A Mason Jarred

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

After a pair of outings featuring sub 90 mph velocity, Madison Bumgarner had an evening with the Astros and if you elected to start him, you chose…poorly – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Yikes. His heater was at 88 mph, his cutter command wasn’t as good as we’ve seen, curveballs didn’t help a whole lot and not a single pitch returned a CSW above 30%. He’s not looking like his former self in the slightest and now holds an 8.0% SwStr for the year, the lowest he’s held since 2010. It’s not what you want.

This was the Astros, though, and a pair of starts against the Padres should be okay to let Bumgarner fly. He’s turning into more of a Toby than an actual ace for your squad and unless he gets his curveball in order or increases his fastball velocity, it’s hard not to think otherwise. Sorry, Mason, but this ain’t your typical rodeo.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Tyler Mahle vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks, 13 Whiffs, 31% CSWIs it bad that I’m not more hyped about this start? I mean, I’m stoked that Mahle helped me continue my six-game streaming streak to erase that terrible 0-6 start to the year (I want to thank everyone that believed in me, Streaming Record: 6-6.), but Mahle is still a fastball first and fastball last kind of pitcher. He had some nice breakers mixed in, but this was a start willed through fastballs and they weren’t incredibly well spotted. I think against a better offense (the Indians are struggling), Mahle should be a bit of a question mark…except he gets the Royals and Pirates next. Yep that’s exactly what we want. Go go go.

Jesus Luzardo vs TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 32% CSWLike so many of you, I was thrilled to watch Luzardo get a proper start after waiting so long. He looked great against the Rangers and I was shocked to see him hit 76 pitches (I really hate this game of guessing pitch counts), meaning I’m pushing him way up on Monday as he’s set for six frames moving forward. This is a Top 30 arm with his changeup, though I hope to see more from his slider in future starts. 1/16 whiffs isn’t gonna cut it.

Pablo Lopez @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks, 11 Whiffs, 26% CSWThis was so fun to watch with PabLo and Means each showcasing why they need to be rostered in your league. Not quite a Gallows Pole we’re hoping for, but he was pulled a little early given this was his first start of the season. His changeup had some lovely moments, his new cutter did solid work, and he had some fantastic heaters along the way. I think there’s another gear for Lopez to hit if he can get a little more consistent across the board and I hope he hits it this year. Next up are the Mets and Braves and it’s not a must start – those are decent lineups! – but you could do worse.

Lance Lynn @ OAK (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Lynn finds a way to get six frames each start, throwing over 100 pitches in each outing thus far. He’s got your back. He threw about 60%+ heaters in this one, leaning heavier than usual on cutters that returned a 42% CSW so that’s pretty cool. There’s not much else to say, Lynn is dope and makes you feel dope for drafting him.

Jose Berrios vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks, 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Obviously a better start here from Berrios, but his curveball is still a mystery, inducing just 3/19 whiffs against the Pirates. The Pirates! His four-seamer did the work today and that’s wonderful, it’s just hard to be a major fan when he hasn’t gotten into one of those grooves we know so well. But hey, it’s the Royals twice now because the Twins be like that and things are cool.

Cristian Javier @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks, 4 Whiffs, 24% CSWHe threw under 80 pitches here and was gassed a bit once again, falling to 90/91 until his final heater of the game at 92+. And here’s the thing, after earning a ton of whiffs with heaters against the Dodgers, guess how many he induced against the Diamondbacks? None. Not a single fastball whiff on 51 pitches thrown. His sldier was still great, but man that stings a lot. I’m not saying he’s a flat out drop, but don’t be shocked if he can’t handle the A’s next. He does get the Mariners after and that sounds cool, but you get the point. This could be rough.

Max Fried vs TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks, 6 Whiffs, 19% CSWWhen will Nick become a real Fried believer? When he can avoid having a night with a 19% CSW, that’s when. Not nearly as overpowering as last time out, here with just 4/34 whiffs on sliders and curveballs and a bit spotty with his heater. But you keep starting Fried and that’s fine. I’m just not as amped as I want to be.

