This one won’t be long and is only to make sure that those worried about Gerrit Cole don’t do anything silly. The likely ace of your staff had a disappointing 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks outing against the White Sox, inflating his ERA well north of 4.00 and frustrating those that looked to him to preserve their ratios. Well, it’s still a 1.08 WHIP on the year and a 38% strikeout rate…and a 2.58 SIERA because that 21% HR/FB isn’t going to last (1.51 HR/9? It wasn’t even close to that high during his “HR problem” year in Pittsburgh!), while the 67% LOB rate will fall as well. Not to mention, his near 16% overall swinging-strike rate is among the best in the majors and really, this is a buy low situation. I’m not talking about his repertoire since I don’t see anything outside of a few mistake pitches (like yesterday’s hung slider to Eloy) that is swaying everything in this small sample. Just blindly start him and buy him if someone is selling him on the relatively cheap.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Jesse Chavez – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Chavez opened for Adrian Sampson, who I guess grew back his hair for a 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks line. This is not going to last a bowl of my famous guac. There’s just never enough.
Frankie Montas – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. It’s wild to see Montas climb the swinging-strike ladder, boasting his best mark of the year yesterday at 17%, raising his season-long swinging-strike clip to 12%. Yes, the Indians are far from the best test of an offense, but he’s taken advantage of every poor team, and has yet to allow more than 3 ER in a single start. With his strong heater and a pair of secondary pitches that are working with his slider and splitter, I’m buying here. His sub 3.00 ERA won’t last (the split will disappear through the year, they always do), he’s still a solid #3/4.
Jeff Samardzija – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Well this is weird since Samardzija had six unearned runs to his name in a wild second frame. I really wouldn’t put much stock in the whiffs and while this was his far-and-away best outing (which is weird considering the six runs on the board), it’s still not enough for me to consider a pickup.
Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 40/109 CSW with a Gallows Pole at 24 whiffs and all this talk of ousting the #1 SP has been silenced.
Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Marlins? STAY AWAY. Nationals? No problem. Yep, makes total sense.
Marco Gonzales – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I took away his Spider-Man label and now he performs exactly like the best Toby. He doesn’t get it back so easily, but this is good to see.
Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It was three meh starts that made owners a bit restless and now you see where Hill gets his strong numbers from in two starts of 1 ER and 17 Ks total. That’s what’s up. As long as he’s starting, you’ll be happy.
Eric Lauer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Even with this marvelous start, Lauer has a 7.2% swinging strike rate, keeping a sub 20% K rate and 4.73 ERA. But fine, back-to-back 1 ER games with 2 ER or fewer in five of his last six and just a start in Coors to set him back. Don’t care, this is a trap save for deep streaming.
Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. The Thief now has 5 ER total in four of his last five games, here taking advantage of a poor Jays offense. He’s fine, really a Toby at heart for a winning team and that’s cool. I can see owners letting him go in 12-teamers if it’s a shallow waiver wire, but for the most part, he’ll be owned through the year.
Max Fried – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Slider usage is falling back down with his first start under 10% thrown, but it didn’t matter as the Giants are the Giants. Soroka gets the attention, but Fried’s 2.88 ERA and 1.12 WHIP is more than appreciated and I don’t think he’s worse than a 3.50 ERA arm, while he will likely get more frames than Soroka over the year. Don’t sell since I don’t anticipate that you’ll get enough back.
Brad Keller – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Finally, a start from Keller that isn’t 4+ ER. It’s been a rough year and this start isn’t a suggestion that he’s out of the woods. BK, it’s not what you crave.
Daniel Norris – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Nice rebound from his 6 ER clunker last time, especially with his hardest heater of the season at 91.7 mph – we saw a lot of 90 and 89 mph earlier in the year. Maybe there’s something to that, with his changeup usage peaking above 16%. That slow ball is a very inconsistent pitch, but its 16% swinging-strike rate could suggest a shift for Norris in the right direction. Improved velocity and a change in approach that worked? I’m listening. Not doing anything now, but I’m listening.
Aaron Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Good to see Sanchez on the hill after getting more blister problems last start and 15%+ whiffs ain’t so bad! He had his highest First Pitch Strike (F-Strike) rate of the year as well at 68% and good for him, especially against a strong Sawx team. The man is the poster child for Feral Command, though, which means we have no idea if this will stick or not. We’ll see.
Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That 1.50 WHIP is meh, but we’ll take the rest without a doubt. Streaming Record: 33-19. Please throw him back into the free agent pool now, because if you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Montana DuRapau – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I get irrationally upset when a pitcher with a fantastic name struggles. I just want him to become a household name, you know? IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?!
Jon Gray – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. You never really know what to do with Gray, but if you couldn’t start him in Pittsburgh, you didn’t deserve to own him. Let’s be happy we have this and worry next week about the headache of hosting the Snakes in Coors.
Cole Hamels – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Bleeegh. He’s supposed to be the new Spider-Man and I guess you have to have some bad with the good to truly earn the title, right? DOn’t overthink it and keep rolling him out there.
Ivan Nova – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It takes a long time for us to witness a Super Nova. He’s like the Cherry Bomb of stars.
Adam Wainwright – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Here’s a fun fact that isn’t actually fun but whatever: Wainwright has fanned exactly two batters in three of his last four starts. SO FUN. It’s going to be a wild ride in the Cardinals rotation in June as guys will get hurt or demoted and we’ll see a lot of shifting around, Waino included.
Luis Castillo – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Wait, no. Casty needed 75 pitches to get through just eight outs and everything is stupid again. Well obviously not – it’s just a bad day – but last year was traumatic, okay?
Merrill Kelly – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Ahhhh yes, there’s the Kelly that I still can’t believe I avoided last week as a I streamed him. It’s been one of those crazy streaming runs (I think it’s 14-3 in the last 17 picks?). Back to Kelly, which is super on point as we turned around and walked away a long time ago.
Jefry Rodriguez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Is it bad that I see Jefry’s name and I just think of that character from Rocko’s Modern Life? His line is just as bloated, too.
CC Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. The strikeouts are surprising, the ratios were unexpected against the Orioles, and the news was sad as he was placed on the IL for a “barking” knee. I’m not sure who the Yanks will find to make these starts – James Paxton will return soon, but there’s currently two open spots for now – but no one you should be running to the wire for.
Homer Bailey – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ah yes, the Homer Bale we all know and hate.
Zach Davies – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. The man was a TEEs and he raised his ERA nearly a full tick to…2.43 in this one. So he’s still a TEEs (4.93 SIERA!) as his strikeout rate sits at just 16.7% with a 7.6% swinging strike rate. That’s to make sure y’all don’t think it was just “one start”. THE WALL HAS BEEN HIT.
Dan Straily – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Well, yeah, it’s Straily.
Michael Wacha – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It was a doubleheader for the Cards and Wacha got an extra day of rest that clearly helped. I wouldn’t be touching Wacha for a while as I need to see something encouraging over a stretch to be convinced he’s worth a start.
Cole Irvin – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s what happens when a Cup of Schmo faces a strong offense. I hope you didn’t have to see this.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Tyler Mahle vs. Chicago Cubs – I’m actually not in love with this matchup for Mahle, though he’s far-and-away the best pitcher under 20% available and the other matchups are not good in their own rights.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)