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Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (shoulder) tossed a two-inning simulated game Thursday, May 13.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow struck out 10 batters in the Rays' 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Friday. Glasnow went eight innings and yielded only five hits, one walk, and two earned runs. He did not factor into the decision. Over 57 1/3 innings pitched in 2021, Glasnow now owns a 2.35 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and has posted an incredible 85 strikeouts. As one of the best pitchers in MLB, Glasnow should remain active in all fantasy formats. He will next face the Orioles on Thursday in Baltimore in a salivating matchup against a free-swinging, strikeout-prone lineup.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal made his sixth start of the year on Friday against the Chicago Cubs and wound up with his sixth loss. He pitched six innings and allowed eight hits, one walk and four earned runs while striking out five. Over eight games and six starts this year, Skubal is now 0-6 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. He has an even uglier xERA of 7.18 and his strikeout rate is down from 27.6% in 2020 to 20.4% this year. Skubal has a great deal of potential and should be held onto in all dynasty leagues. In all season-long leagues, however, he should be left on waivers. His next start will be on Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners.
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Josh Staumont closed out the team's 6-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader. He pitched the ninth inning, allowing one walk and no hits while recording one strikeout. Staumont has received the last three saves for the Royals, though none of them have come in May as the Royals have been in the midst of a horrendous stretch. The team lost 11 consecutive games before winning Game 1 on Friday. Royals manager Mike Matheny has been tough to trust with his bullpen management, but Staumont clearly appears to be the frontrunner for save opportunities in Kansas City right now. He should be rostered in just about all fantasy leagues.
Chicago White Sox 1B Jose Abreu (face, knee) is listed as day-to-day after sustaining a facial bruise and cut, as well as a bruised left knee, after a collision with Kansas City Royals INF/OF Hunter Dozier during the first game of a doubleheader Friday, May 14.
Chicago White Sox RHP Alex McRae was called up from Class AAA Charlotte as the team's 27th man for the doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals Friday, May 14. He was sent back to Charlotte after the second game was over.
New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday. Despite the poor performance on Friday at the hands of Rays' starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, Lindor is still hitting .333 with one home run and four RBI over his past seven games (24 at-bats). Fantasy managers should look at Friday's performance as a mere hiccup at the hands of one of the league's best pitchers. While Lindor is still only batting .195/.311/.265 on the season over 113 AB, he has been heating up in May and should, accordingly, remain active in all fantasy formats.
Baltimore Orioles OF Anthony Santander (ankle) began a rehab assignment with Class AA Bowie Friday, May 14.
San Diego Padres outfielder Trent Grisham went 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored in the Padres' 5-4 win over the Cardinals on Friday. Grisham raised his slash line to .292/.380/.487 on the season, over 113 at-bats, to go with five home runs and 12 RBI. Though Grisham's average has dipped slightly over the past seven games in which he is batting only .222, he has remained an on-base machine, posting a .344 on-base percentage over that same period. As the Padres leadoff hitter who has excellent on-base skills, and who can provide counting stats in the runs, power, and steals departments, he is a bona fide five-tool threat in fantasy. He should, accordingly, remain rostered and active in all fantasy formats.
San Diego Padres starter Joe Musgrove picked up his third win of the season in the Padres' 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on Friday. Musgrove, now 3-4 on the season, went five innings pitched allowing five hits, four walks, and one earned run while striking out five. While it was not the most impressive of outings, it was still a decent bounce back from his last two starts, both against the San Francisco Giants, in which he yielded a combined nine earned runs over 10 IP. Though Musgrove picked up the win, it was his fourth consecutive start in which he failed to register a quality start. Despite his recent successful attempts to impersonate teammate Blake Snell, Musgrove should remain active in all formats. Musgrove owns a solid 2.86 ERA, and an impressive 0.95 WHIP, with 59 strikeouts over 44 IP on the season. He will next face the Rockies at home on Wednesday in what should be a favorable matchup.
