Clayton Kershaw dazzled in his start against the Reds on Wednesday, firing seven shutout innings while allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out eight. Just another typically dominant performance from Kershaw, whose eight strikeouts matched his season high. He also didn't allow an extra-base hit and needed just 90 pitches to complete seven frames. Kershaw finishes April with a 4-2 record, a 2.09 ERA and a sterling 39:5 K/BB ratio, which is impressive even by his lofty standards. He also finished the month with just five earned runs allowed over his last five starts combined. Now in his 14th MLB season, the 33-year-old remains a bona fide fantasy ace and is showing no signs of slowing down. He'll look to keep rolling in his next start against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Freddie Freeman helped fuel Atlanta's 10-0 rout of the Cubs on Wednesday by going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. It was easily the best game of the year for Freeman, who'd managed just three hits total over his previous six games combined. Despite his disappointing .247 batting average, he's still been hitting for plenty of power with seven home runs and 17 RBIs thus far. He's also been getting on base a lot with 19 walks as well, making him even more valuable in points leagues and OBP formats. In short, the reigning NL MVP is still one of the best hitters in baseball at age 31.
Sonny Gray fell to 0-2 on the season despite ringing up 11 strikeouts in just 5 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Unfortunately for Gray, who allowed two runs on four hits and three walks, he was matched up against Clayton Kershaw, who did not allow any runs. Gray has had an uneven season this far, with 23 strikeouts but also eight walks in only 13 2/3 innings. He's also allowed three home runs and 16 hits overall, which has made him frustrating to own from a fantasy perspective. He'll likely turn things around based on his strong career peripherals, however, and the high strikeout rate is simply too good to ignore. Gray faces the White Sox at home in his next start.
Jacob deGrom was stuck with the loss on Wednesday despite allowing only one run on three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in six innings against the Red Sox. deGrom was once again victimized by no run support, as the Mets were shut out. As such, deGrom is somehow 2-2 this year despite posting an unfathomable 0.51 ERA with a 59:4 K/BB ratio. Bad luck aside, deGrom is the undisputed best pitcher in baseball right now, and it wouldn't surprise anyone if he took him his third Cy Young Award at the end of the year. deGrom will hope the Mets can score some runs for him when he squares off against the Cardinals in St. Louis early next week.
Sandy Alcantara earned his first win of 2021 on Wednesday after allowing two runs on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts in seven innings against the Brewers. After opening the season 0-2 over his first five starts, Alcantara ended April on a high note with his longest start of the season. He was pretty efficient as well, needing just 93 pitches to record the 21 outs. Alctanara has now allowed two earned runs or less in four of his six starts, resulting in a strong 3.19 ERA to go with his 36:11 K/BB ratio. While his W-L record doesn't show it, Alcantara has quietly been one of the NL's better pitchers over the past few years and is worth owning in all fantasy formats. He'll look to carry his strong start into May when he faces the D-backs at home in his next start.
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