Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Gaus For Concern

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

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

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs COL (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 78 pitches.

I know, the Roundup was super late today. I’m very sorry about that, but not as sorry as those who had to endure Kevin Gausman laying an egg against Rockie Road via 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 78 pitches on Friday night. Didn’t he have a shoulder problem? And showcase diminished velocity last game. He sure did. CAN I PANIC YET? Maybe.

Gausman’s bread-and-butter is his splitter, which did its job for the most part. 11/31 whiffs are magnificent, and its 61% strike rate isn’t ideal, but it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. No, it’s the rest of his arsenal that raises an eyebrow. Rest? Don’t you mean his four-seamer? That’s the thing – Gausman threw 21 sliders in this one and it weirds me out.

Those breakers did return a 38% CSW, but it is far from a sharp slider and batters were able to knock them into play. His four-seamer also found itself served on a platter often, and there is some concern that Gausman’s foul ball rate has dropped sharply on four-seamers this year – its consistent 23%+ rate has plummeted to just 13% this year (12% in this game) – and what’s odd is how those foul ball swings have been distributed to both whiffs and balls in play. Is that good or bad? Probably noise? I don’t expect Gausman to suddenly have a 14% SwStr on his four-seamer for the year, even if it has an inch more iVB this season.

In the end, Gausman threw some poor four-seamers and sliders in the zone and they were converted for hits at an unusually high rate. His velocity…Wait. Gausman’s final four pitches came with a massive velo drop, sitting 91.5, 91.7, 94.2 and 89.6. But that 94.2! BUT THAT 89.6. My brain says this was an exception of a start. My heart says there’s something at play, especially with the shoulder inflammation that delayed his season’s launch. Ugh.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Bryce Miller (SEA) vs CHC (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

We’ll take this all day and then some. It looks a little boring. That’s because it is – 13/14 total whiffs came via heaters. Wait, doesn’t that mean he’s the same guy from last year? SURE DOES. That’s a bit of a hyperbole, though this start wasn’t filled with the obvious growth we want from his breakers or splitter. And maybe that’s just fine as long as he’s hurling enough strikes, though if we see more starts like this, then we should likely stop expecting another leap forward.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) vs WSN (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

This is a Vargas Rule that may come to an end against the Cardinals this week. Let’s be happy for the good times against poor lineups, but we can’t trust Blackburn to have this same precision of cutters along the edges + curves and changeups down low. It’s just not going to last and that’s okay.

Reid Detmers (LAA) @ BOS (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.

That line is lovely. The arsenal…a little worse. And that’s okay! He still has 17 inches of iVB on his four-seamer and he carried a 33%+ CSW across all of his pitches. I’m just a little annoyed at his overall command here. Heaters weren’t upstairs as often, sliders were hit-and-miss, and many pitches got a ton of the plate. But who cares! We hold and hope. Hold and hope.

Tarik Skubal (DET) vs MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Remember that 97+ velocity Skubal had early on? He’s now chilling at 95.8 mph – the same mark he had last year. And that’s okay! He was GREAT last year! It is interesting to see him take a step back recently, especially after the sudden dive at the end of his previous start. But how did it perform? …3/32 four-seamer whiffs. Uhhhhhh. Yeah, it’s a little weird.  The slider wasn’t at all, but that’s always been a problem, and let’s be happy his changeup was impeccable. It’s so beautiful.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ CHW (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Blame it on the White Sox. I still can’t find anything inside Abbott’s approach or repertoire to latch onto. This was a game of “here’s my 92.5 mph, do something about it” and with average iVB and HAVAAthe pitch relies on its near 7 ft. extension (that’s good!) to not get pummeled into oblivion. I wonder how the Reds will treat their rotation moving forward, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn his middle name into “Anthony”. What stupid joke is this. You know, make him associated with AAA. NICK.

Max Fried (ATL) @ MIA (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Narrator: The Ace was, in fact, not cooked. Absolutely stellar four-seamer precision up-and-armside here. It was gorgeous.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and return a Golden Goal. His heater is one of the best in the game (even with less vertical break than his first outing of the year) and to see his slider wake up for 9/25 whiffs is just laughable. Please stay healthy…please stay healthy…

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Huh. That changeup was lofted well into the zone plenty and I remember watching this and seeing his line going “wait, really?!” I’m still waiting for Sánchez to get locked in like we saw last year and I fully expect him to get there. I’m not sure when, but Rockie Road up next seems like the perfect start to truly rev the engines.

Jake Irvin (WSN) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

Blame it on the Athletics. As Irvin was consistently earning strikes with his stuff up-and-armside…though that might be a product of simply “missing in the same place.” This isn’t the guy you want.

Luis Severino (NYM) vs KCR (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hmmmmm. He wasn’t able to replicate his four-seamer command (Gasp! More at eleven), but he suddenly started leaning into his cutter and that thing was excellent. We’re talking down-and-away often for 45% CSW and a whopping 68% strike rate. This is the pitch I loved when he featured it in bursts in 2022 and I actually buy Severino being productive if he has this pitch regularly…and something else. Just give me a whiff pitch anywhere – four-seamer, slider, changeup WHATEVER. I need it + this cutter exists 25% of the time.

Bailey Falter (PIT) @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

After nailing the top of the zone last time, Falter failed to do so in this one…and still succeeded. That’s Baseball, Suzyn. He’s not a guy, sadly. Not until he gets traded to the Rays. IT’LL HAPPEN, WATCH.

