Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cris Miss

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.  

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs NYM (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 82 pitches.

Okay okay okay, it’s time we really talk about Cristian Javierwho had his worst start of the season against the Mets on Tuesday: 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 82 pitches. I’m personally shocked they let him toss so many pitches in such a short amount of time in the first place, but that’s a discussion for another time.

The issue I’ve been hammering has been the slider’s inability to get strikes and that was still present here. The breaker returned just 53% strikes and only 2/28 whiffs, forcing him to turn to heaters that just didn’t get the job done. We’re talking 57% strikes and a paltry 15% CSW as too many fell out of the zone and he can’t do that when the slider isn’t working. So what does he do? He throws changeups, which allowed two hits on just three thrown, including a double on this pitch that I still can’t believe happened.

That swing itself does make me wonder if Javier was tipping in some fashion – that’s rarely a pitch that’s swung at, let alone scorched for a double, but if Marte was expecting something off-speed, it would make sense how he’d be aggressively targeting a pitch so far out of the zone. Just a thought.

Anyway, it’s been rough watching Javier labor through starts without finding a proper rhythm and y’all may want to trade him away. It makes a lot of sense and unlike some others, Javier doesn’t have the same track record and experience of adversity that would speak to confidence of making whatever adjustment he needs to make. That said, I think the path to success is shorter than many others going through rough stretches, making me believe Javier is a solid buy-low at the moment. He really just needs to throw sliders for strikes more and everything comes together.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Trevor Williams (WSH) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 75 pitches.

Oh hey, there’s our Gold Star of the night and it’s thanks to changeups and sliders down with endless ferocity. You can’t buy into this given his 5 ER allowed against the Marlins in his previous start, but hey, this happened.

Jhony Brito (NYY) vs SEA (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

I wanted it to be Randy Vásquezbut I regret thinking that after Brito cruised for nearly six frames. I can’t say I loved the changeup or the curve here, and the sinker was…good not elite. So what did you like? The Mariners hitting into outs. That was fun. That doesn’t seem sustainable. Sure doesn’t.

Julio Teheran (MIL) vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hahahahaha the Vargas Rule has a new champion.

Brusdar Graterol (LAD) @ LAA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 29 pitches.

We didn’t see Michael Grove after all as the Dodgers went full bullpen. You don’t need me.

Jake Bird (COL) @ CIN (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 31 pitches.

Can we please stop with the bullpen games?

Ryan Walker (SF) vs SD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 16 pitches.

PLEASE. Oh, Walker opened for 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks of Sean Hjelle and while that’s all good and gravy, you don’t want Hjelle. Of course I don’t, who puts jelly on gravy? I can’t wait until you’re not living on my couch.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You couldn’t give us just a few more strikeouts? No? Okay–why did you just call me greedy? Yes, I am very grateful! I AM NOT A GALLEN BANAL, YOU’RE A GALLEN BANAL.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs LAD (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Ohtani earned himself a Gallows Poleoddly not from his sweeper. Nay, the pitch was thrown just 12 times (albeit, with five whiffs) as the four-seamer and cutter did most of the work here. Kinda weird and not something I totally buy as Shohei has had so much success on the back of that sweeper in the past, but hey, it clearly worked here. Maybe it’s a new day for Ohtani?

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ PIT (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

It’s all changeups and sinkers and as long as he keeps commanding them while missing the heart of the plate, good things will continue to happen. The Phils are a bit tougher, but I’d even be tempted to start him there when he’s in this rhythm.

Taj Bradley (TB) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

Whoa, he made it to six frames! At just 83 pitches! AND NO WALKS! You can thank the changeup going 9/13 strikes and the big hook returning a 74% strike rate, which are difference makers that open up the four-seamer and cutter beautifully. I wish I could believe they’d be this consistent every game. In time, I guess.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ WSH (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches.

Even as a Tobyyou couldn’t do better than a 1.29 WHIP, could you 8-Miles? You’re likely happier with someone else in his roster spot.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 100 pitches.

Look at him go, featuring plenty of pitch separation and soaring across seven frames with just two strikeouts and sub 20% CSW. Think he can do it a second time against Detroit? Good luck.

Matthew Boyd (DET) vs KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

Ummm, it’s legit BSB in this household. Go look at it, it legit looks just like the one hanging in my room from five years ago. I may actually be buying into this now, though let’s get one 10-whiff game from that slider against a team that doesn’t rhymes with Goyals, yeah?

