Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: The Down López

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.

Pablo López (MIN) @ WSN (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

Okay, after tonight, it’s probably time to remove Pablo López from the top tier after he disappointed managers once again with a line of 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches as he faced the Nationals. This comes after a rough outing against the Yankees and a few other worrisome moments across the season already. What’s going on with the wonderful man?

The biggest wart is his changeup’s declining effectiveness merged with a four-seamer that has been forced to do more than usual. The changeup had dropped in strike rate prior to this outing (9/10 strikes here is great!), but more important was its pedestrian SwStr rate, which carried over here as it failed to earn a whiff in all 10 thrown. That’s not the pitch we want it to be.

The changeup is always there. That’s Pablo’s quote from when we chatted over the winter and it still rings today. If there’s one skill to expect Pablo to fix, it’s his changeup’s ability to dominate a lineup. That has me believing that his floor should stay high, even if the curve and sweeper have taken a step back this season (1/12 CSW for the curve here, much high ICR on the sweeper this year). We normally see a better feel for his four-seamer as well, and the whole package comes together in a “huh, this isn’t like him” that should be resolved over time. I’d buy low, especially as his strikeout rate is still well above average despite his lack of groove. it may take another few starts to get it all back, but we should expect him to do so.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Tanner Houck (BOS) @ TBR (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

There was a bit of Blame it on the Rays here as Houck churned outs on some very hittable pitches and I honestly don’t care. He’s cruising and despite my inclination that he isn’t flirting with an AGA tag (the slider isn’t precise and the sinker/splitter are too flawed IMO), you should continue starting him because duh.

Chris Sale (ATL) vs SDP (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Okay okay, he deserved to be in Tier 1 today. I’ll rectify it next week. He’s in such a good place right now.

Joe Ross (MIL) @ MIA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 15 pitches.

I’m sad to report that Ross left this one with a lower back strain. Noooooo. Yeah. It may mean Tobias Myers gets another shot in the rotation against the Red Sox in Fenway and I’d pass there, but keep a focused eye. I really do feel for Joe, though. His last outing was his most impressive of the season in my view and now his body won’t let him replicate it. Cruelty comes in many forms.

Joe Mantiply (ARI) @ LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 7 pitches.

As expected, we saw Slade Cecconi follow and he performed…also as expected: 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 80 pitches. My oh my. Nothing to see here but desolation of a soul. Let’s stay far far away as I doubt any of you can get down with it. That’s Slade for you.

Marcus Stroman (NYY) vs SEA (ND) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

This start had everything. Cutters for strikes and whiffs. Curves working on cue. Sinkers at a 52% CSW. Everything but a Win. Stupid Sexy Mariners scoring four runs in the ninth. STROMAN DESERVED BETTER. It’s good to see him in his groove.

Ryan Weathers (MIA) vs MIL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

Okay, maybe I should have put Weathers on The List this week. My bad. I didn’t expect his slider + changeup to combine for 10/39 whiffs and 49% CSW, alright?! His fastball still was too middle or too far out of the zone for me to be that enamored (to be fair), and I’d still be little hesitant to trust this against the Sneks up next. I’m not convinced there is a sudden breakout en route.

Ben Lively (CLE) vs NYM (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Yep, still going upstairs with four-seamers and it’s working. It’s working! I think you’re fine starting him against the Angels later this week.

Sonny Gray (STL) vs BAL (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

See? Everything is fine. Keep starting the man and forget about the blips of the past.

Reese Olson (DET) @ KCR (L) – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 52 pitches.

Olson was removed after taking a hard comebacker to the hip and all we can do is hope he’s okay. He was in obvious pain and I sure hope this doesn’t mean an IL stint awaits. It probably means an IL stint awaits. I KNOW. Hold me. Dude can’t get a Win this year.

Michael Wacha (KCR) vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 89 pitches.

Atta boy Wacha. This was far from stellar command Wacha, which meant “hey, let’s throw a whole lotta pitches in the zone since it’s the Tigers.” He can do that against the Rays to a similar effect, right?

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) vs ARI (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.

Hey, we saw some more elevated four-seamers in this one and I’m happy we saw a generally productive start across the board, save for the questionable WHIP. I debated between Yoshinobu and Shōta in the ranks today and ultimately went with Yamamoto moreso because of the Wins, but also a smidgen for his varied arsenal – Yamamoto earned a whiff on five different pitches here. That should keep his floor relatively higher.

Reynaldo López (ATL) vs SDP (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

It’s pretty wild how Reynaldo continues to cook. This time, it was all about four-seamer called strikes while the curve and slider weren’t as overwhelming as we’ve seen in the past. The dude doesn’t miss. Fun.

Tylor Megill (NYM) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yes, the splitter earned three whiffs (all strikeouts!), but is that enough to justify a 4/11 strike rate on the pitch? If it means more strikeouts for Megill, then yes, it does. Hmmmm. Maybe. I still find it hard to latch onto Megill when he doesn’t have a clear plan for his four-seamer, but he hurled the pitch at 96 mph with elite 7.5 feet of extension that made the pitch look upper 90s often. If only I believed in the slider or cutter to be a real asset…or if he faced a different team than the Dodgers up next. Yeah, if only.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

PQS without a Win and just one strikeout. HAISTBMBWT?! This start was actively bad for your leagues. Logan, I may have given you a premature AGA label. But the Yankees! Aces don’t care. That’s why they’re aces.

