First Degree Burnes

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

Here’s the thing. Even after today’s atrocious line of 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks, I still really like Corbin Burnes. You definitely don’t have to agree with me – I don’t expect a lot of you to – and that’s fine. I’ll just tell you what I like. He earned his second Gallows Pole in two starts with 16 whiffs today. His fastball sat at 95mph with ridiculous cut action (though, I don’t like how its command was worse today than last week). He’s allowed 3 HR in each game and that simply has to come down, significantly. It just has to. He still has a dope slider – over 33% swinging strike rate today – and I think this is a case where the larger sample will embrace Burnes more than these two starts. Feel free to drop him if you must – the Dodgers are next and that is certainly intimidating – I feel that if the Brewers keep him in the rotation, this is a pitcher that can carry you through the summer months. 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Steven Matz5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Are you surprised that Matz fanned eight batters in five shutout innings? I sure am, as he did so without throwing a good amount of sliders. He only earned a total of 6 whiffs on 41 secondary pitches and it makes me a bit skeptical that he can keep this up in the slightest. But hey, 22/62 CSW on just sinkers is an impressive feat on its own. Maybe, and this is a maaaaaaybe, Matz is grasping the high heat and could make it work. I’m not sold but I don’t blame you if there are few other options.

Wade Miley5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You own Miley because he can earn you cheap Wins. Miley started today. He earned a Win. Life is good.

Matt Moore3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Moore sprained his knee in the middle of this outing and heads to the IL. It’s too bad because I was really buying into this. Kidding aside, I feel bad even making a joke about this as I’m sure he’s incredibly frustrated and sad about this. Poor guy.

Chris Paddack3.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. 29 foul balls in 88 pitches. That’s a terrible ratio – generally if I see a CSW well under fouls (21/88 CSW today), I know they were either missing all over the place or simply easy to hit. Paddack was more of the former here, which is kinda surprising given everything we’ve seen and heard up to now. Here’s to hoping he rebounds next time against the Diamondbacks.

Ryne Stanek2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Stanek opened for the False Starter Ryan Yarbrough – The Fratty Pirate – who took the fat L after allowing 4 ER in just 3 frames. Yeah, the fella ain’t for me.

Walker Buehler5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Buehler went into Coors and survived. You should be starting him without hesitation moving forward.

J. A. Happ4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. You’d think Happ would be able to get through five frames against the Orioles. Just sayin’. Keep rolling him out there, don’t think twice.

Jorge Lopez6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh, I don’t buy it Lopez. I just don’t like your schtick. What about the cut of my jib? That ain’t bad, but we’re talking about schticks. Fiiiiiine.

Tyler Skaggs6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. 36% CSW today for Skaggs as he earned a ton of called strikes with deuces and fastballs, and I like how he stayed low with curveballs while sticking up the zone with “heat.” Why the air bunnies? Because he was throwing just 90mph today. The man averaged 91.5mph last season. Oh. Like finishing up the Bingo son, OH IS RIGHT. I’m a little scared of owning Skaggs right now, even with that CSW, and if there are some solid options on the wire, I’d make the swap.

Michael Wacha5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 8 BBs, 7 Ks. Talk about a Dusty Donut, eight walks?! WHAT. 11 baserunners and only 1 ER in 5.2 IP?! I just…I just don’t understand. Wacha threw 119 pitches due to those walks and it shouldn’t surprise you that he earned 7 Ks – that’s only a 25% K rate given how many batters he had to face. Get it together kid. 

Sandy Alcantara4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 0 Ks. Jeeeeez Alcantara, six walks and zero strikeouts?! Are you even trying to get us to like you? Yes, you can move on here. I’ve been skeptical of his polish and this confirms everything.

Carlos Carrasco5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Crazy to see 12 Ks in 15 outs like it was me bashing on a terrible team in high school. I just felt so bad for them and I wasn’t that good. 

Cole Hamels6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Just one more out away from QS bliss, but Hamels handed us a Philly (Update: Hahaha, just kidding. Our stats source is bad and I feel bad. Hamels did get the QS). Solid outing, still, and it’s another step from distancing himself from the Tobys. Not saying he deserves a massive gap between them, but Hamels has showcased him as Spiderman out of the gate – the best Toby out there.

Mike Leake6.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Huh, this is super close to a VPQS but the sub 3.00 ERA and six Ks are A-OK to me. Maybe the only time he does that all year, though. Yes, drop the Mike, but why did you have him in the first place?

Michael Pineda5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. No no no, not that Mike. This Mike you should be holding as he earned another inning this time around. Really blegh 20/80 CSW (25%), but against the Phils and overall decent performance has me overlooking the lack of domination. He gets the Tigers next and I think you want to be a part of that.

Kyle Wright6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, our actual streamer and totally not last minute but definitely last minute switcharoo succeeded against the Marlins! When I say succeeded, I mean he did fine ratio wise but terribly in CSW. 19/77 (25%) is far from what we’re looking for as he was all over the place once again. This isn’t the Spice Girl you want, Wright has too much to fix before being the right right Wright. That makes sense, I swear. Streaming Record: 6-3

Jake Arrieta7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. One strikeout? Just one K in 21 outs? Does that sound like a pitcher that dominated a lineup and has “figured it out”? Didn’t think so.

