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.
J.P. France (HOU) @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 84 pitches.
It’s a day in 2023, which means we have another prospect pitcher making his MLB debut with J.P. France facing the Mariners, and he did everything the Astros could ask for – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 84 pitches. Entering this game, my looser-than-a-kindergartner’s-shoelaces take was France wasn’t a whole lot to get hyped about. I saw a four-seamer/cutter guy on Savant, without each pitch being all too special and thought “yeah, he’s okay, I guess.”
I watched this one and that take is…kinda right? His four-seamer has cut action and I’m not a huge fan of those, while the cutter is a good but not stellar option. Thing is, his curveball and slider looked far better than I expected, creating a proper four-pitch mix that could play for a winning ball club like the Astros. With the White Sox next, this seems like a tangible add, even without the best command or stuff involved. France isn’t the revolution you’re chasing for your fantasy team, but it could work.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ LAA (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 107 pitches.
Another ridiculous night from Eovaldi, this time surprising me with just 95.7 mph velocity. His splitter and cutter earned a boatload of outs here you gotta keep starting the man. That’s 20 straight scoreless innings ya’ll.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 107 pitches.
We had this start circled against the Brewers and we’re happy to see it work out. To those who mentioned “he didn’t throw his slider because of Mexico City’s elevation!” does 4/107 (3.7%) usage satisfy you? Because it sure doesn’t quench my thirst as all I want is Cobb to have the breaker to help him get strikes. Without it, I think he’s ultimately still a Cherry Bomb, highly dependent on sinker called strikes and splitter whiffs. But hey, it was enough here and it could be enough against the Diamondbacks next. I just want him to be more.
Dustin May (LAD) @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.
Are we glad this was productive? Absolutely. You have your stats, let me have my skepticism given 2/28 whiffs on cutters + curveballs and this outing being so heavily reliant on his sinker earning called strikes. I’m still selling high here.
Drew Rasmussen (TB) vs NYY (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.
Okay good. Please have a few more of these so I can remove the sheer concept that you’re a Cherry Bomb. I never want that horrid hypothetical to be reality.
Matt Barnes (MIA) @ CHC (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 24 pitches.
Oh cool, a bullpen game for the Marlins. Cool cool cool.
José Berríos (TOR) @ PIT (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.
Ahhhhh, finally a good start where the curve was actually good! 40% CSW on the pitch here as the sinker and four-seamer were able to steal 12 called strikes between them, allowing The Great Undulator to properly swing the pendulum. Now it’s Atlanta, so I’m imagining everyone getting off their break and heaving the giant brass weight in the other direction. Come on Bob, PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT!
Austin Gomber (COL) @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.
The Mets are really that bad, huh? Sure, Gomber was sitting a tick higher, but we know the truth. Don’t fight it. The Mets got Gomber’d.
Tommy Henry (ARI) vs WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.
How worth it is that 3.00 ERA? Because that’s all you got here and it’s better than we expected. WE WANT PFAADT! …We already got Pfaadt. WE WANT A DO-OVER.
MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.
One ER away from a VPQS…and yet, I can’t be mad at nine strikeouts and just one walk. The man was Singled Out and I’m seeing a bit of the Robbie Ray approach here – chuck heaters down the middle and don’t care, while locating sliders and curveballs down. It’s close, though I think Gore’s heater needs to be better spotted to avoid getting swatted like a popular streamer. Now with the Mets and Marlins next, I’m kinda tempted to keep leaning in here. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Blake Snell (SD) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.
YESSSS. He’s clearly doing everything I expected him to do and this is just th—Suitman whispers into my ear Uh huh, the slider was 2/8 strikes, okay…the curveball too? 41% strikes?! So you’re telling me that he got a lot of outs with his four-seamer “around” the zone and his changeup was his best pitch?! NOOOOOOOO.
Logan Allen (CLE) vs MIN (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.
Yep, that makes sense. I don’t see Allen as a major strikeout arm like the other top prospects and expected the strikeout rate to fall with time as he profiles out more like a Holly than a potential ace. And that’s totally fine with me, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Not really sure why he went so far away from the slider, though. He should be tossing that all the time.
Spencer Strider (ATL) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 95 pitches.
Aces gonna ace and earn a Golden Goal after a massive clunker last week. Please be a touch more efficient so you can go a full six next time, k thx.
Domingo Germán (NYY) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.
Against the Rays? Yeah that’s absolutely cool with me. The curve was still magnificent and the change + four-seamer did their part. Now do it again. Don’t push your luck.
Drew Smyly (CHC) vs MIA (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.
Blegh. You couldn’t go more than 10 outs against the Marlins? Really?! We may be done here with the Twins + Astros next, though I can see his curveball returning against Minnesota and making it work. Don’t feel like you need to hold, though. Like the state of Oklahoma on an envelope, he’s OK.
Colin Rea (MIL) @ SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.
