Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Sean Stars, Pittsburgh Edition

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.

Sean Manaea (NYM) @ PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

Did you realize that Sean Manaea has a 3.43 ERA on the season with a 23% strikeout rate? He hit those marks after Sunday’s 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches against the Pirates, lowering his ERA by 90 points since June 9th. That explains why that feels so low. A month of productive ball will do that to you.

You can point to multiple reasons for the fantastic 1.57 ERA and 1.01 WHIP across his last five games – the most popular being a generally soft schedule – and I’d argue the promotion of his slider has been the biggest catalyst. He featured it about 5% of the time prior and has showcased the offering over 20% of the time in recent games, boasting an elite Str-ICR rate in the process.

That said, I still feel it’s all a bit weird. Manaea isn’t the greatest command arm and the sinker that leads the charge isn’t an example of a foundational pitch for starters to emulate. At the very least, he could be a strong streamer in the short term (Rockie Road is next!), with a likely departure as we near August. Enjoy the ride.

Sidenote: Sorry for the delay this week. I’m away to visit family and will have a “weekend cadence” with articles until the All-Star Break.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 68 pitches.

Interesting to see Crawford move away from sweepers here with just eight thrown, favoring four-seamers and cutters heavily, with a sprinkle of 10 splitters as well. It obviously worked! We’re cruising with Crawford, and absolutely pleased with a 3.24 ERA and 1.07 WHIP on top of 106 strikeouts just past the halfway point.

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) vs LAA (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

So. Many. Sweepers. It didn’t have the best strike rate (neither had the heater) and the cutter was meh, but he hurled them over the plate and the Angels either took them (41% CSW with just one whiff!) or hit them into a glove. Sometimes that’s all you need to do. I’d be worried about trusting this line, which clearly benefited from a poor lineup and the grace of Koufax above.

Reynaldo López (ATL) vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

He pumped heaters and the Phillies didn’t do a whole lot with them with his slider and curve earning a fair number of strikes. That works, ReyLó. You won’t always get away with it, but that’s better than walking the farm. But three walks! Ehhh it was a 68% strike rate. Individual at-bats are weird.

Luis L. Ortiz (PIT) vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ortiz went Dancing With The Disco at 40%+ sliders, but was able to also earn eight whiffs and use it as a whiff pitch, while his cutter earned strikes and fastballs survived. To see Ortiz have a game plan and execute it well is an absolute joy. Now that Jones is on the mend, expect Ortiz to get regular starts, including a matchup against the CrySox next. There’s intrigue there, though it’s still difficult to fully trust this command being present.

Dallas Keuchel (MIL) @ LAD (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

Despite not going five full innings, this has to be a Gold Star, right? But not a single strikeout! HAISTBMBWT?! and FIVE WALKS! Look, if you’re walking em, that means they aren’t homering. Keuchel knew he had a challenge and did everything he could to never give in, hoping to get lucky at the right moments. Narrator: He did. Hilarious.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. A career high in strikeouts with a Golden Goal and a terrible camera angle. SO CRUEL. His changeup really is one of the best in the game, boasting a 55% CSW and 31% usage here. Unreal.

Brady Singer (KCR) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

Classic Singer with double-digit slider whiffs and double-digit sinker called strikes. It really does feel like having both are the days when he’s at his best. Wait, high CSW marks are good?! Okay, I deserved that. Still fun to see and thanks for being the Cherry today.

Luis Gil (NYY) vs BOS (L) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

Phew. The iVB returned to 16″ for Gil, which was the main focus for me entering this start, with the assumption his control would be there. Narrator: It was not. Weird, right? Just a 26% strike rate on his changeup, super high sliders, and a sporadic four-seamer made up this one, though that breaker was confounding enough for 70% strikes and just one hit across over 30 thrown. We’re generally back on track with the fastball shape returning and I’d expect the slowball to rebound in the second half. What about his next start? Ehhhh, you may want to play it safe against the Orioles. My guess is for Gil to go ahead with the same game plan as this one – lean heavily on sliders early to combat the Orioles’ aggression toward his four-seamer last game. Let’s hope the changeup can mix in, too, allowing him to save his heaters instead of overwhelming with them incessantly. Set the tone in the first, then adapt.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ SDP (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Another start of high four-seamers over the plate and many called strikes, though his precision was better along the edges than usual. I still question his cutter and slider, sadly, and consider this a weak streaming option, even if this start was a fantastic line. He doesn’t have the electricity we’re looking for and the command isn’t reliable.

