The FV of FV

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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 9 am-11 am ET.  

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

Normally at the start of these roundups, I have something defiant to say. Something fresh where today’s events changes a pitcher’s outlook and you need to know about it.

Today…there wasn’t a whole lot to digest that you don’t already know. So what the h*ck, let’s talk about Framber Valdez after a fantastic outing against the Rangers via 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches. Hey, that’s a “Gallows Pole”. Please clap.

Starts like these are why you put up with his 1.25 WHIP for the season and walk rate flirting with a 10% clip. Sure, he may end the year at a 20% strikeout rate, but he’ll earn a punchout per inning across seven strong frames with odd regularity when his curveball is at it’s best (7/28 whiffs with a whopping 82% strike rate) and his sinker doesn’t get crushed. We even saw effective cutters and changeups to boot and while that’s cool, don’t get too comfortable with them.

At the end of the day, Framber is still a groundball machine and that innately will return a higher hit rate than others, while widening the spectrum of outcomes based on where the wheel of BABIP lands that day. So keep starting the man, be ready for some hardships, and learn to embrace these nights of glee.

Oh, and Matt Moore pitched an inning in this one because I guess that’s still a thing.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Yu Darvish (SD) @ PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 108 pitches.

Darvish’s starts are not a matter of opponent. If he has his command, that’s all he needs with the ridiculous stuff in his arsenal. The premium “Cherry Bomb”. 

Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Quantrill is a “Toby” and he just hosted the Reds. You really don’t need me, y’all. I’VE TAUGHT Y’ALL ALL THAT I KNOW. Y’all all? Yes, the title of my biography of everyone else. The all-but-nauto-biography. Just stick with Y’all All. Will do.

Tyler Mahle (CIN) @ CLE (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 105 pitches.

On the road against a weak team? That’s Mahle’s JAM. Funkytown by Lipps Inc.? That’s also Mahle’s JAM. Seriously, ask him, I know he won’t let me down. He has a little bit of a test next time as he hosts the Cubs in Cincy, but I’d say let ‘er rip. If you’re only starting him on the road and not against strong teams, then you’re only starting him less than 50% of the time, which isn’t a guy you want on your roster. I believe in Mahle to get those numbers up.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Some of you have been clamoring for the AGA label with Gallen, but sadly I’m not seeing the development of the secondaries to warrant it. I’m thrilled the ERA is intact, but just 3/52 whiffs on his secondaries is startling, to say the least — especially after his last outing featured a legit changeup for once. Sigh. Yes, keep starting Gallen, I just want to feel like a true Gallen Gal again, you know?

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 77 pitches.

Stroman made his return from the COVID-IL and did Stroman things, earning a lovely “King Cole”. His slider and sinker combo would make Zach Eflin jealous, boasting a wonderful 40% CSW between them and a date with Cincinnati next should get y’all excited.

Kyle Gibson (PHI) vs SD (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

I’m telling ya, the Padres are terrible against right-handers. Lefties? Suuuure, they’ll do some work. But toss a Gibson at ‘em and they can’t cutaway a single run. Don’t fret, stream away. As for Gibson, I’m glad the slider got whiffs and the sinkers strikes, but he’s a “Toby” at best. Play the matchups only.

Glenn Otto (TEX) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 96 pitches.

To be fair, Otto hasn’t been gifted a comfortable schedule and allowing just two ER despite ten baserunners is something we should pat him on the back for. Otto boy! 

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches.

His sinker isn’t returning anywhere close to a 40% CSW anymore, resulting in starts like this even when the change and curve are good. I GOTTA HAVE THAT COWBELL SINKER FOR CALLED STRIKES.

Carlos Hernández (KC) vs CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

I wonder if this is the last start we’ll see from Carlos with Brady Singer forcing his way back into the rotation. Poor Carlos.

Chris Bassitt (NYM) vs STL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

First Pablo, now Bassitt has hit the AGA curse as he couldn’t come through after receiving his label. What have I done. Whatever, I’m still a Bassithound, with my trust rooted in his ability to constantly go 6+ frames + I expect the strikeouts to be plenty higher than this with his increased cutter and slider usage. Carry on.

Vince Velasquez (CWS) @ KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. I wrestled with ranking Velasquez in the Questionable Start or Do Not Start tiers given his unusual success lately (save for the start vs. New York) and while it seemed like the right call in the end to stick him at the bottom, there was a chance this worked out if a touch of BABIP went his way. Whatever, ignore all this and Velasquez as he gets Boston next and whoever is after. It doesn’t matter, does it.

Dakota Hudson (STL) @ NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hudson is a coin flip each game as he relies so dang heavily on balls in play. I guess that makes him an Oatmeal Bomb because when he doesn’t blow up, it’s still not that sweet.

Rich Hill (BOS) vs SEA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 56 pitches.

I saw some discussion today about Hill vs. Kirby and no one lost because no one won. I actually find those topics a bit odd — why do they have to be pitted against each other? Wouldn’t a great start from both return smiles, even if one had more strikeouts than the other? JUST ROOT FOR THE HAPPINESS. Annnnnyway, Hill was ousted from this one pretty quickly by the Mariners, jumping on anything that wasn’t a curveball pretty dang effectively. We expected these outcomes before the start of the year and became lulled into a false sense of security the last few weeks. I think this is more of what Hill is than the last eleven frames we saw over two outings.

Bruce Zimmermann (BAL) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 78 pitches.

Womp womp. Bruce was able to stave off the Yanks earlier in the year, but these Bronx Bombers have turned it on as of late. I still wonder if the slider and changeup can turn into a showcase of whiffs, crystalizing Zimmermann as he evolves into a summer butterfly of dominance, but today? 1/33 whiffs between ‘em. Sooooo yeah, eat up caterpillar.

George Kirby (SEA) @ BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 71 pitches.

Yikes. He had his fifth run tacked on after a mental error from his manager, getting forced to face a batter in the sixth, who slapped a double, and then came in to score. So I guess that’s a “Careful, Icarus” if Icarus was forcibly attached to a barrage of balloons, yelling down below for someone to shoot down just a few of them and not all at once. Yep, that’s the picture I was hoping to paint. As for how Kirby actually pitched, once again his secondaries failed to earn whiffs, with his slider (that’s really a cutter in my book) having gone 0/26 whiffs. That’s not what you want. At all. It’s still a good heater at 95+, but without the secondaries to keep him afloat (and facing a hawt Trevor Story multiple times), you’re going to see nights like these.


Game of the Day 

Charlie Morton vs. Trevor Rogers – Huh, that’s cute. It’s the two guys who struggled in April and I hope you still have rostered through the early turbulence.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

One response to “The FV of FV”

  1. Joe Mulvey says:

    Framber with a Gallows Pole!

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