Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.
Don’t look now, but after tonight’s 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches Win against the Mets, Jameson Taillon has a 2.16 ERA and nearly a 1.00 WHIP across his last six starts and 37.1 innings. That’s pretty dang good and clearly, something is working for him that wasn’t there before. Yeah, his 65% LOB rate has jumped to 85%+ and he’s better at avoiding the longball. Okay, there has to be more than that, right?
For the most part, not really, as Taillon is mostly on a Vargas Rule at the moment. However, he did show something new here – four-seamer whiffs. The pitch held a 20% SwStr rate and 40% CSW for the night, looking more like the Taillon we saw with the Yankees in 2021 – four-seamers heavily upstairs with cutters, sliders, and curveballs falling into the zone underneath. And I kinda dig that. Taillon’s fastball has failed to earn whiffs this season with a near 8% SwStr rate, half of its 16% clip in 2021. What he had lacked (solid secondaries) has since then improved, and I won’t rule out all the pieces finally falling into place.
That said, it’s the Jays next. I’d be a little hesitant there, but keep an eye on Taillon. He could be one of the surprises of the second half and a sneaky play for your end-of-season run.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs TOR (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.
Pffffft, that’s two straight outings I’ve overrated the Jays’ offense (or underrated Gavin and Bibee?), though Bibee looked fantastic with high four-seamers and a solid slider here. The changeup left a lot to be desired as I saw it float constantly (albeit, for 35% CSW overall, but it scared me plenty), and his curve, even if it didn’t get low, was able to go 75% strikes. The formula is simple: Stay Verty on the four-seamer and chuck the rest for strikes without too many hangers. I’ve been hesitant to trust Bibee with his four-seamer returning pedestrian results, his curve recording a 25% CSW, and his slider sitting under a 15% SwStr rate, but at least the changeup has a 96th percentile CSW and does a great job avoiding punishment. In other words, does Bibee have enough punch to routinely expect success? I wish I could believe in it more, but whatever. You hold and start him and ignore my ramblings – it’s what I’d do.
Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.
Ummmm, the slider was great again. We’re talking 10/20 CSW with a 25% SwStr rate. And splitter whiffs. And a dominant four-seamer. HE HATH ASCENDED TO HIS PEAK. Hold on tight, Gilbert, as this is the ability we’ve envisioned for you for so dang long. I’ll be so upset if you elect to grab a slab of cardboard and slide down the mountain, with your new slider slipping out of your pocket and disappearing in the snow behind you. Resist the cardboard. Sure. Resist the cardboard. Let’s run with that.
Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.
Oh SNAP. The four-seamer was upstairs as the changeup hung out low a ton and I absolutely love this for Erod. Reminds me of the peak times we had way back in 2018/2019. Now he gets a revenge game against the Sawx on Sunday and I think you roll with that. He’s in a good place.
Julio Urías (LAD) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.
The Dodgers capped him last time out, and here they got into a lovely conversation with their old friend Rhonda and forgot what time it was before looking up to see Urías was already at 95 pitches. I’m sorry Rhonda, we’ll make sure to stay in touch this time. Julio pounded four-seamers for strikes while sneaking in his curve with ease, paired with plenty of solid changeups. This is the Urías you’ve patiently waited for.
Nick Martinez (SD) @ SEA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 53 pitches.
He’s starting! And throwing just 15 more pitches than last time. This might take a while. Yeah, and he may be ousted before he’s actually stretched out. Sigh.
Max Scherzer (TEX) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. I wanted more strikeouts against the Athletics, too, but get over it. This is a lovely outing.
Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ CLE (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.
Kikuchi’s 47% CSW curve got all the strikes while the slider was pristine down low for a ton of outs in the field. Throw in four-seamers that held a near 70% zone rate and you have the makings of a legit outing for Kikuchi once again. It’s the Cubs next and you gotta keep starting the man.
Zach Eflin (TB) vs STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.
Yep, that’s exactly what Eflin should do against the Cardinals. It’s nice when things go exactly as they should, you know? The curve/cutter combo is looking as good as ever.
Wade Miley (MIL) vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.
Hahaha what do I know. I ranked Miley low since he tossed roughly 60 pitches last time out and I imagined he wouldn’t go more than five. WHOOPS. Come on Nick, never underestimate the powers of Rockie Road. I really shouldn’t have. Welp, it’s the Dodgers next so I’m going to be out on him once again. He’s a solid Toby down the stretch, though. Just don’t overextend.
Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ CWS (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.
Ayyyy nice work Schmidt. Love seeing the curve step up for six whiffs, flexing upside that I haven’t seen from you for a long time. Meanwhile, the sweeper was a dependable called strike offering and Schmidt was still sub 20% fastballs. I can get behind this version of Clarke and I’d start him again as he faces the Marlins.
Luke Weaver (CIN) vs MIA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.
Wow, he really is trying to go Canibal McSanchez and it’s kinda working? He’s not efficient in the slightest yet, and this will likely take some more time if he’s ever going to get to a place of actual fantasy relevance again, but at least he’s trying something new. I respect the work. He just wants a better life.
Miles Mikolas (STL) @ TB (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.
There’s your Gold Star for the day as Mikolas skirted through seven frames on just eighty pitches against the powerful Rays. Sure, they are a little more pedestrian these days, but this is Mikolas. His 22% CSW slider was the only pitch above two whiffs. And now with the Athletics up next, I’m sure he won’t come through. That’s just how this works, right?
Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.
