Making It Look Rizzi

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

(Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Jake Odorizzi has put us through the wringer this year, but after last night’s 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks we have some questions to answer. Now that’s a 3.35 ERA and 22.3% K rate and you’re tempted. I get that. Soft contact is also up to an impressive 23.0% mark, making you want to buy in his .246 BABIP just a little bit. Just a littl’ bit, Sarah! Problem is that he’s also sporting a 85.0% LOB rate and 10.4% walk rate, making his 5.07 FIP and 4.67 SIERA way too real. If you’re wondering about his repertoire, no, just three curveballs as Odorizzi did his damage with 7 whiffs via 34 Splitters + Sliders and didn’t get killed with his fastball against the Mariners. Yeah, I’m just not seeing a solid pickup here for a 12-teamer. Sorry Rizzi.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Andrew Heaney – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. I watched a good amount of this and boy was I impressed by Heaney’s fastball command. There are two traits I look for in left-hander fastballs – being able to bust right-handers inside and pairing it with pitches away in the same at-bat. Heaney did that in the first AB of the game and never looked back. Meanwhile, he got 10 whiffs out of 43 curveballs + changeups and all was right in the world. I talked about Heaney as a guy to pick up after this start since I didn’t want to risk the Astros, but it looks like it may be tougher to snag him up. The one drawback here is the Yankees in two starts (Rays first), but the schedule after is pretty – Tigers and Royals – and I think he’ll be sticking on your team for a good while. I’m loving this.

Wade LeBlanc – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Alright, I’ll say this. In 12-teamers, you shouldn’t touch LeBlanc. 4.05 SIERA, sub 20% K rate, 85.8% LOB rate, 7.0% HR/FB, 7.5% whiff rate, sub 87mph heater, etc. Everything pointing to a larger regression than that SIERA mark. In deeper leagues, I can fathom LeBlanc riding that command to be a serviceable innings eater. ONLY IN DEEP LEAGUES. Let’s not go crazy here.

Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nothing says classic Fiers to me like a 4.50 SIERA and 16.3% K rate. Don’t you dare.

Ryan Yarbrough – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. So Yarbough has transitioned to be a full-on starter now with 83 pitches here and you shouldn’t care.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. It ain’t pretty, but a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP works. He’s a streaming option, though I wouldn’t have recommended this one against the Dbacks. A 3:4 K per BB is far from alluring, especially from Guerra whose value is in a decent strikeout rate. Twins are next and that’s not terrible, so consider it for H2H leagues needing a Sunday start.

Lance McCullers – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. McCullers does what McCullers do like 80% of the time.

Eric Skoglund – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I had accidentally labeled this as a “Start” in the Sit/Start article, but maybe it was Nicktrosdamus doing his thang. No, definitely a mistake and I feel super lucky if people saw that before I corrected it Monday afternoon. Better to be lucky than good, y’all. So who cares, what about Skoglund? What about him? It’s a One Night Bland, he’ll never be the Scandinavian Disney Prince (SDP) we want him to be.

Tyler Anderson – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is far from the start I wanted from Anderson – one out short of the QS and just 3 Ks? – but he left with a dub and didn’t demolish your week. I’m taking a sad win today, and I’d roll with him next time against the Giants as well. Streaming Record: 24-13.

Carlos Carrasco – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh you want a little more from Carrasco, but alright I guess.

Joey Lucchesi – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Have teams figured out the Churve? It didn’t look like Joey had a feel for the pitch last night, earning just 2 whiffs of the 17 he threw – the only whiffs he had overall! – as he was pulled early with “glute discomfort.” I’m willing to say this was just one of those nights and keep him around. We should give him some credit for not turning this into a disaster as well.

Sean Manaea – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Manaea faced the Sawx again and instead of a no-hitter, he gave you a VPQS. Against the Sawx, I think we still take that. So I understand that his 2.35 ERA and 0.80 WHIP are going to regress, that’s well understood. What I will tell you is his 21% K rate isn’t fair as he’s averaging over 5 Ks per start – it’s what happens when you hold a near 7 IPS – and he’s refusing to walk batters with just a 3.4% clip. Last time I talked about Manaea’s inability to jam left-handers and he actually elected to avoid it nearly all-together in this one. That’s the only worry here and not enough for me to get off this ride.

Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Velocity was hovering 90mph here, but he wins the Gallows Pole at 15 whiffs. Huh. Slider was dope as dope gets – 14 for 36 in whiffs – but his velocity was hanging around 91 and change early before falling off in the late innings. I’d continue playing the market here.

Chris Stratton – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. There’s a reason you fell off The List and I think you’re sticking around down there for a bit. Bummer.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. This is more like the Teheran we know and hate, though I understand if you want to hold him past this. It was in Wrigley and better days could be ahead, I just think starts like these are more akin to what his repertoire dictates.

Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s two straight crooked outings for Porcello, though they came against the Yanks and A’s, two of the Top 10 offenses in wOBA this year. I think this makes for a decent buy low here. O’s, Braves, Jays, Tigers, Chi Sox, Mariners, Twins follow.

Jose Quintana – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Quintana keeps stumbling and it’s driving us all mad. Sure, this was against the Braves and we all know how hot they are right now – so hot – but he should be able to avoid 12 baserunners and a 6 ER brick of a start. It’s too bad as it came off just 1 ER allowed in his last three starts combined. His fastballs are the biggest problems of the lot – mainly his two-seamer – and while I think that gets sorted out in some fashion, I’m hesitant to give him yet another TIARA. We’ll see next time out and go from there.

Sal Romano – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Nobody Loves you Sal, I’m sorry.

Today’s Streamer

Tyler Mahle vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants have performed poorly against good fastballs and Mahle’s is great.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jake Faria vs. Kansas City Royals I imagine he’ll be on the wire for a decent amount leagues after his latest blegh outing, and I’d be okay doing this. Faria fluctuates and could turn it around here.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs. San Diego Padres – He’s collected 14 Ks in his last two starts and it could continue against the lowly Pads.

Game of the Day

Jack Flaherty vs. Jose Berrios – Not only is it Flaherty returning to the bigs, but we also get a check-in of Berrios. Beautiful.

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.

47 responses to “Making It Look Rizzi”

  1. kuzmickimantle says:

    lopez or mahle?

  2. The Power of Greyskull says:

    Nickoladium- simple question- would you drop Caleb Smith for Heaney?

  3. pittpantherfan5 says:


    Thoughts on Anthony Banda today and going forward?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      My instinct is that his floor is too low for us to chase in 12-teamers. Interesting play in AL-Only.

  4. kbpms1 says:

    I was mindlessly setting my lineup yesterday on little sleep and streamed Skoglund based on your mistake without even thinking. Thanks for the happy accident!

  5. Bob says:

    Would you rather Maeda or Heaney ROS? Obviously looking at your list you have Maeda first but does this Heaney start change that?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Man it’s tough, I want to say Heaney as he has the ceiling of going six plus more often with similar upside + he doesn’t have to deal with Dodgeritis.

  6. Chris says:

    This may be an odd request – but shoot your shot right? I’ve noticed in a number of articles you’ve mentioned pitchers who you like, but maybe have a tough game or two to get through first, i.e. Bundy in this article. You already write like 50 pieces a week so this may be dumb, but could we get a “Bench Ryders” or something of the sort that would note guys who are interesting future pickups once the schedule allows? Like a calendar of sorts that would note “Liking Trevor Cahill, but he gets the Yankees/Red Sox in his next two. Worth adding after [Date]”

    I could probably keep a calendar of these things myself, but I’m quite lazy.

    • Chris says:

      *edit: The Bundy thing was from yesterday’s article, not this one.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s a great point and actually something I’ve been wanting to make easy for y’all.

      The goal is to have an easy way for everyone to take a look at estimated future schedule and also spit out a value for good/bad matchups in the next two/three starts and/or next six starts.

      It’s definitely on our to-do list :)

      • Chris says:

        Awesome man. Particularly in limited transactions leagues and leagues where waivers are only processed 2x a week, I think it’d be wildly useful. It’s nice to be able to pick up one of these Spice Girls knowing they have more than one start in the green (projected, of course) over the next week or two.

        Site has been amazing this year so far man. We appreciate the hard work!

  7. wasntme says:

    I have Chase Anderson and Mike Minor sitting here looking mediocre. Would you pickup Heaney, Gibson, or Mahle to replace one or both of those guys? I have to be careful with moves as my league only allows 35 pickups for the entire season. Looking long term here.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Long term, drop Minor for Heaney.

