Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Brax Damage

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

The preseason expectations of Braxton Garrett were a bit disjointed. Some were in the camp of adoration of his K-BB% rate, some were classifying him as more of a considerable Toby type at the end of drafts who shouldn’t be heavily focused on inside 12-teamers. After waiting for over a month to get our first glimpse of Garrett after living on the IL, Garrett first allowed 5 ER in five frames, then played the game of Hold My Beer on Saturday night via 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches. Thing is, this isn’t so bad.

Obviously the line is, duh, but his first start came with just sinkers and sliders (and plenty of strikeouts!), making me concerned that he didn’t have the full arsenal of 2023. However, this start came with generally well located sliders, cutters, changeups, and even some meticulous four-seamers. Then why is the line terrible. Because despite it being the best, baseball is also dumb.

If Garrett were struggling while showcasing a clear degradation in his arsenal, it would be an easy “welp, see ya later”. However, this profiles out as a typical extended Still ILL where Braxton likely needs another start or two to shake off the rust. Consider him with a TIARA at the moment and pay attention to his next starts as he sits on your wire. Once he gets into rhythm, you’ll enjoy it. And who knows, maybe that starts as soon as next week against the Diamondbacks.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Bailey Falter (PIT) @ CHC (ND) – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh, so this is why Imanaga didn’t get a Win. Cool. Thanks so much Falter, YOU’RE THE BEST. Take your Gold Star and git on outta here (I’m actually thrilled for you bud). It’s silly boring and I wouldn’t spend time on this, especially with Atlanta next.

Shota Imanaga (CHC) vs PIT (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 88 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and CANNOT BE STOPPED. It was his birthright as IM AN AGA. It’s absolutely bananas and I can’t help but love how consistent his splitter has become with 12/38 whiffs here. I want to believe his ability is sustainable given the splitter keeping batters off-balance, though we all know the splitter will disappear on a given day and we’ll have batters keyed in on high heaters ala Joe Ryan last year, leading to plenty of HRs over the summer. It feels like the perfect time to sell…and this spell is so fun. SO. FUN.

Logan Allen (CLE) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 89 pitches.

He moved from the BSB to focus on armside four-seamers, changeups, and cutters and it worked beautifully. Thanks for the stream Allen, I guess we can give it another whirl against the Angels next week if you like.

Walker Buehler (LAD) vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 78 pitches.

OH SNAP HE’S BACK. We saw much better command here with four of his six pitches all returning a 40% CSW. I saw a few more high intended four-seamers along the way as well, though he’s hovering 95 mph instead of 96+ these days. I think that’s fine, just don’t expect Buehler to be a 30%+ strikeout arm. I see Gallen/Fried type ace here, not the explosive overpowering stud that blows us all away. He’s moving back up The List this week with a few more starts of dominance needed (with a higher pitch count, too) before the AGA tag.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 82 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! This Still ILL was phenomenal with a ton of high sliders that went 50% CSW and 75% strikes. It’s weird and I felt weird watching it, but who cares, he’s back. Enjoy the CrySox next.

José Ureña (TEX) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

lol. That changeup is kinda amazing down low, but come on y’all. Be better.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

Wow, I’m pretty shocked this worked given his stupid high changeup and few slider whiffs, but sometimes, it just works. The Guardians are next and The Irish Panda still gives me anxiety watching him pitch, but if you’re in a QS league, I can see yourself shrugging and giving it a shot. I see everything. 

Luis Gil (NYY) vs CHW (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 98 pitches.

THERE HE IS. That’s a Golden Goal for Gil and…fine. Let me get Blame it on the White Sox out of the way because obviously that influenced a good portion of this. Still, a 66% overall strike rate is gold, rooted in 78% strike four-seamers that incessantly put Chicago on their Gils heels. There’s still work to be done with his slider (if you can believe it) as strikes are everything and the pitch was a bit volatile. You see his ceiling now, the question is simply how often can he keep everything wrangled to do his bidding.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ STL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Kutter, you’re the perfect example of a HollyI love it. Can you get just one more out in the future, though? K thx.

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 79 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s a Birthday PartyWhat kind of cake was it? M&M cake, duh.

Cristopher Sánchez (PHI) vs WSN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sánchez did exactly what he needed to do with his changeup – keep it down and in town – aiding the pitch toward 11/39 whiffs. We see a good slowball, we see a good night. Show us more of this and let me forget about ever labeling you as a Cherry Bomb

MacKenzie Gore (WSN) @ PHI (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

Props to Gore here. That’s a solid ratio outing against a tough club who didn’t whiff on his heater as much as the others. However, his slider and curve were competitive and kept him in this game, bolstering Gore’s resume even further. And FINALLY we get a decent matchup – Gore will get the Mariners next week – before he has to face…Atlanta. WHY MUST WE WAIT SO LONG FOR SALVATION?!

