Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday 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.
Seth Lugo (SD) @ SF (W) – 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 123 pitches.
Let’s give some love to Seth Lugo, who just pitched his heart out against the Giants, nearly earning a CGSHO with 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 123 pitches. It lowers his season ERA to just 3.57 with a near 1.20 WHP and 23% strikeout rate and for a guy on very few cheatsheets entering 12-teamer drafts, he’s been as good of a Toby you could have hoped for. Gotta love a solid in-season pickup.
As with many decent arms like Lugo, I sadly won’t be chasing him in drafts next year (We don’t draft Tobys), and I think understanding Lugo’s approach of decent fastballs + a solid curveball outlines a pitcher with a limited ceiling. Is the floor solid? Sure, especially for the Padres, but those entering drafts think they have a sub 4.00 ERA pitcher locked in that they’ll feel comfortable starting about 90% of the time will be disappointed. Here’s to hoping we can scoop him off the wire next year at just the right time once again.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs WSH (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 104 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. What a stunning run Bradish went on to end the year and huge props to his adjustment away from his four-seamer in early June that spawned one of the greatest stretches we’ve seen from an Orioles pitcher in a long time. I’m hesitant to lean into a 2024 repeat with his slider truly being the only legit pitch in the bunch (maybe the curve, too, but I find it to be more inconsistent than I’d like), but don’t let that detract from an incredible season.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs NYY (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 105 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Wanna know something weird? We’re all acknowledging that Gausman had a much better 2023 season and yet…his WHIP is now at 1.18 – just five points better than last year with nearly the same ERA. Sure, more strikeouts, but you get the point – his BABIP did drop, but not nearly as much as many anticipated (still elevated at .325), resulting in a high hit-per-nine as his walk rate rose three points. And yet, here we are, loving him so much more than 2022. Huh. I’m not sure we should.
Michael King (NYY) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 98 pitches.
Absolutely incredible. But the walks! Sure, he lost a few batters and went…2/18 changeup strikes. TWO?! That’s an 11% strike rate. WHAT. Yeah, please don’t do that again. We’re going to get one more start of King and I’m excited to see him ride off into the sunset. Can’t wait for all the talk across the off-season.
George Kirby (SEA) vs HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 84 pitches.
Awesome stuff Kirby. Do I wish your fastball was better than a 21% CSW? Sure do. But the slider was great, the sinker earned a ton of outs with a 58% O-Swing (SWEET) and you battled through a tough lineup for a much-needed win in Seattle. Huge props to that. Don’t expect Kirby to start on Sunday unless their fate isn’t decided yet in the morning, and obviously he’s a green light for our fantasy teams if given the pearl.
Zack Greinke (KC) @ DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.
Greinke does what Greinke does, which is going out in possible style this week with a Gold Star here. I really hope he gets that Sunday start and goes absolutely bonkers in the final start of his career (assuming he retires). That could be one h*ck of a game to watch.
Chase Anderson (COL) vs LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 91 pitches.
Of course you did, Chase. I’ll give you a Gold Star too given the tougher matchup, but let’s not belittle Greinke’s achievements, okay?
Bailey Ober (MIN) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 86 pitches.
Yep, that looks right. It’s the Bailey Special special with a King Cole and just two baserunners. Sadly, it’s Coors next, but Ober leaned more into his changeup than his four-seamer here and I wonder if that feel can overcome Coors on Sunday. There’s a decent chance there as he’s very clearly locked in.
Miles Mikolas (STL) @ MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.
I’m glad Mikolas finally had a start under 3 ER, but I’m honestly more jazzed that he has a chance to start 35 games this year – which would be just the third time since 2010 we’ve seen a starter go 35 starts. Who were the other two? David Price and the one, the only, the man who you least expect, Jhoulys Chacín. Incredible.
Reid Detmers (LAA) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.
