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 Bryce Miller’s hot start, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Jr.’s recent success. On the other hand, Johan Ovideo’s recent struggles have tanked his fantasy baseball value, while Cleveland’s Andres Gimenez is shaping up to be a fantasy baseball bust. Injuries to Drew Rasmussen, Luis Garcia, Jose Alvarado, and Tyler Mahle have rocked the pitching landscape a bit. A pair of Texas Rangers are tied with Trea Turner for the longest active hit streak in the majors at this juncture. 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||.386||1||Luis Arraez||.444||1||Brent Rooker||.673|
|2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.345||2||LaMonte Wade Jr.||.437||2||Patrick Wisdom||.607|
|3||Elias Diaz||.330||3||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.434||3||Sean Murphy||.591|
|4||Matt Chapman||.329||4||Ian Happ||.430||4||Randy Arozarena||.577|
|5||Bo Bichette||.321||5||Brent Rooker||.428||5||James Outman||.574|
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.344||1||Sean Murphy||.468||1||Matt Chapman||66.7%|
|2||Bo Bichette||.341||2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.456||2||Aaron Judge||60.9%|
|3||Luis Arraez||.332||3||Matt Chapman||.447||3||Joey Gallo||60.4%|
|4||Freddie Freeman||.326||4||Brent Rooker||.440||4||Juan Soto||59.0%|
|5||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. Jr.||.316||5||LaMonte Wade Jr. Jr.||.430||5||Patrick Wisdom||58.3%|
Fantasy Baseball Risers
Miller has been excellent at the big-league level thus far, posting a 0.75 ERA and 15:1 K/BB ratio. He’s posted quality starts in both of his outings, which have come against Oakland and Houston, and all but two of his strikeouts have come via his fastball. Ideally, you would like to see his secondary offerings generate more whiffs, and be more effective overall, because as the book gets out on him, it’s hard to imagine that his four-seamer remains this effective. Seattle needs him in the rotation, and after throwing 130+ innings last year between the minor league ranks, he should be able to handle 140-160 innings of work this year.
Gurriel has hit safely in each of his last seven starts, and for the month of May, he’s slashing .433/541/.933 with four home runs, three doubles, 11 runs scored, and seven RBI! He’s easily on pace for his best season, and his 2023 campaign is shaping up to be quite the bounce back from a quiet 2022 season. The surface-level metrics are nice, but his strikeouts are down, barrel rate is back up, and both his quality and quantity of contact are up! Gurriel remains available in 31.2 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, so go scoop him up!
Fantasy Baseball Fallers
It was only a matter of time, and I say this as a Pirates fan. From 2020-2022, Oviedo had a 4.34 ERA (4.68 FIP, 4.90 xFIP), and he came out of the gate in 2023 posting a 3.03 ERA and 8.8 K/9. Well, that came to a crashing halt, as he has now posted a 10.22 ERA over his last three starts, and the walk rate is becoming insurmountable. He has 20 walks in just 42 innings this year, including multiple walks in not one, not two, not three, not four, but five straight outings! He has more, or just as many walks as strikeouts in each of his last three outings. Left-handed hitters have given him fits, and that will only continue. I hope you were able to sell high on Oviedo while that window was open.
This fantasy baseball faller, like the one above, pains me. I loved Gimenez coming into the year and was expecting him to build upon last year’s excellent season. I knew there was some concern about his power overall for this season, but what he’s done this year is even worse than my worst-case scenario outcome for the season. His barrel rate is nearly extinct, his hard-hit rate has absolutely cratered, and his ground ball rate is up to 50 percent! On top of that, he ranks in the seventh percentile or worse in average exit velocity, hard hit rate, barrel rate, chase rate, xSLG, and xwOBA. I don’t want to drop him, as he does still have six stolen bases and he could bounce back, but it’s getting tougher and tougher to be in that boat.