Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Smiles Davis

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

Davis Daniel (LAA) vs DET (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 99 pitches.

Sure, sure, sure Blame it on the Tigers all you want, but Davis Daniel just had himself a GAME8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 99 pitches. Daaaang Daniel, with the white vans Gold Star!

If you’re unfamiliar with Daniel, he’s a four-seamer/change/slider guy with a rare hook, who sat just 91.7 mph in this one. Ah, so great four-seamer shape, right? Not really… 13 iVB, 1.2 HAVAA, with nearly seven feet of extension (that’s the best one). The pitch led the way with a 45% CSW, though, on the back of the Tigers allowing a 38% called strike rate on heaters, with Daniel shoving the pitch into the zone without detriment.

I kinda like Daniel’s changeup and slider as he kept them mostly on opposite sides of the plate, but they aren’t special pitches that suggest he’s elevating the pedestrian heater to legitimate levels. Watching this one felt a bit strange and I’m still a bit shocked he produced such a good line without an electric arsenal or elite command. This was a control-first game where the Tigers simply didn’t do enough. Wait, so actually Blame it on the Tigers. Whoops. Yeah, that.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Chad Kuhl (CHW) vs ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 49 pitches.

He’s at 93 mph and opened for this bullpen game. Cool, Kuhl. Cool. Welp, see ya later.

Corbin Burnes (BAL) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for a Gallows Pole yet with just five strikeouts. Those punchouts really are eluding him, but everything else is so lovely that we’re willing to put up with it, like offering someone a piece of chocolate and they eat the whole bar. But they brought over beer and helped me move. I was really looking forward to eating some of that chocolate.

Chris Sale (ATL) @ CHW (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Sale is dope and makes us feel dope. But he sat just under 94 mph! Fine, not ideal, but he really didn’t need to throw harder, now did he?

Michael Wacha (KCR) vs CLE (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.

The changeup is good, the command of the full arsenal is generally there, and Wacha is beginning to look a lot like Christmas his former self. Let’s give it a try against the Rays next week.

José Berríos (TOR) vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 93 pitches.

Here I am, citing the horrific strikeout rate of Berríos on the weekly Fireside Chat with Sporer, forgetting that he’s The Great Undulator and would of course, rectify that as soon as his next outing. Congrats on the King Cole against a legit offense and boy am I glad to see a 50% CSW on your curve again.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs MIA (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 115 pitches.

Aces gonna have a Careful, Icarus as he allowed back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh, got pulled, and had both runners score. So silly. Also strange to see 18 whiffs but just five strikeouts, but dems the breaks sometimes.

Ben Lively (CLE) @ KCR (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 76 pitches.

The fastball command is what we want to see from Lively, reflecting his earlier stretch of success. Now it’s the White Sox and you can go ahead and select the quiet car as we leave the station. Alllll aboard!

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ STL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Jeeeeez, six walks?! Why can’t you just be normal?! I still can’t make heads or tails of Abbott and this just adds to his enigma. Welp, he gets the Yankees next and I can’t endorse that one, at the very least. I may just label him a Cherry Bomb and move on with life like a Dandy Lion. I think you mean dandelion. Sure don’t.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ayyyy not bad! A VVPQS is a happy sight for a Rogers start against the Phils, but if you’re not in a QS league, this is far from being worth your time. We’re not there yet.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) @ SFG (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna survive. Imanaga didn’t have his splitter on point and he forced his way to the finish line with an array of mediocrity + a ton of heaters all around the zone. I’m a little surprised the sweeper wasn’t a bigger factor, but hark! A wild cutter appears! Nine thrown for seven strikes and in general I’m a fan of it…except for that one 2-0 pitch down. Not a great one. I like the addition and expect to see more of it, even when the splitter is more present.

Jordan Hicks (SFG) vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

The ratios aren’t great, but seven strikeouts are a welcome sight from Hicks as his sweeper and splitter were more involved than usual. It’s a good sign and hopefully things go his way a little more in the future while he still carries both secondaries. Sadly, it’s Atlanta up next and while I think Hicks can make that work, it’s not a start I suggest making.

Jordan Montgomery (ARI) vs MIN (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

Stop rostering The BearI know some of you were expecting better things from him this year but the ceiling isn’t worth this pain. It’s like heading to a new bar in the city only to realize your ID is expired and you have to head home. This is a solvable problem.

Jack Flaherty (DET) @ LAA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

This was supposed to be the day of graduation, not of destruction! Three longballs did him in, two on horrific heaters down the pipe, and the third on a low slider that Rengifo somehow launched in a 3-2 count out of the park. The breakers were still elite down low and this was a day of poor fortune. So it goes.

David Festa (MIN) @ ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 78 pitches.

This was an exciting debut and while the line is far from impressive, I generally liked what I saw. Three innings of general ease, Marte wreaking havoc in the 4th and 5th, and plenty of Singled Out in the 4th are what messed up Festa, but the overall stuff? Solid. I’m shocked he didn’t earn a single four-seamer whiff as it held elite pitch shape, while there’s promise in his slider and changeup to return more than a 13% SwStr rate between them. There were some command problems that may stick around a bit for the lanky arm, but it was an MLB debut and I’m hand-waving that a little for now. I’m down to stream him against the Tigers next given the solid arsenal + generally good control. Mark my words, the heater will earn whiffs.

Carlos Rodón (NYY) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 107 pitches.

Oh dear. Two longballs on heaters in the upper half and general demolition on low pitches had Rodón’s ratios obliterated in this one. I don’t think he pitched nearly as poorly as the line suggests and there’s nothing you can do at this point but start him against the Reds next week. I know it’s been rough, but this isn’t 2023 Rodón. I think.

Jon Gray (TEX) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 73 pitches.

Baltimore + poor slider spots = a HAISTBMBWT?! and a bad time. I’m tepid on Gray in general, making his next start against the Padres not one I’d circle.

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs CIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Welp, I tried to have an open mind, y’all. WHAT A DUMB THING TO DO.


Game of the Day


Bailey Ober vs. Logan Gilbert – This should be pitching bliss.

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 Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

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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