Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Life On Marsh

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Alec Marsh (KC) vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

I’ve had a soft spot for Alec Marsh in his few starts this season, but never felt it was the right time to pick him up, especially before yesterday with a date scheduled against the Rays. However, Marsh carved up the Tampa Bay lineup (earning a Gold Starof course) with 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches and it’s turning a whole lot of heads. Dangit, he was supposed to be my sneaky pitcher!

I watched all of this one and I’m very sad to say that I’m highly skeptical of a major second-half breakout (and yet he gets the Tigers next so what the h*ck, pick him up and let’s see what happens). Marsh’s repertoire is a four-pitch mix of four-seamers, sliders, curves, and changeups, and as I watched him mow down all eleven batters, I kept asking myself, what is Marsh’s best pitch?

I honestly don’t know the answer. In this one, the four-seamer did most of the work with nine whiffs and a 67% strike rate, but it reduced in velocity as the game went on and the pitch returned just six whiffs total in his first two games. I just don’t believe it has the qualities of a traditional four-seamer dominant pitch that takes down batters without hesitation – no, it doesn’t have exceptional rise, it actually has below-average rise.

It’s not the curve or the changeup. The curve had some moments as it fell into the dirt, but it was mostly a surprise strike pitch. The change was your typical “just for left-handers” offering that did its job well enough, just not in a way that massively impressed.

That leaves the slider, which seems like it is the star of the show with a 22% SwStr rate for the year, but watching it here, I saw a few exceptional ones and others that didn’t instill much fear into batters. It doesn’t get called strikes, has a sub 60% strike rate on the year, and its PLV is sub-10th percentile among all SP sliders. Yikes.

This doesn’t mean I outwardly dislike Marsh, it just means he’s good as a streamer and if he has legit command moving forward, there could be a decent run. He’s not a double-digit strikeout arm, though, and pitching for the Royals has a whole lot of downsides. Stream him for the Tigers and we’ll talk after that.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Michael Lorenzen (DET) @ SEA (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ayyyy awesome stuff Lorenzen. Those walks are dumb and you obviously got terribly fortunate, but you did what we wanted (and more!) against a mediocre offense. You get the Royals next and that’s a go, too.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ahhhh there we go. That’s a 3.58 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 35% strikeout rate, and 12% walk rate across his last five starts, with a .234 xBABIP supporting his low hit rate. Things are good.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs CLE (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

You never know what command you’ll get from Heaney and I’m so pleased to see the BSB in full form, especially with a new, higher slider at two ticks harder and less movement. I wonder if it’s a pitch he can command better as he placed it precisely all night at the bottom of the zone. If that sticks, then we’re in business, but then again, just four strikeouts. And the Dodgers next. Let’s wait one more and see where he’s at.

Blake Snell (SD) @ PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 82 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He nailed the top of the zone with four-seamers, à la classic BSB and he was pulled a little early after a long fifth frame. The slider returned so many strikes and it gives me all kinds of joy. He deserves the label and y’all know it.

Shawn Armstrong (TB) @ KC (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 25 pitches.

This was setting up Cooper Criswellwho pitched a solid four frames and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, can I stop? PLEASE LET ME STOP.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

Yeah, this is the ceiling you chase with Oviedo, but it’s not one you can bank on for any given night. His four-seamer earned strikes (mostly via 20 foul balls) and that allowed him to take batters down with the slider constantly. Foul balls are often noise – instead of going into play, those fouls turned into strikes – and it was one of those lovely nights you didn’t expect, but were happy you were a part of. Maybe you should make a scrapbook about it…

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 103 pitches.

THERE IS NO LIST CURSE. Senga was at his best here, doing his part to honor the strikeout deal you made with him, while giving you a little extra with luscious ratios. While the slider was blegh and the four-seamer command is still questionable, the forkball was brilliant and his cutter did a fantastic job nailing the corner down and gloveside. He may need a slightly bigger push on The List after this performance as it looks like he’s found his rhythm.

Alex Cobb (SF) @ PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

It’s pretty remarkable how Cobb still doesn’t have his splitter working, and yet the slider is helping just enough to get him through these outings. Traditionally, the new skill (that masks the weaker, usually more prominent skill) is the one that reverts first. I sure hope that’s not the case here. It’s @CIN + OAK up next, so we hold and gamble.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

Not a single hit was allowed on his sinker. That’s the Stroman we know and love, don’t you dare get upset about the low whiff and CSW totals.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace, even with some expected volatility. The curve was horribly inconsistent, but still earned whiffs while the slider and four-seamer did the rest. Yep, that’s Glasnow, the ace.

Tony Gonsolin (LAD) @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 54 pitches.

See? Gonsolin still has it in him when luck isn’t against him. 54 pitches?! What happened?! Apparently, the humidity was affecting Gonsolin’s ability to get a grip on the ball, and the Dodgers elected to turn to their fresh pen instead. It happens. Anyway, you can drop Gonsolin for the Rangers next as I don’t feel he’s of the caliber that demands you to hold for ten days…errr 15 days as the Jays follow. Yeesh.

Cole Ragans (KC) vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s our first look at Ragans with the Royals and I expected his increased 96 mph velocity to dip back down in a regular starting role. NOPE IT’S 97.5 MPH. From the left side. In a Cole Hamels build. Executing the BSB with four-seamers up and changeups down. Ummmmm, I feel so conflicted. On one hand, this is incredible, and if Ragans nails down this command, he’s destined for more than three strikeouts a game. On the other, it’s the Royals. On the other hand, LOOK AT THIS PLOT WITH 97/98 FASTBALLS. I guess it’s too risky in 12-teamers to chase given the lack of an explosive strikeout game, nor technically no locked rotation spot, but hot dang, he has my attention.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 92 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Schmidt went just 18% fastballs, focusing primarily on sweepers and cutters and they were as good as I’ve seen them. Hmmmmm. I’ve been pretty out on Schmidt as I was skeptical if those two could be as effective as they were here. Fiiiiiine, you’re getting a bump on Tuesday. This may be the Schmidt I’ve been waiting for – and the curve wasn’t even a factor!

