Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – The Will of the Chase

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.  

Brandon Williamson (CIN) @ PIT (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Brandon Williamson had himself an intriguing start of changeup dominance in his previous start, making yesterday’s today’s outing against the Pirates a start to circle, potentially being a lift-off point for a hold down the stretch. What we got was 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches and that certainly opens the door for a possible hold.

The changeup returned a second time – 5/18 whiffs and 44% CSW – and the four-seamer’s 94 mph velocity held + cutters returned outs. At the same time, it wasn’t incredibly precise all-around, and this start did have an odor of Blame it on the Pirates. With a start hosting the Jays on the docket, I wouldn’t side with the idea that Williamson is turning into an arm to hold through your chase for the fantasy cup, but maybe we throw him back to the wire and see how he handles Toronto. Maybe I’m underrating the four-seamer/cutter combo, or possibly even the impact of the new changeup. It’s still a little too risky for me without an overwhelming ceiling to tip the scales in his favor.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 103 pitches.

The four-seamer and slider are legit and the curveball did its part earning outs. Life is good for Peralta managers right now.

Sonny Gray (MIN) @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.

When Sonny is cooking, you just let the man be with his grill. No need to ask him where the punch bowl is hidden or how long it’ll be before the ribs are ready. Just let the man do his thing. 

Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR) vs CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

It’s good to see Ryu go over 85 pitches again, though the hero here was the four-seamer at 38% CSW and plenty of outs. That’s not the path to success for Ryu – it’s the changeup, which did get outs, too, but didn’t carve through at-bats with regularity. The curve wasn’t as big of an offering as we normally see, either, and I think I’m still going to hold off for another start as he gets the Orioles.

Chase Silseth (LAA) @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.

As expected, Silseth wasn’t able to replicate the splitter success from last time out (12 whiffs then, 2/18 here), but it was still located well right under the zone to get outs and 67% strikes. That mixed with a lot of sliders for strikes (1/27 whiffs, though), meant Silseth had a chance to survive the Astros. Narrator: Why am I talking, you already read the pitching line. FINE NICK. Ahem. He did. That’s a Gold Star for you, even if I think you got a bit lucky in the process. It’s the Rangers next and that’s an avoid given the lack of whiff dominance on the slider and splitter, but I won’t rule out it coming back soon. Wait, he’s still starting? The Angels are skipping Ohtani for a week, giving at least one more start to Silseth as Canning returns. I wonder what happens in a week.

Logan Webb (SF) vs TEX (ND) – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

Look at Webb go against the mighty Rangers offense. He was so close to the CGSHO, allowing a double with two outs before getting relieved and losing the Win on an infield single two pitches later. You shouldn’t have pulled him. Seriously, that would have destroyed me. It was still a shutout, one pitch doesn’t justify it – let him get out of it and earn it! But fine, the Giants won anyway (without a Win to Webb) and life goes on. I guess. THAT’S HIS GAME DANGIT. Nick…HOLD ME BACK. HOLD ME BACK.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 106 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Dunning has been focusing on more sliders and cutters, and here decided to go all-out with the slide piece, returning a whopping 12/32 whiffs on the pitch. It allowed his changeup and sinker to have fun as well (five whiffs each!) as the Giants continue to struggle massively at the plate. If Dunning continues to have this pitch mix and gorgeous slider command, he could continue to earn Gallows Pole awards against the Brewers and Twins. Might as well take the shot.

Mitch Keller (PIT) vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Editor’s note: Nick left Keller’s blurb blank before he went to bed; either that or he’s left completely speechless by Keller’s incredible turnaround (albeit with a not cool WHIP) after his recent rough stretch of four games. Perfection, no notes. In this one, though, none of Keller’s four main pitches (four-seamer, sinker, cutter, and slider) earned more than three whiffs. The sinker and cutter combined for 12 called strikes on 45 thrown, boosting his CSW but likely not in a sustainable way. Moreover, his fastball command continues to look like a shotgun spray, as opposed to a pitcher prioritizing pitch separation. All in all, it looks like the same Keller, and with the Twins coming up next, he’ll likely be in the Questionable tier again.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs BAL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 85 pitches.

