Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Sunday 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) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.
Let’s collectively welcome back Taj Bradley after he left the fantasy world for a month. Bradley was sent to the minors after holding a 9.12 ERA and 1.79 WHIP across six atrocious outings, making for an easy drop in standard leagues – even if he came back, could we really rely on him? The thing is, even after today’s 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches, that question still remains.
The WHIP is still an issue, obviously, rooted in the biggest concern we have for Bradley: control. Command at a larger level, yes, but as long as his three C’s – curve, cutter, change – all find their ways to the zone (or any strikes, for that matter), his four-seamer will do the rest and demand success.
Sadly, even in this seven-strikeout, 1-ER game, Bradley still shows the flaws that tormented us in the first half. He has three starts ahead that you’d consider him for – SEA, @MIN, LAA – before an obvious drop when he gets the Jays in back-to-back games. It all comes down to your situation: If you need strikeouts, Bradley is one to chase; if you’re fighting with WHIP, you need to run for the hills. Plan accordingly, nothing has changed.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Seth Lugo (SD) vs SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.
Yep, that’s Lugo. If you’re surprised, where have you been, living under a rock? What, like in Kuwait? …not the country. A. Rock. Ohhhhh. Nah, I’ve just been focusing on foo–DON’T SAY IT.
Chris Sale (BOS) @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.
This is a great start and yet…we’re back down to 92.2 mph. The good news is that his final fastball sat 96.8 mph, showing that there is some gas left in the tank, but we want to see him sitting, oh I don’t know, three ticks higher throughout the game. But fine, you earned at least five whiffs on all three of your pitches and I can’t be upset. I guess we’re starting him against the Orioles despite the velocity concerns. Shudders
Taylor Clarke (KC) vs BOS (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 12 pitches.
I wonder how Zack Greinke felt getting opened for. Greinke does what Greinke does. Yeah, but does he like it?
Bobby Miller (LAD) vs ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.
Mmmmm that’s the good stuff. I’m terrified of facing Atlanta these days, but Miller showing up with a 67% strike changeup and a 36% CSW curveball across 35% usage between them? Yeah, that’s the good stuff. Toss in eleven whiffs across his four-seamer and sinker and you have yourself a display of the potential Miller brings to the table across 2024. Wanna know the crazy part? He went 0/10 CSW on the slider. THERE’S MORE ROOM TO GROW.
Xzavion Curry (CLE) vs TB (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 78 pitches.
Ayyyy way to pull it off, Curry! His slider was solid, the curve earned 65% strikes, and the four-seamer whipped up a 37% CSW as it constantly hit the zone. Curry the stead. If he’s able to pump strikes with this frequency, it works and with the Angels up next, you may have yourself a sneaky stream.
Michael King (NYY) @ HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 69 pitches.
Hot dang, look at you! There’s your Gold Star as King survived for five frames against a strong Astros crew. Given his success as a reliever, it’s not too shocking that he was able to carry that success over five full frames, but still, I didn’t think we’d see this. His sinker gets the job done, with changeups down and four-seamers up here and there, though there is work to polish his sweeper command moving forward. The Yankees look pretty serious in stretching him out and with the Brewers up next and King at 70 pitches, I’ll be putting him in the Questionable Start tier. Let’s see how this plays out.
Sandy Alcantara (MIA) @ WSH (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.
The Miami defense did him no favors (two unearned runs) and Sandy made up for it the best he could with eight frames, forcing a Win as the Marlins scored two in the ninth. That’s how you get it done, Sandy. He’s a start against the Phils and likely a bench against Atlanta, with the Brewers and Pirates as easy plays to follow. Here we go.
Tarik Skubal (DET) @ CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.
That’s a Gallows Pole on the back of his changeup + slider returning 12 whiffs between them. It’s what you want. Surprisingly, I still don’t think he’s nailing his four-seamer command, but his secondaries lived around the zone and I love to see that. He’s destined for the White Sox (again) + Angels in his next two outings and you should be stoked.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) @ MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.
This was a Still ILL and with his questionable rhythm mixed in, I had little faith here. With his changeup going 3/10 CSW and a bit of wonky command, I’m hesitant to take the leap against the Marlins next week. That’s a coin flip.
Chase Anderson (COL) vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 66 pitches.
Charlie Morton (ATL) @ LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.
The Dodgers had to get a Win in here somewhere and Morton was rattled against a premier offense. With this out of the way, he has five remaining starts against mediocre offenses + the Cubs. Sign me up, even if the ride is sure to be a little bumpy.
Michael Kopech (CWS) vs DET (ND) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 44 pitches.
But it was the Tigers! BUT IT WAS KOPECH.
Zack Thompson (STL) vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.
