Woo, another prospect is on the way! This time it's Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah, who has been lighting hitters up dating back to spring training. You can read more about Manoah below, but somebody else who might not be far behind him is Angels outfield prospect Jo Adell, who now has six home runs over his last five games at Triple-A. He's still striking out way too much but the Angels are desperate with Mike Trout hurt. Adell is available in just over 60% of CBS leagues and should be added in any Roto or H2H category leagues.
We spoke about a bevy of topics on today's podcast, but one that I've struggled with recently is Christian Yelich. I still believe that when Yelich is at his best, he's one of the five best hitters in Fantasy baseball. The problem has been this nagging back injury that has hampered him the past few years. Yelich has had two different stints on the injured list this season and seems like he's been rushed back both times. He returned last week and has already sat twice and was the designated hitter two other times. I don't think you should just sell Yelich for the sake of it, but I also don't think it hurts to see what you can get return if you're nervous.
It's Manoah time!
Blue Jays top pitching prospect Alek Manoah will debut on Wednesday when he draws the start against the Yankees. Manoah was Toronto's first-round pick in 2019 and they threw him right into the fire by having him jump into the rotation at Triple-A Buffalo. Manoah showed serious signs of being ready for Fantasy relevance right away. He allowed just one run in three starts (18 innings) with a 27:3 K:BB ratio. He was essentially unhittable at that level.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pound pitching prospect is unique from a size standpoint, and if his spring start says anything it's that he might be worth firing up for his first MLB start. He shut out the Yankees over five innings in the spring with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. He offers a mid-90s fastball, a strong secondary pitch (slider) and a third pitch (changeup) that is improving at a steady rate. Per Scott, he studied and learned his slider by watching Dellin Betances and Chris Sale.
Of course, it's worth noting Manoah has made only nine career minor league starts. This promotion came fast.
Manoah is currently 58% rostered and Scott considers him as close as can be to a must-add SP. He's feeling more confident about Manoah than Logan Gilbert, and that's in part due to his meteoric rise. He was dominant during the spring, then dominant in his limited experience in the minors, and he has barely allowed any hits and walks. He has looked really good in every context this season and he's likely to stay up.
Chris would go up to 20% of his FAB budget on Manoah in a 12-team league. Scott falls closer into the 10-20%, but he'd suggest to be more aggressive than not.
Snell continues to struggle
Padres SP Blake Snell continues to look nothing like his former Cy Young self or even the pitcher who flashed in his most recent postseason over a small sample size. On Monday, Snell lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out seven batters with 18 swinging strikes on 81 pitches, but he has now gone five innings or fewer in three of his last four starts.
When you look under the hood, the picture gets messier. Snell has a four-year low first pitch strike percentage, chase rate and swinging strike rate.
More news and notes
- Twins OF Byron Buxton could begin a rehab assignment by the end of the week if he's able to run without issues.
- Padres OF Trent Grisham was placed on the IL with a bruised heel.
- Padres 3B Manny Machado has now missed four straight with right shoulder tightness.
- Padres SP Dinelson Lamet will start Friday. He's been used in relief the past few outings.
- Mets 1B Pete Alonso is expected to have a short stay on the IL.
- Mets SP Carlos Carrasco might not be ready until July, which is weird considering he was built up to six innings in a sim game in early May. Perhaps he suffered a setback that they kept under wraps.
- Mets 2B Jeff McNeil and OF Michael Conforto's hamstring strains are both significant and are expected to keep them out until late June.
- Marlins SP Elieser Hernandez pitched four scoreless frames at Triple-A Sunday, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out eight. He'll likely make one more rehab start before being activated next week.
- Marlins OF Starling Marte will start a rehab assignment Tuesday.
- Marlins SP Sixto Sanchez will throw a bullpen session Tuesday.
- Marlins C Jorge Alfaro was reinstated.
- Phillies OF Bryce Harper was out of the lineup for a second straight day though Joe Girardi said it wasn't injury related.
- Brewers 1B/2B Keston Hiura was recalled by the Brewers with a few lefties on the schedule against the Padres. He finished 1 for 3 with a single, walk, run scored and two more strikeouts. He's 48% rostered.
- A's SP Jesus Luzardo is beginning a rehab assignment Thursday and could initially return as a reliever.
- DH Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice Sunday and could return Tuesday for the Yankees.
- Tigers C Wilson Ramos was placed on the IL with a lumbar spine strain.
- Both Twins DH Nelson Cruz and 2B/SS Jorge Polanco remained out Monday
- Phillies SP prospect Spencer Howard will indeed make another start this week against the Marlins.
- Diamondbacks C Carson Kelly was reinstated and Daulton Varsho was optioned back to Triple-A.
- Mariners 2B Ty France was activated Monday, playing first base and batting sixth.
- Marlins 3B Brian Anderson left Monday's game with left shoulder soreness.
- Angels OF Jo Adell has six homers over his last five games but still has a 35% K rate at Triple-A.
- Orioles C Adley Rutschman is only batting .246 but has four homers with a 21% BB rate at Double-A. He's also started five of 17 games at first base, which would be awesome for his long-term value if he can get consistent starts there in the majors.
- Red Sox 1B Triston Casas is batting .328 with four homers at Double-A.
- Braves SP Tucker Davidson, who threw a quality start against the Mets last week, struck out nine over six innings of one-run ball in his latest Triple-A start Sunday.
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Dynasty trade targets and sell-highs
Scott says it's time to buy low on White Sox SP Dylan Cease. A few starts ago, his stuff turned a corner and he became the SP with the highest spin rate on his fastball and slider. He's now missing a ton of bats with an off-the-charts swinging strike rate since his stuff turned a corner. He has made strides that haven't shown up in the box score.
Chris is rolling with Reds SP Luis Castillo as his dynasty buy-low. This, of course, is very on brand for Towers. I'm with Chris. There is no better time to buy on Castillo in Dynasty if you believe he can get back to the pitcher he has been prior to this two-month stretch.
My buy-low is Mets 1B/OF Dominic Smith. The underlying numbers (via Statcast) have come down slightly, but buying in now will be getting ahead of the universal DH coming to the NL. That will also help boost his Dynasty value. At his currently value, he doesn't even have to get back to his breakout 2020 to return value. And there's nothing about that 2020 season that screams major fluke.
Scott sees Rangers OF Adolis Garcia as a sell-high. It's easy to overlook how old he is at 28. Although Scott feels good about him maintaining this in 2021, beyond that is a lot more uncertain. This may very well be the peak we see with Garcia, and now is a great time to see what you can get back in return.
Chris is in favor of trading Giants SP Kevin Gausman as his sell-high. While Gausman's changes are real, he's not necessarily sure he'll be great in 2022. This is one of those situations where he's becoming a quality SP for the now in Fantasy, but his age makes him a less valuable asset in Dynasty. Sometimes those two things don't align for Fantasy managers. Find that manager in your league who is willing to mortgage future value to win now.
For my sell-high, it's Yankees SP Domingo German. He's not old but older than you think, and that's a red flag. There's also a chance you might be able to get someone to pay the Yankee tax. Mostly, you'll be selling after a string of fluky starts that were maximized by good matchups.
- Mariners SP Logan Gilbert at OAK
- A's SP/RP Cole Irvin vs. SEA
- Angels SP Andrew Heaney vs. TEX
- Red Sox SP Garrett Richards vs. ATL
- Tigers SP Tarik Skubal vs. CLE
- Cubs SP Jake Arrieta at PIT