Ignorance Is Kris

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Kris Bubic (KC) @ TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

There’s a player who has these moments here and there that turn our heads and make us wonder if it’s time to get excited. The man is Kris Bubic and despite all odds pitching in Toronto, the man brought his A-game via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches, his best performance of the year, easily. And we all missed it unless you went in completely blind and that’s just how baseball works sometimes.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to those following Bubic that he did so at 92.1 mph on his heater in this successful start, while his changeup was command well along the edge and often down. Mix in a fair amount of curveballs for called strikes and have yourself a recipe of possible success for Bubic, all you need is some BABIP to go his way.

I’m not ready to buy in here – that velocity hasn’t been consistent and neither has the command – and this is a way of saying “hey, don’t be silly.” There’s a temptation to let him loose against the Angels, but the floor is still very much a thing and it’s too risky to chance the good fortune. He’s not a sweet Kris B. Kreme.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Aaron Nola (PHI) @ MIA (W) – 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He lowered his season long ERA to 3.13 and you love to see it. Things are finally coming up Easy-A.

Dylan Cease (CWS) @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Cease destroyed the Twins. Talk about passing a challenge as he earned a Gallows Pole via the dominance of his slider – once again boasting an incredible whiff total (15/48). The difference was his four-seamer also performing well at 42% CSW. Please tell me Cease will have that heater in the second half, it may mean he can carry a WHIP below 1.10…

David Peterson (NYM) @ CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

His slider is still so dang good as he earned 10 whiffs on the slide piece alone. As long as that pitch is there, he’ll continue to take down teams like the Cubs, but against the Yankees? Well that’s a challenge I’m looking forward to. I’m likely benching but it could work.

Erasmo Ramírez (WSH) vs ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 39 pitches.

Erasmo? Like Erasmo Erasmo? Huh. Welp, see you later.

Mike Clevinger (SD) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ayyy there’s that upside we’re looking for. Oddly enough, most of his whiffs came off the 94 mph four-seamer, while the slider + curveball didn’t do a whole lot. Not exactly what we’re looking for to feel more confident in Clevinger. Regardless, he gets the Tigers next so we’ll feel good there, but I’m concerned we won’t see the phenomenal breakers again, which will mean Clevinger stays outside the Top 40 SP the rest of the year. We’ll see.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

A touch of Careful, Icarus here as Kelly allowed a solo shot in the seventh before getting the hook. Is there a pitcher more Toby than Kelly? Not that the Padres are excellent against right-handers, but Kelly has been a step above the waiver wire without being one of your “guys” through the year. Hey Ma! I got Kelly on my squad! That’s nice dear. He really does lean into the MmmmmK name with his stellar 3.26 ERA but mediocre 1.20 WHIP and 20% strikeout rate. Don’t expect the roughly 5% HR/FB rate to stick in the second half.

Chris Flexen (SEA) @ TEX (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 76 pitches.

He pitched on short rest, limiting him to just 76 pitches as he didn’t make it out of the fourth. The Rangers are kinda good so this doesn’t really change anything.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a fitting King ColeYou know, I was wondering if I was going to put Scherzer above Cole after this start, but how could I possibly lower him from #3 after this? Not a chance.

José Berríos (TOR) vs KC (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Berríos did exactly what he was supposed to against a weakened Royals lineup…but couldn’t he have given us a better WHIP? Please José, for the kids.

Logan Webb (SF) vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Not the greatest, but still helpful across the board. I’m so glad he’s settled in and hopefully doing it for the long haul.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) vs NYM (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 112 pitches.

I didn’t have much faith in this one and the decent ERA is not worth that horrible WHIP and…one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! We’re out like an Alex Gordon getting sent against Bumgarner.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Gomber! And he still pitches in Colorado + isn’t at a point where we’d trust him against a weak team on the road. Cool cool cool. Pretty solid sliders and curveballs, though, so hopefully that keeps up.

Bryse Wilson (PIT) @ COL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 48 pitches.

He returned from the minors and did his best to survive Coors. Make like Tim and ensure there’s a fence between you and Wilson.

Aaron Ashby (MIL) @ SF (L) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 22 pitches.

As expected, Ashby was in for a limited amount of time, using this as his bullpen to open for Jason Alexander and while the line looks terrible, Ashby had some back luck: a first pitch-of-the-game single up the middle that was driven in on a sac-fly, a bloop single, an error in the field that forced more pitches, then he came back for the second inning to allow a double on an 0-2 pitch (albeit, a slider away that was kinda hung). The moral here is you can see three hits and 2 ER and think he got crushed and he didn’t. The skills are still so dang good. What about Alexander? Him? He allowed 7 ER in five innings. Oh. Right. So back to Ashby, I believe he’s destined to break out at some point with his stuff, it’s just a matter of time on the bump. We may be waiting until 2023 for it to come, but more times than not, he’ll get there.

Chris Sale (BOS) @ NYY (L) – 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 24 pitches.

Sale left this one after breaking his pinky on an Aaron Hicks comebacker. This is the worst and I imagine you’ll be dropping him when we find out more. Why can’t we have nice things?

Glenn Otto (TEX) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

You’ll take a PQS from Glenn but sadly it’s not Otto-matic. We’ve heard that one about ten times, Nick. What an-ottor one then? NICK. Just 3/25 whiffs on the slider isn’t enough for me to think he’s going to surge in the second half and the floor is still too low.

Jake Odorizzi (HOU) vs OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

So close. His four-seamer and splitter were solid + his cutter command was good. It just barely didn’t go his way, preventing the Win and giving you a poor ERA. He’s considerable against the Mariners after the break, but he’s not someone I’d add today to aim for that outing.

Adam Oller (OAK) @ HOU (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

You don’t want no Oller back, girl. I’m so sorry.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

He ran into a tough fourth frame, capped off with a two-run shot, but was pretty dang solid across the other five innings. I loved his changeup command and high four-seamer intent and while I’m not rostering him in 12-teamers, I’ll keep my eye out for the start where it clicks for ya. I got you.

Corey Kluber (TB) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

He had a decent command here of the sinker and cutter, though the curve wasn’t as exquisite as we’ve seen. He’s fine and still serviceable, of course.

Chris Archer (MIN) vs CWS (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 68 pitches.

The ceiling of Archer is five frames, the floor is not when he doesn’t get there, but when it comes with poor ratios along the way. You don’t want to do this.

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Soooo there’s a good argument to be made that Strider took 4 ER on a throwing error and that’s all kinds of unfair. He wasn’t so dominant, but not nearly as bad as the line suggest and we simply have to shrug our shoulders and keep starting the man.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) @ TB (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 70 pitches.

Womp womp. I was playing with fire by choosing Lyles as the (albeit, super reluctant) streamer three starts in a row and the man didn’t have it in this one. Serves me right for trusting in the recent Baltimore magic…I KID I KID.


Game of the Day 


None – It’s the All-Star break y’all. I know, it’s weird. I’ll be back to the daily streams and the Plus Pitch Podcast next Monday with The List coming out on 7/18 and SP Roundup on Friday per usual. Enjoy the break :)

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 ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image 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 “Ignorance Is Kris”

  1. Stephen Lidbetter says:

    Enjoy the break Nick! You deserve it. I do not know how you do it. Do you have a life outside your baseball addiction? Kidding aside, I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put into this. You are amazing! Steve

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