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 am ET.
MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches.
I believe the time has come to pick up MacKenzie Gore after he decomposed the Mets offense via 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches on Wednesday night. His four-seamer was brilliant with 12/62 whiffs as he elevated with intent, while the curveball is turning into a phenomenal offering at 50% CSW and a whopping 71% strike rate.
There isn’t much more to this – I believe it more than Josiah Gray as Gore’s foundation of heaters and hooks is more sustainable in my view. He’ll get the Cubs + Diamondbacks next and pitching like this equates to future success. And hey, maybe his slider decides to step up its game too, and he could truly have a legit arsenal for all of us to celebrate. He’s rostered in fewer than 30% of leagues at the moment, meaning many of you have the chance to stream and hopefully hold Gore for his next start. Make it happen.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs COL – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 Pitches. This was a whole lot of fun to watch. Despite Bibee not having the best four-seamer command, you could see the potential in the pitch when he flashed 98+ mph and located it effectively upstairs. The real stars of the show were his secondaries – I’d personally say he had four of them: curveball, changeup, and two types of sliders that I’m calling a cutter and slider. The cutter came in around the mid-80s and was able to fall for a strike, while the gyro slider was low 80s and did wonders as it fell into the zone. They returned a combined 13 called strikes and helped him tally a 50% CSW overall. The curve was a big looping pitch that took batters by surprise, but wasn’t too frequent, while he had some brilliant changeups that left-handers swung over. The whole package works (especially if the fastball is cooking!) because of his ability to throw strikes with sliders/cutters, the only question I have is what the Guardians are going to do with him. Will they send him back down when McKenzie and Civale are back? Does he stay up longer than Allen? I think he’s an auto pick-up for now (I prefer Bibee!) and we hope for the best.
Hunter Brown (HOU) @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.
Against the Rays?! Ohhhhh DANG. The four-seamer was featured just 22% of the time, the slider was the strike pitch, and the curve was the out pitch, and I legit believe in this from Brown. There’s still more polish to be had and I think he got away with a good amount in the zone, but this approach clearly works and I’m here for it. Maybe he belonged at #43 instead of Mason…
Zac Gallen (ARI) vs KC (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 97 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s 28 consecutive scoreless innings now from Gallen as he’s already coming for his ridiculous 2022 mark of 44 1/3 IP. Gallen Gals for life y’all. His change and curve are so dang good right now.
Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.
Here’s one of the bigger surprises of the evening. I’ve been pretty down on Roansy, rooted in his four-seamer’s low velocity (just 93.9 mph tonight!) and the slider acting as the only good pitch in the tank. Well, the slider got the outs while the four-seamer was welcomed for 12 called strikes and that’ll work for Contreras. As long as the fastball gets strikes and isn’t punished, things are cool. That’s a poor bet to make in my view and with @TBR + TOR next, y’all know to not get sucked in.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 98 pitches.
Yessss, there’s the Peralta we know and love. Just ignore the previous two outings and embrace the Gallows Pole. But he gets Coors and the Dodgers next. Don’t care, I’m starting him. His MLB debut was in Coors and it was GLORIOUS. Nick, that’s a dumb argument. YOU’RE A DUMB ARGUMENT.
Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs CWS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.
Let’s relax y’all, the White Sox are strugglin’ like a bumblebee in a jar. That said, his slider command was vicious and he threw some great changeups (but the four-seamer was kinda all over the place). I’m not jumping in like others and still have my fears of his shifty command, but I hope to be convinced in the future.
Tony Gonsolin (LAD) @ PIT (ND) – 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 65 pitches.
I was a dunce and completely forgot to update the streaming rankings after Dave Roberts said Gonsolin would be limited to four innings max. That’s on me, y’all. Anyway, this wasn’t fun. Gonsolin struggled to find strikes and the miraculous 2022 splitter was failing to climb the pedestal. Why don’t they add a stepping stool?! The schedule gets harder moving forward – PHI, SDP x2 – and I wonder if he’s worth holding onto right now. Maybe we try one more start, then San Diego if they’re still struggling offensively?
Ryan Yarbrough (KC) @ ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.
Oh hey, they actually let him start! Congrats Fratty Pirate, I’m happy for you. What about his fantasy relevance? Why are you so negative at a time like this? Let the man have his moments.
Calvin Faucher (TB) vs HOU (L) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 43 pitches.
Sure sure sure, the story here is Josh Fleming returning six shutout frames in relief…despite allowing 10 hard-hit balls and just two strikeouts. Nothing to see here y’all.
Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.
I was worried about this outing and despite the four walks, it’s still just a 1.17 WHIP and this is all…fine. No Win, a 3.00 ERA, and two strikeouts. Kinda like this start didn’t really happen…? This is like a gray hat on a Tuesday – as neutral as it gets.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) @ ATL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
Aces gonna ace and serve up a Philly. Super unlike Alcantara, but I understand being a little cautious given the whole biceps thing. 20 Whiffs is a glorious sight for those worried about his skills and I think if this were any other lineup, Alcantara would have gone at least seven, even with the restriction. Rest easy, y’all.
Tyler Wells (BAL) vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 102 pitches.
That’s a lovely outing from Wells and now he’s set up for the Royals next. He’s pulling off the BSB decently well as a Toby and let’s ride it against middling teams all day.
Kodai Senga (NYM) vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.
