Ray's Ramblings - Setting Your Rotation

Posted on 2018-09-27 11:09 by Ray Flowers


How are teams planning to set their rotations down the final week of the season? Ray Flowers touches on some relevant information as to who will be on, and off, the bump. Names like Bauer, Castillo, deGrom, Marque, Buehler, Keuchel, Severino, Velasquez and Taillon are noted. There's also some stuff in the report about Abreu, Betts, Dahl, Bogaerts, Galvis, Odubel, Kiermaier, Peralta, Swanson, and the insanely closer ROY race in the NL between Acuna and Soto. 


Trevor Bauer allowed two runs over four innings Tuesday. The plan is for him to make one more appearance Sunday to try and stretch out his arm even more for the playoffs. Just like Tuesday, Bauer and Carlos Carrasco will both pitch Sunday. Whereas Bauer started Tuesday, Carrasco will start Sunday. Short hand – Bauer has a better chance to pick up a win Sunday than Carrasco since it appears unlikely that the Indians will toss Carrasco out there for five or more frames.

Braves Rotation

Walker Buehler allowed two runs over six innings against the D’backs. That’s two runs over three outings and over his final 68.2 frames he has been, simply, dynamic: 11.01 K/9, 2.62 BB.9, 1.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP with a .166 BAA. Speaking of the Dodgers, it sounds like they will role with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Buehler over the final three starts this weekend. This means that Rich Hill will have his turn skipped as the Dodgers will save him for a potential start if Game 163 is needed or to start the NL Wild Card Game. Here is how the series with the Dodger and Giants this weekend is lining up.

Luis Castillo will not make his final start. He’s healthy, but the team just wants to cap him at the 169.2 innings he threw this season after tossing 169.1 last season. A bit odd that they cut his season one start short given those innings pitched totals. He woefully underperformed this season, but I’m still a big fan of the skills, and he finished the year on a high note with a 2.63 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, a 8.78 K/9 with a 5.00 K/BB ratio over 14 outings. He’s someone I’m gonna target next year.

Jhouyls Chacin improved to 15-8 with a win Wednesday.

Jacob deGrom improved to 10-9 with eight shutout innings against the Braves Wednesday. He ends the year with a 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, along with 269 strikeouts, in what has been a remarkable season. He’s seemingly the favorite for the NL Cy Young award, and has pitched himself to one hell of a season, despite the record.

The Athletics are starting Mike Fiers Friday, Trevor Cahill Saturday and Sunday is to be announced.

German Marquez struck out the first eight Phillies batters Wednesday to tie the modern MLB record. He has 221 strikeouts on the season, an all-time Rockies record. Marquez also tossed seven scoreless innings last night to improve to 14-10 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

Mike Minor has been shut down. Minor won 12 games successfully navigating 157 innings for the Rangers, and he was extremely effective in the second half with a 2.97 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .267 wOBA over 57.2 frames.

Sean Newcomb ends his regular season with 160 strikeouts and 80 walks, good for a not-so-good 2.00 K/BB ratio. That mark has to improve next season, has to, or he’s not going to better the 3.90 ERA and 1.32 WHIP he’s posted over 164 innings this season.

Dallas Keuchel will throw no more than four innings in his final start Friday and could toss as few as two. Terrible news for his owners. Speaking of the Astros, I believe that Charlie Morton is hurt. You can agree or disagree, but there is this. The team thinks he will make one more start, but they are also saying that he may miss the start for the birth of his child. Do you believe in coincidences?

Red Sox and Yankees matchups

Sergio Romo picked up another save. That’s 24 for Romo, his highest total since 2013.

Luis Severino wasn’t overly sharp last time out, but he only allowed two runs. That’s four runs over three starts as Yankee fans can breathe a bit as it appears that he won’t be a disaster in the playoffs if he gets a chance to pitch. Here is how the Yankees will role the final weekend against the Red Sox. 

Jameson Taillon’s breakout campaign has included 21-straight efforts of three earned runs or less. He will get a chance to run that streak to 22 this Saturday against the Reds. Here is how the rotation will play out.

As predicted, Vince Velasquez stunk again. He got just 11 outs in his last outings allowing six runs. He’s imploded of late allowing 18 runs over 12.2 innings leading to a 12.79 ERA pushing his season numbers to a 4.85 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. The Phils plans.

The Braves will use, for all that’s left of their season, Arodys Vizcaino as their closer.

Here are the White Sox probable’s.

Alex Wood was removed, curiously, from the Dodgers’ rotation. In three starts in place of Wood, Ross Stripling is 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA after allowing three runs while generating five outs Wednesday. #GrassIsntAlwaysGreener


Jose Abreu is done for the season. He had a trying year, dealing with some performance woes as well as health issues (most recently a thigh infection). After 4-straight years of going .290-25-100, he will end the 2018 season well off the pace in all three categories (.265-22-78).

Ronald Acuna (.919 OPS, .388 wOBA, 143 wRC+) vs. Juan Soto (.921 OPS, .391 wOBA, 145 wRC+). It will be one hell of a vote for that ROY award. Amazing how close it is, right?

Mookie Betts is the second Red Sox player ever to go 30/30 after he joined Jacoby Ellsbury Wednesday. There haven’t been many lately.

Xander Bogaerts had a homer and four RBI Wednesday. That’s 22 homers and 100 RBI for the shortstop.

David Dahl is streaking. In 19 games this month the Rockies’ outfielder is batting .309/.342/.618 with six homers and 21 RBI in 19 games. All we need now is continued good health. #GoodLuck

Freddy Galvis had a .613 OPS in the first half. In the second, he’s been a different hitter with a .790 mark. In fact, the mark is even higher in September (.821).

Odubel Herrera has career bests in homers (22) and RBI (69). He should go back to being the hitter he was his first three seasons. His average is down to .256 and he’s stolen five bases this season making him barely usable in mixed leagues that start five outfielders. Worse than the overall numbers is the fact that he’s simply stopped performing, for months. After posting a .275/.327/.460 slash line in the first half, his season has turned dreadful in the second half with a .218/.286/.346 line in a terribly disappointing run of ineptitude that includes a .205 average in August and a .177 mark in September.

Kevin Kiermaier’s season is over with a hairline fracture in his foot. He’s a disaster. Not only did he post a poor .653 OPS, but he appeared in 88 games, his second season in a row under 100 and a third in a row of 105 games or less. In fact, in five seasons (tossing out his one game effort in 2013) he’s appeared in 110 games once. Once. He’s one of the least trustworthy options in the game.

David Peralta hit his 30th homer giving him a .296-30-85-75 line. He’s been tremendous.

Dansby Swanson’s regular season is over after it was revealed that he has a partially torn ligament in his left hand. The 2015 first overall selection, Swanson did complete his best season. After hitting nine homers with six steals his first two years, he hit 14 homers this season with 10 thefts. He was better, but you can’t exactly pat a guy on the back for posting a .699 OPS, can you?


You can hear Ray, Monday through Friday, on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Ray is on The Fantasy Drive 8-10 PM EST Monday-Friday, and he’s also on the Guru Elite Show Thursday from 2-4 PM EST. You can follow Ray on Twitter at @baseballguys.