Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Blanco Check

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Ronel Blanco (HOU) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

You took a glance at the box scores from tonight and Ronel Blanco’s start against the Jays stuck out to you – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches. Oh dang, I should probably pick him up. Well, let’s not get hasty here, even if this was the Blue Jays.

Blanco sadly breaks what I call the Huascar Ynoa Rule which states “Do not chase a two-pitch pitcher with an excellent slider and a mediocre fastball”. It allowed us to avoid Roansy Contrerasfor example, and I’m sad to report that it applies to Blanco as well. The slider is legit – 33% CSW with 12/51 whiffs here (54% usage!), but the heater is…not great. Just 46% strikes for the 94/95 mph four-seamer is a disaster waiting to happen and he survived this one by failing to give anything meaty in the heart of the plate for the Jays to punish.

I think this is a bit of a trap and not an auto-stream against the Nationals next time out. It’s a great slider, don’t get me wrong, but you need more meat on the bone to make it a meal worth having.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs BAL (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The cutter was fantastic (per usual) but the curve going 54% CSW and the changeup returning 11/15 strikes are the actual story. Well fine, that cutter was dotted on the corner, too. I don’t want to speak too soon, but the start really did feel like the good ole days.

Jack Flaherty (STL) @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 105 pitches.

Flaherty squirmed around the mighty lineup to make it go his way, earning him tonight’s Gold Star. It wasn’t a sexy CSW at a 28% clip, but he spotted his pitches super well and he battled through this one while flirting with 93 mph. I respect this start a lot and I’m in for the Giants next.

Michael Wacha (SD) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 82 pitches.

Shhhhh don’t be loud or you may wake up fantasy managers who don’t realize Wacha’s ridiculous stretch where he’s allowed just 5 ER in seven straight starts. And now he get’s the Guardians + Giants + Brewers?! OH YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS. Look what you’ve done, they’re all awake now. Are you happy? Kinda, more people need to know. You know what, you’re right. Atta boy Wacha.

Shawn Armstrong (TB) vs MIN (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 24 pitches.

He opened for 3.1 frames of Cooper Criswell and am I allowed to move on? Well I don’t think that you shou

Jon Gray (TEX) vs STL (L) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 100 pitches.

Oh. My. LORSH. That’s a Golden Goal for Gray with a rare complete game on the docket as his improved slider, four-seamer, and changeup all sat 38% CSW or higher with at least six whiffs apiece. The pitch separation was there as Gray elevated with intent and kept the slow ball and slide piece down and I’m in absolute awe of his six-week stretch. We’re talking a 0.84 ERA and 0.65 WHIP across his last 43 innings (thanks new slider!). That’s insane. And yet, I don’t believe it’ll stick. I mean, this won’t stick, but being a sub 3.00 ERA pitcher moving forward is what I mean. I so hope to be wrong, but I just don’t buy the change and four-seamer performing this well. That said, who cares what I think – you start him and look back later.

Pablo López (MIN) @ TB (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

This is so lovely to see. The changeup returned 74% strikes and while it allowed three of his five hits, it was crucial in his mix along with having the slider and curve to balance the heater upstairs. He’s still at 95 mph (the 2023 norm), his curve was stupid good at 70% CSW, and his sweeper was effective down as well (with a few mistakes that we’ll let slide). We’ve seen PabLó have his stumbles in the past, but he always adjusts. Don’t forget it.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 90 pitches.

It’s not pretty, but it works across the board. That four-seamer isn’t turning into the pitch I want it to be and he hung a whole lot of pitches in this one. I’m glad he escaped, but he’s not coming with the WOW factor I’ve seen from Eury and Taj and I’m starting to get a little worried about it. Just a touch.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 65 pitches.

Cabrera left this one early with a blister issue (not an arm injury), which is so disappointing on a night where he actually returned 65% strikes on his four-seamer. The changeup, on the other hand, sat below a 50% clip, and I don’t understand why we can’t have it all. WHY NOT. I hope he’s okay, though he may miss a start and pave the way for Trevor Rogers to return. Huh.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ CLE (L) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 58 pitches.

The Red Sox are trying to make Kutter a thing (who is still the only one with an easter egg on his player page) and that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs HOU (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

And this is why you stop overthinking Bassitt. Just start the dang man and spend the extra time helping us raise money for the Human Rights Campaign.

