Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Sonny Boo Boo

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

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

Sonny Gray (MIN) @ LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

After a ridiculous April, the last three outings from Sonny Gray have been…interesting. First was a stumble for 3 ER in five frames against Cleveland, next was perceived dominance against the Cubs (with just eight curveballs?!) and now against a tough Dodgers squad, Gray disappointed managers with 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches. Are you suggesting that Gray is hitting a wall? Maybe.

The curveball was the foundation for Gray’s charge out of the gate and for yet another start, it disappointed – 20% usage, 18% CSW, 1/17 whiffs – while his other breaker, a sweeper that has had a resurgence this year, returned just 21% CSW on its own as Gray’s fifth pitch. In short, the best catalysts for his 2023 success weren’t here tonight and have been dwindling across the last three outings.

This isn’t to say that Gray is destined to fall back to mediocrity. It could be a valley only for him to find the feel again and produce at a high level – Gray is known for these kinds of ups-and-downs. However, if someone is willing to pay up for Gray, I think I’d jump off him now just to play it safe.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs NYY (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Awesome stuff from Bassitt as he’s done so well to distance himself from his first start of the year. Keep starting the premier Holly.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. This matchup was everything we wanted it to be and I’m glad to report that Cole’s slider is getting better each time out. Sure, the WHIP ain’t perfect but this was the Jays. Be happy.

Rich Hill (PIT) @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hill with the Gold Star as he out-earned actual aces across six shutout frames. He’s only startable in extreme games like this one and with Texas up next, we move on.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

Props to Nelson for navigating around four walks, but the general approach is to not allow them in the first place. The breakers are still lagging behind, even if he now has a cutter that found a fair number of strikes. I can’t jump in until that curve or slider become weapons again.

Josh Fleming (TB) @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 67 pitches.

Whoa, he properly started?! Thanks Tampa, we needed this today. As for Fleming, I’m glad he survived for his own mental health. Fantasy-wise, you know to look elsewhere.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

WE WANT LIBERATORE. Suitman whispers in my earOh! Matthew! Didn’t see you there. I’m so glad to see you were able to sit 95 mph here and hit 97.6 mph in the first, albeit likely up a little for it being your season debut after sitting 94 mph in the minors the last few weeks. We saw him go mostly fastball/curve, which I’m a little disappointed in given the new slider we saw last season (just five thrown here for 1/5 strikes). I like what he does with his two pitches, but neither are stupid elite in my book, which gives me pause inside Cincy next week. I think he can help, but I’m not convinced he’s more than a streamer at this point. We need to see more.

Carlos Hernández (KC) @ SD (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 33 pitches.

The Royals elected to give Daniel Lynch one more rehab start, so we got a bullpen game. Remember the small hype around Carlos after the 2021 season? Those were days. No, not the happiest days, just…days.

Dustin May (LAD) vs MIN (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 16 pitches.

Terrible news. May left this with elbow discomfort and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Yeah, it stinks. A lot.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs LAA (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

I’ve been vocal about my skepticism of a proper Bradish breakout and I’m glad to see him go 7/35 slider whiffs here. The curve came through with 71% strikes and there’s your ball game. That heater still gives me the creeps, though, and I’d avoid against the Mets and Rangers. But the Mets are in May! True, maybe that works. You do you.

Drew Smyly (CHC) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

Atta boy Smyly! The BSB was golden as his curve went 48% CSW and his sinker deftly avoided damage. I guess we keep it going against the Mets + Rays + Padres…? Hold me.

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 12 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

TWELVE STRIKEOUTS?! Clearly he had the fork working (8/26 whiffs), but I’m more surprised to see the four-seamer, cutter, and slider perform so well. He focused heavily down-and-armside with everything, then hung around the other edges…with plenty of terrible waste pitches along the way. I feel like this is the outing that sucks people into starting Senga regularly moving forward and I have to preach caution with the Cubs + Coors + Jays up next. He’s still a Cherry Bomb.

Brayan Bello (BOS) vs SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 107 pitches.

Whoaaaaa a Gallows Pole from Bello?! Surely it was the slider and change that did most of the—THE SINKER!? I’m in shock to see nine whiffs on the pitch as it accrued a 41% CSW, and even three more thrown in with his four-seamer. Wow. I don’t think that’s sustainable, sadly, and the slider wasn’t what we want it to be at just 8/19 strikes. It may be a trap to start him against the Angels next. I really wish I had better things to say. Please prove me wrong, Bello.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

That WHIP hurts, but a Win from Clev with a 3.00 ERA is all kinds of welcome. The cutter is getting more play but is it really a game-changer? I find it hard to lean too hard into Clev, but he’ll get the Guardians a second time + Detroit twice. It’s difficult to turn that down, especially in deeper leagues. He’s gonna stumble at least once, though.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

ZERO WALKS! 67% strikes with his fastball! A King Cole as he tossed two-thirds curves and changeups! This is the Cabrera we dream of. Now do it again. But Nick…it’s Coors. I SAID DO IT AGAIN.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs ATL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

We knew the scoreless streak was unlikely to stick and I’ll take this line all day against Atlanta. Oh sweet Pittsburgh and Detroit, I can’t wait to face thee(s? Thou? Yous?).

