Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – The Nathanator

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs NYY (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 113 pitches.

I see Nathan Eovaldi and I see a pitcher who fantasy managers have been content to have rostered this year but rarely pump their first in the air for drafting. Well, not until Saturday when Eovaldi demolished the Yankees for a CGSHO: 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 113 pitches. Even better? His fastball sat 97 mph throughout this one. Things are good in Eovaldi land.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say outside of “hey, I think Eovaldi is much better than the pitcher he was in the second half of last year and that’s pretty cool.” He’s not going to have another start like this one again this year – that’s fine – but the fastball velocity being back up mixed with solid splitters and curveballs means he’s cemented on your squad indefinitely. Don’t chase the new hotness, the new hotness wants to be Eovaldi.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 28 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with a beautiful Golden Goal. I had no idea how to rank Gausman this off-season and I’m so glad we feel good about him now. Gausman deserves this. But what about his fastball velocity? He was back up to 95.4 mph. YESSSS. I know, kid, I know.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 88 pitches.

Another fantastic start for TATIAGA and all we can do is sit back and marvel at this Hall of Famer still acting like he’s in his prime. We can’t get too ahead of ourselves raising him up The List given the clear injury concerns (sup deGrom), but he’ll get a little bump tomorrow. It’s hard to deny, really.

Easton McGee (SEA) @ TOR (ND) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

I wouldn’t blame you if you thought I made up Easton’s name here. That’s because you did. Okay fair, he just happened to also exist and pitch for the Mariners. Props to him for getting outs against a very tough Toronto offense, but don’t you go on believing he can replicate this success moving forward. He doesn’t have enough in that repertoire as he slings 90 mph heaters and a mediocre curve + slider combo – just 1/16 CSW on those hooks.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. HE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PULLED IN GAME SIX. The fastball is still a little down at 95/96 instead of 97+ and the slider isn’t doing a whole lot, but even at the lower velocity, the heaters are just too good.

Vince Velasquez (PIT) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

VV was vv good as he took full advantage of a glorious date with the Nationals. The slider is still 50% usage and working well – 33% CSW and 71% strikes – while the four-seamer wasn’t at its best but helped along the way. His next four games are looking great overall, too – @WSN, TOR, COL, @DET – and I think we hold through it. H*ck, maybe we even feel daring against the Jays.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 112 pitches.

There’s the Greene experience. A terrible WHIP and ten strikeouts. He really is the dustiest donut. I’m also amazed the Reds let him toss 112 pitches across five frames, that feels a little like negligence these days, but then again, that used to be commonplace. Ish.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Wanna know what’s wild about this? Rodriguez still doesn’t have his breaker. His four-seamer didn’t miss bats like we know it should – just 3/41 whiffs as it sat 1.5 ticks lower to 94.5 mph – and his changeup did all the work here at 43% CSW. So what you’re saying is—-this isn’t the breakout game it looks to be. He has one more start against a weak team as he gets the Royals on Thursday and I really hope he flexes what he’s capable of there before the Jays after. I’m kinda tempted to sell high after this outing given we still haven’t seen him pitch as he should yet.

Jordan Montgomery (STL) @ LAD (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yessssss. The sinker hugged the edges and the curve + change were effective through the night. He’s a Holly and with the Tigers, Cubs, and Brewers up next, we’re all happy with things.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. We’re thrilled to see it as the cutter was the classic dominant self at 39% CSW. Let’s hope he keeps trending this way.

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs KC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

With the Kenta Maeda news, Ober has a rotation spot and I’m glad he took full advantage of this outing against the Royals. He made good on his nickname – Bailey Oberizzi – with four-seamers up a ton, while the changeup was the most dependable secondary of the lot. I don’t think he’s a must-add with a bit of a difficult schedule ahead (@CLE, SDP, @LAD) and he’s missing that top-of-the-line ceiling as he often fails to go a full six (sorry for the Philly here) and doesn’t have an exceptional secondary pitch. Ober locked in for the season would make for a decent back-end play, but not much more than that.

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs BAL (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

The train keeps on moving for Erod, even if it wasn’t as clear dominance as we’ve seen. I think you’re okay starting him against the Mets and Guardians, but I’m a little uneasy about it. He’s a Holly at best, but could fall down into Toby realm soon. Is it just a Vargas Rule? I think I’ve hit my term limit in a blurb so Imma say I hope not and move on.

Brad Keller (KC) @ MIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

The curve has officially been usurped by the slider and we’re back to the old ways. Nope, not for me, he’s Drab Keller again.

Brayan Bello (BOS) vs CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

With Garrett Whitlock on the IL, Bello came back up and was far better than what we’ve seen. In fact, he was actually good. Well, not that good, despite the line. There’s a lot of work left to do across the board with his command, and just 25% CSW on his slider and sub 15% on both fastballs tell the story. There’s no reason to dive in now with a horrific schedule ahead – I’m cool with it as it makes it easy for us to sit this out as he takes the time to figure things out. No headaches = a happier life.

Kyle Muller (OAK) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hey he survived! Sure, not a whole lot to salvage and you didn’t start him, but I’m happy for the guy. He’s such a Frozen BananaI just got a chill thinking of him.

Rich Hill (PIT) @ WSH (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.

This was a target start on Friday and while we had to wait an extra day, it was worth it as he secured us a Win. The Pirates can’t stop winning and it’s unreal. He’ll get the Nationals a second time and while I prefer Velasquez far more, we may as well try it one more time.

