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NL Lineup Analysis 06/03

There is a lot to unpack in the National League lineups this week. Hopefully this article helps keep you ahead of the competition and provides you with insight needed for your FAAB bids. The five hottest hitters in the NL over the past week have been Paul Goldschmidt, Kyle Farmer, Mookie Betts, Luis Guillorme, and Miguel Rojas. Check out the rest of the article for all of the latest updates around the league!

NL Lineup Analysis

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies have been in desperate need of a spark and have shuffled their lineup around again. Schwarber is back to hitting leadoff, while Hoskins and Bohm have moved down in the lineup. Bohm has been especially struggling as of late. His recent struggles have been a bit of a mixed bag. I will start with the bad: Since May 15, Bohm is batting just .194 with a 32.5 K%. The good is that he is hitting the ball hard (89.6 EV), elevating the ball more (10-degree launch angle), and has an xBA of .291. Over the past week, his BABIP sits at just .150. Moving down in the lineup should give him more RBI opportunities and I would hold Bohm right now despite his slump.

Jean Segura fractured his finger on Tuesday attempting to bunt. He will likely be out 10 to 12 weeks and is droppable for now if you are in a shallower league or do not have an IL spot open. Bryson Stott and Johan Camargo both will find themselves in the lineup for now with the injury. Didi Gregorious began a rehab assignment this week and should rejoin the club soon. This will likely push Camargo and Stott back into a platoon role. I am not sure any of the players mentioned are worth an add.

As I mentioned in my article last week, Mickey Moniak is back with the club and started his first two games back. He has yet to record a hit, but the Phillies seem like they are giving him a chance to earn the CF job. He is worth keeping an eye on.

New York Mets

Dominic Smith was optioned to Triple-A this week. J.D. Davis now figures to see himself in the lineup more often and should be picked up wherever he is available. In 2022, Davis has an excellent xwOBA. With consistent playing time, Davis could right the ship and should be added to your fantasy roster.

Brandon Nimmo missed four games to start this week with a wrist injury but returned to the lineup on Wednesday. Wrist injuries concern me long-term as we have seen wrist injuries take away a player’s power for an entire season. This is worth keeping a close eye on. In part, due to the injury, Luis Guillorme has played every game this week. He should get more playing time because of Dominic Smith being sent down.

*Late Thursday Add*: Francisco Lindor jammed his finger in a door and was absent from the lineup on Thursday. His status moving forward is worth monitoring.

Atlanta Braves

In a surprise move, the Braves called up top prospect Michael Harris II from AA. Harris was batting .305 with 11 stolen bases in Double-A before his call-up. Since his call-up, Harris is hitting just .188. There will likely be an adjustment period for Harris since he has not experienced even Triple-A pitching. Harris has not demonstrated much power and figures to be mostly a contact and speed player early in his career. I would be hesitant to add Harris in redraft leagues although he is an excellent target in keeper and dynasty leagues. As a resulting move, the Braves optioned Travis Demeritte to Triple-A.

Dansby Swanson has been batting second in the Braves lineup all week. This is an excellent spot for him to hit right behind Acuña, and right in front of Ozuna. Swanson has been great recently and is batting .365 since May 20. Perhaps what is most impressive is he has only struck out 14.5% of the time during that stretch. If Swanson can keep his strikeout numbers down, he could have a big breakout season.

Washington Nationals

Yadiel Hernandez and Lane Thomas are platooning again. Hernandez was hot earlier in the season and was put into the lineup more but has found himself sitting against lefties recently. Since May 10, he is batting just .190/.261/.317. I would be okay cutting him if you had picked him up. Although Thomas is playing more, he has not been much better. Since May 15, he is batting just .152. Neither player is worth a roster spot at this time.

Luis Garcia is finally getting the chance to earn the shortstop job in Washington. Garcia was excellent in Triple-A this year hitting .314 with eight home runs. He should play every day and is worth picking up, especially in deeper leagues.

