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.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches.
I need to talk about Logan Gilbert as he pushed his strikeout rate to a marvelous 30.6% rate with his 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches Win over Atlanta, earning a co-share of the Gallows Pole. Wait, I thought he wasn’t going to strikeout more than 25% of batters! I. Know.
First, this was an interesting one as Gilbert allowed 2 ER in two batters, then got out of a jam in the first…to then go on a 15-out streak til the sixth. Fun stuff. Atlanta came out swinging against the heater and he adjusted, focusing a ton on his splitter, cutter, and curve (he got strikes!) to then utilize his stellar heater more as a weapon than a twig.
That’s what I’ve been desiring from Gilbert since his debut – the ability to get through lineups with his secondaries instead of his fastball, allowing the premier heater to excel in ideal situations and not over-used as a crutch. The slider earning 60% CSW & 95% (!) strikes and his curve returning 65% strikes was phenomenal, though the splitter sparkled as the putaway offering, going 8/25 whiffs and two outs in play.
That last part – the splitter – really is the weapon he’s always needed. I had my doubts in the spring when we heard about it, springing up this wonderful image constantly (there are always exceptions). It is a splitter after all! Instead, the pitch has returned a 49% O-Swing with a ludicrous 70% strike rate. That’s unreal for a splitter and I sure hope that pitch isn’t the volatile kind we so often see.
I’m a big believer now in Gilbert as the four-seamer could improve on its 10% SwStr rate and .404 BABIP thus far, while he’s gained the ability of called strikes on his slider (up 11 points!) to help get him to two-strike counts. Pair that with a winning ballclub and clear upside for 6+ frames per game and BAM! You have a potential ace in the making. I’m buying “high” if there’s any sort of discount on the 3.81 ERA he’s currently sporting with a 2-2 record.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ SF (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 76 pitches.
That’s a lovely streaming pick as Garrett earns today’s Gold Star with this unreal performance. The cutter is legit, y’all. 26% usage, 40% CSW. That Atlanta start was the best thing that ever happened to him. Suitman whispers in my ear Coors?! Uggggh, okay we resist there, but I actually think Garrett can come through against the Padres after that. Maybe you want to hold and just bench for a turn.
Logan Webb (SF) vs MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 91 pitches.
Whoa, strikeouts are ba—oh. Blame it on the Marlins. At least the slider earned five whiffs again as…IT GAINED THREE INCHES OF HORIZONTAL MOVEMENT. Maybe…? Maybe?
Jesse Chavez (ATL) vs SEA (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 42 pitches.
Atlanta went bullpen and none rejoiced. Okay.
Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.
93 mph velocity (not 92!) and a 33% CSW changeup works for me. There’s still a little more to gain, but good job taking advantage of a weak offense. I wonder if this is what we see through the full year or if he actually develops that consistency. Regardless, he’s solid as this current iteration in your 12-teamers of course.
Hunter Brown (HOU) vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.
Ohhhhh snap! It’s the BSB! The four-seamers earned 27% called strikes (elite) as it pounded the upper half, while the curve fell down and messed guys up. This is it. But the Athletics! Yeah yeah yeah, I like to think that these kinds of matchups make for the perfect “practice” starts where you focus on your approach as much as possible in a lighter environment with a higher floor than usual. Brown nailed it and I have to believe it’s gonna stick. BACK UP THE LIST YOU GO.
Jon Gray (TEX) vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.
Whoaaaa 96.3 mph heaters and 9/35 slider whiffs? Oh we cooking. Let’s keep it going vs Baltimore and Detroit next. What about the changeup? Ehhhh, you knew that was a one-time thing, but at least 64% strikes?
Chris Sale (BOS) @ SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 111 pitches.
Oh look, a co-share of the Gallows Pole as Sale sat 95/96 mph and still had his filthy slider. He’s mostly two-pitch at the moment and I’d feel slightly better about this if his changeup got in the mix as well, but you have to feel pretty dang good about this. He’s beginning to believe.
Aaron Nola (PHI) vs CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 98 pitches.
Oh look, a King Cole from Nola. Give me one more and you have your AGA tag back. This was everything we want, even if the changeup was tucked away. Why? Because the cutter was a great replacement (44% CSW), his heater was like the old days, and the curve did its thang at 39% CSW. What a refreshing start as I recline in my porch rocking chair.
Mitch Keller (PIT) vs ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.
