Jose Altuve looks to be rounding into form after a slow start to the season. The Astros second baseman went 3-for-3 in Wednesday’s win over the Mariners. Altuve added two walks raising his season on-base percentage to .356. After failing to register more than one hit – including two hitless games -- in his first six games, Altuve managed multiple hits in three of his last four games. His recent production is more representative of his top five ADP.
First base stars struggle
It was a rough night for several big name first baseman. Albert Pujols, Paul Goldschmidt, and Miguel Cabrera all went hitless. Cabrera, who’s endured a difficult start to the season, is currently sporting a .107 batting average. In 33 plate appearances, he has just three hits. He’s gone hitless in six games.
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Inciarte helps Braves edge Marlins
Atlanta outfielder Ender Inciarte (OF-44) poked two home runs and drove in three RBI in a win over the Marlins. It was a much needed boost to fantasy owners’ confidence in the Braves’ leadoff hitter who was hitting .189 to start the season and a far cry from his career norm of .289/.334 /.384. Throughout his career Inciarte has done a fair job limiting his strikeouts (averaging about 60 per season when he plays roughly 127 games). I would expect Inciarte to be a valuable fantasy piece going forward.
Stanton knocks first HR's
Giancarlo Stanton belted his first two homers of the season. Despite striking out 10 times in his first eight games, Stanton is still getting on base (.371 OBP) and driving in runs (six RBI). Stanton may never rid himself of his strikeout problem, but reducing it even a little would go a long way if he keeps hitting home runs and drawing walks.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Elvis is in the building
One player who’s not struggling to start the season is Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus is slashing .333/.375/.800 and has 10 hits (fifth in the league among shortstops) in eight games including three home runs.
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Stroman provides value
Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman continues his early season run as one of the game’s better young pitchers. In 15 1/3 innings pitched, he’s allowed three earned runs, one homer, and engineered a 1.76 ERA, while tallying nine strikeouts. This is great value for a pitcher ranked as the 34th best starting pitcher before the season began.
Anderson pitches second gem
Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson if off to a strong start, too. He nabbed his second quality start of the season in a 2-0 victory against the Blue Jays. In 13 innings pitched, Anderson (SP-162) has allowed one earned run allowed, punched out 11 with an 0.69 ERA. His first two starts are worlds away from his 2016 in which he was 9-11 with a 4.39 ERA and a ghastly 14.9% home run to fly ball ratio. Anderson’s 2016 xFIP of 4.76 appeared to spell doom for 2017, but he’s played well. As a result that figure has been reduced to 3.90.
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Salazar lone bright spot in loss
Indians pitcher Danny Salazar is rebounding nicely from an injury riddled 2016. Salazar fanned 11 batters in six innings Wednesday surrendering just two earned runs. Though he didn’t come away with the victory, Salazar’s early returns are overwhelmingly positive. He possesses a league-leading 20 strikeouts, good for 15.43 strikeouts per nine innings. This after collecting 37 strikeouts (12.8 K/9) in spring training.
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Margot showing up for Padres
Other notes from around the league … Padres center fielder Manuel Margot banged another hit bringing his season average to .325 … Margot is outplaying his preseason ADP of 251 ... Yoenis Cespedes continues to harass the Phillies, adding another two RBI in a 5-4 win … After next week I’m sure the Phillies will be happy not to see Cespedes and the Mets until the end of June.
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Indians second baseman is dealing with a hand contusion after he was hit by a pitch in a minor league game. Kipnis had been recovering from a shoulder injury and was on the 10-day DL prior to the HBP.
Red Sox pitcher David Price will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session this Saturday, according to CSN New England. Price (elbow) is currently set to return some in May.
Rays and Yankees outfielders Rickie Weeks and Yankees Brett Gardner are both day-to-day after a collision at first base. Weeks (bone bruise in shoulder) and Gardner (bruised jaw and sprained neck) are both day-to-day. Neither is expected to see any time on the DL.