I might be the furthest thing from a doctor, but you wouldn’t know that if you see my internet search history looking up all things related to costovertebral dysfunction. This is the rare condition that has Mike Trout on the injured list at the moment, and it’s the same diagnosis that sent baseball Twitter into a frenzy. Trout said it will be more of a maintenance thing compared to something that ends his career, so at least there was a sigh of relief. We had our first big domino fall with the MLB Trade Deadline looming, with the Kansas City Royals sending outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the New York Yankees for three prospects. We are still awaiting potential trades for Juan Soto, Frankie Montas, and Luis Castillo, who just carved up the Marlins in what could be his final start for the Reds. JJ Bleday hit his first career home run in the majors, and Julio Rodríguez further strengthened his case for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. As we put a bow on the news, notes, and trade rumors from Wednesday, I’ll give you my MLB best bet of the day, and my favorite MLB player prop for Thursday’s action. Be sure to check out all of our great MLB content, and if you are looking to make some DFS MLB lineups later today, check out our weather reporttoday’s lineups, and daily projections!




MLB News and Notes from Wednesday

Andrew Benintendi Traded to NYY


A little late night news drop last night with Andrew Benintendi being traded to the Yankees for three prospects. The overall haul may not seem like it’s a ton for the Royals, but overall, it’s better than you may think for Benintendi, who could ultimately end up being a half season rental for the Bronx Bombers. Beck Way and TJ Sikkema are top-25 prospects in the Yankee system, per MLB Pipeline, whereas Chandler Champlain falls outside the top 30.


Courtesy of Ken Rosenthal on Twitter

Benintendi may not carry the typical power prowess that seems like is needed to play in the Yankee outfield, but he makes a ton of contact and should be a steady, reliable presence at the top of the order. His vaccination status has raised a lot of questions about whether or not teams heading to Toronto could trust him, but either the Yankees don’t care about a couple of games left up north, or they feel confident he will get vaccinated.



Luis Castillo Dominates Marlins Ahead of Trade Deadline


Cincinnati was already going to get quite the haul for Luis Castillo, given that he’s one of the top-two arms available at the deadline, and any team that trades for him has control through next year. His recent stretch is likely driving the cost up higher, as he has four straight starts where he has pitched at least seven innings, while allowing three or fewer earned runs, and posting six or more strikeouts. Leading up to the deadline, Castillo has a 1.93 ERA and 9.64 K/9 in four starts in July.

Where does he land? Yankees? Cardinals? Mariners? Twins? I want to say the Cardinals, but will the Reds trade him within the division? This is going to be a fun trade deadline.

Mike Trout’s “Pretty Rare” Back Condition


Mike Trout is currently on the injured list for what was initially back spasms, but was then later called inflammation of his rib cage. Now, the team’s head athletic trainer said that he has a rare spinal condition, called costovertebral dysfunction and that “the doctor (Robert Watkins III), who is one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country -- if not the world -- doesn't see a lot of these.”

Trout downplayed concerns of this, in that it is not career-ending by any means, but there will likely need to be added efforts and maintenance for his back.


AL ROY Locked up for Julio Rodríguez?


Each passing game that Bobby Witt Jr. misses catapults Julio Rodríguez farther and farther ahead. Looking over at MLB future bets at Bet MGM, Rodriguez is the consensus favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award, and he sits at -500! The next closest is Jeremy Peña at +800!

His three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh ultimately gave Seattle the win, and Rodriguez now has 18 home runs, 55 runs scored, 56 RBI, and 21 stolen bases with a .274/.337/.489 slash line. It has been quite the year for the young star, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down, even though he did miss a couple of games shortly after the All-Star break.




JJ Bleday Hits First Career Home Run


After displaying exceptional pop in Triple-A before getting the call (20 HR in 302 ABs), Bleday finally parked his first round-tripper at the game’s highest level. It was only a matter of time before the fourth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft sent his first ball over the fence.



The power he displayed this year at Triple-A was a bit of an outlier from his time in the minors previously, as his 15.1 AB/HR in Triple-A this year vastly outshined his 33.1 AB/HR in Double-A in 2021, and 46.7 AB?HR in A+ in 2019. To his credit, however, he was the NCAA home run champ back in 2019, as he hit 27 home runs in 71 games in his final year at Vanderbilt.

Andrew Heaney’s Return for the Dodgers


While the Dodgers still have a ton of arms on the injured list, they were able to welcome back Andrew Heaney to the rotation after missing more than a month due to a shoulder issue. When he has been on the mound for the Dodgers, he’s been excellent for them. However, the team gave him $8.5M this offseason, and he has just 19.1 innings across four starts to show for it. However, in those 19.1 innings, he has a 0.47 ERA and 12.57 K/9. After throwing 71 pitches last night, the Dodgers should be comfortable stretching him to the 80-85 range as they slowly work him back to a full workload, but I wouldn’t expect that to be anytime soon. Heaney’s presence is more important come October, rather than the dog days of summer.


Thursday’s Best Bets

Javier Báez OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+102 Caesars)


I think you can also target anything with the Blue Jays tonight, but Baez’s prowess against southpaws shouldn’t go unnoticed this season. He’s hitting .346 against southpaws this season, and Yusei Kikuchi has allowed a .270 average and .400 wOBA to right-handed hitters. Furthermore, we haven’t seen Kikuchi for quite some time, but he’s been bad for the majority of this season, and he has a 4.54 ERA at home this season. Baez has a .396 wOBA against southpaws in 2022, he’s hitting .292 over his last seven games, and he has a .767 OPS on the road this season. For what it is worth, I also like the over nine runs total in this game.

Phillies -1.5 Run Line (-115 Bet MGM)


Zack Wheeler is on the bump for the Phillies and he should carve up a Pittsburgh team that has the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball over the last two weeks to go along with the second-lowest batting average, worst wOBA, and worst wRC+. The Phillies offense has been closer to league average in terms of wRC+ and batting average during the same stretch, but Pittsburgh’s Zach Thompson has allowed a 4.75 ERA and 1.44 WHIP at home this year, and his dearth of strikeouts and ability to miss bats could get ugly against a potent Philadelphia offense. Despite my Pittsburgh fandom, I expect Philadelphia to comfortably win this game and elevate Thompson’s 4.70 ERA over his last six starts.




Fantasy Alarm is the home of all things Fantasy Sports. Bringing you the best Fantasy Football content all year long. Be sure to also check out the best fantasy promo codes on offer today!


Related MLB Links: