In The Field
OF Bryon Buxton (foot) made the Opening Day roster but wasn't in the lineup Friday night. He is expected to be ready at some point this weekend if not early next week. C Tom Murphy was placed on the 10-day IL with a broken bone in his foot. He is not expected to be out long but this likely means that Austin Nola sees more time behind the plate. Nola slashed a respectable .269/.342/.454 in 79 games last year and would be worth a second catcher spot in mixed leagues if he were seeing regular playing time. OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (side discomfort) was not in the lineup on Friday but returned to hit third on Saturday. OF Derek Fisher took his place on Friday with the Jays going with 1B Rowdy Tellez at DH. This is a great spot for Tellez if he can get regular at-bats given his above-average Statcast data (91 mph EV and 13% Barrels). OF Willie Calhoun (hip) was not in the Opening Day lineup but was on Saturday hitting seventh. This sent UTIL Nick Solak to the bench which is important because he is UTIL eligible in a lot of leagues and gaining OF eligibility quickly is critical for a lot of owners. OF Yordan Alvarez has been cleared to resume baseball activities. This can be seen as good news since the Astros were dead silent on Alvarez which was highly concerning. It is unknown how long until he returns to the lineup. The Astros planned to go with SS Aldemys Diaz and OF Kyle Tucker at DH in the meantime. Tucker is the most fantasy relevant and really needs to get off to a fast start to become fantasy viable at DH and/or push OF Josh Reddick to a bench role. With Diaz going on the 10-day IL it is time for Tucker to shine. 2B D.J. LeMahieu was not in the Yankees Opening Day lineup as he recovers from Covid-19 but was batting leadoff playing second on Saturday. 3B Anthony Rendon is dealing with an oblique injury and is considered day-to-day. This is a tricky injury for hitters and could linger but hopefully, the Angels prized offseason acquisition will get on the field sooner rather than later. 3B David Fletcher will fill while he is out. Fletcher's only carrying skill is batting average so he may not be worth an add even if Rendon misses significant time. 2B Jose Altuve (leg) was in the lineup Friday night after exiting earlier in the week after a home-plate collision. 3B/OF Hunter Dozier has been placed on the 10-day IL with Covid-19. OF Bubba Starling got the start in Dozier's place on Friday night but OF Franchy Cordero is also expected to share that time with Starling which renders both essentially useless from a fantasy perspective until they get a full-time role. OF Nomar Mazara was placed on the 10-day IL with an unspecified injury. The White Sox will go with a combination of Nicky Delmonico, Adam Engel, and Chester Cuthbert. A name to keep an eye on is OF Bradley Zimmer for the Indians. He has just 128 PA since 2018. The Indians outfield is very weak so there is a chance for him to play himself into regular playing time and he offers both power and speed. OF Alex Verdugo was not in the lineup against LHP Tommy Milone but hit 6th against RHP Alex Cobb. The Red Sox have not talked about platooning Verdugo but if this becomes the norm it would be a huge hit to his fantasy value. C/3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa was scratched from Saturday's lineup with a hamstring injury. This is worth monitoring.
On The Mound
Jake Odorizzi (back) was placed on the 10-day IL with an upper back injury. The Twins are hoping that they will not need a fifth starter before Odorizzi is first eligible (July 30). A.J. Puk (shoulder) has been placed on the 10-day IL and things are not looking good for the talented left-hander. He can be dropped at this point because there is no guarantee that he steps on a mound this year and if he does it will likely be as a reliever. Eduardo Rodriguez (Covid-19) has been shut down from baseball activities. This is a reminder that every COVID case is going to be unique and we should assume anything when it comes to recovery timetables. John Means (arm fatigue) was placed on the 10-day IL. Nate Pearson did not make the Opening Day roster but is expected to be called up after the service time cutoff has been reached. The Royals are going to call up rookie Brady Singer to be in their rotation. Singer had a 3.47 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 22% K, 7% BB, and 49% GB at Double-A last year. The concern from a fantasy perspective is that Singer does not have swing and miss stuff. He is more of a sinker/ground ball guy which is good from a real-life perspective but not so much when it comes to fantasy. Sean Manaea did not throw a fastball over 90 mph in his last summer camp outing. When he came back last year he averaged 89.8 mph with his fastball so any loss in velocity would be significant. Jesus Luzardo pitched three scoreless innings in relief on Saturday. It is not clear what his role is going to be going forward. The skills are excellent so he needs to be rostered everywhere but he would be far more valuable as a starter than a reliever.
