Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Rising From The Ashes

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Monday 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.  

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 110 pitches.

I gave up on Graham AshcraftHe axed his sinker completely, resulting in a cutter & slider arm who could only occasionally command one of them well (the slider), leaving the door open for plenty of poor performances without any tangible ceiling to chase.

After tonight’s game against Milwaukee – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 110 pitches – it may seem like eight strikeouts with a decent ERA is the clear presence of worthwhile upside to chase, and yet…I see a near 1.75 WHIP, a cutter that managed to find every single spot inside the strikezone, and a slider that can’t decide whether it wants to hang up in the zone or land perfectly down-and-gloveside. That sounds like a volatile pitcher. BECAUSE HE IS A VOLATILE PITCHER.

Sorry, I’m not sure why I’m yelling. I’m glad Ashcraft was able to rise up to give you eight strikeouts, but let those four walks be the clear indicator that Ashcraft is minimally removed from his destined 6+ ER games. The flaws are all still here and I’d rather chase streamers with good matchups than spin this wheel – I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t fan eight again until September.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Tarik Skubal (DET) vs SF (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 82 pitches.

Duuuuuuude. The four-seamer was divine once again and unlike his last outing, the secondaries came together to live down low and it’s hard not to fall for this guy. His heater is such a good foundation. And he gets the Marlins next?! YES.

Jake Bird (COL) @ WSH (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 28 pitches.

Jake Bird. Nick Human. Fuzzy McGuffers Cat. THE SWEETEST MOST ADORABLE GOOBER Dog. The Rockies Bullpen game. This isn’t fun. Neither are bullpen games. Touché.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ PHI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

The four-seamer and cutter were far better here, though the rest still leave a bit to be desired. If the front two aren’t earning whiffs, you certainly can’t expect the rest to pick up the slack. But hey, we take it, especially after last week’s disaster.

Kenta Maeda (MIN) vs SEA (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 98 pitches.

I asked for slider whiffs and I got…5/42, but a 43% CSW with a ton of called strikes and I can’t be mad about that. It allowed the splitter to once again live outside the zone for 40% O-Swing and a 25% SwStr rate, while the fastballs delicately found the zone. I’m here for this all day, with my only concern being the days when his splitter isn’t quite as pristine. Is he able to turn his slider into a whiff approach when needed?

Ryan Yarbrough (KC) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 99 pitches.

Nothing like a good ole HAISTBMBWT?! when out on the sea, ain’t that right Fratty PirateRrrrrright you are Nick. Cool, now enjoy your Gold StarrrrrrNow that’s just offensive. Sorry, I should have known better.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs BAL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

Yesssss. Let the man cook on your squads, please. The changeup went 10/35 whiffs while the sinker did its part by stealing strikes and outs all game. He’s reminding me of Ranger Suárez’s 2021 run and I’d absolutely have him rostered for the Pirates next.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows Pole with a lovely line…and no Win?! What does this man have to do?! He executed the BSB beautifully and he deserves that dang dub.

Colin Rea (MIL) vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

The cutter did a whole lot of work with nearly 50% O-Swing in this one, inducing plenty of beneficial strikes and outs, while the rest just makes me scratch my head and shrug. Maybe I’m underrating Rea, maybe I see a sub-20 % strikeout rate with an ERA comfortably over 4.50 and don’t overthink it.

Adam Wainwright (STL) @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

Ayyyy he survived! And he’s sitting a tick harder at…88 mph! Look at him go. Don’t patronize me. Hey, we have to celebrate the little things these days. Who knows, you may not see another one like this again.

José Berríos (TOR) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

It’s the Dodgers and he didn’t have his best changeup. Or curve. Or four-seamer. Or sinker…huh. He really labored through this one, didn’t he. Poor guy, at least it should easier against the Angels next.

Michael Grove (LAD) vs TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 68 pitches.

Ahhhh, there’s Grove’s stupid good slider again, while the four-seamer actually wasn’t terribly spotted this time around. Sadly, the hung sliders and cutters were pummeled and the low fastballs were punished. Life isn’t fair. It sure isn’t.

Ross Stripling (SF) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches.

Huh. A VVPQS that comes with a King ColeYou can thank the Tigers for that, though the 9/23 called strikes on sliders + 9/33 changeup whiffs is absolutely welcome. Wait, Stripling with a good changeup?! AND 87 PITCHES?! I know, I know, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This has a lot of Blame it on the Tigers all over it and I wouldn’t trust Stripling against the Red Sox. Don’t forget, it was still a VVPQS with just three strikeouts. This wasn’t a good start.

Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs TEX (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Honestly, Bielak did an incredible job with the Neckbeard approach, but when doing so, you’re supposed to actually have the batters swing at the pitches off the plate. He kinda went more mutton chop here, with four-seamers landing too far gloveside often and it led to many free passes. Still, it’s not nearly the erratic performance his four walks would suggest. There could be something there.

Logan Allen (CLE) vs KC (L) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

Excuse me, sir. What is this. A pair of longballs ruined this one for Allen, who didn’t have nearly the change nor sweeper we’d seen prior while the fastball is still down under 91 mph. At least he gets the White Sox next and that’s a clear go go go. I really hate that velocity dip, though. Ugh.

Quinn Priester (PIT) @ SD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

I really don’t see much to latch onto with Quinn. He has a really good tactile switch named after him? I don’t think that applies here. Oh. Right. I’m so sorry everyone.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs COL (L) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

My totally real reaction looking at Corbin’s struggles even with a wonderful Rockie Road matchup.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

After the odd success of his last start, I’m not too shocked to see it fall apart here. I need more from the secondaries. MORE.

Jon Gray (TEX) @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 82 pitches.

Hmmmmm. This was a clear avoid given that Gray hadn’t showcased elite skills yet + the Astros being the Astros and Jonny G shocked us all by going 63% sliders. That’s unheard of from starting pitchers these days and while it did go 31% CSW with a 23% SwStr rate, you kinda need a better four-seamer if that’s gonna work. Case in point, here are all the hits allowed by Gray in this game. Despite the 2-to-1 pitch ratio in favor of sliders, it flips when it comes to hits. In fact, that’s a hit on 20% of all fastballs he threw vs. just 4% on his slider. Is that bad? Yes. That’s very bad. At least the slider is a great pitch, but hot dang that heater has to get elevated.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

Oh no. No no no no. The slider wasn’t spotted, the four-seamer was all over the place, and he allowed four home runs. Four! AGAINST THE PIRATES. Ugggggh. It’s awfully frustrating after seemingly figuring out his approach and sticking to it in his last two outings, while this was nothing of the sort. And now he gets Texas…blegh. I have to believe Darvish will adjust and make the right changes to prevent another outing like this, but hot dang does this knock the wind out of my sails. You had it! IT WAS RIGHT THERE.


Game of the Day


George Kirby vs. Pablo López – Two top 20 SPs in my book. That’s a fun time.

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 Peter Joneleit/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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