Michael Charm: Threat Level Midnight

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.  

Michael Lorenzen (LAA) @ HOU (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 85 pitches.

You probably forgot about Michael Lorenzen being a thing – it’s okay, I kinda did too until this week – and he returned from the IL in marvelous fashion, producing against the Astros via 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 85 pitches. Yes, 85 pitches! The man is stretched out and suddenly we’re wondering if this 4% rostered arm could be worthwhile down the stretch.

Schedule-wise, he’d likely get SEA, @TEX, OAK, @OAK and in short, I think I’m still out until Oakland. His command is still a work in progress (four walks n all) as he only earned 52% strikes on the changeup and the slider was often hung, but there’s potential here. The slowball was better than the 9% CSW would suggest and I think there’s a Toby in here after another start or two.

So in short, no this isn’t the time to jump in on Lorenzen unless you’re searching for a QS chance next week. That said, keep an eye on him for his starts against Oakland down the stretch. Could be another sneaky late add when you need it most.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Drew Smyly (CHC) vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 104 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Loyal managers who leaned on Smyly despite his disaster against the Cardinals were rewarded with a Golden Goalsitting 93 mph with his deadly curve and the BSB in full effect. It’s too bad he gets the Mets next as that’s a sit, but @MIA, PHI, CIN to end the year is all good to me. Up to you if you want to hold, and hey, there’s a chance it isn’t St. Louis 2.0 against New York. What would a patched St. Louis look like?

Joey Wentz (DET) @ KC (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

I’m sorry what. Quickly put, this is a Birthday Party and a Blame it on the Royals as that heater returned so many outs despite not the greatest command I’ve seen at ~93 mph. If he happens to stick in the rotation, it’s the Astros next, so you really don’t want to do this.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Fatherhood takes its toll…but not for me. That cutter was UNREAL – 17/48 whiffs with a 40% CSW – as he consistently spotted it down and the Yankee offense…was its recent lacking self. Now’s the hard part – @TOR, HOU, TOR, @HOU awaits across his next four starts. I guess we take it one at a time, but I’m scared – those teams are far better than the NYY lineup these days.

Austin Pruitt (OAK) vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 55 pitches.

Whaaaaaaat. Five no-hit innings?! From Pruitt?! Wow. Welp, if he were to stick in the rotation, it’s against the Astros next, so just forget it. But dang man. Dang.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs STL (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

HAISTBMBWT?! I’m glad he survived as I had low expectations against the Cardinals and now he gets @CIN, CHC, CIN ahead. Beautiful. One problem, though – his velocity was down three ticks on the slider and 1.3 on the heater. It could be nothing, it could mean he slows down before being able to take advantage of the matchups. Start him for the first one and let’s go from there.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.

Seven strikeouts from The UnQuantrillfiable?! Wild. Oh, and a 2.00 WHIP to make this a proper Dusty Donut but hey, you got your Win and 1 ER, too, so good job Cal. Still don’t love ya.

Nick Lodolo (CIN) @ MIL (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

YESSSSSSS. And guess what? HE GETS THE PIRATES NEXT. The curve and heater are working so well in tandem and I’m so in not just for September, but 2023 as well.

Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 105 pitches.

Well that’s lovely. His curve went 40% CSW and he went 60% breakers overall with the slider included. He hovered the zone a lot more, though the slider was elevated far more than it should have been. I’m glad to see heaters sitting in the upper third, though – McCullers could benefit from the BSB given his excellent breaking balls. Keep on keepin’ on here.

Ross Stripling (TOR) @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 68 pitches.

Atta boy Stripling. While the whiffs weren’t there, the changeup earned a ton of outs (phew, he hung that thing a ton) and he spread out his pitches well. Ride with it against the Rays.

Carlos Rodón (SF) @ CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. A dumb first frame was the only blemish as he leaned super heavily on his heater and destroyed the Cubs with it. It’s wonderful having Rodón still pitching at the top of his game in September, here’s to him producing through the end despite Atlanta + Coors next.

Austin Voth (BAL) vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

Okay at least it’s 88 pitches this time and his curve was solid. He’s earned enough of my confidence here that I’d start him against Natty Lite next time, and likely the Tigers after that. Stream stream stream.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches.

