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USATSI

Happy Friday, everyone! Thursday's slate might have been light as per usual, but it was jam-packed with a lot of action. The Brewers once again laid the wood on the lowly Reds, but the story of the night came from what Shohei Ohtani delivered on the mound. The Angels starter posted his second double-digit strikeout outing -- this time against the Red Sox -- when he went seven innings and allowed just six hits, no walks and struck out 11. Ohtani induced 29 swinging strikes on just 99 pitches, which ranked as the second-most swinging strikes induced by an Angels pitcher since 2008. He now boasts a 46% called swinging strike rate on the season.

We'll dive into all of the action from Thursday, but first make sure you catch up on everything that's happening over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White broke down the recent surge from Garrett Whitlock and Rowdy Tellez in his waiver wire column. He also updated all the prospects you need to know about in his prospects report. Finally, Chris Towers broke down his trade values for both Roto and H2H scoring leagues in his trade values column.

And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify

Encouraging signs

Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies: Nola went seven strong innings against the Mets and allowed just three hits, one earned and one walk. He also struck out seven. Nola's ERA is  down to 3.38, xFIP is 2.56 and he's doing a great job limiting hard contact. His GB rate is back up to 52% after just 40% last year.

Tark Skubal, SP, Tigers: Skubal went six innings and allowed just six hits, no walks and two runs. He also struck out nine on 90 pitches. He now has a 3.04 ERA, 29 K to 3 BB, 2.43 xFIP, 49% GB rate. 

Aaron Civale, SP, Guardians: Civale struck out eight against the Blue Jays and his velocity is up a bit on all pitches.

Machado does it again

Manny Machado has been one of the best players in Roto leagues, and that continued on Thursday when he went deep twice. Machado is now hitting 374/.447/.657 with 25 runs scored, seven homers, 20 RBI and five stolen bases across 114 plate appearances

News and lineup notes

Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.

  • Carlos Correa exited Thursday's game after getting HBP twice. Early imaging suggests he may have a non-displaced fracture in his finger.
  • Ryan Pressly was reinstated from the IL Thursday and thrust right into a save opportunity. He gave up two hits and two runs for the blown save. His velo was down 2 mph. He didn't look right. Add Rafael Montero as insurance?
  • Nick Castellanos exited Thursday's game after getting hit by a pitch near his wrist/forearm area. X-Rays were negative.
  • The Blue Jays lied to us! Teoscar Hernandez was not activated Thursday and instead played another rehab game. He's likely to return this weekend. 
  • Andrew Vaughn was placed on the IL Thursday with that bruised right hand. Poor guy can't catch a break. It was finally looking like he would play everyday with Eloy Jimenez hurt. 
  • Blake Snell made his second rehab start Wednesday at Single-A. He gave up four runs over four innings, striking out eight and getting the pitch count up to 66. 
  • Luke Voit is expected to need a one-week rehab stint at Triple-A. He's reportedly fully healthy but he's staying to work on his swing.
  • Nick Lodolo is penciled in to return from the IL and start Saturday against the Pirates
  • Matt Brash has been sent down by the Mariners. He'll work out of the bullpen at Triple-A though manager Scott Servais said that isn't necessarily permanent. 
  • Kyle Lewis will be on his rehab assignment for the majority of the allotted 20 days. He's attempting to return from meniscus surgery but had success in the past. Stash? 47% rostered
  • Cole Irvin was placed on the IL with left shoulder soreness, retroactive to May 2.
  • Nelson Cruz has missed two straight games with back stiffness. He was available to pinch-hit but he did not make an appearance. 
  • LaMonte Wade is expected to be activated from the IL Friday. He hit .253 with 18 HRs and 6 SBs last season. 11% rostered, any interest?
  • Nate Pearson is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Friday. He threw 26 pitches on Tuesday. 18% rostered but he's likely to work out of the bullpen with the Blue Jays anyway, right?
  • Dylan Bundy, Luis Arraez and manager Rocco Baldelli all tested positive for COVID.
  • Stephen Strasburg will face live hitters again on Friday. There is a chance he could begin a minor league rehab assignment soon.