Jeff Samardzija surrendered four runs on ninth hits and two walks while striking out seven batters over six innings against the Pirates on Thursday.
The Cubs ace has been trending in the wrong direction of late, having now allowed 14 runs over his last three stats. He is now 2-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 14 starts while owning a 82:26 K:BB rate (91.0 IP). Although he has struggled of late, Smaradzija is a great No. 2 option to deploy in fantasy starting rotations in all league formats so continue riding with him through this rough patch in the hopes you won't be too disappointed. He will look to get back on track when he takes on the Marlins next week. ANALYST: Matthew Beck
John Brown is practicing Thursday.
Brown should be a full-go this week and will see a fair share of the targets regardless of Michael Floyd's status. Obviously he'll see more if Floyd is out, but even if he's in, Brown should have ample opportunities this week. Analysis: Howard Bender