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.
Hunter Greene (CIN) vs MIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 92 pitches.
After terrorizing fantasy managers everywhere with his first two performances in his return from the IL, Hunter Greene has featured the skills to suggest excellence but hasn’t quite got over that final hump to be dominant.
Until now. Greene absolutely demoralized the Twins on Wednesday evening, with a monstrous 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 92 pitches line, winning over all our hearts. The Twins were flabbergasted by Greene’s slider – 54% CSW and a 22% SwStr – as he threw it half of the time and the heater did its part, avoiding damage and letting the breaker do the work.
Wanna know what’s hilarious about this one? His pitch separation wasn’t nearly as good as in previous starts with many hung sliders and a fastball that was far more erratic. But even if you’re not hitting your spots, if your pitches are getting extra movement and confounding the opponent, I couldn’t care less.
We have one start to go with Greene against the Guardians and any fear you had should have been eradicated like batters at the plate to Greene’s slider. The ceiling is too dang high.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Kyle Bradish (BAL) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 100 pitches.
He threw just five four-seamers. FIVE. I love it so much. Meanwhile, his slider was nasty at a 26% SwStr rate across 50% thrown (that’s ridiculous) and his sinker earned all the called strikes + his hook went 64% strikes on its own. THIS IS HOW BRADISH DOMINATES.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 104 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. I’m glad things are back to normal here.
Reid Detmers (LAA) @ TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.
I kinda dig the new slowball Detmers is whipping out there as it opens up the lane for his four-seamer a bit more, allowing for a 16% SwStr on the pitch in this one. Just 4/11 slider strikes, on the other hand, makes my eye twitch and I hope he finds a way to make all four pitches work in tandem over the off-season. There’s no way we go after his next start against the Rangers.
Michael Kopech (CWS) @ WSH (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 14 pitches.
The year is 2045 and Nick struggles to find a unique blurb for a bullpen game. This was a start just like the time I bought a Bic and it never worked despite all its advertising. You know, a Bull Pen. We have to find a way to outlaw bullpen games. For the kids.
Reese Olson (DET) @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.
There’s your Gold Star for the night as Olson came through against the Dodgers. His sinker and four-seamer each failed to earn a single whiff, but they stayed out of the way of the slider and changeup, which did most of the work. Okay, fine, it was the slider. Now he gets the Royals and even if this came with a bit of good fortune, it seems like you should be fine starting Olson there.
Michael King (NYY) vs TOR (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 101 pitches.
Duuuuuude this is getting wild. He’s throwing strikes with everything, spotting sinkers and four-seamers on the edges for strikes, and throwing mean changeups and sweepers. This is ABSURD. I don’t have the same hype for King as I have for others like Ragans, but does that matter? You must start the man and we dissect 2024 in the winter.
Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs SF (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 104 pitches.
You love to see it. He gets one more against the White Sox and we’re all good there. (Maybe two if the Sneks need to win their final games and want to push up Gallen + Kelly, but that would be Houston and I’m not sure why this parenthetical is this long. I feel like it’s a grand-parenthetical now. What’s a hetical? A dumb thing from Nick’s dumb mind. Oh, of course. My bad.)
Adrian Houser (MIL) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.
Look at Houser go, giving you the peak you desperately needed this time of the year, even as he sat 1-2 ticks down on everything. Yes, that’s a 90.8 mph sinker now and it didn’t matter. He’ll get the Cardinals a second time and if you want to flip that coin, I’ll be the lovely extra in the background making all the slow-motion faces you want. I got you.
Cristian Javier (HOU) vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.
It only took us five and a half months, but we have Javier’s best start of the season as he went 28% SwStr on his four-seamer and 48% CSW on his slider (70% strikes). TOO LITTELL TOO LATE. But a Gallows Pole! I’m happy he pulled it off, but it was one start. One! And just a single start against the Mariners left to go. It’s a Cherry Bomb play, still. I sure hope he repeats this. Me too, y’all. Me too.
Josiah Gray (WSH) vs CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 91 pitches.
Whoa, this is weird. Josiah’s path to dominance has always been through his breakers, mostly sliders but often curveballs show their face and take over a game. Here? Just eighteen total breaking balls. Instead, we saw 73% sinkers + cutters and that’s all kinds of weird to me, but hey! One earned run! Good for Josiah for finding a way to take down…the White Sox. Yeah. The White Sox.
Chase Anderson (COL) @ SD (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.
Ohhhhh, I got the wrong San city! The Rockies pitchers were never destined to do well in Francisco, it was Diego. WHAT WAS I THINKING.
Kodai Senga (NYM) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 100 pitches.
It wasn’t a pretty game for Senga, with a much worse forkball than we’re used to (2/18 whiffs and a sub 50% strike rate), forcing him to find outs with cutters and four-seamers more than usual. Players make plays, though, and Senga found a way to Win. That’s what legit pitchers do.
Seth Lugo (SD) vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.
The WHIP is a little higher than we want, but that’s a solid ERA with seven strikeouts and Lugo continues to make his bid for Spider-Man. I’m not sure if it’s him or Kyle Hendricks. We’ll see.
Aaron Nola (PHI) @ ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 94 pitches.
