Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Civale Trick

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

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

Aaron Civale (CLE) vs KC (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, Aaron Civalethe man who sat 4.4 ticks down on his fastball in his last start went 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches tonight?! Sure, it was the Royals. BUT STILL.

I’m in a bit of shock – I was heavily against this outing because it’s so rare to see such a drastic velocity dip and a pitcher to toss 90+ pitches the following outing without hesitation, let alone perform at such a high level. Wait. Maybe not that high of a level.

After all, Civale still was down over two ticks on his heater (he gained two back!) and this was clearly a fair amount of Blame it on the Royals, but we knew that coming in, right? Start Civale against poor offenses, I say. This clearly followed that and despite all my concerns about said velocity, the man tossed over 70% cutters + curves and even went 42% CSW on the 19 four-seamers he threw, even if they were 2.3 ticks down.

It’s one of those nights where I throw up my hands in confusion and praise him for finding a way to make it work. Clearly something is still bothering him and it remains to be seen if he’ll get through it without an IL stint, but hot dang, look at you. That Win is so well deserved.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


J.P. France (HOU) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

There’s a lovely surprise from France, a Toby who is not recommended to be started against a strong offense like Texas. I’m floored to see the kitchen-sink man turn to his heater 64% of the time, especially with an ultra-elevated approach as his four-seamers were nearly all located in hiLoc%. Bonkers. I don’t think his heater is made for it – 1/54 whiffs on 23 swings despite the elevation – but it clearly worked so what the h*ck do I know.

Justin Verlander (NYM) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ayyyy a King Cole for Verlander as he executed the Bailey Special. His slider was stupid precise down-and-gloveside with a whopping 62% CSW, while the four-seamer hugged the edges and the heart of the zone to shockingly great effect. Blame it on the Yankees is a bit true here, but at least Verlander looks to be in a bit of rhythm at the moment.

Alex Cobb (SF) vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ahhhhh THERE IT IS. The splitter hath returned with 10/39 whiffs for 31% CSW and once again, the slider is shelved to just one thrown as Cobb returns to the normal arm we know and wrestle with constantly. Please don’t lose it again, okay?

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 113 pitches.

You love to see it, even if it comes with a 1.33 WHIP. I saw brilliant command from Abbott with four-seamers and sweepers in his last start against the Brewers, and sadly this one wasn’t the same but it didn’t matter. He earned at least three whiffs on all four pitches, while the four-seamer lived freely inside the zone for a 23% called strike rate. I’ll take it and with that sweeper and higher strike rates, I’m starting to warm up a bit more to Abbott. This can absolutely work.

Steven Matz (STL) @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

ATTA BOY MATZ. The sinker was 94/95 (not 95+) as it stuck in the upper half, while the changeup was mostly down and returned 38% CSW, while the curve helped as it could with 70% strikes and 50% CSW. Across the board, that’s lovely. Across the dugout, the Diamondbacks sat, dismally hitting baseballs over the last few weeks. (What a horrible sentence. YOU’RE A HORRIBLE SENTENCE.) That’s my way of questioning the legitimacy of this outing as Arizona’s offense is in a cold spell. That said, it’s the Cubs next and that could work out for trusting managers. Three out of four productive starts so far is solid, no?

Austin Gomber (COL) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

That’s a Gold Star for Gomber, even if this was outside of Coors.

Tayler Scott (OAK) @ SF (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 12 pitches.

He opened for 4.1 IP, 1 ER, and six strikeouts from Ken Waldichukwho elevated not just heaters, but also sweepers and changeups, too. Unfortunately. The Giants are rough these days and I wouldn’t read into this.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That slider has become so dang reliable and I love it so much.

Blake Snell (SD) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Yes that’s five walks, and yet it’s just a 1.17 WHIP with a great ERA. I’m absolutely astonished his fastball went 0/47 whiffs here, though, which may have been a product of failing to get the dang thing in the upper half in this outing. That’s not Snell’s game, but then again, when has he consistently stuck to a game plan? Uhhhh doesn’t he have a blueprint named after him? Yeah yeah yeah, that was five years ago. THIS IS NOW. As far as his outlook goes, I imagine it’s a rough patch that gets cleared up, which is all kinds of good when said rough patch has allowed just two earned runs in those poor outings. Keep surviving as you figure out that heater again. For us.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

I labeled this as a Still ILLwondering if Kelly would have the same steller command of his pre-injured self. Welp, mostly, yes. He was more east-west than north-south, but the hard stuff stayed armside as the slow stuff went glove side. Works for me, especially with the Giants on Sunday.

John Schreiber (BOS) vs ATL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 24 pitches.

Guess what. Nick Pivetta came in relief and excelled once again, even when faced against the mighty Atlanta offense – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches. I know, the CSW and whiffs are a bit low, but the slider command was back for another round as he was fantastic at landing that pitch down-and-armside for the second straight start. The curve wasn’t detrimental, either, and with the Giants up next, I’m in. That offense is poor and Pivetta is clearly feeling that slide piece.

