Jordan Lyles was exceptional Friday night capturing his second win of the year going six strong innings allowing just four hits, a walk and striking out six. He now leads the league with a 0.53 ERA. Mazel tov, Jordan, and happy Pesach! Well, someone clearly did not observe the High Sabbath last night. He had better things to do, busy mowing down the San Francisco hitters. So is the Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage is a miracle worker or a Three Eyed Raven or some kind of warg magic man?? The Pirates pitching staff now boasts a league best 2.54 ERA. But back to Jordan. Lyles has now struck out 16 over his past two starts and holds some real pretty ratios like that league leading 0.53 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP with an 19/5 K/BB. Yes, more please. Put that on your seder plate. After the all star break last year, Lyles started relying more on a combination of his curve ball and 4-seam fastball and benefited from this greatly posting a 3.00 ERA with hitters batting just .213 against him. His curve ball, in particular, can be pretty nasty when its on and when he’s mixing in the 4-seamer effectively Jordan has looked like a dominant pitcher. Seems like he’s brought this strategy with him to Pittsburgh and things with Searage have clicked. He had his outing shortened Friday after taking a line drive off the hand but the injury does not appear to be serious and he is expected to make his next start Wednesday versus Arizona. Lyles is available in over 75% of fantasy leagues and worth your streaming consideration at the very least. He’s starting to look like a steal for Pittsburgh, and he seems like a real mensch you may not want to Pass over!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Caleb Smith – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, 8 K, 2-0. Marlins pitchers are the new Padres pitchers, right? The difference is no one wants to own these guys so they’re all ours for the taking! Lezgo Fish! Get Hooked! Caleb was almost your lede but I know recommending any Miami players can be overwhelming to some, still just check out his 2.35 ERA and 29/6 K/BB over just four starts. Doode is dominating. He started 2018 off strong but was sidelined by an injury so this isn’t coming completely out of nowhere either. My only hesitation before going all in is that all his success this year has come at home, a very pitcher friendly ball park, so it remains to be seen if he’s anything more than a Marlin Park streamer. He gets a tough assignment in Philadelphia next week and I’ll be watching him closer than a Bran/Jaime death glare. If he can carry his dominance through that start at Philly, I’m all in on Caleb!
Sergio Romo – 1.0 IP, K, SV (2). Pretty sure he’s the closer in Miami, but he’s ALSO got a 7.71 ERA. Pick him up if you hate yourself.
Josh Harrison – 1-for-4, HR (1). Harrison has been downright awful for his new team slashing just .129/.205/.200 with three RBI. But he’s been known to get hot in a hurry so maybe this is when Detroit makes their run, if he doesn’t get injured again almost immediately.
Carlos Rodon – 6.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3-2. I have been too scared to go near Rodon (or any White Sox pitcher) this year for fear that he’ll burn me but all he’s burning is opposing hitters to the tune of a 2.89 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 35/12 K/BB ratio across 28 innings. Well, now is the time, my fake over-the-internet friends. He’s still out there in about 40% of leagues and gets the lowly Orioles next week. Now’s your last chance to own the ace of what might be the worst pitching staff in the whole league!
Mike Tauchman – 1-for-4, HR (2). Less TALK MAN, more dingers!!
Brett Gardner – 1-for-2, HR (5), SB (3). His second homer in the past three days, this one he added in side of legs. He hasn’t hit much this year but the hits he has had have been big. That, obviously, means nothing to your fantasy team.
C.C. Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1st win. Not quite as strong in this one as he was in his first outing but still solid. He has yet to allow a run, I’m just concerned he won’t be pitching deep enough in games to get me those juicy dubs. He gets another favorable matchup vs the Angels next week and I am considering the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially streaming him. Seems like a safe bet though.
Brad Boxberger – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, 3 BB, 0 K. Wtf happened to you, bro? We used to be cool.
Billy Hamilton – 0-for-2, 2 SB (6). Three steals in his past two games! It’s funny to me (ha ha funny) that the Royals went and got Billy Hamilton after already having one of the speedier teams in all of baseball. Are they punting power in the fantasy game of life, or do they really just like injury prone .210 hitters who can steal 50+ bases if they can even manage to get on base?
Kyle Hendricks – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 1st win. Whew. I’m sorry you drafted him so high but it looks like you can exhale now.
Felipe Vazquez – 1.0 IP, 3 K, SV (6). With the Kimbrel! That means he struck out the side, not that he remains unsigned going into May checking his cell phone every 2 minutes.
Christian Walker – 2-for-4, SB (3). I can’t think of a more appropriate name for an Easter weekend add. Maybe Christian Hopper. Grey’s been telling you to grab him for weeks, he’s hidden in the egg hunt.
