Shohei Ohtani did it all on Monday against the Rangers, picking up the win on the mound and cracking a pair of hits at the plate. On offense, Ohtani was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs, two RBIs and a walk. On the mound, he got off to a rough start, allowing four runs in the first inning. He settled down from there, though, ultimately finishing with four runs on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over five innings. The two-way sensation has gotten off to amazing starts on both sides of the ball thus far, with a 1.016 OPS at the dish and a 3.29 ERA on the hill. When Ohtani's delivering like that in so many categories, he instantly becomes one of fantasy's top players.
Carlos Santana helped propel the Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday, going 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Santana's third-inning blast proved vital to Kansas City's win, giving them an early 2-0 lead. The long ball was Santana's fifth of the season, all of which have come in his last 15 games -- including three in his six most recent games alone. He's also been an impressive run producer despite walking so much (15 times already) with 18 RBIs in 21 games. After a rough 2020 in which he batted just .199/.349/.350, the 35-year-old slugger is proving that his bat still has some thump in it. And while his .230 average isn't much of an improvement, his walks make him more valuable in points leagues and OBP formats.
Jordan Luplow gave the Indians a 5-3 walk-off win against the Twins on Monday, ripping a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning. The long ball was Luplow's only hit on the day, but he made it count. That's been a theme for him lately, as his last six hits have all gone for extra-bases, including four that cleared the fence. Accordingly, he has a .229 average due to the scarcity of his hits but a 1.006 OPS thanks to their distance. The 27-year-old has been a key contributor to the Indians this year after being a non-factor in 2020 (.663 OPS in 29 games). Luplow showed great power in 2019 with 31 extra-base hits and a .551 slugging in 225 at-bats, so he definitely has the potential to be an impact slugger whenever he's in the lineup. That won't be everyday, which caps his ceiling a bit and limits his value in standard leagues, but he's worth a look in AL-only leagues and deeper mixed formats.
Zach Plesac pitched valiantly in a no-decision against the Twins on Monday, going 7 2/3 innings while allowing three runs on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Plesac bounced back from allowing six earned runs in each of his previous two starts to deliver his longest start of the season. And while it wasn't enough for the win, it kept Cleveland in the game long enough to battle back and ultimately earn the win in extras. Aside from the two rough outings, Plesac's other three turns have been quality starts, which is what fantasy owners have come to expect from him based on his career 3.32 ERA and 1.09 WHIP coming into the season. On the whole, look for the 26-year-old to retain his status as one of Cleveland's better pitchers, which he'll try to remind the White Sox of this weekend.
Cedric Mullins continued his rip-roaring start to the season on Monday against the Yankees, going 3-for-4 with a double and two solo home runs. It was quite a performance for Baltimore's leadoff man, who almost single-handedly beat the Yankees with his monster day at the plate. While he'd only managed one long ball this year prior to Monday, the double was already his ninth of the young season. He's now hitting .365 overall with a .996 OPS, both of which seem unlikely to last given that his career OPS was .632 coming into the season. Continue to ride Mullins while he's hot, but don't expect it to last.
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