(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
I think it’s time to have a deeper discussion about Vince Velasquez who just went 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks against the Giants. First of all, I need to note that VV has more than 7 Ks three times this year in 12 starts – a 9 K game against the Braves, this 9 K effort against the Giants, and a 12 K game also against the Giants. There may be something to that as he also has three games of just 4 Ks, one of 5, and three of 6. Point is, this isn’t a “dope strikeouts all the time” arm that his near 30% strikeout rate suggests. The reason for it is that he doesn’t have a single pitch with a 40% O-Swing mark, which means that he doesn’t have that one pitch to turn to each day to make it happen. Sometimes, like here, his four-seamer is killing batters, allowing him to sneak sliders and curveballs over the plate (mostly sliders) that befuddle hitters. I don’t like that inconsistency at all, though his walk rate is digestible and that strikeout upside for roto leagues definitely has significant value. He’ll get a sizeable bump tomorrow, but I’d still favor Spice Girl options than trusting the inconsistent repertoire of Velasquez.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Garrett Richards – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. You know what’s crazy about this? Richards allowed a groundball single on the first pitch of the game, then threw 100 pitches of no-hit ball after. That’s just how it works sometimes. So the Rangers are bad, but Richards was really really good. Excellent sliders in the bottom third and below the zone, four-seamers glove side, two-seamers arm side, and he cruised like he should. This is the upside I’ve been waiting to be realized, but I can’t tell you that it will be consistent. That’s a problem and holding me back from a jump tomorrow. Here’s to a repeat against the Twins next weekend.
Andrew Suarez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Instead of getting on board, I’m calling this a One Night Bland. Sorry, not buying it, even if it was what he did in the first three starts of the year.
Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace as deGrom is demanding a rise in the ranks. He’ll get it, don’t worry. Enjoy that Gallows Pole with a whopping 27 whiffs, by the way. 47 CSW in 116 pitches as well! Crazy good.
Marco Gonzales – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I have no choice but to give Marco a good jump tomorrow (he should have been around 75-80 last week) as the fella keeps rolling along. That’s just 1 ER in four starts now and that’s enough to make you stay on board for a bit. I still think this is more of a Vargas situation than, say, and Alex Wood roll if we’re going to talk 2017 stretches of success – an 18/9 K/BB in 26 frames is pretty blegh, he’s needed a .225 BABIP is this time as well, holding a 3.77 SIERA (which is fine! But not studly, especially with that middling 21.4% K rate). It’s possible he settles in as a Toby, though I’m not holding tight here.
Jhoulys Chacin – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. You know the drill. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.
Zack Greinke – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, I still consider Greinke an ace. This is why. That’s five of his last six starts tallying 6 ER. The sole exception is a 3 HR game in Milwaukee. Get on board y’all.
Eric Lauer – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. No EL. O. L. here, though It’s amazing that his 10.1% BB rate is lower than his elite 13.37 H/9. Super elite.
Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s 3 ER total in three starts and I want to suggest a sneaky add, but he’s holding a 6.75 K/9 and 4.34 BB/9 in that time with a .245 BABIP and 87.5% LOB rate. with a 4.94 SIERA. That just doesn’t seem right.
Mike Montgomery – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Monty is getting chances with Darvish on the shelf and he’s taken advantage of it so far. I don’t think this sticks, but hey, good for him.
Luke Weaver – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Just three whiffs overall here with a 19 CSW in 89 and I can’t get on board with Weaver. He’s taking a drop tomorrow to the back of the 50s if not slightly lower.
Chris Archer – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Has Chris Archer figured it out? That’s a 2.47 ERA across his last 7 starts and that includes a 6 ER nightmare. However, it was the only start he allowed a HR in those seven starts (albeit, three), and you have to wonder if that’s something he’s fixed for good. Not a 0.0% HR/FB rate, but avoiding the ghastly 15%+ mark. I’m not buying low, but I ain’t selling either. Just keep riding and let’s hope it’s legit.
Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Today was a windy day with breezes as plenty as 10 different starters had 15+ whiffs. Hamels got his via cutters and changeups, collecting 15 swings and misses among them in 56 thrown. It’s a 12.1% Whiff rate now with a 1.24 WHIP and you should be riding this wave. At the same time, his 44.3% hard-hit rate is a bit glaring, but the 1.88 HR/9 counteracts that enough for me not to be too afraid.
Chad Kuhl – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Hey, Kuhl got it together with his slider, doing the brunt of the work to get strikes. Good to see 30%+ sliders, though without a third pitch, it’s hard for me to really believe.
Brandon McCarthy – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. McCarthy is holding onto his job in the Braves’ rotation with starts like these alternating with 5/6/8 ER clunkers. This was particularly impressive against the Nationals, and the Dodgers + Padres next should make him a safe play.
Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s not the overwhelming dominance we’ve seen, but it’s still lovely.
Trevor Bauer – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna somewhat ace. Even in the bad outings, Bauer still gives you 11 Ks and that’s a major part of his Top 20 ranking.
