Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Medina Bae

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.  

Luis Medina (OAK) @ COL (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

If you’ve been reading the roundup regularly, you’ll know that Luis Medina has earned whiffs with regularity with his breakers over his last three starts, predominately with a new slider. His matchup in Coors today seemed off-limits, but he proved all of us wrong with 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

Yes, it’s time to act. The slider went 12/30 whiffs with a 47% CSW and now he hosts the weak Giants offense in O.Co. It’s as good of a stream as you can hope for from a player rostered in roughly 5% of leagues and it’s shocking arms like Medina who can make the biggest of differences down the stretch. Let it ride.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Aaron Civale (CLE) @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.

And would you look at that. Civale was just 0.3 ticks down on the heater. I have no idea what was going on with him in his last two outings (down over 4 ticks, then 2 ticks) but he made me look like a fool avoiding this two-start week. Huge props to him, with the lovely cutter + curve combo coming through. You know, there was a time last year when he wasn’t going 2/3 cutter + curve, and if only my old self could look at Civale now. He’d be so proud.

Steven Matz (STL) vs CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

Yoooooooo it keeps working! But just two strikeouts. Yeah yeah yeah, you’re not wrong. The pitch separation with sinkers up and changeups down was pretty lovely, though, while the curve continuously earned strikes. I’d get in for Rockie Road next.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. #HotCastilloSummer.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 85 pitches.

Oh really. Enjoy the Gold Star (I’d give it to Medina, but I’m not so shocked his slider showed up again) as you went 2/31 slider whiffs and still chuck cutters into the zone and hope for the best. I ain’t buying it.

Blake Snell (SD) vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

This could be the final outing for Snell with the Padres as he did an excellent job executing the BSB but lost a few batters for those obnoxious four walks and a high pitch count. The dude couldn’t be touched, though, and seeing his slider and curve land so often down and near the zone makes my heart flutter.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches.

Three whiffs and yet I don’t care. When you’re hot, you’re hot. Not sure why they felt the need to pull him after just 73 pitches, but whatever, we’re happy with Sánchez and we keep letting it ride against the Royals and Nationals next.

Ty Blach (COL) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 52 pitches.

I’m shocked to see Blach do well. Because it was Coors and he held a 5.51 ERA and 1.71 WHIP entering today? No, because normally the Ty goes to the runner. NICK.

Scott Alexander (SF) vs BOS (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 16 pitches.

The Giants’ followers came through this weekend as Ross Stripling tossed 4.1 IP of 1 ER ball in relief, featuring a 47% CSW slider (2/19 whiffs, though) and a…13% CSW changeup. Nah, I can’t get behind that.

Ryan Yarbrough (KC) vs MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 78 pitches.

Look at the Fratty Pirate go. That’s his fourth start of exactly 1 ER in five games, each of at least 5.2 frames. Oh snap, is he worth a pick-up? Ehhhh, it was all AL Central squads + Jokeland and now he gets the Phillies. I think it’s best to hold off as these five strikeouts match the highest total of all five games.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ TOR (ND) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 101 pitches.

He got the changeup down, which returned plenty of outs…and plenty of easy takes as it returned a sub-50 % strike rate and just 11% CSW. Yeesh. This was a fortunate day at the park, but at least we’re seeing how Anderson can go six strong and maybe that repeats against the Mariners. He’s a Toby at best.

José Berríos (TOR) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

More production from Berríos and it’s a standard affair these days. The four-seamer came alive for eight whiffs here as he’s introduced the pitch a bit more over the last month. I feel like he’s playing with fire (its reduction in favor of sinkers was the catalyst of his 2023 success), but if it works, it works. No reason to stop starting Berríos as he heads to Fenway.

Justin Verlander (NYM) vs WSH (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.

Is this Verlander’s last start with the Mets? At least he’s helping his case to get something decent back at the deadline (apparently Scherzer was viewed as being a cheaper deadline option? I’m a bit shocked at that, but I understand the ERA gaps and yet…nah.), though this was far from a night of precision from Verlander. Blame it on the Nationals. His pitches were all over the place.

Cody Bradford (TEX) @ SD (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches.

Look, we don’t trust people with two first names, let alone three. With the trades for The Bear and Scherzer, you shouldn’t see much more of Bradford, even if Eovaldi hit the IL (and should be back next weekend).

Brennan Bernardino (BOS) @ SF (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 27 pitches.

Uhhhh, where’s Nick PivettaSuitman whispers in my ear Tomorrow?! WHY. Sure, the Mariners are fine, but this was Oracle Park! WHATEVER.

Rich Hill (PIT) vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 79 pitches.

