Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Pitches Waldron

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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.

Matt Waldron (SDP) @ ATL (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

You woke up and saw that Matt Waldron was not only able to survive against Atlanta for a Win, he did so in glorious fashion: 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches. Ohhhhhhh my.

This is what Knuckleballers can do. When it’s working (44% thrown here for 30% CSW and half of these strikeouts), it cooks regardless of the opponent. It’s incredibly difficult to discern when that will happen, though, and even with two starts of 16 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA against the Dodgers and Atlanta, it’s easy to forget the 11.00 ERA across the previous two outings. Sure, the knuckle was over a tick harder in this one, but I’m not ready to suggest it’s suddenly an elite offering.

So what the h*ck, treat Waldron like a Hail Mary Cherry Bomb on a given night. Don’t monitor the opponent, just hope he has the pitch and can locate the rest of his middling arsenal when you’re desperate for a solid outing.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Cole Ragans (KCR) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The slider and cutter took a backseat for changeups, heaters, and curveballs, and that does bring a little concern moving forward. For now, thanks for being the man you should be. It’s dope.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs CHW (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Atta boy Cortes. He did well around the edges with four-seamers, cutters, sweeper, and his changeup lived outside the zone with a 54% O-Swing. Sure, there was some Blame it on the White Sox, but who cares. You gotta take advantage of the opportunities you get.

Paul Skenes (PIT) @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

Well that’s pretty incredible. You want an AGA already and y’all know I can’t, but obviously I want to. Gallows Pole n all with ridiculous four-seamers and splinkers and all the strike you want (with some left at the table due to no ABS system in place). Start him and as long as he does this for another two starts, then yeah, he has it.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

Luzardo’s changeup and slider were great, while he escaped with the few mistakes he did make over the plate. This is Luzardo, who should have these nights more often than the poor ones, but always be ready for those moments.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 74 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a King Coletossing 16/22 four-seamer strikes without one of them being hit in play. Pretty dope. Still just three whiffs on it and I’m okay with that with the reset of his arsenal chipping in, including his elite changeup. We’re so cool with this.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Ayyyy, the outside chance of a Quality Start came through against the tough Rangers crew for a Gold Star. It took legit changeups from Anderson across this outing, which heaters focused on staying up or down with decent cutters for strikes along the way. You know, that’s a 2.72 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP for the year…even if it’s an 18% strikeout rate. That changeup has been a major asset and he’s shown himself to be a proper TobyWait, so don’t hold for the Astros next? Nope. We don’t start those against tough teams. BUT LOOK AT THIS GAME. Want to re-roll this one? …No. Exactly.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs MIN (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

The dude just keeps digging deep. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and the ratios are surprisingly decent. It’s wild. Either it won’t last or McKenzie will find his curveball command and 92+ fastball velocity. But hey, this could be a Vargas Rule and I get that with the Mets next.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) @ CLE (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hmmm. It’s clearly some BABIP luck, though SWR did locate sliders and four-seamers in opposite corners of the the zone and he deserves respect for that. Totally possible he comes through in a boring manner against the Nationals next week.

Mitch Spence (OAK) @ KCR (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

Oh snap! Spence, none the richer! He’s a cutter/slider guy who featured his 95 mph sinker…once. Everything else was 91 or under. Which is the antithesis of how MLB pitching works these days and I appreciate it plenty. I’d appreciate it more if it was a little better of an approach.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs WSN (W) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Velocity is up to 96+ mph and Wheeler is back to being dope and making us feel dope.

John Means (BAL) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

We’re seen three version of Means thus far. Ace, Toby, and destructor of teams. Then again, that’s just the results, while Means certainly didn’t have his Canadian performance here. What? His A-Game. ANYWAY, everything was hung + four-seamers weren’t reliable, but he found his way through six to secure the Win. That’s the floor value you want with Means and there’s another gear here that should reveal itself a decent amount of the time.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs LAA (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Blegh. The BSB that was present wasn’t as solid with the jaws of four-seamers and sliders closing over the heart of the plate. Not like we wanted to start him against the Phils next anyway, so feel free to let Heaney go back to the wire now.

