Happy Thursday, everyone! The story of the night from Wednesday was the absolute onslaught of offense the Milwaukee Brewers put on the poor Cincinnati Reds -- 18 runs in a game and Brewers 1B Rowdy Tellez was the key culprit. Tellez went 4 for 6 with a double-dong night and get this, eight runs batted in! He now has four homers in his past four games and has also brought his average up to .257 and his OPS up to .924. Tellez is just 28% rostered but maybe it's time that changes. One look at his Statcast page and you'll see it in all its glory -- 97th% or better in max exit velocity, xwOBA, barrel rate, xSLG. The difference is that Tellez is selling out for power this year with a 52% fly ball rate (compared to a 38% career rate). It's time to scoop him up.
Today we'll dive into all of the key action from Wednesday, but first let's make sure you're caught up on all of the good things happening over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White dropped anotherand you're going to want to get an early lead on who to scoop up. Chris Towers took a deeper look into some of the hottest hitters in baseball right now and whether you should be
Worry no more with Wheeler
Think back to early April when panic was widespread about Phillies SP Zach Wheeler as if he hadn't missed the entire spring and the early April starts were essentially serving as an extended spring training. Those days are over. Wheeler was dominant on Wednesday and has really gotten his season on track. Now, the concern travels no further than the clubhouse -- where manager Joe Girardi heard the boos after he pulled Wheeler at an inopportune time. Wheeler had dealt 7 2/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts when Girardi decided to pull him on just a 78-pitch count. While it was Wheeler's season-high for innings, he had reached a higher pitch count in each of his previous two starts -- so the decision was curious. The best news of the night was how electric Wheeler looked -- inducing 16 swinging strikes on just 78 pitches.
Whitlock does it again
Garrett Whitlock is someone who should be on your radar. After debating him all offseason as a saves option in Boston, it's time to start considering him a startable option as a starter. On Wednesday, Whitlock delivered five innings of two run ball and allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out nine. He induced 17 swinging strikes on just 78 pitches -- with the nasty sinker accounting for 11 of them. He now has a 1.25 ERA. He's just 65% rostered.
Have the Rays done it again?
It feels like every starting pitcher the rest of the league has given up on goes to Tampa and revives their career. Corey Kluber might just be next in line. On Wednesday, Kluber struck out seven over six scoreless frames despite getting an unlucky no decision. He generated 10 swinging strikes and only needed 65 pitches. Kluber now has a 2.36 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 25 strikeouts to just six walks over 26 2/3 innings for the year.
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Notable standout hitters
- Jazz Chisholm might just be a Fantasy (Roto league) superstar. He picked up two more hits and another stolen base on Wednesday -- his fifth of the year.
- Manny Machado is that dude in Roto leagues. Wednesday he racked up his fifth homer and fifth steal to put himself near a 30-30 pace.
- Nolan Arenado is having a throwback Rockies-esque start to the season despite no longer playing his home games at Coors Field. Arenado racked up his seventh homer on Wednesday, two hits and five RBI.
- J.P Crawford has been one of the best stories of the young season and went 2-for-4 on Wednesday to bring his batting average up to .364. He now has multiple hits in four of his past six games.
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.
- Teoscar Hernandez is expected to be activated Thursday. He went 2-4 with a double and home run in a rehab game on Tuesday.
- Reds manager David Bell said Luis Castillo is penciled in to return Monday against the Brewers.
- Jonathan India's hamstring injury will keep him out "a couple of weeks" but not 4-6 weeks.
- Reds have themselves a bit of a COVID situation. Nick Senzel and Tyler Naquin landed on the COVID IL, one day after Joey Votto was placed on it. Speaking of Votto, he's unlikely to return this week.
- Jose Altuve was removed from Wednesday's game due to right groin soreness.
- Ramon Laureano is on track to return from his suspension when first eligible May 8. He hit .246 with 14 HRs and 12 SBs over 88 games last season. Must add? He's 39% rostered
- Yoan Moncada is expected to return from the IL on Monday.
- Nelson Cruz was not in the lineup because of back stiffness that forced him to leave Tuesday's game.
- Andrew Vaughn will most likely be placed on the IL ahead of Friday's series opener against the Red Sox. He hasn't played since last Friday when he got hit by a pitch on his right hand.
- Tigers outfielder prospect Riley Greene is no longer wearing a walking boot for his fractured right foot. He remains without a timetable but manager AJ Hinch said it won't be May.
- Cole Irvin underwent an MRI on his left shoulder Wednesday.
- Mike Yastrzemski was activated from the COVID IL and was batting sixth in the lineup Wednesday.
- Joey Wendle has missed three straight games due to hamstring soreness.
- Rich Hill and Tanner Houck will work as tandem starters on Thursday.
- Madison Bumgarner was ejected after one inning of work on Wednesday in one of the weirdest situations you'll see on a baseball field. The umpire who checked Mad Bum's hand for sticky substances was doing it for quite some time and just staring at Bumgarner's face.