Just look at him. Smiling. Slender. Smart. Coming in at a 190LBs while standing a svelte 6’3″ if you gave this man some wispy eyebrows, a cardigan and a pipe you’d have yourself a run-of-the-mill ivy league professor. In the greens of Dartmouth’s baseball team, though, you get Kyle Hendricks, the unbecoming, unannounced, unheralded almost ace of the MLB-best Chicago Cubs. Could it really be this dude that plays a massive role in reversing the Cubbies curse? In a word:


Seriously, Hendricks may be nicknamed ‘The Professor’ because he went to Dartmouth (not because he could pass for one), but what he’s done on the mound lately mirrors more Greg Maddux than Albus Dumbledore. Not only do Maddux and Hendricks share a nickname, but they also put together spurts for the Cubs that were Cy Young worthy (to be clear, Hendricks ain’t winning the Cy Young, and he’s no Greg Maddux). Let’s compare the two of the top Cubs pitchers this year:

Pitcher A: .210 AVG/.273 OBP/.587 OPS against, 3.2:1 K:BB, 1.36 ERA and 7-1 at home.
Pitcher B: .197 AVG/.273 OBP/.561 OPS against, 2.9:1 K:BB, 1.61 ERA and 4-2 at home.

And just whom might whom be? Player A: Kyle Hendricks. Player B: Jake Arrieta. They’re both below. They both deserve to be there. Just under the Norse god himself. One’s the reigning Cy Young candidate. The other is a Dartmouth grad. Don’t worry about the name value on Hendricks, he’s been a sneaky top 20 pitcher all year. Those damn Dartmouthians(?).

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. Colors represent worst 8 or best 8 opponents according to team wOBA for last 14 days.

THE BEST –  Yep, just three at the top, and don’t worry, it doesn’t get bloated in the middle. Nope, this week’s full of poor options, but these three would be at the top in any week. And yes, that includes you aforementioned Kyle Hendricks. He’s been nothing short of remarkable.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) STL, COL 2.43/2.00 10.99/1.62
Jake Arrieta (CHC) @CWS, SEA 2.60/2.94 9.57/3.26
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @CWS, SEA 2.27/3.33 7.78/2.43

THE REPLICAS – I’m not afraid of Pomeranz at all, even after Bill Simmons and the rest of the Masshole world lost their minds when he failed to go 4 IP in his first start as a member of the Red Sox. And for the record, I’m a yuge Bill Simmons fan, so don’t think otherwise. Also not thinking otherwise? That Pomeranz will all of a sudden suck. He’s been great, and will continue to do so, even if he doesn’t escape the 7th inning often. I also love what Pineda has done recently, along with Verlander. Keuchel’s creepin back into my good graces. Bout effing time.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Carlos Martinez (STL) @NYM, @ARI 2.83/3.54 7.56/2.91
Drew Pomeranz (BOS) DET, @LAA 2.83/3.38 10.20/3.69
Aaron Sanchez (TOR) SD, BAL 2.87/3.45 7.76/2.66
Michael Pineda (NYY) @HOU, @TB 5.25/3.89 10.75/2.45
Justin Verlander (DET) @BOS, HOU 3.74/3.72 9.45/2.52
Chris Tillman (BAL) COL, @TOR 3.18/4.09 7.63/3.39
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) NYY, @DET 4.70/3.95 7.84/3.85

THE STANDARDS – Not loving any of these this week, but they’re still worthy of putting in the lineup over any mediocre one start option.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Jaime Garcia (STL) @NYM, @MIA 3.98/3.94 7.41/3.19
Steven Wright (BOS) DET, @LAA 2.67/3.43 7.52/3.16
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) @SF, @SD 2.50/3.57 7.15/1.16
Jeremy Hellickson (PHI) @MIA, @ATL 3.84/4.22 7.97/2.03
Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) @MIA, @ATL 3.98/3.98 7.72/2.25
Bartolo Colon (NYM) STL, COL 3.48/4.29 5.80/1.74

THE KNOCKOFFS – Ervin ‘Smell Baseball’ Santana has been sneaky good the past 6 weeks. I still wouldn’t rely on him, though. This tier is just barely above the poop for the sole reason of matchups, name value and potential. Gold plated turds, they’re called.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Ervin Santana (MIN) ATL, CWS 3.93/4.03 6.41/2.48
Gio Gonzalez (WSH) @CLE, @SF 4.53/4.00 9.05/3.38
Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) PHI, STL 4.99/4.58 7.28/1.88
Bud Norris (LAD) TB, ARI 4.53/3.84 8.47/3.15
Ian Kennedy (KC) LAA, @TEX 4.28/5.39 9.38/3.96

