Reds rookie starting pitcher slash heartthrob Nick Lodolo turned in what was likely his best start of the season Friday night pitching a career high eight innings of two-run baseball, allowing just five hits, and striking out 11 (ELEVEN) Brewers in Milwaukee to notch his fourth win. Nick generated 20 whiffs on his mid-90s fastball and curve combo en route to the eleven Ks, also a career high. Lodolo’s only mistake was surrendering a 2-run shot to Tyrone Taylor (he was a BUY!) in the third inning. The only runs he would allow all game. The 3.78 ERA, and 1.30WHIP are nothing to write a Drake love song about, but the 6’6 lefty has now lined up three straight quality starts, and is rocking a real purdy 2.43 ERA and a 38/6 K/BB over his last five outings. Mmhm yes, that’s BNE, Big Nick Energy. Starting the game with a five run cushion makes everything easier. Lodolo YOLO’d his way through eight innings, and had he not been at 107 pitches likely would have finished the game. The rookie flamethrower was a pre-season sleeper and missed a few months with a back injury but looks to be feeling it now. He gets a real “aww yeeah shawty” match up with the Pirates next week so if there’s any chance Nick is chillin on your waiver wire now’s the time to YOLO and scoop him up. As for 2023, the 29.3% K% makes him pretty much a lock to end up on at least half of my teams next year, so be on the lookout for some 2023 sleeper posts where we tell you why the 2022 sleeper post was premature and this is the real year for the Nick Lodolo breakout. Either way, this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Jonathan India – 2-for-5, HR (10). India with the Bombay! He’s hitting close to .400 over the past two weeks, too bad anyone who drafted him won’t know it as they’ve all moved on to Razzball’s excellent fantasy football coverage. #shamelessplug

TJ Friedl – 2-for-5, HR (6). Led off the game with a ding dong and Reds never looked back. TJ is hitting .364 with three jacks in the past week. He was a BUY and he is a hot Friedl schomato right now. In Cincinnati, they would cover him with spaghetti and about a pound of cheese.

Bo Bichette – 2-for-4, HR (23), 3 RBI. It was really looking like Bo was gonna tank his value so hard in 2022 that I’d be able to own him everywhere in 2023–but appears that’s not happening anymore. Ho hum. For real, I take a couple weeks off and come back and my last place team is absolutely Dracarys-ing. Bo’s mashing with a bonkers .500 AVG with five bombs, 11 runs, and 15 RBI in the past week. Yes week. Maybe BoBa’s just a Pumpkin Spice season kinda guy? Same!

Ross Stripling  – 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 4 K, ERA at 3.03. What a year for Ross so far, I’m honestly just happy he ended up with Rachel.

Josh Jung – 2-for-4, HR (1), SB (1). Josh Jung this one out to dry. Jung Gravy is right. Have a day, rook! He was a BUY and he made it look easy. Grey gave you his Josh Jung fantasy. He wrote it while hailing a cab to the hottest club in town and ordering his french fries animal style.

Joey Wentz – 6.2 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, BB, 5 K, 1st win. Don’t look now but Joey Dubs has now pitched 10.2 straight scoreless innings with a 9/1 K/BB. Too bad The Astros are coming to town next week to ruin all this goodwill. It’s been real Joey!

Eric Haase – 3-for-5, 2 HR (12), 3 RBI. I can Haase home runs from my catcher position? You can Haase two home runs! Coming off his five hit game Wednesday, Eric has upped his OPS nearly 100 points in the two game stretch and his OF eligibility makes him an intriguing streamer, at least while he’s facing the Royals.

Spencer Torkelson – 3-for-5, run. Hitting .353 in the past week with a four game hitting streak. I can’t in good conscience tell you to add multiple Tigers, especially this burner, so I’ll just leave this here.

Jeimer Candelario – 3-for-4, 3 runs, HR (13), 3 RBI. Candelario burning at both ends!

Nate Eaton – 2-for-4, run, RBI. BUY. Ate Eaton is hitting a blistering .538 in just four games since being recalled with three steals. The playing time isn’t totally there yet, but I’m watching him closer than the Rings of Power. Yes, yes, I’m watching, you trolls, even though I can’t relate to any of the characters either, because none of them stay indoors 24/7 or stare at their cell phones for 10 hours a day. Let’s get some more diversity up in here, no?

Daulton Varsho – 1-for-4, Grand Slam HR (24), SB (9). Daulton is hotter than the on-set drama of Don’t Worry Darling. Olivia Wilde about to leave her BAE mid-shoot for Daulton. Let’s see Harry Styles hit six homers with 10 RBIs in a week! Can’t underestimate how valuable this is coming from the catcher position either.

