In a shortened season, one of the most important things to do is to keep an eye on who is taking advantage of at-bats and who is losing such and quickly take advantage of that. On Twitter there are great accounts who post tweets as they happen making notes of lineups and their fantasy impact. Each week I will be producing this article summarizing important notes for the week for each team’s lineup, and things to keep an eye on. In the first weekend of baseball action since March, there were plenty of things to note for the lineups being trotted out and their impact for fantasy.
- With no games against the left-handed pitchers, we have yet to see any potential platoon players.
- It is encouraging to see Jake Lamb starting at 1B all three games, making him an intriguing name in deeper leagues.
- Ketel Marte hitting leadoff and Starling Marte hitting third was not expected, but and Ketel may lose a bit of value up there, but not enough to where I am worried. Starling Marte does gain a bit of value hitting third, with more potential RBI.
- Austin Riley played in all three games this weekend, and though it may have been because Camargo was a little banged up, he remained in against both lefties and righties. This trend should hopefully continue, making him a name I’d remain interested in adding.
- Dansby Swanson remains an intriguing breakout candidate getting everyday playing time at either the 6 or 7 spot.
- Against RHPs, Matt Adams has gotten the DH job and is hitting 5th. And while he himself may not be fantasy relevant, it takes away potential opportunities from others, potentially when Camargo is 100%.
- With Austin Hays firmly entrenched as the leadoff hitter for Baltimore, he deserves a look in most leagues as a good young player who should produce in most categories.
- In a two-catcher league, Pedro Severino may be getting the playing time over Chance Sisco, as he started two of three games this weekend, including one against a RHP.
Boston Red Sox
- With two of the three games against a LHP, we saw that Boston wants to keep Jackie Bradley Jr.’s glove in the field, sitting both Alex Verdugo and Andrew Benintendi once in these games against LHP.
- Jose Peraza clearly has the starting 2B job, as Michael Chavis has only started against LHPs, making him an interesting option for speed if available on waivers.
- Alex Verdugo has started two of three games, but getting benched once against a LHP and hitting either 6th or 7th in this lineup do not bode well for the upside we thought we might get with him.
- This doesn’t majorly change their fantasy value, but it is worth noting that the Red Sox have flipped their 2-4 hitters this season now having it go: Martinez-Devers-Bogaerts.
- With three straight right-handed starters the Cubs trotted out the same lineup, including that change David Ross suggested with Kris Bryant leading off.
- Two young players continue to get playing time as Ian Happ has started all three games in CF and though it is at the 9 spot in the order, playing time was our concern with drafting him this year. Nico Hoerner has also started two out of three game over Jason Kipnis, which could make him an intriguing waiver option.
Chicago White Sox
- Luis Robert so far has been locked into the 7th spot in the lineup, slightly capping his upside for fantasy.
- They have not faced any LHPs so I have no update into any platoon splits or being dropped in the order because of such.
- Jesse Winker leading off against RHPs is important to note as this will lead to high upside for runs scored and makes him a good name to keep an eye on.
- While we thought Akiyama would be leading off, 6th (against only RHPs) isn’t as bad of an option while hitting behind guys like Votto, Suarez, Moustakas, and Castellanos–should lead to many RBI opportunities.
- The reports we got in summer camp turned out to be true as Cesar Hernandez has hit leadoff and Francisco Lindor has hit third in all three games.
- Any hype we had for Oscar Mercado must be lowered as he has hit in the lower third in two out of the three games this weekend, capping his counting stat potential.
- The playing time struggles for Garrett Hampson continue, as he only started in one game this weekend, the one with a left-handed starter.
- Sam Hilliard, an intriguing later round option, got two starts in three days–but he will likely fall into a platoon with guys like Matt Kemp and Garrett Hampson.
- It is not Cameron Maybin leading off in this lineup like we thought, it is Niko Goodrum. With his multi-positional eligibility and the at-bats he will get as the leadoff hitter, he is an intriguing name to watch.
- We have yet to see them face a LHP to see if anyone falls into a platoon or drops in the lineup against a LHP.
