Going Overboard

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

I hope you tuned in yesterday as I livestreamed my creation of the weekly update to The List and I wish I didn’t quite gloss over Ryan Yarbrough, who I placed at #39 at the start of Tier 6. He definitely made me regret it with 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW against the Sawx yesterday and let’s tackle how to truly feel.

To be honest, the Fratty Pirate is still an all-around good play in 12-teamers. His changeup is still wonderful – 10/31 whiffs here! – and he does a great job keep the pitch low and super tempting to chase. His cutter is normally a sharp option inside the zone, but it sailed up a bit too often here, allowing for Boston to swat it around.

In short, I still think you should be owning Yarbrough, as he’ll be much needed for the Rays as their sole “workhorse” in their rotation right now, but I’d probably have him in the early 50s inside the same tier if I could do it over again. So it goes, hopefully he makes me rethink that on Sunday, though even a stellar outing may not make me change this – he kinda is what he is at this point.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Lance McCullers vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Want to know the main difference between this start and last? He actually threw fastballs above the top half of the zone, giving separation between his fastballs and secondary pitches. There’s still room for improvement here as too many pitches fell middle-middle, but McCullers was flirting with a no-hitter and I critique too much, even if he faced the Giants. Stick with McCullers, of course.

Michael Fulmer vs CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks, 6 Whiffs, 25% CSWVelocity is still a little low for Fulmer at 94 mph and he’s far from the man I once dreamed of. Maybe 2021? Daniel Norris is throwing 93 mph these days and really leaning on his changeup as he followed for two frames, I really hope he gets a proper chance once again….maybe 2021?

Ryan Brasier vs TB (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks, 1 Whiffs, 26% CSWThis was a bullpen game for the Red Sox because what else are they going to do? Maybe Wakefield can come back.

Aaron Nola vs ATL (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks, 15 Whiffs, 38% CSWAces gonna ace I LOVE NOLA DAY. Nola is going hard into that changeup, featuring it 36% of the time yesterday for a cool 25% SwStr rate, helping him earn a Gallows Pole and King ColeThat’s. What’s. Up. Velocity is just fine at 92/93, and the fact that his curveball isn’t stealing the show just makes me feel better as I know there will be days when it picks up the slack on a changeup that isn’t quite what it should be. Get hyped.

Patrick Corbin @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks, 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Aces gonna ace. 87 pitches seems about right as Corbin is still in the early stages of getting his season in order and seeing 11/39 whiffs on his slider makes everything feel right in the world…but there is a major problem. He’s sitting not just under 90 mph on his heater, but under 89 mph. We’re talking 88.6 mph across all fastballs yesterday, at times at 86/87. This pitch sat 92 mph last year. That’s terrifying. It was two ticks harder last time out and I wonder if there’s something amiss here. It still worked because of that slider but man, that has to give us worry.

Randy Dobnak @ MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks, 5 Whiffs, 28% CSWWhy do you own Dobnak? For the ratios and a cheap Win. Amen.

Luis Perdomo @ LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks, 1 Whiffs, 23% CSWIt’s a bit frustrating to see the Padres go full bullpen game when they have Luis Patiño in the dugout + MacKenzie Gore ready to go as well. But hey, here it was and it actually worked for San Diego. Cool beans, I guess. Cool beans.

Dustin May vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks, 5 Whiffs, 23% CSWWe’ve all seen the GIFs and how filthy May looks, but then you see the line and while it’s certainly good, it’s not the ace you expect, is it. I mean, a 23% CSW?! May only earned 5 whiffs on 83 pitches and without a legit whiff pitch, May’s ultimate upside is still limited. Are you happy with two strikeouts? I didn’t think so. Obviously a must-start moving forward as his ratio floor is great and 2 ER in 6 IP with the Dodgers offense should return Wins instead of Losses in the future, but yeah, don’t go crazy here.

Justin Dunn @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 4 Whiffs, 18% CSWIt’s a sad state of affairs when you earn 0 whiffs on 40 secondary pitches. What. On. Earth. His fastball wasn’t commanded well either, sitting middle horizontally a ton and…hold on…This Justin, I don’t want to start Dunn.

Logan Webb @ HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks, 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW. I can imagine a time when I’d start Webb against a weak offense. This was the Astros and that was a clear naaaaah.

Dallas Keuchel @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks, 14 Whiffs, 26% CSWIt wasn’t as pristine of a neckbeard as we want when looking at Keuchel’s strikezone plot in this one, featuring too many cutters in the middle of the plate and changeups that floated too high, but hey, it was a PQS as the Tigers are, you know, the Tigers. I’ll take it.

Adrian Houser vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks, 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Blegh. You know the problem with Houser – he doesn’t have a secondary pitch to support him like so many others. Now, this was the Twins and I’m assuming many of you benched him for that, nevertheless, I wanted to see Houser showcase the ability to endure a major lineup, you know? He avoided the heart of the zone well, it’s just not enough with sinkers and mediocre changeups/breakers. It works against average teams, just the higher tiered lineups. Update: I should also note that Freddy Peralta finished this game with 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks, 11 whiffs, 41% CSW and it’s certainly gotten many hyped. Sadly I’m not one of them – there is nothing innately different about Peralta from last season (where is that new slider?) and while this was the Twins, if this performance translates to a start, I’d be skeptical he can pull it off. Peralta is the biggest example of a Cherry Bomb I can think of.

