John Aurora, Contributor
Yes Ohtani has made me look bad early on this year, but man it is fun to watch him play. The kid’s stuff is nasty and has a smooth power stroke. I’m not sure he can keep it up the whole year as the league will catch up to him, so it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back one this happens. Nevertheless Ohtani pitched a one hit, 12K gem this weekend and is hitting a blistering .462-3 HR-7 RBI-4 R in the last week. Although Ohtani pitches once a week, he produces stud numbers, and his hitting is just icing on the cake. As I mentioned, I see the league catching up so try to sell high if you can as he is at peak value right now.
I don’t know what was worse for Stanton this week, wearing the platinum sombrero not once but TWICE or John Sterling’s home run call (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_vDmzbtxDc). I’ve seen this stat floating around, which I find fascinating…Joe DiMaggio played 13 seasons and had one 3K game in his entire career! Despite Stanton’s slump he is sure to break out of it especially playing half his games in hitter’s heaven Yankee Stadium. If your league has an owner that is trying to sell low on Stanton you better be trying to buy him.
Looking Forward: Waiver Wire Pickups (<50% owned in ESPN leagues)
Steven Souza (43.4% owned), OF
Keep monitoring Souza as he’s been on the DL to start the year with a pectoral strain. He’s coming off a year in Tampa Bay where he his .239-30 HR-78 RBI-78 R-16 SB, which is a solid stat line to be your 4th/5th outfielder. Souza is still complaining of soreness, however the team states it is not a setback. He should be back mid-May, but if you have an open DL spot consider adding Souza. He could be very valuable when healthy for his home run/stolen base potential in a potent Arizona lineup.
Maikel Franco (33.8% owned), 3B
Franco has been hot over the last week batting .304-2 HR-11 RBI-4 R with consistent playing time. Most of his damage came against the worst team in baseball, the Miami Marlins, but maybe this is the year his pedigree lives up to the former hype. Plus the Phillies lineup is much deeper than previous years with Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins playing daily. Keep an eye on Franco to see how much Kapler plays him. If you are looking for a DL replacement, consider Franco with his hot bat.
Blake Snell (48.4% owned), SP
Snell has been unimpressive so far this season, but he is my streamer pick this week. I believe this can be a breakout year for Snell based on his strikeout potential and prospect pedigree, and this week can be the start of reaping those benefits with matchups against the White Sox and Phillies. Don’t let his pitching line thus far discourage you as he was going against the Red Sox and Yankees. Until Snell shows more consistency, continue starting him based on the matchup.
Mike Foltynewicz (29.7% owned), SP
Folty has put together 2 nice games early on this season, spotting a 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 15 K. There are three main things I look for in a pitcher to determine upside: strikeouts, age, and walks. It is so hard finding quality pitchers that have high strikeout upside, so I tend to prioritize these pitchers first and fix my other stats using relief pitchers and a combination of other streamers. Folty’s control has been a problem in the past but has not been a concern yet this season, however, Folty is still not pitching deep into games. Despite this consider streaming Folty based on the matchup.
Zach Davies (26.4% owned), SP
Davies is only owned in 26% of leagues despite winning 17 games last year! Yes wins are a fluky category, but at age 25 on a good team, Davies deserves to be owned in more leagues. In fact he is posting a 14:3 K:BB ratio through his first 2 games, which is encouraging as he ended last season with a low strikeout total (124 K per 191.1 IP) and mediocre WHIP (1.35). This season he has one good game and one bad game against strong opponents, so I would be interested to see how he fares against the Mets this week to see more consistency. I’ll definitely be streaming him this week.