Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Houston To Brown Control

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ KCR (L) – 0.2 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 40 pitches.

Let’s pour one out for everyone who started Hunter Brown today. The young Astros right-hander showed elements of promise in his first two starts, but it was thrown out the window after he couldn’t escape the first frame, returning a ghastly 0.2 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 40 pitches line that likely destroyed some of your weeks. But chin up – Brown left this game with the bases juiced and the bullpen bailed him out of more damage. Yes, this could have been 12 earned runs.

Obviously there is an element of getting Singled Out that happens here, but after watching all forty pitches, it’s clear: This was horrific. Brown’s splitter, curve, and slider were hung like a piñata on a branch, ready for the Royals to blast them into play. Seriously, ten hits were earned on these pitches, all well inside the zone. He deserved a whole lot of the battering today.

And sure, it’s not even one bad start, it’s just one bad inning, but hot dang, Brown looked more off than an air conditioner in Antarctica. Every pitch was either a terrible miss or a meatball and it’s gonna be hard to trust him in any capacity soon. So not his next start? You mean against ATLANTA?! Yeah, that one. Ummmm, no. Please don’t. It’s gonna take a moment to get back on this and yes, you can try something else in a 12-teamer. I fully expect Hunter to eventually get to a place we want to hold onto this year, but when? I honestly don’t know + I’m not convinced it’ll be so good that the potential is worth holding over arms who can help right now. Favor the now >>> potential later.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


JP Sears (OAK) @ TEX (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

One look at that line and instantly we’re thinking “He clearly spotted the heater upstairs.” Nope, Chuck Testa Sears dominated with sweepers in the zone for a ridiculous 46% CSW and 85% strike rate. Whoa. Hey Sears, can you do that and actually locate that four-seamer? I’m not trying to be greedy after you just earned a Win against the mighty Rangers, but this doesn’t look incredibly sustainable without that heater helping out. What about the changeup? You know, that was Sears’ most thrown pitch, and if it can generate outs like this every time, sign me up. We have to note – Sears was terrible last time out and at best he’s a Cherry Bomb until he showcases consistency.

Jon Gray (TEX) vs OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

I appreciate you, Gray. Your slider did exactly what it was supposed to do against the Athletics, while the four-seamer was able to turn the usual contact in play into foul balls. Wait, isn’t that normally noise? Yes. The sweetest melody of all. But it was 1.5 ticks down to just 94 mph. THE SWEETEST MELODY OF ALL. I think we can run it back against the Tigers up next.

Brady Singer (KCR) vs HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

With a nine-run lead, Singer chucked plenty of strikes, and unlike Hunter, he was able to earn many outs with his ball in play. The new four-seamer we were interested in? Yeah, that’s not that great – 6/13 strikes with 8% CSW and 0/13 whiffs. Not great. At least it’s the White Sox next? I’d roll with him there then consider selling, personally.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.

Atta boy Suárez. You did what we rostered you for and more with eight strikeouts in the books despite being 1-2 ticks down on your heaters. Huge props for nibbling the edges with cutters and four-seamers, while keeping your curve generally down. This looks like one of his patented runs and strap in for another fun one as Rockie Road is up next.

Garrett Whitlock (BOS) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

I’m not exactly sure why Whitlock has elected to move away from his slider and sweeper as of late, but if it means good ratios against the mighty Orioles offense, I guess I’ll take it. He faced few RHB in this one. That’s fair, though we saw more changeups and sinkers than I’d normally see. Great to see the cutter & changeup both working super well against LHB and I imagine we’ll see six frames once again from Whifflock in no time.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ BOS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Grayson sat 95/96 mph in this one and maxed out under 98 mph – a dramatic step down from the average 97+ mph heaters we’ve become accustomed to and yet, I don’t care? It’s still coming with elite extension and a good HAVAAand he was constantly able to elevate it in this one. But here I am, about to head to bed wondering how good Grayson could be if he simply located his changeup.

Jared Jones (PIT) @ PHI (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.

He’s so dang good outside of the few pitches each game that simply aren’t. Jones allowed six hits today and many were deserved: One was a 1-2 curve that got a ton of the plate and was launched for a solo shot, his first pitch of the game was slammed by Schwarber for a hit, Realmuto lined a hung 0-0 slider, and Bohm shot a middle-middle fastball to right. However, his two-run shot was not a mistake – a 3-2 slider down-and-away that I still can’t believe left the yard – and his final single allowed was an 0-0 fastball away off the plate at 97 mph. Pitchers make these mistakes all the time and usually don’t get as punished as Jones did today. That’s Baseball, Suzyn. Enjoy that low WHIP and Golden Goal and expect the ERA to fall in time.

Jose Quintana (NYM) @ ATL (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches.

Two outs away from a PQS with a dub against Atlanta? That’s absolutely a win for Quintana managers and those who held on are now rewarded with the Pirates. That works. Ish.

Allan Winans (ATL) vs NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.

Womp womp. It was a Do Not Start, though I selected Winans over Sears simply because of the Win chance vs. the Mets. How could I have been so foolish. Welp, he’s back in Triple-A now and we move on. Let’s not do this again.


Game of the Day 

Michael King vs. Yoshinobu Yamamoto – I’d make it López vs Skubal again, but you already knew that.

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/X)

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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Houston To Brown Control”

  1. Kevin Burns says:

    Nick, you do great work and I enjoy the site and podcast so much, and have learned so much, that I signed up for a membership even though it costs more than my league dues because I want to support your work. Keep it up.

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