Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Play The Spiers

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

Carson Spiers (CIN) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

The quiet Carson Spiers has come through for trusting managers since he entered the Reds rotation, taking advantage of poor lineups like the bats of St. Louis on Saturday via 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches. Let’s get a sense of what he does.

Spiers doesn’t throw hard with four-seamers and sinkers in the low 90s, but he knows how to utizilie his full five pitch mix properly. Right-handers get low sinkers, four-seamers saved for two strike coutns (50% two-strike rate!), sweepers at all times, and the occasional cutter or change. Left-handers get a different look of four-seamers and cutters early, saving the changeup for later and occasional sweeper late. And he’s good at it.

It makes for a decent Toby arm, reliant on command and a deep arsenal to find six frames. This game wasn’t his peak performance (he struggled to get on top of his pitches) but was enough of a kitchen sink to keep the Cardinals off balance and knock into outs. With the Tigers up next, I think you’re fine treating him like a Toby and streaming there.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Zac Gallen (ARI) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 77 pitches.

GALLEN GALS UNITE. This was phenomenal – whiffs across four pitches, over two ticks harder heaters at 95 mph, and lovely changeups and sliders to match the classic four-seamer/curve approach. It’s the Gallen you dream of and I can only hope he keeps this moving forward. Who does he get next? Doesn’t matter. Start him. But it’s the Dodger–START HIM. Fine, we don’t want a Gerrit Cole situation on our hands, so feel free to bench if you want to be conservative, but how can you expect him to regress after watching this man so locked in and in his prime?

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Bassitt pulled out all the tricks to get through the Yankee lineup (well, just Judge, really) and it’s why he’s the mini-ace. Essentially you just start Bassitt and while the end result won’t be an ace, you’ll be happy you did. Set and forget and expect an SP #4 by the end of the year.

Erik Miller (SFG) vs LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 13 pitches.

Sup Erik. Sup. Who are you opening for today. Oh you know, Good ole Spencer HowardHow’s he doing? Ehhhh, he needs some band aids after what the Dodgers did to him over 2.2 IP, but he’ll get over it. Same time later this week? You betcha.

Jake Irvin (WSN) @ TBR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 96 pitches.

This was a weird one with Irvin not having nearly the curveball feel he’s expressed over the last two months and let’s be happy he escaped with it. He shouldn’t be able to survive like this unless it’s a team like the Rays. We’re rolling with him against the ZOMG crew from New York.

Michael King (SDP) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.

King is dope and makes us feel dope. Okay, not an ace, but a legit Holly with a King Cole as he located with precision around the plate as he should. Don’t doubt the fella.

Max Fried (ATL) vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The WHIP and strikeouts aren’t what you want, but he always finds a way. He’s so legit.

Paul Skenes (PIT) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Kinda weird to tell you he wasn’t at his best here, but he wasn’t. Wild.

Pablo López (MIN) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

ATTA BOY. A Gallows Pole for Pablo in his second straight fantastic outing. While the previous game featured his classic four-seamer/changeup combo, this was a product of sweeper domination, boasting 8/26 whiffs and a 42% CSW. He had legit feel of the pitch and I hope it’s a case of “I’m ripping it and get what I’ve been missing”. He has a challenge up next against the Astros and if the four-seamer command is there with the two secondaries, I’ll feel ultra confident to put him in AGA consideration again. Would still be a few more starts, but we’re getting back to the foundation we expected to see from Day 1. Gotta love it.

Reese Olson (DET) @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

10/36 whiffs on sliders, but just a 56% strike rate on them, which explains both the nine strikeouts and three walks. We’re obviously happy with this and I’d continue to start him against the Reds. I do wish the changeup would get a bit more locked in to help support the slider (lots of strikes but just 16% usage)

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ KCR (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

That’s another game with Bibee leaning into the curveball and I LOVE IT. With his inability to consistently get the changeup and slider down, the curve helps open the zone at the bottom and makes for a more consistent pitcher. Yes, the whiffs and CSW aren’t great, but imagine what these results would have looked like without that hook. That highlights its importance and I’m buying.

Aaron Civale (TBR) vs WSN (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 102 pitches.

He’s super close as the overall precision was better than 8/22 curveball strikes and four walks would tell you. I think he’s right there. Maybe the ASB will help him hit the rest button and get that final tweak down. Or maybe it’ll click for the Rangers up next as they aren’t the mighty foes of 2023.

Cade Povich (BAL) vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 86 pitches.

Solid stuff here from Povich, but hot dang is it boring. Feel free to keep trying to chase those Wins if you like, I’d consider him a streaming option and comfortable dropping him for other exciting options as they appear.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, we got eight whiffs on sliders + splitters! And not one of them allowed a hit – blame three sinkers, a middle-middle four-seamer, and a cutter for that. Please tell me he’s turning the corner…PLEASE.

