Seventh Devin

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article recapping every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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.  

Devin Smeltzer (MIN) vs KC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

One of the joys of writing about starting pitchers every day is when someone surprises you and does something you never expected out of the blue. Devin Smeltzer did just that today against the Royals via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches. I know, I can’t believe it either.

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you: I was more impressed with Daniel Lynch on the other side of the ball than Smeltzer, but at least Devin executed his pitches decently well. Curveballs landed for strikes, four-seamers found the edges often, and his changeup earned some whiffs. Was it a start that I think deserved seven shutout frames and just three baserunners? Ehhhhh no. This has “Birthday Party” written all over it, like a flyer above the water fountain. Maybe he can turn this into being a “Toby” and isn’t the worst option against the Tigers later in the week, but I’m not seeing a guy to lean on here.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Frankie Montas (OAK) vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Montas earned himself a “Golden Goal” as his splitter went 10/30 whiffs with solid sinkers and sliders to match it. I really love good Montas. He gets the Astros next and you just keep starting the man — if he can do this for two more outings, I think an AGA label is coming.

Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR) @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 65 pitches.

Hey, good on ya Ryu. I didn’t think you had it in you to return a 1.40 WHIP and just one strikeout. Heeeeeyyyy wait a second. “HAISTBMBWT?!” Seriously, is the 3.60 ERA worth it to y’all? No? I like y’all. Earning just two whiffs is something else and I don’t want to have to rely on Ryu moving forward. He’s a “Toby” and not the interesting kind.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 95 pitches.

YOU CAN’T STOP PÉREZ, YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN HIM. It wasn’t as precise as we’ve seen, but pretty dang good once again and Pérez’s “Vargas Rule” lives another day, with Tampa Bay now in his sights. Rays, Shmays. More like Rays your glass to another great start, amirite?

Mitch White (LAD) @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 61 pitches.

I guess this is cool from Mitch, but we all knew he wouldn’t last five frames. Sooo yeah, I’m moving on.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ ATL (W) – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 109 pitches.

FINALLY. The curve was filth, the sinker commanded well, and his changeup…overslept. He didn’t need it — we saw the same thing from Carlos Carrasco as he took down Atlanta early this year going just fastball/breaker — and while he couldn’t close out the game himself (of COURSE the only run he allowed was brought in by the bullpen), we should all be thrilled for him. Please let the curse be broken. PLEASE.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ TB (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 109 pitches.

Hmmmmmm. This is super wonderful and I know many of you are thrilled he’s keeping this up. However, this feels like the least sustainable outing of the lot, with far fewer edge pitches and a whole lot of “oh, cool, that returned an out” than normal. But then again, he’s done that a decent amount this year so what do I know? Just keep starting him and until it falls apart twice, you don’t reconsider it — he deserves a pass for his first future poor outing after what’s he done so far.

Ryan Yarbrough (TB) vs NYY (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 80 pitches.

I’m happy for The Fratty Pirate, but that doesn’t mean I need to add him to my fantasy rosters. This feels like the peak of what we’ll get from Yarbrough this season.

Daniel Lynch (KC) @ MIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hello there. I’ve been waiting all year for Lynch to have a start with a ton of slider whiffs and he went 11/39 here to nearly earn himself a “Gallows Pole”. His heaters weren’t as well located as you’d want to match them, sadly, leading to a few too many hits, but if you’ve been waiting for a sign from Lynch, this could be the first. We need more than one, though, so unless you’re in a deeeep AL-Only and willing to take an outside shot against the Guardians next time out, it’s your best interest to wait until Lynch does it again. No one is watching, don’t worry.

Eric Lauer (MIL) @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.

A 1.60 WHIP?! JUST ONE STRIKEOUT?! “HAISTBMBWT?!” So weird to see it from Lauer, even if his velocity was down a bit to 93 mph. His four-seamer wasn’t the issue — it was the breakers. His slider returned 46% strike rate, while the hook was decent but not pristine. I’m not worried at all, just a bit annoyed, you know? He’s still good.

Tarik Skubal (DET) vs CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

The slider earned 70% strikes and the changeup held 32% SwStr rate. It’s all going according to plan. Skubal will rise on Monday. I’m excited.

Kyle Wright (ATL) vs PHI (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

So this isn’t bad, and it featured better command from his heaters and curveball, while the changeup and slider were a bit off. So there’s encouragement here, but Wright isn’t the man he was from early April. Fortunately, he gets the Sneks next so that gives him another easy outing to get back to the man he used to be.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs COL (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

slightly better “VPQS” is something you’ve come to appreciate if you’re forced to start Corbin. You don’t need me to tell you he’s failing to earn whiffs, though, soooo yeah. Please don’t restart your PC.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

Blegh. That’s a horrendous 2.20 WHIP as I feel I can hear the deterioration of Wainwright’s bones with each pitch. Okay, sorry for that image, but y’all get the point — he can’t do it forever and it feels like the cliff is being observed. I’m okay starting him for the Padres next (they’re poor against right-handers) but if that fails…it may be time.

Konnor Pilkington (CLE) @ DET (ND) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

If you’re wondering who Pilkington is and what he does, he leans on 91/92 mph heaters with an array of secondaries that hope for grander days, including a decent changeup. The Guardians are Pilking him for all he’s worth and you should just look away.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

He allowed 4 ER early and settled down nicely, with his splitter returning a whopping 50% SwStr rate and earning many strikes on sliders. Keep starting the man.

Germán Márquez (COL) @ WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 104 pitches.

You can’t even start him on the road against the Nationals. Man, Ger, this is getting rough.

Hunter Greene (CIN) vs CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

This was a game of disappointment as Greene earned a lame Win in this one. His slider didn’t take over enough and the fastball is still super hittable despite its 98 mph velocity. It may be wise for him not to throw it down the pipe moving forward. It feels like a “Cherry Bomb” situation given his lack of command on the heater + the slider that still earns a whole lotta whiffs. So play it however you want moving forward, you know the rules and so do I. By the way, I legit rick-rolled all of y’all in an SP Roundup last fall and NO ONE NOTICED. Unreal. I expected more.

Michael Wacha (BOS) @ CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 88 pitches.

If you can’t Wacha to the finish line, I suggest running instead. But the season is a marathon, not a sprint! That’s what they tell the losers so they can win. OHHHHHHHH.

Dallas Keuchel (CWS) vs BOS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 55 pitches.

When? Never. Nick you have to say mor—NEVER.

Humberto Castellanos (ARI) vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 96 pitches.

I meaaaaan, I know some of you insist on playing HC mode, but you really don’t have to.

Justin Steele (CHC) @ CIN (L) – 2.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 53 pitches.

Oh dear. Welp, that’s that, isn’t it. Here I thought you were safe starting him against the lowly Reds after a pair of heavy strikeout games — even if I didn’t adore the command he had last time. Yeesh. What an end to the JS script.

Game of the Day 

Jameson Taillon vs. Jeffrey Springs I’m really curious how this start goes for Springs. He gives me some light Patrick Sandoval vibes with his incredible changeup and I hope it comes together.

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.

One response to “Seventh Devin”

  1. mik3brooks says:

    Waaaaay too subtle, Nick. I *think* I remember reading it last season as I was worrying about McClanahan and Manaea. Never gonna give you up, though.

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