Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – The Allen Key

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

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

Logan Allen (CLE) vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

We’ve been spoiled with prospect pitchers across the last two weeks and Logan Allen is the latest who should be picked up in all formats after going 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches, even with the Red Sox up next for the southpaw. But it was the Marlins! This is true – Allen likely earned more whiffs with his four-seamer and extra strikeouts because of his opponent, but the skills are strong enough to warrant the pickup.

His best asset is locating his four-seamer around the zone and mostly elevated. I trust Allen’s command more than your typical prospect call-up and it makes for a solid floor, especially on a Guardians team that will allow him to go six innings frequently (remember, good command generally speaks to more efficient innings).

I was surprised to see only nine sliders, though, as it has been a huge pitch for him in the minors, and I’m not certain we can rely on splitters going 30% CSW across 27% usage in the future (you know me and splitters). That slider could be the #2 offering in the future, though, so my general concerns about splitters aren’t as prevalent here.

Allen isn’t the 25-30% strikeout arm that will sweep the league and that’s okay. He’s a solid play for a good ball club and should make for solid fantasy production throughout the season. There will be rough games when his secondaries aren’t up to the task, but his overall command speaks to more consistency than other young arms. Hopefully, the Guardians don’t do something foolish and send him back down. I’d be so furious…


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 95 pitches.

Eduardo was perfect until the seventh and he should be turning heads. The changeup and cutter were well commanded and the four-seamer returned a whopping 44% CSW across 38% usage. There’s something here and I wish he didn’t have to face the Mets next. Kinda tempted to start him there but I think it’s safe to add and make that a game-time decision.

Vince Velasquez (PIT) vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 100 pitches.

The legend of Vince continues as he dominated the Reds. This time we saw 10/49 slider whiffs for 33% CSW and going BSB with the four-seamer upstairs. H*ck yeah I’m adding him for his start against the Nationals next. Gotta let it ride with Velasquez’s new slider-heavy approach.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You’ve already forgotten about that Astros outing, haven’t you? I’m shocked to see him soar with just a 92.2 mph heater (he was 95 mph last year), but obviously, four-seamer velocity doesn’t matter when he’s spotting them well and has his splitter working. Good stuff.

Max Fried (ATL) vs HOU (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Fried is stupid underrated y’all. He’s gonna have a sub 3.00 ERA again and I’ll still overlook him in drafts. But he had only 9 whiffs and 18% CSW! I adore Fried’s command and saw him earn a lot of those outs. Trust the man.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) vs TOR (L) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 76 pitches.

Whoa, this was a bit of a shock against the Blue Jays. He leaned into the sweeper for 40% usage and it was stupid good at 47% CSW, while the sinker and cutter each returned four whiffs. Huh. He did get away with a fair amount of said sweepers over the heart of the plate and I wouldn’t say his sinker/cutter command is exceptional, which to me translates into a fortunate outing we shouldn’t buy into. I’d still be hesitant against the Rangers next.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

At least he didn’t implode in the first inning, but there’s still work to be done. Grayson can’t get his changeup and slider located down in the slightest and it’s preventing him from taking that step forward. You’re so close and you’ve done this forever in the minors, you got this kid.

Cristian Javier (HOU) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. There’s the start I’ve been waiting for all year with 10 four-seamer whiffs and a 34% CSW slider. Phew.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

Just six strikeouts Greene? I don’t mean to be spoiled, but this felt like a start that should pad your stats a little more, no? Good to see the heater consistently upstairs.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.

There goes TATIAGA at it again. So far, so healthy.

Jacob deGrom (TEX) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 49% CSW, 80 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for a Golden GoalHe tied McClanahan’s season-high mark yesterday (slightly higher for McShane in the decimals, by the way) as if to say “whoa whoa whoa, step aside kiddo.” Please stay healthy.

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs WSH (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

The Twins called up Ober to give their starters an extra day of rest and to keep Ober on track to fill in as a starter when he’s needed. It was traditional Oberizzi with his four-seamers elevated and hoping for the best from the rest, and that slider was great at a 38% CSW. Still work to do on the changeup, and him being almost a tick down on velocity made for fewer heater whiffs, but overall, this was Bailey Oberizzi. He’s a decent 12-teamer play when he gets a locked rotation spot, but he’s not at the same level as SP prospects like Andrew Abbott or Eury Perez.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ ARI (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

The walks are silly, but sillier is getting pulled in the sixth with a leg issue, which fortunately was just a result of cramping. As we suspected, the splitter-heavy approach that led to dominance last time out wasn’t replicated here (just 12% splitters), but at least a heavy dosage of sliders and sweepers (42% combined) made this a successful day on the bump. When that cutter and four-seamer get locked in with those pitches…

Zach Eflin (TB) vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 67 pitches.