Roddery Muñoz (MIA) @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

Soooo close to productivity with Schwarber and Harper missing from the lineup and yet, is this the Gold Star of the night? Weird. Anyway, he has a chance to make it work against the White Sox next, but do you really want to go for a 5/6 inning with decent ratios ceiling given his floor? Ehhhhhh.

Aaron Nola (PHI) vs MIA (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with a classic Nola Careful, Icarus, returning back-to-back doubles with two outs in the seventh, followed by Strahm allowing the runner to score for Nola’s third ER. At least his curve is in as good of a groove as ever. Yay.

Tobias Myers (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

A VPQS kinda feels right for Myers…? I still feel weird endorsing him, but he earned 37% CSW on his four-seamer and has now been productive across five straight. Vargas Rule all you want.

Justin Steele (CHC) @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Not AGA worthy, but a solid PQS with a decent WHIP. Once he earns more than three whiffs with the slider, then we’ll be cooking. Could be before the end of July.

Jonathan Cannon (CHW) vs COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s a Philly and one out from a Win. All kinds of frustrating there, with two longballs tallying all three runs. Thing is, Cannon’s sweeper went just 2/9 strikes and was the missing piece for him blasting through Rockie Road in full. That’s Baseball, Suzyn. Now it’s the Marlins and I’m still rolling with Cannon. The precision is solid.

Sonny Gray (STL) vs CIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna leave too many pitches over the plate and get chased before the end of the fifth. It happens, we move on. He’s fine.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ TOR (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. Not a great one for Nestor and I think we’re in a position of HIPSTER a little bit. Yes, it’s a 3.51 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with a 23% strikeout rate, but it all feels a little fragile. We’re gonna keep starting him, but have a wary eye, hoping not to say “I KNEW IT” after antoher tough game. We should be fine.Yeah? Yeah.

Hogan Harris (OAK) @ ARI (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 73 pitches.

Womp womp. He was Singled Out, though these pitches were waist high and not nearly as much of an edge-lord as every first-time DnD player’s rogue. It’s an easy choice to say no with Baltimore up next and let’s move on.

Griffin Canning (LAA) vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 102 pitches.

Blegh. A weird one for Canning as his four-seamer lived a ton in the zone as his sliders and curveballs were not the precise offerings of old. Not the worst line you’ve seen as he went a full six, but not a productive one, either, living inside the general spectrum of outcomes for Canning. The Cubs are next and that’s a Questionable Start for me.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs HOU (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

Megill was demoted to the minors after this one, likely to be saved until after the All-Star break and give Christian Scott a shot as well. A bit surprised the cutter was limited to just nine thrown (78% strikes!) and you can let go of Megill to the wire. No reason to hold, especially with him not in rhythm.

Cal Quantrill (COL) @ CHW (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ouch but all five came in the fifth and sixth incuding three homeruns on terrible pitches down the pipe + that’s eight strikeouts with 40%+ CSW on the sinker and curveball. The ability is still there, believe it or not, but I’d rather not agaisnt the Brewers.

Michael Lorenzen (TEX) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

I mean, yeah. It’s the Orioles and Lorenzen is a Toby. Not sure what else we should have expected here.

Cole Ragans (KCR) vs CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

Blegh. A poor slider for a longball and fatigue at the end led to that ERA, with his fastball falling to 91/92 mph levels (before 94/95 in his final heaters) that does make me a little worried something is up. He’s still scattered around the edges, though, and I’m obviously a believer in what he does. Just wish there was a little more polish here.

Tyler Glasnow (LAD) @ SFG (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 61 pitches.

Jeeeeez, we haven’t seen a whole lot of old Glasnow this year, but this absolutely was that. He couldn’t find a consistent release point and it burned him. The One Night Bland strikes again.

Framber Valdez (HOU) @ NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

The curve went 50% strikes, the changeup was meh, and the sinker got hit around. Welcome to Framber. He’s a Cherry Bomb and we should just leave it at that.

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs SDP (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 80 pitches.

The man allowed three home runs. I’m not ready to remove the AGA tag, but let’s call his next start against the Yankees the test to maintain the status. His splitter was still there and it makes me feel like he’ll be fine. Seriously, guys go through blips all the time and he was bound to run into one of these. That’s what “regression” normally is.


Game of the Day


Joe Ryan vs. Luis Castillo – I understand this game is already underway, but hot dang that’s a fun one.

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.

Featured image 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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Play The Spiers”

  1. T says:

    Tobias Meyers needed some love for allowing 2 runs on the first 2 pitches of the game before settling down for 6ip 1er and 6ks the rest of the way

  2. Robert Weigel says:

    Absolutely love the Slay the Spire graphic today! Great work as always.

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