I think it’s time to have a serious conversation about Trevor Bauer after he went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks last night against the ChiSox. I’ve been pretty dang down on the kid all season, but maybe I’ve been a bit harsh. He’s allowed 4 ER just once in his 10 starts, and he’s kept his BB/9 under 3.00 in those outings – something I’m shocked to be typing at this very moment. Now, I don’t see him anywhere close to the “sea of upside” as I just don’t trust he’s turned a corner. His FIP/xFIP/SIERA all dislike him (xFIP and SIERA are above 4.00!), he’s allowing just 18.7% soft contact, and the Ks are super inconsistent (half of his starts are four Ks or fewer). I’m okay with you chasing him a bit – might as well given the dearth of upside this season and hot damn! He gets the Braves and Rays next – I just don’t believe we’ll be talking about the teams that “got in on Bauer early”.
Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:
Jeff Samardzija – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Almost led with Shark instead, but this start was against the Rays and I’m still not convinced Shark is someone you want to be starting against tougher teams. At the same time, he’s allowed more than 3 ERs just three times all season, and it’s hard for me not to like his sub 2.00 BB/9. I just wish he struck out more batters (5.36 Ks per start) and didn’t have an xFIP/SIERA hovering just under 4.00.
Cole Hamels – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I really want to like Hamels more, but that 4.78 FIP is ridiculous, fuelled by a 86.7% LOB rate and a 3.47 BB/9. I’d be labeling him a TEEs if I didn’t know better (he has an elite 52.2% GB rate and holds a near 8.50 K/9, after all). I’d be selling high as that sub 3.00 ERA is not sticking around.
Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. All three walks came in his final inning as he walked the bases loaded. Go figure.
Kendall Graveman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This is a One Night Bland.
Masahiro Tanaka – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Good to see Masahiro rebounding, and he’ll be comfortably in the Top 30 still on Monday.
John Gant – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. You’re probably asking “Who is John Gant?” Don’t worry about it. You’ll forget about him soon enough.
Zach Davies – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Ugh, now I’m going to get more questions about Davies. I don’t trust him at all as he’s a TEEs and it’s a product of the teams he’s faced – of the 12 games he’s started, only the Cards and Pirates have been non-streamable teams. Everyone else includes: Reds/Mets/Padres/Athletics/Angels/Phillies/Marlins and now the Dodgers. Crazy good schedule. So okay, I’m fine with starting Davies against a weak team, but not for an extended period of time.
Michael Wacha – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Wacha has had himself tough matchup after tough matchup, though he’s now allowed just 3 ER in his last two starts against the Rangers and Pirates. It’s a step in the right direction, I’m still not a big fan given his 3.33 BB/9 and 3.99 xFIP.
Yordano Ventura – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. We know Ventura is capable of these kinds of starts, the problem is that he’s a PEAS and doesn’t do it consistently. Two starts does not make him a stud you want on your team. He could look like the king of the castle one day, then BAM! He’s all over the place and allowing four walks and four earned runs in just five innings. I’m okay with someone picking him up hoping for the best next time out, I just won’t be moving him up a ton on Monday.
Julio Urias – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Ahhhhh the upside of Urias. It’s too bad there are whispers of him moving out of the rotation this week or next since he got a confident start out of him vs. the Brewers. It’s funny, I often see people really upset about prospect pitchers since they don’t kill it in the first few starts in the bigs. Why do they have all of this hype? Why do we like them so much?! Let’s look back at some guys. Michael Fulmer needed three starts before kicking it into gear. Noah Syndergaard‘s MLB debut featured 4 walks and 3 ER. Allow them to get their bearings first before completely giving up on them.
Adam Conley – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Two of these walks were intentional, and the last one was when Conley pitched around Trevor Story. Solid outing for Conley, and he’s still a good streamer against average or below teams.
Jose Quintana – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yep, that’s Quintana alright.
John Lamb – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Lamb was looking good getting his Cutter inside to right-handed hitters last night, though the control is still a little questionable. It’s a good step forward, and I’d consider rolling with him against the Friars next week. I wouldn’t if it was any sort of decent team, though.
