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Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Marsh Madness

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Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Marsh Madness


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.

Alec Marsh (KC) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 76 pitches.

Sometimes I’ll lead with a pitcher just to say “Yeah, I noticed this guy did well, and I’m still not interested.” That honor goes to Alec Marsh tonight, who returned an impressive 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 76 pitches against the Orioles, sealing a Win on a night he could have gone the distance under 100 pitches. How does this happen?

For starters, boasting a 50% CSW sweeper helps. It’s not a pitch you’re going to recall in the morning, but mixed in between 25% changeups, 35% fastballs, and 16% gyro sliders, those 18 sweepers did some good work over the plate. In reality, the true hero was the changeup, which returned eight outs in play on ten swings – a blessing from Koufax, of course. Maybe he’ll get a similar wave of brilliance against the White Sox next time out as well (there are better darts to throw), though it wouldn’t be wise to expect a legit breakout coming. Marsh isn’t that guy.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs TOR (ND) – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ahhhhh, much better, even if the cutter is nowhere to be found. Why must you hate nice things. Kinda weird to see this success without said weapon, nor his best changeup, annnd ah. The sinker found gloves. Ohhh so this was LUCK. Not exactly. He earned outs on perfectly placed sinkers along the edge, the Neckbeard way. That’s good Valdez, changeup/cutter or not. You feel a whole lot better after this one.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 83 pitches.

Soooo Anderson had the BSB cooking. The changeup went 10/34 whiffs and the Marlins couldn’t do anything about it as he flexed four-seamers upstairs, inducing fouls and outs. It was a highly questionable stream and we’re happy it worked out in those deep leagues, and now we can delicately place him back on the wire. Just stay riiiiight there. Don’t move for like three weeks, k thx.

Zac Gallen (ARI) vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The fastball is still down 1-2 ticks and he’s missing very few bats, but his changeup, curve, and yes, even his slider were delicately placed in this one as the fastball did its normal work around the zone. We’ll take it, but without the heavy serving of reforged trust. The anvil will strike when the strikes are forged. Sure, what that random gravelly voice just said.

Javier Assad (CHC) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Wait, six innings? Assad went six innings?! Huh. Welp, that happened and we truly don’t need to chase this. Blame it on the Rockies n all that.

Shane Bieber (CLE) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh look, more Bieber dominance as he’s collected 20 strikeouts in two starts. His slider is vicious these days, though I have to mention his velocity falling to 91.6 mph – just 0.3 ticks more than last season. Sure, his 2023’s turbulence was catalyzed by degrading breakers, though that heater’s surge was another layer of confidence that Bieber could soar when he doesn’t face teams like the Mariners and Athletics. Well fine, who’s his next start then? …The White Sox. Oh. He’ll get tested eventually, I swear!

Spencer Turnbull (PHI) vs CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Turnbull’s similarities to Ashcraft aren’t lost on me when you realize his “four-seamer” is actually a cutter wearing a Parisian visage. Why does it have to be French? Why are you not okay with it being French? It’s pretty cool to see Turnbull rack up the Ks, though just one truly impressed me – a lovely changeup away and out of the zone to a LHB. The rest was a mish-mash of breakers falling way out of the zone or his sneaky sneaky cutter at 91 mph landing up-and-away to LHB. I don’t see it as repeatable for a another start, sadly, but hey, maybe he pulls it off against the Cardinals. Don’t get your hopes up.

Ryan Brasier (LAD) vs SF (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 12 pitches.

He opened for 4.1 IP frames of bleeeegh from the Fratty Pirate and I absolutely hate being reminded of bullpen games. Why. WHY.

Garrett Crochet (CWS) vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 93 pitches.

Okay he’s pretty legit and now I’m upset he gets a rough schedule after the Royals up next. But this was Atlanta! Totally fair, I’m still going to be a little skeptical that he can keep pounding the zone like this, but hot dang, he’s still 96/97 mph with a good heater, his slider went 43% CSW, and he upped his cutter to 20% usage for 56% CSW. No wonder he earned a Golden Goal AGAINST ATLANTA. I’m pretty upset at myself for not buying in more after one outing, though I’m still not totally sold on his command (his slider and cutter felt like “here goes nothing” well over the plate). And yet who cares, right? LOOK AT THAT LINE. Yeesh.

Zach Eflin (TB) vs TEX (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ayyyyy, way to recover after a rough go of it last time out. Much more precision this time around with fewer sweepers and avoiding that one poor frame. All good here.