A PQS with a sub 1.00 WHIP? Yeah, that’ll do. I don’t really like what Rea brings to the table, though the Royals are next and it could be more of the same if this is your jam.
Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.
That’s a VPQS against the Astros and the command is still very much what I want it to be with the Tigers up next. This is the moment, y’all. Four straight starts of great four-seamer/curve/change separation and a weak opponent. HE’S GOT THIS.
Sonny Gray (MIN) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.
The man is human after all. The curve was still stellar at 46% CSW, but the slider was barely a thing and the cutter wasn’t as much of a factor as we want it to be. It’s not a disaster by any means and with that curve performing well, it keeps the door open for more success moving forward. (I’m still selling high, though.)
Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.
I really didn’t like this one for Bradish as he hasn’t been locked in with the breakers + Atlanta is no fun, and watching Bradish go 36% slider is a lovely surprise…but I still hate the heaters (even with a 47% CSW on the four-seamer!) and his curve didn’t do a whole lot. Are you starting him against Pittsburgh? I dunno, I think I’m gonna pass.
Corey Kluber (BOS) @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
How badly did you need this Win? Was it worth horrible ratios and butterless bread? I THINK NOT.
Tylor Megill (NYM) vs COL (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.
Blegh. I’m upset at Megill failing to take down Rockie Road and now there’s no reason to anticipate a rebound against the Nats. There’s just not enough here.
Reid Detmers (LAA) vs TEX (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.
NICK! I have to drop Detmers, I just can’t take it anymore! Look, I don’t throw the baseball, all I do is tell you what I’m doing in my fantasy leagues. And me? I’m obviously holding. Why drop him right before the dawn? I had him in the questionable start tier for this one because the Rangers are a strong offense and his slider went 8/39 whiffs while the curve returned 47% CSW. And the heater? It didn’t sit 94.5 mph, nay, it sat 96 mph. Give me a non-top-tier offense and Detmers crushes. You can do whatever you want, I’m excited to watch him blossom against Cleveland, Minnesota, and Miami up next. Now is the time to buy low.
Nick Lodolo (CIN) vs CWS (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.
For those wondering, no he’s not injured, just pulled early. It really hasn’t been fun rostering Lodolo this year and I see it as a possible buy-low moment. Make sure it’s actually low, though, as Lodolo plays out like a better Andrew Heaney with his situation in Cincy, with a possible ceiling of becoming more than that. At the very least, I don’t see him consistently struggling as the season progresses – his heater and breaker (43% CSW!) are too good for that – and the horrid BABIP is sure to regress. Small samples are weird.
Mike Clevinger (CWS) @ CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.
Clevinger was a strikeout play for those letting him ride and you got what you came for as his slider was as good as we’ve seen all year at 40% CSW. It seems like he’s primed for an all-around start of production against the Royals, but I also see a guy who’s not all too consistent with a low floor. It’s a coin flip for me.
Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 114 pitches.
I had a sliver of hope Waldichuk unlocked something his previous start and I’m sad to report he’s still putzing around with his command – the dude needed 114 pitches to get through five frames. Oakland was that desperate to get their starter a Win as they treated Ken like it was the late 80s. Living in the past is all we have right now.
Adam Wainwright (STL) vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.
After a Triple-A game that startled me with a variety of secondary pitches, this was more of your standard curveball/fastball approach that isn’t super interesting. 87/88 mph heaters from Waino create such a small margin for error and I want nothing to do with it.
Spencer Turnbull (DET) @ STL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.
You’re trusting Turnbull these days? Why? Stick that Frozen Banana back in the freezer you monster.
Brady Singer (KC) vs OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.
Jeeeeeeez. I’m conflicted. On one hand, Singer is in such a rut that the Athletics can’t pull him out of it. On the other, he’s still nailing it with his sinker and his slider command is still generally good – it feels like he should return to form soon. That said, even a “return to form” is still shaky without legit sustainability at a high level. Hmmmmm. But it’s the White Sox + Tigers in two of his next three! And this was The Athletics. You do what you feel is best.
Bailey Falter (PHI) vs BOS (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 69 pitches.
Womp womp. There just isn’t enough juice in these lemons. Why would they sell these lemons at the store knowing they had such little juice? HOW COULD THEY TREAT US LIKE THIS. I feel like this is more about lemons. LIFE IS ALWAYS ABOUT LEMONS.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.
It was the Jays. You don’t start a Cherry Bomb with highly questionable command against the Jays. Maybe the Orioles next (they are a sweeter bird), but definitely not the Jays.
Game of the Day
Julio Urías vs. Joe Musgrove – I want to see Musgrove perform at the top of his game and Urías is hot off a ten-strikeout game.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Buy low on Detmers. Sell high on May. This site is losing it.
Who stated as fact that Cobb was avoiding sliders because of Mexico City? I know someone was legitimately asking…