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20 Things to Watch: Christian Scott, Kyle Bradish, Joey Loperfido (Fantasy Baseball)

20 Things to Watch: Christian Scott, Kyle Bradish, Joey Loperfido (Fantasy Baseball)

With the season still in its early stages, it’s important to look at some important fantasy baseball storylines and aspects this week to be ahead of the curve and gain an edge on your league mates. Here are 20 things to watch around the world of fantasy baseball this week.

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Fantasy Baseball 20 Things to Watch

Weekly Schedule Notes

The following teams have just five games this week:

  • Baltimore Orioles at WAS, vs ARI
  • Boston Red Sox at ATL, vs WAS
  • Toronto Blue Jays at PHI, vs MIN
  • Atlanta Braves vs BOS, at NYM
  • Washington Nationals vs BAL, at BOS

The following teams have seven games this week:

  • Chicago White Sox at TB, vs CLE
  • Cleveland Guardians vs DET, at CHW
  • Kansas City Royals vs MIL, at LAA
  • Minnesota Twins vs SEA, at TOR
  • Los Angeles Angels at PIT, vs KC
  • Oakland A’s vs TEX, at SEA
  • Seattle Mariners at MIN, vs OAK
  • Texas Rangers at OAK, at COL
  • Milwaukee Brewers at KC, vs STL
  • St. Louis Cardinals vs NYM, at MIL
  • San Francisco Giants at COL, vs CIN

Christian Scott (SP/RP – NYM)

Christian Scott made his MLB debut over the weekend, throwing 6.2 innings and allowing one run on five hits while striking out six in a no-decision versus the Rays. Scott is one of the Mets’ top prospects and has a lot of strikeout upside, but the command is the biggest question mark. If he can show good command, this is a really big pick-up in every format. He faces the Braves next week, so he may not be someone to start, but to pick up and stash.

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL)

Bradish made his season debut, throwing 4.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out five. He looked good in the outing, but he also had moments where he struggled with control. He is coming off of a sprained UCL which is usually the reason you need Tommy John surgery. He has a nice matchup this week in Washington, so we need to see if he can keep up the performance and stay on the mound.

Coors Time

The Rockies are home all week which is always a good time to bench your pitchers visiting Colorado and stream hitters. The Giants and the Rangers are coming to town, so picking up lefty bats will be a good strategy as the Rockies only have one lefty in their rotation projected this week.

Tyler Black (2B/3B – MIL)

Black is another interesting prospect for the Brewers that has made his debut. He has a ton of speed, stealing 55 bases between AAA and AA last season. He is a better fantasy baseball prospect than a real-life one, but if he can play every day, he could have a pretty big impact on the game.

Jon Singleton (1B – HOU)/Joey Loperfido (UTL – HOU)

With Jose Abreu getting sent down, the Astros have called up prospect Joey Loperfido. Loperfido has some pretty good numbers in the minors but also struggles with strikeouts. At first base, the Astros have been going with Jon Singleton, a former top prospect in his own right who busted earlier in his career but has found some success as a bench bat in his 30s. He is hitting in the middle of the lineup and might be the less sexy option, but a good one.

Jack Leiter (SP – TEX) Returns

Leiter is expected to be recalled from the minor leagues this week to face the A’s. Leiter struggled in his Major League debut, throwing just 3.2 innings and allowing seven runs, but he showed some of the stuff that made him a top pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Facing a team like the A’s is always a nice opportunity but I would rather watch the outing than stream him for it because, despite the weakness of the A’s, they do hit a lot of home runs which could be an issue for Leiter.

Nick Pivetta (SP – BOS) Returns

Pivetta is returning from the IL after being shut down with an elbow issue. He was fantastic before getting hurt, but with the Braves scheduled for his return, it is more important to watch how he looks rather than using him.

Walker Buehler (SP – LAD) Returns

Buehler was supposed to return last week, but the Dodgers decided to give him another rehab start. He lines up for a two-start week and while I usually don’t love throwing a pitcher straight back into my lineup, Buehler is a stud and one of the exceptions to that rule. Pitchers coming off of Tommy John surgery typically struggle with control, so the walks will be an important thing to watch with Buehler.

The Tigers Bullpen

Jason Foley has been struggling and could be in a position to lose the role after blowing another save over the weekend. The Tigers could turn back to former closer Alex Lange (though he has struggled at times) or maybe turn to a committee that would include Lange, Foley and Andrew Chafin.

The Orioles Bullpen

Craig Kimbrel has struggled this year and has been banged up. While he has the big contract, it feels like it is a matter of time before the Orioles turn to Yennier Cano. They both got a save over the weekend, so it also could be a committee for now.

The Rays Bullpen

With Pete Fairbanks out, the Rays have been turning to Jason Adam as the closer, but multiple guys have gotten saves making you wonder if they will go back to the closer committee that plagued fantasy baseball players for years. The Rays love putting their best relievers in the most high-leverage spots, so this is something to keep an eye on.

Streaming Options

Michael Lorenzen @ OAK – Lorenzen has been mediocre since making his debut with the Rangers, but the A’s are an awful team that strikes out a lot. The A’s do hit homers, but are better against lefties and Lorenzen has been pretty good about not allowing too many bombs.

Sean Manaea @ STL – Manaea’s line looks better than it should as he has gotten pretty lucky so far. While I expect regression to come eventually, the Cardinals have struggled versus lefties this year. I don’t want to use him in weekly leagues because the second half of this two-start week is versus the Braves, but in daily leagues, this first start is great.

Michael Wacha @ LAA – Wacha has struggled as of late, but having a matchup versus the Trout-less Angels is just what he needs to get back on track. Without Trout, the Angels are a pathetic offense with a lot of swing and miss.

Two-Start Options

Logan Allen vs DET, @ CHW – Allen has been pretty rough to start the season, but the Tigers and White Sox are amongst the worst offenses in the Majors and I think I would try and attack them just for the wins.

Jack Flaherty @ CLE, vs HOU – Flaherty has been volatile this season, but the underlying numbers say he should be much better. He is striking out everyone and looks like the guy who used to be an ace.

Seth Lugo vs MIL, @ LAA – Lugo doesn’t get a lot of swing and miss, but the back half of this two-step is really good and Lugo’s results are worth continuing to ride.

Luis Gil vs HOU, @ TB – Outside of one start, Gil has looked fantastic and has been building up his pitch count more and more. The Rays are struggling and the Astros have not been the powerhouse we have seen in recent seasons.

Tyler Anderson @ PIT, vs KC – Anderson relies upon great control and command because he doesn’t have overwhelming stuff. However, he has made it work this season and while these aren’t the best matchups, they are not ones I am running from.

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