Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday 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.
Matt Brash @ CWS (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.
I am thrilled to begin the age of Matt Brash, the #5 starter for the Seattle Mariners who was downright jaw-dropping today as he went 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches against the Chicago White Sox. If you watched it, you would have seen him feature some of the filthiest breakers you’ll ever see and with a strong ability to earn strikes at a 75% rate. He mixed it with 96 mph heaters that were hit a bit hard, but served their purpose of finding the zone to set up the breakers.
There isn’t much more to this. If you’re still on the fence, do it already. I can see some trouble where the heater gets hit hard and he faces a disciplined lineup — and I mean disciplined — but this is the trajectory of a strikeout machine and is destined to help more than hurt this season. And by the way, he got the first out of the sixth unscathed, allowed a long-ball and a hit, and got the hook. He was that close to a quality start with just three baserunners and 1 ER. He’s a special one.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Tylor Megill @ PHI (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 76 pitches.
HIS NAME IS TYLORD MEGILL. After sitting 96 mph last game, Megill sat 96.7 mph in this one and I couldn’t be prouder of the fella as he earned a Win against the strong Phillies offense. If there’s still a window somewhere to pick him up, I’m not sure what else you’re waiting for. The command is there with legit stuff.
Nestor Cortes Jr. vs TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.
So this was cool. I can’t say I expected him to survive this well against the mightly Jays, but it should make for a decent stream against the Orioles next as he’ll likely go past 80 pitches. It’s more of the same, really, as Cortes Jr. commanded four-seamers and cutters around the edge of the zone well, avoiding the heart and hard contact. It could spell out another Vargas Rule that is sure to get some riled up. It can’t be another Vargas Rule if it’s always a Vargas Rule! Yeah, but no. But yeah. These things so very rarely last a full year, but I hope it does.
Andrew Heaney @ MIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 67 pitches.
For a guy I was so adamantly opposed to drafting, Heaney sure looked good. In fact, this may be the best I’ve seen him command his curveball in a very long time. Just look at how well he spotted those pitches down-and-glove-side consistently, rarely bouncing them or floating casually into the zone. Meanwhile, his heater stayed up where it was supposed to be and it turned into Heaney having his way against the Twins. I’ve seen him perform well in the past, though, and the man was in his prime a Cherry Bomb. I’m not ready to buy that he’s suddenly fixed his command and can do this on the regular. With so many solid SP options out there — I mean seriously, can take a moment and recognize how many late SPs are killing it? — Heaney’s booth at the job fair is left with zero applicants.
Patrick Sandoval vs MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 71 pitches.
The Irish Panada wasn’t at his best, but he still gave you six punchouts and 0 ER across four. Oddly enough, he only tossed 13 changeups in this one, relying on breakers and fastballs instead. Weird, but I imagine it was him adjusting as he didn’t have the slow ball command he normally features. The best news here is that despite getting pushed back due to “arm fatigue”, The Panada’s velocity was in line with last year’s marks. Phew. He gets the Astros next and while I’m not thrilled with that one, I’m still letting him fly.
Luis Garcia @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.
Why did you draft Garcia when you could have had Cobb? But Nick, Garcia did pretty well today…I kid, I kid. YOU COULD HAVE HAD LUZARDO. Fine fine fine, annnnnyway, I was worried we wouldn’t see much of Garcia’s slider after its abandonment in the second half last year and that’s exactly what we got, with the pitch used just 7% of the time. Meanwhile, his cutter, the far and away best pitch he throws, returned only 11% CSW and sat 3 ticks slower than last year. Uh oh. Yeah. On the flip side, his heater sat 1.5 ticks harder so everything is weird. Given the worse cutter and vacation-having slider, I would be dropping him for Cobb, Luzardo, Megill, Brash, etc. Search your feelings, you know it’s true. Don’t drop him for peanuts, though, he’s still gonna be good for your team and could easily be better than this outing, an outing that had zero earned runs. I’m just scared he’s going to be a bit rough first given the questionable arsenal.
Chris Archer vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 63 pitches.
Oh, it’s one of those days where even an Archer start comes with intrigue. This was against the Dodgers and his velocity sat…93.2 mph. Sure, it’s higher than the 92 mph from last year, but it is a distance away from his prime years, when he wasn’t even an ace. Don’t get sucked in.
Drew Smyly @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.
Oh sure, let’s get Smyly in on the fun of today despite striking out just one batter today. I mean come on Drew, just one strikeout? HAISTBMBWT?! It was just 91.2 mph velocity so there’s nothing to get excited about here.
