Week 4 Fantasy Baseball Recap: What you might have missed from 30 MLB teams
Chris Meaney tours the league and finds 30 things you might have missed during Week 4 of the fantasy baseball season.
The regular season is upon us! Don’t worry, there’s still time to add that “one more league!” You can start a league at Fantrax.com 364 days a year.
Week 4 Fantasy Baseball
- At the time it felt like a lot of money to spend on Christian Walker and it’s never an easy feeling when you’re the only one to bid on a player and you spend up. It turns out $30 two weeks ago was nothing, because I’ve seen bids as high as $300 after three home runs in Week 4. Walker is up to six bombs on the season and he’s hitting .353. He went 4-for-4 Saturday and enters Week 5 with a six-game hit streak. He has five runs and five multi-hit games over that span.
- Luke Weaver fanned nine and only gave up four hits over five scoreless innings against the Braves. That’s 17 strikeouts in his past 11.1 innings and 24 in 20.2. I’ve been fooled before, so I’m intrigued again, especially with a start this week in Pittsburgh.
- Touki Toussaint was rocked in his first start of the season as he only lasted 1.1 innings. He gave up seven runs on six hits and was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett immediately. He joins Sean Newcomb who was sent down last week. There’s no reason to hang onto either in 12-team redraft leagues.
- Bryse Wilson was recalled, but he may only have a bullpen role. He struggled with walks in his only start of the season. If he does start this week it’ll be in Cincinnati or home to Colorado. I have some concerns.
- Mike Soroka on the other hand, is definitely worth your time. Soroka allowed one run on four hits over five innings while striking out six in his first start against Arizona. He’s allowed one or zero runs in four of his six MLB starts, dating back to last season. Walks will be an issue like they are with a lot of these young ATL arms. Also, make sure Max Fried is owned.
- As expected, A.J. Minter has taken over as Atlanta’s closer. Arodys Vizcaino battled shoulder injuries for most of last season and he’s expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his labrum.
- The Orioles have allowed a league-high 57 home runs. The Brewers check in second with 38 HRs allowed.
- Renato Nunez had three home runs over two games on Saturday. He’s hitting .293 on the year with five home runs and 16 RBI. He has 20 home run potential and has been hitting in the four/five spot for most of the year.
Boston Red Sox
- The Red Sox called up Michael Chavis and sent Eduardo Nunez (back) to the IL. Chavis started at second in his first MLB game with Dustin Pedroia (knee) and Brock Holt (eye) also dealing with injuries. Chavis went 0-for-4 in his debut but is someone worth monitoring. He showed some power in the minors, but he also had very high strikeout rates. The former 26th pick in 2014 should stay on the wire in shallow redraft leagues.
- The Red Sox swept the Rays and Ryan Brasier grabbed the save in all three games.
- Brandon Morrow (elbow) suffered a setback and has been shut down. Pedro Strop will continue to serve as the Cubs’ closer.
- Jon Lester (hamstring) could start this week against the Dodgers.
- Yu Darvish has 18 walks in 22.2 innings. He’s allowed 21 hits, 15 runs, and six homers. I own zero shares and not sure how much longer you should hold. He gets the same Arizona team that lit him up this weekend.
Chicago White Sox
- Lucas Giolito hit the IL due to a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t seem to be serious. He doesn’t have much value anyway. Manny Banuelos has the potential for two starts this week. He also doesn’t have much value.
- Leury Garcia makes an appearance inside this piece for the second straight week. Garcia continues to lead off for the White Sox. He scored four runs and picked up seven RBI in Week 3. He has hits in eight of his past 10 games and has four stolen bases on the season.
- Tim Anderson was suspended one game for his mix up with Brad Keller. Anderson has been impressive this season as he has four homers and nine stolen bases.
- Joey Votto missed the last two games due to a back injury. Jose Peraza led off for the Reds in both games. He went 2-for-10 with a stolen base. Maybe this will get him going, should Votto miss more time.
- Luis Castillo has a ridiculous 41 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. He’s only allowed 13 hits and five runs but has walked 14. Castillo has given up two or fewer runs in all five of his starts, but he has an 87-percent strand rate and a much higher xFIP (3.26) than ERA (1.47). I’m not saying to sell high because he’s generating a ton of swing and misses (15.1 SwStr%).
