That’s My Gio Dude

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

(Photo by Tony Quinn/Iconsportswire)

Yesterday didn’t have one of those “stake in the ground” starts where we need to shift our perspective on a player, so I’m going to use this lead as a time to give appreciation to Gio Gonzalez who went 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks yesterday, lowering his ERA to 2.10 – 5th best in the majors among qualified starters. He doesn’t get a ton of love from me considering that he’s needed a 0.42 HR/9 and 83.8% LOB rate to get there (4.07 SIERA!), but a solid 23% strikeout rate and .292 BABIP make me think he can be a sturdy 3.50 ERA guy the rest of the way. I don’t like the 10%+ walk rate and he’s not inducing the elite soft contact of 2017, but that’s fine. If someone thinks that 2.10 ERA is real and will pay Top 25/30 SP for it, let him. Otherwise, hold contently as he should be a solid producer – not hinting elite – through the year.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. The month of May was a beautiful one for Archer, boasting a 2.33 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and…22.5% K rate and 8.6% walk rate. Yeah, I guess I’m okay with those K/BB numbers, not thrilled by them as I own Archer for the strikeout rates, but if that means his ERA and WHIP are low, then I’ll take it. I’m not sure I’m ready to really believe in Archer moving forward yet, though – he hung a ton of sliders in this one – but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Matt Boyd – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. We’ve talked about Boy quite a bit over the last few weeks and after needing over 100 pitches (just 7 whiffs, but 31 CSW) to claw through five frames, I’ll say it again. Boyd isn’t striking guys out (sub 20% K rate) and his 3.00 ERA is much closer to that 4.66 SIERA than you want it to be. Move on before it’s too late.

Trevor Cahill – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Atta boy Cahill! After looking a bit wonky in his first start back against the Sawx last week, he cruised through the Rays’ lineup with 8 frames in 97 pitches. The one downside here was just 9 whiffs and a heavy reliance of good BABIP to get there, but I’d feel confident rolling him out there for the foreseeable future. Let it ride, let it ride.

Marco Gonzales – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. I know, I know, it’s 19+ IP straight of shutout ball. Just Vargas Rule this. No, I don’t think he has the skillset to be a dope arm through the year. Just be quick to get off the wave when it crashes.

Mike Montgomery – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Montgomery started in place of Darvish and was limited to just 76 pitches as he hasn’t been stretched out yet. I can understand the add in NL-Only leagues, but he’s not worth even a quick glance at the sun in a 12-teamer.

Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace as deGrom came back out after being delayed following five innings and pushed it a little further. A Gallows Pole as well at 18 whiffs and I know, I know, you may be upset that he isn’t higher on The List. So many guys are studs right now, though, and instead of micromanaging the top 7, I’m electing to just let it be. Y’all get that they are dope, you don’t need me to say “oh but, this one had 7 IP this week, while Cole had 6.” Aces gonna ace and it’s a lateral move swapping em.

Max Fried – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Max sticks true to his name as starting him will make your ratios Fried. That’s the best you’ve got? I’m running late today, alright?

Chad Kuhl – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Reading this stat line is like hearing a distant call from the woods. A hint of something more that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be so lucky to encounter.

Caleb Smith – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Caleb was not the sharpest we’ve seen, yet he still allowed just one walk and pushed through seven frames. Please believe me when I tell you that you have to own Smith at his price right now ROS.

Justin Verlander – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This dude right here…he’s good.

Dylan Covey – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Don’t Covey thy Dylan.

Doug Fister – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This is as boring of a stat line as I’ve come to expect from Fister, which is also his ceiling. That’s a bad thing.

Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yes, I know that his 5.94 ERA is a bit skewed by the 22 ER in his first five starts of the year, but 11 in his last five isn’t so startling for me to say “you know what, this is worth it.” Four of his last five starts have been against the ChiSox, Cardinals, Tigers, and Royals as well…blegh.

David Price – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Price, I really wanted to see you demolish the Jays, but they were privy to your style and didn’t chase off the plate inside. You gotta hit those spots better to right-handers. That and please stop sitting waist high. Go up or down, but stop getting caught in the middle.

Vince Velasquez – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I will definitely take this from VV, though I have to give him a small Blame it on the Dodgers. It’s not the major one, but a tiny note of “yeah, they aren’t great, though.” 13 whiffs is still impressive and he closes May with a 2.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 31.9% K rate, and 10.6% BB rate in five starts. Don’t let that get to your head, but he is still that high risk/high reward play that could be a worthy gamble on a H2H weekend.

Alex Cobb – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Does Cobb feel good about this? I guess he does, but we all know that four whiffs in 101 pitches is a man searching for a moment alone to ask himself “did I really just get away with this?”

Domingo German – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This is surprisingly good from German as he had the tough task of dealing with the Astros. I should note that he was also pushed to 104 pitches, earned 16 whiffs (9 with his deuce), held a 32% CSW, allowed only a 3-run blast in the second. and was the victim of an error in the fourth that extended him slightly. The question has also been consistent command and with the 3 ER you may not believe it was there here. It was. It’s a risk to believe it will show up next time, but against the Orioles, I think he’ll be my streaming pick.

Jake Junis – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. A VVPQS with 7 Ks from Junis against the Twins is a bit disappointing. Slider is still dope, nothing else really is, and it’s holding me back from really loving the kid.

Brock Stewart – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. ESPN has Brock sticking in the rotation instead of Ross Stripling. I don’t understand it. Brock just isn’t the rock you or the Dodgers need. He doesn’t deserve a badge for these performances and Stripling has done his time in the gym to earn his spot.

Andrew Suarez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Finally, something decent out of Suarez. In Coors. Of course.

