If you were to predict the ace of the Astros staff in April — it would’ve been the Fram-Fram man wouldn’t it? Framber Valdez’s 1.72 ERA obviously isn’t sustainable, but his 2.59 FIP is showing me that maybe it’s not TOO far off from reality. The guy has improved drastically on his control (2 BB/9 compared to 5.6 last year) and has allowed only 1 HR in 31.1 IP this year. I’m a little worried about the walks and hits returning to previous numbers — but for this week he has two relatively good match-ups (vs LAA; vs OAK) and you should ride his hot hand. He could be up in Code Blue soon. 

Code Green: This area is reserved for your Gerrit Cole’s, your Jacob deGrom’s, your Patrick Corbin’s when he is facing two weak opponents. I’m not even going to waste the lactic acid in typing about these guys. If you need me to tell you to start Shane Bieber in a two-start week you need more help than I can provide at this cost. 

 

Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
1 Luis Castillo CIN R 4.44 @MIL 0.603 CHC 0.767
2 Trevor Bauer CIN R 3.97 @MIL 0.603 CHC 0.767
3 Lance Lynn TEX R 1.37 OAK 0.747 LAD 0.828
4 Chris Paddack SDP R 4.26 SEA 0.690 @COL 0.749
5 Julio Urias LAD L 2.74 @SF 0.821 @TEX 0.654
6 Jack Flaherty STL R 3.12 KC 0.701 CLE 0.652
7 Aaron Civale CLE R 2.91 MIN 0.761 @STL 0.694
8 Tyler Glasnow TBR R 6.00 TOR 0.770 @MIA 0.715

 

Love:

  • Jack Flaherty: The only reason Flaherty isn’t higher is the innings limit. His first start back he only threw 41 pitches which leads me to believe maybe he’ll be at 60 vs the Royals followed by 75-80 against the Indians. They’re nice match-ups, just temper your expectations for now. 

 

Hate:

  • Tyler Glasnow: I don’t hate Tyler Glasnow because he has a 6.00 ERA, he has a 6.00 ERA because I hate him. I will cut him some slack though — he had to face the Yankees twice who have been absolutely crushing right-handed pitching this year. The Blue Jays are a tough match-up too — they’re top-10 in team OPS vs righties — but Miami is 19th. This could be a mixed bag and he might fit better in tier 2 — but I’m giving him one last chance to be in tier 1 territory. 

 

Code Blue: Now we’re getting interesting! These are your “not-quite-ready-for-code-green players.” These guys have either been performing really well and I’d still start them regardless of match-up — or have two easy match-ups that I can’t let you pass up their double-dip for this week. 

 

Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
9 Brandon Woodruff MIL R 3.23 CIN 0.734 PIT 0.544
10 Jesus Luzardo OAK L 3.67 @TEX 0.654 @HOU 0.820
11 Jose Berrios MIN R 4.75 @CLE 0.652 @DET 0.631
12 Pablo Lopez MIA R 2.42 @WAS 0.699 TB 0.770
13 German Marquez COL R 4.38 @ARI 0.733 SD 0.790
14 Rich Hill MIN L 4.7 @CLE 0.577 @DET 0.91
15 Spencer Turnbull DET R 3.65 CHC 0.767 MIN 0.761
16 Adam Wainwright STL R 2.00 KC 0.701 CLE 0.652
17 Merrill Kelly ARI R 2.59 COL 0.749 SF 0.709
18 Brad Keller KC R 0.00 @STL 0.694 @CWS 0.732

 

Love:

  • Jose Berrios: Mmmmm look at dem match-ups. Fresh off 6 shutout innings against the Brewers allowing only two baserunners with 9 Ks Berrios gets to face the team with the 26th ranked wOBA vs righties and the 28th team. Oh yea — those same Brewers he bamboozled have a 28.1% K/rate against righties. The Tigers? 29.9%. 

Hate:

  • Spencer Turnbull: This has more to do with Turnbull (although the Cubs and Indians have been top-12 offenses vs righties.) But our boy Bull after hold his first three opponents to 4 ERs in 18 innings with 18 Ks has fallen apart in his last two starts: 6.2 IP, 6 ER, 3 Ks. Has he been spending too much time with Matthew Boyd?

 

Code Yellow: Maybe these guys have been underperforming this year — but have one or two cake-walk opponents that I think you could take advantage of. Or someone who is doing well this year — or has done pretty well in the recent past, but is facing a Yankees/Dodgers double dose. Or maybe they just have a case of jaundice and I want to be cheeky. 

