Welcome to the daily Monday through Friday article where we discuss all things lineups playing time, platoons, and production trends.
Reminder: The full team-by-team daily lineup notes will be exclusively on the Patreon. We offer a lot of exclusive content over there so feel free to check that out.
We have an in-season lineup tracking tool that is unique and not something that can be found anywhere else. Make sure to check it out. Thrown together for us over at SK Playbook by Jon Anderson who you can follow on Twitter here. He offers all kinds of fantasy baseball tools, data, and info.
I had to call an audible here. I decided the only way for this section to remain relevant daily is better to break down a full team’s lineup trends instead of picking separate individual trends. This article is a new concept so of course, there are growing pains. Let’s get to it.
- Kolten Wong leads off vs RHP and moves down to 7th against LHP. Off to a slow start batting .191 but at least has a steal. The plate discipline is uncharacteristic as of now. He is barely walking (2.0%) and striking out a little more than his typical rate (22.0%).
- Andrew McCutchen bats top 4 in every game and leads off against LHP. The power has not shown up but he is hitting .250 and stolen two bases. If he is going to play everyday and run that will be huge for the potential return on draft day investment.
- Lorenzo Cain and Tyrone Taylor are alternating games and each are starting every other game. Neither of them are performing all that well either.
- Willy Adames batting 2nd every start. Another slow starter on this team but the part that stands out is the 30.9% strikeout rate. Early on the groundball rate is up near 50% and that is a big dip in GB% compared to last season. What is encouraging is that the contact rates are up from last year with less swing-and-miss than last season also. The strikeouts should improve.
- Rowdy Tellez has only started against one LHP. He bats 5th on average and if he keeps hitting well he could begin to earn playing time against LHP. Tellez has three home runs, eight RBI and hitting .270/.325/.595.
- Keston Hiura is performing decent but there is room for improvement. The wRC+ of 112 is solid but he is striking out 38.1% and hitting just .222. He does have a stolen base and home run so he is giving us what we like from a fantasy side of things. However, the inconsistent playing time and being on a weak side of a platoon leaves us only able to utilize him in daily formats or if they have a lefty heavy schedule in a week.
- Jace Peterson and Mike Brosseau are platooning at third base. Not a whole lot here for anyone outside of deep mixed leagues or NL-Only. Peterson on the strong side of the platoon has more appeal for those in a pinch.
We’re Going Streaking
Now that we finally are getting samples it is time to focus on seven-to-fourteen day windows to try and capture hot and cold streaks as they are occurring or about to occur.
Manny Machado, 3B, San Diego Padres
Studs gonna stud. Machado is stealing bases, hitting home runs, and overall just having a great start. He is doing so while the rest of the team around him has not been all that great. Three home runs and three stolen bases and hitting .358/.433/.623. Enjoy the ride.
Oscar Mercado, OF, Cleveland Guardians
There appears to just be a full-on approach change. He is hitting more fly balls, pulling the ball more but it is hindering the batting average. He appears to be selling out for power.
Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants
Sitting at the bottom of the lineup, Bart started hot but it has quickly turned cold over the last week. Over his last four games the strikeouts have compiled and are up to 63.6% strikeout rate and it is causing issues with the batting average. However, he is still stealing bases – has two over this period. This is interesting and if he is going to run it might be worth stomaching the bad batting average if you can.
On The Peripheral
Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners
Over the last week, Toro has now started four straight and has hit .333/.429/.750 with one home run. Toro is finding his way into the lineup daily and as long as he hits he should play. The elite plate discipline over this stretch (14.3% walk rate and 7.1% strikeout rate) will help sustain the high floor in production he should be able to bring fantasy managers.
Notable Injuries and Lineup Fallout
We will break down the most notable injuries from the day prior and discuss those who gain from the increased opportunity.
Josh Bell (knee) is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Thursday after exiting Wednesday’s game against the Diamondbacks with left knee tightness.
This team does not have an obvious fill-in here. We could possibly see Maikel Franco move to first base and shift things around to get Lucius Fox in at third base. That is a guess. Riley Adams might fill in the first baseman. It is something to watch with little fantasy fallout outside of NL-Only formats. Although if Fox does get to start more regularly there is stolen base upside.
George Springer left after being hit by pitch in the forearm.
With Raimel Tapia already locked into a starting spot with Teoscar Hernadnez out, Bradley Zimmer should be who gains any playing time that arises from this.
Just a final section of added tidbits I want to throw in about anything I think is interesting or of note.
Logan Gilbert, SP, Seattle Mariners
Gilbert has just been so safe with a high floor. The strikeouts we thought could come have not yet but he lacks walks (1.6%) and even without striking out a hitter per inning he is still managing a 23.4% K-BB%. This is league average. The O-Swing% is above average at 33.3% while the SwStr% is 11.5% which is league average. This is good enough to believe he could slightly increase the strikeouts. What is hindering the strikeouts slightly is contact rate. He is allowing an above average 77.6% contact rate. However, the type of contact is what is working in his favor. He is allowing 71.2% O-Contact%. This is 10 points above league average and likely what has helped limit barrels to this point – just one barrel against him through three start. Ultimately, there is a high floor forming here and that will be just fine given how pitching has been for many fantasy managers out there.
We hope you enjoy this new daily concept. If you have questions please follow and reach out on Twitter. You can reach me @Mike_Kurland.
If you want a daily write up of the lineup trends in a team-by-team format, a weekly schedule trends chart, a position eligibility watch chart, and more check us out on Patreon. We offer a few options but the $3 Tier is where you can gain access to all this. Hope to see you there