With about a quarter of the MLB season in the books, it is time to continue our fantasy baseball weekly update. We will continue to notify owners about which players are hot, or cold, and whether they will remain trending in that direction. Previous weekly fantasy baseball updates can be found at thegamehaus.com/fantasy.
Corey Dickerson, Outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays
Last seven: .448 BA, 10 R, 5 HR and 9 RBI
Dickerson entered 2017 with moderate expectations, as his batting average had regressed from .304 in 2015 to .245 in 2016. He has found himself batting primarily in the two-hole this season, which is a prime spot for fantasy production.
The 28-year-old is scorching hot. He is batting .347 with 11 home runs, 30 runs scored and 22 RBIs in 43 games played. He has improved his walk and strikeout rates, which show he has progressed as a hitter from his days in Colorado.
Dickerson’s performance in 2017 has been astounding so far. However, a bit of regression is in order, as he is sporting a career high ISO of .295, BABIP of .393 and HR/FB rate of 22 percent, which are all unsustainable.
Jose Berrios, Starting Pitcher, Minnesota Twins
Last three: 2-0 W-L, 0.59 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, 15 1/3 IP and 15/2 K/BB
Berrios has been immaculate, as he is currently sporting a sub-one ERA and WHIP. The former first-round pick was called up in 2016, but did not find nearly as much success then as he has now.
Through his first 14 major-league starts, Berrios went 3-7 with an 8.02 ERA and 1.87 WHIP. His early struggles could have been due to many things, although I will focus on his .344 BABIP and 16.2 percent HR/FB rate, which were both insanely high and bound to readjust themselves.
So far this year, Berrios has yet to give up a home run, has a BABIP of .118, and an xFIP of 4.17. I understand that Berrios is a top prospect with great potential, but these analytics scream regression. In keeper and dynasty formats, it will be worth holding onto the 22-year-old, although in redraft formats, I would sell as soon as possible.
Avisail Garcia, Outfielder, Chicago White Sox
Last seven: .400 BA, 6 R, 2 HR and 9 RBI
Garcia has been one of the league’s hottest hitters this season. He is currently batting .350 with 26 runs scored, eight home runs and 34 RBIs.
The 25-year old has been a hype train due to his minor league success, as he batted .291 with 46 home runs in 586 minor league games. Garcia’s BABIP of .409 and ISO of .253 seem blatantly unsustainable, although his improved walk, strikeout and contact rates show that he has truly progressed as a player.
Garcia will not continue this level of production all season, so using him as trade bait could be a better investment.
Lance McCullers, Starting Pitcher, Houston Astros
Last three: 2-0 W-L, 0.00 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 19 IP and 14/4 K/BB
McCullers has continued his major league success from one year to the next since entering the league in 2015. He has a career ERA of 3.10, WHIP of 1.28 and K/9 of 10.17. His astounding numbers have continued in 2017, as he has an ERA of 2.65 and WHIP of 1.09.
The 23-year-old is quietly becoming one of the league’s premier pitchers. He sports an xFIP of 2.70 and HR/FB rate of 19.2 percent, which both suggest that even more progression is in order. Also, his BABIP of .285 seems fairly sustainable, as his career BABIP is .315.
Now may be the time to grab McCullers before he progresses into a top ten starting pitcher.
Odubel Herrera, Outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies
Last seven: .154 BA, 0 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI and 1 SB
Herrera has struggled mightily this year, batting .236 with three home runs, 15 runs scored, 13 RBIs and four stolen bases. His walk and strikeout rates have regressed by about four percent each, which is disconcerting.
The 25-year-old is coming off of a 2016 campaign where he hit 15 home runs, stole 25 bases and batted .286. His career BABIP is an astounding .358, although his current BABIP is only .301, which suggests some progression is in order.
Herrera could make a good buy low target in all formats, as he is a career .284 hitter with low end 20/20 potential.
Julio Teheran, Starting Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
Last three: 1-2, 8.36 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 14 IP and 9/5 K/BB
The Braves ace has been atrocious so far this year. He sports an ERA of 5.47 and WHIP of 1.52. The major cause for alarm is Teheran’s lack of control, as his walk rate has been inflated from its career mark of 2.50 walks per nine innings to his 2017 mark of 4.20.
Another red flag with Teheran is that his HR/FB ratio and BABIP are right around his career averages. Also, his xFIP of 5.54 suggest that he may see even more regression this season.
On the bright side, the 26-year-old has a career ERA of 3.50 and WHIP of 1.18, although something must be wrong with Teheran, as his control issues have caused him to become one of the most unsuccessful arms in 2017.
Yangervis Solarte, Second Baseman/Third Baseman, San Diego Padres
Last seven: .130 BA, 1 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI and 0 SB
Solarte was off to a hot start this season, but has cooled off significantly in the recent weeks. He is currently batting .226 with three home runs, 15 runs scored and 21 RBIs.
The 29-year-old has dropped his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate from last season. Also, his BABIP of .237 suggests there is even more room for more progression, as his career BABIP is .280. Solarte bats in the heart of the Padres order, which even as the league’s worst offense, still increases his fantasy value compared to most second baseman.
This is a prime buy low period for Solarte, who is a versatile infielder with high RBI upside.
Masahiro Tanaka, Starting Pitcher, New York Yankees
Last three: 1-2 W-L, 13.11 ERA, 2.66 WHIP, 11 2/3 IP and 13/5 K/BB
The Yankees’ All Star has been far from his old self so far this year. He currently has a 6.56 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 48 innings pitched. His major struggle has been allowing walks, as his current walk rate is 2.81 per nine innings, which is very poor compared to his career rate of 1.66. Also, his strikeout rate has declined by about one per nine innings.
There is a silver lining for the 28-year-old, as his HR/FB rate of 24.5 percent, and BABIP of .329, are not nearly sustainable, and should return to their previous career marks in time. Tanaka is sure to improve his performance this season, although he has blatantly regressed, as his xFIP has risen to 4.42 from his career mark of 3.43, and his 2016 mark of 3.61.
(Featured Image by SI.com)
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