Wilson Ramos, C, DET
Ramos hit a pair of round-trippers on Tuesday night in Houston. He now has six homers on the season, which leads the entire league. The veteran backstop has reinvented himself so far in his short tenure with the Tigers. He isn't chasing pitches (31.3% O-Swing%), and his Z-Contact% is through the roof at 92.3%. Additionally, his O-Contact% is at a meager 23.8% which suggests that when he does swing at bad pitches, it's because he is fooled, so he isn't making easy outs on poor pitches. His 15.7 SwStr% and 29.7% K% would both be career worsts, so regression is expected. He is a catcher and is owned in just 26.1% of ESPN leagues, so if you don't have one of the few top-flight catchers, Ramos might be worth snagging...if for no other reason than to ride out this hot streak he is on.
Kyle Gibson, SP, TEX
Gibson hurled 7.0 solid innings to get his second win of the season for the Rangers. He gave up just two runs (one earned) and struck out three in the contest. Since his VERY forgettable opening day start (0.1 IP, 5ER), Gibson has settled in and put together back-to-back quality starts. He now has a 4.05 ERA and impressive 2.92 FIP; however, he hasn't given up a home run this season, so the xFIP isn't as pretty (4.63). The 33-year-old is taking a different approach to pitching this season. He is throwing his four-seamer with more velocity (94.3 vFA) and less (6.1 FA%) than he ever has previously. Instead of the four-seam fastball, he uses a cutter that he has never really used before this season. None of his pitches are particularly effective, but they are all about average, so he should be able to have some success. He isn't worth risking a pick-up right now, but it is worth monitoring him over the coming weeks to see if he has truly figured something out. He will be available for a while as he is rostered in just 6.5% of ESPN leagues.
Justus Sheffield, SP, SEA
Sheffield gave up a pair of runs in six strong innings against Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon. The youngster got the start in the first game of Seattle's doubleheader and didn't disappoint. He gave up just three hits and two walks while striking out five in the contest. Last season, Sheffield was solid with a 3.58 ERA and 3.17 FIP in 55.1 innings of work. His 11.3% K-BB% left something to be desired, but the most encouraging thing about Sheffield coming into 2021 was the fact that all three of his pitches were plus pitches in 2020 (.8 wFB, 4.5 wSL, 2.0 wCH). The worry is that the 25-year-old was just plain fortunate with the long ball last season. He gave up just two home runs in all of 2020; he has already matched that mark in starts in 2021.
Trey Mancini, OF, BAL
Mancini went 0 for 7 in Baltimore's two games against Seattle on Tuesday. His average is down to .159, and he only has one multi-hit game on the season. Mancini has proven to be a solid hitter in the past, so one can still justifiably hope that this is just a slump...but the Plate Discipline stats for Mancini are UGLY thus far:
Z-Swing%- 2021: 59.7%, career: 70.5%
Z-Contact%- 2021: 75.5%, career: 82.0%
Contact%- 2021: 63.5%, career: 74.0%
SwStr%- 2021: 16.6%, career: 12.8%
O-Swing%- 2021: 36.6%, career: 34.3%
Obviously, these numbers are concerning, but it doesn't mean to jump ship just yet. The guy is coming back from cancer and hasn't played since 2019; he is understandably going to need some time to get back into the swing of things.
Jed Lowrie, DH, OAK
Lowrie went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBI on Tuesday afternoon. Over the past five games, the 36-year-old is 9 for 19 with two dingers and 10 RBI. The hot streak has seen his average sky-rocket from an anemic .217 to a robust .333. Lowrie basically hasn't played since the 2018 season (8 PA in 2019) when he hit a career-high 23 homers and slashed a respectable .267/.252/.448. This hot streak is nice, but Lowrie has been in the league since 2008 and has never really been a fantasy commodity. He is turning 37 in a few days, so it's tough to see him being a worthy add...but if you want to try him out, he is available as a DH in 95.5% of ESPN leagues.
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