Kyle Gibson vs SEA (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks, 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Bleeeeeeegh. His slider fell down to 15% usage after feeling it last time out and he earned just 2 whiffs on 23 total changeups + sliders. Remember, both of those pitches had a SwStr rate over 20% last season. He couldn’t make it work against the Mariners and I’m sad. Streaming Record: 10-8. Next up is Coors and that’s a big NOPE. Just send him back to the wire.

Sean Manaea @ LAA (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks, 2 Whiffs, 27% CSWVery good to see Manaea’s velocity back to 91 mph again, though his command was waaaay off here, failing to throw any of his secondary stuff low (1/36 on whiffs!) and electing to stay away from right-handers instead of jamming them. Unlike the Mandalorian, it’s not the way.

Julio Teheran vs OAK (ND) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks, 2 Whiffs, 16% CSWDid you miss Julio? Why?

Robbie Ray @ COL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks, 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW. I feel like I’m driving with the family as little Timmy is in the backseat. Are we there yet?! Not yet, Timmy. Are we close? Closer. His fastball was less erratic than normal while his slider did a great job of staying low. It’s not worth it to toss him out there for the Padres next, though, but I wouldn’t be too shocked if that legit works. We’re getting there, y’all.

Steven Matz vs WSH (L) – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks, 11 Whiffs, 26% CSWMatz had a wonderful opening start and has been downhill since, culminating in 13 ER across two starts back-to-back against the Nationals. I’ve seen worse starts from Matz than this one, but his slider was hung, curveballs weren’t quite there, and he tossed in some poor sinkers as well. Next up are the Phils and that’s a good ole meh from me.

Jon Gray vs ARI (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks, 11 Whiffs, 33% CSWBleggggh. I don’t think we collectively know what to do with Gray, but let’s just keep it simple and say he’s a streamer on the road against a meh offense. So wait, that doesn’t seem rosterable. Sure doesn’.t

Sean Newcomb @ PHI (L) – 1.1 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks, 3 Whiffs, 19% CSWThe Braves are making a habit of their starters performing so poorly they have no choice but to demote them after. The big question is who takes Newcomb’s place now and I’m crossing my fingers for Ian Anderson – I could use another GIF Breakdown in my life. Update: Looks like it’s going to be Bryse Wilsonwhich sadly doesn’t constitute a GIF Breakdown unless he does unreal things. I wouldn’t jump to pick him up, but you have an open spot and nothing to chase, sure, I’m okay with that. He flashed good stuff in his 2018 debut, but has struggled plenty since. In most cases, this is a wait-and-see.


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. Kansas City Royals – You want this start and the one after against the Pirates. You want all of it. Mahle has been moved to the bullpen as Wade Miley returned. Blegh. Brandon Bielak vs. San Francisco Giants – I have few options here and I’ll go with the weak matchup on a winning ballclub. I don’t even like Bielak much, I’m still just sad we don’t get Mahle in the rotation. Adam Plutko against the Cubs ain’t terrible either.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Wade LeBlanc vs. Philadelphia Phillies – No I don’t like this but Anibal Sanchez isn’t looking well and there really ain’t much else.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


David Peterson vs. Washington Nationals – I can see some going with Austin Voth on the other side, but his decreased velocity is scaring me. Tommy Milone is a deep option as well, but the floor is lower.


Game of the Day


Zac Gallen vs. Kyle Freeland – It’s in Coors as Gallen continues his gauntlet of the Astros, Dodgers, and Coors. Here’s hoping he can go three-for-three.


(Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

5 responses to “Going Overboard”

  1. Don says:

    What is your outlook for Brendan McKay, this year? If morton misses extended time is McKay gonna slot in when hes ready?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t have high hopes for McKay as he lost the feel for his pitches the last time we saw him.

      However, if he does arrive displaying a great cutter and curveball and the Rays let him go over 80 pitches, he could quickly rise the ranks.

      • Donald Schuldt jr says:

        Welp He’s having shoulder problems now (sigh) I’m curious what your thoughts on Clarke Schmidt are, do you think we see him soon?

  2. Chelsa says:

    Hi Nick!

    Good article as always! I’m currently in 1st place in my 11 team keeper league. Do you think my pitching lineup can help me finish in 1st? I would LOVE to win my league as I am the ONLY female in it!

    11 team, roto, mixed, 6×6, keeper, saves+holds league:
    SP = Bieber, Dobnak, Fried, S. Gray, Gallen, M. Kelly and Maeda
    RP = Bradley, Kintzler, Lugo and Pressy

    Please advise.

    Thank you,

  3. Don says:

    Boyd, Peterson, gausman, or you’re guy Mr.Means for stream, can only have one.

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