Thirty-five swinging strikes… are you serious? On his way to racking up 12 strikeouts Sunday, Jacob deGrom did so with 35 swinging strikes against the Phillies. I'm not sure how he's doing it but at 32 years old, DeGrom looks like the best version of himself. We're talking about a back-to-back Cy Young award winner!
It's worth noting that his age is quite deceptive for a few reasons; first, he started off as a shortstop in the minors so he doesn't have as much wear and tear, and second, he's really only become a workhorse the past five seasons. It's going to be interesting to see how deGrom and Yu Darvish finish out their respective seasons as they battle it out for the NL Cy Young.
On to the rest of Sunday.
The latest in the world of Fantasy Baseball
- Dallas Keuchel left Sunday's game against the Royals with lower-back stiffness and is day-to-day.
- Astros GM James Click said during a pregame interview Sunday that Justin Verlander has progressed to throwing off a mound. It might be too little too late for Fantasy purposes.
- Lance McCullers was placed on the 10-day IL Sunday with neck nerve irritation.
- Manager Dusty Baker said Sunday that he hopes Alex Bregman is ready for the team's upcoming series against the A's. Baker added that the team is going to be "pretty cautious" with Bregman and his hamstring. I would need to have a really strong third base option not to start him this week.
- Astros placed Jose Altuve on the 10-day IL, retroactive to September 4, with a right knee sprain.
- Deivi Garcia is likely to be activated to start Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, Erik Boland of Newsday reports.
- We have more Yankees updates! Stanton has been performing baseball activities and running up to about 80%. Aaron Judge could begin a "more aggressive" progression of baseball activities Monday.
- Gleyber Torres was activated and in the lineup Saturday. He was not in the lineup Sunday. I think he's safe to start this week.
- Marcus Semien was not in the starting lineup again Sunday. Semien swung the bat Thursday and reported continued improvement with his left side injury. He has not played since Aug. 29. Manager Bob Melvin said earlier this week that Semien was likely to avoid the IL. I would try to keep Semien on the bench if I could.
- It looks like Teoscar Hernandez is going to miss "serious time" with this rib injury, which is unfortunate because he has been one of the bigger surprises this season.
- Renato Nunez is considered day-to-day because of a sore hamstring. He played Friday but was out both Saturday and Sunday.
- Orioles placed Anthony Santander on the 10-day IL with a right oblique strain.
- Nelson Cruz was scratched from the Twins' lineup Sunday due to minor hip tightness.
- Twins placed OF Max Kepler on the 10-day IL, retroactive to September 3, with a left adductor strain.
- Ryan Yarbrough will rejoin the Rays' rotation on Tuesday against the Nationals.
- Mitch Keller threw a 35-pitch live batting practice session on Friday. He'll throw another one in the coming days and, if that goes well, will rejoin the Pirates' rotation after that.
- Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Carlos Martinez is in "heavy pencil" to start one of the team's games in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Twins.
- Bo Bichette took batting practice on the field on Saturday and will repeat the exercise again on Sunday. Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said that Bichette is close to returning, but that he still needs at-bats and reps in the field. I would probably avoid starting Bichette this week.
- Matt Chapman has been diagnosed with a right hip strain. He's headed for an MRI, and there should be more clarity about the severity of the strain come Monday morning
Sunday's biggest winners
- Watching a healthy Corey Seager swing the bat in 2020 is among my favorite parts of this Fantasy Baseball season. Seager smashed two home runs on Sunday, bringing his total to 11 on the season. He's currently batting .333 with a .638 slugging percentage yet he's actually under performing. According to Statcast, Seager's xBA is .371 while his xSLG is .746! He is actually No. 1 in all of baseball in expected slugging percentage. Just. Stay. Healthy.
- Entering Sunday, Garrett Richards had pitched a combined 6.1 innings over his last three starts. He needed a bounce-back performance and got just that. Richards allowed three runs over seven innings, striking out nine Oakland A's. He was dropped in quite a few leagues (rightfully so), but if he's available, Richards makes for a solid start against the Giants this week.
- Edwin Encarnacion is heating up! The big man went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI Sunday and has now hit four homers over his last nine games. If you've played Fantasy Baseball the past few seasons, you know how streaky Encarnacion can be. He's rostered in 63% of CBS leagues, so he might be available in shallower formats.
Sunday's biggest losers
- I'm not officially hitting the panic button on Patrick Corbin yet, but we're getting closer. Corbin allowed a season-high five runs on Sunday against the Braves while adding four walks. His ERA now stands at an unspectacular 4.34. Along with his fastball velocity being down two MPH, his swinging strikes are also way down while his hard contact is way up. I don't think he's a must-start this week when he faces the Braves again.
- Along the same lines as Corbin, Austin Meadows is caught in a bit of the rut. He finished 0-for-4 Sunday with three strikeouts, bringing his batting average down to .220. The biggest issue for Meadows is that his strikeouts are up to 28.8% this season. That's not the Meadows we saw last season. Like Corbin, I don't think Meadows is a must-start option, especially in three-outfielder leagues this week.
- We've seen a few big blow-ups recently and Framber Valdez was the latest victim Sunday. While he did go seven-plus innings Sunday, Dusty Baker stayed with Valdez too long as he allowed eight runs on 11 hits. Even with this disaster, his ERA sits at 3.61. Valdez has been one of the better pitchers this season, so I'm willing to give him a pass for this one.