Fantasy Baseball Weekly Notes (April 19-25)
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
After two long weeks, marred with cancelled games and rain delays, Week 3 of season-long fantasy baseball is here. We have plenty of storylines, injury updates, and waiver wire considerations this week, but most importantly plenty of (scheduled) baseball. Unlike last week, we will not see most team’s playing an even number of games, but we will get to those numbers in just a bit.
There were a few big stories from Week 2, most notably, Fernando Tatis Jr. has returned from a shoulder injury that potentially saw him missing much more time. Tatis is 1-13 so far in his return, but fantasy owners should be happy to have their first round pick back. Also, that sole hit was a homerun, so there is also plenty of optimism that Tatis can be back close enough to full strength to have a productive year without surgery.
On Sunday, we saw Aaron Nola pitch a complete game shutout, notching 10 strikeouts along the way. The Cy Young- candidate has pitched two other complete games in his career, but both were abbreviated games lasting 7 innings or less. This was the first time we’ve seen him pitch into the 9th inning in an MLB game. It was a great display of confidence by manager Joe Girardi, but possibly a bigger sign of great things to come for fantasy owners, who spent upwards of a second round pick to acquire him.
Now on to Week 3, with the first game set to start early Monday morning to celebrate Patriots Day in Boston. The game should actually be a good watch, featuring two quality pitchers in Lucas Giolito and Nathan Eovaldi. After this tough matchup, the Red Sox have potential for a great week. They are scheduled to play seven games and should face three left-handed pitchers, all at Fenway Park where righties have advantage with the Green Monster. Red Sox righties Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez should be obvious plays, but we will also be looking at guys like Enrique Hernandez, owned in only about 20% of leagues, and Hunter Renfroe, who is owned less.
Three other teams play seven games this week: LAA, SD, and SF. These teams should expect a nice volume boost over the four teams that are scheduled only five games this week: ATL, BAL, COL, and TOR. Interestingly, our models still like players from all of these five-game teams, but replacements should be considered for fringe players in week long leagues.
We would be doing you an injustice if we did not mention games at Coors Field this week. As of now, there are three scheduled games, with the Phillies traveling to Colorado over the weekend. Of note, there is not much to do in free agency with these games, with both teams’ top hitters all owned above 80% in most leagues.
There are a number of other low owned hitters and pitchers who we are targeting this week. This list will continue to grow throughout the week, but for now we are keeping a close eye on the following players/situations:
- Tampa’s Joey Wendle, who we mentioned last week, is still largely available and owned in only about 20% of leagues. Last week, he recorded at least one hit in six of seven games and his eligibility at 2B, 3B, and SS could help teams in need of depth.
- Are we seeing a return of Joey Votto? Owned in less than 30% of leagues, Voto’s recent resurgence should not be ignored. He has hits in nine of twelve games played so far and could help teams in category leagues who are looking to boost their BA/OBP.
- On the mound, Tyler Rogers, owned in about 20% of leagues, should be considered. The relief pitcher has looked good to start the season and has recently stepped into a closer role for the Giants. He may not keep the role all season, but he should be in line for some short term saves.
- Last, we need to mention, Brandon Nimmo, less than 50% owned, again. He was in here last week. The Mets everyday leadoff man is still hitting well over .440 and is known for his impressive ability to take pitches and extend counts. He should contribute in both BA/OBP and Runs for the remainder of the season.