Fantasy Baseball analyst Dalton Del Don highlights some of the most eye-opening performances from Tuesday night’s MLB action.
Marcus Semien has a fantasy day to remember
• Marcus Semien slugged three homers during Tuesday’s doubleheader, becoming just the ninth player in MLB history to record at least seven hits and that many homers in a day. Semien raised his OPS 87 points while also adding two steals during one of the biggest fantasy days ever. After going 43 games without homering with the Rangers, Semien has six home runs over 11 games since. He’s also on pace to more than double his career-high in steals.
• Brandon Drury has racked up three homers and a steal over the last four games, as he continues to be one of this year’s sneakier waiver wire gems. Eligible at 2B, 3B and OF, Drury is up to 11 homers on the season and has quietly been a top-50 fantasy player in 2022. While he may be playing a bit over his head, Drury’s impressive batted-ball profile suggests no steep decline is coming. It also helps that Cincinnati has boosted run-scoring even more than Coors Field so far this season.
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• Mike Trout homered but then left with groin tightness Tuesday during the Angels’ 13th straight loss and first game since Joe Maddon was surprisingly fired. Trout’s 183 wRC + would be the second-highest of his career, but he hasn’t played more than 140 games since 2016. Hopefully, his latest setback isn’t serious, but Jo Adell (17 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues) would benefit should Trout need an IL trip.
• There’s been speculation that a new ball was introduced in mid-May, as the league’s HR / FB% continues to slowly increase.
Young pitchers shine – but star veterans scuffle
• Edward Cabrera had another impressive performance Tuesday and now sports a 0.75 ERA and 0.75 WHIP after two starts (including one in Coors Field). Cabrera has a bright future and flashed a 95-mph changeup Tuesday night but realize he had a 4.6 BB / 9 in Triple-A and has a 4.31 FIP in the majors. Cabrera recorded a lowly 23% CSW at home against the Nationals on Tuesday and gets a much tougher test in Houston next time out, so beware.
• Kyle Wright was fantastic yet again Tuesday, inducing 20 swing-and-misses while throwing a career-high eight innings. He’s benefitted from an easy schedule recently, but there’s nothing fluky or overly lucky about Wright’s 2022, as his 2.75 FIP ranks top-10 among starters.
Wright is a former top-five pick who used to struggle against lefties but has figured it out. Despite going undrafted in almost all fantasy leagues (his ADP was outside 400 in NFBC Main Events), Wright should be considered a top-25 fantasy starter moving forward.
• Michael Kopech bounced back from his worst start of the season by holding a strong Dodgers lineup scoreless over six innings Tuesday. The Dodgers entered with MLB’s third-best wRC +, and Kopech allowed just two base runners. While he’s no doubt been fortunate to have allowed only two home runs (3.0 HR / FB%) and a .189 BABIP (an ERA correction is coming), Kopech has also been quite unlucky to have Tuesday’s win be just his second of the season , as the breakout pitcher now sits with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP on the year.
• Carlos Rodón failed to reach the fifth inning during a home start versus the Rockies on Tuesday. After striking out eight batters or more in five of his first six starts, Rodón has failed to K seven batters in any of his last five starts. He also did not allow one home run over those first six starts and has since served up four of them. His velocity does not appear to be a major issue, but Rodón has struggled to put hitters away, as the Rockies had the most foul balls over the first four innings Tuesday of any game in years. He’ll look to bounce back in a tough matchup with the Dodgers next time out.
• Josh Hader remarkably had not allowed a run since July but served up two homers during a loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night. His velocity was good and he still sports a 0.96 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP this season, so Hader will be just fine, although he’s still searching for his first save during June.
• Aroldis Chapman is almost certainly looking at a new role when he returns to New York’s pen, as Clay Holmes appears to be the Yankees’ new closer.