For Dallast Time

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Dallas Keuchel @ DET (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Oh Dallas KeuchelIn previous years, you’ve fought to be the Spider-ManThe best Toby around. But answer me this, Dallas. Does a Toby go 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks against the Tigers? THE TIGERS?! It’s reached a point where we’re wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze and it’s time we legit talked about it.

I could just end this by saying you’re only worthwhile to chase Wins as your 4.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 14% strikeout rate sure aren’t cutting it. There you go, stop reading, cut Keuchel, and move on. For those curious why he’s struggling this much, his changeup and cutter simply aren’t up to snuff. The slow ball has dropped to just a 31% O-Swing from its 40-45% rates in the past, while his cutter flat-out isn’t a good pitch, allowing a near .300 batting average for the year.

Here’s the kicker among all of this – he’s tallied just 11.2 frames across his last three starts. I was a bit excited when he fanned eight Jays across six frames on June 10th, helping him earn an unusual Gallows Polebut it was a clear anomaly and let’s face it, if Keuchel can carve quality out quality innings against the Tigers, you have to wonder if the ceiling is truly worth the floor. Spoiler Alert: It’s not.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Sandy Alcántara @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I’m excited for the future. Why? Because Sandy has a 4.04 SIERA and just a 21% strikeout rate, which means many will be low on Sandy for 2022, suggesting he’s just been lucky and he won’t have a 25%+ strikeout rate in the future. Muhahaha, just look at Zack Wheeler, a similar arm who also has elite volume. When you have an upper 90s heater that is stupid amazing and two secondaries with great movement, it’s just a matter of time before you nail down the approach to turn it into strikeouts. Can’t wait.

Kyle Freeland vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

Man, I guess “The Cardinal Rule” really is a thing. I don’t even think Freeland pitched exceptionally well or anything here. This is wild.

Wade LeBlanc @ COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

Oh right, Wade is still a thing…and somehow has accessed that Cardinal Devil MagicTM inside Coors. Ah baseball, never change.

Tyler Mahle vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

Mahle is like Andrew Heaney with a bit more consistency. You’re going to endure all the ups and downs for a solid end result (3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 30% strikeout rate this year), but he’s likely not going to turn the corner and transcend to the AGA label. And that’s A-OK with us.

Jake Odorizzi @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

It’s just two strikeouts, but I’m completely satisfied with this as I have Odorizzi rostered in many leagues. His command was a little off with the heater and I’m glad he was able to adapt with splitters, sliders, and cutters constantly earning strikes. I think you’re safe starting him against the Yankees next, but it’ll be inside the “Questionable Start” tier.

Alex Cobb vs BAL (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 112 pitches.

Our backup streamer finally did what he was supposed to as the splitter…wasn’t that great. Nope, he was able to earn 23 called strikes on sinkers and that’s your story, morning glory. He gets the Mariners next and we’ve already seen him falter there despite the matchup. It’s a coin flip, good luck.

Eric Lauer @ PIT (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ha! I considered Lauer as a deep streaming option and while he did everything he could to make this go poorly, the BABIP lords above forced success. Cutter was way down in velocity though (nearly two full ticks) and I wouldn’t go near it.

Ross Stripling vs TB (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hmmmm. This was good, just not great. Curveball landed for called strikes, and sliders found the zone enough, but nothing here screamed “oh dang, you’re dope”. It makes for Stripling as a solid streaming option, not a legit-I-must-hold-to-win-my-league option.

Garrett Richards @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 92 pitches.

There was a sense that if Richards imploded in this one, it may be his last opportunity, but hey, he survived. Somehow. Those spin rates are still stupid down (ranging from 250 – 309 rpm drops. YIKES.) and I’m not going anywhere near this.

Jordan Lyles @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 124 pitches.

Despite a terrible CSW, Lyles had some great luck in the field and eeked out six innings, needing 124 pitches to do so. Wow. You just don’t see that these days, let alone for just 18 outs. I hope his inefficiency is enough to make you realize this start can’t be trusted.

Cole Irvin vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Hey, that’s awesome. Irvin is a Toby in my book and I had my hesitations against a strong Red Sox club. But look at this guy, earning a 44% CSW on well-spotted four-seamers and mixing in changeups and sliders effectively. His reward? A date with Texas. Sweeeet.

Taijuan Walker @ NYY (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 106 pitches.

He gave you a Philly but we all know that’s alright as this start helps across the board. I have to say, Taijuan has surprised me as much as anyone this year and I can’t quite shake off all the skepticism – he has a 24% called strike on heaters that will not stick and no secondary pitch sits above 30% (sub 20% O-Swing on sliders is terrifying for your #2 pitch) – but who cares, keep starting him. I won’t say it’s an extended Vargas Rule as he’s done more to deserve better, it does feel like Vargas’ older brother, though.

Zach Eflin vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Not ultra-sexy or anything like that and he got super lucky, but who cares? That’s not a fantasy stat. He gets the Cubs next and that’s fine.

Danny Duffy vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 69 pitches.

Bleggggh. If you haven’t yet, I think you move on from Duffy. He’s being limited by the Royals in an effort to stay healthy and while the velocity is still up, he’s lost the rhythm he was in during April. Sigh. It was a wonderful moment I’ll never forget.

