There were a good amount of comments asking about why I ranked Trevor Cahill at #70 on The List this week when he was coming off the DL so soon and it came down to me wanting to see if he was still the same man as before following a long DL stint. Last night’s line of 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks against the Indians looks like he’s picking up right where he left off…but did he actually? What made us so excited about Cahill was his increased Knuckle-Curve usage that was the impetus for his improved strikeout rate this year and while he did throw it about 20% of the time, it only rendered 2 whiffs. Not great, not terrible. He also threw just 48 strikes in 85 pitches…that’s not good. Now he did induce a ton of grounders in this game, which is what we want to see, and this was DLH, i.e. we didn’t expect him to be great right off the bat. I’m just not fully sold that he’s going to be the super strikeout fiend we saw before and his poor 3.74 BB/9 could bite him more than you think. I’m obviously buying as a flier if he’s still out there, but I’m still a bit skeptical that he’ll speak to his 2.96 ERA and 2.98 FIP in the second half.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m starting to really love this Kersh vs Scherzer battle.
Jimmy Nelson – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Ummm, when does Nelson get an AGA? Since May 5th, Nelson has a 6.25 IPS, 10.63 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 2.39 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 2.70 xFIP with 25.6% soft contact and a 51.6% groundball rate across 12 starts. Holy smokes. To be fair, the only tough teams in there are the Reds, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, but still…
David Price – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. There he is. Welcome back Price, we’ve missed you.
Jameson Taillon – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Those nine Ks are Taillon’s career high and I’m just so happy for him. Yeah yeah yeah, 5.0 IP, whatever. This guy is a rock in your rotation.
Michael Fulmer – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Speaking of rocks in your rotation, Fulmer has a 1.10 WHIP to go along with his 3.20 ERA and 6.85 IPS this year. That’s what’s up. All hail the Power Quads.
Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. To think the best of Bailey’s first three starts is the one inside of Coors. As Jeff Goldblum would say, there it is. There’s the production we’ve been hoping to get from Bailey in his TJS return and while 1 ER per start with 0 walks won’t be the norm, of course, I think he can be productive in the second half for your squad. Do I like him against the Dbacks? Nah, and not against the Nats the following weekend either. But after that we’re in business.
J.A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Mmmmmm Happ got it done against the Yanks and it feels real good. If you’re not on board with Happ, I’m not sure why you aren’t.
Corey Kluber – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s always seeing these kind of runs and it’s pretty ridiculous right now. five straight double digit strikeout games, 2 ER allowed in four outings with a 8.0 IPS in those games (14 hits total!). It’s nuts.
Danny Duffy – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Welcome back Duffy! This was a DLH and he was able to provide anyway. Velocity was at 93.7, which is meh for Duffy relative to last year but normal for this year. I think you’re safe rolling with him now and I imagine he’s going to stick in the Top 35 for a bit now.
Kyle Gibson – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Nah, thanks but I’m good.
Mark Leiter Jr. – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. His ownership rate? Yeah, Mark it zero.
Lance Lynn – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s two straight solid outings from Lynn after his unlucky number 7s. Everything tells me that he’s pitching over his head – 3.87 ERA holds a 5.36 FIP, .225 BABIP, 4.53 xFIP, 3.49 BB/9, etc. – so I’m a bit cautious sticking this one out.
Joe Ross – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. The coin flip worked and he cruised through the Mets’ lineup. Is it really a coin flip now? That’s four straight quality starts and five of his last six. That’s a good point and I think you’re right. I’d be rolling with Ross until he gives me a legit reason not to at this point. Streamer Record 45-30-11.
Jose Urena – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. If you start Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Here are Pitcher List, we’re adding some new tech behind the scenes to make things easier (Lundberg, you’re my hero), such as a detailed table of cool information for me to use like strikes thrown, HR allowed, pitch counts, etc. that goes past the line I give you guys. My favorite of the group are # of whiffs, and I’ll make sure to highlight who has the highest each day. Today is Archer with a whopping 21 swings and misses against the Cubs, which isn’t a major surprise since this is why you own him in the first place. Anyway, 11 baserunners is super frustrating here and I do wonder if Archer will ever make it back to being Top 10. The strikeouts are amazing but can we ever expect a WHIP around 1.15 again?
Patrick Corbin – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Corbin just isn’t worth your time.
Brad Peacock – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Another Quality Start for Peacock as he makes his case to stick in the rotation even with a healthy Astros squad (even though this was a VPQS). I didn’t give him the boost he probably deserves this week because of that gray area, but also because of his sub 5.0 IPS as a starter. Sure, that includes his first two outings where he was ramping up his pitch count, but he’s only pitched through six twice in those eight outings, while he has three starts of at least 4 BBs already to his name. But then he’s had at least 7 Ks in all but one of his starts as well…He probably deserves to be ranked in the mid 40s instead of the mid 50s.
J.C. Ramirez – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh, we’re done here JC. Weren’t we done before? Well, yeah, but really done now.
CC Sabathia – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Sabathia was limited because of his recent DL stint, but this sure isn’t good anyway. It’s possible he gets into the groove he had before, but I’m not waiting until he gets there.
Matt Cain – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s almost as if Cain isn’t fantasy relevant or something.
Kyle Freeland – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Y’all abandoned Freeland a while ago, right?
Daniel Gossett – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, I think I used up all the luck with Gossett earlier. No reason to trust him if he can’t handle the ChiSox.
Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Bleeeeeeegh. This was the Royals Felix, stop being stupid. That’s 11 ER since returning from the DL as he’s faced the Astros, Phils, and Royals. This is looking like a drop in the rankings to the 50s or even farther next week.
Ubaldo Jimenez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Wait, you can’t go eight shutout innings every time? SO DISAPPOINTED.
Jon Lester – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Dude, no. Seriously, I was just feeling this again so of course you stumble. I still believe you’re better than the other failures – Felix, Arrieta, Verlander, etc. – just let me love you.
Seth Lugo – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Lugo had the face the Nats again, which is obviously a bad idea. Stop doing that Lugo. He’s a decent streaming option and nothing more.
James Shields – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Shields is really saving that ChiSox rotation.
Yu Darvish – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Kinda nuts to see Darvish allow 7 ER without issuing a walk, also super strange to see him earn 13 outs with just six whiffs to his name. He was simply off against the Red Sox and he’ll rebound next time out.
Sean Newcomb – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. But he was looking so good! Against NL Easy teams and now he faced the Astros. No surprise here.
NONE – I hate to do this again, but the best here is Edinson Volquez against the Cardinals and you know I can’t endorse that. Luis Perdomo against the Indians? Nope. And I’ve given up on the small moment with Mike Pelfrey even if he’s playing the A’s. Plan around this day.