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.
Jared Shuster (ATL) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.
I was so very in on Jared Shuster during spring training and like many of you, the wind was taken out of our sails quickly as he failed to find his footing in from the first pitch thrown. However, we’re nearly two months into the season now and Shuster got another chance to impress. That he did with a Win against the Mariners: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches. This was more of the man I was hyped for and I’m thrilled to see him earn tonight’s Gold Star.
It’s not all the way there, but definitely a better version. His velocity was up across the board – 1.7 ticks on the slider! – and he was able to go 8/29 whiffs on that breaker en route to 38% CSW. The changeup left a little to be desired as he failed to get on top of it with consistency, and I still believe there’s polish left to be done on the four-seamer command.
This is good, but the line is better than the actual performance. I wouldn’t say Shuster is a must add at the moment with the Phils up next, but he’s now become an arm to monitor as Atlanta desperately needs a stable arm inside that rotation. Maybe worth the spec add to see if he takes another step forward against Philly? Either way, I’m glad he’s getting a second chance to make it happen.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.
THE CUTTER! …is gone. Well not gone, just ten thrown for 20% CSW and 40% strikes as Valdez returned a ridiculous 22 called strikes on the sinker. Yeeeeesh. I understand, it’s the Athletics and you don’t need to get fancy. Thing is, the curveball – you know, Valdez’s best pitch – went 10/28 strikes. Yeah, a 36% strike rate. HOW DID THIS WORK. Oh right, the sinker getting 22 called strikes and, oh I don’t know, TWENTY BALLS IN PLAY. What a ridiculous game. The Athletics, man.
Michael Wacha (SD) vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
Whoaaaa 10/30 changeup whiffs with a 50% CSW?! That’s some tasty slowball. I wouldn’t even say he harnessed the pitch, nor his whole arsenal for that matter, with the precision in the way he has in the past, and it does make me a little hesitant against the Yankees. However, I totally get ignoring my sentiments here and just letting him fly there. Let’s see what happens.
Max Scherzer (NYM) vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.
That’s two great starts in a row…but he’s down to 92/93 on the heater, and just seven whiffs is not the Scherzer we know and love. His slider is supposed to flirt with a 30% SwStr rate, not a 5% clip. Suitman whispers in my ear Ohhhh a thumb callous split open last time and he felt pain. He’ll be good next start, so we hold off our concerns for now. I still have long-term health concerns.
Justin Steele (CHC) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.
Ayyyyy slider whiffs are back! 7/34! But just 33% O-Swing. SEVEN. OVER. THIRTY. FOUR. The fastball is still there and he didn’t spot the slider exactly as we wanted him to, but it also was a tighter breaker and a little harder too. Hmmmmm. Whatever, we keep holding.
Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.
Yep, that’s what Heaney should do against Rockie Road…except the WHIP is a little high and fewer than a strikeout per inning…oh no. Come on, no. HEANEY. What, no sliders? Well, 24% – FINE – but just 3 whiffs? 13% CSW?! GET IT BACK DANGIT. It’s a little scary against the Orioles next, but I think we gotta hold onto hope + Camden is a solid place to chuck a pearl.
Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs CHC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.
The splitter is still above 40% usage and as long as it lives at about 60% strike rate (61% here), he should be fine again against a weak opponent…IF HE HAD ONE. It’s Atlanta next and that’s no fun.
Carlos Hernández (KC) @ CWS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 27 pitches.
He opened for 4.2 IP and 5 ER of Max Castillo and none rejoiced.
Justin Verlander (NYM) vs CLE (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.
Sometimes a man’s gotta boo, who a man’s gotta boo. He executed the BSB super well (the slider got down! Yay!) and it feels like Verlander is 80% back. That’s all we need and I wouldn’t expect 100% this year, honestly. Those 28%+ strikeout days are very likely a thing of the past.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 99 pitches.
Aces gonna ace with a Golden Goal. Still worried about that high ERA?