Brent Suter – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. 3 ER are bad, but hey it’s a 1.00 WHIP and 6 Ks and if you elected to roll Suter out there against the Cards, I can see that this could have helped. I think you’ll run into trouble Suter or later if you put extended faith in him, though. Yes, I’ll run that joke into the ground. THE GROUND.

PJ Conlon – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Conlon sounds like the adopted son of the Bluth family. Well, he won’t be adopted on my roster, I’ll tell ya that.

Luke Weaver – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This is easily the most disappointing outing of the night as Weaver’s Changeup was terrible. He also struggled to hit spots with his heater and the whole thing was a mess. I really liked what I saw in his last two starts, but I’m thinking now that Weaver is the worst Cardinal starter of the lot, behind Flaherty, Wacha, Reyes, CarMart, and Mikolas.

Chad Bettis – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. If you were following the Rocky Mountain Way, you may have started Bettis here. I had to go check, but the Giants are actually as middle-of-the-road as they get offensively this season according to wOBA, and moving forward, we want bottom tier in Coors, not #15 in the majors.

Matt Koch – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. We don’t have Koch. Pepsi is fine. More than fine.

Eric Lauer – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah, back to EL.O.L. And all is right in the world of baseball.

Brandon McCarthy – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I had a good run there for a moment, but McCarthy couldn’t handle the Mets and gave me a fresh L. Streaming Record: 31-18. I can’t be too upset though, with every misstep, McCarthy can feel the warm breath of Mike Soroka and Luiz Gohara down the back of his neck. Sorry for that image.

Adam Plutko – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Get out of here Plutko, like a chaperoning father, WE WANT BIEBER. Yes, I’d pick up Shane Bieber if I had room as he’s getting a start on Thursday. There’s no promise that he’ll get more than that, but we all know that Plutko is good only in competitions ranking last names that sound like The Price Is Right games.

Tyler Skaggs – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m impressed by 14 whiffs in 82 pitches and 8 on heaters and a grand slam in the third caused most of the damage, though it’s hard not to wonder if this is the beginning of Skaggs’ regression to a 3.80/3.90 ERA pitcher.

Homer Bailey – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. We’ve moved on from the 50/50 of The Prestige to the inevitable descent of The Machinist. It’s not the Homer Bale we need, but the one we deserve.

Aaron Sanchez – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. We are so far away. Yet so close… No, I’m pretty sure we’re really far away.

Today’s Streamer

Dan Straily vs. San Diego Padres – Am I petrified by the hard/soft contact splits? Definitely. But it is enough to deny a rolling Straily a start against the Padres? Probably not. Nick Tropeano against the Tigers is another option, and so is Jeremy Hellickson against the Orioles if you’re into those kinds of deals.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Eflin vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s this of Joe Musgrove against the Cubs, so I’ll go with the worse lineup. Don’t feel too good about this one.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Shane Bieber vs. Minnesota Twins – Why not, let’s have some fun.

Game of the Day

Nick Kingham vs. Jon Lester – He’s back and I’m hoping he pulls it off. Meanwhile, Lester is due for a bump in the road. I’ll also be watching Luis Castillo vs. Zack Godley for obvious reasons.

Nick Pollack

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

  • Avatar Jwiggs says:

    Gio has evolved into a Golem

  • Avatar Vinny says:

    I’ve been committed to weaver (dropped erod for him) but Cahill is surprisingly out there still. Would you drop weaver for him? Especially considering I won flaherty/reyes?

  • Avatar Kelly Leak says:

    Hi Nick, I have Godley, Manaea, Flaherty and could use a boost.
    On waiver wire is Heaney, Garr Richards, Caleb Smith, ERod, Cahill
    Any move(s) you would recommend?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      With that kind of wire, I think you’re safe dropping Manaea and Godley, and I’d grab Heaney and Smith. I’d love to own a lot of those pitchers, so I’d also consider dealing some of your other starters not mentioned here and filling the empty spots with Erod/Manaea/Godley.

  • Avatar larry womack says:

    Stream Manaea vs TB. I would have to drop either B. Crawford or J. Lowie to stream.

    In another league I’m going to need to drop a starter. Flaherty, Wood or Mengden

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Depends how badly you need the stream and how much Crawford helps your team.

      I’d like to wait for a good start from Manaea first before trusting him again if possible, though.

      Mengden is the odd one out there.

  • Avatar Andy says:

    It seems like you favor Caleb Smith over Cahill but Cahill has been doing better than Smith with a 60% GB rate. Is it an age thing or why do you think Smith is better?

  • Avatar Joe says:

    Hey Nick, I know you’re committed to the “No Koch, pepsi” bit, but I’m sorry to inform you that it seem Koch is actually pronounced “Cook”

  • Avatar Toska says:

    Can we talk about Cahill’s BABIP? You kinda glossed over it, but I think it needs to be brought up because he’s getting insanely lucky here. Right now, the only thing keeping Cahill from having the lowest soft contact and highest hard contact and pull rate is that he’s 6 innings short of being qualified.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Yep, that’s definitely a question mark. I also think that Cahill isn’t performing as well as he’s capable of just yet, though.

      Obviously I don’t expect 8 IP of shutout ball, but as his arsenal improves and the BABIP rises, I think the end result is still a Top 60 arm.

  • Avatar eric says:

    Nick, Can’t understand why you have Fulmer ranked so high. xFIP over 4, low BABIP.

  • Avatar Deepseed says:

    Who would you roster: Velasquez, Jon Gray, or Weaver?

  • Avatar Swfcdan says:

    Is that really a pokemon reference in the header?? Haha

    Marco G is starting to look fairly legit to me. Hardly walked anyone before last night, good enough K rate and gets a load of weak contact due to good command. Why aren’t you buying?

    The email notifications never work for me here btw, just wondered why as does it work for everyone else? Doesn’t end up in my junk either.

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