But let's just say I have some reservations about both. Detmers' velocity was down more than 1 mph across the board, he threw just 59 percent of his pitches for strikes, and most notably, he entered the start with a 10.30 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in his previous six. (I double-checked. Those are the actual numbers.)
You may be inclined to give him extra credit for doing it against an imposing Rangers lineup, but it's perhaps truer in 2023 than ever before that any pitcher is capable of doing anything against any opponent on any given day. That's baseball, Suzyn. If I had to guess, I'd say Detmers was effectively wild in this one, which is more a happy accident than a deliberate strategy.
As for Gore, well, we've seen these kinds of outings from him before. He has good swing-and-miss stuff but is often too wild and inefficient to take advantage of it. I've taken to calling him Charizard on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast because while he's a fire-breathing force capable of utter destruction, he's erratic, unpredictable, and just as likely to burn you as a result. Ash Ketchum knows a little something about that.
I don't know why this particular start is reason to believe Gore's trajectory has changed. It doesn't help that he exited early with a cut on his fingernail, which may have deleterious effects on his next couple of turns.
So if you're planning to play the waiver wire today, you're better off looking to the hitter ranks, where some genuinely exciting options are still widely available -- some having remained so for far too long.
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DET Detroit • #20 • Age: 24
I'm of two minds on Torkelson, believing both that he should be better than this and that this is, well, good enough. With two more home runs Wednesday, he's up to six in his past seven games and is batting .252 (40 for 159) with 13 homers and an OPS over .850 in his past 42 games. It makes him the fifth-best first baseman in Head-to-Head points leagues during that stretch, well behind Matt Olson, Freddie Freeman and Cody Bellinger but comparable to anyone else at the position. That's good enough, right? Yet his average exit velocity, max exit velocity and hard-hit rate are all 83rd percentile or better, and his .259 xBA and .478 xSLG are both far better than his actual .230 and .431 marks. Whatever, it's all trending the right way, so let's just enjoy a young hitter coming into his own.
ATL Atlanta • #20 • Age: 33
I have to admit I'm straight-up befuddled as to why Ozuna is still available in one-third of CBS Sports leagues. In fact, his roster rate hasn't exceeded its current 67 percent mark all season. It's to the point now where the full-season numbers make the case well enough, but if you eliminate his dreadful April, he's batting .276 with 22 homers, 58 RBI, 51 runs and an OPS pushing .900. That's in 86 games, so double those numbers, and you'll be just a little off his 162-game pace. Outfield is a difficult position to fill, and for nobody else out there could you reasonably expect those kinds of numbers over such a large sample. Particularly because he's helping to anchor a loaded Braves lineup, it's time to buy in once and for all.
WAS Washington • #20 • Age: 25
At a position with so many up-and-comers, Ruiz was dismissed as an also-ran at the start of the season, but suffice it to say the dynamic has changed. His appeal seemed limited to points leagues at first given that his only strength was his exceptional contact skills (Luis Arraez is the only other qualifying batter with a strikeout rate less than 10 percent), but he's begun to impact the ball in a way that isn't reflected in his low exit velocity readings, homering for the fourth time in nine games Wednesday and the 15th time overall. Really, it's his average exit velocity that falls short, which may be a byproduct of him putting so many balls in play. His max exit velocity is 60th percentile, and it's worth noting he hit 21 homers in his last minor-league season. At this point, Ruiz seems preferable to Cal Raleigh or Daulton Varsho, even.
Royce Lewis 3B
MIN Minnesota • #23 • Age: 24
Lewis is back, and judging by his rostership percentage, it seems like people forgot about him during his seven-week absence for an oblique injury. Or maybe they just thought there wouldn't be room for him with Jorge Polanco also healthy and Edouard Julien now firmly in the mix. But no, Lewis has started back-to-back games at third base and gone 4 for 7 with a double and a stolen base since returning -- this after batting .417 (5 for 12) with two homers and a steal on his rehab assignment. On Wednesday, he had three batted balls of more than 105 mph and also a 98-mph single. So far in his major-league career, albeit a brief one often interrupted by injuries, Lewis is batting .331 (47 for 142) with six homers and two steals in 40 games. Let's treat him like the former No. 1 overall pick he is.
Zack Gelof 3B
OAK Oakland • #46 • Age: 24
I wrote extensively about Gelof in the last edition of Waiver Wire, so I want to be careful not to belabor the point here. But he went 4 for 5 with two doubles and a stolen base Wednesday and remains one of the most viewed players in CBS Sports leagues. It's clear he's hot to begin his major-league career, and there are reasons to believe it's not all fake. For starters, he's fast enough to keep running at the rate he has. Moreover, his line-drive, fly-ball and pull rates are all high, which is the way to maximize lower-quality contact. But he doesn't have a lot of raw power and strikes out too much considering. It's possible you've missed his best work already, but there's no denying he demands to be picked up now. And hey, Matt McLain has made a similar profile work.
DET Detroit • #30 • Age: 26
Carpenter has been a fixture in the Waiver Wire column of late, and indeed, his roster rate is beginning to climb, rising from 18 to 51 percent in two weeks' time. He continues to live up to his end of the bargain, going 2 for 4 with a home run Wednesday to give him a .455 (20 for 44) batting average and five home runs in his past 12 games. It's worth noting that only four of his 16 home runs have come at home, and Spencer Torkelson, another of Wednesday's featured players, is also held back from playing half his games at a power-suppressing venue. But the overall line looks great for Carpenter, who hit 36 homers between the minors and majors last year. Now that he's playing against lefties as well as righties, he's worth a look even in three-outfielder leagues.