I was a bit harsh on Walker Buehler this week as I found myself wanting to reward the Top 20 arms that have consistently produced over Buehler who hadn’t quite gotten into his groove yet. Well, after last night’s 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks against the Diamondbacks, I think he’s acting like llama as he found his groove. Aces gonna ace. I’ve talked about his secondary stuff needing to set up the high heat and that’s exactly what we had here with cutters earning 14/17 strikes, and sliders/curveballs even acting as whiff pitches – 8/31 between them. 36/102 CSW with 18 whiffs is beautiful, 96/97 heat on his four-seamer, and HE’S BACK BAAABY. This could be a long and wonderful summer.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Cam Bedrosian – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s cool, Cam, but your buddy Trevor Cahill couldn’t survive five frames – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks as we took all hope that he could return to his May 2017/18 self again out to the barn and we, um…well the hope is gone. Forever.
Eric Lauer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, that’s four straight 1 ER starts from Lauer who has become a Vargas Rule. But what if thi— NO. This is a Vargas Rule, don’t make Lauer a thing, please. His hasn’t had a whiff rate above 8% for a game with April 27th. Shudders. Yeah.
Jon Lester – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Lester, bouncing backing after three straight regression slams into the wall. Fun fact: his current 3.32 ERA and 1.31 WHIP is identical to his 2018 marks. Funny how that works. Keep rolling out this Toby and be glad at least he’s raised his strikeout rate two points. For now.
Corbin Martin – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Womp womp. There’s no reason to believe Martin is worth your time at all now in 12-teamers. I’m done with him. He had a nice first start and then…nothing. Seriously, not a single game over four frames since. Streaming Record: 41-24. I always knew I liked Taylors more. One day the 714ce will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.
Cory Gearrin – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Cory was the opener for Wade LeBlanc who had himself a day going 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – Good for an MS Score of 7, one shy of tying Kyle Hendricks‘ mark of six this year. It was such a good game, that it lowered LeBlanc’s ERA to 5.70. Yeah. 5.70. Welp, we’re done here.
Robbie Ray – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Save for a three-run shot against Corey Seager, Ray dominated the Dodgers lineup in this one with 38/98 CSW. Good to see him pull back the walks and finally hit 6+ frames again. Here’s to hoping he can continue to earn 20 whiffs (Gallows Pole) and cruise through the ASB.
Aaron Nola – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwwww this was supposed to be the game! The one where a strikeout-heavy lineup succumbs to the will that is Nola and his finally-commanded fastball! YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! Just 7 whiffs overall – six on curveballs – and 26/93 CSW is meh. This is the zone plot of his fastballs and you can see that this isn’t the Nola we know and love. It’s sad, really. I think he will get there this year, but until this is zone heavy and on the edges, we’re not going to be living every day like it’s Nola day.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Devin Smeltzer vs. Cleveland Indians – I didn’t expect Smeltzer to get this start – I thought the Twins would skip him! – and now slated against the Indians, I’m game.
Dakota Hudson vs. Cincinnati Reds – There aren’t many streaming options here, so I’ll go with Hudson pulling off his sinkerball ways against the Reds offense away from GABP. Also stoked for Jimmy Nelson to finally return.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)