Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: April 20
Greg Jewett goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
A player’s impact cannot only be measured by his fantasy value, but also how he affects a team. Armed with a cannon at shortstop, playing alongside Manny Machado , Fernando Tatis turned in a herculean effort on Friday night, even if his team lost in extra innings. Tatis led off the game with his sixth home run. He also scored the Padres only other run in the 11th after drawing a walk, stealing two bases and scoring on a ground out by Eric Hosmer . All told, Tatis Jr. racked up a smash and dash with the home run along with three steals in the game. Plus, he’s having fun.
It’s difficult to take the spotlight off of Christian Yelich . He launched his 11th home run, which now leads the majors and drove in two runs to set a Brewers record for RBI to start the season. Yelich currently slashes .350/.442/.813 with 29 RBI through his first 21 games. He will eventually cool off. However, the home run regression crowd seem quiet of late. Time to tour the rest of Friday’s action in the Round Up.
Hitter Highlights: Altuve En Fuego
Obviously fantasy owners targeted Jose Altuve for his power upside. Especially given his physical attributes. Altuve hit his eighth home run driving in three last night. He owns a 1.019 on-base plus slugging percentage during his first 76 at-bats. Alex Bregman added his third home run and could be on the precipice of a power surge as he gets healthy.
Brett Gardner ’s hitting .200 with 14 hits on the year. But, he’s also hit five home runs among them. As the Yankees get healthy, Gardner could drift from lead-off spot, but he still maintains value while he hits atop the lineup.
Signs of life from Mookie Betts . He went 2-for-4 with his fourth home run. Mitch Moreland went back-to-back with Betts fueling the Red Sox win in Tampa Bay. Under the radar, Brandon Lowe blasted his sixth off of Eduardo Rodríguez in the loss.
Remember when Pete Alonso needed time in the minors in the preseason before joining the Mets? Well, he launched his seventh home run in St. Louis, carries a 1.164 on-base plus slugging percentage and looks like he’s here to stay. Robinson Canó started slowly but racked up three hits last night with two doubles among them.
All the Mariners do is hit home runs or at least it feels like it. Back-to-back jacks by Tim Beckham and Omar Narváez in the top of the ninth led to a victory. Dan Vogelbach (7) and Jay Bruce (9), also joined the home run parade.
Boston promoted Michael Chavis to bolster the lineup. He could add power to the lineup along with flexibility. Chavis appeared at third base six times in Triple-A, five at second base and one at first. And some guy named Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should make his debut on Tuesday, in Toronto, against the Giants. Reports suggest the kid can rake.
Starting Pitcher Recap: Hendricks Gem
With an assist from the weather, Kyle Hendricks rebounded at home for his first win over seven shutout innings giving up three hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts. Hendricks painted with 29 called strikes and 10 swinging strikes of his 100 pitches for a tidy 39 CSW (called and swinging strike) percentage.
It remains to be seen if Caleb Smith will pitch well on the road this year, but in Miami, he’s almost a slam dunk. Smith won his second decision yielding five hits and an earned run with eight strikeouts in six innings against Washington. Smith racked up 15 swinging strikes and 14 called for a 34.9 CSW percentage. Here’s the best of the rest from Friday night:
Jordan Lyles , Pittsburgh: 86 pitches, eight swinging strikes, 15 called, 26.7 CSW%. Lyles left his start early with a right hand contusion, but, won his second game with six strikeouts in six shutout innings against the Giants.
Carlos Rodón , Chicago White Sox: 95 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 14 called, 26.3 CSW%. Rodon gets his third win limiting the Tigers to three hits, an earned run and three walks with six strikeouts in Detroit.
Justin Verlander , Houston: 107 pitches, 15 swinging strikes, 23 called, 35.5 CSW%. In a predictable outcome, Verlander garnered his third win of the season yielding three hits, an earned run and three walks with eight strikeouts.
Vince Velasquez , Philadelphia: 97 pitches, 19 swinging strikes, eight called, 27.8 CSW%. Seeing Velasquez accrued the highest amount of swinging strikes on the slate in Coors should intrigue owners. He accrued 15 with his four-seam fastball alone. Although he did not factor in the decision, Velasquez could be on the verge of a breakout.
Marcus Stroman , Toronto: 109 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 24 called, 32.1 CSW%. Stroman worked eight innings giving up six hits, one earned runs and two walks with six strikeouts en route to his first win of the year.
Anthony DeSclafani , Cincinnati: 80 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 12 called, 26.3 CSW%. Another victim of a no-decision, DeSclafani bounced back on the road throwing a two hitter allowing one earned run and a walk with six strikeouts.
Matt Strahm , San Diego: 87 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 16 called, 31 CSW%. Matching DeSclafani, Strahm hurled eight innings giving up two hits and one earned run with five strikeouts.
Bullpen Notes: Boston’s Fluidity
It’s not going to warm the hearts of fantasy fans, but Boston does not care about clarity in high leverage. Matt Barnes recorded his third hold firing a clean eighth inning with two strikeouts. He faced the third, fourth and fifth hitters in the lineup with a two-run lead. So, Barnes remains the highest leverage pitcher in the hierarchy. However, Ryan Brasier notched his fourth save. To summarize, both pitchers maintain fantasy value, but predicting usage patterns will be frustrating.
While the saves chasers focus on upside, Sergio Romo gets his second save with a strikeout in a clean outing against the Nationals. Nick Anderson , the speculative add of the week, allowed a home run to Brian Dozier but struck out the side in the seventh for his first hold. Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley shared the eighth to bridge to Romo. Here’s the rest of last night’s reliever notes of interest:
Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez notched his sixth save striking out the side against the Giants.
It was save number seven for Edwin Díaz as he worked around a hit and a walk with a strikeout in St. Louis.
Cody Allen did not record an out in his second loss. He served up back-to-back home runs and walked a batter before being lifted. Many will gravitate to Ty Buttrey as a stash, but Hansel Robles could get first shot at a save due to recent usage patterns. Buttrey owners should take the long view, he’s the best arm in this bullpen.
What To Watch For
A great day for Ernie Banks, with two doubleheaders on tap. Minnesota will play two in Baltimore along with the Braves in Cleveland. Touki Toussaint faces Trevor Bauer in the second game, providing a potential pitcher’s duel.
Off to a strong start this season, Luis Castillo will face the Padres in San Diego with the potential for plenty of swinging strikes.
In injury news, Daniel Murphy will head to Triple-A for a rehab assignment, which clouds the playing time future for Garrett Hampson . Fantasy owners will nervously await news on Starling Marte who left last night’s game after a violent collision with shortstop Erik González .
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