Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Sweet Cherry Garcia

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Luis Garcia (HOU) vs TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 92 pitches.

Today’s one of those days where I tell you I was dumb. After looking all kinds of shaky and featuring a rough schedule to close out April, Luis Garcia was someone I was fully out on in 12-teamers, electing to use his spot for streamers and upside targets. Instead, I should have been looking inward as he dominated the Jays for a brilliant evening of 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 92 pitches, earning himself the coveted Golden GoalHow did he suddenly do this?

He did the thing. I don’t believe it, but he actually reduced his fastball usage to just 23%, one start after I lamented that he wasn’t doing it. By reducing his four-seamer usage, he was able to lean heavily into his cutter for a ridiculous 19/51 whiffs, while the changeup, slider, and curveball earned tons of strikes and cruised to the finish line.

I don’t want to skip over that cutter’s effectiveness so quickly. That’s a 38% SwStr Rate and his precision of the pitch was ridiculous. It doesn’t matter who he’s facing, if he’s throwing the pitch like this 50 times a night, he’s going to destroy the league. It’s just one start, but hot dang, I was wrong. You know the blueprint now, Garcia, don’t you dare revert to your former self.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Nick Martinez (SD) vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

YES. So proud of Martinez for this one against an elite offense. He did so well jamming sinkers inside while elevating four-seamers + keeping his changeup armside and featuring it to both lefties and righties alike. This can be repeated and now he gets the Cubs and Reds. I’m back in, let’s do this.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ayyyy welcome back! This was a Still ILL even if it was just for two weeks and we saw his best breakers of the year with his curve + slider equating to a 44% CSW. His heater was reserved for upstairs locations and…went 0/29 whiffs for 10% CSW. Something has to change there, even if he managed to succeed despite it here. I’m not gung-ho into chasing Bradish given that questionable heater and the fact this was the first time we saw both breaking balls locked in all year, and so I’m hesitant to start him against the Red Sox. That said, the Tigers are after and if enduring the Sawx equates to a game against the Tigers, I may roll with Bradish for a two-step.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 83 pitches.

Atta boy Quantrill. Take down the lowly Tigers and do the same thing again next time out against Rockie RoadBut he earned just six whiffs and a 22% CSW. It’s Quantrill, what’s your point? You’re not starting him against Team USA, it’s just the Tigers and Rockies.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 78 pitches.

He’s nearing AGA territory and with a trio of games ahead against the Astros, White Sox, and Yankees, he’ll undergo his rite of passage like all of the brotherhood before him.

Max Scherzer (NYM) @ LAD (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 47 pitches.

You’ve likely already seen that Scherzer was ejected for sticky stuff…even though he was using rosin and following every instruction they wanted. It’s ridiculous and I don’t understand how MLB umps are messing this up so badly. Suitman whispers in my ear Wait, it’s always been Phil Cuzzi?! GET IT TOGETHER CUZ.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 85 pitches.

Phew. Sure, the WHIP is terrible, but I’m holding my breath each time Morton pitches until we see sheer dominance. The curve was great but the surprise is the four-seamer returning a whopping 48% CSW and not a single cutter in sight. Thankfully it’s Miami next and that should come with far less anxiety.

Justin Steele (CHC) @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 89 pitches.

This may be the start that I’m legit buying in on Steele. The biggest concern I had entering the season was his heater. We knew the slider was great, but the four-seamer would come and go as it pleased in 2022 and I was worried it created a Cherry Bomb for the year ahead. Watching him today (thanks Mason!) made me impressed at his fastball command inside to right-handers, while the slider wasn’t doing its best version of dominance. Oh how the turntables…I dig it and understand better how he’s held such low hard contact rates. He jams a ton of right-handers while lefties succumb to the breaker. It works. I’m in y’all, sorry it took so long.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.

Coors is undefeated. WELL NOT TODAY FELLAS. Oviedo’s four-seamer was all over the place, but the curve and slider got the job done inside the zone and I’m starting to believe that this can be repeated. Maybe not against the Dodgers next as the command isn’t quite there…and Toronto is shortly after, so maybe we wait just a little longer to jump in. If you can steal a stream in between against the Marlins in 10 days, I’d go for that one.

Alex Cobb (SF) @ MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

The WHIP hurts, but you’ll take this Dusty DonutI’m sad to see the slider not making its mark on his arsenal as much as I had hoped with Cobb utilizing it just six times in this one. But hey, the split is doing work and the sinker + curve returned 15 called strikes. That works for me.

Jhony Brito (NYY) vs LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 84 pitches.

Phew. I mean, it’s not magical, but at least it’s decent. This is more like the pitcher that Brito’s arsenal dictates, with possible outcomes on either side of it. It feels like the upside isn’t worth it, but if you’re chasing Wins, he could steal a few here and there.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs SF (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 58 pitches.

For the second night in a row, my streaming pick was looking great until getting pulled with an injury. Here, Rogers has forearm tightness and my mind suddenly goes to Eury Perez possibly getting the call if Daniel Castano isn’t enough. When is he ever enough? That’s a great question. Funny story, I made this image YEARS ago and I feel like I need to update the old classic. There are just too many great prospects on the horizon and I can’t get enough of em. GIVE ME EURY OR GIVE ME HEATH DEATH. Sidenote: I wrote this blurb and thought “yep, I totally need to actually update it.” So I did.

Eric Lauer (MIL) @ SEA (W) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

Now Lauer is down to 89.5 mph and he cruised. If you must Vargas Rule it, you do you, but I am not falling for it. Nope. There’s no way.