      I’d consider Chase for Gibson as well, but if you need to be conservative, it’s alright holding off on that one.

  8. Jwiggs says:

    Would’ve liked to see a little more analysis on McCullers. Threw more changeups than curveballs and missed 10 bats with it (I think)!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You’re right, I definitely should have dove into that some more! Definitely encouraging to see him throw more changeups, at the same time, he was being equally effective before with his curveball and now that isn’t as good as it used to be, so it’s a bit of balancing act as opposed to an upgraded arm if that makes sense.

      Likewise, as far as our value of McCullers, it’s pretty much the same. He’s going to have blowups, he’s going to have starts like these, and he’s probably going to miss about a month at some point this season.

  9. NinjaYooper says:

    Hi Nick. I’ve had Gohara stashed since he was in the minors and I’m thinking of dropping him with him just taking up a roster spot to pitch long relief out of the pen. Heaney and Kyle Gibson are available in my H2H Cats league (QS). Worth making the switch for one or the other? I know Gohara has the pedigree to be a lotto ticket but wondering if it’s worth holding. Other pitchers are Strasburg, Castillo, Mikolas, Richards, Caleb Smith, Archer, E-Rod and Pivetta.

  10. Saint says:

    Drop Lucchesi for Cahill?

  11. larry womack says:

    Would you stash Reyes if you have the roaster room?

  12. Wile E Coyote says:

    I noticed that you fixed the lede-font-size thing in yesterday’s column after I mentioned it. It happened again today, and for the sake of providing more information, it seems to be site wide on all “first paragraphs.” So its not a problem with individual articles, but rather a default settings kind of thing for the entire website. Considering I have perfect eyesight and read this on a 27 inch monitor at full screen size, I can’t imagine how rough it must be on anyone with less. Please look into it.

    • Wile E Coyote says:

      Actually, while it WAS briefly fixed on yesterday’s article, its back to bad again. I can’t imagine its anything on my end since literally everything else on your site seems good. (other than the first paragraph)

    • Nick Pollack says:


      “I noticed that you fixed the lede-font-size thing in yesterday’s column after I mentioned it.”

      I actually didn’t fix anything. Nothing changed since I still can’t reproduce your issue. What browser/OS are you using? Can you send me a screenshot of what you see?

      • Wile E Coyote says:

        Oh boy! I’m using Chrome on Windows 10. I have a screenshot… I’ll send it in a tweet (from Nerdgoblin)

        Thanks. Maybe this IS me? Not seeing this anywhere else, and it happened on your site maybe a week or 10 days ago…

      • Wile E Coyote says:

        I think its your ad causing this. Specifically the size and shape of the ad. If I refresh it enough, and happen to get a particular ad that is a different shape, it seems to go away that once.

  13. Ionescorhino says:

    Is Heaney a Toby or a top 30 upside ROS arm? I’ve been following your positive comments re:Heaney last couple weeks. But then on reddit yesterday, you called him a Toby. Just wondering where you picture him going.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d say you’re hoping for ~40 from Heaney, but he could settle in as a Toby and that’s lovely.

      • Ionescorhino says:

        True. I feel like you could win a championship with half an SP roster of Tobys. But it has to be the right Tobys.

  14. knucklebear says:

    I’m getting tired of Faria’s act, would Heaney be an upgrade over him?

  15. Joe says:

    So I had Quintana pitch yesterday which didn’t help my ratios. I’ve got Berrios, and saw you’ve got him as a maybe to start today. Would you lean more towards sitting or starting him?

    • M says:

      I would lean towards sit if you can afford it. Cardinals have been playing well and Berrios has struggled over his last 4.

  16. Jack says:

    Thanks a lot, Nick! Now I have too many SPs and nowhere to stash Vlad Jr., and it’s all your fault.

    Srsly though, for a guy whose top 3 SPs (and the only ones left from my draft) are Darvish, Tanaka, and Luke “Don’t Call Me Jeff” Weaver, I am looking solid now, thanks to you. So, thanks to you!

    Since you asked:

    M. Tanaka
    Y. Darvish
    L. Weaver
    T. Mahle
    K. Gibson
    N. Pivetta
    J. Flaherty
    L. Castillo
    M. Soroka
    T. Cahill
    A. Heaney
    J. Lucchesi

    Even “better”, Lucchesi just hit the DL a day before Cahill comes off of it, thus postponing what will be a tricky decision. I’m leaning dropping Lucchesi, but whatever decision I make will be a tough one.

