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.
Drew Rasmussen @ OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 83 pitches.
I was stoked to see what Drew Rasmussen would bring against the Athletics on Monday and what we got was 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 83 pitches as he earned a Win for the club. Sweet! Such a helpful outing! …uh huh. Sure. I guess. You don’t seem thrilled. Honestly, no. I’m not.
Last outing came with 17 whiffs between his cutter and slider as they dominated. Here? Just 4 across 53 thrown. It meant the heater needed to do its magic from September 2021 and while it ultimately paid off, allowing just 1/13 BABIP across all his pitches, y’all know that isn’t sustainable. It’s not the approach that debilitated batters last time out, it’s the smoke-and-mirrors performance that reminds me of peak Trevor Williams, which we may as well call a widow’s peak with its inevitable death.
So sure, Rasmussen can be a boring ole Toby for a winning club, helping your ratios over five frames without much excitement, but I’m disappointed. I wanted the pizzazz, the flare of something truly special. Maybe it’ll come back, but it should make you a bit cautious throwing him out there against the Mariners later this week.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Dylan Cease vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.
The story I’ve been reciting about Cease has been simple: slider command is great, I wonder if the four-seamer or curveball will show up on a given start. Well, the opposite was true here — four-seamer and curveball were great, the slider was the iffy commanded pitch (it landed wildly around the zone and still worked). This was phenomenal and you love to see it. He’s in the Top 25 SP now and until we can be convinced he has nailed down command consistently start-to-start, he’ll remain around there as the best Cherry Bomb around. It’s too small of a sample to rethink that notion this early in the year.
Jake Odorizzi vs SEA (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 89 pitches.
Whoa, they let him pitch into the seventh?! Odorizzi did Odorrizi things with his heater up and out of the zone, while his cutter befuddled the Mariners a good amount, falling back down for strikes. The splitter was…shaky at best and I can’t say this outing inspired a ton of confidence, despite being the second straight six-inning affair for Jake. He gets the Tigers next, that’s a questionable start at best as the floor is still quite low and trust me, as a man who greatly appreciates high ceilings, I hate low floors.
Steven Matz vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.
Solid stuff here from Matz, as all his stuff earned outs, while the curveball made batters uncomfortable with 20/24 strikes. You love to see it. Don’t get cocky though, I’d avoid him against the Giants next.
Zack Greinke @ STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.
That’s seven strikeouts for Greinke… Nick, he had just one. …On the season. Ohhhhh. Expect for your bread to go butterless often with Greinke (HAISTBMBWT?!) but if you need a Toby, I guess this is fine.
Chris Paddack @ BAL (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.
It wasn’t the overwhelming outing we were hoping for, but I’ll absolutely take this from Paddack as it marks three straight productive outings for the former Friar. His fastball was well located up in the zone, he went 64% strikes with curveballs, and his changeup went 7/26 whiffs. That works for me and I’d keep it going against Oakland next.
Tyler Wells vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 62 pitches.
Hey Dad! I was thinking about starting Matz tonight. Or, son, Wells. But Daaaaaaaad! Sorry son, you must. For the joke? For the joke. I hope to never actually be that kid as Wells simply doesn’t do enough to get me excited. Even the changeup, which has boasted over a 20% SwStr this year, went 1/13 whiffs here. I just can’t do it Cap’n.
Zac Gallen @ MIA (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.
His four-seamer command is stellar, and his curve is consistently located down-and-armside. One day the changeup and/or slider will click as well and suddenly you’ve got yourself an SP2 on your hands. Can’t wait.
Max Fried @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.
It’s time. Aces gonna ace for Fried, despite sitting 93/94 mph instead of the 95 mph we’ve seen plenty this year. His curveball was legit at 60% CSW, while we saw more of the changeup once again, keeping its 20% SwStr mark. I don’t think Fried can flirt with Top 5 SP given the lack of immense strikeout ceiling, but you’ll be thrilled through the year to have him go six strong frames so frequently.
Jordan Montgomery @ TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 65 pitches.
Whoaaaaaa. A King Cole at 43% CSW?! Against the Jays?! That sinker is absolutely cruising right now and I may be vastly underrating The Bear given his fastballs were the weakest part of his game entering the year. The changeup and curveball were their dominant selves and voila, there’s your CSW leader. Huh. He gets the Rangers next and I guess you gotta keep starting him at this point. Don’t think about it.
Ross Stripling vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 63 pitches.
He was limited to just four frames and didn’t do a whole lot with them. He’ll likely get another shot this week against Cleveland before Hyun Jin Ryu returns and while the changeup did great things, I can’t say I’d like to chase it. Just not enough (b)radish juice for the squeeze.
Chris Bassitt vs ATL (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.
Another day, another solid outing from Bassitt as the slider still sits at around 20% usage. An Austin Riley solo shot and a rough sixth led to his loss, but you have to feel good starting Bassitt every fifth day. I wouldn’t be shocked if he found himself with an AGA label before September.
Marco Gonzales @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 95 pitches.
A VVPQS from Gonzo against the Astros? In standard leagues, this is horrendous, in QS leagues, you’ll take it. That’s a Toby, alright.
Patrick Sandoval @ CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
That’s a VPQS for The Irish Panada and it does irk me a little. Sure, the White Sox are a lefty-mashing squad, but it reinforces the notion that Sandoval isn’t quite finished yet. His slider wasn’t commanded well and the heater was questionable. Meanwhile, despite the eight whiffs, he struggled to get the changeup down often. And yet he survived. He gets the Nationals next and I’m hoping for something closer to his nine strikeout performance last week. Sidenote: I was a bit harsh on Sandoval in today’s update of The List and in retrospect, I’d probably push him a few spots up in the mid-30s or so. My gut just disliked his chaotic outing from today, okay?
Pablo López vs ARI (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.
Welp. We knew the runs would come at some point, but on a night he earned another Gallows Pole?! Seriously?! That’s just cruel. If you didn’t know, we sent López a trophy for his first-ever Gallows Pole after he asked about it during his Talking Pitching podcast. Nowadays, it’s commonplace, but to earn it during an outing with two rough innings just isn’t fair. Whatever, his changeup was filthy and there’s always tomorrow. He’s still dope and makes us feel dope.
Daulton Jefferies vs TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.
There will be a time when Jefferies becomes a legit Toby for your squads. Now is not that time. Maybe during the summer, when DJ is Tanner.
Game of the Day
Mike Clevinger vs. Cleveland Guardians – I’m excited for Clev’s return + it’s a bit poetic he’s facing his old squad in the process.
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 ET Monday through Friday.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
I don’t really understand the hype over Paddack. Fantasy wise, unless you’re in mixed deep league he isn’t worth to roster. Not at all.
AGA being given too more pitchers, I easily agree with Fried being labelled as one. Now that said, he isn’t only not a top 5, he also isn’t even a top 10. His lack of Ks isn’t counterbalanced by his ratios who aren’t any better than the ones of the 10-15 best SPs in MLB this season so far. For me, Fried’s main strength is that he plays for a loaded team so he will grab more W than some SPs who are better pitchers than him lol.
Bassitt. If Fried is an AGA, then Bassitt is even a more legitimate one than Fried since last season no?
I don’t think there’s any hype for Paddack. But I think there should be a little. He showed promise a couple years ago and was derailed by injuries and a trade. And he got me a win!
Applause for Or, Son, Wells!!