The Lambert Chop

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Thursday's games.

You have questions about Peter Lambert and I have answers that I’ll try to articulate well, but most likely fail as it turns into one long ramble. The man made his MLB debut yesterday, going 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks in Wrigley and it was all kinds of impressive. 32/99 CSW as he got stronger as the jitters wore off, mixing arm-side fastballs with changeups (no fear to go righty-righty with the slowball!) and a curveball that should allow him to get quick outs. Thing is, I don’t trust him in Coors. I don’t see anything overwhelming in his repertoire – that 6th and 7th inning fastball arm-side command can’t be depended on longterm – and it means those early frames of getting behind on batters are going to return disaster starts. Think of a guy that you’d start on the road against the Angels or Padres, but not hosting the Diamondbacks. Make sense? Cool, so take your mouse off the add button as he has a repeat matchup against the Cubs…but this time in Colorado next week.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Good to see Archer perform at a level we always dream of, and while I don’t expect it to stick, I think it warrants at least the notion that his tough stretch sandwiching his IL stint is behind us. I’m letting him loose against the Braves again next week.

J.A. Happ – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Solid stuff from Happ, even without the massive strikeout total. Still, 14% swinging strikes on four-seamers is encouraging. Keep riding with the Toby.

Anthony DeSclafani – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, Tony Disco is wearing flared pants again! Sweet! He must have earned a ton of whiffs on breakers. You’d think, right? Just 6/48 is a bit disappointing with 26/96 CSW overall. Bummer man, bummer. Yep. At the same time, 37% sliders is back in line with his hot streak from last year, with the pitch going 25/36 strikes. There may be something there and I’d consider him as the streaming pick next time against the Indians.

Jose Berrios – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. You know what’s amazing? Berrios had 0/21 whiffs on his curveball, so he went with his changeup more than the breaker…AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. 18/27 for strikes, 41% CSW on the slowball and Berrios cruised to a stud performance. Y’all understand now, right? Without that changeup, Berrios would have struggled to fend off the Indians with just his fastball and curveball. Now as we twiddle our thumbs waiting for the fantastic hook to return, he has another weapon to use in the meantime and life is fantastic. I’m not sure he can completely survive just fastball/changeup

Ryne Stanek – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Step aside Stanek, False Starter Jalen Beeks is here for 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s nice ratio wise and you get a Win. And that’s his roster spot for an entire week. I know that’s a weird argument, it’s just…I’d imagine this doesn’t push the needle that much, does it? Maybe the Win is, but two strikeouts and while those ratios are great, it’s still just 13 outs worth. I can’t help but wonder in a standard 12-teamer if just streaming is better.

Freddy Peralta – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. I really considered Peralta yesterday as the streaming pick once I heard the news and I’m kinda upset I didn’t do it. He’s just such a Cherry Bomb, okay?! For those wondering, no he didn’t change anything here going 80/91 fastballs, which of course were super dumb and earned 18 whiffs n all (19 total for a Gallows Pole). He’s such a ridiculous arm. At least his next start against the Astros makes this an easy one to turn away.

Dakota Hudson – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s not pretty but it rarely is from Hudson. We’ll take this and run. Streaming Record: 42-25. I really should have picked Peralta, but I wanted the easier floor with Hudson.

Edwin Jackson – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Edwin also allowed four unearned runs on top of this as he hosted the Yanks, but that doesn’t really matter as you don’t care about EJax. Poor EJax.

Ryan Weber – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This was a full-on bullpen game as Weber got smoked. Womp womp.

Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s Fiers’ fourth straight Quality Start as he’s holding a 3.02 ERA and 0.89 WHIP since April 26th. With a 5.02 SIERA. And .179 BABIP. And 16.5% K rate. Vargas Rule it all you want, I’m good, thanks.

Justin Verlander – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Wild to see just 11 overall whiffs from Verlander and only 28/94 CSW but we’ll take the near PQS when it comes with a glorious WHIP and 7 Ks. It’s good to be a Verlander owner.

