The Scent Of The Strail

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

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

This isn’t going to be one of your leads where I tell you that Dan Straily is a guy you definitely want to add. Sorry, not even after his 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks last night do I think you can trust him in a 12-teamer. However, I will tell you that I’m intrigued. This was against the Braves and he earned a solid 13% whiff rate with some bad swings against his slider. He’s also not so removed from a 3.76 ERA/1.19 WHIP year in 2016 and now that he’s healthy and ready to go, it’s plausible that he provides deeper league value. That’s something to point out for a pitcher that is more forgotten than the 2008 Padres bullpen. 12-teamers, be aware that he’s sporting 6.8% soft contact and 56% hard in his four starts thus far, so there’s no need to put yourself in harms way just yet. Just keep a watchful eye and let’s see how this goes.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Brett Anderson – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Anderson left this game with a shoulder strain after one inning because water is wet, fire is lit, earth is terrible tasting, and air doesn’t really exist.

Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just keep bunting and everything will be fine. Enjoy your Gallows Pole with 21 whiffs as his changeup held a near 50% whiff rate + a marvelous 38 CSW across 100 pitches.

Kyle Freeland – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Freeland pitched on the road against the Giants, which meant you should be rolling with him. I need a new blanket Colorado blurb as it applies to all of them: start on the road against average teams, bench at home against average or better. It legit applies to all of them save for Gray who gets a little extra wiggle room.

Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. This looked rough early and those four walks are incredibly annoying, but that’s still 6 Ks and a low ERA and you better like it.

Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. You don’t need me to point out his 2.52 ERA that’s a full two points lower than his 4.52 SIERA, or his .254 BABIP that comes with just 15.0% soft contact. Or a sub 8.00 K/9 and 3.78 BB/9. Are you telling me that I should be selling Les– YES YOU SHOULD BE SELLING.

Charlie Morton – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just stay healthy, PLEASE.

Brent Suter – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This is a Birthday party for Suter, though I will mention that I was rooting a little for the other end as I want Peralta to have a clear spot in the rotation. That might come from Woodruff, but a struggling Suter may not get the acceptance he wants.

Jake Arrieta – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. This was a stupid night of rain and bad luck and an evening you want to forget like the time you got roped into going to your friend’s, no acquaintance’s dance performance that somehow lasted five hours. I’m still selling on Arrieta, but you’re probably best waiting for another start first.

Jake Junis – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Junis did this against the Yankees and it’s a bit frustrating. You just don’t know when his slider will show up – near 20% whiff rate in this one – while he did get a bit lucky to escape with 2 ER and didn’t give the strikeout production you’d hope for. I’m not ready to jump back on the Junis bandwagon and I think this outing will lead to frustrated owners who expect more of the same moving forward.

Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Ivan went Super Nova in this one, giving you everything you hoped for. Yes, 4 Ks is all you could hope for, if you wanted more, you’re doing it wrong.

Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Sure, a 3.00 ERA is fine, but a 1.50 WHIP and just 2 Ks – only 8 whiffs total! – ain’t gonna work. I like Ross, I think he’s capable of a being a solid #5 through the year, but we’re going to get starts like these mixed with the 7-8 K games. It’s bound to happen when he’s as two-pitch as they come.

CC Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhhh, you wanted a little better against the Royals and maybe even a cheap Win, and that 1.60 WHIP isn’t cool, but a 3.60 ERA and 5 Ks are digestible. Keep playing the matchups and this will all be okay.

Blake Snell – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. This came with 30% breaking balls, which I guess is the real threshold for Snell, not the 35% I’ve been shouting. Keep in mind, it was around 20% before and while I know there is a lot more in play than just curveball + slider usage, seeing him favor them over his changeup is a bit thing to me. 35% CSW (40 over 114) works and Snell is someone you definitely want to own. I think there’s still some hesitancy to label Snell as a Top 20 starter in leagues, but I feel totally comfortable doing it. Take advantage of that.

Michael Wacha – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Fun fact: Wacha has a 2.06 ERA, 22.5% K rate (11% whiff), 7.8% BB rate, and 1.17 WHIP over his last six starts. A 0.26 HR/9 is a huge reason for the low ERA (3.95 SIERA) and he hasn’t faced the toughest teams (CIN, NYM, CHW, CHC, @SDP, PHI, but there is something to be said about his cutter and changeup figuring it out over these outings. I’m not so on board, but I’d be running with this until he gives me a reason not to.

Matt Wisler – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Sean Newcomb was scratched last minute as the Braves wanted to give him an extra day of rest, so Atlanta gave a Wisler and Matt showed up for this one. I’m calling it a Cup of Schmo only because Luiz Gohara has officially been placed in the rotation – if you’re confused after all that’s been said this week, I know, I am too. Forget about Wisler, grab Gohara if you can and while I don’t expect great things right away (he will most likely be limited early), I think he can smooth out to be a possible Top 50 starter from the middle of June onward.

