Matt Olson launching two dingers highlights the Week That Was and Will Be.
Matt Olson: Matt Olson hit not one but two dingers Sunday (his 17th and 18th) to help lead the A’s to a win. On the year, the Oakland first basemen is hitting .289 with an OPS approaching 1,000 to go with those 18 knocks. For those wondering, this is all very sustainable. Olson’s traditional high walk rate has remained high while the number of strikeouts has reduced dramatically. When you add in the fact that he is just in his prime at 27, is hitting the ball super hard, and has the highest contact rate of his career, you see that you have a stone cold star on your hands. If anyone in your league thinks a downturn is coming based on last year, well, take advantage!
For the Week That Will Be: Olson bring his great power to the short porch in Yankee Stadium this week. Who does not want a piece of that?
Jake Fraley: Jake Fraley went 1 for 5 Sunday but that one was a two-run dinger. On the year, Fraley is hitting only .245 but with 4 dingers and steals in just 49 AB. There is hidden value in this bat. Why? First, a homer and a steal every 12 at-bats? Sign me up right there. Second, in his last full professional season of 2019, Fraley hit 19 dingers and stole 22 bases in under 400 at-bats. Third, and most importantly, Fraley is chasing outside of the zone very infrequently meaning he is getting on base – a lot. His OBP is a sweet .464 on the year. Yes, .464.
For the Week That Will Be: Given that Seattle faces four lefties this week, Fraley may see more pine than he is used to. However, you should bid and stash if you can.
Myles Straw: With two hits Sunday, Myles Straw raised his average to .256 and his OBP to .328. When you consider how slow Straw started, that is pretty good! Indeed, going into Sunday’s game, Straw had hit over .300 over the last three weeks. Oh, and in that game Sunday, Straw stole his 8th base. I know fantasy owners had dreams of lemon drops, gum drops and Straw stealing 70 bags but 8 swipes is nothing to sneeze at. Indeed, that is close to a 30 steal pace. In today’s roto game, that will play.
For the Week That Will Be: Given that Straw is getting on base and running, he is a must play in most deeper formats (and some shallow). Given his drastically reduced chase rate and almost 90% contact rate, he should continue to put the ball in play and use that speed to his advantage.
Jean Segura: Jean Segura had a bid day Sunday going 3-4 with a run and 2 RBI. Quick without looking, guess what Segura is hitting in 2021. Ok, time’s up. He is hitting a cool .339. Yes, the BABIP is a bit inflated but his strikeouts are way down and he is making contact often – two factors that will help keep that average elevated. Oh, and that he is hitting second in front of Realmuto and Harper cannot hurt!
For the Week That Will Be: Ordinarily west coast trips (LAD and SF this week) are not conducive to big hitting weeks for east coast hitters. However, Segura is so hot, you have to ride the wave.
Cavan Biggio: After a stint on the IL, Cavan Biggio is back and he is hitting. In the three starts since his return, Biggio is 6-12 with two runs, two RBI and a dinger. On the year, the numbers are not so pretty but it seems that he was being held back by an injury. Even hitting low down in the Blue Jays order, the roto-flexible son of Craig will produce plenty for those fantasy players that roster him.
For the Week That Will Be: A full 7 game slate with 4 of them in Camden Yards says yes, yes, yes to penning Biggio onto your lineup cards this week.
What to do if your FAAB bids did not go as planned:
If you did not get the pitchers you want, consider these middle relievers on teams with weak or unsettled closing situations or potential openings in the rotation: Zack Britton who returns to the Yankees just as Aroldis Chapman is showing he is human (though in fairness, the weakness is not in Chapman but possibly in the guy who gets the saves when Chapman needs to take a night off); Chad Kuhl who gets to face off against Cleveland; or hard throwing DeMarcus Evans in light of Ian Kennedy hitting the IL
If you are in the mood to gamble, how about Shed Long who returns from the IL for Seattle or Nick Gordon in Minnesota who is showing some skills and just needs playing time.
And Last But Not Least:
The moment you have been waiting for (just play along) -- Schultz says: “Although I’m sure you’ve already heard this little bit of trivia, Schultz finds it fascinating that Jacob de Grom has driven in more earned runs (5) than he’s given up (4). Schultz also finds it impressive that Shohei Ohtani has hit more home runs (17) than allowed earned runs (15) and that Jose Ramirez has legged out more triples (1) than earned runs allowed. Admittedly, the de Grom and Ohtani stats are more impressive, given that they actually pitch. But still, stats are stats – regardless of whether they have any utility in the fantasy realm. (Seriously, if you’re thinking “hmmmm, de Grom as a two-way player,” just resign from your league now).
In an attempt to provide some useful roto-information, Schultz also thinks it’s interesting that Logan Gilbert, the Mariners’ tantalizing roto-prospect, is starting to live up to his hype. It’s easy to look at the initial 2021 starts of Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Nate Pearson and rush to the conclusion that this year might not be THE YEAR for any young hurler and that there may not be a true roto-savior emerging from the AAA ranks. Seeing as there were no minor league games in 2020, there’s likely some deep-seated reasoning that would support that theory. On the other hand, sometimes it just takes a few games for someone just out of their teens to get comfortable.
Taking advantage of the fact that they know the 2021 post-season is unlikely and acknowledging that Gilbert has reaped all the benefits of the minor leagues, the Mariners are going to let their 2018 first round pick learn the MLB ropes while the stakes are low. The current 4.13 ERA (4.98 before yesterday’s sterling effort) may not raise eyebrows but the 1.13 WHIP and strikeout per inning ratio show that that number may be rapidly on the decline. Seattle is going to be careful with the future anchor of its rotation but they also aren’t going to treat him with kid gloves. While he should surely be a target in keeper leagues – as well as Jarred Kelenic, his currently roto-disgraced counterpart – Gilbert looks poised to provide exceptional mid-season help in 2021 for roto-rotations gutted by injuries . . . even if he’ll likely never pick up a bat.”
Response: Great point about Gilbert. I would not be surprised to see Lynch and Kowar register some good outings this summer as well.