Wanna know something weird? Grayson hasn’t fanned more than six batters since April. That said, this was Houston and he kept his 98+ mph velocity while moving away from the changeup in favor of legit sliders. I really dug this pitch as it came in two ticks harder with a little bit less drop in exchange for much better location as it returned a 22% SwStr rate and 34% CSW. And it’s not like the changeup was bad, it went 80% strikes and 50% CSW in its own right across ten thrown. I think there’s still more polish to be had separating the four-seamer from the secondaries (we’ll see the BSB one of these days, I promise you) and I’m not sold we’ll see this slider command consistently, but it’s great to see Grayson flex another new skill.
Sonny Gray (MIN) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.
Hot dang that sweeper was glorious with nine whiffs. I love seeing the curve go 63% strikes as well, while the four-seamer and cutter each returned over 35% CSW. This is the good life…except for the Loss on the day. Poor Sonny, he’s had the worst Win luck this year.
Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.
This was a better sinker, but it wasn’t as good as I’ve seen + the cutter is still gone (and the changeup is blegh). At least the slider is well-spotted and paired with fastballs, and he was able to churn outs. I wouldn’t latch onto this start, sadly. He’s not the man we want him to be yet and now it’s the Astros.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs WSH (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.
Honestly, this was better from Suárez as his changeup and sinker command was spectacular. Sadly, I don’t love the four-seamer and cutter right now and that means we’re still out, especially with the Jays next. Steps, not leaps…Hopefully the rest catches up, too.
Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 75 pitches.
Absolutely wild to see Carrasco return a King Cole here after I placed him at the bottom of today’s rankings. Before you berate me, please understand he’s allowed at least 4 ER in each of his last four games, including recent starts against the Royals and Nationals. Carrasco’s changeup was glorious in this one as it earned a ton of outs, while the fastballs and breakers were able to find strikes in the zone. I’m glad it worked out for him, but I will not bank on that changeup precision returning again.
Brady Singer (KC) @ BOS (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.
The slider is still looking prettaaay and he almost lost this Quality Start with another run in the seventh (Careful, Icarus). I’m seeing this as a Vargas Rule for Singer as it’s rooted in that slider command and I’m letting him loose for the Mariners up next.
Kyle Freeland (COL) @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.
That’s a near VPQS without a Win and just four strikeouts. Why did I think this was a good idea. No idea, bucko. No idea.
Lucas Giolito (LAA) vs SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 101 pitches.
Okay, this is much better from Giolito. You’ll take that one extra ER than you like for everything else and it’s wonderful to see both the changeup and slider cruise throughout the game. It’s too bad he gets the Rangers next…that’s gonna be a tough call.
Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Sure, it’s a PQS, but like Giolito, everything else is what you want. Thanks for being so dang consistent, Wheeler, even if this is a 4.50 ERA. Technically.
Mitch Keller (PIT) vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.
Hey, that ain’t so bad when dealing with Atlanta, you know? The command was still iffy, though, and I’m gonna keep avoiding Keller and chase other things. Like Ragans? Yes, like Ragans. Please get Ragans if you haven’t yet. DO IT.
Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs KC (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 78 pitches.
Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen 20 whiffs (and a Gallows Pole, for that matter) from a pitcher who didn’t make it out of the fourth frame. That’s baseball, Suzyn. Yes, most of the damage was done on kutters (I don’t love that pitch), but he deserved better here. What a weird start. I’d still start him against Detroit.
Scott Alexander (SF) @ LAA (L) – 0.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 11 pitches.
Ah, right. It can be easy to forget having an opener isn’t a ticket to a free inning. Jakob Junis cleaned this up with three frames, followed by four from Alex Wood and there’s nothing to report. Like half-off sushi, don’t touch ’em.
Touki Toussaint (CWS) vs NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 106 pitches.
The Yankees sure do like striking out, don’t they? Touki is doing his best Charlie Morton impression with 35% curves leading the way, hoping his fastballs and rare splitters are enough to fill in the gaps. Spoiler alert: They are not. Sure, there is some strikeout upside with that curve (41% CSW!) but I’d be very cautious against the Cubs up next.
Josiah Gray (WSH) @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.
You’re starting Gray? Why? He earned 13 whiffs on breaking balls with a near 40% CSW between them! And everything else was rough (that sinker is bad) and his curves went just 50% strikes. Please don’t do this to yourself.
Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.
Hmmm, I wonder how many four-seamer whiffs Pfaadt got against the Dodg—Oh. Zero. He went 0/34 four-seamer whiffs while the sweeper that dominated in his last start wasn’t bad, but a 23% CSW with five whiffs ain’t gonna cut it. Blame it on the Dodgers, but also Pfaadt doesn’t have the full skill set to make me excited even when he faces typical offenses.
JP Sears (OAK) vs TEX (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.
It’s the Rangers and if you started Sears, all you were doing was chasing strikeouts. Be glad you got a fair number and start him for his two-step next week against the Colorado Birds (C’s and O’s).
Framber Valdez (HOU) @ BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.
Props to Valdez for surviving seven frames after getting blasted in the first two frames, but yeaaaaaah. This ain’t great. The cutter went 0/5 CSW (WHERE IS IT) and his normally stellar curve went just 3/26 whiffs. It does feel like the no-hitter was the Dennis here, but I think we gotta keep sticking with Valdez. He’s better than this, you know he is.
Yonny Chirinos (ATL) @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.
Oh right, that’s why we don’t chase a “cheap Win” from Chirinos. Okay cool. Got it.
Trevor Williams (WSH) @ PHI (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.
Game of the Day
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