Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Jake Unnervin’

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

Jake Irvin (WSN) vs MIN (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

For a guy who has now tallied just six earned runs total in four of his last five starts, Jake Irvin is getting a surprising lack of attention. He tossed the latest of his stellar run Wednesday against the Twins for 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches and while it came with a Loss, that’s still production.

Unfortunately, I agree with the collective hand-waving by the consensus.

He’s got a pair of fastballs that don’t do a whole lot around 93/94 mph, a cutter saved for LHB that works decently well, and a curveball that can show up at times. The latter was the catalyst for tonight’s success at 42% usage and 43% CSW, but it has carried a 10% SwStr this season and has relied upon a sub .100 BABIP against RHB to give him a chance on a given night.

Throw in a low Win chance from pitching for the Nationals and you have a low ceiling arm who is on a decent run and unlikely to be a reliable streamer. No need to Vargas Rule this one with Atlanta next, either. I am bound by no rule.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs MIL (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 100 pitches.

Soooo, that line is gorgeous and so is a Gallows Pole (with just four strikeouts?!), but Luzardo was 1-2 ticks down on everything and I can’t help but wonder if that was by design (great command!) or if it’s a sign of something else far more ominous. Sorry to sour a clearly great day on the bump, it’s just too much to ignore.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs CHW (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 107 pitches.

Oh look, it’s Bassitt earning a ton of called strikes and looking like a proper Toby against a poor offense. Ah, sweet, sweet nostalgia.

Cole Ragans (KCR) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 12 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He was mostly fastball + changeup here, with his slider and cutter taking a backseat. It makes sense given it’s against the Tigers, though I was hoping to see a little more sustainability in his #3/4 pitches to make him more of his former self. Oh, and he was down in velocity as well, showcasing 93/94 mph far more often than usual. But that’s a stud line. Because it’s the Tigers and his fastball/change are still really good. Pew pew pew.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) vs SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Whoa, we got 93 mph Cortes tonight! Fun stuff here, I wouldn’t worry about the three walks. You’re feelin’ pretty great.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) @ WSN (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

This was far from SWR’s best and yet, all I can say is why couldn’t you earn one more out?! I wouldn’t start him against the Royals, I’m not into the Woods. It’s not the act I wish to see.

Kyle Gibson (STL) vs BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

What a weird line. 84 pitches for just 12 outs and four whiffs, but 0 ER allowed and a digestible 1.25 WHIP. Cool, I guess. I’m bored, can we please make some popcorn or something?

John Means (BAL) @ STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 51 pitches.

Annnnnd Means left this game with elbow soreness. Sigh. Poor guy. I fail to see a way this ends well.

Brandon Hughes (ARI) @ LAD (ND) – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 8 pitches.

Despite all the talk of Ryne Nelson getting displaced, he certainly killed it as a follower against the Dodgers – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches with a Win. Sadly, it was “pump your fastball over the plate” day and not a moment of redemption with his cutter, which makes us still hesitant to trust him on any given night. In fact, he was a tick down on both the cutter and changeup here and I’d avoid Nelson entirely.

Max Fried (ATL) @ CHC (W) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with a share of the Gallows Pole. Seven whiffs each on both the curve and slider led the way, though I wish the changeup was looking like its former self. Fried’s growth the last two years hinged on that changeup and seeing just nine thrown here makes me wonder if he can sustain nights like these. He’s normally not this good with his breakers.

Austin Gomber (COL) @ OAK (ND) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ha, it worked! Gomber has now returned 1 ER or fewer in five of his last six starts and came through on the road for a King Cole. His curve was the pitch he always wanted it to be with 54% CSW and a 75% strike rate, while the changeup and four-seamer earned outs galore. I guess you can Vargas Rule this, though it’s CLE in Coors + @LAD across his next two starts. This shouldn’t last…right?

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ HOU (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

The Vargas Rule lives on as Anderson’s changeup continued to dominate, but the cutter joined the party this time around. Are we really starting him against the Yankees?! I’m not sure, but we didn’t want to do this one and I already have egg on my face. If that slowball is still cooking and he can sneak in more cutters like today, he’ll survive.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ MIA (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Fastballs are still a little weird, but his changeup, slider, and curve all stepped up to find the zone incessantly and earn all the strikes he needed to go a whopping seven frames. I’d believe in this more if his success came from his four-seamer as it’s been the pitch for him over the years, and a 23/46 strike rate tonight doesn’t inspire the most confidence. Here’s to hoping the secondaries are here to stay inside the zone and don’t disperse after this conference over the plate, brought to you by your local Marriot. The keys to good sleep.

