Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Bachelor Chouck

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

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

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs CLE (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches.

It has only been three weeks and yet it feels so strange to remember that Tanner Houck was living the single, bachelor life on our waiver wire as our “streaming pick of the day” with sub 10% rostership. He was a beast for his first two outings, struggled in his third, and rectified that pleb performance with a marvelous 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches against the Guardians. Yes that’s a Win, yes that’s a CGSHO, and yes, that’s a MADDUX. How sweet it is.

After an outing where Houck was unable to throw strikes outside of the heart of the zone, he looked far different here. Sliders landed armside or down consistently, splitters (or are they circle changeups now?) barely landed under the strike zone, and his sinker hugged the inside edge to stun RHB and induce grounders to LHB. It’s wonderful to see an outing like this that makes us believe in his first two performances far more than his single lapse, and if you were able to get on board at the start of April, hold on tight. Houck is finally coming into his own as a starting pitcher. I don’t quite believe he’s SP3 material given the volatility of his changeup/splitter thus far, but if what we saw here tonight sticks around, my doubt will be out the door like Grandpa seeing Bart as a hostess. Please hold onto this, Houck, we need you.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

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Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yeaaaah, this was dope. Blame it on the Rockies n all, but Sánchez had his change and slider all game. It’s fun watching a pitch execute as he should and get the results he deserves.

Jake Irvin (WSN) @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 73 pitches.

Next time you have a Birthday Partydo you mind inviting us too? Yeeeesh, that heater sat 96 mph and went 9/43 whiffs with a 37% CSW, while the curve returned a whopping 88% strike rate. So he must have hit the edges, right? Ummmm, nope. This was fastball down the pipe CENTRAL. I don’t truly get how the Dodgers let this happen and sometimes, that’s just how the seams are stitched. Did you just make up another phrase? IT’S LATE AND IT’S WHAT WE DO.

Luis Severino (NYM) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.

This game was a slew of “well, let me try this” and it got Sevy a good outcome. Come on Nick, give him some love already! Naaaah, I’m good. He still has a worse four-seamer and the slider isn’t close to being back yet. But what about the cutter? It was fine. But the Giants are next! Nah I’m–okay maybe.

Erick Fedde (CHW) vs KCR (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Fedde stayed up a ton in this one, but it certainly worked with both his cutter and sweeper, while keeping some solid splits down low. It’s an arsenal made for a TobyI just wish we could bank on that dub appearing more often.

Albert Suárez (BAL) vs MIN (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Suárez got the surprise call for this one as Tyler Wells hit the IL, and I had my doubts that Suárez would showcase the electricity we saw in his first spring start (not the ones that followed). HOWEVER, we got the hot stuff in this one, spotting 96/97 mph heaters upstairs without hesitation and doing his best with his cutter, curve, and changeup to keep batters honest. It was fun and a lovely sight, and unlikely to stick as Suárez used that extra adrenaline jolt to sit 96 mph. If he gets another start, I’d imagine it comes with a worse heater, while his secondaries aren’t strong enough to support him. Suitman whispers in my ear THE ANGELS?! Uhhhhh yeah, I guess that could work.

Bryse Wilson (MIL) vs SDP (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 57 pitches.

Bryse led this bullpen game and he did just fine. Props to him n whatnot, let’s move on.

Michael King (SDP) @ MIL (L) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 109 pitches.

Hi y’all. Please stop DMing me asking if King is cooked. He isn’t cooked. In fact, he is cooking with a King Cole and all four of his pitches are performing super well. This is the guy you drafted.

Pablo López (MIN) @ BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Eno and I talked about Pablo on this week’s episode of The Craft and I attributed his recent struggles to his wavering four-seamer command. So he fixed it today? Ummm, nope. He pounded that heater thigh-high all game and got away with it. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet, though I also find it hard to believe Pablo is destined to have a poorly spotted fastball for the year.

