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.
Bailey Falter (PHI) @ PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 80 pitches.
It’s a tough time to find legit pitching on the wire with the likes of Ashby, Detmers, and Lodolo likely already swiped in your leagues (if you’re reading this, of course). That’s why when a guy like Bailey Falter suddenly goes 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 80 pitches, your head swivels like an exorcist child and we need to talk about it.
First off, Blame it on the Pirates. It has to be said as we’ve seen a fair amount of questionable arms have their moment in the spotlight because of that paltry lineup. What a gift they are. Falter held an 8% SwStr rate on his four-seamer before this outing and instead boasted a 20% clip (7/35) against the Pirates, propelling a 43% CSW on the heater. And that’s really the story, do you believe that four-seamer is a legit pitch now?
I don’t see a reason why you should and even against the Nationals on Thursday, I don’t think I’d chase this. Outside of that four-seamer, there isn’t a whole lot to like – 20% CSW on the slider, curveball went 5/9 for strikes but is just a show-me pitch, etc. – and a pickup of Falter is to suggest that his 92 mph heater (which did sit 0.8 ticks higher in this start at 92 mph, to be completely fair) will carry him to future success. That’s not for me.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.
That’s a Dusty Donut with just three strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP, and it continues the tale that has been Stroman’s career – mediocre WHIP with a better ERA than you’d expect. The man’s consistent, gotta give him that. Keep rolling with him against the Cards, it’s worth it.
José Quintana (PIT) vs PHI (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.
Both the four-seamer and curve sat lower than they should, but he got away with it once again as Quintana continues feeling his arsenal. The pitch separation he’s showcased has been phenomenal and I have to believe there’s a team out there willing to take the chance at the deadline to ride this in the second half. Just a little extra depth, you know? I don’t expect him to make the next start against the Brewers and keep considering Quintana as a streaming option.
Austin Davis (BOS) vs MIL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 31 pitches.
He split with Brayan Bello who followed for 62 pitches, 4.1 IP, and 2 ER, and there’s nothing to be happy about here. Let’s move on.
Justin Verlander (HOU) vs SEA (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. This is getting so dumb, isn’t it? Alright, Tier 1 on Monday. FINE. Above Cole? DON’T PUSH IT.
Shane Bieber (CLE) @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 97 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s a Golden Goal for Bieber in a wonderful rebound start against the Rays. His four-seamer sat 92 mph (ayyyy! Not 90.5!) and earned a whopping 48% CSW as the Rays passively let it get called strikes, while the slider and curve were UNREAL. 14 whiffs between them and it felt like classic Bieber. Man, I’ve missed classic Bieber. Please let that velocity stick or even keep rising as I express the greedy child that I internally am.
Martín Pérez (TEX) @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.
Oh, what’s this? I’m getting a phone call hold on…Hello? HI IT’S MARTÍN PÉREZ AND I CAN’T BE STOPPED. Click. Why did you just audibly say “click” and not just hang up the phone? BECAUSE I’M MARTÍN PÉREZ AND I CAN’T BE STOPPED. Well, you’ve got a point there.
Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ BOS (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 101 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Red Sox Schmed Schmox. I’m pretty sure that’s what I lip-read Woodruff say coming off the mound. The heater is dominant as ever at 96.6 mph with eight whiffs and it’s so good to see it.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.
Cobb, I appreciate you for confirming us managers who circled this start against the Cubs and executing exactly how we expected you to, with a little extra sprinkle of “double-digit strikeouts because I like you so much.” It’s too bad Stroman was that good to force an L on Cobb here, but that’s the luck I’m okay with enduring after all the hardships. The bad news here: It’s the Dodgers again next time out and I don’t think I’m ready to go through that another time.
James Kaprielian (OAK) @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.
Ayyyy he’s leaning into four-seamers and sliders more and looking like the Toby we want him to be. And now Jimmy Hat (nickname from @jamesames51) gets the Angels. I think that’s a lovely stream.
