Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday 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.
Mike Clevinger (SD) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.
It’s a double-whammy of reassuring outings as after yesterday’s exhale from Brandon Woodruff’s performance, we exhaled again from Mike Clevinger’s against the Diamondbacks with his impressive 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches line. The man finally did something that makes you feel confident in him.
The four-seamer comfortably sat 94 mph, his curve and slider (or is it slider and cutter?) returned 7/23 whiffs between them and his command was…fine. There’s still room for growth there, but just to see Clev earning whiffs on his breakers paired with solid velocity en route to domination feels like it’s about dang time.
We’ve waited nearly three months to see it come to fruition for Clevinger. The ceiling of a Top 20 SP is still in there and if the command gets a touch better along with this stuff, he’ll be there by August. I’ll be so thrilled if he does.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Justin Verlander (HOU) @ NYM (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s a 2.03 ERA on the year across 97.1 frames and I wouldn’t plan for the Astros to shut him down as the season goes on. What a stud.
Taijuan Walker (NYM) vs HOU (ND) – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 93 pitches.
Look at you go! His stuff was far from its best self, but hey, those who took a shot on Walker here were very clearly rewarded. Gotta give credit where it’s due. Here’s to hoping the strikeouts return against the Reds next.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs CWS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 108 pitches.
Aces gonna ace and earn a Golden Goal because his name is Shohei h*ckin’ Ohtani. Once again, the slider DOMINATED, here for a whopping 61% CSW across 36 thrown and it is stupid fun to watch. Give the dang man his second MVP.
Kyle Wright (ATL) @ PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 98 pitches.
Much better fastball/secondary separation in this one as Wright lowered his sparkling ERA to a 3.03 clip. I’d dangle him in trades and see what you can get in return — I’m not saying he’s going to fall apart, but I’d wager his ERA will be sitting comfortably above that 3.00 mark by season’s end.
Zack Greinke (KC) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.
Props to Greinke, doing exactly what you rostered him for: ratios and a possible Win at the cost of strikeouts. Too bad it’s Houston next, you can drop him for something else instead of riding the bench if you like.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.
Steele had a solid heater and a meh slider, which apparently is enough against the Reds on the road. Don’t get any funny ideas against the Brewers + Dodgers next.
Madison Bumgarner (ARI) vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 105 pitches.
I’m a bit shocked to see Bumgarner survive against the Padres as a lefty (albeit with a 1.40 WHIP), though his heater did sit a tick harder at 92 mph. He’s a Toby at best and I’d rather not against the Giants next.
Rony García (DET) @ SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.
Sure, that’s an outing, I say, giving a small, casual salute above my right eye. So, what’s for lunch?
Austin Voth (BAL) @ SEA (L) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 62 pitches.
Okay, this happened. Nick Vespi followed with an 89 mph heater, making this The Voth and the (lack of) Flame.
Jalen Beeks (TB) vs MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 33 pitches.
We thought this may be Springs, but it’s 2022 and the Rays have to get their bullpen game quotas squared away. Who am I to step in the way of quotas?
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) @ STL (W) – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 117 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s a 1.00 WHIP and 2.00 ERA because, you know, complete game. Sure, the strikeouts aren’t what you want, but nine innings of those ratios is glorious. What a stud. And they said the 200+ inning pitcher is dead.
Alek Manoah (TOR) vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 99 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Just 1/20 slider whiffs leaves a bit to be desired, but 13 across his heaters makes it all cool with us. Enjoy the gift that is Oakland next.
Andre Pallante (STL) vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.
Huh, I’m glad to see him coast through seven frames, but this feels a bit too fortunate for me to latch onto. I wouldn’t go chasing it with Atlanta on the horizon.
Nick Pivetta (BOS) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 109 pitches.
The dude is on one h*ck of a Vargas Rule, here executing the BSB super well with high four-seamers and low breakers. It’s kinda what I’ve been wishing for from Pivetta for a while and I can’t help but wonder if he’s actually good with his command after all these years. Seems far-fetched, I know, but his plot is just that good.
Dane Dunning (TEX) @ KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.
