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Fantasy Baseball Players To Watch For The Week Ahead (June 10 - June 16)

Dansby Swanson - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

We're through another week of baseball, so rejoice in those victories and lament those losses for a moment; learn from what was successful and from what did not work, then let's get prepared for the week ahead. There are lots of articles out there outlining waiver wire adds, two-start pitchers, players to stash, and more, but this one aims to isolate certain players that I'm watching, for one reason or another, to help you get ready for the week ahead.

For those keeping track of some of last week's topics, Corey Seager's hit streak finally came to an end and Alex Bregman stayed hot (although banged up as well), while Bryan Woo and Tanner Houck both pitched well this past week as we envisioned.

Taking a look ahead to this week's action, we'll touch on some intriguing hitters below, both for DFS and season-long leagues. There are also some enticing pitching matchups this week, MLB debuts, pitchers about to return from injury, and more. I've got my eye on these guys, and perhaps you should too.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Players to Watch: Hitters

Fernando Tatis Jr.

What I'm watching: Hit streak

After a 1-for-4 day on Sunday, Fernando Tatis Jr. extended his hitting streak to 15 games. During this stretch, the 25-year-old is 25-for-61 (.410) with four doubles, four HR, eight RBI, 11 runs scored, and a stolen base. The two-time Silver Slugger award-winner now has a .282-11-33-44-7 line with a .359 wOBA and 139 wRC+. The seven stolen bases in 299 PA are a bit of a disappointment this season (.023 SB/PA) after swiping 29 bags last season in 635 PA (.046 SB/PA). Still, it's hard to complain about the overall production. He'll look to keep it going against some unfamiliar faces in Oakland to start the week.

Dansby Swanson

What I'm watching: Does he keep rolling this week?

Dansby Swanson doesn't typically hit for a high average, showcased by his .251 career BA, but he got off to an even rougher start this season than normal then went on the IL for two weeks. When the 30-year-old came back on 5/21, he went 6-for-32 with one extra-base hit over the next nine games, but I mentioned in my Breakout Watch article on May 31 that he was due for a rebound based on his actual SLG versus his xSLG. That day, Swanson went 1-for-4 with a double, and from that day on he's gone 11-for-34 (.324) including five doubles and two home runs.

If you see in the table below in the "Key Matchups: Hitters" section, he's got a couple of good matchups based on prior history (Zach Eflin and Kyle Gibson) which should help him keep rolling this week. Fantasy managers in redraft leagues who might have given up on him, or at least moved him to the bench, should have confidence in plugging him in there again, while he'd also be a solid DFS pick this week.

Adael Amador / Tyler Locklear / Spencer Horwitz / Joey Loperfido

What I'm watching: How do they fare in their first action?

It was a busy week for prospect call-ups, with some getting a second chance (Spencer Horwitz, Joey Loperfido) and others making their big league debuts (Adael Amador, Tyler Locklear). It will be interesting to see how they fare in the coming week as they all have somewhat different skillsets to offer. Amador already picked up a stolen base in his debut (5% rostered), Locklear doubled in his debut (2% rostered), Horwitz walked twice in eight plate appearances after posting a 17.0% BB% at Triple-A this year (2% rostered), and Loperfido hit .333 in his first go-round earlier this season.

 

Key Matchups: Hitters

These hitters caught my eye when looking over batter vs. pitcher matchups, and I kept rolling with the table format below as it seemed easier on the eyes. Most of these guys are already rostered in a majority of leagues, so you aren't running out to snag them off the waiver wire, but they could be targets for your DFS lineups. While sometimes there isn't enough matchup history worth looking at, there is frequency with these, and with frequency comes familiarity. These pitchers likely don't have any more tricks up their sleeves versus these batters.

 

Players to Watch: Starting Pitchers

Garrett Crochet

What I'm watching: Two possible starts, one against Seattle

After a rough three-game stretch in mid-to-late April, Garrett Crochet has gone 5-1 since April 29, a span of seven starts and 40 IP. The former first-round draft pick allowed two earned runs or less in each of those starts, and one or less in five of them while posting a 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and an elite 30.5% K-BB%. His 93 K on the season ranks fourth-best, and he'll get to face Seattle his next time out, the team with the most strikeouts in the majors this season, so we'll see if he can keep it going. His other start could come against a more formidable Diamondbacks lineup, who also hits lefties well.

Drew Thorpe

What I'm watching: MLB Debut

Drew Thorpe was drafted in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft but was pitching so well in Double-A this season that the White Sox have decided he'll make his MLB Debut this Tuesday, skipping over Triple-A altogether. So far in 2024, the righty has a 7-1 record with a 1.35 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and a solid 17.4% K-BB% in 11 starts (60.0 IP). If Thorpe goes on Tuesday, then the aforementioned Crochet would get pushed back and may not make a second start this week. Thorpe might not have been able to ask for a better opponent as he gets to face the strike-out-happy Mariners in his debut.

Max Meyer / Max Scherzer/ Gerrit Cole / Zac Gallen

What I'm watching: Anxiously awaiting their return

This was originally going to just be a blurb about Max Meyer, but I'd be remiss if I ignored these other big horses. Us fantasy managers need reinforcements ASAP and these guys will be back soon. You know them, though. So I have to remind you that Max Meyer pitched well in his three-game stint in the majors to begin the year, going 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 14 K in 17 IP. He may once again be limited when he is recalled, but should be stashed where possible as he's more of a proven commodity than the likes of Cade Povich and Hurston Waldrep, both of whom were hot waiver adds recently.

 

Players to Watch: Relief Pitchers

Jose Alvarado

What I'm watching: How will he bounce back after a blown save?

Jose Alvarado had a poor start to 2024 when he gave up five earned runs in his first appearance, but has been superb ever since... until Sunday when he allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks (he also struck out two batters). The lefty has 11 saves on the season and should have earned a long leash by now since he's been very effective, but the Phillies do have another option in the 'pen that has been even more effective: Jeff Hoffman.

The righty has five saves of his own this season along with a 0.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and an 8:36 BB:K. Hoffman should be rostered in most 12-team leagues but would become an even more valuable RP if the 1A/1B roles were to become reversed.



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