Charlie Morton vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 28% CSWThe velocity was back early, and then it wasn’t. He’s still about two ticks down from last season, making me a bit scared for the full year. Nevertheless, it’s an aces gonna ace as he figured it out, but you shouldn’t be shocked when I say that I’m skeptical. No need to bench him yet or do anything rash.

Andrew Heaney @ SEA (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 28% CSWIt’s not what you want from Heaney who was looking like his best self in his first two starts (A Philly? Really?), then had a lovely matchup against the Mariners…WHOA. Savant is classifying Heaney’s fastball as a four-seamer now! And he’s throwing it two ticks slower than 2019! Wait, that’s not good at all. He located it well at the top of the zone, but when coming in at 90/91 instead of 92/93, that resulted in zero whiffs in 46 thrown. Uggggggh. His changeup was the dreamboat of a pitch we remember while his curveball failed to find its location and I’m worried again. Great, wonderful, thrilling.  He gets the Rangers next and I think that’s our Judgement Day. If he doesn’t’ calibrate for that one, I think we drop with the Dodgers after. Drop?! Yeah, it’s a short season!

Dinelson Lamet vs LAD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 25% CSWProfessor Chaos is back as he held a no-hitter for a good while but only had two strikeouts. No one knows what is coming out of that hand on each pitch but hey, you stick with it. Sorry for the Phillyy’all. I know how much those hurt.

John Means vs MIA (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks, 9 Whiffs, 28% CSWI loved this start. I know it didn’t have the CSW or the super-duper-my-god-I’m-jumping-out-of-my-computer line, but Means was sitting 94/95 and touching 96 mph with better command than the first start against the Yankees. His slider and curveball each had moments as well, though there were two small hiccups – his fastball wasn’t quite as good as last year (better than last time though!) and his changeup was floated too often. But man, that velocity with his repertoire…I felt like I was watching a good version of Robbie Ray up there at times. He’s currently set up for two starts against the Nationals next and I’m doing it. He’s going to have a line like the next one at some point and everyone will be talking about him. Be the hipster and grab Means before he was cool.

Shane Bieber @ CIN (W) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks, 18 Whiffs, 39% CSWAces gonna ace as Bieber became the actual first to win both the Gallows Pole and King Cole in the same night (Sorry, I incorrectly gave it to deGrom yesterday when Montas had a higher CSW). Should there be a term for that? The Undertaker as he’s the King of the Gallows? Eh, I’ll think about it. Anyway, Bieber, how dare you allow a longball to the hot-as-grandma’s-pie Nick CastellanosAfter allowing two ER early, it was a pleasure to see Bieber settle down and ride it out over nearly eight frames. That’s what aces do.

German Marquez vs SF (W) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks, 15 Whiffs, 36% CSWMarquez is absolutely ROLLING to start this year. Should I be discounting his performances since it was two outside Coors then this one…against the Giants? Ehhh maybe? At the same time, he’s away against Seattle next time out and it may just be a handful of poor matchups ahead. Regardless, this Marquez is as close to 2018 as we’ve seen with a slider that returned a 44% CSW (7/16) and fantastic heaters up in the zone as his curveball did its normal Marquez curveball things. I’ll be raising him up the ranks on Monday, but I can’t shove too far – Coors is undefeated y’all and we know the floor.

Kyle Hendricks vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks, 8 Whiffs, 26% CSWIt’s like you took aspects of each of his first two starts and smashed them together to make one evening. This is what you should roughly expect from Hendricks in a night against the Royals – great ratios without many strikeouts. It’s supposed to be Cardinals then Brewers next so hopefully he’s just fine for both.

Brandon Woodruff vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 33% CSWAces gonna ace. He went 95 pitches here and to no surprise he dominated with heaters. The slider did its part landing in the zone for strikes and he called it day. Only 13 changeups now as we’re back to normal (0/13 whiffs), but that’s fine as his slider did its job. We cool here.

