FANTASY PLAYER UPDATES & NEWS

Alex Avila (head) remains out of the Tigers' starting lineup Thursday.

The Tigers aren't calling Avila's injury a concussion, but they are being cautious with him given his history. He remains day-to-day, but expect to see more of Bryan Holaday behind the plate, including Thursday.ANALYST: Howard Bender

Kris Bryant went 2-for-4 with two RBI during the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Pirates on Monday.

Baby Bryant was at it again Monday night, driving in two more runs and pushing his batting average to .351 for the short season. Bryant should continue to rake and the home runs are likely come in bunches once the weather warms.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Dexter Fowler went 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base during the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Pirates on Monday.

It was nice to see Fowler get it going against Vance Worley Monday. The stolen base was his fifth, which puts him on pace for roughly 30 for the year (although he'll likely finish with fewer). For the season, the outfielder is slashing .261/.338/.420. Expect the batting average and on-base-percentages to come up to the .270/.370 levels of years past.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, a walk and a run scored during the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Pirates on Monday.

Rizzo has been excellent in the early going, even though he's only socked two long balls so far this month. He's slashing .328/.481/.483 and has somehow managed to steal five bases already, as many as he had in all of 2014. Don't expect that trend to continue, but 10 stolen bases and 30 home runs isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Jason Hammel allowed no runs on four hits while striking out seven with no walks over eight shutout innings during the Cubs' 4-0 win over the Pirates on Monday night.

Monday was Hammel's best start of the season by a long shot. The strikeouts, however, have been there and it was nice to see him carve up a lineup that touched him for four runs (three earned) his last time out. Hammel should be solid back-end starter in mixed leagues as long as he stays healthy.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Vance Worley allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out three and walking one over six innings during the Pirates 4-0 loss to the Cubs on Monday.

Suddenly the Cubs have one of the better lineups in the NL and Worley struggled against the heart of it. Worley had faced Hammel a week earlier in Pittsburgh and held the Cubbies to just one unearned run. He currently carries a 2-2 record with a 4.50 ERA, although his peripherals suggest he's been slightly better than that. He's an NL-Only rotation stalwart.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Jed Lowrie left Monday's game with a thumb injury. He's going back to Houston Tuesday for an MRI.

In all likelihood Jonathan Villar or Marwin Gonzalez will fill in for Lowrie if he misses extended time, but there's an outside chance the first-place Astros call up uber-prospect Carlos Correa for his first major league taste. Correa is murdering the Texas League (Double-A) to the tune of .375/.429/.719 with four home runs and two stolen bases. He's worth a speculative add in competitive leagues until the situation becomes more clear. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has hinted that he wouldn't be scared to "lift" Correa straight from Double-A at some point.  Analysis: Spencer Silva

Doug Fister allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits while walking two and striking out three over 5.2 innings in the Nationals 8-4 loss to the Braves on Monday.

Fister does not miss many bats which can cause for the occasional rough outing as Atlanta registered 10 hits on Monday. Fister has an uncharacteristically high 1.46 WHIP on the season but his ERA sits at a respectable 3.28. He will look to bounce back in his next start on Saturday against the Mets in New York. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

A.J. Pierzynski went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the Braves 8-4 win over the Nationals on Monday.

Pierzynski has always proven to be a capable hitter but it has been his clubhouse demeanor which has seen him bounce around four different organizations since 2012. Luckily for fantasy owners as long as he is getting at bats there is no way for him to mess up any team chemistry and given that he has seemingly taken over the everyday catching duties for the Braves hes a must start. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Kelly Johnson went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored in the Braves 8-4 win over the Nationals on Monday.

Johnson is hitting .263 with six runs, three home runs and seven RBI over the first month of the season as he splits time between the infield and outfield depending on the match up. Johnson has always had decent power but has not hit above .235 in a single season since 2010 which has made him tough to own over the course of a long fantasy season. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Eric Stults allowed two earned runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three over 6.1 innings in the Braves 8-4 win over the Nationals on Monday.

Stults has notched back to back quality starts for the Braves, allowing just three earned runs over 12.1 innings. Stults is coming off a tough year with the Padres as he went 8-17 with a 4.30 ERA but has proven to be a capable starter in the past and could offer some NL-Only value if he can keep the ball in the ballpark.  Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Mike Aviles went 1-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and one run scored in the Indians 6-2 loss to the Royals on Monday.

Aviles is the Indians super utility player given his ability to play both the infield and the outfield. He offered a little bit of power and speed but unless he is seeing a full time role he is not worth owning in standard fantasy leagues. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Corey Kluber pitched 6.1 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on 10 hits while walking two and striking out five in the Indians 6-2 loss to the Royals on Monday.

Last years A.L. CY Young winner has been roughed up over his last two starts, allowing 12 runs (10 earned) on 23 hits over 12.1 innings. The loss drops Kluber to 0-3 on the season and the Indians have not won in any of his five starts this season. Kluber will hope to rebound on Saturday but will be up against a powerful Blue Jays lineup. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in the Royals 6-2 win over the Indians on Monday.

Gordon is hitting .273 with an impressive .394 OBP over the first month of the season. His counting stats leave plenty to be desired but hes risen his average from .174 to .273 over the past 10 games and as he continues to breakout of his slump the rest of the production should come. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Mike Moustakas went 4-for-5 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored in the Royals 6-2 win over the Indians on Monday.

Moustakas continues to hit over the first month of the season, averaging .342 with 16 runs, three home runs and seven RBI. Moose is hitting in the two hole for the Royals which has allowed him to score plenty of runs while still having the power as his calling card. After years of being labeled as bust it looks as if Moustakas could finally be achieving the upside that made him a popular breakout candidate since his rookie year. Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

Jason Vargas pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits while walking five and striking out one in the Royals 6-2 win over the Indians on Monday.

Vargas earned his second win of the season on Monday but has struggled over his first four starts, allowing 13 earned runs over 19.2 innings (5.95 ERA) with an atrocious 1.73 WHIP. Theres no mixed league value here with Vargas and those in AL-only leagues should consider him nothing more than a match-up play against a team who struggles against lefties.  Analysis: Jonathan Impemba

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