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 10 am-12 am ET.
Nick Lodolo (CIN) vs TEX (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.
Oh no, is Nick Lodolo turning into a Cherry Bomb? He’s certainly trending that way after going 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches against the Rangers. This comes after an 8 ER explosion and you’re feeling anxious, aren’t you? Don’t worry, it’ll get better.
Sure, Lodolo wasn’t pristine here. He had some curves and fastballs catch too much of the plate and he didn’t miss as many bats as he normally does. But he also faced the Rays last time and the Rangers here, the Top 2 offenses in the league by wRC+. You really don’t need me here – his .478 BABIP (14 hits per nine?!) nor 2.10 HR/9 are going to stick around, even if you want to say pitching in Cincy hurts him – it’s not this bad.
I’m buying low if someone wants to believe his season numbers outline a bust – he’s been excellent for three starts and poor for two…against the two best offenses. Not to mention this is just his second MLB season and traditionally guys like Lodolo improve over time. This was just a Nick, don’t serve Lodolo a low blow.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Alex Cobb (SF) vs STL (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 109 pitches.
We just talked about BABIP destroying Lodolo and here’s the other end of it from Cobb. It’s absolutely shocking to see him return only four whiffs – FOUR – and a 21% CSW and return a CGSHO. Sure, I get it, you have to get balls in play (thus a lower CSW innately) to go nine full frames these days, but Cobb has been the man stricken by misfortune in the field since the start of 2022. And on the day he doesn’t even feature his new slider, he gets rewarded like this. That’s baseball, Suzyn. You don’t say. It makes it seem like he’s fine for his next start against San Diego given the line, but the skills speak a different story. I’m still uneasy about it.
Spencer Strider (ATL) vs MIA (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 31 Whiffs, 47% CSW, 101 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. It’s Miami so I can’t lean too heavily into it, but hot dang does it feel like I need to raise Strider up higher. That Golden Goal is hot off deGrom and McShane having their ridiculous moments and I wonder who will be next to get in on the fun.
Sonny Gray (MIN) vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 107 pitches.
What a ridiculous season this has been for Gray and I love it. The cutter was whipped out nearly 20% more often than usual at 34% usage, returning a solid 30% CSW, and with the curve dominating at 71% strikes and a 48% CSW, the cutter did work deeper in counts. With Gray killing it with his curveball, it sets up everything else and I adore that he’s not giving in with heaters (just 28% usage total here). Sign. Me. UP. I hope he can hold onto this groove.
Jordan Montgomery (STL) @ SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 107 pitches.
You love to see it from The Bear, but sadly his W/L woes of old returned as he went opposite Cobb’s CGSHO. I don’t even think he had his premier stuff here, but no matter, we keep starting him, even against the Dodgers. It’s a coin flip and I’d go for it.
Austin Gomber (COL) @ CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.
Solid Birthday Party for Gomber as the Guardians let him get all the strikes he wanted with his four-seamer inside the zone. How very kind of them. That’s it? Pretty much, yeah. The curve and slider weren’t that special.
Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs CWS (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.
He left this one with back tightness, but apparently he’s all good to go. phew. We’re seeing traditional Bassitt after his opening day nightmare and it’s nice for things to go just as they should for a change.
Matthew Boyd (DET) @ MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 87 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! After sitting under 90 mph last time out, Boyd recovered in a huge way with 92.4 mph heaters (yay!) that returned a whopping 11/40 whiffs and a 40% CSW. The change and curve got results, though the slider still has a bit of work to do to become the monster of old – just 2/21 whiffs here. I’m encouraged and want to see more as he gets the Orioles next. I’m hoping this is a trend, not a peak, and I won’t be truly amped until the four-seamer performs like this and the slider is a debilitator.
Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.
So he allowed a few pitches down the pipe for hits and it returned him a PQS. Seven strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP is all good and that 36% CSW should make things all good for the Yankees next.
Taj Bradley (TB) vs HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.
The cutter did more damage than the four-seamer in this one, surprisingly, and I’m still very much on the Bradley train…but he was demoted Tuesday afternoon as the Rays have wanted him to pitch every six days (not five) this season, but are now trying to get him on a five-game schedule. SERENITY NOW! I’m not sure when that means Taj returns, but you really have to hold onto him if you’ve got him. The kid is legit.
Tommy Henry (ARI) vs KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 73 pitches.
