Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Wentz Upon A Time

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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

Joey Wentz (DET) @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches.

Some days we lead with a guy who we had zero expectations of success and I’m here to tell you “This isn’t a thing, don’t make this a thing.” Sadly, we’re doing that today with Joey Wentz after he demolished the Twins (albeit with a Loss) via 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches. That’s a Gold Star if we’ve ever seen one and it’s awfully hard to believe that it’ll stick.

That’s not to say Wentz didn’t deserve this. He did an excellent job with the BSBkeeping his curves and changeups down (mostly) while the heaters stayed in the upper half nearly exclusively. And yet, he failed to return a CSW above 27% on either of those three pitches, and the real difference in my book was the foul balls. I have a theory about how to treat them: If a pitcher has an exuberant amount in a given game, it means they are being taken away from whatever outcome they usually get – whiffs or balls in play. For example, Luis Castillo getting more foul balls than usual on his four-seamer usually correlates with a lower whiff count, while more foul balls for Kyle Hendricks equates to fewer balls in play. Seeing 14 foul balls on 41 four-seamers from Wentz with just two balls in play equates to longer at-bats and thus more strikeouts. And hey! That’s nine strikeouts on the docket with 31/107 foul balls.

Okay, I think I get it. Wentz commanded better, which led to pitches that would normally be in play turning into foul balls, which allowed for more strikeouts. How’s that? That’s generally the idea, yeah. And given that I don’t think this command sticks, nor the BABIP going this well in his favor and the foul balls being noisy as anything, this doesn’t feel like the start of a breakout to me.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Blake Snell (SD) vs TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 12 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 102 pitches.

Remember how I said Snell’s last start with twelve strikeouts wasn’t as convincing as I wanted it to be? Well now that he has a Golden Goalcurveballs going 48% CSW, changeups with precision at 50% CSW, and 7/13 slider strikes, I’m a little more convinced. His four-seamer is so dang good and I still complain seeing that pitch fall to the lower half more often than I’d like, but his hook was on in this one and that changeup was brilliant. He made few mistakes in the heart of the plate as well and the Rays didn’t know what to do. It still seems awfully bubbly and fluid start-to-start, but we keep riding it and hoping this is second-half Snell arriving early. Is that a real thing? Two summers in a row equate to truth, right?

Alex Wood (SF) @ LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 67 pitches.

Well look at you, returning in a Still ILL against the mighty Dodgers and stealing a Win despite a low 67 pitch count. The Padres are next and we’re not at a point to legit trust him yet, sadly.

Wade Miley (MIL) vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

Miley returned and had as good command as you’ve ever seen from him with cutters gloveside and changeups armside with excellent pitch separation. There’s some intrigue here as a streamer against the Guardians next.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 61 pitches.

Sánchez did as well as you could hope for from a guy not destined to see the fifth frame. It’s sinkers galore with some nice sliders and changeups at times but nothing more. Carry on.

José De León (MIN) vs DET (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 24 pitches.

I remember when he had this really cool moment with his sinker for the Reds. And they cut him. That was dumb. Anyway, this was a bullpen game and we move on.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

He can’t be stopped. I really hope you jumped in after we saw the cutter usage following the disaster in Atlanta (31% usage here for 32% CSW) – there’s still more to come with the Pirates up next.

Bryce Elder (ATL) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Okay good. It’s @CIN, MIN, @CLE up next and I guess we’re still holding on.

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs PHI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

Everything was down over a tick, but hey, he threw strikes and the Phils didn’t do a whole lot with them. Great four-seamer locations with the secondaries landing comfortably in the zone and honestly, if you do that with regularity, you’ll succeed more than fail. I wonder if he elected to take something off to help him with it – it doesn’t always work that way (pitchers often know how to command at a specific speed and slowing down everything sometimes messes it all up), but I wonder if that was a thing here. I sure hope this command sticks.

Jake Irvin (WSH) vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Would you look at that. Blame it on the Marlins for allowing 16 called strikes on sinkers and just two whiffs on the night. Take a hack, why don’t ya.

Tommy Henry (ARI) vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

He pulled it off, albeit with a 1.50 WHIP as the slider was great for the second straight start. Looks like I’ll be considering Tommy for a stream this week against the Nationals…But he’s a southpaw. Oh right, apparently the Nats are better against LHP. Meh, still not a bad stream if he has the slider working.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 101 pitches.

