Fantasy Baseball NL Player Analysis: April 30th, 2017

Jason Heyward (CHC) – Jason Heyward continued his hot-hitting by knocking a single in Saturday’s game. Heyward has hit safely in all but 3 games this season and has a respectable .278/.345/.418 slash line in what’s lining up to be a bounce back season in 2017. Heyward has maintained his strong batting approach with a 7% walk rate and 17% strikeout rate. On almost identical hard hit rate and batted ball profiles, Heyward has a BABIP that’s over 50 points higher than in 2016. His current rate of .311 is much more in line with his career .302 mark than his .266 posting last season. Knowing that his other indicator stats remain largely unchanged, that says that this season’s “breakout” is more about regression back the mean than a meaningful adjustment at the plate.

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) – The mixed bag of results continued for Stephen Strasburg on Saturday when he went 7 innings, allowing 3 earned runs, 0 walks and just 2 strikeouts. On the season, Strasburg now has a respectable 3.09 ERA with a 3.24 xFIP. He’s also currently sitting with a career low 26.1% strikeout rate and is exactly at his career walk rate of 6.3%. Strasburg has been a model of consistency with an 11% swinging strike rate for his 7th straight season, but he has never taken the step up to the next level (i.e. undisputed ace of the staff) largely due to availability. He has thrown for over 200 innings in just one of his 8 seasons and hasn’t reached 150 innings in either of the last 2 years. Given his extensive injury history, he’s a great trade candidate while he is healthy with a respectable stat line.





Freddie Freeman (ATL) – Freddie Freeman has been on a tear to start the season and with a favorable park shift to Milwaukee on Sunday, he seems to be one of the top plays in DFS for the day. Freeman had another strong night on Saturday, notching a couple of hits, a couple of runs, an RBI and a stolen base. Priced $100 less than fellow top first baseman, Eric Thames, Freeman has a great matchup against the homerun prone Matt Garza. Freeman has historically posted a .389 wOBA against RHP, which is about 50 points higher than against southpaws. Conversely, Matt Garza posted a wOBA that was nearly 40 points higher against left-handed batters than right-handed hitters last season. Freeman is a great building block for an Atlanta stack, or simply as an anchor in your cash game lineups.

Ian Desmond (COL) – Ian Desmond hit 4 doubles in 7 at-bats in extended spring training on Saturday and as of Saturday night, it seems likely that he will be activated from the disabled list and join the big league club for Sunday’s game. However, Rockies beat writer Patrick Saunders is reporting that he will likely make his debut in left field, not at first base where the team originally signed him to play. With the injury to David Dahl and Mark Reynolds hot hitting, getting Desmond’s right-handed bat in the lineup against the left-handed Patrick Corbin makes sense. He’s $3,100 on Fanduel.

Shelby Miller (AZ) – Shelby Miller opted to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament. With a typical recovery ranging between 12-18 months, his surgical timeline will put his entire 2018 season at risk. Since being traded to the Diamondbacks in the winter before the 2016 season, Miller has been unable to return to the form he flashed with the Cardinals and Braves. Miller will still be just 28 years old when he returns to the mound, meaning he will still have plenty of potentially productive years ahead of him. Nonetheless, this will probably the last time we write about Shelby Miller for a very long time.

Written by Michael Waldo @michaelwaldo:  Co-Host on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. 


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