In this article a few weeks ago, I talked about Nelson Cruz being somebody I would drop. Since I did that, Cruz has hit .362/.448/.466 and made my take look silly. However, I am still concerned about the slugger. Cruz is known for his elite power and over this stretch, he has zero home runs. His average is being inflated by a .477 BABIP which is obviously unsustainable. The red flags with Cruz continue to be there as his power has seemed to disappear.

Miami Marlins

Jon Berti returned this week. He was excellent early in the season and has started four times in the past week. I am watching to see if he can pick up where he left off. Berti has four stolen bases in just 64 plate appearances so far and could be a name to keep an eye on if you need steals. With Brian Anderson and Joey Wendle landing on the IL, Berti should continue to see consistent playing time.

Avisail Garcia has seen the bench three times in the past week. Bryan De La Cruz has gotten a few starts in his place but has struggled at the plate. Garcia is not worth rostering at this point in fantasy as he has seemed unable to find his footing in the Miami lineup.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

Jonathan Villar and Seiya Suzuki were both placed on the IL this week. There is a chance both players will only require a minimum stay on the IL. In the meantime, Clint Frazier, Jason Heyward, and Nick Madrigal have returned from the IL. Frazier is 3-for-7 since returning and is worth monitoring. Christopher Morel continues to hit and bat leadoff in the Cubs lineup. He has stolen four bases in the past week and is proving to be a real threat on the base paths. He is somebody worth picking up this week in FAAB if he is available.

Nico Hoerner has found himself moving up in the lineup. He has batted fifth twice in the past week while adding three stolen bases. Although it is still a small sample size, Hoerner has seen both his exit velocity and barrel rates increase this season while trying to hit the ball in the air more. Hoerner is viewed as a slap hitter who makes consistent contact but has already matched his career-high in home runs this season with three in just 36 games. I am keeping a close eye on Hoerner as any added power to his profile could turn him into a very useful fantasy asset.

Milwaukee Brewers

Tyrone Taylor continues to be on fire for the Brewers. He is batting in the middle of the lineup for Milwaukee and needs to be picked up everywhere he is available. Even when Renfroe returns, Taylor should continue starting over Cain and McCutchen. McCutchen is batting just .167 since returning and Cain has not been much better recently batting just .171 since May 21. Taylor has a chance to be an elite fantasy asset the rest of the season.

Willy Adames started a rehab assignment this week but left the game on Monday with quad tightness. Better his quad than his ankle, but the situation is still worth keeping an eye on. He should return to Milwaukee in the next week or two.

St. Louis Cardinals

Nolan Gorman has continued to crush the ball. In 10 games since being recalled, Gorman is batting .387 with two home runs. The whiff and chase rates are well above league average and the contact rates are below league average. Gorman will experience some struggles as pitchers adjust to him, but it is clear he has elite upside. Gorman has been playing well but has been out of the lineup since Monday with back issues. Reports out of St. Louis are that this is the same issue that was bothering him during Spring Training. If this injury continues to linger it is worth being concerned about.

Dylan Carlson has reported feeling good while testing his hamstring. He still has some hurdles to clear before returning to the club, but he might be back a little bit sooner than expected. Carlson was excellent in seven games before landing on the IL. Carlson should be added in any leagues he is available.

Cincinnati Reds

As I am sure you saw, Tommy Pham was suspended earlier this week due to slapping Joc Pederson. He has since returned to the Reds lineup. Tyler Naquin is battling a quad issue and got placed on the IL. Nick Senzel has been getting a chance to lead off for the Reds. I talked about him as a potential buy-low target in my most recent article for Fantrax that you can check out here!