Tyler Alexander (TBR) @ TOR (W) – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 105 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Alexander had a no-hitter through seven frames, then allowed a two-run shot and a single to get pulled in the eighth. I think this is a product of the Jays offense being all kinds of a mess, but more important, Ryan Pepiot should be back this week, pushing Alexander back into relief duty.

James Paxton (LAD) vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

PQS with two strikeouts? But he got a Win, right? Uhhhhh. RIGHT?!

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs TBR (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 103 pitches.

That’s a Philly as Bassitt wasn’t as delicate with his secondaries as usual. Is he just a Toby now? Maybe? I dunno, he’s still an obviously great QS arm, but not a “you need to hold this guy” in 12-teamers. I know, that seems crazy, but it’s likely time to shift perspective. It’s a 21% strikeout rate and his ceiling isn’t demanding that you hold if there are other exciting options.

Frankie Montas (CIN) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 98 pitches.

Okay, so you got absolutely nothing save for one strikeout – HAISTBMBWT?! Against the Dodgers? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Mike Clevinger (CHW) @ NYY (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Not terrible sliders, cutters, and changeups, and also Clevinger’s super erratic + it’s the Yankees. I don’t recommend this.

Max Fried (ATL) vs SDP (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Uhhhhh what. I don’t even think Fried was that bad here, though he did struggle to throw strikes when he needed to, nibbling more than usual. Feels like a One Night Bland to me.

Bryce Miller (SEA) @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 86 pitches.

Miller was able to handle two tough opponents, but the Orioles forced a HAISTBMBWT?! and yes, we’re sad. Secondaries returned 2/33 whiffs and we’re not any closer to getting sold on Miller. Well, maybe his next start, right? Uhhhh, it’s the Yankees. COME ON.

Jake Irvin (WSN) @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

That seems about right. Better curves (for the most part) than usual + some precise heaters around the edges, but there really isn’t much to latch onto here. I wouldn’t try this.

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Yeaaaaah, not yet y’all. Sinkers had a good approach armside, four-seamers weren’t terrible, but splitters, curves, and sliders weren’t great. Let’s wait longer.

Christian Scott (NYM) @ MIA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

Well that’s annoying. The Marlins took advantage of some mistakes + came through on some tough pitches while Scott wasn’t as overbearing overall – h*ck, just six sweeper is super weird, even if he faced more LHB than RHB. Forget about this one and start him against the Giants.

Mason Black (SFG) vs COL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 50 pitches.

He’s back in the rotation with Keaton Winn on the IL and it’s best to wait for a start that truly brings us in. Hey Webb, you mind sharing that changeup with Mason over here?

Kyle Gibson (STL) vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

The sweeper was good, sure, but y’all know this ain’t worth it. Gibson ain’t the dude.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

UGH. It feels a bit like the return of Professor Chaos. The four-seamer was chaotic, and the slider stepped up a bit to keep his head afloat in a tough matchup. He’s gonna take another hit on The List, though he should be dominant against the Marlins next, so let’s not go wild here.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ STL (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Oh wow. Not just the line, but the fact he threw more sliders than any pitch at 37% usage. Pretty bonkers and just one hit allowed, albeit an RBI single to right-center. This was more about the sinker in the middle of the zone and getting hit, which generally isn’t this ineffective. It’s actually a positive that we saw the slider becoming a proper addition to the arsenal and despite the final line, I’ll believe in the sinker being better moving forward.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ SFG (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 85 pitches.

But it was away from Coors! Against the Giants! WE. LEARNED. THIS. LESSON. TWICE. BEFORE.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) vs PIT (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.

Mmmm. Yeah. These are numbers. Cool cool cool.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs DET (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh. WELL FINE. I was hoping I’d grab my bincoulars and look at Nelson on the waiver wire today to see a man glistening in glory, but instead, I see the eyes of Tigers, ready to defend their recent prey. Sigh. I guess he’s just a Young Gun.


Game of the Day


Walker Buehler vs. Cincinnati RedsWill he look like his old self?

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

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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.

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