Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Eye Soroka

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Michael Soroka (ATL) @ OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

It took over 1,000 days, but we finally saw Michael Soroka return to the field today in Oakland and it didn’t go exactly as planned: 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches. Funny enough, this is a decent summarization of what I think we should expect from Soroka.

Well, the 4 ER is a little harsh – it was a fifth inning that scored a run off a walk, two consecutive singles swatting at high sinkers, then a three-run shot on a low changeup – but the rest of the approach felt like Soroka. His sinker was darting around the zone, his slider was serviceable but not elite, and his changeup had moments of brilliance, save for Noda getting the barrel out for his 3-run blast. I saw plenty of precise fastballs get the results we expected them to, from jammed heaters returning double-plays to some elegant four-seamer whiffs.

In short, Soroka should be a solid Toby play as he pitches for a great team. I mean that in the truest sense of a Toby as you’ll likely hold on throughout the season, but he isn’t going to push the needle a whole lot in the strikeout department. Think solid ratios and Win chances and you’re happy with that at the end of your rotation. Don’t let the 4 ER scare you off.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs TB (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 105 pitches.

That’s a share of the Gallows Pole across a CGSHO vs one of the better offenses out there. You LOVE to see it. Keep starting the man and hope he has that 44% CSW breaker for a long, long time.

Logan Allen (CLE) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 103 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I was a little uneasy as the Orioles have some thump and Allen hasn’t been a major whiff machine, but he was just that, nearly earning himself a Golden Goal on the night. The changeup and sweeper each returned 50%+ CSW with 12 whiffs between them and he used his cutter effectively to keep right-handers guessing. Given that he’s held just a 53% strike rate and 26% CSW on his changeup thus far, this was far from expected and it completely shifts Allen as a pitcher. We can only cross our fingers that it wasn’t a one-night show and he’ll keep the slowball cruising against the Twins next.

Taj Bradley (TB) @ CHC (L) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Stroman got all the attention, but huge props to Bradley dominating with his cutter for 42% CSW as the four-seamer cleaned up & the curveball returned 65% strikes. This is the Taj Bradley we want to see and if he had a slightly lower pitch count, I imagine he wouldn’t have gotten pulled with the bases empty in the sixth. So close.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

He got the Tigers and delivered the Win you expected. Just five frames, a 1.40 WHIP, and just three strikeouts makes you carry the shifty eyes (stupid 1/18 whiff splitter), but hey, we trek onward with Eovaldi.

Trevor Williams (WSH) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.

That’s a Gold Star despite the high WHIP as Williams allowed 0 ER (six unearned) against the mighty Dodgers. But he got the Loss, that WHIP hurt, and only three strikeouts. Just let me reward the man for something unexpected, yeesh.

Josh Staumont (KC) @ STL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 14 pitches.

Staumont opened for 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches of Mike Mayers and that makes two in a row for Mayers returning plenty of value. It wasn’t as flashy as before – the change did very little and 5/25 slider whiffs is great but not eye-popping – but it’s hard to deny the four-seamer for called strikes and the slider to clean it up. The Marlins + Baltimore are a two-step next week for Mayers and I’d consider circling that one now. That slider is a legit pitch.

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

Wells lowered his ERA to 3.29, but more importantly has now earned seven strikeouts in each of his last four starts. It’s getting harder and harder for me to say “nah, he’s not going to keep missing this many bats” and I’m planning on elevating Wells a decent amount in tomorrow’s edition of The List. His four-seamer has become a legit whiff threat with 10/41 here and the kitchen sink of cutters, changeups, and sliders are working. But Nick! The Guardians! Yeah, I know, but guess what? It’s the Giants, the Royals, then Cubs. You’re gonna be enjoying this for a bit.

Bobby Miller (LAD) vs WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Two starts in the books and Miller isn’t wowing us with whiffs quite yet. After my video breaking down the entirety of his MLB debut (you really should watch it), some pointed out that Miller’s slider has graded very well and could be an elite offering this year. Sadly, I didn’t see that step forward here, nor with anything in his arsenal as not a single pitch returned more than two whiffs. Fascinating for a guy hurling 100 mph. It’s not for lack of location, either, as the change/slider/curve were wonderfully placed along the edges. Maybe Miller is a just a really good arm who doesn’t blow past bats? Either way, I’m digging six frames in just his second start with a Win and low WHIP.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) vs ATL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

In a very clear Still ILLBlackburn performed well in his season debut. The curve and slider each returned over 30% CSW, with the curve looking like its best self at a ridiculous 80% strike rate (82% for the slider, too!). And now he gets the Marlins and Brewers…that may be a sneaky stream for Sunday and the following Saturday. Don’t ignore it.

