Alright, now this is just getting ridiculous. No, this isn't a New York Yankees blog, but how could I not lead with them again? The Bronx Bombers hit another six home runs on Thursday, including five in the fourth inning alone! They've now hit 19 home runs over their past three games. According to Stats by STATS, that is the most home runs hit by a single team in a series of any length… ever. And of course I love to tease, but I have to give credit where it's due. Giancarlo Stanton went 4-for-4 on Thursday, including his fourth home run of the season. The Yankees play seven games in the final week of the season, so be sure to get as many of them in your lineup as you possibly can.
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On to the rest of Thursday's action.
The latest in the world of Fantasy baseball
- Starling Marte returned to the Marlins lineup Thursday and went 1-for-3 with his seventh stolen base.
- Max Fried has been confirmed to return and will start Friday against the Mets.
- J.T. Realmuto remained out Thursday with that hip issue.
- Jo Adell has sat two of the last three games for the Angels while Shohai Ohtani has not started five straight.
- Gleyber Torres returned to the lineup and went 1-for-5 with a home run.
- Teoscar Hernandez was back for the Blue Jays and went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
- Jacob DeGrom, dealing with a hamstring injury, played catch and received treatment on Thursday. Manager Luis Rojas called it a "positive day". Pay attention to this over the weekend as deGrom's next turn in the rotation is supposed to be Monday.
- Adam Eaton was placed on the IL with a fractured left index finger. He can be dropped.
- Austin Meadows was removed from Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Orioles with left oblique soreness. That doesn't sound good and he can likely be dropped.
- Mike Yastrzemski was removed from Thursday's game against the Mariners with right calf tightness. He'll undergo an MRI on Friday. This comes at a suboptimal time, obviously.
- Kevin Gausman, dealing with that elbow injury, will start Saturday's game against the Athletics.
- Dakota Hudson left Thursday's game against the Pirates due to right elbow tightness.
Thursday's biggest winners
- After allowing 20 runs over his previous four starts, Framber Valdez needed this bounce-back. The Texas Rangers offense will help with that. Valdez allowed just one run over 6.1 innings, striking out 11 with 15 swinging strikes. There are some conflicting reports on whether he has two starts or not next week, but honestly, it doesn't matter. Even if he only has one start, that matchup is against the Mariners, who are dead last in baseball in wOBA against left-handed pitching (.274).
- When you're hot, you're hot. Right now, Byron Buxton is that guy. He added two more home runs on Thursday and now has four in his past three games. The only drawback for me is that his underlying numbers are very weird. He's chasing pitches an absurd amount of the time but isn't striking out, has the highest launch angle in baseball but is hitting the ball harder than ever before and has just one walk on the season. Nonetheless, continue to roll with him while he's hot.
- It sure seems like Jose Ramirez is back to his 2018 form and positioning himself as a late first-round pick for 2021. He added two more homers on Thursday and is now up to 13 for the season with 10 steals. Over his past 111 games, he's batting .297/.363/.616 with 32 homers, 94 RBI, 82 runs, and 18 steals. That line alone is about enough to be a first-round pick! I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do over the course of a full season again.
Thursday's biggest losers
- Aaron Nola, my man. Why'd you have to save your worst start of the season for the Fantasy playoffs? Nola wasn't himself on Thursday, allowing five runs and five walks over 5.1 innings against the Mets. This is now the second time in three starts where the Mets have got to him. Even with this dud he's still a must-start heading into the final week. It just sucks that it came when it did.
- You don't have to look far to find the night's second biggest loser because he was pitching opposite Nola. Seth Lugo got ripped for six runs while recording just five outs on Thursday. He allowed four home runs in this start, including back-to-back-to-back jacks in the first inning. Lugo is due for two starts next week, but I don't think I can trust him after this performance.
- On paper, Blake Snell had a fine start on Thursday, allowing just one run over 5.1 innings. The reason he's a loser is because he pitches for the Rays. Look, I'm sure the Rays have their reasons for babying all of their pitchers over the years. It's just frustrating for Fantasy. While Snell was pitching efficiently in this one, he got pulled after just 73 pitches. That's now the second time in four starts where Snell was pitching well but got pulled with less than 80 pitches. I just don't get it. Continue to start him, but don't expect a lot of volume.