Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Estes For The Rest Of Us

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.

Joey Estes (OAK) @ TBR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

At a time when finding confident streamers has become harder than usual, Joey Estes was a sneaky play for those daring to trust him going 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches against the Rays. Watching his start, there wasn’t anything particularly interesting, but he does one thing well: he’s fine.

It’s a 93 mph heater with 17.5″ of iVB (that’s dope), but poor extension and average HAVAA require him to avoid the heart of the plate and nail his spots: Narrator: That’s his best skill. Batters get a slew of sweepers, sliders, and changeups among the high heater to navigate five frames and it’s, once again, fine. 

He’s a deeper streamer to note and it doesn’t shock me that he came through here against the Rays. With the Mariners up next, consider Estes if you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. He locates well enough and his arsenal is grade FEBA P100 sandpaper – it’s fine.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Tarik Skubal (DET) vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Redemption time for Skubal with a King Cole and I’m proud of him for it. We’re back to four-seamers over sinkers and I can’t tell you I loved his locations across the board, but he earned all the called strikes while his changeup and slider were solid complements. All good here.

Corbin Burnes (BAL) vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Why yes, that cutter is underperforming this year. Welp, he’s still one of the more reliable arms in the majors.

Andre Pallante (STL) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

Well that’s far better than what I expected from Pallante. The man was north-south on all his pitches, nearly putting them all in their own columns – from gloveside to armside, Pallante went four-seamer, sinker, slider, curve – and sadly, I don’t think it was all too great. A ton of hittable heaters over the plate, a pair of breakers that each returned a 33% strike rate, and just five whiffs overall make this feel like a Birthday Party, despite it being his first real start of the year. Is his cutter (his four-seamer is really a cutter) that great at inducing outs? Maaaaaybe…?

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ SFG (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 96 pitches.

Uhhh, Sánchez is throwing 96 mph sinkers now?! He hit 97.4 mph and returned 37% CSW with a 13/35 called strike rate, while his changeup played off it well + sliders and cutters did a decent job staying low. I think I’m legit back in on Sánchez again.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

After tossing under 80 pitches last week, Dunning was able to eclipse 90 here and last long enough to secure a Win. Bravo, Dunning. You earned enough called strikes on the sinker and found a way to return 41% CSW on your slider. It feels like Detroit will be a lovely reward for your faith, though it’s no guarantee with Dunning on the bump.

James Paxton (LAD) @ NYM (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 50 pitches.

Huh. The Dodgers elected to limit Paxton after pitching on just four days rest. I guess it’s part of the reason he’s still healthy and able to go against the Pirates up next. Surely we can get a Win there, right?

Alek Manoah (TOR) @ CHW (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 24 pitches.

Manoah left this one early with elbow discomfort. It’s been a run, y’all. Yes. Of all runs, this was certainly one of them.

Luis Gil (NYY) @ LAA (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 95 pitches.

It wasn’t the best four-seamer locations we’ve seen from Gil, but they were good enough and the Angels obliged while struggling against Gil’s 75% strike rate changeup. But no whiffs! BUT ALL THE STRIKES. His slider helped in a big way, too – 68% strike rate is all we’ve ever wanted for the pitch. It makes for a three-pitch mix all returning strikes and it’s all I’ve ever wanted for Gil.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

It’s a near replication of his previous outing, proving once again that he can earn strikeouts…against a poor offense. So many legit four-seamers upstairs. So. Many.

Seth Lugo (KCR) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 100 pitches.

That WHIP hurts and it’s just five strikeouts and…that’s the Lugo I remember. We’ll take it, even if he doesn’t look like the next great thing.

George Kirby (SEA) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

YES. This was the version of Kirby I’ve wanted for ages: high four-seamers outside the zone, sliders down-and-gloveside, and high sinkers + splitters for strikeouts. Okay, maybe not the splitter thing, but saving the four-seamer and actually tossing it out of the zone is such a huge gain for Kirby, especially with him leaning into sinkers + delicately spotted sliders. Now do it again, k thx.

MacKenzie Gore (WSN) @ ATL (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yooooo, DO YOU SEE?! DO YOU SEE?! This wasn’t even his best day with the four-seamer, but instead phenomenal sliders and curveballs doing plenty of work while the four-seamers earned 71% strikes without damage. Gore is the real deal, y’all. Start believing it.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Anderson was absurdly careful in this one, trying his best Neckbeard approach with low changeups, away cutters, and high heaters. He was able to get through five frames because of it, but this was a man squeezing his best for an elite offense. It’ll be the Padres + Astros up next, totally up to you if that’s up your alley. I personally will stay away, even if I have some temptation for that Padres start.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ SDP (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 88 pitches.

It’s awfully boring, but you got a Win and should be happy about it. It’s still mostly sinker/slider, though, and to see 0/12 CSW on his changeup is a bit disconcerting. I recommend chasing other more exciting options off the wire instead.

Ty Blach (COL) vs CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.

Blach. Yes, even when he does well because how the h*ck can we trust this in the slightest? Huge props if you started Blach and this came through for you. It’s a clear Birthday Party in my book.

Paul Skenes (PIT) @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You know it’s true. That’s a Gallows Pole with his stupid good splitter earning 11/39 whiffs and a 44% CSW while his four-seamer and slider earned enough strikes to do the rest. Just start the man.

Ryan Pepiot (TBR) vs OAK (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hmmmm. Pepiot’s slider and changeup hugged the edges well, but there was more chaos in his four-seamer than I’d like to see. I’m still confident Pepiot will come through n all that, but I just want to be amped, you know? LET ME UNLEASH MY EMOTIONS.

