Ober the Hills and Far Away

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Bailey Ober vs CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches.

Would you look at this. Bailey Ober had himself a night against the White Sox via 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches and I imagine some of you are curious if it warrants a pickup.

On one hand, his trio of sliders, changeups, and curveballs went 0/26 earning whiffs and that’s a little bit alarming. On the other, you probably realized we’re still missing 17 whiffs and all of them came from his four-seamer. Wild. Ober did the Jake Odorizzi method of commanding at the very top of the zone constantly and it was brilliant — just look at the strikezone plot. Do I believe Ober can constantly have this fastball command? Certainly not. We’ve seen him have it in the past and it piqued my interest, but then failed multiple starts after. It’s a tough bet to make and I’d prefer to chase other options. But hey, keep an eye on it. Maybe he can pull it off frequently.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Joe Ross @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches. I felt I needed to add this one despite technically none of y’all being able to put him in the lineup, and it happening “officially” yesterday. His slider was stupid good (46% CSW!), but the heater got hit and didn’t earn the called strikes it needed to. Womp womp. Now he’ll likely get Toronto, and I’m so not down for that.

Rich Hill vs WSH (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 WHiffs, 32% CSW, 74 pitches. Like Ross above, Hill had this outing so we should talk about it. Briefly. It goes to show why we don’t want to trust Hill even against a poor Nationals crew. I wouldn’t be rostering Hill anywhere right now save for the deepest of NL-Only leagues.

Sandy Alcantara @ SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

Annnnnd welcome to the world of fantasy baseball where you just can’t figure out what will happen next. Props to everyone that stuck with Sandy, I think it’s proper for us to consider him the #1 Cherry Bomb in the land at this point. Really cool to see him succeed with his slider in this one, though — 25/34 strikes on the pitch goes a long way to pair with his strong heaters.

Adam Wainwright @ PIT (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Did you realize Wainwright now has a 3.27 ERA on the season? Sure, the Pirates being the Pirates helped a ton here, but that curveball is still just so dang effective. This AW is a Cream Soda, alright.

Reynaldo López @ MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 51 pitches.

With Carlos Rodón hitting the IL, López stepped in and pitched a solid three frames. Nothing here to report for excitement, but I wonder what we’ll see next time out. Probably 65 pitches of mediocrity? Keep your dang rational logic to yourself.

Corbin Burnes @ CHC (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 15 Ks – 30 Whiffs, 51% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna…51%? 51%?! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a starter crack 50% CSW, let alone over EIGHT INNINGS. Too bad Patrick Sandoval still holds the whiff title for the season at 32, but at least someone else earned 30 this year. But seriously, FIFTY-ONE PERCENT?! It’s just crazy. Crazy! Hey Nick, is that an award? Of course that’s a Golden Goal ya dingus. This is one of the most golden starts I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry for calling you a dingus, I blame Fast’s influence on me.

Tarik Skubal @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

He’s still struggling to succeed with his slider and changeup, but Skubal’s four-seamer was just that good against the Orioles. And hey, the slider wasn’t that bad, it did go 17/22 strikes, after all. Sadly just one whiff, though, and I find it hard to really buy in until that number rises once again.

Connor Brogdon vs LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 25 pitches.

Sooo the Phillies elected to have not one, but two openers for Kyle Gibsonwho went 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches. Throw in three unearned runs and you have yourself a comfortable loss. He’s not the same Gibson from the spring and I’d very much proceed with caution, even against the Diamondbacks next, if you can believe it. Update: I get it now. The Phillies expected a rain delay so they tossed two relievers out there, experienced the ~50 minute rain delay, then sent out that actual starter, Gibson. Phillies playing 3-D chess over here.

Spencer Howard @ SEA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 44 pitches.

Oh cool, now he’s up to forty-four pitches. When will they let Howard LIVE a little?! He’s still ultra four-seamer and I’m so not here for this.

Kevin Gausman vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. We want a bit more from the WHIP side, and his splitter hasn’t been that pitch for a little while now, but we’ll take it and run. RUN!

Tyler Anderson vs TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Anderson is a Toby and did exactly what he was supposed to do against the Rangers. Streaming Record: 71-50. Sometimes, things go exactly the way they should and yes, it’s super weird. I’d eye Tyler for another stream next week against – you guessed it – the Rangers a second time.

Nathan Eovaldi vs TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Eovaldi woke UP as his curveball earned a ridiculous 60% CSW (sadly the rest of the repertoire couldn’t keep up the 50%+ CSW marks, UNLIKE BURNES), leading to 16 overall whiffs and dominance of the Rays. You should be fine with Nathan the rest of the way, and I’ve been impressed that his supporting cast has taken the step forward I doubted it would. I love being wrong.

Wil Crowe vs STL (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

His slider nor changeup earned more than three whiffs soooo yeah. We got mediocrity. It seems like Crowes aren’t welcome to “The Cardinal Rule”. That’s birdist…?!