If I told you Greene was going 16% CSW with just 3/63 fastball whiffs against the Astros, I don’t think you’d imagine a 3.00 ERA with a Win. The slider worked well, but I’m a little concerned that the heater isn’t overwhelming batters like it used to. He gets Atlanta next and while I think you’re going to do that, I feel like the “awesome stretch” I was hoping Greene was on has been cut short a little too early.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

The stream worked as Canning earned thirteen whiffs between changeups and sliders. He’s in a good place right now and I feel bad that he has to head to Coors next. Maybe another time, we’ll text.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

The man survived and I’m happy for him. 1/21 CSW on the sinker is pretty hilarious, but at least the cutter and slider were on point. He gets the Yankees next and while you can see that there’s a chance for success, I don’t think it’s worth it.

Zach Eflin (TB) @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Keep in mind, the Padres have been a hot offense as of late. Nod your head in approval and keep starting the man.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

The splitter is still missing (just 2/9 CSW here) but more shocking is the 7% CSW on his four-seamer, with the slider stepping up to get through this one. Weird. I think Gilbert needs a slight recalibration to get back on track and it won’t be too long until we see it.

Justin Steele (CHC) vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 74 pitches.

Ayyyyy he’s back! And he was able to go five frames after all in just 74 pitches. The four-seamer and slider were both good, not great, with some work to be done here and there. He’ll get the Cardinals next and I think this was enough to let him fly.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 105 pitches.

That’s a rough 2.60 WHIP as his fastballs and sliders inside the zone got walloped. Whatareyagonnado. He’s the same thing he’s been all year.

Adam Wainwright (STL) @ NYM (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.

Oh look, a near VPQS with just three strikeouts and a Win. The ideal for Wainwright.

Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Sure, I’ll take the PQS with the rest from Gibson. It’s far better than the horrid floors we’ve seen from him. I don’t think he’s doing anything special to suggest a date with the Mariners will be sunshine and roses, unless it’s the end of times with climate change creating massive heat waves and wilting our wonderful. Then I can see that. WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE ROSES?!

Trevor Richards (TOR) @ TEX (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 65 pitches.

I wonder if the Jays are going to rely on this Richards/Bowden piggyback or if it’s a way to ease Bowden Francis into the majors for him to eventually start properly. Either way, avoid both.

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs STL (L) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

This may be the first start when the forkball was off, but Senga returned a great K-per-BB ratio. It was four-seamers and cutters in the zone with sliders underneath and I see his success here more as a Blame it on the Cardinals than a denial of Senga’s forkball rule. Start at your own risk.

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 99 pitches.

One step forward, two steps back. Ugh. His cutter and four-seamer each returned a 38%+ CSW with 11/52 whiffs between them and I still like what Keller does. I’m not ready to jump ship yet.

Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs CIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

Womp womp. The changeup was in fact great, but nothing else supported it. It may be the Dodgers next, so we wait on our hands for the perfect moment.

Shane Bieber (CLE) @ ARI (L) – 7.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Oh cool, three slider whiffs for 14% CSW. If you haven’t sold yet, it may have been too late as that nine-strikeout start wasn’t a showcase of the real Bieber you miss so dearly.

Mike Mayers (KC) vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 76 pitches.

I miss when we actually liked Mayers. Now, I stare at his lines and go HAISTBMBWT?! Some things never change, and some things do. What a silly movie line that was.

Bobby Miller (LAD) vs SF (L) – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

I watched this one and those who see this and go “welp, there goes another prospect” completely miss the point. Miller was solid through three frames and lost a bit of his command in the fourth, amplified by some poor luck and an 0-0 curve that was jacked to right field for a three-run shot. Then he returned for the fifth, still labored with his heater command, had some bad luck, and had all his inherited runners score. Why are you telling me all of this? Because Bobby is still super legit and should not be judged for being a rookie with a lapse of command on the mound. Stay the course.

Connor Seabold (COL) @ ATL (L) – 3.0 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 62 pitches.

We’re looking into ways to give you free butter for your bread when reading the roundup. I’m working with my people.


Game of the Day


Lance Lynn vs. Bryce Miller – I want all the good fastballs.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

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Photo by Scott W. Grau/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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