That’s a Dusty Donut for Senga, who survived despite just 20% CSW and a horrible 35% strike on the forkball. The cutter stepped up a bit to make it happen and yet, I’m still calling him a Cherry Bomb. This ain’t calming enough for a start against the Nationals. He gets Atlanta next and I’m scared for that one.
Drew Smyly (CHC) vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.
We’ve seen better sinker command from Smyly in previous starts, but the BSB was still there partly because of that wonderful hook going 35% CSW and getting looooow. He’s gotten through the gauntlet of the Dodgers + Padres unscathed and now gets the Nationals and Marlins. Who would have thought the ones rostering Smyly would be the lucky ones?
Anthony DeSclafani (SF) vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.
Ayyy that’s some good stuff Tony Disco. The St. Louis offense has been all out of whack as of late, to be fair, but DeSclafani still needed to step up and take advantage. That slider was good at 39% CSW and 11 whiffs. MmmMMM that’s delicious. Too bad it’s the Astros next.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.
The Irish Pan(a)da got the Athletics and did exactly what he was supposed to do, especially with his changeup and slider each returning at least seven whiffs. I’m glad both were alive, which makes me feel good about starting him against the Cards next time out (read above).
Steven Matz (STL) @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.
This is…something. Ugh. Come on Matz, I know you have it in you. LET IT OUT. You can leave him on the wire until he actually wakes up. He’s not the kind of arm you have to hold onto tightly. I just know he’s better than this.
Michael Wacha (SD) @ CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.
The changeup got down enough and the rest was fine. Wish I had more to say, but I see Wacha as a Toby at best and while I’m not cashing it, he’s a decent play against the Reds in San Diego next week.
Jon Gray (TEX) @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.
You’ll take a PQS from Gray as the fastball velocity is still down (94/95). The slider was good, but I need more than that from Gray to feel good moving forward and I think we’re treading water at the moment. I think I’d rather chase streamers instead.
Tanner Houck (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.
Houck threw tons of high cutters, which I’m not sure I love, and it didn’t work out well for him. You can skip past him on the wire with TOR + @ATL next. He ain’t it.
Germán Márquez (COL) @ CLE (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 58 pitches.
It wasn’t his best outing and he left the game with forearm pain…again. Poor guy, you have to think he’s destined for TJS at this point.
Bryce Elder (ATL) vs MIA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.
I mean of course Elder did well, this was Mia–oh. That’s 4 ER and a poor WHIP. And now he gets @NYM, BAL, @TOR. He’s rostered in 67% of leagues and that number should fall plenty tomorrow. There are better arms to chase.
Michael Kopech (CWS) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.
It was Kopech against Toronto, you obviously sat this one. At least Kopech is at 96/97 mph, though. That’s a solid sign, even if the sliders returned a paltry 13% CSW. Maybe he comes through against the Twins or Cincy next…? That’s a dangerous gamble to take, especially to kick off a week.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.
Blegh. The Mariners pushed him back a day given a bit of concern about his shoulder and I don’t think that was the issue here with his velocity up a tick. Nah, it was the location of said heaters down the heart of the plate, while the curve was actually well spotted and the slider and splitter earned some whiffs (and were hung plenty). I wonder if this curve could form into the breaker he desperately needs, but that’s still a question that needs answering. I’m terrified of his next two starts vs @TOR and HOU. Good luck making that decision.
Michael Lorenzen (DET) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
Am I the only one who sees Michael’s name and thinks it’s a podcast about relaxing to character backstories? You know, Lore & Zen. Yes, you’re the only one. Cool. Cool cool cool. Do yo–NO I WON’T START THAT PODCAST WITH YOU. Pffft, not without that lack of zen.
Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.
Walker left this one with a forearm injury as he sat just 92.5 mph on the heater. They said it was just precautionary buuuuuut I feel like this explains a lot of the variance we’ve seen this year. In 12-teamers, Walker should have already been dropped so for those still holding on, free yourself and go grab a Bibee or a Smyly.
Domingo Germán (NYY) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 84 pitches.
Womp womp. You see the 17 whiffs and King Cole 39% CSW and you can probably guess those 6 ER came from a trio of longballs. Somedays, that’s just what happens, but at least you got a decent WHIP, 8 Ks, and a Win. Make sure to blow on that Dusty Donut first.
Luis Medina (OAK) @ LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.
I kinda love and hate Medina. The fastball was 95-100 mph, but a bit more lateral movement than I’d want on a heater, which meant it went just 3/54 whiffs. Not ideal. Meanwhile, the curveball is a big hook, but he doesn’t know where it’s going…which I could say for the changeup and heater as well. There’s some good raw ability here that needs ironing out and given the Athletics aren’t trusting a whole lot of their starters at the moment, I hope they give Medina an extended look in the rotation to sort things out. He’s a good ole Frozen Banana for now.
Kenta Maeda (MIN) vs NYY (L) – 3.0 IP, 10 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.
You can wait for the IL designation if you like, or you can just drop him for now. I feel so bad for Maeda – he was never able to get a footing on the season as every start came with some injury concern after it. Hopefully when his back is okay he can get into his every-fifth-day rhythm and be the man he’s supposed to be.
Game of the Day
Gerrit Cole v. Andrew Heaney – We focused on McShane vs. Cease last time, so let’s go with our SP #1 and a strikeout fiend in Heaney.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Awesome job, Nick. Good analysis; very helpful. I really enjoy these articles. Thanks for putting the time in.
Make up your mind. One day you say Matz is a Start because you’re “not afraid of the Giants” and then you say to leave him on the Wire. You can’t have it both ways, buddy.