From today until the end of the Major League Baseball season, Saturday is for looking at the various streaks and trends across the MLB, as well as those fantasy baseball players with rising or falling stock. Who should be your priority waiver wire pickups? Who deserves some of your precious FAAB? Are there any potential fantasy baseball buy low trade candidates? As always, we’ll start by talking about some fantasy baseball risers and fallers, highlighted by Ryan Pepiot and Nolan Jones of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies respectively. On the other hand, starters James Paxton and Mitch Keller are trending in the wrong direction, unfortunately during fantasy baseball playoffs. Lastly, we’ll take a look at some of the longest active hit streaks in Major League Baseball, which are currently owned by Teoscar Hernandez and Trea Turner. Let’s take a look at some of the notable hit streaks and current trends across Major League Baseball, as well as fantasy baseball risers and fallers.
|1||Luis Arraez||.350||1||Freddie Freeman||.414||1||Shohei Ohtani||.654|
|2||Corey Seager||.338||T1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.414||2||Corey Seager||.651|
|3||Freddie Freeman||.336||3||Shohei Ohtani||.412||3||Mookie Betts||.609|
|4||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.334||4||Mookie Betts||.411||4||Matt Olson||.599|
|5||Cody Bellinger||.318||5||Corey Seager||.401||5||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.585|
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.353||1||Aaron Judge||.464||1||Aaron Judge||63.6%|
|2||Corey Seager||.323||2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.461||2||Matt Olson||57.5%|
|3||Luis Arraez||.321||3||Corey Seager||.432||3||Matt Chapman||57.0%|
|4||Freddie Freeman||.320||4||Shohei Ohtani||.428||4||Juan Soto||55.3%|
|5||Bo Bichette||.316||5||Yordan Alvarez||.426||5||Ronald Acuna Jr.||55.1%|
Fantasy Baseball Risers
Whether it’s operating as the “bulk guy” or being the actual starter, the Dodgers are going to need some innings from Pepiot down the stretch here. Julio Urias is likely done as a Dodger, Walker Buehler isn’t coming back, and Lance Lynn has looked rough over the last couple of starts. Meanwhile, over his last two starts, despite notching just six strikeouts across 12 innings of work, he has yet to allow a run, while allowing just three hits and one walk in starts against the Marlins and Diamondbacks. I do believe there’s some optimism with his strikeout numbers, however, as an O-Swing% of 38 percent and a 10.1 percent swinging strike rate, lends itself to something better than a 14.6 percent strikeout rate. I think we could see an uptick in strikeouts, even if ever so slightly down the stretch for the 26-year-old right-hander.
One of the bigger knocks on Jones this year is his strikeout rate (31.8%), and while he’s greatly outperforming his expected statistics, namely his .236 xBA, he’s been quite good this year. The Statcast metrics are pretty solid, especially the 15.7 percent barrel rate, and he has 15 home runs and 13 stolen bases across 84 games. His numbers away from Coors Field haven’t taken a large hit, which is positive, and during his eight-game hit streak, he’s slashing .400/.486/.867 with eight extra-base hits, nine RBI, seven runs scored, and five stolen bases! Jones is still available in over 80 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, and he carries 1B/OF eligibility.
Fantasy Baseball Fallers
The team knows that Paxton is struggling, and they are going to give him some extended rest before rejoining the rotation early next week. Paxton’s strikeouts have become nearly nonexistent, failing to record more than four strikeouts in any of his last four outings, and during this four-stretch run, he’s posted a 10.34 ERA, 3.45 HR/9, and .324 BAA. His fastball velocity is down a little bit, and has essentially become a negative pitch for him (-4.6 pitch value, per FanGraphs).
Take a look below, and let me know if you see what I see…
He was knocked around in his last start against Atlanta, and that’s not the reason he falls here. He had a couple of good performances prior to this outing, so why is he here? Do you see that pitch velocity trend? It’s not going the right way whatsoever. He’s now at a career high workload (174.2 IP) and with this higher level of workload, the velocity has waned. It’s not exactly a recipe for success, and down the stretch, I have some concerns with Keller. Rather than running him out there every start, I’m more apt to pick and choose my spots with Keller.