Welcome to the MLB Stock Report! This will be a weekly piece in which I break down players whose stocks are rising and players whose stocks are falling based on performances from the previous week.
Check back every Monday for the latest report, geared towards helping you in your FanDuel MLB lineups. Here's a look at the happenings from the week of August 3th to August 9th.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates – Remember that early season slump from Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates offense? That is now a distant memory, as the Pirates are playing great baseball and are fresh off a weekend sweep of the first-place Dodgers. They are on the heels of the Cardinals in the NL Central and have a big series coming up at Busch Stadium this week. McCutchen has been a key cog in the recent surge, hitting .563 with an OBP of .652 over the last week. His nine hits include a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs. Needless to say, he is back in MVP form.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners – Of course, some of Cruz’s recent numbers have been inflated by a series at Coors Field, but the stats are good nonetheless. Imagine how many home runs he could hit if he played for the Rockies. Cruz has gone 11-for-24 over the past week with four home runs to his name. He’s also walked five times, giving him a rock-solid OBP of .552 during that span. He remains an elite daily fantasy target against left-handed pitching, but he has also hit right-handers relatively well this season.
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals – Washington’s offense is finally starting to get healthy, and it’s going to show in their team stats over the last eight weeks of the season. Zimmerman cracked a pair of home runs on Sunday and should see plenty of RBI chances hitting behind one of the best hitters in the league in Bryce Harper. If he is healthy, he could be a surprising source of power, too. Take advantage of him in the daily contests while his price is still a bargain, because it’s bound to rise soon.
Chris Bassitt, SP, Oakland Athletics – Like many others, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to fall with Chris Bassitt. After all, he was merely a “fill-in” starter for a while. That shoe has not fallen. In fact, Bassitt is staking his claim as the second best pitcher on the team behind Sonny Gray. He was dominant in two outings this past week, compiling a pair of wins while allowing just one earned run in 13 2/3 total innings. He also had a surprising 17 strikeouts in those contests, and he remains fairly priced on FanDuel. Perhaps it is time to buy in!
Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians – The Cy Young Kluber is back in town. Kluber pitched a complete game gem against the Twins on Sunday in almost effortless fashion, allowing a lone run (with two outs in the ninth inning) while striking out 10 and walking one. His complete game took him just 100 pitches, which is a remarkable total for a pitcher that accumulates double digit strikeouts. Don’t be fooled by his 7-12 win-loss record, as Kluber remains one of the top five pitchers in the American League.
Delino DeShields Jr., OF, Texas Rangers – It will be interesting to see what Texas does with their lineups over the final month and a half of the season, but they have let DeShields stay in the leadoff spot despite his recent struggles. He’s hitting just .160 over the last week with 11 strikeouts, and it’s possible that he was playing well over his head in June and July. A demotion in the batting order could be coming soon, and that will destroy what little fantasy value he still has.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds – The Reds have yet to top four runs in a game this month, so it comes as no surprise that a few of their big bats are ice cold. It starts with the notoriously streaky Jay Bruce, who may be packing it in after almost getting shipped out of town at the trade deadline. He is on a 2-for-25 streak with one walk and a hefty 10 strikeouts over Cincinnati’s last six games. A hot streak is probably coming at some point, but it likely won’t start with a road series in San Diego on the horizon.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds – Perhaps the Home Run Derby curse is real and it really does impact a player’s swing? I am not fully ready to buy into that theory, but finalists Todd Frazier and Joc Pederson have both been a disaster since the All-Star game. Like his teammate Bruce, Frazier has been struggling over the past six games, going just 2-for-23 with no walks and eight strikeouts in that span. What’s even more alarming is that Joey Votto has a .481 OBP over this stretch, so teams are purposely pitching around Votto to get to the cold hitters behind him.
Ervin Santana, SP, Minnesota Twins – This was a dreadful week for the Minnesota Twins. They went 1-6 as a team and allowed a whopping 60 runs in seven games. That comes out to 8.57 runs allowed per game! They finished the week by allowing 8+ runs in five straight contests, including the one game that they managed to win. As a result of this remarkable feat, two Twins starters will occupy spots in the “stock falling” section this week. Ervin Santana is probably the biggest surprise of the two, as he had been pitching well since his return from suspension. In his two outings last week, he garnered a .410 opponents’ batting average while allowing 11 runs and 16 hits in just 8 1/3 innings. Yikes.
Phil Hughes, SP, Minnesota Twins – See Santana, Ervin. The stats for Hughes weren’t any better. They come out to a .368 opponents’ batting average, as he allowed 10 runs and 14 hits in just 8 2/3 innings. Double yikes. As the weather has warmed up, the Twins pitchers have gone ice cold. They return home this week to face a dangerous Texas offense and the same Cleveland team that knocked them around last weekend. Needless to say, don’t target any of these arms right now in your daily games!