Keaton Winn (SFG) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

His name isn’t Keaton Loss. Ha, wow, such humor. We’ll take this all day, though it’s hard to rely on a 1/37 whiff splitter at a 57% strike rate against teams that don’t rhyme with Barlins. Maybe he’s a Toby at the end of the day, and that could be good enough against the Mets. Ehhhh I wouldn’t.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

That’s a pretty line from Miller and while it’s a touch of Blame it on the Road Reds, I dig that he’s doing his best with sweepers and sinkers in the zone to keep himself afloat. I’m still concerned that there isn’t a legit pitch outside of a decently commanded four-seamer, but maybe that comes with time. I guess we’re chancing it against the Rangers…?

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs SFG (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

Awww snap! The changeup and slider must be cooking! Ha, nope. 15% CSW on 33 changeups, while he went just 1/9 slider whiffs. Wait, just nine breakers total?! Yuuuuup. Rogers carved up the Giants for a Philly with his fastballs, each returning at 45% CSW and tallying 10/51 whiffs between them. How, you ask? I didn’t say anyth–IT’S THE BSB Y’ALL. Seriously, look at this plot and try to contain yourself. This type of command is rarely replicated across many starts, but the fact Rogers clearly changed his approach is something to note. This absolutely works.

Reid Detmers (LAA) @ TBR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

H’ok, this was easily the worst pitching performance of the year from Detmers. His four-seamer came in softer at 93/94 (but got 19″ of iVBwhich is stupid good) and was commanded far worse across the zone. Meanwhile, his slider and changeup weren’t dastardly around the edges, and it felt like an outing where Detmers had to really grind for outs. Or, more likely, he was fortunate to not have his best stuff against a struggling Rays offense. We’re gonna still give it another go against the Orioles, but that has more risk attached to it than we’d like.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna…ace? I think? Yeah, his velocity was back to 95 mph, but wait, his splitter struggled heavily to find strikes, landing far under the zone constantly and recording a putrid 45% strike rate for the night. Yikes. That can’t happen for Gausman and let’s be happy he allowed just one earned run doing so. I wouldn’t bet that Gausman forever has lost his splitter, and merged with the fastball velocity jumping back up, I’d be completely confident starting Gausman against the Royals.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

We rostered Dunning just for this stream and now you can hold for the Mariners up next or toss him back to the wire. Your call, I’d be totally fine letting him go if there was anything at all I needed before then.

Jonathan Cannon (CHW) vs KCR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.

He made his MLB debut and showcased a sinker, sweeper, cutter focus that returned a whole lot of grounders. He profiles out like a decent Toby if pitching for the right team, but the ChiSox haven’t been the “Right Team” since Konerko was a thing. There are better options than this Cannon Fodder.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs CHC (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Pfaadt introduced more sinkers here, returning 48% CSW on the pitch with 9/21 called strikes, which allowed his sweeper to perform well in the zone & return outs on his four-seamer. It could be a shift in the right direction for Pfaadt, though I still feel like I need more. Is a sinker/four-seamer enough to support his sweeper? It still seems pretty meh, even with this solid line.

Tarik Skubal (DET) vs TEX (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The four-seamer sat right under 96 mph again and went…1/17 whiffs. In fact, sinkers were his most thrown pitch at 31% usage, which worked stupid well with 41% CSW. But isn’t he a guy who bullies with his four-seamer? I know, right? It’s strange, but it worked against a great Rangers crew and we’re past the point of figuring things out with Skubal. Just let it fly, y’all.

Michael Wacha (KCR) @ CHW (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s not thrilling, but it works, even without the Win he deserved. I feel a touch better about Wacha than Singer against Toronto up next, especially with Wacha finding his changeup once again.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 104 pitches.

Hey, we’ll take that all day from Abbott, though I can’t say I’m too jazzed by 3/46 whiffs across his secondaries. At least he’s showcasing the ability to keep his four-seamer consistently upstairs now, though it remains to be seen if he can reproduce that skill. With the Phillies next, I’m still looking for safer streams.

