Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday 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.
Jon Gray (TEX) @ OAK (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.
If you remember Jon Gray’s last start, you’ll remember how I gushed over the man. 96 mph. New slider with whiffs! Great schedule ahead! We had the first of said comfort lineups with the Athletics and Gray did not disappoint: 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches. Is this the prophecy being fulfilled?
Not quite. His heater and slider combined for just 3/70 whiffs, which is all kinds of staggering and confusing and not what we thought we had in our hands. However, coming out of the dark light was a…changeup?! Yes, Gray suddenly chucked nineteen changeups for 42% CSW, dotted arm-side and down. Huh.
If we look at the microscopic two-start sample, we have Gray at his peak and Gray figuring out a way to finagle a poor lineup. Fortunately, we get another gift with Rockie Road up next and we can figure things out from there. Let it ride at least one more time.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Bryce Miller (SEA) @ DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.
You can’t hope to defeat the Bryce, only contain him. Let’s be real, this was the Tigers, who we had no expectation to take down Miller’s fantastic heater. It also allowed him to get away with not having the best secondaries (at least it was 12/15 strikes on the hook for 60% CSW!) as he didn’t have his supreme fastball command. Now comes a fun test against Atlanta. Super curious what happens there.
Tyler Wells (BAL) vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 96 pitches.
Today’s Gold Star goes to Wells with a share of the Gallows Pole against the Pirates with eight strikeouts to boot. 13 whiffs on sliders + changeups is wonderful as he hit the corners frequently and I think it’s time for us to consider that the Pirates have fallen back down to Earth offensively – they are literally last with a 52 wRC+ in the last two weeks. As for Wells, he gets the Angels next and despite this success, I’d have some hesitation there.
Dylan Cease (CWS) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.
Vindiiicaaaaation! I’m happy for Cease to have his redemption start against the Astros as he can now not face them again for the rest of the season. Just four-seamer/slider here and let’s be thankful the heater worked.
Joe Ryan (MIN) vs CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 102 pitches.
That’s a Golden Goal for Ryan and it’s getting really hard not to give him the AGA label tomorrow. Yeah, okay. Aces gonna ace. Welcome, Joe. Don’t make me regret it. That heater is too dang good.
Trevor Williams (WSH) vs NYM (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 35 pitches.
This game was suspended to Sunday, though it’s not like you were that invested in this, right?
Derek Law (CIN) @ MIA (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 19 pitches.
He opened for three frames of Levi Stoudt as Guinness takes on the jeans industry. That sounds terrible. So does this.
Chris Sale (BOS) vs STL (ND) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 110 pitches.
Yesssss. The velocity was 95 mph (not 96) and he only hit 97 (not 99), but the slider was vicious with eleven whiffs and he’s looking like THAT guy again. Now find that changeup and a little more velo and we’re so dang golden.
Brandon Bielak (HOU) @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.
Uh huh. Blame it on the White Sox? Even with the eight hits…yeah, that sounds right.
Joey Lucchesi (NYM) @ WSH (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 31 pitches.
This game was suspended until Sunday and 1/31 whiffs tells you enough.
Zac Gallen (ARI) vs SF (W) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. What a sweet thing it is, watching Gallen be the sturdy rock we wanted him to be among all the other starters who have flummoxed. That’s two straight years of early concern that’s been leveled out perfectly.
Roansy Contreras (PIT) @ BAL (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.
What a weird outing. Contreras survived against the Orioles despite having a terrible slider and relying on heaters inside the zone. You know, throwing his worse pitch 56% of the time and despite a HAISTBMBWT?!, he went seven frames of 2 ER ball. Wow. This isn’t sustainable in the slightest.
Julio Urías (LAD) vs SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.
Okay, two more to go Urías against the Cardinals + Atlanta. Take them down and we’re good. Love seeing 50% called strikes on the curve, by the way. Real cool stuff.
José Berríos (TOR) vs ATL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 101 pitches.
Blegh. That’s awfully close to a PQS and you have three strikeouts to salvage (and I guess a decent ERA). In other words, you got nothing. Stop trusting The Great Undulator.
Zack Greinke (KC) @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.
Lovely stuff from Greinke, who now holds a 5.01 ERA and 1.24 WHIP for the year. Wonder if that’s good enough for the White Sox + Tigers next…just a thought.