Dylan Bundy3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The man threw 85 pitches and didn’t escape the fourth. None of y’all are holding out on a Bundy rebound, right?

Patrick Corbin6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Corbin got the Mets and was okay. The nine Ks are why he’s a Top 20 pitcher, but the 1.17 WHIP and 4.50 ERA are not. Be better, okay? Okay.

Tanner Roark5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Welcome, welcome! You’ve made it just in time. To honor Mediocricity, our mayor Roark has elected to give a speech to his people. “Hey! I’m Tanner and you shouldn’t own me in 12-teamers.” Riveting stuff.

Jeff Samardzija4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh it’s just so boring. I’ve kinda moved on from Samardzija at this point, though I’m open to the idea that he could be solid later in the year. Now? Just not enough upside to deal with his…middling nature.

Luke Weaver5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Weaver got the Sawx and was blegh. He is what he thought he was. AND WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT.

Trevor Williams6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Am I supposed to like this? Are you in it just for the WHIP? Unless you’re into that sort of thing, this is pretty in line with what I expect from Williams – a poor ERA and not enough Ks to make up for it. It’s an investment where you take on all the risk. Why would you want that?

Thomas Pannone2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Pannone got the Tribe and for once they took advantage of a mediocre pitcher. Well done, Cleveland, I’m so proud of you.

David Price6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. At the very least give us a QS, not this 4 ER rubbish. This gives us nothing now and that’s just not cool, Price.

Drew Smyly3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I really do wonder if Smyly can turn it on by June 1st. He has the longest leash out there – who else do the Rangers have?! – and like Minor last season, Smyly could turn it around as the season progresses. Monitor this from afar. Very far.

Aaron Brooks5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Brooks dominated the Sawx last week and we thought “wow, maybe this guy is something!” He was something alright. Something to give a shifty nod at when he gives you an inviting wave. Just keep walking.

Lucas Giolito4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Well, we were hoping he could find the zone another start with his secondary stuff and what do you know, he couldn’t. Well, except for his changeup that was a bit too hittable. But seeing 3/22 CSW on his curveball and slide piece should tell you the rest. Yeeeeeeeesh.

Jon Gray6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I ranked Gray incredibly low entering this season. Why? Because I don’t trust him. Gray excelled in Miami last week and now blew up against the Dodgers. Maybe it’s a “don’t start against good teams” thing. Maybe the man just can’t be trusted overall. Will you ever really feel comfortable with him on your squad?

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.

Domingo German vs. Baltimore Orioles – The O’s are not that good, right? If you’re looking for a Sunday Win to put you over the edge for the week, consider Brad Keller against the Tigers or Wade LeBlanc against the ChiSox as well.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Marco Estrada vs. Baltimore OriolesIt’s this or Lauer against the Giants. Shudders. I have to choose one, but you don’t.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Jordan Zimmermann vs. Cleveland Indians – He’s hot out of the gate and the Indians are not.


Game of the Day


Max Scherzer vs. Zack Wheeler – Why would you not watch this game.


(Photo by Quinn Harris/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.

14 responses to “First Degree Burnes”

  1. Jason says:

    Hamels did get through 6 for the QS…

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Jason! There’s a problem with our stats source and I need to double check it more frequently before putting this out.

      One of the drawbacks of writing this so late is sometimes these things escape me. I appreciate the heads up!

  2. Drew says:

    I believe Burnes line was 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 6 K….

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Drew! There’s a problem with our stats source and I need to double check it more frequently before putting this out.

      One of the drawbacks of writing this so late is sometimes these things escape me. I appreciate the heads up!

  3. Ben says:

    Wow! Got this out early! Thank you!

  4. Christian says:

    Nick, love how the site has been operating this year! All the new content from your improved staff has made this a must-use site. Now about Skaggs. I’m not sure about dropping him in my 12 teamer (McHugh is the only name I like, as Burnes will be there later), so I’m thinking about trading him after his decent start. Who are the better buy lows out there (Darvish comes to mind), and do you think you could add a buy low/sell high label to the list? P.S. Hope Strahm pitches well today! Keep up the great work.

  5. Jason says:

    Would you drop Skaggs for Pineda?

  6. Chris says:

    Do you do a buy/sell for pitchers on this site or just hitters?

  7. larry womack says:

    Been offered my Greg Holland for Posey. Would you make this trade?

  8. Chris says:

    Took your advice yesterday and sold high on glasnow, netted me Eloy. Now I need to figure out what to do with Trevor Williams, someone in my league likes him but is a hard guy to trade with.

  9. Jeremy says:

    Would you drop Skaggs for Derek Holland? I’m considering it, especially with the SD start coming on Tuesday.

  10. LadyScorpio says:

    Good article! Thanks for sharing your insight. Stumbled across Pitcherlist.com by chance and am now addicted!! Been playing fantasy baseball for 11 years and have won my league 4 times. Haven’t won in recent years, but am determined to reclaim my crown in 2019!!! With help from all of the great info that’s available here, I’ve no doubt that I will.

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