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NL Lineup Analysis 06/24

We are back with updates and notes on the latest from National League lineups! The article below keeps you up to date on the latest trends and injury news that can help keep you ahead in your fantasy leagues! The five hottest hitters in the NL have been Freddie Freeman, Jack Suwinski, Josh Bell, Ryan McMahon, and Nolan Arenado. Check out the latest on all 15 teams in the article below!

MLB Lineup Analysis

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies lineup has remained consistent for the most part over the past week. Bryce Harper has been dealing with an infected blister that held him out of the lineup for a few games. He has since returned. Matt Vierling was seeing most of the additional playing time while he was out. Johan Camargo returned from the IL this week and should slot back into the role that he had before. He will not play every day, but he should be in the lineup three or four times a week.

With the return of Camargo, Bryson Stott could see his playing time take a hit and will likely be on the bench against all lefties. He has collected just one hit in his last 29 plate appearances. Part of Stott’s poor performance has been luck driven as he has just a .146 BABIP since June 4. I have mentioned Alec Bohm a couple of times as a good buy-low target and he has been heating back up recently batting .302 since June 12.

New York Mets

No new changes in Queens, as the Mets lineup has been the same for a while now. With the requirement to get down to 13 pitchers on the roster, the Mets called back up Dominic Smith from AAA. Currently, he does not seem to be a threat to steal playing time away from Guillorme or Davis, but the situation is worth monitoring. Mark Canha added a home run this week but continues to hit for very little power. Since the start of June, he has posted just a .339 slugging percentage and has only been batting .237. I am skeptical of his fantasy value outside of OBP leagues.

Atlanta Braves

After batting sixth for a few games, Matt Olson has moved back up to fourth in the lineup. Travis d’Arnaud has been batting fifth for most of the week with Ozuna right behind him. Orlando Arcia has been batting eighth in the lineup and playing every day with Albies out. Arcia has a hit in seven out of eight games since taking over the starting job and is batting .329 on the season. He has seen a massive spike in his barrel percentage and as a result, has seen his average exit velocity increase this season. Arcia is worth a look and should be added in most fantasy formats.

William Contreras has continued to see an increased percentage of breaking balls during his at-bats and has continued to struggle against them. He is batting just .111 against them this season and could experience some struggles as a result.

Washington Nationals

I am not entirely sure why, but Lane Thomas has moved back down to the bottom of Washington’s lineup. He has continued to swing the bat well and has earned an everyday role in the lineup. Moving to the bottom of the order will limit the number of runs that Thomas can provide so hopefully the Nationals will move him back up soon. Cesar Hernandez has resumed his leadoff duties although he is batting just .207 since the start of June and has zero home runs this season. He seems like a candidate to move to the bottom of the lineup if the Nationals move Thomas up.

Another candidate to move up to the top of the lineup is Luis Garcia. I pounded the drum for months in these articles begging the Nationals to call up Garcia, and he has not disappointed since they did. Garcia has hit .342/.354/.481 since joining the team and is already moving up in the order. He has hit fifth or sixth this week and has continued to accel. The red flags are a 42.4% chase rate, a 30.6 whiff percentage, and a .410 BABIP. Garcia should continue to develop helping to offset some of those concerns, but there are still reasons to be wary of Garcia’s success.

Miami Marlins

Jesus Aguilar and Jesus Sanchez both spent time on the COVID list this week. They returned to the lineup on Tuesday. While both players were out, the Marlins had to shuffle their lineup around some. Jon Berti has continued to bat toward the top of the lineup. Although the hitting has slowed down, in his last 12 games, Berti has 10 stolen bases! He has been the best thing since sliced bread for fantasy managers who picked him up and has single-handedly been winning the steals category for managers. Berti should continue running as long as he is in the lineup.

