Win or Luz, It’s Up To Yous

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

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

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

Our April excitement surrounding Jesús Luzardo feels a whole lot longer ago than four months but I can feel many bringing the energy back after seeing Luzardo’s fantastic line of 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches against the Cubs on Sunday. He earned the Win, he dominated for seven, and sadly this isn’t the man we loved in April. I know, twist.

There were three factors that got me hooked on Luzardo at the beginning of the season: 1) four-seamers > sinkers, 2) 97 mph velocity, and 3) curveball usage over 35%. We saw none of those elements here (15% four-seamers vs. 32% sinkers, 95.5 mph heaters, and 21% curveballs for 5% CSW) and it gives me concern.

But Nick! He excelled with his changeup via 8/29 whiffs! And his sinker had a 31% CSW! Yep, and I can’t buy into that like I could before. That’s not the Luzardo who sustains success, that feels more like a day where it worked out against a poor offense.

So at the end of the day, you can listen to my old Brooklyn assistant coach from the late 90’s – Win or Lose, It’s Up To Yous. I’d be selling Luzardo after this one as I don’t buy the velocity returning + he needs to find his old groove. Sooo drop? Jeeeez no don’t do that. Pick him up and see if he figures it out, but be cautious. You don’t have to start him as a southpaw against Atlanta next – I think if he carries the same approach, he’ll run into trouble.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

 

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs HOU (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! McKenzie’s heater looked amazing at times, a bit shocking given its drop in velocity to sub 92 mph levels, but understood with his curveball sitting at the bottom of the zone all day to the tune of a 48% CSW. You love to see it against a team like the Astros, though there is still some work left to do on the slider. He’s going to get tested a second time against the Jays and I see that as a high risk/reward coin flip. Good luck y’all.

Matt Manning (DET) vs TB (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, Manning earned seven strikeouts across seven frames?! I understand the Rays aren’t much to talk about, but seriously?! I watched this and the 48% CSW slider just isn’t an elite pitch. Sorry, I was hoping to see something new but it’s a mediocre breaker and will get beat up by opposing offenses. Meanwhile, the four-seamer is the same old pitch (actually, a bit slower from 93 to 92.2) and the rest isn’t anything special. Now is not the time to jump back in.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Oh hey, the WHIP was okay! PRAISE BE. Much better four-seamer command in this one, with the splitters falling decently well into the bottom of the zone – I’d have liked a few more chances for chases, but that’s just me. Here’s to him getting WHIP below 1.20 before the season’s end.

Zach Davies (ARI) vs COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

Five shutout frames! So the changeup must be back, right? Ummmm 0/14 CSW. What. Yeah. ZERO. Oh no. Oh no indeed. Blame it on the Rockie Road.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 33 pitches.

The Rays wanted to give him extra rest, so they let Drew toss just three innings. In the best matchup he’s had all season. SERENITY NOW!

Tyler Anderson (LAD) vs SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

You can’t stop this man. The changeup wasn’t nearly as effective as what we’ve seen as the four-seamer took the cake with 43% CSW and induced plenty of weak outs. Can’t say I expected this one to work and you’re obviously keeping it going against the Royals – what a ridiculously good pick up he’s been this year.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Opponent doesn’t matter for Darvish and while it came with a Loss, he still found a way to help your squads. Thanks for what you do, Yu.

Cristian Javier (HOU) @ CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

Solid stuff, I’ll take it Javier. Cool to see 67% strikes on the breakers, even if you couldn’t quite elevate the four-seamer like you normally can. Please tell me the Athletics are going to see that pristine heater, we could use another double-digit strikeout game.

Aaron Nola (PHI) vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s nice to see a pitcher (kinda) take advantage of Natty Lite. That changeup really has some work to do.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s clinging onto his #1 spot as best as he can but there are some things you can’t control in this world, Burnes.

Brad Keller (KC) vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s the Cherry Bomb life of Keller. He has the ability to go six – he’s got that going for him – it’s just a matter of BABIP. Weird to see him drop the slider usage to just 24% in this one and I’m glad it worked…? Don’t read into it, it’s the same Keller fella.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ MIL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 102 pitches.

There are times I lean back and think “ahhh, so this is what Drew Rasmussen would look like if he could throw 100 pitches.” Then I realize how few people actually would find that thought interesting and I stop taking all of you for granted. Annnnnyway the sinker disappeared again and it’s back to cutter/slider and I’m kinda done with all the twists and turns of following Ashcraft this year. A guy who massively changes his approach between starts without dramatic success isn’t for me. Just leave him on the wire.

Bryse Wilson (PIT) @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 69 pitches.

Oh dang, Bryse had a Birthday Party and no one was invited. You know, that’s generally the case for all of them and I keep having these sad images of pitchers sitting at a table with a balloon attached wearing a clown nose and party hat, blowing out a candle without anyone there. It’s a sad thought and I want so much more for them. Okay, for now on, you get two balloons in the mental image as well. Congrats, you deserve it.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

His velocity is still a little down – 92.5 mph not 93+ like we want it to be – and he failed to eclipse 20% CSW on either the change or slider, missing badly with both constantly. I think he got away with this one and I’m as upset as you are about it. But Nick, the ERA, strikeouts, and a dub are fine with me. Yeah yeah yeah, I just want to get excited again, you know? He’s not back to his old ways yet.

