Welcome Back! Week 1 is nearly in the books and what a wild ride it has been! I like to describe Head to Head fantasy baseball as a long race with approximately 25 mini races along the way. The first leg of the race has been interesting, to say the least! COVID tripped up the Nationals before they could get out of the gate. Yermin Mercedes went from 0-60 in 2 seconds flat! Nate Lowe got out to a commanding RBI lead and if Fernando Tatis Jr was a racehorse, there would be rumblings about the glue factory. Please don’t mistake my sense of humor, or lack thereof, for anything short of disappointment for the Padres, and for baseball in general. I wish Tatis a speedy recovery! He is just too good of a talent to go to waste. Let’s turn our attention to Week 2 and which players are going to give you a leg up in your matchups!
Adam Eaton, OF, CWS-16% rostered in Yahoo-Tim Anderson suffered a minor hamstring injury and was placed on the 10-day IL. Luckily Dr. LaRussa has read the MRI and said he should be back soon. How exact are LaRussa’s predictions? .08% most of the time. As a result, Adam Eaton moved up into the leadoff spot and puts himself in an opportunistic position in the lineup. Eaton’s career .360 OBP and impressive lineup, even without Eloy, should lead to plenty of runs. The Sox have 7 games vs the Indians and Red Sox.
Cedric Mullins, OF, BAL-23% rostered in Yahoo-Cedric “The Entertainer” has definitely been putting on a show! Registering a hit in each game to start the season, the Young Oriole is getting an opportunity to hit atop this lineup and isn’t looking back. With 7 games on the slate next week (vSEA, @TEX), Mullins’ hot start and on-base ability should give you the runs. (Hopefully not like the Twins)
Honorable Mention: Nick Senzel-Hard to leave the league leader in Runs off of this list.
Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN-22% rostered in Yahoo-Hard to keep Naquin and his red hot start out of this write-up. Naquin has been absolutely mashing the ball (100.5 average EV, 92% hard hit rate). The fact that he has 11 RBI out of the leadoff spot this season is something I wouldn’t expect to continue, but with this Reds team crushing, nothing surprises me yet.
Michael A. Taylor, OF, KC-40% rostered in Yahoo-The “A” in Taylor stands for Anthony. No, I am not going to say it stands for “An amazing start”, which would be true. No, I am not going to say it stand for “At home for 7 games where he has both HR’s” Also true, but no thank you. I am also not going to say it stands for “Absolutely crushing the ball to the tune of 96% ave EV and 94% hard-hit rate”. All of those could be true, but it stands for Anthony.
Honorable Mention: Hunter Renfroe-Not exactly the hottest of starts, but he should get the power going against the 3 lefties he is projected to face.
Honorable Mention: Akil Baddoo-After his 1st week of action, how can this Rule-5 snatch not appear in this article.
Leody Taveras, OF, TEX-38% rostered in Yahoo-Let’s be entirely clear. It’s hard to steal bases from the bench. Ricky Henderson will even tell you it’s impossible, once he is done telling you how awesome he is. That being said, Taveras was benched on Monday after going 0-12 in an attempt to clear his head. Maybe it worked (we are working with a couple days’ sample), but he has hit in consecutive games. Let’s circle back..it’s hard to steal 2nd from the bench, but it’s not hard to steal 2nd against the Tampa Bay Rays! Mike Zunino, alone, has allowed 7 SB’s to 0 Caught Stealing. IF Taveras gets on base, look for him to get the Green Light!
Manuel Margot, OF, TBR-23% rostered in Yahoo-If the suggestion 2″ above is any indicator, than the matchup between the Rangers and Rays should be a fast paced one. While the Taveras matchup isn’t exclusive to the catcher, the blend of poor OBP and poor thrown out numbers equal a solid suggestion. Margot on the other hand, is a blend of pure speed and consistent at-bats. With Kiermaier on the shelf, look for Margot to get plenty of opportunities to get his 1st SB of the season and potentially more! Trivino and Heim don’t represent the most dangerous arms behind the plate to stop the speedster, he just needs the Green Light!
Honorable Mention: Garrett Hampson-I know that I am supposed to only go with 1, but I have to go with the reverse jinx and hope it doesn’t cost him playing time.
Wade Miley, SP, CIN-3% rostered in Yahoo-Wade Miley didn’t exactly have to work hard to get the victory vs the Pirates last week, but he pitched well none the less. His plate doesn’t exactly look full this next week either. The Reds have given the most run support in baseball so far, and should continue next week against the Giants and the Indians. Miley will matchup against Aaron Sanchez and Logan Allen, and should come away with multiple wins…..but wins are stupid!
Kyle Gibson, SP, TEX-7% rostered in Yahoo-Boy, a tale of 2 starts for Gibson. Couldn’t get out of the first inning in his first start, and shut out the Blue Jays over 6 innings in his next start. Here is the good news, he gets the Rays and doesn’t face against Glasnow. The bad news is that he gets the Orioles in his next start against John Means. Let’s be really honest, the bad news is that he plays for the Rangers. All that being said, Wins are stupid and when you get 2 decent starts in a H2H, you take the low hanging fruit.
Honorable Mention: Huascar Ynoa, SP/RP, ATL-With the Braves playing in 10 straight, they will look to Ynoa to spot start in 2 solid matchups. After going 5 strong innings against the Nationals, he will look to carry that momentum into a matchup against the Marlins and then a Sunday meeting with the Cubs.
A.J. Puk, RP, OAK-11% rostered in Yahoo-The A’s starters have been getting beat up and not able to go deep into games, and here comes Puk to the rescue. It has been announced that he is only going to be pitching out of the bullpen, but we have seen that he is capable of coming in and firing multiple innings of helpful ratios.
Michael Kopech, RP, CWS-38% rostered in Yahoo-Kopech has been dominant in his 4 innings of relief work so far this season with 8k’s, 1 hit, only 2 walks, and even picked up a win. With Kopech’s swing and miss ability, there is a good chance that he is the RP to roster for the whole season. This may be your final buying opportunity.
Ian Kennedy, RP, TEX- 31% rostered in Yahoo-Kennedy’s haven’t had the best of luck over the years in Texas, but it doesn’t appear there are any Bushes in the grassy knolls waiting to strike. Kennedy has earned back to back saves for the Rangers and the upcoming schedule is definitely favorable for a save opportunity or two.
Jake Diekman, RP, OAK-41% rostered in Yahoo-Free Agent signing Trevor Rosenthal is on the IL and it appears he may need surgery. So who do the A’s turn to? That is the $64, 000 question. If I had to guess, and considering there are 35 different pitchers with a save this year, guessing it is going to have to be!
Honorable Mention(s): Cesar Valdez-The dead fish is working its’ wonder on opposing hitters! Gregory Soto-The Tigers keep giving him the opportunities. Scott Barlow-Greg Holland was on my do not draft list, and he is losing his grip. I personally think Barlow has the tools to be a key 9th inning arm. Lucas Sims-If Amir Garrett continues to give up the long ball, watch out for Sims to get some opportunities.