Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – The Spinning Wheel

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

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

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs NYM (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.

You’re upset about Zack Wheeler after he went 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches against the Mets today. I watched the whole thing and so am I. Here’s what I saw.

Wheeler’s four-seamer is still phenomenal. I love how his sweeper acted, his sinker jammed batters inside (his first two runs were from a DUMB flare off a great one to Alonso) and his cutter/slider…oh dear. It messed him up constantly against left-handers as it fell over the plate or into their wheelhouse constantly. He struck out Lindor on four-seamers upstairs, so what does he do on the first pitch? A low cutter that Lindor takes over the fence. Sigh.

With such a fantastic pair of fastballs, I’m not worried about Wheeler for the long haul. He wasn’t at the peak of his fastball game here (he lost some batters as he wasn’t as pristine as we’ve seen), but the guy is right there – just replace those inside cutters with four-seamers and sweepers and this line becomes divinity. Buy low on Wheeler. Seriously, do it. But he’s been rough for a bit! That’s what makes him an actual buy low. If the manager is still treating him like a top 10 SP, then you’re not really getting much potential value. So do you think he’s a Top 10 SP ROS? Sure do. Guess who has the third-highest PLV in all of baseball? Zack WheelerNope, he’s second. Did you really have to do that? ABSOLUTELY.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Eury Pérez (MIA) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 83 pitches.

This is going to hurt so much when they rest him, isn’t it. That’s a King Cole on the back of the very best slider I’ve seen from Pérez all season. We’re talking 36 thrown for 56% CSW, nearly turning into a two-pitch pitcher as he paired it with his four-seamer effectively. That said, the change and curve have some work to do, but it didn’t matter. That slide piece was just that ridiculous. DON’T LEAVE US.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) vs CHC (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 56 pitches.

With Jack Flaherty scratched, Liberatore stepped up without much notice and did what he could. The slider isn’t there and neither is the velocity and we move on.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 101 pitches.

If you’ve been following these roundups, this start shouldn’t be a surprise to you as you picked him up a few weeks ago. Kikuchi continued to lean curves + sliders and got them in the zone for plenty of strikes and loads of success. He’s living the dream and I’m starting him against the Red Sox next week. He’s found his groove.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

HE DID IT. What. HE HAD A SECONDARY PITCH. Slider? Curve? Nah, the changeup came through for 40% CSW and seven whiffs and…that’s super weird. It was a lefty-heavy lineup, sure, but he’s returned a 17.5% CSW on the pitch all season long. That doesn’t seem good. No, it doesn’t. He also returned 4/9 whiffs on the slider, so maybe there’s something there, but I can’t jump in on this. It’s too weird.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ MIA (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yep, that’s about right. The curve joined the slider in the zone for 11/14 strikes and the fastballs were decent. That’s all we ask, Oviedo. Do it one more time against the Brewers, please.

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ahhhhhh much better. His heater was fantastic here, stealing sixteen called strikes as he…wait. ELEVATED HIS FOUR-SEAMER?! Huh. That’s not the Hunter way – he’s all about low heaters that set up the curve and slider lower. Weird. But I thought you liked high heaters? Well, Brown’s doesn’t play up as much as others do – he had just 4/57 whiffs here despite painting the top of the zone red in this one. He fanned just three with the four-seamer, turning to curves and one splitter for the punchout and I generally believe lower fastballs will play more to the called strike approach, but hey, this worked against a strong offense and maybe I should just shut up and let the man cook. The Rangers are next and that’s as good of a test as any.

Daniel Lynch (KC) @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 90 pitches.

My bread is just barely buttered by Lynch and his four-seamer/change approach that I really don’t buy it for your fantasy teams. But the man earned a Gold Star for this effort so let’s all enjoy the Birthday Partyshall we?

Tyler Glasnow (TB) vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 89 pitches.

Pfffffffft. There he is. It’s always a blast seeing a pitcher have two different pitches returned 11+ whiffs on a given night as Glasnow made Royals batters shake their heads constantly on sliders and four-seamers. That’s 12/15 outs via strikeouts, by the way, while Glasnow allowed 4 hits on 6 balls in play, and if that wasn’t enough of a “hey, this could have been even better”, his curveball returned just 5/14 strikes. THIS ISN’T HIS FINAL FORM.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 104 pitches.

