You Otto Know

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Glenn Otto vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 73 pitches.

I didn’t expect much from Glenn OttoHe came up to face the Astros and the report was “excellent slider, sits low 90s, not much else.” That doesn’t inspire confidence and certainly doesn’t suggest he would go 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 73 pitches. Hot dang, look at you!

In short, feel free to pick him because it’s Rockie Road next and that slider was super good. He spotted them down-and-away from right-handers consistently through the five frames while landing them for strikes constantly (50% CSW!) and that alone should carve up Colorado as they visit Texas. The changeup showed up more than I thought and was decently spotted arm-side against left-handers, and while the heater wasn’t anything special, he wasn’t chaotic with the pitch and it did what it needed to do. There is a small feeling of Tanner Houck here with this phenomenal sweeper, but I do worry about the heater in future outings, moreso than I do with Houck. We’ll see what happens and let’s grab him for next time.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Gerrit Cole @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s 200 strikeouts in 24 starts, good for 8.33 strikeouts a start. Unreal.

Joe Musgrove @ LAA (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 111 pitches.

Musgrove is turning it up a notch (BAM!) as he had the same legit curveball of his previous starts, but paired it with the slider he had in the first half. It was missing recently, but here? 58% CSW across 31 thrown. Yeah, that’s bonkers and why he earned a King ColeThe guy is grooving, I don’t care that it’s Houston next.

Andrew Albers vs MIL (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Oh wow, it’s Albers! And he did his best impression of a TobyGood for him, but it’ll be bad for you if he becomes a standard on your roster. The man had three whiffs. THREE.

Wade Miley @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 109 pitches.

And Miley continues his play as Spider-ManWhat a year it’s been. Truly. St. Louis is next and y’all know that’s a go.

Paolo Espino @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 68 pitches.

Whoaaa Nelly that slider was LEGIT. We’re talking 9/15 whiffs – WHIFFS! – on the sweeper, while curveballs and sliders cleaned up the rest. Sure, it could be the Mets Metsing and Paolo rarely goes too many pitches into games, but it’s something to consider with the Phillies next. Not the worst idea out there.

Steven Matz @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ayyyy yep, that’s a TobyHe really needs a dependable whiff pitch if he’s going to be anything more than that – the changeup is his highest at 13% SwStr rate.

Matt Manning vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Well ain’t that a pretty sight. I don’t think Manning’s command is all that great – the curveball and changeup were meh, the slider had some moments but wasn’t that pitch – though his heater is good enough to plod along normally. This start…I just don’t buy. He hasn’t changed enough to make me think he’s taking that step forward.

Logan Allen vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

Congrats, Allen. You were the better Logan of the day. He managed to survive against the Red Sox with a solid fastball + a trio of effective secondaries and maybe I can trust him as a TobyI dunno, though, I generally don’t trust people with two first names. MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

Taylor Widener @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ehhhhh, if you had to start Taylor, I guess it’s fine, but I hope you’re okay with that WHIP. The man is going extreme heaters these days with 80% four-seamers and it’s not what you want to see…especially when that heater averaged under 91 mph yesterday after sitting 92/93 all year. Yikes.

Brusdar Graterol vs COL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 21 pitches.

Ah yes, the opener + Andre Jackson tossing 4.2 frames of 1 ER ball and earning just two strikeouts. It’s not who you want to chase and Mitch White is the one you want as the Dodgers’ bulk man. Let’s move on.

Kyle Freeland @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Guess what. The curveball was stupid good again (39% CSW! His most thrown pitch!) and it led to success despite facing the Dodgers. Now he heads to Texas and that’s a GO GO GO. Pick up Freeland and stream him there. He’s found something.

Eric Lauer @ MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Blegh. Lauer is a decent option against poor offenses (like facing the Pirates five times over two months) and not against a decent squad like the Twins. Don’t ignore him for those solid matchups, but ignore this.

Aaron Nola vs ARI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeah, I’ll absolutely take this from Nola. All three of his pitches were working and while I wish he was a touch more efficient to make it through six in full (silly 23 foul balls), he obviously was on his game. You should feel good about the Nationals next.

Jake Odorizzi @ TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

Sure, that works Odorizzi. He’s proven that he can handle a decent matchup a bit better as of late and with Seattle on the horizon once again, I think you’re safe. He’s getting that fastball up easily these days. Nick that sounds like he doesn’t need…you know what, I’m not here. I said nothing. K.

Kevin Gausman @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna…still not have their splitter. At least he isn’t hurting you, but we all know we want that splitty to return and propel him to a Top 10 SP spot again. I do believe we’ll see it again at some point this year (it’s the most consistent splitter in baseball!) and with his easy schedule, there’s no reason to stop starting him. I’m crossing my fingers for y’all.

Rich Hill vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 91 pitches.

Wow, I didn’t think Hill had it in him to strike out eight like the old days. That heater held a 41% CSW across…41 thrown and the breakers were on point as well. This is the absolute ceiling, though, and there’s a whole lot of room below. I wouldn’t chance it…if it weren’t the Marlins next. FINE.

J.A. Happ @ PIT (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 88 pitches.

