The previous week was one for the ages. Everyone threw money around on all the new shiny prospect toys and tried to cover up glaring holes left by injury. In fact, we saw multiple players receive triple-digit bids. Some people completely broke the bank for players like Taj Bradley, Edouard Julien, and Zach Neto.
Well, I’ve got some good news. There isn’t a multitude of fresh new faces. Instead, many of the options are streamers and players picking up more playing time. So, what does that mean from a bidding perspective? Your league should have plenty of managers with less FAAB and bids will be tighter this week.
Next week features nearly half the league with a seven-game week. The rest will get a day of rest, and wind up with six.
SEVEN GAMES: ATL, BAL, CHW, DET, KCR, LAA, MIA, MIN, OAK, NYY, STL, TBR, and TEX.
Investment Rating System
Jarren Duran (OF – $$$): Boston promoted Duran and gave him a full run in the OF against RHP. Unfortunately, when an LHP toed the rubber last night, he sat. Still, he’s showing great plate discipline and making plenty of contact in the zone. Don’t forget, he loves to steal bases, as shown by his 25 SB in Triple-A and the MLB last season.
Connor Joe (1B/OF – $$$): Continuing to walk at double-digit rates for the third consecutive season, Joe is also only striking out 21% of the time and hitting for power(13.2% barrel rate). As his success continues, PIT keeps pushing him up the lineup and the counting stats are starting to amass.
Jorge Soler (OF – $$$): For those teams that noticed they might be a little light on power, Soler needs your focus. He’s getting everyday PAs as the Marlins’ clean-up hitting. While this is no juggernaut offense, Soler showcases a .324 ISO and 124 wRC+. At worst, he’s a solid streaming option since Miami plays seven games this week(4 G @ATL, 3 G vs. CHC).
Mike Yastrzemski (OF – $$): Since the Giants only play six games this week, he should be considered a streamer. However, giving a few extra dollars to secure his bat wouldn’t be a terrible play. In the past, he’s shown barrel rates over 10% for quite some time and he has been getting starts vs LHP, something he didn’t get before.
Jack Suwinski (OF – $$): Currently touting a 29.6% barrel rate and already put five balls into the bleachers. After a slow start due to sitting vs. RHP, he’s locked and loaded to contribute in power, while also striking out a touch less. Unfortunately, the Pirates only play six games this week, so don’t overspend unless you feel like he’ll stick on your squad for a few weeks.
Esteury Ruiz (OF – $$): Ruiz was pushed into the leadoff role vs. LHP and RHP. While he isn’t making any sort of hard contact, he’s been able to get on base at a .389 clip. From there, his elite speed and base path aggression will pay dividends, as he’s already swiped five on the season.
Nick Senzel (OF – $): Cincy’s CF is back and finally healthy. Indeed, he’s a far cry from the 14 HR/12 SB production from 2019 but his power+speed skillset in an extremely favorable ballpark for power makes him intriguing.
Chas McCormick (OF – $): When McCormick was healthy, the Astros liked what they saw and used him out of the leadoff position. Additionally, we saw some gains at the dish with his K% dropping to 25% while maintaining a .839 OPS. Currently, he’s on the IL but getting him cheap a week early before he returns would be huge.
Joey Gallo (1B/OF – $$$): Back from the IL, Gallo immediately returned to his home at 1B. Since his return, Gallo’s doing what we expect and two baseballs have already soared over the outfield fences. While mashing HRs isn’t new for Gallo, has he changed?
Before you come with pitchforks, I’m very aware it’s a small sample. However, it’s a new team and we do see a better approach and more contact. Will it stick around? That remains to be seen. Even with the slightly enhanced plate discipline, the K% is still a lofty percent. Either way, he’s worth a pretty FAAB penny, if available.
Harold Ramírez (1B/OF – $$): Ramirez started the season with the majority of his ABs vs. LHP. However, he’s also started four of the previous five games vs. RHP. On a squad scoring runs in bunches, he’ll be a solid contributor in BA and power.
Rodolfo Castro (2B/3B/SS – $$): Making progression as a hitter: walking more, striking out less, and hitting the ball harder each year. Started seven of the previous eight games as the Pirates’ SS and an easy cheap replacement for teams that lost SS due to injury. Stream him now and hope he sticks as he makes strides.
Mauricio Dubón (2B/3B/SS/OF – $$): Vaulting into the leadoff position, Dubon has been viable(6 G: .333/.321/.370 with seven Runs). He could be a short-term source of Runs and BA while you navigate through the season, just don’t expect any power as he carries a career ISO well-below league average(.116 ISO).
Taylor Walls (2B/SS/3B – $$): Tampa Bay doesn’t utilize Walls as an everyday player. Instead, his elite defense gets him playing time all over the infield. With seven games in the upcoming week, he could get plenty of run in your lineup and be a perfect “in case of emergency, break glass” type of bench bat. Furthermore, he’s collected a hit in ten on his 11 games started while slashing .350/.435/.700 with a 220 wRC+.
Mike Brosseau(1B/2B/3B – $): Milwaukee has a three-game stretch toward the later part of the week(Friday-Sunday) with three consecutive LHP starting. As shown this season, Brosseau leads off vs. southpaws. And for good measure as he touts a 123 wRC+ on the back of some sneaky pop(.201 ISO).
Matt Mervis (1B – $): Continuing his dominance in the Minor Leagues, Mervis is 14-for-55 with 18 Runs/16 RBI, and four HRs. Additionally, the Chicago Cubs‘ current options at 1B tout an 81 wRC+(Eric Hosmer) and Trey Mancini(66 wRC+). It’s a stash play but when they make the change, you’ll love the savings.