    My only misstep was dropping Tyson Ross along the way. I had a look at his playercard and said “neh”, incorrectly it seems, before I found this site.

    I do have a question, btw; it’s more tactical than strategic.

    Do you (you Nick, and you everyone else reading) tend to gravitate toward ceding SVs in favor of going after the other scored categories? My league adds quality starts to the mix, which makes things even more favorable to SPs vs RPs (categories are K, QS, W, SV, ERA, WHIP). My thinking is, closers really only pad ERA/WHIP and that’s just the elite ones, and even that only slightly because of how little they work relative to SPs.

    Your thoughts on this?

    • M says:

      It’s interesting to see Ws AND QSs…normally you only see Ws, QSs or W + QSs as a single category.

      In my 10+ years of Fantasy Baseball dominance I have loaded up on relievers. Not the super expensive early round guys. But the reliable mid-low guys. They bolster the ratio stats and give you a really good chance at saves. In this league you would have to think that starters have more value simply because of the multiple categories specific to them.

      Best bet is to try and package a couple of those guys for an upgrade if you’re looking for roster space. If this isn’t an option then holding the depth doesn’t seem to hurt you in this league setup.

      I think it ultimately depends on how you are performing in your weekly matchups. If you’re winning on the pitching side then don’t try to fix it if it’s not broken.

      • Jack says:

        Thanks, M, for the notes. Yep, the package trade is my plan; some jerk tried to pry Tanaka from me for 2 Tobys so I countered with Tanaka and Heaney for Chris Sale LOL…but seriously, I’ll try to see what I can do. Problem is, my top 3 draft picks are all underperforming at the moment. It’s a long season.

        As far as pitching matchups go, I’m only starting to win those now; my draft’s back end was auto (shame on me, or, I have kids and my fantasy focus is football so I told my wife I’d be more casual with this league, as if that’s possible) so I ended up with a large number of your mid-low RPs and gradually phased them out for SPs on the List, with my bottom 4 guys now in the top 65, thus making me feel pretty good. But come to think of it, the team currently in 1st place has a bunch of RPs. My only guy left is Wade Davis, so it might be time to offer the top team him and someone else…

  17. nick g says:

    mahle not available in my league–worth streaming minor or kennedy? or should i just stand pat? in a deep league (qs over wins), i have quite a few guys on the DL, and our WW fodder is exactly that.

  18. Bret says:

    I am in a 12 team keeper that uses OBP and WLQS. My staff is Sale, Corbin, Wood, E-Rod, Kingham, F Peralta and Musgrove on IR. I need to make a move to get another Quality starter. I have an offer on the table Rendon and Brendan Rodgers for Carrasco. I have Solarte, Healy, Freeman and Bird is in my minors. My offense is not the issue, its my pitching. I have enough offense in other spots to make up for losing Rendon I think. Just wanted to get an opinion. My other big bats: Realmuto, Dozier, Bogaerts, Lowrie, Harper, Brantley, Benitendi, JD Mart, Schebler and Cain.

    • M says:

      I think you can find more arms in FA that could bolster the back end. Replacing Rendon would be much more difficult to do. If he is invested in nabbing Brendan Rodgers you might offer him something like Peralta + Rodgers for Carrasco as an upgrade for yourself.

      Leblanc, Bettis, Colon among others might be available and are decent enough streaming options to buy you time until the right deal comes along.

      Personally, I wouldn’t trade Rendon for Carrasco straight up, regardless of need. (especially in an OBP league)

  19. Dickie Greenleaf says:

    Hey, I was watching the Manaea game last night and I could have sworn that he gave up the homer to Devers, therefore not getting the QS because he gave up 4 runs. I looked at the box score and it has yet to be corrected…. am I…. crazy? lol

  20. Play Ball says:

    Do you see Reyes in the starting rotation or bullpen when he comes off DL?

  21. tukus says:

    Hey Nick. Tony Disco threw 3 perfect innings while K-ing 4. Is it time to stash? I know you’re a Fulmer fan and I am too, but I can’t keep holding him when he’s returning 500+ value in my league settings

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