Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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.
Colin Rea (MIL) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.
Today felt like one of those days where the pitchers I had zero expectations for did wonderful things and many of the “studs” fell on their faces. For example, look at Colin Rea as he earned a King Cole via 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches against the Orioles. Colin has had a rough season hovering a 5.00 ERA, 20% K rate and 9% walk rate, and yet he fanned eight Baltimore batters and made fools of us all. Well, not some of you, you brilliant brilliant managers.
Speaking to those strikeouts, I think y’all know I don’t believe this and still have hesitations with Rea facing the Twins next time out. His second frame came with three strikeouts that all brought skepticism – a punchout on a middle-middle heater, three whiffs from Mountcastle on hittable fastballs, and a back-door cutter that curled around the plate and still got the call.
This isn’t to say there wasn’t a chance for Colin to succeed, not at all. Rea is your typical arm who doesn’t have electric stuff nor the greatest command, but it’s all major league ability to some degree, opening the door for a low probability of starts like these. But just because you caught the bus this time doesn’t mean it’ll be there next morning. Yes it does, my bus is very punctual. WELL AREN’T YOU LUCKY.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs DET (ND) – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 108 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Can we please not fall back to the other end of the spectrum in your next start now? That would be awesome, k thx. Also, get that slider in order, you need it.
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.
Oh TATIAGA, it’s so good to see you still dominating lineups for a Gallows Pole after all these years. I don’t think we appreciate what he does often enough.
Randy Vásquez (NYY) vs CWS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 86 pitches.
Vásquez was streamed against me so obviously my Do Not Start label wasn’t going to play out, earning him a Gold Star. That’s awfully self-centered. LET ME HAVE THIS. I still don’t think there’s a whole lot to get excited about from Vásquez and he got awfully fortunate to make it through nearly six frames without getting tagged in this one. Congrats to those who earned that Win, don’t push your luck here.
Tyler Holton (DET) @ PHI (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 13 pitches.
Holton opened for Reese Olson who tossed 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches as it was more of what we saw last time: a heavy slider focus with his sinker and fastball heading armside and a changeup that had its moments. He’s on my radar, but we have to pass with Atlanta next.
Yonny Chirinos (TB) vs MIN (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 65 pitches.
Look at that, the Rays let him start for just the second time this season and he produced his best outing of the year. And none rejoiced. It’s not worth your time to chase Chirinos, especially when you realize this is the first game of the year where he fanned four batters. Wait, seriously?! Yeah, why would I lie? That would be awfully detrimental to everything I do here. It was a figure of speech YOU’RE A FIGURE OF SPEECH. Thanks…?
Reid Detmers (LAA) vs CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.
He’s introducing the curve more for 60% strikes while the slider still earned whiffs and the fastball wasn’t punished as it stuck in the upper half. I’m glad he gave trusting managers a solid game before the tough @TEX + LAD matchups up next, which I want nothing to do with. I believe in Detmers long term while recognizing the ratio risks he still brings to the table.
José Berríos (TOR) vs HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.
Just eight fastballs thrown in this one as Berríos continues to soar with sinkers and curves, here with a changeup returning 13/18 strikes as well against a strong offense. THE GREAT FUNDULATOR.
Aaron Civale (CLE) vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.
We take it and run to the bank. 66% curves + cutters is everything I ask for and I’m glad it’s working out for Civale, even if it doesn’t feel all that legit. You can leave him on the wire for the Padres, but he’ll get the Athletics + Brewers shortly after. Make sure you circle those as possible streams.
Drew Smyly (CHC) @ LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 103 pitches.
That’s nearly a VVPQS as Smyly wasn’t able to go get completely on top of his curveball, but at least the sinker came in harder and he gave you a solid ERA. I feel okay about this heading into the Pirates x2.
Mike Clevinger (CWS) @ NYY (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.
Oh cool, we gain nothing from this start. At least the four-seamer went 41% CSW with a whole lot of called strikes? I’m surprised his slider went 1/34 whiffs despite its solid gloveside locations, but then again, Clevinger doesn’t have an elite pitch in his repertoire anymore so that’s just how it is.
Bailey Ober (MIN) @ TB (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.
A dumb three-run fourth is the only blemish on an otherwise solid outing from Ober against a tough Rays crew. The four-seamer did its normal routine, while the changeup was pretty solid underneath in this one. I feel like he is what he is at this point – rarely more than six innings with about a strikeout per inning and decent ratios. That absolutely works.
Chase Anderson (COL) vs SF (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.
Is this “getting away with it”? It’s not a fun ratio time and yet for Chase, I feel like this is success on the bump and he can’t keep getting away with it.
Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.
No Win, blegh ratios, but ten strikeouts…I feel like that’s worth it? Man, I really wish I liked Bradish’s fastballs more as the slider and curve were well spotted here once again. Toronto + Tampa are next so don’t get any funny ideas. What about sad ones? Okay fine, funny ideas but not about Bradish.
Framber Valdez (HOU) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.
I gave Valdez the AGA label during my weekly update of The List, then quickly wished I had waited until after this Toronto start. This wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but he should live up to that label moving forward, especially against the Nationals next.
Matt Dermody (BOS) @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 76 pitches.
He’s already been DFA’d by Boston and we’re going to move on here.
Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs LAD (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 46 pitches.
Ashcraft was pulled from this one after taking a comebacker to the calf, and that clearly affected him. He should be dropped by now anyway and if he hits the IL (I wouldn’t expect it to happen), there’s no reason to have him clog up an IL spot.
Luis Severino (NYY) vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.
His velocity is still down to 95/96 (not 97) as the heater allowed most of his hits against the ChiSox. I’m still a little weirded out by Severino after this + his previous outing with the lower velocity. At least the slider went 4/14 whiffs and 43% CSW, but he also hung cutters and changeups and I’m just spooked right now. It doesn’t feel like him.
Alex Cobb (SF) @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.
Coors. Is. Un. De. Let’s just end it there. I feel like that doesn’t sound right. I don’t want to hear it toda–FEATED.
Justin Verlander (NYM) @ ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.
Welp, after killing it against the Jays, Verlander didn’t return the same line…and yet I think he’s still pitching well? His four-seamer and slider pitch separation is fantastic as he’s leaning glove-side with both heater and slider, not allowing a single hit on sliders. His fastball mistakes over the plate were punished, though, but they didn’t represent the whole. He may be an interesting buy low after this one.
Lance Lynn (CWS) @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.
Womp womp. He is a tick up on both the four-seamer and cutter while earning 30%+ CSW on both, but his four-seamer got smacked around a bit and he didn’t look overpowering on the hill in the slightest. Now it’s the Dodgers and I’m not gonna do it. He could come through against the Mariners + Red Sox after that, but I’d recommend staying at the hotel instead of the Lynn.
Spencer Strider (ATL) vs NYM (ND) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 87 pitches.
Normally if we sit Spence we’d be none the richer, but this was a wild turn of events as he earned a share of the Gallows Pole and 37% CSW but got trounced by the Mets, even without Alonso. And some of you wanted him to be the #1 SP. I kid, we all know this was weird, and save for the odd 95.9 mph average heater (normally 97+), he still earned a 38% CSW on the pitch and things went south because baseball does that. Whatareyagonnado.
Game of the Day
AJ Smith-Shawver vs. Washington Nationals – We saw him in relief but I want to get a great look at AJSS when he gets a proper start. He’s fastball/slider from my understanding and while I’m not starting him, I’m awfully curious what this looks like. It’s not typical for a team to be this aggressive in their promotions without the player coming with legit electricity.
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: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)