Mike Clevinger – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. This was a bit unfortunate for Clevinger who got Singled Out + was handed a Careful Icarus after allowing 2 ER in the seventh, while getting pushed to 106 pitches. This was the Astros as well and you have to feel good starting Clev against whomever.

Alex Cobb – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. You may remember that I was a little excited about Cobb’s recent favor of his splitter, so it may not surprise you that he threw 9 here with 0 called strikes and 0 whiffs. That’s bad and he should feel bad. So much for that hope.

Marco Estrada – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Okay this definitely a step in the right direction for Estrada, who earned 9 whiffs on 42 changeups. There’s still work to be done with his heater but I’m encouraged. I still kinda have faith in second half Estrada if you can believe it.

Michael Fulmer – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. 14 whiffs here from Fulmer, 10 via the heater and four with his slider. I’ve been telling you the Ks are coming and guess what? He has a 28%+ K rate in his last five starts. That’s. What’s. Up.

Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Prince Felix with the VPQS and it says a lot that I’m happy with that.

Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The Dutch Invasion continues. I got a raven sent to me asking for supplies, so I sent them glue and popsicle sticks. It’s all I got!

Matt Moore – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh right, the Rangers are in such a sad state that they are still allowing Moore to pitch.

Drew Pomeranz – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Are we sold on calling him Mop? Because we have to clean up after him and that’s a little backward. But seriously, there’s no reason to keep rolling with this if he can’t handle the Orioles.

Nick Tropeano – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. The Trop not in Trop against TB was not dope. I still think there’s a future here, but let’s add another L to the record. Streaming Record: 23-15.

Kyle Gibson – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Bleeeggghh. The strikeout upside is still there, but this is a kind reminder that Gibson still has a shaky floor. I still wanna roll with him against the Tigers + Royals, but let’s be aware.

Homer Bailey – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Remember when I said Homer Bale was a coin flip? Those flips are now being held by his teammate, Harvey. Harvey Dent.

Carson Fulmer – 2.0 IP, 8 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Don’t start Carson daily. Or Carson Fulmer either.

Today’s Streamer

Andrew Heaney vs. Tampa Bay Rays – He’s still owned in just 17% of leagues and that’s wonderful for you. I’d go with Freddy Peralta or Nick Kingham as well, but they’re more owned, if you can believe it.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Daniel Mengden vs. Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays aren’t scary and Mengden just ran through the Sawx and Astros.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s on the road against an average offense. These are the rules for Colorado pitchers.

Game of the Day

Fernando Romero vs. Freddy Peralta – Today has so many great games to watch, but this is absolutely perfect. Two pitchers I want to see more of squaring off. The battle of the Spice Girls.

Nick Pollack

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

12 responses to “The Scent Of The Strail”

  1. Zam says:

    Hey nick, you starting either Kingham or F. Peralta today in a 15 teamer?

  2. Saint says:

    I like what you said above, however being a Godley owner and AZ resident I see quite a bit of live Dbacks action and I’m concerned about his performance so far this year. 4-1-4-3-3-1-6 are the amount of walks he’s issued in his last 7 starts. Local announcers were commenting at how far his misses are from the zone and I feel hitters have adjusted their approaches as how to attack him. Based on your analysis, what are your thoughts on him moving forward?

  3. VottomanEmpire says:

    Technically this comment would’ve been more appopriate on yesterday’s post, after your blurb on the Caleb Smith Experience, but… I’m kinda with you in terms of owning him for overall package of production. With the combo of 7 IP, 0-2 ER, 9K starts and the intermittent 4 IP, 4 ER stinkers, it kind of reminds me of owning Danny Salazar the past few years, and people were salivating to do that every year. How does that comp feel to you?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Yep, that’s a bit of the feeling, though I think Smith is more capable than Salazar to hold a solid IPS through the year.

  4. ESB says:

    Happy Saturday Nick! Quick question if you’d be so kind…Which 3 SP’s would you prefer to roster ROS in a 5×5 QS 10 team league: E-Rod, Pivetta, Flaherty, or Weaver(who’s had 2 strong starts in a row now)? I’m thinking Flaherty is the odd man out if Reyes claims a rotation spot, but I defer to your wisdom on such things.

    Also better DL stash Reyes or Britton, I could use the closer if he comes back and regains the gig, but Reyes recent Rehab starts have been impressive.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      In a 10-teamer, I go with Flaherty over Weaver as if he gets bounced, there should be serviceable options on the wire that won’t be far off from Weaver.

      Reyes is the better stash.

  5. Ionescorhino says:

    I’m in 1st place with this SP staff. How bad is it? Do I need some Tobys to stabilize? Price, Manaea, Castillo, Mikolas, Junis, Kingham, Gohara, Peralta, Heaney, German with JorMont and Nelson on DL and Kopech in NA slot.

  6. Chill_Walton says:

    Hey Nick I think your streaming record might be off haha. The streaming record has been at 23-15 in the last three SP roundups

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