Tough Jake

I really dislike leading with a pitcher in back-to-back starts, but Jacob deGrom has given me no choice after going 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks against the Rangers...

I really dislike leading with a pitcher in back-to-back starts, but Jacob deGrom has given me no choice after going 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks against the Rangers last night. That brings his ERA to a bloated 4.75 mark, WHIP to 1.44, and heartbreaks into the thousands. So what on earth is going on with him? On one hand, he’s getting whiffs like a stud, especially on his Four-Seamer, which is sitting at a 16% whiff rate. That’s crazy good and makes me think he get over this hump. On the other, he’s just not commanding his Slider like he has in the past, while his Changeup and Fastball are getting crushed for longballs often. We’re talking 20.0% HR/FB rate across the board here. It looks to me like deGrom just isn’t as consistent as we’ve seen in the past. I’ve touted him as the Ultra Finesse arm as he pitches like a guy with a 91mph heater but actually throws in the mid 90s, making him a stud. These days he’s lost the polish – 37.6% hard contact, 39.2% pull rate up from 32.2% last year – but has the substance. This is without mentioning his 9.6% walk rate that’s risen from 5.1% and 6.0% in the past two years, which speaks more to the overall command not on point. Is this due to a hidden injury? It’s possible, but considering his velocity is at its highest he’s ever been (95.0mph compared to 93.4mph last year), I wouldn’t believe that. Do we buy low? Sell? Hold? I think you Buy and Hold. I’d imagine his price won’t get much lower than this (okay, maybe if he falters one more time) and I trust him rebounding and dominating more than guys like Justin Verlander, Masahiro Tanakaand Rick PorcellodeGrom has been a command pitcher for ages and I have faith he can make the adjustment to get back on his feet again while retaining the whiff rates.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He recently got the #2 spot over Sale and there isn’t much of a question that it was the right call.

Aaron Nola – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. After allowing his lone ER just three batters into the game, I could hear the anger of fans everywhere who trusted me. Well, I hope you feel better 7.2 innings later. We obviously want to see this a few starts in a row before I win your confidence over, but I have faith we’ll get more starts like these than the 4/5 ER outings. Stay strong.

Robbie Ray – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Dude is flat out killing it and don’t sell quite yet. I expect a second half drop-off for Ray as he faces tougher opponents (beginning at the start of July), but for now you should enjoy the smooth schedule. I’d probably deal him mid June so the buyer doesn’t have hesitation about strength of schedule as Ray gets the Phillies to round out the month. Losing one solid start will be a worthy sacrifice for the booty you get back.

Tim Adleman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Don’t do it guys. Adleman really isn’t this good. A 4.42 ERA even with a .257 BABIP.

Chase Anderson – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I like that Anderson had just on walk here, though I have to note this was against the Giants. Still, that’s three straight shutout games and you really should pick him up if he’s still out there somehow.

Chris Archer – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Always nice to see Archer be the dominant man we know he can be.

Brandon McCarthy – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I had my concerns for McCarthy facing the Nationals and he proved me wrong with just 15.8% hard contact. I’m all aboard the McCarthy hype train as long as he’s on the mound.

Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. If you’ve been following my roundups, you’ll know I’ve been hoping Arrieta makes a repertoire change and focus on throwing Curveballs and Changeups while heavily limiting his Slider usage. Well guess what! After using the pitch 19.4% of the time in his first nine starts, Arrieta has since used it 6.3%, 4.8% and 4.1% of the time across his last three starts. Hallelujah! I think he’s on the road to recovery and I’d be interested in buying here – 20% hard contact in this start!

Jose Quintana – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Phew. After allowing 15 ER in back-to-back starts, Quintana finally found some success against the Rays. I’m not sold though, especially with four walks, as his Curveball still isn’t the pitch that it has been in previous years. Do I throw him out there against the LHP-hating Indians? Ehhhh I guess so? Grab your popcorn.

Jesse Hahn – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hahn returned from the DL and had himself a solid outing despite just two Ks to his name. I’m not one to jump on the Hahn train – how long does he stay healthy? Is his command all that good? – But I imagine this earns himself in the 80s or 90s come Monday.

Jaime Garcia – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I labeled Garcia as a discount two-start option this week and you’ll certainly take this if you ran with him. Just one more start against the Mets, Garcia!

Drew Pomeranz – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. And Pomeranz just keeps rolling, even against a good team like the Yankees. He’s now holding a 3.26 xFIP, 11.41 K/9, and 26.8% soft contact. Even his walk rate is falling to 3.05 BB/9, which isn’t good, but not the fearsome mark we’ve seen before. The biggest knock is another short five inning start, meaning I’m all in on The Dirty Cheerleader unless I’m in a QS league. I still want him there, but not willing to pay the proper price.

Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a PQS with a low strikeout total for Nova. What else is new. Well, he also left the game with knee inflammation and his next start is up in the air. Add another to the SPOIL’D! Don’t drop him, wait to find out more first.

