Here are what some talking heads think about fantasy baseball 2019:
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In a late push to save his playing time, Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon went yard twice against Philly on Sunday. It was McMahon's first start of the series, and he took full advantage as he drilled solo shots in the fourth and sixth innings of the team's fourth-straight loss. McMahon was seemingly handed the heavy end of a second-base platoon out of spring training this year, but both halves of the timeshare struggled, resulting in top prospect Brendan Rodgers being called up. Rodgers has severely cut into McMahon's playing time so far, but if McMahon can start to show some more hitting like this, he might still have a chance to hold on to his position. Any believing owners should hold for the moment.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon got the scoring started as early as possible on Sunday as he hammered a leadoff home run to start the game against the Phillies. The Rockies would eventually fall for the fourth straight time, but Blackmon's certainly been holding up his end of the bargain this season. The jack was Blackmon's 10th of the year, and he's been drilling the ball all over the diamond. Hitting .294 with 17 extra-base hits, Blackmon is one of a handful of Rockies offensive players who are tracking the NL MVP front-runners with aplomb. Expect him to be in the discussion right to the very end.
The Colorado Rockies have tried everything they can think of to help relief pitcher Bryan Shaw find himself again, but none of it's really worked. Shaw came into Sunday's game rocking an impressive 1.93 ERA that was built on a pile of kindling consisting of a 5.46 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, 88% strand rate, and .158 BABIP so far this year. After escaping the fifth inning, Shaw came back out for the sixth, where he burnt the house down. A walk and pinch-hit home run by J.T. Realmuto allowed the Phillies to tie, and another single before letting Mike Dunn finish the meltdown by allowing a homer to Bryce Harper hung the loss on Shaw. If anyone out there still believes in Shaw, they must be related to him.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland lasted just 1 2/3 innings on Sunday as he was sent packing after proving wholly ineffective against the Phillies. There was no mention of injury after the game, just poor play. Freeland struggled with his command as he walked three in the short outing, and he regularly found himself in deep counts, racking up more than 30 pitches in each inning. An assortment of home runs by his teammates are the only thing that saved him from taking the loss, even if the team's bullpen eventually let them down. It's hard to imagine a much nicer opportunity than a game against the Orioles next week, but Freeland's been so bad this season that he almost assuredly shouldn't be started then either.
Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi isn't necessarily hitting a ton of homers, but he's certainly racking up a lot of extra-base hits. Mondesi is tied for the lead in triples, he knocked his 11th double of the season on Sunday, and he's smacked five homers so far for good measure. Tack on his league-leading 17 stolen bases, and Mondesi has been a one-man wrecking crew so far in 2019. At just 23 years of age, the future is bright for Mondesi as long as he can keep focused on making constant contact. Ever since he's lowered his strikeout rate, his value has skyrocketed.
Kansas City Royals utility man Whit Merrifield was held hitless in Sunday's game, but he still walked twice and scored a run. Considering Merrifield is a leadoff hitter known for his on-base skills and tendency to steal, it would make sense that he'd walk regularly, but Merrifield hasn't been doing that much recently. In fact, the two walks were two-thirds of all the walks Merrifield's taken in the last two full weeks. However, even though he hasn't been interested in free passes, Merrifield's still maintained an on-base percentage of .340 over that period of time. The one concern is that he's been caught stealing three times in that same two-week span, but that's likely more a bit of bad luck than anything too worrisome.
In what's likely more of a shot at the Angels pitching staff than a moment of hope for his batting eye, Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Soler didn't strike out a single time on Sunday. As a testament to his patience, Soler's strikeout-free day allowed Bryce Harper and Joey Gallo to surpass Soler and take over as the new leaders in strikeouts in the league. Soler had recently cut down on his swing-happy ways by going four straight games without striking out, but the series with Texas and LA have included seven strikeouts in a four-game stretch. Soler's whiffs hamper his overall production, but his 10 home runs show he's on pace to clear 30 for the season. It's up to individual owners if they can stomach the approach though.
Kansas City Royals breakout Hunter Dozier is fighting to prove he isn't just a blip. Following a superstar-worthy first month of the season, Dozier has been coming back down to Earth at a rapid pace. Over the last 10 days, Dozier is hitting just .176 and is slugging an amazingly wimpy .206. That said, he provided a small moment of hope on Sunday when he laced a run-scoring double into right-center on a meatball left up in the zone. Ideally, major leaguers knock 91 MPH belt-high fastballs into another county, but given his recent struggles, a double's a blessing. Baseball is a game of constant adjustment, so it remains to be seen if Dozier can adjust back to what was working for him in April. Most owners should hold for now.
