One would think that on a day where the Brewers handled the Tigers 19-0, that would be highest run differential on the MLB schedule. Wrong! The Atlanta Braves went ballistic on Wednesday, winning 29-9 against the Marlins in what looked more like a Falcons-Dolphins score. I could spend this entire column on everything the Braves offense did, but for this exercise let's focus on Adam Duvall who launched not one, not two, but three home runs in this game. This is now the second time he's accomplished that feat in the past seven days. What is happening? The craziest part is I still don't think he is a must-add player! He's rostered in 31% of CBS leagues and I'll admit he should be owned in Roto leagues where you start five outfielders. But in H2H points leagues where you only start three outfielders, and considering Duvall's massive strikeout rate, I'll pass. On to the rest of Wednesday's action!
THE LATEST IN THE WORLD OF FANTASY BASEBALL
- Ozzie Albies returned from the IL Wednesday and it looked like he never left. He finished 3-for-6 with a home run and a stolen base.
- Rowdy Tellez was placed on the IL with a knee injury Wednesday and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.
- Cristian Javier won't start during the two-game series against the Dodgers this weekend so if you were depending on a two-start week, that's not happening.
- Justin Verlander threw 50-55 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday. He's still without an official timetable.
- Jameson Taillon threw 25 pitches at the Pirates' alternate training site Wednesday. He's not going to return this season but I am interested in adding Taillon in deeper keeper leagues where he can be kept for cheap.
- Mitch Keller threw 43 pitches over three innings during a live batting practice session Wednesday. He could return soon.
- Stephen Piscotty received a cortisone shot in his wrist Wednesday and will be unavailable for at least a couple of days
- Ketel Marte was placed on the IL with left wrist inflammation. It's been quite a disappointing season for Marte.
- Kris Bryant isn't starting Wednesday as a result of elbow soreness. He was hit by a pitch on Tuesday.
- Dallas Keuchel, dealing with a back injury, will not make his scheduled start this weekend against the Tigers.
- David Dahl was reinstated from the 10-day IL Wednesday.
- Shin Soo-Choo landed on the IL with a sprained right hand.
- Danny Santana underwent surgery on his right elbow Wednesday and is expected to require around eight months to recover. That timeline would keep him out until next May.
- Tommy Pham could return from his fractured hamate bone next week. He's rostered in 61% of CBS leagues and might be available in shallower formats.
- Jose Ramirez was back in the Indians' lineup Wednesday. He finished 0-for-2 with a walk.
Wednesday's Biggest Winners
- Yesterday, I mentioned how the hype might get out of control on Sixto Sanchez next season. Well, I raise you a Corbin Burnes. Burnes was fantastic once again, tossing seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. Over his last three starts, he has 28 strikeouts to just three walks. Burnes is really coming into his own thanks to a mid-90's fastball coupled with a wicked slider-cutter combination. As much as I like Sanchez heading into to 2021, Burnes' upside might even be higher because of his swing-and-miss ability.
- After two lackluster starts in his last four outings, Jesus Luzardo needed a bounce-back and got just that. He threw a career-high seven innings on Wednesday against the Astros, allowing two runs and striking out seven. Outside of those two subpar starts, Luzardo has been pretty consistent. If anybody in your league is looking to fade Luzardo because of his overall numbers in 2021, be ready to pounce.
- Edwin Diaz was dealt the task of securing a one-run lead Wednesday night against a pesky Orioles lineup. He did just that for his third save of the season and don't look now but that's five scoreless outings in a row for Diaz. Just like that, his ERA is back down to 1.89.
Wednesday's Biggest Losers
- After a change in pitch-mix and three solid starts in a row, it looked like Matthew Boyd was back on track. WRONG! Instead, he went all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on us, allowing seven runs (with two more homers) over just three innings of work. We should have known better. Boyd can be dropped for any of the following: Deivi Garcia, Dane Dunning, Tyler Mahle, Tony Gonsolin, Trevor Rogers, Dean Kremer, and Tarik Skubal.
- I guess it was only a matter of time before we received our annual Pablo Lopez blow-up game. Lopez was fantastic for his first six starts and now has two clunkers in a row. How did the Braves score 29 runs? Well, seven of them came off Lopez. I don't think he's an auto-drop like Boyd, however, considering he is in line for two starts next week. I really hope nobody had both Boyd and Lopez in their lineups Wednesday (RIP ERA and WHIP).
- I've said it before and I'll say it a million times: I'll always hold myself accountable for the advice I give out. Javier Baez has been a complete letdown and bad call on my part. For years I faded Baez because of his poor plate discipline and year after year, he made me look silly. I finally gave up and bought in this season thinking this just is he who is. After another 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, Baez is now down to a .202 batting average and a .610 OPS. It seems like the poor plate discipline has finally caught up to him.