Fantasy Baseball Today: Corey Kluber is back, Alex Kirilloff powering up, what’s wrong with Luis Castillo

One month down, five to go! Happy Monday, everybody. I hope you’re like Adam Aizer and myself as we held on to Corey Kluber despite his early season struggles in the podcast listener league. Kluber wound up with 58.5 Fantasy points in CBS points leagues this past week, but more on him below. 

While it was a very eventful weekend, I want to focus on somebody who’s just been meh this season: Luis Castillo. We’re six starts in and Castillo is currently rocking a 6.07 ERA with a 1.62 WHIP. His swinging strike rate is currently 10.9% after two straight seasons up over 15% in that department. Many people have been asking what is wrong with Castillo. Basically, more balls in play has led to more hits than ever. Castillo is just too good to allow 12.1 hits per nine innings or a .368 BABIP. The good news for his start this weekend was that his fastball averaged 97 mph, his highest all season. As his BABIP regresses towards the rest of his career, better days will come for Castillo, though he likely won’t come close to paying off his draft price. 

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Corey Kluber is back, baby!


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After a slow start to the season, Yankees SP Corey Kluber has turned it around fast. On Sunday, Kluber had the best start of his young Yankees career and looked a lot like the former dominant ace he once was. Kluber threw a season-high eight shutout innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts. It was his first double-digit strikeout game since 2018. More importantly, the underlying numbers back up his dominance and are even more impressive than the box score. He generated 20 swinging strikes and finished with a 34% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) rate. 

Kluber is missing bats and pitching efficiently (he only need 103 pitches to get through eight innings). He now carries a solid and seemingly improving stat line into the second month of the season: 3.03 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 29/14 K/BB ratio in 29 innings.

Noting that Kluber is a slow starter, Scott is fully bought back in that Kluber is back. He already liked the way things were trending in his last start and Sunday was even more definitive. His secondary stuff is working really well and he has a deep secondary arsenal with strong movement and location. Scott has moved him in his rankings above the likes of Chris Paddack and into his top 50 overall.

This is why you (hopefully) added Alex Kirilloff everywhere


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Twins OF Alex Kirilloff entered the season as one of the highest-ranked prospects in baseball, but yet he was largely available in leagues on the waiver wire when he got called up by Minnesota last night. Fantasy sports are a what-have-you-done-for me-now business and Kirilloff had a terrible spring. He was so cold with the bat the Twins ultimately sent him back down. Even after being called up last week, he started off slow, but he has since been on an absolute tear. 

On Sunday, he launched another home run and drove in four more runs. The 23-year-old rookie has now launched four home runs in his last three games. Scott is convinced that Kirilloff is here to stay. As he pointed out on Friday’s show, the short term could be very good for him as well. The Twins have the most favorable hitters schedule — specifically facing beatable righties — and Scott has moved him up to his No. 2 sleeper hitter for the coming week.

Kirilloff’s 10 RBI are the most for a Twins player in his first 11 games in the history of the franchise. He is now rostered in 73% of leagues and that should be 100%.

