Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – It’s A Beautiful Gray

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

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 Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Jon Gray (TEX) vs LAA (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s time to get back on the Jon Gray train. We saw a strong outing against the Giants last week and tonight backed it up with 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches. Not as dominant of a performance, but good enough for me to encourage a pick up if Gray is still out there on your wire.

His slider is fantastic and is flirting with 50% overall usage, while the four-seamer is heating up at 96 mph and isn’t coming with the same mistakes we’ve seen over the last two months. It’s the combo we want from Gray and with a solid schedule of @ARI + @NYM + MIN up next as he pitches in front of one of the best offenses in the bigs, and it’s a recipe for success when you need it down the stretch.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Reid Detmers (LAA) @ TEX (W) – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 108 pitches.

What. Okay, okay, take your Gold Star. Detmers sat 93/94 mph (he’s typically 95+ this year), earned just 4/28 slider whiffs, didn’t have a single pitch above a 30% CSW, and had his best outing in ages against a terrifying Rangers offense. That said, the slider and curve command was far better, and Detmers elected to go east-west with his four-seamer instead of elevating and it legit worked. Huh. Maybe there’s something to this approach that outlines legitimacy, or maybe it was a weird outing that we can’t trust.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) @ CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 102 pitches.

He earned a fair number of whiffs on four-seamers in the upper half of the zone, while all of his outs came on pitches that should have been crushed. I know it’s been a nice little run for Clev, but I implore you to reconsider. Nick, the Mariners, Athletics, and Tigers are next. Uggggggh, I still can’t do it. I just don’t think he’s nearly this good. That four-seamer shouldn’t have this much success, even against those mediocre lineups.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Blackburn went kitchen-sink here, dominating with curve, slider, and changeup across 30 pitches for a 47% CSW, while the sinker and cutter earned called strikes galore. You love to see it, especially with the Royals and White Sox up next. But are the Royals still a good offense to stream against? That’s…a good question. You tell me. I don’t think this outing is enough to pull me back in, but if Paulie Punchouts does his thing against the Royals, it feels like you have go one more against the White Sox, no?

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) vs BOS (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.

Whoa, I haven’t seen a start like this from you for a good while. I wish I could speak nicer things about your overall approach or command, and maybe in the end this had more to do with the struggling Red Sox offense. Yeah, let’s not do anything rash after this one.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh sweet, we got legit Morton in this one as his curveball was as good as you’ll ever see it. He tossed the pitch nearly 50% of the time for 12 whiffs and 45% CSW, while the sinker and cutter boasted a 44% CSW between them, catalyzing his King Cole for the night. If only we could trust that Morton would have his heaters and cutter working + his best hook all the time.

Aaron Civale (TB) @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

There we go. Civale was back to 65% cutters and curveballs (phew!) and that’s all I can ask for. Sidenote: Why couldn’t the Rays score these runs for Littell yesterday, hmmm? Anyway, Civale should be a solid Toby moving forward, especially with Rockie Road + Miami + Boston up next and this display of his old 65% usage ways. Easy livin’.

Ryan Walker (SF) vs TB (L) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 20 pitches.

He opened for Ross Striplingwho got torched by the Rays for eleven hits and five runs. It’s not what you want and I’d take a backseat with Stripling for a bit, unless I were to be desperate to chase a Win given the likelihood he finishes the fifth and/or sixth with his constant openers.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

Just two strikeouts and a 21% CSW sure isn’t prime TATIAGAbut we’ll take it and move on. They likely going to keep Kershaw limited a bit, by the way. No reason to push him as they are ten games up in the West (and climbing).

James Paxton (BOS) @ WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ehhhh, fine. It’s odd to see his cutter earn strikes but go 0/14 whiffs, and the four-seamer isn’t missing nearly as many bats as it did across his first two months of the year, but whatever, the man produced for six frames. Now comes the real challenge of the Astros + Dodgers and I’m a little scared, honestly. Without Paxton blowing heaters past batters and his secondaries not at their peak, it may be a little tough to navigate. Don’t feel like you’re forced to roll with Paxton next time out.

Javier Assad (CHC) vs CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

Ayyyy, he came through for another start, even if it was over a tick down. I still heavily question if he has enough in the tank, but tossing armside sinkers inside and off the plate will always get love from me. I guess we’re gunning for it against the Tigers and Pirates next. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Blake Snell (SD) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. This was his signature BSB and I’m a little surprised he wasn’t able to earn more whiffs with it. Whatever, at least it was just two walks and he gave you six innings of production. We love these.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

We’re fine with the results, though I’m not loving the command I saw from Abbott here. Nothing was all too impressive to me and this was one of those “I’m glad you still made it work” outings. We keep starting him against the Angels and Sneks, of course.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

I’m shocked to see a Gallows Pole from Megill, finally showcasing whiff skills with his 95/96 heater (he hit 98), going 9/56 whiffs and setting up some sliders. It’s still not enough for me to believe heavily in Megill – he’d need to have more starts flirting with a 20% SwStr and show more slider/changeup development first – and that ignores the fact he faces Atlanta next. Absolutely not.