Matt Shoemaker – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It was Shoe against the A’s and there was little chance this wasn’t going to work out with the way he’s been pitching. Onward to Houston!
Michael Fulmer – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Annnnd that streak is over. Now, the sixth inning was where everything went south – he got the first two outs, then allowed a solo shot followed by two walks before getting pulled with exactly 100 pitches. If he gets that final out, it’s a 0 ER outing with a 1.00 WHIP and 2 walks. Don’t let this start dissuade you on Fulmer.
Robbie Ray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Our kinda-Call-Boy-but-not-really was his high upside self against the Phils, marking this the second straight solid performance for him as he faced NL Easy teams. Don’t you dare start him against the Jays next, but he’ll get reward with another Phils start after, which doesn’t look like a bad stream.
Aaron Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice to see a rebound from Sanchez after his worst start of the season. It’s established that Sanchez will be moving to the Pen (as I went over in the Innings Limit/Shutdown article yesterday), but that will be at least another month or so before it happens. I would be selling Sanchez everywhere though if I had him in a H2H league. He shouldn’t be in the starting rotation during your playoffs.
Jon Gray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Was this start A) Outside of Coors and against a weak team or B) Inside Coors against a really weak team? He played the Marlins in Miami. Checks out!
Lance McCullers – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. McCullers really, and I mean really needs to lower that walk rate. I’m in such a pickle here as I want to lower him a bunch, but then there aren’t any guys that aren’t super dominating outside of the “sea of upside”, which really shouldn’t be hinting the Top 25. It’s weird, I feel like McCullers is super overrated because his walk issues aren’t ever going to go away, yet I don’t actually have a lower spot to give him. Maybe I’ll suck it up and be super bold on Monday. Not sure yet.
Joe Ross – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. So it’s not terrible, but you really want better from Ross facing the freakin’ Padres. I’m not saying this justifies my massive lowering of Ross last week and in no way did I expect this to happen, though I’m not as surprised as I thought I would be for Ross not excelling in this outing, which could be my subconscious getting some much needed exposure. He’s a super pale fella. Gotta get that tan!
Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Blegh. His future schedule isn’t great either, and I don’t consider him a good buy low. We have to accept that classic Archer isn’t showing up again.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I gave up on Iwakuma a while ago and I suggest you do too.
Matt Harvey – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Probably the most disappointing line of the night as Harvey faced the oh-so-mighty BRAVES. The good news is that he was pumping strikes and I like to still think that this is a blip and not a full regression to his early season woes. Hang tight, and this may be a decent buy-low situation and that window creaks open.
Francisco Liriano – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Poor Liriano, this just isn’t your year.
Christian Friedrich – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I had some questions about the legitimacy of Friedrich during yesterday’s AMA, and I think this answers any questions you guys should have.
Adam Morgan – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh Captain, my Captain! There is a rock directly ahead, steer right! …Steer right! DUDE, DON’T YOU SEE THE GIANT ROCK AHEAD OF YOU?! STEER RIGHT.
Mike Wright – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the wrong Wright.
Roenis Elias – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey look! Elias is back! Yay….
Pat Dean – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Pat isn’t good and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you guys.
Mike Bolsinger vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Sorry for the new streamer as the diamondbacks changed their pitching schedule, meaning Ray went last night instead of today. Anyway, Bolsinger is your best bet as he pitches against a poor Brewers squad and was a Toby back in his day. Don’t like it at all, but it’s the best you’ve got.
Mike Fiers vs. Cincinnati Reds – Fiers could have a much needed field day against one of the weaker lineups around. It’s also looking like Archie Bradley will actually be pitching on Sunday, not Monday, with Shelby Miller returning on Monday. That makes Bradley a good option against the Phils.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Shelby Miller vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I know my rules about extended DL stints and I really don’t like Miller, but there just isn’t another option out there on a thin Monday. So it goes.
Game of the Day
Cody Reed vs. Houston Astros – Another day, another MLB debut! There’s a decent amount of hype surrounding this kid – not as much as Taillon, Fulmer, Berrios, etc. – and I’m looking forward to watching the guy on the grand stage.