Lance McCullers dominates
My issues with McCullers largely stems from concerns about his control — though most 21-year-old hurlers are still in college or Single-A — and yesterday he tossed a gem. Going the full nine innings, McCullers sat down 11 Orioles batters on strikes without issuing a free pass. He allowed one run on four hits and now owns a 1.88 ERA to go with his 1.69 FIP. In a small sample size McCullers posted a modest 7.5 swinging strike rate prior to yesterday’s outing, and then coaxed 16 whiffs on 107 pitches, an encouraging tally for him to continue striking out batters. Make a move now before someone else picks him up, as he is on fantasy radars everywhere. He’s already owned in 69 percent of CBS formats, however he is available in over 70 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues.
Eduardo Rodriguez cruises
Tangent time: My sophomore year of high school Spanish, we had to pick out a name. I picked the name Eduardo because of a telenovela character from a show we watched our first week. Anyways, another rookie hurler who saw big success yesterday, Rodriguez picked up his second win in as many games started. He struck out seven batters while inducing a dozen swinging strikes on 103 pitches. A .118 BABIP is helping fuel his 0.61 ERA, but it isn’t as if his 2.91 FIP is too rough either. The 22-year-old has gone at least seven innings in both of his major league starts thus far and seems to be earning his way into more than just a brief call up. Via NESN, the BoSox will be utilizing a six-man rotation at least temporarily. Justin Masterson is rehabbing in Double-A and should be back the big leagues before long, yet it doesn’t appear as though he’ll be taking Rodrigez’s rotation spot. One can find Rodriguez free to pick up in just 23 percent of CBS leagues, but he is able to be picked up in about 50 percent of ESPN or Yahoo! formats.
Javier Baez watch
Yesterday Baez went 1-for-3 with a walk in Triple-A and is up to a five game hitting streak. He also notched his first start at third base and has already played 15 games at second to go with 16 appearances at shortstop. Baez continues to punish minor league pitching to the tune of a .325/.397/.550 line before yesterday’s game, and at this point I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get a call up soon. He’s trimmed his strikeout rate from last season and is even running more. As Baez adds value to the big league club with his defensive versatility, count on him getting the nod shortly. Whether or not Addison Russell or Baez eventually takes plate appearances from Starlin Castro remains to be seen, but the Cubs can’t allow Castro to hit for an empty .267 with sub-par defense for long.
Streaming Pitching Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.
A pitcher for today: Tommy Milone at BOS (Steven Wright)
It’s a pretty risky start given the ballpark, but the Red Sox haven’t hit southpaws particularly well thus far. Milone has had major league success in the past, and he is largely available as he can be streamed in more than 90 percent of the three major sites.
A pitcher for tomorrow: Chase Anderson vs NYM (Jon Niese)
Anderson got peppered in his last start, however I’m not giving up on him yet. I’d like to see a few more strikeouts and against the Mets and their 20.5 percent team strikeout rate, I think Anderson bounces back today. He’s available in over half of CBS leagues and more than 75 percent of Yahoo! and ESPN formats.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.