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

I don’t think Brown is back, sadly. This was a product of four-seamers landing for a ton of called strikes up in the zone while his secondaries were still heavily unreliable. There’s still more to fix before I’m ready to add him to my teams again.

Mitch Spence (OAK) vs COL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 70 pitches.

Oh look, a cutter/slider guy who doesn’t have as much velocity as Graham AshcraftWait…Yeah. Not the comp you want, is it?

Michael King (SDP) @ CIN (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

We saw some BSB action in this one as King had himself a solid night with his changeup. His recent results have outlined a Cherry Bomb, but I still believe he’s truly a Holly for the rest of the year. His arsenal and overall command speak to a higher floor than what we’ve seen thus far.

Jared Jones (PIT) vs SFG (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna pitch fine but still return a VPQS. Nothing to worry about here, it just didn’t go his way as it should.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ TBR (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ayyyy, it’s a PQS that Bello has struggled to earn more than expected this year. Blame the changeup being a bit off tonight for the extra walks and I may be inclined to take his next start off as he heads to Baltimore…or let it ride and embrace Waltimore as a RHB, respecting the slowball to rebound.

Jose Quintana (NYM) @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 70 pitches.

We saw some solid command here from Quintana, especially with his fastballs and changeups. Thanks for the PQS, but there’s no way we trust this against the Dodgers.

Tyler Glasnow (LAD) vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna go one extra ER than their SP #1 status suggests. FINE. I’ll put Wheeler back at the top if he comes through on Thursday. WHATEVER.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Womp womp. His slider was once again an absolute wreck, while his heater went 0/52 whiffs at sub 90 mph velocity. It’s time to go.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs TEX (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

How are the Phillies looking at Taijuan and Turnbull and saying “Yep, this is what we want.” I simply don’t get it.

Ryan Pepiot (TBR) vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 66 pitches.

Blegh. This was a clear Still ILL with a limited pitch count, but hot dang, that four-seamer command was rough. He should get the Athletics next time out and I’d write this off as a standard “getting back into the groove” performance.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ PHI (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 74 pitches.

It was a Still ILL for a pitcher we wouldn’t consider save for the best matchup in the first place. Nooooope.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ KCR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Skubal’s command was off here, while his changeup wasn’t featured nearly as often this time around. Apparently a callus on his finger was messing with his feel of the ball, which would explain the poor heaters that left the yard + generally struggling to execute. Whatareyagonnado.

Blake Snell (SFG) @ PIT (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

After pounding the zone in his rehab outing, Snell was his “normal” self by tossing far too many heaters high and out of the zone while his breakers struggled to find the plate. I’m a bit shocked the Giants let him go over 85 pitches, too, and at least that gives him more runway for a rebound start now that the Still ILL is out of the way. But it’s the Phillies. Mmmm, that’s not a whole lot of fun, but if Snell is cooking, it doesn’t matter, does it? He’s not cooking. Yet.

Justin Steele (CHC) vs ATL (L) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

You might look at this and think Steele is cooked, but that’s not the case at all. He actually looked like his former self for the first time, with legit fastball and breaking ball command, and did so against a great Atlanta lineup…until the seventh, where Atlanta put up a six spot against Steele and the bullpen. Careful, IcarusY’all should be excited for Steele’s next start against the Brewers and I’d buy low everywhere.

Bryce Miller (SEA) @ NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.

Womp womp. Bryce, you need more than the four-seamer if you’re gonna take down a strong offense like the Yankees. To be fair, the longball did the damage here with a trio of HR that soured the evening, though that may be an issue if he can’t command his secondaries better. I’m still cautious for his next outing as he hosts the Astros in Seattle.

Nick Martinez (CIN) vs SDP (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 66 pitches.

Martinez, how are you going to throw just seven changeups, least among your six-pitch mix?! It’s your best pitch and it returned 4/7 strikes. It’s not like you lost the dang pitch, you just forgot that your favorite song existed. Let us hear its sweet melody.

Nick Nastrini (CHW) @ TOR (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 6 BBs, 0 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.

Why do both pitchers named “Nick” have to be the two who returned the most ERs on Wednesday? On May 22 of all days?!

Game of the Day


Luis Castillo vs. Luis Gil – I’m excited to see AJ Smith-Shawver, but this duel looks so fun on paper. And there’s also some guy named Saul P. Kenes or something like that.

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.

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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