Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Respect Your Elder

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 am ET.  

Bryce Elder (ATL) vs CIN (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 103 pitches.

Among all the chaos that is the Atlanta rotation, Bryce Elder has returned to the scene in a two-start week against a pair of cushy matchups, hosting the Reds and heading to Kansas City. The first went as beautifully as you could have imagined – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 103 pitches – and if he’s still out there on the wire, your ears have perked up wondering if Sunday is the day to stream Elder.

Yeah, probably. Elder’s slider/sinker foundation was strong and I don’t really see the Royals doing a whole lot more than what the Reds put up. At the same time, there’s nothing particularly exceptional from Elder in this, save for landing sliders into the zone with incredible consistency (78% strikes is marvelous). The cutter and changeup aren’t much to get amped about, either, and you have a guy who tosses strikes, earns some whiffs, and lets his defense and offense cover him for the rest.

That works for your streams and don’t let Elder fall under the radar despite his low rostership rate. He’s shown he can take down poor offenses in the past and here he is doing more of the same. Just don’t get all confident when he faces the Astros next weekend, okay?


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Zac Gallen (ARI) vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 96 pitches.

Ahhhhhh, that’s better. Sure sure sure, he got some calls his way that saved a walk or two, but that’s still a King Cole with seventeen whiffs for a guy we were worried about. The hook and change did a fantastic job landing down in and out of the zone for a ton of whiffs, while the fastball did its part hanging around the zone for called strikes. This is the Gallen we know and love. Phew. GALLEN GALS UNITE.

Max Scherzer (NYM) vs SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Feels good to have a start like this after all we’ve heard for the past week is how Scherzer has failed Mets fans across his last four starts. The slider still isn’t as dominant as it used to be at just 27% CSW and 4/22 whiffs, though. Please fix that, k thx.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

See? One start does not make a pitcher. Okay, then this start doesn’t make Heaney. Hey, that’s true too! He’s not destined to go just 5/22 CSW on his slider moving forward, nor is he likely to earn 19 whiffs with regularity to earn a Gallows Pole. Really great overall command, though, keeping his sliders and changeups down with very few mistakes and elevating heaters effectively. The skills are there, now it’s up to us to decide whether he’s worth the gamble against the Astros. Ehhhh what the h*ck, let’s do it.

Nick Pivetta (BOS) @ TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 83 pitches.

The fastball is sitting 95 mph (yay!) and the curve earned 42% CSW against a good Rays offense. Hmmmmmm. Nah, I can’t do it Cap’n. I just can’t get sucked into Pivetta, a man who hasn’t carried command in years. That’s because he uses a PC, not a Mac. Oh, you’re not going to like the Corbin blurb now. How has this become what we’re doing today? I have no idea. Anyway, Pivetta is a Cherry Bomb and if you want to chase those sweet sweet days like today, tickets to this train are awfully cheap. Just hop on into any car you like.

Matt Strahm (PHI) vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 59 pitches.

Wait, it worked?! Across just 59 pitches?! Wild. His fastballs combined for 44% CSW but just 2/25 whiffs across the secondaries ain’t great. The low pitch count and questionable breakers make him an easy pass against the Reds in Cincy, but hey, this was cool.

Jalen Beeks (TB) vs BOS (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 27 pitches.

This was a whole bullpen day for the Rays and shockingly the first one of this season for any squad. Like a real bullpen day of old. Huh. Thanks MLB, I really do appreciate it. Sidenote: I’m likely forgetting some game somewhere that was effectively one and that’s okay. It’s been ultra rare and I think that’s cool. Nick, Fleming went a full four innings in relief, I dunno if that’s a bullpen game, this was really just an opener. OKAY FINE. Josh Fleming came in for 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks and didn’t vulture a Win as he left the game 0-0 (but of course the Rays won because THEY CAN’T LOSE). Don’t get any funny ideas with Beeks or Fleming with the Jays up next, y’all.

Kyle Gibson (BAL) vs OAK (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ayyy it worked! The slider did all the damage here as Gibson turned to his entire arsenal to find a way to get through it. That filthy changeup he had last time? 0/11 CSW as it allowed a pair of hits. The sinker and four-seamer went 1/45 whiffs, and you get it. Thank you Athletics, and maybe thank you White Sox and Tigers and, oh hey, more Tigers! It may be worth it to hold for all three with that lovely breaker.

Julio Urías (LAD) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Cool to see the four-seamer at 93 mph and earning 38% CSW for the night as Urías essentially went two pitch with curveball/heater. The changeup wasn’t bad at a 64% strike rate, just not the star of the show. Keep on keepin’ on.

Drew Smyly (CHC) vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 76 pitches.

Ohhhhhh is it happening again? Smyly’s hook was able to return a whopping 39% CSW while the sinker stayed upstairs and didn’t get shellacked. And now he gets…@LAD…LAD…SDP…OH COME ON. It was a fun ten seconds we had there, I’ll cherish it forever.

Dylan Cease (CWS) @ MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and have some terrible defense behind him. Cease is looking better than I thought he would this year with his curve and four-seamer. I really hope I can fall hard for him this year, I hate being the guy out on someone.

Domingo Germán (NYY) @ CLE (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

Jeeeeez, five walks and not a single strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! He didn’t get the chases he wanted on his curve and change under the zone and it makes you wonder if Jhony Brito could hold onto a roster spot over Germán when a decision needs to be made. It’s just a thought. Anyway, Domingo is better than this, but the ceiling isn’t so high that you need to hold onto him against the Twins next. It’s a coin flip there.

Framber Valdez (HOU) @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

He’s so close to being an ace. Why can’t you have a good WHIP like all the others?

