Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Mona Lisa’s Kyle

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 Twitch weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.  

Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

I spout a lot of things in these roundups and a consistent narrative I discuss is Kyle Bradish’s four-seamer having too much cut action to be reliable, while his path to sustainable success is going 60%+ sliders and curveballs. And yet, Bradish has now allowed just 6 ER in four starts including yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches against the Twins and yesterday was the only game of the lot where I felt he had a strong hook – 53% CSW with 5/17 whiffs. However, the slider was underwhelming with a horrid 48% strike rate, and I look at that line confused.

I don’t quite buy it. I really want to, but I see a pair of middling fastballs that happened to get by at 41% usage yesterday, an inconsistent set of breaking balls, and a changeup that’s there. I have absolutely been wrong about the effectiveness of a pitcher’s repertoire in the past and the fact that the curveball was able to step up here is encouraging, but without the slider and curve taking center stage, I still question if his heaters can take this much of the load. He’ll get the Twins a second time before the break and that’s up to you. Sometimes it’s a mini Vargas Rule and it’s best to ignore any of this analysis.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Bailey Ober (MIN) @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 85 pitches.

Oberizzi is doing his thing with four-seamers up, but the changeup took over here for 32% usage at 44% CSW and that’s wonderful. The high heater isn’t an elite stuff pitch, but its precision opens the door for secondaries to soar down low and to see Ober pull it off with the slowball (and slider, too!) is exactly what we want to see. He’s had just one game above 3 ER this season and now has at least seven strikeouts in four of his last five games. That’s wonderful and deserves more love on The List.

Justin Verlander (NYM) vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Atta boy Verlander. It’s not a 25%+ strikeout rate, but we don’t care. The slider is back to form – 11/41 whiffs and 41% CSW here – as he kept the heater up and curves for strikes. That’s the Verlander you want, making for one of the best Holly arms out there.

Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs HOU (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

I was so dang confident Eovaldi would have this start skipped after tossing sub 94.5 mph in his second straight start and here I am with all the egg on my face. Which isn’t so bad since I haven’t had breakfast yet, but besides that, Eovaldi shocked us all with 96.1 mph four-seamers as maybe he actually is okay?! What a weird few weeks this has been. The pitch wasn’t that great – 14% CSW – but the curve, cutter, and splitter stepped up and got him through the Astros. This may be the moment to jump ship as other managers may think he’s 100% fine with the velocity coming back up, while it may actually just be a Dennis and fall in future outings. Something to consider.

Jack Flaherty (STL) vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

Well hello there. The fastball was at 93 mph (that’s…okay?) but the slider earning so many called strikes while the curve returned a 33% SwStr is the real story here. You hear something like a hip injury and worry that it’ll cause him to be inconsistent with his breakers, but that wasn’t the case here (well, sometimes, but he was able to reclaim his feel for the pitch consistently). The White Sox are next and with Flaherty’s curve and slider acting this good, that looks like a clear start to me.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs MIA (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 106 pitches.

It’s not a truckload of strikeouts, but we don’t care. Some nice, calming, production with a sip of lemonade is all we need right now from Morton. I’m just waiting for him to come screaming through the screen door next time out, just as I was about to take another sip, ruining my Yankee overalls. I just got those dang things. Thing? Overalls are things…right? Sidenote: Yes, they are real and were sent to me to sport on our Instagram. Those on Twitch know all about it.

Tanner Bibee (CLE) @ CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Atta boy Bibee. The four-seamer was mostly up (though a good number were in the middle that he got away with) while the slider was more like a cutter than we’ve seen, featuring tighter vertical and horizontal break in exchange for two ticks extra velocity – still just 86.5 instead of 88/89 of legit cutters. We didn’t see much development of the curve, sadly, and the change that has been a major focus at times before was decent but not exhilarating. In the end, this was fastball/slider with the latter being more of a “let me set up more heaters” pitch. I don’t know if I want that for Bibee given the inconsistencies of the four-seamer throughout his MLB tenure, but if it is a vertical heater, this could work, especially if the change and slider can stay low (and, you know, the curve actually being a factor). There’s legit potential there, just not one that I trust seeing a whole lot in Year 1.

Tyler Anderson (LAA) vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

With zero earned runs in the books, I figured this was another stellar changeup start. Nope, Chuck Testa the slowball went 1/25 whiffs and carried a sub 50% strike rate. This was a game of decent cutters and fastballs that squirmed into the zone enough. In other words, not a start we can hang our hats on (all we want is a sold hat rack, you know?), especially not with the Dodgers up next before the break.

