Bumming Around

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Saturday's games.

It’s time to check in on Madison Bumgarner after his line of 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks against the Diamondbacks lately. Those ratios sting as Bumgarner’s curveballs is still meh. 27/105 CSW here and he’s looking more like a Toby with every game – 4.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, thus far. I’m a bit shocked to see he’s sporting a 25% K rate to go with it, then again, it’s seven Ks or more in five of his last seven games and that’s something to be happy about. Hopefully the 64% LOB rate and .312 BABIP regress to a level where it’s a 3.60 ERA, 25% K rate and 1.15 WHIP. That’s actually pretty solid, maybe I should be liking Bumgarner more…I’m not sure. I don’t think his skill set is close to what it used to be and maybe those peripherals are supposed to be a bit worse than normal because of it. So I’m looking at the current edition of The List and see Bumgarner right at #30…and that seems exactly right. He’s missing the ceiling of the guys ahead of him, but he should be a better play than the ratio arms behind him. So what you’re saying is that this start does nothing to change your opinion of him. Yep, the best lede of the year, clearly. 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Aaron Nola6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. I’m sure some of you wanted me to run with Nola at the top here and you’re probably right. 41/106 CSW with 15 whiffs is so beautiful to see, with his curveball earning over 20% whiffs and plenty better fastball command, sitting above 93 mph. He moved away from his struggling two-seamer to focus on four-seamers 6:1, which I’m all for, and we finally had our money start of the season…though he wasn’t totally there. His command wasn’t as precise as the guy we fell in love with, though it was good enough to induce swings, allowing his curveball to get the whiffs it deserves. There’s still room for growth here, but at least we’re moving in the right direction here, while also, you know, getting 12 Ks and 1 ER in six frames. Here’s to hoping we can continue getting stoked next time out and live like it’s Nola day through the year.

Chase Anderson4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Just 2 ER allowed in three games for Anderson returning to the rotation…with a 12/9 K per BB ratio in those starts. Yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me dawg.

Griffin Canning7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. 16 whiffs – 10/47 on breaking pitches! – and I hope y’all are back on board with the Assembly Line (where they do they Canning). I legit buy into his approach of high heat and a pair of strong breakers and it’s great to see his velocity at 93/94 in this one. I’m so in, I just hope he keeps that rotation spot when Heaney comes back. get out of here Harvey, for real.

Montana DuRapau2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Okay this name isn’t real, right? It’s like an alien race checking into pop culture of the last ten years and combining Hannah and Ru Paul into one person. Anyway, the gas state of the US given how anti-dense it is served as the opener for the Pirates as we wait longer for Mitch Keller to show up. Nothing to see here.

Pablo Lopez7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Heeeeeeey! Look at that! A week after his 10 ER start, PabLo got a second chance against the same Mets team and cruised. He moved away from curveballs and through a ton of changeups and sinkers returning a…19/86 CSW. Wait, that’s like really bad. Yep. A start after BABIP crushed him, BABIP was his best friend here, mixed with 27 foul balls. In other words, PabLo isn’t deceiving batters like we want him to and I’m still worried. There’s a path to being dope n all, but he’s not there yet.

Tyler Mahle6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ve been hesitant to jump on the Mahle train given the tough Reds schedule ahead and his lack of track record with solid secondary stuff, though this is the start that might get me going. 32/98 CSW against the Dodgers as he even incorporated a splitter with his curveball that worked well – 15/17 for strikes! – as his fastball did work up in the zone as it normally does. This is wonderful, I’m just not sure how long it will last. It’s great to see success against this strong offense, though I’m worried the Cubs could still be a difficult outing. Mahle should already be owned in 12-teamers and those that see him on the wire, I’ll have Mahle around the late 50s tomorrow. I really didn’t expect this to continue through the Dodgers.

Masahiro Tanaka6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Another fantastic outing for Tanaka against the Rays, though he left this game early after kicking a grounder toward first base for his final out of the game. It was a ridiculous play…but it’s a right shin bruise that may make him miss a start. We’ll see.

Walker Buehler6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. He’s hinging on more cutters these days, which I’m fine with as he needed a secondary pitch to trust in the zone and 13/17 for strikes here worked well, setting up heaters up like usual. I still think there’s more to be desired from his curveball and slider, but I’ll 100% take this. Everything isn’t sunshine just yet for Walker – sorry, no AGA just yet – but I’m optimistic.

Lucas Giolito5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This game was just five frames long (is that a complete game, then?) which is a bit disappointing as he likely could have gone another full frame with just 78 pitches, but this is fine. Slider and curveball were a bit lacking, though Giolito is really feeling his changeup these days. That’s fine with me as his four-seamer sits at 94 mph. Keep on keeping on here.

