Boyd In My Heart

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

I’m not going to drag this out. I’m obviously sad and disappointed and disillusioned about love this morning, but I’m not blind. You should drop Matthew Boyd after returning a 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 19% CSW line against the Pirates. His command is gone, his slider isn’t sharp, the development of his curveball and changeup are stilted, and there’s no scenario now where you’d feel comfortable starting him.

The wild part is that back in March, he was looking like an improved version of 2019, that time when he was a victim from an excess amount of longballs. What we’re actually seeing in the summer is a worse version of 2019 and it’s demoralizing. Here’s to hoping he makes the tweak he needs to get himself back on track and he turns into someone we want to consider once again in 2021.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Tommy Milone @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSWLook at Milone go. No I don’t think you should put much weight on this, but against the bottom third of offenses, Milone ain’t so bad.

Zack Greinke @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Aces gonna ace. I still can’t get over him putting down a “two” sign, throwing a curveball and getting Marcus Semien to pop out. He’s not going to be the ultra stud muffin of strikeouts, but you’ll be happy with his Win total and ratios. Never doubt it.

Zach Davies vs ARI (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSWSure, I think anyone would be fine with a Philly from Davies with those ratios and strikeouts. Definitely don’t trust it – it’s more of a Birthday Party but I can be convinced to start Davies every so often based on the matchup. And hey, the Diamondbacks are struggling so, sure, I get it.

Dylan Cease vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSWThere’s still work to be done with Cease’s fastball as he can’t quite get it into the zone at will like he needs to, while his changeup is great but also unruly. His curveball is just unruly. So I’m torn about his next start against the Tigers. I guess so…? That could turn out poorly even it being Detroit and all.

Masahiro Tanaka @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSWSo his splitter isn’t getting the whiffs it once did – 3/16 here – but he’s locating them down (I want a little lower, but still down) along with his slider and that’s great news. Meanwhile, he’s surprising batters with four-seamers elevated for a classic BSB as he went up against the man Blake Snell himself. You love to see it.

Blake Snell vs NYY (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Aces gonna still be babied under 60 pitches and make us all frustrated. We probably have two more starts of this before he gets truly let go. Ugh.

Aaron Civale @ CWS (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSWAnd Civale keeps rolling. He’s throwing plenty more glove-side than arm-side through his first three starts, which may be more of a product of his comfort level rather than gameplan, but nevertheless, it’s working. The season is a journey, but don’t you dare stop believing in Civale. He’s in a hypnotic rhythm that deserves your love.

Chris Bassitt vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 16% CSWJust a 16% CSW and I’m a little shocked to see these results against the Astros as I don’t think he pitched all that great. That’s a stupid low 16% CSW and plenty of heaters found the middle of the plate. But hey, Vargas Rule this and start him against the Angels next.

Trevor Bauer @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 39% CSWAces gonna ace. The Reds have such a lovely schedule and Bauer is just eating it up, going from the Tigers now to the struggling Brewers squad. And guess what, he gets the Pirates next. Stick with Bauer and don’t deal him.

Chad Kuhl vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSWOhhhhhh baby. Y’all know I’ve been waiting for Kuhl to get his chance after that article I wrote back in 2018 right before he went down with TJS and here he is, dotting sliders arm-side with 37% CSW and featuring a filthy curveball that returned 63% CSW. The problem? It’s 94 mph instead of the 96/97 we’ve seen before and his heater is kinda…meh right now. Like 9% CSW on 23 thrown meh. He also only threw 58 pitches and I wonder if we’re going to have to wait until September until we see a full start from Kuhl, let alone one worthy of a stream given a good matchup like this one against the Tigers. Just sit back and smile as he develops, but this isn’t cause for an immediate pickup.

Julio Urias vs SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSWHe needed 78 pitches here as his command wasn’t nearly what we want it to be, but after a wonky first frame he settled in fine. I wanted to see him pitch the fifth as he was under 80 pitches, but fine. Just be better next time from the first pitch, okay Urias?

Griffin Canning @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSWWow. This was not good. At all. His command was atrocious, failing to locate with any regularity nor following a standard approach and it was a struggle all game with his body to execute what he wanted. I’d have major concerns starting him against the A’s next and while he isn’t any auto drop in 12-teamers, he’s certainly a contender.

Humberto Mejia @ NYM (ND) – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSWMejia went for the Marlins as they are still recovering from their outbreak of COVID-19 and earned strikeouts across his first six outs. Pretty cool as he elevated heaters a ton…but he also needed 67 pitches for seven outs. That’s not good. It’s not like we expected another start from Mejia anyway, but yeah.

Antonio Senzatela @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSWOkay okay, he got Seattle on the road, let’s not do anything rash here. That’s two good starts, this road ends here. Come on Nick, let me Vargas Rule this! Hey, you can do whatever you want, I’m not gonna stop you. It’s like you got a discount for the first two sessions at Senz-A’s dojo, but now you have to pay full price. It’s not worth it.

