Paintin’ Manning

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday 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.  

Matt Manning (DET) vs LAA (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 90 pitches.

I wanted to nip this one in the bud with Matt Manning dominating for the second time in three starts via 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 90 pitches against the Angels (sorry, just a Loss for you as Patrick Sandoval was simply magnificent).

A pair of productive seven-inning starts are sure to start whispers of Manning turning into a post-hype arm to pick up in leagues, and I want to express a bit of caution, even if he’s not a terrible play against the Rays next. Manning cruised through this one on the back of his slider earning strikes galore (72% rate) and a 48% CSW, while his four-seamer had BABIP on its side while also sitting a tick higher at 94.6 mph. And that’s about it.

The curveball is still a problem (0/9 CSW), the changeup is non-existent, and that slider, despite its seven whiffs, is not a miraculous #2 pitch that I think will catalyze a legit run to end the season. But hey, can he be a Toby akin to Cal Quantrillpeak Anthony DeSclafaniand James Kaprielian who all rely on fastball/slider? Sure, I don’t really see why not, especially if that fastball velocity sticks. Feel free to take that chance against the mediocre Rays offense next, but don’t expect a whole lot there or after.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ DET (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 97 pitches.

Opposite Manning was this brilliance from the Irish Panda, earning himself a Gallows Pole across a CGSHO. Yes yes yes, let’s get Blame it on the Tigers out of the way as we celebrate the dominance of…his slider? Yep, the breaker went 12/30 whiffs and an 80% strike rate, perfectly placed down-and-armside all night away from the lefty bats. Meanwhile, the changeup wasn’t actually elite – 25% CSW, 64% strikes – but was still solid with a near 20% SwStr rate. The real standout was the pair of heaters, returning a ridiculous 46% CSW between the 35 of them, as the Tigers elected to let them sit in the zone, or were too focused on the slider to do anything with them. This approach is a bit odd for Sandoval: Going slider/heater isn’t his usual ticket for success, even if the change was mixed in a fourth of the time. I worry about the slow ball not being as effective as it used to be, though a start against the Rays should still be fruitful. I don’t believe he’s destined for dominance through the rest of the year, but all that’s left is his changeup clicking into place to join the other successful offerings. Let’s hope that happens.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Leave it to this paltry Yankees offense to get Gausman back on track. I don’t think his four-seamer was any better than it has been when BABIP hasn’t gone his way, I think the Yanks simply didn’t take advantage of it like other teams have recently. It’s still a little worrisome against the Red Sox next.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ ARI (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 108 pitches.

Coors? What’s Coors? You said that last time. AND I STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN AN ANSWER.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 99 pitches.

Yep, that’s the Tyler we’ve seen, creating a career year for himself (which our recent Going Deep investigates). All whiffs via changeups + four-seamers and it’s business as usual. Amazing.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ LAD (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Ohhhhhhhh DANG! Okay okay okay, I need to be giving more credence to this changeup – it was Luzardo’s fourth straight start of the elite pitch, here returning 13/39 whiffs on the slow ball and that’s pretty dang incredible. The fastball velocity was a touch better at 96 mph as well and while the curve is still not what it used to be + the four-seamer isn’t nearly as good (10/21 strikes?!?!), that new changeup is obviously propelling legit success. Huh, I can’t say I expected that one. But Nick! HE GETS THEM AGAIN. Oh. Uggggh, I guess we do it again? I’m buying that the changeup is now amazing and the curve/four-seamer should be better than it was here. This is a fun development, just like that time my sixth-grade teacher accidentally picked up a highlighter when walking to the chalkboard. SHE HAD NO IDEA.

Lance Lynn (CWS) @ CLE (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yessss. The fastball is over 93 mph and earning a ton of whiffs again – 11/53 is wonderful. As long as the fastball is hard to hit, Lynn is destined for good times. Keep this rolling.

Dylan Bundy (MIN) vs TEX (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

Bundy was doing his darndest to quality for the “MS Score” but forgot the Twins pull a lot of their pitchers before the third time through the lineup. Doesn’t make him all too appealing, does it.

Tommy Henry (ARI) vs STL (L) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Look, I don’t trust people with two first names, but I gotta give Tommy Henry this dude credit. His curve and change…okay I can’t do it. I know they had good results, flirting with a 40% CSW between them, but his command was highly questionable on both, and those whiffs don’t seem repeatable to me if he’s scattering them like so. He’s not a five-star seven-strikeout man.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) @ OAK (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Marco is the most “technically the truth” pitcher out there with this HAISTBMBWT?! and poor WHIP to go along with a strong ERA. What a Toby.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 14 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 101 pitches.

That’s a King Cole for McKenzie and a ridiculous fourteen strikeouts as the man covered the zone with four-seamers and sliders, opening the door for brilliant curveballs down and below the zone. This is what happens when he has halfway-decent command on that slider: It opens to door for hooks missing bats (12/28 curveball whiffs here!). Boy, do I hope this is it. I know he’s been on a tear, it has always seemed a bit…volatile, but the results are speaking for themselves right now. Leave it to the Irish Panada to take a Golden Goal away from one of the best games of Triston’s career.

Shane McClanahan (TB) vs KC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Velocity is still up at 96/97, changeup is back to normal, and I think we’re out of the woods here. Can you hear the smile on my face?