Shane Bieber (CLE) vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The strikeouts aren’t gonna get a whole lot better, save for a few nights, y’all. The heater is just 90.9 mph and the cutter is more of a called strike pitch than a back breaker. It’s just that slider holding on tightly, and fortunately, it’s a dang good one. The cutter is good enough to make it all work, just not at a 25%+ strikeout rate in all likelihood. And that’s okay.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna mostly ace. The WHIP has been the killer for Castillo over the years and you hate to see it creep up. Stupid Wrigley being cold n stuff. Didn’t they know Castillo was going to be their guest? I’m still waiting for the day Castillo leans heavily into sliders down-and-in to LHB and when that day arrives, ohhhh boy LET ME TELL YA.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

Oh dang, this may kinda be a thing. The WHIP is bad, sure sure sure, but Ashcraft with seven strikeouts against a strong Atlanta lineup should get you moving up your seat a little bit. The slider seems different at ~90 mph instead of 86 mph, though he’s still struggling to miss a ton of bats with the cutter/slider combo. Meanwhile, he’s not jamming batters with sinkers effectively and I still think there’s a little more polish left to add. Throw in a bad situation pitching for Cincy and I’m still a little tepid. I’m warming up to it, though, and it could work against the Phils + @PIT next, though hosting the Phillies is all kinds of risky.

Germán Márquez (COL) vs STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.

Márquez sadly left this one with forearm tightness. Say what you want about the Rockies, you never want to see that. I’d feel horrible if it leads to TJS as Márquez has given Colorado his all over the years and deserved better than that stadium’s onslaught. Just saying.

JP Sears (OAK) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

You know, that ain’t so dang bad. A pair of longballs did the damage as the new sweeper returned a whopping 50% CSW. That’s…kinda interesting y’all. I just wish it weren’t the Mets + Rangers next. Womp womp. There’s a chance he pulls it out in one of those two, but it’s too risky for not a whole lot of upside at the moment.

Zack Greinke (KC) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

So let me get this straight. Sure. No Win. Yep. A bad ERA. Uh huh. A terrible WHIP. Yeah. And just three strikeouts. Correct. So what are we doing rostering Greinke? YOU’RE ROSTERING GREINKE?!

Wade Miley (MIL) @ ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. The Diamondbacks are kinda good, y’all. Miley doesn’t get a good matchup for about two weeks, so let him enjoy his time on the wire for a little bit.

Logan Webb (SF) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ehhhh, it’s not that bad. Sure, the 1.17 WHIP is the expectation when we want more from Webb and that ERA is a run or two more than we’d like, but at least he’s earning a strikeout per inning and keeping it close against the Dodgers. And hey, his changeup is still legit. This is sure to get better against the Tigers next…though I can’t say I’m thrilled for the Mets and Cardinals after.

Kenta Maeda (MIN) vs CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

I watched this while making The List today and you should have seen my reaction when he allowed that three-run shot on a hung slider. Ugggggh. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Maeda in these two starts, though the lack of whiffs + tick drop in fastball velocity ain’t ideal. Save for the poor inning, Maeda was cruising and I don’t think it alters the fact that I want Maeda on all my squads right now. The odds that he’s shaking off a bit of rust vs. “he’s totally broken even though he dominated in his first start” is pretty dang favorable.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

I think this sums up the state of things pretty well.

José Suarez (LAA) vs WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 80 pitches.

Womp womp. I was hoping Suarez would be a sneaky stream given his ability to get left-handers out…and nah. He gets the Red Sox next before a pair of decent matchups, and we’re out of the first while still likely out on KCR + @MIL.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ NYM (L) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 104 pitches.

It was a strange seventh inning for Darvish with some of the worst BABIP you’ll see, but the real story here were the lack of whiffs with a drop in velocity across the board. We’re waiting for the start to get us excited about Darvish this season, which would likely come at the hands of his command being on point for a full 6-7 frames, but now we’re two starts in, twiddling our thumbs. We may have to wait another outing or two with the Braves and Diamondbacks up next, but we’re sticking him in the lineup all the same. We know you have it in you, Darvish.

Steven Matz (STL) @ COL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

Coors. Coors is undefeated. I really wish it wasn’t today, though. I had a feeling – A FEELING! – that Matz was going to come through here, for obviously a dumb reason. At least he gets Pittsburgh next and we can all celebrate there.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

Why oh why would you start Roansy against the Astros? His fastball is still down in velocity (now just 93.8 mph!) and starting Roansy breaks the Huascar Ynoa rule – you don’t roll with two-pitch pitchers who have just one good pitch (his slider). Sure, Contreras also has a curveball, but “has” is a generous term when it returned 5/14 strikes (36% strikes? Seriously?!). Sit this out until something changes with the heater.

Sandy Alcantara (MIA) @ PHI (L) – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

Oh. I didn’t realize we’d go through this so soon this year. Normally it’s against the Dodgers or in Coors or it’s in June or something like that. And definitely not after a CGSHO. Yes, there was some BABIP going on here and oddly enough none of his hits came off middle-middle pitches, but hey, he put himself in a situation to get burned in the first place with just 5/77 whiffs. There’s not much we can do here, it was a terrible, horrific day at the park and without any sign of injury, whatareyagonnado. Please don’t put us through those two painful innings again. Please.


Game of the Day 

Jesús Luzardo vs. Aaron Nola – It’s not fair that The Basilisk has to deal with all the good offenses but it won’t matter. Meanwhile, Nola should get an easy matchup to get back on track.

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 am ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Respect Your Elder”

  1. HeaneyMan says:

    Bit surprised you didn’t mention that heaney had 10 straight Ks! An AL record. Dude is a monster. As are you, appreciate all the work.

  2. mario says:

    Do you think Sandy’s hit parade due at all to the shift ban and the fact that he insists on pitching to contact? More starts like this to come unless he starts getting Ks instead of weak contact?

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