Blue Jays move to Buffalo
The Blue Jays started calling home to a new park in Buffalo on Tuesday night, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. responded by going 4-for-4 with his MLB-leading 17th homer. Guerrero was hitting .410/.521/.897 in Florida, which was playing like Coors Field. Vlad is going to rake anywhere (as Tuesday night showed), but the team’s new home park in Buffalo projects to be not quite the hitter paradise the Blue Jays benefitted from over the first two months of the season. Of course, that conversely helps their pitchers like Robbie Ray (who was dominant in Tuesday’s win), Steven Matz and budding superstar Alek Manoah.
Injuries continue to hit
While Jack Flaherty landed on the IL with an oblique injury, Fernando Tatis Jr. left Tuesday's game against the Cubs with an oblique injury. Stephen Strasburg also departed after his velocity was noticeably down. Tatis has somehow been the No. 1 fantasy player this season despite two separate trips to the IL, so his loss would obviously be devastating, but his exit does seem precautionary at this point. Flaherty suffered a tear that’s going to cost him some time. Strasburg, meanwhile, simply hasn’t looked like himself all season. It would be an upset if we see him again in 2021 at this point. Injuries continue to hit harder than ever over the first two months of the season.
Andrew Benintendi smacks grand slam
After a slow start with his new team in Kansas City, Benintendi hit .340 in May and is up to six homers and six steals on the year after a five-RBI game Tuesday night. The Royals have the second-most steals in baseball, so he should continue to have the green light, and he’s recently been hitting third in the lineup. The former top-10 pick isn’t going to reach the lofty expectations he once had as one of baseball’s best prospects, but Benintendi is settling in as a real nice fantasy asset in Kansas City. Fenway Park is perennially one of the toughest places on lefty power, while Kauffman Stadium has been the better hitter’s park this year. Benintendi’s HR Tuesday night was his first at home this season.
Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers (22% rostered)
He went hitless Tuesday but entered the night batting .324/.410/.559 over his first 10 games with the Brewers. Adames no longer has playing time concerns with Wander Franco breathing down his neck in Tampa Bay, and he’s an intriguing hitter just entering his prime who has a career .865 OPS on the road (.616 career OPS at Tropicana Field). He’s always had trouble seeing at the Trop, which Statcast also has as this season’s most extreme pitcher’s park. A real breakout could be in store freed from such a tough environment now after the trade. Adames is batting second for the Brewers against lefties, and there’s power potential here. I made a point of grabbing him during my second chance draft last week.
Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies (13% rostered)
Outfield has become one of the tougher positions to fill, and Herrera is likely to get scooped up in many leagues after hitting two homers Tuesday night (when the team hit a franchise-record seven long balls). He’s been moved to leadoff recently and is even eligible at 2B in Yahoo leagues. Herrera is hitting .276, which is the same as his career mark and real helpful in a time the league-wide batting average is a historically low .236. The Phillies are among the league leaders in steals, and Herrera looks locked in the center field role with Roman Quinn rupturing his Achilles. Philadelphia is one of the most favorable parks in boosting homers for lefties, and Herrera is worth grabbing in deeper fantasy leagues.
Paul Fry, Baltimore Orioles (5% rostered)
Cesar Valdez gave up a homer while pitching the eighth Tuesday (he worked in the seventh inning during his last appearance), and his ERA is now up to 5.03 with a 1.58 WHIP. Cole Sulser got the save Tuesday night, but that was likely because Fry had thrown the last two games. It’s possible Baltimore employs a committee to close moving forward, but Fry looks like the clear best option right now and is worth adding for those searching for saves. Fry has a 1.22 FIP, ranks top-20 in CSW among relievers and is in the top 2% of the league in K% and expected ERA.