Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Bobby’s Unfurled

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.  

Bobby Miller (LAD) vs HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

After last week’s disaster outing for Bobby Miller against the Giants, I was hoping for a bounceback against the Astros, even with the tougher matchup. Nope. 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches was the result and with a date in Coors ahead, managers are stressed. Is this just another prospect who shows promise but ultimately falls flat? Could be, but I truly don’t think so.

I watched all of it (duh) and there are two things at play. First, Miller’s command wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen, and yet he did such a good job of getting his fastballs inside to the Astros’ right-handers. A ton of weak contact (some unfortunately went for hits), which is the bread-and-butter for Miller, sets up games of 7+ innings, especially if he gets his slider/change/curve cooking, like we saw previously with his 11-slider-whiff game.

The fifth inning was a nightmare. He absolutely struggled with locations, no question, though a hit off a gorgeous 0-0 cutter, a walk, a push bunt from Altuve for a hit, and a grand slam off an up-and-in fastball at 98 mph is not a typical frame that will be repeated. Throw in a walk, a “double” off a jammed fastball, and a 1-2 heater out of the zone returning a single, and that’s your fifth inning without a single out.

It’s frustrating, especially with Coors up next. I raised Miller into the Top 25 as a major believer in his skill set and after these two games, I need to drop him a little, but I’m not going to make a significant move. Why? Because I see this as the critical moment of Miller’s rookie season. He’ll make the adjustment to ensure he doesn’t lose batters as he did here and once he does, he turns into a stud. 100 mph heaters generating weak contact, a filthy slider, a curve for free real estate, and a changeup to silence lefties. It’s all there and don’t give up now.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Luis Severino (NYY) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

This was tense. Severino didn’t have his changeup or slider (I guess we’re calling it a cutter now?) for yet another game and every pitch felt laborious. In fact, watching this one, a friend of mine caught that Severino was slowing down his mechanics on changeups and cutters and I have to wonder if the Rangers were picking up on it. Meanwhile, the four-seamer command was either “here you go, hit this” or well out of the zone and I still can’t believe he pitched six shutout innings. Cutters returned 6/16 strikes and the change went just 1/25 whiffs. This is like climbing a dune thinking it’s the last one just to sit atop of it and realize you have no idea which direction to go.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Whoaaaaa even in Coors! That’s a lovely Gold Star for Canning, even if I do think he’s innately a good arm. BUT COORS! He did go 39% fastballs, oddly enough, while the secondaries were super effective all around. Changeup get outs, sliders whiffs, curveballs strikes. And yet it’s Arizona + Dodgers next, not to mention he’ll be at the back end of the rotation once the ASB returns. That’s like four weeks before you want to start Canning again. Keep an eye on him for July/August.

Josiah Gray (WSH) @ SD (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

There were a few Gold Star contenders here at the top today, with Josiah surviving 5.1 frames against the Padres certainly raising an eyebrow or two. Still, the WHIP is rough and I have my concerns about the sinker truly being the answer to his four-seamer woes. However, it did allow the cutter to be used aggressively for 4/12 whiffs and the slider returned a 43% CSW. That said, the sweeper went just 9/22 strikes, the curve is shelved, and we needed a fair amount of good fortune here. This ain’t it.

Bryan Hoeing (MIA) vs PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 65 pitches.

I want to make it clear what Hoeing does – he has a mid-90s sinker that aims to jam batters and is decently commanded and it’s the foundation of everything he does. He’s trying to induce grounders (and does it well), with a mediocre loopy action slider and a changeup that can work well when executed. It means Hoeing has a chance to cruise through five if he’s able to execute his sinker at the right times in at-bats. You can see the three walks as a showcase of Hoeing’s lack of “giving in,” which I actually think is the right call for a sinkerballer. Go the whole Neckbeard approach if you can. The Pirates weren’t able to handle it and this worked out, though it’s going to be far tougher against Atlanta, especially with a limited pitch count.

Justin Steele (CHC) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s weird to see this kind of dominance come with such a low CSW, but the Cards attacked Steele’s four-seamer and they found plenty of gloves or landed foul, allowing for outs and strikeouts. It’s not peak Steele (3/22 slider whiffs has a long way to go), but now we have CLE + MIL with 89 pitches under his belt and that looks awfully good.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 105 pitches.

