I’m going to preface this entire blurb saying that there are still some question marks about Matthew Boyd that I’m obviously not blind to. His velocity was at 91 mph, not the 92/93 we want. He only earned four slider whiffs. There’s still an obvious floor that you want to avoid like it’s that shag rug at John and Betty’s. GET A PROPER VACUUM YOU TWO. But the man just went 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW against the Twins and it’s hard for my heart not to swell with happiness for a pitcher who has struggled so much this season to find a groove and earn a Gallows Pole.
His pitch separation was excellent, with four-seamers up, changeups down-and-away from right-handers, and sliders sitting below the plate, earning 40% along the way as nearly all over the plate were taken for a strike. That slow ball was effective for the third straight game with 7/18 whiffs and to put it simply, this works. He even earned 4/5 strikes with curveballs as well and that’s pretty cool.
The volatility is still a thing and it’s very likely he’ll have a least one more bump in the road in September, but at the very least we can upgrade Boyd to Cherry Bomb status and take it from there. Still a risk, but worth the start against the Brewers next. Just imagine if he could go 20% SwStr again on his slider and ramp that velocity up another tick like it was before…
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Zach Davies @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Was the changeup still working? Yep, not for a good CSW, but it stayed low and induced a ton of outs. That CSW was fuelled by 16 called strikes on sinkers, which is astounding and a product of batters looking for that slow ball plenty. It’s still working and you bet we’re Vargas Ruleing this, but when the changeup isn’t doing it’s thang, you best be getting the first ticket out of Daviesville. It can be a dark place.
Corbin Burnes @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW.Don’t look now, but it’s a 2.35 ERA, 34% K rate, and 1.04 WHIP from Burnes this season – 1.61 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 33% Rate across his last four games, all as a starter. Shockingly, he’s barely touched his slider across these outings, featuring it less than 15% of the time despite being his best pitch, but his cutter and sinker have carved up lineups and you have to feel great starting him each time out. He gets the Cubs next and you should be more than ready to slot him back in your lineup then.
Jorge Lopez vs NYY (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW. I’ll always associate Lopez with Eno Sarris’ presentation from First Pitch Arizona, showcasing leaderboards of good qualities in pitchers and Lopez’s name every so often appearing with legit aces randomly. He has great stuff at times but he’s wildly inconsistent and we can’t bank on that changing at all. This was a bit of a Birthday Party in the ratios realm, but two strikeouts and 6 whiffs in 88 pitches ain’t going to cut it. Not even A-Rod would be interested in this J-Lo.
Randy Dobnak vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW. And Dobnak picks up where he left off. A bit surprising that the Twins don’t let him go six innings as he clearly has the repertoire to go six frames under 100 pitches (just 61 through five here!) but whatever, we’ll take these ratios all day along with an easy Win.
Kyle Cody @ SEA (L) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Cody got his first start of the year and went slider heavy. The pitch isn’t that great – hung a lot – but he got outs against the Mariners and survived for three innings. This is a Cup of Schmo, sadly, even with 94/95 mph fastball velocity. Maybe a fastball/changeup approach could work, but we stay away for now.
Matt Wisler @ DET (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 47% CSW. The Twins like using Wisler as their opener for bullpen games and his slider heavy approach produced a productive six outs. That’s cool, but don’t go crazy and Wisler while you work on your roto standings.
Yu Darvish vs STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 40% CSW. Aces gonna ace and earn a King Cole. It’s incredible watching Darvish have command up-and-down his versatile arsenal, earning at least one whiff on six different pitches. Just one offering didn’t earn a 30% CSW and yeah, he’s been the arm for many fantasy managers this year. Here’s to hoping it sticks for 2021.
Carlos Carrasco vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Velocity at 93/94 is fine with me, and seeing both his changeup and slider get strikes should make you plenty happy. Just 1/25 whiffs on sliders isn’t what you want, but 7/25 called strikes is just fine. All your fears about
crowd control CC should be gone now.
Yusei Kikuchi vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed with Kikuchi in this one and I think this line is a bit deceptive. His cutter and four-seamer sat middle-middle a ton while his four-seamer averaged 94/95, not 95/96. He earned just 4/38 whiffs on cutters. Despite the bottom line, this wasn’t the Kikuchi that got me hyped earlier in the year and if it weren’t the Rangers, I think he would have been hit hard. Good news here is he gets another luscious matchup as he heads to Arizona, so who cares, start Kikuchi.
Trevor Bauer vs PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Leave it to Bauer to never get shortchanged on a start as he hit 100 pitches in yet another start. Maybe it was the Harambe cleats that helped him get out of his funk, though his cutter is still failing to be the CSW machine he wants it to be – just 15% here across 20 thrown as batters slapped it in play for many hits. I think if his slider or cutter return to their former glory, his four-seamer and curveball are doing well enough that he could unleash the 2018 beast once again.
