Mike Clevinger, SP, CLE
Clevinger struck out 10 in 7 IP against the Yankees on Sunday, allowing 2 ER's on just 1 hit, while walking 4. Clevinger received a lot of hype in the offseason as a potential breakout candidate this year thanks to his 10.13 K/9 in 2017, and it has sort of come true, as Clevinger has kept his ERA under 3.00 in the early going. But the strange thing is that his success hasn't been a result of more strikeouts, in fact his K/9 entering Sunday had dropped to 6.81, which may suggest that the breakout isn't real and Clevinger should be a sell-high candidate. The good news is that the strikeouts have started to come back in recent days; over his last 3 starts, Clevinger has notched 22 K's in 20 IP. Considering that he maintained such a strong K-rate through the entirety of last season, it's very possible that he keeps it up in 2018 as well, and perhaps his first few starts of the season turn out to be the anomaly.
Delino DeShields, OF, TEX
DeShields went 1-3 with 2 SB's against the Red Sox on Sunday, giving him a hitting streak of 10 games and putting him at 6 SB's for the season. With 68 SB's in 331 career games, it's pretty clear that DeShields will be running as long as he is on the field. But fantasy owners are often scared by these one-trick ponies, firstly because they may lose playing time if they don't hit, and secondly because even if they do play, they aren't contributing in any other category. These reasons wouldn't seem to apply to DeShields who is hitting .308 this season (after posting a solid .269 mark in 2017) and has even shown a bit of pop with 2 HR's so far in 16 games. If you need help in steals, check your waiver wire as DeShields is still available in over half of ESPN and Yahoo leagues!
Kyle Gibson, SP, MIN
Gibson allowed 3 ER's on 4 hits in 6.2 IP against the White Sox on Sunday, striking out 8 and walking two in the contest. There appears to be a change in Gibson this season; he has gone from not striking anybody out to striking a lot of people out. In 5 previous seasons with the Twins, Gibson's K/9 topped out at 6.89. This year through 7 starts, he's at 10.24! Maybe the sample is still kind of small, but the change seems too drastic for me. Gibson may actually be emerging as a legitimate fantasy starter. He has always posted good GB-rates and that has continued this year, but he's never been usable because of his lack of strikeouts. With a SwStr% nearly 2% higher than last season, there's reason to be optimistic that this strikeout bump is at least somewhat real and that means Gibson has made a 180 onto the fantasy map.
Ryon Healy, 3B, 1B, SEA
Healy has been a solid 3B since making his MLB debut back in 2016, hitting .282 with 38 HR's through his first year and a half in the big leagues, but a slow start and a trip to the DL may have removed him from the minds of fantasy owners early in 2018. He's back from the DL now, though, and since his activation all he's done is go 13-39 (.333) with 5 HR's and 11 RBI in 10 games. He clearly has some power and his .246 BA should improve along with his .244 BABIP. Healy can be very useful for anyone looking for help at 3B.
Gleyber Torres, 2B, NYY
If there wasn't enough hype about Torres already, he took care of that problem Sunday afternoon against the Indians by hitting a walk-off 3-run HR in the 9th, his 2nd HR in three days. Torres is now hitting .327 in 15 games for the Yankees, and while he didn't show a whole lot of power in the minors, it's not unheard of for a player to develop more power after reaching the big-leagues. Perhaps more importantly from a fantasy standpoint, Torres finds himself as part of an extremely potent Yankee lineup, and has taken advantage of this with 9 RBI over his past 4 games. He needs to be given a shot in fantasy leagues.
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