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Fantasy Forward: Aroldis to the DL and Price will right soon?

Many teams seemed wary to invest heavily in Aroldis Chapman after being egregiously overused last postseason. He succumbed to the disabled list with an injury he has had before which points to a month timeline for his owners.

Most leagues do not have Dellin Betances available, but if for some reason he’s out there, change it. Boston watched Drew Pomeranz leave his start early with triceps tightness, but he hopes to make his next start. Meanwhile, David Price’s rehab hit a weather snag, but he threw a 75 pitch simulated game and will start on Friday in Triple-A. If all goes well, he could rejoin the rotation as soon as next week.

It did not seem like a good day to be an outfielder.

  • Steve Pearce left his game with a sore left calf and will undergo an MRI on Monday.
  • Carlos Gomez suffered a hamstring injury, so his status moving forward could be in doubt.
  • Teammate Shin-Soo Choo did not play on Sunday due to back spasms.
  • During the Arizona game, both Gregory Polanco (hamstring) and A.J. Pollock (groin) were removed early due to injury.
  • Travis Shaw left after being hit on the hand but X-rays did not reveal any damage.
  • Also, David Peralta may need another day off on Monday for those who own him.

Due to the awful performances on the mound by starting pitchers on Sunday, the hitters will lead-off for the recaps.

Hitter Hightlights

Looking to shake up the offense after a rough start to the series, Terry Francona put Jason Kipnis atop the lineup despite his .155 average to start the year. Kipnis responded with four hits in five at-bats, two home runs and four RBI. Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana also homered. Miguel Sano did not homer, but teammate Jorge Polanco did with Kennys Vargas driving in two with a double for the three Twins runs.

It’s odd how a player who makes a good catch carries it into an at-bat. Kevin Pillar did so on Sunday in the top of the ninth inning then hit a walk-off home run off of Edwin Diaz. Pillar is hitting .314. Justin Smoak launched his seventh home run, tallied two hits, and walked to raise his average to .274 with his OPS at .714 in the middle of May.

Tampa Bay pillaged the Red Sox bullpen in the ninth inning and Steven Souza’s three run home run highlighted the inning. Corey Dickerson finished four-for-six with a triple off of Drew Pomeranz as well.

Did Michael Conforto graduate from lead-off to third in the lineup? On Sunday, Conforto not only hit third, he missed a cycle by a single getting all the extra-base hit requirements with a walk in five plate appearances. Conforto hit his ninth home run, drove in three, and his OPS sits at 1.116 to start the year. Neil Walker stayed hot, and over his last 12 games he is 18-for-50 (.360) with 10 runs, six doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI.

Jonathan Villar has been off to a rough start, but he finished 2-for-4 on Sunday with a home run (5), a walk and two RBI. Keon Broxton stayed hot with his fourth home run, and his average a much more palatable .270. Whatever catcher the Brewers play seems to produce and Manny Pina homered to give them the lead with three RBI on the day. Both he and Bandy are hitting over .300 this year.

Padres rookie Hunter Renfroe hit his sixth home run with three RBI, but the .209 average harpoons his fantasy value. With Tim Anderson out for personal reasons, Leury Garcia sparked the offense again from the lead-off spot with two hits, two runs, and his third stolen base of the year.

Baltimore got swept in Kansas City, but Chris Davis had a perfect day at the plate going 2-for-2 with his sixth home run and walked three times in five plate appearances. Caleb Joseph continues to hit of late with a 2-for-5 day and his second home run with three RBI. His defense may cut into the time Welington Castillo gets upon his return. For the Royals, Mike Moustakas launched his ninth home run and drove in four while Drew Butera finished with three hits and his second home run.

With the Cubs offense reeling, Yadier Molina’s two home runs proved to be too much to overcome. Matt Carpenter chipped in with his eighth home run as well.

It’s been an up and down year for Matt Joyce, but he moved back into the second slot of the lineup against right-handed pitching this weekend and went 3-for-5 with his fourth home run on Sunday. For Texas, Delino DeShields was 2-for-4 and stole his seventh base, Elvis Andrus tallied three hits, and Carlos Gomez finished 3-for-3 with his fifth stolen base before leaving with an injury.

Corey Seager launched his sixth home run in Colorado, and Yasiel Puig hit his seventh in a loss to the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon raised his average to .310 with a 3-for-3 performance, Nolan Arenado contributed two hits with his ninth home run, and Pat Valaika hit two dingers with four RBI.

