10 Important Stories from 09/10/18 Box Scores: Has Marquez Broken Out, Pitchers To Consider Avoiding & More

by Eric Stashin aka The Rotoprofessor)

Not that we ever expect anything less, but it was another strong showing for Justin Verlander who defeated the Tigers allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 7.0 IP.  Corey Kluber picked the wrong time to implode, allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 1.2 IP against the Rays.  The Zack Godley frustrations continued, though is it a surprise at Coors Field, as he allowed 5 ER on 7 H and 2 BB over 4.0 IP.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s dive into the box scores and take a look:


1) The Reds jump Alex Wood but is it the start of things to come…
He ultimately allowed 7 R (6 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 3.2 IP, with the Reds scoring 4 R in the first inning.  Obviously it was a poor outing, though Wood still owns a solid 3.65 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 148.0 IP.  Of course at 27 starts he clearly has had his problems working deep into games, so having only 8 W stands out.  The velocity on his sinker is also down (92.28 mph to 90.56), and he’s also throwing it less frequently (42.87% entering the day, compared to 49.33% a year ago).  It all comes together for fewer groundballs (49.2%, before generating 4 groundballs vs. 1 fly ball yesterday) and also fewer strikeouts (5 swinging strikes yesterday, just a 7.79 K/9 entering the day).  Throw in a regression in his control since the All-Star Break (3.96 BB/9 entering the day) and the significant luck in that span (.259 BABIP, 84.4% strand rate) and things could continue to tumble.  Be skeptical moving forward.


2) Will Nick Ciuffu continue to hold value…
He went 1-2 with 1 R yesterday, giving him hits in four straight games (5-10, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R).  Obviously those aren’t blow away numbers, but he is a catcher and has shown at least a decent approach (2 K vs. 2 BB over this span).  Before you get too excited keep in mind that he was hitting .262 with 5 HR over 236 PA at Triple-A and while he showed upside only had 7 HR over 417 PA at Double-A a year ago (he had added 29 doubles and 1 triple).  Throw in a 12.2% SwStr% at Triple-A and it’s easy to envision things coming crashing down before long.  With the potential for significant strikeouts and little-to-no power, he’ll likely be unusable moving forward.  In two-catcher formats stream him while he’s hitting and then move on quickly.


3) Gary Sanchez shows life at the plate…
He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday and he’s now hit 2 HR over his past four games.  Is that enough to get anyone excited?  Of course not, as the home runs sandwiched back-to-back 0-fers (0-7 with 2 K) and he’s still hitting just .189 on the season.  He has continued to hit for power (16 HR over 275 AB), but that could be at the center of his issues.  Obviously we’d expect better than the .186 BABIP he entered the day with, but he also continues to pull the ball a lot (50.0% Pull%), is putting the ball in the air significantly more (36.6% to 42.9%) and has struggled with popups (20.0% IFFB).  With today’s shifts, it’s not a surprise that he’s struggled to post a strong average overall.  He could get hot and improve, so be open to using him moving forward, just know he may never be the near .280ish hitter you hoped.


4) Lucas Giolito settles down for a relatively strong start…
He got going slowly, but once he found his footing he ultimately pitched well.  He had to settle for a no decision, but allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 IP.  Obviously we’d like to see more strikeouts, with just 7 swinging strikes, but he did a great job of inducing groundballs (13 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls).  He has been showing more strikeouts in the second half (he entered the day with a 9.37 K/9) and has continued to show strong control (3.49 BB/9 in the second half before yesterday) and a 50+% groundball rate.  The bigger concern is an elevated Hard% (42.8%) and that’s going to continue to bring risk (especially if the strikeouts regress back to his first half numbers).  Consider Giolito a potential streamer when the matchup calls for it, but there is significant risk that you shouldn’t overlook.


5) Has Jakob Junis truly figured things out…
He settled for a no decision against the White Sox, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 8.0 IP.  Despite generating more than enough groundballs (13 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls) he got burned by 2 HR and that ultimately cost him.  Of course the HR issues have been a common trend in 2018, entering the day with a 1.58 HR/9, and while the groundballs were there yesterday that simply hasn’t been the case for most of the year (41.5% entering the day).  Throw in a 9.7% SwStr%, before getting just 10 swinging strikes yesterday, leading to questions about his strikeout upside, and the likelihood that he struggles to generate W and the risk simply may outweigh the reward.  He shouldn’t be ignored down the stretch, if the matchup is right, but don’t plan on utilizing him each and every start.


6) Adam Wainwright returns to modest results…
In a game that featured 15 R and 22 H, the biggest story may have been the return of Wainwright.  Making his first start since May 13 (and only his second since April 17), Wainwright didn’t factor into the decision as he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP.  Obviously the results were unspectacular and while he didn’t allow a run in his 22.0 IP in the minor leagues he also didn’t really impress during his 9.0 IP at Triple-A (4 BB, 38.1% groundball rate).  He hasn’t been a source of strikeouts for a long time and you have to wonder how deep into games he’s going to be able to work (he was pulled after 81 pitches yesterday).  He has potential to be at least a streaming option, but he was never a highly regarded option entering the year and that outlook shouldn’t change now.


