Happy Friday, everyone! It's the best day of the work week, especially for me since I'm on a Sunday through Thursday schedule! Unfortunately, Thursdays aren't the busiest days for baseball but we still got to enjoy a lot of great action on the diamond including some absolute gems.
We'll start with my favorite from the night, and that's the one spun by Mets SP Carlos Carrasco. No matter who your team is, how can you not love Carrasco's comeback story? He went deeper than he had since his outing on May 4, 2019 when he limited the Giants to two earned runs, four hits and no walks through 7 2/3 innings. He only needed 91 pitches looking healthy and sharp -- and a lot like the old hard-to-hit innings eater he was in Cleveland.
Carrasco didn't look himself in 2021 while pitching through an injury that limited how he could throw, and that put everyone off his scent in 2022 drafts. He's already proving to be an incredible return on your late-round draft investment. Carrasco has a 20:2 strikeout to walk ratio so far and he's in total command. He's moving up the rankings for all three Fantasy Baseball Today team members. Frank Stampfl moved him up to SP35, Chris Towers to SP32 and Scott White to SP50.
We'll dive into more of Thursday's action below. We'll also preview Week 4 with some of Scott's two-start pitcher suggestions and his sleeper hitters based on matchups. But first, make sure you're all caught up on everything going in over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. On Thursday, Scott updated his, so if you're in need of a bench stash, don't miss out. He also provided a and one more is coming shortly today as well. If you want more, check back later today to find Week 4 sleeper hitters, pitchers, two-start pitcher rankings and more.
Lopez tremendous again
Marlins SP Pablo Lopez was a popular breakout pick in the middle rounds, but his injury history held back the excitement surrounding a potential 2022 breakout. So far, so good and he was dominant again on Thursday. Lopez pitched seven shutout innings against the Cardinals and allowed just three hits and no walks. He also struck out nine with 15 induced swinging strikes on 100 pitches. Of course, the changeup was filthy (it honestly might be the best changeup in baseball). He induced 11 swinging strikes on the changeup alone, and his swinging strike rate is a career-high 15%. He has allowed just one earned run this season with a 17:3 strikeout to walk ratio. This is the year of Pablo!
Other standout pitchers
Kevin Gausman, SP, Blue Jays: No San Francisco ballpark to rely on and a return to the AL East -- no problem! Gausman has been sharp this season and shut down the Red Sox on Thursday. He went eight innings deep and allowed just seven hits, one earned run, and zero walks. He also struck out eight with 19 induced swinging strikes on 88 pitches. While Lopez may have the best changeup in baseball, Gausman's splitter is one of the sickest pitches you'll see. He looks every bit like the SP1 he was in 2021.
Joe Ryan, SP, Twins: There was some light buzz about Ryan being a sleeper but he didn't catch much attention this draft season and maybe that was wrong. He had another great outing on Thursday, delivering six shutout innings and only allowing two hits and one walk while striking out five. He has a 12:1 strikeout to walk ratio so far this season.
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Two-start pitchers to consider for Week 4
The following two-start SPs and sleeper hitters are brought to you by Scott.
- 74% rostered: Diamondbacks SP Merrill Kelly vs. LAD, at STL
- 29%: Pirates SP Mitch Keller vs. MIL, vs. SD
- 75%: Rockies SP German Marquez at PHI, vs. CIN
- 56%: Cardinal SP Miles Mikolas vs. NYM, vs. ARI
- 29%: Cardinals SP Jordan Hicks vs. NYM, vs. ARI
Sleeper hitters for Week 4
- 62% rostered: Padres 1B Jurickson Profar @CIN3, @PIT3
- 74%: Brewers OF Hunter Renfroe SF1, @PIT3, CHC3
- 71%: White Sox 1B/OF Andrew Vaughn KC3, LAA3
- 39%: Phillies 3B Alec Bohm COL4, @NYM3
- 21%: Yankees OF Aaron Hicks BAL3, @KC3
- 40%: Brewers OF Andrew McCutchen SF1, @PIT3, CHC3
- 76%: Padres 1B Luke Voit @CIN3, @PIT3
- 42%: Rays 1B Ji-Man Choi SEA3, MIN3
- 29%: Giants OF Joc Pederson @MIL1, OAK2, WAS3
- 66%: Braves OF Adam Duvall CHC3, @TEX3
News and lineup notes from Thursday
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 into the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.
- White Sox OF Luis Robert has been diagnosed with a minor groin strain after Thursday's game. Tony La Russa called the injury minor but acknowledged that Robert could require a stint on the IL.
- Blue Jays OF George Springer was not in Thursday's lineup after getting hit by a pitch on his forearm Wednesday night.
- Twins OF Byron Buxton was back in the lineup as the DH.
- Brewers SS/3B/2B Luis Urias will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A on Saturday.
- Nationals 1B Josh Bell's MRI on his knee came back clean after leaving Wednesday's game early. He was back in the lineup Thursday.
- Red Sox OF J.D. Martinez was not in the lineup Thursday with a groin injury and is unlikely to play Friday as well.
- Pirates SP Roansy Contreras was optioned to Triple-A after two strong relief outings.
- Bobby Witt was dropped to seventh in the Royals lineup. He had hit second or third in every other game this season.
- Rangers SP Jon Gray was placed back on the IL, this time with a low-grade MCL sprain in his left knee.
- AJ Pollock will join the White Sox Friday in Minnesota.
- Trevor Bauer's administrative leave has been extended through April 29.
- Giants OF Steven Duggar was placed on the IL with a left oblique injury.
- Twins OF Alex Kirilloff is feeling optimistic that he can return in about a week following a cortisone shot in his wrist. This doesn't seem like it's going to end well.
- Red Sox RP Garrett Whitlock is likely starting Saturday against the Rays unless he's used in relief Thursday or Friday.