Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Mitches Get Stitches

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.  

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

We have to have a chat about Mitch Keller and I’m going to make it quick. He allowed 8 ER last time out against the Guardians and now got trounced again while facing the Angels via 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches and I’m sick of it. Tired! Exhausted! Jaded. Yes! That too! Keller has made his season throwing sinkers, four-seamers, and cutters well inside the zone and preventing hits, and yet, here he is, allowing three home runs and many more hits on just those pitches, inside the zone (and one changeup and one sweeper).

It’s all been a little weird to watch Keller have the success he’s had without a significant whiff pitch (his 9.7% overall SwStr rate is 159th among all starting pitchers) and unless he comes to the table with top-of-the-line command, he is going to have his fair share of these outings. This wasn’t the command I saw against the Orioles back in May and it’s getting harder and harder to believe he’ll defy his lack of whiffs to be a called strike/soft contact machine.

I’m not saying drop him, but I won’t have him inside my Top 50 tomorrow and if that means he’s not worth it to you, I understand. Remember, he doesn’t have the track record of others who have struggled this year – it was just seven weeks of dominance, followed by a 5.07 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 20% strikeout rate across 10 starts…and that was before tonight. Uh-oh.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Alex Faedo (DET) vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Pffffft. You think 17/46 called strikes is sustainable? What about performing well when your best pitch – Faedo’s slider – goes just 3/37 whiffs? Yeah, this is a Birthday Party and if he happens to get another chance, we’re avoiding it. Yes, even against the Marlins.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

I’m proud of you for escaping so many jams, but a 1.80 WHIP is difficult on the soul. But hey! Nine strikeouts! I’ll look past the 92 mph heater and 18% CSW slider (and 45% strike rate, yuck) because of those punchouts. We move forward and let him be what he is.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.

Can’t be a Cherry Bomb without the sweet to go with the sour. Weird to see it on a day when his four-seamer struggled to get upstairs on demand, but you can thank the breakers for getting 11 whiffs on their own for the bliss on the bump. Who knows whether it’ll return.

Ty Blach (COL) @ MIA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 41 pitches.

The Rockies were able to go bullpen in this one and hold the Marlins off for just two runs in nine innings, just because I desperately needed a Win from Luzardo. THANKS GUYS, TOTALLY APPRECIATE IT.

Brennan Bernardino (BOS) vs NYM (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 28 pitches.

Sure, this was an opener for…Chris Murphy?! I WAS PROMISED PIVETTA. Suitman whispers in my ear Ohhh he pitched one inning on Saturday in relief. Wait. That doesn’t make any sense. Why would Boston do that?! Nick, they won this game, so does it matter? Of course it does, this is my fantasy team we’re talking about there. Oh I’m so sorry, please excuse me. Yeah, that’s right.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs COL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks – 26 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 115 pitches.

That’s seven earned runs total across his last seven starts, earning a Golden Goal here and making me tempted to include him in the AGA discussion. He’s really been that good, save for last week’s weird four-inning effort. With the Tigers up next, it’s hard to expect anything but dominance there, too.

Julio Teheran (MIL) vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Oh no. No. No no no no no. HOW. 44% O-swing on his sinker. You know, that’s a legit answer and I appreciate that, but hot dang is that high amount of x-mLoc% hilarious and outlining this as highly unsustainable. Whatever, take your Gold Star and get out of here. GIT! Please don’t consider unless you’re in the most dire of circumstances.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) vs STL (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 109 pitches.

Is this a redemption arc forming for Taillon? The sweeper looked fantastic here, a pitch I’ve been waiting all year to come out of its shell after hearing whispers of its existence in the spring. That pitch paired with the cutter did a whole lot of support for the four-seamer and there’s your ball game of…a poor WHIP but lovely everything else. He may be worthwhile in a repeat matchup, but on the other hand, I don’t see it being better than this one, either. It doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot to chase.

Luis Medina (OAK) vs HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

That’s three starts of a fair number of whiffs, backed by strong breaking balls. Here, it was the slider taking charge again with a 28% SwStr rate across 27% usage while he was also able to get some fastballs past bats upstairs. Why does he have to head to Coors next…

Xzavion Curry (CLE) vs PHI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 42 pitches.

This was effectively a bullpen game and it featured the most famous Curry in sports.

Bailey Ober (MIN) vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

What do you know, Oberizzi went six frames. WHAT A SURPRISE. The Bailey Special came through one more time and I wonder if there is a more consistent pitcher in baseball. I honestly don’t think so.

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Jeeeez Hunter, with your horrible command today, you should be thrilled you left with a 3.00 ERA. Are you worried about the Rays start next? Of course I’m worried, and I’d even encourage benching him there. He’s not in a good spot at the moment. That said, he could pick himself up as soon as the next start and the Rays aren’t as strong lately as we’ve seen, but I’m leaning sit.

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 105 pitches.

Look! He’s throwing harder! And getting…two strikeouts because of it! He was a stream here and those thinking Elder is back to being his former self because of this start should reconsider. Suitman whispers in my ear OH WHAT NO–He gets the Brewers? Again? Alright fine, let’s spin the wheel another time. WHY NOT.

