Ace high: Kluber rolls again
The MLB trade deadline is today at 4 p.m. ET. Fantasy analysis of all major deals will be found at this deadline tracker – the Justin Masterson deal was covered on Wednesday. If teams around the majors could pick up the pace and make today exciting, I’d appreciate it.
Wednesday’s studs & duds
Stud: Who needs Masterson? The Indians got another terrific outing from ace Corey Kluber, who threw an 85-pitch shutout against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners. Kluber is the season’s fourth-best starter per FOXSports.com fantasy scoring, behind Hernandez, David Price and Johnny Cueto. He ranks third in strikeouts (170), 12th in ERA (2.61) and 13th in WHIP (1.08), and has whiffed 43 batters against just four walks over his last five starts. Stud, stud, stud.
Stud: Zack Greinke wasn’t as good as Kluber, but he did strike out 13 Braves in eight innings while allowing one run.
Dud: A’s SP Jason Hammel gave up eight runs in four-and-one-third innings against the Astros. Ouch.
News & notes
Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (ankle) was out of the lineup on Wednesday, and you can pretty much consider him day to day through 2018.
The Braves are targeting a Friday return for OF Jason Heyward (back).
Tigers SS Eugenio Suarez is day to day with a stiff back.
Looking to speculate on saves? Joaquin Benoit’s name has appeared in many trade rumors, even though he has two years remaining on his contract. Picking up presumable heir apparent Dale Thayer today might not be a bad idea, as long as you can easily throw him back tonight or tomorrow if Benoit isn’t dealt by the deadline.
Rays OF Wil Myers (wrist) is scheduled to take batting practice on Saturday, and the team isn’t sure if he’ll go on a rehab assignment. To capitalize on this, the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham is running a three-game "Wil He or Won’t He Rehab" promotional ticket package this month that includes a Myers bobblehead. They get points for creativity, I guess.
White Sox RP Nate Jones – who was supposed to get all the saves for two of my fantasy squads but hasn’t pitched all year due to a bad back – suffered an elbow injury during his rehab and will have Tommy John surgery. I guess I can stop waiting for his late-season comeback now.
On the bright side, White Sox RP Matt Lindstrom (ankle) and OF Avisail Garcia (shoulder) are scheduled to begin rehab assignments on Friday. Both could return to Chicago in a week or so, and it’s easy to imagine Lindstrom moving back into the closer’s role. He’s owned in 3.9 percent of FOXSports.com leagues.
Astros DH Chris Carter was scratched on Wednesday due to an illness, and his status for today is TBD.
Jesse Hahn had a very strong outing for the Padres, so we’re up to 63-44 for the season. Today’s pick is Detroit’s Drew Smyly (owned in 19.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the White Sox, while Friday’s selection is Mets’ lefty Jon Niese (13 percent owned) at home versus the Giants. The Giants don’t hit all that well, and Niese has pitched pretty well at home this season (2.80 ERA).
See you back here tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our trade analysis page.