Fantasy Baseball Risers & Fallers: Week 2
Week 2 of fantasy baseball was impacted heavily by weather. Six games were postponed Sunday alone, delaying scheduled starts for Shohei Ohtani, Luis Severino, and Corey Kluber. Despite the lack of games played, this was still an exciting week for baseball. The following players had performances worth taking note of for the upcoming week.
Ozzie Albies (2B – ATL)
Albies was already highly regarded entering the season, and his recent play has only upped his value. In his last seven games, Albies has three home runs, six doubles, and 12 hits. The Braves offense has been one of the best in the league to start the year, and Albies has been one of the main reasons why. He will end the year as one of the top-ranked second basemen if his power continues to show.
Mike Moustakas (3B – KC)
Moustakas was the most underpaid player out of the stagnant free agent class of 2018. While GMs had concerns of his physical condition and inconsistency, his lack of interest was likely more the result of the depth at third in the Majors right now. Moustakas is in great shape and has picked up right were he left off in 2017. If he keeps it up, he’ll likely be traded to a better lineup this summer. Owner’s should consider pursuing him before that happens.
Hanley Ramirez (1B/DH – BOS)
When the Red Sox decided not to replace David Ortiz before 2017, it was partially because they had faith Hanley Ramirez would replicate his presence in the middle of the order. A combination of a right shoulder injury, and the lack of protection in the lineup made Hanley a league-average hitter last year. He is healthy again and now has protection in the form of J.D. Martinez. He has been one of the top producers in an offense that scored 44 runs since last Tuesday’s blowout of New York. If this keeps up, the Red Sox will be pressured to allow him to exceed the 447 plate appearances needed to execute his $22 million vesting option for 2019.
Albert Pujols (1B/DH – LAA)
Albert Pujols will never be close to the player the Angels were expecting to get when they signed him. However, he is starting to show a small glimpse of his old self. He was well below league average last year, but Pujols can still consistently provide HRs and RBIs. He should also benefit from being in the middle of a much improved Angels lineup.
Javier Baez (2B/SS – CHC)
Javier Baez had been reaching the point of being known as just a flashy, slick-gloved infielder. However, his four HRs and 10 RBIs in the last seven days suggest he may be beginning to realize his potential as a hitter as well. If so, Baez could be a source of power at 2B.
Jameson Taillon (SP – PIT)
With the departure of Gerrit Cole, Taillon has assumed the role of staff ace for the Pirates. So far, he has embraced the challenge. Through his first three starts, Taillon has a 0.89 ERA and 0.69 WHIP.
Kendall Graveman (SP – OAK)
Graveman has had a very rough start to the year. He has a 9.87 ERA and three losses through his first four starts. In most point formats, Graveman has posted negatives in each of his outings. Based on this rough start, he is not worth a roster spot until things turn around.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B/DH – CLE)
He has only one hit in his last 21 ABs, with nine Ks. Encarnacion is enough an established hitter to not panic about this yet. He is also typically a slow starter, but owners should consider benching him until he heats up a bit.
Wilson Ramos (C – TB)
Ramos was one of the best offensive catchers in baseball for the Nationals in 2016. However, he has yet to return to that level since dealing with injuries. He is hitting .171 without any HRs through the first two weeks.
Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS)
As one of the most promising young pitchers in the Majors, Giolito is worth keeping in dynasty leagues. However, his rough start means owners in single-season formats should consider dropping him. He has a 5.50 ERA and only eight Ks through his first three outings.
Marcus Stroman (SP – TOR)
Stroman has been dealing with shoulder issues since Spring Training. Stroman threw 201 innings in 2017 after throwing in the WBC as well. It’s possible that workload has taken a minor toll on him to start the year. Stroman has a 7.98 ERA and 1.91 WHIP through his first three starts. His next start is against Kansas City. This will be an opportunity for him to rebound a bit and will be worth watching closely.