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Buys, Sells, and News from NL Lineups: 08/15

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: Tommy Edman, Willson Contreras, Matt Olson, Trea Turner, and Cody Bellinger

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

  • Brandon Marsh is going to be on the IL for three weeks
    • With Marsh out, Johan Rojas is getting a chance to play center field every day
    • Rojas is already up to five stolen bases in 22 games although his current batting average comes with a .409 BABIP
    • Even with Rojas’ speed, this BABIP is unsustainable and I am not looking to add him
  • Jake Cave is playing more on the strong side of a platoon
    • With the Phillies’ outfield injuries, Cave and Weston Wilson are splitting time in the outfield
    • Cave is also seeing time at first base batting seventh or eighth in the lineup
    • Neither player is worth adding to your roster
  • Trea Turner is batting all over the lineup
    • After struggling and moving down, Turner has gotten hot at the plate and whenever somebody needs a day off, Turner moves up
    • He is batting over .300 and slugging just under .600 since the start of August

Miami Marlins

  • Jorge Soler is getting extended run as the club’s leadoff hitter with Luis Arraez moving back to third in the lineup
    • Soler has hit three home runs since August 2 and continues to be one of the most reliable power hitters in baseball
    • From a counting stat perspective, his RBI totals figure to take a bit of a hit at the top of the lineup although the increase in runs should help balance this out
    • Arraez is only batting .260 without a walk since the start of August. Considering he does not contribute much in any other category, he is no longer a must-roster player at this point if you are in very shallow leagues
  • Josh Bell continues to swing the bat extremely well
    • Bell is batting all over the top half of Miami’s lineup with a 180 wRC+ since joining the club
    • His recent BABIP luck suggests he should experience some regression in the average department, but as long as he continues to hit the ball in the air, he should be a reliable source of power and RBIs
  • Jazz Chisholm Jr. has not looked like himself since returning from injury
    • Chisholm returned to the lineup on July 31 but is striking out over 35% of the time with just one stolen base since
    • At this point, it is unclear if Chisholm is still nursing an injury, or just taking things easy, but this situation is worth monitoring

Atlanta Braves

  • Matt Olson does not get enough credit for how spectacular he has been
    • Olson is now up to 43 home runs on the season including seven since the start of August
    • He is an elite four-category contributor and deserves more consideration when discussing the 2023 MVP race
    • He and Freddie Freeman are in a category of their own when it comes to ranking first baseman in fantasy baseball leagues
  • Sean Murphy is playing less and less lately
    • Murphy has moved down to seventh in the lineup despite his 146 wRC+ on the season
    • At this point, it seems like the Braves are just trying to ensure Murphy is healthy and ready to go for the playoffs although this is a situation fantasy managers need to be aware of
    • If you are in a deep enough league, feel free to roster Travis d’Arnaud who is batting .310 since the start of August with Murphy to ensure you get consistent catcher production
    • If you are in a shallow league, Murphy is no longer a must-roster with his current playing time situation (two starts in the last six games)
  • Ozzie Albies suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday against the Mets
    • Albies was absent from the lineup on Monday although it remains unclear how serious the injury is
    • If he is forced to miss extended time, Michael Harris III is most likely to move up in the lineup while Nicky Lopez draws more starts at second base

Washington Nationals

  • Stone Garrett has started three straight games including two against righties
    • Garrett is batting fifth in the lineup against lefties and a little bit lower against righties
    • The strikeout rate remains alarmingly high, but he has an average exit velocity of over 90 mph and he has seven home runs in just 235 plate appearances
    • He could be worth an add in deep leagues if he continues to get regular playing time
  • Jake Alu is on the strong side of a platoon at second base
    • Alu is batting seventh or eighth in the lineup as is Michael Chavis when a lefty is on the mound
    • He has three stolen bases in his first fifteen games although there is not much else to be encouraged about
    • I am not adding him anywhere right now
  • Ildemaro Vargas is the clubs’ everyday third baseman
    • Vargas is batting fifth or sixth in the lineup and has been swinging the bat well recently
    • He has excellent contact skills but hits the ball on the ground too frequently to ever tap into any real power
    • Even with his strong play lately, he does not profile to be a reliable fantasy asset

New York Mets

  • Jeff McNeil is batting third or fourth in the lineup
    • McNeil has turned things around lately batting .314 since the start of August
    • The Mets might not be very good, but McNeil is showing the same contact skills we have grown accustomed to seeing from him over the past few seasons
  • Mark Vientos continues to struggle at the Major League level
    • Vientos is getting everyday playing time at third base batting seventh in the lineup most games
    • He has a .174 average with a strikeout rate of over 30% since the start of August
    • He should not be rostered in redraft formats and in shallow dynasty formats, I have seen enough to move on