Jakob Junis vs MIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSWThere was a time I was excited in Junis’ fantastic breaker and hoping he would find something else in there to complement it. That was years ago, sadly. Props to him for surviving against the Twins for 13 outs, though.

Devin Smeltzer @ KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSWI didn’t anticipate many frames from Smeltzer here and I think he can be a Toby if he gets time in the rotation, but with Jake Odorizzi returning today and Randy Dobnak has the hold on Homer Bailey’s spot I don’t expect to see much more of Smeltzer. So yeah, hope it was fun, Townsend Devin.

Ryan Weber vs TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSWWeber defines Ryan as a pitcher. That’s it? That’s it.

Luke Weaver @ SD (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSWUggggggh. Weaver allowed a first-pitch HR to start the game, then another solo shot on a poor first-pitch changeup and that was it. He was pulled for “normal reasons” apparently after just three innings and under 50 pitches and it feels so wrong. Sure, just 3 whiffs but 30% CSW and he was doing just fine. I can’t let go here, I just can’t. I’ve had a few of these conversations today about our fun back-end of the rotation guys and I feel like I need to let everyone know that if you have a solid crew of 5/6 guys ahead of Weaver, there isn’t much reason to risk it on a given night. I know this feeling, just watch from the sidelines and cheer them on, but you don’t need to put yourself at risk. That being said, I can’t help but believe Weaver is dope in the second half of the year since his ability is still clearly good. It’s a 14 H/9 and 4.07 BABIP with a 30% HR/FB and 56% LOB rate right now…and 26% K rate. A 4.35 HR/9 isn’t real, you know this. We all know this.

Jordan Lyles vs LAA (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSWWe’re still waiting for his curveball to get where it needs to for whiffs (3/31), but it had 11 called strikes and a 45 CSW% so that’s super fine with me. If batters are being patient with it, then that heater needs to be a more on the offensive and it’s not quite there yet, going 0/24 whiffs when swung at. Ouch. That’s a 100% contact rate. I’m staying away for now with that weak heater.

Yusei Kikuchi vs COL (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSWAwwww, he was one out away from a 2 ER start after a silly Matt Kemp double down the line. A weak single from Daniel Murphy scored two and there it is. Streaming Record: 8-7. Not nearly as exciting of a game as his 20 whiff special, with his four-seamer taking a small dip in velocity (still good!) and a larger dip in location, moving away from elevation and hitting the heart of the plate too often. Now it’s Houston next and…blegh. That’s a bench. Here’s to hoping he rebounds and carves out a good start regardless of the lineup.

Michael Wacha vs MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSWWacha got the Marlins and earned nine strikeouts…and four ER. Don’t chase this, just Wacha way. You used that last time. WHATEVER.

Tanner Roark @ BOS (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSWHe lasted for just 68 pitches as he couldn’t locate his pitches, understandable after having such a long delay between starts. He’s a Toby at best and I wouldn’t touch this.

Anibal Sanchez vs BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSWThis isn’t the Sanchez we want and it’s not wise to take a shot until you see him being his older self. So that’s an “AS if?” Sure, why not.

Jeff Samardzija @ LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSWThis third start raised his strikeout total by 150%, now carrying a whopping five strikeouts on the year. That’s Loose Lips for ya.

Eric Lauer vs CIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSWYeah, you don’t want Lauer, sadly. I’ve retired his nickname because I don’t like being negative and the only ones I’m keeping are Samardzija’s and Porcello’s because it’s just ingrained forever now but anyway you don’t want this. I wonder if the Brewers will stick with Lauer for any extended amount of time.



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.


David Peterson vs. Miami Marlins – The Marlins offense is incredibly easy to stream again and Peterson is good enough to help.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


John Means vs. Washington Nationals – The velocity is up, the pitch count is coming up, and I think his command improves with each start. Get in while you can.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Kyle Gibson vs. Seattle Mariners – He went slider heavy last time – it’s what you want – and now gets the weak Seattle lineup. Sign me up.


Game of the Day


Gerrit Cole vs. Tyler Glasnow – Why wouldn’t you want to watch this?


(Photo by Frank Jansky/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 college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

6 responses to “Boyd In My Heart”

  1. Johnny C says:

    Howard is still on the WW, but so is Mahle who do you like more ROS? I can pick up either.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Mahle is the safer play.

      I’ll know more about Howard tomorrow – I’m doing a GIF Breakdown of the start – but I’d love to roster him as a wait-and-see.

  2. Johnny C says:

    Means or Canning ROS. Canning does not look nearly as good as he did last (owned him then too). I’m very worried about the velo dip. Plus a lot of nibbling. I think his ceiling isn’t anywhere as close to as high as we thought it would, and that makes me sad.

  3. Rocket says:

    Civale was looking lovely yesterday and I have been adding him everywhere I can get him. Question, Cleveland’s offense has been non existent this season and has cost Civale some W’s. I think their bats will eventually get it going but does this factor hurt some of the great young arms on the Indians rotation in terms of their rank on the list? Or is it a non factor at this point?

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