Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Stro Is Me

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.  

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs CIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches.

Through his first 16 starts of the season, Marcus Stroman held a sparkling 2.28 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP. It was bliss with low sinkers catalyzing a 62% groundball rate in front of one of the best infield defenses in baseball. Stroman appeared to be one of the few rocks of rotations across fantasy leagues everywhere.

It wasn’t meant to last into July, sadly. Stroman has held an 8.00 ERA and 1.85 WHIP across his last six starts, not including tonight’s horrid 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 71 pitches performance and managers are sure to question whether Stroman is worth the gamble any longer. It’s a difficult call to make.

I believe I did a disservice by not looking at one specific number during his initial stretch. I saw his low .235 BABIP in that time and leaned into the team defense and increased grounders as a simple explanation instead of looking at the truly important number: His -18 Hit Luck across those sixteen starts. In short, Hit Luck is a product of PLV stating “how many more or fewer hits this pitcher has allowed than expected based on the pitches they have thrown.” Stroman prevented eighteen more hits than he should have in the first sixteen games of the season according to PLV, a strong counter-point to the “sustainable” BABIP he had been posting.

Conversely, Stroman’s last six starts came with a +9 Hit Luck, with his fortune swinging in the opposite direction dramatically, and this outing is sure to continue the trend. In the same way Stroman was lucky before, he’s been getting unlucky recently, as the averaging of a full season comes into full effect. He isn’t destined to be a 4.00+ ERA arm across the full year and while the sinkers that found the plate were hit by the Reds tonight, it would be unwise to believe Stroman is destined for more poor luck through the end of the year.

That’s a lot of words to say that you should likely hold Stroman. The best argument I see against him at the moment is his next two starts against Atlanta & Toronto. If you’re not starting him in those, I don’t believe Stroman will be so impactful in his ~7 starts after to make stashing him for three weeks worthwhile. Do what you need to do in your leagues.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Jakob Junis (SF) vs ARI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 37 pitches.

Junis tossed more innings than Alex Woodwho followed him for 2.2 innings of 2 ER. I can’t believe the Giants are just 2.5 games back of the NL West and have the first Wild Card spot with so many bullpen games like this. It’s bonkers.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a King ColeIt’s pretty awesome to see the best version of Glasnow show itself this season. That slider is arguably one of the best in the game.

Noah Syndergaard (CLE) @ HOU (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 68 pitches.

Pffffft, enjoy the Gold Star for your 94 mph heater and two total whiffs across 5.1 frames against the Astros. I can’t believe there’s no butter…wait. Yes I can.

Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

Okay, okay I get it. Gibson has had…wait. This is his first start allowing fewer than 2 ER since May 25th and during that stretch, he’s fanned more than five just four times. Yeaaaaah no thanks.

Chase Silseth (LAA) @ ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 63 pitches.

He got the start out of nowhere (Griffin Canning needed some rest for “general soreness”), had to deal with Atlanta, and it didn’t matter. Silseth’s marvelous new slider earned plenty of outs over the plate and his 95/96 mph heater returned six whiffs and a 42% CSW. Los Angeles, please find a way to keep him inside the rotation. Sandoval doesn’t really need to be here, does he?

George Kirby (SEA) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

I’m thrilled to see the strikeouts, I’m sad his slider + splitter + curve returned just 3/34 whiffs. His four-seamer returned 14 fouls vs. 2 balls in play, which means he had more two-strike counts and thus more opportunities for strikeouts. IT’S SIMPLE Y’ALL. Unfortunately, foul balls are not a sticky thing and if Kirby can’t get whiffs on secondaries, he won’t easily replicate this.

J.P. France (HOU) vs CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Now that’s some good Tobyin’. I definitely dig the changeup and curve locations here, though the cutter and four-seamer living in the heart of the zone constantly isn’t really my jam. I think you’re okay with the Yankees next.

Seth Lugo (SD) @ COL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 104 pitches.

Look at that. Lugo is so good that he’ll fan nine in Coors with just two runs as payment. So what if he gets the Dodgers next, BRING IT.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ MIA (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

Taijuan found a way despite a massive velocity dip early on that landed on -2.1 ticks by the end, and if that isn’t Taijuan magic, I don’t know what is. That doesn’t feel like a sustainable thing. No it doesn’t, yet here we are, with the Royals up next. Ugggghhh, we’re starting him there too, aren’t we? Sure are.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ SF (ND) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s one lovely matchup and that line looks as if Ryne was trying to mess it up, but the Giants wouldn’t let him. That HAISTBMBWT?! may not be the anomaly we want it to be.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

The cutter got lower and yet, just 5/56 whiffs as the secondaries went just 3/32 whiffs. Come on Burnes, give us EVERYTHING in one start like you used to. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 ER in six straight starts now and I’ll give him one more game before the AGA tag arrives. At least make it a better K-per-BB, okay?

Austin Gomber (COL) vs SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Hey, that’s cool from Gomber. I incorrectly stated on the OTC podcast tonight that the Padres were poor against LHB – it’s not true at all and Gomber deserves props for this. That’s all you get, though. Sweet, delicious props.

Jake Irvin (WSH) vs MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Blegh. Velocity was back to 94 mph, the curve went just 3/29 whiffs, and that’s it. Let’s move on.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs PHI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

I could feel the monkey paw curl as I wished for fastball strikes as the pitch actually returned higher than a 50% strike rate…at the cost of his changeup going just 41% strikes. OH COME ON. I wonder if the blister that affected him last start was present here, too. Please bench him against Texas next time out.

Nick Pivetta (BOS) @ SEA (L) – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

Awwwww yeah. We saw a variety of ways to fan batters, from called strikes on low four-seamers to curveballs, sweepers, and the lovely slider we remember from his last two starts. I wouldn’t say I’m sold this will continue until the end, but it’s hard to resist picking him up, even with the Jays up next. The Royals follow, after all.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole with a whopping 23 whiffs and it doesn’t matter. VPQS with an L is terrible for your standard leagues, but at least you got eight strikeouts? It’s not fun dealing with Morton, the HIPSTER.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 113 pitches.

Blegh. The sinker, curve, and four-seamer all carried blissful CSW marks, but the rest of his offerings weren’t as special and it didn’t go his way against the Orioles. Whatareyagonnado.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ CHC (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches.

Ah, so this is what it looks like when the slider isn’t at its best and the four-seamer isn’t well spotted. The super high LOB rates and low BABIP weren’t meant to stick around in the first place, but that didn’t mean he had to walk more batters, too. Brush it off and expect better against the Nationals next time out.

Jhony Brito (NYY) vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 67 pitches.

Brito got the surprise call to start against a solid Rays offense and didn’t do a whole lot to impress. Changeups found far too much of the plate and his curveball was hung like a terrible rendition of She Bangs.


Game of the Day


Kyle Bradish vs. Hyun Jin Ryu – He’s back from TJS! And maybe we get the good version of Bradish, too.

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 Brandon Sloter/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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