Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Gilbert and Discerning

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

It’s one h*ck of a week for the Mariners and Logan Gilbert stepped up in a crucial game against the Rangers to go 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches and keep Seattle entrenched in the playoff hunt. Us fantasy managers don’t care about that, though, all we wonder is what this start means for 2024 and beyond.

It’s really strange to see the current state of Gilbert: a 40%+ slider arm who only goes 2/28 whiffs on four-seamers and sputters with his splitter and curve. The slider/heater combo was enough to keep the Rangers at bat (mostly the slider) but is that enough?

I don’t think so and I’m not sure what to do. On one hand, Gilbert could flirt with 200 innings and soar past his 24% strikeout rate if he’s able to keep his new slider while regaining his four-seamer command up in the zone. There’s even more of a ceiling if he has the splitter he displayed in the spring as well, let alone his old curveball.

On the other hand, Gilbert’s four-seamer struggled for ages and the new slider could disappear across the cold winter, leaving a pitcher struggling to find a way to earn a Quality Start. It’s awfully difficult to discern and get ready for a whole lot of ink spilled on the lanky man for the next six months. But this was my favorite shirt! Should have thought of that before being in a room with ink.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Chris Bassitt (TOR) vs NYY (W) – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 106 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Bassitt’s season is a massive upward trend, beginning with a You’re probably wondering how I got in this situation and ending with the wonderful conclusion to that Disney film that makes you all leave the theater laughing and smiling. Enjoy the near Golden Goal you wonderful man, and let’s see if you can keep your 1-2 velo uptick in the playoffs. Can’t wait to say “Removing his first start of 9 ER…” incessantly this off-season.

David Peterson (NYM) vs MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 113 pitches.

No joke, this game was suspended due to rain after the Marlins scored two in the top of the ninth to take the lead, 2-1. Unreal. Anyway, Peterson came through in this stream, finding strikeouts in an odd mix of methods – hung sliders and changeups, a few lovely upstairs fastballs, and a pair of low breakers. I don’t think it’s a sign of true development that hints at a 2024 breakout, but that is 33 strikeouts across his final four starts of the year. Maybe there’s something to that.

Dean Kremer (BAL) vs BOS (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 88 pitches.

I think he heard me call him “gassed”. His cutter and four-seamer were both a little spotty around the zone here, but he still managed to earn eight four-seamer whiffs to put a cap on his breakout season. I wish I could buy into it more for 2024 (it’s really just two pitches that matter, and are either his cutter or heater actually “elite”?), but maybe he gets some early matchups we like and accept him as a Toby once again.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 66 pitches.

And thus ends the strange year of Burnes, who was pulled early to save some bullets for the playoffs. With everything we’ve talked about with Burnes disappointing us, is 200 strikeouts (26% strikeout rate) with a 3.39 ERA and 1.07 WHIP really that bad? I feel like that’s the floor you paid for with your high draft pick. You didn’t get the ceiling you wanted and still had a stud throughout the year (with some blips). Just a thought.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ NYM (ND) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 100 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole for Luzardo with a Careful, Icarus as he allowed his sole run in the eighth after getting pulled from the game. This was very much a “whatever, I’ll do what I want” start from Luzardo, boasting 44% sliders with a whopping eighteen whiffs. Yeah. This is what can happen when he doesn’t leave that pitch in the middle of the zone. It’s not like his changeup and four-seamer were bad, either. The man just knew he had that pitch cooking and ran with it. It marks a 3.61 ERA and…wow…1.169 WHIP since May 9th. THAT’S RIGHT FAST. Those who understand what I’m referencing, y’all rock. Sign me up for Luzardo again next year as I think he gets better every year.

Luis Medina (OAK) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

Ayyyy that’s a Gold Star for Medina as he was able to go six strong against the Twins. So the slider took over again? Ummm, not really. About a 50% strike rate with just 3/25 whiffs. Oh. Yeah, four-seamers and changeups found outs and he just kinda…pitched? And casually found outs? I dunno, it just all sort of…happened. Let’s move on.

Jordan Montgomery (TEX) @ SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

What a lovely season as a Holly for The Bear as his ERA landed at 3.20 with a 1.19 WHIP. He’ll be one of those arms to go in the 100-150 range next year and while I’m okay rostering him, I imagine I’ll see the ERA and WHIP separation as a bit strange, making for a near Toby who I don’t touch in drafts. It’s just too low of a ceiling for me to go after. That’s what you said about Merrill Kelly and Zach EflinOkay that’s absolutely fair. We’ll talk more about this soon enough.

Chris Sale (BOS) @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 69 pitches.

Sale got his redemption on the Orioles after getting shellacked for roughly 20 ER in his previous three starts against Baltimore this season. Redemption? He took the L. CLOSE ENOUGH. His velocity fell back down to 92 mph, though, and y’all know it means he’s going to come cheaper in the draft. Me? Sure, why not. I don’t think Sale will hurt your fantasy teams next year, but don’t draft him over arms who could be stalwarts throughout the full year. Think the arm you grab before you roster dart throws.

