Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Matz Out Of The Bag

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Steven Matz (STL) @ CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 75 pitches.

We saw the return of Steven Matz to the St. Louis rotation today against the White Sox and boy was it exciting – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 75 pitches. That’s a 23% overall SwStr rate with his sinker sitting 95 mph (not 94 as we previously saw) and earning a ton of whiffs as he elevated effectively, with curveballs for strikes and strong changeups down and armside.

Ummmm, this is great and here’s a Gold Starbucko. Sure, it’s Blame it on the White Sox as Matz did feature a hefty number of pitches over the plate, but the increased velocity, the high strike rates, and the massive boost in whiff rates are not numbers to overlook. Yeah, but he’s not going to get another great matchup like Chicago. How about the Marlins next Monday? OH. That’s right. I’d go for it. Sure, this could be the adrenaline of a one-time thing, but with the Marlins ahead, the floor should be decent with a pitch count likely around 85 or so. Someone in your league is going to take the chance, why not you?


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Logan Webb (SF) vs COL (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 103 pitches.

Look at him go. That’s two brilliant starts back-to-back from Webb, here fueled by his fourth 50-changeups game of the season at a 20% SwStr rate and 36% CSW. Meanwhile the sinker earned called strikes and the slider was decent. Blame it on the Rockies for letting Webb soar mostly with just two pitches, but Webb’s slow ball should not be underrated. It’s an elite pitch and it catalyzed this plenty. 

Joe Musgrove (SD) vs NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 88 pitches.

Musgrove really has been a stud over his last month and I LOVE the man we saw today. Musgrove isn’t normally an arm to focus on one pitch too much, yet we saw 35% curveballs for 42% CSW, while the slider, a pitch that has eluded him all season, was fantastic. We’re talking 6/18 whiffs with a 56% CSW and an 83% strike rate. The man was stupid good at locating it at the very bottom of the zone or just underneath it, and all I can say is THANK YOU. Now please please please hold onto this skill and don’t let anyone take it from you. I’ll never let go, Nick. Awesome, now please make some space on that piece of wood, we all know I can fit.

Wade Miley (MIL) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

Remember those velocity gains from last start? Yeah, they are back as he’s now 2-3 ticks up on his cutter and four-seamer. The changeup oddly took the day off as Miley went cutter/fastball for all but 12 pitches (four each of change/slider/curve) and it was a product of not deviating from what was clearly working. It can be easy to endorse a pitcher performing well when increasing velocity by at least two ticks and excuse me while I take that easy road. But he heads to Cincy next time out! And maybe we still pick him up and try it on. A harder-throwing Miley is a good thing.

JP Sears (OAK) @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ayyyy look at him go! He allowed an unearned run, sure, and I wouldn’t say his command was perfect or anything, and that CSW was poor, and just five whiffs…BUT HEY, it worked! And maybe it works again when he faces the Twins. Sidenote: Paul Blackburn had an inning as well after getting scratched yesterday. Gotta keep the soup bone working.

Tarik Skubal (DET) vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 63 pitches.

This was a bench with a tough opponent and an expected pitch count limitation. The good news: he’s still at 95/96 mph with stellar fastball command. Go get him if you still can – a major second half could be on its way.

Carmen Mlodzinski (PIT) @ ARI (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 29 pitches.

I feel like I’m going through my mailbox with all these bullpen games. Reliever, reliever, Corbin?! Reliever, reliever…

Tayler Scott (BOS) vs OAK (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 14 pitches.

Reliever…Okay fine, Chris Murphy tossed 67 pitches, but that doesn’t really count, right? It was 3 IP of 1 ER and that’s not worth your time.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

It’s a harder slider with less movement and it went 41% CSW against the mighty Rangers. And….okay fine and his fastballs earned a ton of foul balls and outs in play that aren’t likely to be so fortunate in the future. You happy?! Yes. The people deserve to know. Well, Corbin did command those heaters well, though, so honestly, you could call this Corbin’s best performance of the year. Huh.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ HOU (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

I never thought I’d see the day when Gilbert features more sliders than fastballs, but here we are. He featured 38% sliders for 36% CSW, while he utilized the signature heater 28 times for…14% CSW. No wonder. Meanwhile, his curve was spectacular as well at 61% CSW across 18 thrown and wait a second. Did Gilbert become a Cleveland pitcher for a night? WHAT IS GOING ON. I loved seeing that slider actually land low for a change and I sincerely hope that’s what we get moving forward. That heater earned plenty of fouls and outs (not CSW but good strikes) and if the breaker skills showcased today stick around, lines like these can actually be sustainable. One can only hope.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ SF (L) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 80 pitches.

Freeland carries the skills I look for in a guy. You know, ten baserunners to equate just one run with just two whiffs and doing it all without a single strikeout. HAISTBMBWT?! For those who actually need to consider Freeland in your leagues (I’m so sorry you put yourself through that), Freeland was down two ticks on his four-seamer and slider, leaving the game ultimately with a hurt shoulder.

Ryan Yarbrough (KC) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 78 pitches.

Ah yes, the Fratty PirateHard not to love the 87-mph-and-lower arsenal making it work for six frames, but we all know not to trust this. 10/25 curveball whiffs is not sustainable.

Domingo Germán (NYY) vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 74 pitches.

