Fantasy baseball gets an early start today, so we’ve got to move fast, especially if you’re looking at your fantasy baseball waiver wire and looking to maybe stream in a starting pitcher for the day’s action. You could also be looking to wheel and deal early on as your fantasy baseball trade value chart is popping and the fantasy baseball trade analyzer is telling you to make a particular move. Whatever the case may be, we’re going to forego the usual talk that highlights our recently-updated fantasy baseball rankings and get right to work. As always, we like to start with all the action from yesterday.



Fantasy Baseball Highlights


Aaron Judge Leads New York Yankees to 11th-Straight Win



When Judge turned down a $230 million extension from the Yankees, my heart dropped. I play fantasy baseball with my head, but my heart will always wear pinstripes. It told me that he didn’t want to play in New York anymore, not that he thought the team was low-balling him. After all, the guy has played more than 140 games just twice in his career. You don’t turn down that kind of money and security to “prove yourself” and get the team to up the ante. But that’s neither here nor there at this point and if Judge is looking to move on from the Bronx and still receive that kind of offer, this is certainly the year to own him in fantasy. After a slow start, Judge has now hit safely in eight-straight games and has eight of his nine home runs coming in his last 42 at-bats. He is a major reason why the Yankees are on this 11-game winning streak and if you have him in fantasy, you’re licking your chops right now. Yes, if you are concerned the big guy gets hurt again, you can shop him around, but with a deadened ball, you may want to hold him as the guys with the elite power are going to be the ones who shine the brightest.  

Bobby Witt Jr. Hits First Career Home Run



Everyone loves their shiny new toys, right? We say it every year with regard to MLB rookies as they are routinely over-drafted in fantasy baseball. However, we’ve been all-in on Witt Jr. for some time now, we weathered the first-week storm while some panicked from his slow start and now, we’re reaping the benefits with an 11-game hit streak. On top of that, we got our first dinger from the kid who parked a low-hanging change-up from Dakota Hudson 417 feet into left-center field. He finished the night 2-for-3 and has brought his average up to .238 on the season. The numbers have steadily climbed since April 20 and we can expect them to only get better. Unless there’s an offer that absolutely blows you away, this is a player you’re going to want to hold forever. OK, maybe not forever, but for a really long time.

Michael Wacha Shocks the World and Blanks the Angels



The Angels themselves have also shocked the world as they’ve now been shut out for two-straight games. But we’re here to focus on Wacha because we know the Angels will hit again. Just like we should know that Wacha is enjoying a stretch of appearances we won’t likely see again. The 30-year-old righty has allowed just four earned runs over 26 innings (five starts) and is now sitting with a 1.38 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP. Don’t let the short stretch or the Boston propaganda fool you though. This is not something to rely on in fantasy baseball. Wacha is going to come back down to Earth and those who are fooling themselves into thinking they’ve uncovered some late-blooming gem here, are in for a rude awakening. If you have somehow managed to take advantage of this early-season success, consider yourself lucky and get out while you can. He’ll face the White Sox next, so I wouldn’t be inclined to use him.

Is Sheldon Neuse Worth the Waiver Claim?



The fantasy baseball waiver wire is always a hotbed of action and this week won’t be any different as I’ve received a number of inquiries on the Oakland third baseman. After a 3-for-5 night with an RBI-double and two runs scored, Neuse is now slashing .329/.393/.461 on the season and many are wondering if adding him is worth the roster move. Personally, I don’t think there is anything special about him. His hit-tool is about average, he doesn’t have big power, especially when we’re looking at a deadened baseball once again, and he doesn’t offer much in the way of speed. He showed a decent ability to get on-base in the minors, but he still strikes out too much at the big-league level for him to sustain those totals. Maybe he’s a bit of a late-bloomer, but I think the only reason he’s standing out right now is because the rest of his team around him stinks.