Yeah, I’ll take the PQS with a solid WHIP and six punchouts. Keep starting him with his luscious schedule. Great to see the slider go 43% CSW, by the way. If only the fastball weren’t sitting 91.8 mph…

Noah Syndergaard (PHI) vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yep, that’s a PQS and everything we expect from Thor these days. He gets the Marlins next so I guess we’re still on this train.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs NYM (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yeah that’s cool with me as I had some worry here against the Mets. It’s still the change + breakers show as Cabrera’s heaters are far from being well commanded and that’s cool with me. PHI + CHC + WSH await and we’re starting him through it.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs TOR (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

Just an out away from a VPQS isn’t a whole lot to celebrate, though it was against the Jays…? Naaaaaah. The one considerable start is next week against the Athletics and I think he’s in a good enough place for that to be near a 50/50 shot.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 87 pitches.

Hmmmm. I’m thrilled he’s getting strikeouts and whiffs – 9/22 on changeups! – though his overall command is still a work in progress. You may want to chance it against the Royals next time, but I think this is too high of a risk to chase the reward in September. If you’re in a deeper league or if you’re in need of a home run play in a 12-teamer, I’d consider it, but only then.

Dustin May (LAD) @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

Awwwwww. The Giants are next and we’re holding there – at least he had 82 pitches! – but I feel your pain. He’s been a bit disappointing since that amazing first outing. This will get better.

David Peterson (NYM) @ MIA (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Noooooooo. At least he still gave you seven strikeouts, but I was really banking on this one. Ugh. Despite the line, I still think he pitched well and he gets the Cubs next with Scherzer still out. Go for it.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ SEA (W) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.

It wasn’t his best, but he had a touch of Careful, Icarus and did nothing to ruin our faith in the man. All good here.

Frankie Montas (NYY) vs TB (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 106 pitches.

Blegggggh. He took down the Rays with ease last week and struggled across his repertoire here. I think you still roll with Montas against the Brewers, but I feel your pain, y’all. I’ll raise my Frankie stein of beer for you.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.

What a weird line from Mikolas – this is supposed to be reversed with few strikeouts and good ratios. Huh. We’ve made it so far Mikolas, don’t slow down now with CIN, @SDP, MIL, and @PIT left on the docket. You got this, then I’ll refuse to draft you at your ADP next year.

Mike Clevinger (SD) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yeeeah. It’s the Dodgers, and Clevinger’s stuff isn’t what it used to be. 5/17 whiffs on the slider is constructive, though, I just need more than that before I get properly excited, you know? He gets the Sneks next and I’m on the fence there. It could work, it could also be more blegh as he struggles to find a rhythm.

Robbie Ray (SEA) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

He got jumped for a pair of home runs, but I overall dug his approach…if not a touch low on the four-seamer and too loose command on the sinker. He’s fine, y’all, and has a much easier schedule the rest of the way.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ PHI (L) – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 69 pitches.

I cannot imagine what it’s like being Corbin these days. Poor guy. The velocity is there, you know, he needs to head somewhere over the off-season to figure out how to apply his stuff.

Jason Alexander (MIL) vs CIN (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

But he had that one start of five innings just the other day! Uh huh. That was someone who doesn’t read the roundups, because y’all knew that wasn’t legit. I’m proud of you.

Daniel Lynch (KC) vs DET (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

Not even against the Tigers. THE TIGERS. Please trade Lynch away, Royals. He deserves so much better.

Zach Davies (ARI) @ COL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Coors is undefeated. And Davies is often defeated. Not a great combination. There’s a chance he’s worthwhile when he gets the Giants x2 at the end of the year, and we’ll talk then to see if his changeup is working well enough.

Dylan Bundy (MIN) vs CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh dear. Just don’t y’all. Just don’t.

Germán Márquez (COL) vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hey Márquez. I feel kinda bad he has this team-friendly contract so he won’t be leaving Colorado for a good while – I think he has a legit chance to prosper somewhere else, but it ain’t gonna happen.


Game of the Day


Julio Urías vs. Blake Snell – Two stud southpaws in a duel is always a joy.

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.

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