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

Aces gonna returned a VPQS as managers everywhere are in duress. He’s not a top tier arm! Ehhhhh his curveball is looking dope again and he got Singled Out against a heating up offense. Don’t do anything silly.

Luis Medina (OAK) vs ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

He was a dire QS option and a PQS is pretty cool to see for the second straight time. Still don’t like chasing this with a middling heater (2% SwStr rate across three starts)/slider combo (changeup + curve returned 2/18 CSW lol) and unless I really need to chase a QS, I’d sit against the Mariners.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s awfully close to a VVVPQS and y’all don’t want none of this. He’s back to 45% fastball as his change and curve can’t be trusted. That’s a good ole Frozen Banana.

Ross Stripling (SF) vs PHI (ND) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 50 pitches.

A roster spot spent on Stripling is banking on his premium changeup returning and running the show. Sadly, that’s not the case at the moment and I’m not in that camp. Instead, I went to Camp Becket and it was THE BEST.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs KC (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. Darvish does what he does regardless of opponent. And yes, it’s annoying. But hey! 34% sweepers and 16% sliders! That’s 50% breakers! I kinda dig that for him, sadly the heater and cutter combined for 1/21 CSW and hopefully that changes in the future.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ MIA (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

He’s still figuring himself out as the slider was all over the place, the heater was hittable, and the curve had plenty of moments, but needs to be more than a 61% strike rate if it’s going to be that pitch for him. It’s difficult with Gore as we feel like it could all come together in a heartbeat, but I’m getting the sense he’s going to take a while. Consider him a streamer only at this point.

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna hurt our ratios the week I put him up to SP #2. Stupid Rangers, ruining a share of the Gallows PoleUmmmm, Strider should have thrown better sliders and changeups. Shhhhhhh, I’M THE LOGICAL ONE HERE.

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.

Womp womp. Is the Vargas Rule over? Nah, I wouldn’t say that. The cutter was the pitch propelling his success and a 12% CSW for the night explains everything you see against the Pirates. The schedule ahead is gorgeous – @KCR, CHW, @CHW – so we obviously bet on the cutter returning with a chance of success even without it.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ SF (ND) – 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 40 pitches.

Womp womp. The splitter returned for about 40% usage, but y’all know by now the problem with splitters. Yes dad, we know. Say the words. Splitters are inconsistent and volatile. 0/15 whiffs with 13% CSW in this horrific first frame and blammo, he couldn’t get out of the first.

Peyton Battenfield (CLE) @ CWS (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 75 pitches.

I think you can stop considering Battenfield in your streaming Myspace 8 moving forward.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs CIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 84 pitches.

Of Coors.

J.P. France (HOU) vs CHC (ND) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yikes. The CSW tells one story, the ratios tell another, mainly a trio of longballs that did all the damage. He allowed fewer hard-hit balls than Smyly, FWIW, and I wouldn’t grade France too harshly for this one, especially with the Brewers up next. Go after that.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ COL (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

I’ve been out on Ashcraft a decent amount, but Coors is also a thing. So we ignore and move on. By the way, not a single sinker was thrown by Ashcraft here, kinda odd considering if there’s one place where someone would throw more sinkers, it’s Coors (higher chance for grounders = thin air has a lesser impact). Weird.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) @ BOS (L) – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 66 pitches.

Okay okay, it was only the start against the Tigers. But it’s Oakland + Pittsburgh next! …RAISE THE SAILS.

Game of the Day 

Eury Pérez vs. Washington Nationals – Who doesn’t want to see this kid pitch more innings?

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 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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 – Sonny Boo Boo”

  1. Jael Espinal says:

    LOL, I loved the “Of coors” reference. Please keep using it when you do the roundups.

  2. JV says:

    Bradish actually has Yankee Stadium next in his two step. At NYY and Vs Tex.

    Liberatore at Cin and at Cle

    Marco Vs Oak, Vs Pit

    Lorenzen at KC, Vs CWS

    Rank those 4. Thanks!

  3. Natasha Obrien says:

    Bradish actually has Yankee Stadium next in his two step. At NYY and Vs Tex.

    Liberatore at Cin and at Cle

    Lorenzen at KC, Vs CWS

    Rank those 4. Thanks

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