See, the curve is still elite, and when the changeup clicks (5/19 whiffs here), things can be excellent. He pitched better in this one than in the perfecto, you know. Sadly, that changeup isn’t often this good and it could be a little rough against the Angels next week.

Ben Lively (CIN) @ MIL (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 75 pitches.

So this is weird. Lively is throwing nearly two ticks harder across the board. That’s great! He went 73% fastballs for 3/55 whiffs. That’s bad. His slider went 43% CSW. That’s great! He only threw 7 sliders. That’s…can we stop now? What a weird game from Lively, who chucked heaters into the zone, got good enough results, and called it a day. I wouldn’t lean into it, especially without the slider doing its thing.

Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 94 pitches.

Yep, totally expected Gibson to earn a Golden Goal today. Absolutely. Everything clicked in this one, from a 57% CSW sweeper that went 9/23 whiffs (!) to his change going 24% SwStr rate, sinker returning a 50% CSW, and even the cutter and curve both going 70% strikes. Pretty dang awesome against his former squad. Have I been too harsh on Gibson? Suitman whispers in my ear Wait, 15 ER? In his last three games? Okay then. I have not. Maybe he’s worth the shot against the Marlins next but who really knows what we’ll get. Gibson is like that.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Another solid outing from Giolito. His heater has been 92-94 mph across the season, here at 93 mph with a ton of upstairs locations. Meanwhile, the changeup floated into the zone plenty without damage and the slider helped around the zone. It’s not pristine Giolito, but has he really been at his peak this year? Honestly, not really and he’s still gotten you results. Things are good.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs PHI (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 83 pitches.

Another dominating outing for Luzardo, here against a proper offense and with a slider that was commanded far worse than we normally see…and returned a 44% CSW. That’s just how it is some days. Keep starting the dang man, obviously.

Zach Eflin (TB) vs ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 77 pitches.

Even against the hot Atlanta offense, Eflin finds a way to make it through at least five with a good line. Atta boy Zach.

Brandon Bielak (HOU) vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Another solid outing from Bielak, which is especially shocking when the changeup held a low CSW and was hung a fair amount. If he gets another start, it’ll be in Coors so let’s pass on this, shall we?

Zach Davies (ARI) vs PIT (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

That’s one earned run away from a generally decent start and why does every ounce of my body want to move on to something else? OKAY OKAY, I’ll go. Yeesh. Stop internally yelling at me, we’re on a team, you know.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) @ DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Blegh. What a ridiculous season this is for Bassitt as he upped his velocity a tick once again. Nothing worked in the secondary department as the sinker did its part with a boatload of called strikes. The four-seamer that normally gets whiffs upstairs? 0/18 CSW. Yeah, CSW. Unreal. It’s hard to tell what to do with Bassitt at this point and while my gut says hold, I don’t blame anyone taking a shot on something else if there’s something real that can help next weekend.

Shane Bieber (CLE) vs KC (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Bieber’s slider went 1/11 whiffs, with the curve stepping up to try something new and hey, 40% CSW across 20 hooks is pretty solid. Is that enough for me to believe in Bieber for a major second-half redemption arc? Not really as the slider has been so rough for a while and the curve seems like a placeholder. He’s worth the hold just for the possibility of something clicking (and he could get the Pirates next Monday), but I ain’t starting him if they elect to throw him out there for the Rangers next weekend. Absolutely not.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Nola, this was the game where you were supposed to display reality. Show us that your command last start was here to stay. But no, the sinker wasn’t armside, the curve fell upstairs, and the four-seamer did whatever it wanted. Why are you the way you are? But I threw a tick harder on my heaters and two ticks on my curve? THAT’S NOT WHAT WE ASKED FOR. Okay that’s kinda cool though. But locate first, then we talk.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ NYY (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.

This was a bit of a Careful, Icarus as Hendricks had just one run against him through five. Singled Outyes, but not as destructive. He still has the same skills of sinker command and a high CSW changeup, so brush it off and keep holding him for a potential start against the Nationals next.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ WSH (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

And this is why we don’t chase Dunning. Please, move on with this one – there isn’t anything elite to latch onto. You’re relying on a ton of sinkers for called strikes (one of the least sustainable skills out there) and you’re not going to get whiffs from his secondaries.

Max Scherzer (NYM) @ SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna face defeat. The Padres jumped on Scherzer in the playoffs and they had his number again here, even if Mad Max returned 15 whiffs and 35% CSW. That’s baseball, Suzyn. Not much you can do here, at least there are no signs of injury and we press on.

Joe Ryan (MIN) vs BAL (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 98 pitches.

You’re telling me that the night Ryan goes 25 sweepers for 36% CSW, that’s the night he allows 5 ER in 4.1 IP?! Yes, but ten strikeouts! Yeah yeah yeah, but why does the four-seamer have to allow four hits and two home runs? TONIGHT?! Whatareyagonnado. At least he gave you those strikeouts to salvage the outing. That’s what aces do.

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ TB (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 69 pitches.

It’s the Rays. They get everyone. Well except Strider but that’s dumb. You can start Elder when he pitches post-ASB, even though it does seem like the magic is destined to run out at some point this season. I can’t let a terrible game against Tampa Bay be the reason for a drop, right? One more, then we’ll talk.


Game of the Day

IT’S THE ALL-STAR BREAK – The List is coming out on Tuesday, y’all. Enjoy the break.

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

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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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