Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Shake And Blake

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Blake Snell (SD) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

For the last two seasons, Blake Snell has been nearly impossible to roster for at least two months before rising from the fogged lights to adorn managers as he played the part of fantasy ace. Well, it’s June 1st now and it may be that time again as Snell returned 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches for those still believing in him.

In my view, sustainable success for Snell comes in two parts: four-seamers relentlessly sitting in the strikezone & sliders + curves sitting low for whiffs. We had a return for the former (69% strikes), but the breakers are once again lagging (8/20 strikes). We’re not there yet. But what about the changeup? It’s the backup plan and while it went 40% CSW across 15 thrown, it’s not the sustainable utopia we seek.

So we wait and hope for the best. Sure, he came through tonight without boasting both skillsets – Blame it on the Marlins – but with the Cubs + @COL + TBR up next, he may be testing our patience once again.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


George Kirby (SEA) vs NYY (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yessssss. Here I am, giving all the praise to Gilbert over the past week and he gets shelled by the Yankees while Kirby struts across the zone with a giddy-up to his heater (he sat nearly two ticks up at 97 mph!) and a whole lot of called strikes with sinkers, sliders, and curves. Pitch separation was fantastic and while he still lacks that signature secondary pitch, Kirby is still pretty dang good.

Louie Varland (MIN) @ HOU (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Varland pounded heaters to the tune of 40% CSW as the slider and changeup fell to the bottom of the zone effectively. I really do dig him and the probability of performing this well while facing the Astros was too low for me to chase. I think it’s still under 50% for the Rays and Jays up next, but it’s close. We may be at the point of “pick him up and we’ll get through those starts together.”

Tommy Henry (ARI) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s a Win with Rockie Road and I really hate myself for not leaning in on this one further. Nick, none of his pitches have flashed elite this year and he held a 12.6% strikeout rate entering this game. Okay FINE. Henry earned 6/21 whiffs on his changeup, far more than its 16% SwStr across the season and I can’t help but have some temptation with the Nationals + Tigers next. Naaaaah, I don’t think you should lean in. The floor is too low and this seems awfully like the peak. But the pitch separation…

Julio Teheran (MIL) @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 79 pitches.

Teheran went six shutout without earning a single strikeout against the Jays. Is this the most Gold Star of all? Like a classic gameboy game, Teheran has become the Golden Sun. This cannot last because duh.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ SEA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’ve been a doubter of Schmidt and he was a new man here. The curve, sweeper, and cutter all missed bats often, with the two breakers combining for a phenomenal 49% CSW. I won’t tell you that the sinker was a great offering, but the Mariners knocked them into gloves and Schmidt nearly made it through six. Is it enough to start him against the White Sox? It may be – the White Sox are vulnerable against RHP breakers. Something to think about.

Justin Steele (CHC) vs TB (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 29 pitches.

Ummmmm Steele left this game with forearm tightness. Oh no. Yeah. Oh no.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

So the curveball was a one-time thing in his last start (just seven curveballs here), but the slider that replaced it went 0/12 CSW (42% strikes) and that’s unacceptable. But hey, that’s a Win and we leave him on the wire for Atlanta.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs SD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 79 pitches.

That’s a King Cole for Garrett as the changeup woke up for 6/16 whiffs as the sinker returned 11/24 called strikes and the cutter held a 62% CSW. In fact, his best pitch (the slider, of course), went just 3/19 whiffs and was dealt with better than usual. Huh. If you still have a chance to jump in on Braxton, now is the time with KCR + @CHW + @WSN up next. That’s lovely as Garrett aims to be the better -axton of the SP Landscape.

James Paxton (BOS) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

I find it fun that the two “-axton” pitchers earned awards tonight. 22 whiffs and a Gallows Pole for Paxton is everything we dreamed of as the heater returned to dominate with 12 whiffs and the curve finally came through at 39% CSW + cutters held a 25% SwStr rate. That’s 3/4 starts showcasing the heater he needs to have and it’s starting to feel like this is actually real.

Jaime Barría (LAA) @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

I had a soft spot for Barria here against the ChiSox, hoping his slider would come through at that it did – 32% CSW and 7/41 whiffs. Props to the changeup for helping + four-seamers stealing strikes as well, but I wouldn’t make this more than it was. Barria had a good matchup for his slider, did decently well (still a 1.40 WHIP and just five frames), and it’ll be harder to succeed against the Cubs + @TEX + LAD. Let him go.

Joey Wentz (DET) vs TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.

It’s a fun curve, but in the end, I don’t think it’s wise to chase Wentz. He’s a Werewolf where he’ll have a great start once a month, but you’re best not chasing it.

Keegan Akin (BAL) vs CLE (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 25 pitches.

Akin opened for Austin Vothwho was a bit intriguing of a play today against the Guardians and he was nothing of the sort with 3 ER in 2.1 frames. Well okay then, I guess it’s a Voth to the blame.

Jared Shuster (ATL) @ OAK (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 68 pitches.

