Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday 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 10 am-12 pm ET.
Drey Jameson (ARI) vs MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 54 pitches.
The Diamondbacks have ushered Drey Jameson into their rotation and while it wasn’t a whole lot- 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 54 pitches – Jameson is becoming a hot topic. Is he the guy to add right now?
Jameson is a decent play, but not someone I’m camping outside Walmart for. Save for the obvious “He’s only stretched out to 54 pitches” part, Jameson is essentially a two-pitch pitcher, hoping to steal called strikes with his 95 mph sinker and whiffs with his slider. There are some bigger four-seamers in the mix at 97/98 mph, but those don’t induce flails in the wind as much as the heat would suggest.
It adds up to a guy who I doubt will carry enough in his tank to be a dominant starter week-to-week. Can he help your 12-teamers when he’s stretched out to 80-90 pitches? Absolutely, we even saw it last season. Would I hold off on adding Drey when he faces the Cardinals + Padres + Dodgers next? Honestly, yeah. There’s a chance he comes through despite the gauntlet, but the ceiling isn’t as high as you think it is.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
José Urquidy (HOU) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.
You love to see it. Sure, you want more strikeouts, but ultimately you wanted a Win and good ratios against a poor team, and hey, 15 whiffs generally equates to more Ks. He’s back, y’all, I just wish it weren’t the Jays + @TBR + PHI next.
Sonny Gray (MIN) vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 78 pitches.
Apparently Sonny was sick and vomiting, preventing him from going more than 78 pitches…and he still killed it today. What. A. CHAMP. Can’t really believe anything from this start given the circumstances.
Brad Keller (KC) @ TEX (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.
I’m gonna be straight with y’all. I kinda wanted to lead with Brad instead because DUDE. THIS IS SO GOOD. That’s two great starts from Keller out of the gate and after being a sinker/slider guy in the past, Keller suddenly spouted four-seamers and curveballs for over 60% usage, including 26 hooks for 46% CSW. YEAH, I KNOW. He located the pitch masterfully, with four-seamers darting around the zone, saving the slider and sinker as back-up pitches when he needed strikes. It works and I can’t believe it. All of that hype aside, it was just 11/105 whiffs and we can’t buy into this too much – and I owe y’all an apology for not realizing his curveball performed well in his last start, too. There may be something to this. It’s a bold move, Cotton, but it might just work.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ CHC (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.
You may see the slider returning a 46% CSW and think “Oh snap, he has the secondary pitch we’ve always wanted!” And yet, this is where those sliders landed. That doesn’t look good. No, no it does not. I’m thrilled it worked out for Gilbert here – it shows the importance of getting results on his slider or curveball! – but this isn’t a new skill I can bank on quite yet. Sorry for the negativity after a good day from Gilbert, I’m sure he’ll do well against the Brewers next time out regardless of all this.
Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Three walks is silly, but that’s still a 1.00 WHIP so whatever. We cool. His fastballs are just so dang good.
Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 108 pitches.
THERE WE GO GIOLITO. This is including ridiculousness in the outfield as well and to see Giolito sitting 93+ mph with a solid changeup is all kinds of encouraging. The slider could be far better as he tugged them glove-side a bit too much (36% strikes is an atrocity), but this was an encouraging outing. It gets tougher for Lucas now and we can only hope he survives the PHI, @TOR, and TBR gauntlet ahead.
Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
Look at that, Erod is back to flirting with 93 mph! And he had solid pitch separation, even if the changeup returned just 45% strikes! His schedule eases up a little with the Guardians + BAL x2 and I’d consider him as a deep stream for QS leagues, but not carrying enough of a ceiling for 12-team formats.
Jack Flaherty (STL) @ COL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.
Ayyyyy, he did it! I had zero expectations for Flaherty in Coors, but after he upped his velocity a tick last time out, I’m thrilled to report it’s more of the same 93/94 mph heat and, I can’t believe this is happening – Flaherty’s slider whiffs have returned. We’re talking 10/38 whiffs as he featured the breaker 45% of the time. Look, a Jack Flaherty at 93/94 with near 50% sliders that miss bats is a starter I can get behind. It may be time to buy in with the Diamondbacks up next.
