Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday 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.
Kris Bubic (KC) @ SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 76 pitches.
I’ve had my eye on Kris Bubic for a few years now and despite all the small flashes of promise, I’ve been left disappointed in the end. However, after a phenomenal premier outing of the season, Bubic backed it up with a tremendous 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 76 pitches performance against the Giants, earning a Golden Goal and it’s time to ask – is this Bubic breakout season?
Honestly, it might be. The fastball velocity is still flirting with 93 mph as it returned a 37% CSW and seven whiffs (mostly elevated!), while he earned a ton of strikes with changeup (19/23 = 83%!) and the curve, despite not finding the bottom of the zone often, did its part as well with a whopping 56% CSW.
This is all…unreal. I think there’s still another skill to be added landing the secondaries in the lower part of the zone with consistency, but if Bubic has this velocity with an improved changeup (two inches of drop and four inches of fade!) and curveball, he’s a legit arm in a fantastic pitcher’s ballpark. On the other hand, it’s only two starts, his locations weren’t optimal, and the Braves are next on the docket. Is he worth an add? Yeah, I think so as a spec add – if Bubic keeps performing against Atlanta everyone will be grabbing him. Go for it and hope for the best.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Hunter Brown (HOU) @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.
Well that’s a whole better. The biggest change? The man went 70% sliders + curveballs as his fastball was either placed down or elevated. Yeaaaaah I want that all day from Hunter and I truly hope it’s a legit shift in approach we see moving forward. He’s not Verlander – he doesn’t have the overpowering four-seamer – but he can do a weird impression of Lance McCullers Jr. allll day.
Drew Rasmussen (TB) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches.
The Rays are gonna face an offense that isn’t at the bottom of the league at some point, right? That’s not the only reason Rasmussen crushed it here, of course. That would be his altered cutter getting 10/33 whiffs with a 45% CSW, of course. He’s done such a good job of keeping that pitch down, allowing the four-seamer to steal strikes as it stays in the zone. I’m all for it.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs CWS (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.
Every time Oviedo is the Cherry and not the Bomb (read: not Da Bomb), I can’t help but crack a smile. Eighteen whiffs! A better curveball! A fastball that actually did something and wasn’t located down the heart of the plate! So, it’s time to grab him? Well, no. He’s a Cherry Bomb and on the Pirates. Throw in the Cardinals + Coors next, it’s an easy pass. But if he escapes that gauntlet unscathed, oh my. Oh my…Not gonna happen, though. The overall command is still lacking even in good results like these.
Seth Lugo (SD) @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 109 pitches.
His velocity isn’t the same as last year, but he’s in the rotation now and I’m not concerned about it. I was a little sad to see his slider go just 1/10 CSW and 40% strikes, though. At least his curve was lovely and the fastballs were well-spotted around the zone. I imagine the walks will go away once the slider gets its act together – if it was better, he’d have thrown more than 10 across 109 pitches – and y’all better not drop Lugo right now. I’m liking this.
Anthony DeSclafani (SF) vs KC (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.
Yessss. Tony Disco came through for the second time, here stretched out to 88 pitches and pounding the zone with sliders and sinkers, mixed with low changeups and a few hooks. And guess what? He gets the Tigers next. DON’T GET OFF THE DANCE FLOOR Y’ALL.
George Kirby (SEA) @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.
Muuuuuch better. The four-seamer is still great (even without the CSW, he got a ton of effective strikes with it) and the breakers worked inside the zone better than last time. Still no whiff-friendly secondary pitch. Just go to a networking event or something and meet some whiffs. Please, your pitcher needs you.
Michael Kopech (CWS) @ PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.
Oh, Kopech actually decided to show up today. His fastball velocity jumped to 96 mph, his slider was consistently around the zone, and it worked. And I don’t buy it. Sorry bucko, we’ve seen this game from you last year and with the Orioles + Rays next, it seems like a trap. But what if this is him actually getting comfortable post-knee surgery? That’s…totally possible. UGH. Why must you do this to us Kopech?
Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.
In typical Peralta fashion, he allowed a few hits with a lot of strikeouts and a few more walks than you’d like. The bottom line is what you want and the Brewers just allowed him to toss over 100 pitches. This is going so dang well and I still regret not ranking Peralta higher. Sigh.
Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 65 pitches.
And thus likely ends Crawford’s time in the rotation with Garrett Whitlock’s likely return this week. It’s weird to say that after the best effort we’ve seen from him for a while, but the underlying stuff isn’t all too impressive. You could say he’s been…removed, I dunno, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious wordplay here.
Zach Plesac (CLE) vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
Whoaaaa that’s a whole different Plesac from what we saw last week…maybe ever. Plesac decided “screw it, I’m just gonna throw a ton of sliders” and it worked far better than he could have ever hoped. We’re talking 53% sliders out of nowhere, pulling his heater down to 35% usage and shocking the Seattle squad. And now he gets Miami + Washington…oh no. Am I really endorsing a pick of Plesac? REALLY?! It was just one outing…
Jon Gray (TEX) @ CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
That’s a Dusty Donut with a terrible WHIP but you’re okay with the rest. I’m still kinda tepid on Gray with his slider returning just 3/28 whiffs and his fastball not looking like an elite pitch. Be careful starting him against the Astros.
Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ BAL (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
Not amazing, but we’ll certainly take it. The fastball was down a tick but at least he’s at 90+ pitches now and we can imagine him all ready to go moving forward. Still a little work to be done on four-seamer location, he’ll get there.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.
