Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Return of the Mac

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday 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.  

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs PHI (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

I want to take a moment to appreciate what MacKenzie Gore is doing after surviving the strong Phillies offense via 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches. Was he at his best? Actually, not at all. But was he flexing something cool? Definitely.

Gore’s slider and curveball let him down a bit. 7/14 strikes on the “slider” (it’s really a cutter) with just one whiff to its name + a curve that wasn’t as reliable for strikes as he wanted to. The changeup had to get a little more involved and while it helped, Gore could have been brilliant if one of his secondaries picked up the slack of their peers.

Because that four-seamer was dope. He’s still at 97 mph with legit iVB at 17-18″ of break and after scattering it around the zone last week, Gore’s heater picked up a lemonade and hammocked in hiLoc, helping him return 71% strikes with a 16% SwStr rate and little damage. That’s the dude he’s supposed to be, just get one of those secondaries cooking (I hope it’s the “slider”) and he’s suddenly bonkers.

And there’s more news: He gets Oakland next. So stop what you’re doing and snag that start. It should pay off well for the southpaw we’ve been waiting to breakout for close to five years.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:



Ryan Pepiot (TB) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 94 pitches.

You thought the roundup would feature Pepiot and his Golden Goaldidn’t you? His four-seamer absolutely crushed the Rockies in their own home with 13/49 whiffs and Pepiot’s transition from Dodger to Ray is complete. HE DID THE THING. But this was Coors! Ummm, what if I told you that the Rockies lineup is still streamable in Colorado? They are really bad, y’all. It makes it tough to review this outing properly, though Pepiot should cruise against the Giants next week.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ PIT (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

Kremer got all the called strikes with his four-seamer and cutter and the Pirates did the rest. We also saw a large splitter reliance and it paid off for 6/22 whiffs – a new weapon to make Kremer potentially more than just cutter/four-seamer. At least for the Win chance, Kremer is of consideration against the Brewers, even if I don’t buy he can pull this off again.

Ronel Blanco (HOU) @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Well hot dang, he took down the Rangers too! The changeup and slider were far less productive with just 2/43 whiffs and Blanco adapted from his no-hitter to feature more heaters while keeping the same strong pitch separation. I wish he didn’t get the Rangers again before his inevitable removal from the rotation, but maybe if he dominates there he can stave off JV like my young self hoping to make Varsity.

Tanner Houck (BOS) @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.

Dude is looking so good on your fantasy teams right now, though he faced the Athletics and Angels – not the greatest litmus tests (litmi? Litmuses? Litmuses.) and I bet we’ll get a better look–nope. Angels in Fenway later this week. Twist my arm why don’t ya.

Matt Waldron (SD) @ SF (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust A–Wait. He actually did okay? Suitman whispers in my earAh. Right. FOUR WHIFFS. Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Joe Boyle (OAK) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Ayyyyy the Tigers can make anyone look good! So Boyle threw enough strikes? You’re talking about the 53% strike rate on his heater and 48% strike rate on his slider, right? …okay I didn’t know that. THANKS DETROIT! I’m done for the night, enjoy the buffet.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 43 pitches.

Shōta was making a statement through four with a whopping 34/43 pitches coming via the four-seamer as he painted the top of the zone. RAIN, WHY ARE YOU THE WAY YOU ARE. So life can exist. Well okay, that checks out.

Max Meyer (MIA) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ah yes, Max is a Toby with his slider focus that reminds me of peak Anthony DeSclafani and I’m genuinely not sure if that’s a compliment or not.

Colin Rea (MIL) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

He was a desperate Sunday streamer for some and hot dang, I’m happy for you. He did this while sitting two ticks down and returning just 1/39 whiffs on his secondaries. I’ve heard of “Colin in a favor”, but yeeeesh.

Sean Manaea (NYM) @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

So you’re telling me that Manaea had worse four-seamer command, but made up for it with better sweepers and cutters? Yes. Okay, that’s not abnormal. Actually, kinda interesting – I’m glad the secondaries were actually helpful. Wait, you’re not incredibly shocked and appalled? Nah, it might seem like Manaea is figuring something out…? Okay, probably not as the fastball goes away with a lot here. Is he worth the start against Kansas City now? I guess? Wow, such analysis. He’s a Tobyalright?

Gavin Stone (LAD) @ CHC (L) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Stone’s evening began with an error and two strikeouts, making his first three runs unearned + another error in the third and a three-hour rain delay made it a ridiculous day of shenanigans. This is just Stone water under the bridge. The real ones will get that one. I hope the same slider he had today appears against the Padres – 4/14 whiffs with a 71% strike rate is the good stuff.

Logan Webb (SF) vs SD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Aces gonna have a terrible WHIP and return just four whiffs. Hey, Webb. What happened to that slider you flexed earlier this year? It’s still here. Yeah, and it went 0/8 whiffs. I didn’t say it was good. WELL THEN MAKE IT GOOD. I’m a nice boss, I promise.

