Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Heavy is the Head That Wears the Brown

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.

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ CHW (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

We’ve been through a lot of turbulence watching Hunter Brown hurl baseballs since mid-season of 2023, but after tonight’s 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches, Brown has suddenly woken up across his last nine starts, returning a sub 2.50 ERA, near 30% strikeout rate, and 1.05 WHIP. Wait what. The same Brown that the Royals absolutely demolished? The very same. Well, can we trust it? Maaaaaaybe.

Last start was a great one for Brown’s command and I’m not sold that the skills translated here to another start. His four-seamer was a bit erratic and forced him to lean more into his sinker – a worse offering in my eye. The curve was bounced a ton when it wasn’t earning 46% CSW, and the changeup + slider combined for just eight thrown. The real winner was a cutter that returned 13/19 strikes with just one hit on the night, while the executed four-seamers did work in the upper third at 97 mph, up from his season average of 95.5 mph. That’s some good ole Texas heat.

It felt like more of a Blame it on the White Sox than Hunter coming into his own. I don’t trust that the velocity jump will stay, and that sinker was hit mighty hard as he failed to locate it in-and-off the plate. Without the slider or changeup doing a whole lot, I’m skeptical also the cutter and curve are in a place for consistent success, and this would normally leave us in a tough spot of “Do I still roll with the good numbers despite the precarious nature of the situation?” However, it’s Rockie Road on the horizon and we’re at the point where we’re applying the Vargas Rule until further notice (outside of matchups against top offenses, of course).


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Mitch Keller (PIT) vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ayyyy, the command did return! Called strikes galore here as Keller worked his pitches together well in this one. Guess we’re not getting off this ride quite yet.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ PIT (ND) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 106 pitches.

This was a prime example of a start where Greene’s command was on point. Heaters were flirting with the top of the zone or comfortably over the plate for a needed strike. Sliders were consistently down-and-gloveside. And splitters + curves? Kinda floated at times, but also a good chunk were just under the zone as intended. It was the full package and all I can hope is that Greene can be more frequent with these performances.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) @ LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

Yesssss. The heater and slider did all the stuff you want with the BSB, though Peralta isn’t getting a ton of extension or iVB or HAVAA like he used to on the four-seamer. Weird. Anyway, this is great and we’re going to keep spinning the wheel per usual.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 93 pitches.

Oh snap. Bibee earned a Golden Goal and he did all the things. Four-seamers were upstairs. Sliders earned strikes and whiffs. His changeup was—okay the changeup was meh. The curveball-Wait, he has a curveball??? Oh. Huh. I guess it’s back? The pitch returned a 55% CSW across 20 thrown. Its 85% strike rate changes everything and grants Bibee the much needed strike pitch to help him reduce his heater usage and take heat off his slider, a pitch that went 17/22 strikes without allowing a single ball in play. And to think he didn’t even execute his changeup a whole lot. PLEASE LET THIS BE REAL.

Reynaldo López (ATL) vs DET (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

That WHIP is a bit annoying but the heater is still great. Blame the slider’s low strike rate (and two ticks down?) and just 2/6 curveball strikes. So it goes, we’re happy.

Erik Miller (SFG) @ CHC (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 23 pitches.

No one on the Giants pitched more than two frames. Welp, see ya later.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs MIL (L) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

That changeup is just too dang good, especially when the heater leads the day in iVB at over 19″ of vertical break. That’s the good stuff. Sprinkle in 23% cutters for 39% CSW and you’ve got yourself a lovely stew brewing, even against Milwaukee. Now he gets Oakland? Yeah, that’s a probable start over here.

Matt Waldron (SDP) @ PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 104 pitches.

Somehow, the Knuckleball returned. He also mixed in 10/23 called strike with his sweepers and hurled 29 heaters at 90/91 mph to mess around with hitters, and we have no choice but to keep holding onto to Waldron. It’s working…IT’S WORKING…!

Joe Ryan (MIN) vs TBR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The sweeper is still weird, but the sinker and splitter were great down low (okay, save for that one splitter) while the four-seamer was as delicious as ever. You couldn’t give us a few more strikeouts along the way, though? Just gotta spread out those whiffs evenly, eh?

Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs SDP (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Nothing really stood out in this one outside of the cutter nailing the gloveside edge. Otherwise, sinkers, curves, and changeups did their part decently well and the Padres folded like an exhausted lemur. Poor fella, get some rest.

Kyle Hendricks (CHC) vs SFG (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 75 pitches.

Wat. This had Still ILL written all over it and instead, Hendricks has the best game he’s had since, what, 2021? Actually he had some good starts in 20–Sure, you get my point. I’m super happy to see the curveball make a comeback and you have to believe it’ll stick around after returning 10/13 strikes and a 54% CSW. Then there’s the changeup going 7/22 whiffs and a 41% CSW on its own and hot dang, this was awesome. I feel weird suggesting a start against the Giants in a repeat matchup but maybe start Hendricks next week in a repeat matchup…?

Luis Medina (OAK) vs KCR (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 88 pitches.

Medina found a way to throw enough strikes and it gave him a chance at a Win. That’s great n all, I’m assuming this was the power of “pitching against Ragans and denying him a Win” at play. Obviously.

Patrick Corbin (WSN) vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! What a clear Gold Star as Corbin, after all his struggles, finally did something new. He went BSB with sinkers exclusively upstairs and sliders + cutters exclusively downstairs. And would you look at that, IT WORKED. As much as I want to believe that this is what we’ll see moving forward, it’s a clear Birthday Party for now as it requires Corbin to have the feel and command to actually execute it. You simply can’t trust him yet.

