Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Phenom Sawyer

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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

Sawyer Gipson-Long (DET) @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 82 pitches.

Soooo Sawyer Gipson-Long pitched last weekend and I kinda dug what he did. He had a good looking changeup, a solid slider, and a sinker he could rely on for strikes that came with actual sink. I even did a video about him, highlighting Sawyer as a solid option down the stretch with some great matchups as a mini-Logan Webb, though with some caution as he carries the obvious Shag Rug with just one start in the books of his MLB career.

And what did we get against the Angels? 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 82 pitches as he earned himself a Golden GoalWHAT. His changeup and slider each returned 9+ whiffs, his sinker returned a 47% CSW without a single ball in play, and his four-seamer woke up for 43% CSW of its own (and allowed Sawyer’s only two hits to his now nemesis Nolan Schanuel). This was stupid fun to watch and it’s not completely uncalled for.

I imagine we’ll have some nights where the changeup doesn’t earn the number of strikes we want to see from it (he didn’t hit all his spots here) and if the slider isn’t getting the same whiffs, he’ll labor. But this arsenal works, especially against Oakland and Kansas City in his final two starts. Yeah. Get him and let’s see how he finishes the year. If he can limit the walks and not get lost trying to find the zone with his changeup and slider, he’ll continue to produce.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs TB (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Across his last ten games, Grayson now has a 2.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 24% strikeout rate, facing tough offenses in seven of those starts. It’s hard to expect anything less than excellence at this point. That said, I’m weirded out by his secondaries all hanging upstairs most of the time on Saturday. The heater dominated and carried him all eight frames, though with the same lack of change + curve + slider consistency, running this game back likely has a worse result. Just a note.

Bryce Miller (SEA) vs LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 86 pitches.

Nothing like going 0/30 whiffs on secondaries with 10% CSW and still surviving against the Dodgers to earn a Gold Star. Bryce still has elements to work on here and it’s going to be awfully tough to distinguish who among all these rookie pitchers will develop what they need to for 2024. I’m awfully scared for Texas + Houston next.

Dane Dunning (TEX) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

The cutter and changeup took over here, which is a bit surprising since I’ve attached Dunning’s success mostly to his slider, which was featured just seven times against the Guardians. Well, it was a 1.80 WHIP without a Win. That’s actually…kinda fair. I’m not jazzed about the Mariners up next, even if I understand the changeup took centerstage over the slider due to a left-handed lineup.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ SEA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 56 pitches.

So it didn’t hurt to toss him, but we need at least one more inning to feel good about it. Sadly, Kershaw is still struggling with his velocity – 88/89 mph heaters and down three ticks on the slider – but he’s clearly effective enough to help the Dodgers in the postseason. I imagine he’s going to be on this short leash for the rest of the year, which likely means he’s droppable if you’re in need of a larger impact.

Scott Alexander (SF) @ COL (L) – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 16 pitches.

We got some more Giants shenanigans and I really hope we don’t see this repeated next year. Make it stop.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 106 pitches.

When Suárez is in rhythm, you start the dang man. But what if he’s 1-2 ticks down on everything with three on his changeup? Okay that’s fair. We still start him against the Mets and hope for the best. Aye aye. You you what. No, aye aye, like a captain. You’re no Jeter. NICK. 

Chris Sale (BOS) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 81 pitches.

Well ain’t this awesome. Sale is still dramatically down on his fastball – he topped out at 94 mph and sat 91.4 mph – but his slider made up for it with a 49% CSW, stealing called strikes armside and confounding batters gloveside for 10/37 whiffs. It makes you wonder if Sale can be a better Rich Hill with his lower velocity and stupid good breaker + the occasional changeup to mix things up. I guess we’re going for this with the White Sox next. Good luck y’all.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs TEX (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

Bibee was cruising until he left this one with a right hip injury. At least it’s not arm-related, but it likely spells the end of his 2023 season. It was a good run, Tanner. I think it’s safe to drop him, which will be awfully weird to do, but likely the right move. If you want to wait a day or two, I get it.

Touki Toussaint (CWS) vs MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 74 pitches.

Touki is that desperate strikeout play and it’s nice to see it come through for once. The splitter and curveball each returned 42%+ CSW and when Touki can do that over 70% of his pitches, life is good. You absolutely cannot expect that to happen frequently, sadly.

Kyle Freeland (COL) vs SF (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 41 pitches.

Freeland left this one with an oblique injury. Poor guy.

Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 110 pitches.

