Phillip Evans (PIT) Evans isn’t a long-term play by any means. Once Ke’Bryan Hayes returns that probably minimizes Evans’ playing a little more. But the good news is that Hayes just started swinging a bat on Wednesday and by all accounts his rehab has been slow. So feel free to take advantage of Evans who has four multi-hit games since last Wednesday and the Pirates have experimented with hitting him in the top-third of the order. Entering Wednesday, he was slashing .382/.475/.706 and he contributes in a variety of categories.

Jed Lowrie (OAK) I’m honestly pleasantly surprised with what Lowrie has done over the last week. He’s probably a better add for points leagues because of the plate discipline, but he’s been very solid as a replacement for Ketel Marte owners. In four straight games he’s recorded multiple hits with two home runs, six runs scored, and nine RBI. Plus, he’s locked into the three-hole at the moment. He’s turning back the clock and raking at the moment. And worst-case scenario, if he cools off, so be it. You can throw him back.

Jazz Chisholm (MIA) Jasardo Prince Hermis Arrington Chisholm Jr. and the Marlins have had their way with the Braves so far as Miami will go for the four-game sweep on Thursday. I’m considering Chisholm as a speculative add. He’s mostly been hitting sixth in the batting order, which I don’t love because it minimizes his run-scoring upside. However, he has three extra base hits in his last four games and on Wednesday night he ripped a three-run home run and stole a base. He now has three steals in ten games. He’s drawing walks at a 20% clip so he’s finding ways to get on base, but hopefully the batting average can improve so he can move up in the batting order. A lot of Miami’s bats have come to life for the series in Atlanta. The Fish have scored 25 runs in their last three games so let’s see what happens once they leave Truist Park.

Zach McKinstry (LAD) I don’t really know what to make of McKinstry. He’s a fantastic story and a guy Dodgers fans are quickly taking a liking to. He plays hard, runs into walls, makes diving plays, and he’s producing at the plate. Entering Wednesday’s action he was slashing .310/.344/.655 and he’s capable of contributing in runs, home runs, and RBI. On Wednesday he clubbed a timely home run in the eighth inning against the Rockies to help pad the lead for the Dodgers in their win over the Rockies. Like Chisholm, he’s buried in the order. Unlike Chisholm, I’m less optimistic he has a spot atop the order at some point given all the star power in Los Angeles.

Starting Pitchers

Carlos Rodón (CHW) I’m very excited about the starting pitchers in today’s column. Sometimes I feel better about the relievers or the hitters, but today I’m on board with the starters from top-to-bottom. We’ll start with two guys that can help you rest of season and then pear down to a couple streamers and speculative adds. Rodon was a hot topic of conversation last week following his strong debut against the Mariners. Last night he carried a perfect game into the ninth inning but settled for the no hitter with seven strikeouts. On ESPN his ownership is right around 54% and it will easily rise following the no hitter. Now is a good time to put in a claim for him. He draws two starts next week against the Red Sox and Rangers. The first start isn’t great as Boston’s riding a nine-game winning streak, but his second start will close out next week’s scoring period as he’ll take the mound against the Texas at home. You’ll want to jump on Rodon in any league he may be available for you. Gamble on the chance this is finally his year.

Casey Mize (DET) Ownership’s on the rise, to no surprise, so I’m telling no lies when I say pickup Casey Mize . I was feeling fairly inspired after listening to DC Glenn's Interview on The Fantasy Alarm Show. But I promise you that’s likely the extent of my hip hop career. Mize has been a hot name in fantasy circles even dating back to last year. He was the first overall pick in 2018 so the elite prospect status is well known. The strikeout numbers will come in time, but he’s coming off seven shutout innings against the Astros so that has to be worth something. The six-man rotation limits the ceiling in the sense that he won’t have as many two-start weeks as other pitchers, but his next two starts are slated to come against Oakland and Kansas City and he could emerge as a reliable arm for your team.

Alex Cobb (LAA) Sometimes you just like to see pitchers use their best “stuff” more. In Cobb’s case, that’s his splitter (or his changeup if looking at Fangraphs, but it doesn’t quite have enough velocity separation from his fastball to be considered a changeup… Just one man’s opinion though). In Cobb’s career he’s averaged about seven strikeouts per nine innings of work. Right now, through 11.2 innings of work, he’s averaging 13.11 K/9. So, we’re bound to see regression. However, this is the time to take advantage of pitchers off to a nice start and we try to look for what they’re doing differently to justify the hot start. Cobb fits the bill at the moment and is available pretty much anywhere.

Rich Hill (TB) Hill’s start was pushed from Wednesday of this week to Thursday and if you play in a daily league you can use him as a streamer on Thursday. He gets a nice matchup at home against the Rangers, who have posted 17 runs in their last six games (although 13 have come in their last two). It’s a fairly pathetic offense in general, and while Hill is getting up there in age (he’s given up eight earned runs in ten innings so far this year), the strikeouts are there, and this is a matchup where he could pick up a win. Even in a point league it’s hard to imagine him not netting you points. Tread a little carefully, but I sign off on this streaming option.

Closer Carousel

Emmanuel Clase (CLE) I wasn’t crazy about the Cleveland closer situation. I thought it was going to be Karinchak, and a part of me still thinks it should be Karinchak given his ability to mow down opposing hitters. However, Clase got the saves on Friday and Sunday but promptly took the loss Monday night. And who got the save on Tuesday? Of course it was Karinchak and yes that’s mildly concerning. But I don’t believe Karinchak’s opportunity on Tuesday was an indictment of Clase taking the loss the night before. Clase had pitched four times in six days and simply needed a day off. Will Karinchak get mixed in for saves? Sure. But I don’t think Clase’s in any trouble.

Jordan Romano (TOR) All those people that threw Romano overboard earlier in the week are running back to the waiver wire to grab him as you read this. It’s not a certainty that Romano will get all the saves, but it stands to reason he’ll see more work in the ninth inning with Merryweather hitting the IL. Did Romano come in when it counted on Tuesday? No. He worked on Tuesday so the Jays probably didn’t want to use him on back-to-back days. With that said they turned to Rafael Dolis in the ninth inning, who picked up the win. I’m putting in claims for Romano (but prioritizing Rodon first) where he’s available, and I’m not setting my expectations very high. Is he worth grabbing if somebody else dropped him? Sure. But tempter expectations.

Lou Trivino (OAK) This is a little tough to gauge because similar to Cleveland, this could go to a couple guys. Trivino got the save for Oakland Tuesday night but the only reason Jake Diekman didn’t get the ball in the ninth is because he worked three of the previous four days. Our Bullpen Report will be out later in the day on Thursday so I’d advise checking back and seeing how Joe Gallina sees that situation shaking up. In my own opinion I think Oakland might actually opt for the right-hander in Trivino but check back for updates.