Four walks make me feel a little uncomfortable, but we take this all day. The fastball actually stayed verty, returning eight whiffs, opening the door for the changeup to excel at 47% CSW. There’s still some refinement to be done with the slider and curve (and sometimes the change, too!), but I’m hoping Bibee figured out the tweak he needed to make and is now on the high road. We see that a decent amount from young arms: they succeed, struggle, then are more sustainable in their success when they recover.

Reese Olson (DET) vs MIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 88 pitches.

Reeeeeese! Look at you go with a King Cole on the night. While the four-seamer did its part with 11/34 called strikes and a 38% CSW, this was The Slider Game as the pitch went a whopping 11/33 whiffs (33%!) and a 48% CSW. H*ck, the changeup I dig a ton failed to earn a single strike (0/7) and it didn’t matter because that breaker was FILTHY. There’s a part of me that wonders if Olson is a guy to hold moving forward, but with the Rangers next, I think you can wait a week before picking him up – the change wasn’t there, after all. After that, though, the Athletics follow…

Jon Gray (TEX) @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.

Despite sitting 96.2 mph on the four-seamer, this wasn’t pretty. The slider wasn’t commanded poorly, but only returned 4/35 whiffs, his fastball command was nothing like we saw before the blister injury, and his changeup was essentially non-existent. The narrative is easy to follow here: Gray was in an incredible rhythm, then had his start skipped with a blister, pitched terribly after ten days and now hasn’t found the same groove yet. I’m not saying he can’t recover and we’ve seen the ebbs and flows of Gray in the past. The best news: The Tigers are next. We start and return to this later.

James Paxton (BOS) @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 63 pitches.

Paxton left this one with a knee issue that he said he had in his previous start and he should be fine for the next one. PLEASE BE OKAY.

Ryan Walker (SF) vs ARI (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 27 pitches.

This was all bullpen, all the time. Even with Sean Manaeawho just tossed 20 pitches. Yay.

Max Scherzer (NYM) @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Just ease up on the WHIP, okay? 40% CSW on the slider is simply wonderful.

José Berríos (TOR) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

His four-seamer was the least featured pitch and the changeup came alive against the Athletics. Sure, the ratios aren’t great, but he’s still The Great Fundulator with his new approach.

Osvaldo Bido (PIT) @ MIA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

He got a bit Singled Outbut it’s to be expected a bit from Bido, who doesn’t have the best four-seamer/sinker heat and a slider that went 1/27 whiffs. You can take another shot against the Brewers if you like as the BABIP could be more in his favor. At least he’s throwing strikes.

Matt Waldron (SD) vs WSH (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 62 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. Pretty cool to see another one in the bigs, though. Fun stuff. I hope Wacha just needs a little rest before returning with his elite changeup and doesn’t have to spend much time (if any) on the IL. Guys like him deserve a full year like this to hang their hat on, you know?

Shintaro Fujinami (OAK) @ TOR (L) – 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 22 pitches.

You know, this kinda defeats the whole purpose of opening. That said, Hogan Harris didn’t do any better with 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. It was the Jays and the White Sox + Detroit are next. Those could be worth your time in 15-teamers.

Dean Kremer (BAL) vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Compared to Bryce, Kremer actually increased his velocity throughout this start and you love to see that. The cutter came alive, even hitting 91 mph by the end with 42% CSW as the four-seamer was a solid offering once again…even if it wasn’t the elevated pitch I started to fall for. I’m not going to lean too heavily into a start against the Mariners and their swing tendencies outside the zone, but I wonder if there’s something here that would make starts against the Twins and Yankees worthwhile.

Ronel Blanco (HOU) @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ummmmm. Blanco’s slider was ridiculous. 54% usage with a 23% SwStr rate and 34% CSW across 53 thrown. He commanded it super well and paired it with a solid changeup that got him throughout the game. What about the four-seamer? Ah, right. That’s…a work in progress. It comes in at 95 mph and held a sub 60% strike rate with just a 13% CSW. Still, if this is what we see from Blanco moving forward – a legit slider focus with a solid changeup as a foundation – then I wonder if he can make the four-seamer work in time. Huh. How do the Astros keep doing this? So we pick him up? I’d wait for the start after the Rangers as he’ll get Rockie Road before the All-Star break. Also, we can see if this approach will stick or not before that stream.