David Peterson (NYM) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Honestly, that could have been a lot worse in a Still ILL start against the Dodgers. Sadly, I don’t dig any of his pitches and I’d check out other arms until Peterson forces us to pay attention.

Chris Flexen (CHW) vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Flexen squirmed his way through five frames. Props to him for that, I guess. Let’s not do this.

Yu Darvish (SDP) vs MIA (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 66 pitches.

Annnnd now he has hamstring tightness. SERENITY NOW! For the love of Koufax, why do injuries have to exist?

Frankie Montas (CIN) vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches.

Ehhhh, a PQS isn’t the worst thing ever, but I was hoping for just one run fewer to make me feel good for streaming him. Fun fact – the slider has now become a cutter, while his splitter went just 11% CSW. Is this good? Maybe yes, but some definitively no. At least his heaters earned eight whiffs…? I got nothing.

Bryse Wilson (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 82 pitches.

Yup. Don’t. But Nick I was—No. Don’t.

Spencer Schwellenbach (ATL) vs WSN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Mr. Crescendo arrived and I liked what I saw. Four-seamers came it at 96 mph (likely settle to 95 mph outside his MLB debut) with solid HAVAA and nearly 7′ extension, though its horrid iVB suggests he’ll need to maintain precision upstairs to avoid destruction. His secondaries were a bit inconsistent, but legit when executed well, including a vicious slider, a solid curve, and a cutter that is sure to pile up outs and strikes to LHB. It’s a strong four-pitch mix that I hope to see gets ironed out with more starts for Atlanta. But how did he allow 3 ER? A poor cutter for a single, a scary HBP to the helmet, then a horrible mistake fastball for a three-run shot. It happens. I’m down to hold Schwellenbach for another start in Fenway with his solid four-pitch arsenal.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ TEX (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Nope. We’re still not there yet. Not even close.

Kyle Harrison (SFG) vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

He did everything he could with four-seamers in the top half of the zone and he was Singled Out nonetheless. Nick, it was the Phillies! Sure sure sure, but Harrison didn’t do anything new here. The change and curve are not anything special and he can only get so far with that fastball. Like a cat that won’t stop squawking at you, you don’t want Harrison around. But is the cat adorable? Okay fine, I enjoy the squawking, BUT THE HYPOTHETICAL POINT STANDS.

Keider Montero (DET) vs PIT (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

We had another SP debut here with Montero, who pumped a 95/96 heater at 31% CSW, but didn’t come with exceptional shape to get me massively enthusiastic. The slider was a decent #2 when it worked, but sadly its 46% strike rate let it down far too often to keep his head above water for a full five frames. He’ll be back in the minors after this one and without an elite pitch in his (mostly) two-pitch mix, I’d move on from Montero. The velocity will certainly keep me interested when he does get his next chance, though.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

Bleeeegh. This was a scary one after a bit of turmoil recently + a date with the Orioles. It wasn’t his best game of precision, and things didn’t go his way. Now he gets Atlanta and I can feel your anxiety from here. But are we overrating the Atlanta offense? Maybe. And maybe it doesn’t matter given that Crawford isn’t in a groove. We’ll see.

Jared Jones (PIT) @ DET (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Bleeeeegh. Jones has been mortal as of late and it came to a head here against the Tigers. Yes, he had some horrible luck and didn’t deserve 5 ER, but he also returned just four whiffs in total, without a single breeze on his four-seamer. We’re talking 0/31 four-seamer whiffs. FROM JARED JONES. I legit don’t understand how the Tigers were able to succeed so often against it in this outing (its shape was still elite) and for those who are worried Jones is becoming a pumpkin, I’m not there with you. It’s still an elite 96 mph heater with a strong slider for strikes. Baseball can be weird.

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs KCR (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 82 pitches.

Say what now. Ober allowed a trio of HRs, two on heaters over the plate but upstairs, and a hung cutter. That’s really all there is to say – if you allow HRs, you’re not great. If you don’t, you generally do well. I don’t think Ober is a HR machine now, so we press on, of course.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) @ MIL (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s funny how regression often elects to show up one random day, like it forgot something at home before it heads back out on vacation. A pair of HRs and a really tough third inning did Imanaga in as he shockingly returned a HAISTBMBWT?! He didn’t even spot his heater or splitter or curveball poorly, too. Whatareyagonnado. I’d buy low if it’s a case of his manager feeling like Imanaga has suddenly turned in a pumpkin. Pfffft, that can’t happen. His name is his destiny. It’s true, he is an AGA.

Logan Allen (CLE) @ COL (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 59 pitches.

Ouch. Maybe Coors isn’t as neutral as we thought? It could even be that my theory of early Rockies games isn’t as influenced by Coors as much and now we’re seeing all of the hurt super quickly. Regardless, please take Logan off your watch list. But that movie was DOPE. Okay, fair. That movie was fantastic.



Game of the Day


Jack Flaherty vs. Nick Pivetta – Can Flaherty keep it up? Will Pivetta get his command back?

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 by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Estes For The Rest Of Us”

  1. Ryan says:

    Cubs messed up skipping Imanaga’s start last week

  2. Jim says:

    Put some respect on what Kutter Crawford did in this one. He made two mistakes in one bad inning. A walk followed by a slam. It was a gutty performance the rest of the way he kept the Orioles in check five out of the six innings. That’s a task.

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