Look at you! The curve was fantastic at 48% CSW, and I dug the cutter landing gloveside constantly and the fastball finding its way over the zone. Sadly, Thompson is slated to get @CIN + PHI + @SDP and that’s a trio of starts I don’t want for the guy. Maybe we return for his last game of the year hosting the Reds, but that’s a decision to make a long way into the future.
Cristian Javier (HOU) vs NYY (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.
Ohhhhhh he had his four-seamer working and went 20/24 sliders for strikes. THERE YOU GO. Sure, one of those sliders was hit by The Martian to the moon (or I guess Mars?), but y’all see the WHIP and strikeout production finally returning. There’s hope. We really can’t believe it’ll stick at this point, but if he does have both skills, it won’t matter that he’s facing the Padres next. JUST SAYIN’.
Tylor Megill (NYM) vs SEA (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.
8/23 slider whiffs is lovely, though the heater came back down to 95.3 mph instead of 96 and he was essentially two-pitch. With his soft schedule ahead (@MIN, CIN, MIA x2), I think I’d hold for now. He could be a solid play throughout the month.
Tyler Anderson (LAA) @ OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 81 pitches.
Ehhhhh, I don’t think I can take a streaming victory here as nothing is all too great. It’s a fine WHIP and strikeout total, but a harmful ERA, no QS, and no Win. So close, Anderson. So close. I’m a little shocked he didn’t go more changeup-heavy as he faced mostly right-handers – a pitch that returned a 53% CSW here – but instead, it was cutter and four-seamer city. Weird. We want the slow stuff, Tyler. That’s what I always say.
Jon Gray (TEX) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.
Weird to see the four walks (a few batters got away from him), but the strikeouts are still flowing and I wouldn’t let those ratios perturb you with Oakland on the horizon. We’re all good here.
Kenta Maeda (MIN) @ TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.
That’s four straight disappointments from Maeda (none over 5.0 IP) and while this was the Rangers, he’ll get the Rays, @CIN, @COL in three of his final five outings. It may be time to jump ship and chase something else as his splitter went just 3/33 whiffs. I’m worried.
Carson Spiers (CIN) vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.
It was Carson’s MLB debut and I can see something here if it develops. It’s a solid fastball and his slider has good break, though the command was off as expected. He carries the Shag Carpet with him and I wonder when we’ll see a start of precision, like we did with Kyle Harrison last week. It’ll happen at least once if he gets the chance and that’ll be a fun thing.
Josiah Gray (WSH) vs MIA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 86 pitches.
You really don’t want to be in a position where you have to take a chance on Josiah coming through. It’s just not it.
Kyle Muller (OAK) vs LAA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 78 pitches.
He’s still sitting 94/95 mph, but sadly not pairing it with anything exciting. Womp womp.
Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 67 pitches.
Aces gonna…why. Coors. Ehhhh, still. Welp, whatareyagonnado. No red flags here.
Johan Oviedo (PIT) @ STL (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.
You can’t be a Cherry Bomb without la bomba. Please just imagine me dancing to this song while choking back tears every time it happens.
George Kirby (SEA) @ NYM (L) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.
What the hck (sidenote: If you’re unaware, it’s a massive inside joke to censor hck at PL. Carry on). Some days, it just doesn’t go as you want it to and I imagine the Mariners were a little cautious given his illness last week that made him a touch rusty. Whatever, we keep starting him and hope for the best.
Wade Miley (MIL) vs PHI (L) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.
Blegh. Miley allowed just 1 ER through six, failing to take heed of the whispers of Careful, Icarus as he allowed three in the seventh. Womp womp. The schedule is safe enough to keep holding him as a Toby if you must.
Jack Flaherty (BAL) @ ARI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.
Ah dangit. This was two poor sliders over the plate mixed with a few bad heaters that were hit well and that’s your ballgame. The mistakes were punished, but the well-executed stuff came through (seven strikeouts, yo) and I’m not totally out on Flaherty yet. Up to you if you want to keep rolling with him against the Sawx and Rays; I personally think I’m down. Like in Kuwait? STOP THIS.
Alex Cobb (SF) @ SD (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 58 pitches.
So the splitter wasn’t technically off, it just was hit more than we’d want. 5/31 whiffs ain’t ideal, but 24/31 strikes is generally good. He’s just gotta get it a little lower, that’s all. At least the sinker and curve did their jobs stealing called strikes…? Rockie Road is next and that seems like a clear one to chase.
Jameson Taillon (CHC) @ CIN (ND) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 91 pitches.
That’s a King Cole catalyzed by plenty of cutters over the plate, though his zone-heavy approach puts him in precarious situations often. I’d shy away from Taillon against the Diamondbacks unless I was in dire need of a Quality Start – and that’s no lock, of course.
Zac Gallen (ARI) vs BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.
Aces gonna get Singled Out. He located well for the most part, save for not focusing on the curve nearly as much as we’re used to. Don’t overreact to this one.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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