The former, a deceptive lefty whose modest stuff and shaky command looked like it might have finally caught up to him at Triple-A, fell victim to both against the White Sox, failing to last even two innings. The latter, the latest 20-year-old the Braves have introduced to the big leagues, did about what all the others have done. He rose to the occasion, striking out five in five shutout innings to earn his first major-league win.
Just when you thought they couldn't possibly have any more, Wilson is yet another exciting young arm for Atlanta, showing an ability to command three pitches even if he mostly leans on his mid-90s fastball at this stage of his career. He has scaled the minor-league ladder, beginning the year at high Class A before climbing all the way to Triple-A, where he threw eight one-hit innings with 13 strikeouts last time out. And that's what earned him his ticket to the majors.
But he's not sticking around.
I'm not saying he won't make another start for the Braves this season. I'm just saying he won't get a regular turn. Remember how Touki Toussaint came up and impressed for one start on Aug. 13? Well, we haven't seen him since. We will again, sure, just like we will Wilson. The two will function as spot starters down the stretch, helping limit the innings of Mike Foltynewicz's and Sean Newcomb so those two can take some ammunition into the postseason. But do you really want a devote a roster spot to a pitcher whose next start is totally up in the air, perhaps even announced mid-week after lineups have already locked? It's not like you know what you're getting even. For as good as Wilson was Monday, he still walked three in five innings.
It would have to be an awfully deep league for that particular rookie to be worth the trouble. Now, Michael Kopech, if he's still out there, that's another matter. And of course, you don't have to go the rookie route at all. Let's say whoever picked up Mike Fiers for the two-start week drops him now that lineups have locked, unwilling to trust in the shaky track record. The former Brewer, Astro and Tiger one-hit the Rangers over seven innings Monday, giving him a 1.78 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his past 10 starts.
And then there's this guy, whose ownership dipped below 80 percent when he found himself on the DL last week. Turns out he's already on the verge of coming back ...
Dereck Rodriguez's performance doesn't look totally sustainable, and the innings may catch up to him down the stretch. But the news he'll be coming off the DL Friday means he hasn't even had a chance to get rusty. Not only has he put together eight straight quality starts, but he has a 1.28 ERA during that stretch (which includes a relief appearance).
One of the weekend standouts who didn't make it into Monday's Waiver Wire, Trevor Cahill one-hit the Astros with seven strikeouts in seven innings Friday to give him three quality starts in his past four, all with at least as many strikeouts as innings pitched. He flashed strikeout-per-inning potential last year, too, which when combined with his elite ground-ball tendencies could make him a fixture in Fantasy lineups if he can beat the odds and stay healthy.
You may have noticed Dan Winkler got the save for the Braves Monday, reportedly because closer A.J. Minter is contending with back tightness. If you're looking for a long-term saves source, though, Jose Leclerc is still your best bet. The Rangers didn't need him much in the first few weeks after trading Keone Kela, which made him easy to overlook despite his electric stuff, but it was only a matter of time before they needed him and need him they did four times last week. He's owned in less than 60 percent of CBS Sports league despite the impressive showing.
Need to dig deeper for saves? Well, Jeremy Jeffress, who's owned in half as many leagues as Leclerc, may finally be getting his shot in the role. He worked the ninth while Josh Hader worked the seventh and eighth Monday, which is how we hoped it'd go when Corey Knebel dropped out of the role. Jeffress played the role of multi-inning setup man when Hader got a save Saturday, but Hader is more accustomed to pitching that way and, as the one of the two who throws left-handed, is more often needed earlier in contests anyway.
For the first four months of this season, Marwin Gonzalez's power breakthrough last year looked like a fluke, but the 29-year-old seems to be at it again here in August, hitting another home run Monday to give him six for the month — or half his season total. It has made him a fixture in the Astros lineup again, which is noteworthy for Fantasy owners since he's eligible at four positions, all but third base and catcher.
Another multi-eligible player, qualifying at first, second and third base, Wilmer Flores has been among the steadiest contributors in Fantasy since becoming the Mets' primary first baseman in June. His low strikeout rate gives him a high floor from week to week, especially in points leagues where strikeouts count for negative, and he's off to a good start again in Week 22 (Aug. 20-16), going 3 for 6 with a double and RBI Monday. He's more useful than his 19 percent ownership rate would have you believe.