Joe Barlow Picks Up Another Save for the Texas Rangers



After a few early weeks of concern, it looks like the Rangers have finally settled on Barlow to be the Rangers closer again. Expectations during the spring were that Barlow would pick up right where he left off last season, but manager Chris Woodward announced that he didn’t want to put the 26-year-old right-hander in the role right away. No clue why, but that’s Woodward for you. We tolerated the Matt Bush experiment and Woodward’s Spencer Patton whim, only to find ourselves going right back to Barlow. If you held onto him, congratulations. Your patience is paying off as he now sports a 2.45 ERA with a 0.82 WHIP, two saves and 10 strikeouts over just 7.1 innings. Expect him to lock down this job for a while, if not the entire season.

Shout-out to some dominant pitching performances:

Carlos Carrasco, NYM – eight scoreless innings with five strikeouts; he generated 17 swinging strikes overall

Brandon Woodruff, MIL – struck out 12 in just 5.2 innings to lead the Brewers past the Reds

Alek Manoah, TOR – allowed one run with seven strikeouts over six innings against the Yankees

Jameson Taillon – allowed just one run over six innings with four strikeouts against the Blue Jays



Daily Fantasy Baseball Injury Report


Milwaukee Brewers Turn to Devin Williams as Josh Hader Sits with Back Spasms



Nobody likes fantasy baseball closer issues and it’s even worse for those who invested third and fourth-round picks on an elite closer like Josh Hader. Word out of the Brewers clubhouse is that Hader was unavailable due to back spasm and they are going to give him another day to evaluate the severity of the issue. Devin Williams pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his second save of the season and he will pick up additional opportunities should Hader land on the 10-day injured list. Look for reports later in the day to get clarity on the situation.

Nelson Cruz Exits Nationals Game with Stiff Back



Here we go. Obviously, there were concerns regarding Cruz, his age and his health coming into the season, but it’s starting to look like it might be time for him to move on from the game. You hate to say it, but we saw him struggle to catch up to fastballs during the spring and he’s now batting just .143 with a .442 OPS over 104 plate appearances. The team is downplaying the back issue, so expect another evaluation later in the day. But if you’re in a league with daily roster moves, you may want to throw in a substitute.

Wednesday’s MLB Best Bets for Today

Not gonna lie – we got a little lucky yesterday as there was some concern regarding the pitching changes and the weather in Chicago. But that happens and sometimes, you have to appreciate the luck. We’ll look to keep the momentum rolling today, but be sure to check the MLB weather and, of course, the MLB lineups to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be.

  • Yesterday’s Best Bets: 3-1
  • MLB Season Best Bets: 22-7


Today's Picks


While I would normally avoid a pitcher working his way back from Tommy John surgery a game or two to shake off the rust, I’ve watched Mike Clevinger’s rehab starts at Triple-A El Paso and firmly believe he is ready to start dominating again at the big-league level. He was generating a number of swing-and-misses during rehab and finished his three appearances with 15 strikeouts over just 8.2 innings. We’ve got a little revenge-game narrative working here as well as the Guardians opted to let him walk rather than watch him rehab, so perhaps there’s an extra edge here too.

Pick: San Diego Padres Game 1 Money Line (-145 at Caesars Sportsbook)




While the Phillies may be striking out more than 26-percent of the time against southpaws this season, I cannot get behind Martín Pérez and the Texas Rangers here. Especially because the Phillies are also sporting a .340 wOBA against lefties as well. Strikeouts happen, especially when you have power hitters like Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be held off the scoreboard. There’s not a whole lot of value in the money line, but I’m willing to back Zack Wheeler against Texas and take some plus-odds on the run-line.


Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 Run Line (+115 at BetMGM)




We’re going to come back and go right after the Cincinnati Reds again, especially with Freddy Peralta on the bump for the Brewers. Peralta weathered a tough first two starts, but immediately fixed things with just one earned run allowed over his last two starts (11 innings). I don’t need to cite how bad the Reds offense is, especially with Joey Votto and Jonathan India out of the lineups. Not to mention the always-hittable Valdimir Gutierrez on the mound for the Reds. I’m tempted to look at the total runs here, but will just play it “safe” with another run-line bet.


Pick: Milwaukee Brewers -1.5 Run Line (-130 on Ceasars Sportsbook)

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