Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Bradley’s Super Playbook

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

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.  

Taj Bradley (TBR) @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

How good is Taj Bradley this season? He was absolutely fantastic in his first game of the year, and today’s 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches against the Red Sox certainly suggests he’s figured some things out to look more sustainable.

But I don’t think he has. Bradley is still missing chaotically and I wonder how good that four-seamer actually is. There’s a fair amount of iVB at 17+ inches and 95/96 mph velocity, but without consistent control up in the zone (and not wildly out of it upstairs. Of course, who would do that consistently?), the pitch struggles to be the rock that Bradley badly needs.

The splitter is doing some work this year and there were some disgusting cutters that give me hope for Bradley to maintain his hot start. In fact, it sure looks weird for me to be so negative after Bradley has been brilliant for those who picked him up into your IL spot the week he returned. I’m seeing a similar arm to last year’s chaos and all I wanted to do in this blurb was praise Bradley for possibly becoming something legit. Sigh. Maybe next start…


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Framber Valdez (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

We didn’t get the cutter or slider, but the Athletics couldn’t handle Framber’s sinker over the plate, nor the curves and changeups he was able to throw for strikes. When Framber is able to plod along without his sinker doing all the heavy lifting, things go his way. Thanks change and curve, you guys are such great friends. Wow, this is the worst anime ever. Wait, curveball, you had a sub 50% strike rate! You weren’t a good friend at all! Okay, maybe this is a little better. HOW CAN I TRUST YOU AFTER THIS? On the real, Framber is a clear arm to slot into your lineup regularly, though I don’t think his Cherry Bomb tendencies are completely eradicated yet. The curve isn’t that pitch for him and the slider/cutter not stepping up is a bit worrisome for the long haul. Just give me something legit to latch onto, Framber, and I’ll make you AGA in no time.

Jon Gray (TEX) vs CLE (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 94 pitches.

Huge props to Gray here. No, the strikeouts nor whiffs were spectacular, but it’s a product of his slider & change nailing the down-and-gloveside corner all night and returning outs with ease. I’ll take this version of Jonny G, even if it comes with fewer strikeouts. That approach works. Sadly, the command usually doesn’t stick around and the Phillies are on the horizon. Be careful.

Marcus Stroman (NYY) @ MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

Stroman’s slider and cutter did their work, while the curve wasn’t as bad as we’ve seen. It all adds up to six frames of classic Stroman, something we hadn’t seen for a few weeks. It’s good to have you back, Stroman.

Logan Webb (SFG) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna save their label. I was set to push Webb down to Tier 3 and…maybe I still should. Wait, what. This was against the Dodgers! It was weird. Webb decided to change things up MASSIVELY by suddenly chucking just 15 changeups on the night. 15! This is a guy who had multiple games tossing more than fifty changeups in a start last year. In fact, this changeup was Webb’s fourth pitch in this one, featuring more sinkers, four-seamers, and sweepers instead. Absolutely bananas. I think it worked because it completely messed with the Dodgers’ game plan, but this version of Webb isn’t sustainable. It’s not a great sweeper, the sinker was up and weird, and the four-seamer held a near 50% strike rate and 6% CSW. The goose egg is ace-like, but the ability sure felt like I was watching a TobyWe’re not out of the woods yet.

Austin Gomber (COL) @ SDP (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

The legend grows. That’s four of his last five starts with 1 ER or fewer and you’re beginning to wonder what water they’re drinking in Colorado. I really wish I could get behind this – I really do – but Gomber isn’t doing a whole lot of new things to suggest paying the massive Coors Tax. Just let his success exist inside of its own bubble. Don’t get involved, you’ll only find pain.

Javier Assad (CHC) @ ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

HE CAN’T KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH IT. Wow. This is why it’s a Vargas Rulenot a Vargas Suggestion. You just start the man and hope this wonderful ride continues. Nick, admit it. He’s simply dope and deserves more of your love. Orrrr he’s gotten stupid fortunate on his sinker and executes his arsenal appropriately when needed thus far. It won’t last and I sure hope he makes me look dumb for a long time.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) @ DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

It’s about dang time you came through for a start, Rogers and enjoy that Gold Star. This was the same BSB we’ve been seeing, in fact, a bit worse given his slider’s volatility but Detroit was kind enough to oblige. Blame it on the Tigers. I need more than just one game after how rough it has been for Trevor thus far.

