Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup – Mirage Bradley

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.  

Taj Bradley (TB) @ HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

What are you doing with Taj BradleyYou could say that last night’s outing of 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches is a Blame it on the Astros and for us not to consider it moving forward. But Taj has only one game of his last six with 2 ER or fewer, and just one game above six strikeouts. His strikeout rate is phenomenal at 30% for the year (10th best in the majors!), but everything else is an atrocity and you may be thinking it’s time for greener pastures.

I don’t necessarily disagree as Taj has been a Cherry Bomb all season long as you chance your ratios to propel your strikeout numbers. That said, I do wonder if we’ll see a continued decline from Bradley or proper development in the final two months. With 135 innings under his belt from 2022, Bradley will likely stick around through the end of the year in the rotation (or very close to it), allowing him to get more experience attempting to land his changeup and curveball for strikes…or maybe even the oft-reliable cutter that went sub 50% strikes in this one.

The potential for Bradley is monstrous if he can supplement his elite four-seamer (a 99th-percentile PLV pitch) with an array of pitches to find strikes, but it may take longer than we like for Bradley to become consistent inside the zone. With the season on the line in the final two months, you may want to consider other options…after he faces the Tigers this week. Surely nothing on the wire beats that matchup, right?


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Yu Darvish (SD) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

The approach I enjoyed so much for two starts is out the window with a heavy emphasis on sinkers, sliders, and sweepers around the zone, some curveballs, and four-seamers all around. I’m thrilled this one worked out for Darvish, though I’m not quite sure we’ve changed from the chaos of the first half here. And yes, we obviously keep starting him.

Emmet Sheehan (LAD) vs CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 82 pitches.

We’ll absolutely take this from Sheehan, but sadly the breakers and changeup didn’t do anything that leaps off the page with just 3/23 whiffs and a CSW around 22%. For him to be anything more than a streaming option, I need to see those getting better.

Mike Clevinger (CWS) vs CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

Clevinger returned with a solid outing against the Guardians, unsurprisingly paired with just three strikeouts. I didn’t love his command here at all and think he got away with one. I’d avoid him, save for desperate plays as he’ll soon be allowed to hurl over 90 pitches constantly.

Ryan Walker (SF) vs BOS (ND) – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 40 pitches.

Walker did his part and was followed by 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks of Sean Manaeawhich is all kinds of wonderful. Just three hard-hit balls allowed and a 47% CSW fastball as his slider went 0/8 CSW. Ah. At least they are calling his sinker a proper four-seamer now.

Beau Brieske (DET) @ MIA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 37 pitches.

He opened for 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks of Joey Wentzwho nailed the BSB with his changeup down and cutters + four-seamers upstairs. There was a time Wentz was sitting harder than 93 mph and there was some intrigue there, but I think we’re past that for now while I can’t buy the command sticking game-to-game.

Bryce Elder (ATL) vs MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 86 pitches.

Don’t get any ideas, this isn’t the start of a new Vargas Rule for Elder, just a lovely stream with a low King Cole bar to hit. I think you’re okay against the Cubs, but it’s not as great as it used to be.

Luke Weaver (CIN) @ LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

The cutter has nine inches less vertical movement to pair with its 3-4 tick increase of velocity and it’s trying to do the Canibal McSanchez at the top of the zone. Not sure I love it, but at least he’s trying something new as he elects to go BSBIt obviously worked to a degree here, but with just two strikeouts, y’all know it can’t be trusted.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 84 pitches.

Those four walks are awfully crooked, but the rest is pleasant as Taillon got his secondaries mostly down with four-seamers upstairs. He’ll get the Reds in Wrigley + Mets and I’m still not convinced he’s worth the gamble. Maybe he’s a Toby now, but I’m not quite seeing a strong enough repertoire to lean on him heavily.

James Paxton (BOS) @ SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.

He was so close to the AGA label, but I can’t give it on a 2.00 WHIP night. Dominate the Jays and that’ll do the trick.

Alek Manoah (TOR) vs LAA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 82 pitches.

Nope. Please let go of any inklings you have of a Manoah redemption arc. It’s highly unlikely to arrive any time soon.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) @ COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 106 pitches.

Gallows Pole at just 15 whiffs is a bit of a shock, especially when it came inside Coors and from Blackburn. Baseball, y’all. This wasn’t your standard Blackburn in Colorado, though. He went 10/31 whiffs on sliders as I haven’t seen him flirt with 30% slider usage all year. I love that call as the pitch holds a 22% SwStr rate for the year and if he’s able to spot them this well, I wouldn’t be shocked if he started throwing them closer to 35% of the time moving forward. Paulie Punchouts, it’s good to see you. I guess he’s back on the menu for the Giants in O.Co next weekend.

Hunter Brown (HOU) vs TB (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ayyyy he came through! He had a clearer approach of the BSB with four-seamers up-and-in to right-handers (SWEET) and sliders/curveballs down. However, there is still a lot of polish left to get those breakers actually down instead of hanging up into the zone, but I can see what he’s trying to do now and that’s progress.

