MLB Quick Hits: Stop … Hammel time!

Hammel has 105 strikeouts against 18 walks in 103 2/3 innings.

Jeff Haynes/Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Cubs made a big splash when they signed Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million contract over the winter, and while Lester has pitched better lately, fellow free-agent acquisition Jason Hammel has been better. Hammel ranks fourth among starters in WHIP (0.95), 22nd in ERA (2.86) and T-32 in strikeouts (105). 

DAILY FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE (DFS)

Hammel left his July 8 start against the Cardinals after one inning due to a hamstring injury, but he’ll be back on the hill tonight at Cincinnati. Start him if you’ve got him.

In other news …

Will Aaron Nola be a silver lining in the Phillies’ black cloud of a season when he makes his big-league debut tonight against the Rays? This Baseball Prospectus report (co-written by friend of the blog/Philly guy Mike Gianella) suggests that Nola could have a short-term impact for fantasy owners this season, but also that it’s "reasonable to expect some turbulence" in the early going. I’m not buying in shallow/standard mixed leagues unless the investment is minimal.

In sadder Phillies’ rookie news, 3B Maikel Franco left Monday’s game with a sore elbow. We’ll know more today about his prognosis.

The Cardinals have called up OF prospect Stephen Piscotty (.272 BA, 11 HR, .841 OPS at Triple A). It appears that Piscotty will get some time at first base, but his likelihood of sustained regular duty is hard to predict, so you’d be reaching by grabbing him in a mixed league.

Eduardo Rodriguezouch.

The verdict is in on Pirates SS Jordy Mercer, who is expected to miss six weeks with his sprained left knee. You know what that means? More KANNNNNNNGGGGGG!

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton (hand) has been cleared to start taking dry swings. If all goes well, he could come off the DL in a couple of weeks.

Matt Garza (shoulder) comes off the DL to start tonight for the Brewers. After seven seasons of ERAs between 3.32 and 3.95, Garza has posted a 5.55 mark this year. Unfortunately, there’s not much in his 2015 performance to make us think that things are going to get much better.

We’re not sure why Monday streaming starter Rubby De La Rosa walked five batters and whiffed just one, but we’ll take the win and the one run in seven innings. Today, let’s try Nola (owned in 8.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the struggling Rays.

DFS advice (based on 50/50 games, salaries from DraftKings): Jacob deGrom ($10,900) has been mostly terrific lately, and the Nationals haven’t. He’s the best pitcher on the board … Michael Wacha ($8,700) could be your SP2, but if you want to save more, consider Brett Anderson ($7,400) or maybe Nola ($5,300) … Your Rockies’ righties are a logical hitter stack. I have no idea why C Wilin Rosario is only $3,000, but he’s a must-play. OF Drew Stubbs ($2,800) is a pretty good buy, too … Cesar Hernandez, still cheap ($2,700) … Robinson Cano ($3,900) has been heating up, and Shane Greene gets whacked by lefties … Marlins 3B Derek Dietrich ($2,900) has averaged a solid 6.2 DK points over his last 10 games.

See you back here tomorrow morning.