AGA label when? Honestly, June? His command is so good right now and it’s getting harder and harder to deny it. I really wish he was able to earn more whiffs though…
JP Sears (OAK) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
Duuuuuuude. He didn’t get the monster whiffs we’ve seen in the past, but it’s really starting to feel like Sears is putting it together. I think we go for this now with the Mariners + Atlanta + Pittsburgh up next. He’s almost through the schedule gauntlet with the 7th best PLV among all starting pitchers…
Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 74 pitches.
Nick! That’s four straight 2 ER games from Patrick Corbin! And he gets the Royals next! Oh. You can’t. WE CAN’T. I refuse, I’m sorry. It’s too risky. But hey, nice for him.
Alek Manoah (TOR) vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.
IS HE BACK?! Absolutely not. 92/93 mph still, 6/42 whiffs on sliders + four-seamers, and, well, the command was okay. There’s too much left to fix to believe this is stable.
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
That’s a much better start, but the secondaries are still lagging behind the fantastic heater. The changeup was a 42% CSW with 11/12 strikes. Totally fair, it was hung a fair amount, though. He’s still battling himself instead of the batter right now.
Louie Varland (MIN) @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.
Ehhhh okay. The four-seamer fell down to 94.7 mph, but went 31% CSW with nine whiffs, but with that lower velocity and without a strong secondary to lean on, it had me feeling a bit uneasy watching this – he did get some outs on cutters and sliders, to be fair. There’s more development to be had and with TOR + @HOU + @TBR up next, it’s gonna be hard to waste a roster spot for three straight weeks. He could go a fantastic stretch starting in the middle of June, though. So you do you.
Miles Mikolas (STL) vs LAD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.
Ayyy nice work Mikolas against a tough crew, even if it’s with just two strikeouts. You’ve been rewarded with Cleveland + Pittsburgh next and that’s cool with me.
Zach Eflin (TB) vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 85 pitches.
Look at Eflin earning a co-share of the Gallows Pole as his cutter once again was fantastic. We’re talking 57% CSW and I’m so on board for this as he mixes in sinkers and curves, even with the Jays next. This is the best Eflin has looked in…forever?
Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) @ PIT (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.
Blegh. This didn’t help you as he couldn’t come through against the Pirates. The fastball just isn’t the elite pitch it needs to be. There’s still a chance he comes through with BOS + COL + @WSN up next, but man, it’s not great.
Alex Faedo (DET) @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 72 pitches.
He’s four-seamer/slider with hopes that the slider is elite. That’s not a game you want to play.
Noah Syndergaard (LAD) @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.
I’m glad the Dodgers are letting him go 80 pitches, though you didn’t get a whole lot here with that poor ERA and lack of Win. Surely you can do better than Thor, especially with the Rays next.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.
Bleegggggh. The change and slider each earned five whiffs, but were wildly inconsistent while the fastball just isn’t good. At least you can cleanse the palette with Miami next, but honestly, don’t hold The Irish Panda tightly. He’s too volatile of a pitcher.
Joe Musgrove (SD) vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.
Honestly, pretty solid game from Musgrove as the curveball was legit at 43% CSW (still, just five sliders?!), and the major damage came off a three-run shot in the second. I think this makes for a solid buy-low moment, though I really want that slider to return. It works with a heavy lean on the curve, but with the changeup going 1/13 CSW and heavy 35% usage lean on the four-seamer, there is a touch of worry. Still worth chasing as I think this gets better overall.
Jordan Lyles (KC) @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.
Despite a wonderful schedule ahead, please be reminded that Lyles hasn’t allowed less than 3 ER since April 1st…and just one game of 3 ER. Yikes.
Luke Weaver (CIN) vs NYY (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.
Womp womp. The cutter wasn’t very good and, well, neither was anything else. Still higher velocity though at 94 mph, which is cool. I’ll keep watch from afar for y’all.
Jhony Brito (NYY) @ CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.
The ceiling was low inside Cincy. You didn’t want this and you have to imagine he’s out when Germán’s suspension is up with Severino rejoining the rotation today.
Kyle Freeland (COL) @ TEX (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 56 pitches.
Y’all knew he was a “TEES”. That’s six outs, 9 hits, and zero strikeouts – HAISTBMBWT?! – and there’s no way you actually did this, right?
Eric Lauer (MIL) @ TB (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.
He’s 90/91 and faced the Rays. Yeah, you don’t do this. Easy.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ PHI (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 62 pitches.
Oh dear. I feel for Taillon as he hasn’t been able to get his footing in the rotation yet and he’s clearly off at the moment. I hope he’s not hurt again.
Game of the Day
Pablo López vs. Shohei Ohtani – How can you not enjoy this?
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)