- Francisco Lindor returned over the weekend and he hit a home run in his second game. He should give the Indians a boost offensively. The move meant the end of Hanley Ramirez.
- I still think Jose Ramirez is a great buy-low candidate.
- Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .300.
- Ryan McMahon hit two home runs in his return and should be owned if available.
- David Dahl also returned and has hits in all four of his games since being activated.
- Spencer Turnbull tossed six scoreless against the Pirates. He struck out five and has 24 K in 21 innings. The rookie gets his first true test this week in Boston.
- Alex Bregman and George Springer combined for six home runs this week.
Kansas City Royals
- Hunter Dozier hit his sixth home run of the season on Sunday. He has hits in 10 of his last 11 games with seven multi-hit games over that span. His .304 average is unsustainable, but he smashed 11 homers over 388 plate appearances last season. Dozier had a 45-percent hard-hit rate in 2018 and he has a 46 percent mark this season with a 46-percent fly-ball rate. He’s also walking 14 percent of the time.
- I think it’s cute that the fantasy community is talking about Homer Bailey in a positive way. Yes, he’s been good but you have to be in a deep league to roster him. His 39 percent fly ball rate and 43 percent hard-hit rate will get you. Last season he had a 40 percent hard-hit rate and allowed 23 home runs in 106.1 innings. His name is Homer after all. Bailey has an 11.5 SwStr%, but he’s only had double-digit percentages twice in his 12 seasons and not since 2015. Bailey took advantage of two watered-down teams in the Indians and Yankees. He projects more like an 8.0 K/9 guy at best. I personally need to see more for me to even consider him in 12-team leagues. Streaming option only.
Los Angeles Angeles
- David Fletcher has very little power, but he’s playing regularly and is getting some time in the leadoff spot. He has hits in nine of his past 10 games to bring his average up to .299.
- Tyler Skaggs should return later this week in Kansas City.
- Cody Allen has allowed five runs, five walks, and three home runs in his last two innings. He failed to record an out Friday and Sunday. Ty Buttrey would be next in line and he’s been perfect in his 9.1 innings this season. Zero runs and 13 K.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Cody Bellinger is hitting .424 with 11 home runs and 28 RBI.
- Clayton Kershaw carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning Sunday before allowing a two-run shot. He walked four, but has managed to toss two quality starts in his first two outings.
- Julio Urias racked up nine strikeouts over six scoreless in Milwaukee. That’s the kind of upside Urias has.
From last week.
- Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith are the only two Miami starting pitchers I’d carry in a standard 12-team league.
- Smith tossed six scoreless innings in his latest start against the Phillies and he struck out six. He has 21 strikeouts in 17 innings with a 2.65 ERA.
- Smith has now faced the Mets, Braves, and Phillies, and he’s only allowed nine hits and five runs over 17 innings. He has 21 strikeouts over that span with a 14.2 SwStr%. His 46 FB% will fly at home, but maybe not on the road.
- Christian Yelich is unexplainable. He’s simply amazing. He has 13 home runs on the season and eight in the past seven games.
- Jesus Aguilar enters Week 5 with a .136 average. It’s clear after 35 home runs and 108 RBI last season, Aguilar is headed for some big-time regression. He’s yet to go deep this season and has a .250 OBP. You don’t even need to buy low because he’ll be on most wires eventually. I’d hold still.
- Mike Moustakas apparently won’t hit the IL despite fracturing the tip of his right ring finger.
- Chase Anderson earned himself another start this week in New York after he tossed five scoreless at home against the Dodgers.
- A lot of Twins’ broke out of their home run slumps with a trip to Baltimore: Eddie Rosario (5 HR), Nelson Cruz (2 HR), Jonathan Schoop (2 HR) & Willians Astudillo (1 HR).
- Taylor Rogers has saves in back-to-back games. Blake Parker also grabbed a save last week. Both should be owned, but if I had to choose one it’s Rogers.
New York Mets
- Jacob deGrom (elbow) played catch Saturday and Sunday after landing on the IL. Hey may or may not need an MRI. Owners should be very concerned. The injury would explain his 53.1 hard hit rate.
- Noah Syndergaard may have 34 punch-outs in his 29 innings, but he’s allowed 19 runs over that span.
- Robinson Cano left Sunday’s game and was seen wearing a soft cast on his hand.