Despite all the news in baseball, somehow Mike Trout pacing towards 45 home runs with 28 stolen bases seems to be overlooked. Are we spoiled or what? Trout hit his 11th home run, stole two bases to push his total to seven this year, and he’s hitting .352/.449/.738 – I’m not making this up. Many may have given up on Cameron Maybin due to his slow start, but he did walk three times on Sunday and stole three bases. Those who need steals should give him a look.

Despite a .221 average, Brandon Belt is hitting for power with his seventh home run. His BABIP is presently 50 points below his career mark, so a rebound here will boost the average. Time will tell if he’s undergoing a change or just hitting too many ground balls.

Another struggling player, Andrew McCutchen, hit his sixth home run, but he is hitting .212. He stole his third base as well. Josh Bell hit his seventh home run, and Jose Osuna’s second homer proved to be the game winner filling in for Gregory Polanco. Paul Goldschmidt hit two home runs (10) and drove in three of Arizona’s four runs. He’s very good at this game.

During the doubleheader, Aaron Altherr finished 2-for-7 and homered for the eighth time in Game 1. So did Tommy Joseph who hit his fifth. Since the start of May, Altherr and Joseph lead the majors in OPS. Bryce Haper continues to rake finishing the twin bill 5-for-8 with his 12th home run and three RBI’s in the two games. Trea Turner hit his fourth home run in Game 1, but went 1-for-8 total with two runs and two RBI. Michael Taylor hit the game winning home run in the night-cap and finished 3-for-8 in the two games with two runs and two RBI.

In the Yankees and Astros doubleheader, a total of 34 runs were scored. Here’s the highlights. Brett Gardner finished 6-for-9 with two doubles and a homer (7), Matt Holliday 2-for-9 with a home run (7) and three RBI, Starlin Castro 3-for-10 with his seventh home run and three RBI. Aaron Judge went back to the American League lead with his 14th home run. As for the Astros, George Springer hit two home runs in the night-cap to finish 3-for-8, Carlos Correa went 3-for-7 with three runs and an RBI while Alex Bregman only tallied one hit in eight at-bats, but it was a grand slam for his first home run of the season.



Starting pitcher observations

Aaron Sanchez returned from the disabled list and made it five innings with four strikeouts. He still had bleeding on his finger, so take heed of reports for the week ahead. Ariel Miranda struck out eight in five innings for Seattle with three hits allowed and one earned run. Oddly enough, this made for one of the better pitching match-ups of the day.

Indians starter Trevor Bauer struck out seven over six innings of work allowing seven hits and three earned runs, but his ERA of 6.92 needs to move towards his 3.56 xFIP for fantasy owners to buy in.

Jacob deGrom continues to strikeout batters with seven in six innings, but the four earned runs allowed and another home run prove problematic to his overall fantasy value. He’s better than his 4.07 ERA, the strikeouts abundant, FIP says he will improve with a 3.35 mark, and his xFIP of 2.84 is what we need.

When Adam Wainwright leads the early slate with seven shutout innings and three strikeouts against four walks. Come on baseball, you’re better than this.

Speaking of which, Alex Meyer led the way in the later games with 6.1 innings allowing three hits, one earned run, two walks and striking out seven.

Trying not to morph into a home stream only, Jeff Samardzija bounced back to win his first game of the year with eight strikeouts over 6.2 innings with nine hits allowed and three earned runs.

Max Scherzer had to battle the Phillies Sunday night, but finished with eight strikeouts against nine hits in six innings – just like the Shark above except Scherzer received a no-decision due to his bullpen.

Charlie Morton won for the fifth time but needs to avoid the big inning. He’s racking up strikeouts (10 more last night), but needs to limit big innings to maximize fantasy value moving forward. Cutting down the walks would be a terrific start.

Bullpen musings

It felt like Kelvin Herrera was turning the corner, but he allowed three hits and an earned run working in back-to-back outings. He did garner his eighth save. Matt Bush saved consecutive games for the first time this year. Bud Norris also bounced back to save his seventh for the Angels.

Greg Holland continues to roll through the National League with his 16th save and struck out the side. Corey Knebel saved the Brewers win and may not give up the closer role the rest of the way. Invest in him.

A.J. Ramos exists. He saved his fourth game of the year for the Marlins who have not yielded many chances. Hector Neris saved the first game of the doubleheader with Matt Albers locking down the nightcap. Shawn Kelley struggled, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning in Game 1.

With no one ready to take over at this time, Brandon Maurer had a rough fantasy week with two blown saves, and on Sunday allowed three runs in one-third of an inning as well.

Statistical Credits: BaseballSavant.com, Fangraphs.com, MLB.com

 

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Greg Jewett
I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler

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