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Fantasy Baseball Stock Report: Week 3 (2023)

Fantasy Baseball Stock Report: Week 3 (2023)

It’s Monday. You know what that means.

Each and every week during the fantasy baseball season, we’ll be doing a stock report, looking at the players who are improving their value on a week-to-week basis.

Now, as the season goes on, these will prove to be more valuable as dealing with a tiny sample of the first week of the season is hard to really take anything away.

But I highlighted six players who I’ve watched closely and who I have found some reasons to be optimistic or pessimistic about in the first week.

If there are players you want me to dive into, feel free to tag me on Twitter @MichaelWaterloo.

Now, without any further ado, let’s get to it.

CTAs

Stock Up:

Jarred Kelenic (OF – SEA)

Well, that all changed quickly. Yes, dedicated reader, I did write about Kelenic last week, too, and I had him in the stock down section. But in the first few weeks of the season, everything can change and it changes rapidly.

That’s what we’ve seen with Kelenic, who seemingly only needed a trip to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field – and perhaps the wind blowing out – to be the topic of conversation around the fantasy landscape.

From Tuesday to Thursday, he had three home runs in as many games, all coming toward the outer edge of the plate.

Now, there are concerns about him hitting non-fastballs, as he’s hitting .167 against breaking pitches this year. But any way you slice it, it’s been a positive development.

Stock Down:

Chris Sale (SP – BOS)

Yes, Sale could turn things around. We know about his history and we know that he missed a ton of time, so it makes sense that it could take extra time for things to return to normal for the lefty. But I’m not at all liking what I’m seeing.

The velo is down on the fastball, and what Sale seems to be doing is attacking the upper edge of the zone – and beyond – in an attempt to overcompensate for the lack of velocity to increase Whiffs. It’s not really working, and the pitch hasn’t been great.

It’s been two starts now where we’ve seen Sale move away from the fastball as his primary pitch as the game has gone on, and if he continues to lose it from his arsenal and goes with a slider-sinker approach, there’s a chance he could be Zack Greinke with Ks (s/o Brad Johnson for that comp in an earlier conversation).

But his value is as low as it’s been while he’s been healthy.

Stock Up:

Alec Bohm (3B – PHI)

Oh, baby. I don’t really care if there’s a new ball that is flying out of the stadium in every stadium. The hard-hit ability and the power have never been a concern with Bohm. What we’ve cared about with him is his ability to lift the ball – which is what he hasn’t been able to do throughout his short career.

But throughout the spring and even into the season – despite the low 6.5-degree launch angle – we’ve seen areas of improvement with Bohm. Most notable among them is his 13.9 percent Barrel rate.

Stock Down:

Edward Cabrera (SP – MIA)

I loved Cabrera entering this year. You loved him. We ALL loved him.

But as much as we love the sky-high upside with him, we have to recognize the maddening control issues that he has, too. He looked much better his last time out, reaching the five-inning mark for the first time and only walking one batter.

But in the two starts before then, he threw a combined 6.2 innings and walked 13 batters.

Yikes.

We’ll need to see a few more starts before we can trust him again, especially when his go-to pitch – a power changeup – is one that he’s struggled to locate so far this season.

Stock Up:

Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR)

I won’t say that the worries didn’t have merit, because I was worried, too. The Blue Jays’ staff, as a whole, saw its velocity go down not only in spring but also in the first few starts of this year. Gausman said that he was looking at his fastball velocity and the fluctuating numbers off of it as having two different pitches.

But whatever concerns we had, he put them to bed in his last start, as he struck out 11 Tigers, generated 20 Whiffs, and saw his velocity up on his fastball, splitter, and slider.

As you can see above, the splitter had a sharp bite to it throughout, and it was his go-to out-pitch in his get-right start. Not that he’s struggled, of course, with a 31.6K% and 1.35 ERA (3.13 xERA). He’s a top-10 pitcher.

Stock Down:

Ross Stripling (SP/RP – SFG)

It’s early, but Stripling may just be my worst call of the season. I wasn’t just expecting the Giants to turn him into their new toy (a la Alex Cobb and Kevin Gausman), but I was expecting him to start and be a safe high-floor pitcher.

So far, that’s not happening.

Stripling has appeared in three games thus far, and he’s come out of the bullpen in two of them. What’s more, he’s given up 10 earned runs in just 10 innings, including six home runs allowed.

Stripling allowed 12 home runs all of last year.

Not great, and we are going to need some serious turnaround to get this call right.


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

 

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