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs MIL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

I’ll be Frank with you. Nick, you gotta get your players in check, they’re fouling every time the point guard drives. Sorry, not the local basketball ref Frank, just honest. This line is more in line with what I think Abbott is and I know that’s a bit shocking with the low strikeout rate. He’s not the massive clunker arm, he’s also not the double-digit strikeout arm. He’s more like potential Holly with a lower floor than those currently awarded the label. Treat him like that and you’ll be happy.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

Yep, that’s a solid Bassitt start and why he’s on our fantasy teams. Let it ride.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Oh hey, more Taijuan magic! He did a marvelous job of low cutters and sinkers, many of which turned into outs as he needed them often with multiple jams. I still feel weird about it, but I guess we’re starting him against the Guardians…?

Gavin Williams (CLE) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

Just two runs is a victory for Williams and I love that he’s still expressing the skill of elevated four-seamers. Now just get those secondaries down dangit. I’m starting him against the Phils next.

Austin Pruitt (OAK) vs MIN (ND) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 21 pitches.

He opened for a disappointing performance from Hogan Harriswho should only be saved for the best matchups. Like the Athletics? Well, yes, but…oh. Right. Ignore Harris for a bit.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

VPQS isn’t the worst for the long-term outlook of Suárez, but it isn’t the start we’re looking for that suggests we get back on the train. And for those not in QS leagues? This is terrible.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

When I think of Gallen, I think of curves and changeups locating low as well as anyone else in the league. This…was not that. He leaned heavily on the cutter instead and while it helped him survive against the Jays, it’s not the Gallen we want to see. I imagine it’ll come back next time.

Reid Detmers (LAA) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Blegh. Fun fact: All five hits were off curveballs or sliders. Is that fun? Maybe? I think it’s a good thing that the heater still performs well upstairs and a little tweaking of the breakers can go a long way. I’m still a believer, just give him time and not let him not face, you know, the Dodgers and Astros. I’m stoked for his start against Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Lance Lynn (CWS) @ ATL (W) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

This line makes me wish I made a prediction before the game started. Lynn’s four-seamer and cutter are still the faces of his arsenal and still rack up whiffs and strikeouts, but Atlanta is a team that will find a way. I kinda feel good about Lynn after this? It has the makings of “Hey, don’t start me against the top tiers, but I’m cool against, say, the Twins next.” And clear choices like that can put your mind at ease.

Ryan Weathers (SD) @ PHI (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

A whole lot of changeups for strikes that were…meh. Don’t go after Weathers, who was only here for the buffet doubleheader.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ BAL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

Blegh. That’s three straight for Garrett where his cutter and sinker haven’t been well spotted + the slider and change weren’t at their best, either, leading to destruction. We have to hold for Rockie Road, though, right? I think so? Please make us feel good about this again, Braxton. This is your last chance.

Steven Matz (STL) vs WSH (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

For such a blegh outing, it’s weird to see just four hits allowed (all of which, on pitches down the pipe). The velocity is still up at 95 mph and I still dig the elevated heater approach. The curve needs to be better and his changeup was solid, not elite. I’m still in with his 95 mph heater and the general intent of high fastballs and low changeups. If he’s dropped, I’d go for it against the Cubs.

Jake Irvin (WSH) @ STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.

Womp womp. The velocity fell down to 94 mph, the curveball wasn’t nearly as good, and…wait. That’s it. Get back on the horse, Irvin.

Framber Valdez (HOU) @ LAA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna have a stupid good game with his changeup and have a Careful, Icarus to ruin what was a blissful evening at the park. That King Cole is glorious and a product of, well everything working. Don’t worry about the ratios, Valdez is obviously in a great place.

Spencer Strider (ATL) vs CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and still give you ten strikeouts when the ratios are rough. That Gallows Pole comes from the slider and heater each returning double-digit whiffs and how can you not believe in that?

Kyle Gibson (BAL) vs MIA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

In traditional Gibson fashion, he went from 23 whiffs to just four against the Marlins, a team that I’ve been underrating a bit offensively. Still, a HAISTBMBWT?! wasn’t in any way anticipated and that’s as good of a summary as you’ll find of Gibson.

George Kirby (SEA) vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Whoa. Despite earning eleven whiffs on the four-seamer, Kirby allowed all but one of his eight hits on heaters and it was one of those days. It goes to show the importance of secondaries you trust when batters are simply on the fastball. Whatareyagonnado.

James Paxton (BOS) @ CHC (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 63 pitches.

Uggggh. A Bellinger grand slam on a decent fastball ruined this whole game, which you can often tell just by seeing the ER and baserunners equate each other. Don’t read into this – his general command was actually pretty great, and if he was able to get out of the jam, I think he would have soared to the finish line. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Connor Seabold (COL) vs NYY (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 61 pitches.

Yep, that looks about right.

Pablo López (MIN) @ OAK (ND) – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 106 pitches.

Bleeeeggggh. His fastball was a rock in this one for 40% CSW, where seven of his eight hits came off breaking balls. It’s a weird one and not something that outlines a second-half dive. I’m not worried at all.


Game of the Day


Bobby Miller vs. Max Scherzer – I believe in Bobby in the second half and it’s always fun watching Mad Max

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.

Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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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