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Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Clayton Kershaw, Jose Altuve, Hunter Brown, Reese Olson

Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Clayton Kershaw, Jose Altuve, Hunter Brown, Reese Olson

Welcome back to the Fantasy Baseball Weekly Mailbag! The mailbag is an opportunity to ask a FantasyPros analyst anything about the ongoing season to make the best and most informed decisions possible. Questions from fantasy baseball managers this week can be seen below.

If you are interested in asking about your fantasy baseball team, feel free to join the FantasyPros Discord.

Fantasy Baseball Mailbag

Is Jackson Holliday or Clayton Kershaw a better stash in redraft?

Clayton Kershaw is supposed to be back around the All-Star Break. Jackson Holliday will probably be back this year, and I wager definitely by the time rosters expand in September. 

Both could be impactful players for fantasy teams but have question marks surrounding them. Kershaw has his age and injury history. Plus, look at Max Scherzer, whose return has been delayed by several weeks. Kershaw may suffer similar setbacks. 

Like the veteran pitcher, Holliday also has uncertainty surrounding his age, this time with youth compared to being elderly. The baseball world is not sure if Holliday can make a major league impact at only 20 years old. 

The decision between the two is hard, and positional needs matter. If a team needs a middle infield or pitching help, then that team should stash the guy who will help the most. 

I prefer Kershaw in a vacuum. I think he will be back earlier and is a surer bet of helping a team make and win the playoffs.

Will this be a down year for Jose Altuve? Or is he just having a slow month?

The veteran second baseman batted .234 with only two home runs and nine RBI between May 10 and June 9. Not horrendous, yet far below his usual greatness. 

Altuve’s advanced stats look bad, which may send fantasy managers into panic mode, but every year his advanced metrics aren’t too exciting and he still performs. Despite Altuve’s extended slump, he is batting .288 on the year with 37 runs, nine homers, 22 RBI and nine stolen bases. 

The 34-year-old has a lot of playing time under his belt and I worry that his best days may be behind him. Even so, his track record and overall season stats indicate Altuve will be just fine. 

Will he win MVP again? I highly doubt it. I have no way of knowing for sure how the rest of Jose Altuve’s year will go, but I am confident he will pick up the pace.

2024 FantasyPros Fantasy Baseball Discord Community Home Run Call Contest

How would you rank Hunter Brown, Bailey Falter, Reese Olson, Ben Brown and Jake Irvin in redraft?

From last to first: Jake Irvin, Hunter Brown, Reese Olson, Ben Brown, Bailey Falter.

I am very high on Jake Irvin. Irvin looks great in his second MLB season, an improvement aided notably by a decrease in homers allowed from 1.5 HR/9 to just 0.7 HR/9. 

Meanwhile, Hunter Brown has turned things around and has had a nice stretch, posting a 2.91 ERA in his last six starts. Brown has the downside of possibly turning back into one of the worst pitchers in baseball, but his career 10.1 K/9 ratio should limit the risk of rostering him. 

Reese Olson is beloved by many fantasy analysts. I like him less than others. He is a good young pitcher and worth rostering, but I prefer the first two pitchers to him because they stand out to me more. Olson is good, but perhaps not as good as Irvin and Brown. It can go any way, though. 

Although Ben Brown is an exciting rookie with the potential to be an ace one day, I see him more as an asset in keeper leagues. Brown has been off-and-on this year and it will take time for him to develop into a consistently great star. 

Bailey Falter does not impress me. He has bad overall stats (career 4.49 ERA) and is aided by a year of bad offensive numbers.

Jake Meyers or Corey Julks for home runs, RBI, steals and batting average?

I’d go with Jake Meyers. 

Meyers has more counting stats than Corey Julks this year, mostly because he has played in a lot more games. Plus, Meyers plays for the Astros, a team better than the White Sox, and should get more at-bats and RBI opportunities. 

Neither are power threats, so home runs don’t matter in this equation. 

The two players have similar profiles. I prefer Meyers. He has the lower career batting average but should be better in most ways, he is on a better team and is more consistent.

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