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 pm ET.
Hunter Greene (CIN) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
It’s never fun heading into Coors and Hunter Greene learned the hard way with a rough 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches line for the evening. Nick, why is he the headline? It’s Coors, we start him against the Yankees, we move on. Yes…and no. But yes.
I feel like I need to address the fact that Greene entered today with a 1.49 WHIP and it’s only going up after this game. How is this happening? There’s a fair amount of poor BABIP luck as we usually see from a high WHIP, but it’s more than that.
Batters are performing better against his four-seamer, pushing his palpable 28% hard contact rate well north of 30%, all the way to 35%+. It’s a worrisome thing, even if Greene is elevating more than he did last season.
The problem isn’t the heater – that’s just the product of the actual issue: his slider. Greene’s breaker has fallen to a poor 58% strike rate (23rd percentile!) and being a two-pitch pitcher, you need to be able to throw strikes well above 60% of the time with both. Otherwise, batters can sit back more often on heaters and VOILA! More hard contact.
It’s all to say that I think Greene gets better, even if you were already writing off this game in Colorado. He’ll go on a stretch where he has the slider cooking and suddenly, you’ll be rocking gorgeous ratios and a heaping number of strikeouts. Be patient.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Michael Wacha (SD) vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 103 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Wacha earns the Gold Star as he was one h*ck of a stream against the Royals, boasting a whopping 10/37 whiffs on his changeup and stealing our hearts. Really great command overall, and when Wacha is hurling darts, things are lovely. However, he doesn’t let us know when he’s hurling darts, so you wind up showing up at the bar randomly and hoping for a good time. I hope he’s there against the Red Sox next.
Jack Flaherty (STL) vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 105 pitches.
Ahhhhh so this is a game where you’re gonna go 93/94 mph fastballs + return over 10 whiffs with breakers. It may have been the Brewers helping Flaherty regain his confidence, but we’ve seen this record play already this season – be highly cautious until we see Flaherty showcase some consistency first. For example, do you trust this with the Dodgers up next? Didn’t think so.
Charlie Morton (ATL) @ TEX (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 106 pitches.
Well FINE, go have yourself a Golden Goal against the Rangers. I can’t believe I’m reading this right – Morton earned 20 whiffs on just his curveball as it returned 45% CSW. That’s absolutely dumb and I love it so much. Sure sure, the four-seamer got 11 called strikes as well (hey, that helps!) and the other pitches were pretty meh, BUT TWENTY WHIFFS ON THE CURVE. You can’t deny him a start after this.
Jimmy Cordero (NYY) @ TOR (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 28 pitches.
Cordero opened for 5.1 IP, 1 ER (4 R), 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks of Jhony Brito and honestly, that’s the exact ceiling we dreamed of as he returned a Win. Wild. It doesn’t get better than that for Brito and I’m shocked it came against the Jays.
Connor Brogdon (PHI) @ SF (ND) – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 28 pitches.
Connor opened for Bailey Falter, who allowed six unearned runs across the next 4.1 IP. Fun. This can’t be the life you choose.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 97 pitches.
Look at Kelly go, taking full advantage of the matchup given to him. The changeup was da belle of da ball with 42% CSW and 8/24 whiffs (whoa), but I don’t want to neglect the good command of his slider and heaters as well. Really, the whole package was on point here and Jokeland couldn’t handle it. We hold him tight with the Pirates up next.
George Kirby (SEA) @ BOS (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.
I moved you up into the third tier and you repay my generosity with a Singled Out performance? Not cool Kirby. You’re supposed to do better with your four-seamer and…you’re throwing sinkers 22% of the time now? Huh, I guess that’s been a thing all year. He’s commanding it well and he did get the changeup and slider down…but still, just one whiff on non-fastballs needs to change. Really, this is an issue that holds him back from ascension.
Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.
Despite a horrid WHIP and just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!), Corbin managed to earn you a Win. It’s almost like the unstoppable force of Mid-May Mets hit the immovable Corbin object and something had to give.
Alex Wood (SF) vs PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 72 pitches.
This was a clear Still ILL and his stuff looked just like where he left it – 92 mph heaters with a good slider. Wait, did I say good? I meant unreal. We’re talking 36% usage of 54% CSW. That’s insane. And now he gets Miami + Milwaukee + Pittsburgh…? Uhhhhhhhh, yes please?
Noah Syndergaard (LAD) vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 59 pitches.
