Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Cris, The Season

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.  

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches.

I’d like to take a moment to appreciate what Cristopher Sánchez has done for fantasy managers this season, especially after earning a Golden Goal and a Win via 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 96 pitches against the Mets. It propels his season-long marks to a glistening 3.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and nearly a strikeout per inning across seventeen starts and it came out of nowhere. We’re obviously starting him for one more game against the Mets (again), but what about next year?

This night was another massive changeup highlight evening, featuring 16/40 whiffs and a 48% CSW as he kept the dang thing down oh-so-well. The sinker was able to park inside the zone comfortably as the Mets didn’t know whether they could swing or not, and life was bliss…except for the slider.

And that’s the issue I see. Sánchez’s brilliant season feels a bit like a Vargas Rule akin to Ranger Suárez’s run in 2021, a run that was also fueled by a fantastic changeup feel. Without Sánchez boasting a slider that he can depend on start-to-start, I don’t think his changeup is enough for me to consider him as a reliable arm out of the gate, likely demoting him to the role of Toby for most of the year.

I know, it seems silly to suggest this after two ten-strikeout performances in September, but we just don’t see arms with an elite changeup feel + a middling sinker and slider sustain success for long periods of time. Don’t let our massive appreciation for his effort this year dramatically affect your perception of him for 2024 and beyond.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) @ OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 100 pitches.

You love to see it. Sure, the WHIP is high and it’s only five strikeouts, but after he failed to step up against the Dodgers, it’s nice to see solid production when he should have it. One more against the Guardians is a full go.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace with nearly a King ColeAfter failing to come through for managers earlier in the week, this start may have won (or lost, sorry y’all) some of your championships. Way to be, Zac.

Ryan Walker (SF) @ LAD (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 45% CSW, 11 pitches.

We got a bit of Tristan Becksome Alex Woodand a sprinkle of Nick Pollack getting super annoyed that he still has to write about these games. San Francisco, I swear, if you put us through this again in 2024…

Kyle Gibson (BAL) @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

The Cherry Bomb poster boy came through for managers crossing their fingers for a Sunday Win. Let’s hope y’all can have one more stroke of good fortune next week against the Red Sox.

Jackson Rutledge (WSH) vs ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! That’s an awfully obvious Gold Star with Jackson throwing decent four-seamers over the plate and Atlanta failing to do a whole lot about it. Really, his change, slider, sinker, and curve each made small appearances, but this was a 95 mph four-seamer game and I’m glad it worked out for him. I have few expectations for a trend.

Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

He allowed a pair of hits each on hung curveballs & changeups + a fastball down the pipe, but otherwise I dug what Cabrera did here with his hook and slowball mostly staying down. Still feel uneasy about his fastball and I’m glad this one worked. Still a Cherry Bombbut the Pirates up next weigh the odds in his favor.

Andrew Wantz (LAA) @ MIN (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 41 pitches.

It wasn’t Jaime Barría who had the bulk of the innings. Nope, that was Carson FulmerYes, that Carson Fulmer. Four innings of three runs and two strikeouts and one amazed look on my face. Welp, ready to forget about him again.

Steven Cruz (KC) @ HOU (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 24 pitches.

If you were desperate for strikeouts, you may have thrown Alec Marsh out there as today’s follower, and despite allowing 3 ER in 5.1 IP, it was kinda worth it with a sub 1.00 WHIP and six strikeouts with a Win. Wild. He was sitting 1-2 ticks harder as well + the sweeper did all the work you want it to. Hmmmm, am I actually talking myself into starting him against the Yankees on Saturday? Ugggggggh. Eric Samulski would be thrilled to hear it.

Michael Wacha (SD) vs STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

Atta boy Wacha. We didn’t have much doubt here, but that’s lovely production as you’ve been an absolute gold for many this season. One more to go against the White Sox and it should be lovely.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

Look at those ratios! But he didn’t—DON’T LOOK AT IT CHILD. THERE’S NO GOING BACK—strike out a single batter. NOW YOU’VE DONE IT. HAISTBMBWT?! Talk about a weird one from Clev, who looked awfully lost at times but the Red Sox saved him at-bat after at-bat. Never knew them to be this kind in Fenway. Don’t press your luck against the Padres.

Quinn Priester (PIT) @ CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ayyy the first good start from Priester! He sat 1-2 ticks up on the sinker and…got lucky with balls in play as he didn’t have phenomenal command of the zone. He’s learning about the sport – if you throw enough strikes, eventually you’ll get through a game even if you didn’t “deserve” it.

JP Sears (OAK) vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

We had this start circled and it’s incredibly satisfying to see Sears come through with seven strikeouts. Now it’s the Angels and I’d take the chance there, too. Just get those heaters upstairs, okay?

Lance Lynn (LAD) vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

We’ll take it. I don’t think any of us are expecting Lynn to be off-the-wall incredible these days, but solid against the Giants? Yeah, that seems right.