Sonny Gray (MIN) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hey, it’s Houston and a day where Sonny went 1/8 CSW on his curveball. Yeah, we escaped a potential disaster here by the skin of our teeth. Thankfully it’s the Guardians next but I’d be doing my darndest to sell high on Sonny right now with his 1.82 ERA and 29% strikeout rate. This seems awfully fragile.

Anthony DeSclafani (SF) vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

It isn’t the sexiest, but it works for us. 1/15 CSW on his changeup and just 3/35 slider whiffs are all you need to know as to why this was what it was. Just keep chucking sliders into the zone, that’s what my father always says. Sure it is, Anthony. Sure it is. Be careful with Tony Disco up ahead vs BAL + CHC + LAD. May be time to move on if there’s something enticing on the wire or a much needed weekend stream.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 87 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, a Gallows Pole for Canning with a 1.00 WHIP and PQS?! Ahhhh, 25% four-seamers! It meant his secondaries were cooking and boy were they, as the changeup went 46% CSW across 24 thrown, his slider held a fantastic 39% CSW, and his curve went 5/16 whiffs. This is the Canning dream and while you have to settle for a 4.50 ERA in the process, you should be thrilled at the result if you went for it. Sadly, it’s Houston up next and we never know if Canning will have all his secondaries on a given night. This was fun, though.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

It was the Royals, yes, but Waino isn’t in a place where we can bank on production even against a poor lineup. Just because a couch is free on the side of the road, it doesn’t mean you want it in your apartment, you know?

Domingo Germán (NYY) @ SEA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh, nine whiffs after you were suspended for sticky stuff? Sorry, it’s hard not to say that and those who are leaning on that take, understand that his curveball was still a great offering, he just hung some and lost a few batters, while the changeup earned plenty of strikes and the fastballs were solid. The line looks worse than the performance in my view, though I’d prefer to stay away from his upcoming start against the Dodgers.

J.P. France (HOU) vs MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ehhhhh, it’s cool to see some strikeouts from France (that 43% CSW changeup!) but I was really hoping for better ratios here. I’d keep holding for the Angels next and possible hold & sit for the Jays after that.

Michael Kopech (CWS) vs LAA (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

His command wasn’t sharp last time and it was even wilder in this one, but hot dang that four-seamer is missing bats at…oh. 95.3 mph. Not 96/97 mph. He topped out at 96.8 mph, you know, the velocity he averaged in his last start. Kopech, I really really want to look at the strikeout rate and jump in without thought, but you’re not making it easy. Suitman whispers in my earOKAY FINE, I GET IT. You want to start him for Detroit and Miami next. FINE, get those strikeouts.

Matthew Boyd (DET) vs TEX (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Boyd is leaning on the slider more and still at a higher velocity (yes!), but it returned just 2/31 whiffs as the Rangers had their way with Boyd (no!). We stay out on this one, even with the White Sox next. It’s too risky.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 87 pitches.

Despite getting Rockie RoadI’m sad to see Nelson couldn’t come through with three walks and a HAISTBMBWT?! The secondaries aren’t there to support the heater and it gets exposed when the four-seamer goes just 17% CSW across 53% usage. Not great, Bob. I’d stay out on Nelson until we see a legit #2 pitch show up.

Rich Hill (PIT) @ SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Womp womp. There was hope Hill could make this work, but the Giants aren’t as weak of an opponent as we’d like. Hold off on Hill until he gets the Brewers in a few weeks and even that is fine.

Karl Kauffmann (COL) @ ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 76 pitches.

2K starts, it’s in the pain.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

Oh no. What if I told you that despite tossing just 17 curveballs, four of them allowed hits. That mixed with the four-seamer failing to miss bats per usual messed up his entire night. This is the issue with Miller: If his four-seamer isn’t one of the best fastballs in the game for a night, the secondaries aren’t going to step in and save him. And that’s okay as we should expect that fastball to perform far better than this. Yes, I’m still starting him against Texas, even if this one hurt a whole lot.


Game of the Day 

Nestor Cortes vs Logan Gilbert – I want the slider to return + Gilbert has been killing it with his splitter.

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 David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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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