José Berríos (TOR) @ HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

Is he back? At least his curveball was this time (50% usage!) and it should get easier moving forward with the pink sox across two games. I don’t suggest chasing this, though. Berríos’ nickname is The Great Undulater for a reason – there isn’t a whole lot of rhyme or reason as to when he has his better command, and while I’m happy the last two games were serviceable (not elite mind you), it doesn’t mean he’s back to his SP #3 days.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ CWS (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take it. His velocity is down once again (what else is new) to just 92.5 mph and the splitter/slider returned a whopping 3/37 whiffs combined, but hey, survival is survival. Much better than David Samson, you know, the anti-survivor.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.

That’s a Toby doing…not Toby things. Marco deserved this one all the way through, just look at this perfect strikezone plot. That’s the BSB better than I’ve seen Snell do it in five years. I won’t rule out the possibility Gonzo is suddenly locked into this moving forward and I’m kinda curious about his next start against the Phils now. This is cool.

Noah Syndergaard (LAD) vs NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 74 pitches.

Can it be a revenge game if you earn the Loss? For his changeup being his best pitch, it wasn’t fun seeing just 8% CSW for the night, but hey, it’s the Pirates next. Surely this Toby can produce there.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ NYY (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

He allowed a two-run shot to Judge in the first (who doesn’t?) and that was all the Yankees could get off Canning. With this start coming at 100 pitches and just 25% fastballs, he looks primed to take on the Athletics next time out. There’s your super sneaky stream for next week. The slider/change/curve look solid.

Mason Miller (OAK) vs CHC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

The man arrived and it was glorious. Well, not the most glorious of glory but the kind of glory that leaves you heading home thinking Yeah, that was great. Miller appeared, chucked some ridiculous 100 mph fastballs, showcased a cutter that falls into the zone effectively, and a slider that was either stupid good or stupid terrible. He’s the real deal – that fastball will dominate batters constantly while the cutter is the stabilizing pitch that sets him apart from other four-seamer/slider guys we’ve seen. While he should be picked up everywhere, there are two major concerns. First, he’s inefficient. The slider can’t be trusted quite yet, and despite MLB debut jitters n all, I question if he’s going to be a 65-70% strike guy that his stuff demands for prolonged success. The second is the question of innings. Miller has barely pitched across the last two seasons and you can’t imagine he gets close to 150 this season (120? 130?). That’s fine with all of us given he’s replacing the worst player on your team right now, but you may not see him go six innings very often, if at all. Enjoy the five-and-dives with ~7 strikeouts and be happy you were the guy in on Mason.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 103 pitches.

That’s a PQS with a solid WHIP and seven strikeouts for Gore. I saw a fair amount of “Gore or Mason?” today and I’m still siding with Mason, but this is encouraging. It was the BSB with four-seamers working well with a ton of hiLoc% and the curve sat low for the most part. It’s one more tough matchup to go against the Mets, but then we can celebrate with the Cubs and Arizona. That may be the time to actually be in on Gore.

Joe Ryan (MIN) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

We want Ryan to get the AGA label, but it’s starts like these that show why he doesn’t have it yet. Sure, a PQS and a Win is helpful, and so is a 1.17 WHIP, but paired with three Ks it makes for a good-not-elite line. It’s all about the splitter and slider taking the next step forward and I hope we see it sooner rather than later. His fastball command was stupid good once again and all he needs is that secondary pitch for batters to truly respect. It’s not the splitter? 3/35 whiffs tonight. It’s not the splitter.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s awfully close to a VPQS and I wanted more from Martín against the Royals. Just one fewer run and baserunner, that’s all. When you put it that way, it’s almost like the difference doesn’t matter at all. YOU DON’T SAY. He’s the same guy you thought he was before this start.

Spencer Turnbull (DET) vs CLE (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

Yeaaaah, I don’t like the cut action on Turnbull’s heater and the slider didn’t step up here. He could pull it off next time against the Brewers, but that’s only for a deep stream, not for actual 12-teamer consideration.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) vs PHI (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 75 pitches.

Clevinger is a two-pitch pitcher without an elite pitch between them and he’s giving you just one strikeout in 75 pitches. HAISTBMBWT?! Y’all deserve to have your bread buttered. You’ve worked so hard.

Brady Singer (KC) vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

The Cherry Bomb season continues for Singer, who now has three straight disappointments in a row. Do we hold onto this? Up to you. I’m cool holding as I don’t think he’s destined to struggle throughout the year – it’s what a Cherry Bomb does – but if there’s something else to chase, feel free dropping him and removing yourself from this HIPSTERSure, he could have a great start next time out, but you won’t be able to trust a legit run from Singer for a while now. It’s what happens to guys who are just two-pitch without two legit elite offerings.

Jake Woodford (STL) vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

St. Louis, you know Matthew Liberatore is a better option than the Amish Mustang. He cannot even butter our bread!

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

How long must we endure Bumgarner until Brandon Pfaadt arrives?

Corey Kluber (BOS) vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 103 pitches.

Why don’t the Red Sox call up…um…the guy who threw the pizza? YEAH! HIM!

Levi Stoudt (CIN) vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

You’re not Andrew AbbottGIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. Is the Roundup becoming the place we just wishcast for prospect pitchers to come up? Maybe. I’m here for it. WHY ISN’T GAVIN STONE HERE YET?! H*ck yeah.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs PIT (L) – 2.0 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 59 pitches.

There was a timeline where Gomber figured out his secondaries and didn’t reside in Colorado. Why did life have to Gomber Austin like that?


Game of the Day 

Kodai Senga vs Sean Manaea – Will Senga have the Ghost ForkTM? Will Manaea’s 94+ velocity carry him through six?

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 pm ET Monday through Friday.

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 – Sweet Cherry Garcia”

  1. Sir Charles says:

    The round up never disappoints

  2. Jim says:

    Where do you think G Canning sneaks into the Top 100 next week? 60-70ish?

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