It took more than a week, but Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Jake Diekman was finally able to nail down his fifth hold of the season with a shutout inning against the Angels on Sunday. The seasoned 32-year-old has been hampered by a combination of poor outings and poor team performance this year, but he's sitting down batters at an impressive rate of 13 K/9. A strong strikeout rate like that is sure to draw some fantasy interest, but owners should beware. Diekman's also walking more than four batters per nine innings, and the unimpressive pitching staff surrounding him will limit his ability to gain holds.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy impressed some Angels hitters with his six inning performance on Sunday. LA outfielder Kole Calhoun told reporters that it was the best he'd ever seen Duffy throw, and Duffy did hold the team to one run en route to the win. Unfortunately, the underlying numbers don't support Calhoun's assertion as Duffy allowed five hits and walked three during the outing. He was fortunate more of those baserunners didn't come around to score, but sometimes fortune wins a week in fantasy baseball. Duffy will likely take a turn against the first-place Yankees next, and it would be recommended that fantasy owners not bet on continued good fortune.
The San Diego Padres are hopeful shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (hamstring) can return May 24. Tatis, whos been out since April 28 with a left hamstring strain, is up to running at 90 percent. The stud 20-year-old prospect was off to a great start to his career, slashing .300/.360/.550 with six homers, six steals and 27 runs-plus-RBI in 111 plate appearances. With infielder Manny Machado sliding over to shortstop in Tatis stead, the Padres have gotten subpar contributions from fill-in third basemen Ty France and Greg Garcia. The spark Tatis provided has been noticeably missed by the swooning Friars offense and his return will be a welcome sight. Fantasy owners would certainly agree.
San Diego Padres shortstop Manny Machado went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Sundays loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The empty day snapped an 11-game hitting streak for the 26-year-old and hes now slashing .262/.340/.453 on the season with nine homers and 47 runs-plus-RBI. Machado still hasnt fully heated up, posting a career-worst 22 percent strikeout rate but does have a 1.015 OPS and nine extra-base hits in May. Padres fans and fantasy owners are ready for him to catch fire.
Updating a previous report, Chicago Cubs 2B Javier Baez (heel) suffered a heel contusion against the Washington Nationals Sunday, May 19.
The San Diego Padres optioned starting pitcher Nick Margevicius to Double-A Amarillo on Sunday and activated right-handed reliever Trey Wingenter (shoulder). The 22-year-old Margevicius earned a surprise roster spot in spring training and began the season well but has floundered with an 8.59 ERA in three May starts. Hell likely get another shot later this season if he works out his kinks in the minors. Wingenter returns after a nearly three-week stint on the IL and will serve as a key middle reliever ahead of closer Kirby Yates. Wingenter holds a 2.93 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 13.2 K/9. He could be a high-strikeout fantasy option in deeper and holds leagues.
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz went 3-for-4 in Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Padres. Diaz started his fourth straight game behind the plate, adding three singles in the close victory. The three-hit performance raised his average to .245, and the young catcher has raised his average by 86 points with two consecutive three-hit games. Francisco Cervelli is hitting just .179, opening the door for Diaz to take the job with a string of good performances. Diaz is good enough to be added in two-catcher leagues and those desperate for an option in single-catcher leagues should keep a close eye on his playing time.
Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Colin Moran went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in Sunday's 6-4 over the Padres. Moran hit a three-run home run as part of the Pirates' four-run first inning. It was Moran's first multi-hit game since May 10th and first extra-base hit since May 12th. With Jung Ho Kang on the IL Moran will continue to play nearly every day.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter Joe Musgrove (3-4) got the win on Sunday, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and one walk over 6 1/3 innings in a 6-4 victory over the Padres. Musgrove was cruising through six innings, allowing just one hit before losing steam in the seventh and allowing three runs on three hits. He was spotted a 5-0 lead, so the up-and-down outing was still enough to earn the win. Musgrove has been up and down lately but owns a 3.67 ERA on the season, and should be a steady presence as the season goes on.
Chicago Cubs 2B Javier Baez (ankle) exited against the Washington Nationals Sunday, May 19, after twisting an ankle.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jean Segura went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored Sunday afternoon vs the Rockies. The hit extends Segura's hitting streak to ten games. Segura is red-hot and primed for a big week as the Phillies hit the road to play the Cubs. Chicago is scheduled to start left-handers in three of the four games which is good news for Segura. Last season Segura posted a .803 OPS vs lefties compared to .737 vs righties. That success has continued into this season as he's batting .375 vs southpaws, albeit in a limited sample size. He should be started in almost all leagues this week.
Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez left Sunday evenings game early after fielding a ground ball. It appeared that Baez got his cleat stuck in the dirt and hurt his right ankle. Baez initially stayed in the game for two more innings, but with the Cubs taking control of the score, Addison Russell replaced Baez. Baez should be considered day-to-day for now. Addison Russell would likely take over Baez if he were to miss anytime and he can be avoided in most formats.
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|Debs Dangerous Divas D.1||5/19 9:09 pm ET|
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|Psychedelic Bee 39||4/19 2:14 am ET|
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