10 Burning Questions: Huascar Ynoa, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
On to Week 6 we go! The MLB season feels as though it has been flying by so far, but that’s not to take away from all the excitement it has delivered. The 2021 MLB season continues to produce day-in and day-out, making fantasy baseball nothing but exciting thus far.
Now, onto my 10 burning questions after another stellar week of baseball! Before we begin, you can find my previous article here.
As always, these rankings and statistics are up to date as of May 10th via Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) from FantasyPros.
1. Will Huascar Ynoa remain consistent throughout the season?
What a performance the young star pitcher put on on Sunday Night Baseball last week. Ynoa looks as dynamic as any pitcher in the big leagues right now. Outside of a lead-off home run to Andrew McCutchen, Ynoa was flat out dominant against his divisional rival. He went for six strong innings, giving up only four hits, one earned run, and striking out six. Ynoa appears to have found his niche at the major league level. He simplified his windup, and it’s paying dividends so far. His slider looks comparable to Tyler Glasnow’s, and he has been getting hitters to whiff at an alarming rate. If you picked him up, hold on to him tight — he’s showing no signs of cooling down.
2. Can Giancarlo Stanton make a legitimate run for AL MVP?
As we all know, Giancarlo Stanton is one of the streakiest hitters in all of baseball. The highs are high and the lows are low with the powerful Bronx bomber. Right now, Stanton is riding a high, as his OPS now sits above .900. Considering that he started out immensely poor, this is an incredible development for fantasy baseball managers that drafted the slugger. Stanton is looking as comfortable as he has ever been in New York. Stanton produced three home runs and nine RBIs just last week. If he can keep this up and help the Yankees win more games, there’s a legitimate argument that Stanton deserves MVP honors. To those who took a flier for a bounce-back year for him: enjoy the ride because there should be plenty of ups and downs.
3. What can we make of Jarred Kelenic being called up?
Finally! The time has arrived for Jarred Kelenic to make his big-time major league debut. The Seattle Mariners finally called up their top prospect after he had been destroying the baseball at their Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers. Kelenic should get every opportunity to get as many at-bats as possible in this Seattle Mariners’ offense. The Mariners’ offense has struggled in general, but they have virtually gotten nothing from their outfield in terms of offensive production. Kelenic should be plugged right into the middle of the order and give a major boost to an anemic offense. The sky is the limit for the young phenom, but temper expectations early on, as he may struggle to transition to the bigs.
4. How many no-hitters will we get this season?
If you were to tell me there would be two no-hitters in one week of the MLB season, I would’ve called you a psycho. However, that’s exactly what we got last week. Both John Means and Wade Miley pitched no-hitters. Means, who has been underrated for most of his career, was unhittable against the aforementioned anemic Seattle Mariners offense. Means would’ve had a perfect game if not for a dropped third strike. Who could’ve seen Wade Miley throw a no-hitter in 2021, too?! It’s just been an unreal year for pitchers, which now marks four no-hitters to begin the season. It would be quite the spectacle to see double-digit no-hitters in 2021, and I truly don’t think that it’s out of the question. Congrats on winning your matchup if you started John Means or Wade Miley last week.
5. Can Trevor Bauer get some run support?
Coming into the 2021 season, it was going to be interesting to see just what kind of impact Trevor Bauer would have on the defending world champs. So far, he has looked nothing short of an ace. Bauer is holding his opponents to just a .154 batting average and has 67 strikeouts in just 50.1 innings. He has looked stellar, but unfortunately, the Dodgers’ offense always comes up short with him on the mound. In eight starts, Bauer only has three wins to his name because of the lack of offensive production from his teammates. Some fantasy managers may be getting annoyed with the lack of wins coming from the Cy Young Award winner, so feel free to try and buy relatively low for the superstar pitcher. The Los Angeles offense should come around more times than not for the remainder of the season.
6. Should fantasy baseball managers try to move Cedric Mullins?
Add another surprise to an already incredibly entertaining season. Cedric Mullins has been downright fantastic at the plate for the Baltimore Orioles. The 26-year-old went from a switch hitter to only hitting lefty this season, and it seems like the right choice. Mullins is slashing .312/.373/.536 to begin the season and shows no signs of slowing down. He has already doubled his home run total from last year and has swiped four bases, too. However, Mullins has never shown an ability to slug a high percentage throughout his short stint at the major league level. Mullins could be due for some regression, so feel free to explore trade options to try and get a more proven hitter. If not, Mullins was very cheap on draft day, so fantasy baseball managers have to be proud of themselves if they came away with him at the time.
7. When will Aaron Judge get back on track?
It would be an understatement to say Judge had struggled this past week. In his last seven games, Judge has struck out 14 times and has only two hits in 24 at-bats. It’s been a rough stretch of games for Judge, as he is very prone to getting in slumps. Fantasy baseball managers may become impatient with him and may be willing to listen to offers for the big-time hitter. Now would be a great time to try and buy low on Judge. Much like Stanton, Judge is susceptible to striking out and looking lost at the plate for long stretches of time. I believe he should get out of this slump soon, and now might be your only chance to buy low on him all season long.
8. When can we expect Byron Buxton to return?
In one of my previous articles, I mentioned that Buxton had a high probability of getting injured because of his reckless and adventurous playstyle. Unfortunately, Buxton sustained another injury this season. He was off to a career year at the plate and was becoming one of the game’s most exciting players. It’s a shame, but Buxton has a history of missing games. I tend to not advise fantasy baseball managers to trade for injured players, but Buxton may be the exception. If all goes well, he should be back in maybe one to two months. There may be some fantasy baseball managers out there who want wins now and would be willing to part with Buxton. Feel free to send some offers for the star center fielder, but don’t risk taking losses in the process.
9. Will Luis Castillo ever get going?
Coming into the season, I avoided Luis Castillo. Not because of his skill set, but because of his ADP. Castillo’s ADP is always a tad too high for my liking. I tend to like many other pitchers in his ADP range, and Castillo’s low floor makes him an easy fade for me. Now, Castillo is struggling this year. He has a 6.42 ERA through seven starts, and he boasts only 26 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. Opponents are hitting a robust .324 against him and are barreling up pitches left and right. However, Castillo is due for some bounce-back starts, and now would be an excellent time to try and buy low on the talented pitcher.
10. Why is no one talking about Aroldis Chapman?
As dominant as Aroldis Chapman has been in years past, this may be his best start to a season that I can remember. In 13 innings, he has yet to give up a single run and has struck out an insane 29 batters. He is the best relief pitcher in baseball, but nobody seems to be discussing it. Well, I’d like to shed some love for the Yankees’ closer, as he has been incredible to begin the season. Chapman usually costs an early-round pick in drafts, and right now, he’s looking like he is worth it and then some. Continue to ride the hot hand and enjoy the dominant outings he will pile up. Don’t consider moving him unless you are blown away by an offer.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.