Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Real or Tease?

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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.

Luis L. Ortiz (PIT) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 85 pitches.

Remember Luis L. OrtizThe dude who had some intrigue at the end of 2022, disappointed in 2023, and left fantasy relevance entering this year? Well he just went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 85 pitches against the Reds, earning a Golden GoalOh snap, has he figured it out? Probably not. But this was cool.

When Ortiz first arrived, it was all about heaters, mostly his sinker in the upper 90s. Things have changed for the better with a heavy focus on secondaries as Ortiz went 63% slider + cutter here, returning a whopping 72% strike rate across 53 thrown. Strikes have been the bane of Ortiz’s career and if there’s a world where Ortiz is able to maintain a 70% strike rate on both the cutter and slider while using fewer than 40% fastballs, he’ll be able to replicate nights like these.

It’s too much of a hypothetical for now, especially with Martín Pérez on the verge of returning to the rotation – Ortiz would be the sixth man in that case and likely back to the pen until the trade deadline. Let’s see if he gets more chances and can continue to sport many secondaries for strikes.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Gavin Stone (LAD) @ CHW (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 103 pitches.

Whoa. This was a near Maddux for Stone, who was feeling all of his pitches in this one + had a touch of good fortune in a Blame it on the White Sox. Sinkers and sliders parted the sea for changeups to fall underneath and Stone continues to thrive for a winning ballclub. It won’t always be this easy, but it sure feels good rostering the man. But you don’t roster him anywhere. Caught me, y’all know I wasn’t in on Stone at the start of the year and I’ve certainly come around to believe that his fastball and slider command are good enough to support the change and let the Dodgers offense do the rest. Huge props to Stone for taking that next step.

Dylan Cease (SDP) vs WSN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

6/13 strikes on curves and sweepers as the cutter is nowhere in sight. NICK. HE DOMINATED. Yeah, I know. I was kinda hoping he’d use the strong outing as a way to experiment with the cutter but noooooo, he had to go with blegh breakers instead. Keep filling up the zone with sliders + high four-seamers and that true #3 pitch can stay as a myth for all I care.

Spencer Arrighetti (HOU) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 89 pitches.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU THROW FOUR-SEAMERS FOR STRIKES. It’s about dang time Arrighetti did the thing and it propelled a King Cole against Rockie Road with ten strikeouts – exactly what he should be doing with his four-seamer and array of secondaries…okay maybe a bit better than that BUT YOU UNDERSTAND. 72% strikes on the four-seamer led to a 65% CSW curveball and 10/35 whiffs on breaking balls including the slider + he even returned 43% CSW on the changeup. Please don’t make this be a Birthday Party and continue killing it against the Jays. I doubt you will given all your turmoil, but I’d be so happy if this is a real turn of the corner.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! That’s a Gold Star for Liberatore as he did this against Atlanta and I wonder if y’all remember my hopes and dreams for Liberatore. 95 mph and a dope slider? And guess what he threw today? 95 mph and–A DOPE SLIDER, YUP. 10/30 whiffs on the breaker while he sat right under 95 mph with heaters upstairs. If only we could believe he’d do this every time and the Cardinals had the intent to let him start some more. H*ck, I didn’t even think he’d go over 70 pitches here. Maybe they swap out Pallante for Liberatore after such a great outing, but given that uncertainty + the whole “it’s just one start” thing, we’re better off holding back for now.

Sean Manaea (NYM) vs NYY (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Five walks without a run. What a weird, weird game. Props to you for the Win? I guess he’s worth the coin flip against the Nationals if he can spot cutters and sliders this well.

Valente Bellozo (MIA) @ KCR (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 72 pitches.

The fella hurled enough mediocre four-seamers in the zone while dancing around with sweepers, changeups, and cutters and the Royals did the rest. He’s not a pitcher to note, y’all. Let’s move on.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs TOR (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 23 pitches.

This game was suspended due to weather. I wonder if the Red Sox will start Crawford in a few days and on short rest.

Yariel Rodríguez (TOR) @ BOS (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 15 pitches.

Yariel only got an inning under his belt before the rain took over. Welp, see ya in five days.

Brady Singer (KCR) vs MIA (ND) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Despite few called strikes on the sinker, Singer carried himself with ease through 7+ frames, buoyed by the Marlins’ inability to destroy hittable sinkers + his slider earning a whopping ten whiffs. You know, just a standard Singer affair against a terrible offense. But he threw 17 four-seamers! Yeah, for 53% strikes and just two whiffs. That pitch ain’t it, even if he located some of them super well upstairs.

George Kirby (SEA) @ TBR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s a harder slider for 70%+ strikes, fastballs properly elevated, and the rest of the slow stuff downstairs. Today was a good day.

Ryan Pepiot (TBR) vs SEA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 88 pitches.

The dude had nearly 20″ of iVB on his four-seamer with legit command of it upstairs, returning an 18% SwStr rate and 37% CSW across 52 thrown. Are you not entertained?!

Spencer Turnbull (PHI) @ DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 36 pitches.

We finally got Turnbull back in the rotation and look at him go! Nine outs in just 36 pitches! He’ll easily go five before his 70 pitches are up. Wait, that’s the final line, Nick. This page doesn’t update in real time. Oh. Right. Suitman whispers into my ear RIGHT SHOULDER SORENESS?! So let me get this straight. The Phillies had Turnbull cruising and pitching the best baseball of his life and elected to remove him from the rotation to “preserve his innings” under the assumption that he’d be completely fine and the same man whenever they’d reinstate him in the future. And now that the time has come…he gets hurt after just 36 pitches. COME ON PHILADELPHIA. Turnbull deserved better.

