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 9 am-11 am ET.
Julio Urías (LAD) @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 94 pitches.
Back in February, I ranked Julio Urías inside my Top 10 SP for 2022. The reasoning was simple: That he was on a winning team and had an expected 180+ frames ahead created a baseline for stellar ratios, and seemingly would hover between a 25%-30% strikeout rate. Up to the last week, the final part was in major contention, flirting with a 20% clip and looking more like a solid-but-not-ace as he couldn’t find the whiffs.
Well, it’s been a bit different lately, with Friday marking his second game in three with 20 whiffs – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 94 pitches – as he took down Atlanta for the Win. His last three starts alone have raised his strikeout rate from 19.6% to 23.5%, and it starts to bring him back into the conversation of AGA label. Next he faces his biggest challenge yet of Coors and if he can survive that, you bet he has it.
As for how he’s having more success, I’d favor it as his fastball velocity sitting 93/94 mph recently + an improved curve and changeup. I don’t think it’s massively different and a path toward a 25% strikeout rate may be harder than his recent peak suggests, but he’s making a fantastic case that a 20% clip is likely a thing of the past.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Germán Márquez (COL) @ MIN (W) – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 101 pitches.
I’m happy he survived, but with five walks and two strikeouts?! 3/101 whiffs?! It’s like you’re being forced to do well and want to give us all the signs to make sure we avoid you in the future. Thanks, I guess.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ STL (W) – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
Oh hey, it worked out this time. That’s cool. So you’re picking me up? Nah. Have a good one.
MacKenzie Gore (SD) vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.
I know many had fears entering this start, and I’m a little more fearful leaving it than entering. Not much was working across his secondaries and his four-seamer was down to just 93.3 mph on average — down from a 95 mph clip for the year. It’s awful timing for a start against the Dodgers and I’d avoid him for that one. It feels more like a valley than a proper descent to mediocrity, though, so I’d stash and hope he recovers.
Aaron Nola (PHI) @ SD (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s four straight starts as Nola is COOKING. Easy-A, you’ve made Nola Day wonderful again.
Justin Verlander (HOU) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. The only blemish was an oppo-taco from Giancarlo Stanton and he just keeps rolling. I think we’ve all taken Verlander’s rapid return to greatness for granted a little bit.
Dylan Bundy (MIN) vs COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 60 pitches.
Were you daring enough to chase Bundy against Rockie Road? Props to you, I sure wasn’t. 28% slider usage is a little encouraging, but he needs to do more than be super-efficient with balls in play for me to jump back in.
Zack Greinke (KC) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.
I had no idea how long Greinke would go in this one, forcing me to keep him low in my daily ranks despite a start against the Athletics. So of course he economically tosses 84 pitches to go six full frames. Duh. I understand starting him against the Rangers next, but only do it if you’re chasing the ratios and a QS. You’ll be making a Grave Mistake otherwise.
Dane Dunning (TEX) vs WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.
I’m glad he was able to go six with just one earned run, but that WHIP hurts and I’m not ready to trust him again. Sorry, bucko, I’m dunn.
Rony García (DET) @ ARI (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 81 pitches.
Hey, this ain’t so bad. Good job Rony, I don’t expect you to boast a 43% CSW with a 92.4 mph heater moving forward. Blame it on the Diamondbacks.
Paolo Espino (WSH) @ TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.
Hey look at Espino go. But that WHIP is terrible and it was just three strikeouts. Rando, I know, I see the line. It’s more that Paolo is effective in any way is impressive to me. Good on ya, bud. Maybe you’re a rare streamer this summer.
Austin Voth (BAL) @ CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 47 pitches.
I know, he’s on the wrong DC-area team, but the Orioles needed someone to start a bullpen game and Baltimore had a Voth-phase. Let’s move on. Please.
Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ SF (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 104 pitches.
The sinker is still gone, but the cutter was dominant as the slider fell underneath it. I’m not buying into that cutter being this good moving forward — this feels like an exception instead of a new rule — but maybe he did figure something out here. I really wish we saw that sinker come more alive, though. He gets the Cubs next and I can’t overlook how that could return another fortunate start. You’re back on the menu, Ashcraft.