This is the life of Gore. He returned just three and four strikeouts in back-to-back games and now has followed it with eight and nine strikeout games. He didn’t even have his breakers here in the slightest – we’re talking a 42% strike rate on both the slider and curve across 33 pitches – and he let his four-seamer do all the work. It’s a really good four-seamer, he just has to command it decently and get the curve and slider inside the zone. Spin To Win, n all. It makes him a Cherry Bomb who I’d have more faith in if he weren’t on the Nationals. I guess we’re starting him against the Phillies, but I feel like he does what he does regardless of opposition.

Tanner Banks (CWS) vs BOS (ND) – 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 63 pitches.

How’s his shoulder doing? Huh? He didn’t leave with injury. Didn’t he run into a goal post? …That’s Adam Banks. OH RIGHT. Dude, that actor is literally 45 years old right now. ANYWAY, bullpen game something something something.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 103 pitches.

Bradish didn’t have his curve, but the four-seamer got called strikes and the slider was the pitch we wanted it to be. There was a whole lot of high heaters here and to see 2/29 whiffs on that four-seamer still brings me pain. Too much dang cut action on that thing. Despite the recent success, I’m wary of Bradish given the slider/curve approach took a night off here. That’s the real ticket to Bradish having sustainable success in my book (four-seamer called strikes are not it) and it makes me think his next start against Minnesota may be a bit of a trap.

George Kirby (SEA) @ BAL (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

The heater was up a tick to about 97 mph and his slider went 11/26 called strikes. You really can’t ask for more from Kirby. What about a Win? Next time.

Anthony DeSclafani (SF) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.

I didn’t expect Tony Disco to come through here and props to him for making it work against the Diamondbacks. This was all sliders all the time – 50% usage for 72% strikes and it returned most of his outs. Given the struggles he’s had with his heaters as of late, I can’t say I’m shocked. Can’t say I want to rely on this, though. He really has to squeeze out everything he has for a line like this.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ NYY (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

He survived, but at what cost? The velocity is still down (not 93.8 mph but 94.4 mph) and that’s terrifying. I have to think the Rangers can’t let him go his next outing on regular rest as something is going on here. I’m glad the splitter and curve were able to make up for the 16% CSW four-seamer (a low CSW?! SHOCKING) but I wouldn’t expect it to last at this velocity.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

That line with a Win is a 95th percentile outcome for Gomber here. Austin had those special Powers today. I see what you did there. Oh…you.

Michael Lorenzen (DET) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

This looks like a Toby start, but the Twins are kinda good. Lorenzen survived with a ton of sliders for 45% CSW, but it really ain’t fun seeing a guy throwing pitches in hopes of getting an out like the guy at my Y wearing goggles and high white socks chucking threes from his shoulder. Nothing against the guy being there in the first place, it just isn’t the player I want for my team, you know?

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) @ PHI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 78 pitches.

Oh, just four innings? And poor ratios? Even when you had the best slider we’ve seen from you since last year (7/19 whiffs and 42% CSW)? Suitman whispers into my ear Ahhhh, the changeup was horrific. 6% CSW and 2/32 whiffs. Yeah, can’t be doing that. It’s frustrating when one secondary does well, the other suffers. Por qué no los dos?

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 88 pitches.

Whoa, a PQS with nine strikeouts in Coors?! The changeup was as good as it has ever been with 12/35 whiffs and a 40% CSW and that’s your ballgame. I genuinely hope that’s something he can carry over into future starts. Are the Diamondbacks a matchup worth the gamble?

Bailey Ober (MIN) @ DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

You wanted a Win and a better ERA, but Ober did his thing and this is what you get tonight. Nod your head and think about something else. Like how amazing episode 2 from the new Black Mirror season is. SO GOOD. Right?!

Luis Medina (OAK) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.

Seven walks? Do they even validate your parking if you walk seven batters?

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ah yes, more pain please. I’ve brought my utensils, just bring it all out in that lovely 1950s chinaware please. No bib, thank you, I need to suffer. On the real, it was one of those days where the fastballs were hit and even the curves couldn’t avoid damage. I should note that this was Cincy and that team is hotter than a really hot fire and we knew the risks going into this. Still hurts. I know, I know.