Daniel Mengden7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ve dreamed for a while that Mengden will follow the Blake Snell Blueprint and give us a start that gets us excited. This is not that start. 7 whiffs and a 22/95 CSW is not what we’re looking for. Blame it on the Tigers.

Adam Plutko6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This 1.50 ERA came with a 4.94 SIERA as he holds a .000 BABIP – the sole hit was a solo shot. I love these things. Like Plutko? Oh, no, not that things. The other things, like the Adams Family’s pet and stats derived from stupid small samples.

Antonio Senzatela5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Nothing screams “deserved” like matching your 1.80 ERA to your WHIP, right?

Blake Snell6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The sole run was off a wild pitch. 18 whiffs here for a Gallows Pole as his overall swinging strike rate is 19.2%. Overall.

Stephen Strasburg8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 36/93 CSW as Stras is feeling his secondary stuff, allowing him to not give in with heaters and improve the pitch vastly. Things are good, let’s just hope he stays on the field.

Kevin Gausman6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, I’ll take this from a Toby like Gausman. Not much more to say here, he gave you what you wanted.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. First Montana, now Dakota, tomorrow we’ll get a career revival of John MaineSolid start from the sinkerballer here, though this is the ceiling. Don’t expect him to jump this high often.

Ariel Jurado4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Nope, I don’t want to part of this world.

Corbin Martin4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Martin, no. Sure, the Sawx are a tough offense n all, but just two whiffs on 74 pitches?! ZERO STRIKEOUTS? HAISTFMFWT?! You picked him up because of last week’s phenomenal start, now you’re wondering if this is Freddy Peralta in disguise. I don’t believe so and I’m holding for his outing against the ChiSox. He didn’t have a good curveball at all here, with too many heaters thigh high instead of nipping the top of the zone. I think he can fix this.

Steven Matz3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Great separation of fastballs and changeups/curveballs, but needing 81 pitches for 10 outs is all kinds of concerning. Good to see 4/11 whiffs on this curveball, though. I’d hold off starting him against the Nationals and Dodgers coming up.

John Means 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeah, no. This isn’t the start we were looking for. Streaming Record: 29-19. That’s it? That’s it.

Jose Berrios4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoa, Berrios featured 24 changeups! And they were kinda meh! 2/24 CSW, but 16/24 strikes. Meanwhile, his curveball didn’t miss a single bat. Hooooo boy. So we’re still in the “bad curveball” phase of Berrios’ season. Keep starting him as he should come out of it soon, and the ChiSox next are a solid team to break out of a slump against.

Matt Boyd6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Yes, we’re still BeeGees and Boyd Boys, even if he had a PQS ruined by a solo shot in the 7th, hinting at a Careful Icarus. 35/101 CSW, 15 whiffs, and still wondering if his changeup will show up to elevate Boyd even further. Also, remember when we were talking about Boyd’s velocity and we’d be happy at 92 mph? He was at 92.6 mph yesterday. So lovely.

Ryan Feierabend4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. WHOA, IT’S A KNUCKLEBALLER! You know, Zuko Feierabend(er) told me he wasn’t actually going to be starting today. Don’t trust a knuckleballer. Man, it feels good to say that one again.

Zack Godley3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The False God ain’t winning over new cultists anytime soon. I’ll let you know if he’s preaching the good stuff again in the future.

Jake Junis7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s the two-faced Jake who spun his head back-and-forth really fast to the point that you didn’t know who you were talking to. Is this okay if you started him? It’s a Dusty Donut given the good WHIP and six strikeouts…Anyway, I don’t think Junis really becomes anything of worth in 12-teamers, but not the worst desperate stream for strikeouts.

Jon Lester4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Bleeegh. We knew some regression was coming, but we wanted an IV drip of it, not to forcefully chug it and endure the hangover to follow. It’s one start y’all as the Nationals are ruining everything these days. Keep going with Lester.

Hector Velazquez0.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Velasquez is like the Pepsi Blue of pitchers – we all know he exists but no one has ever gone near it.

Nick Margevicius4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Y’all knew he wasn’t legit and far from the Saint you wanted Nick to be. None of us Nicks are saints. *Raises right arm into the air in a twisting motion* That’s true. 

Wade LeBlanc2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s LeNoir for you, the one that isn’t LeBlancing any offense.


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.