Cade Povich (BAL) @ NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

Five walks and a HAISTBMBWT?! but Povich did so to maneuver around the Yankee lineup for just 1 ER in 4.2 IP. Props to the Rook for doing whatever he could to avoid the longball and find outs, but I ain’t gonna lean into this for now. He just doesn’t have enough electricity in that arm and I don’t like relying on command-first prospects. If you’re in dire need of Wins, fine. I personally want more strikeout potential if I’m chancing the Shag Rug.

Taj Bradley (TBR) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 104 pitches.

Awwww, he brought back the cutter as the splitter wasn’t as well commanded (55% strike rate) and the strikeouts fell because of it. I was really hoping Bradley had figured out the two-pitch mix, but alas, he’s still in cahoots with his former “friends.” If they were really your friends, they wouldn’t treat you like this.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

The line makes it look like the changeup is back and while it did have a 33% CSW, it’s not quite all the way back yet. Steps, not leaps, though, and the slider picked up the slack for 44% CSW + the sinker returned a solid 10/39 called strike rate. One more step on that changeup and he’s golden again.

Cole Ragans (KCR) @ OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and frustrate me. His two runs came on a 1-2 fastball out of the zone (why did you give Andujar the pitch he wanted?!) and a beautiful low changeup that squirmed into the outfield. I get a bit of anxiety at times watching Ragans fight his command to not fall out of counts and constantly attempt to make the perfect pitch, but hot dang he’s still incredible.

Yonny Chirinos (MIA) vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

Wait, seriously?! Chirinos appeared with a brand new slider sitting 4-5 ticks down and a whole bunch of extra movement and it returned 42% CSW, helping him get to two strikes and seal the deal with a heater or splitter out of the zone. The pitch was cast into the heart of the zone in concert with his sinker far too frequently to believe he’ll come through again in the near future, sadly. But hey, this was a nice surprise.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs BAL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 62 pitches.

Aces gonna ace in their return to the bump. He allowed a run in the first off a poor cutter and slider, then allowed a baserunner on his sole pitch in the fifth that scored later that inning. Otherwise? It was stupid good command on heaters, curves, sliders, changeups, and cutters – yes, some of those sliders and cutters were dumb as they fell off the plate to RHB. He’s back.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) @ MIA (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 48 pitches.

Liberatore stepped in for Kyle Gibsonwho was a late scratch with back pain. Not a bad outing for a guy not prepared to make a start today.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) @ WSN (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

Remember that incredible command we saw last time? Yeah, not here. It wasn’t an atrocity, but the sweeper feel was off and he either filled the bottom third of the zone with a heater or nibbled too much with it out of the zone. The result? HAISTBMBWT?! Not too much of a shock that his best commanded game ever was a fluke, and yet I so badly wanted it to stick. It was the only path he’s had toward being more than a Toby.

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 89 pitches.

Heaney has become the one who can defeat the Grimace: The Grim Ace. A little unfair he didn’t get the Win for his efforts, but hot dang, did that slider and four-seamer separation look incredible in this one. Too bad it’s the Brewers next.

Garrett Crochet (CHW) vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

Aces gonna throw too many middle-height pitches and get Singled Out because of it. You can’t always do that, Crochet. Gotta separate the jaws of your four-seamer and cutter a little more than that. Just a little bit.

Sean Manaea (NYM) @ TEX (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hmmmm. Sure, that’s one out away from a solid PQS and one ER too many, but that’s a great WHIP and six strikeouts always help. Not bad Manaea, we’ll take it. Super strange to see you go cutter/slider/sinker with the cutter leading the way for once and I’m impressed it returned 18 strikes with just one ball in play. That’s cool. You know what isn’t cool? Facing the Yankees next week. So not cool.

Bryan Woo (SEA) @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.

So the heater wasn’t as good and the secondaries are okay but far from what we need him to be. That said, it was just 64 pitches and if the Mariners let him go to 80+, it’s totally possible he has two clean innings and makes this a decent outing, but nah, we get a HAISTBMBWT?! and continue to wonder whether A) Woo is actually healthy and B) he’ll ever be comfortable enough to develop his arsenal.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs BOS (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Pop quiz, did Gausman earn more splitter whiffs or home runs allowed tonight? Yes. …that’s not a valid answer but whatever THEY WERE EQUAL. In fact, Gausman’s splitter had a 29% strike rate. Not CSW rate, strike rate. This is getting painful and yet, he could easily have it all working again next time out. He’s a premium Cherry Bomb now and I hate this version of the multiverse. Michio Kaku, FIX THIS.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

Blegh. Tarik threw some poor pitches, they got hit, that’s your ball game. Seriously, it’s just a few extra hits that didn’t go his way with a few extra mistakes than usual. He still earned 19 whiffs and seven strikeouts, after all.

Bobby Miller (LAD) @ COL (ND) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 79 pitches.

The line looks pretty terrible and watching it…Miller wasn’t his overwhelmingly great self. That said, he allowed a three-run shot in the first, then had a Careful, Icarus as his final run was on third when he left in the seventh. Command was issue here: Miller’s curve and slider were unreliable, forcing an approach of fastballs and changeups. The former was all over the place and cheated on by the Rockies, with the latter feasting for 8/24 whiffs given how much Colorado was selling out. Is he washed or not, Nick? He’ll be fine. Expect the four-seamer to be used better and for his breakers to earn more than 4/13 strikes moving forward.

Ryan Feltner (COL) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 95 pitches.

Mmmmm nope.


Game of the Day


Luis Gil vs. Baltimore Orioles – I cannot wait to watch this. Will Gil overthrow and feature few strikes or will he be chucking untouchable heat? EMOTIONS.

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 Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire | 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.

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