Randy Vásquez (SDP) @ ATL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 101 pitches.

VVPQS with just two strikeouts and a Loss is obviously terrible for non-QS leagues, though that’s still better than expected from Vásquez against Atlanta. So guess what Randy, you’ve got a friend in some new man who needed this QS in their super deep league. I appreciate who ever fully got that joke. Yes you. Thanks for being you.

Mitchell Parker (WSN) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hey, that’s a proper three-pitch mix from Parker with a range of 26-41% usage across fastballs, curves, and splitters (plus one slider!) and as long as all three are working, that should be enough. I still think he needs to command that heater a bit better and likely get that slider more involved, but then again, the sole slider he threw was absolutely dreadful. This may be the guy we get and it could be good enough to deal with the Mariners up next.

José Berríos (TOR) vs CHW (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Ehhhh, I’m glad he got us a Win, but a VVPQS is a bit too middling for a start against the CrySox. At least the changeup is improving (5/18 whiffs), while his curve is hugging gloveside once again. Let’s be a little better against the Tigers, alright?

Taj Bradley (TBR) vs BOS (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 92 pitches.

This is the most Bradley start you can find – posting a Golden Goal with ten strikeouts, but destroying your ERA in the process via two longballs for all five runs. Jokes aside, this was the best I’ve seen Bradley at legit pitch separation with four-seamers mostly upstairs, cutters hugging armside, and curves + splitters down (kinda). However, with all of the general “this is how I attack the zone,” he makes the whole canvas look like a Pollock (he spells his name wrong, I’m still writing letters to his estate) with a heavy slew of mistakes with each pitch – four-seamers stupid high out of the zone, bounced curves and splitters, and cutters that come nowhere near the zone. Gotta keep em ‘on their toes, right Taj? That’s three games of de facto strikeout ability and I need to be taking this more seriously. There are still kinks to iron out, sure, but he appears a bit more capable this year, and look at that! Tampa Bay allowed him to go a full seven frames. What a time to be alive.

Erick Fedde (CHW) @ TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

Ah, a classic Double BubbleThere’s no need to hold onto Fedde at the moment. Maybe it’ll come back around later and I’ll keep watch for you, don’t worry. Go get some rest.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Awwww. The sinker went just 1/9 called strikes this time around and nothing stuck out as savior for Kremer. The CrySox are next and you can certainly hope that this was just a fluke, though my instinct is “yeah, that’s Kremer alright.” Up to you.

Dylan Cease (SDP) @ ATL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hmmmm. Cease threw more sliders in the zone for the second straight start and after it worked so well last start, this time the pitch was pummeled for five hits, not including Acuña knocking a sweeper as well. Lots of strikes, few strikes, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Kinda feels that way when you’re mostly two-pitch (He was just 7/17 strikes in non-sliders and four-seamers). It feels more like a decision than “let’s just hope for the best,” though, and I’d feel confident Cease can make the appropriate changes. This was just his second clunker of the year, after all.

Reid Detmers (LAA) @ HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.

The high iVB four-seamer is still thing, but he failed to earn a single whiff on the pitch (0/33 whiffs?!) while the rest of his arsenal was very much served for punishment. Stop putting yourself through this.

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

50% sinkers are not the answer, Framber. But neither are 1/19 changeup whiffs. Okay, that’s true, too. And the sliders and cutters? Ummm, what sliders and cutters? You mean…He didn’t throw a single one of either pitch. NOOOOOO. The changeup is supposed to be the nullifier for the sinker if he’s not turning to the slider/cutter instead, which means it can’t go 16% CSW, especially not against the Angels. Why are you the way you are. No, I have no idea what mix we’ll see next time out. I will tell you I sure hope it’s not a three-pitch crew once again. He need the extra help.


Game of the Day


Garrett Crochet vs. Yusei Kikuchi – I’m so curious in the development of Crochet + Kikuchi is on a roll.

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 courtesy of 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.

3 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: The Down López”

  1. Jwm says:

    Gotta disagree on Gilbert. He clearly didnt have his best stuff AT ALL and limited the Yankee damage pretty effectively. He could have given up 4/5/6/7 runs like Lopez. Yes we def want more strikeouts but I can respect a guy grinding through a tough matchup on a day when he clearly didnt have his best.

    That doesnt mean he deserves AGA. But does deserve a little more respect than he was given.

  2. Jeff Davis says:

    Fedde wasn’t great, but tough to put that one all on him. Bichette and Kiermaier “doubles” were laughable defense – 0.020 xBA on the Bichette one, .320 on the KK one which was just a grounder to second.

    I’m optimistic he figures it out, it might not be until he’s traded to an MLB team though.

  3. Jeff Davis says:

    Forgot to mention the Varsho HR was a good change below the zone too – he just went down and golfed it.

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