Giving Toronto A Rayse

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Oh no, are we back in on Robbie Ray again? After waiting for his command to come together for too long in Arizona, the Jays let him loose for 90 pitches yesterday and it returned 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW against the Mets. Some great points here – 95+ mph velocity, 7/26 whiffs on sliders, and he even sprinkled in 15 curveballs for 40% CSW. This. Is. Awesome.

I’ll pour some cold water on this quickly. We’ve seen Ray have spurts of bliss before only to dissipate quickly and this could be more of the same. Still, if Ray were to click, it would look like this, especially with fastballs finding the zone constantly and few sliders wasted along the way. This was easily the best I’ve seen Ray all season and, well, that’s fun. He’s likely to get the Phillies next and it’s a gamble. At least we have a case now that success is within his grasp, rather than the expected disappointment he’s given us lately. Add him to your possibilities.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Ian Anderson @ WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Mmmmm that’s a lovely line. Anderson had his timing back on changeups and curveballs, keeping both down in the zone for 8 whiffs and 40% CSW across the pair in this one. It was the BSB with four-seamers in the top half of the zone and you should have a massive grin on your face if you swooped up Anderson in your league. Welcome to the ace of Atlanta. Start him vs the Mets and Marlins to end the year.

Jordan Montgomery vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW. FINALLY. Montgomery has been struggling with his breakers and we saw his curveball take full shape here, earning 45% CSW and propelling his first King Colehis changeup wasn’t what we want it to be, but it was BSB with fastballs and curveball and it’s what I’ve been dreaming of all year. Definitely thought it was too risky after his previous two starts to let him go here, but now with his curveball has returned and the velocity has stuck around. The Red Sox are next and suddenly I’m considering him there as he tossed about 80 pitches here. Something to think about.

Reynaldo Lopez vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Despite a great line here, I’m not trusting what ReyLo is bringing to the table. Blame it on the Tigers. Fastball is just 94.3 mph, his changeup was floated a bit, and his slider wasn’t consistent enough. It’s not enough for me to jump on board.

Brent Suter vs CHC (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW. Suter makes it work with 84.5 mph fastballs, somehow, but you know this isn’t a real thing to pursue. Amazing he was able to be this productive across 43 pitches.

Nick Goody vs OAK (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 46% CSW. Bullpen game here for Wes Benjamin getting 58 pitches and surviving against the A’s. Nothing to see here.

Chris Bassitt @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW. This was the easiest Bassitt decision we’ve had facing the Rangers and his sinker was crazy good again at 45% CSW. He got enough help with cutters and curveballs and it returned a solid start, even if he got a little Singled OutWe’ll take it, be a little careful against the Giants next time.

Dakota Hudson vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSWIt’s not the fun upside of strikeouts I’m pining for, but yeah, you’re happy about this and I think you will be thrilled with Hudson through the end with the Cardinals’ easy schedule. His slider was great for 7/20 whiffs, curveball returned 36% CSW and things are cool.

Julio Urias vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW. We had our hesitations about Urias, but he truly has been a Cherry Bomb, rotating between production and destruction, showing up against the Astros. It’s not the strikeouts you want as his changeup is still missing, but his curveballs were better and he did enough with fastballs. Coors is next though, and I’d still consider letting him go.

Dean Kremer @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW. We were thinking Kremer could do it a second time against the Yankees and it worked, though I didn’t see his curveball or cutter take a step forward via whiffs – just 4/46 whiffs between them. Next up are the Rays and while he’s in consideration, it’s not a run-and-start situation.

Nathan Eovaldi @ TB (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 40% CSW. Eovaldi returned – yay! – and tossed just 40 pitches – oh. Yep, that means he’s done for 2020 in our book. There just isn’t enough time left to get the volume we want.

Kyle Hendricks @ MIL (ND) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Atta boy Hendricks, that’s a 3.29 ERA for the year and pretty much what you expected for the year. Can you guess his strikeout rate? It’s 19.7% this year. Oh Hendricks, you do you.

Patrick Corbin vs ATL (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Phew. The Braves are hot as anything and Corbin has been far from his former self, but he had better fastball command ~91 mph and dominated with his slider to 36% CSW across 45 thrown. It’s about time we felt confident in Corbin again and let’s hope it sticks through the end. I will mention, he did get hit hard plenty in this one and he’s not completely out of the woods, but yeah, you’re starting Corbin.

Justus Sheffield @ ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSWAyyy way to get it done Sheffield. Streaming Record: 26-22. I’m still not a major fan of that sinker, but his slider was strong in this one while his changeup was good enough. Now he gets the Padres and yeah, push him back on the wire.

Kyle Freeland vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW. This wasn’t a matchup you wanted Freeland for, but he still made it work, going the full neckbeard approach with sliders and changeups around the edges of the zone. Sadly it’s the Dodgers in Coors next time and that’s a big nope.