Dean Kremer (BAL) @ TOR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 105 pitches.
Jeeeeez that WHIP is destructive, but at least he’s elevating well and returning strikeouts? He has another tough outing against the Rangers ahead that I’d skip, but the Giants after may be a sneaky play.
Josiah Gray (WSH) vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.
Six walks?! Josiah, please. He’s reliant on the cutter and slider getting strikes for him, allowing the fastball to take a breather, but when I mean a breather, I don’t mean a 35% strike rate. Ohtani had a higher overall strikeout rate tonight. He gets one more lovely matchup as he faces the Royals and while the walks should be lower (obviously), I wonder if the ceiling is worth chasing at this point.
James Kaprielian (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.
If only the sinker didn’t go 4/12 strikes. He actually pummeled the zone with four-seamers effectively, while the slider did its part at 38% CSW. But that dang sinker…takes a puff from his cigar…that dang sinker was the death of me. Makes me wonder if we’re going to see a solid stretch from Jimmy Hat once the schedule opens up in a few weeks. There’s something there if the four-seamer (or sinker, of course) isn’t a liability.
Luis Severino (NYY) @ CIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 75 pitches.
He’s back! And sitting 96/97! With a 44% CSW changeup! And an earned run on a weird foul-wait-its-fair-and-we’re-gonna-give-the-runner-an-extra-base call. I’m glad to see 75 pitches as it opens the door for 80+ next time out and WE’RE IN BUSINESS BAYBEEE.
Corey Kluber (BOS) @ SD (L) – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 64 pitches.
Oh cool, 64 pitches and just 2.1 frames with one strikeout. HAISTBMBWT?! Kluber stares back as text flickers across his eyes in a ticker. THIS. IS. A. HOME. DEPOT. WELL I DEMAND BUTTER. AISLE. FOUR…GET-A-BOUT-IT. I don’t like the real Klubot.
Jalen Beeks (TB) vs MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 37 pitches.
He opened for 4.2 IP and 5 ER of Cooper Criswell and none rejoiced. Yes, you just read nearly the same thing and I can’t believe they had the same lines as followers. Baseball.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs BAL (ND) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 115 pitches.
Aces gonna ace but fail to get a Win because Wins are dumb. Also, I needed literally one more strikeout to win my week and four? FOUR?! Whatever, he’s 95 mph and a top-six (spoilers) pitcher in fantasy. It’s pretty cool.
Shane Bieber (CLE) @ NYM (L) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 106 pitches.
Just 5/28 slider whiffs, but a ton of called strikes from the heater (46% CSW!) and he found a way to get through the lineup. He’s a Holly, not an ace.
Lance Lynn (CWS) vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.
That’s a pair of Wins for those who still stuck with Lynn and I’m proud of you for it. Truly. We get another solid matchup ahead with the Tigers and while I actually do believe we’re witnessing a slightly worse Lynn than the one from previous seasons, we still very much start him there.
Pablo López (MIN) @ LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 101 pitches.
PabLó, you’re so dang wonderful. I just hope you know that. But the WHIP was bad. And the sweeper, curve, and change were two ticks harder as he would have earned a Golden Goal if it weren’t for
those meddling kids Ohtani being alive. He has one more difficult start left against the Jays and if that goes well, you’ve earned the AGA tag. Got get em.
Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.
That WHIP hurrrrrts as the secondaries really left him hanging in this one. Changeups went 7/15 strikes, curve just 2/8, causing him to suddenly become a two-pitch pitcher. That’s not the Bibee life we like. But he got a QS! Sure, he survived and should be better moving forward. I really hope we don’t see this again.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.
You got the Pirates and you helped across the board. That’s my Toby. He sat over a tick harder on everything, too (lots of people did that today…?) but I wouldn’t read much into it – it’s just 92 mph on the heater, y’all.
George Kirby (SEA) @ ATL (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.
