Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Sim City

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. 

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) vs CHW (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

With the Twins moving Louie Varland back to the minors, Minnesota has turned to Simeon Woods Richardson for their #5 starter and he took full advantage today, getting pulled just one inning too early to secure a Win: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches. It’s a solid start and we should outline what to expect moving forward.

The quick hit: This was the CrySox and he’s going to get them a second time. I’d go for it – they really are a bad offense and SWR throws a ton of strikes. The quality of those strikes is a bit questionable, though. I don’t love his four-seamer as he struggled to wrangle it along the edges, while his changeup and curve were both hit or miss. His best offering is a slider that he kept down and gloveside and if he’s able to continue spotting the breaker, he should be a decent enough Toby.

Sadly, that’s all I see in Woods Richardson. There isn’t anything electric in his arsenal to suggest he’ll make a large impact and the wonky fastball command here seems atypical to his usual self. Feel free to pick him up for the White Sox start but don’t hold too tight.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Don’t think, just do.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ CHC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

He squirmed out of a massive jam in the first inning with each of his first three batters reaching, and was overall inefficient with heaters and breakers. However, Verlander still has the ability to deftly land pitches on the edges and nibble his way through at-bats without granting hitters the major mistake pitch they enter the at-bat searching for. His four-seamer’s iVB was as good as ever at 19″+, leading to 10/45 whiffs, while his curve returned a 58% strike rate without allowing a single ball in play. I’ll take that all day. He needs to grind a bit more than he used to, but the ability remains.

MacKenzie Gore (WSN) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

Four-seamers were upstairs at 97 mph, which, GUESS WHAT, returned 11/58 whiffs. His curveball looked pretty, and he’s still looking to get that slider down and gloveside. But it was a 1.50 WHIP and he got a Loss with only four strikeouts. Gallows Pole with one ER against the Dodgers, y’all. But now it’s the Rangers and Jays. Ugggggh, I know. I love him long term, but there is a Cherry Bomb possibility here and despite surviving here, it’s still a tough challenge. I want to believe.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) @ WSN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He really can’t elevate his four-seamer and it’s kinda hilarious. Nick, it clearly works without it. Yes AND it’s the Nationals. But fine, a King Cole and everything you could possibly want here. Not every team will be the Nats…

Javier Assad (CHC) vs HOU (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

That’s a great line with the sad absence of a Win, which Assad was just one out away from securing in this PhillySigh. He’s a clear Vargas Rule at the moment as he succeeds despite what I think are clear flaws across the board and let’s hope it lasts.

Cole Ragans (KCR) vs TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. This game was disgusting and ended after just five frames because yes, that still happens. The field was muddy, rain was incessant, and Ragans tossed many pitches that slipped out of his hand as he constantly knocked clumps of dirt from his cleats. And he survived. The lower velocity is an obvious product of the conditions and you should reserve any judgement of this start based on the conditions. We appreciate you for still making this a solid outing, Ragans.

Alex Wood (OAK) @ NYY (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

Yeah, that’s a Birthday PartyI was surprised to see sliders and changeups work so well inside the zone across this one, and seeing 10 baserunners in a Philly should outline the good fortune of surviving with just one run on the board.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s three straight solid outings after the early worry of the year. He struggles out of the gate like clockwork, y’all.

José Berríos (TOR) @ KCR (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 67 pitches.

Berríos was opposite Ragans in the horrific Kansas City conditions and he did everything he could to get through five frames. Props to him for not letting this turn into a disaster, even if this was a HAISTBMBWT?! And yes, that lower velocity should be completely ignored.

Michael Soroka (CHW) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 68 pitches.

I can’t believe what I’m looking at. Zero whiffs in 68 pitches? ZERO?! How. Am. I–Nick, just say the whole thing. HAISTBMBWT?! I think his digestible ratios are a great showcase of how you always give yourself a chance if you get the ball over the plate. Hard outs, soft outs, weak outs, long outs, they are all the same in the book.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 75 pitches.

His fastball went 7/48 whiffs, but he’s sitting at just 91 mph still and throwing more sliders than curveballs. He did spot the four-seamer better, but the slider was wild, the curve was decent, and that WHIP is terrible. You shouldn’t trust this, especially with the Astros next.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs OAK (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

Nestor hurled a ton of pitches into the zone and it almost worked in full, with the only blemish coming from a third inning that featured a pair of longballs. Not his best, but he’s going deep into games constantly and that’s a lovely thing.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

Heaney nearly made this one work until a late two-run shot on a high heater. He had the same ability of his last outing, pulling off the BSB and I may still consider him for a stream against the Nationals next week. He’s looking better than usual.

Mitch Keller (PIT) vs MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

That’s the line of a Cherry Bombalright. This anxiety that you feel each day Keller is in your lineup, this feeling isn’t worth it. Pull an Elsa and let it goooooo.

Dakota Hudson (COL) vs SDP (ND) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 73 pitches.

COL story, bro.

Randy Vásquez (SDP) @ COL (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 72 pitches.

Coors aside, Vásquez isn’t polished and shouldn’t be relied upon unless it’s a two-start week with a pair of weak opponents. Is that next week? Ummm, he’s likely not in the rotation next week. Oh.

Nick Martinez (CIN) vs PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

I truly don’t understand why Martinez is throwing fewer changeups these days. 67% strikes but just 17% usage. It’s your best pitch, LET IT BE FREE.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ PIT (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna look mortal. His four-seamer was terrible. I mean absolutely atrocious with just 18/35 strikes and not having a clue where this thing was going to go. I sincerely wanted to believe those days were behind him but hot dang, here it is. But this was the Pirates! Nah, Freddy has his own agency. If he doesn’t have it, it ain’t gonna work out. Expect a rebound next time as this was truly an exception of a day after so much fastball excellence.

Chase Anderson (BOS) @ CLE (L) – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 53 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah. I’m an old man. I have no energy for the Chase anymore. Did you ever? Oh, let me tell you about Nick in his late 20s…Anderson had newfound velocity


Game of the Day


Shota Imanaga vs. Kutter Crawford – Two high heater arms in a tough park? I hope they both step up.

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 Steven King/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Sim City”

  1. larry says:

    should’ve picked up Assad in the beginning of the year. whatever he’s doing it’s working. and he was a great pickup at the end of last year, so hard to Vargas rule something that’s continuing. does he have a roster spot? will he go back to long relief, with Hendriks sucking and down or do the cubs have other arms they want to promote. damn this guy is probably going to stay in the rotation. can’t argue with the results.

    reminds me of the time my GF called me to pick her up at a bar. she was an avid pool player and was hanging out with Vaughn Eshelman and his GF playing billiards. looked at his GF and we were like, yeah this sucks putting up with the both of them. this was when Eshelman just came on the scene and was being a Vargas rule. then he says, i dunno i’m just throwing everything down the middle. we’re all drunk at that point. i promptly dropped him from my fantasy team the next day.

  2. larry says:

    list of my guys i might drop for Assad, ….Wacha, Lugo, Sanchez. it doesn’t work.

    Whitlock, Detmers.. Reese Olson! noo

    Reese Olson is solid, even if he looks like he’s 17 years old.

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