Ryan McMahon – 2-for-4, 2 HR (15). His homers combined to travel 889 feet! That’s like, almost a home run in Camden Yards even!

Elias Diaz – 4-for-5, 2 HR (9), 7 RBI. What a day for waiver wire catchers no one owns or ever wants to own.

C.J. Cron – 1-for-3, HR (27), 2 RBI. Cron Air!

Jake McCarthy – 3-for-5, HR (8), 3 RBI, SB (16). BUY. J-Mac is hitting .400 in the past week with 2 homers and 4 steals. He’s at Coors all weekend and available in about half of leagues. Dude is giving off save my season vibes, what are you waiting for!? Another Royal to die? Good luck, they live forever!

Corbin Carroll – 1-for-3, HR (2). That’s homers in back-2-back days like that Drake song I can’t remember the name of. Has something clicked for the rook? Add all the Diamondbacks!

Lance McCullers Jr.  – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, 3rd win. Lance is sporting a beautiful 2.20 ERA through six starts since returning from the IL, and watching him go seven has to instill some confidence for Houston’s playoff run. The Astros can literally do no wrong.

Ryan Pressly – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, 2 K, HR, SV (26). Woop, I spoke too soon.

Jeremy Pena – 2-for-4, HR (17). How many more than Correa? Wait–two less!? I stand corrected!

Mike Trout – 1-for-4, HR (33). Taylor Ward also homered (18). Who is this guy!? He’s unreal! That’s five straight games with a home run. Sweet sassy molassy! He may not catch Aaron Judge, but it certainly looks like he’s trying and I’m here for it.

Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 8 hits, 3 ER, 2 K, 9th win. Someone was all jacked up for Disney+ day. Now that Thor’s movie hit streaming, he can show the world how mediocre he’s been. Still, the Phils have managed to win five of his starts.

Nick Nelson – 0.1 IP, SV (1). Is he the new Phils closer!? I doubt it! But he did get the save, which is more than DRob’s been able to do lately.

Alex Call – 3-for-4, HR (3). The ultimate batty Call! Alex followed up his career night Thursday with another doozy, he’s now hitting .615 over the past week with two bombs. Adding Nationals players in the final month is typically not the way to win anything but for Call I might make an exception.

J.T. Realmuto – 3-for-3, HR (16), 2 RBI. Rhys Hoskins also hit his 27th. JT is the number one rated catcher on the player rater because of his 17 steals, but he sure doesn’t feel like number 1. I’ll take Daulton if you’re offering.

Lane Thomas – 2-for-4, run, RBI, SB (6). CJ Abrams also stole his third base. Both were BUYs! If you need speed as much as I need positive feedback I could see grabbing one or the other, but not both.

Wander Franco – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI. Really, really could have used this kind of Wander magic in May. And June. And July and August. Ugh, why did this happen to me?

Drew Rasmussen – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 0 ER, 10 K, 10th win. You my boy, Drew! He’s my best pitcher, basically. And I’m not ashamed to say it anymore. ERA now at 2.57 and 1.04 WHIP and holy schnikes do the Rays look really good right now or what?

Frankie Montas – 5.2 IP, 9 hits, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 12th L. He’s been more bad than good with his new club, but to be fair nine of his losses came with Oakland and I guess he just can’t shake their stank.

Xander Bogaerts – 3-for-5, HR (13), 2 RBI. Awesome X! Bogie actually leads the AL in batting average. Hmm. Why has owning him felt so underwhelming?

Edward Cabrera – 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5th win. 2.63 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. OK, E-Cab I’ve seen enough and I must own you everywhere next year. He’s now survived a three game gauntlet against the MLB’s best, Dodgers, Braves and Mets, and came out of it mostly intact. Start him with confidence against the Phillies this week, and draft him everywhere in 2023.

Dylan Floro – 1.0 IP, SV (4). I’m not 100% sure who the Fish’s closer is right now, but I’d rather own the guy without the 5.93 ERA post-All Star break. Sorry, Tanner Scott.

Pete Alonso – 1-for-4, HR (33), 2 RBI. Albombso! Of all the fantasy players in all the leagues I manage there is no player I enjoy owning more than Polar Bear Pete. The guy just does what he’s supposed to do. How’s that for a compliment!

Garrett Cooper – 3-for-3, HR (8). His first home run since July 8! Welp! He’s hitting .421 over the past seven days. Pick him up if you hate yourself.

