From heartfelt moments to big time performances, Wednesday’s Major League Baseball action was full of great moments. Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs yesterday against the Nationals and Shohei Ohtani’s dominant outing pushed his scoreless innings streak over 21 innings. There’s a lot of drama surrounding Freddie Freeman, his now former agent, and his signing in Los Angeles, but that hasn’t affected his on field performance of late, as he has the longest active hit streak in the majors at 13 games.
The Philadelphia Phillies may have lost to the Braves, but Mark Appel won the hearts of many by finally making his long-awaited Major League debut over nine years after he was the first-overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. Keep the tissues nearby, it’s a tear-jerker. After taking a look back at yesterday’s action, we’ll peek behind the curtain for Thursday’s baseball action, and I’ll give you my best bets for the day. If you are planning on making some MLB DFS lineups today on FanDuel, DraftKings or Yahoo Fantasy, check out all of the great content we have here at Fantasy Alarm and DFS Alarm, including the weather center, daily projections, and projected/confirmed starting lineups with all the glorious data you could ever need.
Fantasy Baseball MLB News
Bryan Reynolds Clubs THREE Homers
Not one, not two, but three homers for Bryan Reynolds! Yesterday’s performance pushes him up to 15 on the year, and he looks poised to surpass last year’s career-high 24 home runs. His batting average is up to .258 on the year, and while that may not be where fantasy owners want it to be, it teaches a very valuable lesson in fantasy baseball, which is that patience is a virtue. Reynolds had a rough start to the year, but since May 18th, he’s hitting .304 with 11 home runs, 25 RBI, a .398 wOBA and 158 wRC+. Over just his last 10 games, he’s hit four home runs and has a .324 batting average and .443 wOBA.
Since that May 18th date, his average exit velocity is north of 90 miles per hour, and his hard hit rate of 44.6 percent would blow out last year’s 40.8 percent mark. Reynolds is going to have a career year in 2022, and if guys around him continue to develop, that will only help his counting stats.
Shohei Ohtani Doing Shohei Ohtani Things
Which was more impressive for Shohei Ohtani? Is it that he racked up eleven strikeouts in just 5.2 innings last night, or that he now has not allowed a run in 21.2 straight innings? Both are equally impressive if you ask me! Over his last 26.2 innings of work, he’s allowed just one earned run on 14 hits with a 36:6 K/BB ratio. He also has a 0.34 ERA in that stretch, and when he’s not striking batters out, his 47.4 percent ground ball rate is a beautiful sight to see. Strikeouts and ground balls help pitchers immensely, and Ohtani is no different. Ohtani is making another strong case for MVP, given that he’s 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 12.28 K/9 on the mound, but also has 17 home runs and eight stolen bases with an .855 OPS at the dish.
Mark Appel Makes Long Awaited MLB Debut
Baseball is a humbling sport, but it’s also one of the more romantic ones of the game. If you haven’t heard the Mark Appel story yet, it’s a good one to say the least. He became the oldest top-overall pick since 1965 to make their debut, coming in at 30 years and 349 days old. Appel was the first-overall pick back in 2013, was traded a couple of years later, then injuries and a consistent ERA above 4.00 pushed him to step away for a few seasons. Appel posted a 5.84 ERA in Double-A last year, as well as a 6.17 ERA at Triple-A, but he went 5-0 with five saves and a 1.61 ERA prior to getting the call here in 2022. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning last night, and even recorded his first MLB strikeout.
While he likely has little to no fantasy baseball appeal, this is a feel good story that is worth celebrating.
Mike Clevinger Turns in His Best Start of the Season
Following Tommy John surgery and then a bout with COVID-19, the Padres are going to take it easy on Mike Clevinger and not overwork him too early. He was pulled after 85 pitches, but he made it through six shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out six. Last night’s effort gives Clevinger a 2.40 ERA in the month of June with a 16:5 K/BB ratio across 15 innings of work. As he gets further away from COVID-19 and his surgery, the Padres should let him work deeper into games, and that only bodes well for fantasy managers. Health willing, he should be a steady mid-rotation arm for fantasy purposes.
Julio Rodríguez is Elite
Julio Rodríguez’s home run last night gives him three long balls in his last six contests, and pushes him into rare company through the first couple months of the season. Last night’s home run gives him 12 on the year, and he got every bit of it.
With last night’s home run, Rodriguez and Trea Turner are the only players in baseball with at least 11 home runs and 15 stolen bases on the season. Rodriguez is by himself in terms of his 12 homers and 19 stolen bases. His 19 stolen bases are tied with Tommy Edman for the league lead, and his power numbers only add to the fantasy goodness he’s provided fantasy baseball managers with this season. In the month of June, he’s one of just seven players with at least six home runs and five stolen bases, and in case you were wondering, here are the others: George Springer, Adolis García, Marcus Semien, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Kyle Tucker, and Trea Turner.
Freddie Freeman Extends Hit Streak Amidst Agent Issues
Whether or not Casey Close actually relayed the Atlanta offer to Freddie Freeman, it sounds like Freeman still wishes he was donning Atlanta’s threads, instead of the Los Angeles blue and white. Alas, that’s his team, and Freeman continues to produce. Freeman has the longest active hit streak in Major League Baseball, coming in at 13 games. During this stretch, he’s slashing .407/.484/.722 with four home runs, 13 RBI, and 11 runs scored. He’s an elite fantasy asset and the issues off the field, while noteworthy, don’t seem to bother Freeman when he’s inside the batter’s box.
Injury News and Notes
- A scary collision in New York caused both Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Peña to leave the game early. While Alvarez was carted off the field, Pena was able to walk back to the dugout. Both players will be evaluated, likely for concussions, and more information should be made available in the near future.
- Bryce Harper underwent surgery for his broken left thumb, and the early timeline looks to be around six weeks. Fantasy managers can be excited once he returns, but I’ll caution you, in that thumb/hand/wrist injuries can wreak havoc on a player even when they are healthy enough to play. Harper may return to the field, but there could be some issues upon his return.
- The Mets should be welcoming Max Scherzer back to the mound soon, as he logged 80 pitches in yesterday’s rehab start, and eight of the 14 outs he recorded were via the strikeout.
Thursday’s Best Bets
UNDER 8.5 Runs Scored (-105 Bet MGM)
Shane Bieber and Chris Archer are pitching well of late, as the two have posted earned run averages of 2.87 and 1.57 in the month of June respectively. Furthermore, Chris Archer has a 2.76 ERA at home this year and Bieber hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since the beginning of May. The Twins have been hitting the ball well of late, but Bieber should neutralize them a bit, while the Guardians have the 10th-lowest batting average and fourth-lowest slugging percentage over the last two weeks. This should be a low-scoring affair.
OVER 9.5 Runs Scored (-120 Caesars)
Wrigley is no Coors Field, but when the wind is blowing out, it damn near plays like it! Graham Ashcraft has a 4.24 ERA on the road this season, while Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks has a 5.18 ERA at home this season. If you dive in a bit deeper, Ashcraft has a 6.11 ERA over his last three starts, and Hendricks has a 6.16 ERA over his last six starts. Home runs have been a problem at home for Hendricks this season and there are a lot of good BvP numbers against Hendricks for Cincy’s projected starters. As long as the wind stays blowing out, this could turn into a slugfest quickly.
Fantasy Alarm is the home of expert MLB Fantasy content. We also bring you all of the best online sportsbook free bets & promo codes and fantasy sports bonuses.
Related MLB Links:
- Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets
- 2022 MLB Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report
- MLB Lineups
- MLB Weather Report
- Fantasy Baseball MLB Injury Reports