Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Kodai Moment

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

You’re going to see the line from Kodai Senga tonight and want to yell at me. Nick! Why are you telling me to move on from Senga when he absolutely dominated against the Phillies! A Gallows Pole! Yeah yeah yeah, you can’t be a Cherry Bomb with a taste of the sweetness and you already know what I’m gonna say. If he has Yup, that Ghost Fork had a 41% CSW with 12/29 whiffs and things were bliss. But when he doesn’t…it’s madness, we know. So why do you need me? Because it wasn’t supposed to be this good! Okay, that’s kinda fair.

To break down Senga a little further, he’s mostly a four-seamer/cutter arm with occasional sliders when the splitter isn’t ole reliable as it was tonight. The cutter is an ultra strike pitch (76% = 94th percentile) and a solid 31% CSW, but its .265 BAA and 28% hard contact ain’t pretty. His fastball comes in hard at 96 mph (up to 98.5 mph tonight!) and yet has an 8% SwStr rate for the year and shockingly a 16th percentile strike rate at just a 59% clip. Normally the low strike rate implies more whiffs as he attempts to induce chases, but its 18% O-Swing eradicates that notion. It’s just not very good.

Lastly, there’s the slider that can’t be relied upon for strikes with an atrocious 17% O-Swing – 7th percentile for sliders. So imagine, if Senga doesn’t have the splitter, those are the three pitches batters are seeing. Not great.

But hey, the splitter was there in this one. And with its overall 24% SwStr rate for the year and – get this – 1.7% hard contact allowed, it’s a beautiful thing when it works. But I’m not kidding when I say it’s unreliable. Traditionally, we aim for secondaries to hold a 60%+ strike rate, with the best returning 65%+ marks when they can miss a fair number of bats. Senga’s forkball/splitter? 47% strikes for the season. No wonder he’s so volatile.

So that’s Senga in a nutshell, but you can throw all of it out the window for this one because, as I mentioned, the splitter was there tonight for a 62% strike rate. And when that splitter works, so comes bliss: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches. Just don’t get too sucked into this as we don’t know when that forkball will be there or not.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Miles Mikolas (STL) vs KC (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 102 pitches.

I could have very easily given Mikolas the lead after another fantastic start, here earning a King Cole across a ridiculous ten-strikeout night. Ten! His sinker returned 13 called strikes and 48% CSW, while the curve, slider, and four-seamer all returned four whiffs apiece, with the curve dominating for 48% CSW of its own. It’s a pretty remarkable feat when you realize the curve has held a 23% CSW across the full season and the sinker’s 42% called strike rate is nearly double its season mark. And the four-seamer’s 25% SwStr is three times higher…yeah this may have been an exceptional evening. Mikolas is still the same guy we know (cough Toby cough) who had his best game against a weak offense and I’d still be careful against the Rangers next.

Zac Gallen (ARI) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s a great line, though the command isn’t back quite yet, sadly. So many cutters in the one as Gallen didn’t have his best fastball or curve here and props to him for adapting to make it work.

Ben Lively (CIN) @ BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

So hey, that’s three great starts now from Lively as he earns tonight’s Gold StarThe four-seamer was elevated well with the slider landing low and with Boston out of the way, he now gets the Brewers. Huh. Count me in? Raggedy Anne no more…?

Zack Greinke (KC) @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Greinke killed it against the Cardinals for arguably his best start of the year, fueled by a 48% CSW four-seamer out of nowhere. And it’s @MIA + CIN next…oh my. Am I actually endorsing this? He hasn’t gone six frames since April 16th but his WHIP is below 1.20…

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ OAK (ND) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

It was Oakland and we all know it’s gonna regress because I’m a fantasy analyst dangit and it’s the law for us to tell you that. Also, we’re looking at the same stuff that screams regression and there’s no way around it. Vargas Rule it all you want as I’m sure no one is buying – his slider/sinker combo isn’t this good.

Tony Gonsolin (LAD) vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 70 pitches.

Two strikeouts and a whole lot of fortunate BABIP? Yep that’s a Gonsolin start. 7% CSW splitters but 80% strikes on the pitch is kinda hilarious and we’re just gonna Vargas Rule it I guess.

JP Sears (OAK) vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

So the whiffs kinda returned (yay!), but not where you expected. The sweeper went 3/16 but the slider went 2/12 and the changeup went 4/15. Huh. In fact, all his secondaries returned a 30%+ CSW against a strong offense, but at the same time, I can’t say I loved watching Sears manipulate counts as his stuff felt kinda wild around the zone. Is it enough to stream him against the Pirates next? Oh, you betcha.

Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs MIN (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Atta boy Bielak! The changeup was excellent once again, nearly all of them spotted in the down-and-armside quadrant as the rest of his stuff danced around saying “I’m helping!” every five seconds to make sure we didn’t “forget” something that wasn’t real. Seriously, 41% changeups at 35% CSW while everything else was bleeeeegh at near 50% strike rates. I feel like that doesn’t work against a better offense, and yet he gets LAA + @CLE + WSN next. You may get some cheap Wins there.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 75 pitches.

So he survived but at what cost?! Is that 1.80 ERA worth the poor WHIP, lack of Win, and just three strikeouts? Anyway, this was the Rays and we had low expectations anyway, so looking at the actual arsenal, Hendricks is close but not there yet. Right now, it’s changeup first, sinker second, with just three curves thrown, and an inefficient four-seamer. I think I need that hook to return before I jump back in here, even if the changeup looked lovely.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ SF (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Blegh. He kept flying open with the slider and the fastball followed suit, returning nearly half of his pitches up-and-armside out of the zone. Just ignore this start as there was a clear mechanical flaw that he didn’t correct and I imagine the timing will come back next time.

Brayan Bello (BOS) vs CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hmmmmm. The slider went 0/27 whiffs with a horrid 44% strike rate and that has me a little worried with the Rays + NYY x2 up next. Did I say a little? I meant a lot. No wonder he needed 97 pitches for just twelve outs.

John Brebbia (SF) vs PIT (ND) – 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 15 pitches.

We got Sean Manaea after as expected, making efficient work of four frames with just 53 pitches, returning 4 Hits, 0 ER, 0 BBs, and 3 Ks. It’s a new loopier slider at four ticks down, four more inches of drop, and six inches of horizontal sweep and given the 38% CSW return, I think it’s a winner. Pair that with his 93.8 mph four-seamer at 47% CSW and we may have something of intrigue here if Manaea gets properly stretched out again. Oh boy, here we go again…

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ NYM (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hmmmm is he ready? I kinda think so. The four-seamer was well spotted, the sinker earned all the called strikes, and I dug his curve and changeup locations. With the Nationals next, I’m ready to chase a Suárez stream and see what happens. But wait! My parents warned me about this! That’s Stranger Danger. Wait, not St. Ranger Danger? Did…did your parents never say it, but only wrote it out? THEY LOVED POST-IT NOTES.

Shane McClanahan (TB) @ CHC (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna Dusty Donut1/28 whiffs on the breakers is all you need to know.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

I didn’t have much faith in Kikuchi despite the great matchup and while he got you that Win, a 1.60 WHIP with five walks is awfully Dusty DonutBe happy he didn’t burn you and let’s not do this again – his slider went 0/14 whiffs and the curve went 40% CSW–wait, curve?! Ohhhh right. He’s used it ~20% of the time in two of his last three games and did so again here with 26% usage. I guess that makes sense with its 60% strike rate, sub 20% hard contact rate, and 31% CSW prior to this game. Huh, that’s cool. Still not enough for me to jump back in, but it’s cool.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

We’re getting there. The four-seamer earned a decent number of whiffs (11% SwStr rate) while the cutter and slider each gathered enough strikes. He’s still not there yet, electing to go 61% fastball and shoved his way through five frames. Steps, not leaps, though, and I hope we see some explosion against the White Sox next.

