It seems like every night we talk about Shohei Ohtani on the podcast, but how can’t we? He just hit his league-leading 13th home run and, oh, he throws 100 mph, too. I feel like the term “unicorn” is thrown around too often in sports but if there ever was one, it’s Ohtani. You can read more about him below.
We also focused on hitters who have improved in May, as an extension of Chris’ article he wrote on Monday. A few names I noticed making adjustments include Randy Arozarena, Joey Gallo, Cavan Biggio, Max Muncy and Eugenio Suarez. I would be interested in buying each of them to an extent, but let’s focus on Suarez. He has nine hits over his last eight games including three home runs, plus the strikeouts are way down this month. He’s striking out just 25% of the time in May compared to 38% in April. We know what Suarez is capable of in the warm weather and a hitter’s haven like Great American Ball Park. If you’re in need of pop from the shortstop or third base position, Suarez is your guy.
Is Ohtani the 2021 Fantasy MVP so far?
Angels DH/SP Shohei Ohtani has been nothing short of dominant as both a hitter and pitcher this season and that trend continued on Monday. Ohtani hit his league-leading 13th home run and it was a mammoth three-run shot in a game the Angles ultimately won by three runs. This came just one day after Ohtani’s go-ahead two-run homer gave the Angels the lead in a game they would ultimately win 6-5 on Sunday to avoid being swept by the Red Sox. Ohtani is not only making a case for Fantasy MVP but also for reality MVP.
On Monday, Ohtani took an eye-level pitch on the outer half of the plate and pulled it 420-plus feet for the home run. We’re seeing the best-case scenario right now for Ohtani, and yet despite that, Scott doesn’t think you should consider selling on him. In fact, if we could redraft the entire season, Scott has him as a locked in second-round draft pick and someone who belongs squarely in the discussion as Fantasy’s MVP.
Ohtani has a .931 OPS with six stolen bases and he’s contributing across the board in all categories except for batting average — and even there the batted ball data suggests he has gotten a bit unlucky. Chris is ready to make the case for Ohtani as the Fantasy MVP (with John Means as a potential runner-up based on draft value).
More news and notes
- Angels OF Mike Trout left Monday night’s game with a right calf strain. He’s no stranger to injury, averaging 33 games missed per season from 2017-19. It feels like this injury will require an IL stint. So what does that mean for an Angels roster with talented prospects in the OF currently playing in the minors? I still don’t think we see Jo Adell or Brandon Marsh if Trout misses time. Adell has a 40% K rate at Triple-A. Marsh has eight strikeouts in five games. This could hold them back from getting the call up depending on the severity of Trout’s injury.
- Braves SP Huascar Ynoa fractured his right hand punching a dugout bench and will miss two months. Tucker Davidson, a top-10 prospect in the Braves organization, was recalled. He’s got a 2.78 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP in 395.1 minor league innings.
- Does today end in a y? Then that means Yankees DH Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with an injury. Stanton was placed on the IL with a left quad strain, retroactive to May 14.
- Royals SP Danny Duffy was placed on the IL with a left forearm flexor strain. Kris Bubic will replace Duffy in the rotation.
- Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg will throw a 55-pitch extended bullpen Tuesday and if he responds well, he could start Friday against the Orioles.
- Twins OF Alex Kirilloff hit off a pitching machine Monday as he recovers from a wrist sprain
- Both Mets OF Michael Conforto and 2B Jeff McNeil were placed on the IL with hamstring strains. Outfield prospects Khalil Lee and Johneshwy Fargas were both recalled. Lee is a former third-round pick who hit .264 with eight homers and 53 steals in the minors in 2019. He was not in the starting lineup Monday.
- More Mets news! OF Kevin Pillar left Monday’s game after being hit in his face by a pitch.
- Even more Mets news! SP Noah Syndergaard will make his first rehab appearance with Low-A St. Lucie on Wednesday as he recovers from last year’s Tommy John surgery. An early-mid June debut remains realistic.