After seeing Kirby, Bryce, and Gilbert each flex ridiculous sliders in their previous starts, both Kirby and now Bryce have had starts without the same breaker we saw before (Gilbert starts on Tuesday). The slider was so precise last time out and here, while it was in the lower half, it wasn’t the same. But that four-seamer was dotted at the top and he nearly made it through six regardless. He could be so incredible if that slider comes back…

Ken Waldichuk (OAK) @ WSH (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Waldichuk wasn’t exceptional at all here, but he left with a 7-1 lead that would have earned the dub, if not for a six-run ninth inning to grant the Nationals an 8-7 Win. Yes, I nearly lost my matchup by one strikeout and one Win, no thanks to Waldi fanning just four here. So close. That sweeper was so dang inconsistent and it hurt. Still very much a Young Gun after all.

José Urquidy (HOU) vs LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

Yeah, I think Urquidy is back. The four-seamer wasn’t lighting up the gun at just under 93 mph, but dominated the Angels for 9/33 whiffs as he did a terrific job getting the pitch along the top of the zone, while mixing in gloveside sweepers, armside sinkers, and low changeups + curveballs falling elegantly for strikes. In other words, this was peak Urquidy and y’all should appreciate the h*ck out of him. Sign me up for his next start against Seattle on Sunday.

Dylan Cease (CWS) vs MIL (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ayyyyy, your slider was better. A little weird seeing it land armside a fair amount, but at least you’re not spiking or floating the dang thing like you have before. Can’t say I’ve seen 54% sliders from you for a while (if ever?), but I’m all for it given how it’s far-and-away the best pitch you have. If this is what it takes, go for it.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

The dude cannot be stopped. I still have my skepticism on his changeup results and a decent amount of fastballs, changeups, and sliders over the plate found gloves instead of grass, and more than half of his whiffs came on high sliders and changeups…okay I’m still a little skeptical. It definitely feels a bit like he can’t keep getting away with it but at the very least it’s a Vargas Rule and at best it’s an actual skill that I’m not giving him credit for. Either way, we let it ride, let it ride. 1/40 four-seamer whiffs just doesn’t feel right.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs MIN (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Huh. That’s a Dusty Donut with a solid ERA and eight strikeouts, but a Loss and near 1.50 WHIP ain’t doing it for us. It was strange. The changeup and sinker (yeah) each earned some whiffs and he had some beautiful strikeouts, tossing the right pitch when he needed to, but then other times just didn’t have it in the tank. We may be at the moment to take a shot on Suárez with the Giants up next. I’m curious if that could be the turning point.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna lose the Win in the ninth despite a four-run lead. NOT YOU TOO. Yeah, it was one of those days.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

The Mariners are the perfect team for Bradish to feast on and that’s exactly what happened with 9/25 slider whiffs + 67% curveball strikes. The cherry on top is just one ball in play off the four-seamer on seventeen thrown and you couldn’t ask for anything more. Maybe a Win. WELL THAT AIN’T HIS FAULT.

Seth Lugo (SD) @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Sure, that’s fine. I’d want another inning, a few extra strikeouts, and a Win for good measure, but this is fine. We keep the course, especially with his excellent four-seamer command and tons of curveballs for strikes.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs DET (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

Eh, I want more than this. If you’re going upstairs with the four-seamer, great! Then get the cutter down, don’t do the Canibal McSanchez on us. That’s not your game. Or at least throw more curves and sweepers downstairs to go legit BSBThis current thing of everything up just doesn’t do what you want it to do. Sidenote: Cool to see Garrett Whitlock return, even if he’s expected to be in the bullpen the rest of the way. You can drop him if he was in your IL spot. But he was chucking 96 mph sinkers! Because he could air it out with just 24 pitches total. Would be so cool if that stuck as a starter though…Can you imagine?

Julio Urías (LAD) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 47% CSW, 88 pitches.

