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Buys, Sells, and News from NL Lineups: 08/05

Back at it with National League lineups. There is plenty to catch up on from the last 10 days of baseball. The five hottest hitters in the National League over that time period have been: Freddie Freeman, Dansby Swanson, Juan Soto, Gary Sanchez, and Ian Happ

Disclaimer: This article is written the day before publishing. Not all statistics will be 100% accurate from the night before. I will do my best to update any important news or notes that come through at the last second. Keep reading to stay up to date on the latest trends from all 15 National League teams and check out the latest AL lineup article here.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Takeaways: NL Edition

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

  • The Phillies did not trade for an outfielder
    • Not trading for another outfielder signals a willingness to rely heavily on Brandon Marsh, Johan Rojas, and Jake Cave while Cristian Pache works his way back from the IL
    • Marsh sits against most and Cave sits against all left-handed pitching
    • Rojas is seeing his playing time increase batting toward the bottom of the lineup thanks to his elite defense
    • Marsh is worth rostering but is schedule dependent. I am not picking up Rojas or Cave at this point
  • Trea Turner continues to move farther down the lineup
    • He has hit sixth most consistently but has moved all of the way down to eighth recently
    • Turner is batting just .187 since the All-Star Break despite an average exit velocity of over 90 mph. He continues to be an interesting buy-low even if his value is not what it was at the beginning of the season
  • Alec Bohm is batting second in the lineup
    • Bohm has been excellent since the break batting .348/.423/.449
    • His plate discipline and contact skills continue to improve, but his recent success has come with a very low barrel rate and a high BABIP
    • This might be a good opportunity to sell high on Bohm in fantasy

Miami Marlins

  • Josh Bell is in and Garrett Cooper is out
    • Cooper was sent to San Diego while Bell was brought in from Cleveland
    • Bell has taken Cooper’s spot in the three spot in Miami’s lineup and has looked much better since the All-Star Break
    • His launch angle has continued improving throughout the season which is all Bell needs to be a consistent fantasy producer. He is an underrated asset in most fantasy leagues
  • Jake Burger was acquired from the White Sox
    • The Marlins traded (essentially released) Jean Segura opening up the third base spot in Miami’s lineup
    • Burger has assumed this position and is batting fifth moving Bryan De La Cruz down to sixth
    • Burger has big power but is extremely streaky and gets a sizable park downgrade. I am not buying Burger
  • Avisail Garcia and Jazz Chisholm are back healthy
    • Chisholm is batting cleanup and his return to the lineup has sent Dane Meyers back to Triple-A
    • Garcia appears to be splitting time with Jesus Sanchez in right field
    • If you are going to roster one, I would prioritize Sanchez who should have an edge in playing time being the left-handed batter

Atlanta Braves

  • The trade for Nicky Lopez does not eat into the playing time of any Atlanta regulars
    • Lopez is nothing more than a potential defensive replacement or pinch runner
    • Orlando Arcia and obviously Ozzie Albies are not going to lose their starting jobs
  • Sean Murphy continues to receive regular days off
    • When Murphy is out of the lineup, Travis d’Arnaud replaces him and bats fifth
    • Murphy is batting just .203/.319/.424 since the start of July although those numbers come with a .243 BABIP
    • His quality of contact metrics still look very strong and if you are looking for catcher help, he might be a good trade target
  • After a slow start to the second half, Marcell Ozuna has found his swing again
    • Ozuna hit four home runs in a three-game span from June 28-30
    • He continues to be an excellent source of power from the outfield even if his average is inconsistent
    • His value is the highest in points leagues although he should be rostered in all 12+ team leagues

Washington Nationals

  • Jeimer Candelario was traded to Chicago
    • With Candelario out of the lineup, Jake Alu is getting a chance to play third base
    • He is batting eighth in the lineup
    • Alu has plus speed but is not much of a power hitter. He also has serious issues getting the ball in the air consistently
    • He is not worth picking up
  • The Nationals sent Luis Garcia to Triple-A
    • Although the move is a bit surprising, Garcia has remained unable to fully put things together at the Major League level
    • In a corresponding move, Jeter Downs was promoted from Triple-A and figures to get a large portion of the additional playing time
    • Downs was struggling to hit in Triple-A and should not be picked up in any leagues
  • Corey Dickerson was also released
    • Dickerson was getting the majority of starts against right-handed pitching and batting seventh
    • Blake Rutherford was called up to take his roster spot, but I would not be surprised if Stone Garrett was the one to get more lineup time
    • Garrett has an intriguing blend of power and speed, but a high strikeout rate. His playing time is worth keeping an eye on if you play in deep or NL-only leagues where he might become a viable option

New York Mets

  • The Mets lineup looks A LOT different after the deadline
  • DJ Stewart appears most likely to replace Tommy Pham against righties
    • Stewart is on the bench against lefties but was batting second on Thursday
    • He has sizable power and strong OBP skills, but he will not hit for much average or provide any speed
    • I do not expect him to continue starting regularly and he is not worth picking up
  • The team appears willing to let Mark Vientos play more consistently now
    • He is getting more at-bats than Daniel Vogelbach at DH and batting sixth-most games in the lineup
    • Vientos has looked much better since his most recent promotion (.276/.313/.483) although his plate discipline and contact skills continue to be concerning
    • He is not a priority add although he is worth a look in deep leagues. Vientos has a long track record of Minor League success that should not be entirely overlooked
  • With Starling Marte on the IL, Rafael Ortega is getting regular playing time batting at the bottom of the lineup
    • Ortega was posting below-average numbers in Triple-A before his promotion, and he does not warrant any real fantasy consideration
    • You have to wonder how long the Mets will keep Ronny Mauricio in Triple-A before promoting him to take the place of either Ortega or Stewart

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

  • The Cubs traded for Jeimer Candelario
    • Candelario has been batting somewhere in the back half of the lineup since joining Chicago while playing both first and third base
    • Candelario gets a nice counting stat boost from moving to the Cubs and has been red-hot at the plate
    • Since the break, he is batting .345/.455/.618. His barrel rate is mediocre and his BABIP is bound to come down. If you have other options, he might be a sell-high candidate although he should continue to be a solid performer for the remainder of 2023
  • Nick Madrigal appears to be holding onto his everyday role with the Cubs
    • As per usual, Madrigal continues to hit for a solid average although there is little to no power in his profile. He is worth a look in deep leagues where you need a boost in those areas
    • Instead of Madrigal moving to the bench, it appears Seiya Suzuki and Mike Tauchmann have moved into a platoon
    • Suzuki has been absent from the lineup in two straight games with a righty on the mound and has moved down to seventh in the lineup and is batting just .227 since the break
    • If this platoon continues, Suzuki is not worth rostering
  • Yan Gomes is fantasy relevant once again
    • Gomes is catching almost every day and batting all over the lineup
    • He is slashing .333/.366/.556 since the break. While I do not expect this level of success to continue, he is a solid option in two-catcher leagues

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Paul DeJong was traded to the Blue Jays
    • Tommy Edman has returned from the IL and is back to playing shortstop every day for the Cardinals
    • He is batting in the bottom third of the lineup and has continued struggling since returning
    • This entire season has been a disappointment for Edman and he is no longer a must-roster player even with his speed
    • There is a chance the team could promote top-prospect Masyn Winn to take his place if he continues struggling
  • Brendan Donovan is out for the remainder of the season
    • With Donovan out, Lars Nootbaar, Tyler O’Neill, Jordan Walker and Dylan Carlson can all get into the lineup at the same time
    • Carlson is seeing the least playing time of those four players
    • O’Neill has looked much better batting over .300 and slugging over .500 since returning from the IL. O’Neill, Nootbaar, and Walker are all players that should be rostered
  • Nolan Gorman has been a bit banged up recently
    • He is still trying to play through the injuries and is batting third or fifth when he does
    • In the games he misses, Taylor Motter is getting most of the starts at second base