José Quintana vs CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.
NICK. IS HE DOING THE THING?! Nah, false alarm. Out of no where, Quintana went…changeup-heavy?! Weird. The pitch was solid at 33% CSW, but it’s just not what he does. Well I guess that’s a thing now and will find it very useful.
Jesús Luzardo @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 76 pitches.
Ha. HA. HAHAHAHAHA. This is so awesome. Luzardo went 50% curveballs for 55% CSW as batters swung 13 times and whiffed 12 times. That’s INSANE. Meanwhile, he sat 97/98 mph and flat-out dominated the Angels. It was gorgeous and I can’t believe let’s add another name to the list of “guys we’re hyped on but we don’t know if it actually will work out and OH MY GOD IT DID.” Enjoy that Golden Goal Luzardo, you absolutely earned it. Stop reading this blurb, go pick him up if you still can.
Madison Bumgarner vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.
This was Bumgarner instead of Zac Gallen after Gallen cut his thumb. Yep. Bumgarner tossed harder, up to 91.1 mph this time around, and was able to survive, despite just 9% CSW on his curveball. I like the velo, I hate the results. If you’re dire for a QS, there’s a chance it works against the Nationals next, but it’s far too dangerous in a 12-teamer for me.
Zack Wheeler vs NYM (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.
It was a rugged first frame with a walk and two HBP (thanks for going easy on the WHIP!) and Wheeler settled down to produce through nearly five innings. His velocity was two ticks down during the affair, falling from an elite 97.2 mph last year to a good-but-not-fantastic 95 mph here. I imagine it’s a product of the slower spring & him not pushing his shoulder too hard, but keep an eye on it next time. I imagine everything is 100% fine before the end of April.
Chad Kuhl @ TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.
Hey, 9/27 slider whiffs! But he’s on the Rockies. And still sits just 94 mph on his sinker. Without a strong third pitch. And walked four batters. ARE YOU DONE YET. And hosts the Phillies in Co–AHHHHHH.
Tyler Mahle vs CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.
AHA! He wasn’t so bad at home! But he only survived four innings. WITH A 2.25 ERA. I’ll take it, Mahle.
Vince Velasquez vs SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.
You probably forgot he was still pitching, let alone a member of the White Sox. I have to hand it to him, I expected this to go a lot worse, but he was able to execute some pitches and give the ChiSox a fighting chance. Props to him, give him a thumbs-up through the bullet-proof window as you stay far far away.
Spenser Watkins vs MIL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 57 pitches.
Oh, hey. Right. You pitch ‘n’ stuff. You know, you remind me of when I check on the milk in my fridge — you get one whiff and you think “yeah, this is fine.”
Yusei Kikuchi @ NYY (L) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 84 pitches.
I mean, yeah. He was extended to 84 pitches, though, which means he could come through against the Athletics over the weekend. So hey, you can grab him for a weekend start if you want. I’m cool with it — I don’t need to do it, but I have no issue if you want to chase it.
Alex Cobb vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches.
Today truly was a day of seeing our hopes and dreams come alive as we finally got confirmation of Cobb’s improved velocity, sitting 94.5 mph across this one. It led to 40% CSW on his sinker — a pitch already excellent at earning called strikes and boasted a 30% CS rate tonight. Pair that with a splitter that carried a 25% SwStr rate and you have some legit gold. GOLD. And he didn’t even utilize his first-pitch curveballs a whole lot. Yeah, you want Cobb alright and you want it yesterday. I know a guy for that, but you gotta find your own.
Bryce Elder vs WSH (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.
Among all the hoopla of Romero and Brash was Elder’s debut and I wasn’t all that impressed. His changeup was solid, but just 90/91 velocity with too many pitches comfortably over the plate make me want to chase something else. He doesn’t have that gratifying sound to him yet. You know, he’s missing that Elder ring.
Shane Bieber @ CIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.
Soooooo remember last time out when I said I was scared about Bieber because he was sitting two ticks down on his velocity while his curveball lost over 400 rpm? Yeah, it was the same thing again today. It could still be him ramping up from the shoulder injury ‘n’ all, but it’s hard not to feel scared about Shane right now.
Tyler Alexander vs BOS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.
I’ve been routinely ignoring T-Lex and it’s about time that I moved on to the next pitcher. Oh. Oh what. Oh I thought you were about to feel sorry for all the times you neglected him and were about to say you were impressed in some fashion and felt bad about it. But I wasn’t. YEAH I GOT THAT FAR.