TYLER WELL. Nola did a weird thing here, featuring just 36% fastballs in favor of curves + changeups as his focus and it clearly messed up Atlanta. Huh. This is just my own random memory acting up, but is the changeup Atlanta’s Achilles Heel? We saw Cristopher Sánchez take them down with the pitch and now 8/21 whiffs on Nola’s changeup…I wonder if we see that in the playoffs. ANYWAY, Nola is still a Cherry Bomb – you have to have some sweet, after all – even against the Pirates up next. I wish it weren’t true, but y’all know it is.
Bailey Ober (MIN) @ CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.
Look at that, a Bailey Special from Ober, executing a glorious BSB with four-seamers up and changeups down. Sure, the slider and curveball were horrific, but all he needs is one secondary to click to complement the heater. Atta boy.
Zack Greinke (KC) vs CLE (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 57 pitches.
Greinke does what Greinke does.
Eury Pérez (MIA) vs NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 69 pitches.
Blegh. It’s time for me to lower Pérez into the Probably Start tier as he’s clearly on a leash. I could argue a streamer may be better than Eury at this point, especially in QS leagues. I’m glad to see his slider and curve were better this time around, but earning just three whiffs on 25 swings on his four-seamer is all kinds of disheartening (stupid 17 foul balls). Not great.
Bobby Miller (LAD) vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.
It didn’t come with a Win, but that’s not Miller’s fault as he performed honorably once again. Sadly, this wasn’t the homecoming event for his secondaries the line may suggest – his slider still needs some work, his curveball had an off night, and his changeup barely held a strike rate up 50%. His heaters got the job done through the elite velocity, not locations, and this was a Blame it on the Tigers. Who cares, we’ll take it.
George Kirby (SEA) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.
I mean, it’s fine, but don’t forget starts like these when you’re considering Kirby for 2024. I’m excited for him, but it’s more of the idea of him. You’re going to see many drafting him inside the Top 15 SP (Top 10?) due to IP and a low walk rate, but remember, he doesn’t dominate like others, thanks to a lack of elite secondary and a four-seamer that doesn’t demand excellence. There’s still work to be done to be more than a Holly.
Logan Webb (SF) @ ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 102 pitches.
Oh Webb. You go from pure dominance to a VVVPQS with just four strikeouts as we lean back in our armchairs with a deep sigh. If only those slider whiffs stuck around. Just 2/22 here is all kinds of disappointing. Good luck against the Padres + Dodgers next. I’m taking the shot with the Padres and making the tough call against the Dodgers later, but I get if you’re out altogether at this point.
Lucas Giolito (CLE) @ KC (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 105 pitches.
A three-run shot ruined this one for Giolito, who was awfully close to a VVPQS. Not great. I’m still starting him against the Royals as his changeup and slider are still looking solid, though I wish it weren’t 92 mph heaters. You can get away with that only if your changeup is doing better than 4/45 whiffs, Lucas.
Zack Thompson (STL) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.
Oh dear. Thompson’s velocity was down over two ticks here and I wouldn’t go near this, even if he did have a little extra oomph at the end. He was able to land nine curveballs for called strikes and keep his four-seamer upstairs, but without the cutter (or curve, for that matter) landing low constantly, it’s not a complete package that instills trust.
Bryce Elder (ATL) vs PHI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 0 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.
Womp womp. It was a longshot and five walks is a showcase of something more at play than simply facing an elite offense. Avoid this against the Cubs next.
Jon Gray (TEX) vs BOS (ND) – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 39 pitches.
Yeaaaaaah. That makes three in a row for Gray and when he goes cold, he goes cold. Stay away.
Joey Estes (OAK) vs SEA (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.
Finally there’s an Estes for the rest of us. Ahem. Joey made his MLB debut and didn’t have the command he flashed in his final Triple-A start – completely understandable in the fella’s first start of his career. I hope he gets another chance and can show us what he’s got.
Justin Steele (CHC) vs PIT (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 76 pitches.
And so go his dreams of a Cy Young. That’s two starts of his pitches getting hit when thrown over the plate vs. many starts before where he got away with it. It’s so weird how baseball works like that. It knows when it’s a hot streak and he’s not allowed to allow hits on those pitches. Can we find the barrel today, Mom? No son. Not today. AWWWWWW. Atlanta is up next and you really should drop him. Seriously. Welcome to September fantasy baseball.
Aaron Civale (TB) vs LAA (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 74 pitches.
Blegh. Civale normally cruises against poor opponents and his command let him down, despite what the strikeouts suggest. That’s just how it is sometimes.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.
Yikes. Honestly, he looked like Keller to me, save for a rough fifth frame where most of the damage happened. At least it’s an easy decision to move on now with the Phillies next, putting an end to this weird and wacky season from Keller. I wonder what y’all are going to do with him in drafts next year, I sure don’t know.
Brayan Bello (BOS) @ TEX (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.
Yikes. We saw Bello excel last time out, but it didn’t come with anything new in his arsenal. Here, his changeup and sinker (his two best pitches) each allowed a home run and it was a swing of the pendulum in the other direction. He’ll get the Rays to close out the year and I’m not against that outing. He should fine and not replicate this floor. Let’s be glad he can cleanse himself before the season ends.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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