Fantasy baseball analyst Dalton Del Don highlights some need-to-know player notes from Tuesday's MLB action.
Some pitchers shined, others stumbled
• Dane Dunning tossed six shutout innings against a strong Astros offense Tuesday, although he remains stuck with just one win on the season. Dunning is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball right now, as he’s available in more than 85 percent of Yahoo leagues despite ranking top-10 in CSW among all starters this season; the other nine are universally rostered in all fantasy leagues. He should be too.
• Miles Mikolas lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning Tuesday, as he dominated a weak Pirates lineup missing Ke’Bryan Hayes. Mikolas now sports a 2.62 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP on the season. He’s been one of the year’s bigger pitching surprises, although Mikolas’ low K rate is a risk moving forward.
• Camilo Doval recorded his first save since May during the Giants’ win Tuesday. He’s only allowed one run over nine appearances since (securing two wins), but San Francisco simply hasn’t provided many save opportunities after leading MLB in the category last season. Doval remains vulnerable to lefties but has struck out six batters over his last 2.2 innings and hit 102.6 mph Tuesday night.
While the Giants don’t use their bullpen traditionally (and Jake McGee has pitched much better since returning from the IL), Doval should start racking up more saves moving forward.
• Tyler Mahle fanned 12 over nine shutout innings during a no-decision Tuesday, as he’s benefitted from facing Arizona over his last two starts, striking out 22 over 15.0 innings while lowering his ERA nearly a full run. Even with the favorable recent schedule, Mahle needs to be added in any fantasy leagues in which he was dropped after a rough start. He’d get a real boost should he be traded next month (Mahle’s career ERA/WHIP is 5.01/1.40 in Cincinnati compared to 3.78/1.02 on the road).
• Tony Gonsolin picked up his NL-leading eighth win during another impressive performance Tuesday, and he’s yet to allow more than two runs during any start this season. Tony G ranked as a top-20 fantasy player this year even before Tuesday’s outing, and he now sits 8-0 with a 1.42 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. Gonsolin’s ADP was No. 273 in NFBC Main Events, so he’s among the clear fantasy MVPs so far.
• Corey Knebel returned Tuesday after dealing with a tight shoulder but suffered a loss while allowing three runs (all unearned) without recording an out. Philadelphia's defense was a big problem as usual, but Knebel has also walked five batters over his last 2.0 innings and sports a 1.48 WHIP on the season, so his hold on the closer’s role is shaky at best. Seranthony Domínguez and Brad Hand need to be added by fantasy managers searching for saves.
• Trevor Rogers walked six batters over 3.2 innings during yet another rough outing Tuesday. Rogers looked like one of baseball’s best young pitchers last season, but he’s been one of the biggest busts in 2022, now sporting a 5.87 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. Rogers’ peripherals are equally as concerning and don’t suggest he’s been unlucky. Still rostered in 69% of Yahoo leagues, Rogers can be dropped.
Injuries rear their ugly head
• Fernando Tatis Jr.’s CT scan Tuesday didn’t reveal the level of healing the Padres had hoped, and he remains without a timetable to return. It’s obviously bad news for fantasy managers waiting on FTJ.
• Liam Hendriks is out at least three weeks with a flexor strain, so Kendall Graveman needs to be added in all fantasy leagues. He’s available in 60% of Yahoo leagues, and the White Sox lead the American League in save opportunities.
• Stephen Strasburg suffered stress reactions in his ribs that are related to his TOS surgery, and he can, unfortunately, be dropped in fantasy leagues. Injuries have been frustrating throughout the career of one of baseball’s best pitching prospects ever.
Hitters who went off on Tuesday
• Willson Contreras homered twice Tuesday and leads all catchers with a 166 wRC+ this season (Alejandro Kirk is second with a 143 wRC+). Contreras ranked top-10 in average exit velocity even before Tuesday’s big game, as he’s been one of baseball’s best hitters at the weakest hitting position. Contreras has been one of this year’s best fantasy picks and is a candidate to be traded at the deadline (San Francisco?).
• Paul Goldschmidt collected six hits, three homers and eight RBI during the Cardinals’ doubleheader Tuesday, as the veteran’s resurgence continued. Goldschmidt currently has the best OPS (1.073) and wRC+ (200!) of his 12-year career. For a 34-year-old who appeared to be in obvious decline, Goldy’s 2022 has been quite a pleasant surprise. He’s clubbed 13 homers over just 113 ABs at home this season.
• Michael Harris slugged a homer for the second straight game Tuesday, and the rookie is suddenly batting .317/.338/.540 over his first 63 at bats. MLB’s youngest player, Harris also offers stolen base potential and is available in more than 70% of Yahoo leagues.