Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Taj Podge

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Taj Bradley (TB) @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

You’ve been stashing for weeks, you’ve endured Twitter going berserk about his poor Triple-A lines, and finally it’s time to wonder if you actually did the right thing holding on Taj BradleyThe answer? You did the right thing. He went 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches against the Mets today, including a rough first inning as he fought off the jitters of returning to the bigs before settling in for the next five frames with the only interruption coming from a monster blast from Pete Alonso.

The skills still have a bit of refinement left – the secondaries were often bounced or flew out of his hand armside (I’m looking at you, changeup), but the heater is still very good and will only get better once the big hook and cutter find strikes with more consistency. The only problem is the schedule: TOR + LAD are up next. You’ve waited this long, what’s with a little more pain before we welcome the summer with open arms?


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Eury Pérez (MIA) vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 78 pitches.

It is so fun to watch Eury and it was a perfect showcase of why CSW matters as he returned just six whiffs but he attacked well with his fastball and slider for 31% CSW. There’s still polish left to be had with his command on the change and curve (and he tossed more wasted fastballs than I’d like to see), but this was his second career start. Obviously he’s just getting his footing. He’s only twenty, yeesh. Do I start him in Coors next week? I’d sit him there, personally. He’s not so overwhelming at the moment that it’s worth the low floor, especially with his seemingly limited pitch count. Congrats of the first career Win, fella.

Logan Allen (CLE) @ CWS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 102 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut as he got Singled Out but it’s a job well done by Allen. His fastball/slider approach is what makes him a Holly in my book as the heater is there more to land along the edges and get outs, while the slider is good but not excellent. Fortunately there’s more in his change and cutter, but sadly nothing that blows us away like other prospects. Still a solid play, but not one to trust in tough matchups.

Nestor Cortes (NYY) @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

THE SLIDER IS BACK. He only threw it 14 times, but it returned 43% CSW and 86% strikes (YES!) and it helped set up his cutter and four-seamer to get through a tough Jays lineup. This is super encouraging and with the Orioles + Mariners up next, I really hope the slider/sweeper holds. If it does, he can soar across both and put some respect back to his name.

Tylor Megill (NYM) vs TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 79 pitches.

Considering I had Megill as the worst option for the day, I think he deserves himself a Gold Star for this performance against the Rays. He’s apparently trying to fix his slider by throwing it at 83 mph and it returned…23% CSW and just three whiffs, but he did a good job locating it and the fastball got away inside the zone. This isn’t the start that gets him back in my good graces, sadly, and I suggest avoiding Megill whenever possible.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs LAD (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 96 pitches.

We had low expectations and the man survived and by survived I mean his ERA that ignores the other three unearned runs. We don’t care about real life, we care about FANTASY. Sure, HAISTBMBWT?! but it’s Wainwright. You showed up with a ritz cracker and those boys are already salted, buttered, and sugared up the wazoo. You’ll live.

José Berríos (TOR) vs NYY (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hey, an improved PQS with a solid WHIP and eight strikeouts is a glorious thing from The Great Undulator, especially on a day where he felt the curve should be his fourth most thrown pitch. Weird times we live in. I can’t trust him, though, and the Rays + Twins + Mets have me still hiding from the sight of him. I hate when I have no idea what to expect. We expect chaos, Nick. That sounds like an anxious life.

Dylan Cease (CWS) vs CLE (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Blegh. I need more than a near PQS and just three strikeouts from you. Sadly, the fastball and curve combined for just 1/49 whiffs (yikes) and we need more from them. On the positive side, we’re happy he still gave you a solid WHIP and that quality start when he didn’t have either of those pitches, and he’ll continue to have that raised floor as he faces the Guardians + Tigers x2 across his next three. How lucky we are.

Trevor Williams (WSH) @ MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

PQS against the Marlins with a 1.00 WHIP is everything you could have hoped for. Don’t get any wild ideas with the Padres and Dodgers up next. You’re better than that.

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

“There’s no way Wells gets 18 whiffs again – that was the Pirates!” he said, like an idiot. Sure, the ratios let you down and all you got were strikeouts, but a Golden Goal as he earned whiffs across the board is something to inspect. I’ve criticized the heavy hard hit rate of Wells plenty, but he’s done a good job of spotting away from the most hittable locations and the cutter/change/slider/curve are the kitchen-sink pitches you want them to be. It’s a little risky against the Yankees next, but the Guardians and Giants after that should pay dividends.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 88 pitches.

He hung the dang changeup. It’s the most important pitch in Anderson’s arsenal and if that ball ain’t getting down, then we ain’t getting down with Anderson.

Julio Urías (LAD) @ STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 68 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s the only terrible start of the day. Just when we were getting close to the AGA label returning, Urías has himself a horrific third frame, propelling a slugfest of a game that returned 24 total runs. Is that more than the Pirates have scored in three weeks? …maybe. Anyway, this stinks and you can’t do much about it. His fastball was way off, he didn’t get his curve or changeup down, and you just have to hope it was a One Night BlandFeels like a lot of pitchers are having those these days. Maybe they should get a TempurPedic?


Game of the Day 

James Paxton vs Blake Snell – I’m so curious to see what Paxton does in his second start and I’ll always be foolishly optimistic this is the start for Snell.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch 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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Taj Podge”

  1. Jeremiah Graves says:

    I’ve got Freddy Peralta, Luis Castillo, and Julio Urias. This has not been a fun week with all three of them getting absolutely lit up. I’ve got Blake Snell going tonight too, sooooooooooooooo….

  2. TJ says:

    Was offered Urias for Rooker & Belli. I feel like that’s a no brainer accept but I’m probably overthinking it.

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