Here are what some talking heads think about fantasy baseball 2019:
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|CrabButter DM 20||60.5|
|Mellow Valley DM20||52.0|
|Arick DM 6 - 20||48.0|
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito has a 0.93 ERA in his last three starts but faces a difficult Houston Astros lineup on Thursday night. During this recent run from Giolito, one start against Cleveland followed by two against Toronto, he has gone 3-0 and allowed just 10 hits and six walks in 19 1/3 innings, with 20 strikeouts. In standard leagues, it's probably best to leave him on the bench and get a better read on how real Giolito's improvements are. With such a small late DFS slate, however, it may be worth taking a shot on the hot streak. Watch for the lineup Houston puts out; if some regulars sit, Giolito becomes a much better play.
Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez is not in the starting lineup against Cubs left-handed starting pitcher Jon Lester on Thursday. Scott Kingery is starting at the keystone and is hitting sixth in the batting order. Kingery has two hits in his 11 at-bats (.182) with five strikeouts since returning from the injured list. His .349/.404/.605 slash line on the season looks nice, so hopefully Kingery is able to get back to where he was before the injury. He's an acceptable DFS play on Thursday, but you might want to wait until he gets back in the groove first.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell (ankle, hamstring), the team's top prospect and No. 14 overall, is moving his rehab to High-A Inland Empire. He's recovering from a Grade 1 left hamstring strain and a Grade 2 right ankle sprain on March 10 and has been limited to extended spring training games up until now. Adell is currently on Double-A Mobile's injured list. The 20-year-old had a chance to make it up to the big leagues this year, but these injuries will likely cause the Angels to play it more cautiously with him in 2019. It still wouldn't be a bad idea to stash him away in dynasty/keeper leagues.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes (finger) has been transferred to High-A Palm Beach, where he'll work out of the starting rotation. Reyes allowed five runs in three innings for St. Louis to start the year and fractured his left pinkie punching a wall at Triple-A Memphis. It looks like the Red Birds will build him back up as a starter gradually, but it's anyone's guess when/if he'll get another shot in the big leagues this season. The 24-year-old right-hander was one of the top prospects in baseball, but injuries continue to set him back. Keep him on your radar, but he's no longer a must-stash in fantasy leagues.
Detroit Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison and outfielder JaCoby Jones are not in the starting lineup on Thursday. Ronny Rodriguez is starting at the keystone and is hitting fifth, while Niko Goodrum is in center field and batting second against Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards. Nobody in Detroit's lineup is very attractive for daily lineups. Goodrum is barely above the Mendoza Line this season. Rodriguez got off to a hot start this year but has cooled down and is now hitting .269/.304/.587 with six home runs, 18 RBI and two steals.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall (calf), who is currently away from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis due to a personal matter, told the team's trainer that he is still experiencing tightness in his calf. Chisenhall has yet to play this year and there remains no timetable for his return. At best, he'll likely be a platoon option in a corner outfield spot for the Bucs whenever he's able to return. He should only be stashed if you're desperate for outfield depth in NL-only leagues.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams (side) is doing rehab exercises but isn't throwing yet. He'll be re-evaluated this weekend, but the team is "optimistic that this (time down) will not be as long as it potentially could be." The 27-year-old right-hander is 2-1 on the year with a nice 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 54 innings over his nine starts. Williams doesn't strike a ton of hitters out, but he makes his living inducing weak contact and should remain a strong streaming option for those in deep mixed leagues when he returns.
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli (chest) remains out of the starting lineup on Thursday after suffering an upper chest contusion on Tuesday. Elias Diaz will do the catching and is hitting seventh against Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela. It's unclear if Cervelli will need a trip to the injured list, but he also sat out all series against the Padres last weekend before he was even injured. Diaz is still searching for his first home run and has only three RBI and five runs scored in 58 at-bats on the season. He's not the best DFS option for backstops.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang (oblique), who has been on the injured list since May 13 with a left side strain, is hitting in the cages with no restrictions while also throwing and fielding grounders. He'll hit on the field in the coming days, with the final step being a rehab assignment. Expect the Pirates to give Kang plenty of minor league at-bats, as he was hitting just .133 with a .504 OPS in 31 games before his injury. Colin Moran has been decent for the Bucs at the hot corner in Kang's absence, so there's no guarantee that Kang will get a starting job upon his return. He'll have to hit a lot better than he was going to get consistent playing time.
Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw (wrist) was 0-for-3 with a strikeout while playing third base for Triple-A San Antonio on Wednesday. Shaw has fallen on dark times this year while slashing .163/.266/.281 with four home runs, eight RBI and 50 strikeouts in his 135 at-bats before his injury. The Brew Crew won't rush him back into the fold, and Shaw could become a bench bat in Milwaukee if prospect Keston Hiura holds down the fort at second base. Shaw should be available on most waiver wires in mixed leagues right now.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk is not in the starting lineup on Thursday. Billy McKinney draws the start in right field and will hit seventh against Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Weber. McKinney isn't exactly setting the world on fire with his bat in 137 at-bats this year, hitting .234/.284/.380 with three home runs and only nine RBI. You should look elsewhere for a low-priced DFS flier on Thursday.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds is not in the starting lineup on Thursday. Melky Cabrera is starting in left field and is hitting fifth against Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela. The Milk Man has hit very well this year (.336/.373/.463), but his counting stats leave a lot to be desired with only three home runs, 13 runs, 14 RBI and two steals in his 134 at-bats, making him a low-ceiling DFS option for the early slate of games Thursday.
Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (rest) is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs. The 26-year-old has spent most of the season near the bottom of the Phillies batting order, with seven home runs, 28 RBI and a .224 batting average. Sean Rodriguez will play third base and bat eight against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.
Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (foot) felt some lingering pain in his right foot due to plantar fasciitis while doing some running the last few days. He will be eased off the running program for now but was hitting in the cages on Thursday. There's no timetable for the 34-year-old's return at this point. The good news for the Nats is that they got Matt Adams back from the injured list on Wednesday, and he will platoon with Howie Kendrick at first base for the time being. Zimm doesn't need to be owned in mixed leagues, as he's hitting .213/.302/.373 on the season with three homers and 11 RBI in his 75 at-bats.
New York Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas (hamstring) will officially come off the injured list to start on Saturday against the Tigers. Vargas missed three weeks with a left hamstring strain and was 1-2 with an ugly 5.92 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings in his seven outings (six starts). The 36-year-old left-hander isn't fooling many hitters these days and will even be an extremely risky streamer when he faces off against the light-hitting Tigers in his first start off the injured list. You'd have to be pretty desperate to use him this weekend.
The New York Yankees officially placed starting pitcher CC Sabathia (knee) on the 10-day injured list on Thursday with right knee inflammation. Sabathia said he's headed to New York on Friday and is likely to skip at least his next start. The left-hander, who is now one win shy of 250 wins for his career, described "just a shooting pain that goes through" his knee "every time I land." He's expected to receive a cortisone shot and a lubricant injection and then rest. The Yankees could recall Chance Adams to fill in while Sabathia is out. The 38-year-old Sabathia allowed four runs (two homers) in five innings but got the win against the Orioles on Wednesday and is now 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 34 K's in 41 1/3 innings. His stuff obviously isn't as good as it once was, but he'll continue to be a deep league streamer in the right matchups when he's back healthy.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Irvin has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, with Drew Anderson recalled as the corresponding move. The 25-year-old went 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA over 17 2/3 innings, while striking out 13 batters. Irvin was roughed up by the Cubs in Wednesday's start, where he surrendered seven earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez is likely to return for his turn in the rotation early next week. There's a chance that Irvin could be up at some point later in the season, and is not worth holding onto in any fantasy format.
New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz won't have it easy on Thursday when he takes on the Washington Nationals at home. Matz pitched well in his lone outing against Washington this season, but the Nationals sport a right-handed heavy lineup with a ton of speed and power. Despite Matz showing reverse splits so far this season, he has typically been dominant against lefties and vulnerable against righties. The Nationals will trot out Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, Howie Kendrick and Victor Robles this afternoon, all hitters who can mash against southpaws. To make matters worse, Stephen Strasburg will pitch opposite Matz this afternoon, making run support a bigger issue if you are looking for a win.
Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is one of the top pitchers on Thursday's slate, as he takes the bump against the New York Mets at the pitcher-friendly Citi Field. Strasburg is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season, and this time New York will be without Robinson Cano (left quad strain) and Jeff McNeil (left hamstring tightness), who both landed on the injured list. Don't think twice about starting the Washington ace this afternoon.
Boston Red Sox OF J.D. Martinez (back) remains out of the lineup Thursday, May 23.
|Thu 2:20pm ET|
|PHI||Nola R (4-0)|
|CHC||Lester L (3-2)|
|Thu 3:45pm ET|
|ATL||Gausman R (2-3)|
|SF||Bumgarner L (3-4)|
|Thu 4:00pm ET|
|MIN||Perez L (6-1)|
|LAA||Harvey R (2-3)|
|Thu 6:10pm ET|
|TB||Snell L (3-4)|
|CLE||Plutko R (1-0)|
|Thu 8:10pm ET|
|CWS||Giolito R (5-1)|
|HOU||Martin R (1-0)|
|GOOD LOVIN||5/22 5:10 pm ET|
|Arick DM 6 - 20||5/22 3:15 pm ET|
|Mellow Valley DM20||5/21 10:01 am ET|
|CrabButter DM 20||5/19 4:39 pm ET|
|ChickenDinnerj3||5/3 8:24 am ET|
|Yahtzee-roto||5/3 3:36 am ET|
|Thundering||4/19 5:26 pm ET|
|Ringgold 3||4/12 10:04 am ET|
|Commissioner||4/6 12:23 am ET|
|2019 mac||2/20 9:54 pm ET|
|FinaleDinali20||2/4 2:50 pm ET|
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