 

Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
19 Cristian Javier HOU R 3.55 LAA 0.797 OAK 0.747
20 Sean Manaea OAK L 6.39 @TEX 0.654 @HOU 0.820
21 Spencer Howard PHI R 6.17 @WAS 0.699 ATL 0.820
22 Marco Gonzales SEA L 3.34 @SD 0.758 @LAA 0.618
23 Kyle Gibson TEX R 4.73 OAK 0.747 LAD 0.828
24 Alec Mills CHC R 4.76 @DET 0.631 @CIN 0.734
25 Johnny Cueto SFG R 4.35 LAD 0.828 @ARI 0.733
26 Framber Valdez HOU L 1.72 LAA 0.618 OAK 0.752
27 Casey Mize DET R 6.23 CHC 0.767 MIN 0.761
28 Chase Anderson TOR R 2.79 @TB 0.770 BAL 0.751
29 Tommy Milone BAL L 4.13 @TB 0.800 @TOR 0.746

 

Love:

  • Alec Mills (@DET): Mills has been roughed up his last two starts ( 10 ER, 9.2 IP,) but a start against the Tigers is a good place for him to get back in the win column. As I mentioned in the Jose Berrios blurb, the Tigers have the worst K/rate against righties and have the second-worst walk rate. 
  • Marco Gonzales (@LAA): Padres are way too hot to face right now, but Gonzalez has a 7-1 record vs. the Angels in his 14 career starts against them. He only has 70 Ks in 82.1 IP, but that’s par for the course for him. But of course, Mike Trout is still hitting .419 against him for his career with 3 HRs. Is there anyone that guy can’t hit? 

 

Hate: 

  • Kyle Gibson: Soft tossing Kyle Gibson vs. the top-ranked offense against righties? Goodnight Gibson. Against the 6th ranked offense vs. righties (Padres) he was hit for 5 ER in 5 IP — with probably a grand slam in there somewhere. 

 

Code Red: Starting these players will be no Baja Blast! Bad numbers, bad opponents, bad attitudes. I’d rather get shocked with a High Voltage from touching a Live Wire in my Pitch Black basement than put these guys in my lineup.  

 

Rank Name Team L/R ERA OPP1 OPS vL/vR OPP2 OPS vL/vR
30 Tanner Roark TOR R 4.76 BOS 0.737 BAL 0.751
31 Alex Young ARI L 4.50 COL 0.805 SF 0.821
32 Austin Voth WAS R 5.00 MIA 0.715 @BOS 0.737
33 Erick Fedde WAS R 2.55 PHI 0.764 @BOS 0.737
34 Patrick Sandoval LAA L 5.40 @HOU 0.820 SEA 0.542
35 Daniel Castano MIA L 4.35 @WAS 0.919 TB 0.800
36 Steven Brault PIT L 3.00 @CWS 0.943 @MIL 0.805
37 Ryan Castellani COL R 3.77 @ARI 0.733 SD 0.790
38 Brett Anderson MIL L 3.71 CIN 0.801 PIT 0.784
39 Trevor Richards TBR R 5.94 BAL 0.751 @MIA 0.715
40 Kyle Hart BOS L 11.12 @TOR 0.745 WAS 0.919
41 Jose Suarez LAA L 33.75 @HOU 0.820 SEA 0.542

 

Love:

  • Patrick Sandoval vs SEA: it almost seems like the Mariners have never seen a left-handed pitcher before. Against lefties they’re dead last in batting average, OPS and second-to last in K/rate. Sandoval faced the Mariners already this year and held them to 1 ER in 4 IP at the end of July. Don’t for a second think about starting him in his first game — but there’s value in that second game.

Hate:

  • The rest. 
 
  1. Sonny Deez Nutz says:
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    Kenta Maeda bumped to Monday. He’ll be a 2 start pitcher next week.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry William Klug says:
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      Yea – my bad.
      He’s definitely near the top of tier 1 – he’s pitching like a Cy young candidate right now.

  2. Josh Freeman says:
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    Snell now has 2 starts next week. Where do you put him? Ahead of Glasnow? Berrios? Marquez? Thanks.

    • BadFantasyManager says:
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      Note that Maeda is pitching on Monday and Hill on Tuesday. Would Maeda be in tier 1 or 2?

      Another thing, would you put Mize against both CHC and MIN? I am in H2H league and luckily I have Maeda, Civale, Mize, and Valdez pitching two times so I may play matchup instead of throwing all of them.

      • BadFantasyManager says:
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        Sorry to Freeman that I replied on his comment by mistake.

      • Kerry Klug

        Kerry William Klug says:
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        Tier 1.
        I wouldn’t start Mize especially if you have those other 3 studs.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry William Klug says:
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      I’d out him above Glasnow.
      He’s got blue Jays/Marlins and is now at a good pitch total.

  3. Deltron says:
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    Are the Mariners still using a six-man rotation? If so, that would push Marco Gonzales’ second start to Monday.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry William Klug says:
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      Ohhh good catch!
      Yea it looks like Justin Dunn is going Sunday.

  4. Gigorilla says:
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    Why are all the story headlines at RBall some weak attempt to be funny, sarcastic, and weird,
    like something from a bad Jewish 1960’s comedy, like its a mad mad mad world?

    Keep it simple guys.

    Grey?………..

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry William Klug says:
      (link)

      My mom did always tell me I’m as handsome as Buddy Hackett

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