Garrett Crochet (CHW) vs WSN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

This was more four-seamer/cutter for Crochet and it’s a bit annoying, even if the end result is very much acceptable. But he threw 14 changeups! And they returned just three strikes. A 21% strike rate. Crochet had absolutely no idea where that slowball was going and forced it anyway. Okay, I get it. Just 1/5 slider strikes, too, and I just want Crochet to be a proper four-pitch arm. Like Picard on the bridge, Make it so.

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 83 pitches.

Soooo, Suárez looked a bit mortal in this one. It’s not enough to Big Brain our way out of starting him or whatever, but this came with worse command of his arsenal + less changeup domination. Now he gets the Rangers and I’m a little scared. You gotta start him, duh, but like the clear love interest in a relationship early in a romcom, I can easily see how that doesn’t work out.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 93 pitches.

You can guess what happened here. His sweeper had a high CSW and his four-seamer earned called strikes? Bingo. So we should not care? Well, I’m not saying that, moreso that Pfaadt isn’t doing anything new that suggests nine strikeouts is sustainable. His sweeper is great, yes, but without a great heater or any secondary he can really trust (no, I don’t believe in the changeup yet), I consider him more of a TobyYou really don’t have to hoard Pfaadt for his next start against the Dodgers. Just be smart with who you replace him with off the wire – it’s gotta be for a better matchup this week.

Andrew Abbott (CIN) @ ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I was in on Abbott, then out after his last start against the Giants, and now you’re getting a Snip Snap! Snip Snap! vibe. This was a game of Abbott’s changeup waking up with a 23% SwStr rate while the four-seamer was able to earn outs despite erratic command. With the Padres + Dodgers up next, this isn’t enough for me to add off the wire…maybe for the Padres. Probably not.

Griffin Canning (LAA) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 99 pitches.

Canning, you got away with this one. Take your King Cole on a night that lacked legit dominance (33%?! That’s so low for a KC winner with a full slate of games) and Blame it on the Cardinals. You won’t be able to get away with so many poor fastballs comfortably in the zone against Houston.

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs TBR (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 112 pitches.

Houck cruised while looking like his normal self – sinkers inside to RHB, splitters away to LHB, and sliders all over the zone for a ton of called strikes. There’s still another gear if he can figure out how to locate more consistently (112 pitches for just 17 outs?!) but this certainly works.

Bryan Woo (SEA) vs KCR (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

Sooooo I guess he’s fine? We didn’t see much from his secondaries, but whatever, he was able to go 5+ frames and about 80 pitches without hearing about any forearm pain. As long as he’s healthy, I’m in. Still the flattest HAVAA out of all starting pitchers.

Alec Marsh (KCR) @ SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Marsh, your four-seamer precision was dope. We’re talking nine whiffs on fastballs just at the very top of the strike zone with endless repeatability. Give this man a Gallows Polehe’s earned it despite not featuring the stuff of champions. Why not, give it a spin against the Tigers up next. Maybe this command is worthy of a Vargas Rule.

Robert Gasser (MIL) vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

I liked Gasser a bit more watching his first start, sadly. Gasser had a bit of trouble locating his arsenal and was bailed out a bit by Pittsburgh. Blame it on the Pirates. The best news here is a date with the Marlins ahead and here’s to hoping he can hit the edges a bit better and avoid a whole lot of “here it is down the pipe.”

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) @ BAL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

Props to the Orioles for knocking Kikuchi out of the game in the fifth, but hot dang, you can’t stop Kikuchi. You can only hope to contain him. This really feels like a legit season ahead for Kikuchi as he’s doing the same ole thing he did during his fantastic 2023 run. AGA when? Good question. If this continues…June 1st?

Casey Mize (DET) vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

The line is lovely (Blame it on the Marlins) but I’m a little afraid. Mize’s four-seamer fell 1-2 ticks, lost its elite iVBand doesn’t have exceptional HAVAAHe’s falling apart, right in front of our eyes. And yes, I know the irony of saying all this after the single start that was actually great, but without that heater pumping at the top of the zone with solid movement and velocity, I’m struggling to buy into Mize being worthwhile as he finds his slider. KCR + TOR are next and I’m not sure you need to hold there.

