So how did your fantasy baseball week start off? Did the guys you picked up off the fantasy baseball waiver wire produce? Did all your hitters and pitchers make the fantasy baseball news highlight reel? Or did you, like me, suffer from a rash of MLB injuries that left holes in your roster because teams waited until the last minute to make procedural moves? This game can be as cruel as it is exciting. I don’t need to lament over roster maneuvers anymore – you can tune into the latest episode of Ante Up, a show that goes a little beyond your normal fantasy baseball podcasts, to hear the rant. Instead, we’ll just get to the news and highlights here.
Fantasy Baseball News
Aaron Judge Flexes his AL MVP Muscles Again
When Aaron Judge turned down the New York Yankees’ $230M extension offer, there were a lot of questions that needed answers. First and foremost, how can a guy who has played in over 140 games just twice over a seven-year span give up that kind of security. The injury history is well-documented and this was a boatload of both money and security. Did he not want to play in New York anymore? That was something many were asking, though some Mets fans speculated that new owner Steve Cohen was preparing to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But here we are in late-May and the one thing that I seem to keep coming back to is that Judge felt like he still needed to prove himself. Not that we doubted the talent, but the health aspect. He wanted to show that any offers to him should exceed the $300M threshold given what he brings to the table. He gambled on himself and to that, I need to tip my cap. We still have a long way to go, but Judge has now appeared in 40 of the Yankees 42 games and after his fourth multi-homer game of the season last night, his second in the last six, Judge is now slashing a mammoth .325/.398/.715 on the year with a league-leading 17 home runs with 34 RBI. I don’t want to sound like too much of a fanboy, but he is delivering in style and everyone who doesn’t roster him in fantasy should be feeling the FOMO. Big time.
Will José Ramírez Push Judge for AL MVP Honors?
Well duh. Have you seen this guy’s numbers this season? Amazing that he doesn’t get No. 1 overall in fantasy drafts consideration more. Playing for a terrible Cleveland team, Ramirez, who parked his 10th homer of the season into the outfield stands last night, added another four RBI to his league-leading 41 on the season. He’s slashing .287/.383/.601 this year and has also kicked in four stolen bases. Perhaps we’d get more fanfare if he were playing for a more high-profile team, but considering he just inked an extension that tethers him to the Guardians through 2028, we’ll just have to appreciate him from where he is. Playing in Cleveland does afford him the spotlight when someone is focused on the organization, but just imagine if he were given better table-setters and a little more lineup protection.
Will Julio Rodríguez Earn AL Rookie of the Year Honors over Bobby Witt Jr.?
A fun question to ask the morning after both go yard, right? Well, if the voting took place right now, yes. Rodriguez would edge him out. After a slow start to the season, Rodriguez has been a fantasy owner's dream. He may have only hit .205 for the month of April, but he swiped nine bags, giving him massive value in the fantasy realm. But then the calendar flipped to May and JRod exploded. Over 84 at-bats this month, Rodriguez is slashing .333/.364/.524 with four home runs, 12 RBI, and three stolen bases and he looks the part of a superstar. Now sure, the three caught-stealings makes you wonder if he will continue to be aggressive on the basepaths, but for now, you should have zero complaints. That’s not to say you should be complaining about Witt, because he also is having a strong May with five home runs and two steals of his own. The batting average and OBP still need some work, but we should spend the next four and a half months enjoying what these two youngsters are doing. It’s going to be a battle down to the wire, for sure.
Paul Sewald Taking Command of Mariners’ Closer Role
While technically, the Seattle Mariners’ closer job is still a committee, one gets the impression that manager Scott Servais wants right-hander Paul Sewald to take the reins of the ninth inning. We’ve watched them move Drew Steckenrider in and out of the role, given chances to Andrés Muñoz and Diego Castillo and we know they still believe Ken Giles can make a splash once he’s activated from the IL in late June. But Sewald seems to be the guy Servais likes to use and his six-straight scoreless appearances over the last 10 days continue to enforce that belief. Sewald has only earned one save and one win during that stretch, but the performance and frequency with which he is used should have you leaning towards him for saves in Seattle. Hopefully, the role becomes clearer over his next few appearances, but if looking for saves, he could be a nice speculative add if available.