Jonathan Cannon (CHW) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

He’s a command guy and I still believe he gets better over time. The cutter acted as the “okay, I need a strike” pitch, while the sinker, sweeper, and changeup lived as the Neckbeard approach dictates. Here’s your 15-teamer sleeper for 2025, believe it or not. As for now, the Pirates are next and that could be another Quality Start.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs DET (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

Even against the Tigers, Ashcraft can’t be trusted. And this was with decent cutter/slider separation! Is that a good thing? Actually, I’m not sure. A part of me thinks both pitches should land low, making it tough for batters to commit to one over the other, especially with the cutter not falling a ton, and allowing batters to key into “cutter = high, slider = middle/low.” ANYWAY, avoid the dude, obviously.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs TBR (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 88 pitches.

He’s really feeling the splitter and it’s wonderful. Let’s also be happy Eovaldi is still hovering above 95 mph on the heater. Despite missing almost all of May, Eovaldi is still 6-3 across 87 innings of a 3.10 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a near 25% strikeout rate. It’s everything you wanted from him this season. In short, BE HAPPY.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Hey, that’s solid! He hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER since May 17th, though it is a 3.80 ERA in that span of nine games, with this performance marking just his third game of six frames. He’s also had a lovely schedule in that time, with the Astros being the only difficult crew for two starts along the way. Let’s just call him a Toby and not hold on tightly, okay? But he spotted his pitches well in this one! Yes, he did. Who knows if he does it again later this week against the Giants. But he’s still in the second Tier of streamers, right? Yeah, I think he’s earned “Probably Start” for that one.

Spencer Arrighetti (HOU) @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

It’s a Dusty Donut and I’m still highly skeptical of the Pasta Pirate finding the command he needs to have. He’s not ready. One day it’ll click and he’ll become the guy we want him to be. One day.

Hayden Birdsong (SFG) @ CLE (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Can this bird sing? I’m seeing elements of it when he locates his 95 mph heater for strikes + his slider sat down-and-gloveside well + the combination of changeups and curves returned 7/26 whiffs. However, he makes me anxious when he pitches, as I have little faith he’ll actually execute the pitch he wants to throw. That’s why he failed to hit five frames (again) and I get the sense he needs to have better secondaries to make this chaos work, especially without an overpowering heater (95 mph with below-average shape isn’t ideal). It certainly could get better, but it’s not electric enough for me to chase as a dart throw.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs CHW (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

I’m surprised he hurled 82 pitches in his return from the IL + I still love his changeup. I’m a little sad to see just 12% slider usage, while the four-seamer is back to its old ways of being the detriment – just 50% strikes despite 30% usage. That can’t happen. With Cin City next, consider ECab a Cherry Bomb, back to his old ways. It could hit or fizzle like this one.

Dylan Cease (SDP) vs ARI (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 103 pitches.

Two home runs off the four-seamer and yet I’m guessing the fact he allowed a longball off his cutter earlier in the year, he’s avoiding giving that one a try. Nick, that’s probably not true. Okay fine. But that doesn’t mean I still won’t harp on the pitch being the final piece of the puzzle. You. Can. Do. it. JUST BELIEVE.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. There’s still some fighting of his mechanics and making everything work as planned, but the stuff is so good and we’ll take this Bailey Special with eight strikeouts.

George Kirby (SEA) vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 93 pitches.

Careful, IcarusThis was Kirby doing everything we like, except for a three-run shot to kick off the seventh frame…after Kirby was just removed from the game, granting him his final two ER and ruining the start. You had it. A 1.00 WHIP with just one run to your name. IT WAS THERE.

Kyle Gibson (STL) @ WSN (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

Whoa now, we’ve got curveballs cooking too! 18 whiffs and those poor ratios are a classic case of Singled Out and don’t let it discourage you from starting him against the Cubs. He’s in a good place.

José Soriano (LAA) @ CHC (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 73 pitches.