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

  • Seiya Suzuki appears to have reclaimed his lineup spot
    • Suzuki has started four straight games and is batting in the bottom half of the lineup
    • I am still a big believer in Suzuki’s talent as his average exit velocity of 91.5 mph and nine percent barrel rate speak for themselves. He makes for an interesting buy-low candidate for those whose trade deadline has not passed yet
    • With Suzuki playing more, Nick Madrigal has seen his playing time take a hit
  • Mike Tauchman is batting over .300 since the start of August
    • Tauchman continues to bat leadoff in Chicago’s lineup
    • He has strong on-base skills and is even contributing a bit in the power department
    • He is not my favorite player in standard leagues but is a strong OBP league asset
  • Christopher Morel is striking out a concerning amount
    • His strikeout rate since July 30 is over 40% and his batting average is under .200
    • Morel continues to hit home runs, but without many steals (no stolen bases since July 26), he is a risky start in fantasy formats
    • He does not seem to be losing playing time, but this situation is worth monitoring

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Luken Baker is back from Triple-A
    • Baker is likely to jump right into a platoon with Alec Burleson who has been getting the majority of starts lately
    • Burleson has been flashing some serious power lately slugging over .500 with a barrel rate of over 11% since the start of August
    • He will now likely lose playing time against lefties which caps his fantasy value
    • Baker is not worth rostering
  • Nolan Gorman has been struggling again lately
    • He is drawing starts against both righties and lefties batting in the middle of the lineup regardless of who is on the mound
    • His strikeout rate is spiking again, although I think fantasy managers just need to accept him for who he is
    • His plate discipline is likely to lead to extreme hot and cold streaks that fantasy managers will need to ride out thanks to his tremendous upside

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Sal Frelick is batting cleanup in Milwaukee’s lineup
    • I cannot say that I saw this coming when the season started as Frelick has long been viewed as a pure contact hitter at the Minor League level
    • His ground ball rate is down from his Minor League levels with a solid barrel rate
    • Most impressively, he is walking over 20% of the time and should be rostered in all leagues where he is available
  • Tyrone Taylor has replaced Joey Wiemer as the third outfielder
    • Wiemer has just one home run since July 7 although he continues to play excellent defense
    • Taylor meanwhile is hitting the ball extremely hard since the start of August and could be worth a look in fantasy leagues if he continues to receive everyday playing time
    • I expect the two will continue to split time for the remainder of the season
  • Brice Turang has been playing well batting toward the bottom of the lineup
    • Turang started the last game Milwaukee had against a lefty possibly signaling that he is breaking out of his platoon
    • Turang’s on-base skills have been extremely strong lately and his recent strikeout rate looks much more like what we have grown to expect from Turang during his time in the Minor Leagues
    • He is not a must-roster, but if you are looking for speed in OBP leagues, he could be a strong addition to your roster

Cincinnati Reds

  • Matt McLain has been struggling lately
    • McLain is still batting second in Cincinnati’s lineup despite his recent struggles
    • The concerning part of McLain’s profile is that he is striking out 38.3% of the time since July 26 and is only batting .250 despite a .387 BABIP during that span
    • If you were looking to sell high, you likely missed your chance as McLain’s numbers continue to regress back to what we should expect moving forward
  • Jake Fraley is on the IL with a stress fracture
    • With Fraley out of the lineup, Stuart Fairchild is getting a chance to earn regular playing time in the outfield
    • Fairchild has produced solid stolen base totals despite limited playing time this year but has never had a strong track record of hitting for power or average in his professional career
    • He is not somebody that I am targeting as an add
  • TJ Friedl is an extremely underrated fantasy asset
    • Friedl continues to post extremely strong numbers and is now up to 21 stolen bases on the season
    • He has three home runs since the start of August thanks to an increased barrel rate during

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • The Ke’Bryan Hayes breakout is finally happening
    • Hayes is batting either first or third in the lineup depending on who is pitching
    • Since returning from the IL on August 2, Hayes is slashing .270/.282/.595 with three home runs
    • The power outburst is the thing to really take note of as Hayes continues to hit the ball in the air with more regularity and a higher barrel rate. Pick him up in keeper/dynasty leagues now
  • Liover Peguero has been showing signs of life lately
    • Peguero is getting the majority of starts at second base batting in the back half of the lineup
    • The issue with his hot streak is that he is running a high BABIP (.412 since August 5) and his strikeout rate remains a major concern
    • As his BABIP comes down, so will his numbers and he is not somebody worth picking up
  • Endy Rodriguez is not getting enough attention in fantasy communities
    • Rodriguez is slashing .368/.476/.579 since August 5 with as many walks as strikeouts
    • He is hitting the ball extremely hard since his promotion to the Major Leagues with an impressive barrel rate and actually very good plate discipline metrics
    • He is a strong buy-low option in fantasy circles as even with his recent success, nobody is paying him much attention

