Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cab or Nay?

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday 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 10am – 12pm ET.  

Edward Cabrera (MIA) @ NYM (L) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 0 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.

Look, you drafted Edward Cabrera and after yesterday’s 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 0 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches against the Mets (for the second time), you’re not sure if you should be holding on any longer. But I really believed in him during the preseason! Yeah, that’s fair and everything but there how long are you going to let him be a HIPSTER?

The problem with Cabrera comes down to control. His four-seamer held just a 50% strike rate once again, the changeup returned just 54% strikes, and his breakers didn’t do enough to get him out of the consistent holes he fell into. But he didn’t allow any hits! His stuff is good, he just doesn’t know where it’s going. You don’t know where he’s going and I’d sit this out until we see legit strikes from his four-seamer. He can’t just live on the chases of his changeup – he returned an 8% O-Swing on the pitch yesterday. Let it go, sure, you may miss out on when Cabrera turns it around…but you’ll also not deal with the headache of not knowing when that will happen, if at all this season.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Many were worried about Stroman facing the hot Rangers offense and understandably so. Fortunately, the slider and cutter played well off each other as the sinker was able to effectively live inside the zone as Stroman returned another quality start. We keep starting the man and talk later.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Ayyyy good work Megill. Not the best work as the slider isn’t missing bats like we want it to and the heater is good but not elite, but good work. I don’t think he’s the exceptional pitcher I was jazzed for this time last season, sadly, and with the Padres and Dodgers up next, I’m a little tepid on holding onto Megill.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) vs STL (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Sad he couldn’t go the full six, but he made easy work of the Cardinals as that’s a lovely thing.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 98 pitches.

Whoaaaa that’s a Golden Goal for Sonny as he took the challenge of the Astros and demolished it. The best part? His slider came ALIVE, a pitch we haven’t seen dominate for far too long. We’re talking 45% CSW with 8/22 whiffs and a 47% O-Swing. That’s the good stuff. Meanwhile, the fastballs and curve combined for 16 called strikes and he feasted on the Astros. That curve was perfection at the knees all game and we’re holding Sonny tight to the chest. He won’t replicate this, but if that curve/slider combo is sticking around for a bit, it’ll be a fun ride.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Two strikeouts is not what you’re hoping for from Sandoval – the changeup got outs instead of CSW – but the Jays are a tough bunch and I’m thrilled The Irish Panda survived. Enjoy the Nationals next.

Brad Keller (KC) @ SF (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

This was the deep streaming option and I’m super glad it worked out for Keller – the good Keller. Nick, that’s just wrong and you know it. Yeah…probably. You can put him back to the wire now with the Rangers up now for two straight. There isn’t much to get actually hyped about here.

José Urquidy (HOU) @ MIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

This is much better despite getting Singled OutHis heater shocked me with 9/39 whiffs at just 92 mph and he incorporated sliders, changeups, and curveballs effectively this time around. He’s rewarded with the Pirates now and that’s just grand.

Alex Cobb (SF) vs KC (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

I love the line as “The Thing” returned for 10/44 whiffs, though I’m a little surprised he only went 10% sliders. Still, the slider + curve went 55% called strikes and that’s phenomenal. More breakers for strikes to help the sinker set up the splitter is everything we want to see from Cobb. He has a challenge up next against the Dodgers and I think we obviously hold through it. Good luck Cobb, we’re all counting on you.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ohhhhh snap. Gore didn’t just survive Coors, he did so while returning 10/32 whiffs on his curveball. The slider was kinda terrible, though, and his four-seamer was all over the zone, but that hook was legit. It may be time to jump back in on Gore…

Chris Bassitt (TOR) @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 109 pitches.

See? Everything is fi–is that five walks?! Huh. At least his velocity is back to normal and you got what you wanted from Bassitt. Let’s just act like that first start never happened, okay?

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ CHC (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

Eovaldi gave us a Philly as he ran into trouble with three hits and a run in the sixth. So close. The heater is looking as lively as ever at 47% CSW and while neither the splitter nor cutter were elite, they got enough strikes to make this a worthy time at the park. You have to love the Royals up twice for Eovaldi as he’s looking like a guy cemented just inside the Top 50 SPs moving forward.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs CIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Just three hard-hit balls off Wheeler is wonderful, the three walks aren’t. Watching this one, his walks felt out of place and I was upset at the two doubles in the sixth that ousted him from the game. The WHIP will come down, and even though the command is still a little behind and he only returned nine whiffs here, I think he’s taking steps forward with each start. We’re cool.