One thing to be wary of with Berti is the playing time. Both Joey Wendle and Brian Anderson are expected to begin rehab assignments this week. The return of both players could take some playing time away from Berti. The other candidate to lose some playing time is Miguel Rojas but has been extremely hot at the plate recently. Since June 13, he is batting .357. There are only so many spots in the Marlins lineup and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs placed Frank Schwindel on the IL. This has led to increased playing time again for Alfonso Rivas. He has been batting at the bottom of the lineup since the injury. With Schwindel hurt, the Cubs have a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup. Rafael Ortega has been playing every day again and filling in for Schwindel in the middle of the Cubs’ lineup. Ortega is not worth adding in fantasy formats.

My favorite fantasy pick in 2022, Ian Happ has been killing it at the plate. Since the start of June, he is batting .377/.450/.594. The most impressive part of Happ’s stretch is he has posted just an 11.1 strikeout percentage. Happ continues to be one of my favorite players this season and should continue his excellent season.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers made their lineup decisions easier by designating Lorenzo Cain for assignment. Cain was struggling this season, but the move still comes as a surprise. With Cain out of the picture, Tyrone Taylor is left with minimal competition for the starting CF job. He has been batting ninth in the lineup recently and has been struggling. A .250 BABIP is helping keep Taylor’s numbers down. Taylor has hit two home runs over the past week. Taylor should see his luck improve with consistent playing time.

Kolten Wong suffered a setback last weekend and is just beginning to swing the bat again. He should remain out for another week or two. Mike Brosseau is on a rehab assignment currently, but he will likely return to a limited role.

St. Louis Cardinals

After returning from the IL for about two weeks, Tyler O’Neill landed back on the IL with a hamstring injury. His timeline is unclear moving forward. This does help free up the playing time logjam the Cardinals had. Juan Yepez has moved back into an everyday role, hitting in the middle of the lineup. Yepez is worth adding while O’Neill is hurt, but he has limited value without an injury.

The Cardinals have been facing a lot of right-handed starters recently. During that time Dylan Carlson has been playing every day and even moved up to second in the lineup against a lefty. Carlson has posted strong on-base and slugging percentages since returning from the IL. The average has not quite been there, but he is batting .257 with just a .259 BABIP. Since returning, Carlson has a 24.1 LD%, a hard-hit rate over 34%, and has added three barrels. Carlson was hot at the plate before he got hurt and needs to be added everywhere he is available.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds’ lineup has surprisingly been one of the more consistent lineups over the past week. The only slight change has been Mike Moustakas sliding up to sixth in the lineup and Senzel down to seventh. Senzel has been struggling and could be a candidate to lose playing time when Tyler Naquin returns. Naquin should be beginning a rehab stint late this week or early next week. Albert Almora Jr. is the other candidate to lose playing time, but he has honestly looked like the better player to Senzel.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Oneil Cruz was called up this week! Fantasy managers had been waiting for what seems like forever for the Pirates to call him up. His talent is captivating and is instantly must-watch TV. There are flaws to Cruz’s game, but he needs to be added if he is still available anywhere. He has a chance to steal 20 bases this year and provide excellent power as he continues to develop. Cruz has been batting mostly sixth, but with Ke’Bryan Hayes getting a day off Cruz moved up to the leadoff spot. He should eventually settle into the upper half of the lineup.

The Pirates call-up that seemed to go completely unnoticed was Bligh Madris. He already has one home run and a stolen base so far. Madris was batting .304 in AAA. He has less upside than Cruz but is worth a look in deeper leagues. Bligh has solid pop and has demonstrated a strong ability to make contact. He even has gotten a chance to bat in the middle of the Pirates lineup.

Late Thursday news: Ke’Bryan Hayes is reportedly only experiencing soreness after a collision at home plate. There will likely be more news in the morning and this situation is worth monitoring.

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NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte was injured early in the week. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday and should be fine moving forward. While Marte was out of the lineup, Alek Thomas moved up to second in the lineup. Thomas has continued to be unspectacularly solid for Arizona. Thomas profiles as an above-average player, but not a star. He has stolen four bases since the start of June which would be a boost to his fantasy value.