This was a Still ILL with a low pitch count expectation and props to Eflin for coming through despite it. Not his best command, but he should be fine against the White Sox + Pirates next.

Reid Detmers (LAA) vs KC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 90 pitches.

Detmers needed to get one more out to secure the Win, but 22 whiffs and a 37% CSW should dispel any concerns you have here. The dude went 57% sliders and its 35% CSW was the lowest across all his pitches. He’s the real deal and he’s only going to get better with more experience in the bigs – remember, he’s turning just 24 years old this summer.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna…still kinda be mediocre. He had a minor pec strain and still produced a solid ERA and 5 strikeouts for you, so cut him some slack. That said, he’ll likely fall to roughly #5 on The List today. Or maybe #3. I dunno, he’s falling a touch.

Ross Stripling (SF) vs NYM (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 67 pitches.

We knew he’d be limited to some degree; combining that with facing the Mets made this an unappealing outing. That incredible changeup of his returning just a 17% CSW and all I think of is how perfect a trade with the Athletics would be for next year. He’d be the Las Vegas Strip, after all.

Jack Flaherty (STL) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 104 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! We’ll take a PQS with nine strikeouts and a Win as Flaherty has his velocity back to 93/94 and 10/33 slider whiffs (Gallows Pole!). So he’s alternated having his good stuff and bad? Yep, that’s a Cherry Bombalright. Or he figured it out and had one misstep. Up to you to decide if you want to risk that against the Dodgers next week, I’m hesitant to buy in given the volatility we’ve seen.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 111 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with a PQSA trio of singles, a walk, a sac fly, and a hit-by-pitch made for all three of those runs in the fourth, which should tell you how Wheeler is still dope and makes us feel dope. Now comes the challenge – @HOU, BOS, @COL next. Hold me.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

VPQS is a successful day for Corbin. And no one rejoiced.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

We got a proper start from Bello this time and it was…okay. The line didn’t help at all, but the changeup and slider were well-spotted for the most part and Bello had solid sinker and four-seamer command. The blueprint is there for his success, though it may take a moment before we see it. Bad news here – CLE, @PHI, STL, @SDP are up next. I’ve seen worse schedules, but this isn’t ideal.

Drey Jameson (ARI) vs SD (L) – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 43 pitches.

Yikes. Jameson didn’t have his slider in this, resulting in an effort to will his way with heaters. That just doesn’t work against a team like San Diego. He gets Coors next and despite the excellent schedule after (WSN, SFG, @OAK), I’d be fine letting him chill on the wire.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ TB (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hey, the Rays are legit and swatted two more HRs against Giolito. Save for that, he’s looking good with his velocity at 93 mph and 31% CSW on four-seamers, with a little work left to be done on the changeup and slider. But we’re in a good place now and keep starting him.

Jordan Lyles (KC) @ LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

Honestly, that’s just one ER away from something you’d enjoy, and you nearly had it until the Angels went back-to-back-to-back in the sixth. Womp womp. He’s a streamer at best and now isn’t the time to get Lyles.

Kyle Muller (OAK) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. The pitching staff isn’t looking so hot for Oakland outside Mason and Sears. Muller is a Frozen Banana and we move on.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ CLE (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Blegh. Luzardo’s fastball velocity was down to 96 mph, but was spotted incredibly well. The problem was the slider catching too much of the zone and that’s just how the Carrasco cookie crumbles. But Nick, that’s two bad starts now, I don’t trust him anymore! Stop with that nonsense. He gets the Cubs next and you’ll regret having that thought.

Tylor Megill (NYM) @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 81 pitches.

Womp womp. I need Megill to give me a reason to wear my Tylord shirt again, but without an overpowering fastball nor a good slider (0/8 CSW), we’re not in a good place. Obviously, leave him on the wire for Atlanta next, but even with these meh skills, he may be worthwhile against the Tigers, Reds, and Nationals.

José Ureña (COL) @ PHI (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 74 pitches.

Remember kids, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

Womp womp. Stroman is a premium Tobywhich still means we’re better off not taking risks against top-tier offenses. He’ll get the Marlins and Nationals next so don’t worry about a thing.

Chris Flexen (SEA) vs STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

Noooooooope. Just Flexen in the mirror, dreaming of what could be.


Game of the Day 

Edward Cabrera vs. Spencer Strider – Isildur’s heir is always a joy and I hope Cabrera is able to find strikes enough to come through.

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.

Featured image 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 – The Allen Key”

  1. Todd says:

    Megill was hitting 96 instead night

  2. ROY SEKINE says:

    Nice LOR reference on Strider!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login