Seth Lugo (SD) vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

This was a Careful, Icarus as Lugo cruised through five with just one run before running into trouble and getting the hook in the sixth. The curve was falling a bit too much into the zone here without the reward you want to see – just three called strikes on 20 hooks in the zone – and there’s still a little more room to grow. He’s off to Cincy next and that’s a tough call. I’d say sit given we don’t start Toby pitchers in tough situations and that team is hot as h*ck.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs TEX (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 107 pitches.

He ran into trouble early and settled down as best he could, but things didn’t go his way and he needed 107 pitches to get bounced in the fifth despite 21 whiffs. HOWEVER, the slider returned in a major fashion once again (10/32 whiffs, 41% CSW) and I won’t let a start against the Rangers sway me from believing in Cole’s upward trajectory with the breaker back at his side. I’m so in.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ STL (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 64 pitches.

Ugggggh. That’s dumb. He’s still pumping low sinkers, but some were plastered and sometimes guys like Goldschmidt do wonderful things to great pitches. Raise your shoulders and give a Jim Halpert smirk as we shrug and carry on.

Levi Stoudt (CIN) vs ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches.

Jeans and a Guinness back at it again as Raggedy Anne unfortunately hit the IL. Man, imagine if the Reds actually had a legit pitching staff. Like Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Luis Castillo, Sonny Graya healthy Tyler MahleSigh.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Awwww, dangit. I like that we saw more sliders this time around (yay White Sox!) and while they did their part, he hung some splitters, somehow allowed a hit on a curve to Benintendi, and Luis Robert Jr. pummeled both a decent heater and horrific cutter. That’s baseball, Suzyn. It’s Toronto up next so I think we pause this for now. That said, if he happens to soar there, everyone will be all over him for Oakland after (hey, I’m down for Oakland regardless).

Aaron Civale (CLE) vs MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.

Blegh. He almost was a strong two-start week for those who celebrated and while the curve and cutter went 65% of the time, the cutter wasn’t as good as we’ve seen. Whatareyagonnado. I think you still start him against the Cubs and Royals.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ CLE (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

NICK. Yeah yeah, I know. Another tragedy on the field for those rostering Burnes as his ERA hovers around 4.00 once again and what do we do?! Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s not like he’s not rosterable throughout the rest of the year – obviously he is – but I’m just sitting on my hands wondering when the curve and change are going to be 20% SwStr pitches for him again. The cutter isn’t quite the elite pitch it was, but it’s still fantastic and needs a bit of help from its peers. You may want to buy low just based on the fact that he’s been much better in the past and that makes a whole lot of sense. As Chris Towers often says (or thereabouts), “History did not begin on Opening Day,” and I agree with him. He sure doesn’t deserve the AGA label right now, though. I think we can agree on that.

Tony Gonsolin (LAD) vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 61 pitches.

The splitter was shelved in this one with just eight thrown in favor of breakers and heaters and honestly, all of it should have been shelved. Nothing was great here, with pitches either landing down the pipe or comfortably outside the zone and I think he’s lucky to have the ratios he does. This isn’t a fun time to be rostering Gonsolin with Coors up next. That’s a clear sit to me.


Game of the Day 

Dylan Cease vs. Reid Detmers – I’m excited for both sliders in this one as the White Sox flail at sliders on the regular and Cease has found his once again.

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.

4 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – The Spinning Wheel”

  1. Babbo B says:

    Surprised there’s no mention of Stroman’s blister that finally forced him out of the game, it explains a lot.

  2. Chucky says:

    When did Burnes become Bieber? And not the CYA version either?

  3. CrimeDawgEsq. says:


    Going to have jettison someone when Cobb comes off of the IL. This might be a no-brainer, but Gonsolin has been disappointing thus far. I also have E. Sheehan. I know Gonsolin has the better track record though, but, based on what you’ve seen, which one HAS to go? Thanks!

  4. Brian says:

    Gonsolin is matched up against the Royals next Saturday, so he misses the Rocky’s… So maybe not such a clear “sit”.

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