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

Happy Friday, everyone! As usual, it was a light slate on Thursday but we got things kicked off in fashion early because Joe Musgrove was on the mound for a late afternoon game. It’s an absolute joy to watch Joe pitch, and that’s not just because he’s the second-most rostered pitcher, but that certainly helps. Musgrove drew the Cubs on Thursday, and he landed on the magic number 12. By throwing seven innings of two-run ball, allowing just five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts, Musgrove delivered his 12th straight quality start. He’s now a perfect 12 for 12 on quality starts.

Musgrove has squarely entered the SP1 conversation this year and is trending toward an early second- 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 certainly looks like this new version of him is here to stay. Musgrove has seen his velocity rise — he’s up to 93 mph on average — 1-2 mph up from the early season — in his most recent five starts. He now boasts a 1.59 ERA with just over a strikeout per inning and just under two walks per nine innings. There will be some natural regression at some point, but for now you should enjoy the ride. And no, I wouldn’t try to sell high.

We’ll dive into all of the action from Thursday, but first, make sure you’re all caught up with everything going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White dug deeper into Nate Lowe’s recent surge and more players in his latest waiver wire column that you can find here,

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

Gausman meets his match

The old Baltimore Orioles version of Kevin Gausman reared its ugly head on Thursday in what was his worst start of the season against — you guessed it — the Orioles. Gausman lasted just 2 1/3 innings in this one and allowed seven hits, one walk and five earned runs. He struck out three, but this was a continuation of Gausman’s recent struggles. He now has a 6.35 ERA over his past four starts and his swinging strike rate has gone way down while the hard contact has gone up. Gausman was knocked down in the rankings for both Frank and Scott, and I think he makes for a nice trade candidate if you roster him. Sure, his value isn’t at its highest at the moment, but he still carries plenty of trade value based on his early-season run and his breakout 2021. I don’t have faith he’ll get back to where he was in San Francisco.

Perez gets back to business

Martin Perez has been one of the better stories of the young season, but he got hit in his last outing. Some felt like that was the doomsday clock going off on Perez’s Cinderella season, but he found a way to shut down 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 struck out five and brought his season-long ERA back down to 2.10 with a 54% groundball rate — his highest since the 2015 season.

Two waiver options to consider

Mark Canha — If you need some outfield help, the Mets slugger is delivering at the moment. Canha had a sock and a shoe on Thursday — his fifth homer and first steal of the season. He’s not the friendliest categories hitter, but Canha is rocking a .295 batting average in one of baseball’s better lineups with a decent amount of pop. He’s rostered just 48%.

Ezequiel Duran — Duran collected a triple and three RBI on Thursday to cap off a surprisingly impressive first 12 games of his 2022 season. Duran has compiled a .319 batting average with two homers, two steals and a .886 OPS through these 12 games. He is just 27% rostered but only plays in five games next week.

News and lineup notes

Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.

  • Bo Bichette left Thursday’s game due to a right leg injury. X-rays came back negative.
  • Max Scherzer plans to make a rehab start Tuesday at one of the Mets’ minor-league affiliates.
  • Luis Severino was a late scratch Thursday and then placed on the COVID IL. Apparently, he has not tested positive.
  • Kris Bryant took batting practice on the field Thursday and could head out on a rehab assignment this weekend.
  • Tylor Megill left Thursday’s start with right shoulder discomfort.
  • Aaron Ashby left on the other side of that game with left forearm tightness, and said he doesn’t think he will miss a start.
  • Brandon Loweon the IL with a back injury, recently experienced discomfort while taking swings and will be shut down until next week.
  • Wander Franco is running well and will go through full workouts Thursday and Friday. He could play in rehab games this weekend.
  • Brandon Woodruff could make one more rehab start next week at High-A before rejoining the Brewers rotation.
  • Matt Chapman was out of the lineup Thursday due to recurring right wrist soreness.
  • Franmil Reyes served as the DH in his second rehab game Thursday. He could remain in the minors throughout the weekend to see how he plays the outfield.
  • Alex Cobb will return Sunday and start against the Pirates. He’s down to 71% rostered.
  • Aaron Civale completed his second rehab start on Wednesday and looks ready to rejoin the Guardians. He’s 41% roasted.
  • Anthony Rendon has missed two straight due to a right wrist injury.
  • Mitch Haniger was transferred to the 60-day IL with that Grade 2 high-ankle sprain.

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