Pablo López (MIN) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

That’s nearly a PQSyes, but ten strikeouts is all kinds of glorious. I’m surprised it came with his sweeper and changeup both returning a 14% CSW (just 7 sweepers thrown?!), though the curve stepped up for a lot of strikes and a 35% CSW. I imagine the curve was working and he elected to lean into that instead. One more thing: The four-seamer was elevated properly in this one and y’all know that brings a smile to my face.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs BOS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

After striking out sixteen, I’m still happy to see seven here from Lynn with 19 whiffs. That said, I’m not happy to see it was the four-seamer/cutter show without the change/slider/curve support we saw against the Mariners. It’s likely because Seattle chases everything and the Red Sox don’t. Now it gets tougher with the Angels and Blue Jays and we’re back in the purgatory of “do we/don’t we” and hoooo boy I dislike this uncertainty.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.

Sánchez features a proper sinker with its depth but doesn’t offer a whole lot else. The slider has moments (well, not the Marte blast) with a lot of break, but it’s not enough. That said, he was just that solo shot away from 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 Walks, and there’s something to be said about that. Not the worst for those chasing ratios across 5/6 innings.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Uhhhhhh, come on Peralta. The four-seamer was great, but the slider went just 8/20 strikes and it messed him up. Blegh. He’s so close to that patented hot stretch and we’re in a bit of purgatory right now. I say we stick with it…even if the velocity was down almost a tick on the heater. Maybe he didn’t have the slider because there is an injury? Oh no, don’t send that out into the world. I’m not believing that today.

Bryce Miller (SEA) @ BAL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. Just 5/53 whiffs on the heater while the slider was okay, but not nearly good enough. I don’t even think Bryce had terrible fastball command, either, but the real issue was the fastball’s velocity declining dramatically throughout the start. Michael Ajeto made a good point about Bryce, showing this is a consistent thing with Bryce in the latter innings. Something to think about here. There’s a thought this gets better over time as Miller develops the stamina, there’s also the thought that it will be a consistent problem. Thoughts thoughts thoughts.

Jordan Lyles (KC) @ TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.


Jared Shuster (ATL) @ CIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 73 pitches.

He’s doing what he’s trying to do and it’s not enough. The four-seamer just isn’t good enough and I hope something changes in the future. And the Reds are the most exciting team in baseball. Yes, that too.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

Noooooo. For some reason, he went just 17% changeups (67% strikes!) in favor of sinkers and four-seamers that weren’t nearly as good as we’ve seen. The curve went 18% CSW as it tried to help but failed and there’s your ballgame. It’s a rare clunker from Kelly and we’re gonna bet on a rebound next time out, even if it is the Angels.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Ashcraft. THE DESTRUCTION HATH RETURNED. Ease up Graham, no one rosters you now– why are you building twig buildings just so you can knock them down. FEEL MY WRATH.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs CHC (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 72 pitches.

Womp womp. He’s not rostered in any leagues, right?

Yonny Chirinos (TB) vs KC (L) – 5.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

Even against the Royals, Yonny doesn’t have the stuff you want. The slider and sinker are both super rough offerings and while the splitter was a saving grace (no hits, six whiffs, 17/27 strikes), it’s a cherry on top of cardboard. Who eats cardboard?! Exactly.

Chase Anderson (COL) vs LAA (L) – 2.2 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 57 pitches.

Chase what matters. Which isn’t Chase. No-chase Chase. It’s an open-and-shut chase. Chase closed. PLEASE STOP. 


Game of the Day


Nathan Eovaldi vs. Gerrit Cole – Is Eovaldi actually okay? Can Cole survive against the Rangers and continue to locate his slider well?

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 – Bobby’s Unfurled”

  1. Justin says:

    Nice work as always. I noticed that Bibee’s slider was a couple ticks harder in this start too, so I’m wondering if that helps him improve against righties. He’s been way better against lefty hitters this year because the changeup has been so good, but its command was off in this start, and 3 out of the 4 walks were against lefties – so that might help explain the walks. Still, if the harder slider is the ticket for him to improve against righties, then he could be a very solid arm that we hoped for

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