Defusing The Woj Bomb

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

It was a ton of fun to watch Asher Wojciechowski cruise yesterday against the Red Sox, ending the day with a beautiful 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks and making us all freak out a little. I watched this one and hot dang, his curveball was ridiculous. Just look at this pitch. LOOK AT IT. 9/31 whiffs on that deuce alone, helping him earn a whopping 23 whiffs (not a Gallows Pole) on the day and 34/105 CSW overall. His slider did a good job of earning strikes as well, with…well, good fastballs. Some were bliss, dotting the down-and-away corner to right-handers, and others got away from him. A lot. It’s why this one shocked us a bit as his curveball is so filthy, but batters are hunting for heaters to crush and he often presents them. So where do we stand now? Do we invest in Woj? Maybe. I think he’s a Woj Cherry Bomb at the end of the day, like Pivetta, honestly, where if he’s tossing good enough heaters, his breakers will do the rest. But there is a super low floor here and it could burn you fast. Take the chance if you need it, avoid if you have a good staff already.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It was everything you wanted from Buehler as he was served a lovely date with the Fish. 23 whiffs (still not a Gallows Pole) en route to 45% CSW is stupid good, earning 10/26 whiffs on cutters and sliders. Gorgeous. Let’s ride this through the end.

Jack Flaherty4.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s inefficient, needing 86 pitches for just 13 outs, but I do like that his slider is still working and he did a decent job working the Blake Snell Blueprint. Curveball showed up a little – 10 thrown – and did well, but it’s not the true answer yet. Keep starting Flaherty, hopefully his short start is a bump in the road, not an obstacle.

Dillon Peters5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Peters got the start for the Halos and you’re wondering what this is. It’s nothing. I’m sure he’ll Peters out soon.

Blake Snell6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 25 whiffs (okay, the actual Gallows Pole) and 38/108 CSW as Blake followed his own blueprint. Love 21 curveballs all down in the zone, 19 changeups is fine as they played well arm-side and tons of high heaters. This is what’s up.

Dario Agrazal6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m getting the feeling that the Pirates need to have some overperforming arm in their rotation and with Trevor Williams falling apart, Dario needs to step in with his 3.86 K/9, 88% LOB rate, 8.8% HR/FB, and .241 BABIP to return a 2.25 ERA despite a 6.20 SIERA. Yeah. Don’t do this. Please.

Tyler Alexander7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Tyler, if you try to convince us that you can constantly go 20/23 generating outs in the field, you’re wasting your time. Seriously, one strikeout in seven innings? HAISTFMFWT?!

Rogelio Armenteros5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is a day of “okay who is this and should I care?” and you can add RogA to the list of guys you don’t care about. He’s not going to win the job over other Houston arms and I don’t think he’s capable of returning consistent games like this one. Is he a Cup of Schmo? He sure is.

Anthony DeSclafani6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Then there’s Tony Disco. Should you care? Kinda? I think he’s still just a streaming option, but to see him capitalize against the Cardinals like this should give us confidence in future good matchups. 10/33 CSW on sliders is cool as he’s relying heavily on the pitch again. That’s a good thing. He hosts the Rockies next and that’s…I guess a good thing? Consider it if you really need to.

Kevin Gausman7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Gaus went pure two-pitch here with splitters and four-seamers and he pounded the zone relentlessly for just 83 pitches here. It worked out well, but I think he got a bit lucky in the field and didn’t have his ridiculous splitter despite the 8 Ks. He was good and what we’re fine owning again, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he settled in as a Toby.

Adrian Morejon2.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Morejon was called up as an opener, with Cal Quantrill jumping in with 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks after. Hot dang! He was my streaming pick for Tuesday, but the Padres keep us on our toes. I kinda like Quantrill, who went 15/42 CSW on just heaters. Still work to be done with his slider and changeup, but there’s something here for streams.

Drew Smyly6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Ohhhhh so Smyly just needed to leave Texas! Why didn’t we see this before? 30% CSW with a curveball like he used to have is nice and it’s just his third game all year without a longball. Nice job Smyly, I don’t trust you in the slightest.