New York Yankees
- This is getting ridiculous now as Aaron Judge is the latest to hit the IL. He joins Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino, Troy Tulowitzki, and Greg Bird. Wow.
- I guess Clint Frazier will continue to get playing time. He had home runs in back-to-back games this weekend and enters the week with a .339 average. I don’t think Mike Ford or Mike Tauchman are 12-team adds unless you are in big-time trouble or play in a deep AL-Only league. At-bats will be there for both it seems.
- Hicks and Stanton may only miss another week.
- Khris Davis signed a two-year extension with the A’s worth $33.5 million.
- Matt Olson is reportedly expected to return in two weeks.
- David Robertson has a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow. Not good. Hector Neris is the closer for now, but that doesn’t mean Seranthony Dominguez won’t get a shot. He has value either way.
- Jean Segura (hamstring) landed on the IL as did Scott Kingery (hamstring). Kingery’s injury seems more serious than Segura’s.
- Aaron Nola wasn’t perfect, but he struck out nine of 5.2 innings in Colorado on his way to a win.
- Nick Pivetta was sent down and is droppable.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates are atop the NL Central at 12-7. They have a league-leading 2.54 ERA and NL leading 2.11 ERA from their starters. Good thing because their .291 wOBA ranks 24th and their 66 runs rank 27th.
- Jordan Lyles was decent over 87.2 innings last season: 8.62 K/9, 2.87 BB/9 & 4.11 ERA. He has a 9.53 K/9, but a 44 percent fly ball rate. I need to see a bit more for a shallow league add, but he’s worth a grab in deeper formats. Joe Musgrove is not owned in enough leagues and Trevor Williams is worth your attention as well.
- Cole Tucker hit a two-run shot in his MLB debut Saturday. He was recalled to replace Erik Gonzalez and has a legitimate shot at taking his job. The 24th pick in the 2014 draft, doesn’t have a lot of pop, but the 22-year-old has a ton of speed. Ticker had five stolen bases in 13 Triple-A games this season and 82 in his last two minor league seasons.
San Diego Padres
- Fernando Tatis Jr. has taken over the leadoff spot in SD thanks to a 10-game hit streak. He had a home run and three stolen bases Friday. Tatis has six homers and four stolen bases on the season.
San Francisco Giants
- I wouldn’t own a single SF bat. Honestly. I would leave every single one on the waiver wire if I saw them there. I’d even rather own Willians Astudillo than Buster Posey. You could probably get a ‘throw in’ because of Posey’s name value.
- Jay Bruce is dealing with a sore quad and missed Sunday’s game as a result. He has nine home runs on the season and has been much better than I expected.
- Not so hot take: I don’t think Yusei Kikuchi is all that good.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Jose Martinez has started five straight games and collected seven hits, four runs, four RBI and a HR in the weekend series with the Mets.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Austin Meadows landed on the IL due to a sprained right thumb. He suffered the injury sliding into third base and he’s expected to see a specialist. That’s not what you want to hear.
- Rougned Odor remains on the IL and Danny Santana is benefiting. He’s been hitting in the two-spot for the Rangers and has six runs in six starts. Santana hit 16 home runs and stole 12 bags in 342 Triple-A PA’s in 2018. One thing is for certain, he has crazy speed.
Toronto Blue Jays
- There’s been some speculation Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will debut this week. Let’s hope so. You can only hit so many balls out of the stadium.
- Matt Shoemaker is done for the season due to an ACL injury
- Anthony Rendon (elbow) missed Sunday’s game, but the injury isn’t expected to be serious.
- Victor Robles led off this past week and hit in the two-spot with Rendon out Sunday.
Chris Meaney is a contributor for FantraxHQ, covering fantasy football, baseball, and hockey. Chris covered NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as a producer, writer, and host at FNTSY Sports Network. He was the lead host of the daily live shows, “Home Ice Advantage” and “Fantasy Sports Today.” Meaney has several years of radio and television experience both in the sports world and music industry. He’s written for The Athletic, Associated Press, New York Daily News, Fantasy Footballers, NBA Fantasy, Play Picks, NewCap Radio and more. You can follow him @chrismeaney.
Fantrax was one of the fastest growing fantasy sites of 2018 and things are only heating up in 2019. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.