Is it any surprise that the featured story here comes from the thrilling rivalry out west? The games between the Dodgers and Padres have been must-watch, as just about every game has had the intensity of late-season baseball. Fernando Tatis Jr. added to the dramatics with two home runs on Friday. It was the 22nd anniversary of the day his father, Fernando Tatis Sr., hit two grand slams against -- you guessed it -- the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium. On this day, 22 years ago, Fernando Tatis Sr. hit two grand slams off of the same pitcher in the same inning. On Friday, Tatis Jr. took Clayton Kershaw deep twice in the same game.
Both home runs could not be hit much harder with exit velocities of 113.4 and 115.9 miles per hour. It's good to see the young superstar performing like this a week after being reinstated from the injured list with a shoulder subluxation. Tatis Jr. must thrive on the energy created by this rivalry, as his last home run came a week ago against these Dodgers in San Diego. The battle between these two teams just could not be scripted any better than this so far, and we're just three weeks into the season. Baseball really is a beautiful game. Baseball really is the best.
Alex Kirilloff was recalled from the alternate training site by the Twins and started in left field on Friday, going 0-for-3. The 23-year-old promising young hitter might just be up for good. The same goes for Chicago Cub Nico Hoerner. Hoerner wasted no time, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a walk on Friday. Both should be added in redraft leagues.
Teams can now call up prospects without losing a year of team control, so fantasy managers will be on prospect watch from here on out. That right, it's stashing season. Jarred Kelenic, in particular, is the next big one we'll be watching for, as the top prospect was going inside the top-200 in many fantasy drafts. Wander Franco is another that found his way onto many fantasy rosters in drafts for stashing. With full-season minor leagues starting on May 4, teams may opt to keep their players down so that they can get some at-bats in the lower levels. But strong starts could lead to a call-up before long. Other prospects worth stashing include Bobby Witt Jr., Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, Logan Gilbert, Matt Manning, and Jarren Duran.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Jacob deGrom vs WAS - 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 15 K
This was one of the best pitching performances we will see all year, maybe ever. The 32-year-old right-hander dominated the Nationals, retiring 19 in a row after a double by Andrew Stevenson in the third inning. He was averaging 99.2 miles per hour on the fastball and generated a ridiculous 29 whiffs. deGrom also made history, becoming the first pitcher to ever strike out 50 batters over his first four starts. He is hands down the best pitcher in the game.
Alex Wood vs MIA - 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K
Wood gave up a loud home run to Jazz Chisholm to start the game, but he'd go on to retire 21 of the next 22 hitters. The 30-year-old southpaw would walk one batter for the only baserunner after the first inning. Wood got the Marlins to swing and miss 14 times, 10 on the slider, and induced nine ground ball outs. Missing bats, limiting baserunners, and keeping the ball on the ground will lead to excellent efficiency. While Wood has elevated injury risk, he's worth a speculative add in mixed-leagues after two impressive starts.
Yu Darvish vs LAD - 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 K
Darvish got into some trouble early, giving up a leadoff double to Mookie Betts followed by a walk and RBI base hit to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead after the first inning. He'd settle in after that, tossing six scoreless innings and whiffing nine batters to pick up the win against the Dodgers.
Hitters with an EDGE
Giancarlo Stanton vs CLE - 2-for 4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
This was one of those Stanton games we've been waiting for. Two solo shots on the day, with both leaving the bat at over 115 miles per hour. Stanton's home run in the third inning had an exit velocity of 118 miles per hour, the hardest-hit ball of the day.
Adolis Garcia vs CHW - 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Garcia was another hitter with a two-homer day as he's making some noise hitting in the middle of the Texas lineup. He now has five home runs and 12 RBI with a slash of .268/.302/.707. With a strikeout rate over 30 percent and walk rate under 10 percent, things could come crashing. This is the type of profile you ride the hot streaks with and be ready to sell high or drop when things start crashing back down to earth.