We take this, but just 2/24 slider whiffs and 13% CSW? One strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! This legit saddens me as I wanted it to be the breakout start where we question if it was the Athletics or Shuster, but this…this isn’t it. I’m worried about his next start against the Mets, but if he shows enough there, then fine, we start him against the Tigers and Rockie RoadGet that slider back please.

Alek Manoah (TOR) vs MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 89 pitches.

I placed Manoah in the Do Not Start tier despite the Brewers after I removed him from The List and I heavily suggest you do the same. But it was a 60% CSW sinker! And 5/51 slider + four-seamer whiffs. He’s not close at all.

Zach Eflin (TB) @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take a PQS with the rest from Eflin. His cutter is back with 39% CSW and everything was low and I kinda love it. We march onward, waving the baton of Eflin in the weirdest alternating fist pumps I’ve ever done. No one is watching right? Okay, good.

Luke Weaver (CIN) @ BOS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s a Philly as Weaver nearly pulled it off in Boston. I kinda dig the pitch separation of cutters and changeups and thre could be something there against Milwaukee next. Apparently that offense is ice cold, but maybe they’ll be Luke warm Brews. That doesn’t even make sense, that would imply the Brewers would be good. It’s nearly 2:00am and I have to be up in five hours. LET ME BE.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

Blegh. Dunning had a solid five frames with a 14/33 called strike sinker, but a pair of hits came around to score after he was pulled from the game in the sixth to Careful, Icarus this start and that ruined everything. Still, the strikeout rate is a bit shocking for Dunning and the schedule gets harder moving forward. I’m staying away in 12-teamers wherever I can.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

Those two strikeouts feel like the prize you get for handing in 1,200 tickets at an arcade. I started you and all I got was this eraser that says “I wish I could take it all back”? 

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.

I don’t think Jimmy Hat pitched poorly here and it makes me want to consider him for the Pirates up next. Then again, is his four-seamer going to replicate its 25% SwStr rate and 81% strike rate? Probably not.

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.

The man got Singled Outthough the command wasn’t as sharp as when I saw him last. Still good and those ratios are out of whack, but not the overwhelming electricity in the past. But hey, OAK + @CHC + @MIL next and that makes us thrilled like a canary leaving the mine.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

Blegh. It’s not horrible and the worst thing ever, it’s just…not great. The curve was solid and the velocity is up once again, but he didn’t get to the finish line. Not much more for me to say – it’s Nola. Vent your frustration and keep slotting him into your lineups.

Noah Syndergaard (LAD) vs WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 96 pitches.

He’s not Thor. He’s NoMore. So much so that he’d make major sacrifices to be his old self. Yikes.

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hunter nooooooo. He’s doing the four-seamer called strike part super well, but the curve and slider went 19% CSW combined and that’s not gonna cut it. I don’t think he got his breakers under the zone enough, honestly. The line looks worse than his performance, in my view, and the ability is still intact. We keep riding.

Dinelson Lamet (COL) @ ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

It’s cool seeing Lamet get a shot in the rotation once again. Seeing him sit 94.7 mph with just 4/33 whiffs and wearing a Rockies uniform isn’t. (Sorry Rockies fans, elevation is a legit problem.)

Alex Wood (SF) vs PIT (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Womp womp. It seemed like it should work on paper – 30% CSW on both slider and sinker here, after all – and yet, Wood found a way. You’re better off with something else.

Shane Bieber (CLE) @ BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Uh oh. The slider was actually solid at 47% CSW but the Orioles jumped all over his cutter and four-seamer for four hits apiece. Yikes. This is the fear of Bieber and I think we may see more of it. Odds are he bounces back in some fashion against the Sawx, but this floor is very much a real thing and not just “oh whatever, one of those days”. But he had a strikeout per inning! Oh. Oh you.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 89 pitches.

Welp, our worst fears were confirmed. He did well against three poor offenses and now against the first average-to-good lineup in weeks, he gets walloped. Hello anxiety, we meet again. Dude, I was here just five minutes ago when you felt that random small pain in your left shoulder. I SAID HELLO. Are you starting him against the Yankees? This was a legit poor outing as his changeup and curve were an atrocity, forcing everything to go through the heater and cutter. I want to say yes, but it’s a tough call I’ll leave to you.


Game of the Day 

Hunter Greene vs. Chris Sale – There are so many fun matchups on Thursday and I’ll do my best to catch up on them as I’m traveling all day (heading down to Asheville!). No stream until Tuesday, sorry y’all.

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.

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 – Shake And Blake”

  1. Anon says:

    Probably need to update the Careful, Icarus pop-out. It still says it happens when someone pitches beyond the 7th and into the 8th. Feels like that is about a decade out of step now with virtually nobody pitching into the 8th and if they do, it’s probably one of the better pitchers in the league. Of the 1,680 starts so far this year, only 90 have made it to the 4th time through the lineup and those only amount to 170 PA so far or an average of less than 2 hitters faced that 4th time through and surprisingly the OPS allowed that 4th time through (.758) is lower than the 3rd time through (.784)

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