Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Irvin Legend

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Jake Irvin (WSH) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.

Why oh why am I leading with Jake Irvin tonight? Not because the guy went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches against the Diamondbacks. That’s a line that normally would induce a Birthday Party as we move along to the next guy. Nope, he did something real tonight.

Irvin sat two ticks harder on his four-seamer tonight, sitting 95.2 mph instead of 93.3 on his four-seamer, leading to a whopping 38% CSW on four-seamers and that changes everything. I’ve liked Irvin’s general command across his starts, but the lack of stuff in his heater and secondaries has made him an easy pass as a streamer. However, sporting a harder fastball that has clear results is something to monitor. He’ll get the Mariners next and there’s some temptation to start him there, hoping for this giant two-tick increase to stick around while sporting a strike rate similar to the 65% rate of his curveball today.

I wish I liked that curveball a bit more as it earned just 2/23 whiffs on the night, but if the four-seamer is coming in at 95 mph with solid command, we don’t need it to get whiffs, just strikes. Take note and let’s hope the new velocity sticks around for good.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Joe Ryan (MIN) vs BOS (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 112 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! So the slider or splitter were legit CSW pitches? …nah as the slider/sweeper was thrown just twice and the splitter went 20% CSW. HOWEVER, this is a teachable moment as the splitter was still exactly what it needed to be despite the low CSW. Explain. Okay Dalek, the splitter returned a fantastic 67% strike rate with 20 foul balls and balls in play, and across the 35 he threw, just one returned a hit. That’s a ratio we’ll take all day (3 hits across 100 pitches = a lovely time on the bump) and with the splitter earning strikes, it allows Ryan’s four-seamer to flourish for 12/75 whiffs and a whole lot of domination. I love the Twins for letting Ryan go all nine frames for the CGSHO (you really don’t see that anymore) and while I wish his splitter or slider were more dominant, this is all his #2 pitch needs to be with such a dang good heater.

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ PHI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Remember that one poor outing that made us wonder if the Vargas Rule was over? What a weird time that was. Y’all know I don’t buy into it long-term, but you have to keep starting him at this point. There is no choice, there is only Bryce.

Aaron Nola (PHI) vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 103 pitches.

Yesssss. It’s wonderful what can happen when you don’t have a blowup inning. The sinker was far better than the four-seamer (the latter returned just 57% strikes, yuck) and while I don’t think this was the best of Nola, I’m proud of him for executing pitches to get outs. The best news: @CHC is up next, with a chance for WSN + @MIA after. Let’s see how they treat the off-day given the rain out on Wednesday.

Blake Snell (SD) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 97 pitches.

OKAY. I guess it’s the second half already as Snell returned a Gallows Pole with 22 whiffs. So the four-seamer was amazing inside the zone. Ehhhh, I guess so at 13/42 called strikes, but I wouldn’t say it was wielded with confidence in the upper half. Nay, the slider earned some whiffs (terrible strike rate at just a 41% rate) but the curve went 50% CSW and the changeup is still the hero at a 46% mark. It’s kinda interesting to see Snell’s backup pitch (the changeup) become so dang consistent as he’s been working on nailing down the breaking balls. I’ve been a major hater of that pitch over the years because of its lack of consistency, but huge props to Snell for finding the pitch and turning it into arguably his best offering over the last month.

Bryan Woo (SEA) @ NYY (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ayyyyy we saw the four-seamer continue to perform at an exceptional level as it landed in the zone plenty, while the slider…still needs work. But hey, he survived here and now gets the Nationals. We hold like a subway pole. It’s not necessary as you trust yourself without it, but it helps.

Logan Allen (CLE) vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Blegh. Sure, it was shutout baseball, but 89 pitches for just 12 outs ain’t it. You can blame his slider for its 50% strike rate across 31% usage and I’m not sure when the pitch will return. Without it, Allen doesn’t have an elite heater, and the change – while effective here – can’t be relied upon to be a legit 1-2 punch. But it’s the Royals next so FINE, we start him there. But this was the Athletics and he went just four frames. Okay, start him and pray for success. Better? Yes.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs PIT (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hey, it’s me, the guy who has been the biggest fan of Garrett since he introduced his sinker after his disastrous start against Atlanta. He just dominated the Pirates with a King Cole and 42% CSW on said cutter, while the sinker earned a ton of called strikes and the slider went 7/26 whiffs. We hold? OF COURSE WE HOLD.

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 107 pitches.

Ayyyyy he’s back. Ish. Nah, he’s back with 45% CSW sinkers, a legit sweeper, and four-seamers that returned a 38% CSW. Was it a lot of called strikes? Sure! Does it matter? Not at all! The man had his good command and we love him for it. Yeah, but it’s the Padres + Dodgers next. LET HIM BE THE MAN HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE. Why are you yelling? WHY AREN’T YOU?!

Tommy Henry (ARI) @ WSH (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

Well well Wells, the slider is still a legit pitch at 33% CSW as Henry nearly went seven frames against a middling Nationals offense. Sadly, it’s the Rays next, and all the thoughts I have of considering Henry as a deep stream has disappeared like sugar in the tea. That’s an image I didn’t expect to have today. Sometimes the sweet disappears in front of you and you have to give it the respect it deserves.

JP Sears (OAK) @ CLE (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 106 pitches.

You love to see it. I wish I were more impressed with what Sears brings to the table with his four-seamer and breakers, but being the equivalent of 2022 Eric Lauer, Sears is going to have games like this against weak teams. I think you’re safe holding him for the Yankees + Tigers up next and maybe the Red Sox after that. We’ll see.

Shane McClanahan (TB) vs KC (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 66 pitches.

McShane was down in his velocity and was pulled with a mid-back injury. This is wonderful news for all of us who were incredibly concerned there was an arm injury. Back problems? Not as much of an issue long term. Sure, there could be an IL stint if they want to rest him to ensure he’s all good for their playoff push in October, but this could be as easy as “hey, let’s just start him in eight days instead of five”.

Jose Cuas (KC) @ TB (ND) – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 27 pitches.

Oh cool, a bullpen game with Austin Cox going 3.2 IP of shutout ball and four strikeouts. Did you just make up that name? Nah, and honestly, y’all should be stunned by his four-seamer returning 8/24 whiffs + a cutter that went 9/10 strikes for 40% CSW. That’s kinda legit and I wonder if the Royals will let him properly start in the future. Let’s see it over a larger sample, please. What about the changeup? Okay, that went 6/14 strikes for 7% CSW. FINE.

Justin Garza (BOS) @ MIN (L) – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 32 pitches.

Garza (hey, like Matt!) opened for Brandon Walterwho went 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks in his MLB debut with 5 whiffs, 22% CSW, and 92 pitches. That doesn’t sound great. Because it isn’t. There isn’t a whole lot to latch onto with Walter and it’s best just to move on.

Alex Wood (SF) vs SD (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

Womp womp. He wasn’t expected to have a long leash and the Padres are a legit offense. Like OK Computer, this carried No Surprises.

Domingo Germán (NYY) vs SEA (L) – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Wait, two straight starts of disaster? What is going on?! In short, he got laced and the curveball is still good, which is better than last time out. So don’t do anything rash with the Athletics next – I know, this is dumb but the emotions will pass.


Game of the Day


Brayan Bello vs. Lucas Giolito – I want Bello to come alive with his slider + what version of Giolito will we see?

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 – Irvin Legend”

  1. Johnny Park says:

    The Diamondbacks are not a mid-tier offense. We need to adapt accordingly.

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