Well ain’t that cool. Nothing quite like seeing more strikeouts than whiffs in a given start and of course it’s from the called strike master himself, Hill. That hook and fastball just love to make reservations inside the zone, don’t they? Yes, with a window table, please. No, we don’t take chances on Hill moving forward.

Zack Littell (TB) @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.

All kinds of surprising to see a decent ERA and Win across five frames from Littell as he did his best attempt at the BSBI imagine Eflin returns and bounces Littell + maybe the Rays get a guy like Lorenzen before the deadline. At any rate, Littell isn’t the guy to chase.

Kenta Maeda (MIN) @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh snap, Maeda sat two ticks up on his fastballs. Sure, it’s just 92.3 mph, but two ticks are two ticks! This wasn’t his best commanded game – each of his four hits came off a different pitch type (all horizontally middle of the zone. That dang y-mLoc%…) – and he still gave you seven strikeouts. You gotta love rostering Maeda right now. It’s roughly a 2.63 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP and 34% strikeout rate in his seven starts since returning from the IL. That’s what’s up.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ STL (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

It ain’t pretty and honestly doesn’t help in the slightest, but it’s so close to production in each start. At least he went seven frames.

Michael Kopech (CWS) vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 93 pitches.

Remember when we hated Kopech at 95 mph? Yeah, he was 93.1 mph today. Please stop considering Kopech.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ah dangit. He wasn’t living on the east-west edges like last time and the changeup didn’t get as low as we normally see. He’s still an obvious start against the Twins.

AJ Smith-Shawver (ATL) vs MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Welcome back! Let’s take a look at ya…ah! You’re the same arm without a suggestion of a ceiling worth chasing in 12-teamers. Cool cool cool. Welp, see ya later.

Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Womp womp. I’ve seen worse from Bielak as he still flirted with the edges, but unless he’s truly overwhelming with the changeup, I don’t think the slider, curve, and heaters are good enough to keep him afloat.

Dean Kremer (BAL) vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 90 pitches.

It’s too bad he wasn’t able to get through one more frame to earn the dub and I think Kremer did well with his low cutters and fastballs inside the zone. Not exceptional, though, and three walks are a little inexcusable when given the sizeable lead he had, but this wasn’t a disaster on the mound the ratios suggest.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.

Well this was a dumb game. Both Luzardo and Skubal each allowed all four of their runs in the one sole frame and you may be shocked to learn Luzardo allowed just one hit off his heater all game. There were a few hung changeups and sliders, but overall I really dug Luzardo’s heaters and most of his secondaries. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ MIA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

As mentioned with Luzardo, Skubal had a poor fifth inning, though he didn’t locate his four-seamer upstairs as we saw in previous starts, regardless of the cataclysmic frame. Brush it off as we’re better off assuming it’s one of those days instead of a prophetic downfall.

Colin Rea (MIL) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 80 pitches.

I’m stunned to see the near Golden Goal from Rea against Atlanta + eight strikeouts. I can absolutely latch onto this version of Rea with a harder sweeper returning 62% CSW as his most thrown pitch (21 featured, 26% usage) and precisely placed on the gloveside corner. He mixed that with cutters and sinkers…landing on the mirrored sides of the zone I’d want to see. That is, sinkers should be armside, and cutters gloveside; here it was reversed. Strange. At least the four-seamers went upstairs and yes, some cutters were back-door to lefties (and sinkers front door), but it’s still not what we generally endorse. Anyway, if the sweeper is anything close to this good moving forward, I’ll actually consider Rea again. H*ck, he gets the Pirates up next and I’d do it in 15-teamers. This is a new season high for sliders (just twice at 20% or higher, back on May 6th!) and it’s hard not to have a feeling he’ll lean into more moving forward after its success here.

Trevor Williams (WSH) @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.


Michael Grove (LAD) vs CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.

It’s a fantastic slider (52% CSW! 14 whiffs!) and even his curve was filthy as well with 44% CSW, but the cutter and four-seamer got crushed, while a few breakers met the barrel as well. You can see the potential with those whiffs, but Grove needs to figure out the Way of Guardians Greats to make it work – the heater is bad and the curve + slider needs to pick up the slack. With Lynn in the rotation, I imagine we won’t see much more of Grove, but seeing a productive curve does make me raise an eyebrow as we thought the slider was alone inside that arsenal.

Luis Severino (NYY) @ BAL (L) – 3.1 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 80 pitches.

Hahahahaha. The first inning began with four hits, a walk, and a three-run shot and that’s all you need to know. Severino’s stuff just isn’t fooling anyone these days.


Game of the Day


Nick Pivetta vs. George Kirby – The Red Sox delayed Pivetta a day and now squares off against Kirby in what’s destined to be a fun matchup.

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.

Featured image 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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