Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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 am ET.
Vince Velasquez (PIT) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.
The beauty of baseball is watching arms we disregard become the highlight of the night and Vince Velasquez was just that on Thursday with a phenomenal 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches line against the mighty Cardinals bats. Maybe it was a product of the “Coors hangover” or maybe it’s Vince actually doing something of note. Either way, enjoy the Gallows Pole you rascal.
His heater has always been the focal point of Velasquez’s approach and it led the way here with 10/50 whiffs, but I can’t ignore the effectiveness of his slider, featuring a 37% CSW across thirty thrown. Were they all great? Nah, he hung a fair amount. However, there were times it was the BSB in perfect harmony and it was a fun thing to watch.
Sadly, I can’t endorse it as a pick up in your leagues. Shallow answer: it’s Coors next. Deeper answer: the change and curve were whack and we normally don’t see the slider perform like this. Why are you on the ocean floor answer: Velasquez has done this for years where he’ll have this random great game and then burn your village the next time out. You know, the ole Jeremy Hellickson. Treat yourself to something better, you deserve it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Joe Ryan (MIN) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.
That heater sat 92-94 mph throughout this one after sitting 91-93 previously and it led to 10/58 whiffs, while the splitter and slider weren’t the most dominant, but the splitter had a few strikeouts and the slider wasn’t bad. As I’ve said before, I think Ryan gets even better once the secondaries truly develop, while the heater is so dang good. Sign. Me. UP.
Spencer Turnbull (DET) @ TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
Tyler well, if isn’t what looks to be a bit of a breakout start from Turnbull. Is this the time to go from Turnbearish to Turnbullish? His whole schtick is four-seamer inside to left-handers, leaning on its cut-action to jam batters then turning to sinkers against right-handers. The former is better than the latter there – the sinker gets hit far too much for my liking – while the slider is mostly a RHB option with some changeups and curves helping against lefties. I like the slider, I like the four-seamer, but I still don’t think this is something to be trusted. He had to grind to get out of the fifth unscathed, needing nearly 90 pitches for just 15 outs despite featuring much better locations than in the other starts we’ve seen this year. The schedule is better with CLE + @MIL ahead and I’m okay if you want to take a shot against the Guardians, but anticipate mediocrity, not excellence. I don’t think there’s enough to chase ultimately.
Jeffrey Springs (TB) vs BOS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 41 pitches.
Springs left this one early with an arm injury and we all collectively hold our breath to see how long it lasts. Why doesn’t he just come out and tell us already?! The silver lining here is for those who rostered Taj Bradley – he’ll likely return from Triple-A to make his next start and take Springs’ place and he’s a must-pick-up if he’s out there. Gotta be happy about the little things, you know?
Colin Rea (MIL) @ SD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.
Oh yeah, uh huh. I’m sure there’s some ridiculous term I’m forgetting that sums up this start already, but I want to call it the Patron’s Ghost. You know, the story a random guy tells you at the bar and you say “Sure, that totally happened.” I know this happened in Rea life, but this is fantasy (baseball) and Colin isn’t to be trusted. The Brewers are likely more shocked than we are.
Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 107 pitches.
The walks are strange, the velocity is back to normal at 92 mph, and Bassitt is the man we thought he was. But his ERA is 7.63! Yeah, he’s got a lot of work left to erase his 9 ER disaster, but he’s getting there y’all and we don’t care about yesterday. We care about tomorrow.
Jordan Montgomery (STL) vs PIT (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.
The sinker got a ton of called strikes, blame the curve and change only going 7/38 whiffs. YOU HAVE ONE JOB! Hey, it’s a really hard job. BUT IT’S ONE OF THEM. The schedule is still lovely and we’re holding The Bear tightly through the year as our SP #5.
Nick Lodolo (CIN) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.
The whiffs are still here – he hasn’t had a game under 15 whiffs yet this year – and despite getting Singled Out, he survived to get you that Win and keep the ERA down. It’s Lodolo season, y’all. The fastball + curve combo is legit.
Nick Martinez (SD) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.
Ehhhh, it’s awfully close to a VPQS and just two strikeouts along the way, with the damage coming off a pair of longballs. I look at his command and think it’s pretty dang good. I look at his stuff and see a changeup that still gets whiffs and a curve with a 42% CSW, but clearly there’s something still missing here from Martinez and it’s frustrating to watch. I feel like we’re at the point where Martinez isn’t a must hold and with Atlanta next, you should be dropping him for Taj or Lugo or whatever…then come back for @CHC and hosting Cincinnati after.
Corey Kluber (BOS) @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 76 pitches.
The Rays can’t be stopped. This was actually a promising outing for Kluber up to the fifth frame. It’s the best command he’s had all season and if it weren’t the Twins next, I’d consider rolling with him as a streamer. Maybe the Brewers in the start after.
Bailey Falter (PHI) @ CIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.
You can try Falter against weak offenses, but not the Reds in GABP. That ain’t it.
Adam Oller (OAK) @ BAL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 81 pitches.
When we told the Athletics they had other options (like Mason Miller!) they sadly heard Oller options. So we screamed it again, to which their eyes widened and instantly optioned Oller to Triple-A. He has options, right? Ugggggh. Okay, they didn’t actually do that but I kinda wish they did. The people deserve Mason.
Cole Irvin (BAL) vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.
Speaking of getting optioned, the Orioles did that to Irvin after this start if you can believe it. At least it means Grayson has a longer leash…? Yeah, it’s wild to me too. I felt like Irvin had done enough during his time with Oakland to earn a chance to figure it out in the major. Is Spenser Watkins that much better?
Jhony Brito (NYY) vs MIN (L) – 0.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 34 pitches.
Ummmmmmm what?! He allowed more hits in two outs than in his first two starts combined. Sure, Brito is a guy with an arsenal that allows for a classic BABIP’ing, but that wasn’t what this was. The changeup I’ve fallen for did nothing of the sort, failing to fall down and getting hung in the middle of the zone. In fact, everything hung in the middle of the zone and the Twins demolished it. Poor kiddo, it may mean you’ve lost all faith in him (and I get it), though if the Yankees allow him to stick in the rotation for another pass, I won’t rule out a return to form against the Angels next. We’re not taking that chance now, are we?
Game of the Day
Tyler Mahle vs. Nestor Cortes – I’m antsy to watch both of these give us a dominant start and I sure hope it’s an outing filled with overpowering fastballs.
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)
Sometimes I have to read these titles a couple of times to get the pun — this was a good one, Nick. But your extended Dream Theatre reference last year was still the best.
Keep up the good work.