Kyle Wright (ATL) vs HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Great news: The extra rest helped Wright plenty with his velocity jumping back to up 94.5 mph after sitting 92.5 mph last time out. Phew. That’s the story here and as long as that sticks against the Pirates, it should be even more good news ahead.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Phew. I was awfully worried the changeup wouldn’t be here and he would slow down and…well, the changeup actually wasn’t as good. However, the cutter was excellent along the edges while the sinker earned outs and there’s your ball game. I think what we have here is a failure to communicate a worse version of first-half Pérez moving forward, but that doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of your fantasy teams. It just means he’s more susceptible to the blow-up when those cutters aren’t as pristine.

Chris Bassitt (NYM) @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 104 pitches.

Solid stuff, I wanted this to be the AGA start, though it’s not quite dominating, you know? A 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, a Win, and four strikeouts is obviously good, but it’s not a true pump-your-fist-in-the-air start, you know? Dominate Rockie Road and you have it, which you should do.

Brady Singer (KC) @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

The slider returned just 4 whiffs, which means fewer strikes, which means more walks, which means a 1.50 WHIP. Come on Singer, you got this, it’s the Sneks next. And please stop throwing that dang changeup – 3/10 strikes is part of the problem.

Bryse Wilson (PIT) vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

Oh, I didn’t realize it was anyone’s birthday on Friday. I hope you enjoyed the Birthday Party Bryse, I would have sent a card.

José Ureña (COL) vs SF (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

PQS with a sub 1.00 WHIP inside Coors? Naaaaah, remember kids, if you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ PIT (ND) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 85 pitches.

Our backup streamer was way better and I’m giving Ashby the side-eye for taking this borderline good start away from me. That is a 1.50 WHIP and a 4.00+ ERA, after all. That said, the slider was as good as we’ve seen with nine whiffs and that’s a cool thing. If that sticks and the cutter/sinker are able to not get crushed, you’ve got yourself a legit starter. I don’t think I’d risk it against the Phils next, though – maybe in deeper leagues where you need six frames.

Blake Snell (SD) vs WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

3 ER? A 1.80 WHIP?! SNELL COME ON. The curve was atrocious with just a 38% strike rate and the four-seamer got hit a bit more than usual. Natty Lite really isn’t as light as I thought, ranking 17th in wRC+ over the last two weeks…just two spots worse than the Padres. Anyway, that’s no excuse for Snell and he should excel against the Royals next.

Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

It was a rough third frame capped off with a three-run shot from Riley, though McCullers Jr. labored through most of this start. He earned just 54% strikes across sliders + curves and there’s yer problem. This is the worry with McCullers Jr. and we can only hope he can get those breakers over the plate with more consistency next time – he’s a Cherry Bomb for now.

Jameson Taillon (NYY) vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

He pitched well, it’s the Jays, and they earned three runs against him. Standard affair, here. Now can you please take advantage of an Oakland start this time?

Paolo Espino (WSH) @ SD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

OKAY, WE’VE MADE IT. FRIDAY. AUGUST 26TH. ESPINO VS. ROAD REDS. I’ve been building this up for about two months now and he doesn’t look all too great. But it was destiny. I have never been so excited for a Do Not Start in my days. NL-Only leagues, this is your chance for a truly sneaky stream as he’s rostered in 1% of fantasy leagues.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

Yup, that’s the floor we aim to avoid with Lyles and thankfully Boston made it easy for us to avoid. From blushed to pale, he’s going from the Red to the White Sox, and don’t rule out a bounce back there. I’d only chase it if I were desperate.

Cole Irvin (OAK) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Uh oh, is the legend of Irvin starting to crumble? A pair of longballs were the real damage here and it’s a question of whether we believe that trend will continue. Against the Marlins? Naaah. Yeah, I’m with you. Start him there.

Aaron Nola (PHI) vs NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna make us roll our eyes. I feel like starting Nola can often be like getting your tonsils removed. It’s a bad experience, but then you get ice cream. Ohhhh nine strikeouts! My favorite flavor!

Keegan Thompson (CHC) vs MIL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

The slider and curve were pretty solid, but the velocity was down and the stuff ain’t good enough. Those who were still holding onto Keegan, you’re donezo, right?

Aaron Ashby (MIL) @ CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

Oh dear. Despite allowing a pair of infield singles in the first + a pair of long drives on fastballs on the outside edge, I’m still gonna call Ashby a PEAS. His stuff is legit, we all know this, but the man is battling himself and not the batters in seemingly every at-bat. He gets in the general area a decent amount, but he’s struggling to take that extra step:  consistency. It makes for someone who can go seven frames and 10 strikeouts while the next start he’ll get into deeper counts than he should, opening the door for bad luck like this. Just because it was unfortunate doesn’t mean he’s the same as someone who produces. He’s a Cherry Bomb in every sense.

Alex Wood (SF) @ COL (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 89 pitches.

Coors is undefeated. And sadly the Twins are pretty good, too. Leave him on the wire for now.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yikes. While I didn’t want to start Crawford, I can’t say it would be this exodus like getting dealt from the Sawx to Dodgers. His kutter wasn’t nearly as good and the curve floated at times to get slapped around. Stay away.


Game of the Day 


Justin Dunn vs. Tyler Beede – This is a me game, not a you game. I think both Dunn and Beede have super deep potential and I’m super curious to see whether they can be their best selves with their new clubs. Just let me have my fun and go watch Strider vs. Javier instead.

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.

Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Scott W. Grau / 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.

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