7) Has German Marquez truly figured things out…
He was fantastic against the Diamondbacks yesterday, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 11, over 7.0 IP.  Those numbers are impressive, but the underlying marks are even better:

  • Swinging Strikes – 21
  • Groundballs – 8 (compared to 2 fly balls)

It’s his third straight start with at least 11 K and fourth straight with at least 9 K.  He’s going to deserve an in-depth look, but the fact is he entered the day with a 10.08 K/9, 2.85 BB/9 and 47.2% groundball rate, numbers that would play regardless of the ballpark.  A 35.4% Hard% shows a little risk, but it’s not an obscene number and he should improve upon a 72.5% strand rate.  It all comes together for an ideal fantasy pitcher, and while there could be reason to be cautious it looks like he’s emerged.


8) Ronald Guzman leads the way against the Angels…
He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, and is now hitting .239 with 15 HR over 348 AB on the season.  He’s not quite Joey Gallo, and that’s really the problem.  He’s never shown extreme power, including 12 HR over 527 PA at Triple-A a year ago, and his approach in the Majors has left a lot to be desired (he entered the day with a 14.0% SwStr% and 37.8% O-Swing%).  He’s had issues against breaking balls (23.92% Whiff%) and offspeed pitches (19.68% Whiff%), so there doesn’t appear to be much hope for a turn around.  He’s simply never going to be able to hit for a high enough average, unless his power really emerges, to be a viable option.


9) A dominant appearance from Sean Newcomb…
Taking on the Giants he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  While he owns a 3.82 ERA overall, it’s hard to get too excited considering the struggles he had been having (9 ER on 12 H and 7 BB over 8.1 IP in his previous two starts, 3+ ER in four of his previous five).  He continues to have issues with his control (4.46 BB/9 entering the day) and isn’t a groundball machine (43.5% entering the day), and that’s not a combination we ever want to see.  It was a great outing, but can anyone say without a shadow of a doubt that he’s going to be able to replicate, even for one start let alone over the rest of the season?  Great start, but it’s impossible to trust him.


10) Dereck Rodriguez just continues to get the job done…
He lost to the Braves but he pitched well, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 6.1 IP.  He now owns a 2.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 103.1 IP in the Majors, so there’s every reason to buy right?  He entered the day benefiting from a .251 BABIP and 79.3% strand rate, despite a 40.9% Hard%, so it’s easy to envision the numbers blowing up at any moment.  Throw in a limited groundball rate (41.0%), meaning he should allow significantly more home runs (0.56 HR/9) and a pedestrian 8.9% SwStr% and exactly why are we getting excited?  Anyone can keep things going for a few starts so he’s certainly not unusable, but it’s also easy to envision a significant regression at any moment.


Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball


  1. Chris says:

    Hi Prof, do you trust Ryu today @CIN? I’m hesitant because I started Wood yesterday @CIN and he blew up.

    Also, I must say Peraza is one of the most frustrating players to own in fantasy. I dropped him last week after he went on a like 0-20 slump…now in the past 7 days he’s on fire…I feel if I pick him up now he’ll go on one of his patented cold spells

    If you had to pick between peraza and camargo Ros who would you go with?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      re: Ryu – Yea, I’d use him. Don’t let Wood’s poor start deter you

      re: Peraza – I’d ride the hot hand. He has more upside than Camargo, so I’d go with it

  2. larry says:

    Streamer for tomorrow

    Pena vs Tex-Home ERA is 6.17 with a whip of 1.46-Last 7 games 1-2 with era at 3.14
    Lucchesi-@Sea-Away ERA is 2.98 with a whip of 1.04-Last 7 games 2-3 with era of 4.06
    Vargas vs Mia-Home ERA is 5.19 with a whip of 1.42- Last 7 games 3-3 era at 4.60

    Not great chooses-but need to keep pace with other manager for Wins, Ratios and K’s.

    Right now leaning Pena but home era worries me. Just wanted your take.

    Thank you

  3. Bennies Express says:

    Hey Prof,

    I can keep 5 players and I have 6 guys I’m looking at to keep. There is no cost involved.

    Snell, Soto and Dahl are definite keepers imo. Then I have Mallex Smith, Adames and Leclerc. I’m leaning towards including Mallex in that first group of 3 which leaves one spot left for Adames or Leclerc.

    Which 5 of those 6 would you think would be the best to keep?

    Thanks in advance for the advice and for continuing to put out your great articles at a time when other analysts check out!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      First thanks for the support!

      I’m not sure I’d actually consider Dahl a must keep, because PR is always going to be an issue. Leclerc, on the other hand, is a must start

  4. Barry says:

    Hello Professor,

    Thanks for helping guide me to a first round playoff bye en route to the defense of my league title. I’m looking forward to subscribing again in January.

    Here is my SP staff heading into next weeks semi final round.

    Verlander, Mikolas, Bieber, D. Rod, Matz, Velasquez, Godley, Musgrove.

    With Minor, Alcantara, Harvey, Aaron Sanchez, Eflin, Kennedy, Chen, Stratton, T. Richards, Jorge Lopez, A. Suarez, Urena, Glasnow available on the wire, based on current form and upcoming schedules would you suggest any changes to my staff?

    I know this is a lot to digest, however your valued opinion would be greatly appreciated.


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