Blake Snell (SD) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.
Oh dang. OH DANG. Snell did what we wanted him to – four-seamers inside the zone, sliders and curves out of it – and it meant 10/36 whiffs on breakers (28% SwStr rate) and 72% four-seamer strikes. That’s the man we’re chasing, and to see him execute and have success even against a strong Minnesota offense is pure bliss. That’s four great outings across his last five, with the only exception being Coors. It’s hard not to get excited about Rockie Road next.
Miles Mikolas (STL) @ WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.
Mikolas doesn’t care about expected stats. There’s not much I can say here except keep starting the dang man until it’s apparent that you shouldn’t. I wonder what the conversation is over the off-season – I think you can guess that I likely won’t be the high man on him…unless the fantasy community elects to swing the pendulum too far toward regression that he becomes a late-round pick as he faces the Pirates or Cubs opening weekend, and then you hold him for his next start, and then it’s August 1st and he’s still on your team with a 2.86 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Wild how that works.
Julio Urías (LAD) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Surviving Coors is no small feat, and even though your velocity was a tick down from last time, it’s still up at 93.4 mph. I’m here for it.
Kyle Wright (ATL) vs ARI (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.
How close are we to an AGA label for Wright? That’s a 2.93 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP with a 24% strikeout rate with 13 Wins on the year as his curveball continues to be elite. I think I’m a little scared by the WHIP and strikeout rate, but hot dang is this close. If he thrives against the Mets, I’ll heavily consider it.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs TEX (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.
There’s been a whole lot of turmoil around the Irish Panada as of late and I’m thrilled we saw 11/32 whiffs on his changeup last night. IT’S ABOUT DANG TIME. He got them despite floating plenty, though, and it makes me a bit concerned that the command isn’t where it needs to be. He gets the Mariners next and I’m cautiously optimistic as he earned his legendary 32 whiff start against them last year. That was so long ago. I know, I know, that’s a foolish thought. LET ME HAVE IT.
Mike Minor (CIN) vs BAL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.
Three walks and four strikeouts do not make me all too encouraged about Minor, let alone the velocity falling on the curve, change, and fastball. We’re not there yet.
Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 81 pitches.
Bradish returned to face the Reds and boy was this unexpected. What, the seven strikeouts? No, him just pitching on Friday in the first place. I kid, the breakers were legit, with his curve earning 56% CSW and 8/9 strikes, while the slider worked at 72% strikes. He needs that as the four-seamer has a tendency to get hit a decent amount. I don’t think it’s enough to convince me he’s “fixed”, which means I’m still out for the Rangers next (the fastball command is still iffy, too). But I’m watching.
Bryan Garcia (DET) @ TOR (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.
Uh huh. Yeah. Mmmm. Sure. Those are numbers. It was essentially a bullpen start and if the Tigers are actually stretching out Garcia, he could be interesting with his 94 mph sinker, good changeup, and decent slider, but we’re so far away from it feeling fantasy relevant.
Kris Bubic (KC) @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.
He made some mistakes, like the hung changeup to Judge, but overall, he avoided the heart of the plate incredibly well, leaning on the edges will his four-seamer and changeup – the curve is a mess, by the way. There’s something to that and it’s why he earned a PQS against a terrifying offense. Sadly, it’s too much of a gamble against the White Sox next week as a southpaw, but I hope he comes out ahead there, too. We may see a Vargas Rule blooming if the command sticks.
Jeffrey Springs (TB) vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
Okay, this is much better. But those ratios are terrible! Sure sure, but the command of fastballs + changeups + sliders was way better and he tossed 90+ pitches. We’re back to the June days with Springs and he should capitalize against the Tigers next week.
Chris Bassitt (NYM) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 103 pitches.
Blegh. Four walks?! Seriously?! The sinker was great per usual, but everything else let him down, especially the slider & cutter, returning just 3/32 whiffs between them. Bassitt, I want to be so into you, please, let me love you. A 3.83 ERA this late in the season is making it harder than I’d like.
Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 93 pitches.
Blegh. There is literally nothing positive about this start. Seriously, NOTHING. Not even a single strikeout – HAISTBMBWT?! – and the velocity fell all the way back down to 90 mph. Sigh. I’m out against the Guardians.
Lance Lynn (CWS) vs OAK (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 104 pitches.
Hmmmm. The eight strikeouts and zero walks is certainly a lovely sight, and a near 1.00 WHIP ain’t so bad, but this is a Dusty Donut with those 4 ER, stemming from 3 HR allowed. That’s brutal and unjust and unlikely to happen again soon (I’m looking at you Joe Ryan). Feel encouraged that the heater sat 93 mph and the cutter was overall effective, but there’s still a little bit of work left before it’s the Lynn we know and love.
Alek Manoah (TOR) vs DET (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.
Aces gonna disappoint against the Tigers – The Tigers! AS A RIGHT-HANDER! – before he took a comebacker to the elbow. X-rays were negative and I wonder if he’ll need some extra rest. As for the results here, 1/22 slider whiffs are weird and I really hope that gets corrected soon.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches.
Aces gonna…WHAT DID THEY DO TO MY SANDY. His slider and changeup command wasn’t as good as we’ve seen, leaving too many hittable pitches over the plate, while the Mets resisted the four-seamer, returning just 50% strikes in the end on the heater. Sigh. Say it with me, he’s still dope and makes me feel dope. He’s still dope and makes me feel dope.
Robbie Ray (SEA) @ HOU (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.
Bleeeeegh. The Astros roughed Ray up a second time, but at least he got a whiff (or three) on his slider this time…? Look, this isn’t a full reversion to the horrid days of May, and I blame the four-seamer command faltering here, earning just 1/22 whiffs and only 59% strikes. He’s sure to dominate against the Angels next.
Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 100 pitches.
Wow. This was the Royals, Cole. Are you just tempting me to slot Justin Verlander ahead of you? And yet, he earned 38% CSW with 19 whiffs and I just can’t believe this ERA will stay this high. Ugggggh, stop this madness.
Chad Kuhl (COL) vs LAD (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.
Well, yeah. It’s the Kuhl WHIP in Coors against the Dodgers.
Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) vs STL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 108 pitches.
I don’t think we’ll see Aníballin’ any time soon.
Joe Ryan (MIN) @ SD (L) – 4.2 IP, 10 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 82 pitches.
The dude allowed five home runs against the Padres. I’m amazed Rocco Baldelli saw the fourth and said “nah, let’s leave him in”. The slider was not nearly what it needed to be and while the four-seamer still has promise, he needs that slider – or really anything in his arsenal – to step up as a proper #2 pitch. That’ll be the day he soars once again.
Game of the Day
Sonny Gray vs. Joe Musgrove – An ace vs. a former ace. Show me all the breaking balls, please.
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)
You sure about Ray facing the Angels next? I see him facing the Yankees (Cole) next. I have him and seriously thinking of sitting him. I was going to do that this week since the Stros beat him up the previous week but my opponent had 9 starts this week.
Great point, the question is when the Mariners fit in Luis Castillo and if it’s a six-man rotation or not.
True about the six-man rotation. If five-man then one of Flexen or Marco goes to the bullpen as a multi-inning guy. I’m hoping they go six-man this week BEFORE Ray’s turn.
I’m not advocating to pick up Falter, but in complete fairness to him, he boasts the best extension of any SP in the league at 7.5′. So even though that fastball is a meh 91-92, it’s coming in much faster. At least keeps him somewhat intriguing in my mind.
In fairness to Gerrit, he should’ve been out of the inning or none of those should’ve been earned runs. He got screwed over by the defense and then melted to Perez, of course, but imo he didn’t pitch as badly as the line suggested.