10 Burning Questions: Jose Altuve, Kevin Gausman, Logan Gilbert (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
We have officially arrived at the All-Star Break, and what a season 2021 has given us! From Shohei Ohtani taking over baseball to multiple no-hitters, this season has had just a bit of everything. Viewership is up, fans are back, and the game of baseball is only growing. This is what we love to see.
These rankings and statistics are up to date as of July 12th via Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) from FantasyPros.
Now, here are my 10 burning questions from the previous week!
1. Can Jose Altuve continue his resurgence?
Altuve posted an abysmal 71 OPS+ last year that had many fantasy baseball managers disgusted. He was a complete bust and appeared to be distracted by all the off-the-field theatrics. Now, Altuve finds himself as an All-Star for the first time since 2018. His power appears to be back as he is closing in on a .500 slugging percentage, something he’s only done three times in his career. He looks as locked in as ever at the plate and even had the last laugh versus the New York Yankees. Congrats if you got him at a discount on draft day.
2. Will Kevin Gausman continue to make history?
Simply put, Gausman is putting up absurd numbers. He carries an ERA under 2 to go along with a 4.9 WAR, and we just hit the All-Star break. It’s insanity what Gausman is doing. He showed flashes of high-level pitching in Baltimore from time to time, but never as good as this. His splitter looks unhittable, and he is as good as any pitcher out there right now. Gausman went late in many redraft leagues because of his inconsistency, but he appears to have found his groove in the Bay Area. He has the makings of a league-winner written all over him.
3. Can we get some more appreciation for Shohei Ohtani?
Everyone is aware of Ohtani’s absolute brilliance by now. I’m here to say that he deserves all the praise he is getting and then some. We have never seen a baseball player as talented as Shohei Ohtani. He is the face of baseball and an enormous reason that the game is growing at its current rate. What he is doing for the game cannot be measured. The 33 home runs to go along with a 3.57 FIP. I mean, come on. He is the best player in the game right now, and let’s hope he keeps it up. Ohtani is great for sports, and he is the reason we watch.
4. Should you trade for Logan Gilbert?
The 24-year-old Gilbert struggled a bit during his initial call-up to the major league level. Gilbert has looked the part of a major league ace outside of about two rough outings. His most recent performance may have been his best yet. Gilbert blanked the New York Yankees offense – going seven innings and only giving up one hit while striking out eight batters. He was reaching 99 MPH and looked dominant. Try and acquire Gilbert if you can because he should only get better from here on out.
5. Will George Springer ever turn his season around?
George Springer was one of, if not the biggest free-agent name on the market last offseason. Every team with money to spend wanted Springer’s services. Unfortunately, Springer has struggled mightily on his new team. He’s dealt with his fair share of injuries and has been out of sync since. I predict he’ll find his groove after the All-Star break, and now is a great time to buy low on the Blue Jays’ centerfielder. Get him while you can because before we know it, Springer’s OPS will be back near the .850 range.
6. What is the effect of Ronald Acuna Jr.’s injury?
First off, it’s just a shame we have another catastrophic injury on our hands. Injuries have been one of the few things to damper this season, and this injury hurts fantasy baseball managers, the Atlanta Braves, and fans of baseball alike. Acuna was well on his way to a career-best hitting season. I had many questions of whether Acuna was worthy of the first overall pick, and he put those questions to bed quickly. Acuna is one of the most electric players in the game. Let’s hope he comes back even stronger. As far as the fantasy aspect, there’s no replicating the offensive firepower that Acuna possesses. My best advice – try and acquire some depth to help solidify your outfield.
7. Was Brandon Lowe dropped in your league?
For me, Lowe was actually dropped in two of my three leagues. It’s surprising considering the Rays’ hitter has a season-high 21 home runs. But that’s just how bad Lowe had been. For all the good Lowe brings in the power department, his other offensive stats are ugly, to say the least. He’s struck out 108 times and is only hitting .208. It’s a tale of two tapes for Lowe, but he still should be rostered, and honestly was a steal if you were able to pick him up for free. Lowe will never be a balanced hitter, but one that can be a welcomed addition to your lineup – especially if he’s added for free.
8. Has Tony Gonsolin been more than serviceable?
It’s unfortunate, but Dustin May‘s injury paved the way for Gonsolin to put together a strong season so far. Many saw Gonsolin as a sleeper after putting together a strong 2020 season – posting a 2.29 FIP in eight games started. Now, Gonsolin appears to have built off his success of 2020 and is yet again rounding out the backend of the Dodgers’ rotation. Through six starts, Gonsolin has a 2.13 ERA and a career-best 11 K/9. Even though he rarely goes deep into games, Gonsolin is more than serviceable for the Dodgers and for fantasy baseball purposes. He’s a great pitcher to round out your rotation with and should continue to be consistent for the remainder of the season.
9. Can Michael Kopech continue being an elite relief pitcher?
The White Sox’s rookie was also seen as an elite prospect, but many needed to see it on the field after he struggled in 2018 and his opt-out of 2020. Now, Kopech has been one of the best long relievers in the game. Kopech has a 1.53 ERA, 51 strikeouts, and a 2.40 FIP in 35.1 innings. That’s some elite stuff. I do believe Kopech will continue to dominate out of the bullpen. He makes for a great, under-the-radar pitcher to add in all fantasy baseball formats.
10. Will David Fletcher hit over 10 home runs this year?
Funny but true, Fletcher had yet to barrel up a baseball before his solo home run on July 9th vs. the Seattle Mariners. It’s an insane stat and one I really couldn’t believe. Fletcher doubled his home run total in two games alone and now has a respectable OPS over .700. The Angels’ second baseman was a late-round flier in most redraft leagues, but now, he’s looking like a must-add. Fletcher always had the peripherals of a strong fantasy baseball asset (low strikeout rate, high contact rate), but we just needed to see more from him. His ability to string together high total base games does just that. I don’t believe he will hit over 10 home runs, but add him while you can!
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.