Wick continues to close
Rowan Wick gave up one run on two hits but was plenty good enough to pick up a save in a 4-2 win over the Brewers. The right-hander has earned saves in three of his past four outings, and he owns a 1.50 ERA and a 5:1 K:BB ratio across six innings of work. Craig Kimbrel was nowhere to be found in this close contest, and while it is too early to say that Wick is cemented as the closer, he is clearly the Cubs reliever who fantasy managers want to roster right now. With the Cubs playing as well as any team in baseball, Wick could get plenty of save chances in the coming weeks.
Yu Darvish logged the most dominant Thursday start when he struck out 11 across seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Cubs. The right-hander struggled in his initial 2020 outing but has since turned things around to the tune of two runs allowed across 20 innings. With a 27:4 K:BB ratio this year, Darvish is looks like he will continue the dominant form he had in the second half of last season. Backed by a successful Cubs squad, the soon-to-be 34-year-old should be regarded on the trade market as a top-10 fantasy starter.
Alec Bohm went 1-for-4 in his Major League debut, starting at third base in 11-4 loss. The prospect will be a popular waiver-wire target in the coming days, as fantasy managers debate adding him vs. fellow prospect Dylan Carlson, who will debut this weekend. Both youngsters should play on a regular basis, and Bohm can certainly make a strong case for himself after hitting .305 with 21 homers in 475 Minor League at-bats last season. But my preference would be to add Carlson, who possesses similar batting skills and is much better in the base-stealing department.
Double dingers for Realmuto
J.T. Realmuto had himself a game on Thursday, smacking a pair of two-run homers in the loss to the Orioles. Fantasy baseball’s best backstop has now gone deep seven times, collecting 17 RBIs and 11 runs scored in the process. He leads catchers in all three of those categories. Even in one-catcher formats, Realmuto is worth a major haul on the trade market. My advice is to avoid the urge to sell high in fantasy leagues and those who lack a quality catcher can consider making a substantial offer.
Keone Kela made his first 2020 appearance when he allowed one run in an inning of work, finishing off a 9-6 victory. While the outing doesn’t count as a save opportunity, the reliever was clearly being used as a closer and will assume the role of ninth-inning man on a club that really has no other options to close out narrow wins. Kela (2.12 ERA, 1.01 WHIP in 2019) should be added in Yahoo leagues where he remains available.
DeSclafani has forgettable outing
Anthony DeSclafani burned fantasy managers in a big way on Thursday, giving up nine runs in two innings of work against the Pirates. Unfortunately, the right-hander was active in many leagues, as he had tossed 11 scoreless innings in his initial two starts of the season. There is little to like about this start, as DeSclafani struck out just one batter, walked a pair and surrounded a trio of home runs. Still, his initial two starts were so encouraging that he can be retained in 12-team formats.
Talk about bad luck – Jose Peraza was hit by a comebacker while pitching the ninth inning in a lopsided loss. The infielder underwent X-rays, which came back negative.
Alex Wood threw a bullpen session on Thursday and will do the same on Saturday. He has the potential to help fantasy teams if part of the Dodgers rotation, but that starting quintet is quite crowded at the moment. He can stay on waivers until his role is determined.
Jeff McNeil suffered a bruised knee while making a fantastic catch against the outfield wall Thursday afternoon. He was carted off the field, but serious damage seems to have been avoided and he is listed as day-to-day.
Kris Bryant was held out of the lineup with injuries to his left wrist and ring finger, but he is not considered an IL candidate at this point.
Mike Moustakas completed baseball drills on Thursday and could come off the IL when he is eligible on Sunday.
Amed Rosario remained out of the lineup with a stomach ailment. He last played on August 10 and remains day-to-day.
Favorable Weekend Hitting Matchups
The Rangers and Rockies will hook up for three games at Coors Field. Colorado has registered multiple high-scoring affairs with the D-backs this week, and that trend should continue. Shin-Soo Choo, Nick Solak and Todd Frazier are among the commonly available Rangers hitters who deserve attention this weekend.
The Yankees should use their home launching pad to its fullest potential when they host a struggling Red Sox pitching staff. Gio Urshela and Luke Voit should be in all active lineups, while Brett Gardner deserves a chance in deeper leagues.
The Reds will play at their homer-happy venue against a Pirates staff that has struggled overall and is using arguably their worst three starters this weekend. This is a good time to give the benefit of the doubt to Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, Freddy Galvis and Jesse Winker.
Starters to Stream
Framber Valdez (vs. SEA)
Pablo Lopez (vs. ATL)
Spencer Turnbull (vs. CLE)
Christian Javier (vs. SEA)
Garrett Richards (@ARI)
Adam Plutko (@DET)