Patrick Corbin – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Uggggggh. These were the Padres! The worst strikeout team in the majors! And you’re Corbin! YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! 32/101 CSW is solid, but Corbin lost batters and wasn’t pristine with his command, leading to an early hook and a blegh start. Be better Corbin, we need you.

Zack Wheeler – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Those two longballs are frustrating, though seeing him come back out for the seventh and throw us a bone was wonderful. I wonder if this is the norm now for Wheeler, which is fine n all but not the sturdy #2 that we wanted in drafts. I mean, the guy allowed 37 foul balls yesterday on 107 pitches. That’s dumb.

Mike Foltynewicz – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take this from Folty when his slider wasn’t as dominant as it was last time out. His curveball did a bit of the lifting instead – 5/11 CSW and 100% for strikes. WILD! – and was much needed to get through this one. I think he’s well removed from the early troubles and while he’s unlikely to be the Top 25 arm from last year, he’s a confident play.

Jose Quintana – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. It was a really boring outing for Quintana, going 21/97 CSW and needing BABIP to do his dirty work. He’s a Toby alright and there’s little reason to let him go. Just anticipate a bit of a bumpy ride.

Daniel Norris – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Norris got a bit Singled Out here and while I wonder if he’s serviceable in that deep AL-Only league, there’s no way I’m touching him in standard affairs.

Austin Adams – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Austin opened for Tommy Milone who cleaned things up with 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Awwww, just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?! Milone had been striking out arms at a questionably high mark lately and there was a part of me that hoped it was sticking. Guess not. Milone Schmilone. I know, I know, this was still good n all, but if he’s not striking out guys, Milone is way too close to blowing up and not giving you anything via a Grave Mistake. 

David Hess – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here! Well, a VPQS is lovely for Hess, to be fair.

Ariel Jurado – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. A VPQS with six Ks? That’s three straight Quality Starts since Jurado became a firm member of the Rangers’ rotation, facing teams like the Angels, Royals, and Orioles. can’t hate on the back-to-back six strikeout games, I can hate on the 7% overall whiff rate this year. This is a trap, y’all. It’s a 2.78 ERA with a 4.20 SIERA and has TEEs written all over it. I don’t want to be part of this world.

Shaun Anderson – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The man allowed a pair of longballs to start the game, then did everything else you see here. So while it’s a VPQS, it kinda was a 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP start. Kinda. I can’t do that or I’d have saved Kaleb’s start too, but you get the point. And what’s that? Oh, right. I don’t actually like Shaun-A that much. I guess for the occasional stream? That’s it? Maybe he’s Dereck Rodriguez 2.0? Is that a good thing? Why are you up-speaking so much? I don’t know…?

Danny Duffy – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Womp womp. It was a fun idea, wasn’t it?

Caleb Smith – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Sure, the Brewers are a longball hitting team inside a HR friendly park and Smith is prone to it and allowed 3 ER in the first off a pair of gopherballs + another solo shot in the 3rd. All of that sounds like “okay, I get it, it’s not a big deal.” That’s not the worrisome part to me, honestly. It’s the 21/83 CSW as his changeup was terrible and four-seamers just couldn’t get past batters at 90.9 mph. This pitch was 92/93 in his previous two starts and we have seen under 91.5 mph in just one other start all year. I’m hoping this was just Smith not getting comfortable today and it’s one of those days. Those saying “I should have sold high, this was obviously not going to last” etc. are wild. Kaleb going into Miller Park may be one of the worst possible matchups out of all 58 possibilities (can’t play the Marlins on the road/home after all!). Don’t be rash and buy low if you can.

Joey Lucchesi – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. This is the floor you should already understand as a Lucchesi owner and while we’re sad he was a Fugghesi on this evening, nothing was too alarming here to make me think he can’t bounce back next time out.