- And wait, there’s even more Mets news: SP Taijuan Walker was removed Monday after three scoreless innings due to left side tightness.
- Astros SP Framber Valdez allowed five runs (only one earned) over three innings in his first rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land on Monday. He finished with 47 pitches.
- Blue Jays RP Rafael Dolis is expected to return Tuesday. Who gets their next save: Jordan Romano or Dolis?
- White Sox 1B Jose Abreu will miss the series against the Twins with left ankle inflammation but is expected to return Friday.
- Rockies 1B C.J. Cron will be activated off the IL Tuesday.
- Padres 1B Eric Hosmer is expected back from the COVID IL on Wednesday.
- Twins SP Kenta Maeda, who is dealing with a groin, will throw Tuesday as the Twins try to determine if he’ll be able to make his next scheduled start against Cleveland on Friday.
- Dodgers RP David Price was activated for the Dodgers. Albert Pujols batted cleanup and started at first base in his first game with the team.
- Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon sat for the third straight game Monday with a sore groin, though he was close to starting apparently.
- Rangers OF Willie Calhoun played his 10th game in the outfield, giving him eligibility there in leagues with a 10-game requirement.
- Braves SP Mike Soroka’s Achilles procedure went well, but apparently Brian Snitker hinted that Soroka will not be back this season.
- Yankees SP Gerrit Cole wasn’t his usual self on Monday, allowing five earned runs over five innings, but he set an MLB record with 61 straight strikeouts without a walk within a single season. He’s been everything you wanted and then some.
Is it finally time to move Garcia up the rankings?
Rangers OF Adolis Garcia is quickly becoming one of the best waiver wire adds in Fantasy. On Monday, he went 2 for 4 with a home run and a stolen base. His stolen base was of home — a bit fluky — but that gives him four on the season. More importantly, he’s now up to 11 home runs on just 135 at-bats. Garcia is now batting .296 with a .933 OPS. He’s the OF16 in Fantasy points per game and OF9 in Roto.
So, buy or sell Garcia as a top-30 OF rest of season? This one gets a “sell” from Scott, who thinks his plate discipline will catch up to him and that there’s a reason he’s been buried in the minors for so long. Although he sees a solid power/speed combination here, Scott doesn’t have him in his top 40 outfielders over the rest of the season. I’m taking the opposite approach and getting him inside my top 40 OF rankings because it does seem like he has made some strides toward improving his approach.
Buy or sell
- Reds OF Tyler Naquin (66% rostered) collected two more hits, including his ninth homer of the season. He’s now batting .265 with a .884 OPS. Does Naquin needs to be rostered in all three-OF formats? This one gets a SELL from Scott.
- Twins 3B Josh Donaldson went 1 for 3 with his fifth homer on Monday. He’s now batting .274 with a .313 xBA and a .591 xSLG. Is Donaldson is a top-15 3B? This one gets a SELL from Chris. I’m going against Chris on this one and BUYING.
- Reds SP Sonny Gray has completed six innings just once in six tries and now has a 3.86 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Is Sonny Gray is overrated? Scott is BUYING him as overrated and doesn’t view him as a top-40 SP. Chris is on the other side of this one.
- White Sox DH Yermin Mercedes went 3 for 6 with his sixth homer and three RBI on Monday. We haven’t said his name in a while and that’s because The Yerminator was only batting .244 in May thanks to an increase in strikeouts and a 15% infield fly ball rate (after he didn’t have any in April). Can you drop Mercedes in shallower leagues? This one gets a SELL unless you’re in a very shallow league.
- Giants SP Logan Webb pitched six shutout innings with four strikeouts against the Reds on the road Monday and he has now delivered quality starts in four of his last five. He’s just 31% rostered. Does Webb need to be added in 12-team leagues? This one gets another SELL.
- Rays SP Luis Patino at BAL
- Cardinals SP John Gant vs. PIT
- Pirates SP JT Brubaker at STL
- Angels SP Andrew Heaney vs. CLE
- Mariners SP Justin Dunn vs. DET
- Tigers SP Spencer Turnbull at SEA