Peyton Battenfield (CLE) vs NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 66 pitches.
Yes, I promise you that’s a real name and I love it too. Peyton predominantly throws 87/88 mph cutters (12 whiffs!) with four-seamers at 91/92 and curveballs to steal strikes. It’s hard not to love the 41% CSW cutter, but the four-seamer is rough (0/21 CSW) and the curve isn’t much of a difference maker. It’s all Toby-esque and I don’t think it would be the worst start ever against the Tigers next week, though it would likely come to around 75 pitches or so.
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
Aces gonna ace for TATIAGA. It wasn’t the greatest start we’ve seen from him against the Giants, but I still hate seeing him on the bump in San Francisco.
Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.
Another strong outing from Stroman as he cruises through six frames. His slider and cutter are looking awfully good these days, and now he’ll get the Athletics, Dodgers (blegh), and Marlins up next. Sounds good to me.
Rich Hill (PIT) vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 95 pitches.
Rumor has it Rich owns the Astros so much that they are putting the bump back in center field and calling Rich’s Hill. Seriously though, he had one beautiful BABIP night as he survived despite failing to record a single strikeout against the mighty Astros (HAISTBMBWT?!) and it’s all kinds of strange. That’s baseball, Suzyn.
Griffin Canning (LAA) vs WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 69 pitches.
Whoa, Canning is back! With 15 whiffs and 36% CSW! This new man elected to go just 25% fastballs and I’m ALL here for it, leaning mostly on sliders and changeups. The slide piece is filthy (40% CSW, 6/25 whiffs) and he made the most out of his near 70 pitches. Is this enough to trust a start against the Yankees next Wednesday? Probably not, sadly, but I’m at least watching him intently. Hopefully he performs well enough to ensure a indefinite rotation spot.
Edward Cabrera (MIA) @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.
So the fastball just barely missed being a 60% strike pitch, while the changeup returned 15% CSW, and the WHIP is too dang high. We’re still out, y’all. But it’s the Giants next! Ehhhhhh, nah. I’m still out.
Tylor Megill (NYM) vs SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 81 pitches.
Ehhhhhh, I really want that start where I can get properly hyped about Megill again, but this isn’t it. The changeup is fine, but his slider is all over the place and the four-seamer needs that extra kick to really carry his approach. I’m not chasing this one quite yet.
MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ LAA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.
I was hoping this would be the start that vaulted MacKenzie back into the “oh dang, Gore is fiiiine” conversation, but instead, it’s sparking the “ah right, he’s inconsistent” talk and it’s a bit frustrating. The curveball wasn’t what we wanted to see and the four-seamer was a bit
Van wilder than in previous starts. The slider is still effective, though (41% CSW), and I love how Gore is getting his innings, allowing him to get the time he needs to develop across the season. The dominant stretch feels destined at this point, it’s more of a question of when.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs LAD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.
Oh no, it’s happening again. Cobb’s slider wasn’t much of a factor as the splitter was terrible. We’re talking 0/25 whiffs on the pitch his whole approach is designed to set up. But that’s the thing about splitters – they do whatever the h*ck they want on a given night. He gets the Marlins next time out and you gotta believe he’s worth that start. MAKE THE ADJUSTMENT.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs DET (ND) – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 103 pitches.
Aces gonna ace and be back to 95 mph after terrifying us last week. And look at that WHIP, sitting FIRMLY under 1.00. It’s about dang time.
Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ BAL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches.
His changeup is all kinds of whack and he allowed three walks, but hey, that’s a PQS and it’s a step forward for Waldichuk. Now we just have to hope there are more stairs on this journey.
Hunter Greene (CIN) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 101 pitches.
The ERA will come down as the stuff is clearly outlining better days ahead. Not much else to tell you, Greene should continue to be started as things normalize in the future – his four-seamer and slider are too dang good to live above a 4.00 ERA.
José Ureña (COL) vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.
Remember kids, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble. Yes, even when he gives you six strikeouts.
Spencer Strider (ATL) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 98 pitches.