Jack Flaherty (STL) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Flaherty has 13 walks in two games. At least his fastball is now 93.8 mph? He’s not getting the chases out of the zone you want to see on his breakers, but I’m at least a little encouraged by that velocity. Maybe he’s trusting the shoulder more now, which means he may just need a few more starts. Coors is next though and I’m totally fine just not touching this.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) vs LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 103 pitches.

Why is Bumgarner still starting? Honestly, I don’t really know. Drey Jameson should be in his place or h*ck, Brandon Pfaadt in a few weeks. It’ll happen at some point. It’s not our first rodeo…nor Bumgarner’s.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

I was surprised to see a few hits on high heaters in this one, but overall, this is Greene as a premium Cherry Bomb. He wasn’t as precise as we want him to get, but he’ll go on a miraculous stretch and make you forget all about it. Really wish he didn’t pitch for the Reds, though. The Win chance and home park don’t help things.

Zach Eflin (TB) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches.

It’s the first VPQS of the year and we’ll take it with a Win and seven strikeouts. Kinda want more from Eflin moving forward, but we’re okay with this and keep holding him, even against the Red Sox next.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

Blegh. The secondaries weren’t nearly as good this time around – soooo many hung sliders, splitters, and curves – while he tossed some incredibly hittable fastballs and got burned. Sigh. Let’s hope it was just a bad day.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

That’s a rough day for TATIAGA as he had some terrible heaters down the pipe. So it goes, it’s still Kersh.

Aaron Civale (CLE) vs SEA (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.

He’s still 65% cutter + curve, but the latter was thrown just 16 times as it wasn’t as good as we normally see. He grinded for nearly six innings, though, and I think Civale is a solid play for AL-Only leagues where you have a good chance at six frames each night without a horrendous floor for the full year. That’s a Toby.

Dean Kremer (BAL) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

I’m not seeing a whole lot from Kremer to make me jump on board long term, but short term he’s gonna host the Athletics, then visit the capital against the Nats. I think you can get away with streaming Kremer for both.

Nick Martinez (SD) @ ATL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

Uggggh. He was a little off with his changeup and cutter…and sinker, which you can’t do against a good team like Atlanta. His stuff is still legit, though, and we knew this was a questionable one. His next three are MIL, ATL, @CHC, and save for that repeat matchup, I’m in here.

Jared Shuster (ATL) vs SD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

He’s got them jitters, y’all. It’ll get sorted out at some point, though you have to wonder how many more chances he’s going to get. I believe in the long-term here and it’s not out of the question he gets that confidence against the Reds next week. Not sure you want to risk it, though.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ BAL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blegh. The sweeper isn’t doing enough. It’s good, but it’s not elite, which means he needs to squeeze more out of his cutter and sinker for this whole project to work. He’ll get the Guardians next and I’m reluctant to start Clarke there. Don’t feel like you need to hold onto Schmidt right now.

José Ureña (COL) vs WSH (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 71 pitches.

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

Rich Hill (PIT) vs CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.

That’s just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!) and if you’re still chasing Hill and I have to say is Why?!

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 77 pitches.

Whaaaaaaaaat. No. Noooooooooo. Giolito’s heater was bashed a ton inside the zone, while changeups he’s gotten away with across his career were smacked as well, leading to destruction. And you’d think the fastball velocity dipped to 91/92 mph land – nope, it was 93.3 mph here. I dunno, it feels weird and strange and maybe there’s no hope for Giolito? He gets the Twins next and I’m still rostering him, but may just wait and see in my roto leagues. This feels like one of those whatareyagonnado starts.

Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ TB (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches.

Yiiiikes. Just avoid this Frozen Banana for a good while – it’s not like you’re in it for the Wins, after all.


Game of the Day 

Nick Lodolo vs. Philadelphia Phillies – We saw 22 whiffs last week, can Lodolo keep it 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 Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Photo courtesy of MLB Photos | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx 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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cab or Nay?”

  1. Matthew says:

    Is Shuster still a hold after being sent back down today?

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