Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: The Rolling Stone

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Gavin Stone (LAD) @ COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 77 pitches.

I haven’t given a whole lot of appreciation for what Gavin Stone has done this year and after earning a Golden Goal with 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 77 pitches in Coors, it felt like a time to do a proper check-in.

I watched all of it and what I enjoyed most was a lack of losing batters. Stone was constantly competitive with four-seamers in the zone and along the edges, while his changeup did its work with 74% strikes. I wish I saw more than seven sliders (43% CSW), but when you don’t need a pitch, why force it?

The biggest factor here is his efficiency. As a starter for the Dodgers, it’s important to consistently get through at least five frames and open the door for that all-important double V. It’s U. What’s me? No, U. I’m talking about Stone, not Darvish. UGH. Gavin secured his eighth win of the year today and even if those seven strikeouts are likely a mirage for the future, appreciate how easily he secures solid ratios and all the Wins.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Chris Flexen (CHW) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

What’s this on the ground, all bright and shiny? Why, it’s a Gold Star for Flexen! Wait, where is he? He went to the beach. IT’S FLEXEN AT THE BEACH. He had his change and curve working, cutters landing armside, and even 18″ of vert on his four-seamer. It’s fun that Flexen can do this at random times, too bad it’s the Dodgers next.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ WSN (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 70 pitches.

Ten pitches an inning?! Nats, buddies, pals, you can’t let Nelson get away with this. Sure, it was a harder slider, but the heater was down a tick and he just hurled that bad boy in there with reckless abandon. YOU CAN’T LET THIS HAPPEN.

Seth Lugo (KCR) @ OAK (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hey, there were eight different pitches with at least five thrown. Eno and I talked at length about Lugo in our latest edition of The Craft and I’m giving him more credit for figuring out ways to get more out of his arsenal than purely “two fastballs and a curve + sometimes a slider”. It still weirds me out a bit that he’s holding this high of a strikeout rate (and that is a poor WHIP), and even if that comes down, he’s definitely rosterable.

Mitch Spence (OAK) vs KCR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Spence pulled off the SBS – Spence Blueprint Surprise – which is cutters and sliders up and sinkers down. Wait, seriously? Yuuuuup. What a guy. It actually worked and I wonder if this command is a thing we can expect moving forward. It’s awfully unique and I’m all for the weird dudes making it work.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) vs TBR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

The slider was back in action and better placed than before down-and-gloveside, while the change, curve, and four-seamer found the plate and hugged it closely. Please let me live here and don’t kick me out. It’s alright heaters and changeups, we’re just sending you to your friend at third base; look at him wave. I’ve always wanted to be an out. Horrible writing aside, I still find it hard to lean heavily into starting SWR as his arsenal relies heavily on command and what you see here is the peak you’re chasing.

Zack Littell (TBR) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

So he allowed a HR to Royce. Whatever. Littell chucked sliders and splitters over the plate and called it a day. Now give me my paycheck. Honestly, it’s hard to do that and not hurl cement mixers one after another that get pummeled over the fence. Like oversized earrings and wacky wigs, all the props to Littell.

Adam Mazur (SDP) vs MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

It’s kinda wild how close he looks to being something, but then you wonder “Wait, even with this near precision, this still isn’t good.” Don’t go for Adam in the eve.

Logan Allen (CLE) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

A PQS with a Win is value of some kind, but I really hate eating these Dusty Donut starts. It just feels like empty calories, you know? Can’t say I really dug what Allen did here, and his four-seamer was more off than usual to cause all of those walks. I’m not much of a fan, but I recognize that he’s able to go six with the dub you see above.

Spencer Arrighetti (HOU) @ CHW (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

One day Arrighetti will have proper four-seamer command, allowing his cutter, sweeper, and curveball to thrive as they should. ONE DAY. I have to wonder how Jake Bloss will perform on Friday for his MLB debut – if he looks legit (even against the Orioles!), there’s a chance he could displace Arrighetti given how inconsistent The Pasta Pirate has been.

MacKenzie Gore (WSN) vs ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 103 pitches.

Oh sure, Nelson can get away with whatever pitches in the zone, but not Gore, who was Singled Out despite high precision and a fair number of strong breakers. Baseball, why do you do this? Don’t turn MacKenzie into a Cherry Bomb, he isn’t that.

Andre Pallante (STL) vs SFG (W) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hey, he went 95 pitches! But it was Rickwood Field and we expected some more offense here in Andre v. Giant. It’s Atlanta next and this wasn’t good, obviously, so why are you still reading this?

Bryse Wilson (MIL) @ SDP (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

He’s a Werewolf and we’re absolutely in the waning stage of the month. The ceiling really isn’t worth it, y’all.

Keaton Winn (SFG) @ STL (L) – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 43 pitches.

We expected it to be a bit hitter-friendly in Rickwood Field and I should have been smarter in my morning streaming rankings. Don’t change the course here.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna blegh. I’m not sure why Castillo went 29% changeups, matching his four-seamer for his most thrown pitch in this one. The offering returned just a 7% CSW and the heater (and slider!) fared far better against LHB. Weird.

Cole Irvin (BAL) @ NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

You just couldn’t give us one more out, could you. This was the Yankees and while I’m not chasing his start against the Guardians, he should fare better there.

Ty Blach (COL) vs LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 76 pitches.

Don’t say it Nick. What. DON’T DO IT. Bla–DON’T DO IT. Blanking the Dodgers is hard to do. Oh thank go–BLACH. NOOOOOOOOO.

Luis Gil (NYY) vs BAL (L) – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 47 pitches.

Welp, that didn’t go as planned. The Orioles jumped on Gil, swinging at nearly every fastball Gil threw near the zone – 91% Zone Swing rate! – and were even rewarded when they got something else, like Mullins’ two-run shot on a back-door slider (not a bad pitch in a vacuum!) or Mountcastle’s 3-RBI double from an inside changeup (off the plate). They straight up bamboozled the fella. They clearly were on a mission to attack-attack-attack, trusting Gil’s recent trend of throwing fastball strikes and hacking away early and often. Brush it off and start Gil next time out against the Mets. This Baltimore crew is stupid good.


Game of the Day


Grayson Rodriguez vs. Jake Bloss – It’s an MLB debut against one of the newly crowned AGA arms.

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.

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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