(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)
I could have led with a few guys today, but I feel the need to shine a light on Marco Estrada who is seemingly ready to replicate his 2015/2016 seasons after a 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks performance against the Rangers. Last year was a hot mess, sporting a near 5.00 ERA, though Alex “Think” Fast would agree with me that his life off the field was a bit troubling, and must have had an effect on his on-field performance. I’m not telling you that he will do a sub 3.50 ERA again, but he definitely should be owned in 12-teamers and when he’s able to churn out this kind of performance with just 3 curveballs across 105 pitches (102 fastballs/changeups!), while earning a share of Gallows Pole via 15 whiffs, you best be happy.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Luis Perdomo – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m amazed that Perdomo escaped the Astros so easily, but I’m a little upset that it only came with 6 whiffs. He’s a mini PEAS to me, like if they ever made a mini Pea Muffin – why would anyone ever do that – but he’s not a real PEAS as his stuff isn’t at the level of making you wonder why he’s not successful. I still feel like he can become consistently relevant at some point, but I’m not ready to take the dive just yet.
Carlos Carrasco – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This looked like a bad out one of the gate and Carrasco righted the ship like a parent rescuing a child’s capsized sailboat. I don’t want to go through that trauma again, okay Carrasco?
Kevin Gausman – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This was encouraging as I expected a lot worse against heading to the Bronx after Week 1’s atrocity. 11 whiffs is good, he kept the ball down a lot and used his splitter over 25% of the time, earning a 30% with them. That’s the kind of Gausman we want to see and I feel like I’m okay starting him against the Jays next week now.
Lance McCullers – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Congrats on your first Co-Gallows Pole of the season, McCullers, earning 15 whiffs in just five frames. If you guys want to know why I don’t rank Lance higher on The List, this start says it all. Well, not all because of injuries but look at his 5.0 frames, then 2.00 WHIP, then 3.60 ERA. Sure, I’m okay with 2 ER in 5, but it won’t win me my week – in some cases hurt me entering the weekend. That 2.00 WHIP certainly does, and while the strikeouts are great, they will be capped if he can’t go deeper into games. And don’t forget the inevitable injury. Why can’t you just be happy for a 7 K game with 2 ER for McCullers? I mean, I am. I’d own him and we’d enjoy some amazing coffee called Fole Gares with Bill Evans in the background. I think you mean Folgers. That’s what I said. What I also said is McCullers has a higher price on his head than he deserves and y’all should know.
Trevor Williams – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Speaking of bad WHIPs, this is a ghastly figure that, like, McCullers, I’m not sure how Williams only allowed 2 ER. It’s like he’s into Magic or something. I hate trusting Williams as you’re bound to make a Grave Mistake before you get your sparkling outing, making him only an occasional streamer in my book.
Brandon Woodruff – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh, I don’t like Woodruff all that much given his somewhat weird mechanics that don’t dictate consistent command, but I won’t deny that he has decent stuff that can help him spin the rare gem. A Sapphire. He’s going to have to figure out how to escape the fourth frame without 95 pitches to make that work…
Danny Duffy – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This started horribly with 3 ER as he looked to have a day of being Singled Out…and then didn’t allow another hit the rest of the day. It’s kinda funny as on the Slack we were all freaking out about it – I even thought I’d be leading with him! – and then we forget that there is a ton of game left and BAM he’s one out away from a PQS with a WHIP near 1.00. I think this is a wonderful analogy for the entire season, actually.
Brandon McCarthy – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m amazed that McCarthy gave us a PQS in Coors. I’m proud of him and it’s not out of the question he acts like Kendrick Lamar, continuing to drop lines that make you want to buy what he sells. I’m not at that point now, but maybe he’ll get a stream from me down the road.
CC Sabathia – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This had the feeling of another streaming victory as Sabathia’s only ER came via the longball – 3 solo shots – but then he left with hip soreness and there it gooooooooes SEE YA. For those wondering, Luis Cessa will probably take Sabathia’s spot in the rotation for now. No, you shouldn’t really care. Streaming Record: 2-4 It’s a long season Nick…it’s a long season…
Luis Castillo – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I have to say, that final line isn’t as terrible as it felt watching this. I mean, yes, it’s bad, but from all the tweets and comments and whatnot, you’d think this was a 2 IP, 6 ER, 3.00 WHIP effort. Look, I’m very disappointed out of the gate and those that have followed me since the Pitcher GIF days in 2014 will know that I will jump off a boat the moment I feel it’s time to do so. This is not that time. It’s two starts, he still has the repertoire, and it was raining last night. He still got 13 whiffs overall, his changeup is still dope, the only problem is getting the fastball command back. He had it last year, he hasn’t had it in 10 frames yet. Remember when everyone freaked out about Nola at the start of last year? Buy low, y’all.
Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Oh hey, it’s Hendricks with the super small margin for error. Unless he’s 100% on point, this is what’s going to happen. He feels great most of the time, but he won’t escape starts “without his best stuff” like others and that’s just not my jam. THIS is my jam.
Daniel Gossett – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Another start, another Gosse Egg. I mean, it is his term, after all. Almost got it right with The Wherst but, you can’t have it all.
Matt Moore – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Here’s the scene: An MC is entertaining a large crowd – think festival size but indoors – as he’s hyping up the crowd. ‘HOW’S EVERYONE FEELING TONIGHHHHHHT!” Cheers are abundant. This guy is killing it. After bouncing around the stage and pumping up the audience he shouts “DO YOU WANT MOOOOOOORE?” The crowd loves it. “ARE YOU SURE?” More cheers. “WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE!” The MC takes it all in. “HEEEEERRRE HE IS!” The spotlight shifts to a scrawny Matt Moore walking in from stage right, slumped shoulders, and a sad little mic in his hands. He looks over his right shoulder to the crowd, gives a limp wave, and before he even says a word, the crowd has left. We never want Moore.
Parker Bridwell – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Well this is interesting. And when I say interesting, I mean so terrible that I will be crucified if I endorsed Bridwell at any point in the next week. It was his first start of the year and the kid clearly wanted to prove himself, but 3 HRs demolished that notion in a heartbeat, and you have to wonder if he can be relevant this year in any way. The answer is yes, obviously don’t risk it the next he goes – I’m not even sure when that is given the Angels’ whole rotation situation – but don’t make this start spoil opportunities weeks later as a streamer.
German Marquez – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks. I feel bad for Marquez. He would be a decent starter if he didn’t have to pitch have of his games in Coors, but it gets really terrible when you throw in Coors and walk six batters. He’ll get the Padres still in Colorado next time and I’ll be perched on a mountain far away, pointing at Marquez to my friends as I peer through the observational deck telescope saying “Hey look! There’s Marquez looking for owner as he delicately balances on a wire!” Don’t lie, you don’t hike. Yeah, but you do. TAKE A HIKE! Sorry, that was not my best. Just like Marquez. :(
Mike Minor vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I’m not too afraid of the Jays and I think Minor has it in him to spin off a good outing. I’d also consider Andrew Triggs against the Angels.
Reynaldo Lopez vs. Detroit Tigers – A pretty easy one given how well he performed against the Jays last time out.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Lucas Gioltio vs. Michael Fulmer – I love watching Fulmer go and I want to see if Giolito can rebound after his tough debut of 2018.
You Are The WHERST
Ian Kennedy vs. Cleveland Indians – Again, trying to avoid the easy picks and more with the ones that could conceivably have fantasy relevance, but I’d be avoiding.
Nick, love the site — it’s my go-to for pitching the last few years.
Castillo was dropped in a 10-team h2h. Safe to pick up for Faria, right?
Drop Faria, grab Castillo.
Someone offered me Luke Weaver for Fulmer or Chase Anderson + a bat. Would it be a good trade?
Depends on the bat but I’d rather own Weaver over Anderson right now.
Castillo consistently got ahead in the count, then nibbled. It was odd to see. So many pitches could’ve gone either way. Not sure why he was opposed to challenging hitters. But that was the single most frustrating part of watching this— the inability or reluctance to put away batters. He looked scared in the way Archer did a couple years ago.
Hey Nick I know you did your AMA yesterday but have an important team question for you. Straight up trade. I get Keuchel and I give Khris Davis. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks!
It’s pretty even, it depends if you need offense or SP.
Count me among the many disappointed by Castillo’s performance last night, but as I watched I couldn’t help shift my focus from how poorly Castillo was executing to how terrible a game Mesoraco was calling for him. In general, I always hate when a manager sends his young budding ace to the hill with a scrub back-up behind the plate while his starter (and in this case, Gold Glove-winning starter) sits on the bench.
Sure enough, I just ran the numbers on Castillo’s performances with Barnhart behind the dish versus Mesoraco and the results are pretty alarming:
Through 11 starts w/ Barnhart, Castillo averages 6.2 IP, 3.04 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 7.4 K, 1.7 BB
Through 5 starts w/ Mesoraco, Castillo averages 5.5 IP, 5.27 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.2 K, 3.2 BB
Doesn’t do much for those of us in weekly rottisserie leagues, but definitely something to keep in mind for DFS. I hope the Reds notice this and fast.
I’m beginning to trust Estrada more as well. Has he shown enough to match or pass his teammate Stroman or is he closer to the Mikolas tier?