Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Slick Martinez

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

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

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

I normally don’t lead with pitchers who get opened for, but Nick Martinez was the bulk man against the Dodgers for the second time in three games and was fantastic – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 64 Pitches. Sure, it’s not brilliant in ultra dominance nor massively overpowering (he did get a Win, though), but there is something to discuss.

He’s throwing his best pitch more. Martinez faced the Padres and ran into trouble earlier this week and one number stuck out: his changeup usage. Across all six pitches (yes, six), Martinez elected to feature his slowball just seven times, tied for the least featured of the group. However, its performance has been stellar this season: 62% strike rate, sub 20% ICR, 22% SwStr rate, and so on.

So he threw it more, And it worked. 27% usage in this one for a whopping 13/18 strikes and while he did allow a hit to Teoscar Hernándezit was while flailing the bat on a low changeup and it barely bounced fair for a double (the only hit of the day). The pitch works.

There is bad news: The Reds needed Martinez to fill in for Nick Lodolo, who is returning to the mound tomorrow. Uh oh. Yeah, Martinez is likely out of a job now. WHY DID YOU DO ALL THIS?! Because now you know what to look out for when Martinez inevitably gets another shot this year. Give us that changeup and you’ll go far.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ CHW (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 4 BBs, 11 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 103 pitches.

I really wanted more out of that curveball and a start without four walks or a Blame it on the White Sox, but yeah, that’s an Aces Gonna Ace tag for Bradish. Seven no-hit innings, y’all.

Logan Webb (SFG) @ NYM (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 96 pitches.

His changeup was brilliantly spotted, but the sinker was the star of the show with eleven whiffs, likely a product of recognizing how the Mets were focused first on changeup/slider and allowing the sinker to beat them instead of the changeup. Welp, that clearly worked…

Ryan Weathers (MIA) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

Whoa, another great outing for Weathers (That’s a Gold Star!), and imma stop you right there as he’s set to get the Rangers up next. I just can’t endorse that one and I don’t think you do either. But what about the long haul?! I still don’t love it? I don’t think I buy into his four-seamer working as well as it has, nor the secondaries looking anything like a sustainable crew to hang your hat on.

Taj Bradley (TBR) vs KCR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s filled with chaos energy (read: he’s a General Disarray) but the results have been there thus far. You really can’t take the chance against Baltimore next, but I think we’re at the point of considering him more times than not. In other words, we hold even if we’re benching. I know he may end up as a HIPSTER with his Cherry Bomb tendencies, but I think you have to do it at the moment.

Sonny Gray (STL) vs CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 74 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and you absolutely LOVE to see it. The sweeper was Filth McGee and his four-seamer was brilliant along the gloveside edge.

Blake Walston (ARI) vs MIA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 65 pitches.

Blake appeared out of seemingly nowhere and no, his 91/92 mph heat with an array of secondaries is not the answer you’ve been looking for off the wire.

Chris Sale (ATL) @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s been so dang incredible and even that changeup is earning strikes AND THAT JUST SEEMS UNFAIR. He’s dope y’all.

Ronel Blanco (HOU) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

It’s almost like Blanco is dope and makes us feel dope. He’s back on track, and you should be, too.

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 93 pitches.

It just doesn’t stop…but with a mediocre WHIP. It’s the same formula – sinkers and splitters armside mixed with sliders well over the plate – and it keeps leading to good results. I don’t think you’ll find a ton of bidders on Houck, so Let it Ride, Let it Ride.

Joe Musgrove (SDP) vs NYY (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

We’ll take this all day from Musgrove, who failed to earn a four-seamer whiff (most thrown pitch) but had good sliders and curves to stave off the Yankees. With his velocity normal, solid command, and the Royals up next, we should start to feel comfortable letting Musgrove fly.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ SDP (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Schmidt earned ten whiffs on his cutter and that’s all you really need to know. The man has figured it out.

Aaron Brooks (OAK) vs HOU (L) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.

Brooks maneuvered around the zone as best he could and sadly it wasn’t enough as the Astros scored another four unearned runs here. Atlanta is next, as if you had any inclination to give him a chance. Sadly, his name is Brooks, not Streams.

Tobias Myers (MIL) @ BOS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

Hey, that’s not so bad, but there’s work to be done with his secondaries before he can take the leap into proper fantasy focus + he needs to be trusted for longer than 64 pitches. Consider him a Young Gun for now.

Martín Pérez (PIT) vs ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 50 pitches.

He left this one early with a groin injury. Poor guy.

Gerson Garabito (TEX) @ MIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

He was the mystery pitcher who stepped in for Eovaldi (who needs a little more time) and it’s as pedestrian as you thought it would be. Move on.

