Happy Memorial Day, everybody. Make sure to set those lineups bright and early as we have games starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. It was another strong weekend for Tyler O'Neill and Tarik Skubal, who have emerged as near must-add players in Fantasy Baseball. You can ready more about each of them below.
We fired up the Dropometer on the podcast, starting with the polarizing Blake Snell and Luis Castillo. For the most part, both have been sunk costs this season, with the latter accruing just 13 Fantasy points on the year. Even still, Scott White couldn't bring himself to rank either higher than a 4 on the Dropometer. Basically, a 10 is a player you can drop everywhere, while a 1 is somebody you should keep on your roster. As bad as Snell has been, he still has a 3.57 xFIP. Both should remain on your bench for the foreseeable future.
O'Neill now delivering as a post-hype sleeper
It wasn't too long ago that Cardinals OF Tyler O'Neill was considered a top prospect and prospective Fantasy baseball breakout. It hasn't happened just yet, but we might be on the brink of seeing the long-awaited breakout. The 25-year-old returned from the IL earlier this week and homered in three consecutive games from Thursday through Saturday. He has gone deep six times in the last nine games he played in. On Saturday, he delivered a bomb to centerfield that went 450 feet in addition to driving a double.
The most interesting development here is certainly that O'Neill has been given no other option than to alter his grip on the bat after fracturing his middle finger earlier this month (which led to the IL stint). So far, the new grip is working wonders for a prospect who always had an exciting deal of raw power.
O'Neill is not just a raw power prospect in Fantasy, and that's what makes his outlook over the rest of the season even more exciting. He has stolen four bases this season in addition to his 11 homers.
It's not all perfect when you go under the hood. O'Neill has just a 2% walk rate and a 34% strikeout rate. But there is also reason for serious optimism when referring to his advanced stats. O'Neill's xwOBA on contact is in the 98th percentile. His barrel rate is the best in baseball, and his xSLG is the best in baseball as well.
O'Neill is 58% rostered right now and he has seven games in the coming Week 10.
Scott doesn't view him as a must-add in all formats and would hesitate to add him in points leagues. Even though his expected stats back up his power, it almost just seems too good to be true to barreling the ball that consistently. Scott is prioritizing him in category leagues -- specifically five-OF leagues but also three-OF leagues.
Skubal continues to outpitch expectations
Tigers SP Tarik Skubal blanked the Yankees over six innings in his last start. He allowed three hits and three walks and struck out eight batters over six. He also induced a very healthy 15 swinging strikes on 95 pitches. What's most interesting about Skubal's recent string of quality starts is that it comes with a key change to his pitch mix. Skubal has gone back to the old version of his changeup and he has ditched his splitter since his start on 5/14. So far, the results have been excellent.
Both Scott and I are impressed by this three-start stretch for Skubal. Scott thinks there's a good chance he keeps this going. Scott would rank Skubal ahead of another potential waiver wire add from the Tigers: Spencer Turnbull.
More news and notes
- Just an awful story coming out of Atlanta this weekend as Braves OF Marcell Ozuna was arrested on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation -- a felony that carries a minimum of three years and maximum of 20 years in prison -- and misdemeanor battery.
- Rockies SS Trevor Story headed to the IL with right elbow inflammation as a precautionary measure. He'll undergo additional testing Monday or Tuesday.
- Giants SP Kevin Gausman was removed from Sunday's start due to left hip tightness as a precaution. He's slated for an MRI.
- Astros OF Michael Brantley moved to the IL with right hamstring tightness.
- Twins OF Max Kepler was sent to the IL with a left hamstring strain.
- Twins OF Trevor Larnach, who is only 17% rostered, is going to be sticking around and hit another long homer this weekend. Here are his numbers through 20 games: .228 average, 16% BB rate, 26% K rate, .547 xSLG. But his max exit velocity is in the 98th percentile and he has seven games this week. He's only worth a play in much deeper leagues.
- Twins SP Kenta Maeda is past the groin issue but is managing a sore right arm. This doesn't sound great.
- A's OF Ramon Laureano missed this weekend's games with groin tightness.
- Astros DH Yordan Alvarez has missed four straight with right wrist soreness and is unlikely for Monday.
- Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel out of the lineup two straight with inflammation in his left middle finger.
- Marlins 2B/SS Jazz Chisholm has missed four straight with a mild right ankle sprain.
- Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has been out five straight with back tightness.
- Red Sox OF J.D. Martinez missed Sunday after fouling a ball off his foot Saturday.
- Rangers SP Kyle Gibson is likely to be activated this weekend.
- Tigers SP Jose Urena moved to the IL with a right forearm strain.
- Royals OF Jorge Soler left Saturday's game with right groin discomfort, and the Royals promoted Edward Olivares on Sunday. He went 2 for 4 and is only 3% rostered. Olivares was batting .395 with five homers and seven steals in 20 games at Triple-A. That profile makes him at the very least worth getting on your radar.
- Cardinals SP Miles Mikolas received a stem cell injection in his right flexor tendon and will be reevaluated in 4-6 weeks.
- Red SP Wade Miley is set to return Monday.
- Dodgers SP/RP Tony Gonsolin could return after one more rehab start.
- Mets 1B Pete Alonso is expected to be activated Monday.
- Yankees SP Deivi Garcia was demoted after Saturday's start, where he allowed five runs over 4.1 innings.
- Yankees 1B Luke Voit is expected to miss at least a few weeks with that Grade 2 oblique strain.
- Astros SP Jose Urquidy is rejoining the rotation Monday.
- Pirates 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes is expected back Thursday.
- Nationals OF Victor Robles began a rehab assignment Sunday.
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Waiver wire pitchers
- Mariners SP Yusei Kikuchi's most recent outing vs. TEX: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (75% rostered)
- Tigers SP Casey Mize's most recent outing vs. NYY: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (71%)
- Cubs SP Adbert Alzolay's most recent outing vs. CIN: 5.2, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K (64%)
- Rockies SP Jon Gray's most recent outing at PIT: 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, (68%)
- Pirates SP JT Brubaker's most recent outing vs. COL: 6 IP, 0, ER, 1 BB, 8 K, (54%)
- Tigers SP Spencer Turnbull's most recent outing vs. NYY: 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K (63%)
Waiver wire hitters
- Mariners 1B/2B Ty France has nine hits in seven games since returning from the IL, and let's not forget his hot start to the season. He's now 60% rostered and has seven games next week. Here was France's stat line through 23 games before his IL stint: .325 batting average, three homers, eight doubles, a 9% BB rate and a 23% K rate.
- Rays C Mike Zunino went 2 for 4 with his 12th homer, and he has been just crushing baseballs this season. He has the No. 1 barrel rate among all hitters -- not just catchers. What has changed? He has a 68% pull rate, which is by far a career-high. He's 53% rostered.
- White Sox 2B Nick Madrigal has multiple hits in four of his last six games. He's now batting .300 but with only one homer and one steal plus an 81st% sprint speed. He's 71% rostered.
- Phillies 3B Brad Miller went 2 for 4 with an RBI on Sunday. He's now batting .304 with five homers and three steals. He's 22% rostered and qualifies at 1B/2B/3B/OF on CBS.
- Diamondbacks OF Josh Reddick went 3 for 5 is now batting .324 with a .784 OPS. He's 2% rostered.
- Cardinals SS Edmundo Sosa is batting .309 with two steals filling in for Paul DeJong. He's 7% rostered and batted .291 with 17 homers and two steals in 118 games at Triple-A back in 2019.
- Orioles SS Freddy Galvis hit three homers over his last four games and is now up to nine homers. He's 37% rostered.