Steven Matz (STL) @ ARI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 76 pitches.

Blegh. So many pitches down the pipe and Matz was Singled Out of this one.

Jacob Waguespack (TBR) vs SFG (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 71 pitches.

His heater boasted 18-19 inches of iVB and nearly 7ft. of extension, leading to a fantastic 40% CSW on 35 four-seamers with heavy hiLoc intent. That’ll play. I kinda wish the Rays gave him more opportunities, but we should expect Tyler Alexander to return in this spot later this week, pushing Waguespack out once again. Keep an eye on him if he gets a regular shot – that four-seamer and cutter combo has classic “sneaky Rays value” written all over it.

Keaton Winn (SFG) @ TBR (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey, we’ll take that. His splitter wasn’t knocked into play as much this time around and it worked out. It’s not as dominating of a splitter as we’ve seen from others and the rest of the arsenal is too pedestrian to rely on Winn with any regularity.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Well, it was Atlanta. Roger’s changeup was bliss and I’m surprised his slider was the odd-man out in this one – usually that pitch does a whole lot of work for him. If that slowball is here to stay, I’d expect the slider to return and voila! There’s a legit starter for the Marlins who sticks around while Puk & Weathers dither about.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

If Feltner weren’t on the Rockies, we’d have some intrigue as he’s started to earn whiffs on his slider. Sadly, that’s not the reality we live in.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) vs SDP (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.

Yamamoto still has one of the flattest four-seamers in baseball and refuses to locate upstairs consistently. We’re talking 1.7 HAVAA and that’s elite, but when you don’t throw it upstairs, it means the pitch returns a sub 10% SwStr rate and just a 22% Whiff per swing. YOU COULD BE SO GOOD. Welp, we’ll just have to accept a 34% CSW on the pitch and a good-not-great line in the meantime. Whatever.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

For a start against the Astros, this could have been a whole lot worse. And as y’all know, Dunning isn’t the arm you want to go after in fantasy…unless he gets the Tigers, which he does on Wednesday. Time to get the streamers out of the ole storage bin.

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs LAA (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Well that’s unfortunate. Houck’s command was an atrocity, with so many pitches down the heart of the plate, allowing a total of 28 balls in play. Twenty-eight! That’s an average of 3.5 pitches per ball in play. Not plate appearance, BALL IN PLAY. It was a day where a good cutter or splitter would have gone a long way, but alas, here we are. Expect better moving forward, though Houck’s lack of trusted depth does make him liable to starts like these. I’m still riding this against the Guardians.

Michael King (SDP) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

He’s really found his changeup lately and the last piece of the puzzle to find the groove with his breaker again. Let’s also acknowledge the Dodgers being the Dodgers as this could have been a much better line against an average offense.

Jordan Wicks (CHC) @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

I was hoping for this game to be the grand entrance of Wicks into the fantasy zeitgeist and while his changeup was sparkling (12/29 whiffs y’all), his fastball led to more contact than ideal. The Mariners forced walks with a silly 34% foul ball rate against the four-seamer, but there is one awesome item to note: Wicks is leaning into the BSBHe’s leaning into this approach and as he refines his slider (1/9 strikes lol) and keeps the pitch separation alive on his four-seamer and changeup, he’ll become something legit. There’s major wishcasting here, but what is development without failure?

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

Womp womp. Wells hasn’t come through much as a late round flier for Wins, though he does get the Twins up next. Against Pablo. WELL NEVERMIND THEN. You can move on if you haven’t yet – I can imagine him finding a groove at some point, but it’s not there yet.

Michael Wacha (KCR) @ NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Nooooooo. Are the Mets actually waking up as an offense? No, it’s the Wacha who is wrong. His changeup (and really all of his pitches) were not the well commanded offerings we normally see. Those hits were deserved. Brush it off and expect far better against the White Sox this week.

Pablo López (MIN) @ DET (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna have another weird outing. The sweeper was much better, but the four-seamer and changeup were lacking and all I can do is tell you the ratios will get better. They did last year, they did the year before, and they will now. We move on.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Yes this is a horrible line. Also note that he allowed a 3-run HR early in the first frame and was decent the rest of the way. Does that actually matter? I guess not. Yeah, I’m not a fan. It’s like if a team didn’t have Declan Rice. You’d need more in that Arsenal to be successful.

Chris Flexen (CHW) vs CIN (L) – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 67 pitches.

How much longer do you think Flexen lasts in the rotation? Nick Nastrini, Drew Thorpe, Noah Shultz, and friends are just waiting in the minors for a proper shot. I’d actually enjoy a whole season of The Bachelor that decides who gets the call. Maybe I’d actually watch it then. You still wouldn’t. You know me so well.

J.P. France (HOU) vs TEX (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches.

To think this start should have been even worse if it weren’t for some guy behind the plate punching out Langford on three cutters well outside the zone. It’s not the matchup we roster France for and with Atlanta next, you can keep him on the wire.


Game of the Day 


Shota Imanaga vs. Seattle Mariners – I’m stoked to watch him dominate for a full game.

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.

Photo by Julian Avram/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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Gaus For Concern”

  1. Doug says:

    Just have to note that for King’s game, it started @ 3:30 in SD, and the weird shadows between the mound and the batter really worked in his favor for the first few innings. As the shadows shifted, things didn’t go as well for him. You could tell the batters couldn’t pick up his spin. It could have been A LOT worse, I think, especially against the Dodgers.

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