Logan Webb (SF) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Webb was supposed to cruise through this game and he did just that…with depreciated velocity. We’re talking 90.8 mph on the heater and that ain’t cool. I bet it’s nothing, but I’ll keep tabs on it as you cuddle next to his start against the Pirates next.

Jacob deGrom (NYM) vs ATL (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 76 pitches.

Aces gonna earn a Golden Goal and make me flutter. Oh my LORD. I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but deGrom’s slider earned 18 whiffs on 18 swings before Michael Harris swung and fouled one off (18/20 in the end). That’s insane. At one point they had swung at 18 sliders and missed all of them. I think he’s back, y’all.

Chris Archer (MIN) vs TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.

Props to Archer for providing a serviceable line in his restricted five frames against a tough team like the Jays. One whiff on 79 pitches is truly something, Archer. It feels like a 62-2 basketball game where we’re all happy that team had that one basket to celebrate.

Adrian Martinez (OAK) vs SF (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 69 pitches.

You’re wondering who this is. The A’s need a few extra arms tossing frames these days, which means Martinez has a chance to impress, and that he did with his changeup returning 8/24 whiffs. Can’t say I dig the slider or sinker a whole lot, but if he keeps that glorious slowball, he may become a streamer down the stretch. Just don’t take the leap against the Astros next – he’s not even fully stretched out yet.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.

PQS with four strikeouts is a welcome sight from Sampson. There’s always a chance it works and I’m glad it did here. Boy would I feel uncomfortably spinning that wheel with any frequency though.

José Ureña (COL) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 88 pitches.

That’s a VVPQS without a Win and just two strikeouts. What is it that you do here?

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

VPQS against the Angels isn’t something to be awfully proud of, but a Win is a Win and seven strikeouts are a lovely sight. I feel like I need to make Marco sweat a little with a dramatic pause before accepting and moving on.

Spenser Watkins (BAL) vs PIT (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Womp womp. A tough fifth ruined the streaming dream, even if it wasn’t so bad with a sub 1.00 WHIP and five strikeouts. He gets the Rays this week and don’t rule out a better time there.

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ NYM (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches.

Huge credit to the Mets in this one – they pushed Strider a ton in their at-bats and made him work for every out, pushing his pitch count to near eighty and granting the early hook. It’s not like he wasn’t throwing strikes, either, they just worked counts well. So it goes, you keep starting Strider.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 70 pitches.

I dug the Kutter, and nothing else. Seeing him consistently spot it armside is a good thing, but he needs more if he wants to properly exploit an offense like Kansas City. The Yanks are next and you don’t need to hold Crawford.

Spencer Howard (TEX) vs CWS (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

Oh look, it’s Spencer throwing 60% four-seamers again. How(ei)rd. Jeeeeeez Nick, that’s a worse stretch than watching you play first base back in the day. I still can’t touch my toes. What if you bend your knees? Ohhhhhhh.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 111 pitches.

Bleeegh. At least you had proper warning given the whole “it’s the Yankees” thing. Brush it off and start him against the Brew Crew next.

Tucker Davidson (LAA) @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

I had some of that foolish hope Davidson could flourish in Los Angeles as a byproduct of the Raisel Iglesias deal and what we saw was a man failing to get comfortable. There’s still time, no one is watching, I say, watching.

Frankie Montas (NYY) @ STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 64 pitches.

I feel like Yankee fans everywhere saw this coming after the trade deadline – move Jordan Montgomery away and he serves five shutout innings, receive Montas and he puts up 6 ER in three en route to a slugfest loss. Maybe it’s the shoulder, maybe it’s first start jitters, maybe it’s the volatile nature of Montas. I’m leaning toward the latterest(?) and still starting him against the Red Sox. He’ll figure it out.

Cory Abbott (WSH) @ PHI (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.

Just because he’s available, doesn’t mean you need to accept a CA tax. Just let Cory be without you getting involved as this is much ado Abbott nothing.

 

Game of the Day

 

Justin Dunn vs. Chris Bassitt – It’s Dunn’s 2022 debut and I’m super curious how he looks + I hope we can all be Bassitt hounds proper again.

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 “Win or Luz, It’s Up To Yous”

  1. Jayson says:

    I find Strider really hard to roster with the fantasy playoffs coming soon. His volatility is too dangerous for me. 2 pitch pitchers can explode anytime and he proved it once again. If it would have been a playoffs week, it was the end. This to get few Ks. Is that really worth? Maybe if his start is early in the week otherwise I doubt about it.
    Let’s notice that the kid now carries a 3.11 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Like with Pablo Lopez it could easily become a less fantastic story very soon. One more bad start and the kid carrying a sub 2.80 ERA will be a forgotten story.

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