Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Lugo Girl!

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. 

Seth Lugo (KC) vs CWS (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

A popular deep league target this pre-season was Seth Lugo, getting cheers from internal crowds as his ADP fell well past 200 in March. The appeal made sense at face value: Lugo quietly put up solid marks for the Padres last season and is now positioned in Kansas City to have BABIP on his side as a constant 6+ IP threat with decent enough ratios. And to their delight, even after looking at tonight’s 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches line, I’m here to tell you that yes, BABIP is still on his side. Obviously I was cheering along as he managed to keep runs off the board, but that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing him like the roundup title may suggest.

This wasn’t a great game against the White Sox. He left so many pitches in the heart of the plate and returning just one ER was a massive wipe of the brow. This very well could have been an off night for Lugo and we’ll see better sliders and curves in future games, though I still see him as a Toby who is very droppable in 12-teamers. H*ck, with Houston up next, you can absolutely use his spot for a streaming option over the weekend and all of next week. Sure, there will be times you miss Lugo as he takes down a weak lineup, but trust me, there will be many other arms to choose from if you find yourself searching for a good matchup. Lugo isn’t the guy to get attached to.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Matt Manning (DET) @ NYM (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Uhhhh, Manning has gained a ton of iVB on his heater and I wonder if it’s at the cost of HAVAA as it went just 2/41 whiffs here. It’s nice for the weather to force him to get his first start of the year so soon, but he’s back to the minors after this and we’ll be on the lookout for when he gets a proper return to the rotation. When he does, I’d be looking for more than a Philly and an increase of fastball velocity, not 93 mph and change. WE WANT 95.

José Buttó (NYM) vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

The Tigers, y’all. Butto’s heaters don’t have the shape or velo to get us jazzed, but he spotted them around the edges, while his changeup and sliders helped him carve up six frames. I didn’t see a guy that speaks to a strikeout per inning, though, and he’s not a guy to target when he gets a stable spot in the rotation. Just a streamer here.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ MIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 91 pitches.

Golden Goal for Bibee, though he didn’t have a whole lot of competition on this lackluster Thursday. He’s still down in velocity, but did the wise thing this time around – he threw just 31% four-seamers, electing to favor his slider and changeup over 60% of the time and landing them consistently in the zone. Well, the changeup more than the slide piece, but 40%+ CSW on each of them tells you all you need. Get used to it from Bibee and I have to wonder if that approach may get figured out by hitters soon enough. Eh, whatever, enjoy this, especially with the White Sox next.

Ryan Weathers (MIA) @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

After going changeup-heavy last time out, Weathers shelved the pitch to just 15% usage (46% strikes, so understandably so) and even with its 42% CSW, I found it strange watching the sweeper land either well inside the zone or incredibly out of it (a sub 50% strike with a 42% CSW is a wild thing). Meanwhile, the heater is still up in velocity at 96 mph and generally elevated, giving Weathers a decent 1-2 punch, though I do worry about his consistency more than others. I’m not going after Weathers with his next start against the Yankees – I don’t feel like I’m missing the boat if I don’t go after this now.

Adrian Houser (NYM) vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 67 pitches.

He did his job, hurling fastball after fastball and letting the Tigers do the rest. He has a two step next week, but with Atlanta up first, it doesn’t matter who the second team is, does it? It’s the Royals. YES I KNOW THAT AND LET ME HAVE THIS BIT. I’m not doing it.

Martín Pérez (PIT) @ WSH (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Pérez, I can’t thank you enough. Despite sitting 1-2 ticks down on everything, you pulled off another Win against a poor offense. So back to the wire? With the Tigers up next? LET IT RIDE.

Michael Soroka (CWS) @ KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

The slider is becoming more of a “must dominate” pitch for Soroka, who still doesn’t have quite the old command just yet. Treat him like a streaming option in QS leagues for good matchups and nothing more.

Pablo López (MIN) vs CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna have some of the worst command I’ve ever seen from him and still almost make it a full six frames. I hope there isn’t something nagging him that’s holding him back, like a nail/blister annoyance, which would explain the off command without a velocity dip. More likely than not, this was just a blegh day and even aces are allowed to have those.

Casey Mize (DET) @ NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. It wasn’t the Mize we were hoping for, but at least his 95 mph velocity and great iVB are still very much present. Throw in the weird two-day delay to make his first start back and I’m going to hand wave this one. He gets the Pirates next and I’d expect better there.

Lance Lynn (STL) vs MIA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Hey, you got strikeouts. Isn’t that the thing you want if you’re rostering Lynn? But I want some Wins and at least decent ratios, too. Then you shouldn’t be rostering Lynn. See? This is easy.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs PIT (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.

Remember when he had that one great spring game and people started wondering if he had figured something out? The answer was his heater in the zone worked that day, because, you know, spring n all. His arsenal and approach doesn’t fly in April, sadly.


Game of the Day 

Grayson Rodriguez vs. Jared Jones – I’m sorry WHAT.

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 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: Lugo Girl!”

  1. Jim says:

    Two things.
    Regarding P Lopez, in his career he has a 5+ ERA in games below 50 degrees or something to that effect.
    Regarding Mize, the two day delay is legit but also the stranded runner scoring with 2 outs and 2 strikes didn’t help his line. The movement on his pitches was very nice to see. He looked like he was in control most of the game. And IT WAS HIS FIRST START IN 720 DAYS! <=- Key point.

  2. max_mantis says:

    My favorite headline so far this season.

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