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Happy Friday, everyone! Thursday’s action was all about the youngsters putting together big-time performances led by Kyle Bradish — or as Cole Douglas Claybourn on Twitter referred to him as “Kyle good-ish” — he’ll be here all day ladies and gentlemen. Bradish was fantastic against the Astros on Thursday. He threw 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball and allowed just two hits, no walks and struck out 10 on 100 pitchers. His slider velocity was up as was his curveball velocity in this outing. Bradish made a conscious decision to all but abandon his fastball and the results were excellent.
Bradish has now racked up a 1.65 ERA over his last six starts, and no that is not a typo. He is 21% rostered.
We’ll dive into more of the action from Thursday, but first make sure you’re all caught up on everything going over on the site. On the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast from Wednesday, Frank and Scott broke down the value of Aaron Judge moving forward specifically as it pertains to where he might get drafted in 2023 Fantasy drafts. So Scott decided to take that exercise a step further by predicting the first two rounds of your 2023 drafts and picking a spot for where Judge will land. You can find his analysis behind each pick here.
Judge comes off the board at No. 1 overall, per Scott: “He was already thought to be the best power hitter in the game, and the mushier baseballs have driven that point home, creating enough disparity to justify a pick this high. Durability would be the only other concern.”
I also thought it was interesting to see how high Julio Rodriguez came off the board for Scott at No. 5 overall — he was truly the steal of the drafts in 2022 — the best value and breakout pick combined and alone: “He’s already producing 98th-percentile max exit velocities at age 21, and he’s clearly shown his willingness to run as the majors’ only 25/25 guy so far. This ranking bakes in continued improvement, but the risk seems fairly low.”
Juan Soto still made Scott’s top-10 at No. 8 overall, but something tells me he’ll fall outside of the top 10 next spring. From Scott: “Another exceedingly difficult player to rank, Soto has had a career that would stack up to anyone’s through age 23 and was considered the best hitter in baseball at this time a year ago. There aren’t obvious red flags to explain his struggles.”
Wong triple dong
Kolten Wong went absolutely nuts on Thursday evening. Wong collected three hits and all three of them were home runs! He has now racked up a Roto-friendly 15 homers and 15 stolen bases this season.
Thursday’s pitching standouts
- Jack Flaherty gets back on track with a quality start vs. the Padres. He threw six innings and allowed just two earned runs with nine strikeouts. His fastball velocity was up as was his slider and curveball velocity. Despite striking out nine, he induced just 10 swinging strikes.
- Brandon Woodruff dropped six innings of one run ball with three hits allowed and 11 strikeouts against the Reds on Thursday. He now has a 3.18 ERA on the season after turning things around fast.
- Justin Verlander threw in another quality start with six innings of two-run ball allowing just six hits and zero walks.
Best hitter matchups for next week
1. Mariners TEX3, OAK3, DET4
2. Angels OAK3, TEX3, @OAK3
3. Reds @PIT3, @CHC3, CHC3
4. Guardians TB3, KC6
5. Blue Jays NYY3, BOS3, @BAL3
Worst hitter matchups for next week
1. Rockies @SF3, @LAD6
2. Diamondbacks @HOU2, @SF3, @MIL3
3. Padres LAD3, CHW3, SF3
4. Braves @WAS3, NYM3, @MIA3
5. Rays @CLE3, @HOU3, @BOS3
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:
- Julio Rodriguez exited Thursday’s game with that recurring lower-back injury. He’ll undergo an MRI Friday.
- Jarred Kelenic was recalled Wednesday and could see more playing time if Julio is out. He’s 28% rostered
- Ronald Acuña was scratched Thursday due to mid-back tightness.
- Trevor Story was finally placed on the IL with that left heel contusion, retroactive to Sept. 19.
- Aaron Boone said Wednesday that the Yankees will go with a closer-by-committee approach. I would imagine that includes Aroldis Chapman, Scott Effross (just activated) and Clay Holmes.
- Freddy Peralta could return this weekend against the Reds. He’s been out since Sept. 8 with shoulder fatigue.
- Santiago Espinal was placed on the IL with a left oblique strain.
- Brandon Nimmo was removed Wednesday with left quad tightness. The MRI came back clean.
- David Bednar was activated by the Pirates and could be available in shallow leagues. He’s 66% rostered.
- Ryne Nelson was placed on the IL with right scapula inflammation.
- Andrew Benintendi is not expected to return before the playoffs. He’s on the IL with a broken hamate bone.
- Seiya Suzuki is not expected back this weekend as he awaits the birth of his child.
- Yandy Diaz has missed three straight with left shoulder soreness but he did receive a cortisone shot recently.
- Drew Smyly will likely make his next start Tuesday or Wednesday against the Phillies. He was scratched this week with left shoulder fatigue.
- Mike Soroka was placed on the minor-league IL with right elbow soreness and will be shut down for the rest of the season. We have not seen him pitch since August 3, 2020 mostly because of Achilles injuries.
- Trevor Rogers was officially placed on the IL with a left lat strain. He’ll miss the rest of the season.
- Joey Wendle was placed on the IL with left hamstring tendinitis.