Reynaldo López (ATL) @ CWS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

It was fine. López took down the weak ChiSox, didn’t earn a Win because Crochet is doing ridiculous things, and his slider went 55% strikes with just 2/20 whiffs. The heater is solid – not elite but solid – and that’s about it. I know I don’t sound excited and sometimes that’s alright. Be content with ReyLo’s solid position in the Atlanta rotation but don’t expect him to be startable against strong offenses. The Mets are next, that’s all good with us.

José Berríos (TOR) @ HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Berríos is going high sinkers suddenly (Eno has to be thrilled) and he was able to finagle his way through six frames here. Let’s be happy the tough opponents are out of the way, clearly respite is on the horizon with the Mariners up next. DON’T YOU DARE UNDULATE.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Whoa whoa whoa, a share of the Gallows Pole for Heaney? Against the Rays? With 12/57 four-seamer whiffs?! When he was two ticks down on the heater?! WHAT IS THIS. Nope, I won’t get pulled into this – Heaney should have been pummeled many times in this one and simply wasn’t. You’re not gonna give me the slip this time, Andy. I KNOW YOUR TRICKS.

Jakob Junis (MIL) vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 47 pitches.

Not only did the slider do its job, but his sinker returned 50% CSW and that’s far better than you can ever ask of Junis. Note the low 47 pitch count – the low floor is wondering how the ceiling made its way all the way down here.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

Three whiffs. Yes, he got a Win, but at what cost. AT WHAT COST?!

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ PHI (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.

We’ll take this all day and most evenings from Ashcraft, who shocked me a ton by featuring his cutter third most of all his offerings, flexing his sinker once again like old times. He even refused to locate said cutter upstairs for once and maybe this is a showcase of blossoming command from Ashcraft. Or maybe it’s one of those days and we’re all upset it came against the Phils where it was a clear bench. Ashcraft, you sly devil.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs STL (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 82 pitches.

Darvish whipped out the kitchen sink once again and gave that porcelain beast a massive HYUUUCK! as he technically featured eight different pitches tonight. The heroes? His splitter and slider at 44% usage between them and 33% SwStr rate. Gotta love him.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs LAA (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

A bad slider, a bad changeup, and a bad fastball – the three pitches that Luzardo wanted back and there’s your ball game. There were some missed opportunities as he bounced a few too many sliders, but overall, we’re still cool with Luzardo.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ AZ (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 88 pitches.

Once again, Cortes had a rough first frame before settling down across the next four. So everything’s cool, right? Not really. The iVB saw a massive drop off, leading to just 1/46 four-seamer whiffs, while his cutter and slider combined for just an 18% CSW. Oh no. Yeah, the loss of a tick on the heater is the last element that has me continuing my skepticism that Cortes can be the guy we want him to be. It’s still early, though, so it’s likely best to still hold for the Marlins up next.

Alex Wood (OAK) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.

What is it with these lefties earning fastball whiffs despite lower velocity and worse shape than before? Okay I actually know why Manaea, Heaney, and now Wood earned those whiffs (mostly because they located them effectively upstairs and in the zone) and to be honest, Wood pitched great in this one as he pulled off the BSB as well as you could ever hope. If only he didn’t have Texas next.

Louie Varland (MIN) @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

We finally got a Varland start! And it was…not great. I think he’ll come into his own across the season, but at the moment, his fastball isn’t doing all the wonderful things and his cutter is letting us all down with just 12/26 strikes. And now it’s the Dodgers? Ugh. I have faith in the long term, though that’s not enough to pass on production off the wire for Louie V.

Luis Castillo (SEA) vs CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna continue to hate the cold weather as managers are starting to get nervous about their SP #1. Don’t be one of those people – his fastball command was much better than last time and that velocity should return in time (and his iVB along with it). Seriously, he does this.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 87 pitches.

He actually earned slider whiffs (7/22!), though one allowed a two-run shot on a terrible placed 2-1 offering, while his ole reliable changeup was destroyed for another two-run blast. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as that. Two blegh pitches and this night of brilliance dissipated in a heartbeat. Keep loving the guy.

Cole Irvin (BAL) vs KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s the wrong Cole. The fastball velocity isn’t there and neither is his command. Not a chance we’re testing this one against the Sawx.

Logan Webb (SF) @ LAD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

I still don’t understand how Betts hit that HR and the Dodgers are gonna Dodger. Keep yer chin up Webb, you’ll spin it another day.

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ CHC (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

At least I prefaced it by saying it was likely one of the dumbest tweets of the year, right? Freeland, if you actually want to take advantage of that new velocity, you may want to be a little more careful with your sliders. They leak more than my eyes watching The Iron Giant.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Cole Ragans vs. Corbin Burnes – STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WATCH THIS.

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 Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)



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