Reid Detmers (LAA) @ TOR (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

The slider was not what we want it to be at all, but he was able to adapt with his curve and nailed many four-seamers to nearly make it through five frames of production against a good Jays team. That’s three of his last four against the Dodgers, Astros, and Jays, with his best start of the lot coming against the Pirates. Not much of a shock there.

Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs SEA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

The four-seamer was better with 34% CSW and 7/29 whiffs and that’s an encouraging sight that I want to see repeated in future outings (even if it came with zero extra vertical break). Meanwhile, the changeup and sweeper were far worse this time around, making it a near VPQS but a Philly that gave you nothing if you started him. We’re out as he’s a Young Gun in my book.

Bryan Woo (SEA) @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 73 pitches.

Sooooo when is he getting shut down? Seeing a start with 0/36 whiffs on the four-seamer kinda feels like the time to do it, no? At least the sinker landed armside and off the plate plenty, but that signature four-seamer needs to get upstairs. If he’s still starting against the Angels this week, I’m still letting him fly (no way that heater goes zero whiffs again), but there is that small thought about possible fatigue hitting him…

Jordan Lyles (KC) vs MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 100 pitches.

Hey, a Win! That’s cool. Yay Lyles. That’s it? That’s it.

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.

Blegh. At least you got a Win, buuuuut he’s really just turning into a Toby and that scares me. Oftentimes guys like Schmidt are teetering between taking off or falling down and I get the sense it’ll be the latter as the season progresses. Regardless, he’s not a guy I’d start against the Astros.

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs NYY (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 63 pitches.

Well, that wasn’t fun. Three walks are egregious given Wells’ strong fastball and slider command and it’s all kinds of annoying to see the Jays and Astros up next as Wells has exceeded his previous IP total. And yet, I believe in him after those two starts with a much easier schedule through the end. We’re at the point where Wells is likely benched for two weeks and if there are streams to help you each week, I’d consider chasing those instead.

Johnny Cueto (MIA) vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ah dangit. The four-seamer had its moments, but just three whiffs instead of fourteen and he allowed one too many runs for us to leave happy. At least it was a great WHIP? The Phillies are next and even with solid command here, I think I avoid it. There are worse plays with Cueto’s clear ability to locate at the moment.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

Yeah, nah. Please don’t.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ SD (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Please stop considering Pérez. He’s not the command fiend of old.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ NYM (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Are you seeing anything to change our perception of Corbin? Nope.

Logan Allen (CLE) @ CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

I really dug Allen’s BSB approach, but he failed to earn strikes when he needed to, and the White Sox took advantage of mistakes. His velocity is still down, sadly, but I think I’m okay with giving it another go against the White Sox. He pitched better than the line suggests.

Quinn Priester (PIT) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

Squints Is that Edwin Jackson?!

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ PIT (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 98 pitches.

UGH. The curve was almost two ticks harder and beautifully spotted most of the time, but the Pirates hit its few mistakes, the changeup was hit thrice despite all three pitches arguably sitting outside the zone, and three poor heaters got laced as well. It’s awfully frustrating and there’s nothing you can do but continue to start him.

Chris Flexen (COL) vs OAK (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 75 pitches.

Whoa, it’s Flexen! And he’s walking six batters. Welp, see ya later.

Bailey Ober (MIN) @ KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Just when I gave you your own term, Ober doesn’t order the Bailey SpecialNot cool man, not cool. Too many pitches found the heart of the plate, though there were plenty of pristine changeups, fastballs, and sliders along the way. Whatareyagonnado. Oberizzi is fine, y’all.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) vs WSH (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 63 pitches.

Yeaaaaah, don’t start Carrasco. Just don’t.

Julio Teheran (MIL) @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 82 pitches.

Teheran went on the IL after this outing, but even without the injury, y’all knew this wasn’t going to go well. If this is the last we see of Teheran, let’s all raise our caps to the wild run he shocked us with in June.


Game of the Day


Tarik Skubal vs. Jesús Luzardo – Two fantastic lefties squaring off is my idea of a lovely Sunday afternoon.

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 Cliff Welch/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 – Mirage Bradley”

  1. nully says:

    the game has changed, expanded strike zone, watched C. Sanchez PHI game, sure it was a day game on the weekend, dude was really hitting his spots vs PIT. change ups, weak contact. got his pitch count up there but should limit walks. i think the Toby’s are taking over. it’s no longer about mph it’s about control the way umps are calling games. i’d rather have the bryce elders and civale’s and hendricks than the next guy throwing 98.

    umpires definitely impact the game. like playing a late game when you need to catch a plane (Roger Clemens 2nd 20 K game). i don’t like any rule changes. once you tweek something, they just will keep doing it. automating the strike zone is a bad idea.

    like your writing.

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