Jhony Brito (NYY) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 59 pitches.

Save for earning the Loss, this is everything you could have hoped for from Brito. I don’t think he did anything exceptional as balls found gloves a fair amount, but he didn’t make a ton of mistakes with fastballs over the zone (he hugged the edges a ton) and his changeup was located down a decent amount…just not under the zone as you’d want. I’m still out with the Rays + Jays coming in two of his next three, but a stream against the Athletics could fare well – if the Yankees allow him to toss 70 pitches, that is.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 12 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 109 pitches.

So many high WHIP, high strikeout games from Saturday and the story is always the same from Cabrera. I’m glad he gave you the glory of 12 strikeouts (and a Win!) to endure the ratios, but for me to rely on him constantly, the man needs to throw more strikes. His 57% strike rate across all his pitches is 5th percentile among SPs this season as he holds a 20% walk rate. It’s hard to believe that goes away tomorrow.

Calvin Faucher (TB) @ CWS (ND) – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 39 pitches.

Yonny Chirinos followed for 4.2 IP of 1 ER and if that’s the kind of life you want to live – chasing those vulture Wins n all – then hey, take note. I’m not into Chrinos – he’s like Yonny Be-Light, know what I mean? – and we’re gonna move on waaaay past that joke.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs PHI (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna take a step back again. Blegh, blame the slider as he couldn’t get that thing down nearly enough. I sound very down on Javier and yet he’s still producing to the tune of a 3.48 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 25% strikeout rate this year. That ain’t so bad and we know he should be even better. Something to think about…or is he overperforming based on the inconsistency of his arsenal? Thoughts.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs PIT (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

Is it bad that I consider this a decent start from Corbin? You know, a start where everything hurts?! Yeah, I thought so.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs TB (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 103 pitches.

You know, Lynn had pitched six innings of no-hit ball with nine strikeouts before the seventh, until he allowed a longball, a single, a double, and a walk before getting pulled. It’s awfully weird for a pitcher to toss six shutout frames and lose the Quality Start. Despite the end result of 4 ER, this outing should begin the healing process for Lynn managers as he gets the Reds + Royals next. Here we go.

Tommy Henry (ARI) @ COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 75 pitches.

I think this is the last start we see of Henry with Brandon Pfaadt taking his place for Friday’s game. At least this wasn’t in Mexico City, right?

Reid Detmers (LAA) @ MIL (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

Oh dear. Detmers went two perfect with five strikeouts, then hung so many sliders down the middle of the plate and he labored. Is it time to recognize that Detmers isn’t what you wanted him to be, Nick? Nope, he’s gonna fall into the “get it together tier” tomorrow, but I have full faith in the kiddo as the year progresses. He’s still throwing harder and locating upstairs with intent…but the pitch got away from him a bit here (just a 59% strike rate and 9% CSW is terrible) and it’s not like last year when his stuff innately was struggling. Despite those poor sliders over the plate, he still carried a whopping 30% SwStr rate on sliders and 40% CSW. It’s there y’all. Buy low.

Sean Manaea (SF) @ SD (ND) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

We knew this game was going to be bonkers in Mexico City but 16-11?! Jeeeeeez. At least Manaea is still 94/95 mph. That’s cool. With Alex Wood on the shelf, Manaea will get more starts now, and with the Brewers + Nationals + Phils + Marlins as the next four games, this actually may be the time to jump back in. Oh boy, here I go adding Manaea again…

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Womp womp. I think we sit out Kremer for a good while now until he does something miraculous with his stuff. Besides, he doesn’t have a good matchup at all across his next four so that’s a DK wrap.

Zach Plesac (CLE) @ BOS (ND) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 57 pitches.

Well, Boston isn’t a bottom-tier offense so we didn’t want to do this. Also, apparently Plesac had success with 50% sliders and then said “nah, I’m good” with just 23% of them here. Plesac, I don’t care if you’re facing right-handers or left-handers, just throw the dang slide piece. It’s not like this was better as my bread is drrrrry. HAISTBMBWT?!

Matthew Boyd (DET) vs BAL (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.

Blegh. I think we sit fully out on Boyd until the slider starts getting whiffs. Don’t care about the changeup nor the velocity – it’s all about the slide piece. Show me a 10-whiff game (h*ck a 5+ whiff game!) and I’ll gather the Boyd Boyz for an emergency meeting.

Caleb Kilian (CHC) @ MIA (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. He wasn’t performing well in the minors and it was a clear wait-and-see. We’ve seen it and we’re not even in line anymore.

Joe Musgrove (SD) vs SF (ND) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

We had a lot of discussion about starting Musgrove or not on Friday and the consensus was “Start your Studs” and yet…nah. Just move on from this (Mexico City = Coors but worse for those unaware) and don’t count this against him.

Noah Davis (COL) vs ARI (L) – 2.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 54 pitches.

I’ve always thought Davis’ name sounded like a contrarian Canadian. I’m not gonna explain that one, I appreciate all of y’all who follow my stupidity.

Chad Kuhl (WSH) vs PIT (L) – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Nothing quite like Kuhl WHIP on a Saturday night, amirite?


Game of the Day


Logan Allen vs. Chris Sale – Here’s to hoping Allen keeps it up and Sale is his best self.

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.

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login