Eric Lauer @ BAL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.
I don’t care what the haters say, Lauer allowed a grand slam in a very strange inning and I’m still going to be excited. It’s super close to a 1.00 WHIP with a strikeout per inning as Lauer did the thing. No, not Cobb’s splitter, Lauer carried 94 mph through the game, 1.5 ticks above last year’s mark. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with last season’s 15% SwStr rate (1/31 whiffs here. Yikes), but he added 100 rpm and I have to believe this velocity will turn into stable success for Lauer. And hey, his curveball held a 55% CSW across 22 thrown. AND he was allowed to go 89 pitches. There’s some curse going on across the Brewers rotation and I WON’T LET IT SHROUD ME. If this velocity is real, Lauer will figure this out. You can chase someone else in the meantime if you must, but don’t be upset if he dominates the Cardinals next time out (a man can dream).
Rich Hill @ DET (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 70 pitches.
Honestly, Hill is still what he’s always been, sitting 88 mph with monster hooks. Like Dustin Hoffman with a mustache? Not that hook, like a yacker. Uncle Charlie. The ole’ number two. Give him more than 70 pitches in a start and he could go 5+ with ease on a frequent basis. Don’t rule it out in your deeper leagues.
Dakota Hudson vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 70 pitches.
This is pretty dang mediocre from Hudson and the real(?) story of this one is Jordan Hicks following for…26% CSW across 27 pitches. His heater was down to 97.3 mph — still good, but came with 0/16 whiffs. Yeah, this isn’t something I’d go after at all. Maybe in a few weeks…?
Martín Pérez vs COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 68 pitches.
Ohhhh right. Pérez is still a thing. Cool cool cool. Can I go now?
Tommy Romero vs OAK (ND) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 59 pitches.
Ouch. I was hyped for Romero given his gaudy strikeout numbers in the minors, but he had debut jitters, had a tight zone to deal with, and walked the farm + the tractor. I don’t need to walk, I’ve got wheels! Sure, you do tractor. Sure you do. Anyway, feel free to swap out Romero for the other hot thing on your wire, though if the Rays give him another shot, it’s sure to be a whole lot different than this.
Adam Oller @ TB (ND) – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 56 pitches.
It’s not fair. Adam has to perform like this while all the Oller boys have their breakout starts. But I had a 38% CSW on my slider! “We know, Adam. We know,” I say, comforting him as I tuck away the giant note into my backpocket that read “18% CSW on changeups & 12% on s(t)inkers.”
Daniel Lynch @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 81 pitches.
I mean, his slider was nasty at 47% CSW and six whiffs, buuuuut he got CRUSHED by the Cardinals. Womp womp. Maybe one day this Frozen Banana can figure out the fastball proper.
Patrick Corbin @ ATL (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 83 pitches.
Yeaaaaaah. Among all the success stories, there’s Corbin looking like his poor 2021 self again. Sigh. Why are you the way that you are.
Yu Darvish @ SF (ND) – 1.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 57 pitches.
JEEEEEZ. Just because you didn’t a allow a hit in your first outing doesn’t mean you have to allow eight in just five outs in the next one. I know no one is laughing, but it’s kinda funny how we all knew how inconsistent Darvish’s command is and yet we’re still flat-out shocked to see this start following his previous one. Welp, you just have to shrug your shoulders, call it a day, and keep starting Darvish. Truly, there’s not much else you can honestly do. Good luck, we’re all counting on you, and no, you don’t drop him. This was a rare exception and don’t let the sting make you do something you’ll regret with six months left in the season.
Game of the Day
Max Scherzer vs. Aaron Nola – That’s two straight nights of Mets vs. Phillies spotlights and I don’t care. These are the best.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
If all 3 are still available, but you can only get 1, who do you reccommend: Megill, Luzardo, or Brash?
IMO, I would go for Luzardo or Brash. Luzardo having the highest ceiling if he would eventually break out.
Hey Nick, site looks amazing bud
Might I suggest – CYlor Megill?
I just traded away Woodruff and opened up a spot in my rotation that already includes Fried, Webb, Kopech, PabLo, Sandoval and Wood. Its a QS league. Do I replace him with Cobb, Luzardo or Brash and/or would you drop any of my other guys for another one of them?
AL-only 12 teamer, roto 5×5 keeper league, I leaned into PL+ advice and called 1-800-BRASH in Bieber for Brash and Rasmussen deal that just dropped (all solid keeper salaries). Did I pick up the phone too early? Get enough for Bieber?