Aces gonna mostly ace. It’s a Golden Goal but a rough first frame knocked the whole start down a peg. The slider wasn’t as good as we’ve seen, even with its high CSW clip, and yet, you know, 23 whiffs.
Blake Snell (SD) @ NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 100 pitches.
Sigh. The problem is the same – he can’t earn strikes with his slider and curve. The slider went just 50% strikes and the curve said hold my beer as it went just 3/10 strikes. Yeeeeeesh. At least it was just three earned runs? This is a TIARA situation as the moment it clicks with the breaking balls, it’s gonna feel like some Gacha game’s treasure chest with the coins flying everywhere. Make sure to check in weekly for more rewards! Feel free to sit him against Atlanta to wait it out, and let’s hope it’s cleared up by the time he gets the Cubs and hosts the Reds. So much wonderful potential there.
Taj Bradley (TB) vs BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 78 pitches.
So I’m in and I’m not but I’m legit in. I love the four-seamer’s intent to go upstairs, but I hate how poorly he missed many out of the zone to ultimately return a 55% strike rate (hopefully that’s just jitters?). I love that he has a clear opportunity to be the #5 for the Rays even when Eflin returns, but does that mean he’s just a five-and-dive starter? I really dig the 64% CSW on the curve and 43% on the cutter, but just 3/34 whiffs between them isn’t ideal. What are you trying to say, is he worth the pickup? Oh, absolutely. Pick up Taj and see where it goes as SPs in their debut are rarely the pitcher we see throughout the season. Clearly there’s legit talent in that heater and seeing a pair of secondaries that can steal strikes is wonderful to see. Go get him (instead of Drey!) and let’s see how this goes.
Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.
We really need to move on from Schmidt. I was really hoping the heavy lean on the sweeper was the answer, but it’s clear he has a lot left to work on. It’s like with every poorly executed pitch he throws, you can hear the obnoxious squeal of disappointment. You know, Schmidt’s Creak.
Janson Junk (MIL) @ ARI (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.
After all the discussions of possible Brewers starters during the off-season, we’ve somehow reached Janson lack-o-Junk (ZERO WHIFFS?!) without two full weeks in the books. Injuries are the worst, y’all.
Dean Kremer (BAL) vs OAK (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.
Womp womp. I thought this was a relatively safe one despite my Questionable Start designation, and instead Kremer gave us just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!) as the secondaries let him down. Sigh. He gets the Nationals next and just because he didn’t come through here doesn’t mean he’s destined to fail there, too.
Chris Sale (BOS) @ TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.
Bleggggggh. I’ve been preaching that Sale is destined to figure this out and it’s starting to feel like huh, maybe he won’t? Nah, the Rays are really good, he elevated four-seamers super well, the changeup was solid, and the slider found the zone effectively a bunch (maybe a few times too effectively), and it should work to produce a pitcher who should be rostered in all 12-teamers. I think you have to hold.
Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.
Every day it seems there’s one pitcher we trust who ruins our entire day. Eovaldi has the short stick today…despite 95/96 mph heaters, 18 whiffs, and a 37% CSW. Yeah, that’s a Singled Out start against the Royals, especially on a night where his splitter was as good as I’ve seen in ages. This will correct itself.
Game of the Day
Joe Ryan vs. Jhony Brito – I want to watch the ascension of Ryan, while Brito could make another case to stick in the rotation longer than Germán & Schmidt. That sounds like a Law Firm. Great, now I’m distracted, envisioning fake billboards for non-existent law firms. THANKS.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photos by Emily Rudolph/Unsplash and Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)
Hey Nick- daily reader for years, appreciate everything you do. 12 team QS leagues- Grayson or Taj Bradley over the next 6 weeks? Toss up?
Hi Nick, read these everyday. It would be great if you could do a small rank the pickup, 1,2,3 .or rank the less owned pitchers by how much they impressed
Hey Nick, would you drop GRod for Taj?
Re: Eovaldi, his defense really hurt him as well even though none of the misplays were counted as errors
In what order would you rank a healthy Fried between Logan Gilbert and him?