- The only major note is that even without Yordan Alvarez in the lineup, Kyle Tucker is not getting the playing time. He only started one game at DH this weekend, and the two he sat in were against a left-handed starter.
Kansas City Royals
- Whit Merrifield has hit leadoff each of the first three games, playing both RF and 2B in the process. He should be able to maintain that dual position eligibility for next season if he keeps that up.
- After the surprising trade to the Royals, Franchy Cordero only started one of three games this weekend and hit down in the 7th spot when he got the opportunity. This is not ideal for the breakout we in the fantasy community were hoping for after the move.
- No LHPs pitched against them this weekend, so we have to wait and see if there are any platoon at-bats for anyone in this lineup.
Los Angeles Angels
- One name that we may have been overlooking in drafts was Tommy La Stella, as he gained playing time in all three games in the middle of the Angel lineup, including once against a LHP. When Shoehei Ohtani wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday, it was La Stella who was moved to the 3 spot, which is a huge boost to his value.
- David Fletcher has lead off all three games making him an exciting option for leagues, as hitting in front of Trout, Ohtani and Rendon when he comes back will be huge for his value.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- The Dodgers had two games this weekend against a left-handed starter and two against a right-handed starter.
- One name to keep an eye on is Enrique Hernandez as he played all 4 games at 2B with the surprising option of Gavin Lux. Who knows what will happen when Lux comes back up, but for now his playing time in that lineup should be a boost to his value.
- Any interest that may have come for A.J. Pollock with the addition of the DH had dropped a bit as he only started two out of four games, including being sat once against a LHP.
- Brian Anderson is locked in at the 5 spot, not really affecting his value all too much.
- Without facing any left-handed starters we don’t have any idea yet of potential platoon bats.
- A late round steals option in Jon Berti has started two out of three games, and if this playing time continues he could be worth another look.
- Nothing is crazy notable for the Brewers in their lineup as they faced three straight RHPs this weekend.
- Ryan Braun only played one out of the three games, so either he is still bothered by the injury he suffered in summer camp or he will not be as locked in for playing time at DH as we expected.
- Lorenzo Cain has been hitting either 7th or 8th so far this year, capping his run-scoring upside we may have been looking into during drafts.
- Max Kepler is leading off against RHPs, but also hit 8th against the lone LHP he faced this weekend. I wouldn’t be concerned too much, he is a good player and still can produce counting stats down there.
- Mitch Garver continues to be exciting this year as he hit 6th against a RHP and batted leadoff against the lone lefty. If this trend continues he likely will end up back near the top of the catcher ranks.
- I am a bit concerned that the excitement we had for the batting average potential of Luis Arraez could be a bit too much as he sat against the lone lefty he faced this weekend, making me think he may end up platooned. Nothing is actionable yet but it is something to keep an eye on.
New York Mets
- Yoenis Cespedes seems locked in as the Mets DH, starting all three games this weekend at that position, and hitting in the middle of their lineup. If for some reason he is available make sure he is on your team for the counting stats (for as long as he’s healthy).
- There was some interest in Robinson Cano late in drafts, as he was expected to hit in the middle of the lineup. However, the 3 spot is in fact Pete Alonso, with Cano dropped between 5-7 in the lineup.
- J.D. Davis continues to work his way up the Mets lineup, including hitting 2nd on Saturday. He was one of the most hyped up players in draft season and this continued rise will allow for that hype to be met with the ability to drive in the guys hitting before him.
New York Yankees
- If you were wondering how the Yankees would get Andujar’s bat in the lineup, as of now it seems it would be against LHPs as he started in left field over Brett Gardner on Sunday.
- Aaron Hicks is an interesting name this season, as he started two out of three games and seems to have a spot at 5 or 6 when he is in the lineup in order to split up the right-handed bats.
- Mark Canha started in only two of three games this weekend, though I suspect that was just a day off and nothing more. He is hitting in the middle of the lineup when he plays.
- Khris Davis finds himself back in the middle of the lineup hitting either 4th or 5th in the two games he played this weekend. This is a huge boost to his value hitting behind the talent in Oakland’s lineup.
- It seems as if Roman Quinn won the starting CF job, starting two out of three games this season…but Haseley hit leadoff in his start, giving McCutchen the day off.
