Fantasy Baseball: Injured stars return and more top takeaways

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·4 min read
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Let’s take a look around the league, quick hitter style:

Adolis Garcia homered again Tuesday, giving him a whopping 15 on the year. His Statcast numbers back up his strong start, and he’s also running (five steals). Garcia went undrafted across all leagues in NFBC’s Main Event, yet he’s been a top-10 fantasy player so far this season. Remarkable. His 46/8 K/BB ratio suggests batting average could be a problem moving forward, but Garcia has been as good as waiver wire pickups can get.

Adalberto Mondesi made his season debut Tuesday, doubling twice while batting seventh in Kansas City’s lineup. He’s pretty much fantasy baseball’s most boom-or-bust player, with undeniable top-five upside. KC has been an extremely favorable hitter’s park so far this season, which may be small sample noise, or it may be something

Evan Longoria smashed a three-run homer Tuesday, and his bat is starting to wake up over the last week. After a strong April (.949 OPS), Longoria entered Tuesday with a lowly .573 OPS in May, but he sports extremely intriguing underlying stats for a hitter who’s available in more than 80% of Yahoo leagues. While there may be reasons to be skeptical about Statcast this season, it remains plenty useful to compare across colleagues, and Longoria stands out — his average exit velocity and Hard Hit% are both in the top 1% of the league. Longoria is no doubt an injury risk, but he’s also hitting in the middle of a good Giants lineup and well worth a look in deeper fantasy leagues.

Joc Pederson, who’s available in 75% of Yahoo leagues thanks to a slow start with his new team in Chicago, homered twice Tuesday. He looks like the exact same player he was with the Dodgers, lost against lefties but with an .860 OPS versus righties. Also for what it’s worth, Wrigley Field has gone from typically being one of the toughest parks on lefty power to a favorable one over the first two months of this season.

Max Scherzer took the loss Tuesday but had another strong performance. He now sports a 2.27 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP over 10 starts and currently has the third-best K-BB% in MLB history for a pitcher who’s at least 36 years old. 

Ryan McMahon swatted his 13th home run of the season Tuesday, and it was the only run scored off the Mets during Jacob deGrom’s return. McMahon has held his own against lefties and on the road this season, and the ball should start flying out of Coors Field during summer. He entered Tuesday top-three in MLB both in “no doubters” as well as expected homers, so his power is no fluke.

Jacob deGrom looked strong during his return to the mound Tuesday, taking a no-decision with a 9:0 K:BB line over five innings. Most importantly, he reached 101.3 mph and averaged 99.4 while producing a silly 44% CSW. deGrom certainly looks like he’s back to health and would be a top-three pick in fantasy drafts held today … Edwin Diaz easily has the best entrance music ever

Kevin Gausman had another strong outing Tuesday, lowering his ERA to 1.53 and his WHIP to 0.85. After throwing more than one-third of his innings in Coors Field and Dodger Stadium last season, Gausman has thrown more than twice as many innings (44.2) on the road (0.81 ERA) than at home (20.0 innings) to open this year. He’s remarkably allowed more than one run in just one of 10 starts. Gausman is the real deal and also no longer a trade candidate with San Francisco a playoff contender.

Steven Matz had a dominant outing in New York on Tuesday, posting a 10:0 K:BB line during a win in Yankee Stadium. While Matz isn’t without risk pitching in the AL East, the team’s move from Florida to Buffalo will be a nice upgrade in home parks. Matz has a 3.71 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP with a 41:6 K:BB ratio on the road this season, and he no longer calls home to the league’s best hitter’s park (something that will help newcomer Alek Manoah as well). Matz is still available in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Rich Hill was absolutely dominant in a loss Tuesday, posting a career-high 13 strikeouts with no walks (and 27 swing and misses!) while lowering his WHIP to 1.02 and trending on Twitter. Over his last four starts, Hill has a 1.01 ERA and a 39.2 K%. The 41-year-old is averaging 88.6 mph with his “fastball” this season while pitching in the AL East, yet he somehow ranks top-20 in CSW, currently sandwiched between Yu Darvish and Walker Buehler. Hill remains available in nearly 40% of Yahoo leagues.

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