Paul DeJong powered up for his second multi-homer game of the young season on Monday, pacing the Cardinals' 12-5 victory over the Nationals by going 2-for-4 with two homers, five RBIs, three runs scored and a walk. DeJong plated the game's first run with his second-inning solo shot, but that was merely an appetizer for his fifth-inning grand slam, which broke the game wide open for the Cards. It's been an up and down season for DeJong thus far, as he opened the year 3-for-8 with two homers before going hitless over his next 23 at-bats. He's started to warm up over the past week, however, hitting safely in six straight games and homering three times during that stretch. So while he has just 10 hits and 21 strikeouts in 53 at-bats thus far, five of those knocks have cleared the fences. He has shown strong patience with nine walks, good for a career-best 14.3 BB% thus far, making him an extreme TTO hitter this year with 55.6% of his plate appearances ending in a walk, home run, or strikeout. While that does fit with his profile to an extent, he needs to start making more consistent contact in order to be a reliable fantasy option this year.
Kevin Gausman earned his first win of 2021 on Monday, logging six scoreless innings as San Francisco blanked Philadelphia, 2-0. Gausman scattered six hits and four walks while striking out five, keeping Philadelphia's potent lineup at bay over 108 pitches (68 strikes) while outdueling Chase Anderson. It was a much-deserved win for Gausman, who opened the year with three straight no-decisions despite yielding just one earned run in each of his first two outings. Gausman has now completed at least six innings in all four of his starts, compiling a 2.45 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. While Gausman's had his ups and downs throughout his career, he's settled into a solidly above average hurler since joining the Giants prior to 2020, perhaps because the NL West is much kinder to pitchers than his previous posts in the AL East and NL East. He'll look to take advantage of a friendly home matchup against the Marlins this weekend in his next scheduled outing.
Tommy Edman helped spark St. Louis' 12-5 win over Washington on Monday by going 2-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer from the leadoff spot. Edman's second big fly of the season came during the third inning, helping the Cardinals build up a massive lead by the late innings. While Monday marked Edman's fifth multi-hit game of the season -- raising his average to .294 in the process -- it was his first game with multiple extra-base hits and doubled his RBI total in the process. In fact, only three of Edman's 18 hits prior to Monday had gone for extra bases, making his .286 average at the time quite empty. Edman's been steady at the top of the order for the Cards, however, reaching base in every game and hitting safely in 14 of 16 games thus far. He's also been active on the bases, stealing three bags in four attempts. Now in his third season, the 25-year-old should be capable of providing at least halfway decent power numbers based on the 16 homers and .449 SLG over 147 career games prior to 2020, making him a potential 20/20 threat with a high batting average, and thus a strong fantasy option.
Jack Flaherty earned an easy win on Monday, yielding five runs (two earned) with two walks and five strikeouts over six innings at the Cardinals cruised to a 12-5 victory over the Nats. Flaherty started well with three scoreless innings but struggled in the middle frames, permitting a pair of runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth. St. Louis had the game well in hand by then, however, giving him his third consecutive win. The 25-year-old has pitched much better since getting shelled in his season debut, allowing just three earned runs in 17 innings over his last three starts without. He hasn't allowed any homers during that time either, keeping the ball in the park after surrendering a pair of gopher balls on Opening Day. While he's yet to complete more than six innings, Monday was his longest outing in terms of pitches (107). He'll look to extend his winning streak against the Reds at home this weekend.
Brandon Belt propelled the Giants to a 2-0 victory over the Phillies on Monday, going 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. Belt's third-inning blast provided the only runs of the game, helping San Francisco improve to 10-6 on the year. The long ball was also Belt's only hit of the game, which is not surprising as he's managed just one multi-hit performance in 16 games thus far. While his .211 average is nearly a full 100 points below last year's .309 mark, he appears to be heating up with four extra-base hits over his last three games. He's also walked six times in 44 plate appearances, which has helped keep his OBP above .300. Regular playing time has been hard to come by for the veteran, as he's only played seven complete games thus far, but there should be more at-bats in store if he maintains his heavy hitting from the past several days.
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