Starling Marte – Was carted off the field with a knee injury after he collided with Erik Gonzalez. This is bad news for the Bucs offense, but good news for Josh Bell who can tell his family this weekend he’s the team’s star hitter.
Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, BB, 7 K, 3rd L. I haven’t seen a bum that mad since I stole his panhandling spot in front of the “good” Dunkin Donuts to to sell my organic home brewed kombucha. When you can pitch as well as you possibly can but you might as well phone it in because you’re probably the best hitter on your team at this point. To be fair, Bumgarner might be the best hitter on either Pittsburgh or San Francisco’s team’s at this point.
Alex Bregman – 2-for-5, HR (3). Has now homered twice in the past three games! Is it still possible to buy Bregman low, because this might be your last chance to find out.
Jose Altuve – 2-for-5, HR (8), 3 RBI. Altuve is top five in home runs, just five shy of his 2018 total of 13! A lot of us may have wrote off Altuve’s major power numbers as behind him but if you saw this coming you’re either a) Bran Stark and see everything b) a witch c) ask Grey about C. He’s sacrificed the contact and speed (just one steal so far) for the power numbers but fantasy owners aren’t complaining. And if you are complaining, stop whining and trade him to me already.
Joey Gallo – 2-for-4, HR (7). Hitting .438 with three homers in the past week. I don’t know what’s more impressive, his .254 batting average which he probably can’t sustain, or the fact that he continues to hit in this trash bag Texas Rangers line up.
Pete Alonso – 2-for-4, 2 runs, HR (7). He’s slashing .333/.425/.739 with seven homers and 18 RBI. I call this the hard carry. When you should be losing but you picked up Pete Alonso week one. Where did you come from and were you sent by the Celestial beings to help me win my fantasy league? Is it a weird Shazam! thing where you’re secretly a 16 year kid just tryna win his league? Regardless, there must be wizardry involved cause you are magic bro.
Jacob deGrom – Hit the IL with an illness. He’s sooo siiiiiiick! It’s possible he could return as early as April 26, so I ain’t worrying about cha, boo.
Robinson Cano – 3-for-5, run, RBI. Someone actually dropped Cano in one of my leagues. I’m not saying Cano is even half of what he once was but if you’re going to draft a guy like Cano, you got to give him more than 3 weeks before abandoning him. That’s just rude. Cano what I mean?
Jose Martinez – 3-for-5, HR (1). Jo-Mart continues to hit and now that he’s actually got a home run under his belt I might consider owning him until he stops hitting or the Cardinals ultimately find someone better.
Enrique Hernandez – 1-for-1, 3-run HR (5). Kiki do you love me? I guess so! Kiki was riding Friday night after he hit the go-ahead home run off Josh Hader. It was the first time Hernandez has ever hit a home run on an 0-2 count, and the first time Josh Hader had ever allowed one. Or something like that. There was this whole article about it on mlb.com that I skimmed this morning. You can skip it I basically gave you the gist of it. TL;DR All the Dodgers do is hit home runs.
Christian Yelich – 1-for-3, HR (11), 2 RBI. Well, obviously the Chrisitian is gonna go off on Easter weekend. He has risen! He’s now got six homers and 14 RBI over the past week! Sweet sassy molassy! Mike Trout who? Seriously, but no seriously. That’s the Brewers record for April homers and we still got 10 days left, folks. Can Yelich top his 2018 MVP campaign? Seems like he’s only getting better.
Ross Stripling – 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. That’s more like it. I think Grey told you to buy low a few weeks ago, but that could have been Walker Buehler, but the fact that he’ll retain his rotation spot over Urias is a good sign for Ross.
Andrew McCutchen – 1-for-2. Left game with knee inflamation. Meanwhile Scott Kingery (1-for-3) left the game with a hamstring injury. Phil Gosselin picked up two hits in his absence. Oyyy! The injuries are starting to pile up for the Phillies and Philadelphia fans know there can be only one person to blame for this, the Flyers mascot Gritty. I suspect that Kim Kardashian is probably involved as well. Run him out of town!
Marcus Stroman – 8.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1st win. Stroman finally picked up his first win after posting a 1.76 ERA and 1.24 WHIP through his first five starts. No one is more excited for the arrival of Vlad Guerrero next week than Stroman. But Stroman’s success makes four teams in the AL East with better pitching staffs than the World Champion Red Sox.
Matt Strahm – 8.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, 5 K. Hot Strahm! Girl, why you look so good??? Easily, Matt’s best start of the season who went three innings over his career high posting eight solid frames. Yeeeah, the Reds are terrible, but I likes what I sees and am quite invested in what he’s going to do in Washington next weekend.
Anthony DeSclafani – 6.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, BB, 6 K. Everyone loves PetCo. As for Anthony, he’s got a tough test next week in Atlanta and I don’t want to be there for the results.