Bryce Elder (ATL) @ TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.
He came out with his head above water and I’m happy for him. Still find it hard to rely heavily on a 90 mph fastball and decent slider, but the Mariners next aren’t that tough. I guess that’s okay.
Reid Detmers (LAA) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.
Ooooof. I’m legit conflicted about Detmers. My whole analysis has been “heater was okay last year –> now it’s harder and more precise = much better. No slider last year –> 22% SwStr rate filthy McGee.” and suddenly I’m rethinking the first part. That heater has been harder, and its precision up in the zone has been elite, and yet it carries a horrid 7.3% SwStr with a 37% hard contact rate. I don’t get it, I really don’t. His heater got worse? Its Putaway Rate (2-strikes = strikeout) has fallen dramatically as batters aren’t chasing nearly as much in two-strike counts. Maybe the curveball has gotten worse too…nope. 41% CSW. So I’m at a point where I have to throw up my hands and say you can drop him based on the four-seamer simply not being good enough. And it’s really hard to say that since if it performed like it did last year he would be so much better. Something is up here and if you’re sick and tired of waiting, go ahead, try something else. The new slider and velocity feel like he’s a tweak away, but then again, can you rely on the Angels to find it?
James Kaprielian (OAK) vs TEX (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! We saw Jimmy Hat find the zone with his fastball and slider and it led to a shockingly good outing against the mighty Rangers. He did get a touch more rise on the heater, which may have aided the 9/49 whiffs, and we have to play it safe to see if this is a trend forming or just a Birthday Party.
Alex Faedo (DET) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.
A PQS with seven strikeouts from Faedo? Yeah, we take those. This was one of those “slider is amazing, everything else didn’t get crushed” days for Faedo. It’s in there, we can only hope we see more days like it.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 107 pitches.
A VPQS for Quantrill is everything you could have hoped for here.
Steven Matz (STL) @ BOS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
Well yeah, it’s not the Tigers. WE WANT LIBERATORE.
Anthony DeSclafani (SF) @ ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 77 pitches.
Ehhhh, Tony Disco didn’t chuck fastballs down the middle as often, but instead hurled them far out of the zone. Make the adjustment. At least it’s Miami next so we give it another go.
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.
Yeaaaaah. The Houser is on ice.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.
Welcome back to reality, OOOOP THERE GOES MY RATIOS. At least he’s at 72 pitches and gets the Giants next, but I ain’t chasing it. The command was better than the line would suggest (Coors, y’all) and it was a Still ILL situation after all.
Joe Musgrove (SD) @ LAD (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.
Bleeeeegh. No AGA label for you, fella. He hasn’t found a groove with his slider and curve yet – just 21% CSW between them here – and I don’t think he’s an ace until then.
Shane McClanahan (TB) @ NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
Aces gonna struggle his breakers (0/37 whiffs) and not have the best changeup command. Blegh. We know he’s better than this, it’s your standard One Night Bland.
Ryan Feltner (COL) vs PHI (L) – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 53 pitches.
Ouch. I don’t think any of you started him anyway, but still. Seeing that just hurts my soul.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs CIN (L) – 7.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 106 pitches.
I hate that I keep making excuses, but this was pretty dumb. Sandy allowed a three-run shot (okay fine) and then allowed his final two runs in the eighth inning with two outs (third run inherited). Careful, Icarus. Only Sandy things. At least it was nine strikeouts fueled by a Gallows Pole and I’d consider him a buy low at this point with his 4.91 ERA. That’s not gonna last with his 61% LOB rate.
Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs TB (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 78 pitches.
Uggggggh. We’ve been waiting for that start from Cortes and despite sitting 1-2 ticks harder on his four-seamer and cutter here, the Rays were all over them. Something is off here and it’s scary seeing the Jays next on the agenda.
Hayden Wesneski (CHC) @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.
Womp WOOOOOMP. His sweeper was good – 44% CSW – but not the wrecking ball that we’ve seen it be in the past. I suggest we sit out on Wesneski until we see the pitch overwhelm.
Game of the Day
Hunter Brown vs. Lucas Giolito – I hope Brown recovers his breakers and Giolito is able to keep the velocity up.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
“Ouch” is right for Feltner. Wishing speedy recoveries to both his skull and your soul.