In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
A week ago, Collin McHugh was just a pitcher, who had formerly put up some pretty terrible numbers, filling in for a starter on one of the worst teams in baseball. But after two solid starts for the Astros, McHugh is one of the trendiest pickups in fantasy baseball right now.
McHugh manhandled the Oakland A's on Sunday, holding them to two hits and one run in 8.1 innings, while striking out seven. Pitching in place of the injured Scott Feldman, McHugh has allowed one run and five hits in 15.1 innings to go with 19 strikeouts and only three walks. Not bad for a guy who came into the year with a lifetime 0-8 record and an 8.94 ERA.
Will this guy I've never heard of continue to pitch as well as Yu Darvish? I don't think so, but I'd love to be wrong. He doesn't have a great assortment of pitches or that one pitch that hitters just cannot figure out how to hit; his strikeouts primarily come from terrific pitch placement, causing plenty of looking strike threes. I'll give him credit: he's pitched as well as someone can possibly pitch in two starts. But it's impossible to have much faith in the man. Keep in mind that in his first ever start with the Mets, McHugh went seven scoreless innings, producing nine strikeouts and only two hits, and THEN self-destructed the rest of the way.
Now normally, I might advise against adding a player like McHugh on the grounds that he's not likely to be awesome down the line. But the next team he'll face is none other than the Mariners, the very team he just struck out 12 times. If nothing else, he should be added for streaming purposes, and who knows -- maybe you'll be inclined to keep him around, if he pitches well enough. Either way, pitting him against the Mariners looks to be a matchup in his favor, and his performances lately have earned him at least one stream start in good faith.
For your consideration
• Ben Revere went 2-for-4 with his third stolen base in as many games. Revere now has nine on the year and is hitting .312 atop the Phillies lineup. He will never, ever get you a home run, but for now, he's getting on base and swiping enough bases to make that not matter. Give him a shot if you need help in steals.
• Matt Harrison looked sharp in his first start since coming off the disabled list, giving up two runs in six innings against the Mariners while striking out four and allowing only three hits. Granted, it feels like every team is pitching well against the Mariners these days, but this was terrific to see from Harrison, who was shut down after only two starts a year ago. When he was healthy, Harrison was a dependable pitcher who was steadily improving, and in 2012, he won 18 games and put up an 3.29 ERA. He's not a high-volume strikeout guy and there's definite concerns whether his arm can hold up long-term, but he's absolutely worth a shot against the Angels this week, who only have two hitters he should be concerned about.
• Jason Hammel is another unlikely pitcher playing unbelievably well right now. He went seven scoreless innings against the Brewers last night to claim his fourth win of the year, while his ERA and WHIP sit at 2.08 and 0.69 -- the lowest in the NL right now. Hammel's career numbers paint him as a poor man's Matt Harrison, a guy who can pitch well over short stretches but who ultimately succombs to the fact that he doesn't strike out enough people. Hammel did have a strong 2012 season, but so-so pitchers who have to pitch in Wrigley Field in the summer don't interest me. And besides, his next two opponents are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves, so you're living pretty dangerously if you decide to roll with him.
• Cameron Maybin was in the Padres lineup for the first time this year and went 2-for-4 with a run. Maybin, the guy the Marlins traded for when they gave away Miguel Cabrera, has had a couple of bright moments in the majors. He collected 40 steals in 2011, with 28 of them coming in his last 62 games, but he hasn't done much of anything since, which is mostly due to injuries. In the last year alone, Maybin has dealt with a ruptured biceps tendon, a torn posterior cruciate ligament and a torn wrist ligament. He's only 27, but you get the sense that he's never going to be healthy enough to sustain another productive season. Maybin's value lies mostly in his speed, so he's not worth considering until he can show that he's healthy enough to stick around in the Padres lineup, and that could take a while.