Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Eflingering Issues

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

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

Zach Eflin (TBR) @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

After a rough first frame of 3 ER, Zach Eflin settled down to make the best of a bad situation to end the day at 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches with a Win in Fenway. That’s solid, why do you sound so negative? Because it’s another start of decency from Eflin. Not excellence, not disaster, just fine. And he should be more than that.

The quick answer? Eflin’s cutter has massively dropped in CSW (31% to 23%!), his curve isn’t missing as many bats, and the sinker isn’t earning as many chases out of the zone. The long answer? I feel as if Eflin squeezed the most out of his arsenal last year, overperformed a bit, and is now settling into more of who he actually is. Sure, a sub-20% strikeout rate is likely not the life he’s supposed to live (Eflin normally has a run of a few starts of 8+ strikeouts to correct it at some point), but Eflin has been more Toby than budding Top 10 SP across his career with the sole exception coming in 2023. I hope he can find that rhythm with his full arsenal to hint at last year’s breakout campaign once again, but it’s wise to accept Eflin as a solid addition instead of an anchor of your staff moving forward.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


George Kirby (SEA) vs KCR (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s back elevating his four-seamer and was rewarded with eight whiffs, showcasing a healthy knee in the process. I’m glad we can get past that moment and transition to yelling about his lack of dominance across everything but the heaters. TIME IS MONEY AND THE MONEY IS MINE. Okay, that’s stupid harsh and a quote Madonna told my father (true story), but seriously, Kirby. Please. We know you have the talent to figure it out. I can’t wait to see it, just don’t make us wait too long.

Michael Lorenzen (TEX) vs CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! There’s your Gold Star for the evening as Lorenzen executed the Neckbeard well with his cutter, slider, changeup (8/25 whiffs!), and sinker, save for a few sneaky pitches over the plate he got away with. I may not be a big Lorenzen fan, but I have to give him credit for his ability to go near 100 pitches, which opens the door for a day like this. He’s a Questionable Start for his next game against the Angels and while it’s possible he cruises again, it’ll require not just similar precision, but similar luck as well.

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

This is a fantastic follow-up after going nine frames in his previous outing, though I’m skeptical of his 95 mph heater’s ability to replicate 7/38 whiffs and a 45% CSW. It still has terrible shape and held a 58%+ ICR entering this game. Is that good? No, Brad. It is not good. This was a product of better command from Keller than in most of his outings this year, though we’ve seen that fall apart in a heartbeat in the past. I’m not seeing anything new that suggests he’s anything but the Cherry Bomb we’ve known and hated for a while.

José Soriano (LAA) vs STL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Atta boy Soriano. The curve was vicious for 47% CSW while the sinker and four-seamer combined for exactly 60% strikes and that’s just about right. I really want 65+% strikes on both heaters and curves, and let a man dream. Meanwhile, whilst I’m under the shade of my favorite oak, the Rangers are preparing for Soriano and I’d prefer not to witness that one. I wonder how many people have leaned against this very tree…Puts a new meaning to back-to-back…Is Soriano done with that Rangers start already so I can pick him back up for Cleveland? No? FINE. I’m taking a nap.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.

Bibee had a great slider in this one, while he avoided punishment in the heart of the zone with his fastball. That absolutely works from Bibee, it’s simply impossible to tell what he’s going to be each game. He’s a Cherry Bomb, after all. Keep that slider down and I think we’ll be fine. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Reynaldo López (ATL) vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 71 pitches.

This is a King Cole as his slider woke up in a huge way. We’re talking 41% usage for 52% CSW and 8/29 whiffs. But it wasn’t the Cubs who got to ReyLó, it was his back, probably exhausted from carrying this Atlanta team over the first six weeks of the season. He was pulled early as a result, with the expectation of still making his next start. Phew.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows PoleThat 2.00 WHIP isn’t fun as Imanaga did a bit of the Neckbeard approach along the way and I still wonder if that sweeper will get more play as the season goes on, helping prevent so many baserunners. It’ll get dicier than this at times and he needs one more pitch to earn a strike confidently. For now, that fastball incessantly dominates the zone and it’s pretty dang awesome.

Sixto Sánchez (MIA) @ DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

Not one of Sixto’s pitches returned more than one whiff. Against the Tigers. This isn’t the man you remember, as Sánchez throws just 94 mph on the heater with terrible shape. Let him go…

Corbin Burnes (BAL) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Aces gonna ace but still leave us wanting more. He elected to lean far more into his slider in this one, which earned outs but just 19% CSW at a whopping 32% usage, including just 3/27 whiffs, a far cry from its 20-25% SwStr rates of old. It feels like he’s still grasping for that last piece to vault him back into proper acedom, and yet he’s absolutely killing it this year. That’s Corbin.