Gabriel Moreno (C – $$): Needs to elevate the ball more(51.4% GB%), but makes worlds of contact in the zone. If he can add the contact to his 35.3% HC% and hit a few more fly balls, we could see things really take off. Until then, he’s playing five-to-six games a week. That’s valuable in deeper league formats.
Jonah Heim (C – $$): Heim is hitting a career-high in pulled-fly balls. That typically equates to more HRs and good things follow. Additionally, he’s starting plenty and producing to be relevant in 15-teamers, and even 12-team leagues.
Shea Langeliers (C – $): Cut his K% by nearly ten points and the quality of contact. However, he’s still not making a ton of contact(70.5% contact% – 30th percentile). He’ll likely be a batting average drain but showcase a good amount of power.
Christian Bethancourt (C – $): Splits time but currently walloping baseballs. He’s a viable option in two-catcher leagues.
- 24.1% barrel rate – 97th percentile
- 45.2% HC% – 98th percentile
- .417 xwOBA – 89th percentile
Mason Miller ($$$): Oakland’s flame-throwing prospect had very few innings under his belt before the call-up but impressed tremendously. For an outstanding breakdown of his debut, take a moment and check out this GIF Breakdown piece by Jake Crumpler. In short, he pumps a 100-mph fastball and solid command. Unfortunately, he might not have the offense to back him up for wins. Still, there is a lot to love and he will fetch the most FAAB dollars this week.
Johan Oviedo ($$): The arsenal is playing up as he leads with the 97-mph fastball. He’s currently holding a 25:8 K/BB ratio and coming off a week where he struck out the Cardinals batters ten times and defeated Coors Field(6 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks, and the W). He’ll draw a tough matchup against LAD but finished with a cupcake(@WSH).
Eduardo Rodriguez ($$): Fresh off a 10-K gem, he’s going to fetch some attention. Furthermore, he gets a decent matchup(@MIL), followed by a tougher one(vs. BAL). There should be enough here to put in a significant bid and make him one of the more popular SPs pickups of the week.
Logan Allen ($$): His first big league action is tonight against the Marlins. It’ll be tricky to assess how much to bid since he could be pumped up and ball out or nerves get to him and he gets wild. So, pay close attention to his performance. In the minors, Allen’s showcased a high K% and a meh walk rate. He’s giving up a few HRs in the minors but it’s a small sample. Lastly, don’t be that guy, and make sure you’re adding the correct Logan Allen–WHO PLAYS FOR THE CLEVELAND GUARDIANS, not Colorado Rockies.
Bailey Ober ($$): Kenta Maeda took a comebacker to the ankle and (viola!) Ober gets a spot start tonight. No doubt, all eyes will be on the talented SP. If he shoves, the FAAB price will jump up. Conversely, the impending health of Maeda will play a role as Ober might be one-and-done. Monitor closely and stay updated before your FAAB runs.
Dean Kremer ($$): He’s a two-start pitcher(@BOS, vs. DET) on a winning ball club. He wouldn’t be my first option for a streamer but there is a fair chance to scoop up a pair of wins. In his last outing, the fastball sat two ticks up and returned a 40.5% CSW. For the managers who’ve overspent or are gun-shy on Miller, this might be one of your plays.
Zach Eflin ($): He looked great to open the season, and comes off the IL for a start tonight. The Rays will likely limit his pitch count as they try to manage his workload throughout the season. It could take him several goes before he’s even getting up to five innings. So, be a little cautious and don’t break the bank. He’s more of a stash play unless you’re in a deeper format.
Drew Smyly ($): The quest for a perfect game was crushed by a fluke play. What made the performance even more intriguing was it was against the stout offense of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In that one, he ditched the cutter and focused on a game plan of sinkers up and curveballs down. It worked, but he’s not a completely different pitcher than before. Don’t get overboard, let someone else.
José Suarez ($): He gets an early Monday matchup(vs. OAK), which is a dream stream, followed by a Sunday matchup(vs. MIL). Unfortunately, outside of solid matchups, the arsenal looks like it has taken a step back and he’s not getting any strikeouts. This would be a bottom option for two-start SPs.
Adam Ottavino ($$): The last two save chances have gone to Ottavino, and he’s converted both. Furthermore, three of his previous four appearances closed down the game. Could he be overtaking David Robertson in the ninth inning? Possibly.
Andrew Chafin ($$): Arizona’s bullpen doesn’t have a true closer in the bunch. However, Chafin has already grabbed three saves, and outside of his most recent appearance, he’s been effective. He’s also striking out batters at a 37% clip; not too shabby.
José Quijada/Carlos Estévez($$): On Monday(4/17), Estevez grabbed the save. Then, Quijada locked down the ninth inning twice afterward. It appears the Angels are truly living up to the c0-closer term. With seven games in the upcoming week, either RP could be in line for save opportunities.
Jeurys Familia ($): Before the season began, Familia’s name was mentioned as a potential closer, along with Dany Jiménez and Trevor May. Fast forward nearly a month and Familia is the only one left standing. Furthermore, he notched his first save on Friday night. Go cheap here.
Brad Boxberger/Jeremiah Estrada ($): As the Cubs struggle to find a closer, Brad Boxberger looks like the next in line for save opportunities. In a non-save situation, Boxberger imploded but has likely earned some leash. On the flip side, Estrada touts video game-like strikeout stuff and could work his way into the ninth with much of the competition struggling.
Bryan Baker/Nick Anderson/Jason Adam ($): Anytime a winning team plays seven games in a week, there is a chance the bullpen(and hopefully the closer) get overworked. In that case, the setup man typically gets called on to vulture a save. At worst, Baker, Anderson, and Adam are high K-upside arms with the potential for high-leverage work.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)
Thanks! Are you dropping Oswaldo Cabrera, Marsh, Ruiz, or O’Neil for Duran? OBP