Shane McClanahan @ TOR (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

I know, I know. He was pulled in the sixth inning at just 71 pitches, but I actually understand this one. It was a tough jam in a close ball game and McClanahan wasn’t looking incredibly sharp in the frame. It made sense. He unfortunately got credited for another run after and got the L, but whatever, the man is legit. Seriously, I don’t think anyone who watches Shane can step away thinking he’s not worth the hype. Fun fact, the highest for a single season between 2010 and 2019 was Gerrit Cole’s 16.8% clip in 2019. McClanahan has a 17.6% SwStr this season. Just saying.

Jordan Montgomery vs NYM (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 86 pitches.

Blegh. I’ve been enamored by The Bear and his curveball + changeup, but they weren’t cooking and this was the result. I feel like the PEAS label is almost fitting as those two secondaries should fuel success in the future, we’re just not there yet. One day.

Clayton Kershaw @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 54 pitches.

Not to say that Kershaw was doing well – he obviously wasn’t – but he could have easily pulled off a PQS if not better had it not been a near two-hour rain delay. Womp womp. carry on.

Paolo Espino vs LAD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 70 pitches.

A rain dekay ended this one early for Espino, but hey, four innings keeping up with Kershaw ain’t so bad Paolo. Props.

Kyle Muller vs MIA (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

I’m heavily falling for this kid, despite giving us a meh outing deserving of a loss. Streaming Record: 51-40. Sure, he’s a bit of a Young Gun as his command isn’t as tight as we want it to be + he hasn’t unlocked the potential of elevating heaters quite yet, but his breakers are legit and he’s pumping 91-97 mph heaters. It’s wonderful. Atlanta optioned him to the Minors, which means he’s not starting against Miami (ugh) but it’s because they have the off days to go four-man into the break, then will have Muller as their fifth starter…against the Padres. It’s not fair and I know it sounds crazy, but you may want to drop him to get production elsewhere across those two weeks – it’s what Atlanta is doing, after all. It’s going to be a Muller parade after that Padres start, though, on you to decide if the stash is worth it.

Eli Morgan vs HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ehhhh, this didn’t help anywhere, but I am happy that Eli could keep his head up against the Astros. The changeup wasn’t nearly as good, though, and it doesn’t make me super confident against the Royals in what looks like a decent stream on paper. I’m leaning No there.

Adbert Alzolay @ CIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches.

YES! There he is! Alzolay had his slider in order once again, tossing it 40% of the time for a 42% CSW, helping propel a King Cole as the 1-2 punch worked against the Reds. I’m back on the Alzolay train now and starting against the Phils. It’s so good to see you again, I was worried you wouldn’t return so soon.

Sammy Long @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blegh. Alright, alright, this likely isn’t going to work out the way we want it to. The curveball is still great, but the changeup isn’t and his heater got beat around a good amount. He gets the Nationals next and there is an outside chance he pulls it off there, but I wouldn’t circle it with my giant red highlighter. What if I don’t have a giant red highlighter? What, who doesn’t have one? Don’t they come with your rental lease?

Jake Faria vs SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

I remember the days when Faria was truly a thing. I miss those days.

Jorge Lopez @ LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

JorLo has a 6.02 ERA and 1.57 WHIP this year. Poor guy.

Yu Darvish @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna earn a Gallows Pole but get a bit unlucky and produce a 6.00 ERA. Spin rates are still wildly down and his fastball/slider underperformed, but that cutter is still stupid amazing and thus, so is Darvish.

Tarik Skubal vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Womp womp. The schedule isn’t doing Skubal any favors (Twins are next) and he’s simply not a finished product yet. That’s okay, I still believe he’ll help more than hurt, just make sure to have some caution against a strong offense like the White Sox, okay? I also need to mention that the Tigers will likely limit Skubal to some degree in the second half (they are with Mize, after all) so this will be a bit of a bumpy road. We’ll get through it together.

Cody Ponce vs MIL (L) – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 59 pitches.

Yikes. Didn’t he know he facing the Brewers?

Marco Gonzales vs TEX (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

Ugggggh. I know I had a roundup about us not trusting Gonzo, but this was Texas! Welp, pack it up. MG Mariner ain’t grand.

Griffin Jax @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

It’s a slider/fastball combination that ain’t so great. If only Jax had some extra modifications to turn into something special.


Game of the Day 


Marcus Stroman vs. Gerrit Cole – We both want these guys to return to the top of their game. Let’s see it.

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: 8:30 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo from Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

3 responses to “For Dallast Time”

  1. MS19 says:

    Nick, I dropped Alzolay after his last mess, but watched this game closely. Gallen went to the IL (AGAIN!), so picking AA back up was a no-brainer. The kid can deal! Just hope the blister issue is a one and done!

  2. Casual fan says:

    I don’t understand only three hard hit balls against Lauer. Did BABIP god really force success in this??

  3. Dan B. says:

    “Mahle is like Andrew Heaney with a bit more consistency. You’re going to endure all the ups and downs for a solid end result (3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 30% strikeout rate this year), but he’s likely not going to turn the corner and transcend to the AGA label. And that’s A-OK with us.” Haha, when has Heaney delivered a solid end result? His only year with a sub 4.00 era was six years ago and also his highest siera of his career. You keep pumping Heaney and yet no results. Let’s be real, Heaney is not a startable fantasy pitcher.

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