Oneil Cruz – 3-for-5, run, 3 RBI. OPS up almost 80 points in the past week! How awesome would it be if the Cruz Missile’s new hitting coach was in fact Stanley Sugar aka Adam Sandler’s character from Hustle!? You don’t need to answer I’m telling you it would be awesome.

Roansy Contreras – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, 2 BB, K, 5th win. I’m gonna have a hard time buying into any Pittsburgh starters for 2023, even despite Oneil Cruz’s Sandler-esque resurgence or Roansy’s sparkling 1.59 ERA in September.

Miles Mikolas – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 11th L. Bruh. The Pirates? Pathetic.

Drew Smyly – 7.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 6th win. The Emoticon put up a winking face emoji with weird tilde squiggle coming out of his mouth. What is that? IS it naughty? He gets a cushy match up with the Rox next week and I might consider the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially picking him up. I still don’t know for sure though!

Nico Hoerner – 2-for-3, HR (9), 2 RBI, SB (18). The slam & legs in ChiTown is served with a slew of accouterment all designed to give you epic heartburn, along with some neon relish you’re not sure you should eat but you do anyway and it’s quite good.

Brandon Hughes – 1.1 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (4). He’s the Cubs closer I think, and he’s converted half his chances. Ooo scary! What’s not to love!

Dansby Swanson – 1-for-4, HR (19), 2 RBI. Robbie Grossman (5), and Travis d’Arnaud (17) also homered. This game featured a total of no less than seven home runs with all but one of the runs scored on the long ball. Who says baseball needs all these rule changes when we got the Braves!

Michael Harris II – 2-for-4, HR (16). I’m honestly thinking about drafting MH2 in the top 25 next year. And it’s not just because his name is all over my notebook in flowery cursive or that I had commissioned that charcoal drawing of him to be made and placed above my mantle.

Robbie Ray – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 6 K. Nooo! Things were going so well for us lately! Six straight starts allowing 2 ER or fewer, four wins in a row and a 27/4 K/BB in that stretch. Leave it to the Braves to throw a wrench in all that goodwill.

Carlos Santana – 2-for-4, 2 HR (14), 3 RBI. I still don’t quite understand how the Mariners are so good with a line up this bad.

Dylan Bundy – 4.2 IP, 12 hits, 7 ER, 7th L. Get him out of there quicker than Al Bundy! No ma’am!

Carlos Correa – 4-for-5, HR (19), 4 RBI. That’s four bombs in his past six games and he’s rocking a 1.181 OPS in September. I’m sorry I said I’d rather own Jeremy Pena over you.

Oscar Gonzalez – 4-for-5, 2 HR (7), 5 RBI slashing .296/.327/.474. O-Gone’s got a five game hitting streak hitting over .400 in the past week. I still don’t understand why it was Oscar or Franmil when their skill sets are so different, but the Guardians (dumbest team name ever) clearly don’t play fantasy baseball.

Austin Pruitt – 5.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 BB, 2 K. I don’t think it would surprise anyone if Austin Pruitt becomes the Ace of this staff next year.

Lucas Giolito – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, ERA at 5.48. What? Lots of aces on playoff team have ERAs over 5. It’s not that big a deal!

Eloy Jimenez – 2-for-4, HR (12). His fourth tank in the past week. That’s like a third of his production for the year. Seriously, I forget to set my team for two days and they all explode with stats like some kind of cruel irony. Sure I can’t win, but I can still mess things up for some other poor schmuck.

Dustin May – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. When I die, I hope in my next live I’m reincarnated as a Dodgers pitcher.

Manny Machado – 3-for-3, batting .302. It’s crazy how much better Manny’s been than the rest of his teammates. If the ‘Dres miss the postseason, it’s definitely not on MM.

Mike Clevinger – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, BB, 4 K. Good Seven Gods, Darick Hall-elujah! The Padres actually beat the Dodgers. The spending spree worked! Let’s do it again next year!

Freddie Freeman – 2-for-4, HR (18), 2 RBI slashing .325/.398/.516. 450 footer! The Braves are so hot right now, and maybe Freddie thinks, if he closes his eyes tight enough and wishes hard enough, he can be there, in ATL, on the Braves again, if only for a moment.

Elvis Andrus – 2-for-5, 2 RBI. If you BUY one player this week make it Elvis. Andrus is doing a better Elvis impression than Austin Butler hitting .355 with 7 runs, 3 HR, 10 RBI and a steal in the past week! it’s Now or Never for Elvis. He’s got pitchers All Shook Up! I know we have Suspicious Minds regarding his streak but I Can’t Help Falling in Love with you if you keep hitting like this!

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!