Jack Flaherty (DET) @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.

Flaherty, you’re in such a good groove and it’s so fun to watch. The dude can’t miss his breakers at the very bottom of the zone, while his four-seamer is better at avoiding damage over the plate. I sincerely hope there’s no gap in his rhythm moving forward, allowing this stretch to carry deep into the season.

Luis Castillo (SEA) @ BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 89 pitches.

Aces are going to crawl off the field, look you straight in the eye, and growl. You should see the other guy. He didn’t have his four-seamer and made it work. Thanks for sticking up for us, Casty.

Seth Lugo (KCR) vs OAK (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 96 pitches.

This is getting out of hand in the best way. Sure, it’s the Athletics n all, yada yada yada. Start the man and don’t look back. It’s not destined to last for the next 4+ months if you have a sell-high opportunity, and in all likelihood, the other managers in your league are not ready to pay top dollar. SO LET IT RIIIIIIDE.

Bryse Wilson (MIL) @ HOU (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 58 pitches.

That one Bryse start was pretty cool, wasn’t it?

Zac Gallen (ARI) vs DET (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna slightly improve on a PQS with ten strikeouts as he legit went BSB in this one. We’re talking high four-seamers with low curves for the first time in ages, and both offerings returned 40%+ CSW in the process. I wonder if that sticks.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs TBR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna PQS and we’re sick and tired of it. But he gets the White Sox and Tigers, so whatever. This was the Rays. I ALREADY SAID WHATEVER.

Kyle Harrison (SFG) vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 79 pitches.

This was Rockie Road and does that truly matter for a Cherry BombYes Nick, I think it does. Yeah, probably. Still nothing for us to point to and say “oh! That’s interesting and new to revitalize the interest I once had in Harrison.” Wow, that was the exact phrase I wanted to say. We know each other so well.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 106 pitches.

Yeah. Weird to see his slider end up higher than most of his cutters for once, not weird to see him fail to provide value in a start against the Dodgers. Let’s move on.

Zach Eflin (TBR) @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

Blegh. It’s been a tough time rostering Eflin this year as you’ve wanted something more out of him. You’re just a Tobyaren’t you. Please don’t, not right now. You might be right, but just…don’t. I think we keep going for now, even if the velocity was down a tick.

Ross Stripling (OAK) @ KCR (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

The Ross Loss Cost Those Cross Jocks Their Boss Props. Or, in other words, he wasn’t good and we’re not surprised.

Justin Verlander (HOU) vs MIL (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

Bleegggggghhh. Verlander’s heater just isn’t doing the damage it used to do, partially because his slider isn’t nearly as filthy these days. He gets Oakland, which is a clear start, but I wonder if he’s a sell after a good outing there.

Luis Severino (NYM) @ MIA (ND) – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 95 pitches.

This wasn’t Sevy’s day at the park and it’s frustrating to see a Toby fail to take advantage of a good matchup. So do we start him against the Giants? I guess so? Is it all that worth it to chase? I’m thinking either bottom of Probable or top of Questionable.

Bailey Ober (MIN) @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

Blegh. The Guardians got to his high heater in this one and if that pitch isn’t successful, then this whole thing won’t work. Sometimes it’s just like that. Don’t spend any more time on this and keep going with Ober.

Brad Keller (CHW) @ NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 84 pitches.

I’m not sure who was looking for Rad Keller here, or even Bread Keller. You got the other one and there’s no reason to have expected otherwise. I should note, Michael Soroka came in to finish this game across 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches. That’s kinda cool, eh? He was two ticks up on everything (still just 92 mph, don’t make a ruckus) and located his four-seamers effectively upstairs while the slider hung out around the zone. It’s not enough to actually trust him (will he even get a rotation spot back soon?) and at least we can start moving p in our seat again.

Ty Blach (COL) @ SFG (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.


Game of the Day


George Kirby vs. Corbin Burnes – Oh dang.

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.

Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X) | Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire

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: Brax Damage”

  1. Jim says:

    re: W Buehler

    It’s okay to give up Velo for command, Nick. I know it’s your M.O. to walk the fence a little bit but in this case there were really no negatives from this start. You don’t need to play the middle.

  2. Jeremy Pink says:

    Thanks for the detail on Soroka. He’s rotting on my NFBC bench, and pitching is quickly getting thin, so it’s nice to see he’s somewhat alive and trying to get back in the rotation.

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