Whoaaaa that’s a King Cole (nearly a Golden Goal but Dunning had to go off against the Giants) as Urías had his standard four-seamer and curve dominating Rockie Roadbut also got the change working in a way we rarely see, with 78% O-Swing and 7/16 whiffs. That’s absurd for Julio and if it sticks, it could elevate him into a Top 10 SP. That’s how legit that addition could be given the four-seamer and curve already do a whole lot of work for him. Please don’t be a Blame it on the Rockies.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs SD (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

Pfaadt was a desperate play on Sunday and he got you eight strikeouts if that’s what you were chasing, albeit nearly with a VVVPQSThis is encouraging, right? Ummm not really. He’s four-seamer/sweeper without me buying that either one is elite, while the sinker, changeup, and curve are trying to help, but aren’t anything to write home about. There’s obvious upside when that sweeper is on point and he’s able to steal called strikes with each on fastballs, but those are exceptions, not rules.

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 107 pitches.

After allowing all three runs in the first, Senga settled down and gave the Mets a chance to Win. It’s wonderful to see the team come through for him after he toughed it out for five more frames, especially since he is now their ace after the departure of Verlander and Scherzer. Massive props to Senga here. Bad news, though – he’ll face the Cardinals and–hey that’s not so bad! LET ME FINISH. He’ll face the Cardinals, and then Atlanta again. Ohhhhh. Dangit. Yeah. Good luck.

Andre Jackson (PIT) vs CIN (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

I’m sorry Mr. Jackson, but you are not for real.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s Freeland and it’s the Dodgers. You should have had backup butter for your toast.

Eury Pérez (MIA) vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

That’s two starts of 4 ER now for Pérez and you’re wondering why you held onto him as he sat in the minors. Or you see the nineteen whiffs above and understand process > results. His slider is filthy (11/34 whiffs), his four-seamer command is far better than the average rookie, and the 19-year-old is only going to get better with time. The ~80 pitches per game limit is going to cap his upside down the stretch if the Marlins do stick with it, and you likely want to bench against the Dodgers, but then you should be all set for the final stretch.

Luke Weaver (CIN) @ PIT (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Seven strikeouts are a cool thing to see from Weaver, but there’s a whole lot of polish left to be added. I’m actually a little excited to see what he can do over the off-season, hopefully adding some precision to his whole arsenal. There’s some potential there, it just needs refinement.

Trevor Williams (WSH) vs OAK (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

#NeverTrevor. You can’t just keep coping out on his blurbs. Ummm, yes I can and I will. There really is nothing else to say. Okay fine.

Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 94 pitches.

Bleeeeegh. The man got shelled,  chucking a ton of pitches well over the plate for the Red Sox to feast on. At least was able to salvage eight strikeouts for you, but he really didn’t have the precision you want to see. He’s better than this and be glad you got something out of it.

Zach Eflin (TB) vs CLE (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

Jeeeeeez, Tampa Bay has been on a freefall as of late. Even ole reliable over here is getting battered, though it was a clear Singled Out performance as the dude was stupid good at the Neckbeard approach here. Eflin deserved better. But he allowed two home runs on pitches that were inside the zone! Oh, so now we judge a pitcher for getting punished on the sole mistakes they throw? You know, I should make a stat dedicated to “% of mistake pitches that returned Hard Hit balls/home runs”. Because hot dang, as I said, Eflin deserved better.

Yonny Chirinos (ATL) @ NYM (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yep, that’s Yonny. I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t make another start, in case Atlanta elects to go with Allan Winans or Michael Soroka against the Giants this week. If it’s one of those two, I’d pick them up for that outing – the Giants are terrible and Atlanta creates incredible Win chances. But not Yonny. Stop with Yonny.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ TOR (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ah dangit. You may have treated this like a Vargas Rule and with Taillon able to get some whiffs upstairs in his last start, I could see a scenario where the pitch would come through here against a Jays that struggled against exactly that against the Guardians. Sadly, Taillon didn’t locate that heater well, had a ton of pitches down the middle and the Jays appropriately punished him for it. He’ll get the Royals and Pirates next and I think that’s okay, except that Vargas Rule arms like Taillon rely on command. When that falters, it generally doesn’t rebound in the next one. Be careful.


Game of the Day


Grayson Rodriguez vs. Yu Darvish – We want to see the ascension of GRod + Darvish is always 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 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.

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