Long Weekend Ahead
The trickle-down impact of the Marlins COVID-19 breakout continues to keep fantasy managers on their toes. The Blue Jays will no longer face the Phillies this weekend, and attentive fantasy managers will be sure to get all impacted players out of the starting lineup. Those who are looking for alternatives on the waiver wire can check the bottom of this article for favorable weekend matchups. My best guess at this time is that the Blue Jays open next week with a rotation of Matt Shoemaker, Nate Pearson, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, while the Phillies will open with Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Jake Arrieta. Of course, looking too far ahead this season is sometimes a wasted effort.
Grounded Blue Jay
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was supposed to be a superstar by now. But instead, the youngster is slashing .172/.200/.276 this year after being more serviceable than impactful as a rookie last season. Guerrero is once again producing far too many ground balls for a power hitter, and he lacks the wheels to help in other areas. Although his long-term future is bright, the 21-year-old could be dropped in some shallow leagues. Yes, I know that is a shocking statement, but time is of the essence right now.
Move over, Justin
If Shane keeps this up, he will no longer be the “the other Bieber.” The right-hander has compiled 27 strikeouts across 14 scoreless innings during his initial two 2020 starts, fanning 60.9 percent of the batters he has faced. His -0.60 FIP is a number I cannot comprehend — has he been so good that Cleveland should have scored while playing defense?! With plenty of lackluster offenses in his division, Bieber is already the heavy favorite for a Cy Young award.
Speaking of Cleveland ...
After Brad Hand-ed the White Sox a win on Wednesday (sorry, I couldn’t resist), James Karinchak was called upon to finish off Bieber’s 2-0 victory last night. The youngster needed just six pitches to retire the side in order, which was a welcome sign for Cleveland fans who have seen Hand throw 57 offerings to record seven outs this season. Hand’s average fastball velocity dropped 1mph last year and is down another 2mph so far in 2020. Karinchak is definitely worth a roster spot for those with Hand on their roster and those in need of another saves source.
Messy closers are everywhere this season, and none are messier than Edwin Diaz. The righty started 2020 with a scoreless frame before blowing his second save chance the following day. And last night, in his third outing of the season, Diaz retired just one of the five batters he faced before Paul Sewald was summoned to finish off the inning. The Mets were already trailing, but the recommendation here is that Diaz fantasy managers grab Seth Lugo before his value goes up.
-Jose LeClerc is going to be shut down with a shoulder injury for at least four weeks, which makes him droppable in all leagues. Fantasy managers will try to find the next ninth-inning man in Texas, but no one stands out at the moment. Nick Goody got the first post-LeClerc save but may not receive the next opportunity.
-Clayton Kershaw is going to return from the IL on Sunday or Monday and should be activated for his 2020 debut.
-Wade Miley (groin) was placed on the IL after he struggled in his 2020 debut on July 27. Miley can be dropped in all leagues. The Reds also activated Anthony DeSclafani who will face the Tigers on Saturday and should be active in most formats.
-Eric Hosmer continues to sit out with a stomach issue that the Padres say is unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, fantasy managers may want to find an alternative first baseman for this weekend. Poor timing, since Hosmer and his teammates are heading to Coors Field.
Favorable Weekend Hitting Matchups
-The Yankees will work at their offense-inducing home park against a Red Sox staff that is among the worst in baseball. Beyond their stars, Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner deserve the benefit of the doubt in leagues where they are reasonable options.
-The Rockies and Padres are hooking up at Coors Field, with fireworks in the forecast. Trent Grisham should be in most lineups for the weekend, while Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar are options in 12-team leagues. From the Rockies, Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon are streaming options when at home.
-The A’s will face a Mariners staff that has some interesting names but has been largely ineffective thus far. Mark Canha (48 percent rostered) stands out as an Oakland streaming who is on waivers in many leagues.
Starters to Stream
Jordan Montgomery (vs. BOS)
Mike Fiers (@SEA)
Mitch Keller (@CHC)
Tyler Chatwood (vs. PIT)
Anthony DeSclafani (@DET)
Jon Lester (vs. PIT)
Chris Bassitt (@SEA)
Dylan Cease (@KC)