Reynaldo Lopez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I’m tempted to go with his counterpart Trent Thornton on the other side, but I’ll go with the guy facing the worse offense.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Brett Anderson vs. Cleveland Indians – I don’t have a choice. Well, I do, but it’s EJax against the Sawx, Hess against the Yanks, Leake in Arlington, or Font against the Nats. Soooooo yeah.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Michael Pineda vs. Los Angeles Angels – His slider has looked better lately and I’ll chase that strikeout upside among the other blegh options.


Game of the Day


Jack Flaherty @ Texas Rangers – Is he going to survive this outing or am I going to have to lead with him tomorrow morning?


(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

13 responses to “Bumming Around”

  1. bossmanjunior333 says:

    Are you taking Canning over any of Darvish, Maeda, Montas, M Perez or Eickoff in a QS league? Or is it close enough that it is matchup/schedule dependent? I know you are going to update your top 100 tomorrow, but just trying to get a jump start. Thanks!

  2. Chuck says:

    Love your site. More importantly – Montas, Canning, Gray, S, Martin and Giolito. Pick two.

  3. Captain Stubing says:

    Nick – the tigers stink so Boyd’s wins will be few. Would u consider swapping him for Darvish, Hill or Mikolas?

  4. bobbo says:

    Any chance Berrios was using the huge lead he was staked by his offense last night to test out his changeup in game situation? Not the greatest results, of course, but could be one of the reasons why the wheels fell off in the 5th. Haven’t had a chance to check his pitch usage per inning… just a thought.

    • theKraken says:

      I don’t think that is how it went. I watched and didn’t get that impression. He was cruising through 4. I don’t think he was doing anything different int he 5th – not that I noticed at least. He has been throwing quite a few CH recently.

  5. Jim says:

    How in the world is Mahle an add or an own right now? Dude has 1 Win over the last calendar year. ONE.

  6. Jason says:

    I’m in a 10 team mixed yahoo H2H redraft league. I need to drop 2 players. One to pick up a catcher, and another next week to free up a spot for Paxton. My league doesn’t really trade – so a 2 for 1 deal isn’t going to work for me. Please advise.

    My team:

    C :
    1B: Pete Alonso (1B)
    2B: Jonathan Villar (2B, SS)
    3B: Nolan Arenado (3B)
    SS: Javier Baez(2B, 3B, SS)
    OF: Franil Reyes (OF)
    OF: Rhys Hoskins (1B, OF)
    OF: Austin Meadows (OF)
    UTIL: Austin Riley (3B)
    Bench: Domingo Santana (OF)
    Bench: Matt Carpenter (1B, 2B, 3B)
    Bench: Hunter Dozier (1B, 3B)

    DL: Giancarlo Stanton (OF)

    Martin Perez
    Franie Montas
    Rich Hill
    Matt Strahm
    Like Weaver
    Mike Soroka
    Joe Musgrove
    Chris Paddack
    Caleb Smith

    DL: James Paxton
    DL: Tyler Glasnow

    Felipe Vazquez
    Wade Davis
    Ken Giles

    • Scott Chu says:

      Hey Jason — I’m Scott and I’m a writer here at PL (I mostly write the Batter’s Box that gets published Monday through Thursday). While I won’t weigh in on your pitching, I can say that in a shallow format like yours, Hunter Dozier and Austin Riley are fairly expendable. Riley will never get a chance to be anything but a UTIL most days (because you aren’t sitting Arenado) and likely won’t stay with the big club for very long (Inciarte will return, and they want him in CF with Acuna moving back to LF).

      Dozier had a great April, but his May has been a bit less impressive (.246/.333/.435 with two HRs). That won’t get him in your lineup over Arenado or Alonso, and he’s providing the same types of stats that you already are getting plenty of from Arenado, Reyes, Hoskins, Baez, Alonso, Santana, and Carpenter. He’s a redundancy for you that I don’t think you need.

      I’d actually consider dropping two hitters in your situation. You have plenty of positional flexibility and there is likely a fine crop of hitters on your waiver wire that you can choose from should you run into an injury or two.

  7. Joe says:

    Nick, I just wanted to let you know- I’m enjoying your site so much I’ve whitelisted it in my adblocker. If that doesn’t say love in 2019, I don’t know what does.

  8. hscer says:

    If Maguire is the best Toby, what should we call the best Cherry Bomb? We need another name for Jose Berrios.

  9. theKraken says:

    Berrios wan’t bad. He was really good through 4, but the 5th was a bad inning that he couldn’t finish. It wasn’t a bunch of hard contact and the Twins are probably the worst combination of defensive personnel and poor alignments in MLB which never helps. Berrios got legitimately beat around in that 5th but it wasn’t really that bad by him – lots of liners to the opposite field, which is just good hitting.

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