What Is Happening
(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)
You know who isn’t getting enough love? Mr. J.A. Happ who put up a 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks line yesterday against the Red Sox and is now sporting a 3.72 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 5.7% walk rate and an absurd 33.6% K rate for the season, fueled by a 14.1% whiff rate. I wrote about Happ as a strikeout king last Friday, with the emphasis on his four-seamers up in the zone, and he earned a near 12% whiff rate with the pitch yesterday. The biggest questions are his 1.55 HR/9 and 20% HR/FB rates that may stay a bit elevated inside the AL Beast and Toronto’s HR friendly park, with a questionable injury history, but considering that most are not labeling Happ as a Top 40 asset, I’m holding tight and rolling with Happ for a long time. A 30% K rate won’t happen, but a 25% mark moving forward is well within reach and with solid ratios behind it, you should be a fan. Welcome to The Happening that is actually good.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Kyle Freeland – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Sorry Freeland, I totally recognize that you had 14 whiffs with a 33% rate on your slider piece, and I’m super impressed you did this in Coors, but I have to give the Blame it on the Padres label. I really just don’t see a guy that will be good more than bad.
Marco Gonzales – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Super impressive start here with a 38 CS + W in just 89 pitches, though he did get a decent amount of pitches called in his favor off the plate. I watched all of this as I wanted to reassess if Marco is worth your time and…maybe. I like his curveball at times, if his fastball is sitting along the edges and he’s getting the calls, he will have starts like this, but I got the feeling as I watched it that this wasn’t a master commander, but things going his way. Definitely worth it for the flier, but I’m not grouping him with other Spice Girls just yet.
CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. CC, thanks for the win, but I think I’m going to hold back in your next three starts against the Angels, Indians, and Red Sox. Nothing personal. Streaming Record: 16-7.
Tyler Chatwood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Is there a rule that Chatwood has to record the same amount of walks and strikeouts? And how does he continue to allow a stupid amount of baserunners – 9 this game and a 1.71 WHIP on the year – yet allow just 1 ER? Sure, just 25.0% hard contact, but also only 17.9% soft. And an 8.4% whiff rate. And a 5.52 SIERA. Stay away.
Kenta Maeda – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Well this is interesting. Maeda got the Marlins so I have to take this with a small grain of salt, but six innings are six innings, even if it was in just 81 pitches. Are they actually letting him loose or is this just one of those typical Dodgers teases? I really hope so, I had little faith last week that Maeda could be someone that consistently produces for you, but this might be coming around. I’m ready to eat my words from last week.
Dillon Peters – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I know I’ve grounded into DP a bit in these roundups, giving him a hard time and refusing to endorse him. Today is no different.
Andrew Triggs – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. What a fantastic rebound from Triggs after his horrid 6 ER outing last time out. I watched this start and the fella was on. Great movement on his fastball that the Rangers struggled mightily to make contact with, solid curveballs to earn a few strikeouts, and quick innings returning six frames in just 81 pitches. His sole run came from an infield single, weak HBP on a changeup, a full-count walk, then sac-fly. Now the Rangers are not the strongest offense – neither were the ChiSox last week… – but I’ll be rolling Triggs out there against both the Mariners and Orioles next.
Chris Volstad – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Wait, Volstad is still doing things? Why?
Zach Davies – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s two straight solid outings from Davies…with just two Ks each time. SIERA is still 4.49 – a better mark than each of those two starts earned. Hard contact at 45.4% and just 9.3% soft. 9.1% whiff rate. 8.3% walk rate. Sorry Davies, I’m saying no like they’re trying to send me to rehab.
Cole Hamels – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Good news: Hamels had 11 whiffs and 18 called strikes in 106 pitches. Bad news: FOOLED YOU, there isn’t any. I’ll take this any day of the week from Hamels and it’s good to see him get the whiffs again. I’m 50/50 on his next start against the Tribe, but the following Sawx/Astros combo may put him on the wire right away despite the improvement here.
Ty Blach – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sometimes you look at a line and think Blach. If you want to put that in the voice of Clint Eastwood, by all means.
Tyler Mahle – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Mahle was holding a no-hitter through the first six frames, then got the Careful Icarus treatment in the 7th, beginning with a solo shot from Freddie Freeman., then a double + bomb from Kurt Suzuki to end his night. If you remember the initial assessment of Mahle, his fastball command will create nights like this from time to time – nights like this equating to 20 whiffs en route to a Gallows Pole – but it’s a Cherry Bomb situation and I hate having that stress in my life. Totally get if you want to chase this, I think I’m going to pass.
Brandon McCarthy – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. 3.38 ERA and 25.3% hard contact from McCarthy so far. I actually tried finding another positive stat, but I couldn’t. 4.39 SIERA, 17.1% K Rate, 8.1% BB rate, just a 5.7% whiff rate…I think this is an occasional streamer play and not someone to roster.
Rick Porcello – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Porcello looked out of whack early on, walking a few batters quickly and not being locked in like his earlier starts. Then he woke up like he was late for work – You mean like you today? This Roundup is soooo late! – and got his act together in the final five frames, accruing nine strikeouts. The dude is stupid right now, loving his slider/changeup combo to go along with plenty of sinkers. Don’t sell high unless you’re getting Top 30 value back.
Robbie Ray – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Are you satisfied with this? 11 strikeouts are dope, but those ratios are horrid – 5.13 ERA, 1.56 WHIP thus far – and there’s no real indication that’s going to change, especially with 46.6% hard contact thus far. I am impressed by 36 CS + W in 107 pitches, but he labored a ton to not even escape the fifth before demanding the hook. And this was the Phils! 20th in team wOBA! The Nats + Astros + Nats again are next and I’m a little worried. I think you still need to roll with him, but I feel the headaches of Ray owners.
Ian Kennedy – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Kennedy left this game after taking a line drive to the foot. He should be fine for next time, but only in a physical sense. Fantasy sense, nothing about this is fine.
Charlie Morton – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Womp womp. It’s been a hot start for Morton, but he struggled a bit here with just 4 whiffs and plenty worse fastball command. This was supposed to be the fun matchup of the day and it turned into a sad state of affairs for both squads. This isn’t the beginning of the end – velocity was all fine – and expect Morton to rebound next time.
Shohei Ohtani – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. Ohtani, buddy, you’re making that sell high talk way too relevant. We want to see you succeed, but with these walks and your blister and the whole je ne sais quoi of your shtick you’re making us all a little scared. Sell if there is still significant value here, hold if you’re not getting anything decent.
Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. 1 ER too many for the QS, a 1.33 WHIP that feels dirty, and just four strikeouts without a Win. Why must you not give us anything?
Vince Velasquez – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Get used to this line. It’s one you’ll see often from VV.
Luke Weaver – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Six walks Weaver?! SIX?! Is that because your curveball suddenly couldn’t be trusted for strikes? Or maybe your command was all over the place with your fastball? SIX?! Then you had to serve a horrid changeup to Cespedes that deservedly sent over 400 feet into the night sky. I’m not ready to give up here – but this is super disappointing after wanting a rebound from the last outing.
Zach Wheeler – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh, I was hoping Wheeler could look more like his self against the Marlins than against the Nats, but the Cards were too much for him to get a strong footing in this one. He’s still a clear drop from the other Spice Girls, but I’m not ready to rule him out completely, especially with a start lined up against the Padres on Sunday.
Jose Berrios – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. The Bronx is a tough place to survive and Berrios couldn’t avoid the longball against Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius, the latter off a terrible changeup this is still plaguing Berrios. Still, curveball was dope, and he earned 14 whiffs across the board here. Keep the faith.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day