Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Gray’s Josiah

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 am ET.  

Josiah Gray (WSH) @ COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Uhhh Josiah Gray just earned a Gallows Pole via 19 whiffs and 30% CSW in Coors with a line of 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks across 102 pitches. Yes, we need to talk about this.

Gray introduced a cutter this year as he understood that he should likely pull back on his super hittable four-seamer and find a different way to get strikes. Well…he used it six times here. I did not expect this. Neither did I. Instead, he went 42% sliders and 22% curveballs, the former tallying 11/43 whiffs while the latter went 36% CSW. That’s how you do it y’all, you stop throwing your poor fastball (just 1/4 of the time here!) and throw your best pitch over and over again until it works. Especially if said fastball is doing its best impression of Poochie returning to its world as it climbs higher and higher and higherMaybe batters couldn’t do damage against the fastball because they’d have to jump to hit it?

I’m a little surprised it was this good in Coors – they generally make breakers worse, after all – but Gray did a solid job of spotting the slider down and stealing strikes with the curve. I think he got away with a bit here as he navigated a Dusty Donut with that 1.50 WHIP to go with only one earned run, and ultimately, I think he needs that cutter in the future to truly ascend. But hey, 65%+ breakers is fine with me too. Once he gets some good matchups (read: not the next three), keep Josiah on your radar. He could be a lovely strikeout stream or two.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Kyle Freeland (COL) vs WSH (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 86 pitches.

Freeland took down the Padres, now he survives a start in Coors. Oh the questions I’m sure to get…BUT MAYBE IT’S REAL! Do you really want to chance that against the Cardinals in Coors next time out? With his velocity down to 87/88?! Not even 89/90, which was already lower than his 91/92. We down in the trenches now, with a slider that went 0/22 CSW. Zero. For. Twenty. Two. Batters went 13/13 making contact. This ain’t it.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

You wouldn’t be able to tell from the line, but Gausman was vastly down in velocity on all his pitches. We’re talking nearly four ticks on his four-seamer, but his command was fantastic, sitting armside with four-seamers and placing splitters underneath. We’re given the gift of the Tigers next time out and we can hope it was just a weird radar gun or something as we’re not benching Gausman there, lowered velocity or not.

Dustin May (LAD) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

I’ve always enjoyed Mustin Day, the day of the week we enjoy must-starts that are in and definitely not out. This is a stretch. So is Dustin’s routine with men on base – have you seen that squat? Anyway, his sinker velocity fluctuated a ton here – 92-100! – and he’s still working on finding whiffs with his cutter and curveball (2/28), but the four-seamer is getting action upstairs and I’m digging it. He’s got a good schedule ahead while pitching for a solid defense and excellent offense, and things are looking pretty here. Watch him have a season similar to 2022 Miles MikolasThat’s blasphemy! I dunno, it’s a similar K/9 with a near 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Could be kinda on the nose…

Alex Wood (SF) @ CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 71 pitches.

Womp womp. The Giants let him go just three innings as he quickly found his way above 70 pitches while the sinker fell to just 91.2 mph (it was 92/93 last year) and the slider + changeup returned just 5/37 whiffs. I think you’re fine letting him sit on the wire against the Dodgers next where he’ll likely not exceed 85 pitches, but then we can see how things are going and possibly dive back in against the Tigers.

Chris Sale (BOS) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

We’re scared about Sale, right? He salvaged this start as it was rough early on, but the heater went 89-95 in this one, sitting at 91.5 mph. Considering peak Sale sat around 95/96, it’s a bit concerning…but does it really matter that much? Sale’s slider and changeup are still great offerings and while he’s not going to be a Top 10/15 SP anymore, he can still very obviously strikeout batters. Sure, it won’t be the most sparkling ratios, but I still see Sale as a guy who helps your 12-teamers. Throw in a bit of “hey, give him some time, he hasn’t pitched in a regular rhythm for four years” and we keep plodding forward.