- Joe Girardi has flipped the lineup bit, hitting Rhys Hoskins 2nd (giving him nice run opportunities) and batting J.T. Realmuto cleanup.
- After facing no LHPs this weekend we cannot see if certain hitters (Frazier, Moran) will fall into a platoon situation.
- Hitting third in this lineup bodes well for Adam Frazier, (as well as leading off one game to give Kevin Newman some rest). In deeper leagues I would look into him, as he’ll get the opportunity to score while hitting in front of Josh Bell and the chance to drive in guys like Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds.
San Diego Padres
- One name to keep an eye on is Jurickson Profar, who hit fourth in San Diego’s lineup in two out of three games. Those were against a LHP, and if that continues his RBI opportunities would be huge.
- Trent Grisham hit ninth in those two mentioned games against a LHP. However, when there was a RHP on the mound he was moved up to second. If that continues, his value would drastically rise hitting behind someone like Fernando Tatis Jr. and in front of Manny Machado and Tommy Pham.
- Wil Myers has been in the lineup all three games, which was assumed to be the case with the Franchy Cordero trade. This playing time may bode well if he can actually stay on the field, batting in the sixth spot.
San Francisco Giants
- Mike Yazstremski hit leadoff in three out of four games for the Giants this weekend, and should that continue he should be a good run boost.
- Two boring names getting a boost in their lineup spot include Wilmer Flores, who started all four games and hit either 2nd or 3rd–and Hunter Pence, who has claimed the DH job while playing in three out of those four games.
- Kyle Lewis continues to be an exciting option as he is a staple in the middle of this Seattle lineup.
- Evan White has everyday playing time as expected, hitting second or fifth in this lineup, making him an intriguing CI option.
St. Louis Cardinals
- Facing three RHPs in a row, the Cardinals rolled out essentially the same lineup all three days.
- Hitting in the second spot all three games was Tommy Edman, continuing the excitement for him this season as he should get plenty of at-bats and run opportunities there.
- Matt Carpenter has filled in the DH spot all three games and hit fifth in all three as well. If this continues I may buy into a bit of a bounce-back for him assuming everyday playing time and the ability for good counting stats. (Keep an eye out next week if he ends up sitting against LHPs.)
Tampa Bay Rays
- An intriguing name to look into in deeper leagues is Ji-Man Choi, who has hit leadoff against RHPs and should get plenty of run opportunities because of that.
- Yandy Diaz is one of the few players not in a platoon in Tampa and has hit either third or first, making him very intriguing as well.
- Yoshi Tsutsugo is another intriguing name, as he has hit third or fourth in the two games he started this weekend, including one against a LHP.
- Danny Santana has locked himself into the third spot in the lineup, making the excitement some had about him going into the year worth it.
- Coming off an injury, it was a question how much playing time Willie Calhoun would get. He has started two out of three games, including one against a lefty, and though it is near the bottom of the order this is a positive sign for him.
- Nick Solak continues to be an exciting option as he has also started two out of three games, hitting second in the one game against a left-handed pitcher, getting the at-bats we wanted from him late in drafts as well.
- Shin-Soo Choo sat on Sunday against a left-handed starter. Is this just a general day off, or is he entering a platoon? This is something to keep an eye on next week.
Toronto Blue Jays
- With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. bothered by an injury, we have seen a slightly different Blue Jays lineup.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has started two games at 1B and one at DH, trending closer to gaining 1B eligibility.
- Travis Shaw remains an interesting option, as he stays in the middle of this Toronto lineup hitting fourth or fifth, giving him plenty of RBI opportunities.
- With Juan Soto out, this lineup looked different than we would have thought before the season.
- Howie Kendrick has entrenched himself as the DH, starting all three games and hitting cleanup in each, making him a must-own even once Soto comes back.
- The upside of Victor Robles must be capped a bit, as he has hit in the bottom third of the order all three games.
- Any excitement we had for Carter Kieboom is nonexistent as of now, as he sat out two of the three games in favor of Asdrubal Cabrera. If this trend continues, Cabrera should be worth an add, as he has hit between fifth and seventh in each game.