Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Blanco Scoreboard

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Monday 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.  

Ronel Blanco (HOU) vs TOR (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 105 pitches.

Without fail, baseball surprises us every year. It’s a beautiful sport of failure, where the opportunities are plentiful and rarely seized to their fullest. Its skill-agnostic hand stretches daily toward the land of the mortals, granting a seat in eternity if they can flawlessly dance long enough.

Okay so Ronel Blanco threw a no-hitter and it was dope.

The man silenced the mighty Blue Jays offense with 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 105 pitches, dominating not with the slider/four-seamer approach we expected, but with 36 changeups as well that returned a luscious 42% CSW and a 28% SwStr rate. All of this acting like a Dante, where he wasn’t even supposed to be there today. After all, it took two injuries for Blanco to make this early of an appearance (Verlander and Urquidy), and moments like these make this silly game so dang wonderful.

As for his fantasy value, I liked Blanco in the spring, but avoided him given TOR + @TEX and despite earning much of his success here (that slider and change were fantastic), I’d still be careful with the Rangers next time out. Don’t forget – tossing over 100 pitches was not the plan for Blanco and we may see some extra fatigue in that next outing. After that, Verlander could easily be back and Blanco disappears until needed again. No need to go chase him for now, but if there’s an extended stay in the rotation, yes, he has enough in the arsenal to take advantage of his team context.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Shota Imanaga (CHC) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

His name is Shōta Im An AGA. Yes, we already made the shirt for it. I want to note, this Gallows Pole had plenty of Blame it on the Rockies involved as he tossed 5.2 frames of perfection. His sweeper was good, not elite, and his four-seamer returned a sub 10% SwStr rate, failing to truly overpower batters with its 92/93 mph velocity (down to 90/91 by the end). Yes, the splitter was filthy and returned a dumb 50% SwStr rate with 12 whiffs, though I have to wonder if his fastball will get hit much harder by tougher opponents. At least he is elevating the pitch in the zone as we all dreamed he would when he signed. That’s a lovely thing.

Tanner Houck (BOS) @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 83 pitches.

Houck featured four pitches – slider, sinker, splitter, cutter – can you guess which one held a CSW under 40%? NONE OF THEM. Sure, that may have been a product of the Athletics, and the rumored velocity increase wasn’t present as he matched his 2023 clip, but hot dang, Houck had his way in this one for an easy King ColeHard not to expect it to continue against the Angels.

Sean Manaea (NYM) vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

Blame it on the Tigers. Okay, I won’t do that completely, but Manaea’s four-seamer simply shouldn’t be dominating in the zone like this + his cutter went 2/13 strikes. TWO FOR THIRTEEN. The fella doesn’t have a reliable secondary offering (the changeup held a 54% strike rate) and I watch Manaea shove 92/93 four-seamers over the plate with poor break, wondering if this is the pledge before the sale. You ain’t gonna burn this village, Manaea. NOT TODAY.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ CWS (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

Despite sitting just 93 mph on the heater (95 mph last year) with a sub 30% CSW on the curve, Morton cruised against the lowly ChiSox for one of the easiest Wins you’ll see. You don’t need me here. Expect a much tougher time against the Diamondbacks over the weekend.

Reese Olson (DET) @ NYM (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

I dug watching Olson lean heavily into his changeup and you can expect the strikeouts to appear once the slider gets cooking – he couldn’t get it into the zone enough with a stupid low strike rate in this one. He’s still featuring the four-seamer a little often for my liking, though the whole package is polished enough to go a full six frames…usually. Expect it to come against Oakland.

Dakota Hudson (COL) @ CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 85 pitches.

COL story, Bro. Seriously, Hudson is the such a Rockie and I’m surprised it took this long for him to find his home.

James Paxton (LAD) vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Paxton made it to the finish line of five frames to redeem that horrid walk rate, though I am happy to see his heater stay upstairs while his curve and cutter kept themselves at the bottom of the zone. If you’re down to hold Paxton for a full week, he should have a good shot for a Win again next week, even with his heater sitting 1-2 ticks down. There’s enough in there.

Marco Gonzales (PIT) @ WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 77 pitches.

Gonzo did his job – few strikeouts but get through five with solid ratios. Sadly, the pen blew his Win and with the Orioles up next, we ignore this for another day.

Luis Gil (NYY) @ AZ (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

You just couldn’t let Gil go one more out with the bases empty, could you? After a nine-pitch at-bat that led to a walk to start the game (including a 2-2 “ball”), Gil wasn’t able to stick it out for the Win as the Yankees pulled their young stud at 84 pitches. It makes sense and is one of the worries about Gil, though if he had a better feel for his changeup (9/17 strikes = 53% strike rate), I imagine he would have been able to make it to the finish line, if not further. That heater is simply fantastic at 97/98 mph and beautiful iVB + HAVAA and I’m holding on tight everywhere.

Kyle Gibson (STL) @ SD (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Some days, you just have to be around the zone and it works. That’s Baseball, Suzyn. Maybe I’m underrating Gibson and he can take down the Marlins on Sunday, but he really doesn’t look like anything new. It’s just more of the “whatever Gibson, you do you.”

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ PHI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

I’m glad he survived, but hot dang do I not trust his approach. He’s not precise enough, nor do I enjoy just 2/33 whiffs on his curve and sweeper. He likely has just one start left, hosting the Mets in Cincy, and you can pass that like some fluffy taters at Thanksgiving. BUT I NEED MORE OF THEM. Okay okay, pass it after you take another ladle worth, yeesh.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 85 pitches.

