Top of the Lauer

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Eric Lauer vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

There are some pitchers who flat out astound you when you see their full-season stats at the end of the year and I’m willing to bet you didn’t expect a 3.18 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP from Eric Lauer after tonight’s 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches. Absolutely unreal.

The man has been on a tear since June 27th, allowing three ER just once in that time, albeit coming with four starts under five frames. The cutter is the major story here, carrying just a .171 batting average allowed and earning outs constantly. Pair that with good changeups down, curveballs for strikes, and a decently commanded fastball, and what you have there is a nice stew seven-inning start. Now with @DET + STL + NYM next, there’s a shot he can pull off this Vargas Rule to the end. It’s wild, but hey, it’s a thing and good things can bring home crowns.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Spencer Howard @ ARI (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 23 pitches.

I wish I could be glad to see Howard again, but he’s not even close to 80 pitches these days (understandable since he just returned from COVID) and I expect it won’t be until 2022 that we do. Womp womp.

Packy Naughton @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

Say what now. Packy, despite having a wonderful name, simply isn’t this effective of a pitcher. Don’t buy into this Birthday Party — if you start him, you’ll get Naughton in return, I promise.

John Gant @ CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Whoa, seven strikeouts from Gant?! But you don’t do that, you rely too much on BABIP and it drives us all up the wall. The changeup was at its best, but the rest wasn’t at I’m still weirded out by this Birthday Party. I’m just waiting for the terrifying clowns to show up and showcase this as the prank we all feel it is.

Max Fried vs WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

There’s a big ole Dusty Donut for ya as that WHIP is going to be hard to scrub out. The slider still isn’t the pitch of old, while his curveball wasn’t as well commanded as we’ve seen as of late. I imagine he’ll rebound against Miami next time.

Steven Matz @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

I was afraid of starting Matz for this one and boy was I wrong. His sinker earned called strikes and a ton of outs, while his changeup and curveball were…okay. I’m not sure it’ll be this good against the Orioles next, but likely good enough to warrant the start. Keep this Toby starting.

Wily Peralta @ PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Y’all realize that’s a 2.25 WHIP, right? Cool.

Corey Knebel @ STL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 15 pitches.

Soooo we were supposed to see Mitch White follow as the bulk guy, but he’s now starting tomorrow for the Dodgers. Go figure.

Jimmy Lambert @ OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 70 pitches.

Hey, it’s Lambert! He made his third start of the season and made it work plenty better in his favor…despite a 19% CSW and just four whiffs. Yeah, the stuff just isn’t good enough for you to trust, not to mention his lack of rotation security as he’ll get the boot when Lucas Giolito returns (next start?). No thanks.

Wade Miley @ CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 101 pitches.

Hot dang Miley, that’s a Gallows Pole! The man had incredible pitch separation on his cutter and changeup, featuring them on opposite sides of the plate and avoiding the middle incredibly well, and I adore it. He has a crazy good schedule the rest of the way and you should be stupid excited for it.

James Kaprielian vs CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

I’m thrilled to see the fastball and slider each earn seven whiffs here and it’s a sign of hope that Jimmy can actually take advantage of the glorious schedule ahead. We’ve all been worried, but I think it’s time to embrace him for one last hurrah. I’d pick him up if he was dropped.

Carlos Carrasco @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ehhhhh, it’s a Dusty Donut as that WHIP hurts, but everything else is fine. The changeup wasn’t nearly as effective as we’ve seen and his slider, despite having a 36% CSW, was only featured 14 times and wasn’t a major factor. He’s not completely back yet and now has a challenge against the Yankees that I’d like to sit out if I could. I’m scared if he doesn’t have both the slow ball and sweeper working.

Drew Rasmussen @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

The dude normally chucks 97/98 mph but sat 95.4 mph instead, earned just three whiffs, and still managed to survive the Red Sox. Wild. (He was not.) Too bad it’s the Jays x2 + Houston next. This isn’t worth it.

Aaron Civale vs MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches.

Hey, he’s back! He oddly leaned on the splitter 27% of the time here, and it was…fine. The curveball is still a good pitch and the rest plodded along as he couldn’t quite finish the fifth frame. Expect closer to 90 pitches next time out against the Brewers, and I think you’re okay starting him there. The floor is still decently low, though.

Dillon Peters vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

It’s one of those starts you’ll forget the moment you scroll down—hey, wait! My existence as a sentence is defined by your attention and when it leaves, I leave. At least do me the solid of granting me the full life of this entire blurb… … …so how about the weather lately? No? Okay, fine. I appreciate you.

Adrian Sampson vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 70 pitches.

Hey, um, that Peters blurb was something. Annnnyway Sampson existed, too, and as you’ve probably figured out by now, Tuesday featured a ton of “okay, so?” outings and Sampson was no exception. You really need not consider this, but you already knew that.