Milwaukee Brewers

    • The Brewers acquired Mark Canha from the Mets
      • Canha has been batting fifth or sixth since coming over and appears to be locked into an everyday role
      • He holds value in OBP leagues where his strong walk rate adds more value but is not a player I am prioritizing adding at this point
      • Owen Miller was sent back to Triple-A as a result of losing out on playing time to Canha
    • Brian Anderson is back from the IL but might not have an everyday role
      • The Brewers appear to really like Andruw Monasterio and he got the first start with Anderson back and hit seventh in the lineup
      • In the 20 games before landing on the IL, Anderson was slashing .230/.284/.338 and Monasterio is batting over .300 since the break
      • Neither player is worth rostering outside of deep leagues and it is likely they will wind up splitting time
    • Sal Frelick has been excellent since his promotion from Triple-A
      • Frelick is batting fifth in the lineup most games and already has two home runs
      • Although I am not a strong believer in his power sticking, his plate discipline is already among the best in baseball
      • He is walking over 20% of the time since his promotion and is a strong add in any format he is available. He should also start stealing some bases as he gets more comfortable

Cincinnati Reds

  • Jonathan India is on the IL
    • India’s landing on the IL has opened the door for more consistent playing time for Christian Encarnacion-Strand
    • CES has posted mediocre numbers so far in his Major League career and continues to run an extremely high chase rate
    • His upside and quality of contact remain high even though I am skeptical of his 2023 value
  • Will Benson is now getting more starts against lefties
    • He still is sitting against about half of them, but this is an improvement from where he was
    • Benson has been cooling off recently and has seen his strikeout rate spike (50%) since July 22
    • If Benson continues to struggle with strikeouts (which was his issue early on this season), he could see his playing time decrease
    • I am holding for now but monitoring closely
  • Elly De La Cruz has just one stolen base since the break
    • Since, Elly is batting just .169/.234/.338 with a strikeout rate of over 40%
    • His plate discipline makes it likely that he will always be a streaky hitter, but the lack of stolen bases is a major red flag
    • Hold him in fantasy, but he is not matchup proof and letting him ride your bench for a little while might be a good idea

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Nick Gonzales was sent back to Triple-A
    • Gonzales was struggling at the Major League level with a strikeout rate pushing 30%
    • He is not worth holding in keeper leagues
    • Liover Peguero is now getting most of the starts at second base and batting in the bottom third of the lineup
  • Ji-Man Choi was traded to the Padres and Alfonso Rivas was acquired
    • Rivas hit leadoff for the Pirates in his first start on Friday
    • He has flashed strong on-base skills in the Minor Leagues and was swinging well in Triple-A this season
    • He has always struggled with strikeouts at the Major League level and is not somebody I am adding even with a prominent lineup spot
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes is back from the IL and batting in the middle of the lineup
    • Hayes has shown flashes of improvement this season including a much better average launch angle
    • He still has not seen the kind of success that we once hoped, but he is worth keeping stashed in deep keeper leagues but is not a must-roster player in redraft
    • His return to the lineup has taken playing time away from Jared Triolo who is not worth rostering

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Amed Rosario appears to be on the weak side of a platoon
    • He is batting fourth in the lineup against lefties but is not starting against righties so far
    • He is swinging it extremely well since coming over to the Dodgers although he is a difficult roster without consistent playing time
  • James Outman appears to be the only outfielder not stuck in a full platoon
    • Outman is occasionally sitting against lefties, but those are more a day off rather than a strict platoon
    • His strikeout rate seems much improved since the All-Star Break. Baseball is a game of adjustments and Outman appears to be adjusting back to pitchers. He could be worth picking up considering how well he was playing early on this season