H’okay, so. This is dope. Sánchez is still 2+ ticks up on the sinker and changeup, and I’m happy to report he was able to find his feel on his slowball, constantly landing it down-and-gloveside. Phew. Get amped for the Nationals up next as he should feast there once again.

Max Meyer (MIA) vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 79 pitches.

Honestly, this is the line you should be expecting from Meyer. He’s more of a Toby than a Spice Girl with a heavy slider focus and not a whole lot else to hang his hat on. And maybe that’s just fine with us. I’m cool starting him against the Cardinals, though I’m down to swap out Meyer for something with more pizzazz.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ TB (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

I’m happy for Dunning to come through for a dub and QS, but it cost him over a tick of velocity on both the heater and slider to get there. Said breaker + his changeup messed up the Rays plenty, though, and if we’re willing to believe the tandem can consistently return 10+ whiffs while the sinker reclines in its hammock, sipping lemonade for 25% called strikes daily, then I totally see the appeal. Wins are there for the taking Dunning, can we trust you? Probably not. Oh. Thanks for your honesty, Dane. Don’t mention it.

Emerson Hancock (SEA) vs CLE (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

Yep, that’s a TobyWeird to see so many four-seamers from Hancock – he’s more of a sinker/slider/change arm with a terrible shaped four-seamer. I’m not encouraged enough here to start him against the Brewers.

Dean Kremer (BAL) vs KC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.

He’s down in velocity on both his four-seamer and cutter, but he did locate decently well, especially with his change and curve in the lower half. You should be fine tossing him out there against the Pirates – an appealing option if you’re chasing a Win.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs PIT (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.

We saw 96 mph in the spring and got 97 mph today…but without the intent to elevate. Ugh. It meant just 3/49 fastball whiffs despite fantastic iVB and I just want him to be so much more. Seriously, he sported a dope changeup for a 41% CSW and his slider? It’s now 91/92 mph flirting with a cutter that he spots down-and-gloveside to both LHB and RHB. It’s AWESOME. The complete version of Gore is a stud, however I’m not sure if we’ll actually see him put it all together and keep it intact.

Keaton Winn (SF) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey this was pretty cool. Winn displayed solid pitch separation, nailing his four-seamer around the edges and keeping his splitter down-and-armside. Sadly, it’s the Dodgers and it meant he ended with an extra ER and the Loss, but it does make me a little more encouraged moving forward. He is spouting 96 mph heaters, after all.

Michael Wacha (KC) @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 72 pitches.

Save for one bad frame with a longball, Wacha cruised against the Orioles, boasting his famous changeup and lovely fastball command. I will get on him for just 7/20 strikes on his curve + cutter, though. You know better, Wacha.

Chase Silseth (LAA) @ MIA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 76 pitches.

Hmmmm, something is up with Silseth’s heater as it returned 7/33 whiffs despite falling over a tick in velocity to sub 94 mph. Is it iVB? Nope. I’ll let y’all know tomorrow. Meanwhile, the splitter and sweeper held strong CSW marks and he’s still showcasing the ability to earn punchouts. It’s likely too risky against the Sawx next, but at least he’ll be able to go over 80 pitches then.

Chris Flexen (CWS) vs ATL (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 85 pitches.

Well, yeah. But I was hoping for a few more strikeouts at least. From Flexen? I feel like the dude aims to earn a HAISTBMBWT?! each night.

Matt Waldron (SD) vs STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. There was a time Waldron was only 25% knuckler, but it’s up to 45% now and this is too much chaos for me.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ SEA (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Blegh. I’m in absolute shock when I tell you that Triston, Mr. “I throw 92 mph with a dope curve and a super wild slider” McKenzie elected to throw 46% sliders. Maybe it’s because his four-seamer came it at just 90.5 mph, which is as low as I’ve ever seen Triston’s heater. This seems really bad, Nick. It sure does. Let’s give him another shot against the Twins before making any moves, but hot dang, this ain’t the dude we thought we’d get.

Ryne Nelson (AZ) vs NYY (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 76 pitches.

The iVB and velocity are there on the four-seamer, but the Yankees are legit + he couldn’t locate said fastball. I’m also super confused – where is the dope breaker I saw in early spring?!. I want that 88/89 mph cutter, not a 93 mph cutter, nor a 83 mph slider. Give me that tight, whiff-inducing breaker dangit! He gets Atlanta next and we should leave him on the wire for now.

Ryan Pepiot (TB) vs TEX (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Stupid Rangers, ruining the debut of an exciting arm even if we expected it. And now it’s Coors. I KNOW IT’S COORS UP NEXT. Be happy Pepiot is locating heaters upstairs well, and gently encourage him to get his secondaries down. It makes your fastball better! Yes, use that line in the card you send him. Maybe add a cloud smiling or something.

Bowden Francis (TOR) @ HOU (L) – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 79 pitches.

Let’s reconsider Francis again in a week or two when he’s past this rough early schedule. His curve is solid, the four-seamer should perform better, and the slider + splitter are decent #3 options. If only the Astros didn’t feel the need to make an example of J.P.’s sister. 

Joe Boyle (OAK) vs BOS (L) – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hey Boyle, the stuff is super fun, but if you can’t locate, you’re gonna have a bad time.


Game of the Day


Reynaldo López vs. Garrett Crochet – We get our first start from ReyLo + is Crochet able to endure Atlanta’s offense?

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Playback.tv livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login