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.
Brayan Bello (BOS) vs TOR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 65 pitches.
It’s hard not to get amped for MLB debuts, which makes the disappointment from their failure hurt more. I had written off Brayan Bello after a trio of starts outlining the pitcher’s failure to command his arsenal with authority (and allowing at least 4 ER in each of the three starts), but today we something different. Today we saw actual precision and dominance across his repertoire, leading to a strong 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 65 pitches performance against the Jays.
First of all, his sinker was far better. The pitch landed for a strike 69% of the time, coming in hot at 96/97 mph, and preventing many deep counts. Meanwhile, the changeup was as good as I’ve seen from him, earning not just 7/16 whiffs, but an 81% strike rate as well.
That’s meaningful to me. We were excited for Bello because of his stuff, but his inability to execute a game plan led to disaster. However, when he throws strikes, the stuff is good enough to take down a strong Toronto offense.
All that said, it was a small sample in terms of outings (1) and pitches (65). I think he’s a reasonable pick-up in deeper 12-teamers as the Red Sox need starters at this point and will likely let Bello hold a spot for the foreseeable future. Maybe we’ll get 75+ pitches against the Twins next and as long as we get sinker/changeup strikes, it could be more of the same.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Kyle Wright (ATL) @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 73 pitches.
Not only was his velocity not down, it was actually up, nearly 1.5 ticks to 96 mph instead of the season-long 94.5 mph. SWEET. Pair that with some of the best changeup and curveball command we’ve seen from Wright + a date with the Pirates, and you have yourself a start that looks like an AGA label. Don’t worry, I won’t give it out today given the offense & abnormal velocity, but hot dang, if that sticks…we’ll see.
Cole Irvin (OAK) vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 92 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! Blame it on the Marlins. Okay, not entirely, of course, but a “Golden Goal” with 25 whiffs?! Reaaaaallly?! Irvin went 73% usage on his 91.4 mph four-seamer in this one for, brace yourself, 21 whiffs as he did a ridiculously good job of painting the up-and-armside corner of the zone with the pitch. I think better teams would damage Irvin + I don’t expect that command to stick, and we may have a bit of an Eric Lauer situation with a massive fastball whiff total. But at the same time, the man gets Natty Lite next. So why does it even matter, celebrate this glorious evening and let’s hope it’s more of the same next week.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.
The man formerly known as So-SoCal felt right at home in his old ballpark. It is starts like these that make him The UnQuantrillfiable, and it’s hard to tell when he’ll dominate vs. disappoint massively. One note here: He did sit nearly 1.5 ticks harder in this one. Maybe there’s something to that.
Matt Manning (DET) vs SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 95 pitches.
Ayyyy it worked! The Giants are struggling offensively and Manning’s slider performed exceptionally well. We’re talking 61% CSW and 12 whiffs, y’all. The velocity is still slightly up (93.9, not 94.5) and it makes me wonder if the Mariners will let Manning continue this hot stretch. Thing is, I still don’t actually love the slider, if you can believe it. I think this was the Giants being a bit silly – look at where Manning’s sliders landed. That’s a lot of strikes, and generally not where you want to put them. This feels a bit like a trap.
Zac Gallen (ARI) @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.
The curve didn’t get as many whiffs, but he was able to miss bats with heaters in this one, relying on the 94.4 mph four-seamer to carry him through the day. You know, that lowers his ERA to 2.66 for the season. #GallenGalsUnite.
Shane McClanahan (TB) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Remember when he had a small blip and we got terrified for a moment? What wild times those were.
Martín Pérez (TEX) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.
COORS?! WE DON’T CARE ABOUT COORS! I’m super impressed with this for obvious reasons, and while the changeup wasn’t exactly back to where I wanted it to be, it was effective as he executed some lovely ones on the corner, mixed with a gorgeous cutter. Now he gets another challenge with the Astros and I guess we have to do it, don’t we? Let me get my jacket…
Mike Mayers (LAA) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 78 pitches.
Seriously? This was a day of weird starts and watching Mayers execute the “BSB” decently well was a fun sprinkle of surprise. Sure not starting him against the Yankees next, but I’ll keep watching.
Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) @ SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.
Two whiffs in 81 pitches is a harder sell than week-old sushi. But he gets the Athletics next! Ugggh, maybe if you’re truly desperate next week in an NL-Only, okay?
Brady Singer (KC) vs ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.
Just three whiffs on the slider is concerning, but the Sneks aren’t much of a threat and those non-whiffs turned into outs. I’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t buy into Singer taking this kind of leap forward despite keeping his repertoire the same from when he struggled, and I’ll also tell you I love to see him soar. Let’s hope he can keep it going against the White Sox next. You don’t have much of a choice but to start him.
