Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday 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.
Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs SF (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.
We have to take a seat and talk about Freddy Peralta, who now holds a 4.80 ERA and 1.42 WHIP on the year after last night’s destructive 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches against the Giants. Something is up and I may know what.
This start itself was a weird one. A .545 BABIP for the night is an obvious wave of the hand, as well as the pair of errors in the third that completely trounced Peralta and messed up the entire game. It explains the higher-than-usual hard contact rate and it’s not a terrible idea to just forget about this one and move on.
There are some interesting under-the-hood elements happening with Peralta, though. What’s fun is we can look at the 4.45 FIP and say “oh wait, maybe he’s actually worse this year?” but that’s missing oh-so-much of the underbelly. What I see is Peralta maintaining the same elite extension and phenomenal hard-contact mitigation skills (23rd best in the majors!) that should speak to a 7.0 H/9, and yet it’s at a ghastly 8.9 clip that screams abnormality. His four-seamer is failing to putaway batters at a massively reduced rate (15% is just 44th percentile when he’s been around 24/25% across his last three seasons), and his breakers have been unlucky in two regards: Sliders have allowed more homers and his curve has a stupid high BABIP.
Tada! That’s it. Now we ask the all-important question: Does this get better? I think so. Worries of Peralta’s shoulder history should be quelled by his career-high 94.5 mph fastball velocity that sits two ticks above last season’s mark, and all the weirdness described above should be normalized. You see, there’s more than just K/BB + HOTEL for you to normalize to the mean. Sorry to call you “defective,” Peralta. The pun was just too much fun.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Hunter Greene (CIN) @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 110 pitches.
Oh wow. Is it all because of the park? He did go into Coors + dealt with Great American for a while before this one…nah. I think going 11 strikeouts with two walks is the biggest part of it. Just to put that in perspective, Greene allowed zero hits, earning just seven outs in the field. That’s it. Seven. That’s one horrible home run rate if you think that was the difference here. Anyway, you love to see it, and you gotta keep starting him, of course.
Max Scherzer (NYM) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. You earned a Gallows Pole in Coors, I think you deserve the label again.
Jon Gray (TEX) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
Duuuuuuuude. The slider is still at its filthiest with 41% CSW and 12/37 whiffs, while the fastball was able to live in the zone and not get punished. And now he gets the Tigers?! Awwwww yeah. It may be time to sell high after that one (he has just one elite pitch, not two), but still.
Joe Musgrove (SD) @ NYY (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 88 pitches.
The slider still isn’t back, but the curve and cutter were magnificent at identical 41% CSW marks across 21 thrown apiece. He’s not quite back, but he’s obviously worthy of your starts, especially with Miami up next.
Lance Lynn (CWS) @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 104 pitches.
Five walks is dumb and makes me upset, but that’s another Quality Start and Win for Lynn as he continues his redemption tour. 3-for-3 on Wins since we put our foot down. But the schedule has been so good. Yeah, you’re not wrong. It gets tougher now with LAA + @NYY + @LAD and I am a little scared. Good luck everyone.
Alex Wood (SF) @ MIL (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.
A massive lead and a 40% CSW sinker allowed Wood to get settled in for almost six full innings, though his slider returned a paltry 47% strike rate. The changeup stepped up to induce outs (14% CSW, though) and he was able to work around five walks (yeesh) to make it a worthy stream. Do we risk it another start against the Pirates? I think so as the slider should be better, but I think I’ll have him in the Questionable Start tier this time.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ MIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 106 pitches.
Aces gonna have a poor WHIP, but not for the reason we’re used to. Five walks is all kinds of weird for Gausman, but we can point to a rate occasion when his splitter failed to eclipse a 65% strike rate (just a 59% clip here), and let’s be happy he gave you everything else you wanted in this Dusty Donut. The best pitchers still let you salvage production when things aren’t perfect.
Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.
His luck is still so terrible in the field, but this may have been a little deserved with 67% hard contact on the four-seamer, which returned four of those hits on pitches down the pipe. At the same time, the slider was filthy at 51% CSW, 66% strikes, and 12/41 whiffs. You love to see it. Just gotta not have a 9.7 hit per nine to bring that 1.39 WHIP down…it has to happen.
Chris Sale (BOS) @ ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 73 pitches.
Just three strikeouts? Really? Suitman whispers in my ear HE SAT 94.0 MPH?! Oh dear. He did hit 97 mph and after sitting low early on, and he did ramp it up as the game went on. I’m not going to overreact here, especially with a lovely schedule ahead. We good.
Jalen Beeks (TB) vs LAD (ND) – 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 31 pitches.
He opened for 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks of Cooper Criswell, who allowed just one hard-hit ball in his time. Cool stuff, he still has a 6.46 ERA on the year for a reason. Don’t.
Hunter Brown (HOU) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 88 pitches.
That’s a King Cole for Hunter, as he should against Jokeland. The curve was stupid good at 52% CSW and 10/25 whiffs, while the four-seamer has become a called strike machine. He’s a changeup away from becoming a proper Zac Gallen clone (maybe with slightly more whiffability?) and that’s a cool thing.