Marcus Stroman (NYY) @ TOR (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ehhhh, sure. That’s the Stroman life and we move on. That’s it? Y’all know he’s a sinkerballer with one of his array of curve, cutter, slider, splitter appearing on a given day. Here, it was mostly sliders and curves and they were fine. Not much for us to do but start him at the end of our rotations.

Landon Knack (LAD) vs WSN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 75 pitches.

Whoa, they let Knack go 75 pitches?! I thought this would be like Kyle Hurt and turn into a bullpen affair, but nope, we saw Knack and his questionable two-pitch approach go a full five frames. Okay fine, it’s also changeups and curves for 30% usage combined, but none of it screams ELECTRIC (boogie woogie, I hate that I just typed that) and even with the Dodgers team context, I’d sit this out. Knack feels like he’s a bunch of little pieces instead of a solid character to lead a franchise, you know?

Ben Lively (CLE) @ BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 79 pitches.

Wait, really? I kinda get it: The four-seamer and sweeper were passively taken inside the zone incessantly, but still. 34% CSW? Seven strikeouts on just eight whiffs?! No, Lively isn’t the new hotness and this line is here to deceive. STAY IN LINE, LINE.

Brady Singer (KCR) @ CHW (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Just nine four-seamers at 2/9 strikes as we’re back to the ole Singer we know and…endure? I’d be careful against the Jays next.

J.P. France (HOU) vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

This is a magnificent line for France against the mighty Georgia offense, yet I’m still worried about his next start against the Cubs. At least he’s holding back on throwing heaters all around the zone now and letting his cutter, change, and curve do some work, but it all seems a little too meh to keep rolling the dice against good offenses.

Bailey Falter (PIT) @ NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

Falter has had some decent starts now for the Pirates and all I can wonder is if they’ll actually sell him to the Rays when they call in July. Nick, stop making this trade happen. I JUST FEEL IT IN MY BONES. I don’t see a guy you should chase in fantasy yet.

Jordan Wicks (CHC) @ ARI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Blegh. This command was far worse than what we got last time out and it led to the heater returning just 1/27 whiffs. We’ll try it again next time. Uhhh, don’t do that. He gets the Astros and there’s no guarantee he’ll rebound after this evening’s wonky command. Stop burning the Wicks at both ends, y’all.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) vs STL (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

I was told Paulie Punchouts (seven Ks!) was never going to allow a run again. Instead, we almost got a VVVPQS and a lovely reminder that the Vargas Rule is defined as it is for a reason. So, I shouldn’t start him against the Yankees? Don’t make me give you that look again.

Zack Littell (TBR) vs LAA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 107 pitches.

It’s still high sliders for Littell, but at least he paired them with low splitters this time around + 29% called strikes on his sinker. Let’s all celebrate the Tigers up next so I don’t have to scrutinize Littell for another week. He’s just so strange.

Max Fried (ATL) @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna have a rough fifth inning and fail with his changeup once again. Fried needs that slowball to be the southpaw we want, but he did a fantastic job locating sinkers and four-seamers against a strong Houston squad. He should have a field day against the Marlins next time out.

Steven Matz (STL) @ OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.

But this was Oakland! BUT IT WAS MATZ. He threw heaters down Broadway and tried to get away with it. Don’t throw heaters down Broadway in an attempt to get away with it.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ PHI (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

COL story, Br–wait. Is that a Gallows Pole?! What, his four-seamer and slider did well? Sure, the slider went 7/32 whiffs, but surprise! His changeup went 10/19 whiffs. Whoa, that’s wild. I. KNOW. It could be a case where it wasn’t in the scouting report and the Phillies didn’t know what to do with it, but hot dang, this adds another wrinkle to the whole “I wish Feltner pitched for another team.” Sadly, we can’t trust him inside Coors and even outside of Coors, on days where he holds a near 25% SwStr rate, he still isn’t worth it. Just saying.


Game of the Day 

Jack Leiter vs. Detroit Tigers – IT’S ANOTHER MLB DEBUT. I’ll be live-streaming it at Playback.tv/pitcherlist at 1:00pm ET, come join the fun!

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 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.

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