He’s Back Justin Time

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.  

Justin Verlander (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches.

When Justin Verlander went down with a calf injury a few weeks ago, I assumed his Cy Young hopes were done. The Astros were clearly going to baby him to ensure he’s healthy for the playoffs, with maybe a few innings here and there. What we got was two missed starts and Verlander picking up right where he left off, dominating the Athletics for 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches. Aces. Gonna. Ace.

Considering Burnes won the award just under 170 frames last year, Verlander sitting at a 157 IP mark with (likely) two starts to go and boasting a 1.78 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 27% strikeout rate along with 17 Wins could be good enough.

I know, it’s not much of a “fantasy” featured pitcher today, I just wanted to sit back and say “hot dang, what a stud” as he came back right when you needed him. Thanks for a wonderful year, Verlander.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Matt Manning (DET) vs CWS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Nick, you have to start taking Manning seriously again. But his four-seamer isn’t this good, the thing ran into outs and that’s that. He gets the Orioles, Royals, and Mariners next and while I personally wouldn’t do this, if you want to, go ahead. I think it’s a best-case peak Trevor Williams and worst-case the guy you don’t remember his name because it was just a few strung-together starts before he turned into a Double Bubble.

Jonathan Heasley (KC) @ BOS (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 83 pitches.

Heasley against the Tigers? Naaaaah. Heasley against the Red Sox? Now you’re talking. Oh, he did it while sitting two ticks down on his fastball. Yeah. This is a Birthday Party.

Bailey Ober (MIN) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 70 pitches.

Bailey Oberizzi hath returned! And he’s still spouting four-seamers up and working on the slider down. A King Cole in his short return is a welcome surprise, though I don’t think his secondaries were nearly as good as their combined 17/35 CSW (near 50%) would suggest. I think you’re safe starting him for his ~80 pitches against the Royals up next and let’s hope he continues this moving forward.

Dustin May (LAD) @ SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.

See? Everything’s fine. Sure, he was limited to 69 pitches despite tossing five hitless frames, and he wasn’t as overpowering as we’ve seen, plus you can’t forget Blame it on the Giants, but still, you should feel fine seeing this and starting him indefinitely.

Fernando Cruz (CIN) @ STL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 24 pitches.

It’s 2022 and every day needs a bullpen game. Them’s the rules.

Trevor Richards (TOR) vs BAL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 15 pitches.

Ahem. It’s 2022 and every day needs a bullpen game. Them’s the rules.

Michael Wacha (BOS) vs KC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Wacha is cruising with his changeup and the cutter command complemented the pitch well here. No reason to stop this train.

Blake Snell (SD) @ ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Snell landed 15 four-seamers for called strikes and when he can do that, he dominates. Keep it going against the Sneks and make up your mind for the Dodgers after that start.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 85 pitches.

Good ole Rockie RoadNow Stroman gets the Marlins and I’d expect more of the same.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

You have to be kidding me. After a month of facing all these easy lineups and failing, Ranger comes through – AS A SOUTHPAW – against Atlanta. COME ON. He didn’t even earn a whiff on 21 changeups. What is this world.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

The changeup earned a 50% CSW, but the velocity was even lower, as he sat (SAT!) 91 mph. Seeing 90 mph on the regular from Giolito is a sickening thing. Treat him like a Toby the rest of the way (CLE is next) and be careful – this could get worse, even if he commanded his slow ball well.

Taijuan Walker (NYM) vs PIT (W) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

You love to see redemption for Walker against the Pirates and he’ll get a cushy final three games as well. Let it ride, let it ride.

Germán Márquez (COL) @ CHC (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

This was the best opportunity for Márquez to succeed all year and let’s be happy for him. This is it, though. K cya bye.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Few sinkers? A 96 mph four-seamer? Excellent curves? An Elite changeup?! THERE HE IS. He gets Natty Lite again and I’m hoping it’s more of this instead of the poor command we saw last time out.

Max Fried (ATL) vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 110 pitches.

Fried hugged the edges in this one, maybe too well as a few batters got away from him and his pitch count soared, but it meant few hard hit balls and six solid frames. Aces gonna ace.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

The slider is improving (read: finding the zone better) and the curve is still getting whiffs, leading to a Gallows Pole for sticks. I still feel so undecided on McKenzie and I’m super curious where he goes in drafts next year. Top 30 SP easily, but Top 20…?

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 84 pitches.

That’s a PQS for Keller, which is honestly a good thing against a strong Mets offense. He gets the Cubs next and I think that’s fine with me as the Cubs should have trouble with his heater. I wish his breaker was consistent – he threw a few that were filthy, but failed in the others – and until it is, he’s a rare streamer and nothing more in my book.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ TB (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 91 pitches.

Blegh. Blame the cutter and sinker for failing to do their part and I think we still take the chance next time out against the Angels. Keep it together just a little longer, Martín.

Michael Lorenzen (LAA) vs SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ayyyy it mostly worked? Everything here is great save for the one extra run, but I think we’re cool with it – getting a Win is big. I think he pitched decently well enough that he could get another stream call from me against the Athletics near the end of the year, though against the Rangers I may have a little more hesitation. He’s not a special arm to chase.

Corey Kluber (TB) vs TEX (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. That’s two straight disappointments and now he gets the Astros. Yeaaaaaah we’re done here.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

He was a bit erratic with the breakers and it fell apart. He’s a Cherry Bomb so it could come through next time in a repeat matchup. Up to you.

Adrian Martinez (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

It was the Astros, it was also four solo homeruns. His changeup and slider weren’t too bad and there’s still some intrigue here. At least one of SEA, @LAA, LAA could come through for your fantasy teams. Don’t ignore him.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 82 pitches.

Lyles had his best curveball and it didn’t matter a whole lot. His schedule is too rough to consider rostering moving forward unless it’s a desperate Sunday.

Jack Flaherty (STL) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Oh for Koufax’s sake. He pitched better than his chaotic previous outing, but this still ain’t great. Now it’s the Padres and you wanted to be jacked up, but instead you’re getting carjacked. So grab some Jack and we’ll get through. Maybe play some jacks and check the score after. Calm the mind.

Logan Webb (SF) vs LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ouch. It’s what we feared from Webb and now it’s Coors. Uggggh. Flip that coin, you may have to accept the results regardless of where you think it’ll land.

Frankie Montas (NYY) @ MIL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 79 pitches.

Yiiiiiiikes. The Brewers weren’t fooled by Montas, forcing deeper at-bats as whiffs turned into foul balls. And now because he swapped with Nestor, he’ll get the Red Sox next. Blegh. He’s a Cherry Bomband you generally avoid those as the bombs can take down a week. If you need to chase it, good luck.

Adrian Houser (MIL) vs NYY (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

Like Ikea furniture with just three-step instructions, this was an easy bench. It’s always an easy bench with Houser.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

You’re still rostering Bumgarner? Why? The Giants are coming! So? Madison is not Jon Snow, he can’t easily take them down.

Robbie Ray (SEA) @ LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yiiiikes. He had terrible pitch separation here as his slider floated up and his heaters looked like they were in a cartoonish brawl together. Looks like a One Night Bland to me. Keep it going.


Game of the Day


George Kirby vs. Shohei Ohtani – Kirby has a new cutter & slider working, while Ohtani is Ohtani.

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.

Photo by Ken Murray/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.

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