Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: May 30
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.
Investing in saves can be tenuous in the early rounds. Wednesday did not treat the consensus top two closers taken in drafts well. Blake Treinen entered with the game tied in the top of the ninth inning. He hit Kole Calhoun with a pitch, then recorded a strikeout and a fielder’s choice. But a two out double by Luis Rengifo followed by a single by Jared Walsh provided the Angels with the lead. Every time it feels like Treinen turns the corner, outings like this present themselves.
So far this year, Treinen’s 3.62 ERA accompanies a 4.33 xFIP. Of more concern, he’s generating fewer ground balls while his strikeout rate sits seven percentage points below last years and he’s walking more batters. Traffic does not benefit closers, so keep tabs on Treinen’s health. This, like the next closer, could be a cumulative effect of being worked so hard last year.
Since 2017, Edwin Díaz has not given up the lead when provided with a three-run lead, which ended in Los Angeles last night. Diaz served up two home runs among his five hits and a walk resulting in four earned runs, his second blown save and third loss this season. It’s been a year since Diaz ceded at least two runs in any outing, the last time, May 29th of 2018. Perhaps last year’s workload along with appearing in four of the last five games, and in eight of the last 12, contributed to the collapse.
Here’s the rest of the high leverage results of interest from Wednesday:
Blown save number two, and the second in his last three outings for Hansel Robles . He allowed three hits and two earned runs giving up the lead provided by Treinen in the top of the ninth. Ty Buttrey recorded his 11th hold and could see more save chances going forward if Robles continues to struggle.
Save number six for Shawn Kelley . He gave up a hit and a walk while striking out one. He’s racked up four saves in five appearances since his return from the injured list.
Both Roenis Elías and Anthony Bass yielded runs for Seattle. Austin Adams fired 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts allowing a hit. Keep him stashed for a potential save for the Mariners this weekend.
Scott Oberg secured his first save of the season, and his first since August 17th in 2016, giving up a walk with two strikeouts. But, Wade Davis could be nearing a rehab assignment if he throws off a mound in the next two days.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Hendricks stays hot
Overlooking Kyle Hendricks in drafts can be easy to do. He’s not exciting or in possession of high upside. But, he’s solid and pitches for a winning team. Hendricks turned in eight innings on the road in Houston giving up four hits, one earned run and one walk with seven strikeouts. In six starts this May, Hendricks owns a 1.81 ERA over 44.2 innings allowing 28 hits, five walks and striking out 37 for a tidy 0.74 WHIP. Not too shabby.
James Paxton returned from the injured list to fire four hitless innings against the Padres. Paxton generated 17 swinging strikes, 12 with his four-seam fastball, and five called for a robust 33 CSW (Called plus swinging strikes) percentage. Paxton’s not allowed an earned run in four of his last five starts to lower his ERA from six to 2.81 in the process. He’s also recorded 40 strikeouts over his last 26 innings.
Other notable starting pitcher performances:
Aaron Nola , Philadelphia: 102 pitches, 14 swinging strikes, 22 called, 35.3 CSW%. Nola gets his sixth win giving up four hits, one earned run and three walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.
Blake Snell , Tampa Bay: 87 pitches, 20 swinging strikes, 10 called, 34.5 CSW%. During a no-decision, Snell allowed six hits, two earned runs and two walks with five strikeouts.
Kevin Gausman , Atlanta: Tied a career worst yielding eight earned runs on eight hits and two walks with one strikeout on 42 pitches. Woof.
Hitter Highlights: Josh Bell mashing this May
He’s been covered in the Behind the Breakout segment and it’s been noted how Josh Bell continues to crush baseballs with a better launch angle and massive hard hit rates. For reference:
Bell finished this game with three hits in five at-bats, his 18th home run and three RBI. He leads the majors with 27 RBI in May and he’s hit 12 home runs his last 25 games with a robust .410/.464/.870 slash line. Teammate Colin Moran added his fifth home run and he’s hitting .342 (13-for-38) over his last 11 games with two home runs and 10 RBI.
Nick Senzel hit his fourth home run and owns a seven game hit streak. He’s hitting .344 in it with eight runs, three doubles, a home run and four RBI with a .400 on-base percentage. Senzel’s also reached safely in 18 straight contests with 15 runs and four stolen bases in the streak.
Although Eric Hosmer does not move the fantasy needle, he’s on an eight game hit streak slashing .406/.424/.688 with seven runs, three home runs and nine RBI in it.
A nice debut for César Puello this season. He racked up three hits and his first home run with four RBI in the Angels win over Oakland. Matt Olson homered for the second straight game and has seven in 21 games since returning from the injured list. Mark Canha homered for the seventh time over his last 14 contests.
Imagine sitting Mallex Smith this week? He went 2-for-4 yesterday with a run, a triple, two RBI, a walk and his 13th stolen base. Through three games this scoring period, Smith’s 7-for-12 with three runs, five RBI, two walks and five stolen bases. Plus, he’s hitting lead-off. The buy low window has probably lapsed.
Hidden beneath the rubble of the struggling Cleveland offense, Carlos Santana surges on. Santana went 3-for-4 with four runs, his 10th home run, five RBI and two walks versus Boston. Since May 14th, Santana’s reached safely in 35 of his last 69 plate appearances with five doubles, five home runs and 19 walks.
Also percolating, Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and his fourth home run. He’s reached base in 10 straight games going 12-for-37 (.324) with three doubles, four home runs, three walks and three hit-by-pitch in them.
It’s as though Bryce Harper teases his owners. He racked up three hits including his 10th home run driving in four runs. But, he left the game after fouling a ball off his foot. Early reports indicate Harper’s fine, but keep tabs on this. Scott Kingery , with a clear path to at-bats, went 2-for-5 with his third home run. He’s slashing .344/.382/.594 through 23 games.
An afterthought in New York, Keon Broxton hit his second home since joining Baltimore and he’s hit safely in five of six games since joining them.
While many flocked to the second wave of young guns promoted over the weekend, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. continues to rake. He went 2-for-6 with his fourth home run. Since his recent promotion, Gurriel’s 10-for-23 (.435) with seven runs, three doubles, four home runs and six RBI in six games. Plus, he could be adding outfield eligibility going forward.
With the Nationals offense waking up recently, Juan Soto stayed hot. He went 2-for-4 last night with his ninth home run and two RBI. He’s 13 for his last 26 with 11 runs, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven RBI and six walks.
Speaking of hot…
.@austinriley1308's @MLB ranks through first 14 career games ...— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 30, 2019
HR (7): T-2nd most ever behind @Tstory2 (8 HR in 2016).
RBI (20): 2nd most ever behind Jim Greengrass (21 RBI in 1952). pic.twitter.com/odYiwDyRlA
Including his Triple-A statistics, Austin Riley has 20 home runs and 50 RBI over his last 32 games.
Those searching for upside at catcher should get Carson Kelly before he’s gone. Kelly recorded the first three-hit game of his career and hit his fifth home run. He’s slashing .263/.346/.505 through 98 at-bats this year.
Another rookie mashing?
Currently, Pete Alonso ’s pacing towards 56 home runs. For the Dodgers, Joc Pederson went 2-for-5 with his 16th home run. He’s hitting .268 with a 1.019 on-base plus slugging percentage and on pace for 46 home runs in 443 at-bats this year.
What To Watch For
For starters, news on Joey Gallo . He’s in the midst of a breakout, but, this will need to be monitored:
Two early games provide some starting pitcher intrigue. Can Tyler Beede carry over his strong outings in Triple-A to the majors? An outing in Miami could kickstart his confidence. Jared Eickhoff looks to bounce back at home against the Cardinals.
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