There is something truly special about watching Shohei Ohtani whether it's out on the diamond or on the pitcher's mound. It has been appointment television for me since last season when he showed signs of the breakout in spring training. Full steam ahead for Ohtani, who was once again dominant during a 4-1 Angels win over the White Sox. Ohtani struck out 11 White Sox batters through 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He threw a whopping 74 strikes on 108 pitches. Ohtani extended his scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings after this start and now has four starts with double-digit strikeouts this season. Ohtani improves to a sparkling 2.68 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP. He has 101 strikeouts with just 17 walks on the season through just 74 innings.
Ohtani won the AL MVP last season and might have a legitimate case for it again -- despite what Aaron Judge has done -- if he can continue to dominate as a pitcher, dropping his ERA even lower while also getting hot with the bat.
But now that I've slandered the Yankees in the eyes of some fans, I'll ease back into things by talking about what they did on Wednesday night. Home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Judge -- his league-pacing 29th -- gave the Yankees the MLB record for the most home runs as a team in the month of June.
We'll dive into all of the top action from Wednesday, but first make sure you're all caught up with everything going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White looked into the path for some of the top prospects including Max Meyer and Miguel Vargas in his latest Prospects Report. You can find that .
Reynolds triple dong
Bryan Reynolds had an awfully slow start to the 2022 season after his breakout 2021, but everything he's done in June has more than made up for it. On Wednesday, Reynolds put the finishing touches on a torrid month at the plate by racking up three homers and six RBI. His updated June stats include a .337 batting average, eight homers, 19 RBI, one steal and a 1.0008 OPS. Oh and he's now on pace for 30 homers. Frank Stampfl moved him inside his top-20 outfielders and I'm thinking that could be on the conservative side of things.
Kirilloff breakout week continues
It's time for me to give credit where it's due. Scott White pinpointed Alex Kirilloff as a sleeper hitter to break out this week, and the Twins OF continued his hot week on Wednesday by going 3 for 4 with a double and his first homer. Kirilloff is now batting .325 with one homer, five doubles and 12 RBI since returning from the IL. It appears he might finally be over that wrist injury that sapped his power and overall hitting last season and in the early part of this one. Kirilloff is 67% rostered in CBS Leagues and you should make sure your league isn't part of the 33%.
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Leftover quick hitters
- Rowdy Tellez is hot with the bat again. He had a double dong on Wednesday. This is the second time he's done this in three games. He's 65% rostered.
- Evan Longoria collected two hits and his eighth homer on Wednesday. He now has homered in three of his past five games. He's 25% rostered.
- Steven Kwan is back? He's batting .354 in the month of June with three stolen bases this month (five on the season). He's 36% rostered.
- Nick Castellanos has a .376 slugging percentage, just 122nd among qualified hitters.
- Nick Pivetta has delivered a quality start in 10 of his past 11 outings.
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.
- Scary collision Wednesday between Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Peña in short left field. Alvarez was carted off the field and both are being evaluated for concussions.
- Max Scherzer built up to 80 pitches in his second rehab start Wednesday. He allowed three runs over 4.2 innings, striking out eight.
- Bryce Harper underwent surgery to repair his fractured left thumb and is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks. We're looking at a late August return (hopefully).
- Jacob deGrom threw 27 pitches during live batting practice Wednesday and is closing in on a rehab assignment.
- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he's "very optimistic" Mookie Betts will return before the start of the All-Star break on July 16.
- David Bednar hasn't been available the past few days (lower back) but is expected to avoid the IL.
- The Yankees are leaning towards activating Aroldis Chapman on Friday.
- Seiya Suzuki will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Thursday.
- Matthew Liberatore will start Saturday against the Phillies. He's 21% rostered with a 4.00 ERA, 1.61 WHIP in four starts.
- The Red Sox are considering using Garrett Whitlock out of the bullpen upon his return from the IL.
- Darick Hall was called up by the Phillies to provide an extra left-handed bat, and they threw him right in the lineup batting cleanup.