Kyle Gibson (BAL) vs CLE (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

You never know what you’re gonna get from Gibson and while this was oh-so-close to a VPQS with just three strikeouts, I guess we’re happy with the Win. But it was against the Guardians! I know, I know. You just can’t have expectations from Gibson, it’s not the way. 0/40 whiffs on cutters + sinkers with a combined 15% CSW is something else.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ehhhhh, okay. It’s one earned run too many and it’s awesome to see Giolito adapt by going heavy on the slider for 11/40 whiffs and 38% CSW on a night when his changeup wasn’t at its peak. And hey, 93.2 mph velocity works for me. We’re still in the land of purgatory for Giolito, so we start him against the Yankees and hope for the best.

Ryan Weathers (SD) @ MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

But the Marlins! BUT WEATHERS.

Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs SD (ND) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Five walks?! Ten baserunners?! Three strikeouts?! Oh boy, this is getting rough. Simply put, Alcantara’s command is all out of whack and he’s not executing as he normally does + he had that typical Careful, Icarus as he allowed his final 2 ER in the seventh inning off two walks and a single (the last run was inherited). So yeah, that was 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Still not great, but a whole lot prettier and completely changes your perception. Huh. He may really be a solid buy low.

Jake Irvin (WSH) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

This was a clear avoid. If only his name were IrWin like Steve. Sigh, I miss him.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ ARI (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Okay, we’re all on the same page now, yeah? Wonderful.

Joe Ryan (MIN) @ HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Ahhhh, so Ryan finally gets his disaster start. At least it was the Astros and not some massive expectation outing, but he didn’t have his splitter and the four-seamer was a little more feral than we usually see. Lovely sliders, though. Shrug it off and move on.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ah dangit. Like against Miller, the Yankees jumped on Gilbert’s four-seamer, and the slider tried its best to hold on but isn’t that kind of pitch at 34% usage. There were also some curves and a splitter that got tattered and there’s your ball game. Don’t let it discourage you about Gilbert and I’m still very much starting him against the Padres.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

Pérez, you were supposed to be the sturdiest Toby of them all. How could you do this against the Tigers?! Now it’s the Cards + Rays + Jays and like a sudden quiet moment at a rave, it’s time to DROP.

Adrian Houser (MIL) @ TOR (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s almost like just chucking fastballs isn’t a game plan that would work against one of the better offenses in the game.

Alex Faedo (DET) vs TEX (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

Annnnnd this is what happens when you put a pitcher with only one good pitch against the best offense against RHP. Faedo has a slider and not much else and even that was just 50% strikes here as he had to try to make it work with a mediocre fastball. Don’t over extend with Faedo, he wasn’t on The List for a reason.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ CWS (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Huh. Anderson actually had decent pitch separation and 13 whiffs between cutters and changeups, but he left far too many comfortably in the zone and they got laced. It did seem like he was awfully close to figuring it out, though. So would you start him against the Cubs then? Naaaaah. Definitely not the Rangers after, either, but the Royals in three starts? Yeah, sure.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ BAL (L) – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s two straight duds from Quantrill and there’s a sense that if one more were to arise, it may bring clarity to the “what happens when Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie return?” questions. That sinker/cutter combo just isn’t great.


Game of the Day


Louie Varland vs. Hunter Brown – I really want Varland to rise above the tough matchup + Brown is looking lovely these days.

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.

Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

5 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Kodai Moment”

  1. JB says:

    Sandy’s defense did him ZERO favors in this one as well. At least 1 of the ER was on the defense, even though it wasn’t technically unearned.

  2. Jay says:

    Senga has some extreme home/road splits with him fairing much better at home. Wonder if his issue with the forkball is as simple as he hasn’t completely settled into MLB yet. I have a feeling we will see more of these type of games as the season progresses and he gets more and more settled.

  3. Bobby says:

    Where’s the Mikolas write up?

  4. Mallex P. Keaton says:

    Everything got stuck in italics from about 1/4 of the way through the Senga write-up and I was compelled to read the entire article as an internal conversation Nick is having with himself.

  5. Zac says:


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