Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cristopher’s Grace

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

I gave Cristopher Sánchez a watch with the Twitch crowd earlier this week and what I saw was pretty simple. A sinker he chucks over the plate and hopes for the best at 92 mph, a slider that is ole reliable, and a changeup that misses bats but struggles to get strikes. It outlined a Toby who could become more, but was one to surely avoid against the Rays on Thursday.

Whoops. Sánchez cruised against the Rays for an impressive 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches line and he’s about to turn heads for Sunday FAAB. My take? He’s fine. The changeup earned its whiffs here as it stayed low for the most part, but the slider wasn’t anything special and that sinker…it scares me, you know? It gets a lot of sink, but I’m not ready to buy into his command of it, and while it earned a whole of outs, it was the cause of his only run as Isaac Paredes launched that bad boy over the fence in a hurry.

The best news I have for you is the next potential start could be the Brewers the Tuesday after the break. I know this isn’t the greatest endorsement of Sánchez, but the Brewers? Sure, go for it. Maybe that sinker is harder to hit even well inside the zone than I’m giving it credit for.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Carlos Carrasco (NYM) @ ARI (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Would you look at this Gold StarThe slider and curve each returned 42%+ CSW marks, the four-seamer sat at 93.5 mph – standard velocity for the past five years or so – and the changeup had a whole lot of loLoc%. And yet, it was four strikeouts as the four-seamer was hit into play a ton and found gloves. Come on Nick, you love quick outs! You say it’s the most underrated skill! Yeah, when it’s a skill. Do you want to start a pitcher banking on their outs coming in the field while carrying a 4.50 K/9? Didn’t think so. I’m not falling for this.

José Berríos (TOR) @ CWS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

This was a fantastic duel between Berríos and Lynn and I’m so happy for them both. I wanna have some fun with y’all right now. Look at this plot of curveballs (or slurves, whatever) thrown tonight. What do you think its CSW was? To me, this is near perfection as it looks like a mix of called strikes and chases that returned either whiffs or outs, speaking to 35-40% CSW. In reality, it was a 9% CSW. I know, bonkers. Sure, they returned foul balls and outs in play, but still. Bonkers. That’s not a 9% CSW pitch, especially against the White Sox, who are notorious for flailing against RHP breakers. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs TOR (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 102 pitches.

Lynn. What a ridiculous human you are. This line makes you believe that everything outside of his standard four-seamer/cutter approach was equally brilliant and yet…they were just fine. Well, save for the curve, that thing was CHAOS at a 30% strike rate with so many horrifically wasted pitches. Nay, this was all about the standard pair of 12/44 whiffs four-seamers and a 42% CSW cutter. In other words, he’s still an enigma from start to start, making for the poster child of Cherry Bomb this year. What are we supposed to do here, blindly start him I guess? And to think 25 whiffs didn’t earn a Gallows Pole

Jack Flaherty (STL) @ MIA (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 111 pitches.

The fastball jumped back up to 94 mph while the slider and curve returned…5/44 whiffs. Some days, you can’t have it all. The man was Singled Out after all, but we’ll take the rest of it for the Dusty DonutHe should get the Nationals next weekend and we’re still in, obviously.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

Fantastic work Bradish. He went 50% sliders + curves with the latter returning 35% CSW and I’m all for that. Sadly, the slider was just 1/26 whiffs and I still dream of a stretch where both the slider and curve are at their peaks. The four-seamer stepped up in this one, though, going 67% strikes without a single ball in play. That’s the dream, as that pitch terrifies me. If that stays true moving forward, I’m so very in on Bradish. Not gonna happen, but a man can dream. I wish the Orioles would consider Bradish to start in the opening series out of the break. Why? Because that would be the Marlins instead of…the Dodgers. That’s a hold vs. a clear drop and I hate how we’re in the dark for a near week. How could they do this to us? DON’T THEY KNOW WHO I AM? Sasha, calm down. It’s Alexi. See, don’t even know who you are.

Michael Lorenzen (DET) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 60 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Our streaming pick was all kinds of boring (as expected) and still came through against a poor offense by force-feeding four-seamers and sliders whether they liked it or not. This was not a game of brilliance, it was a game of “do something about it” and Oakland obliged. Blame it on the Athletics.

Brandon Williamson (CIN) @ WSH (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 59 pitches.

Nothing quite like rain delays, you know? It limited Williamson here, but even in the small 59-pitch sample, we saw some promising things like extra fastball velocity and a ton of cutter precision. There may be something there in time, but let’s wait for a full outing first. The slider and change are still – what’s the word? – unsatisfactory.

Shawn Armstrong (TB) vs PHI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 44 pitches.

Wait, Sir Bullpen Game, you’re leaving? Stop. Don’t. Come back. – he said, in his best Willy Wonka impression.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs CIN (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 17 pitches.

The rain in the capital terrain is the bane of my campaign.

George Kirby (SEA) @ HOU (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

What has the bottom of the zone ever done to Kirby? The man lived upstairs with nearly everything and while it obviously worked, I can’t help but wonder what he’d look like if he could utilize it better. But hey, good job staving off the Astros. We love ya fella.

Eury Pérez (MIA) vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ahhhhh, much better. That slider was stupid good at 10/42 whiffs, though I wish you spent some more time working on the change and curve, combining for just 13 pitches between them. I know it works so well with sliders and four-seamers right now, but you can’t be two-pitch forever. Gotta work on that change and curve, yeah? Nick, this is silly. He just dominated with just those two pitches! Yeah, yeah, but improving the change and curve helps defend him against the nightmare that was his last outing. HE MUST TRAIN.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hmmmmm. Like Luke, the fours were with him and I never like to see that. I do enjoy seeing his fastball constantly land in the upper half, but the slider control was everywhere and the curve’s consistency around the zone helped him get through the Royals. I’m getting impatient waiting for Bibee to refine his repertoire, and with a likely start against the Rangers next week, it looks like I’ll have to endure it for a good while. One day.

