Brayan Bello, SP, BOS (CBS: 34% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): The news that Nick Pivetta is moving to the pen solidifies a spot in the rotation for the 24-year-old Brayan Bello. After a slow start, Bello has reeled off four solid starts in which he has held the opposition to a total of eight runs and laid claim to three consecutive wins. That should have your attention.
Jake Burger, 3B, CWS (CBS: 25% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): Over his past six games, Jake Burger continues to tear it up, going 11-for-22 and homering in three consecutive games. He’s now up to 10 home runs on the season. Yoan Moncada has returned from the IL, but don’t let that sway your decision. The White Sox will find room in the lineup for the hot-hitting Burger.
Patrick Corbin, SP, WAS (CBS: 15% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): I find this hard to believe after the struggles we’ve seen from Patrick Corbin over the past several seasons, but after a tough start to the 2023 season we’ve now seen five-of-his-past six starts of the quality variety, and he’s coming off back-to-back wins. In the pitching-starved world we are currently residing in; it’s time to give Corbin another look.
Michael Kopech, SP, CWS (CBS: 40% rostered, ESPN: 19% rostered): In three of his past four starts, Kopech has allowed only one hit. In two of those games, he walked a total of 11 batters. In the other two games, he walked only one batter. I’ll let you guess what two games he won. If he can find a way to limit those free passes consistently, he’ll finally become a pitcher and potentially a very good one.
Royce Lewis, SS, MIN (CBS: 29% rostered, ESPN: 3% rostered): I liked Royce Lewis a lot, knowing he was finally playing rehab games this week and getting close to returning. The two-homer game on Friday, combined with the fact that he’s running and is up to three stolen bases, further influenced me that this is the week to jump all-in on Lewis. The power/speed potential can’t be ignored.
Matthew Liberatore, SP, STL (CBS: 41% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): As we’ve discussed ad nauseam on the Podcast, the velocity is up, the walks are under control, and the results down on the farm, thus far have been excellent. He got the call, made his 2023 debut this week, and responded in fine form, tossing five shutout innings against the Brewers. Let’s hope the Cards don’t find a way to mess with that success and see an everyday spot in their rotation for the young Southpaw.
Bobby Miller, SP, LAD (CBS: 21% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Dodgers pitching has been a tough week. First, Dustin May has an elbow issue, and now Julio Urias hits the IL with a hamstring injury. Miller hasn’t enjoyed a banner year by any stretch, missing most of the first month with shoulder soreness, but his last start looked much better. Desperate times quite often require desperate measures. We’re at that “stage of the game” in LA. In his debut, Miller is looking at a tough Atlanta Brave offense, so a spot on your bench would be the safe play.
Gavin Stone, SP, LAD (CBS: 37% rostered, ESPN: 2% rostered): Yes, pick him up and get him rostered, but find a place on your bench to sit him this week as he has the Braves and Rays on the schedule in a two-start week. That’s about as tough as it gets.
Lane Thomas, OF, WAS (CBS: 36% rostered, ESPN: 8% rostered): I know that he doesn’t give you enough power or speed, but when you get to the end of the season, he’ll find a way to produce 15-to-20 home runs with ten stolen bases and 80 runs scored. That seems like a decent production from a fifth outfielder plucked from the Waiver Wire.
Mark Vientos, 3B, NYM (CBS: 29% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): How many Third Base types can one team roster? Leave it to the Mets to try and raise the bar and go with three. In 141 at-bats, Vientos slugged 13 home runs at Triple-A. There is no doubting the power potential. Let’s hope the Mets find a way to give him a steady diet of at-bats.
Jared Walsh, 1B, LAA (CBS: 23% rostered, ESPN: 4% rostered): We have a Jared Walsh sighting. After spending the first six weeks of the 2023 season on the IL, dealing with chronic headaches and insomnia, which the Angels have been dealing with for years, he has returned to the everyday lineup. Only two years ago, he hit 29 homers and drove in 98 runs. It’s worth a small bid to see if some semblance of a bounceback is in order.
Ryan Weathers, SP, SDP (CBS: 5% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Seth Lugo is dealing with a minor calf strain and has found his way to the IL. The Padres will turn to Ryan Weathers to fill the void. Weathers has pitched well this year in limited opportunities, and this is likely to be limited. Still, he should be rostered and active, with the upcoming opponents being Washington, Miami, and the Cubs.
Jordan Westburg, SS, BAL (CBS: 14% rostered, ESPN: 1% rostered): Westburg continues to tear the cover off the ball down at Norfolk. He’s up to 12 homers, 42 RBI, and a great 1.006 OPS. It’s only a matter of time before he gets the call, and that time is growing closer with every at-bat.
Alex Wood, SP, SFG (CBS: 35% rostered, ESPN: 5% rostered): Wood was activated off the IL this week, where he spent a month dealing with a hamstring strain. The Giants will be careful with the oft-injured Wood, gradually building up the arm strength, but 5+ innings isn’t that far off. He went 4 1/3 innings in his last outing, a very good one, against the Phillies.
The Closer Report
Michael King, RP, NYY (CBS: 51% rostered, ESPN: 10% rostered): You have to go all the way back to April 14, a span of 14 consecutive appearances, since Clay Holmes last earned a save. During that span, Michael King and Wandy Peralta (CBS: 22% rostered) earned three saves. It’s definitely a committee situation in New York, and if available, it’s more than time to add Michael King. Not only will he work the ninth, but he will also go multiple innings late in games, increasing the chances for potential wins.
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