THE 8c65e5de808ec301754508366480250c – For this week that emoji is especially prudent. Shields could slide into the tier above, but the Twins have surprisingly hit well the pas month. All the rest…Blegh.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
James Shields (CWS) CHC, @MIN 4.99/5.28 6.32/3.75
Jake Peavy (SF) CIN, WSH 5.15/4.11 7.04/2.71
Martin Perez (TEX) OAK, KC 4.37/4.87 4.15/3.85
Chase Anderson (MIL) ARI, PIT 5.50/5.52 6.90/3.50
Patrick Corbin (ARI) @MIL, @LAD 5.23/5.19 6.71/3.59
Colin Rea (SD) @TOR, CIN 5.01/4.82 6.94/3.86
Daniel Mengden (OAK) @TEX, @CLE 5.52/4.17 9.00/4.70
Chad Bettis (COL) @BAL, @NYM 5.31/4.12 6.95/2.42
Hector Santiago (LAA) @KC, BOS 4.32/4.92 7.83/3.83
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) @BAL, @NYM 6.07/5.23 7.56/4.21
Tom Koehler (MIA) PHI, STL 4.42/4.41 7.00/4.42
Matt Cain (SF) CIN, WSH 5.88/5.20 6.34/2.87
Matt Garza (MIL) ARI, PIT 5.94/4.61 5.45/3.22
Yovani Gallardo (BAL) COL, @TOR 5.69/5.14 6.02/5.04
Lucas Harrell (ATL) @MIN, PHI 4.24/3.79 6.56/3.47
Kyle Lohse (TEX) OAK, KC 12.54/9.69 2.89/4.82

All players listed are projected for two starts, and this list is subject to changes after the article is posted.

Somehow Hendricks still isn’t owned universally. If he’s, by some chance, available in your league, well…you’re not the brightest of the bunch. Freaking get him. For everyone else: here’s your sneaky trade deadline target. And now I have no chance of getting him in my RCL’s.

Here’s to hoping he continues pitching like the O.P. (Original Professor), Greg Maddux, and mirrors Arrieta in Week 17. As for the rest, if they’re under tier 2.5, just keep it movin’.


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Siren Vogelsong
Siren Vogelsong
6 years ago

Skaggs is getting called up and I think he has two starts next week if he stays. Where would you put him? Thanks.

Reply to  Siren Vogelsong
6 years ago

@Siren Vogelsong: I’ve been a closet Skaggs fan for three years running. He seems to have great upside, and his numbers in the minors this year have been stellar. I’m always hesitant on the prospects when they first come up, tho. Yes, Skaggs has been there before, but I’ll lean on the conservative side for week one and put him right above Gio. That Boston matchup, if he pulls them, could be death.

What Would Dykstra Do?
What Would Dykstra Do?
6 years ago

Last day for trading in my 12 team point h2h keeper league, need pitching. Only a few good ones out there, willing to trade. Lester, Verlander and Kyle Hendricks… I offered Ozuna for Lester or Verlander, and got shut down. Tried to add Gurriel or Edwin Diaz… No dice. So my options are to over pay for Lester and and Verlander, possibly hurting my point production or something like Ozuna for Hendricks…
And of course, just staying put.
Here’s my team, please advise..
C-Tommy Joseph
2B-Neil Walker
P-Edwin Diaz
P-Wade Davis

Reply to  What Would Dykstra Do?
6 years ago

@What Would Dykstra Do?: I love the Hendricks add as a possibility, but you might think about moving a hot Franco for the best SP available since you have Donaldson and Arenado, and can slot in a hot bat to UTIL. Try Franco for any of those names (doubt you can get Lester with that). And push come to shove Ozuna for Hendricks is a good deal for your squad. You have plenty of hitting it looks like.

What Would Dykstra Do?
What Would Dykstra Do?
Reply to  [email protected]
6 years ago

@[email protected]: Thanks [email protected], that makes sense. I was leaning on hitting all year, because of how volatile the pitching has been. But, i think i need one more reliable pitcher for the playoffs and Ozuna oe Franco seem to be the most expendable.

Cheers brother

Reply to  What Would Dykstra Do?
6 years ago

@What Would Dykstra Do?: Yessir! Hope it works for you!

Mike Schenk
Mike Schenk
6 years ago

My efforts to trade for an ace have been unsuccessful. I’ve got fulmer and Velasquez on my team. I’m happy with their performance, but worried down the stretch with their innings capped. I’m hoping to add an arm or two as an insurance policy.

Thoughts on me offering cespedes for the likes of Happ and rorak? Instead of reaching for the stars, perhaps try and snag a couple consistent arms instead. Fair deal, or am i giving too much? I’ve got plenty of depth at OF and HR that it wouldn’t be a big loss loosing his bat.

Reply to  Mike Schenk
6 years ago

@Mike Schenk: Still giving up too much. If you give up Yoenis, you need to prepare in getting an Ace in return. While Roark and Happ have been solid, that’s selling low, way low. The market should say you an get more. And if not, then give up less to get those guys. Scary but those innings caps dampen their ROS value.

ThE sHiT
ThE sHiT
Reply to  Mike Schenk
6 years ago

@Mike Schenk: FWIW, I traded Fulmer/Shark for Greinke to a somewhat savvy owner in hopes Greinke at least is decent when he comes back for the stretch run. Fulmer/VV will not net you an ace, maybe a middling #2 at best.

Reply to  ThE sHiT
6 years ago

@ThE sHiT: Fulmer or Velasquez would be included with Cespedes in my offer.

I was scanning the waiver wire and saw hellickson is available. I’m thinking about dropping vinnie to pick him up instead of trading.

Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: I get the oh so humble man’s comment about getting Greinke, but for you I would hold onto VV until he gets closer to shutting down. No reason to jump ship early if you’re not trading him. Other streaming options will be there once he’s done.