Kirby brought it here, sitting nearly two ticks harder on his fastball (nearly 97 mph!) while the curve went 17/20 strikes and 45% CSW, and the slider…helped. Unlike Gilbert, Kirby hasn’t found a secondary to get whiffs with, but the heater will still play that part (22% SwStr rate here) and he’ll continue to be productive even if it’s not at AGA levels.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.
Hmmmmm. We want more than a PQS and four strikeouts from Peralta, but he’s had to deal with Coors and now the Rays. And hey, the slider and curve found the zone this time, so we’re cool cool cool cool Peralta. No doubt no doubt.
Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.
Ehhhhh this gave you nothing. I still hate the heater and the slider isn’t as elite as it needs to be. Sidenote: I’ve wanted to make a Contra joke for years and I still can’t think of a good one. It teases me every time Contreras pitches and I’VE GOT NOTHING. We all have our demons.
Jack Flaherty (STL) vs LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.
He was looking better early, but ultimately he was getting away with a bit and I’m not loving the secondaries. I think it’s best we don’t chase this – I know he’ll have some great runs this year, but it looks like a Cherry Bomb from where I’m standing/sitting/leaning in my chair that I’m happy none of you can actually see. Oh, and I don’t like Cherry Bombs on my team whenever possible. The anxiety from hearing the fuse is just too dang much.
Hunter Greene (CIN) vs NYY (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 106 pitches.
Ho boy, that’s a Cherry Bomb alright. You know, a 1.00 WHIP with ten strikeouts is pretty dang fantastic, if only he didn’t have to give you a 5.14 ERA along the way. The good news here is that the slider is back with a 65% strike rate and that opens the door for massive games like this. I may buy low if someone is done with his elevated ERA – it’ll come down as long as that slider is as good as this one was. Stupid home runs…
Alex Wood (SF) vs MIA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 74 pitches.
Nooooo. He had solid pitch separation with high sinkers and low(er) secondaries, but too many were hittable and it didn’t go Wood’s way. We hold on, though, with @MIL + PIT next, especially with a longer leash in the future.
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ STL (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.
It’s been wonderful watching TATIAGA look like his best self, which makes starts like these oh-so-painful. Whatareyagonnado. He was placed on the bereavement list shortly after this start so it’s possible he wasn’t in the best head space. Poor guy.
Connor Seabold (COL) @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.
Yeah, we know.
Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.
Bleeeeeeegh. The breaker returned a marvelous 45% CSW with 10/40 whiffs and honestly, this still feels like one of those “why isn’t this working” situations. I love his four-seamer command right now and that breaker is as good as ever. H*ck, even the underperforming changeup was often well spotted. I hate sounding like this – I know how much of an overly attached/blind/unable to accept fault analyst as I express adoration despite the poor ERA/WHIP…but you see it too, right? He’s sub 20% hard contact on both the changeup and slider and yet they each are sub-20th percentile in BABIP. It’s there.
Joey Wentz (DET) @ WSH (L) – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.
You thought you were safe against the Nationals. THINK AGAIN. Your ratios came and Wentz.
Game of the Day
Cristian Javier vs. Corbin Burnes – Two aces? We get TWO aces?!
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 Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Josiah Gray has 4 QS over the past month with a 2.00 ERA. And you wonder if he is worth chasing? Pitcherlist is losing it, mate.
G Kirby with 5 QS and a 2.00 ERA over past month and he’s not AGA level. Honestly, at this point take your cute quips and labels and just burn them in the backyard.
To be fair to Flaherty, he was cruising in this one and in the 5th with 2 out and 2 strikes, the blind ump called a CLEAR STRIKE a ball and the inning continued and cost Flaherty another 20 pitches and 2 runs came across.
Not to make excuses but he looked MUCH better in his last two starts, including yesterday, and his schedule is a CAKE WALK next two weeks.
Thanks for that input Jim. Every little bit helps.
The Iroan(sy) Contra affair?