Happy Thursday, everyone! And it's an especially happy Thursday for those of us who celebrate the annual NFL Draft -- that gets underway at 8 p.m. ET tonight. But until then, we have baseball to talk about and baseball to cover. On Tuesday, we saw a slew of dazzling performances by starters drafted in each of Tiers 2-4 this past March as we continue to see a steep decline in power numbers across the MLB. On Wednesday, there were more dominant outings from pitchers selected outside even the top-20 at the position. Have we entered a next-level deadened ball era?
It was a great night for Padres SP MacKenzie Gore -- hopefully you claimed him off waivers (or drafted him late) weeks ago. Gore struck out 10 over five innings of one-run ball. It was also a good night for Marlins SP Pablo Lopez, who extended his scoreless streak and in the process grabbed another win. Both Lopez and Sandy Alcantara now have three wins apiece for the Marlins.
We also want to make sure you're caught up on all of the great stuff happening over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. On Wednesday, Scott White featured surprising Angels OF Taylor Ward, who is off to a scorching start in his . Shortly on the site today you'll be able to check out Chris Towers' trade values chart for both Roto and H2H scoring leagues. Scott will also have his prospects report and another to chew on.
Beat your league to the waiver wire
Drew Rasmussen, RP, Rays: Fresh off a dominant performance against the Mariners, Rasmussen is in line for two starts next week and has SPARP eligibility for H2H points leagues. He's just 48% rostered right now in CBS leagues. Against Seattle, Rasmussen threw six shutout innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out nine with a whopping 19 swinging strikes. His two starts next week come against the Athletics and a Mariners team he just beat up on. Now is the time to beat your league to the waiver wire.
Two pitchers still not rostered in enough leagues
Aaron Ashby, RP, Brewers: If you play in a H2H points league, Ashby has SPARP potential and yet he's still somehow just 42% rostered. That should and will change after we watched him take a no hitter into the sixth inning on Wednesday against the Pirates. Ashby finished 5 2/3 innings allowing just one hit, one run and striking out five, but he did walk five. Over 17 innings this season, Ashby has 19 strikeouts and a 70% groundball rate. He needs to cut down on the walks though (13).
Paul Blackburn, SP, Athletics: Another outing, another strong performance from Blackburn, who continues to get slept on with just a 55% roster rate. Blackburn pitched five shutout innings against one of the best teams in baseball -- the Giants -- and he allowed just three hits and one walk. He struck out four with 12 induced swinging strikes, and now has 18 strikeouts with just two walks to tally up to a sparkling 1.35 ERA.
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What's wrong with Morton?
One of the biggest disappointments of the season so far has been Braves SP Charlie Morton. He was a big-time target for Scott White, who ended up with him in a lot of drafts. The good news is that Morton started out slow in 2021 as well through his first five starts before locking in, but the bad news is that Morton's woes continued on Wednesday night. Morton couldn't make it out of the third inning and finished with just 2 1/3 innings pitched having allowed three runs, four hits and four walks with just one strikeout. As Scott pointed out on Twitter, the same Morton allowed 28 runs in the first 39 innings he threw last year and came all the way back to have a 4.50 ERA by June 16. And let's not forget he's coming back from a broken leg. I am using all of this to say send some offers out right now -- buy-low offers -- that start very low. But now is the time.
Buy-low hitters per Statcast data
For a further discussion on each hitter, be sure to check out Wednesday's FBT podcast.
- Super high-end: Astros OF Yordan Alvarez, OF Kyle Tucker
- Next tier: White Sox 1B Jose Abreu, Mariners OF Mitch Haniger
- Next tier: Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins, Yankees 3B Josh Donaldson, Mariners OF Jesse Winker, Red Sox OF Alex Verdugo
- Deeper leagues: Orioles 1B Trey Mancini, Dodgers 2B Gavin Lux, Diamondbacks 1B Christian Walker
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.
- Royals 3B/SS Adalberto Mondesi will be placed on the IL Thursday due to knee discomfort. He had an MRI that revealed some structural damage. There is no timetable as of now. Nicky Lopez shifted back over to shortstop with Whit Merrifield at second and Edward Olivares in the outfield.
- Giants OF Joc Pederson was pulled from Wednesday's game due to right groin tightness.
- One day after telling us White Sox OF Luis Robert would be in the lineup, he was NOT in the lineup. He continues to feel " a little discomfort" with his groin while moving side to side.
- Mariners SP Marco Gonzales left Wednesday's start and was diagnosed with a left wrist contusion after getting hit by a comebacker.
- Dusty Baker said Wednesday that Astros RP Ryan Pressly is "not quite ready" to be activated from the IL. He's currently out with a right knee injury.
- Guardians OF Steven Kwan was out again Wednesday, making it three straight games with that hamstring injury.
- Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds was activated off the COVID IL after just a one-day absence.
- Blue Jays OF Teoscar Hernandez is scheduled to take swings against a high-velocity machine Thursday as he rehabs back from that oblique injury.
- White Sox 3B Yoan Moncada will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Saturday even though he's still experiencing pain swinging left-handed.
- Rockies 3B Kris Bryant was out of the lineup again Wednesday with that back injury, which makes two days in a row.
- Rays SP Shane Baz is expected to throw live batting practice in early May. He underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery before the season and will first be eligible to return in early June.
- Dave Roberts said Wednesday that Dodgers SP Andrew Heaney has yet to resume throwing. He's on the IL with shoulder discomfort.
- Twins SP Sonny Gray is expected to make a rehab start at Single-A this weekend. He's on the IL with a hamstring injury.
- Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg threw a 37-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. He hasn't been given a timetable to return yet.
- Rockies SS/2B Brandan Rodgers was scratched from the lineup due to back soreness. He's currently in an 0-17 slump and is batting .078. He's 61% rostered.
- Orioles OF Ryan Mountcastle was scratched with neck stiffness.
- Mariners RP Paul Sewald was activated off the COVID IL.