Mills makes history
Cubs right-hander Alec Mills made history yesterday when he threw a no-hitter against the Brewers. The 28-year-old owned a 5.50 ERA as recently as September 7 but has no thrown 15 scoreless innings in his past two starts. At this late point in the season, it is hard not to recommend adding someone as hot as Mills. That being said, I caution managers from putting too much into his recent success. The righty posted a mediocre 11:6 K:BB ratio over his past two starts, and prior to those outings he had allowed at least one long ball in five straight appearances. Mills will make his next start against the Twins on Saturday.
Just two players have amassed at least seven homers and 11 steals this season, and one is first-rounder, Trevor Story. The other player remains available in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues, Dylan Moore. The Mariners’ spark plug, who stole a base on Sunday and is hitting .277 with 23 runs scored in 126 plate appearances, is eligible at four positions and would have even better numbers if not for a two-week IL stint near the end of last month. The 28-year-old should be active in every lineup down the stretch and will be one of the most-discussed names in the middle rounds of 2021 drafts.
An intriguing fantasy option made an unexpected debut on Saturday when the Blue Jays promoted Alejandro Kirk. The 21-year-old was not expected to reach the Majors until next season, but he has outstanding plate skills and Toronto needs an offensive spark from the catcher position. Kirk, who is listed at 5’8, 265 pounds, hit .315 with more walks (89) than whiffs (60) in a Minor League career that had progressed to High-A ball. With Danny Jansen hitting .151 and the club carrying just two catchers, Kirk figures to play at least 50 percent of Toronto’s remaining games. He is an excellent dice roll for those who are carrying an unexciting backstop.
The most concerning Sunday injury news is that J.T. Realmuto missed both ends of a doubleheader and will undergo an MRI on his hip today. Easily the top fantasy catcher this season, the Phillies star will be sorely missed by fantasy managers who are entering the home stretch. Philadelphia was also without Rhys Hoskins, who is day-to-day with a forearm injury.
Sonny Gray was placed on the IL with a mid-back strain. The right-hander started the season in fine fashion before enduring a pair of especially poor starts. With just two weeks remaining, he can be dropped in most leagues.
Nolan Arenado missed his Sunday game with a left shoulder injury. He is day-to-day, which is especially poor timing for a Colorado slugger who is in his final homestand of the season.
Kevin Gausman was scratched due to elbow tightness. The right-hander has been a solid free-agent find this year but can be dropped in all leagues.
Max Kepler returned from the IL. The Twins outfielder has been a little underwhelming this season but should return to most lineups.
Lance McCullers is expected to return from the IL for a Wednesday start in a favorable matchup against the Rangers.
Favorable Monday-Thursday Hitting Matchups
The Cardinals and Brewers are the upcoming volume plays, as St. Louis plays six games between now and Thursday, with five coming against Milwaukee. Tommy Edman and Paul DeJong should be active everywhere, while Kolten Wong and Brad Miller belong in many lineups. The Brewers have fewer players who catch my eye, but Jedd Gyorko has come out of nowhere to become an option in 15-team leagues.
The Marlins have four contests, with three coming against a league-worst Red Sox staff. Garrett Cooper, Jesus Aguilar, Brian Anderson, and Corey Dickerson are all widely available and strong candidates for success.
The Reds should thrive in four games against an underwhelming Pirates pitching staff. Joey Votto has had some success of late, while Shogo Akiyama and Brian Goodwin have been collecting steals in bunches.
The A’s are set for success when they face the Mariners twice before meeting the Rockies for a pair of games at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Ramon Laureano should be active everywhere, while Tommy La Stella and Sean Murphy are options in deep-mixed leagues.
Starters to Stream
Pablo Lopez (vs. PHI)
Sandy Alcantara (vs. BOS)
Devi Garcia (vs. TOR)
Danny Duffy (@DET)
Trevor Rogers (vs. BOS)
Brady Singer (@DET)
Jon Lester (vs. CLE)
Dakota Hudson (@PIT)