Going For The Winckowski

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Josh Winckowski (BOS) @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Have you been following Josh Winckowski’s run for the Red Sox? After yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches performance against the Cubs, Josh holds a 3.12 ERA for the season, allowing just 5 ER total and three Wins across his last four starts. That sure feels like something to chase, doesn’t it?

Before you get all pumped, there are a few things you should know. 1) He faced the A’s, Tigers, Guardians, and Cubs in this stretch. 2) His sinker holds a 2% SwStr rate and allows 42% hard contact across 41% usage. 3) He has a solid slider (16% SwStr rate + 34% CSW!) but his changeup is as mediocre as you’ll find. 4) He holds a 1.17 WHIP across this “great” stretch and will continue to be a liability. 5) These four starts have returned just 15 strikeouts for a 16% strikeout rate. 6) STOP ASKING FOR MORE NUMBERS.

This is a Win chaser with a hope for a decent ERA along the way. It means you don’t start him against the Yankees this week and take the chance against the Rays if you’re willing to sacrifice a possible destructive WHIP (and maybe ERA too!) with few strikeouts. Don’t overvalue the fella.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ SEA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Atta boy Blackburn, you’re such a proper Tobyit’s sickening. I kinda adore your curveball, especially your enthusiasm for it, though we’re not starting him against the Astros. Is he worth the hold for the Rangers after? Only you can answer that in your situation.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs TB (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 42 pitches.

Gausman left this one early when a comebacker got him in the foot. X-rays were negative and we hold our breath that he’ll make his next start. Bummer.

Alec Mills (CHC) vs BOS (ND) – 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 7 pitches.

He was pulled with a back injury, forcing Mark Leiter Jr. to show up and toss 57 pitches of 5.1 frames of 1 ER ball. Pretty dang impressive on short notice and against the Sawx. Doesn’t mean anything for fantasy, though, and I feel from Mills here.

George Kirby (SEA) vs OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 100 pitches.

YES. That’s the Kirby we want to see against the Athletics, not the dumb 4 HR game against the Orioles. Four-seamer was great, curveball got called strikes, and the slider went 67% strikes. It’s going to be a challenge against the Jays next, though. Good luck.

Shane McClanahan (TB) @ TOR (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Even against the Jays, McShane DOESN’T CARE. That’s a King Cole as his changeup’s resurgence continues, here with 44% CSW and 9/32 whiffs, limiting his heater to just 32% usage. The man has it figured out. We are all McClanafans.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) @ MIN (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

Jeeeez, really? Lyles surthrived (I’m so sorry) against the mighty Twins, showcasing the best version of his slider. It feels like a Birthday Partybut they happen slightly more frequently than the term requires. It’s worse than a traditional coin flip but keep him on the dome for those desperate moments. On The Dome, the latest action-packed game show from Spike TV. Tuesdays at 9pm CT with host Chuck Woolery.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) vs SD (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 97 pitches.

Props here to Anderson dealing against a Padres lineup that loves to feast on southpaws. His changeup and cutter were on point and he’ll get the Cubs next as a reward. I’m happy for y’all that this worked, I really didn’t expect it to go this well.

José Urquidy (HOU) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 104 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Urquidy is still dominating with heaters at 94 mph, here going 10/59 whiffs on the pitch as his changeup and curveball helped. I guess it’s working and I should get on board, especially with the Athletics next.

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yessssss. It’s pretty funny to me how there’s little middle ground with Strider. Either he pumps 63%+ strikes and dominates, or it’s sub 60% and he falters. He also tossed the hardest fastball ever from a starting pitcher at 102+ mph en route to a Gallows Pole and let’s all rejoice. Please keep finding the zone, Strider.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ayyyyy there’s the Cortes we fell for. His four-seamer earned whiffs again and his slider did work – I’m talking 10/24 called strikes as he flipped the lovely thing in there constantly. That’s how you do it, Cortes.

Dylan Cease (CWS) @ SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 104 pitches.

And here I was, about to award you the AGA label. Like the NYC rent, that WHIP is TOO DANG HIGH. Weird to see 19 whiffs and just four strikeouts, but I blame the four-seamer and curve as the slider did its job with 50% usage and 44% CSW. I really dig that embrace of the breaker and I think this will work out longterm because of it. I just need something else to click for the WHIP to follow. One day.

Daniel Castano (MIA) @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

It’s awfully boring, but Castano is cruising with cutters and sliders like a mini Ryan Yarbrough at a slightly harder velocity. Can’t say I love it, but he could get the Pirates a week from Tuesday and maybe that’s worth a stream then. Definitely not the Mets next, though.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 68 pitches.