Kyle Hendricks7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s not overly sexy, but hot dang, I like owning Hendricks this year. It’s the floor we talk about when we say “stability” or “low ceiling” in drafts. It’s weird that it’s actually real.

German Marquez7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Marquez as he earned the Win in the Bronx. I wasn’t too thrilled about starting him after the disaster in Coors last time out, but hopefully he vindicated those that stuck with him after the blowup…or those that picked him up after an enraged owner served his wrath. 35/95 CSW is pretty as he attacked with sliders and curveballs effectively and with a date in Cincy next, I’m letting him loose.

Steven Matz6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Matz went changeup heavy in this one and it worked for 10/27 CSW and 28/88 overall. That’s fine with me, I’m glad that we can acknowledge that the home/road splits are not the real thing – he was handed a good matchup in Oracle Park and took advantage. Yeah, but this is just one example! Most of the time we can listen to it. If you really want to, fine. I’m going to just play the matchup regardless of the home/road aspect.

Conner Menez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. There’s a new kid on the block and his name is Menez. And I think he’s a Cup of Schmo. Sorry, he’s fine, I guess, but in 12-teamers he’s at the very best a rare streamer. I just didn’t see enough to love with his secondary stuff and while he could locate some fastballs effectively, I’m not going to bank on it. 

Zach Plesac6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. There’s the Plesac we want. Streaming Record: 63-41. Good to see Mother Nature letting the man pitch a full game this time, taking down the Royals with ease. He gets a repeat matchup against the Royals next and I’m doubling down.

Michael Pineda5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. Eight strikeouts! Sweet! Five walks! No! 36/109 CSW! Awesome! 92.7 mph velocity! OKAY WHAT IS THIS PINEDA. I’m legit weirded out by this game, where it was brilliant and terrible at the same time. The A’s were patient and earned walks, but I want to see Pineda hovering 94 mph and not dipping into 91/92 areas. The White Sox are next and alright, I’ll go for it.

Joe Ross5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoa, Ross got a start! And it wasn’t so bad! 17/34 CSW on sliders is crazy cool (just like the old days) but I’m not digging his heater or changeup. Womp womp. There’s still a lot of development left here before I buy-in, though there is a chance he makes it work in the short term. Not the worst lottery pick, but not one I’m making in standard leagues. Probably not 15 teamers either.

Jacob Waguespack5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Sure, seven strikeouts, but look at the location ratios! Jay-Wag doesn’t have a good enough skill set to suggest your pickup. Move along here.

Andrew Cashner6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Kinda wild to see the seven strikeouts n all, but the 4 ER sounds about right, even against his former squad. We thought we’d get a pair of cheap Wins here from Cash and he went 0-2 vs. the Jays and O’s. That’s Baseball, Suzyn.

Dylan Cease5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. I thought he looked much better last time out and this was a step back. He couldn’t get his fastball in the zone at all, forcing him to try to pitch backward with curveballs and sliders. It didn’t really work. I think the talent is there, but he has more development left to do. It could come next time, it could be in September, it could next year. It’s there, though.

Lance Lynn7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks. The strikeouts continue to flow…but at the cost of ratios, which we expected to regress to a degree, though seeing the strikeouts alive is definitely a plus. Keep rolling with this one, he doesn’t face the Astros every time.

Daniel Mengden3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaah that’s a blegh. Mengden did great work against the Mariners last time, but the Twins are much better. Save him only for the rare stream.

James Paxton3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Paxton has recently found his groove with heaters and in this one…that groove skipped like a out of context line in late 90s rom-com. He did turn to more cutters, which I fully encourage, but he really just didn’t have rhythm in this one. I’ll be lowering him a decent amount today because of it – likely to the back of the 20s or so – and he may be a decent buy-low for someone that is sick of dealing with Pax. He’s much better than this, he’ll get there.