Gio Gonzalez – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Just one ER away from a gorgeous outing you want to brag to your friends about, but that’s okay Gio. Thanks for the Ks and thumbs up emojis.
Jason Hammel – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s a VPQS for Hammel with three Ks. Sure, whatever, I don’t want anything to do with it.
David Price – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Yeah, I’ll definitely take a PQS with a 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks against the Astros. He dominated the inner half a lot better in this one, leading to the lower walk total as well. And hey, I’ll take a consistent 93mph from Price.
James Shields – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Jimmy Bucklers has allowed 3 ER or fewer in six of his last seven starts. Maybe that’s valuable in your league, 12-teamers should avoid unless desperate for a stream.
Matt Boyd – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Just three Ks and 4 ERs? Yep, still Boyd Watching.
Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Buehler was due for some regression and a night in Coors is as good as any. I know that isn’t a far sentence, but you understand. His fastball didn’t dominate like always, which meant he had to turn to breaking stuff more often and they weren’t all too great tonight. Don’t read much into it, still walk that fine fine line.
Trevor Cahill – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Cahill wasn’t so locked in, but his changeup was solid and earned you six Ks. Yes, I want to see more from his curveball, yes I want more against the Royals, though you should feel good with Cahill for now.
J. A. Happ – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. He got his strikeouts, but a solo shot about doubles got him in the end. Still love Happ as his strikeout rate sits at an even 30% now after 12 starts. Wild.
Matt Harvey – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. On a night when so many pitchers killed it, Harvey wasn’t able to keep up. Fastball was around 94 – solid, but that’s all on the positive side. Womp womp. Streaming Record 33-21.
Caleb Smith – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Uggggh Smith never got comfortable against the Diamondbacks as Goldschmidt is finally waking up. Whiffs were still there though and he gets the Pads next, so let’s move on.
German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. On one hand, Marquez earned eight strikeouts with 17 whiffs to his name. On the other, Marquez never got into a solid groove, which will happen in Coors. He did his damage with heaters, which gives me a little pause as I wanted to see those whiffs come from breaking stuff. Keep following the Rocky Mountain Way here.
Masahiro Tanaka – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. 19 whiffs as Tanaka just couldn’t avoid the longball. Still like him, still upset that he makes those mistake pitches often.
Kevin Gausman – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. You’re upset but you’re also kinda excited seeing 9 strikeouts and 18 whiffs – 11 for 32 on his splitter. This was the Yanks so you probably sat anyway, which means it’s okay to feel good about this. More splitters = more strikeouts. This could be sticking.
Nick Kingham vs. St. Louis Cardinals – He was dropped in leagues are his last start and it’s time to take advantage.
Nick Tropeano vs. Kansas City Royals – Just five games are being played including a NYY/DET double-header, which means it’s slim pickings. Luckily we’ve got Tropeano and he’s the only real choice.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
None – Seriously, there are zero options today as guys are all owned or have terrible matchups. The closest is Nathan Eovaldi but he gets the Nationals and that’s a clear stay-away.
Game of the Day
Luis Castillo vs. Tyson Ross – I want Ross to rebound and Castillo to dominate a weak Padres lineup.
Who do you want I order of preference in a standard season long roto using QS, K, ERA and WHIP…Archer, Stripling, E-Rod, Musgrove?
Also, in your commentaries, you seem much higher on E-Rod than Archer, but you ha e Archer ranked 8 spots higher. Why is that? I hold E-Rod and was wondering if I should drop him for Archer or o e of the others I mentioned.
Erod, Archer, Stripling, Musgrove.
Hey Nick feel comfortable rolling Freeland @ Cinci on Tuesday? Thank you for your work as always.
Hey! I think that’s a decent play
Heaney was dropped and clears waivers on Monday. I want to grab him but im #2 waiver priority and not sure if it’s worth that claim. For context I’m in first place and have a deep enough staff where I’d be dropping weaver for him. Should I use the waiver claim or hope he clears and just make the move Monday morning?
Even if you don’t get around to this question, your work is always appreciated and I love my new AGA shirt!
Hey Vinny! Glad you’re digging the shirt :)
I’d definitely make a claim on Heaney.
12 team H2H Redraft. With CarMart expected back Tuesday, and accepting a 3 for 2 trade, which of these two pitches would you let go of?
Verlander, CarMart, Godley, Wood, Manaea, Heaney, C. Smith, Cahill, Kingham, Montas.
Hand, Allen, Greene, Vizcaino.
Thanks as always.
I’d simply drop Montas.
What SPs are worth trading for if I’m looking to sell Soto? Is Pivetta too low or just around the mark?
I’d love to get Pivetta for Soto.
Next Week’s opponent has 9 starts vs my 7. (14 team, 6×6, Mixed League)
Thinking about dropping Alvarado for a 2 start pitcher Tropeano or Clayton. My other RPs are Jansen, Vazquez, Barraclough and Seranthony. Is Alavardo the closer? Is this a bad move?
Do they have pitching coaches in Cincy?