Tyler Wells (BAL) @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

You can’t stop the Wells. You can only hope to contain him. Seriously though, he’s commanding his heater super well and making it work with his eclectic secondaries.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna return a VPQS against the Marlins. Yikes. Blame the splitter going just 22% CSW and just 5/37 whiffs – that ain’t the famous splitter we know and love. It’ll come back, don’t worry. It always does.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 88 pitches.

Oh daaaaaang. All three runs came off the longball as Abbott earned a share of the King Cole and won the hearts of many fantasy managers. We saw the sweeper show up for the second straight outing, returning a whopping 53% CSW with six whiffs, an especially surprising clip when you see where they were located. Yeah, that’s traditionally not something you want to do. Nick, don’t tell me you’re going to—I wish I didn’t have to, but this awfully feels like a Blame it on the Rockies and I worry about his start against the Orioles. Nooooo. But hey, after that it’s the Nationals and Brewers, so we obviously hold. Oh. Yaaaaaaaaay.

Rich Hill (PIT) vs CHC (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s a Philly and an awfully annoying one at that with a solid WHIP as well. So close. It’s nice how things have the possibility of being good when you don’t walk six batters.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna allow two home runs and walk four batters, souring the evening for fantasy managers. The heater and slider found the middle of the zone a bit too often, then he lost some batters as well. Super weird to see it on the very first day of summer, just when Castillo is supposed to become legendary.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

The curve went 0/12 whiffs but at least the sweeper went 9/11 strikes with 45% CSW. That’s pretty cool. Is it enough for me to get back on the Sonny train? Not really. He’s not nearly the guy we saw in April and I’ll for selling him now.

Michael Kopech (CWS) vs TEX (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

Womp womp. Just 4/49 whiffs on the heater and the mighty Rangers got to him. Do you start him against the Angels next? I’m not sure that I do. You don’t know what’s in store for the future – was the fastball worse because of the offense faced or because it’s just not that great in the end?

Garrett Whitlock (BOS) @ MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 88 pitches.

His defense did him dirty as I absolutely adored watching Whitlock on tonight’s live broadcast stream. Well deserving of a share of the King Cole (exactly same as Abbott across the same number of pitches! You rarely see it) as the sinker and changeup were vicious. The slowball reminded me a lot of Marco Estrada at his peak and that’s a very good thing.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

That’s four of his last five with at least 4 ER as Darvish dropped about a tick on everything and returned just 3/25 sweeper whiffs, continuing his emphasis on sinkers. I don’t think he’s figured out how to get the most out of everything in his repertoire, though it is interesting to watch him experiment start-to-start. He gets the Pirates now and while it seems like Darvish can’t get it done, I have a good feeling he’ll have it in his next outing. I need more than a feeling. Okay Boston, then you do you.

Gavin Williams (CLE) vs OAK (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.

I watched this one in full at playback.tv/pitcherlist with the PL community and I was sad to see an arm who didn’t have a fastball that blew past batters, while the slider and curve weren’t anything special. Just 2/45 whiffs against the Athletics (this is why we don’t start guys in MLB debuts, regardless of matchup) leaves a whole lot to be desired and while debuts are rarely legit indicators of the future, Gavin needs to do some work finding a good balance of breakers to fastballs as the 95/96 mph heater (started the game at 97/98 then fell all the way to 93) needs some help to make his elevation make the impact we want from it. There is some good news: The Royals are next. I think you’re okay starting him there as we generally see better in the second start. Let’s hope for three fastball whiffs this time.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ehhhhh, Blackburn’s defense behind him gave him few favors, but he wasn’t Mr. 17 Whiffs like his last outing, either. He may be worth holding for NYY + CHW up next, but that’s moreso for deeper leagues.

Tylor Megill (NYM) @ HOU (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 63 pitches.

Oh, you thought things were different after the Cardinals’ start? Hahahahaha. 

Brady Singer (KC) @ DET (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Even against the Tigers, he’s still just a Cherry BombSigh.

Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs TOR (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

Oh dear. IT’S TIME TO BUY LOW YA’LL. Come off it Nick, Sandy has an ERA over 5.00 and he’s washed up. Or maybe he went 6-of-7 shutout frames and had himself a stupid second frame. He has those stupid frames every game. AT LEAST YOU ALSO THINK THEY’RE STUPID. But seriously, I look at Sandy and see a changeup that should return to its former glory, which will turn him into the current volatile man into the golden goose of yesteryear. Feast on the doubters, for they will be the investors of your ascension.

Game of the Day

Mitch Keller vs. Braxton Garrett – It doesn’t seem like a heavy hitting game, but I’m grossly interested to see how each of them performs.

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.

Photo by Artboard Studio/Unsplash | 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.

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