Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.
Dean Kremer (BAL) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches.
I have to rank every pitcher each week and it’s been difficult to place Dean Kremer this season. On one hand, it was easy on Monday to place a pitcher with a 5.04 ERA and 1.42 WHIP among the 90s. On the other, Kremer has had some moments of brilliance this season that has turned him into a shocking streamer on occasions. This was one of those nights as he took down the Yankees with a beautiful 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches performance. Yes, that’s a share of the Gallows Pole, on the back of his cutter and four-seamer tallying 14 whiffs between them. Astounding.
The secret lies in those two offerings. Sure, the curve had a 69% strike rate and the sinker wasn’t left over the plate, but that cutter elegantly placed gloveside and down along with the four-seamer soaring upstairs worked well in tandem. I just wish I could believe Kremer could do this at will, after all, he just allowed 7 ER last time out.
It’s up to you if you want to take the gamble on this precision. At least it’s in him, and that’s a start.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Pablo López (MIN) vs KC (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 100 pitches.
YES. Everything was cooking here, from 46% CSW on the four-seamer to 76% sweeper strikes and 40%+ CSW on both his curve and change, leading to a King Cole. I’m a greedy man and want his change to land low a little more often, but everything played so well off each other and it felt as if Pablo could throw all four pitches at any moment. He deserved this.
Alex Cobb (SF) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 88 pitches.
The slider is still here at 13% usage, going 82% strikes and bridging the gap left by his splitter going just 3/16 whiffs. It makes a huge difference for Cobb and could mean he’s turned the corner to remove his lamented Cherry Bomb label. Maybe.
Tommy Henry (ARI) vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.
Well I’ll be, that’s a Gold Star for Henry. Again. Another solid outing for the southpaw, though the slider took a backseat (despite getting 5/7 strikes!) and this was reliant on his four-seamer surviving. A 2/4 K/BB should tell you the good fortune that carried Henry through six and I’d be careful trusting this too heavily.
Randy Vásquez (NYY) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.
Yep, that’s all you can really hope for from Vásquez. You may shout HAISTBMBWT?! but it’s on you for making toast in the first place.
Michael Soroka (ATL) @ CLE (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 99 pitches.
Ehhhh, Soroka isn’t the type of pitcher who should need 99 pitches to get through fewer than five innings. His slider and four-seamer are cooking, though, sadly it’s the sinker and change in my view. He’ll get it in order and turn into a Win machine at the cost of strikeouts. I’d want to hold onto him for the second half, though he’s not invaluable. He’s okay to drop if there’s a Sunday stream available who could secure your week.
Austin Pruitt (OAK) @ DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 34 pitches.
We saw Pruitt open for Ken Waldichuk, who was given a new chance at stretching out to start and gave 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks of bulk relief across 62 pitches. He’s not ready? He’s not ready. Hopefully at some point in the second half.
Kodai Senga (NYM) @ ARI (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 107 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! I’ve been harsh on Senga, labeling him as a Cherry Bomb this year and ultra dependent on the splitter. Is that fair? Kinda, as the four-seamer and slider leave a lot to be desired, but the cutter has done a great job of earning strikeouts with a fantastic 88th percentile ICR%. ICR%? Ideal Contact Rate. In other words, he’s throwing strikes with his cutter without allowing a lot of contact that returns hits. Anyway, remember that first thing? About being dependent on the forkball? Okay, still true. It went 10/25 whiffs and dominated, earning a third of the Gallows Pole. SO FINE JUST DO THAT EVERY TIME. Having some sweepers and curves land for strikes is cool too, but yeah, that forkball. He’s looking more Cherry than Bomb these days and if that means he sticks around your roster, I have no issue with that. He’s hovering around a 30% strikeout rate, after all. He’ll get a bump to the next Cherry Bomb tier.
Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.
Ah, so remember last start where Ashcraft had his slider working and we hoped the cutter would follow? Don’t tell me. The slider got worse and the cutter is still poorly spotted. Bingo. I try to be as positive as possible, though those are the kind of peaks that are wise to avoid. But just 1 ER in six frames! READ A ROOM DARYL. That’s a horrid WHIP with just two strikeouts and a game of chaos that sparks little hope for future success.
Seth Lugo (SD) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 99 pitches.
An Angels lineup without Trout and a blister-ailing Ohtani can work wonders for the opposition, though I need to give props to Lugo’s changeup, yes changeup. The pitch came out of nowhere to return 6/16 whiffs, amplifying the four-seamer upstairs for eight whiffs of its own. Lugo isn’t expected to win many Gallows Pole awards this year, but if that changeup is real, it also makes the curve that much better as a strike pitch and less of an offering to save deeper into counts. I’m very curious.
Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 85 pitches.