Peter Lambert (COL) vs DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 45 pitches.

A bullpen game in Coors. Name a worse duo for the roundup. Antonio Senzatela and CGSHO. THAT’S CHEATING.

Brendan White (DET) @ COL (ND) – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 26 pitches.

Literally read the blurb I wrote above. It’s the same picture.

Ryne Nelson (ARI) @ LAA (W) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

Huh. I’ve been waiting for Nelson’s slider, curve, or cutter to step up and the cutter was fine, but not that special while the two breakers were disappointing. What we got instead was the changeup being the clear #2 for the second straight game and it was pretty dang good as it hung along the edges like a protagonist after the climactic scene. Meanwhile, the Angels failed to do damage on Nelson’s four-seamer despite a fair number of them being right in their wheelhouse and I’m left with yet another outing that has me squinting at the screen, head-tilted, wondering where the thing is going to pop out. You know, the part where I can latch onto something and get excited for the future. I guess it’s that four-seamer’s lack of punishment + changeup command + 8/11 cutter strikes, but is that enough? Maybe for the Pirates next week (well, ask Bido + Oviedo about that) and it’s something to consider.

Michael Wacha (SD) @ CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh dang, he actually started! And did well! The velocity was massively down, though, with two ticks on the changeup and 1-2 ticks on the heaters. Location, location, location. Yeah, but he also got away with a lot here, too. We’re not out of the woods yet, sadly, and I’d be cautious against the Angels before the All-Star Break. I wouldn’t even be shocked if they let him rest a little longer to take advantage of the ASB.

Ian Hamilton (NYY) @ STL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 29 pitches.

The Yanks went to a bullpen game for the first game of the doubleheader. Cool.

George Kirby (SEA) vs TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Kirby was the perfect mirror of Tyler Glasnow as he tossed the same number of pitches, survived four more outs against a tougher offense, located better, and got the Win. Pitchers are better than throwers. I really do wish he had one of the filthy breakers Glasnow has, though. A man can dream…

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Well ain’t that beautiful. The sole hit was on a cutter down the pipe (don’t do that) while he got his curve and cutter low constantly. It’s a step forward as we hope to see Burnes break out of the sub 25% strikeout arm he’s become. Steps, not leaps.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ TOR (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 74 pitches.

We dig Crawford’s four-seamer, the question is if the other elements are improving. The sliders worked for 6/13 whiffs, but sub 20% usage while the Kutter is a bit mediocre. I wonder if he can go fastball/slider heavily and turn a solid start like this against a tough crew into something magnificent. We’ll see. For now, he gets a Gold Star for a legit outing against the Jays in just 74 pitches.

Brandon Williamson (CIN) vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

There’s a rare solid outing from Williamson as the BABIP arbiters gave their good graces. The cutter was a little different with less drop and more velocity, but I wouldn’t say it allowed him to be incredibly precise with the pitch. Maybe he turns into a Wade Miley clone over time, but we’re not ready to trust it.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ SEA (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 102 pitches.

Despite earning a Golden Goal and all the strikeouts, this kinda hurt as he nearly produced a VPQSFor a guy that is so stupidly unhittable at times, he sure throws a lot of pitches that batters can swat if they are sitting on the right pitch. Just look at where all his pitches landed that returned hits. He’s a thrower, not a pitcher. And that means he’s the greatest PEAS of them all. Pair that with a horrific injury history and he doesn’t fit the mold of a pitcher I pursue. There will be some beautiful stretches, but you can’t rely on legit greatness.

Dylan Cease (CWS) @ OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Blegh. The slider got some whiffs, but he either missed too far into the dirt or in the middle of the zone and even the Athletics can mess around with you if you’re wild like this. Welp, we keep starting him and hope the pitch is better moving forward. Too much upside to deny and this floor isn’t so bad.

Daniel Lynch (KC) vs LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 108 pitches.

The fastball/change approach is clearly here to stay at this point and he is doing a good job of the BSB for the most part, with full intent to elevate his four-seamers. I don’t think they are elite heaters, sadly, with average vertical break and a sub 10% SwStr rate despite its 92nd percentile hiLoc%. If he had a legit breaking ball to pair with it, there could be a path to a higher whiff rate as it would keep batters honest, but on its own, this isn’t something I believe in.