Framber Valdez (HOU) vs MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 106 pitches.
I think I underestimated how much the Twins have needed Buxton in their offense, helping Valdez cruise through seven frames. The four walks are no fun, but 9/25 curveball whiffs are a very welcome sight. Keep starting the dang man.
George Kirby (SEA) vs WSH (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.
Kirby set a record for most consecutive strikes to start a game and why shouldn’t he? It’s Natty Lite and his fastball is still legit. He’s had a lovely schedule and it gets even better with the Tigers next. How curious. Hold on tight, y’all.
Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ BAL (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.
I’m glad he helped across the board (save for just three strikeouts. Blegh.) but we’re still waiting for a true return to form for Giolito. Velocity was sub 93 mph, his changeup and slider were spotty, and the heater often didn’t know where it was going. At least it’s the Royals next, I guess we just hope for the best.
Luke Farrell (CHC) vs STL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 71 pitches.
Let’s all give a wave and wish a farewell to Farrell. I imagine the Cubs will go with Javier Assad or someone else moving forward instead of Luke as he’s awfully pedestrian.
Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.
The velocity is still down, but the curveball showed up again – 34% CSW, 28% usage – and that’s a cool thing. The changeup wasn’t nearly as marvelous as it had been across the previous four starts, but it’s still a solid asset and things are fine. I’m not putting my fist in the air with full confidence and excitement, but that could change against the Rays next. Good stuff Luzardo.
Spenser Watkins (BAL) vs CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
Solid stuff from Watkins if you elected to take the gamble. He’s considerable if you’re searching for a streamer these days – he avoids the heart of the plate frequently enough and keeps batters off-balance with his slider and cutter.
José Berríos (TOR) @ BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 87 pitches.
Ayyyy, he’s on a roll now. The Great Undulator is now at a…5.28 ERA without much time to fix it. The Cubs are next, though, and at the very least you can start him there.
Dylan Bundy (MIN) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 66 pitches.
One whiff? ONE. WHIFF?! “HAISTBMBWT?!” I sincerely can’t believe Bundy survived this start against the Astros. Astonishing.
Andrew Heaney (LAD) vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.
Whoa whoa whoa. 91 pitches?! Six frames?! 20 whiffs?! I don’t think I’ve needed two people with giant palm tree leaves more in my life than this moment. Heaney poured heaters to the top half of the zone with sliders under it (“BSB” for life y’all) and after failing to go five frames, he silenced the doubters (read: me) in a swift evening on the bump. I guess the Dodgers are changing their 80-pitch limit on him and oh dang is it awesome.
Mitch Keller (PIT) vs ATL (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.
82 pitches for eleven outs. Yep.
Miles Mikolas (STL) @ CHC (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 106 pitches.
It’s Mikolas and this is well within his range of outcomes. Sure, you wish it came with one fewer earned run or so, but whatareyagonnado. He’s the same fella you’ve had since April.
Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.
A “PQS” with seven strikeouts is mighty welcome from Cristopher, who shoves 93 mph sinkers into the zone with solid changeups around the edges and mediocre sliders. The Phils simply needed another arm with the weekend doubleheader behind them, so don’t go picking him up or anything.
Adrian Houser (MIL) @ LAD (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.
Houser is back and this was such a clear bench, it was made of glass. Ayyyyy. But seriously, don’t touch Houser. He’s even featuring depressed velocity. Don’t worry, the velocity is cheery n all, just lower.
Logan Webb (SF) @ DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 89 pitches.
If you’re awfully confused about how Webb has now struggled in two straight against the Sneks + Tigers, don’t worry. So am I. I don’t see anything that is inherently different about Webb, and while the walks are concerning, I feel like you have to keep it going against the Padres. He’ll figure it out.
Blake Snell (SD) vs CLE (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.
Snell got this start suddenly when Yu Darvish had to go on paternity leave and I wonder if it messed him up. All of his pitches were more hittable than usual, as the heater fell too low and the breakers floated up. Frustrating, I know. I’d expect a rebound next time out against the Giants – at least we only saw one changeup here.
T.J. Zeuch (CIN) @ PHI (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 81 pitches.
This was T.J. Min and I’m not sure we’ll ever see T.J. Max.
José Ureña (COL) vs TEX (L) – 1.1 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 60 pitches.
Remember kids, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.
Game of the Day
Jacob deGrom vs. Colorado Rockies – If this isn’t a perfect game, I SWEAR.
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.
Photos by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire and Hanro Bauermeister/Unsplash | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)
Typo. Manning with Tigers.