Happy Monday, everyone! I want to highlight the start of today’s newsletter with a nod to Michael Wacha, who made his return to the mound against the Yankees on Sunday and absolutely dominated them. Wacha, pitching in his 10th year in the bigs, is having the best season of his career. And this is coming off consecutive seasons where Wacha got tagged for a 5.05 and 6.62 ERA. And that’s the beauty of it — anyone can find new ways to perfect their craft and get red hot for a stretch.
Wacha threw seven innings of shutout baseball against the Yankees while striking out a season-high nine. The two hits he allowed were both singles and he walked one. The Yankees swung — and missed — on 18 of his pitches, including 10 that came from his now nasty changeup. Wacha now has a 2.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP on the season.
We’ll dive into key takeaways from the weekend’s action, but first make sure you’re all caught up on everything going on over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy. Right now, you can find Scott White’s sleeper hitters for this week, his sleeper pitchers and his favorite two-start pitchers to target.
Ras almost goes the distance
It was a day of extraordinary pitching performances Sunday as Drew Rasmussen nearly made history. Ras took a perfect game all the way into the ninth inning before Jorge Mateo tagged him for a lead-off double. He finished the outing with a phenomenal 8 1/3 innings pitched, having allowed just one hit, no walks and one earned run. Ras struck out seven and induced 17 swinging strikes on just 87 pitches. That’s all he needed. Ras is bordering on elite SP1 in Fantasy and has now lowered his ERA to 2.80 on the season. He’s 74% rostered in CBS Leagues. We discussed Rasmussen among other topics on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 Podcast.
The craziest news of the weekend came off the diamond when we learned that Fernando Tatis Jr. would be suspended 80 games by the MLB after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Tatis claims that he inadvertently took the substance as part of a medication to treat a ringworm he had, but that won’t change much of the bottom line. Tatis will miss the remaining 48 games of the 2022 season and the beginning of next season — depending on how many postseason games the Padres play.
Ha-Seong Kim will now likely keep his everyday role for the Padres if you’re looking for exposure to this lineup and in a pinch to fill a starting spot.
Scott breaks down the impact of the Tatis suspension here.
One of my favorite players to target as an add for this week is Trent Grisham. He has been on a tear as of late and collected two more hits, one being a homer and stole another base as well. Grisham now has 15 homers, five steals and he has treated August like a launching point. He is batting .275 with five homers and one stolen base this month. He is also averaging a 91.5 mph exit velocity and a 50% fly ball rate.
Here’s my favorite part: He’s 42% rostered and has seven games this week — and only one game against a lefty — that one coming against Patrick Corbin. That’s a nice set up.
Scott White is also warming up to Grisham in the Monday edition of the waiver wire here.
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Corey Kluber is still 85% rostered but you can’t feel confident starting him in this week’s matchup against the Yankees. Kluber has now allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts. His ERA has ballooned to 4.40 overall and it’s hard to trust him in your lineups, but also a case can be made that he is not worth rostering for the stretch run.
Fantasy news, injuries and notes
For a complete recap of every injury, update and more, make sure you’re locked into the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast where Frank, Scott and Chris dive deep into every player note. For the CliffsNotes version, we’ll recap the biggest news and notes you need to know right here:
- Bryce Harper will take batting practice on the field Monday, the first time since injuring his thumb.
- Ronald Acuña left the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with right knee soreness and he was not in the lineup Sunday. It sounds like Acuña won’t go on the IL.
- Mike Trout participated in a full round of batting practice Sunday but remains without a clear timeline.
- George Springer is on track to rejoin the Blue Jays at some point this week. He’s been on the IL with elbow inflammation.
- Giancarlo Stanton is targeting a full pregame routine by Monday and will hopefully begin a rehab assignment some time this week. He’s been out since late July with Achilles tendinitis.
- Wander Franco is nearing a rehab assignment with the Rays‘ Florida Complex League team. He’s been out since early July with a fractured hamate bone.
- Luis Severino will throw a bullpen session Monday. He’s been out since mid-July with a strained right lat and isn’t eligible to return until mid-September.
- Clayton Kershaw‘s back is feeling much better thanks to his epidural injection. He remains without a timetable.
- Dustin May will make his season debut Saturday against the Marlins.
- Andrew Heaney left his start Saturday with a bruised arm but he expects to make his next start at the Brewers.
- Ramon Laureano was removed Sunday with side soreness.
- Bailey Ober threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday and is expected to throw another one Tuesday. He’s been out since early June with a groin injury. Looking to stash? 21% rostered
- Michael Brantley underwent an arthroscopic labral repair on his right shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.
- Brian Anderson and Jon Berti were reinstated on Friday,
- Ke’Bryan Hayes has missed three straight with back spasms.
- Juan Yepez could be reinstated from the IL Tuesday. Who’s playing time might that affect with the Cardinals?
- Nationals Luis Garcia went on the IL with knee and groin issues.
- Alex Colome was placed on the IL with tennis elbow.
- Yonathan Daza was placed on the IL with a dislocated left shoulder
- Pirates reliever Yerry De Los Santos was placed on the 60-day IL with a right lat strain.
- Tarik Skubal transferred to the 60-day IL and will miss the rest of this season.