Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Monday 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.
Miles Mikolas vs NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.
After a poor outing to kick off the season, Miles Mikolas has settled in for the Cardinals, leading to a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches performance where he matched Max Scherzer. And it’s nothing new: His sinker and four-seamer pounded the zone, sliders fell off the edge, curveballs fell for strikes, and he leaned heavily on the St. Louis defense to carry him through seven frames.
There really isn’t much else to say. He’s doing exactly what he should be doing: throwing a ton of strikes and forcing batters to make contact and find grass. I don’t see Mikolas as much more than a Toby given the low strikeout rate, but with the Diamondbacks ahead and a comfortable leash at 95 pitches tonight, you keep starting Mikolas and we’ll chat when something disrupts his rhythm.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Walker Buehler @ ARI (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 108 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Buehler earned the first CGSHO of the season (let alone a complete game!) as his fastball sat 95/96 through the final frame. Curves were great, changeups stellar, and the cutter went 21/25 strikes. The Sneks are an easy team to pitch against, and he’s not completely back, but this was the best we’ve seen him and you have to feel good about it.
Max Scherzer @ STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. His heater earned 10/45 whiffs and both the slider & curveball went 36% CSW. And somehow he didn’t earn a single award. Stupid Burnes.
Corbin Burnes vs SF (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 106 pitches.
Oh hey Burnes, didn’t see ya there. Yeah yeah yeah, aces gonna ace — you’re the #1 SP after all — and, oh, right. Congrats on the Golden Goal and whatnot. Why are you so annoyed by this. Because it’s what is supposed to happen. I can’t get excited when we’re surprised at success, you know? Anyway, 26 whiffs sets the season-high for whiffs in a game. So congrats, another accolade.
Michael Lorenzen vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.
Ayyyy atta boy Lorenzen. He was the streaming pick of the day and while the 3 Ks sure ain’t pretty, Lorenzen’s kitchen-sink approach got him through the start unscathed. It doesn’t make me super thrilled to see the White Sox ahead, but that’s considerable with Eloy Jiménez out indefinitely. He’s not a must-add in my book like some of the other intriguing arms of April and if you picked him up for the stream, I’d be okay letting him go if something else appears.
Framber Valdez @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.
Phew. The curveball was atrocious by normal standards and Framber was able to toss enough strikes with his sinker while the Rangers weren’t able to punish him properly. He better find that breaker quickly — he heads to Toronto next and that could get dicey.
Sam Long @ MIL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 18 pitches.
It’s 2022 and we have a bullpen game at least once a week. Yay — said no one.
Kyle Freeland @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.
We’ve been seeing plenty of pitchers depress their fastball usage to sub 40% levels and Freeland is the latest to find success with the trend. 53 breakers returned 38% CSW in this one, making even a date with the Phillies a strong night. It makes you tempted to start him in Coors against the struggling Reds, doesn’t it? I’m not sure I have the brass for that, but it could work.
José Berríos vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.
I know some of y’all had your hesitations, but don’t forget — Berríos is The Great Undulator. Opponent. Doesn’t. Matter. Just start the man.
Nathan Eovaldi @ TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.
See? Everything’s fine, even if you started both Berríos and Eovaldi. Sometimes you just gotta do what’s right and it’ll all work out. No reason to pull back with Eovaldi right now.
Kyle Gibson vs COL (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.
I’ve been hearing a whole lot today about how Rockie Road isn’t a thing anymore. The Rockies have changed! So how do you explain Gibson putting up a Philly with 17 whiffs? Gibson is just that good! Uhhhh huh. For what it’s worth, that slider was filthy at 10/30 whiffs and 47% CSW, but are you trusting it against the Mets next? It’s a questionable start for me.
Dane Dunning vs HOU (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
It’s a day where no starter allowed more than 3 ER, and Dunning may be the biggest surprise against the Astros. It’s great to see the slider working — 7/33 whiffs are solid — though I can’t call myself thrilled to see an 88 mph heater. I literally gave a stank face when I saw that Back to the Future mark. I wouldn’t put stock in this.
Shane Bieber @ LAA (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.
He’s climbed back to 91 mph (still three ticks below the 94 mph we’re chasing), though he’s gained a ton of spin on his curveball, jumping another 213 rpm today. Sadly, the results didn’t follow (25% CSW) and while his slider was good, it wasn’t “Bieber good”. These are positive signs, though, and hopefully the curve’s command will follow the return to high spin.
Merrill Kelly vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.
We saw a tick of velocity back to the 92/93 mph range, but the new changeup wasn’t as good as we’ve seen, leading to a VPQS against the Dodgers. Honestly, I’d be thrilled with that if I let Kelly fly — we didn’t think this would be a stellar game given the velo dip and, you know, the Dodgers. He gets the Cardinals next and I think that’s totally fine.
Game of the Day
Sandy Alcantara vs. Josiah Gray – It’s Sandy + I’m curious whether Josiah can take steps forward toward a place where we can actually trust him.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Googled undulator, now I’m even more confused.