Jaime Barria @ COL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW. It was Barria in Coors. You didn’t start him, I’m glad he did well, but like me having all the coins and bills I need in my pocket, this changes nothing. Nothing.

Rich Hill vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Hill finally earned whiffs with his curveball – 7/44 here – and it allowed him to rack up strikeouts against the Indians as he went BSBYes, he was able to keep his four-seamer up despite sitting 87/8 mph. What a world this is. He may get the White Sox next and I’m very much out there, even with a curveball that actually got whiffs.

Tejay Antone @ STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW. I’m a bit annoyed since I wanted Tejay to start on Monday against the Pirates instead, but here we got 68 pitches of him and it was blegh. There may be something there against poor offenses, but he’s not stretched out for 90 pitches and I’d hold off considering Antone for 2020. He may not even get another start.

Seth Lugo @ TOR (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW. It’s not great as those ratios sting a good amount. It may be enough to avoid Lugo for his next start if he gets the Braves, though there’s a chance he gets pushed up to the 17th against the Phils. Start there, bench against the Braves.

Spencer Howard @ MIA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSWThe CSW is great, relying heavily on thigh-high slider to get whiffs off the plate. I’m waiting for Howard to sit 94/95 with changeups down and that wasn’t here. I hope we see a Howard start this year to get us excited for next year. Other Howard Narrator: They didn’t.

Carlos Hernandez vs PIT (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 14% CSW. Carlos got a shot at the bigs and despite throwing 96/97 with his heater, I didn’t love his curveball – 1/15 CSW! – and it’s best to avoid for now. Don’t forget him for the future, though, if he adds more in that arsenal, there could be something with that velocity. Solid fastball command, too.

Tyler Glasnow vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Aces gonna almost ace and allow an extra ER or two for our liking, but also earn a Gallows PoleToo many wasted curveballs here as his fastball was featured everywhere in the zone like he was playing Splatoon and had to cover the entire zone with red paint. Not ideal, but yeah, you got the WHIP and strikeouts you want from your SP2.

Zach Plesac @ MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Blegh. All of the damage came via the longball for the Twins in this game, and they swatted three off Plesac here. Still love the heavy slider usage and while his changeup and curveball weren’t as sharp as we’ve seen, I’m still very confident in starting Plesac the rest of the way.

Framber Valdez @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW. So here’s an interesting one. His curveball was great again – 36% CSW – but it wasn’t enough as the Dodgers launched a pair of longballs off sinkers in the heart of the zone. Regardless of how I feel about six-months of Valdez, he gets an easy road the rest of the year and you best be starting him still.

Jose Urena vs PHI (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Sorry Urena, you just don’t have enough in that repertoire to become a fantasy asset.

Michael Fulmer @ CWS (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW. His sinker is down to 93 mph. There’s nothing of excitement. I can’t wait to express my excitement for 2021 when reports are he’s back to 96-7 mph again and starting in full.

Daulton Jefferies @ TEX (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW. This wasn’t the debut we wanted for Jeffries and for full coverage of it, you have to read Andy Patton’s GIF Breakdown of the start. Fastball was the main pitch but didn’t do enough with a defined secondary offering to keep batters off it. I can see some upside if his cutter, changeup, or curveball take shape as he pumps 94/95 mph with decent command, but this isn’t a 2020 option.

Kolby Allard vs OAK (L) – 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Dralla just can’t see the light. It burns.

Trevor Williams @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW. I gotta say, I kinda dig Williams being super aggressive with sliders down, but they were a little too low and his heater the best it could trying to get strikes sliders weren’t getting. Oddly, this is the most intrigued I’ve been about T-Dubs for a while and it’s after a horrible 2.60 WHIP start. That’s baseball. No, I’m not starting him, just observing from afar as I twirl my horrible goatee.

Zac Gallen vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Blegggggggh. It was like the first start of the season as Gallen was just missing the edges and couldn’t get into a groove in each at-bat. The stuff is there and you gotta keep the faith, but man, this burns. If anything, be happy that may depress his draft stock for 2021. Gallen Gals for life, y’all.


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.



Tyler Mahle vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Mahle is right around 20% and there’s no way I’m holding him back now. He’s in a groove and you want this.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


JT Brubaker vs. Cincinnati Reds – This was going to Tejay Antone on the other side but now he’s going today and not Monday, leading me to go with Brubaker. It can work, just a little risky in Cincy.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Danny Duffy vs. Detroit Tigers – Great matchup and he’s locked in with his BSB these days.


Game of the Day


Mike Clevinger vs. Sna Francisco Giants – Please look like the ace we want you to be.



(Photo by Kevin Abele/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.

One response to “Giving Toronto A Rayse”

  1. George says:

    Hi, Nick! Would you start Pablo Lopez tomorrow against the Phillies?

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