David Peralta has been dealing with back tightness over the past week. He is not expected to miss significant time, but it is still worth monitoring. Peralta has not hit a home run since May 24. I cannot help but wonder if he has been dealing with a lingering issue for longer than he has let on.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The big news out of Los Angeles is that Mookie Betts is hurt and on the IL. The Dodgers expect him to return in about two weeks, but the situation is worth keeping an eye on. With Hanser Alberto being placed on the paternity list, Eddy Alvarez has seen his playing time increase. The 32-year-old is batting just .176 on the season and is unlikely to hold down a starting job. The Dodgers also traded for Trayce Thompson to provide outfield depth, but he has posted a 29 wRC+ since 2018. I continue to believe the Dodgers might turn to top prospect Miguel Vargas. He is worth stashing if you have room.

With Betts injured, the Dodgers have had to shuffle their lineup around. Trea Turner is not batting leadoff and Will Smith has moved up to third in the lineup. Justin Turner has started to slide down in the lineup batting as low as seventh this week. Chris Taylor has moved up to fifth which should help increase his RBI opportunities.

San Diego Padres

All Padres fans held their breath on Sunday when Manny Machado suffered a scary looking injury. The reports out of San Diego have been encouraging and it looks like Machado could avoid an IL stint altogether This is certainly relieving news for Machado owners. With Machado out, Trent Grisham has moved up in the lineup against righties.

The other big news from San Diego was the return of C.J. Abrams. He has been playing every day with Machado injured, but I am curious how the playing time will shake out once Machado returns. Ha-Seong Kim has been below average offensively but is one of the best fielding shortstops in baseball. He could lose some at-bats, but I am unsure how many. Trent Grisham has looked slightly better recently but still does not look to be a real threat at the plate. When Machado returns, I expect some combination of Grisham and Mazara to lose playing time to Abrams.

I mentioned last week Jorge Alfaro should start seeing more playing time. He was given a chance to DH for just the second and third time all season and was batting fourth when he did. I expect the Padres to continue finding ways to get his bat into the lineup and think he will continue taking more playing time away from Austin Nola. Alfaro should be owned in all leagues.

Colorado Rockies

Ryan McMahon has caught fire over the past week. McMahon has continued to produce excellent barrel and sweet spot rates and looks to be on the cusp of a breakout. Connor Joe seems to be losing his grip on a starting job. He has sat twice in the past week once against a lefty and once against a righty. The games he has played, he has continued to lead off, but he is a drop candidate at this point. Joe has just one home run since April 24 and holds little fantasy value. Kris Bryant will be rejoining the Rockies soon and that will only make playing time harder to come by for Joe.

Yonathan Daza has been given the chance to lead off with Joe out of the lineup and has continued to hit for an excellent average. He can help your fantasy team with average and runs, but not much else. Brendan Rodgers has been batting second more often, with Charlie Blackmon settling into the third spot in the lineup. The Rockies also called back up Elehuris Montero this week.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants blurb in this article is always an adventure. The lineup and platoon changes never stop coming from San Francisco. With more opposing pitchers being right-handed, Tommy La Stella has seen consistent playing time lately. He has been batting toward the bottom of the lineup. Evan Longoria has been playing slightly more than he was before but has struggled at the plate. He is striking out over 30% of the time and has just a 74 wRC+ since the start of June. The Giants seem intent on starting Austin Wynns as their primary catcher. Since his first two games, he has hit just .174 and I do not expect him to continue seeing regular playing time.

LaMonte Wade Jr. is currently on a rehab assignment. Luis Gonzalez is also on the IL now. Gonzalez might not return to a starting spot in the Giants’ lineup with Wade set to return soon.

The Giants also made a trade for Willie Calhoun. He is not on the 40-man roster, but I am watching to see if he factors into the Giants’ platoon splits.

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