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Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer will start Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals on Saturday. He'll be opposed by veteran Adam Wainwright in this one. The 35-year-old Scherzer struggled in the wild-card win over the Brewers (three runs in five innings), but he predictably bounced back in the NLDS against the Dodgers, allowing one run while walking three and striking out 10 in eight innings after that. Scherzer will be a popular playoff DFS pick in Game 2 as he looks to continue his dominance in uncharted territory for him.
Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos revealed on Friday that both third baseman Austin Riley and Johan Camargo were playing so well that they likely would have both made the initial Opening Day roster. One of the main factors for keeping both was that the minor league season started after the big league season, so the Braves would've had the option of sending one of them down to Triple-A eventually if they weren't playing enough. Riley was 10-for-28 in spring training with two home runs, two doubles and four RBI, and he had struck out just five times. He struck out almost 40 percent of the time in his rookie season. The switch-hitting Camargo was 8-for-28 with a homer, two doubles and eight RBI in camp. Whenever the season starts, the Braves will have an expanded roster, so it seems likely that both Riley and Camargo will be with the club. How much either one plays the hot corner is unknown, though, and splitting time would limit their ceilings. Riley is the more attractive fantasy option in deep mixed and NL-only leagues.
Boston Red Sox middle infielder Jose Peraza could be the favorite to start the 2020 season as the everyday second baseman, in the opinion of The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams. It would definitely be nice for those seeking stolen bases late in mixed league drafts. However, let us remind you that we don't even have an idea yet when the regular season will begin, and Peraza must produce in order to avoid losing playing time at the keystone to Michael Chavis. Chavis might not have the glove or the speed, but he can hit for more power and can also play first base. Peraza, 26 at the end of April, is ranked just outside RotoBaller's top 400 players, but he'll see a bit more of a bump if it turns out that he'll be playing regularly to begin the 2020 campaign.
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcherAndrew Heaney has been playing catch and long toss at his home in Oklahoma. The tall left-hander was slated to be the team's Opening Day starter, but that honor will have to wait for an unforeseen amount of time. Heaney has brought in Angels left-handed pitcher Garrett Williams to live at his house, and the two have passed the time by playing catch in the street. Heaney is not taking part in bullpen sessions at this time but is trying to keep his mind and body right. Heaney should still be considered the Opening Day starter whenever that date is determined.
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Brett Cecil (hamstring) will continue his rehab process next week in his recovery from a strained right hamstring. Cecil took some time off to deal with personal issues, but Cardinals President of Baseball Operation John Mozeliak said that Cecil is feeling better. The lefty pitcher sustained the injury in one of the last Grapefruit League games before all spring camps shut down. He was originally expected to miss Opening Day, but now that there's no set start date, Cecil could indeed be ready to go once the season gets going.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (arm) is continuing his rehab and has ramped up to throwing from 120 feet. Mikolas is dealing with a strained right forearm that was going to keep him out of the Opening Day rotation. He's scheduled to throw a light bullpen soon, and given the current timeline, could be ready to go whenever the baseball season finally gets started. Mikolas wasn't nearly as good last season as he was in 2018, but he was still a solid anchor for the back end of a fantasy rotation.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim is discussing a return to South Korea with his team, according to reports. Kim relocated to St. Louis from his homeland of South Korea earlier this year, but with no start date for the season in sight, Kim may be looking to return home to be with his wife and two young children who are still in Incheon. The team has yet to determine the next step, but it is certainly something being considered. The 31-year-old Kim was fighting for a rotation spot and seemed to be on the right track before everything got shut down. Whether he returns to South Korea or not, Kim will be ready to go whenever the baseball season gets underway.
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen(knee) confirmed he will be ready to play when MLB can resume after the season was delayed due to the coronavirus. The veteran outfielder has been out since last June with a torn ACL and would have missed the start of the regular season if it started on March 26. McCutchen has been working out in Florida and said that when the season does begin, he will be ready. McCutchen was the Phillies primary leadoff hitter before his injury last season and should serve in that role again in 2020. McCutchen has a .378 on-base percentage in his career and would be a useful fantasy asset in all formats leading off for a strong Phillies lineup.
It's still unclear whether Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Seranthony Dominguez (elbow) will have Tommy John surgery. Because of the coronavirus, Dominguez hasn't been able to get a second opinion on his arm from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. General manager Matt Klentak said a decision on Dominguez's surgery won't be made until he gets the second opinion. All signs point to the reliever having surgery, which would keep him out the rest of this season and for the start of 2021. The 25-year-old only threw 24 2/3 innings in 2019 because of his arm injury, but he was solid in 2018 with a 2.95 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings and 16 saves. Until further notice, Dominguez is off the fantasy radar.
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning (elbow) has been cleared to resume his throwing program, according to general manager Billy Eppler. Canning will build up the intensity of his throwing program and could get back on a mound by the end of April. The right-hander had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow around four weeks ago and is hoping to avoid surgery that would likely keep him out for all of the 2020 season. The good news is that the delay of the season due to the coronavirus affords Canning some more time to recover, but there's still no timeline on when he'll be ready or if this route will help him avoid surgery. As of right now, he's still a risky pick in mixed leagues, as his current ADP sits at 300.6.
New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga would have been the teams primary fifth starter had the season begun on time, according to pitching coach Matt Blake. Injuries and a Domingo German suspension left the Yankees with holes in their starting rotation, and a strong spring from Loaisiga had him in line to win a job in the rotation. A delayed season has allowed James Paxton(back) to get healthy and bump Loaisiga out of the rotation, though, so Loaisiga is now likely to be the next man up should the Yankees need another starting pitcher midseason. Loaisiga owns an unimpressive career 4.79 ERA, but a high 28.3% strikeout rate and strong spring training command (one walk over 10 innings) give the 25-year-old some upside and make him a potential DFS play if he starts.
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