This was a Still ILL start against the Jays, can’t say the outcome is all too shocking. I kinda dig how he elevated four-seamers with intent here, but the slider and cutter were…okay. We’re going to see at least one start where this all comes together in the near future and it could be the Reds next. Still, there is a capped ceiling here, especially with him just at 68 pitches here. It limits the innate value of chasing Rasmussen.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s great n all, but is it as good as McClanahan?! The thoughts are beginning to creep in y’all…

Bryse Wilson (PIT) vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Even when Wilson held just a 3.00 ERA, he had to have a 1.50 WHIP along the way. This is why we can’t have Bryse things.

Tyler Mahle (CIN) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 110 pitches.

Hmmmm. So it’s not so bad as the normal home/road splits are for Mahle, and his four-seamer was still a strong pitch, he just had nothing else to support it. Fortunately, it’s the Pirates next (still at home, but whatever) and I expect a better WHIP and more strikeouts there.

Kris Bubic (KC) @ DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

He’s at 91.3 mph and doesn’t have the command we want to see, making him struggle against the Tigers. The Tigers! No, I will not be saying Kris! Mas! this holiday season.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ NYM (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hmmmm, I think the magic is starting to wear off with this slightly better VPQS and just four strikeouts. Sure, sure, it’s the Mets and he still had solid changeup command, but it’s not quite the same guy right now. I feel iffy against the Twins next – the Rangers really need to deal him today.

Beau Brieske (DET) vs KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.

I feel like Brieske giving a VPQS with just three strikeouts is incredibly on-brand. You’re never truly thrilled from Faux Briekse.

Logan Webb (SF) vs CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna give you a PQS and a 1.17 WHIP. It’s not the greatest, but the slider is still wide awake and that should make you feel good about this.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. The breakers weren’t there last time and here…they didn’t do enough. We’ll see those moments where Gray dominates with his slider and curveball, but it’s a bit frustrating waiting for that stretch to begin. Stick with it as this is essentially the floor and it ain’t so terrible.

Aaron Civale (CLE) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Sure, he allowed 4 ER against the Yankees, but that’s a strikeout per inning with a 1.17 WHIP, too. His curveball was vicious and his overall command was pretty dang good around the edges. This may be the time to jump in with the Royals next, even if his slider/cutter wasn’t all too impressive.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs ARI (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Is it bad that I saw this line and instantly thought “hey, this could have been worse”? That’s where we are with Gomber right now.

Kirk McCarty (CLE) vs NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

I. Don’t know. If I want. Kirk. To. Captain. My ship. That’s a lie, I definitely don’t.

Jackson Tetreault (WSH) vs MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

Womp womp. I was hoping Tetreault would pump heaters in the zone effectively again but what we got was a 42% strike rate on four-seamers. THAT’S SO BAD. He kept nibbling glove-side and simply not making the adjustment. It’s an easier fix than a normal five-walk performance with one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!but we’re done streaming for a bit.

Aaron Ashby (MIL) @ PIT (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 62 pitches.

This was a Still ILL as we didn’t know how long Ashby would go + you know, the whole forearm injury thing. His velocity was good and commanded his sinker well, but his slider, curve, and changeup were erratic. I’m not sure if I want to start him for 75-80 pitches against the Pirates later this week.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut with those ten strikeouts – why does it feel like it has to be an either/or with Darvish? Whatever, we keep starting him and move on.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. Those ratios are atrocious, but at least he salvaged the start with nine punchouts? His slider + changeup accrued 15 whiffs between them so at least that’s a thing. You better feast on the Orioles next time out, Sandoval.

Trevor Williams (NYM) vs TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 59 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Trevor. Annnnd there he goes. Max Scherzer should return this week so let’s forget this.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) @ PHI (ND) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 66 pitches.

Oooof. I wonder when we’ll get that start where we’ll begin loving Liberatore. And then we won’t believe it and we’ll start the process of waiting again. Sigh.

Dallas Keuchel (ARI) @ COL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

Watching this season of Keuchel feels like me staring at the clock of 10th-grade history class, just 15 minutes in. WHEN WILL IT END?!

Kyle Gibson (PHI) vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.

Womp womp. We don’t hold him in high regard and it’s because of the times like these where he shows up and gives us a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. OUR LEAGUES ARE AT STAKE GIBSON PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY.

Thomas Hatch (TOR) vs TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 10 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

I feel like the Jays could have hatched a better plan. Don’t count your ratios before they Hatch. Okay, that’s enough.

Game of the Day 

 

MacKenzie Gore vs. Clayton Kershaw – Two fun southpaws, one young, one old. Now that’s some good baseball.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

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

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