More news and notes

  • Dodgers SP Dustin May was placed on the IL with right arm soreness. May felt a shooting sensation down his arm after delivering a pitch Saturday. David Price is still out several weeks with a hamstring issue. Tony Gonsolin is being built up as a starter and is about 3-to-4 weeks from being available. 
  • Daniel Lynch, former first-round pick in 2018 and top pitching prospect for the Royals, will make his major league debut Monday against Cleveland. Jake Junis being moved to the bullpen. He’s a 6-foot-6 hard thrower who owns a 2.50 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 157 strikeouts in 147.2 IP in the minors. He’s rostered in just 14% of CBS leagues.
  • Blue Jays OF George Springer was removed in the sixth inning Sunday due to general fatigue. Manager Charlie Montoyo had this to say: “We’re going to be careful with him, so we took him out. It was the best thing for him.”
  • A’s SP Jesus Luzardo was placed on the 10-day IL with a fractured left pinkie finger he suffered while playing video games. Yes, you read that right.
  • Mets RP Edwin Diaz left Sunday Night Baseball with back tightness after giving up three runs on two hits and two walks.
  • Braves SP Max Fried is set to start Wednesday against the Nationals.
  • Braves C Travis d’Arnaud tore a ligament in his left thumb and was placed on the 60-day IL. William Contreras, brother of the CubsWillson Contreras, was in the Braves lineup and batting eighth Sunday.
  • Cubs OF Ian Happ was carted off the field Sunday against the Reds after a collision in the outfield with teammate Nico Hoerner.
  • White Sox SP Luis Robert is headed to the IL with a right hip flexor strain. He had to be carried off and couldn’t put any weight on his right leg. I would expect this is more than 10 days for him.
  • Blue Jays C Alejandro Kirk was placed on the 10-day IL with left hip flexor discomfort.
  • Cardinals RP Jordan Hicks is due to undergo imaging tests on his elbow/forearm when the Cardinals return to St. Louis on Monday. Reyes has a lock on the closer duties right now anyway.
  • Yankees SP Luis Severino is expected to face live hitters May 10 or 11 for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Severino is expected back some time in July-ish.
  • Mariners SP Marco Gonzales was placed on the IL with a left forearm strain a few days ago but is already throwing off flat ground. He should be back soon.
  • Padres SP Chris Paddack was placed on the IL for an unspecified reason Friday.
  • Nationals OF Juan Soto, dealing with a shoulder issue, is throwing from 120 feet Sunday and will need to practice throwing to bases before being cleared to return from the injured list.
  • Indians C Roberto Perez has a non-displaced fracture in his right ring finger, but he is expected to play through the injury after getting a couple days of rest.
  • Rockies SP Antonio Senzatela was placed on the IL with a right groin strain
  • Indians DH Franmil Reyes was placed on the paternity list Saturday, which means he should be back Monday or Tuesday.
  • Braves OF Guillermo Heredia was placed on the IL with right hamstring inflammation. 
  • Padres C Austin Nola and Victor Caratini are set to split catching duties for the time being. This is bad news for both of their values in one-catcher leagues. 
  • Cubs C Willson Contreras missed two straight games with right thigh tightness.
  • Phillies OF Bryce Harper returned to the lineup Sunday.
  • 3B Brian Anderson is expected back Tuesday for the Marlins.
  • OF Mike Yastrzemski could return as soon as Friday for the Giants.
  • OF Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are both expected to be activated at some point during their series with the Phillies, which begins Monday.
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano should return at some point mid-week.
  • White Sox DH Yermin Mercedes is expected to sit both Tuesday and Wednesday in Cincinnati without the DH.
  • Mets 3B J.D. Davis and OF Brandon Nimmo are both day-to-day.
  • Angels DH/SP Shohei Ohtani’s right elbow was sore after being hit by a pitch Sunday, and he might not have two starts this week.
  • A few eligibility notes: Nick Senzel has four games at second base while Alex Kirilloff has four games at first base.

Deep waiver options

  • Nationals 2B/3B Josh Harrison (13% rostered): He just keeps hitting, batting .361 with a .959 OPS.
  • Cardinals OF Harrison Bader (5%): Returned Friday and already has a home run and a steal in three games.
  • Dodgers 1B/OF Matt Beaty (1%): He had four hits Sunday with a home run and seven RBI and he’s started three straight.
  • Giants OF Mike Tauchman (8%): He went 1 for 4 with his first home run post-trade from the Yankees Sunday. He’s the most interesting of the four to Scott, who believes he has the most upside of the four hitters.
  • Giants SP Logan Webb (18%): Now has quality starts in back-to-back appearances. He’s at Colorado this week (not great).
  • Red Sox SP Garrett Richards (19%): Held the Rangers to one run in five innings with seven strikeouts on Sunday. He’s the SP on this list Scott is most interested in “by far,” and not just in deep leagues.
  • Rangers SP Mike Foltynewicz (14%): Outdueled by Richards on Sunday but allowed only two runs in six innings with five Ks and one walk.
  • Tigers SP Jose Urena (7%): He’s had four straight starts allowing two earned runs or fewer while going seven innings in each after a seven-K, one walk performance against the Yankees.
  • Mets SP David Peterson (37%): He threw five innings of one-run ball with eight Ks and 18 swinging strikes against the Phillies on Sunday.