Tommy Milone vs WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW. After last week’s rushed introduction to the Braves, Milone was a bit better here, with improved changeups and four-seamers playing off the slowball in the same location and around the edges. I wish they had let him go more than 65 pitches to get a chance at a WHIP better than 1.50 and a chance for a Win, but whatever.
Chris Mazza @ TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW. It’s hard not to be impressed with your premier fastball earning a 43% CSW, but sliders and cutters tallied for 6/36 CSW and…nope. That’s all that Mazz and…okay okay, no need to get physical, I can remove myself from stage, thank you very much.
Tyler Alexander vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Remember that time he struck out a bunch and there was heavy consideration as a pick up? Then you realize he can’t scratch five innings and gets pulled at 59 pitches and there isn’t a chance he fans seven again. Oh T-Lex, you were such a beast way back when.
Dylan Bundy vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Atta boy Bundy, just give me one more and you’ve earned that AGA label. 90/91 mph fastball works and to see that slider return to glory after last week’s mishap is exactly what we wanted – 42% CSW and 8/31 whiffs is dope. And yes, 30% called strikes on curveballs is the same status quo we love to see.
Jake Arrieta @ NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Arrieta felt his changeup here with 33% CSW as he kept the pitch down, though his slider was all over the place and hung a ton. It’s so weird watching Arrieta as he still gets a lot of movement, but the command isn’t there and he’s still more hittable than we want him to be. Don’t buy into this outing.
Rick Porcello vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Porcello, please. I know it’s two straight starts of 2 ER and four of his last six have combined for seven ER but come on, you know we can’t trust this. I guess there are worse chances to take as the Mets will let him go six frames consistency, but man, that’s a 50/50 shot of being a Toby on a given night. Is that really what you want to shoot for?
Luis Castillo @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 24% CSW. He had one rough inning and settled in otherwise, though it’s a bit interesting to see so few called strikes coming Castillo’s way. He’s not doing a good enough job staying on the edges with heaters and his changeup isn’t falling quite enough out of the zone to make batters consider taking his low heaters. It’s teaching batters to swing away – high whiffs, but few called strikes and more balls in play – and it’s leading to his questionable ratios. I think that can change moving forward and he certainly still retains the Aces Gonna Ace tag. It’s wild to see 10 whiffs on a pitch and still have a sub 30% CSW (I’m looking at you, changeup).
Dustin May vs COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Yep, that’s a May start alright. Good to see close to a strikeout per inning and even with the Philly, I like seeing him in the sixth. I was surprised to see 25% curveballs, though, it isn’t the whiff pitch we want (2/25 whiffs) but a 48% CSW is certainly welcome. The cutter – the pitch that could become a whiff pitch – was thrown just twice. So yeah, that’s a capped ceiling still.
Antonio Senzatela @ LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Senz-A got the Dodgers on the road and honestly, this is impressive to me. He avoided the middle with four-seamers and got outs, his slider and curveball were good enough, and bam, you got yourself 19 quality outs. Still super cautious starting him, but maybe I should have had him on The List. Maybe.
Tom Eshelman vs NYY (ND) – 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW. When Tom finally made it to the bigs, he realized he was different. This man was Eshel of his former self. But seriously, this is a Cup of Schmo.
Steven Brault vs CIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Brault got the hook in the fifth with 96 pitches to his name during one of his more impressive starts of the year. His slider was working well down as his fastball earned plenty of low strikes, but batters were able to spit on his changeup enough and he got hit around a good amount. I think his ceiling is too capped to be of any interest even in deeper leagues, so put him in the Disney Brault and let him stay.
Dane Dunning @ KC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Blegh. Streaming Record: 22-21. His fastball command wasn’t what it was previously and his breakers didn’t do enough to save him in counts or keep batters off the heater. I think he’s better than this line, but he threw way too many wasted secondary pitches and it allowed batters to sit heater frequently. Fortunately he gets the Tigers next and I’d dip back in there. He should be better.
Ross Stripling vs BOS (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW. It was Stripling’s first go with the Jays and 81 pitches is a good start, while his curveball…oh no. Just 10 thrown with 0 whiffs and 2 called strikes. This pitch was not the offering it needs to be. His changeup was a bit 50/50, but was effective when he executed it and fastballs/sliders helped him survive for as long as he did. Just get that curveball back in order and I can imagine Stripling doing some work across 90 pitches against the…Mets next? It’s unclear, double-headers are weird. If he gets the Yankees instead, I may still consider him there as that lineup is nothing like its healthy self.
Cody Ponce @ CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW. He needs a bit more Leon in him so he can add a few walks too. Wait…
Michael King @ BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW. We were wondering if Clarke Schmidt was going to sneak in and start this game or at least follow King, but nah, King got four frames and was…well he just was. He went heavy on sinkers 58% of the time for 30% CSW – sweet – but his changeup isn’t very good and that curveball is meh and this isn’t the horse you want to back. King of the White Castle, you could say. Now I wish he threw a really good slider. Okay, now you have me legit disappointed.