Huh, seven strikeouts? With that lower velocity? His slider had a 44% CSW and eight whiffs, Nick. I know, I know. The slider can take over some days, which makes Garrett a streamer against the right teams but not worth rostering at the moment.
Matthew Boyd (DET) vs BOS (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.
The four walks are what grind my gears, especially after he struck out the side in the first. The fastball sat at just 91 mph, the slider returned just two whiffs in total, and I’m not feeling too good about this right now. Here’s to hoping he gets it back together against the Giants…
Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs CIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 105 pitches.
Yikes. The heater is back down to 92.6 mph, and I’m not sure we saw that a whole lot in 2022. I’m scared and don’t want to roster Taijuan if I can avoid it.
Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 96 pitches.
That’s a PQS against a good Dodgers lineup as the heater is doing all the work – nearly 70% usage with the rest of his secondaries just 12/30 strikes. That’s horrible. Yes, yes it is. Imagine if he actually had his breakers working. I’m all for picking up Nelson for his next start against the Marlins, but he needs to figure out his arsenal for the Padres after.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.
Hey, strikeouts! But just five whiffs. Huh. Yeah that’s kinda weird. Plenty more strikes with the breakers in this one, though, and I dig this approach more than what we saw last week. There’s one more rough start ahead with the Dodgers, but I have a feeling we’ll begin to adore Taillon against the Athletics and Marlins. Up to you if you want to hold for another week – it’s not a sure thing he struggles against the Dodgers, you know.
Ryan Feltner (COL) vs WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.
Oh right. Feltner. Cool. That’s it? …yes? Is that bad? No, no. I get it. Cool.
Jake Woodford (STL) @ MIL (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.
Ah yes, the Amish Mustang. The only man holding us back from Matthew Liberatore. How could you do this to us, Jake! Hey, go easy on him. This is the kind of start that gets us closer to Liberatore! …huh. Okay.
Tyler Mahle (MIN) vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.
Oh, the fastball is down a tick from last week you say? Dope. Dope dope dope. No doubt. At least the slider was well-spotted and could stick around moving forward. But he’s got the Yankees and Red Sox next. Yes, yes he does. Gotta be a whole lot of teeth getting gritted soon.
Tyler Wells (BAL) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.
Hey, those four earned runs look bad, but that’s a 1.00 WHIP with six strikeouts against a solid offense. The cutter was great, the curve went a whopping 57% called strikes, and there’s still some stuff to like here. In deep leagues, you may want to consider him against the White Sox + Tigers up next.
Reid Detmers (LAA) vs TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.
Detmers was cruising through five frames, then allowed the first three to get on base (3-2 walk, 0-2 change out of the zone = groundball through the hole for a single, HBP on a slider), then tossed a bad fastball to Matt Chapman for a grand slam, ending his day. Ugggggh, he had it y’all. IT WAS THERE. Fastball is still at 95 mph, slider is good (not as elite as we’ve seen), and if you buy low, I’m still in.
Connor Overton (CIN) @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.
The 2,001 pounder is back and…I guess that’s a thing? I appreciate that you’re trying to limit your fastball usage to figure out a way to make this work but sadly, it doesn’t right now. Love the overall 15% SwStr rate, though.
Chad Kuhl (WSH) @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.
The Kuhl WHIP strikes again as he went to Home, Obsolete, Home, facing his former crew in Colorado. I’m sure he was happy to see them.
Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs MIA (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 83 pitches.
Remember how I was terrified by Carrasco’s velocity dip last start? Well it continued here as he’s two ticks down (sat 91 mph) and look at those lack of whiffs. You don’t want to roster Carrasco, y’all.
Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.
Oh, you. At least the whiffs came back? Don’t put yourself through this.
James Kaprielian (OAK) @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 106 pitches.
He’s throwing softer, still struggles to locate, and this wasn’t the matchup for you to chase anyway. Jimmy Hat will have his day, it just wasn’t today.
Dylan Dodd (ATL) vs SD (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.
Oh dear. His command was a lot worse in this one, failing to carry the same devastating slider gloveside as he had against the Cardinals. It changes everything, and pair those hittable sliders with belt-high heaters and you’ve got yourself a bad day on the bump from Dodd. We were so high on these Atlanta southpaws and look where it go us. Well, yes and no. This isn’t a fun lineup to pitch against and they are super young. The talent is there and I’d carefully monitor how Atlanta moves forward with them. You don’t need to hold on tightly, but I’d still wager one of them turns into something legit this season as they get their feet underneath them.
Michael Grove (LAD) @ ARI (L) – 3.1 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 66 pitches.
Sigh. My hopes of Grove taking full advantage of his opportunity in the Dodgers’ rotation isn’t going nearly as well I hoped. His heater is just too dang hittable and it maaay be time to stash Gavin Stone and you’d imagine the Dodgers aren’t going to go with Grove much longer if his outings resemble this.
Game of the Day
Yu Darvish vs. Max Scherzer – They are both absolute studs still…right?
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)
Re:Bubic, keep in mind the Giants have the league-worst K% right now, at almost 29%.
I watched the Kikuchi start and he was CRUISING with paint and free real state at first. Then a non-error dropped flyball resulted in hit-run-2run homer. You could seen on his face how much that affected him, + he had to throw around 10-15 more pitches that inning. I do believe.