Andrew Heaney (SP-LAA) - Perhaps that Howie Kendrick trade will pay off after all. Heaney surprised me Monday with eight innings of one-run ball to beat the Astros. He allowed just four hits, walked one, and struck out 10 in a dominating performance that lowered his ERA to 3.93. Heaney in his last four starts has been outstanding, posting a 1.80 ERA and 26:6 K:BB in 25 innings after starting the year with a 9.64 ERA trough his first two starts. With his sixth start of the year Monday, Heaney has already equaled the number of MLB starts he managed in 2016 and 2017 combined. Once one of baseball's top prospects, perhaps he's finally healthy and showing us what he's capable of. Heaney has a long list of arm injuries on his resume, but you may as well ride this streak out until the next one, as he's looking like the guy we thought he could be 3-4 years ago.
Tyler Clippard (RP-TOR) - With Roberto Osuna (suspension) having his administrative leave extended through May 21, the Toronto closer situation remains in flux. Osuna has a June 18 court date and it's feasible he could sit out through and beyond that date depending on how things proceed. In the meantime, Clippard has received the team's lone save opportunity. He's pitched well this year with a 1.23 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. His usual spotty control has resulted in a 4.1 BB/9 and his fastball is down over last year, averaging just 90.7 mph, so Clippard is no lock to keep the job all year. Option B would likely be Seung Hwan Oh with his 1.45 ERA and solid ratios - 9.6 K/9, 1.5 BB/9. Oh combined for 39 saves the past two seasons, so he has the experience to step in and be "the guy" should things work out that way. Right now I'd take Clippard given his recent save, but owners chasing saves would do well to also roster Oh.
Keynan Middleton (RP-LAA) - Middleton is apparently headed to his second DL stint for elbow inflammation, and it seems likely that this one is an extended absence. Middleton has six saves and a 2.04 ERA, so this is a bit of a loss for the Angles. His 17:9 K:BB in 17.2 innings is just a so-so ratio, but Middleton and his 96+ mph fastball does has closer stuff. While he's out, Blake Parker and Jim Johnson appear to be next in line for saves. Right now I'd probably prefer Parker for a couple reasons. One, he had an outstanding 2017, posting a 2.54 ERAW and 0.83 WHIP in 67.1 innings with an 11.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 and after a slow start this year, Parker hasn't allowed a run in his last 6.1 innings. Johnson has been a bit shaky lately with four walks in his last four innings, so I'd lean Parker, but probably both have some value in deeper leagues right now. Justin Anderson went and confused the situation even more by recording a save on Monday, but he also allowed three baserunners and probably can't be trusted in the role right now.
Dustin Fowler (OF-OAK) - Fowler is off to a 2-for-15 start, but it's just good to see him healthy. The A's are going to give him a very long leash, and though he's hitting at the very bottom of the order, I expect in time that Fowler will move way up, perhaps even to the leadoff slot. He was 1-for-4 with a triple and RBI Monday as he looks to build off his .314/.339/.496 Triple-A effort earlier in the year. Fowler has yet to show a penchant for drawing walks as a professional, but he makes good contact and has shown 20/20 type of upside. Fowler will be 23 all year, and though he's still shaking off the rust after last year's horrific knee injury, Fowler profiles as an above-average regular, if not more depending on how much he runs.
Whit Merrifield (2B-KC) - Merrifield continues to improve last year's breakout season is no fluke. The second baseman went 3-for-4 Monday with his fourth home run and is now batting .287/.356/.427 as the Royals' leadoff man. It was Merrifield's fifth multi-hit game in his last eight starts, and in that time, he's raised his BA 43 points from .244. Merrifield also has nine steals to put him on pace for a second straight 30+ SB campaign. The 29-year-old is only in his second full season, making him a bit of a late bloomer, but clearly his 19 HR / 34 SB season last year was a result of more than simple luck. Merrifield came into the game with extreme L/R splits, with a .377 BA vs southpaws and just a .220 mark versus RHP, so keep that in mind when setting your Draft Kings lineups.
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