San Diego Padres

  • The Padres have transformed their designated hitter spot
    • Matt Carpenter will not be in the lineup very often anymore
    • Recently acquired Ji-Man Choi and Garrett Cooper figure to share the spot in a similar platoon to what has been used by San Diego all season
    • Choi figures to get more of the playing time, but I would not prioritize rostering either one of them with this change
  • Luis Campusano is sharing the catching duties with Gary Sanchez
    • Sanchez has been in the lineup a lot lately at DH but is also getting more starts at catcher
    • He has five home runs since the All-Star Break and the power upside always makes him worth taking a shot on in leagues with 15+ catchers rostered
    • Campusano has an intriguing profile but if I am taking one ROS for fantasy, I would take Sanchez
  • Jake Cronenworth is finally seeing positive regression
    • Cronenworth had five multi-hit games in a row from July 28-August 1 and is finally seeing his BABIP creep back up toward his career norms
    • If somebody in your league dropped Cronenworth earlier, he could be a valuable pick-up
    • He is going to get plenty of RBI opportunities batting sixth behind Soto, Machado, and Bogaerts

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • The Diamondbacks traded for Jace Peterson
    • Peterson has started both games with a right-handed pitcher on the mound batting fifth and seventh in the lineup
    • Peterson’s numbers are significantly better against righties, but he still is not worth adding
    • This primarily impacts Emmanuel Rivera who is seeing his moving into a short-side platoon role
  • Tommy Pham was also acquired from the Mets
    • Pham hit third in the lineup with a lefty on the mound on Thursday in place of Jake McCarthy
    • The playing time situation outlook remains uncertain. I would not be surprised if Pham got into the lineup on a more regular basis over McCarthy who has just a 64 wRC+ since the All-Star Break
    • Pham is worth holding onto while we see how it shakes out but is a fine drop if he is not playing against right-handed pitchers
  • Jose Herrera is splitting time at catcher evenly with Carson Kelly
    • Herrera has shown off an ability to hit for solid average in the Minor Leagues although he does not have much power and has battled strikeout issues
    • Neither catcher in Arizona is worth rostering at this point

San Francisco Giants

  • Marco Luciano did not last very long with the Major League team
    • Luciano struck out over 40% of the time in his first taste of the Majors and is now back in Triple-A
    • Brandon Crawford has returned from the IL and stepped back into the starting shortstop role batting seventh in the lineup most games
    • Crawford is not an appealing fantasy asset
  • Isan Diaz is getting a chance to play second base every day
    • Brett Wisely and Casey Schmitt were both struggling, so the Giants are giving Diaz a shot and batting him eighth in the lineup
    • Diaz had a 92 wRC+ in Triple-A and has just one hit in 18 plate appearances this year
    • He is not worth picking up and is likely to lose his starting role soon
  • Mike Yastrzemski is on the IL with a hamstring strain
    • With Yaz out, Luis Matos has seen his playing time increase. Joc Pederson is also playing some outfield allowing Wilmer Flores to enter the lineup at DH
    • Flores is somebody that should be rostered as he seems like the only player with a 143 wRC+ that nobody talks about
    • The only issue with Matos is his inability to consistently hit the ball in the air. He is a hold in dynasty/keeper leagues but is not somebody worth rostering in redraft leagues shallower than 15 teams

Colorado Rockies

  • Brendan Rodgers is back from the IL
    • Rodgers has started all three games since returning to batting in the middle of the lineup
    • He was an underrated fantasy asset entering this season after showing several encouraging signs at the end of 2022
    • He is worth taking a shot on if you need help at second base
  • CJ Cron was traded to the Angels
    • With Cron gone and Kris Bryant back on the IL, playing time at both first base and DH are wide open
    • Elehuris Montero and Michael Toglia are both getting regular playing time
    • Montero’s unbelievable Triple-A numbers continue to intrigue me from a fantasy perspective. Watch his strikeout rate and pick him up if he proves that he can keep it down, he should be picked up
    • Toglia is batting eighth in the lineup most games and is not somebody that I am targeting. He has plus power but a hit tool that is worse than Montero’s
  • When Ryan McMahon gets hot, he gets SCORCHING hot
    • Since July 22, McMahon is batting .371/.425/.714 with three home runs
    • He is on pace for a career-high in home runs and stolen bases thanks in part to the highest barrel rate of his career
    • He is never going to be the flashiest fantasy player but is a strong bet to be a consistent producer

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