Tired of me wanking on about my All-Star votes yet? No? Wow. Okay, here we go. We have 16 picks left. 6 starting pitchers and 2 relievers per league.
Let’s jump right in starting again with the American League.
Starting Pitchers (pick 6)
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) 7-3/2.96/122 SO
Bieber is the defending AL Cy Young winner. This season he’s posting a sub-3 ERA and 12.9 k/9. That’s asinine. That stat is crazy.
Tyler Glasnow (Rays) 5-2/2.57/117 SO
Another guy posting better than a strikeout per inning. And sure, the every team has one or two guys that’s posting a 9+ k/9. But groundballs may be democratic, but strikeouts are still sexy.
Gerrit Cole (Yankees) 7-3/2.31/113 SO
Another strikeout machine in a year where strikeout machines are plentiful. So to be on top of that heap, and the third of three AL pitchers with over 100 strikouts in the first 13 cycles through rotations is unreal. Seriously. This could be a very low scoring game.
Lance Lynn (White Sox) 7-1/1.23/72 SO
John Means (Orioles) 4-2/2.28/69 SO
Casey Mize (Tigers) 2-2/3.44/59 SO
Relief Pitchers (pick 2)
Matt Barnes (Red Sox) 14 SV/1.78/.170 AVG
Barnes and Liam Hendricks are 1A/1B as far as closers go this season. His 14 saves come in 16 opportunities, and his 0.72 WHIP leads closers.
Aroldis Chapman (Yankees) 12 SV/0.39/.097 AVG
Chapman is not averaging 101.1 on his fastball as he did in his sophomore year of 2016. But, he has recovered a mile an hour from 98 in 2020 to 99 so far this season. He has also slowed his offspeed pitch from 91.1 to 89.4. His year to year changes according to Savant are almost all trending in positive directions, which bucks the conventional thinking of a thirty three year old pitcher who made his debut over a decade ago throwing absolute nuclear seeds. His performance this season is worthy of a midseason hat tip, and with the skills cliff approaching, this may be the last opportunity to give him an earned victory lap.
Starting Pitchers (6)
Jacob deGrom (Mets) 5-2/0.62/93 SO
deGOAT has pundits whispering “sub 1-ERA season) already. He reminds me of Steve Carlton’s 1972 Cy Young “Win Day” season when the Phillies were so atrocious that the team literally waited for Lefty to get on the mound to believe they had any chance of winning. Give the man the start and put him in front of a line-up that has any hope of winning a game.
Trevor Bauer (Dodgers) 6-4/2.40/103 SO
Bauer is good for baseball. If for no other reason than he keeps the League Office on it’s toes. His insightful vlog and his support of the game through his involvement in Momentum kept me interested in baseball during the very unusual last 14 months. He’s also the reigning and defending “Mickey Mouse Cy Young Award” winner.
Max Sherzer (Nationals) 5-4/2.22/104 SO
Zack Wheeler (Phillies) 4-3/2.51/100 SO
Corbin Burnes (Brewers) 3-4/1.97/94 SO
Kevin Gausman (Giants) 7-0/1.27/93 SO
Relief Pitchers (2)
Mark Melancon (Padres) 19 SV/0.66/.181 AVG
Melancon is 19 of 21 on save opportunities and is anchoring the upstart Padres. As this team matures, they’re going to become increasingly dangerous. At 36 years old, Melancon can be the grounding veteran voice that can help this team challenge the Dodgers and Giants for divisional dominance.
Alex Reyes (Cardinals) 16 SV/0.90/.144 AVG
While Melancon is letting his defense do the work, Reyes is a perfect 16-16 in save opportunities racking up 42 strikeouts in 30 innings. His 0.90 ERA comes off a .144 opponent batting average giving up a homerun every 15 innings, and only 1 hit every other inning. Opponents have a tough time putting wood on Reyes’ pitches, and they haven’t capitalized when they have. Reyes is your 9th inning guy if you need to keep the American Leaguers off the base paths.