Sean Manaea (NYM) vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

Hey, that’s one h*ck of a start to a two-step week for Manaea. This was a start of pure “Imma chuck sinkers in the upper half and hope for the best.” Seriously, he missed with his slider and cutter upstairs. It worked and I’m so weirded out by it, but whatever, it’s the Marlins next. Just throw strikes and you’re fine.

José Berríos (TOR) @ BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

NICK. You said it was going to be a long time in the valley! I sure did. And I’m so glad to be wrong. The curve that was rough the last two games was far better here, while the sinker earned plenty of called strikes and all the outs with his changeup. Sure, just four whiffs and some BABIP in his favor, but we’re feeling much better against the Rays up next.

Jordan Hicks (SFG) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

Hey, the Dodgers are no joke and that splitter worked its tail off to make it through five frames. Typically, this is Hicks’ floor when the secondaries aren’t on point (6/18 splitter strikes is rough and a sub 60% strike rate on sweepers isn’t a ton of help). It feels like we’ll see this level of performance more than Hicks reaching his peak, though Rockie Road could be the literal peak he needs.

Spencer Arrighetti (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ehhhh, it’s a solid line n all, but the command is still an issue. He has a great four-seamer that can soar if located properly, but half his pitches were tasty heaters that made batters comfortable at the plate, while his cutter and curve were hit-and-miss. What about the changeup? Just miss and not the good kind. I see how all of this comes together for a consistent arm and I’m okay giving it a spin against the Brewers, though I may be wishcasting that Arrighetti’s approach is going to coalesce so quickly.

Ross Stripling (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 52 pitches.

Wow, five frames in just 52 pitches. No wonder it was just one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!). It’s a pretty obvious avoid moving forward with a sub 4% SwStr rate n all so let’s move on.

Colin Rea (MIL) vs PIT (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

PQS is more than acceptable from Rea as he was a deep streaming option. Sadly, that splitter is unlikely to go 47% CSW with 5/17 whiffs again. Not like you were going to trust him against the Astros, anyway.

Dakota Hudson (COL) @ SDP (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

COL story, bro. Sinkers find outs and I’m a bit shocked to see Hudson hurl 36 curves + changeups, with just nine sliders. I’m not sure why – the change went just 4/13 strikes and the curve was good but not stellar. The slider is better, but whatever, you do you, Hudson. Congrats on the Win.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ NYM (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 108 pitches.

An inconsistent changeup (eight whiffs but just 53% strikes) led to this Philly and I’m in shambles. I nearly labeled him as a Cherry Bomb in today’s edition of The List and maybe that instinct is valid. Welp, we’re starting him against the Nationals regardless and hoping for the best. You got this Sánchez.

Matt Manning (DET) vs MIA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

Bleeeggggh. That WHIP is destructive and he served up a Philly to leave y’all with little to salvage (hey, identical to Cristopher!). Manning is still struggling to spot his 94 mph fastballs and it’s costing him, even when his sweeper and curve are earning a fair number of strikes. Yes, it is disappointing. Thanks for asking. It could turn around next time out against the Sneks, sure, but I think we’re best just waiting for him to do it before we keep trying to make this work.

Jordan Montgomery (ARI) vs CIN (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Ummmm apparently The Bear has a slider now? And it went 5/8 whiffs??? Whoa. I wonder if that begins to creep into his usage more, instead of fastballs that got pummeled or secondaries that still struggle to find enough strikes to let him cruise throughout the game. But 17 whiffs! Yeah, that’s pretty cool, but again, the curve and change were dancing around the edges, leading to whiffs and inefficient at-bats. It’s not quite working yet. Maybe that slider is the answer…

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

You really should stop rostering Ashcraft.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs TBR (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

The Rays came out swinging and scored three in the first before Crawford dug in his heels and did his best to redeem the fantasy line for all of us managers. It happens, Kutter’s three-pitch mix is still fantastic, and we keep moving forward. Whatareyagonnado.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) @ SFG (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

The line looks bad, but it’s a product of a hung first-pitch curve sent over the wall for a three-run blast. What about the four-seamer? He found the edge! Just the gloveside edge and not elevated. And guess what? 1/32 whiffs. WHY DID YOU STOP ELEVATING YOUR FOUR-SEAMER.

Brady Singer (KCR) @ SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 108 pitches.

Yep. Still a Cherry BombMore at eleven.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) @ LAA (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 60 pitches.

We didn’t expect much for Liberatore here and somehow I’m still disappointed. HAISTBMBWT?! I can’t be the only one who sees his last name and think it’s a book tour, right? No? Just me? Cool cool cool.

Randy Vásquez (SDP) vs COL (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

Womp womp. Even Rockie Road isn’t a cure for a wild pitcher who struggles to locate his pitches. Go figure.


Game of the Day


Chris Bassitt vs. Kyle Bradish – I’d love to watch Bassitt coast while Bradish continues his path to AGA land.

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 Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on X)

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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