Fantasy Baseball Sp Roundup – Breaking The Cease

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

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

Dylan Cease (CWS) vs OAK (L) – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Oh Dylan CeaseMany managers are forced to continue starting you as a Cherry Bomb for the 170 strikeouts you’ve amassed this season, and yet, there are some nights like the 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches we saw Friday against the Athletics. Oh dear.

Is he still worth starting? It is a 4.87 ERA and 1.47 WHIP with just five Wins on the year and on face value, that can’t be worth your time. On the other hand, we also know it’s not a steady line of mediocrity with Cease having horrific evenings entwined with sparkling glory.

At the moment, Cease is still struggling with locating his slider while the fastball and curve aren’t doing enough to negate it. Dropping or rostering Cease is about your situation – do you need to take a chance? Are you trying to protect ratios? Are you far away in strikeouts? If you need a hail mary, go for it. The potential is still there and often comes out even inside outings. But if you’re a tight one, you may be better off just moving on (@BAL, @KCR, KCR next) and letting this HIPSTER (thanks Matt Chandler!) bother someone else.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Mitch Keller (PIT) vs CHC (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Oh snap, another fantastic outing from Keller, rooted in effective cutters. I guess we’re going for it against the Royals and Brewers up next, please don’t make us regret this Keller.

Framber Valdez (HOU) @ DET (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 114 pitches.

It was another no-hitter bid, cut short by his own inefficiency. What I just don’t get is why he’s still throwing under 10% cutters – it’s such a good pitch! USE IT MORE. He elected to go changeup heavy instead, which floated up and arm-side a ton and it was one of those “effectively wild” games. It’s not the true recovery we wanted to see, but good enough to roll him out there against the Yankees.

Matt Manning (DET) vs HOU (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

Huge props for surviving the Astros, but sadly he left this one early with a back injury. The fastball was 93/94 and with just two secondary whiffs, y’all know I wouldn’t be in on Manning regardless of the injury. I hope he’s alright.

Joan Adon (WSH) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Uh huh. He had decent pitch separation and at least he’s getting more out of his slider and changeup, but I can’t get behind this. I don’t think Adon is the guy you want to chase. The stuff just isn’t that good and this kinda of command is a rarity from him.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ TB (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Gotta love the slider returning to its old form, executing the BSB in the best way. This is the Cole we know and love.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

YES. Against the Rangers! You gotta love it and Gray continues to be a comfortable start in your leagues. I really should give him more love on The List…

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with a Gallows Pole. The only complaint I have is he was so good, watching the game in the stadium went by so quickly. Stupid sexy Strider.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 107 pitches.

Even when he has success, he still can’t have both his changeup and slider working on the same night. It’s truly bizarre. I don’t recommend chasing this.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 107 pitches.

Yesssss. I’m tempted to award the AGA label now, but I have to wait one more. Atta boy Woodruff.

Kodai Senga (NYM) vs LAA (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 105 pitches.

Ummmm, I really need to raise Senga in the ranks. Again. He’s a borderline ace at the moment and honestly, if he goes one more stellar game, who am I to deny him the AGA label? He’s been that good. Or maybe this was just Blame it on The Angels. I’ll think about it.

Zach Eflin (TB) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 103 pitches.

Whoaaaa, 7/13 whiffs with a new sweeper?! He does that?! Eflin, we loved you with what you already had, and now you have a dope sweeper?! Yeah, take that King Cole and go earn another one.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.

This was the good version of Bibee. Four-seamers up, changeups down, and sliders + curves around the zone. I’m a massive fan of this version, it’s just a question of consistency. Maybe I’m not giving Bibee enough credit for continuing to have starts like these…Maybe.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

The changeup returned and this magical run continues. Now it’s the battered Angels and y’all know that’s worth your time. I’m not looking forward to the Padres + Atlanta after though. Come on Phils, why now?! 

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ PIT (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh cool, another great sinker and changeup game as Hendricks makes the play for Spider-ManIt’s nice having a steady “yeah this is fine” starter.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs CIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Am I gonna Vargas Rule Pfaadt now? Don’t think I can with the Dodgers next, but maybe after with Rockie Road and the Cubs after. We have such a small amount of the season left that I wouldn’t recommend holding Pfaadt while you stash him against the Dodgers but he has my attention afterward.

Zach Neal (OAK) @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

The Athletics don’t get Wins! Well, going opposite Cease and surviving five frames will do that. I didn’t expect Neal to go 87 pitches, nor allow just two earned and y’all know this isn’t the next pickup for you to make.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

This is awesome against the Dodgers. The four-seamer earned whiffs and the kutters were good enough. Still a little weirded out by the kutter usage over breakers and it’s not enough to test it against the Astros next time out, but if you’ve held on this long, I guess you’re enduring one more, right?

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

I’ll take a PQS from Garrett on a night without good sinker or slider command. It does make me a little concerned for the next one, but I think we roll the dice again. Let’s bank on him making the adjustment with one of them (likely the slider).

Lance Lynn (LAD) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a VVVPQS for Lynn, who still got a Win because it’s the Dodgers, but just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! This is what happens when Lynn throws fewer cutters but doesn’t have improved secondaries to make up for them. I wonder if we’ll see some more of this mediocrity moving forward.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 75 pitches.

This was another one of those “whoa, two ticks harder but that’s just 90.6 mph” starts from Freeland, and those who needed a PQSgreat job taking a chance here. I’m really not a fan, though. Y’all know that.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

Blegh. Half of his hits came on breakers and his four-seamer returned all but one of those whiffs. He’ll get the consistency in time, keep throwing him out there.

Cole Irvin (BAL) vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.

Blegh. Awfully close to getting what we wanted and he avoided a lot of hard contact. He’s still a serviceable streaming option and I wonder if he came through against the Sneks + Sawx. There are worse options.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

Womp womp. If you try to guess when Bassitt underperforms, you’ll likely fail. He’s more often good than bad and that means you don’t overthink. Whatareyagonnado.

Brady Singer (KC) @ SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Ah dangit. He’s a Cherry Bomb typically, but recently Singer has had such good slider command (and here too!) that I’ve brushed it aside. Now it’s two starts of disappointment and maybe I’m not giving enough credit to the sinker being oh-so-hittable over the plate

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ MIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 82 pitches.

Yeah, we’re jumping off this one now. The cutter and slider were terrible and without those dominating, I want nothing to do with Dunning. I’m sad to say this wasn’t the Great Dane, but the Well Dunn. That sounds like a positive. You must eat your steak like a heathen. HOW DARE YOU.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

This is why we don’t start Mikolas. Please. Don’t.

Logan Webb (SF) vs ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sigh. It’s Atlanta. It’s just how it’s gonna be. Still I would have preferred it not being a HAISTBMBWT?! but whatever, we start him next time, of course.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 76 pitches.

Blegh. This was not a well-commanded game from Darvish and the Brewers jumped on a lot in the heart of the zone. He’s opponent agnostic and we’re going to keep starting him, but this was an annoying one. So weird seeing him throw 24% splitters out of nowhere – just 1/24 hits and a 44% CSW means it was a solid call. Just so odd.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ ARI (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Uggggh. Four of his hits came on poor sliders and changeups, while he had trouble earning strikes on the rest of his arsenal. He’s not nearly as far away as the last two starts and for those that are jumping ship or upset “how is he not ready yet?!”, I shrug and tell you to emit those emotions and regain the clarity of holding Greene for his next start against the Giants.


Game of the Day


Dakota Hudson vs. Zack Wheeler – It’s Wheeler + I’m so curious if Hudson comes through here with his new slider.

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.

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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