Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Big Maple Leaves

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

James Paxton (LAD) @ SFG (L) – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey James PaxtonYou’ve been great for all of us this year. Yes, you’ve had your share of blowups, but after we expected to earn just a handful of sneaky Wins in April as we waited to figure out who would carry us throughout the season, you’ve granted us seven Wins with a sub 3.50 ERA. Well, maybe before tonight’s 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches doozy in San Francisco. THAT’S NOT THE POINT. Stop distracting me.

The point is that all good things must come to an end. We all appreciate what you’ve done for all of us and it’s time to let go. No, we will not start you against the Brewers, and no, we will never forget your nickname as Big Maple. I hope the waiver has a nice charcuterie board ready for you, because your cheese has been missing since 2019. Whoa, he deserves better than that slander. Be happy with the production you’ve gotten and let’s move on to greener pastures.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Seth Lugo (KCR) vs CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Uhhhh, should I be considering an AGA tag for Lugo? That is 26 strikeouts in his last three starts now and his ratios are getting even better. Was it the slider again? Nope. 13 whiffs just on curves + changes + slurves. Absolute madness and I’ve come around on the Lugo train after my clear misstep earlier in the year. He’ll get a raise on The List tomorrow.

Lance Lynn (STL) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! He boasted fourteen whiffs on his four-seamer across 76% usage in vintage Lynn fashion and I gotta give him props for it. That doesn’t seem like it should have worked. Sure doesn’t, but Lynn sat that thing right inside the upper third and the Reds were baffled by it all night. It’s the Lynn dream outing. Let’s be happy for him from afar. Very afar, like on the J train. Ah, so J-afar. Yes, not j-near, j-afar. Ja-WHEREVER YOU ARE

Taj Bradley (TBR) vs WSN (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.

The splitter is all over the place and still returned 70% strikes, while the four-seamer was legit in the top half of the zone at 76% strikes. 70%+ strike rates on splitters and heaters are the ticket to happiness, even if 22 cutters returned 55% strikes. Whatever, they also earned four whiffs and helped the cause. You should continue to roll with this, even if he is a General Disarray.

Casey Mize (DET) @ LAA (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ayyy, it worked! His heater was still fantastic at 96+ mph with decent vert, but more importantly, located in the upper third incredibly well. Only issue here is the slider’s lack of whiffability – just an 8% SwStr rate here and if its job is to find strikes in the zone (which is totally fine!), then he needs the splitter or curve to do more as the putaway pitch. What about the heater? That’s possible as its 26% SwStr rate was fantastic, but Mize won’t rise to “Oh daaaaang, pick him up!” until that legit secondary appears.

Josh Winckowski (BOS) vs SDP (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 58 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Josh was able to turn over five frames in a winck of an eye, squeezing the most out of his limited pitch count. But a HAISTBMBWT?! Of course he did. He’s always going to be limited. I’m happy he got a Win, that’s nice.

Shawn Dubin (HOU) @ NYM (ND) – 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 55 pitches.

With Verlander on the mend, the Astros are trying to figure out what to do with their SP #5. Enter Dubin, who took the L out of his name and found a way to keep it away from this game. Keep on ignoring Dubin, especially for the terrible Ireland puns.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 103 pitches.

Wow, six whiffs each across his four-seamer, slider, and changeup with the BSB in full force. Yep, this is the ideal version of Peralta. Gotta love it.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 82 pitches.

Would you look at that, Pfaadt has a new secondary! And it was great! We’re talking about the curveball that went 45% CSW and 8/11 strikes, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it definitely makes a difference in preventing batters from keying in on his fastball/sweeper, especially with a changeup with 8/10 strikes added to the mix (that’s about 25% of all pitches combined). The sinker was also fantastic for Pfaadt with a 61% CSW(!) and while this certainly had residue of Blame it on the Athletics, I’d be tempted to give this a whirl against the Padres. That curve addition has me intrigued. Not super intrigued, but believing he’s a possible Holly is all.

Luis Medina (OAK) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

It was a desperate Sunday and you managed to luck into Medina returning nine slider whiffs + a 42% CSW + a ton of outs on his 96/97 mph four-seamer. I sure hope he can keep that strike rate high (yes, even with the three walks here) but it’s the Orioles next and hope is a fool’s game. I’m more about the “If the trend continues, then we’ll do something about it” crowd.

Joe Ryan (MIN) @ SEA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s almost like the Mariners are terrible against quality four-seamers. Cool to see his sweeper trouncing a lineup, too.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Okay cool. The velocity was at 96 mph with only a very brief dip near the end on a pair of heaters. Meanwhile, heaters, curves, and slider were well spotted (well, the slider and cutter kinda inconsistent) and he’s now up to 90 pitches. Take a deep breath. I think we’re gonna be okay.

Bailey Falter (PIT) @ ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 81 pitches.

Ayyy, that’s pretty awesome from Falter. We’ll take a Win all day as he went mostly four-seamer and slider, filling up the zone with heaters and living off the edge with the breaker. Outs in play with the heater, 33% CSW with the breaker, and it worked out. There’s always a chance with Bailey.

Spencer Bivens (SFG) vs LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 60 pitches.