Slade Cecconi (ARI) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

Slade had fantastic slider command here, but I still dislike the heater and everything else + Texas is next. Nooooooope.

Randy Vásquez (NYY) @ ATL (L) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 60 pitches.

At least it wasn’t worse against Atlanta? Yeah, don’t start Randy.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.

Meh. The cutter is still good, the four-seamer was fine, the curve, change, and sinker were…there. He’s a bench against the Jays, but the White Sox and Angels should be clear plays in your lineup.

Wade Miley (MIL) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 82 pitches.

Hey, not terrible against the Dodgers. Detrimental to your fantasy teams, but good enough to look at and go “Okay, if he faces a poor offense, this could work.” He’ll deftly avoid both the Rangers and Padres next, getting the strikeout-friendly Twins and Cubs instead. Not the worst streaming option against Minnesota.

Kenta Maeda (MIN) vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

This was a dumb night as so many fantastic arms got bamboozled, starting with Maeda, who allowed two home runs in the third. His splitter wasn’t as filthy as we’ve seen, with the slider failing to step up as we saw in his previous outing. It may be a brief valley for Maeda as he gets both of those pitches back in full, but I’d still start him as he figures it out (or could be totally fine, too) against the Brewers and Guardians.

James McArthur (KC) vs SEA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 53% CSW, 17 pitches.

What’s the point of an opener if this happens, Irish Aardvark? I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in as Alec Marsh followed for 5.0 IP of 1 ER ball with five walks and six strikeouts. He did little to impress as his heater was down nearly two ticks, and he featured a new, much loopier slider that went 4/26 whiffs. This ain’t it.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 99 pitches.

Add Castillo to the bamboozling with his heater suddenly coming in at 95.2 mph. Did no one tell Castillo it’s still the summer? One Night Bland this every day of the week.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 94 pitches.

Three whiffs? Against the Marlins?! Ummmm, not cool Verlander. Everything got hit, even if you had decent pitch separation. It’s what we call a One Night Bland. Yeah, you just told us that. Oh. Right. Welp, get used to it.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s a terrible line as he barely squeaked past a 50% strike rate on his curve and he lost a few too many batters, but all this damage on just four hits – only one not on four-seamers and curves! – feels like this should have been better. Oh look, it’s another Nola start that Nick won’t admit Nola is struggling and shouldn’t be trusted. THE SKILLS ARE TOO GOOD. And he faced the Jays. You don’t have much of a choice but to start him, you know. I know…I know. I feel ya. It’ll be okay.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ NYM (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

The four-seamer is just not a good pitch. It’s all kinds of frustrating as his slider is always legit, but like those who hated Timothy Dalton as 007, we need more. MOAR.

Reese Olson (DET) @ MIN (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 67 pitches.

Womp womp. It’s a good slider and there is still promise in the fastballs + changeup, but he’s a Young Gun to me, not a streamer.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs PHI (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Would you look at that, another One Night BlandTHEY CAN’T ALL BE ONE-NIGHT BLANDS, NICK. Well why the h*ck not?!

Noah Syndergaard (CLE) @ CIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ahhhh, so the four-seamer went 1/27 whiffs as we remember the pitch is never supposed to return more than five in a game. I still can’t believe that Jays game last week.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) vs OAK (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

Womp womp. The great changeup and 95 mph velocity disappeared as Liberatore sat 92/93, had a horrible first inning, and lost all of the excitement he brought last time out. And here I thought this would be a decent floor. Welp, we move on.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs HOU (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Ugggggh. Sure, this was the Astros and it was a horrible first inning and a little better after (and squeezed a little) but let’s be honest, this wasn’t peak Luzardo. I still love his heater and he tossed some legit sliders here, but the pitches he left over the plate got walloped by the Astros and it was one of those days. Nick, please let me just rage-drop him already. This is the fourth straight game of 4+ ER and I’m sure you’re tired of Fast texting you after every start. But surely he’s going to get a better matchup than the Astros and Rangers up next, he’s due! Suitman whispers in my ear THE PADRES AND RAYS?! COME ON. Fine, bench him against the Padres as they destroy LHP, but the Rays are demoralized. Just one start to rest and we go back in on Luzardo for the September push. He’s at 96/97 mph with a 40% CSW slider and solid four-seamer command, still.

Austin Gomber (COL) vs ARI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

It’s almost like the run he’s been on wasn’t sustainable. Almost.


Game of the Day


Corbin Burnes vs. Lance Lynn – I’d love to see Burnes’ cutter return to form + Lynn has been on such a good run in Dodger blue.

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.

Photos by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire and Erik Mclean/Unsplash | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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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