Zach Davies (ARI) @ WSH (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 97 pitches.

Would you look at that. Davies snuck in at the very end of my third tier today for the outside chance his changeup return to its peak and that’s exactly what we got with 11/33 whiffs and a 68% O-Swing. What gets overlooked are his other offerings doing their part as well, earning 21 called strikes between sinkers, four-seamers, curves, and cutters as we all know raising a streamer takes a village. Don’t push your luck here against the Phils, but if you’re desperate, you could do worse.

Connor Seabold (COL) vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh hey, that’s 3 ER in two starts for Seabold. I feel like that’s the nicest thing you could find. Well, it was a 40% CSW slider for a pitch that has held a sub 28% clip on the year. Okay, I get it.

Jaime Barría (LAA) vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

If you turned to Barria for the stream, you were rewarded with an overall decent game that only helped ratios. Too bad you didn’t steal a Win and sub 30% CSW on all his pitches + just five whiffs is not what you envisioned for a successful evening. But hey, he survived and we move on. With Barria? Heavens no, the Rangers and Dodgers are next. Oh no.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Is that the first VVVVPQS of the year? Do I even have that programmed in to have a tooltip? Huh, looks like I did. I was prepared for this very moment when Corbin would extend the bounds of destruction.

Hogan Harris (OAK) @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.

Oh hey, the Athletics let him actually start and despite being a crafty southpaw with a variety of offerings, he was mostly four-seamer/cutter here to minimal success. Welp, it was while it lasted. Aren’t you missing a word there? No, I don’t think I am.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ LAA (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 104 pitches.

Blegh. We didn’t have high expectations given the tough matchup and I don’t think Taillon pitched that poorly, but there is that extra level of polish with his stuff that I’m just not seeing at the moment. Give it time.

Logan Webb (SF) @ COL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 99 pitches.

We had a bit of a Careful, Icarus as Webb allowed a MONSTER shot in the sixth to push the PQS out of reach. Coors is undefeated, Nick. But I thought the changeup’s recent success and his approach as a sinkerballer would counteract–COORS IS UNDEFEATED. Yeah yeah yeah, pipe down or you’ll wake up the clouds. The clouds? Sure, how else do you think they get so fluffy? Nick…go to bed. 

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

You took a gamble with Morton and came up empty-handed. The fastball wasn’t good enough and it’s all kinds of pain. But hey, you get the Tigers and Rockie Road next. You’ll be fine.

Jordan Lyles (KC) @ MIA (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Not in a house with a mouse, not at a bargain with a Marlin.

Max Scherzer (NYM) @ ATL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 103 pitches.

Is it weird that I see this line and all I can think of is this 2017 start? Guess Thor isn’t the only one reminiscing about the past tonight. Ten strikeouts against Atlanta should tell you how unbroken Scherzer is.

George Kirby (SEA) @ SD (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Oh what is this now. He sat 97 mph on the heater again with 11/41 four-seamer whiffs with a 37% CSW slider and it didn’t matter. WHAT IS LIFE. The man was Singled Out save for a three-run shot off the bat of Gary Sánchez, a pitch located up-and-away that has returned plenty of swings-and-misses in its day. WHAT IS LIFE. You already said that. THE QUESTION HASN’T BEEN ANSWERED. Okay, fair.

Brandon Williamson (CIN) vs LAD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

Yeaaaaah. In other news, I wonder what Brandon’s middle name is. Something like Oswald or Mordicai would be interesting. By the way, Tolbin? Solid.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Womp womp. This looked like a solid stream and Kremer didn’t have it in him. You can send him back like an overcooked pancake.

Noah Syndergaard (LAD) @ CIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 66 pitches.

Is this the last game we see Syndergaard start for the Dodgers? They aren’t short of options with Michael Grove capable of taking the pearl, or maybe Gavin Stone getting another chance. Who knows, maybe we see Emmet Sheehan. Wouldn’t that be wild.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs OAK (L) – 0.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 38 pitches.

One out. Seven runs. Infinite pain. I’m so sorry to anyone involved with this.


Game of the Day


Justin Verlander vs. Spencer Strider – I’d love to watch Verlander match Strider in what should be an electric game.

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.

Photos by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire and Giorgio Trovato/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.

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