Sub 60% sinker strikes + one curveball whiff = an underperformance from Soriano. SQUAWK. Cat, please don’t squawk at me, I know we should be happy he got 73 pitches. SQUAAAAAWK. Yes, it is adorable that you don’t meow and squawk instead. SQUAWK. Sure, the Mariners with an 80+ pitch limit should be decent. Please let me write the rest of this and stop sitting on my key-wqef32q4-board. Sigh.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs SFG (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.

This was the week of boring veterans finding a groove and providing overlooked value, though Carrasco didn’t quite reach the threshold we’re looking for in 12-teamers. Still cool to see him pitch competitively, though, which should make him a desperate option over others when in a bind.

Mitch Spence (OAK) vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 96 pitches.

It was the Orioles, though Spence did try something new with cutters acting like the Canibal McSanchez approach and sliders landing in the upper half. Not a huge fan of that, but then again, it was a four-run first frame, then donuts after that. Plus some curveballs down helped plenty to keep the orange birds on their toes. He’s not bad, y’all. Not great enough for the Phillies this week, but decent play for the second half.

José Berríos (TOR) @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, 10 strikeouts?! Oh. Mariners. Right. At least you’ve got that to help ease the pain of the ratios. The changeup and curve landed on opposite sides in this one, at least that’s an indication of things improving, right? But the terrible changeup to Garver upstairs. Oh, right. That three-run shot off Garver stung, y’all. A lot.

Justin Wrobleski (LAD) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 76 pitches.

He’s an interesting one. It’s all about a heater with good iVB and attack angle at about 94/95 mph, but the extension is putrid. So think of him around low 90s and if he can locate upstairs, he’ll still do well with the pitch. Despite a few breakers I adored, I wish I trusted his secondaries more, though, and let’s not assume his four-seamer will land in the upper third consistently. We may see Wrobleski again on the final Sunday before the break, allowing Bobby Miller to get extended rest to figure out what the h*ck is going on there, which would be against the CrySox. He’s something to consider on a desperate Sunday as he’s stretched out to 80+ pitches and past his MLB debut jitters. But guys mess up in their second outing all the time. Very fair.

DJ Herz (WSN) vs STL (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 102 pitches.

He really is a Cherry Bomb. This was a ton of sliders as his command was heavily suspect and he leaned on the pitch more than usual to find another answer. Consider him a desperate play, not the play, as you’re sure to get burned again shortly…well, after he returns from Triple-A as he was demoted for Joan Adon literally as I was typing this. I hope he makes a tweak there, though my expectations are low.

Tanner Gordon (COL) vs KCR (L) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.

Huh. I know, Rockies, terrible 92 mph four-seamer with horrific shape, etc. However, he’s a command dude with three proper pitches in a heater, changeup, and slider, and he does it well. These guys are pretty hard to find these days (you gotta go max effort! You gotta have a filthy secondary!) and I have to wonder what Gordon’s career looks like. It’s the kind of guy the Rockies generally find (they favor command over stuff since Coors generally dampens stuff but not command. Say what you want about that theory of their Front Office) and it’s possible it translates into some surprise quality starts here and there if he gets a longer look. I’m a fan just for the sake of “I like dudes who know how to fine-tune their command, and doing their best despite lack of stuff.” It’s like he’s one of us (Except Top 500 in the world of billions at being an SP) and doing everything he can to survive. But two first names! Well dang. SCRATCH EVERYTHING I JUST WROTE.

Michael Mercado (PHI) @ ATL (L) – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 57 pitches.

He couldn’t find his footing at all as he performed far worse in his second start. Hey, like I mentioned with Wrobleski! That’s right Brad, congrats. Does that mean I write the roundup for you now? No, Brad. No one wants that. As for Mercado, don’t rule out a rebound against the Athletics later this week, but it may be best to wait first for a dope outing in your 12-teamers.

Zack Littell (TBR) @ TEX (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

It kinda feels like it’s about time a team took advantage of Littell’s clear Dancing With The Disco approach, though a lot of the damage also came on poorly placed splitters and heaters. In short, Littell threw a lot of strikes and the Rangers bamboozled him. This doesn’t mean he can’t do well against the Guardians, which was a Questionable Start before this and remains so after.


Game of the Day


Chris Sale vs. Yiber Diaz – An AGA vs. an MLB debut? Fun.

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 Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login