched fingers after a moment of relaxation. “Well?” the man asked, anxiously. I tilted my head up to lock eyes with my old friend. “Not today.”
Shane Bieber – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. I know the Sawx are a strong offense, but seriously Bieber? Three longballs? I don’t want to call him a Cherry Bomb, but can you not? Cool, thanks. I wouldn’t change anything based on this outing.
Ryan Weber – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. A Weber getting grilled? YOU DON’T SAY.
Kevin Gausman – 1.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. You know how Gausman normally goes ultra arm-side with heat and splitters? Yeah, we didn’t get that today and it was terrible. Womp womp. I think we can brush this one off and move on.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Chase Anderson vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Pomeranz and Alcantara are facing off and that just seems so risky on both sides. But so is this. True, not as poor of a floor, though.
Tyler Mahle vs. Washington Nationals – It’s an easier matchup for Mahle who still has the upside to kill it on a given day.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Lance Lynn vs. Kansas City Royals – The strikeouts have been flowing and the Royals have been wildly susceptible to the way of the K.
Game of the Day
Joe Musgrove vs. Milwaukee Brewers – I’m curious if Musgrove can turn it around in major test against the Brewers.
(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)