Jake Odorizzi vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 66 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take it. It all helps in some way and I’m glad Odorizzi was able to benefit fantasy teams despite not having his best stuff. He really didn’t elevate that heater effectively tonight.

Logan Gilbert @ HOU (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

It wasn’t the repeat of the last start as some of our daring readers may have hoped for, but at least the velocity was still up at 96 mph, while the slider came in nearly three ticks harder as well. There’s something to it, but it’s the Red Sox next before his lovely respite against the Royals + Angels and I’d pass there, easily.

Gerrit Cole vs TOR (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 70 pitches.

Cole left this one early with hamstring tightness, clearing the way for Robbie Ray to claim the Cy Young. Ouch. Let’s hope he’s back soon.

Alexander Wells vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

I don’t think you want to replicate his father and say “More Son, Wells.” Nick, you’re starting to force it. It’s nearly 2:00 am and you can’t stop me.

Blake Snell vs LAA (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

Snell flirted with perfection and had a touch of Careful, Icarus as he allowed a pair of walks, two stolen bases, and a single to put two runs on the board in the seventh. Ouch. He’s still doing the crazy cool “fastballs and sliders for strikes” approach and I’m so glad it’s working for him. Long live mid-season approach adjustments!

Aaron Nola @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

When will it end. Nola had all but his curveball last time, now he had nothing but his curveball. You do you at this point. He’s clearly not in rhythm, but it is Rockie Road + NYM + PIT next. Surely he can make this help more than hurt…right? This start is just one ER off from being helpful, after all.

Logan Webb @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s another award in the books for Webb, earning a King Cole with a 38% CSW. The slider was cooking and the sinker earned a ton of strikes, though the changeup still leaves a little to be desired. Whatever, you know the rule: keep starting Webb and don’t ask questions, ya dingus.

Zac Gallen vs TEX (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 108 pitches.

This is definitely a step in the right direction as Gallen had his heater and curveball working against the Rangers for a glorified PQSHe’s still missing that elite changeup, though, and now he has the four-game challenge against the Dodgers, Astros, Dodgers, Giants. Yikes. I’m not sure I’d chase it, but there is a chance he figures it out during the second start and coasts from there.

J.A. Happ vs LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 78 pitches.

I mean, it was Happ. Against the Dodgers. It’s like you can see my arms flailing in front of me.

Edward Cabrera vs NYM (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 65 pitches.

Welp, that’s three starts and Cabrera just isn’t the man we want him to be. Yes, you can drop him. I’d be shocked if he came back from this in a major way next time out against Atlanta.

Paolo Espino @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Atlanta is a strong offense, but at least Paolo still earned 9/33 whiffs on his curveball. I know many (including myself) have little interest in rostering Paolo, but there is a tinge of upside for those in deeper leagues — especially with his lax schedule. LAX schedule? What, is he playing both Los Angeles teams? I hope you can hear the sound of my eyes rolling. It’s deafening.

Chi Chi Gonzalez vs SF (L) – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 12% CSW, 43 pitches.

The Giants are great offense and this was Coors. Yep, the math checks out.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs TB (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 68 pitches.

Noooooo. Erod didn’t have his fastball working per usual and there wasn’t anything else to turn to. It’s weird, we haven’t seen him without that fastball for a long time and hopefully he can get it back against the Mariners next time out.

Jackson Kowar @ BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 105 pitches.

Oh no. Streaming Record: 83-65. He had a troubling first inning, followed by a two-run shot in the third and that was it. Is it bad that I’m still really encouraged? His slider and changeup were great, and the heater, while making some mistakes, was not a terrible offering at 95/96 mph. Now it’s the A’s + Cleveland + Detroit and there’s a part of me that wants to go with Kowar for all three. I know, the mad man. I think the stuff is dang good and it could work out if you have the faith.

Game of the Day 


Shane McClanahan vs. Nathan Eovaldi – Both arms are legit but get a tough matchup. This could be a fun duel.

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

One response to “Top of the Lauer”

  1. theKraken says:

    The Dodgers continue to do less with more talent than any other team in MLB history. So many scrubs have played so many innings it is absolutely astounding. The Dodgers are more concerned with progressive nonsense than anything else. For those psychos a bullpen game is the epitome of what they represent, which is the players on the field simply as interchangeable pawns. It is sickening and only good for those parasites attempting to make something for themselves at the expense of MLB players. Somehow the overwhelming favorites have come way back to the pack. They have little momentum and zero stability.

    The guy that threw three pitches got the win? The guy that literally threw the least pitches in the game and got the win. The guy closed out the third inning and got the win. How does that guy get awarded the win? The gap between MLB baseball and reality widens.

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