Scott Alexander (SF) @ WSH (L) – 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 16 pitches.

So it was Anthony DeSclafani after all, who went 4.1 IP of 4 ER and 10 baserunners. Sooooo yeah. Weather is too hot, you know? Cool cool cool. No, HOT HOT HOT. Can we change pitchers already? Yeah, good call.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

The curve was down, the four-seamer was armside, the sinker was shelved, and the changeup was…terrible. But the four-seamer/curve power-hour(s) was wonderful and I love how Nola is leaning on his two workhorses more. This is how it should be.

Joe Musgrove (SD) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna struggle a bit against the Tigers as the cutter wasn’t spotted nearly as well as we’ve seen as of late. So it goes, we keep starting him.

Luis Severino (NYY) vs KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 100 pitches.

The four-seamers were up and the secondaries were mostly down…and yet his changeups + sliders + cutters returned 2/46 whiffs. I have to believe he’s telegraphing them somehow. That’s just ridiculous to me, especially with solid locations down as these aren’t flailing all around the place. Makes me wonder if it’s that simple of a tweak that he could start being legit overnight. Or maybe it’s not tipping of any kind and those pitches just aren’t that good anymore. I think it means we still avoid Sevy for now until we see a night when it suddenly kicks back in.

Alek Manoah (TOR) @ SEA (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Yeaaaah, nope. You’re gonna see 10/34 slider whiffs and think things are wonderful, but then you realize it was just 41% slider strikes (only 30% O-Swing, 21% Zone rate = yikes), and the fastballs + changeup are not fixed. Don’t do this to yourself.

Taj Bradley (TB) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

This start was one home run away from a great outing. Bradley will get better over time and the fact he’s not walking everyone now should make you encouraged to keep starting him. The strikeouts are real.

Tyler Wells (BAL) @ TB (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

H’oh boy was the command terrible. Like terrible. Okay fine, sliders were pretty good and he did spot some four-seamers, but the changeup and cutter were baaaaad, and there is a sense that Wells’ wheels are starting to come off. But right, the Rays n all. Let’s start him against the Yankees and go from there.

Luke Weaver (CIN) vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

Weaver sported a new much harder cutter here at 4.4 ticks increased velocity to 91 mph while keeping his increased four-seamer velocity to 95.4 mph and yet…well, you see the line. At least he’s trying and hopefully, something pushes him over the edge soon.

José Ruiz (ARI) @ CIN (ND) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 28 pitches.

Sure, why not, let’s do one more bullpen game. For the road. 

Martín Pérez (TEX) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

The changeup is getting closer to its old self, but the sinker and cutter separation isn’t there. Yes, I do dream of Pérez’s pitch plots from early 2022. The perfect distribution of color along a rectangle…sigh.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

There’s some Careful, Icarus here as Anderson allowed just one run across six before allowing the first three batters he faced in the seventh to reach. Was the changeup good today? Was it good? WAS IT GOOD?! Yeah, that’s what I asked. IT WAS AMAZING. 15/50 whiffs and exclusively armside throughout the game across its 52% usage. I love seeing that pitch soar, and if he had gotten any support from his four-seamer and cutter, he could have been even better through six. Too bad it’s Toronto next or I’d be tempted to stream him a second time.

Bryan Woo (SEA) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Close, but not it. Sure, 10 four-seamer whiffs, but the slider and cutter were meh and his sinker didn’t land armside enough. Yeah yeah yeah, two home runs were really the only damage here and it’s a Dusty Donut with a sub 1.00 WHIP and seven strikeouts, but I know how good he could be. There’s still work to be done. We keep starting him for as long as he’s in the rotation (please don’t limit him Seattle) even if I’m being a perfectionist and expecting more from Woo in his rookie year. I just want you to be the best pitcher you can be…

Jordan Montgomery (STL) @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Noooooo. The Bear got messed up by the Cubs – his own children! – and it concludes the wonderful run he’s been on. 0/16 changeup whiffs should tell you enough and I’d expect that goose egg to hatch before his next outing.

Jordan Lyles (KC) @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

I get it, you thought about starting Lyles because it was a desperate Sunday. And here you are, enlightened with the knowledge to never consider that again. You have transcended as a fantasy manager…

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) @ BOS (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 58 pitches.

You’ve stopped considering Carrasco, yes? Si, si. Yes, those are his initials, but have you stopped considering him?

Emmet Sheehan (LAD) @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

It was the Rangers, but it was also some terrible secondary command from Sheehan. It’s the biggest issue he’s facing and I think we wait a moment before jumping back in on Sheehan with the Reds next. Let him show us the skills in full for a start + get a good matchup before we take the shot again.


Game of the Day


Luis Castillo vs. Kenta Maeda – Over under 15.5 strikeouts in this 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.

Photo by Rick Ulreich/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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Mitches Get Stitches”

  1. Joe Mulvey says:

    “..his own children! ” Hilarious. Thanks

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