Lucas Luetge @ KC (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 46 pitches.

It was a bullpen game for the Yanks, and I hope Lucas enjoyed his first career start. It’s a fun thing, isn’t it?

Framber Valdez vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

I’m very glad to see Framber take decent advantage of Rockie Road despite the four walks, though his sinker still isn’t working as well as we want it to. We’re all lucky he gets the Royals next and I’m cool with that.

Frankie Montas @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.

Don’t you dare slow down on your Montas love, he’ll just keep bringing his A-game and demand it from you. The splitter wasn’t quite as dominating as we’ve seen, but the heaters and sliders were on point and everything is still wonderful. The real challenge comes next time against the ChiSox and you better dang follow the rules and start him. Let it ride…let it ride…

Touki Toussaint vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

The curveball was back (yay!), the fastball and splitter were not. This line is what that makes. Is this what we want? Maybe? I feel conflicted about Touki as he has one great element and a pair of mediocre support characters. I feel like you’re describing a Judd Apatow film. Ahhh, but which one? Anyway, Touki should be fine with that hook, opening the door for a strong outing when something else clicks. Thing is, Huascar Ynoa could return this week and I’d imagine Touki gets the boot before Muller does. If we Toussaint keep his spot, the Marlins are next, so it’s worth it to get confirmation before you let him go back to the wire.

Cal Quantrill vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 93 pitches.

It’s no 20 whiffs, but Quantrill’s slider was solid once again, here with 7/29 whiffs. The heater didn’t go double-digit whiffs, though (not even close) and if I were a betting man, I’d imagine this Vargas Rule ends in a start or two. I just don’t think the repertoire is this good.

Alek Manoah @ LAA (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 114 pitches.

Yesssss. Manoah has been absolute money and it may shock you that this one was all fastballs. I’m talking 19 whiffs between four-seamers and sinkers alone, while the slider was kinda meh and the changeup wasn’t a part of the equation. Simply a ton of “here it is, hit it” and it worked. A lot. Now he gets the Nationals and you should feel a bit arrogant about that one. It’s okay, live a little.

David Price @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 51 pitches.

Ehhhhhh, this ain’t it. Sorry Price, I need more than fifty-one pitches and one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!if I’m electing to use a roster spot on you. I also should mention that your heater dropped to an astonishingly low 91.3 mph in this one after sitting 93/94 mph as a starter. Yikes. UPDATE: I completed missed that this went into a rain delay after two frames, which explains the low pitch count. However, he was throwing soft from the beginning and sadly it wasn’t the post-delay frames that brought down the velocity (it actually increased it, hitting 93 in the fourth). I’m still a little scared there.

Dylan Bundy vs TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 62 pitches.

Hey, let’s be honest. We all expected worse against the Jays. So at least he’s got that going for him.

Matt Harvey vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

But I thought he was the leader in ERA since the All-Star Break?! Funny how that works out. So. Dang. Funny.

Antonio Senzatela @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

That’s a VVPQS from Senz-A against the Astros and I guess that’s acceptable? But I’m in a wins league and nothing here helps me. Well that’s a wonderful point, but it’s also Senz-A and we normally expect nothing from him. So props? Yay?

Brady Singer vs NYY (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 67 pitches.

Yeaaaah. We’re a far way from trusting Singer on our fantasy teams again.

Merrill Kelly @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Blegh. Miley got Singled Out and his title of “The Flenderson”, crowning the most boring Toby of them all still rings true. He should be just about mediocre the rest of the way.

Wade Miley @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

Awwww Miley is in contention for the Spider-Man and this isn’t how it’s supposed to go. At least he got 14 whiffs, though. The Cubs should be way easier, they just let Burnes earn a 51% CSW, did you hear?!

Ryan Weathers vs MIA (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

You thought you were safe because it’s the Marlins, but you forgot how Weathers failed to excel against Rockie Road and the Sneks before this one. I don’t care if he earned seven strikeouts, this ain’t acceptable.

Jake Arrieta vs MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 83 pitches.

Arrieta, did you see what Burnes did? 51% CSW. It’s absolutely nuts! Nick, please. Sorry, okay let’s look at this…16 percent CSW?! Burnes more than tripled your CSW. WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE LIKE HIM.

Josh Fleming @ BOS (L) – 3.1 IP, 10 ER, 11 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 81 pitches.

We’re not a big fan of what Fleming brings to the table, and this was the Red Sox. This was easier to avoid than a steamroller chasing you on a football field.


Game of the Day 


José Berríos vs Shohei OhtaniBerríos wants to keep proving himself to his new squad + Ohtani has a major challenge against the Jays. Bring 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: 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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.

One response to “Ober the Hills and Far Away”

  1. CB says:

    Maybe next time Burnes will be good enough to make the column lede ;)

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