I didn’t expect much here, especially not a harder slider and sinker. And while the slider did a terrible job earning strikes, the changeup stepped up for 7/25 whiffs and 44% CSW, giving The Irish Panda a shot at five frames. He survived, not thrived, and without the slider/change being two great pitches, I’m still out.
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 104 pitches.
A 1.80 WHIP with a 1.80 ERA. The Houser Special. Props, I guess.
Tommy Milone (SEA) @ SF (L) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 81 pitches.
Yeah. Him. And huge props not just to Milone for surviving almost five frames of 1 ER ball, but also the Mariners for trusting in him to get it done. But zero strikeouts! YOU SAID YOU WEREN’T HUNGRY.
Brayan Bello (BOS) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 107 pitches.
Oh h*ck yes. Sure, the Rangers have been a little cold lately, but Bello going seven strong is something to applaud. The bad news: It was still just sinker/change leading the way as the slider earned strikes but failed to return a single whiff across 17 thrown. I’m not sure I want to lean too heavily into a sinker/change-focused approach with Bello. For now, we hold and play it out, but I want to see more from that breaker.
Alec Marsh (KC) @ MIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 91 pitches.
Ummm Marsh was kinda awesome with a 57% CSW curve, a whiff heavy slider, and a solid 95 mph heater. There’s still a bit of command to iron out, but I kinda dig him? Maybe? I wonder how the rotation will fill up after the break and whether Marsh becomes a streaming option in the near future. Keep an eye on this.
Osvaldo Bido (PIT) @ LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 81 pitches.
Hey, it could have been worse? Yeah, you’re right. This wasn’t great. At all.
Zack Littell (TB) vs PHI (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 37 pitches.
It was another day of Yonny Chirinos, who allowed 3 ER and 8 Hits in 2.2 innings. Yeah, please don’t.
J.P. France (HOU) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.
This works for me. You got yourself a Win, a decent WHIP, and a PQS against the middling Rockie Road. This is what makes him a Toby and we live with that.
Jon Gray (TEX) @ BOS (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 94 pitches.
A VVVVPQS with two strikeouts and a Loss. Yeah, this is horrible for your standard leagues and even those in QS leagues feel icky about it. The four-seamer was down to 95 mph and was a shotgun blast across the zone. That can’t be the case, even if Jonny G has his slider returning a fair number of whiffs. I hope he finds that rhythm again soon, but a drop could be in order if there’s something needed on the wire.
Justin Steele (CHC) @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.
I’m a little sad to see a VPQS after I wanted a start that would let me vault Steele further up the ranks next week. In short, he was Singled Out while he didn’t have his best command – especially the slider that was far too hittable inside the zone. Just a little trimming of the location-hedges and he’ll be back to normal.
Josiah Gray (WSH) vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.
Yep. Are we done here? Cool.
Taijuan Walker (PHI) @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.
Those eight strikeouts were a taste of that weird Taijuan magic, but the rest were the Rays being the Rays. At least he’s at 93 mph with decent cutters and splitters combining for 67% usage? Maybe there’s something actually consistent there.
Bobby Miller (LAD) vs PIT (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.
Oh dear. That’s four straight outings of ERAs that are sure to make you upset and yet…this was a Win, a near 1.00 WHIP, and seven strikeouts. That’s a Dusty Donut with two home runs making up for all four runs. He even had 8/27 fastball whiffs here and while I have no choice but to lower him a bit next week on The List, I very much believe in his second half. The slider/change/curve all have legit potential and the command foundation is strong enough to make the adjustments over time. He’s exactly the kind of pitcher I want to buy low on with the legit stuff to turn in an ace-like stretch overnight.
Matthew Liberatore (STL) @ MIA (ND) – 0.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 21 pitches.
This was supposed to be Matz, but Liberatore got the start in the end, which was really just a warm-up bullpen for the young southpaw. Poor fella.
Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs ATL (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.
Atlanta is just stupid good right now. Do not go near them.
Chase Anderson (COL) @ HOU (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 56 pitches.
Hi Chase. Hi. You didn’t want to be here either, did you. I can see the monkey paw curl as I wish to be out of Coors…I know buddy. I know.
Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) vs OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.
And this is why Still ILL exists, even against the Athletics. He got the changeup down, but there was no pitch separation as everything lived down and hugged the middle. Erod doesn’t have the most overwhelming stuff, meaning he can’t get away with flinging pitches casually into the zone. It may take a moment for it to click in again.
Bryan Hoeing (MIA) vs STL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 69 pitches.
Yikes. He’s ultra reliant on the sinker inducing outs and when it doesn’t, everyone looks around with that weird look characters make when the comic relief tells an awkward joke no one understands. IT’S NOT FOR YOU, IT’S FOR US, YOU FAKE PEOPLE. Anyway, it’s best not to lean on Hoeing save for the most extreme of matchups, and even then, likely just for NL-Only leagues.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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