Nick Pivetta (BOS) @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.
Don’t think about it, just follow the Vargas Rule and keep starting Pivetta. But I don’t like that he—Shhhh. Stop thinking and go.
Alek Manoah (TOR) @ MIL (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 106 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. All four of his pitches earned a 33% CSW except for his sinker that went 11/31 called strikes. Life is good as a Manoah manager.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.
So it’s not six frames, but just 2 ER is pretty impressive and Quantrill has once again been the most Toby of Tobys. It blows my mind.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs CIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.
Not a terrible start and he was on a limited pitch count as expected. The splitter wasn’t so spectacular, but he’s still at 94+ mph and I’m cool holding onto Cobb right now.
Michael Lorenzen (LAA) vs SEA (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.
Just a 59% strike rate forced Lorenzen out of this one with just nine outs on the board. Yeeesh. I’d bench him against the Astros and if you’re in dire need of a roster spot, you can let him go. He’s not so exceptional to hold for 12 days if you need the roster spot, even if it is a start against the Orioles.
Jeffrey Springs (TB) vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 102 pitches.
That’s a King Cole for Springs despite the PQS, as the slider returned and overwhelmed while the changeup was brilliant with 7/19 whiffs. The magic hasn’t faded yet and we keep pushing forward with Springs in the Summers.
Michael Kopech (CWS) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.
Ehhhh. I can’t say I’m encouraged by a PQS with four walks and two strikeouts against the Orioles. His four-seamer sat just 94/7 mph, his slider and curveball were atrocious — 3/36 CSW made me gasp — and let’s just be lucky he faced Baltimore. You’re better than this Kopech, I hope the knee isn’t holding you back.
Taijuan Walker (NYM) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.
That’s a VVPQS and I hope that Win makes up for it. The slider wasn’t as exceptional as last time, but I think he got a bit Singled Out with 94/95 mph heaters and a decent splitter. Not his best start, though he still deserved better.
Andre Pallante (STL) vs CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 90 pitches.
A VVPQS with two strikeouts against the Cubs? Yeah, that’s not nearly the upside I wanted to see from Pallante. Bummer. I hope the secondaries can come alive in the future.
Luis Severino (NYY) vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Yes, even with that 4.50 ERA, which all came from a three-shot in the sixth. The slider has returned in full across June and I’m so thrilled about it.
Cole Irvin (OAK) @ KC (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 66 pitches.
Womp womp. It’s awfully close to a VPQS that could be argued as a streaming victory, but this is so clearly not helpful. That’s why he’s a streamer after all — obviously he had the chance to be productive and it didn’t work out. At least I won’t be tempted again soon with the Yanks and Jays next.
Chris Flexen (SEA) @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.
He’s the king of the Dusty Donut with that Win today. Get used to that label.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.
You know, this line ain’t so bad as it’s 1 ER away from being great. Seeing 3/34 whiffs on breakers, now that’s bad. All the hope I had for Keller being something exciting has faded, even if he’s gone the sinker > four-seamer route. I just can’t buy into Keller as a ratio-focused Toby. Naaaah.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs NYM (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.
Aces gonna have their defense let them down. And be a little more underwhelming than we see with his changeup and slider. Just six whiffs across the board is absolutely wild. He’s fine.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.
Bleeeegh. Kelly’s heater was down a tick from where we wanted to see it and the changeup wasn’t stellar, leaving the meh cutter and the rare curve. Now he gets Coors and the Giants – is he worth it to you to hold for the Giants? I’m not sure he is.
Ian Anderson (ATL) vs LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.
He’s a Cherry Bomb who dealt with one of the most punishing teams. His changeup was actually pretty consistently spotted down, but it wasn’t enough and too inconsistent to earn a strike when he needed it. Blegh. If you haven’t dropped him yet, I would heavily consider it as there isn’t much of a sign of this turning around…nor you believing it if he does.
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 102 pitches.
This was the Jays. This was Houser. This was destiny.
Game of the Day
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.
Photo by Arturo Pardavila III (https://www.flickr.com/people/63704136@N00) | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)