by Will Overton
We all know Monday’s suck, but baseball makes it a little better at least. I hope your welcome back to the work week wasn’t too bad yesterday. If you we’re too busy or just too tired after a long Monday to watch all the games and check all the box scores, we’re here to make things easy for you. We’ve got the top 10 stories of the night from a fantasy baseball perspective, so let’s get to work breaking it all down:
1) The 19-Year-Old Juan Soto With a Memorable First MLB Start
The new youngest player in baseball was called up on Saturday by the Nationals, pinch-hit on Sunday with a strikeout, but made his first start last night and did not disappoint. Soto was playing left field and hitting sixth last night, and in his first at-bat of the game he hit his first major league homerun. Soto finished the night 2 – 4 with 2 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI.
Soto started the season in low-A ball and made his way through High-A and AA before the call up. Between the three minor league stops he hit 14 HR’s in 152 AB’s and was hitting .362. The Nationals didn’t call Soto up just to sit on the bench, and there is room for regular playing time with Michael Taylor struggling. Soto is still a bit of a wild card, but he is absolutely a special talent and you’d probably rather be the guy who added him and dropped him then the guy that missed out on something special.
2) Nick Pivetta Is Hot Fire Right Now, and the Braves are the Latest Victim
In his first start of the month of May Nick Pivetta got racked by the Nationals for six runs allowed in just one inning of work. Since that time though he has been lights out for three straight starts. Last night Pivetta held the Braves scoreless over seven innings, allowing four hits and a walk, striking out seven. In these last three starts Pivetta has just one run allowed over 19 innings and has 25 strikeouts and only two walks. Pivetta’s K/BB ratio this year is incredible at 60:12 over 53 innings, and it’s helped him turn the corner after a rough rookie season last year. Pivetta seems like the real deal and is worth considering in all formats.
3) After Getting Another Chance in the Rotation, Jason Vargas Comes Through for the Mets
In his first three starts this season Jason Vargas was absolutely terrible for the Mets, leading to an ERA of 13.86 and earning him a couple weeks off from the rotation. The Mets put him back in the mix last night though and he came through this time, throwing five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and a walk and striking out seven batters. Vargas is not as bad as he was in those first three games, but he also isn’t going to do what he did tonight very often, so he’s still best left alone.
4) Reminder: Jake Lamb Is Back from the DL
Just four games into the season Jake Lamb hurt his shoulder and was on the DL until this last Friday. Last night he hit his first HR of the season, a solo shot against the Brewers. Lamb was 1 – 2 in the game, also walking twice. After being gone for six weeks Lamb has fallen off the radars in fantasy and this is your reminder that he’s back and available in 30% of ESPN leagues. Lamb has 59 HR’s over the last two seasons and also a total of 196 RBI. Power doesn’t come easy off the waiver wire and if you can get Lamb, a very legit power hitter, don’t wait.
5) Tyler O’Neill is Mashing the Ball Right Now
The Cardinals brought Tyler O’Neill up last week for his second major league stint this season, and right now it looks like this one is going to last a bit longer. O’Neill was 2 – 4 last night against the Royals with 1 R, 1 HR and 4 RBI. This is the third straight start for O’Neill and it was his third straight game with a HR as well. O’Neill was crushing HR’s at AAA as well and he seems to be getting the hang of big league pitching. O’Neill is competing with the struggling Dexter Fowler for playing time and while benching Fowler isn’t an easy move to make, O’Neill is forcing the Cardinals hand right now.
6) Strong Bounce Back Game for Miles Mikolas
Last time out on the mound Miles Mikolas ended his quality start streak when he couldn’t get through the fifth inning against the Twins. Mikolas bounced back strong last night though throwing a complete game shutout against the Royals. Mikolas allowed just four hits and one walk in the game and he struck out nine, a season high in K’s. Mikolas record now goes to 6 – 0 for the season and his ERA is 2.24. It’s hard to find any fault in his production this year, maybe a few more K’s for fantasy purposes. I do think it’s worth noting though that he has been pitching in Japan the last three seasons where he doesn’t pitch as often or as many innings, and so it’s possible that a second half letdown could factor in.
7) Minnesota Twins Get a Solid Outing from Jose Berrios
There have been some ups and down this season from the Twins top young pitcher, but he was on point last night against the Tigers. Berrios put in eight innings of work, allowing only two runs to score on three hits and two walks. Berrios also struck out 9 in the outing. This is Berrios second straight great start, and you love the 19 K’s he has had in his last 15.1 IP. As noted already Berrios has had some struggles at times, but he is much better than his 5 – 4 record or 3.82 ERA would tell you and he may be someone to try and buy in a trade.
8) The Bat Stays Hot for Gleyber Torres
The Yankees are terrifying from top to bottom in their lineup and Gleyber Torres is becoming a bigger part of that. The rookie second baseman had an especially good game last night going 2 – 3 with 2 R, 2 HR and 3 RBI. Torres now has four HR’s in his last seven games and five in his last 11. Torres has done nothing but hit since coming up and now that the power is coming along he will be am even bigger threat in fantasy leagues.
9) Mark Trumbo Brings the Good and Bad Last Night
It was an all or nothing night for Mark Trumbo last night as he went 1 – 4 in the game, hitting a homerun, but also striking out three times. Trumbo has been back from the DL for 19 games now, but this was only his second HR so far. Trumbo does have a surprising .273 average, but he also has 22 strikeouts and only one walk in 77 AB’s. Trumbo will hit more HR’s, but he did take a dip last season in power and his average will not stay in the .270’s. Power off the wire isn’t easy to come by as we have already established, but there are better sources including a couple guys mentioned above. I don’t see much value except in 14 or 16 team leagues for Trumbo.
10) German Marquez and Walker Buehler Have an Unexpected Pitching Dual
A pair of 23 year old starters put on a pretty good display of pitching last night in Los Angeles, with German Marquez coming away with the win, though Walker Buehler takes a no-decision with his bullpen blowing the game. The lines were similar with Marquez posting 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB and 5 K and Buehler had 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB and 6 K. Buehler has looked really good ever since being called up in late April, and with his enticing 40/9 K:BB Ratio over 34 innings fantasy owners should be taking a look. Meanwhile Marquez is starting to right the ship after a slow start and could hold value in some deeper formats right now as well.
Missed our Top 100 prospect rankings? Make sure to check it out by clicking here.