Fernando Tatis, Jr. – 1-for-3, HR (6), 3 SB (4). Taaaatiiiiiiiiis! #FTJILY. Three homers and three steals hitting close to .400 over the past week. When I looked at Fernando’s line last night, I thought about Guava Island. Why am I watching Donald Glover dance shirtless for 40 minutes? I thought Rihanna was in this movie, why am I not watching her dance? Regardless, I mean owning Tatis is like living in a paradise that gets sunnier every day. First he’s walk off homering, next week he’s leading off, and last night he stole three bases to go with his ding dong dinger. Owning him gives me wild, wild, wild thoughts. That’s a Rihanna song, ya’ll, which I now know is far greater than a Rihanna movie.
German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 10 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. So can I start this guy at Coors or not? I need to know by next Wednesday!
Vince Velasquez – 5.2 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, BB, 8 K. Vintage Vinny Velasquez! In Colorado no less! If you started him you should probably be writing this blog. DM me for details, I get paid a meal voucher every other week. But for reals, Velasquez has a 2.55 ERA and 16:4 K:BB through three starts and gets the Mets next week. I’ve always loved his high K potential, so if you like playing with fire, Vince might be hot enough for you.
Bryce Harper – 5-for-7, run, RBI. This was Bryce’s first five hit game in ever. In. EVER. Seems hard to believe for the former MVP. But after looking at his .296 AVG and .438 OBP it’s even harder to believe he wasn’t phoning it in the past two years in Washington. Some people are just born to be Philadelphia trash. Harper is home.
Charlie Blackmon – 2-for-5, HR 2-run HR (1). It wasn’t just his first home run of the year, it was a walk-off game winning home run! Hopefully that’s just the kind of motivation Chuck Nazty needs to get him going, and it’s a big morale boost!
Mike Trout – 1-for-4, 2-run HR (6). Would add where available.
David Fletcher – 3-for-3, run. Won’t provide much power or speed, but he should hit for average at the top of the Angels line up and he does have the whole proximity to Mike Trout thing going for him.
Jay Bruce – 2-for-4, HR (9). Tim Beckham and Oscar Navarez also homered. Are you guys feeling a Mariners/Dodgers World Series as much as I am, where every run scored is either a solo home run or an error on the pitcher. Both these teams are slugging over .500 right now, and damn if it isn’t fun to watch. Make it happen, MLB!
Daniel Vogelbach – 1-for-3, 2-run HR (7). He’s bringing Vogelbach to the tune of an .875 SLG%. That ranks him second between Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, and those are two toasty pieces of bread to be sandwiched between.
Cody Allen – Gave up two home runs for his 2nd loss but entered the game in a non-save situation. He’s still perfect in save chances so his job is likely still safe. Dot, dot, dot…for now!
Roenis Elias – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, SV (4). It’s looks like Elias, and not Anthony Swarzak, has emerged as the M’s closer, because F your waiver claim, amiright? Swarzak seems like the more obvious choice, with better stuff and garnered the first couple save chances, but it’s starting to look like Roenis is the man to own in that C-Attle bullpen. He’s available everywhere, grab him if you need saves!
Mitch Moreland – 2-for-4, HR (6). BUY. He’s slowed down a bit over the past week but he still leads Boston in home runs, which is a team with Mookie Betts AND J.D. Martinez on it. Yes, you should probably own him.
Christian Vazquez – 2-for-4, HR (4). The Red Sox traded Blake Swihart which means Vazquez is the man now in Boston. Blake is expected to serve a utility role in Arizona and not be limited to catching duties so he could end up with some sneaky value in 2-catcher leagues. Also, lol @ 2-catcher leagues.
Ryan Brasier – 1.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, K, SV (4). BUY. Brasier is your closer in Boston, yet he remains unowned in about 70% of fantasy leagues. Matt Barnes on the other hand, is owned in almost two times as many leagues and is not the closer. Grey told you to BUY, he’s got a 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, do you not want saves!? Fix this, people!
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, BB, 6 K. Ed-Rod is a pitcher I like but do not want to own, and that goes for most of the Sawx starters. Still he should be better than he has been and he’s got a cushy start with the Tigers next week to prove that.
Brandon Lowe – 1-for-4, HR (6). Another BUY! B-Lo is slashing .275/.329/.594 with two homers and a steal in the past week. Click the link to do the thing and check it out. I’ll let you in on a little secret, you can click any of the BUY links to check it out, they all go to the same place! It’s a major conspiracy!
Mookie Betts – 2-for-4, HR (4). I like to save the best for last, and Mookie Betts, is the best. *heart eyes* I know. I know. It hurts me too knowing I don’t own you anymore. But that’s no reason to slump. You gotta power through. I know you can do it. Power is back, now let’s see some steals. We can still be best friends and I will still like all your instagram photos.
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!