Dustin May @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks, 9 Whiffs, 38% CSWThe May train has left the station! An absurd 43% CSW on that sinker that has taken over Twitter, but I do find May a little too hittable if you’re able to stay honest on his sinker – the pitch went just 2/44 on whiffs, but earned a whopping 38% called strikes. That’s crazy high for a primary pitch. It’s wicked movement will stun batters for more called strikes than normal, and his cutter does its fair share of missing bats as well at 94 mph, so I’m on board here. I just don’t think we’ll see another eight strikeout effort again. And that’s fine, May will get his starts with Alex Wood on the IL and now that he’s above 80 pitches, we should see six frames more often.

Lucas Giolito @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks, 14 Whiffs, 29% CSWAces gonna ace. The pitch separation is ridiculous with Giolito right now. You think this could be a north-south pitcher? He’s doing a great job of keeping those changeups lower than his heaters, making it so tough for batters to figure out what’s coming. I really want to see his slider get into the mix, though. I worry he may be a bit more volatile if he isn’t able to mix that pitch in effectively to keep hitters honest.

Patrick Corbin vs NYM (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 29% CSWAces gonna serve us a Philly one out away from a VPQS but his slider is still the best and he’s already throwing over 100 pitches. The velocity was slightly down here, but I’d imagine that to return next time.

Justin Dunn vs LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks, 4 Whiffs, 30% CSWHis slider was the most used pitch from his arsenal here, which normally speaks to a high whiff total, but instead we saw just 4/76 whiffs across all his pitches. Blegh. I think he’s a Young Gun that we’ll just have to avoid this year.

Kevin Gausman @ COL (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks, 15 Whiffs, 39% CSWThat’s two straight ridiculous CSW starts – he had too few innings last time to be crowned the King Cole and here missed it by about one pitch. This start was in Coors, too, and it’s hard not to stroke your goatee with a pensive mumble. Gausman…mmmm….Oddly enough, I think he threw some very hittable heaters in this one, though his splitter was good enough for 6/27 whiffs and I’m encouraged as he went a solid 83 pitches here. The problem is that it’s the Dodgers and Athletics next. I just can’t get behind it to take those chances. Maybe in the second half…?

Brady Singer @ CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks, 11 Whiffs, 37% CSWLike May, Singer killed it with a 44% CSW on his fastball, pushing that strikeout total way up. It’s a little inconsistent for my tastes, but I’d be owning Singer for starts against middle-tier offenses. Against the Twins this weekend? No thanks. And the Twins the following weekend? No again. Ugh, isn’t that the worst?

Nathan Eovaldi @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 26% CSWHey, at least we got six strikeouts this time! I want to like Eovaldi more, but mixed in with some excellent pitches, he is simply too hittable. Now it’s the Rays again followed by the Yankees. You don’t want this.

Joe Musgrove @ MIN (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks, 7 Whiffs, 24% CSWSo you wanna drop Musgrove now. I understand, this is a terrible line and he hasn’t been nearly what we thought he could be this year. Counter: he just went against the Twins (#1 offense) and will next face the Tigers (#30 offense). Maybe not exactly #1–>#30 but you get the point. If you didn’t drop Musgrove before the Twins, why wouldn’t you save him for the Tigers? A start against Minnesota, and one where he had a fair share of bad luck, shouldn’t discourage you, five walks n all. It could go poorly against Detroit, of course, but I’d stick around for it.

Steven Matz @ WSH (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks, 9 Whiffs, 27% CSWOuch, I love the high sinkers and low changeups, but he made mistake pitches and the Nationals punished him for it. The line looks worse than how he pitched and I’d start him in a repeat against the Nationals next week.

Matt Shoemaker @ ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 27% CSWYeah…he’s a Toby at best and more like a Panda on most days – you forgot that one too, didn’t you. Gotta head back to the well at some point, you know?

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

Randy Dobnak vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Easy choice here. Dobnak is a Toby on a winning club against a poor offense. I’m all for this. I’d also start Asher Wojciechowski against the depleted Marlins offense if you’re in more need of strikeouts.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Kyle Freeland vs. San Francisco Giants – Yes, it’s inside Coors but I think Freeland is figuring it out once again. He’s worth the stream.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Colorado Rockies – He’s hosting them in Seattle (Rockie Road) and with that new cutter and increased velocity, this is everything we want.