Taylor Clarke @ SF (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW. With Merrill Kelly out, Clarke is in and now he may be out with Caleb Smith possibly returning soon. Poor Clarke, we barely knew ya.
Jack Flaherty @ CHC (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Oh no. After getting to the point where we finally expected 90+ pitches, Flaherty tossed just under 70 as he labored through eight outs. His slider was far from sharp with just 3/25 CSW, his curveball tried to help and failed, and he left too many heaters down the middle. It looked like a Flaherty not in rhythm and all we can do is hope he has a good bullpen before his next outing. I don’t think he’s broken or anything, this was just a day where things were a little off. That happens.
Wil Crowe @ ATL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW. Yeah, there just isn’t much here. I hope one day Wil will make me eat Crowe but that doesn’t really make sense and we’re going to move on.
Lance McCullers @ LAA (ND) – 0.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 11% CSW. McCullers struggled to warm-up properly and they pulled him early after just 18 pitches. They’re calling it “dead arm” for the moment and it’s a bit concerning. I’d imagine he misses at least one start here and they don’t rush him back. Bleeeegh. Hope he’s okay.
Josh Fleming vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW. Fleming really amuses me with his approach to stick sinkers arm-side and sliders glove-side exclusively so well…and also keep sinkers down and sliders up. It’s a bit backward and it led to a blegh outing against the Marlins. That time of precision makes me wonder if an approach adjustment is easy to make, though, and I’d at least keep an eye on him. His stuff isn’t overwhelming, though, so let’s just talk about him from afar for a bit.
Deivi Garcia @ BAL (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Deivi nooooooo. His curveball was great, but the heater got crushed as the pitch often sat middle-down inside the zone. His changeup was hung plenty as well and I wonder if ramping up curveball usage from 19% to something closer to 30% would have helped along the way. I think his stuff is better than the ratios you see – the K/9 and SwStr is what you want – and I’d stick with Deivi if it’s confirmed he’s staying in the rotation. He’d get the Jays next and I’d be down.
Jesus Luzardo vs SD (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW. The Padres ain’t no joke and without a good curveball, San Diego batters walloped Luzardo’s sinker as he failed to spot it on the edges. He had a great changeup, though, and it makes me wonder if he needed to turn to it a bit more than its sub 30% usage here as that curveball wasn’t doing him enough favors. I imagine some are a little concerned with Luzardo as he’s allowed 13 ER in three of his last four starts, but I’d stick with him. He wasn’t at his sharpest, but this isn’t a lost arm.
Tanner Roark @ BOS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Pretty cool to see 14 whiffs, but those ratios are going to keep hurting you. That’s a 5.74 ERA with a 1.79 WHIP and I have to wonder how long this leash is for him in Toronto.
Tyler Anderson vs ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Remember when Anderson was shocking us with success and we thought back-to-back starts against the Diamondbacks would be a gold mine? HA Ha ha…nope.
Zack Godley vs TOR (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 35% CSW. He’s The False God. I’d be shocked if he was actually considerable again.
Brady Singer vs CWS (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Singer had to deal with the Twins for three straight starts only to deal with the ChiSox in the following two. Poor guy. He’s better than these ratios but it’s going to be tough for him to truly breakout until he gets a better schedule – especially when he doesn’t have the ace-caliber stuff of other young arms. If the Royals go six-man now, Singer would get the Indians next – like his debut – and that could work out. Finally.
Austin Voth @ ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW. So velocity was a little up at 92.2 mph and he actually got whiffs on his curveball and cutter – 7/25 combined. That works! Ohh…leaving pitches in the heart of the zone doesn’t, though. Hmmm, this is the most encouraging start I’ve seen from Voth this year and I can see a super desperate stream next week against the Braves. I would not do it in like 95% of situations, but that could be stupid sneaky.
Pablo Lopez @ TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW. So this wasn’t great. His changeup only went 3/21 on whiffs, his cutter barely did anything, and four-seamers found the middle of the plate often. There’s adjusting to be done here, but I don’t think it’s a Vargas Rule situation where he a wall and can’t get out from under the bricks. It is a bit of a risky start against the Braves next, but I’d stick it out. That changeup is better than a 19% CSW.
Huascar Ynoa vs WSH (ND) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW. I can see it now. It was a dream I had, driving down a highway as the sun sets over the ocean to my left. An open stretch of road greets my horizon without a person in sight. I ease back in my seat, thinking “Ya knowa, I like Hugh’s car.” Then I wake up and see this pitching line. Dreams are sometimes just dreams.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Okay, I know. This is crazy. There just isn’t a good play out there and it’s the Pirates and I feel strongly that Tony Disco is not the 7 ER guy we’ve seen. I’d be very cautious with this one, though.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Kevin Gausman vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – This is the start where it all comes together for dominance.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)