Bassitt is opponent-agnostic and that’s a cool thing. Way to be you.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs CIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s one h*ck of a ‘Dusty Donut” as the ratios are more uneven than putting me in a ring with Tyson. Ross? He’s such a nice guy! The problem lies in his slider and changeup going 3/26 whiffs + the slider returning a 47% strike rate and it’s time to move on. Not because of the skills – he could do decently well against a poor team, hypothetically – but because he gets the Phils for two now to end the year. Noooope.

Matt Waldron (SD) @ OAK (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Remember kids, Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. Yes, even if he stole a Win. I’m happy for him.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ NYM (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

Bleeeegh. He’ll get the Pirates and Cardinals to close this out and let’s just call him a Cherry Bomb for now. His command was horrible in this one, but if he can resemble anything close to the BSBhe should come through against the Pirates.

Brent Suter (COL) vs SF (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 36 pitches.

Suter opened for four shutout frames of Karl Kauffman and that’s cool, I guess. Kauffman’s 7.28 ERA on the year isn’t, but this moment was. Gotta appreciate the moments in life.

Mason Miller (OAK) vs SD (L) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 33 pitches.

I got it wrong last week when I believed the Athletics would stretch out Mason over September. Sadly, they are capping him at 50 pitches, which makes him fantasy irrelevant, sadly. Luis Medina followed here for 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks, and needed 96 pitches to do so. Yes, the strikeouts are cool, but doing so without an overwhelming secondary (just four whiffs on the slider at 18% usage) gives me nothing to latch onto.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ ARI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.

Blegh. This is close to production, but a run here, a hit there, a pair of outs somewheeerrre over the rai–and suddenly you’re thrilled. Happiness is far closer than you think. We get Hendricks for one more start against Rockie Roadwhich I hope is a lovely retiring party before the inevitable desolation that is Atlanta after.

Bryan Hoeing (MIA) vs ATL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 64 pitches.

Not so bad against Atlanta n all, but yeah. This was a thing that happened.

Luke Weaver (NYY) @ PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 74 pitches.

Whoa, seven strikeouts?! I don’t suggest buying into it in the slightest, but hey, that’s cool. I hope Weaver is feeling good in a new home without a whole lot of pressure, despite the city. The expectations are lower than Bartolo at the plate.

Keaton Winn (SF) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 76 pitches.

Huh. He still earned 17 whiffs with a 37% CSW as his splitter was once again fantastic, and a bases-loaded triple in the third was all the damage done. I’m kinda annoyed they didn’t let him toss the fifth, too, as he could have cruised through another frame and made this a bit more worthwhile. Anyway, it’s the Dodgers + Pads next, so tuck him away for a rare stream in 2024.

Zach Davies (ARI) vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

You started Davies? Why? Don’t do that. Sidenote: He threw just six changeups in this start and that makes zero sense to me. That’s the only good pitch he has…?

Trevor Williams (WSH) @ MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 70 pitches.

Team #NeverTrevor.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs WSH (ND) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.

Why doesn’t Burnes have an AGA label? Because he’s still a liability like this. I really loved his cutter in this one, though, and sometimes baseball doesn’t care.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 107 pitches.

Womp womp. At least you got seven strikeouts from it. We take a break now and consider him for his final start against the A’s and sometimes it’s as easy as that.

Luis L. Ortiz (PIT) vs NYY (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah. Please don’t.

Jared Shuster (ATL) @ MIA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 56 pitches.

Shuster isn’t it and I’m a little surprised Atlanta is giving him as much of a shot as they are.

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

It can be soothing when I genuinely believe all of us are on the same page. Thanks for that, Mikolas.

Cole Ragans (KC) vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

This was glorious until the Royals elected to send Ragans out there in the seventh at 94 pitches. He then walked the first on four, was still not taken out, allowed a single on 1-0, then was relieved only for Altuve to hit a home run. FUN. Anyone who watches him can tell he’s the real deal, the tough question is whether you believe it for one more against the Astros. It’s a risk (especially with what the Royals management + defense does to him), and your call. I’m doing it.

Pablo López (MIN) @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 85 pitches.

It was a dumb first inning with two home runs and props to Pablo for putting his head down and grinding out four scoreless frames after. Aces are the guys that still give you something to salvage when it’s not perfect – eight strikeouts are still a lovely thing.

J.P. France (HOU) @ KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ohhhh boy. He’ll get a chance for redemption next time out, but you really don’t want to, do you. France’s command was terrible here and we’ve seen him have his ups-and-downs throughout the year. I think I’m still doing it. This isn’t him.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ BAL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

Ugggggh. At least he does get the Orioles again. But it’s the Jays twice! Don’t care, he’ll be fine.


Game of the Day


Logan Gilbert vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – I’m curious how this is going to pan out for Gilbert. I just want him to do well.

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.

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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