Kevin Gausman: He’s predictably loving life after getting traded to the Braves, dominating the Brewers on Friday night, holding Milwaukee to just one run with an 8:0 K:BB ratio over eight innings. Gausman is a former top prospect who put up a K-BB% (12.5) with the Orioles that ranked top-50 among starters this season while pitching in a hitter’s park and in a division that featured four opponents that rank in the top-11 in wRC+. Gausman also had arguably the league’s worst defense behind him in Baltimore, and the Braves field one of the league’s best. The former top-five pick sports a career-high 11.1 SwStr% this season, and more starts like Friday’s should come after Gausman’s beneficial move to the National League. He’s still available in more than half of Yahoo leagues.
Franmil Reyes: He remains a big batting average risk with all those strikeouts, but Reyes continues to impress with power, as he’s slugged three homers over the past five games. He’s been hitting cleanup lately, and there’s real upside for someone available in 90 percent of leagues right now. If he qualified, Reyes’ average exit velocity (92.8 mph) would rank top-15, and his Barrel% (14.5) would be top-20. The 23-year-old owns the fourth-longest homer this season (477 feet), and he’s yet to reach 125 at bats. Let’s hope San Diego continues to play him after Wil Myers returns from the DL. There will be lots of strikeouts and long balls to come from Reyes (the same could be said for teammate Austin Hedges, who’s still out there in two thirds of leagues and provides a good power source for those in need of catcher help).
Cedric Mullins: The Orioles have moved Adam Jones to right field and have called up Mullins to be their everyday centerfielder over the rest of the season. Mullins isn’t an elite prospect, but he did have 11 homers and 21 steals over 441 at-bats in the minors this year. He grades as a plus runner, so grab him if you need stolen base help in deeper formats (Magneuris Sierra, who’s now hitting leadoff in Miami, and Eric Young Jr., who’s seeing regular playing time with Mike Trout on the DL, are two others who also fit this category). Mullins reached base four times and scored three runs during his MLB debut Friday night.
Josh Bell: He’s still out there in 60 percent of leagues after returning from a DL stint and in the middle of a disappointing third year in the league. Bell is still just 25 and was hitting well before the brief DL stint and has continued to since, so his ownership should climb. He’s hitting the ball with more authority this season than he did last, when he finished with 26 homers and 90 RBI.
Mark Trumbo: He’s batting .424 with five homers and 12 RBI over the last eight games, as the streaky slugger is in a hot stretch. Trumbo is one season removed from hitting 47 home runs with 108 RBI, and he’s quietly up to a .798 OPS this year after getting dropped in many leagues earlier this season. He’s been hitting cleanup and is available in more than 60 percent of leagues.
Tyler Glasnow: He’s still getting stretched out after moving from the bullpen to rotation in Tampa Bay, and he’s now in the AL East, but Glasnow has a 14:1 K:BB ratio with a 2.57 ERA and 0.71 WHIP after two starts (seven innings) with the Rays. For all of his struggles, the former top prospect owns a career 24.5 K%, and he’s looked much better since the trade. Glasnow is still out there in more than 80 percent of leagues.
Closing Talk: With Kenley Jansen (heart) expected to miss at least the next month, Scott Alexander is the favorite to close for the Dodgers. He’s a lefty with poor control but owns a career 2.95 ERA and is now in a terrific situation. Alexander is available in more than 60 percent of leagues…Kyle Barraclough’s latest implosion and subsequent trip to the disabled list mean Drew Steckenrider is Miami’s likely new closer, and he’s owned in just 10 percent of leagues…With Kelvin Herrera joining Sean Doolittle on the shelf, Ryan Madson (42% owned) should pick up saves in Washington, while Addison Reed (18%) should get a chance to close in Minnesota after Fernando Rodney was traded to Oakland…Meanwhile, Mychal Givens (16%) has emerged as Baltimore’s likeliest closer down the stretch, and all of this is a reminder of just how nonsensical and chaotic it is targeting saves at draft tables.