Allan Winans (ATL) @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

Winans got the call for this start as Atlanta wants to audition Kyle Wright in a bullpen role (and he succeeded at that, FWIW, with 3 IP of 1 ER in 31 pitches. If only he got the chance to start…), and Winans gave you a Dusty Donut with that 1.80 WHIP. It’s hard not to love his attachment to the changeup – 29% usage at 8/26 whiffs – but with just a sinker backing it up (the slider is a bit too inconsistent) it does give me pause for a much higher ceiling in his future. If Atlanta goes with Winans in Wright’s spot, he’ll face the Nationals a second time and I’d heavily consider it. The Nationals are not a good lineup and I wouldn’t be shocked if a Win came Winans’ way. H*ck, I’m surprised he didn’t get one here.

Brandon Williamson (CIN) vs PIT (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

Yeah, that velocity ain’t coming back. It’s his third straight start of a declining fastball, now down to 91.4 mph after sitting 94/95 mph before his COVID-IL stint. Don’t touch this.

Carlos Rodón (NYY) vs ARI (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 93 pitches.

The results are okay, but the four-seamer falling all the way down from 96.5 mph to 94 mph in this start is horrible. UGH. I had thought it was the rain getting involved, but I don’t think it was enough to warrant 2.5 ticks of a drop since last start. I’m so sad to see it as I felt he was on the up-swing and clearly there’s something still very much affecting him. It’s possible he gets it all back next time out, but it’s the Jays and that’s too risky in standard leagues.

Jordan Wicks (CHC) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

We’ll take this all day, though three strikeouts are a little underwhelming. I do like his ability to avoid the heart of the plate, though. Giving in is for suckers. We’re all set for the Brewers up next.

Joe Ryan (MIN) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

The heater returned all fifteen of those whiffs as Ryan is still struggling to find a strong #2 offering. We saw a slider (not sweeper) show up here and maybe that’s the solution with 8/11 strikes there and the 6% CSW splitter ain’t it to me. Coors is next and I think we trust it with his four-seamer and we’ll talk about his potential 2024 later.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs CWS (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 93 pitches.

It was almost a Gallows Pole with seven strikeouts, but the ratios just aren’t good enough for a streaming victory. Two days of 16 strikeouts and poor ERA + WHIP from Crawford + Phillips. Womp womp. He’s a Cherry Bomb against the Orioles next, especially when you consider he was 1-2 ticks down across the board here.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 73 pitches.

This wasn’t the same command we’ve been used to from Kikuchi, even if it came with seven punchouts. It’s not enough to steer away from his next outing, but he’s not an auto-start now. Yusei start, I say how high. I just told you, second tier, not first. Yusei things and I say how high. Why are you doing this. Yusei—LET’S MOVE ON.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs BAL (L) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 6 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 52 pitches.

Oh no. Oh no no no no no. Let’s act like this never happened and let him try again one more time as we applaud from far away.

Ty Blach (COL) @ CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 89 pitches.

Blach. I’m realizing now that I’m starting to imagine superintendent Chalmers saying that and I’m not sure how to feel about that.

José Butto (NYM) @ PHI (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yuuuup. It’s cool to see the whiffs, but Butto’s lovely run was likely to come to an end with this tough matchup on his plate. Sadly, he’ll have to endure them again in his final start, too. Womp womp.

Spencer Strider (ATL) @ WSH (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hmmmm. I have to say, it is interesting how I think many of us (including me!) have written off Strider’s ERA as the weirdness of the year, with his 270+ strikeouts obviously outweighing it. Still, a 3.81 ERA is really hard to place as SP #1 for next year, you know? We’re gonna have to talk about this.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ MIA (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 70 pitches.

Aces gonna…drop a tick in velocity and get his pitches over the plate get smacked around + allow a HR on a pitch up and out of the zone. Huh. Welp, we start him against the Cubs (obviously) and forget this happened. ONWARD!

Joan Adon (WSH) vs ATL (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Adon Won? No, Adon did not. But the pun! I know. Sigh I know.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

He’s not at 94 mph. He’s now at 92.9 mph. Guys, you can’t keep letting him pitch out there. THE MAN IS HURT.

Taj Bradley (TB) vs TOR (L) – 7.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

Womp womp. Tis the life of a Cherry BombRoll the dice one more time if you must. I hope he figures out that curveball in the off-season.

Bryan Woo (SEA) @ TEX (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

Womp womp. The cutter we featured 41% of the time, if you can believe it, and it’s likely due to his solid feel for the pitch across the start. That said, his four-seamer only allowed two balls in play…and just three whiffs, which is all kinds of strange and I imagine if Woo had the heater that we’ve seen blow by batters (and not have a 30% foul ball rate), then we’d likely seen more of the pitch. I wouldn’t take the gamble again.

Drew Rom (STL) @ SD (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.

Stop what you’re doing right and imagine my face reacting to this line. You know what it is. You know the mini-frown, the tired eyes, the “why do I have to write things about an outcome we all knew would happen.” But here I am, writing something about this DR, who doesn’t come with certification. Sure, it’s possible his heater’s 39% CSW here is an indication that he’ll survive against the Reds in his final outing. It’s far too risky for me, though.

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs KC (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 65 pitches.

Welp, it’s been real. He’s going to come at a discount in drafts next season which I’m all for, but for now, we hold off.


Game of the Day


Justin Verlander vs. Luis Castillo – The playoff picture isn’t settled and this series is going to be intense.

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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