Kyle Farmer has hit three home runs in the past week. He is playing every day and hit 16 home runs a year ago for the Reds. He is not a player I am targeting but could be valuable if you are desperate for MI help.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Daniel Vogelbach, Ben Gamel, and Yoshi Tsutsugo are all on the IL. This is leading to more opportunities for some young players to get a chance. Tucupita Marcano has started four straight games and hit home runs in back-to-back games this week. Do not expect this power to continue though as Marcano has only hit 11 home runs in his entire minor league career. He has been hitting toward the bottom of the Pittsburgh lineup and does not hold any fantasy value. This hot streak should cool off quickly. Cal Mitchell has struggled since being called up. He has a chase rate over 36% and is striking out over 25% of the time. He is not worth adding currently.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are the first team without a lot of news from their lineup. Josh Rojas has been batting second in the lineup and has continued his hot start to the season. Rojas is batting .294 with three home runs and three stolen bases so far this year. Alek Thomas has cooled at the plate recently. Thomas has continued to bat seventh in the lineup and profiles as a solid big league player rather than a star.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cody Bellinger missed four games early in the week with a neck injury. He returned to the Dodgers’ lineup on Thursday. Bellinger has had some hot streaks this year but is batting just .221 with five home runs overall. Those holding out hope that he will return to the player he once was should adjust their expectations.

Max Muncy landed on the IL this week. He just has not been himself and has clearly been playing hurt. As a result, Edwin Rios has been playing and batting in the middle of the lineup. Rios has been a massive power threat for the Dodgers so far, but he is still striking out over 40% of the time and has a .359 BABIP. Rios should start to see some regression. I would guess he hits around .210 the rest of the way and profiles closely to Patrick Wisdom.

Will Smith should be on every fantasy manager’s radar to acquire as an excellent buy-low target. He has continued to struggle despite posting elite quality of contact numbers. He has an average exit velocity of 90.2mph, a barrel rate of 9.5%, an average launch angle of 18.2 degrees, and a 43.8 sweet spot percentage. Smith is whiffing and chasing way below league average and at the best rates of his career while making more contact than ever. Despite this, he has just a .250 BABIP and a career-low 10.4 HR/FB%. Smith should see his luck turn around and will finish as one of if not the best fantasy catcher in 2022.

San Diego Padres

Jurickson Profar has moved into the leadoff spot in the Padres lineup. Jake Cronenworth was getting a chance to hit in front of Machado recently, but his struggles have continued. Profar is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak and is in a position to score a lot of runs hitting at the top of the order. Meanwhile, Cronenworth has moved down to fifth in the lineup and could continue to slide if he does not pick it up at the plate. Cronenworth has a hit in 12 of his last 15 games but is still batting just .224 over that span. Manny Machado was a little bit banged up early in the week but has since returned to the lineup. He continues to be one of the best players in baseball.

Colorado Rockies

Not a lot has changed for the Rockies this week. Yonathan Daza continues to bat second for the Rockies with Kris Bryant injured. Since May 25, Daza has hit .375 with more walks than strikeouts, and six runs with five RBIs. He can help provide your team with runs and batting average if you need help in the outfield. While Daza has occupied the second spot in the lineup, Connor Joe has moved back down in the lineup against right-handed pitchers. Joe has really seen his power stroke disappear as he is without a home run since April 23. Even his average has dropped. Joe is hitting just .221 since May 14. He has remained a reliable fantasy asset due to his run totals but moving down in the lineup could drain any remaining value Joe has left.

Sam Hilliard has quietly begun to see more playing time. He started four straight games this week batting toward the bottom of the lineup. Hilliard has massive power if he can ever put it all together and is a name to keep an eye on as the season moves forward.

San Francisco Giants

Darin Ruf is currently on the bereavement list. Luis Gonzalez is the only player on the Giants’ roster to start every single game over the past week. He has been great at the plate hitting .337 on the season and .333 over the past week. Gonzalez is another hitter who does not have much power but is providing an excellent average. If I am adding a hitter like this, I prefer Daza to Gonzalez at this time.

Curt Casali has been in the lineup more frequently as of late. Casali seems to have a slight edge on the catching job over Joey Bart and has performed well this season. Overall, Casali is slashing.250/.316/.456 on the season with four home runs. He is playing more frequently and could be a valuable add at catcher in deeper leagues.

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