Patrick Corbin (WSN) @ CHW (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

Funny story, Corbin earned exactly one whiff across all five of his pitches. The Commie Pitch, living in the heart of DC. So funny, in fact, that his lack of whiffs led to a HAISTBMBWT?! and I’m shocked you can’t hear my cackling now. HA ha haaaaa, Look at all the fun we’re having. Wow, what a Birthday Party.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.

Hey, that’s pretty great for a declining Carrasco against a strong Rangers lineup. It was a limbo approach of “How low can you go?” as everything was down in this one, with his fastballs still sitting just 91 mph. This could work against the Mets, but it’s awfully pedestrian. Consider Cookie only in deep NL-Only formats.

Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

Blegh. Just one slider whiff and too many pitches well inside the zone. You made it too easy for them, Bradish! At the very least, we’re seeing very selective four-seamer usage and I’m all for that. No AGA for you today.

Aaron Brooks (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Brooks did this by locating everything down, down, and um, down — except the four-seamers (which were far too high out of the zone)The Astros obliged and Brooks found himself dealing seven frames at just 84 pitches. Sure, three runs and a big fat L, but that’s one h*ck of a showcase for a guy who hasn’t started since 2018. Wild. He could be a decent stream against Rockie Road next with that kind of craftiness.

Pablo López (MIN) vs NYY (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna get Singled Out as he tossed far too many four-seamer and sweeper strikes. But he also allowed a HR! Okay, sure, you get the point. López hasn’t had a great run quite yet and I still believe it’ll be there, though I may have to remove him (and possibly Ragans, too) out of the top tier for next week. He’s not quite himself.

Elieser Hernández (LAD) @ SFG (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 91 pitches.

Wait. Elieser? THE Elieser?! I totally forgot the Dodgers picked him up and to see a PQS with a sub 1.00 WHIP is typical Dodgers magic. He’s a different guy now, parting from his ways of fastball/slider/change and taking his elite slider and turning it into a decent cutter. I don’t think we see Elieser regularly now and without his old slider earning all the whiffs, I think I’d avoid him even if I expected him to slot regularly into the six-man rotation. Pretty cool to see, though.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs CHC (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 76 pitches.

Bleeeeggggh. That last start with his great curve? Clearly a DennisYou can’t trust Morton, sadly, and I’m gonna stop sharing my deepest secrets with him. I guess he’ll never know about the hollow brick in my old bedroom. YOUR LOSS, CHARLIE.

Lance Lynn (STL) @ LAA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 106 pitches.

Stop. Starting. Lance. He’s not the singer from N’Sync. Why would that make you want to start him? Because at least that guy was (is?) a star. Lynn was a star! True. He sure isn’t now.

Joey Lucchesi (NYM) @ PHI (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 68 pitches.

He’s back! And none rejoiced. Don’t hate on Joey, he’s just a kid. But seriously, the Phils are dope and Lucchesi doesn’t have an arsenal to latch onto.

Michael King (SDP) vs COL (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

I’m absolutely flabbergasted. King looked so dang good against the Dodgers and found his way to a clunker against Rockie RoadUgggggh. I don’t think the line matched the skills and I think I’m still down to start King in Cin City next time out. It may seem wrong given all the Cherry Bomb tendencies we’ve seen this season from King, and there’s a part of me that feels like his next outing is Judgment Day. What a summer blockbuster that will be.

Martín Pérez (PIT) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.

H’ok. So. The Vargas Rule ended and we gotta follow the rules. No more. But he gets the Giants–NO MORE.

Game of the Day


Jared Jones vs. Justin Steele – Ummmm duh. Steele, get your command back in order too, while you’re at it.

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 Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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.

3 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Bradley’s Super Playbook”

  1. Dale says:

    Give Webb a break.

    He’s got to setup the change somehow.

    He needs to sprinkle in games like these to keep hitters guessing.

    Good work Logan.

  2. Jim says:

    In other words… WOMP WOMP.
    Nick is such a Debbie Downer. What matters is results above all else. And Taj Bradley has looked fantastic his first two games. Fenway is not an easy place to debut on the road and the kid did fine. Don’t listen to the womp womp — it’s over analyzing at it’s finest. Some of these metrics don’t mean anything tbh. The eye test >> all.

  3. Sean says:

    I dunno how long Assad is gonna languish in the bottom third of the list but the longer it goes the sillier it gets. I also think he must be due for regression, but he’s rocking the best ERA in MLB for almost the past year at this point (since the end of last June).

    At some point you have to give the man at least some credit instead of implying he’s just been lucky the whole time.

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