WHOA. A legit Gold Star here for Bivens as he managed to go five frames and just one run to secure a Win. He’s a fun story if you haven’t followed him and it was awesome seeing his hype after fanning Ohtani with a sweeper on his final pitch. Oh, about that. He’s not stretched out and likely won’t get to be an 85+ pitch guy as he’s essentially sinker/sweeper with the rare change or cutter. So not the guy to pick up? Not at all.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ STL (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ehhhh, fine. The inefficiency ruined him (59% slider strikes with just a 32% zone rate) and that’s your ballgame. Just throw more slider strikes, OBVIOUSLY.

Garrett Crochet (CHW) vs COL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for an obvious Golden Goal. Absolutely bonkers how good he has been, all with just a four-seamer and a cutter. And to think he didn’t have that cutter working until the end of April.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 93 pitches.

OH SNAP. Heaney obliterated the Orioles with both four-seamers and sliders, the latter of which came in 2-3 ticks harder and less drop while maintaining the same sweeper of old. He did a stupid good job of spotting them gloveside as his heaters locked into the top half of the zone, and this didn’t feel like a complete fluke. Huh. Guess we give it a spin against the Rays and chat from there? Great. Good talk.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ CHW (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Everyone needs something like the White Sox in their life. That place or thing that gets your confidence back. Yes, I do know to put the square in the square hole. Sure, whatever your thing is. No judgements here. I start Freeland regularly. Okay, maybe some judgements there. That’s not the confidence provider you think it is.

Luis Castillo (SEA) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Aces gonna add even more worry to managers everywhere. That’s four suspect outings in five games and this one was harder to watch than the others – four-seamers consistently out of the zone (and not in the best way) while his sinker and slider filled the zone a bit too comfortably. At least his changeup was tempting and off the plate consistently, and I’m still holding strong, even at 95 mph. Castillo is better than this recent stretch, a stretch I’m sure we’ll all forget by August.

Logan Allen (CLE) @ KCR (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Blegh. It’s so hard to justify starting Allen. He puts a wrench in your plans and makes you do a ton of home improvement.

Matt Waldron (SDP) @ BOS (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

It wasn’t a good knuckler day. It wasn’t a good anything day, with just two whiffs on non-knuckleballs and a bit of instability on the mound. I want to believe this is a rarity given how many different ways he should be able to come through. Let’s give it another shot against the Sneks and go from there.

Yonny Chirinos (MIA) @ PHI (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. I had small hopes that Chirinos could actually provide some value given his last two starts of the “Dancing with the Disco” (i.e. throw sliders a ton in the zone and hope for the best) + Schwarber and Harper on the mend. Thing is, he did execute the slider for a 47% CSW, but the Phillies hit his mistakes + the rest were highly suspect as well. The CrySox are next and yes, there’s a chance, but a chance for what? Don’t settle for less.

Luis Severino (NYM) vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 79 pitches.

Against the Astros? Yeah, that seems about right. I can’t believe we live in a world where Severino is throwing 63% sinkers but here we are. Just one whiff on 18 secondaries. It’s bizarre.

Patrick Corbin (WSN) @ TBR (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa. 32% cutters?! And 30% sliders?! It almost worked y’all. At least he’s experimenting and who knows, maybe something will actually click, like that one BSB start out of nowhere. MAYBE.

Spencer Schwellenbach (ATL) vs PIT (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 85 pitches.

You know, he pitched pretty well save for two really bad pitches that each returned a two-run blast (both to LHB, a cutter and splitter). The curve and sinker did great work around the zone, the slider worked to RHB, and I’m still down with the concept of Mr. Crescendo. However, he gets the Phillies now and there’s little reason to risk that. You can move on.

Cole Irvin (BAL) vs TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Even against Texas, Irvin has proven himself not a streamer to consider. I started him and want to against the Athletics. Did he buy you a brownie for the train or something? Why are you still in on this? Win chance and I dunno, he seems like a kitchen sink TobyI get that. And also, his arsenal just isn’t good enough. You need to have legit pitches in there that can excel when properly spotted and I don’t think that’s there for Irvin.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 88 pitches.

Bleeeeegh. This one hurts as Anderson didn’t have as much success with the changeup in play as he usually does (well spotted, though!) and his cutter + four-seamer failed to hold the fort. The Cubs are on the docket and despite the disappointment here, I’d start Anderson in Wrigley. He really didn’t pitch poorly, y’all.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs MIA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 91 pitches.

Whoa. This wasn’t a fun one for Suárez, who didn’t have his classic changeup cooking (10/21 strikes), allowing the Marlins to sit back and attack his sinker and curveball. He wasn’t so far off and had some poor luck in here, but this is supposed to be in the cards here and there from Ranger – we just hadn’t seen it. Yes, I’m scared about Atlanta next. Yes I’m still gonna start him there. He’s earned this trust and this label of a One Night Bland.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 107 pitches.

Just five splitter whiffs (and a 34% strike rate lol) + fastballs getting attacked and fouled off = A horrible WHIP and ERA. The good news? Seattle is up next. That has to be better and worth your time, right? If we can’t start him there, then what are we doing here?

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ MIL (L) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 68 pitches.

So the curveball is still around, but when your changeup is getting demolished, well, it doesn’t matter. Yes, I know it was a 54% CSW breaker across 13 thrown. It. Doesn’t. Matter.


Game of the Day 

MacKenzie Gore vs. NYM – Just three games tomorrow and I’ll focus on Gore for a hopeful rebound after a fair bit of turmoil over the last few weeks.

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 Joe Robbins/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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Big Maple Leaves”

  1. Pochucker says:

    PERFECT Advice on Gausman- I cut him last night!

  2. Zakv says:

    Important to point out that Castillo was on 4 days rest.

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