Oh, so he is okay to pitch despite the finger? Suitman whispers in my ear Ohhhhh, so they “aren’t out of the woods yet” with his finger. Uh huh. WE WANT BOBBY MILLER.
Brad Keller (KC) @ SD (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 8 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.
Eight walks? A team allowed a pitcher to toss eight walks in 3.2 innings?! I guess the Royals were all like let me live that fantasy. Fortunately, this is fantasy and you don’t have to live it. Phew. I told you, our pitchers didn’t have to be Royals.
Tanner Houck (BOS) vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 75 pitches.
Mmmmm okay. The cutter isn’t doing the magical things it needs to as I just don’t buy Houck as a consistent sinker/slider guy. The sinker isn’t reliable enough, even if we dig the slider.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ HOU (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 68 pitches.
That’s a HAISTBMBWT?! in a pretty clear bench as Taillon faced the Astros. I’m sad to see he had to get pulled with just 68 pitches as it brings more haze into his next start (will he go 85?). I guess we pass on the Phils and hope he’s good to go against the Reds in Wrigley after.
Connor Seabold (COL) vs CIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.
If you actually took a chance on Seabold here, I don’t know what to tell you. That you’re proud of me? YOU DID THIS?!
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.
H’ok so this looks bad – and it is – but there’s a silver lining: His cutter is still getting tossed 26% of the time. Sure, the curveball needs to be better n whatnot, but that’s always the case. The cutter addition seems kinda real here and I’m very excited for his next two starts against the Athletics. Ohhhhh boy.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.
Blegh. This is the fourth straight poor ERA game for Ohtani and while you’re super happy with the WHIP, Win, and sure five strikeouts, you have to be wondering what’s up with the ERA. In short, the cutter and four-seamer aren’t so dominant and I’m shocked he went just 27% sweeper, favoring the cutter (and its 22% CSW) more often. Weird. Throw more sliders dangit, it’s what turned you into a legit SP stud.
Pablo López (MIN) @ LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
Bleeggggggh. He ran into trouble with two longballs in the first for 3 ER, then settled down mostly across the rest of the game. Velocity was fine at 94/95, the change and sweeper were good not great, and so it goes. Stick with him, it’s not the regression you’re scared it is.
Alek Manoah (TOR) vs NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 7 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.
Drew Rucinski (OAK) vs ARI (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.
Five runs. Five walks. And not a single strikeout in sight. Coming to theaters soon, one manager endures a terrifying journey as he searches to spread his bread with butter. Action. Romance. Staring Drew Rucinski in the role of a lifetime as the Land O’Lakes Thief, don’t miss the blockbuster horror of the summer: WONDER DEAD.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ STL (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.
Bleeeeeggggh. Ahhh dangit Peralta, I was hoping Professor Chaos wouldn’t show up again. He returned exactly 7/16 strikes (44%) on both his slider and curveball individually and that just ain’t it. You need those breakers to find the zone or else it’s a gosh darn mess. And I hate it when you make me curse. The good news here is that Peralta has done things like this before and he usually corrects it. So yes, I’m still starting him against the Rays.
Cody Bradford (TEX) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.
H’ok, so I don’t really care a whole lot about Bradford as he sat 89 mph on his heater and returned 4/39 CSW on everything else (mostly changeups), but Cole Ragans tossed 65 pitches with a 96/97 mph heater after and…Suitman whispers in my ear. Oh. Rocked you say? 4 ER in 3 IP. WELL FINE. LET’S JUST IGNORE THEM ALL THEN.
David Peterson (NYM) @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
Oh Mets. It’s almost like clockwork that May 15th arrives and things are all out of whack. Two games below .500, losing to Patrick Corbin and Peterson looking lost on the hill as your fourth(? fifth?) starter. I’m so sorry, I wish things were different, like Peterson having his ridiculous slider of previous seasons.
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs LAA (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.
Drop Grayson. You can stash him if you want, but don’t you dare start him as he figures out how to command his arsenal. It was rough watching him flail with his changeup today and that slider was nothing like it should. At least he’s throwing harder heaters, but…yeah. We need that changeup/slider command and if you’re still holding on, I bring you no faith in its near arrival. I just came from that direction and I didn’t see any secondary command on the road. Bummer, I know.
Game of the Day
Shane Bieber vs. Lance Lynn – THIS IS IT Y’ALL. This is the day Lynn begins his redemption tour. I CAN FEEL IT.
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 Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis and Aaron Polcare
Hey Nick — whereabouts would you rank Wood if you could on the list, factoring in this start?