Hey, Steve Cohen. Please spend money to upgrade the Mets lineup this offseason. Signed, Jacob deGrom Fantasy managers.
Well, I'm sure Mets fans would agree as well. It happens way too often that deGrom pitches like the best pitcher in the world should yet he isn't rewarded with run support. Such was the case on Monday when deGrom allowed just two runs over seven innings while striking out 14. He entered this start leading baseball with a 21% swinging strike rate and added 27 more whiffs on 112 pitches. I know Shane Bieber has really established himself this season, but deGrom is still my SP1 heading into 2021.
And while we're on deGrom, he should probably win his third straight National League Cy Young award, though it is a tight race.
What else happened on Monday?
The latest in the world of Fantasy Baseball
- Shane Bieber's start was pushed from Tuesday to Wednesday, which means he's no longer a two-start pitcher this week. Cleveland made an adjustment to their rotation to ensure that both Bieber and Zach Plesac will be rested for the start of the postseason.
- Yasmani Grandal left Monday's game due to a bruised right hand. X-rays came back negative. He's day-to-day.
- Kris Bryant left Monday's game against the Pirates with right oblique tightness. The nightmare season continues for Bryant. Between his recent injuries and underperformance, I won't have much exposure to Bryant in 2021 unless he's basically free.
- Michael Conforto missed Monday's game due to hamstring tightness. He's listed as day-to-day.
- Wade Davis has been released by the Rockies.
- Cole Hamels was shut down again, landing on the injured list with left shoulder fatigue. Hamels' velocity was down in his season debut last week.
- Nolan Arenado has been shut down for the rest of the season with left AC joint inflammation and a left shoulder bone bruise. I hope it isn't anything too serious that might affect his 2021. This is really the first time he's ever been injured. Arenado played in at least 157 games in each of the past five seasons entering 2020.
- Tim Anderson was back in the lineup for the White Sox on Monday after dealing with a hamstring cramp on Sunday.
- Bryce Harper returned to the lineup Monday after dealing with back discomfort on Sunday. His teammate J.T. Realmuto remained out.
- Mike Yastrzemski also remained out for the Giants on Monday due to that calf strain.
- Jorge Soler was reinstated from the IL Monday. He finished 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and a walk.
- Apparently, Sonny Gray will not be limited in his return on Tuesday against the Brewers.
- Aroldis Chapman will not face a suspension this year. His appeal will not take place until 2021.
- Ken Giles announced on Monday that he will undergo Tommy John surgery. He'll likely miss most, if not all of the 2021 season.
Monday's biggest winners
- Who is this Marco Gonzales? The guy just twirled eight shutout innings against the Houston Astros and now carries a 3.06 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP on the season. The 0.91 WHIP actually ranks sixth in all of baseball, just ahead of that deGrom guy I mentioned earlier. A big key to Gonzales' success has been his superb control. Through 10 starts, he has just six walks. With all that being said, I wouldn't draft him inside the top 40 starting pitchers in 2021 but I have a strong feeling that you won't have to.
- Somehow, I've managed to marry Jared Walsh and Nate Lowe. It seems like they were recalled by their respective teams around the same time and both have taken off. Walsh hit a grand slam on Monday and he now has eight home runs over his last 15 games. Lowe added his fourth homer on Monday and comes with a decent amount of prospect pedigree. If you picked either or both up recently, continue to ride out these hot stretches.
- I've been very hard on German Marquez on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast but it's time to give credit where it's due. Marquez allowed just one run over six innings on Monday and has now turned in four quality starts in a row (with two of those coming in Coors Field). As long as Marquez is on the Rockies he will be a frustrating Fantasy asset but with that being said, I really like his final matchup on the road against the Diamondbacks.
Monday's biggest losers
- I was pretty excited about Aaron Civale earlier in the season, but he's slowed down quite a bit. He allowed four runs on Monday and now has a 5.00 ERA over his last six starts (compared to 2.91 for his first five). For me, he lies somewhere in the middle. I think when Civale is at his best, he'll settle in as a mid-high 3's ERA pitcher while averaging around eight strikeouts per nine. He just needs to develop more consistency.
- On the other end of that game, rookie standout Dane Dunning had arguably his worst start of the season. He allowed four runs over four innings but can you really blame him for allowing a three-run homer to Jose Ramirez right now? That guy is on fire. The truth of the matter for Dunning is that he's moved away from his slider and, as a result, his swinging strike rate has been lackluster over his past three starts.
- While Dylan Bundy wasn't terrible on Monday, he wasn't great, either. Like the other pitchers on this list, Bundy has slowed down a bit recently. After posting a 1.57 ERA over his first four starts, Bundy has now allowed a 4.62 ERA over his past seven. What's baffled me is that he's incrementally increased his fastball usage all season while he's moved slightly away from his slider and changeup. When Bundy is at his best, he has those two pitches working early and often in starts.
Monday's swinging strike leaders
- Jacob deGrom vs. TB—27
- Trevor Rogers at ATL—19
- JT Brubaker vs. CHC—19
- Luis Castillo vs. MIL—17
- Zack Wheeler at WAS—16
- Lance McCullers at SEA—13
- German Marquez at SF—12
- Brandon Woodruff at CIN—12
- Anibal Sanchez vs. PHI—12
- Michael King at TOR—12