Yooooo the changeup! Nick, it wasn’t very good this time. Oh. Yoooo, the slider! Nope. 2/16 whiffs. The…fastb–he was down to 93.1 mph–hook? The curve? A 41% CSW! Yeah! The curveball! Just a 50% strike rate with some terrible misses. WELL OKAY THEN I GET THE POINT. Seriously though, his velocity is super down (and so is the spin, no surprise there) and you have to think the kiddo is awfully fatigued. I wish I had more to be excited about for 2024, but you never know. Maybe something clicks over the off-season and his spring showcases a new man. That would be cool, but I’m not holding my breath.
Aaron Nola (PHI) vs PIT (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.
ATTA BOOOOOY. Another fantastic start for Nola, even if it came in a massively different fashion. He threw a ton of changeups against Atlanta, then it became his fourth most utilized pitch here, featuring far more four-seamers and sinkers to great effect. It really makes you want to chase him in 2024, doesn’t it? Nick, we said he’s a Cherry Bomb. I know, I know…BUT I CAN’T HELP MYSELF.
Josiah Gray (WSH) @ BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.
It was an awfully weird start last time out for Gray with sinkers and cutters doing all of the work, and this was different. Sure, 60% cutters + sinkers, but at least we saw 30% breakers, too, with his curveball being the real force at 43% CSW. I think he got away with a ton here, with many horrible sliders, mediocre heaters down Broadway, and an attempt at Canibal McSanchez that didn’t always work. It’s a strange start to end a season filled with adversity and discovery and it leaves us with an absolute mystery as to what 2024 will bring.
Reese Olson (DET) vs KC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 92 pitches.
Well that’s all kinds of awesome. I was worried Olson would struggle to get chases on his changeup, and the pitch was magnificent at 7/19 whiffs, while the four-seamer successfully pounded the zone and his slider was as golden as ever. Enjoy the Gallows Pole, you earned it. How can we resist a start against the Guardians now?
John Brebbia (SF) vs SD (L) – 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 23 pitches.
It’s nice to see Alex Wood go 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks across 83 pitches to seal his tumultuous time in the Giants’ pen. They couldn’t let him start in his final game of the year?! I know. Maybe he’ll get the chance on Sunday, if they’re nice. GIVE THE MAN A CHANCE BEFORE FREE AGENCY.
Bobby Miller (LAD) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.
In his final start of the regular season, we’re finally seeing Miller flex a legit slider (40% CSW, stellar command), while his four-seamer woke up to return a 21% SwStr rate across 42 thrown out of nowhere. Well duh, he throws 98/99 mph! Yeah, it’s had a 10% SwStr across the entire season. Oh. The changeup is still great, too, and I truly hope all three pitches are dependable offerings in 2024. There’s legit Top 10 SP potential here.
Mitch Keller (PIT) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.
Atta boy Keller. Does it make a whole lot of sense? Nope! He threw a ton of pitches down the middle of the plate and sat at least a tick down on his three main pitches, while he chucked nine breakers for 1/9 CSW and 33% strikes. I guess we start him against the Marlins up next, but I still think it’s all super weird.
Justin Steele (CHC) @ ATL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 90 pitches.
Hey, this could have been worse for Steele, even if neither his slider nor four-seamer returned a 20% CSW. His four-seamer command was atrocious as he failed to find the edges and often hurled the pitch down the pipe, and I can’t remember the last start from Steele where he had great fastball command. It makes me concerned if he gets that last start against the Brewers on Sunday, even with the excellent season behind him. I think he’s gassed.
Zach Eflin (TB) @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.
Ehhhhh, that’s a Dusty Donut. It’s the Eflin we were kinda used to, you know? What a season this has been for Eflin as one of the great surprises of 2023 and y’all know I hate buying into peak seasons whenever possible. It’s a lot of career-bests and I don’t expect the cutter to perform this well again. I hope so, but he’ll likely take some steps back next year.
Cristian Javier (HOU) @ SEA (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.
Sigh. You know, his four-seamer did get a ton of whiffs and his slider had a 65% strike rate. But what about the 3/11 strike changeup and the terrible fastball misses. Yeah, okay. There’s your problem. I don’t think he’s fixed.
Caleb Ferguson (LAD) @ COL (L) – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 18 pitches.
It’s a bit frustrating to see the opener fail like this when the follower – Ryan Pepiot – performs so dang well after: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Remember when Pepiot came up and he had an 80 grade changeup? Well, we saw that today with 16/40 whiffs on the pitch. SIXTEEN WHIFFS on one pitch. Absurd. I wonder if the Dodgers will have Pepiot in the playoff rotation, which may indicate whether Pepiot starts on Sunday against the Giants or not. I’d hold until we get confirmation one way or another as that start is as juicy as anything.
Adrian Houser (MIL) vs STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.
Womp womp. Houser chucks heaters with some sliders and it didn’t go his way. That’s the Houser lifestyle and y’all can’t be surprised about it. Good luck chasing his Sunday start, who knows what we’ll get – if the Cubs have a locked playoff spot, he may be able to coast easier than usual.
José Ureña (CWS) vs ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 74 pitches.
Not only was it Ureña, it was Ureña sitting 1-2 ticks down. Remember kids, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.
Zach Davies (ARI) @ CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 73 pitches.
Not even the White Sox could save Davies from himself. I sure hope the Sneks have their playoff spot locked in by Sunday – I’d hate to think of Arizona fans relying on Davies against the Astros.
Bryce Elder (ATL) vs CHC (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.
Ouch. You’re not supposed to start Elder against solid offenses, which includes the Cubs, but I don’t blame you for taking a shot at a Win here. We’re likely going to see one more start from Elder on Sunday against the Nationals and that seems like a Winnable start, though if Atlanta is resting their starters, you may not get the Win you’re looking for.
Lucas Giolito (CLE) vs CIN (ND) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.
Bleeeegh. The changeup is still great (well, save for, um, three home runs), but the fastball and slider just aren’t doing their part, especially the latter with its 32% strike rate. Yeesh. This ain’t fun at all. He was cruising for ages and has just broken down right before his paycheck. I see him as a potential steal in drafts next year given his potential workload + in desperate need of legitimate coaching that could give him the tweak he needs. As for 2023, this looks like the last start he’ll get. What a weird year.
Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ MIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.
A grand slam ruined this night for Blackburn, who may not get another start this season with the Athletics possibly moving to a six-man. Welp, it’s been a wild and strange ride this year, Paul. I’m sorry we couldn’t nab one more for you.
Ryan Feltner (COL) vs LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 57 pitches.
I’m happy he had a great return to the mound last time out, but yeah. This was the Dodgers in Coors. It wasn’t meant to be.
Cody Bradford (TEX) @ LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 73 pitches.
I don’t trust people with two first names, let alone those with three. Is Ford really a first name? Ever heard of Wilford? Well I’ll be…Bradford has a lovely changeup he does spot well, but the poor 91 mph heater paired with, um, excuse me. His 91 mph heater alone and left to struggle in the solitude of failure, bearing the shame of living in the shadow of a changeup laced with the shackles of mediocrity doesn’t make for a fantasy relevant arsenal. Man, I really hope I come to regret that ridiculous sentence. Go be awesome in 2024, Cody.
Tanner Houck (BOS) vs TB (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.
That’s what you get breaking the Huascar Rule. Be careful chasing Houck next season without a strong offering to support his slider.
Hunter Greene (CIN) @ CLE (ND) – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 70 pitches.
Dude. DUDE. Three home runs, two off the slider and one on the heater, all down the pipe and issuing tears down my face. It’s a brutal start this late in the year and yet, I’m starting him against the Cardinals on Sunday. There’s no reason for the Reds to not let the man have a chance for redemption before the long winter and he should be so destructive against a questionable offense like the Reds. It’s gonna be awfully hard ranking him for 2024, though. He’s a Cherry Bomb with the potential to go on a league-winning run.
Game of the Day
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