Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman collected 12 total bases last night in a 5-4 victory over the Padres. Freeman is enjoying a sensational start to his season hitting .400, with 10 extra base hits, six RBI and seven walks. Is he striking out nearly a quarter of the time he steps up to plate? Sure, but he minimizes the damage when his at-bats routinely end with the ball in the outfield.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Freeman’s Atlanta cohort, Dansby Swanson, has experienced a completely different start to his season. Despite last night’s walk off hit, he’s slashing 151/.182/.226. His current batting average on balls in play is .175, a strong indicator that he’s been a victim of either good defense or bad luck. Freeman, for example, has a current BABIP of .464, which is destined to regress. Look for Swanson to round into form as the season rolls along.
Dyson out, Bush in
Dyson was placed on the 10-day DL Monday (perhaps mercifully) after he bruised his hand in Sunday’s 8-7 loss to Seattle. Dyson has been abysmal as the Rangers’ closer this season with three blown saves and a 27.00 ERA.
MLB.com is reporting that Rangers reliever Matt Bush will be first in line for any save opportunities while Sam Dyson is on the DL. Bush pitched well last season with a 2.48 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 61 2/3 innings.
USA TODAY SportsJerome Miron
Nova, Lynn pitching well
Pirates starter Ivan Nova pitched a complete game, but failed to secure the win due to Lance Lynn's gem - more on that in a second.
Nova is playing well this season notching three quality starts and boasting a 2.25 ERA. He isn’t offering the strikeout potential of many starting pitchers, but is keeping the ball in the park – only 5.6% of the fly balls he’s allowed have been home runs, and his ground ball percentage is right in line with his career average at 50%. Assuming the Pirates can continue to field cleanly, Nova might be worth picking up. He’s only owned in 29% of FOX Fantasy baseball leagues, and could help if your pitching staff has been bitten by the injury bug.
After Tommy John surgery in 2015, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn has re-emerged as an important piece of St. Louis’ pitching staff. In three starts, Lynn punched out 13 batters and kept his WHIP at a respectable 1.10. The fly in the ointment for both Lynn and Nova is their lack of run support, which can cost you points in leagues which value wins over quality starts. Last night, was a perfect example as St. Louis and Pittsburgh combined to leave 13 guys on base.
Ray off to promising start
Robbie Ray was everyone’s fantasy sleeper for 2017 and so far he’s delivered. Ray is third in the league in strikeouts (24) and sporting a 1.96 ERA. Ray’s xFIP is currently 3.38 and he’s at a career high 5.89 BB/9. Expect some regression for his ERA. He is also allowing too many homers (15.4% home run to fly ball ratio), but for the moment he’s dealing. Let’s just hope his arm doesn’t fall off after averaging 103 pitches per start.
Quick Hits Part I: Goldschmidt a little off
Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t quite been himself this season … he’s hit just two home runs in 14 … Indians pitcher Danny Salazar continues to dominate … his K/9 is currently at 13.75 … Eric Thames 2.0 continued his onslaught with another dinger, bringing his league-leading total to seven … Thames has a homer in each of his last five games … Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton is hitting .143 since he was struck in the face by a pitch on April 6.
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY SportJennifer Stewart
MLB All-points bulletin: Kris Bryant
Has anyone seen Kris Bryant? Bryant registered just one hit in his first 16 at-bats and has just six extra-base hits all season. Going hitless in seven games is sure to frustrate fantasy owners, but his .248 BABIP is almost 100 points lower than his career mark at .348. His K% is also up slight from last year to 23%. I would bet the MVP rebounds, but he has work to do if he wants to regain his MVP form.
Quick Hits Part II: Baby Bombers
The Yankees are hitting a ton of homers this year … 18 bombs ranks third in the AL … Aaron Judge leads the team with four … There are seven players tied for the league lead with five stolen bases … of those seven players only Jose Altuve and Eduardo Nunez are hitting .300 … Ryan Braun chipped in another 3 RBI last night going 3-for-4 and swiping another bag.