Milwaukee Brewers Send Hunter Renfroe for MRI on Tuesday
The only thing worse than waiting for a team to put a guy on the IL (you didn’t really think I was just gonna let that go, did you?) is when your player gets hurt in a Monday game. Renfroe was removed from yesterday’s action after experiencing discomfort in his right hamstring. What’s worse is that he didn’t even downplay the injury during the post-game presser as he said he “doesn’t have a feel whether it will be a matter of days or something more serious.” Yuck! He’ll go for the MRI today and we’ll hopefully receive some good news. Renfroe has been crushing it lately, batting .405 with three home runs over his last 10 games. Stay tuned for more, but it might be wise to add Tyrone Taylor who should see the bulk of at-bats while Renfroe is out.
Zach Davies Listed as Day-to-Day with Leg Contusion
Here’s one for the deeper formats as very few people are really interested in using Zach Davies in shallow leagues. Maybe the occasional stream is fine, but the guy doesn’t strike people out, he plays for a losing team and his current 4.81 ERA is something your fantasy nightmares are built on. He left yesterday’s game after taking a line drive off the leg and while x-rays were negative, he could miss a start or two if it’s a significantly deep bone bruise. We’ll have to see who the Diamondbacks would bring up to take his place, but Drey Jameson is always a name that interests the fantasy baseball prospect junkies.
Tuesday MLB Best Bets for Today
Yesterday’s Best Bets: 1-2
MLB Season Best Bets: 39-25-1
OK, so the Yankees losing to the Orioles was a huge bummer as Gerrit Cole was a major disappointment, but once again, we again get screwed on a bet thanks to the runner on second to start the extra-innings. Who knows how the Cardinals would have fared in the 10th inning last night, but pitchers pitch differently when there’s a runner behind them and maybe the innings doesn’t get out of hand with Blue Jays relievers walking guys to load the bases? Ah well. No use crying over spilt milk. Let’s get it back tonight.
The Dodgers threw the Nationals an absolute beating last night as Tyler Anderson spun a gem while Trea Turner, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman led the offense to a 10-run night. Josiah Gray isn’t the punching bag Joan Adon is, but it’s really tough to imagine a guy who has served up six home runs in his last three starts is going to keep the Dodgers bats in check. Walker Buehler, on the other hand, should have no issues with the Washington lineup. Maybe Juan Soto does something, but enough to keep this game close? Probably not. The Dodgers, as the visiting team, are also guaranteed to bat the full nine innings.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 Run Line (-130 on Caesars Sportsbook)
Who knows what would have happened in this game had Freddy Peralta not been hurt, but the Padres stole the first win of the series in extra-innings last night. They don’t do it again, facing Corbin Burnes tonight. The Padres have a .292 wOBA with just a .094 ISO over the last seven days and have a .289 wOBA with a 22.5-percent K-rate against righties this season. The Brewers may be a middle-of-the-road team against southpaws this season, but Blake Snell is still trying to pitch his way into mid-season form and is going to have his issues as we saw last week in his season debut. The 6.5 run-total seems like a pretty accurate call, but it doesn’t matter how many runs are scored to me, just as long as Milwaukee gets the W.
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers Money Line (-135 on BetMGM)
I love this pitching duel between Logan Webb and Chris Bassitt, both of whom can stifle a lineup on any given day. Bassitt got hit around a little his last time out, but still owns a 2.77 ERA and has allowed three or fewer runs in six of his eight starts this season. Webb is coming off a strong effort in Coors Field and he’s allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts. The Giants have lost five-straight and scored an average of three runs per game in that span while the Mets, who put up 13 runs on the Giants last night, are coming off a series in Coors where they average just three runs per game as well. I’ve got my money on the starters tonight.
Pick: Mets/Giants Total Runs UNDER 7.5 (-115 on Caesars Sportsbook)
Related Articles & MLB Tools:
- Fantasy Baseball Player Spotlight: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- Fantasy Baseball Podcast
- MLB Lineups
- MLB Weather Center
- Fantasy Baseball Closer Grid