Luis L. Ortiz (PIT) @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! That’s a near Gold Star performance from Ortiz, who I didn’t even expect to go close to five frames, let alone five productive frames against the Phillies. This doesn’t change anything about Ortiz’s 2024 outlook, sadly, as it was mostly a night of landing sliders and sinkers low more than usual. What an Or-Tease.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 67 pitches.

Aces gonna get pulled early because it’s the final tune-up before the playoffs. Oh look, all the cool kids did it, too. Welcome to the last week of the year.

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 55 pitches.

Yep, all the cool kids. What a stupid good year for Sonny and sadly I’m not going to chase it in drafts next year unless I get a major discount once again. In fact, I may find myself drafting Kenta Maeda more, who went 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks in relief with blissful sliders and splitters. Don’t worry, I anticipate Maeda’s draft stock to be far lower than Gray’s as I’d rather roster Sonny in a vacuum. In true honesty, I may want the third pitcher of this game Louie Varlandwho fanned three in 1.2 innings. I really hope they let him start as he sat 98.0 mph in this one…

Touki Toussaint (CWS) vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yeah, that looks about right. Only 20% curveballs here as Touki struggled to get the thing over the plate and without him punishing batters with hooks, it means his splitter has to take over in a major way. Narrator: It did not. It’s a splitter, y’all. That rarely happens. The Nuclear Launch Procedure isn’t a guy I’d consider for next year. I’m sorry, what is his name?! You know, you need Tou Kis to launch a nuke. Two keys? NICK. There’s still some SP Roundup season left.

AJ Smith-Shawver (ATL) vs CHC (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 64 pitches.

Sure, it was the limited pitch count we anticipated but did you know his fastball sat over two ticks up? We’re talking 96.5 mph out of NOWHERE. And how did it perform? 0/28 whiffs. NICK. Hey, 13 foul balls! Those could have been whiffs! He got a ton of vertical break, too! He just didn’t locate them effectively! THERE’S HOPE. On the real, if AJSS is pumping 96/97 mph in the spring and has his slider and changeup sitting low, you bet your bottom dollar I’m jumping on that train. Starting with regularity for Atlanta is a wonderful thing.

Sawyer Gipson-Long (DET) vs KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

I don’t think Gipson-Long pitched all too well here, but he allowed an unearned run + a hung slider returned his other two runs. Blame it on the Royals and I’m curious whether he can nail his fastball command enough to let his slider and change shine in 2024. Think a Logan Webb-lite comp.

Luke Weaver (NYY) @ TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

That’s another shockingly decent start for Weaver against the Jays and props to him for that. Still ain’t touching him next year, sadly.

Bryce Jarvis (ARI) @ CWS (L) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 38 pitches.

Even with just four days of baseball to go, Arizona made sure a bullpen game was played. THANKS, YOU’RE SO KIND.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ ATL (L) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 38 pitches.

Ah. I get the sense Stroman will be overlooked a bit in drafts next year given his lack of innings in the second half and I’m undecided if I want to take a shot on him given his horrid WHIP floor. We’ll see.

Chris Flexen (COL) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

PQS for Flexen with a solid 30% CSW and dub against the Dodgers in Coors is a lovely showcase for Flexen as he hopes to find innings in the rotation next year. He’s not fantasy-relevant, but I hope he earned it.

Dakota Hudson (STL) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 84 pitches.

It was a desperate Quality Start play and you nearly got there. So it goes y’all. So it goes. 

Cole Ragans (KC) @ DET (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Pew, pew, sigh, pew. Funny thing is that despite the Careful, Icarus where all four runs came in the seventh (he left the game with the bases loaded and they all scored), this wasn’t prime Ragans at all. The cutter wasn’t there, his four-seamer wasn’t landing where he wanted, he struggled to get his curve over the plate, the slider wasn’t missing bats, it was all…off. It was a Blame it on the Tigers for six frames, making me wonder if having Salvy behind the plate messed things up or if it was just one of those days. Regardless, the only thing this start does to shift my 2024 perception of Ragans is act as another showcase of how pitching for the Royals is an obvious negative. Why does he have to be so far from free agency…It’s been a wonderful time cheering you on Ragans, I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Ryan Yarbrough (LAD) @ COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 72 pitches.

Oh dear. I guess that’s why they call him the Friday Pirate. It’s the Fratty Pirate. Shhhhh, the Rockies don’t want him to know. For those looking to snag a possible cheap Win, I feel for y’all. Floors in Coors can be tough to endure when you land on them. That’s why I have a carpet. Okay bud.


Game of the Day


Nick Martinez vs. Dylan Cease – Please tell me Martinez is allowed to go at least five frames and Cease’s last start wasn’t a fluke.

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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