In The Bullpen
Roberto Osuna has started throwing off the mound and is on the active roster so it is a matter of getting game ready but Ryan Pressly will serve as the Astros closer in the meantime. Osuna did pitch in Saturday's game but it was in a non-save situation and it is still not clear when he will return to the closer's role. Hunter Harvey (elbow) was placed on the 10-day IL. He was likely going to be the Orioles closer and now that role will likely go back to Mychal Givens. He was not great in the role 4.57 ERA and 1.89 HR/9 but he will get save opportunities. Oliver Drake not Nick Anderson picked up the first save for the Rays. This situation is likely to be a lot like last year where multiple guys got saves. Greg Holland picked up the save for the Royals not Ian Kennedy. This is something to watch when the Royals get another save chance.
Players to add this week:
OF Cameron Maybin (DET)- Cameron Maybin is going to play regularly for the Tigers which makes him fantasy viable. He also made swing changes last year with the Yankees that led to more hard contact and fly balls. The average could be an issue but he is going to provide value across the board if the power sticks.
OF Kyle Lewis (SEA)- It is easy to forget that Kyle Lewis was once a top prospect with tools to dream on. Injuries obviously got in the way and he is unlikely to sustain the 40% HR/FB that the had at the end of last year but he is someone worth taking a shot on. The power is legit based on his limited Statcast data in terms of exit velocity and launch angle. The concern is the strikeout rate (39% MLB and 29% Triple-A) but he is going to play and given the nature of the short-season his upside may be worth taking a shot on.
C/3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX)-*He was scratched from Saturday's lineup with a hamstring injury so monitor the news for an update.* The ability to roster a player who is playing third base regularly as your catcher has value in two catcher mixed leagues regardless of the player's talent level. Kiner-Falefa through all accounts has had an impressive spring and summer camp in regards to his bat. He makes good contact (18% K) and has a little bit of pop (.348 SLG) and can steal a couple of bases which from the catcher's position would be valuable.
2B Jose Peraza (BOS)- Jose Peraza has been in the starting lineup at second base for the Red Sox first two games. He made a swing change over the layoff which impressed his manager and has led to a starting role. The swing change aesthetically looks to be very similar to J.D. Martinez's setup which if Peraza took anything from Martinez that would be a positive. It is also easy to forget that Peraza hit .288 with 14 HR and 23 SB in 2018.
OF/DH Yoshi Tsutsugo (TBR)- Yoshi Tsutsugo has been in the Rays lineup both against the left-hander (Ryu) and right-hander (Shoemaker) batting 3rd and 4th respectively. This is good for his fantasy value and shows the level of faith the Rays have in his bat even as Austin Meadows returns. He is worth adding and seeing what type of production he can put up in the states.
SP Brady Singer (KCR)- Brady Singer went 5 IP with 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 7 K's against the Indians in his major league debut. Singer has the prospect pedigree but it remains to be seen if he can miss enough bats at the major league level to be fantasy relevant given his sinker/ground ball profile. With that being said, his debut was an encouraging sign.
This is just a small sample of our weekly analysis, join our member area for over full access to the AL Weekly report and 80 daily player updates sent to your inbox every morning and track your team online.
Registered members can click on the following link to see the complete AL report: http://www.fantistics.com/baseball00/M-Strategyplus.htm Click here for details: https://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm