Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Reese’s Repertoire Pieces

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

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

Reese Olson (DET) @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

With Eduardo Rodriguez out for weeks, the Tigers called up Reese Olson and he made a splash in his MLB debut against the White Sox: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches. The line is even worse than it was – he pitched five no-hit innings, led off the six with two singles, got pulled, and both scored. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

Reese tossed 95-97 mph fastballs with a fair amount of horizontal ride, paired with 34% sliders that returned a whopping 40% CSW. I watched all of this and I dig it. He’s more east-west than north-south with the slider having slurve action and his heaters aiming to jam right-handers, but then there’s a changeup with a ton of dramatic drop that returned 6/13 whiffs and made me emit low-toned noises a few times. As he got deeper into the game, we saw an 0-0 curve fall in a few times and it makes for a complete arsenal.

The slider and change will allow for solid whiff totals, but the fastballs are more of “hey, let’s earn some strikes and get some outs” despite their velocity. The command was solid here, though it’s hard to tell how sticky that is, especially with a slightly rushed delivery that makes me a little concerned about his ability to replicate game-to-game.

I think there’s enough here to be a solid arm in 12-teamers, though he needs to be a little more efficient and have a decent schedule to be worthwhile. Sadly, the latter is an issue with the Phils + Atlanta in the short term and it makes me want to turn away for the time being. There will be times when the slider and changeup take over, though I imagine the fastballs will get tagged a bit as well. Play it cautiously in the short term.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Chris Bassitt (TOR) @ NYM (W) – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

See? You really don’t need to worry about Bassitt. That’s his opponents’ job.

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ayyyyy a fantastic Valdez start with a low WHIP! Was it because of–THE CUTTER WAS BACK! 20 thrown for 35% CSW and all I can do is hope it sticks around for tea and crumpets. Always for the crumpets.

Jon Gray (TEX) vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.

It’s the same story – elite slider and okay four-seamer – but the heater was spotted incredibly well this time, returning many strikes and outs. That’s the dream for Gray on a given night and we keep on rolling.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 95 pitches.

The changeup didn’t allow a single ball in play across 26 thrown, yet it returned a 58% CSW. That’s hot. So is a 60% four-seamer strike rate and when mixed with Oakland, you get a Gallows Pole and a Win, You love to see it.

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 78 pitches.

Despite low CSW marks on the heater and changeup, Ober came through against the Guardians. Absolutely not his best and a bit of Blame it on the Guardians here. Let’s hope the overall command (moreso on the secondaries) is better against the Rays next. That’s a Questionable Start for me.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 44% CSW, 73 pitches.

I called it a Still ILL and Clev didn’t care as he earned a King Cole for the night. Listen, it’s hard to predict a 46% CSW slider and 44% CSW four-seamer, especially when I wouldn’t call either pitch elite. Bad news here is the Yankees + @LAD + TEX next, turning this into an arm we consider in a few weeks when the schedule improves.

Aaron Civale (CLE) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

First Clev, now Civale denies the rules of Still ILL to produce against a middling offense. We saw 65% cutters + curves + sliders (yes!) and while I wasn’t in love with the command, his control was solid and he made it work. I can see it continuing against the Red Sox, but with a low ceiling, it’s not the best play in 12-teamers.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ TEX (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace, even against Texas. This kind of starts against tough teams makes my heart swell. 10/44 four-seamer whiffs as the pitch sat 97 mph. Swoon

Justin Verlander (NYM) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 117 pitches.

I’m happy to report that his slider returned a 44% CSW, even if the SwStr rate is still down at 18%. He spotted the pitch much better here and played it off his four-seamer beautifully. It’s a very encouraging start, but he doesn’t get his AGA label back until he shows consistency.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ SD (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 75 pitches.

We’re happy about the result and you can thank his sweeper and curve for finding the zone plenty. That may be the secret in the end: Just throw the breakers for strikes and the fastball + cutter will do the rest. I don’t think I’m at a place to start him against the Angels, but I’m paying attention.

Jack Flaherty (STL) @ PIT (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

93.5 mph heaters with a 33% CSW cutter and curve against the Pirates? Yeah, that checks out. I’m leaning more in favor of Flaherty as of late with his recent performances looking more like this than the floor and I think we’re cool starting him against the road Reds next.

Jordan Lyles (KC) vs COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 74 pitches.

That’s a Gold Star for Lyles, even if it was against Rockie RoadHe hasn’t come through much at all this year and eight strikeouts is a fantastic way to celebrate a Birthday PartyBut Nick! He sat 1.7 ticks up on the heater! It returned 43% CSW across over 50% thrown! That’s cool as h*ck. And I can’t trust it after just one outing.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

He’s had some time to collect himself and appeared as TATIAGA once again. Baseball is better with Kershaw dominating.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.

“Atlanta Schmanta” – Kelly, probably. The changeup wasn’t even present in this one and it didn’t matter as Kelly dominated with four-seamers, sinkers, and cutters. What a fantastic Vargas Rule this has become and with the Arizona defense ranking Top 3 in the majors, this could keep rolling for a bit.

Brandon Williamson (CIN) vs MIL (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

Huh. The cutter got strikes but I wouldn’t trust the dominance the line looks like. Blame it on the Brewers, indeed. Avoid the Dodgers, please.

Chase Anderson (COL) @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 80 pitches.

You know, there was a part of me that thought hey, watch Chase pull this off with yet another boring start. Neither his stuff nor command is exceptional. Please avoid.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

You love to see it. I didn’t personally take the dive, but that’s production all across the board, even with his wonky changeup. I don’t think it was a start to change my tune on Kremer, but the Brewers are next and that could be a worthy stream.

Michael Wacha (SD) vs CHC (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Wacha didn’t have the command we needed him to have, but hey, at least it was a decent ERA and eight strikeouts? This was changeup city and while the four-seamers and cutters didn’t get the strikes he needed, he wasn’t so wild as the five walks would suggest. He’s not a bad hold with SEA + CLE + @SFG up next.

Shintaro Fujinami (OAK) @ MIA (L) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 19 pitches.

He opened for our streaming option Hogan Harriswho returned value for those taking the leap: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches. It wasn’t as good of a command as we saw last time out, but the Marlins are the Marlins and you may want to try this one more time against the Pirates next.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ ARI (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 99 pitches.

I wish it came with a Win, but we’ll absolutely take this from Morton as those strikeouts are beautiful. He has a solid schedule ahead as well, though the Mets are in the way. We keep starting him.

Logan Webb (SF) vs BAL (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 97 pitches.

We absolutely take this and hate how five baserunners turned into three runs in seven frames, but I’m still missing the slider a bit. Just 10 thrown (and productive at 20% SwStr and 40% CSW!), but can I really be mad if the changeup is just so dang good? We keep rolling.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 100 pitches.

PQS isn’t ideal, but everything else is fine. The four walks are a little concerning as he isn’t wielding his repertoire with confidence, but we carry on forward.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs PHI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Bleggggh. I really suggest you don’t roster Josiah.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna have the ERA problem again as he allowed a pair of HRs mixed with some Singled OutI blame the sweeper returning just 3/38 whiffs and this was likely a One Night Blandeven with the shaky May.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

The slider got whiffs, but the fastball is still a detriment. There has to be something better for you on the wire – even a streaming spot.

Luis Severino (NYY) @ LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh no. He sat 1.5 ticks down, the command was rough, the slider lost four inches of movement, and this was terrible. I’m scared by this one and I wonder if we’ll hear something about it as it didn’t look like stellar Severino in the slightest.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ WSH (ND) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.

Nooooooooooooo. Wheeler pumped heaters down the middle and they were smacked. His slider went just 25% CSW. His…doesn’t matter. This stinks and after last week’s demolition against Atlanta, it’s a sinking feeling to see Wheeler get trounced by the Nationals. I’m still very much a believer and have to see this as a One Night Bland with ratios looking more like a product of poor fortune than actual skill degradation. Not much you can do but keep starting him and if someone wants to sell at a discount, you buy. This is not the real Wheeler.


Game of the Day


Bryan Woo vs. Andrew Heaney – It’s Woo’s MLB debut against a volatile Heaney arm. This should be good.

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.

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