Spencer Strider (ATL) vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna give you some poor ratios but hot dang that’s a King Cole49% CSW on the slider is absolutely dumb, though the four-seamer was a little more hittable than we normally see + it didn’t induce the regular chases out of the zone. Meh, at least he’s human?

Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs LAD (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

Wow, the last time I watched a Kelly vs. Dustin battle was Season 1, Episode 10 of Saved by the Bell. Let’s keep it going, who has more strikeouts at the end of the year? It’s not as clear-cut as you’d think, especially if Merrill is able to keep his changeup cooking like it was in this one. Too bad I don’t like anything else and the changeup isn’t as consistent as we want it to be, but hey, he’s a solid streaming play when not facing teams like the Dodgers.

Blake Snell (SD) @ ATL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 88 pitches.

NICK, YOU TOLD ME SNELL WAS GOING TO BE BETTER. I told you I thought he would be better. I’m sad to see the slider is still struggling to get strikes (8/24 is an atrocity), and it was compounded by his heater failing to fall in the zone as it did in his season debut. We always fall for this, Nick. He’s never going to be an ace for a full year! Maybe you’re right, maybe he makes the tweak he needs to make before April ends. But it’s the Mets and Braves next. Well that’s up to you, but in no world should you drop him now.

Spencer Turnbull (DET) vs BOS (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiff, 19% CSW, 72 pitches.

You read that right – Turnbull had just one whiff in this entire game. Unreal. His sinker and four-seamer velocity wasn’t at 94+ mph, but instead it barely exceed 92 mph, while the slider was featured just six times. WHAT IS GOING ON? And now he gets the Jays? Uhhh yeah, like an acrobat surrounded by villains, stay on that wire.

Jordan Lyles (KC) vs TOR (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 106 pitches.

You’re looking at the lines tonight and I imagine some of you saw this one and stopped reading after the 5 ER and 8 Hits. Right….WAIT. Uh huh. That’s nine strikeouts with just ten whiffs – only three on his breakers. HOW?! I. Don’t Know. Baseball is weird, y’all, and some days you earn 16 called strikes on four-seamers + sinkers that have a little extra ride this year. It’s baffling and at least the ratios are enough to steer you away from two starts against the Rangers. Ooooookay maybe he’ll be alright in one of them. Good luck guessing the correct game.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs SF (L) – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Yiiiiiikes. The four-seamer was down to just 91 mph and he was chucking that thing into the middle like it was cornhole. He had a couple bad cutters in the middle as well, including one that led to a Michael Conforto 3-run bomb and it really wasn’t the Lynn we know and love. Y’all know three HRs per game isn’t going to be a trend, but if Lynn doesn’t have his fastball, then the cookie crumbles. That’s just how the house falls down. You have that backward. You mean like the Giants putting up eight runs in a game? Touché. We hold onto Lynn as he’s gotten through rough patches in the past, but watch that heater – it’s the key to all of it.


Game of the Day


Hunter Greene vs. Zack Wheeler It’s a pair of power pitchers and that gets me all kinds of excited.

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 am 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.

3 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Gray’s Josiah”

  1. JM says:

    So, would you be looking to trade Lynn ASAP?

  2. theKraken says:

    I am Lance Lynn’s #1 fan and I am pretty concerned. I didn’t watch yesterday but I saw a lot of his first start. It really did not look like Lance Lynn. Despite the growing library of regressive analysis Lynn just throws FBs – he cuts them, runs then and just mixes them and that is what he does. In the game I saw he was throwing a lot of off-speed stuff and his FB velocity was down a few ticks. He was throwing with a much lower arm slot as well. There is no reason to think that he will have the command and movement from a different arm slot. It looked like a guy who was hurt and just trying to survive. I suspect that he is hurt and this just might be the end for him considering where he is in his career. Maybe he will shake it off but he was so far from normal that it is hard to think that he is not pretty injured.

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