If every day just continues to get better than the previous one in Fantasy Baseball, we're in great shape. I would say Wednesday's action was probably the best we've seen all season. It helps when you have every ace in the league on the mound as well as top prospects making their first career starts. Nonetheless, here's the latest plus my personal winners and losers from Wednesday's action.
Here are also Scott White's ideas for the names to know on Thursday's Waiver Wire.
THE LATEST IN THE WORLD OF FANTASY BASEBALL
- Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday that the team is hoping to have Juan Soto (COVID-19) back by the weekend… except they don't play this weekend! It sounds like Soto should be back by the start of next week.
- Speaking of returning, Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel both returned Wednesday night and both homered.
- Rangers manager Chris Woodward expressed concern about how Willie Calhoun has responded to the fractured jaw he suffered back in spring training. Calhoun is off to a very slow start and this may very well be the reason. I still think he has enough upside where it's too early to drop him.
- According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, Giants catcher prospect Joey Bart shouldn't have to endure too much of a wait before being promoted to the majors. Bart is a name worth watching in all leagues, but especially two-catcher formats.
- We had our first reverse opt out on Wednesday as Nick Markakis is set to rejoin the Atlanta Braves. I would imagine Matt Adams loses the most playing time as a result.
- Masahiro Tanaka (concussion) will make his season debut on Saturday against the Red Sox. I don't love that matchup for Tanaka. In three starts against the Sox last season, Tanaka allowed 22 earned runs over eight innings pitched. Yikes.
- Major League Baseball has suspended Joe Kelly eight games for his actions during Tuesday's game against the Astros.
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Wednesday's Biggest Winners
- Wednesday was dominated by young starting pitchers. Can we really go anywhere else besides Nate Pearson? A top-10 prospect in all of baseball, Pearson pitched five shutout innings while striking out five in his major league debut. He was mainly fastball-slider and racked up 14 swinging strikes on 75 pitches. He's in line for two tough starts next week as he travels to Atlanta and Boston.
- Let's stick with the theme as Cristian Javier, a top-10 prospect in the Astros organization, made a successful debut against the Dodgers. He limited the potent offense to just one run on two hits while striking out eight over 5.2 innings. The biggest takeaway for me was that he walked just one batter, which had been an issue for him in the minors. Javier should be added in all leagues.
- Zach Plesac isn't a top prospect like these other guys but you couldn't tell based on the way he carved up the White Sox in his season debut. Plesac hurled eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. What I found most interesting was that he threw his slider 32 times in this start, a pitch he used just 19% of the time last season. Like Javier, Plesac should be added.
- I imagine we won't highlight many Giants this season, but let's throw a little love Mike Yastrzemski's way. He added three more hits Wednesday night including two home runs, one of which was a walk-off against a lefty. You should consider starting him over some other fringy hitters who are off slow starts like Calhoun and Khris Davis.
Wednesday's Biggest Losers
- I'll admit I've taken my lumps so far this season but it's still early. Frankie Montas was fine Wednesday, but the concern is he isn't using his splitter as much so far this season. Of the 77 pitches he threw against the Rockies, just nine were the splitter. Apparently he's had trouble locating it early this season. He has to get that pitch going if he's going to return top 25 starting pitcher value.
- From one of my guys to another, Matthew Boyd squandered a golden opportunity Wednesday against a vulnerable Royals lineup. While Boyd finished with six strikeouts over five innings, he allowed nine hits and four earned runs during the process. He has to bounce-back in his two starts next week, especially with all these waiver-wire pitchers emerging.
- Brad Hand entered a tie game Wednesday and proceeded to allow a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch and then a sacrifice fly. Even more concerning was his fastball velocity that averaged 90.9 MPH. Last season that number was 92.7 MPH and back in 2018, 93.6 MPH. He'll likely have a decent leash under Terry Francona, but James Karinchak is a worthy arm in waiting.
- Remember when we thought Oliver Drake might be the closer in Tampa? Me neither. He entered a 4-3 game Wednesday night in the bottom of the sixth and proceeded to allow two runs. The Rays are back to their mysterious ways.
Wednesday's Swinging Strike Leaders
Max Scherzer -- 22
Brandon Woodruff -- 20
Zach Plesac -- 20
Asher Wojciechowski -- 18
Jesus Luzardo -- 16
Gerrit Cole -- 14
Joe Musgrove -- 14
Nate Pearson -- 14
Lucas Giolito -- 14
Matthew Boyd -- 13
Charlie Morton -- 13
Lance Lynn -- 13