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Brandon GoodStuff

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday 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.  

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 76 pitches.

The fantasy season has its ebbs and flows and more often than not, I feel the anxiety of a great pitcher struggling. We dream of the day life returns to normal and today is one of those days as Brandon Woodruff returned from the IL to go 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 76 pitches against the Rays for the dub. Phew.

His heaters were each up nearly two ticks to 97/98 mph, earned 13/51 whiffs between them and his changeup and curve earned strikes (there’s still work to be done on the slider feel, but whatever).

There’s not much else to be said here. I’ll wait one more outing before vaulting him into the Top 10 again — let’s see the velocity stick — but it sure feels like Woodruff is back to normal. Let out that massive sigh of relief. The burden has been lifted.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Framber Valdez (HOU) @ NYM (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I’m shocked once again as Valdez cruised despite his curveball providing little help — we’re talking just 5/16 strikes in this one — and his sinker did all the work at a higher 94.5 mph velocity. Thank the cutter for assisting as well for 12/16 strikes with the hook taking a vacation. Send it pizza or something.

Robbie Ray (SEA) vs BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

Another fantastic outing for Ray, all stemming from his move from four-seamers to sinkers. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t believe in the arsenal change when he started doing it, but here we are, four starts later and just 2 ER on the board. Give me two more of these and you have your AGA label — I can’t do it after a start against the A’s next time. That feels like cheating.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

Wow, he just keeps rolling and I’m in shock. The cutter earned ten whiffs last start and here went just 3/26 whiffs, but came with enough strikes to push him along. He’s avoiding the heart of the zone well enough to skirt by, but is this just one of those mini-runs that you wish you could have magically known about from the start and will end the moment you commit? It sure feels like that. I don’t even want to call it a Vargas Ruleit feels too mediocre for that.

Luis Castillo (CIN) @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 123 pitches.

I’m sorry WHAT?! Castillo tossed 123 pitches, featured 19/57 four-seamer whiffs, sat 97/98 mph on the pitch, earned a 40% CSW on heaters and…went 0/18 changeup whiffs. Incredible, the man can look so dang dominant and yet still find a way to give you a poor WHIP. Congrats on the well-earned Gallows Polejust imagine how many he could have earned if that slowball was like the one of old. Boy do I hope that four-seamer is here to stay…

Josh Winder (MIN) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

Hey he’s back! And struck out just one batter on four whiffs! HAISTBMBWT?! He’ll head back to the minors now as he was the extra man for this doubleheader, so let’s pay him no mind for now.

Zach Plesac (CLE) vs MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

Wow. Plesac’s slider woke up about a month ago or so and it dominated here with 44% CSW and eleven whiffs, but is it enough to start him again versus the Yankees? I’d personally prefer to wait until after that start, especially if he’s still showing the same skill. The changeup still isn’t earning whiffs yet, for what it’s (Farns)worth.

JP Sears (NYY) vs OAK (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.

Wow, I’m impressed, Sears. I didn’t anticipate you’d be able to go a full 17 outs on just 78 pitches, let alone be this effective. It did only return one strikeout, though, (HAISTBMBWT?!and I’m not sure I’m gonna be all too pumped when you make another start sometime later in the summer.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs PIT (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 113 pitches.

Ohhhh now you’re electing to dominate across eight frames for a King Cole — it’s awfully hard to earn a 40% CSW when you toss 113 pitches. He can thank his slider during the acceptance speech for going 49% CSW across 51 thrown, a product of their consistent low location and solid separation from his heaters, all sitting above 93 mph. Thing is, I’ve seen this before across the last two years and the results haven’t look like this. Y’all know me — I want to believe this but simply can’t and I implore you to be cautious here.

Jon Gray (TEX) @ KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Duuuuuude the man can’t be stopped! That’s 96.4 mph on his heater with his slick slider and the hits just keep on coming. Yes, I’m starting him against the Mets as JG is pitching like the man we hoped he would waaaay back in those distant winter months.

Carlos Rodón (SF) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Just four-seamer/slider here and…oh no. No no no no. What? He sat 93.7 mph on his heater. NO NO NO NO NO. But he ramped it up in the later innings! Okay so he did hit 97 mph in the sixth inning, but he also tossed 91 and 92 mph heaters earlier in the frame. I really hope this was just a weird night where he took it easy. It’s too soon for his degradation.

José Quintana (PIT) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

The pitch separation is still there and I’m stoked for Quintana. Seriously, I may not have been trusting him on my fantasy teams, but I think this recent run is incredibly impressive as he’s squeezing the most he can out of his mediocre stuff. Take a shot against the Brewers if you want — keep in mind, it requires his command to be at this peak for success — I’m not sure I’m ready to do it.

Devin Smeltzer (MIN) @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

knew I should have picked Smeltzer for the streaming pick. He earned three whiffs each across four different pitches, propelling his nine strikeouts and don’t you dare be expecting Smeltz to repeat that tally any time soon. But it’s the Orioles next! I know what I said. Feel free to carry DS around in your pocket for that start, just lower your expectations a hair. He’s not this good.

