Fantasy Baseball Today: Do Max Scherzer, Sandy Alcantara belong to the SP top? – CBS sports | Mega Mediakw

If over the past few weeks you’ve felt your team was short-handed you weren’t alone, but reinforcements have arrived in recent days and on Tuesday another big name made his comeback from injury: Max Scherzer. We’ll hear more about his start in today’s Fantasy Baseball Today newsletter, while Frank Stampfl and I chatted about Scherzer and how high he deserves to be ranked on Wednesday’s episode of the show.

We also talked about how high Sandy ranks Alcantara because he was dominant once again and went more than seven innings for him 11th start in a row. I mean who does this? Nobody nowadays. Frank and I agree that Alcantara is part of a solid top-six that stands alone at the top of the pitching ladder, so watch the show to see who else joins Alcantara at the top.

In the rest of today’s newsletter we talk about Julio Rodriguez continued excellence, some drop candidates at the starting pitcher, and the rest of Tuesday’s news and notes you need to know about. Be sure to check out too Scott White’s Top 40 IL Stash Ranking and be current prospectus report as we gear up for Red Sox pitcher Brayan Bello’s MLB debut tonight. And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today exactly when they come out on Apple and Spotify.

We need to talk about it…

Is Julio Rodriguez fighting for a first-round pick? That could sell him short at this point. When we last reassembled the first two rounds, he didn’t make our consensus top 24, but we’re going to do this drill again during the All-Star break, and I don’t see a possibility for the 21- Year-olds are not among the first 20 players. He had another big game Tuesday, going 2 for 5 with another steal, and he’s now hitting .300 with 15 homers and 12 steals since May 1, a 36-HR, 29-SB pace over 150 games. It sure feels like a different one Fernando Tatis Jr. situation where what Rodriguez lacks in record discipline is more than made up for by what an incredibly talented hitter he is. Is Rodriguez a contender for #1 overall? Probably not yet, but a few more months like this will bring him up for discussion.

Scherzer dominates

Usually when a pitcher comes back from IL, I’m happy to give him a go to get his feet underfoot before throwing him back into the lineup, but Max Scherzer isn’t your usual pitcher. Returning from his angled injury, he absolutely dominated the Reds on Tuesday, hitting 11 with just two hits allowed in six innings — and he needed just 79 pitches to do it, 11 fewer than what he said was his maximum goal. Its speed was actual high 1.0 mph at the start and he had 15 swings and penalties. Sure, it was the Reds, but hey, that’s why you’re getting him active for this start. Scherzer will play Sandy Alcantara in New York on Sunday and I’m looking for tickets to that game right now because that’s baseball not to be missed there.

time to drop her?

We talked about some tough starters on today’s podcast and wondered if you should ditch them. In this case, one is much easier to drop than the other:

  • Michael Kopech is the one I would have a hard time unplugging from. He’s struggled mightily in his last four starts, posting a 6.86 ERA with 17 strikeouts, 11 walks and seven homers after giving up six runs to the Twins on Tuesday. His speed has dropped somewhat during this stretch – about 1mph on Tuesday – and his 10.1% overall swing rate and 4.3BB/9 are both pretty mediocre. So far, however, none of his pitches seem to be a particular problem. I think he’s probably a little too fastball heavy overall, and the drop in his slider breath rate from 36.0% to 19.1% is alarming – he has to rely too heavily on his fastball for everything, making him predictable. That being said, I think Kopech has too many perks to drop even if you can’t start him now.
  • It’s a lot easier to drop Jameson Taillon, who got away with a contact-heavy approach earlier in the season but now has a 6.26 ERA in his last six starts. He’s still 96% in the roster – actually a few ticks higher than Kopech, which I don’t understand – and I can even drop him in a 12-team Roto league. Taillon just doesn’t have that many perks, so I can go after someone who does. Like Brayan Bello, who will make his MLB debut for the Red Sox on Wednesday, or Nick Lodolo, who got off to a solid start (eight strikeouts in 4.2 innings) on his return from the IL against the Mets.

Injuries, news and notes

  • Juan Soto has now missed two consecutive games while recovering from a left calf injury.
  • Jacob deGrom will begin his second rehab at Single-A on Friday. He recorded five outs (all by strikeout) on his first rehab outing on Sunday.
  • Kevin Gausman, who is struggling with an ankle injury, failed to throw his scheduled bullpen on Tuesday and it sounds like he won’t make his scheduled start on Thursday.
  • Bobby Witt Jr. left the company Tuesday after being hit in the hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative but will be set for further testing on Wednesday. Hopefully it’s not a big deal because Witt has come on strong after a bit of a rough start and has a 25-25 pace.
  • Craig Kimbrel underwent a CT scan of his back on Tuesday after being hit by a liner ride on Sunday. Yency Almonte converted the save for the Dodgers on Monday while Brusdar Graterol made the save on Tuesday. So I think there’s a good chance this could be a timeshare if Kimbrel has to miss time.
  • Chris Taylor was diagnosed with a minor fractured foot. His schedule has yet to be determined, but this could open the door for potential Miguel Vargas, who hits .294 with 13 homers and nine steals while playing in first, second, third and left field this season. That’s a Taylor-esque profile, although the Dodgers are often happy to call top prospects just to avoid playing them every day, making him less than a must
  • Anthony Rizzo was scratched with a lower back stiffness on Tuesday, which is a bit concerning given he’s struggled with back injuries in the past. You have to see that.
  • Eloy Jimenez completed his rehab assignment and returned to the White Sox on Tuesday but has not yet been activated. He hasn’t played in the majors since April 23 with that torn hamstring, but it seems like he’s activating any day.
  • Kyle Hendricks abandoned his start due to right shoulder pain. He had better pitching so that’s frustrating.
  • Chris Archer was placed on the IL retroactive to July 2 with strains in his left hip. Josh Winder started in his place instead, but doesn’t have much fantasy appeal.
  • Edward Cabrera completed a 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He was transferred to IL on June 15 with tendinitis in his right elbow but was also struggling with a personal issue so hopefully that’s a sign he’s on the way back. I’d like to keep hiding Cabrera if I can.
  • Both Jazz Chisholm and Jorge Soler have participated in mobility and core strengthening work at the Marlins’ spring training facility while on the IL. Hopefully neither will be a long stay.
  • Dodgers pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot has been called up for Tuesday’s start. He allowed a five-inning run and hit six with, remarkably, just one walk. Pepiot has great stuff, but control was a limiting factor in getting an extended chance. He’s someone to keep an eye on, but not necessarily to add.
  • Jon Berti was not in the lineup on Monday due to “lower extremity tension”. That’s frustrating because Berti missed a chance to face Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday, who allowed Jesus Aguilar to steal his first base in 701 games.

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