LaStella had another strong, multi-hit game for the Angels on Monday. LaStella has enjoyed a breakout season so far after receiving regular playing time with the Angels, and the 30-year-old has displayed some strong abilities that should allow him to perform well through the rest of the season. LaStella has adopted an extremely patient plate approach featuring a 39.2% swing rate and 21% o-swing rate, but he frequently makes contact when he does swing (91.2% contact rate, 3.4% swinging strike rate) and has managed to hit for some power as well with a 46.1% hard hit rate and 88.5 MPH average exit velocity. As a result, much of LaStella's impressive early season performance should be sustainable, though his batting average may rise slightly (due to his low .250 BABIP) while his home run rate will likely fall (19.6% HR/FB ratio).
Rodriguez will start on Tuesday after David Price returned to start on Monday. Rodriguez has tended to post an FIP slightly lower than his ERA over his career, but the split sat at a higher than usual 1.90 entering Monday's game (4.89 ERA, 2.99 FIP), and the 26-year-old has a chance to be an excellent pitcher going forward this year. Rodriguez has been limiting hard contact (26.4% hard hit rate, 22.2% soft contact rate, 86.1 MPH average exit velocity) while keeping balls on the ground at a higher than usual rate (thanks to improved pitch locations of his slider and changeup), but has been suffering from a .364 BABIP that should fall at least towards his .300 career average. Rodriguez has also posted a strong plate discipline profile so far this year that features a 34.8% o-swing rate, 71.7% contact rate, and 13.2% swinging strike rate, suggesting that his strikeout numbers could be sustainable. Rodriguez's strong strikeout ability and likely to (significantly) improve batted ball results give him a high ceiling, and the fifth year pitcher is one of the better buy low candidates in the league.
Diaz was thrust into the second base job for the Astros after Jose Altuve went down with a hamstring injury, though the likely MVP candidate is expected to return soon. Diaz himself has been dealing with a mild hamstring injury and is expected to return within the next couple of days, but the 28-year-old has filled in aptly for Altuve. Diaz has flashed some intriguing skills over the last three years including a solid 89 MPH average exit velocity last season as well as strong plate discipline and contact skills in 2016, but he'll have to put it all together to make him a worthwhile fantasy investment in daily leagues. Fortunately for potential fantasy owners, Diaz appears to have gotten his plate discipline back on track this season with a 9.8% swinging strike rate, but his power has been lacking and his launch angle is low (resulting in a 1.06 GB/FB ratio). If Diaz receives regular playing time again this season, take notice and see if he can bring some power back to his arsenal of tools.
Anderson picked up the win after throwing over five innings of one-run ball, but left the game early with a cervical strain and should be considered day-to-day. Anderson took a 4.41 ERA and 4.42 FIP into Monday's game, and those numbers look closer to his best case scenario than anything else. Anderson has benefited from a .281 BABIP and a 1.9% home run rate despite less than impressive contact quality numbers, and he will likely get worse as the season progresses as a result. Anderson's paltry 12.5% strikeout rate is likely to improve (it can't get much worse, and even his 8.5% swinging strike rate indicates a rising strikeout rate), but don't expect the strikeouts to start piling up for the 31-year-old. Anderson's overall performance will likely take a step back over the rest of the season even if his strikeout numbers improve by a few percent, and an ERA in the high-4.00's with poor strikeout numbers should keep Anderson comfortably off of fantasy rosters.
Moreland went 3-5 with a pair of doubles and scored three times against the Blue Jays on Monday. Moreland has made some improvements this season and should see his overall numbers (especially his .225 batting average) improve over the rest of the year. Moreland is chasing bad pitches less than ever this year with a strong 25.5% o-swing rate, but he's also been more aggressive with pitches inside of the strike zone (74.1% z-swing rate), leading to some additional power. Additionally, Moreland has increased his average launch angle which, combined with the increased power, has lead to higher than usual home run and extra base hit rates. Despite his strong contact quality profile highlighted by a 17% barrel rate, Moreland has been hampered by a .193 BABIP that should rise substantially over the rest of the season. Expect Moreland to see his batting average improve while his power and strikeout numbers largely hold steady (though his 22.2% HR/FB ratio will likely fall) over the rest of the year.