Kyle Muller (OAK) vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Muller! He sat over a tick harder to 94.5 mph instead of his standard 93 mph, even hitting 97.2 mph on the gun. That’s all kinds of fun, but it just went 5/51 whiffs, so let’s not go nuts here. He’s not elevating the pitch, either, leaning down-and-gloveside with the pitch as the slider and curve were awkwardly placed around it. I’m not a fan of this personally and think there’s more tinkering to be done. We’ll see.

Matthew Liberatore (STL) vs NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 56 pitches.

You know the deal. Worse velocity, no slider, and 0/18 curveball whiffs. Please don’t.

Hunter Brown (HOU) @ TEX (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

The man got Singled Out by Texas and it happens. Don’t judge the kid for it. He is going high heater, by the way, and he did get a hefty number of whiffs on it. I wonder if that sticks. Probably not, but maybe it does.

Anthony DeSclafani (SF) @ NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 55 pitches.

It’s Rockie Road next and I get it if you want to go for that, but let’s be real. Tony Disco is not the guy you need at the end of your staff. That should be a streaming spot instead.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

Aces gonna go just five frames with terrible ratios. Ugh. At least the heater was a tick up, but the slider, sweeper, and curve combined for 2/38 whiffs with just 8% CSW. That can’t happen, Wheeler. I believe in you so much and then starts like these are a “Why are you spending so much emotion on me?” moment. Where would you guys put him on The List? On one hand, it’s easy to drop him based on the results thus far, but I also don’t think this sample is representative of the future. So all we do is hold and hope. Hold and Hope, the newest podcast from Pitcher List. Shhhhh, don’t spoil it.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) vs CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s 8 ER across his last two starts and I can feel the anxiety of managers everywhere. After all, he allowed more than 2 ER just twice across his first sixteen starts. Don’t panic, pitchers go through ebbs and flows all season long, and seeing seven punchouts with an unlucky LOB rate here should calm your nerves. We keep starting the guy, of course.

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs BOS (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ah dangit. The slider and curve were tattered by the Red Sox as he hung quite a few, but at least he’s still getting them inside the zone. The new skills of sliders + curves for strikes are still around and I imagine better results will come against the Tigers next. This isn’t the time to jump off the train, that stop was Rightown, not Righton.

Julio Urías (LAD) @ KC (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 66 pitches.

Okay so maybe this was a Still ILL after all. His command was atrocious and not something I would expect moving forward from Urías. He’ll also still be limited until post-ASB in all likelihood, but we’re still starting him against the Pirates. Let’s be glad we got this nightmare out of the way.

Eury Pérez (MIA) @ ATL (L) – 0.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 35 pitches.

Oh. This was a game of “Hey, Atlanta is such a dang good offense and can do this sometimes” while Eury wasn’t this horrific arm or anything. He just couldn’t find an out for the life of him and the strikes he tossed got battered. Baseball is a cruel, cruel game.

Luis Severino (NYY) @ STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

I think he pitched better than the Rangers game and that should tell you everything. I wonder if there’s some telegraphing happening with the secondaries, and the slider/cutter just isn’t what it needs to be. He’s absolutely droppable if you haven’t yet, though I have to mention it does feel like he has a TIARA where things could click in overnight and push him to legit starter status.

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) @ PHI (L) – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.

Oh look, that wonderful heater went just 2/44 whiffs because we can’t rely on it being commanded nor coming with the BSB approach. He’ll get the Reds before the break and I’d pass on that as well. Just get him out of Washington and I can start getting legit excited for him. That’s not going to happen. I know. Sigh. I know.

Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 97 pitches.

Oh. Welp, I guess that’s why he’s a Cherry Bomb as the Brewers have destroyed two straight streamers from the Pirates, but this was a day of poor heaters, sliders getting trounced, and just a terrible day at the park. It doesn’t mean he’s not suitable for a start ever again, it just means we all recognize the risks involved here. The Dodgers are next before the break soooo, buh-bye now.


Game of the Day


Zac Gallen vs. Reid Detmers – There are many I could have chosen here and I have to go with Gallen Gals vs. Reid The Notes.

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.

Photo by Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire | Adapted 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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Mona Lisa’s Kyle”

  1. Joe Mulvey says:

    Hanging around….

    “like a protagonist after the climactic scene.”

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