Ben Lively (CLE) @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Fastballs landed upstairs, and Lively came through. Now it’s the Nats and I don’t see why not. He really has Livened up so many rotations lately.

Garrett Crochet (CHW) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Not only is it 11 punchouts and a King Cole, but he did it as a LHP away from Waltimore against the Orioles. I was sad to see most of the success come from his cutter of all pitches, while the changeup and slider still haven’t come through nearly enough to suggest consistency moving forward. I get it – you’re not benching Crochet at this point – but why couldn’t we just get it with more of the stuff that gets me amped? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST MAKE ME HAPPY.

Michael Wacha (KCR) @ TBR (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

YES. It feels like it’s about time to trust Wacha again with a date against his ole pals of San Diego on the horizon. I’m a little hesitant, but I think we roll with it – Wacha’s changeup is working and the overall command looks more on track.

Cal Quantrill (COL) vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

He’s the UnQuantrillfiable…who actually makes more sense now with a whiff-heavy splitter once again. Throw in a 50% CSW curveball and there’s your ballgame. We can’t try this against the Dodgers in LA…right? Right?!

Sean Manaea (NYM) vs SFG (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

We’ll take that all day from Manaea, who wasn’t in a particularly stellar command mood, nor was he able to flex a strong array of secondaries. But hey, it obviously came through here and while I’d pass on the Sneks up next, there’s always a chance he comes through.

Patrick Corbin (WSN) vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

This is one of Corbin’s best games of the year. Oh no. Oh, yes.

Bryan Woo (SEA) @ WSN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 70 pitches.

Four of Woo’s five hits came on low sinkers and I’m not exactly sure how he only earned three whiffs and a HAISTBMBWT?!but let’s be happy he got you that PQS. At least he’s healthy and gets the Angels next. That should be fine.

Reid Detmers (LAA) vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 96 pitches.

Eight strikeouts are great, but we still can’t get Detmers away from the dreaded Cherry Bomb tag. That said, he does get the Mariners up next and I can’t but wonder if he can feast there for a game. It’s not the safest matchup, but hot dang, that sounds like the matchup Detmers would be able to take advantage of with high heaters and low sliders.

Casey Mize (DET) vs TOR (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

Neither Mize nor Kikuchi earned a single strikeout between them in over seven frames. HAISTBMBWT?! We wait for the day Mize can dominate the zone with four-seamers and hope his slider can turn into a proper weapon.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.

Oh no, he’s falling apart! Uhhhh, that’s a decent WHIP with nine strikeouts and a Gallows PoleAnd guess what? He went BSB and had a brilliant changeup with precise cutters. WE’RE STILL IN.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD) @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Blegh. Everything the Reds walloped for a hit came in the juicy y-mLoc of the zone and it’s awfully annoying to watch. You could be so dang good…

Javier Assad (CHC) @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 81 pitches.

He lived along the edges and gave you a Dusty DonutI certainly feel like the Vargas Rule has come to a close, but maybe you’re good for at least one more start against the Reds? This wasn’t meant to last the whole season, after all.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 56 pitches.

Blegh. He got Singled Out a bit here, HOWEVER he was down 1-2 ticks on everything. Something was clearly up and I hope it was just one of those days instead of an underlying issue.

Pablo López (MIN) vs TEX (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Whoa. Two HRs from Seager were the biggest blows and I don’t think he pitched so poorly, but hot dang, Pablo is not getting the whiffs nor CSW marks we’re used to seeing. 0/15 changeup whiffs with a 9% CSW, while the sweeper and curve both featured clips well under 30%. He should have been lowered last week and I’ll be removing the AGA tag, even if I think he’s wearing a TIARAWe really aren’t far away from Pablo getting back to where he was, but the sweeper and changeup need to show up for him to start performing like a stud once again. I hope there isn’t something underlying that’s bothering him and preventing those pitches from performing at their best.


Game of the Day


Framber Valdez vs. Bryce Miller – I love a game where I’m glued to every pitch, good or bad.

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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Slick Martinez”

  1. larry says:

    i just realized Vargas was also the name of the bizarro version of Newman on Seinfeld… where everything is backwards and up is down right is left etc.. in physics there’s a thing called CPT (charge, parity and time). you can change the charge from positive to negative or vis versa since matter and anti-matter will behave the same. and you can take the mirror image and replace with it’s counterpart but the results will be the same. and time reversal symmetry where if you run an experiment backwards in time the results would be the same. we’ve seen a violation of each symmetry individually, but never all 3 at once or at the same time.

    so the Vargas rule, is aptly named. the bizarro world. i remember Jason Vargas in 2017, it was an insane run. i called him the general because he looked like one on the mound.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login