Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday 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.
Matt Manning (DET) vs TOR (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
If you didn’t hear, the Tigers pulled off a combined no-hitter against the Blue Jays yesterday, led by Matt Manning returning 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches. I know, it feels all kinds of weird to me too.
I watched it all and after enduring a rainy first frame that Manning likely still can’t believe he didn’t allow a hit or run, Manning settled down…ish? Results-wise, he did, but there are times when I watch a pitcher where it’s the sixth inning and I feel like I just sat down with my Cracker Jacks. He hasn’t allowed a hit?! HOW?!
There were many great plays in the field, his breakers had a few good moments but were mostly floating into the zone, and he’s still sitting just 93 mph. So this was one of those starts? It gives me no pleasure to say, but yes. Manning hasn’t suddenly changed himself to become a reliable fantasy arm and you can move right on past him on the waiver wire. The slider isn’t fixed, the curve is middling, and the heater is still highly suspect.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Miles Mikolas (STL) @ CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! I’ve given up on Mikolas, excepting that most of the time he’s going to do more harm than good, and when it is helpful, how much does it push the needle? Well, sometimes a decent amount after all, apparently. I’m going to say Blame it on the White Sox more than “oh hey, maybe Mikolas is actually great!” but he does get the Nationals next…nah. I can’t do it, I’m sorry. His four-seamer and curve won’t go 42%+ CSW with consistency.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.
Those five walks are horrendous, but let’s be happy he made it through seven shutout with a sub 1.00 WHIP. The command was a bit rougher than what we’ve seen, leaning more off the plate with sinkers, four-seamers, and cutters than we’re used to, but he’s still doing a masterful job of mitigating hard contact and it explains the 3.31 ERA he’s had in the first half. We keep going forward, especially with the velocity climbing back up to normal on the four-seamer and sinker (not on the sweeper, cutter, curve, oddly enough).
Spencer Strider (ATL) @ TB (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 104 pitches.
Aces gonna ace and return a Golden Goal despite facing the Rays. That’s your SP #1. 12 four-seamer whiffs, 11 slider whiffs, 100% dominance.
Blake Snell (SD) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 105 pitches.
Look at him go. The changeup is still the supreme leader of the arsenal with 42% CSW and 7/19 whiffs here, but adding 1.3 ticks to his heater mixed with sliders and curves that weren’t spiked into the dirt made this another wonderful day at the park.
Kyle Nelson (ARI) vs PIT (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 56% CSW, 18 pitches.
Get away, Mr. Bullpen Game, YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE.
Austin Pruitt (OAK) @ BOS (L) – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 35 pitches.
WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!
Alex Vesia (LAD) vs LAA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 15 pitches.
WHY DON’T YOU–oh. Phew. He opened for Michael Grove, who did his job with 4 ER over six frames and did a better job of elevating his heater (which still allowed hits upstairs). The slider didn’t do its job as it fell far into the zone a little too often for my liking, and yet returned a 37% CSW, while the curve showed up to help in a large way with a 35% CSW of its own. There is actual potential in Grove if he becomes a command arm, though that’s awfully hard to predict + the Dodgers are likely to add SP depth by the deadline, which actively kicks out Grove. I actually wonder if a team gets Grove back in a deal, hopefully the Guardians, then moves to another team, then goes back to Ohio. Why them? Oh. OH COME ON NICK. What, you don’t want Grove Cleveland pitching for the Guardians in two non-consecutive contract terms?
Bryan Woo (SEA) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.
Whoaaaaa Woo went 42% sinkers and just 32% four-seamers here. Why? Because the dude couldn’t locate his four-seamer, going just 12/25 strikes. Whoa. Yeah, that’s not the Woo we know. I’m stoked he was able to make it through the game unscathed as he did exactly what you’re supposed to do with sinkers – get them armside and return 57% O-Swing (100th percentile if it were a season-long sample). The sinker PLV yesterday was 6.02. I don’t think I’ve seen a sinker thrown over 30 times rank that high all season. If he can keep this skill and get his four-seamer back to its former self (I imagine this was a blip of a start for the pitch), his cutter/slider/whatever doesn’t matter. That fastball combo will carve up lineups.
Tyler Wells (BAL) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.
WELLS STARTS, YOU START HIM. It’s getting pretty wild how good this season has been, especially when he has nights like these where his command isn’t great and he still survives. What a guy.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. The splitter is solid, but not that pitch yet with just 27% CSW and just seven whiffs (albeit, a 21% SwStr rate) but that heater is still killing it and the slider is…well, 6/15 strikes. Thanks, Tigers.
James Paxton (BOS) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.
Weird to see the strikeouts not come through against the Athletics, but everything looked great here. This revival of Paxton is such a wonderful thing.
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 105 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Phew, I’m happy not only to see a good game from Valdez (duh), but the fact they let him go 105 pitches despite dealing with an ankle injury. It means he’s pretty much past it at this point and that’s wonderful. Well, except for the 1.17 WHIP…
Touki Toussaint (CWS) vs STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 81 pitches.
Nick, Touki is back! THE POST HYPE! You mean, that feeling I get when I’m excited for my new keyboard switches to arrive in the mail? Nah, I understand that some believe Touki is getting another shot and becoming the guy we envisioned back then, but it’s not that. I’m glad his curve and splitter were alright while the sinker/four-seamer combo survived, but you can’t rely on it. We need more.
Jake Irvin (WSH) vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.