Jameson was optioned, Bumgarner DFA’d and Henry does this. So? So? It means Brandon Pfaadt has to be up for this spot next time out. The Diamondbacks are currently first in the NL West. Now is the time to stash if you still can. But that game would be in Coors. Oh. COME ON. Well you still stash anyway and wait another week to actually start him against the Nationals. After all, we don’t start in MLB Debuts, right? Get it out of the way in Colorado.
Jhony Brito (NYY) @ MIN (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 80 pitches.
His command was better than in the 0.2 IP blow-up, but it needs to be better than this if he’s going to survive in this rotation when Severino or Rodón return. Sit this out with Texas next.
Dean Kremer (BAL) vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.
Womp womp. The pitch separation wasn’t there like I wanted, and his secondaries returned just one whiff without a whole lot of four-seamer domination. Still an okay stream against the Tigers next time out, though. It’s the Tigers, y’all.
Lance Lynn (CWS) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.
Uggggh. I don’t have great analysis to give you about Lynn, outside of it’s the Jays and I think Lynn is better than the start of 2023 will tell you. He’s still getting fastball and cutter whiffs and locating well. It’ll come through, just give it time.
Colin Rea (MIL) vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 79 pitches.
We knew that first start wasn’t Rea life, just fantasy. You’ve made this joke so many times. For Rea? I’m sorry, thanks for Colin me out on it. DUDE THIS ISN’T BETTER. Like the Brewers choosing Rea over anyone else?! I’m with you.
Edward Cabrera (MIA) @ ATL (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.
This was Atlanta so it was easy for us to skip it, but let’s look at his fastball strike rate…yep. Just 57% still. He’ll get there at some point and until then, he needs better than a 24% CSW on his changeup. The Cubs are up next for two and I’d say he’ll go 1/2 there. Good luck picking which one.
Brad Keller (KC) @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.
That new curveball? Just 17% usage now as it went just 6/16 for strikes. We’re back to Bad Keller and I don’t like it. I DON’T LIKE IT. Thing is, if he gets that curveball feel back – and we don’t know when he’ll have it on any given day – then he could produce. The Twins + Athletics up next does give him the opportunity if he finds that hook again. Just saying.
Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ LAA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 81 pitches.
With all the trouble in Oakland, at least Waldichuk gets the leash to figure things out at the big league level (hopefully). At least the walks are down? Steps, not leaps.
Chris Sale (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 83 pitches.
No, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Sale returned a HAISTBMBWT?! to the point of pure sadness despite featuring decent command and a 94.7 mph heater, one game removed from 11 strikeouts. Maybe he was even tipping his pitches to return just 2 whiffs and 14% CSW, which I very rarely suggest. That’s just laughable at that point that there’s something clearly amiss. In addition to that, y’all know how unfortunate he’s been this season and I’m still gonna buy low here – It’s April 25th, we’ve seen many SP click in mid-to-late May before – as I believe Sale gets better with more starts, especially when the luck goes his way.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs COL (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 80 pitches.
Bleeegh. Why did I ever trust you Quantrill? I guess I deserve it for being on the outside and not believing it, but the moment I try to join you, y’all run away. Fine, be the minnows in the pond, I JUST WANTED TO HANG OUT. Don’t chase the man formerly known as So-So Cal.
José Urquidy (HOU) @ TB (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.
Welp, that was the Rays, after all. He should be better against the Phils and Mariners, but even those aren’t fun times at the park. He’s down to just 30% fastballs, though, and I see Urquidy as a decent 12-teamer play throughout the year but not someone I feel the need to hold onto strongly. I’m fine letting him go for someone exciting instead.
José Suarez (LAA) vs OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.
Yiiiiikes. And this was with a 47% CSW changeup! I won’t rule out a recovery against the Brewers next, but it’s not a fun risk to take.
Game of the Day
Blake Snell vs. Justin Steele – I really want Snell to find his breakers + Steele is better than I’ve been giving him credit with his fastball locations. This could be fun.
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)
Rays said they sent Taj down to get him on a five-day schedule in place of his current six-day (not vice versa).
Hey Nick, it is the other way around on Taj Bradley. He’s been pitching every 6 days, they want to transition him to a regular starter 5 day schedule. Hope you’re feeling better!
Hey Nick, I am wondering about Lynn. He is absolutely killing me and was wondering if I should drop or hold on for another start or 2? I am in a points league and he is not producing points HA! Thank you for any info.
Same goes for freakin Snell too!
Eovaldi would have given up only 1 run if his defense was just decent: Bubba Thompson misjudged a fly ball followed by a Jung error in the first and then Leody Taveras misjudged a fly ball in the third.