Shane Baz (TB) vs MIL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

So hey, Baz may win Rookie of the Year with the way he’s pitching. H*ck, the dude may get an AGA label in July if he keeps this up. He’s a stud.

Frankie Montas (OAK) @ NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

Okay Frankie, you’ve made it. Aces gonna ace. This was the test I requested and you made it happen against a challenging offense. The splitter was super legit (68% strikes, nine whiffs) and the slider did work, too. I wonder if his future value goes up further given the inevitable move at the trade deadline.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ PHI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hmmmmm. The heater wasn’t as impressive here and while the ERA is fine, that WHIP hurts as the bus driving Morton’s redemption tour has a flat tire. I TOLD VINNIE TO CHECK THE TIRES. Here’s to hoping it’s just a pit stop and Cincinnati will get him back on course.

Ross Stripling (TOR) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

Props to Stripling for surviving against the Red Sox and he absolutely deserves more love from me now that’s he’s kept his head above water through the rough NYY, CWS(?), BOS gauntlet. You’ve earned that Rays start next, don’t let that be the one we regret. So you dig Stripling now? Ehhhh not really. Sorry. I just don’t love his repertoire a ton — feel free to start him against the Rays, but he isn’t a mid-season savior for your squads.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs ATL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna mostly ace. Can you do it with just 2 ER or fewer next time? K thx.

Johnny Cueto (CWS) @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ehhh a PQS with a Win constitutes a streaming victory, but it sure doesn’t feel great. I think that sums up Cueto perfectly. Huh. I guess so.

Sean Manaea (SD) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 112 pitches.

Ehhh I want better than a PQS from Manaea, but whatever, at least the dude isn’t blowing up on us and salvaged a 1.00 WHIP with seven strikeouts. I’ll take it.

Kyle Freeland (COL) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

VPQS while hosting the Dodgers in Coors? Yeah, I think that’ll do just fine. Thanks Freeland, you’re still not getting my Bud Light.

Dakota Hudson (STL) vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

The man is a coin flip and after it hit the ground we all shouted WHERE DID IT GO?! The answer? We never flipped it. He was still on the wire the whole time…

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ SF (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 108 pitches.

Blegh. He really is struggling, even if his four-seamer excelled in this one. Simply put, his secondaries aren’t enough right now and he’s trying to figure it out. Do I think this is who he is now for the rest of the year? Absolutely not and he currently has a TIARAI’d imagine he’ll have it fixed by the second half.

Chase Silseth (LAA) vs CWS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 72 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Silseth! And his split-changeup landed for 10/14 strikes with a decent slider and four-seamer, but he made a few mistakes and got punished by the ChiSox. That’s baseball, Suzyn. He’s taking the spot of Reid Detmers and could be a deep stream against the Marlins. I wouldn’t in 12-teamers, though.

Keegan Thompson (CHC) vs CIN (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hmmmm. You see the eight punchouts and think the four-seamer & cutter are up to their old tricks, but not really. Not one pitch earned more than three whiffs individually and I’m not sure I’m ready to accept Thompson as a strikeout pitcher with his repertoire. He gets the Red Sox next, so this should be an easy pass.

Michael Wacha (BOS) @ TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

I mean, yeah, we’re okay with Wacha against Detroit, but Toronto? Naaaaaah. Just because you like Pepsi doesn’t mean you enjoy RC.

Konnor Pilkington (CLE) vs MIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

The Twins are no joke and despite Karl Pilkington often being one, Konnor was…just trying his best. The Guardians have another doubleheader next Monday and Pilk will likely get a start there, too, but this time against the Tigers. There’s a deep stream if you need it.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ STL (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’ve seen worse from Garrett, but unless he’s going against the bottom of the offensive barrel, you’re better off leaving him on the wire.

Zac Gallen (ARI) vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Gallen had himself a horrid fifth frame, allowing all six of his earned runs as the Diamondbacks coaches sat there and shrugged. The changeup wasn’t the same, the cutter/slider is still missing, and he struggled to land the curveball in the zone. Bleeeeeegh. Let’s hope for a rebound against the Giants.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs HOU (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Womp womp. It was a rough matchup for Cookie and he simply didn’t have enough to survive. Whatever, start him against the Reds next.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.

Well that hurts. Sure, it’s Coors n all, but we still had hopes for TATIAGA to come through as he’s supposed to. Welp, we shrug and move on.

Jonathan Heasley (KC) vs TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yeah okay, that’s enough consideration for Heasley for, oh, I don’t know, the rest of the year. Fine, do something legit exceptional and maybe we can talk again.

 

Game of the Day 

Michael Kopech vs. Shohei Ohtani – I want to see 96+ mph Kopech and Shohei is always a joy.

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 Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire – Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “Brandon GoodStuff”

  1. Elam says:

    Rodon apparently was dealing with a nail split, don’t know if that explains the velocity dip

  2. Jayson says:

    Kershaw hasn’t been good since his return from injury. His WHIP tends to indicate things will get worse soon rather than the other way around if he keeps pitching like he does.

    Skubal is just bad. I mean 4 awful outings in a row for a guy who clearly benefited from a good schedule and who was nowhere elite last season? Skubal is more likely getting back on Earth than temporarily struggling in my opinion.

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