Marco Gonzales (PIT) vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Ayyy, the velocity is back over 90 mph! And he’s doing a decent job of finding the edges! And gets the Phillies next! Yeah, the Phi–wait. That’s not fun at all. Don’t do that.

Chris Sale (ATL) vs AZ (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hey, I’m really happy your slider is cruising and you have a solid heater. That’s grand. Have you noticed your changeup in the corner, petting the dog and whispering softly to it, hesitant to join y’all at the party? Don’t get me wrong, I’m often the guy who finds the dog, but he’s been there a really long time.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Welp, Abbott, it’s been. It’s been, what? Yes, exactly. Those two starts were two starts that are in the books without anything remarkable. Now he gets replaced by Lodolo and we’ll all likely forget about him until the inevitable injury that forces his return to the bigs and even then, it may take some time before we care. Back to Double-A? What, no, I just told you we’re not touching AA, Lodolo is coming. Get it together, yeesh.

Garrett Crochet (CWS) @ KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 77 pitches.

Hmmmm. The slider was a hit/miss pitch, but in the opposite of that normal context. It either earned a whiff or missed its spot completely, ending up with a low strike rate that required his new cutter to pick up the slack. The good news – it did beautifully at 13/14 strikes while the four-seamer wasn’t as dominant as we’ve seen, but did its job, while the rest of the ChiSox didn’t, forcing Crochet to go Win-less in a 2 ER start once again. He’s a solid arm and that new cutter is a big addition for the formerly two-pitch southpaw, making him worthwhile even if the Wins will be hard to come by.

Luis Gil (NYY) vs TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

He walked in a run and still hasn’t found strikes nearly as much as he did during the spring. It’ll come in time, allowing him to go 5+ consistently and get the Wins we so desperately want. Keep holding here.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs HOU (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

This was Dunning’s best Brady Singer impression with a massive sinker/slider approach and I’m a little surprised he performed slightly better than a PQS doing so against the Astros. This isn’t for me.

Dakota Hudson (COL) vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

COL story, bro. Wanna know how Hudson got a PQSBecause the Rays are also not that good. Shocking, I know.

Ryne Nelson (AZ) @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 98 pitches.

After electing to not throw the cutter last time out, Nelson showed up with a 91 mph cutter it did an excellent job getting strikes in the zone and setting up his 95 mph heater – a pitch that returned an 18% SwStr rate as Atlanta batters either whiffed or fouled it off. THANK YOU. Seriously, I was so disappointed it was gone last start and the only reason he didn’t have a better line was the difficult lineup he had to face. It makes me wonder whether he’s ready for the Cardinals, but as we say, one start is an exceptionTwo is a suggestion. Three is a confirmation. Steps, not leaps y’all – my fifth mantra. What are the other five? Just ask on the morning live stream.

Chase Silseth (LAA) vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Just three hits and solid results on all his pitches. I’m still in purgatory with Silseth as I wonder if his fastball can be trusted and if he’ll consistently find a feeling for his sweeper and splitter. I’d prefer not to roll the dice as he faces the same Boston crew in Fenway. That just seems a little too much.

Alec Marsh (KC) vs CWS (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 78 pitches.

Blegh. After cruising against the Orioles, I felt it was somewhat safe to trust Marsh, especially against the lowly White Sox. WELL FINE THEN. I’LL JUST KEEP LISTENING TO MY GUT ON SP QUALITY REGARDLESS OF ONE START. Me too random fella. Me too.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ WSH (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches.

Awwwww, Sánchez returned a HAISTBMBWT?! as he couldn’t get his changeup under the zone, while also tossing some terrible wasted pitches when needed. This wasn’t the man’s day and we just need to stay positive – Pirates + Rockie Road are next, surely that’s better, right?

Bowden Francis (TOR) @ NYY (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

9/21 curveball strikes are the problem, which came to light in the Stanton at-bat. Francis could only trust his heater in fear of walking in a run, leading to a Stanton bomba on an inside 2-2 heater. Francis isn’t settled in quite yet, but Rockie Road could cure Bronson Arroyo if he were starting today.

Jack Flaherty (DET) vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches.

So here’s the thing. The slider wasn’t bad. It was the horrible fastballs down the pipe that mostly did him in, you know, the pitches that were the problem last time but he got away with it. I was hoping it was a feature, not a bug, and I’m not sure when he’ll be able to patch it. At least the slider (and the curve!) were well spotted here, opening the door for success should Flaherty locate that heater effectively again. I think you can still toss him out there against the Twins.

Kyle Gibson (STL) vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s the world of Gibson. He’ll cruise against tough opponents and stumble when he gives you some sort of security. He’s the modern-day Jeremy Hellickson and I won’t forgive him for it.

Emerson Hancock (SEA) @ MIL (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 88 pitches.

Womp womp. He’s a Toby at best and you’re better off waiting for him to prove it first.


Game of the Day 

James Paxton vs. Bailey Ober – Sunday’s postponement pushes Ober from a Cleveland start to a Dodgers start. I am so curious how this goes.

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 Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

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