Shane Bieber (CLE) vs STL (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 108 pitches.
Bieber now has a 17% strikeout rate for the season. Think about that and let it soak in. I don’t think the 3.08 ERA is gonna stick, y’all.
Randy Vásquez (NYY) vs SD (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.
It was his MLB debut and not nearly as poor as what you see above. I like his cutter plenty – 34% CSW and his most used offering – and while the sinker isn’t elite by any measure, it’s a solid 94/95 mph pitch to chuck into the zone. There isn’t a whole lot else, though, with his curveball being his main putaway offering (3/16 whiffs) and it’s not something that gets you jumping out of your seat. When he gets his next chance (he was a spot starter before Domingo Germán came back from his suspension), I’d only consider him in AL-Only leagues. There’s enough there to make him a 5/6 inning threat consistently while the strikeouts could be around the 24% mark.
Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ ATL (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.
Essentially a VVVPQS with one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!) but some will still celebrate as it’s a Win. Sure. The splitter fell to 22% usage as held a 52% strike rate and you could hear the Uhhhhhhhh going on in Walker’s head. Props to him for keeping the Phils in the game for nearly seven full innings, he earned that Win.
Louie Varland (MIN) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.
A PQS against an elite offense is always a welcome thing for those without an AGA label, and to see the heater cruise to a 38% CSW despite 94.5 mph velocity (not 95/96) is also lovely from Varland. Sadly, it’s @HOU, @TBR, @TOR up next and I can’t endorse it. But after that…
Jared Shuster (ATL) vs PHI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.
The slider is still excellent, he just needs to figure out the rest now. Still, a Philly (against…who?) with a near 1.00 WHIP and five strikeouts isn’t terrible and I’m all geared up for a stream against the Athletics next. I think that’s going to turn some heads given that slide piece.
Reid Detmers (LAA) vs MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.
It’s kinda funny to watch Detmers vs Luzardo as they are pretty similar – both had a ridiculous slider (43% CSW, 9/42 whiffs here), while the fastball and #3 pitch let them down to allow more hits than we want them to. I’m pretty frustrated with Detmers as he’s been stagnant for a bit now. He has the slider he wanted, but there’s another level to hit with the fastball and curve/change that he hasn’t tweaked in the slightest. Now with a tough @HOU, CHC, @TEX schedule ahead, it may be time to resign him to Cherry Bomb label and consider other options if you don’t need the strikeouts.
Connor Seabold (COL) vs NYM (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.
It’s Coors. It’s Connor. It’s obvious.
Matthew Liberatore (STL) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 91 pitches.
Yeah, you can drop him. This is what happens when his curveball is gone, even against a weak offense like the Guardians. A guy like Liberatore isn’t allowed to not have his best pitch on a given night. Suitman whispers in my ear Ugggggh, @PIT and CIN is a really good schedule, but once again, it was Cleveland. I don’t want to trust it.
James Kaprielian (OAK) vs HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.
While the walks weren’t a major thing, it’s Houston. I dig the 16% SwStr on four-seamers, though. You may want to circle the stream in two starts against the Pirates, but absolutely ignore Atlanta and Tampa Bay sandwiching it.
Jordan Lyles (KC) vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.
Not even against the Nats. What about against–Nope. Let sleeping Jordans Lyles.
Joey Wentz (DET) vs CWS (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.
Send Joey back from Wentz he came.
Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs BOS (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.
It’s really no fun chasing Pfaadt these days. We know Nick: The fastball just isn’t good enough. Why did you have to say that in such a dumb voice. wHaT dUmB vOiCe? I don’t know why I let you sleep on my couch.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs CIN (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 70 pitches.
Uh oh. The four-seamer command was worse in this one and the slider didn’t earn whiffs. This is the worry for Steele and it’s coming at a poor time with TBR + @LAA up next. I don’t think we can overreact from this one, but considering I felt it was teetering with a Vargas Rule (is his fastball command actually elite?), the fear is creeping back.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.
Oh no. The cutter failed to earn strikes, the four-seamer was hit hard, and the breakers were jumped on as well. This wasn’t a Vargas Rule and I think his command is still fantastic. We hold and move on.
Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ KC (W) – 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 108 pitches.
Pffft. I just had to put out that tweet about his last four games, didn’t I? Welp, see ya later.
Noah Syndergaard (LAD) @ TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.
Why are you still starting Syndergaard? Seriously, this ain’t it.
George Kirby (SEA) vs PIT (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.
Oh dear, what happened here? Ahhhh, he couldn’t get his breakers to land at the bottom of the zone and his fastballs were jumped on at the top of the zone around 40% hard contact. This happens. Whatareyagonnado.
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs TEX (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.
He’s throwing harder, but he can’t get anything down. It’s destroying him and all I want is one start where everything is low for a game. Just one, why not? It’s not like he’s excelling otherwise, just take one game and experiment. I hope we see it.
Game of the Day
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)