Pablo López (MIN) vs SEA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

41% CSW on the changeup is bliss, even if it’s still living a little too much inside the zone if I had to nitpick. Yeah, I’m gonna knock that thought out of my head and enjoy looking at what happens when that slow ball is a weapon among the new breakers and increased velocity. Sigh. Now if only the bullpen wouldn’t allow seven runs in the final two frames to lose his Win…

Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

Now that’s another lovely start from Gibson, who has made managers happy in three of his last four. And before that? Oh you know, he was atrocious. And now it’s the Jays and I can’t possibly believe he’ll replicate this success. But hey, those who streamed him should be awfully thrilled at this line. I’m happy for you.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

Come on Nick, say the thing…Aces gonna…not be Burnes yet as his cutter isn’t there yet. OH COME ON. Hey, I’m sorry but 2/50 whiffs? Seriously? And the curveball – the secondary that has come through lately – going just 19% CSW and a horrible 25% strike rate?! Sure sure sure, the changeup and slider went 45% CSW across twenty combined, but I need more. I need the ultimate will of Burnes’ arsenal to DEMAND success. To expect nothing less when he steps out of the dugout and removes all anxiety from managers everywhere. We are not there yet.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 104 pitches.

That’s a Philly as Walker needed a little bit more Taijuan magic to come through against the Orioles, even with just two runs allowed. I kinda dug the pitch approach of cutters and curves down + sinkers armside and four-seamers up, but the splitter did whatever the h*ck it wanted and failed to earn a single whiff in 28 thrown. Blegh. At least it’s the Marlins next, which should be fine. Should be.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 105 pitches.

It’s not the prettiest, but a decent ERA with six strikeouts against the Dodgers ain’t so bad. Super weird to see him walk four, though. That’s not gonna last.

Griffin Canning (LAA) @ DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 93 pitches.

Atta boy Griffin. You did exactly what you were supposed to do against the Tigers and now we throw you back to the wire as you get Atlanta next. Do we have to? No, you could chase his following start in 11 days on August 6th against the Mariners, but that’s a looonnnng ways away. Up to you.

Rich Hill (PIT) @ SD (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

Hill is up to 89 mph these days if you can believe. SLOW DOWN THERE, TIGER! Obviously it doesn’t mean much of anything, but it’s always exciting to see a guy like Hill find a little extra pep in his step. But the fantasy line was terrible. Oh stop that, we know. Let us enjoy the little things for now.

Yerry Rodríguez (TEX) @ HOU (L) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 44 pitches.

He opened for Cody Bradfordwho navigated around ten hard-hit balls to allow just two runs on a pair of solo shots in five frames. Yay.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ CWS (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

That’s a PQS with some Careful, Icarus from Hendricks, who had a decent night with his sinker and changeup, but not his best. Whatever, those final two runs in the seventh are all kinds of annoying and we move on.

Julio Urías (LAD) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 104 pitches.

Ehhhhh a VVPQS isn’t exactly what we signed up for with Urías, even if it’s against the strong Jays crew. Whatever, it’s the Athletics next and that should be a lovely palate cleanser.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) @ TB (L) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 53 pitches.

He left this one early with a blister as the Marlins are in one hck of a spiral. At least y’all can understand that demoting Eury wasn’t detrimental to your playoff hopes, right? Suitman whispers into my ear* ONE GAME BACK?! Okay maybe just a little. I don’t think you need to stash Cabrera through this as he’s innately volatile, even without this extra dash of chaos.

Trevor Williams (WSH) vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.


Michael Kopech (CWS) vs CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

This was actually much better command from Kopech than he’s had lately, but the mistakes were swatted by the Cubs and the velocity is at 95 mph, granting a smaller margin for error. We’re still out on the man, though if the velocity comes back with this command, I think you’ll see much more success. Unlikely, but there’s a path.

Zack Greinke (KC) @ CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.

Greinke does what Greinke does, which often means your bread is drier than that one sandwich I got from a deli in California. When I ask for Mayo, I don’t mean that last spread you have in desperation as you clean out the bottom of the jar. Never going back there again.

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs LAA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Blegh. The Angels are a weird crew – they are 3rd in wRC+ across the last two weeks without Trout, but they also strike out the most. Guess which came out here. We see it, Nick. Don’t get too warped by this one, Erod is worth the start against the Pirates next. Don’t overthink it.

Charlie Morton (ATL) @ BOS (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 80 pitches.

Womp womp. This was the floor that pulled Morton down into the second tier and it’s all kinds of painful. And yes, Morton even earned a triple play and still couldn’t come through. The Red Sox were just too much on that curve and without the hook dominating, Morton withers.

George Kirby (SEA) @ MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

Oh. It’s one of those nights. Oddly enough, Kirby allowed all hits on heaters, while the splitter earned five whiffs, the slider was decent in the zone, and the curve had an 80% strike rate. And yet, the Twins still pounced on those heaters. There’s still a bit missing from his secondary offerings that allow batters to lean too much into his four-seamer and sinker. It’s the final piece.

Domingo Germán (NYY) vs NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

This game had both awards in opposite dugouts with Germán earning the Gallows Pole and nine strikeouts. A classic case of his elite curveball, mixed with a four-seamer and changeup that didn’t avoid the damage it needed to. I am a bit shocked he went more fastballs than curves here, even if he hung a few that got laced. Speaking of hanging pitches, three changeups were demolished, two by Mr. Alonso and he can’t let that happen. So it goes.


Game of the Day

Sandy Alcantara vs. Zach Eflin 14 innings between the two of them, I see it now.

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 Nick Wosika/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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