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Amed Rosario has started four straight games including one against a righty
    • Rosario is batting fourth in the lineup against lefties and at the bottom of the lineup against righties
    • He is batting .289 with three home runs since joining the Dodgers while also striking out less
    • If he continues to see regular playing time, Miguel Rojas is the person most impacted. Rosario is a fine shot to take if you need middle infield help
    • His spot in the lineup against lefties being right behind Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith is the perfect spot for RBIs
  • JD Martinez has been battling a hamstring injury
    • The last game Martinez started was last Sunday although he is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday
    • Chris Taylor has seen his playing time increase as a result of Martinez’s situation
    • Taylor is up to 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases although with inconsistent playing time and a high strikeout rate he makes for a risky player to roster
  • James Outman is no longer platooning like David Peralta and Jason Heyward are
    • Outman has started all three games against a lefty this past week and is now batting .293 against southpaws this season
    • His slash line since the start of August is .333/.489/.556 with two home runs and two stolen bases
    • Outman is showing improvements in his strikeout rate lately and is a strong roster option even if his average is bound to see some regression (.417 BABIP over this period)

San Diego Padres

  • Gary Sanchez and Luis Campusano are splitting time evenly at catcher
    • Each week it feels like the two players rotate between hot and cold
    • Campusano is the most recent to be on a hot streak batting .385/.407/.615 since July 29
    • Long term, Campusano is an excellent stash in keeper and redraft leagues but both he and Sanchez are difficult to roster in redraft leagues with inconsistent time in the lineup
  • Jake Cronenworth continues to look much more like himself lately
    • Cronenworth is batting well over .300 since the start of August
    • His BABIP led to some horrendous luck early on this season, but this has evened out lately. If somebody moved on from him, he is worth adding to your roster
  • Ji-Man Choi was placed on the IL
    • Garrett Cooper seems like the most likely candidate to see more at-bats at DH
    • Until we know for certain how the playing time will shake out, he is not somebody I am targeting

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Jake McCarthy was sent back to Triple-A
    • McCarthy was getting a lot of starts in the outfield but Tommy Pham is taking over as the everyday left fielder/designated hitter
    • Kyle Lewis was also promoted from Triple-A and could factor into the playing time situation
    • Alek Thomas could also see his playing time against lefties diminish against lefties with Lewis up in the Major Leagues
  • Gabriel Moreno is back from the IL
    • He hit eighth in his return to the lineup on Monday and Carson Kelly was DFA’d
    • Jose Herrera still figures to work his way into the lineup on occasion, but Moreno profiles to be the main catcher
    • Moreno does not hit for much power but should be a solid source of average if you need help at catcher
  • Geraldo Perdomo has moved down to the bottom of the lineup
    • Perdomo is sitting against all lefties and is batting just .233 since the start of August
    • Jordan Lawlar was just promoted to Triple-A and could factor into the equation if Arizona continues to hang around in the playoff chase

San Francisco Giants

  • Luis Matos was optioned back to Triple-A
    • His first stint in the Major Leagues was a bit of a disappointment with just one home run and a .241 batting average although his strong plate discipline makes me confident in his long-term abilities
    • Wade Meckler was called up to take his place and hit second in his Major League debut on Monday
    • Meckler worked his way all the way up after starting the season in High-A and profiles to be an excellent average and OBP player. He does not have much power or speed though which limits his fantasy upside
  • Wilmer Flores is playing every day and batting third in the lineup
    • Flores is rotating around to a variety of positions and is now up to 15 home runs with a .300 batting average
    • He is one of the most underrated players in fantasy baseball and should be rostered wherever he is available
    • With Flores moving up, JD Davis is moving down in the lineup and is batting fifth or sixth recently
  • Patrick Bailey is taking control of the catching duties
    • Bailey is up to six home runs on the year and is batting over .300 since the start of August
    • The most important part of Bailey’s recent success is the fact his swinging strike rate is down to seven percent since July 29
    • His quality of contact has been excellent all season and if he can continue making consistent contact, he could be a valuable catching option for 2023 and beyond
    • Blake Sabol is still playing the outfield and rotating in at catcher on occasion, but he is not somebody who should be rostered at this point

Colorado Rockies

  • Charlie Blackmon has returned to the leadoff spot after his stay on the IL
    • Blackmon’s return is likely to impact the playing time of one of Elehuris Montero, Michael Toglia, and Jurickson Profar
    • Profar is currently a bit banged up which is keeping Montero and Toglia in the lineup
    • Neither player has had much success at the Major League level this season and neither one should be rostered at this point
  • Brendan Rodgers has been disappointing since returning from the IL
    • Rodgers is batting under 200 with a strikeout rate of 35% since returning which is not what fantasy managers were hoping for
    • His barrel rate looks strong but his launch angle (which is something he has struggled with in the past) is negative. He also clearly does not have his timing at the plate yet
    • He is not somebody I am targeting for the remainder of 2023
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