Fantasy Baseball Today: Joe Musgrove cements SP1 status, Kevin Gausman gets shelled and more from Thursday

Happy Friday everyone! As usual, it was a slight slate on Thursday, but we got things in vogue early because Joe Musgrove was on the hill for a late afternoon game. Watching Joe pitch is an absolute delight, and it’s not just because he’s the second most popular pitcher, but that certainly helps. Musgrove drew the Cubs Thursday, landing on the magic number 12. Throwing seven innings with two runs and allowing just five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts, Musgrove delivered his twelfth straight start. He’s now a perfect 12 for 12 with good starts.

Musgrove has jumped straight into the SP1 conversation this year and is leaning toward early second-round or even late first-round pick territory for drafts next spring. Leaving the Pirates was the best thing that could have happened to his career. And it looks like this new version of him is here to stay. Musgrove has seen his speed increase in his last five starts – he’s averaging up to 93mph – 1-2mph more than early in the season. He now has a 1.59 ERA with just over one strikeout per inning and just under two walks per nine innings. Eventually there will be natural regression, but for now you should enjoy the ride. And no, I wouldn’t try to sell high.

We’ll be diving into all the action starting Thursday, but first make sure you’re all caught up on what’s going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at Scott White has delved deeper into Nate Lowe’s recent surge and other players in his latest Waiver Wire column, which you can find here.

And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today exactly when they come out on Apple and Spotify.

Gausman meets his match

The old Baltimore Orioles version of Kevin Gausman reared its ugly head on Thursday in its worst start to the season against – you guessed it – the Orioles. Gausman only lasted 2 1/3 innings in that game, conceding seven hits, one walk and five earned runs. He struck three, but this was a continuation of Gausman’s recent struggles. He now has a 6.35 ERA in his last four starts and his swing shot rate has dropped sharply while hard contact has increased. Gausman was knocked down in the rankings for both Frank and Scott and I think he’s a nice trader if you put him in the list. Sure, his value isn’t at his peak right now, but he still has plenty of commercial value based on his preseason run and 2021 breakout. I don’t think he’ll go back to where he was in San Francisco.

Perez returns to business

Martin Perez was one of the better stories of the young season but he got hit on his last outing. Some felt the doomsday clock was chiming in Perez’s Cinderella season, but he found a way to end that idea on Thursday. Perez was back to his dominant self against the Tigers. He delivered seven innings of one-run ball and allowed eight hits and no walks. He hit five and brought his ERA back to 2.10 all season with a 54% groundball rate – the highest since the 2015 season.

Two waiver options to consider

Markus Canha – If you need help in the field, the Mets’ slugger delivers at the moment. Canha had a sock and shoe Thursday — his fifth homer and first steal of the season. He’s not the friendliest category hitter, but Canha rocks a .295 batting average in one of baseball’s better lineups with a decent amount of pop. He’s only 48% on the roster.

Ezequiel Duran – Duran accumulated a triple and three RBI on Thursday to complete a surprisingly impressive first 12 games of his 2022 season. Duran compiled a .319 batting average in those 12 games with two homers, two steals and an .886 OPS. He’s only 27% in the squad but only plays in five games next week.

News and lineup notes

Each night, the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all that’s happening in MLB, from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must-read for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew explain the news and notes below.

  • Bo Bichette left Thursday’s game with a right leg injury. X-rays came back negative.
  • Max Scherzer plans to start rehab at one of the Mets’ minor-league affiliates Tuesday.
  • Luis Severino was a scratch late Thursday and was then placed on the COVID IL. Apparently he didn’t test positive.
  • Chris Bryant did some batting practice on the field on Thursday and could head off to rehab this weekend.
  • Tylor Megil left Thursday start with complaints in the right shoulder.
  • Aaron Ashby left the other side of the game with a left forearm strain and said he doesn’t think he’ll miss a start.
  • Brandon Loweon the IL with a back injury, recently had trouble swinging and will be closed until next week.
  • Wander Franco is going well and will do full training on Thursday and Friday. He could play in rehab games this weekend.
  • Brandon Woodruff could make another rehab start at High-A next week before rejoining the Brewers rotation.
  • Matt Chapman was off the lineup on Thursday due to recurring pain in his right wrist.
  • Franmil Reyes served as the DH in his second rehab game Thursday. He could stay in the minors all weekend to see how he plays in the outfield.
  • Alex Cobb will return on Sunday and face off against the pirates. He’s down to 71% roster.
  • Aaron Civale completed his second rehab start on Wednesday and appears ready to rejoin the Guardians. He is 41% registered.
  • Anthony Rendon has missed two consecutive games due to a right wrist injury.
  • Mitch Haniger was transferred to 60 day IL with this grade 2 ankle sprain.

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