Tyler Skaggs – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. The approach overall wasn’t actually bad – fastballs up, curveballs low – but his precision with it wasn’t there, with curveballs hung up and rarely ending below the zone, while heaters fell to the middle of the zone often. His changeup didn’t do a whole lot either and VOILA! There’s your Thursday night against the tough A’s. It’s annoying and I want so much more but I’m still sticking it out with Skaggs as he gets…the Dodgers next?! Come on, that’s not fair. Ugh, maybe bench there and roll with him after.

Trevor Bauer – 8.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. What a wild start. On one hand, it’s three longballs hit by the same guy – stupid Max Kepler – as Bauer had a much better slider. On the other, his changeup returned and was meh, his curveball was okay, and it was just 29% CSW. I imagine a lot of you really don’t buy Bauer at all and yeah, I’ll have to lower him on The List this week as I was expecting a faster turnaround for Bauer. At the same time, he’s easily Top 15 for me still (maybe Top 10?) as the skill set is there, his IPS is ridiculously good, and don’t get caught up in the ERA – 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks are certainly productive. It’s not all about the ERA, y’all. Don’t give up on Bauer, buy low, and this will be over soon.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Erik Fedde vs. San Diego Padres – I don’t trust the Feddes but the options are thin and the Padres strikeout more than anyone out there. Tyler Mahle vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Not much of a choice here as there are few good strong matchups to choose otherwise and Mahle was pushed back due to Wednesday’s rainout.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trevor Richards vs. Atlanta Braves – It’s not the best matchup, but Richards’ changeup has been solid lately.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Pablo Lopez vs. Atlanta Braves PabLo does well at home and I’ll take the gamble here.


Game of the Day 


Domingo German vs. Zach Plesac – I want to see German dominate and Plesac to surprise me in a good way.


(Photo by 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.

9 responses to “The Lambert Chop”

  1. Tal Sercarz says:

    Would you trade Nola for Bauer in a 10 team points league were you get to keep 6 keepers?

  2. jim says:

    It is becoming more and more frustrating being a Bauer owner. Especially in Keeper leagues. He was my keeper over Kershaw and I am feeling pretty bad about that right now. Counterpoint to your blurb above, his team is awful. And there must be an increasing amount of pressure on him each time he takes the mound. Perhaps this is more of a mental collapse than anything mechanical or physical. Overthinking maybe? I know he has the tag ‘Tinkerer’ but a tinkerer actually repairs, mends or fixes things. Bauer is actually not tinkering at all. He is having lapses. The 3 HR by Kepler is a perfect example of this.

  3. Dope King 22 says:

    Wanted to know how you valued Caleb Smith at this point. I see him ranked 19 on the List, but he has a FIP over 4 (though an xFIP around 3.7). While Marlins Park is great for his fly ball tendencies, he’s going to get a fair number of starts at Sun Trust, Citi, Nationals Park, and Citizens Bank which range in ranks from 8 to 15 in home run factors for 2019 (1 being the worst). He also doesn’t look great at giving up soft contact. Should we discount his recent two poor starts or should we be concerned about home runs?

  4. Perfect Game says:


    How many IP ROS for Ryu? Already at last years’ total and hasn’t thrown 120 for a few years.

  5. Zach Lowry says:

    I think I prefer the “PLop” nickname for Pablo Lopez. Not because I think he’s bad, I just think its funny, haha.

  6. Sam says:

    How can you say don’t worry about the ERA with Bauer when his fip/xfip/sierra are all closer to 4.5 than 4 and the walks, hr rate, and gb rate are all worse than when he was a 4+ era pitcher? All of that coupled with the statcast data indicate he’s actually been lucky the results haven’t been quite a bit worse.

  7. BBHHI says:

    No AGA for Berrios?

  8. theKraken says:

    Re: Beeks – if all you are hoping for in a win from a roster spot, would you not be better served streaming?

  9. rainmaker says:

    That 37 foul balls from Wheeler has me thinking, wouldn’t CSW be more accurate if it was the percentage of total balls minus foul balls? It will require a ratio adjustment but if say Pitcher A had 30/100 CSW and 0 foul balls while Player had 25/100 CSW and 40 foul balls then we would like Pitcher B more right?

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