I guess that’s a Dusty Donut with its 1.50 ERA and just three strikeouts. If this is how Dunning performs when it works, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s worth the time. Not great, just okay Dane.
Dylan Bundy (MIN) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 83 pitches.
Hey, I’m happy Bundy survived, but just 12% sliders?! One strikeout!? HAISTBMBWT?! I need more if I’m to put myself in harm’s way.
Michael Kopech (CWS) @ LAA (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.
Oh dear, he sat 93.8 mph in this one and returned a combined 13% CSW on 31 breakers. This is not the Kopech we’ve dreamed of. Not at all. But the line wasn’t so bad! Sure, he elevated that slower four-seamer effectively, but I need more. I need that command + velocity + solid secondaries. We’re just 1/3 here.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs MIN (ND) – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.
He’s the UnQuantrillfiable for a reason and his cutter was fantastic, allowing his sinker to sit arm-side and off the plate all night. It’s how he gets it done, giving him a chance for 6+ frames…at the cost of punchouts. Totally up to you, the man is one of the top contenders for The Flenderson at this point.
Chris Flexen (SEA) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 100 pitches.
Oh hey, it’s Flexen with a VPQS and just three strikeouts. I guess the Win makes up for it…but does it? DOES IT REALLY?!
Alex Wood (SF) vs DET (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.
Shocking, but this was close to a King Cole for Wood against the Tigers, where he finished one out shy from a PQS. His slider was legit and he was pumping 92.5 mph heaters, making me wonder if the Giants defense really is that bad here. Wood should be boasting better ratios than this.
Julio Urías (LAD) @ COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 89 pitches.
Ehhhhh, he didn’t make it a full six and those ratios are suspect, but at least his changeup was improved and he didn’t destroy you if you took the risk in Coors. Fortunately, two wonderful matchups await Urías and I’ll allow an AGA label if he thrives in both.
Jameson Taillon (NYY) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.
After a tough first frame with three runs on the board, he settled down to last long enough for the dub. Thanks, Taillon. Your service will not be forgotten. Here’s to better days against his former squad in Pittsburgh.
Eric Lauer (MIL) @ TB (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.
Yep, I’m done, even if his heater sat 93.5 mph. His command isn’t what it needs to be and I just can’t trust him — just 3/43 whiffs on the heater. I know, I should have quit on him sooner, but that 94 mph velocity seduced my weak self last time out. It was a fun run while it lasted, Lauer.
Hunter Greene (CIN) @ CHC (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches.
Blegh. We were hoping for more from Greene, but a pair of poorly timed doubles resulted in three runs and a poor day at the park. Overall, solid sliders and heaters, though, so not many complaints outside of getting an early hook. So it goes. He gets the Mets next and that seems…rough. I’d be cautious there.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs ATL (L) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 110 pitches.
Oh hey, the changeup finally earned whiffs again (6/22) but it came with worse fastballs because we can’t have nice things. If that changeup is the same moving forward, it does open the door for a Vargas Rule akin to last fall, but I wouldn’t bank on it all coming together soon.
Paolo Espino (WSH) vs PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 66 pitches.
Paolo will have his moments this year as a streamer, but it’s too early to put faith in that. Don’t worry, like an antsy kid in math class, you’ll get a chance to enjoy P.E. soon enough.
Cole Irvin (OAK) @ NYY (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.
It’s the wrong Cole! If Irvin doesn’t produce against the Guardians, he sure isn’t against the Yankees…though that is a solid 1.00 WHIP and 17 whiffs…hmmm. Stupid Judge/Stanton HRs ruining everything. It’s the Jays next and even against meh teams it’s a coin flip. Try something else.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.
I can only blame myself for this one, the time I finally put any faith into Keller after his last four outings all came with 2 ER or fewer. The sinker did well, everything else did not, and there’s your poor outing against the Nats. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself. I guess it was a last Mitch effort.
Germán Márquez (COL) vs LAD (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 75 pitches.
This was Coors. And the Dodgers. And Márquez. You don’t need me.
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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Featured image by Ethan Kaplan.