Oh my. I’m amazed he was able to survive with some horrific command, but the fastball velo is up even more to 95.8 mph (not 93/94, not even 95!) as he did everything he could to experiment with the curveball. I love that! Throw harder and use this start as an experiment to help learn what you need most – a legit #2 pitch to support the heater. Pretty wild to see him do so well against a team that crushes RHP. He earned strikes with said hook, but so many were down the pipe or badly misses that I can’t trust it yet, but a 39% usage of curveballs gets a lovely head nod from me. Keep at it Irvin, if you keep that velocity and continue to work on the curve, it’ll click one day.
Ryan Walker (SF) vs COL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 45 pitches.
He opened for Alex Wood who actually came through with 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs 28% CSW, 72 pitches, and while I’m happy to see it, I find it hard to latch onto 90.8 mph with a middling changeup and a slider that was featured just six times. We’re not there yet.
Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs CHC (W) – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 103 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. It’s no Strider (see above) and I was so bummed to see his fastball drop a tick with his slider going just 1/23 whiffs and 9% CSW. The command was far worse than what we know as well and uggggh. Please Cole, I know it’s in you to go on a stupid incredible month-long stretch. We all need it.
Gavin Williams (CLE) vs KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 94 pitches.
That’s a Philly on the verge of a VPQS for Williams and I’m a little annoyed about it given this was the Royals n all. That Win was also lost if not for possibly the most pristine relay I’ve ever seen. The good news? His four-seamer was unreal at 14/53 whiffs and 40% CSW, but the breakers weren’t able to land down low as we want, leading to batters keeping their eye level up and swatting fastballs for hits. Seeing the four-seamer’s potential dominance is a huge deal, though, and I want to believe he can pull off the BSB in due time. We may see some more turbulence like this in the second half, though, so get ready to take a chance on the highs along with the bumps. We’ll be here to help.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ MIA (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.
Yeah the wall has been hit. Please move on from Suárez until further notice. It was a fun run.
David Peterson (NYM) @ SD (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 88 pitches.
After Blackburn was scratched, Peterson become my reluctant streamer of the day and this was close, but not worth it if you went for the southpaw. I absolutely dug his minimal use of four-seamers as high heaters baiting whiffs while the sinker laid down and armside, and the fact that the slider/change/curve were generally low as well. The problem? He doesn’t have a major secondary pitch like the slider he had in 2022, making his whole approach missing that Je ne sais quoi. Wait, no, I know what it is. Electricity. It’s like doing all the work to get your PhD but then realizing you have no idea what to do with it. Without something to truly threaten batters (yes, even with his curve going 60% CSW, it’s not it), Peterson can do all the foundational work and not have that extra bit to make an actual impact.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.
Ehhhhhh, Garrett has been a bit off for two straight now. His overall command was the coal of this engine and the slider/sinker/cutter have been good but not precise. I’m a little concerned at the moment, but if he gets the Orioles next then I think we still hold and try one more time.
Connor Seabold (COL) @ SF (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 73 pitches.
Wait, he did poorly?! Oh right, it’s Seabold. Not Kershaw. How did you confuse those two? You never confuse them? NO. Weird. Well aren’t you special. Unlike Seabold. Touché, but Connor is a major leaguer for a reason and allowed just 3 ER in a big league start, even if it was just 3.2 IP. Don’t forget that.
Taj Bradley (TB) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.
Hey, it could have been worse for Bradley against the mighty Atlanta offense, but I can’t say I’m shocked. Yes, he’s still a Cherry Bomb, and I didn’t see growth in the change and curve to suggest otherwise, but remember, this was Atlanta. We can’t judge.
Drew Smyly (CHC) @ NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 85 pitches.
Stop starting Smyly until the curveball is legit down in the zone (and under) again. It’s that simple.
Colin Rea (MIL) vs CIN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.
Kinda weird to see a Cherry Bomb type of line from Rea with those seven strikeouts. Don’t get used to that, but the poor ratios? Yeah that’s kinda the REAlity.
Luke Weaver (CIN) @ MIL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 76 pitches.
But the Brewers! BUT WEAVER. Please don’t say this out loud, I’m sorry.
Sonny Gray (MIN) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.
The second inning was what nightmares are made of, allowing six singles and two walks for all six runs…and then just one walk across the other five frames. This start was “The Bloop” represented in a pitching line, or you know, Sonny’s general full season. Whatever works. I’ll keep it short – brush it off and keep starting Sonny, okay? Cool. It’s gonna hurt a little (like this), but the highs outweigh the lows overall.
Brady Singer (KC) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 13 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 92 pitches.
Sigh. Singer, you had the peak last time out and you’ve already fallen back down. I don’t think I can even stick you on The List anymore.
Reid Detmers (LAA) @ LAD (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 75 pitches.
Oh no. But you told me he was good now! He is! He just didn’t have his best command while the Dodgers are a crew that takes advantage of mistakes – Betts, Freeman, and Muncy all hit homers off him and it was painful. The slider was the real issue in my book as it failed to land gloveside as we’ve seen for the past month, landing far too into the zone, while a few heaters got crushed as well (the Freeman homer was kinda ridiculous, though). And when you see ER match the baserunners, you know things aren’t going a guy’s way. Stick with Detmers.
Andrew Heaney (TEX) @ WSH (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.
Remember last start when he got his sliders down and kept his fastballs up and it was bliss? Yeaaaaaah. Now the sliders were too far down, the fastballs were inconsistent and the changeup was off getting another hot dog, forgetting it was taking a math final. Yes, another. Heaney is a dart throw for a desperate stream, not someone to take a roster spot for the second half.
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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