Not even the Pirates can stop Happ from producing a super Toby line. It helps across the board but with 18% CSW and in this most boring of ways. Never change…? Eh, please do. It’ll help out our anxiety.

Shane McClanahan @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

It’s not the overwhelming start we crave, but us McClanafans should be thrilled to see him sit 96 mph after flirting with 94/95 in previous starts. And look, the Rays can be happy he only tossed 78 pitches to get through six frames. You know, I’m happy everyone is happy and if a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place. Was your annual screening of The Room last night? How’d you guess?

Eduardo Rodriguez @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 109 pitches.

Man, that’s really pushing the limits of what we’ll accept, Erod. Save for the Win, there’s not a whole to enjoy here, why must you make us struggle. The heater simply wasn’t as good as we’ve seen and the cutter/changeup are heavily lacking. I would heavily consider others instead of starting him against the Rays.

Zach Thompson vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

Blegh. The cutter wasn’t as good, the curveball didn’t save him, and he had nothing else. Streaming Record: 78-59. At least it’s the Mets next and that should be better.

Cooper Criswell vs SD (L) – 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 41 pitches.

I feel old seeing this name. Who? What?! COOPER SITWELL?! This was a smattering of Angels pitchers and there’s nothing to see here.

Matt Harvey vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

PQS from Harvey?! Against the Rays?! Whooaaa, ayyyy, Harvey, you don’t want to waste all your Felix Felicis in one go!

Max Fried vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeah, sure, I’ll take a PQS with a solid WHIP and five strikeouts from Fried against the Giants. It’s not excellent, but hey, it’s decent and the man survived. That’s a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is 0/17 slider whiffs and I miss that pitch terribly. You gotta find it, Max. Our seasons depend on it.

Dillon Peters vs STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 78 pitches.

The changeup was filthy (45% CSW across 29 thrown!), the sinker was good, and the curveball doesn’t exist. Sorry, shouldn’t exist. For those in deeper leagues, I’d consider Peters for his next start against the Cubs given the solid slow ball, but for the rest of us, it’s not worth the risk.

Keegan Thompson @ CWS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 62 pitches.

You take a guy like Akin and a guy like Zach, mash em together and you have Mr. KT over here. It’s not a pretty Frankenstein. Few are.

Kris Bubic @ SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Sigh. After sitting 92 mph last time out, Bubic fell back down to 90/91 mph and couldn’t make it work against the Mariners. I guess it really was an exception. Ignore Bubic for a bit. Update: I forgot to mention Carlos Hernández coming in for relief and going 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches. The curveball and slider tallied 7/25 whiffs (solid!) and the heaters sat 97/98 mph. I know how frustrating this is to miss this performance from Carlos, but you want to make sure you hold him tight. I still slightly question the command, but he’s worth the play in 12-teamers.

Dallas Keuchel vs CHC (ND) – 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 42 pitches.

It was the Cubs and hey, why not, right? This is why not. Stop rostering Keuchel, you’ll be so much happier for it.

Logan Gilbert vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Even when he has his respite matchup (he gets the Astros twice now), Gilbert still doesn’t have his slider and it just doesn’t work. I wonder if Gilbert is a guy to target next year as he could figure out the slider over the off-season (or maybe in September?) and be a strong arm through the full year. Prospect growth ain’t linear, y’all. I guess that makes him a true Young Gun.

Sean Manaea vs NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Soooo I know you’re scared. It’s very understandable given how Manaea has performed over the last month, but I bring good news. This one was a trio of HRs + his heater sat 93/94 mph, with some hope in his secondaries. Sure, his changeup and curveball floated a decent amount, but he gets the Tigers next. You absolutely want to start Manaea against the Tigers.

Game of the Day 


Vladimir Gutiérrez vs. Sandy AlcantaraSandy is so dang good and Vlady should carve up the Marlins.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

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Photo from Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

5 responses to “You Otto Know”

  1. Chris says:

    I have Cole, Nola, Sonny Gray, Robby Ray, Trevor Rogers, Houck, McClanahan, Freddy Peralta, and Hader in a 5 SP 2 RP H2H points league. After suffering Nola and Gray by benching lots of their roller coaster, my finger is hovering over the drop button on Manaea (five bad starts).

    Sounds like you wouldn’t do that. How do you do this lol

  2. Banger says:

    I’m debating whether or not to drop Gilbert and Kikuchi, both of whom I have in a keeper league. I’m just about a lock for the second seed in the playoffs in a few weeks, so I can bench both through their starts against Houston if I want to. The question is whether they’ll get back on track by playoff time to help win the league, not to mention make them worth consideration as keepers. The waiver wire for SP is awfully thin–I’ve resorted to grabbing RPs with SP eligibility (McHugh, Whitlock, etc.) for the roster flexibility. So the question is whether to stay put, load up on more pen arms, or try to churn through streamers on the Do Not Start list and see if something sticks.

  3. Frank the Tank says:

    Where do we think Otto will be listed in the top 100 this coming Monday?

    • Sunday is Funday says:

      I could see tier 9, upper 60’s lower 70’s. Would rather roster him over someone like Plesac right now. If he settles into the rotation, upcoming schedule looks ok in the near future; likely gets COL and @ARI, but that’s probably followed with HOU and CWS.

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