Roansy Contreras (LAA) vs OAK (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 61 pitches.

Ahhhh, you feel that son? The good ole breeze of mediocrity on a new team. One man’s treasure is another man’s confusion. Pretty sure that’s how it goes. Don’t chase this.

Tyler Holton (DET) vs PHI (ND) – 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 29 pitches.

He was the first of two openers for Keider Montero (the second being The Stock Broker, Will Vest), who allowed 5 ER in 4.1 IP. That said, he managed to return 18/94 whiffs with a four-seamer/slider combo that has potential but lacks the command polish to convert those whiffs into strikeouts and not let too many pitches head into the oh-no-fly-zone.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He still struggles with locating his secondaries actually down and in town, but he got enough strikes for it to not matter. I wonder whether Grayson can actually take that leap in the future.

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

No Win, but the rest is completely fine. It was all sliders doing the work and I imagine we’ll see Elder again at some point in the future. For now, he was the extra man for the doubleheader and it’s back to the minors.

Joey Estes (OAK) @ LAA (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Estes was sweating it out in the sixth as he left with two outs and two men on, only for both to score afterward with a walk, HBP, and a double. He could have gotten out of it, y’all. TRUST THE MAN. He spotted four-seamers well and the slider did work over the plate, and I’m gonna come back to Estes because I still hate how pitchers aren’t allowed to get out of jams before 90 pitches anymore (let alone 100!). Give the guy a shot to clean up his own mess, especially when he had a 1-0 lead and was a sole out from completing six. He walked a batter, sure, but he struck out the two before. How can you expect him to develop if you don’t trust him in situations where he can fail?

Reynaldo López (ATL) @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

The WHIP ain’t great, but he’s in a legit groove with four-seamers and sliders, pumping them over and under the plate effectively. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s solid. There will be regression, sure, and I don’t care. He’s been such a rock and will continue to help your fantasy teams more than hurt.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 91 pitches.

He put up a solid fight here. Gotta give Carrasco props for that. Gavin Williams may be back by his next start, kicking Cookie back into the jar, but we won’t forget, Carrasco. You did good.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) @ ARI (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Few hits, but they were well timed and soured a solid outing as he claimed a Win for those who trusted him. I dug the slider and hated the changeup, which is enough for me to stream him against the Tigers next week. Just don’t expect too high of a ceiling – in other words, don’t do it if you don’t need to.

Hayden Birdsong (SFG) vs CHC (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

I watched this one and it was pretty much what I expected – a hard four-seamer with terrible shape (it’s actually a great contender for a low four-seamer at a ridiculously steep HAVAA + super low iVB) and secondaries that have their moments but are far from reliable pitches. Sadly, the bird can’t sing, so don’t get Hayden. Yeah, don’t get Haaaaayden.

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) @ SFG (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 72 pitches.

The strikeouts are cool, but it’s really just the sweeper that we already know about and not much else. Don’t expect a proper stay in the rotation for Wesneski – this was to let Imanaga get an extra day of rest – and let’s move on from this game that was barrels of Hay fun.

Erick Fedde (CHW) vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

Fedde nearly made it out alive against the Dodgers, and maybe you’d argue he did with just a 1.00 WHIP along the way. Now he gets the Guardians and sure, you can start this Toby there. Probably.

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

COL story, bro.

Kyle Gibson (STL) vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

The sweeper was good, but just 12 thrown as the rest of Gibson’s arsenal was a whole lot of meh. You could say it was a semi-hollow body of Gibson. Expect better against the Pirates up next.

DJ Herz (WSN) @ SDP (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 66 pitches.

Remember that thirteen-strikeout game? HA Ha ha ha ha…

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ MIL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

96 mph, yes, but some pretty blegh pitches that turned into hits, including a pair of longballs off a poor splitter and hanging slider. It happens, that was an annoying four-run inning, and we move on.

Luis Gil (NYY) @ NYM (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. The last start against Baltimore was a bamboozling. This one? An embarrassment. Maybe the weather was a factor, but Gil could not locate his heater at all, while the slider and changeup were lofted incessantly. He looked far more like himself last game and I’m treating this one like the first outing of Gil actually not being himself. I’m not scared yet and would still start him against the Reds.

Dallas Keuchel (MIL) vs TEX (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 71 pitches.

Wait, he’s starting again? Why?! The man popularized the Neckbeard approach and the latest Milwaukee Brewer failed to keep his sinkers from leaking over the plate. You know, not the Neckbeard approach. You’d think he’d know better. But seriously, pitching is hard and it’s even harder to expect Keuchel to spot pitches like in his heyday. Wasn’t that today with Wesneski vs. Birdsong? No, today was HAYday. Ahhhhhh.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs PIT (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey Ashcraft, did you see Ortiz on the other side? Notice him going 60%+ sliders and cutters and doing it well? TRY TO BE LIKE THAT. Nick, calm down. Sorry, sorry, I just ate a whole chocolate bar when I should have had half of it at most and now I feel guilty about it. ANYWAY, welcome back fella, I hope you can figure it out.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs MIN (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 77 pitches.

Hey, the four-seamer isn’t so bad! But throwing so many pitches down the pipe? Yeah, that’s pretty bad. Whodathunk?


Game of the Day


David Festa vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Festa is making his MLB debut and I’m excited to see him get the pearl. Great fastball with a solid slider and change.

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.

Photo by Joshua Peacock/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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Real or Tease?”

  1. Jeremy Pink says:

    Mike Soroka followed Fedde with 3 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 Ks . . . Anything there you liked, that could maybe get him back in the rotation?

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