San Diego Padres closer Mark Melancon picked up his MLB leading 13th save of the season on Friday, closing out the Padres' 5-4 win over the Cardinals. Melancon worked the ninth inning allowing one hit, a solo home run to Nolan Arenado, and striking out one. It wasn't the most dominant of outings, but Melancon got the job done. Despite the home run, Melancon owns a 1.02 ERA and impressive 0.74 WHIP over 17 2/3 innings pitched on the season. He is also a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities. Given the fact that it was uncertain who would handle closing duties in San Diego prior to the beginning of the season, Melancon has emerged as a surprise elite closer in 2021. Fantasy managers who bucked the trend and opted to roster Melancon over Drew Pomeranz have reaped the rewards for their belief in the 36-year old veteran. Melancon should, obviously, remain active in all fantasy formats.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Drew Smyly may have figured things out. The veteran lefty allowed just one run in six innings of work on Friday during the club's 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. He walked just one batter and struck out four. Most importantly, Smyly kept the ball in the yard. He allowed an eye-popping nine home runs in 19 innings in April. Over two May starts spanning 12 innings, he has yet to be taken deep. He's also allowed just two runs (one earned) this month and has seen his ERA drop from 8.05 at the end of April to 5.23 in mid-May. Smyly is worth a look as a buy-low candidate before other fantasy managers catch on.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Kevin Gausman dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday over eight innings in the Giants' 3-2 loss in 11 innings. While Gausman did not factor into the decision, he yielded only five hits while striking out 12 in his eight innings of work. In the process, he became the first Giants pitcher with multiple 10-strikeout games in a season since 2017. Gausman is off to an amazing start to the 2021 season. He now owns a 1.84 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP to go with 59 strikeouts in 53 2/3 IP. As one of the best starting pitchers in baseball to begin the 2021 campaign, he should remain active in all fantasy formats. He is next scheduled to face the Reds on the road on Wednesday.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna slugged a home run off the centerfield scoreboard during the club's 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. The 30-year-old veteran had a strong game overall and went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. The home run was his sixth of the season as he looks to rebound from a slow start to 2021. After posting a .608 OPS in April, Ozuna has a .751 OPS through 12 May games. While he may never duplicate his rate of output from the 2020 season, which earned him a lucrative, long-term contract, Ozuna has a long history of hitting 20-30 home runs in a season. Now might be the time to try and buy low on this outfielder.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara had, by far, his worst start of the season on Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Alcantara lasted just 1 1/3 innings pitched and yielded eight earned runs on seven hits and two walks as the Marlins fell to the Dodgers 9-6. Alcantara saw his ERA jump from 2.72 to 4.06 on the season as a result of this outing. He also owns a 1.16 WHIP and a 51:16 K:BB over 51 IP on the season. Fantasy managers should look at Friday's outing merely as a hiccup on what has otherwise been an excellent start to the 2021 campaign for the 25-year old. Alcantara will look to get back on track in his next start which is scheduled for Thursday on the road against the Phillies.
Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a home run and double and drove in three in the Nationals' 17-2 rout of the Diamondbacks on Friday. Turner, who was already off to a great start in 2021, is getting even hotter in May. Over his last seven games, he has posted a .355/.364/.613 slash line with two home runs and six RBI in 31 at-bats. During this hot streak, he has raised his average to .312 on the season to go with nine HR, 18 RBI, and seven steals. Not surprisingly, Turner's production is largely supported by hitting metrics, including a hard-hit rate, xBA, and xSLG which are all within the top 20% of MLB. As one of the first players off of fantasy draft boards, Turner should remain active in lineups in all formats.
New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson went 7 1/3 innings pitched on Friday allowing just two earned runs, four hits, and two walks while striking out nine batters in the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Peterson did not factor into the decision. It was a terrific bounce-back start for the 25-year old, following a start against the Diamondbacks last Friday in which he failed to make it out of the second inning. Peterson had a total of 35 called strikes plus whiffs on Friday. It was also his fourth game over his last nine starts dating back to 2020 in which he struck out eight or more batters. He now owns a 4.86 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and a 41:13 K:BB on the season over seven starts (33 1/3 IP). It has been a very inconsistent beginning to the season for Peterson. While he has shown poor metrics including overall barrel and hard-hit rates, his strikeout rate is among the league's best. As a result, while Friday shows that he should be rostered in most formats, he remains just a streaming option for managers that have room to roster him until he can find more consistency.
Free-agent backstop Jonathan Lucroy secured a minor-league contract with the catching-starved Atlanta Braves on Friday. The 34-year-old veteran has played parts of 12 seasons in the majors and appeared in five games with the Washington Nationals earlier this season before being released. During that brief stretch, he hit .357. Atlanta would be Lucroy's eighth team since 2017 and he hasn't been fantasy relevant for a few years now. However, he could be in line for some decent playing time after the club lost No. 1 catcher Travis d'Arnaud to a season-ending injury. The club is currently holding down the fort with rookie William Contreras and 38-year-old Jeff Mathis.
Texas Rangers shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a strong game on Friday night despite watching his club fall 10-4 to the Houston Astros. The catcher-turned-shortstop went 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored two runs. The two doubles pushed Kiner-Falefa's season total to seven. His 14 extra-base hits in 40 games this year have already surpassed the 10 that he hit in 58 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Along with a career-high five home runs, he's hitting .296 and has seven steals in eight attempts. Kiner-Falefa has strong fantasy value because his catcher eligibility remains in many leagues but he's also becoming more relevant as a middle infielder.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer in a 9-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday. After a slow stretch at the plate spanning almost a month, India is starting to heat up. Over his past two games, India has four hits, including two homers, and five RBI. He has just five extra-base hits on the season, with three of those coming since Thursday's game. Overall, India is hitting .235 with three homers, 12 runs, and 19 RBI in 85 at-bats. Even though his recent success has come at Coors Field, he's worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
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