 

Game of the Day

 

Jordan Montgomery vs. Aaron Nola – I’m excited to see if The Bear still has the velocity while it’s Nola day. I love Nola day.

 

(Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Johnny C says:

    How would you rank Kikuchi, Pablo Lopez, Mahle and John Means ROS? I’m really torn between picking up Lopez and Kikuchi. Thanks!

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Keep it short term!

      Mahle for his next two, then I’d *slightyl* learn Means over Kikuchi, then PabLo.

      You may be able to dance with some on the wire to get as many starts out of them as possible, though! Just be careful for PabLo vs NYM.

  • Avatar Shallow League Decisions says:

    Great recap, Nick.

    I have to move one of my SP in a 2 for 1 deal to make room for Soto now that’s he’s been activated. Would you trade both Corbin and Woodruff for Cole? The Cole owner lacks SP depth. Also, if I offered him both for Cole is it fair in your opinion? Cole doesn’t look sharp and his competition is tougher than being in the West.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks!

      That’s a fair deal if you have plenty of SP depth. I think slightly favored for the woodruff side. Cole should get better.

      • Avatar Shallow League Decisions says:

        It’s the ratios I’m concerned about. Looking for a higher floor thinking Cole will be an improvement there over Corbin.

      • Avatar Shallow League Decisions says:

        Do you like Glasnow better than Woodruff? I have FOMO with Glasnow, but need QS and he hasn’t shown he can go 6 as often.

  • Avatar Giacomo says:

    You’re doing a great job NICK, thank’s for Your awesome analysis. Would You offer Lynn to acquire Dustin May in a dynasty keeper League?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks a lot!

      Ohhhh that’s close. I trust Lynn More for this and next year, but May could step into a larger strikeout role during next season and get the full trust in the Dodgers rotation by 2022, easily.

      Depends on what you want, win now or later!

  • Avatar Kyle says:

    Isn’t “The Executioner” the guy who stands ominously at the gallows and pulls the lever?
    Unfortunately, that feels like a morbid name for the pitcher who seemingly does the best in a given day…

  • Avatar Aaron says:

    I feel so dope right now for drafting giolito lynn woodruff as my 1st 3 sps in god knows what round

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! Wait on SP every year!

      • Avatar Aaron says:

        I agree. I just wish I went with the biebs in one of the earlier rounds. My staff would be untouchable right now. Next year he will go in the 1st or early 2nd depending how he finishes imo. And I hate drafting pitchers in those rounds so I’ll probably never own him but still fun to watch. Do you think Cleveland’s staff this year compares to the nats last year?

  • Avatar Aaron says:

    Giolitos change is stupid. Would you trade Garrett Richard’s for pablo? Dont know enough about Richard’s but I really loved the way pablo pitched before the injury last year.

  • Avatar Triumph the Dog says:

    Interesting take on May. Sounds like he’s no better than a top 50 SP? Also think Wood, once healthy, really supplants him? Or Roberts could go 6-man?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I’d say better than Top 50 as his floor is solid with that repertoire, just a capped ceiling.

      There’s a chance it’s six-man, definitely. You never know with Dodgeritis. If I had to bet, I’d say May has earned his spot to stick there, whether that’s Wood being in long relief or a six-man rotation or something new popping up.

  • Avatar A Guy says:

    Would you trade away Heaney and Javier for Montas?

  • Avatar Andrew S says:

    Musgrove’s line was even stranger than you mentioned, he managed to walk 5 batters but only threw a total of 33 balls, that’s a crazy high percentage of those balls all going to the same at bats.

  • Avatar thatguychris says:

    King of the Gallows = “The Hangman”

  • Avatar Don says:

    How do you feel about lindbolm @ CWS tomorrow?

  • Avatar Taylor says:

    Pick two of Manaea, Lopez, Means

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