It feels like we’ve been waiting an extra long time for us to be excited about Blake Snell again, but I think that time has come after going 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 38% CSW against the Blue Jays. Sure, it was a Philly, but the main number is 101 – the number of pitches across the full start. He’s fully stretched out, earning whiffs, locating breakers for strikes, and following his own BSB well.
This isn’t a long blurb, it’s more to recognize that this is the Snell you’re looking for. He had over 30% CSW on all four of his pitches, threw 2x more breakers than changeups, and deserved the fan nine. I wouldn’t be shocked if we got one of those 7.0 IP, 0 ER starts next time out as he’s in his groove and able to go as long as he can.
So yeah, I don’t normally lead with AGA guys, but I just wanted to make sure y’all recognized. Snell is back.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Pablo Lopez @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW. PabLo can’t be stopped! Well, his defense certainly tried to slow him down with a rough frame that began with a pair of blunders, forcing Lopez to earn five outs and build his pitch count. His changeup didn’t earn the whiffs we want to see – 3/24 here – as it rarely fell below the zone, but I adore his confidence to feature the pitch aggressively to right-handers and I expect it to be a 20%+ SwStr pitch through the year. His four-seamer command was solid here as well and yeah, we’re still on the PabLo train. So cool.
Jack Flaherty vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW. The good news is that he lasted five innings. The bad news is that he’s still at just 64 pitches. So I can’t give him the AGA label until he’s comfortably above 80 pitches, which we may not see until two starts ahead. Here’s to hoping he lasts at least five innings while on a limited pitch count again over the weekend.
Kenta Maeda @ CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW. Aces gonna ace and earn a King Cole. While he was pulled maybe a little too quickly at 83 pitches, I understand given he was a bit over-exerted last week as he had a no-hit bid into the ninth. This was more of the same Maeda dominance and to see 20% fastballs is just…so lovely. Maeda vs. Civale was a dream evening of secondaries getting the respect they deserve. I’m sorry, did I say secondaries? I meant primaries as their heaters are their #3 options. Mmmmmmmm.
Taylor Clarke vs COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Clarke had to step in as Merrill Kelly was a late scratch with a shoulder issue. Bummer. I don’t think Clarke is polished enough to consider much, but hey, well done kid, especially on such short notice.
Lance Lynn vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Lynn just wills it every time, it’s remarkable. He allowed a pair of ER early and just pounded his way through another four frames of shutout ball to go 105 pitches and get you that QS. What. A. Champ.
Ryan Castellani @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Ryan, Cast away in Arizona, he thrives. Put him back to Coors, he dives. Keep that in mind.
Brett Anderson vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Sure Brett, of course you have a Birthday Party against the solid Reds lineup. Totally what I expected. That’s a 3.52 ERA for the year, but don’t let that make you trust Anderson more than a rare stream.
Alec Mills @ DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Mills, I just don’t know what to do with you. You’re turning into a Cherry Bomb instead of the Toby we thought we were getting. Sure, Blame it on the Tigers n all, I guess we should put Mills back on the menu as a possible streamer and ignore that implosion last week.
Jesus Luzardo @ TEX (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW. I’m on the fence of the AGA label with Luzardo as he hasn’t really done this for a while, but his ability to go deep (96 pitches) and strong changeup + slider allow you to expect greatness each time. So yeah, Aces Gonna Ace. Welcome, Luzardo. I just wish you threw four-seamers instead of sinkers, but hey, you can’t have it all.
Aaron Civale vs MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Aces gonna ace, even if it comes with a PQS. His curveball was unreal with 42% CSW at 1/3 usage and I’m still wondering how Nelson Cruz hit a well spotted back-door sinker into the bleachers. Regardless, Civale is absolutely cruising right now and if this weren’t the Twins, you’d be virtually hugging Civale like that Curious George you had growing up. I know, I had one too.
Tanner Roark @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Roark pitched and the Rays were like “HEAR ME ROOAAAAARk” and Tanner was all like “I’m not a Katy Perry fan” and it was weird. You know what’s also weird? Rostering Roark. Like why.
Casey Mize vs CHC (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW. The cutter is still a golden boi (33% CSW) but the main problem was his splitter – just 20% CSW (2/20 whiffs) despite being thrown as his main secondary pitch. That just isn’t going to cut it. Splitters, man, they just aren’t as consistent as you want them to be. I think his fastball command was a little better than the last start, though, and I wouldn’t let this line discourage me from rolling with him moving forward. Just going fastball/cutter should be good enough and now that’s he’s hinting 80 pitches, he can likely push 85+ next time out against…the Twins. Well fine, sit that one out, then jump back in.
Framber Valdez vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW. There’s been a lot of discussion about Valdez and my rankings of him, etc. 11 strikeouts are no joke and it’s a product of a curveball that was dope last night – 55% CSW as Angels batters just couldn’t do much with it. His sinker was better commanded here too as it hugged arm-side all night, I still have my concerns about the pitch long term and I don’t think that curveball can be this good often. I am probably still not giving him enough credit on The List given how barren the landscape is, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a long-term trap. Vargas Rule all the way and if his sinker continues with this command, I’ll warm up. There isn’t anything else in that repertoire, though.
Trevor Bauer @ MIL (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Aces gonna earn a Gallows Pole as we reflect on 2019. I didn’t want to remove the Cherry Bomb label from him during the making of The List yesterday, wondering if he had a blow up still in him and here that one start is, allowing two longballs for three of his four ER in start number five. Whoa, are you the count? Ah. Ah. Ah…chu I don’t see anyone still hesitating with Bauer, of course, but I can’t remove that CB label, can I.
Brad Keller @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW. Uggggh Keller, no! Streaming Record: 16-16. Apparently I skipped a Win on August 16th, so hey, we’re still at .500. His fastball is still struggling while his new breaker wasn’t nearly as good as it was before. Blegh. Now he gets the White Sox? Yeah, I guess I’m sitting this out. I think this should give you perspective that the # ranks on the List are out of whack right now. The 50s are the 70s, the 30s are the 50s, etc. This landscape is rough.
Patrick Sandoval @ HOU (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW. The Irish Panda lasted just 64 pitches here, returning a HAISTFMFWT?! as you didn’t actually start him against the Astros. I still have a soft spot for him and wonder if he’ll be unlocked one day as I guess I’ll call him a Young Gun. I wouldn’t even stream him now.
Austin Voth vs MIA (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW. You know the drill, until Voth gets the whiffs we want on secondary stuff, we’re out. It was 6/33 and I want more. MOAR. And, you know, having a line better than this against the Marlins would also help a lot.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Adam Wainwright vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s earned a Toby label and gets a solid matchup here. Okay, I didn’t realize that Waino is owned in 63% of leagues. WHY. So fine, it’s Alex Young against the Colorado Rockies as he’s hosting Rockie Road. It’s the clear stream to me.
Dakota Hudson vs. Kansas City Royals – Hudson’s breakers are looking better this year + the Royals ain’t great.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Chad Kuhl vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Kim and Freeland are both over the 20% threshold (Freeland is over 60%?!) so I’m going Kuhl here and hoping his sinker gets by as he earns whiffs with that deadly slider.
Game of the Day
Shane Bieber vs. Rich Hill – I hope Shane is still dope against the mighty Twins + Can Hill throw harder than 88 mph and survive past three innings? Oh, and there’s a chance Ian Anderson pitches against Gerrit Cole so that would be all kinds of fun.
(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)