Glenn Sparkman5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. We were wondering if Sparkman’s CG was a mirage or not. It was. Glenn, I really wanted this to work out, but if you’re serving us HAISTFMFWT?! then we’re destined to be apart. Always.

Brandon Woodruff3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sad one here as Woodruff left the game with an oblique injury. Yikes. No timetable yet, but I’m sure this is a killer for many of your teams. Guess the Brewers are going to have to purchase some SP at the deadline now.

Alex Young4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, that’s the true Young. The Steve, if you will. If you picked him up just in case, you can let him loose now.

Jordan Yamamoto4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Yamamoto faced the Dodgers and the expected happened. MildShock.gif. I still think Elieser Hernandez is the better pitcher and hopefully they make a swap as the magic wore off for Fair Jordan. You’re okay dropping here.

Yusei Kikuchi5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaaah, Yusei drop, I say drop, we all say drop.


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.


Trevor Richards vs. Chicago White Sox – I don’t like this. The other options are his opponent Ivan Nova (blegh) and Alec Millsthe latter I’d consider but somehow the Giants are so hot right now. I’d skip this one and not risk a poor start to your week.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Cal Quantrill vs. New York Mets – This is the only logical choice. Here’s to Quantrill taking advantage of a sputtering Mets lineup. Quantrill pitched on Sunday in relief, soooo I guess I have to go Jason Vargas vs. San Diego PadresHoooo boy. Can’t say I’m looking forward to this.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jordan Lyles vs. St. Louis Cardinals – His curveball showed up last time out and this could work again.


Game of the Day 


Mike Clevinger vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Nothing too exciting today, so let’s watch Clev dog wreck some batters.


(Photo by Mark Goldman/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.

9 responses to “Defusing The Woj Bomb”

  1. ESB says:

    Hey Nick, I know your rankings will be out later today, but I’m interested in who you would rather own ROS German Marquez (and hope he turns it around the 2nd half) or Griffin Canning and hope he settles down and puts up more quality starts?

  2. Don't be a Hader says:

    If you were doing August Rankings today, are you still liking Price over Flaherty?
    Gausman is historically a 2nd half pitcher. You think he’s a useful 5th or 6th SP on a 12 teamer?
    What about Gausman v. Beede?

  3. Nick says:

    Price over Flaherty.

    Gausman over Beede.

  4. Chelsa says:

    I lead in most of the hitting categories, so I’m good there. But I need to get my ERA down thanks to recent blowups from Boyd, Bieber and Lynn. Gray has been FABULOUS as of late!!! Musgrove, Plesac, Beede and G. Marquez are currently ALL available in this league. Which should I add and whom should I drop for the ROS? Please advise and thanks!

  5. Chelsa says:

    Wow…okay….somehow MOST of what I had asked you DID NOT POST!!! So I will REPOST it!!!

    Hi Nick!

    ANOTHER good SP Roundup article!! I’m currently tied at 1st place in my 10 team, roto, keeper, saves+holds league. Wanted to get your take on my finishing 1st with my current lineup (pitching in particular). Wanted to add Urquidy, but someone else scooped him up!

    C – J. McCann
    1B – Rizzo
    2B – D. Murray
    SS – Tatis
    3B – Machado
    CI – Voit
    MI – JoRam
    OF – Acuña, Dahl, Laureano & Trout
    U – Pederson & Heyward
    BN – Margot
    IL – Kiermaier & Eloy
    SP – Bieber, Boyd, Gallen, S.Gray, Lynn, *M. Kelly & *Junis (* = streaming opps ONLY)
    RP – Colomé, Neris, Pressly & Smith

    I lead in most of the hitting categories, so I’m good there. But I need to get my ERA down thanks to recent blowups from Boyd, Bieber and Lynn. Gray has been FABULOUS as of late!!! Musgrove, Plesac, Beede and G. Marquez are currently ALL available in this league. Which should I add and whom should I drop for the ROS? Please advise and thanks!

  6. Josh A. says:

    Pickup Beede for Yamamoto?

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