Yermin Mercedes vs TEX - 4-for-4, 1 R, 3 RBI
Ok, this is just incredible. There is no stopping the Yerminator. Mercedes added four more hits on Friday to bring his average up to a league-leading .429 over 67 plate appearances. While he won't hit this well all season, he has the bat-to-ball skills and raw power to continue being a solid fantasy contributor worth holding. If you picked up Mercedes early on, congrats.
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Ryan Weathers, SP San Diego Padres (Available in 72 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Weathers made his first start of the season on April 16 against the Dodgers and tossed 3 2/3 solid innings. One week later, he'd face those same Dodgers and held them scoreless over 5 2/3 with six strikeouts as he continued to get stretched out. That's 9 1/3 scoreless with nine strikeouts in total against perhaps the best lineup in baseball. And the kid is just 21-years-old. Weathers has proven that he belongs in the rotation, and the injury to Dinelson Lamet (forearm tightness) should keep him there for the foreseeable future. Every team could use an extra quality starter. This one is still widely available.
Jake Diekman pitched a clean ninth inning with one strikeout against the Orioles to pick up his second save of the season. Diekman has shared closing duties with Lou Trivino after Trevor Rosenthal began the season on the injured list.
Rafael Dolis locked down his first save of the season with one strikeout in a clean inning against the Rays. Toronto is expected to activate Jordan Romano from the injured list over the weekend. Dolis could end up sharing closing duties with Romano based on matchups.
Will Smith tossed a clean inning for Atlanta with one strikeout to record his fourth save on the year.
Aroldis Chapman struck out one in a clean inning against Cleveland for his fourth save of the season. Chapman has been pitching better than ever, accruing 17 strikeouts in seven innings so far.
Alex Reyes picked up his fourth save of the season after Jordan Hick allowed three runs in the ninth inning to bring the Reds to within one run.
Matchup of the Day
Oh boy, we are in for a treat. Two of the best pitchers in the game go head-to-head in Cleveland. Cole and Bieber were first-round selections in fantasy drafts, and have so far been worth the price. The two have combined for 87 strikeouts over 54 innings.
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American League Quick Hits: Mike Trout was scratched from the lineup Friday due to left elbow soreness ... Anthony Rendon won't be activated from the injured list until next week's series against the Rangers ... Jose Altuve has been cleared by Major League Baseball and could be back in the lineup over the weekend ... George Springer went 1-for-4 in an intrasquad game on Friday ... Teoscar Hernandez has cleared MLB's COVID-19 protocols ... John Means will have his next start pushed back to Sunday ... The Rays placed Diego Castillo on the COVID-19 injured list and recalled RHP Chris Mazza... Brent Honeywell will serve as the Rays opener on Saturday ... The Royals placed Greg Holland on the injured list ... Miguel Cabrera could be activated from the injured list on Saturday or Sunday ... Andrelton Simmons has been cleared to return ... Ronald Guzman will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus ... Khris Davis won't return until at least mid-May ... Sam Huff will undergo surgery to remove a loose body from his knee ...The Royals optioned Kyle Isbel ... The White Sox activated Billy Hamilton from the injured list ... Adam Engel could be activated next weekend
National League Quick Hits: Ke'Bryan Hayes is feeling much better after visiting a specialist and receiving treatment on his wrist Thursday ... Kolten Wong homered and stole a base in his return ... Avisail Garcia could return to the Brewers lineup on Saturday ... The Dodgers placed Zach McKinstry on the 10-day injured list with an oblique strain and recalled D.J. Peters ... Kyle Freeland is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday ... Brett Anderson will have an MRI on his injured right hamstring ... Johan Oviedo will move into the starting rotation for the Cardinals as they go to a six-man rotation ... Jon Lester is expected to throw 90 pitches in a simulated game ... The Reds optioned Cionel Perez ... The Cubs placed Shelby Miller on the 10-day injured list ... The Diamondbacks recalled Matt Peacock from their alternate training site.