Jordan Lyles (KC) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

Lyles is trying so hard to earn that Win. He even tried to overlook the whiff and just focus on getting outs with four-seamers and it wasn’t enough. It’s almost like Wins are a dumb stat. Almost.

Julio Urías (LAD) vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

We got the Still ILL out of the way and Urías was so much better at spotting his pitches. This should quell any fears you had.

Ronel Blanco (HOU) vs SEA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ayyyyy more Blanco chucking 40%+ sliders! The changeup and four-seamer got involved in the whiff party with five apiece (thank you Mariners), though the four-seamer was precise and the changeup was just…there. If he could get that slowball actually low and keep the slider/fastball command, there’s something very legit here. Seriously, the slider and heater alone were impressing me massively in this one. Look at their locations alone and tell me how that isn’t awesome, even with the hung sliders. He had too many in the middle of the plate. Nah, I’m seeing so many along the edges, making the lovely “7” shape that I want to see as the pitch hovers at the top of the zone and the gloveside edge. That’s what you want.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) vs CHC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 28 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 104 pitches.

Holy WestVest, that’s a Golden Goal with ten strikeouts for Peralta and…poor ratios to go with it. His four-seamer and slider each returned 12 whiffs while the slider held a STUPID 60% CSW. How can you possibly not believe in this man despite the ratios? He even sat 1.5 ticks up on the four-seamer and 2.2 ticks on the slider. Three ticks on his ten curveballs. THE MAN IS READY TO BE YOUR ACE.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs TEX (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 73 pitches.

This was the Rangers and I don’t like to judge too harshly when facing them. That said, just nine sliders Kutter? Come on man, you went 8/9 strikes with them and it’s a far better pitch than your kutter. I understand the attachment, but you need to lean on the breaker more. Four-seamer/sliders = your ticket to being the Crawford that Boston fans remember.

Jesse Scholtens (CWS) vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 73 pitches.

It was double-header day and the White Sox let Scholtens properly start for a whole 73 pitches. Incredible. Really? Yeah, the dude earned just one strikeout while allowing eleven hits in just 73 pitches. Okay fair. Very fair.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) @ BOS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.

Annnnnnnd we’re back down to 94 mph. This wasn’t just a mechanical issue as we suspected and that’s 3-of-4 outings with dramatically lower velocity. I’m scared. Good, that means you’re taking this seriously. I’m selling if I still can. Something is very much up here.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

Oh cool, let’s just throw softer breaking balls and let the curve get smacked for five hits. Yeeeesh. Pretty cool to see 11/11 strikes on sliders, though. Can’t say I’ve seen that across double-digit pitches of any type this year. I worry a little about Kikuchi’s four-seamer command and if his breakers are a little too hittable and if you have a pickup you need to make, it’s okay to drop Kikuchi as he’s likely not starting again for another 10-12 days.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s three straight starts now of Stroman vastly underperforming. In fact, he’s allowed 3 ER for three straight games after not allowing 3 ER in seven straight. His command is so far gone, it’s just failing him when he needs it at the moment and I think I’m still starting him against the Red Sox next. The sinker is still strong.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ LAD (L) – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 98 pitches.

Hey, this was pretty solid for Oviedo, save for home runs off the bat of Max Muncy and Freddie FreemanWe’re talking 18 whiffs and 33% CSW, after all. The slide piece was everything – well, it normally is too, but this was even more than typical with 11/31 whiffs and a whopping 52% CSW – and the four-seamer was better spotted around the zone. It’s weird being so positive when the ratios hurt as much as they did, but when I see a guy pitch better than usual, I gotta let y’all know. Doesn’t mean you roster him now, of course. I wonder if he’s worth a dart throw against the Giants or Guardians…

Hogan Harris (OAK) @ DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 105 pitches.

Welp, let’s not talk about Harris again for, I dunno, a while. How long is that? Yes. That wasn’t a–Yes.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 66 pitches.

Ah, so the changeup that has been the reliable #2 pitch was thrown just ten times. Why? I don’t know, it was fine in my view. The cutter was solid at 7/8 strikes, too, but Nelson went hard on the heater and got pummeled. We also saw Drey Jameson appear in relief, which should be noted as he was a potential starter this weekend. Guess that’s not on the table anymore. Move along.

Luis Severino (NYY) vs BAL (L) – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

Ah. Still lost I see. The fastball was pounced upon up in the zone, the slider earned few whiffs, and even the low changeups allowed hits. He’s very much not ready and honestly may be tipping. Stay away until we have something demanding your attention.


Game of the Day 

Jameson Taillon vs. Carlos RodónHE’S BACK. HE’S BACK! I know, I’m excited to watch Rodón, too. What? No, I meant Taillon! He’s back in NYC! Oh. That’s cool too, yeah.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by Joe Robbins/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.

3 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cristopher’s Grace”

  1. josh says:

    nick, never seen you come around on a pitcher so fast like Freddy P. why the such big change? seems like his numbers are still trending the wrong way.

  2. Ryan says:

    Stroman managed to be an Icarus yesterday in only 5 innings. He dominated thru 4, with only 1 H, 1 BB, and 4 Ks. Then gave up all 4 runs with two outs in the 5th, including that 3 run HR to Yelich. He was SO close! I’m not sure how actionable this is, but interesting imo. Possible the blister isn’t completely calloused back over yet?

  3. Moelicious says:

    Bradish’s PLV is 15th in MLB, if you’re into that….

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