Fantasy Baseball NL Player Updates: Rendon goes Ruth at Citi Field

Anthony Rendon (WAS) – On Sunday, we witnessed the most impressive offensive display by a single player in over 100 years. Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6 with 3 home runs, 10 RBIs, 5 runs, and a double in a win against the Mets. He raised his slash line from .226/.316/.250 to an actually respectable .278/.356/.411. It was a historic day, but that type of change also shows you the danger of analyzing your players off small samples – even a sample as large as a month. Rendon was frustrating a lot of callers on our XM show over the last two weeks. Some people even called because they considered dropping him. He’s obviously not getting dropped now, and I do believe he will bounceback from his early season struggles. Sit tight on your struggling players, don’t make rash decisions and trust your pre-draft analysis. There’s still plenty of time.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) – It’s a Clayton Kershaw day in the DFS world! That means you get to spend lots of money with thousands of your closest friends and then build an offensive lineup chock full of mediocrity. So that begs the question, is Clayton Kershaw a must play every time he takes the mound? The answer, in my view, is complicated. It’s largely dependent on each day’s slate because the opportunity cost of rostering Kershaw is always changing. For Monday, it’s going to be difficult to fade Kershaw because we lack a must-own offense. Additionally, without a game in Colorado, there’s very little price inflation across the industry, reducing the appeal of saving a lot of money at the starting pitcher position. Kershaw’s matchup against the Giants seems to make a lot of sense to exploit. Kershaw gets to pitch at home and he’s facing a Giants lineup that has the 3rd lowest wRC+ against LHP this season (68). He’s $12,600 on Fanduel, so it’s going to take sacrifices to fit him in your lineups, but he’s worth it in cash games.






Vincent Velasquez (PHI) – If you’re looking for a tournament target on Monday’s DFS slate, Vincent Velasquez is a boom-or-bust option at a mid-tier price. He faces the Cubs in Chicago, which should be enough to keep the ownership down, and the Cubs have been surprisingly average against right-handed pitching this season, posting a 95 wRC+. Unfortunately, the wind is currently being forecasted to be blowing out in centerfield at 20 MPH sustained. That’s a dangerous recipe, but the cold temperatures (48 MPH) could offset some of that wind impact. I wouldn’t touch Velasquez in cash games, but he’s definitely in play in GPPs.

Matt Wieters (WAS) – Matt Wieters hit two homeruns and knocked in 4 runs as he played second fiddle to teammate Anthony Rendon on Sunday. Wieters quietly put together a really strong April with his new ballclub. He finishes the month with 4 homeruns, 12 RBI and a batting line of .301/.400/.534. Most appealing about his start is the substantial improvement to his batting EYE. With a career mark of .44, Wieters is currently sitting at .69. It seems that he’s locked in and has a better feel for the strikezone, which also might explain his 3% jump in contact rate and 7% drop in his chase rate. He looks like the real deal and is certainly a player to target if the owner in your league is trying to “sell high”.

Andrew Toles (LAD) – Andrew Toles hit his 5th homerun of the season and now has a HR/FB rate of 22%. With a hard hit rate of 23% and a pull rate of just 32%, there’s very little here to suggest he can maintain his HR/FB rate. On the flip side, his 85% contact rate and 15% strikeout rate point towards upside in his current .224 batting average. Depending on your team needs, Toles can still be a quality contributor, but with the Dodgers outfield getting crowded at the end of the week (Pederson returns, Bellinger hitting well), Toles may be a perfect sell-high option right now.

Written by Michael Waldo @michaelwaldo: Co-Host on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. I play with numbers for a living and @Fantistics. Firm believer that the harder you work, the luckier you get.

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