Daniel Norris – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I will certainly take a PQS from Norris, especially with seven strikeouts. Yes, it was the Trout-less Angels and I’m still very cautious about rolling with Norris.

Antonio Senzatela – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Not bad against the Indians in Coors. Pretty meh otherwise. Gott alove that 5.89 K/9, 13.3% soft contact, and 4.37 FIP/4.42 xFIP, right?

Jesse Chavez – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Back to back productive outings for Chavez after a pair of 5 ER starts. Don’t get sucked in here.

Kevin Gausman – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Good to see the walks are down, bad to see everything else. MAKE ME A BELIEVER GAUS.

James Paxton – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Pax was looking like Pax until the fourth inning where he labored a bit. It was a situation where I felt the Twins were getting a bit comfortable inside the box – Paxton throwing so many strikes like usual – and were ready to pounce on the heater instead of being on their heels, not knowing if they should swing or not. Anyway, I still adore the man beyond belief and throw him out there regardless of the opponent.

Marco Estrada – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I really want to believe in Estrada – those K/BB numbers are fantastic! – but dude, you really gotta do better than 5.2 IP and 4 ER against the A’s.

David Paulino – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This is a tie, right? One out from a Quality Start, not horrendous but this isn’t good either. Blegh, I was hoping Paulino had it in him against the Royals, but so it goes. Streamer Record 29-19-10.

Jeff Locke – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Phew, glad I don’t have to fend off Locke supporters like I was an anti-liberalist.

Masahiro Tanaka – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Come on Tanaka, my biological clock is TICKING LIKE THIS.

Mike Clevinger – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I still like Clevinger, don’t let a start inside the death trap that is Coors fool you. I’m not loving his next start against the Dodgers, but he’s pretty golden after that.

Hector Santiago – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. This is one of those starts that makes you hope you can run away onto an island and curl up in a ball in isolation. Hey! Santiago has one of those! Sidenote: I hope you guys don’t care that I keep making this island joke. It’s not like you were dying to know my hot take on Santiago, anyway.

Matt Cain – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Cain alright.

Dillon Gee – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Should I be starting Dillon? Gee, I wonder. 

Dinelson Lamet – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. There are times when you see a start that confirms every worry you had about a pitcher and it just makes everything so much easier moving forward. The Balls Have Dropped, though there is a temptation to still run him out there as a streamer against the Royals. Not to own him, but as a streamer.

Jake Junis – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I really want to call Junis two-faced, but he’s a straight shooting Cup of Schmo sadly. Be better so I can make relevant jokes!

Adam Wainwright – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Wait wait wait. Waino, you added movement on your Cutter! It was great again! Ugggggh, next time, can you please just have random success instead of steering us down this wretched path?

Today’s Streamer

Mike Foltynewicz vs Philadelphia Phillies – Somehow his ownage percentage dropped after a 10 strikeout performance against the Reds, but there it is. I don’t love this start – I hate how hot/cold Folty is – but he’s the best option for Wednesday. I’d also consider Buck Farmer against the Angels for those in deep leagues.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Chicago Cubs – I don’t like this one, but I need a streamer and everything else is bad news.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Randall Delgado vs. Milwaukee Brewers – This is a tough call, but I think I’ll go with Delgado and his solid approach against the Brew Crew.

Game of the Day

Clayton Kershaw vs. Stephen Strasburg Now that’s a matchup you skip work for.

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 Rory says:

    Folty is taken and I need one, maybe two streamers. Liriano and Perdomo are the only good options, Go with both or just one?

  • Avatar David says:

    DeGrom and Tanaka, aces gonna…shiiiiiit

  • Avatar twoods says:

    Matt Cain wasn’t Scooter’s victim last night, it was actually Adam Wainwright. Might change your perspective on both of those pitchers’ nights. Just thought you should know!

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Ah! Complete brain fart, thanks!

      Doesn’t change anything in the scope of things, of course.

  • Avatar nick g says:

    should i run with eickoff against ATL today? or are we totally over him at this point? i could stream jharrel, perdomo, or liriano, but i love none of those options

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t like any of those. I’d consider Buck Farmer possibly against the Angels, though.

  • Avatar Rhino says:

    i was totally thinking you would pick Faria for today’s streamer against the Sox. What do you think of him in his ML debut? He’s been pretty darn good in the minors and has a relatively easy matchup.

  • Avatar Goingfish says:

    I’m a believer in your sell Ray strategy, but if he was keepable next year in the 18th round and berrios was keepeable in the 12th would you still sell Ray if you weren’t competitive for playoffs?
    I guess in short what is ray and berrios value next year?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Ray will probably go higher than the 18th next year, but that shouldn’t stop you from selling him this year – it might even improve the haul you get back.

      I think you can shoot higher than a 12th round Berrios.

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