Welcome to the MLB Stock Report! This will be a weekly piece where 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 contests. Here's a look at the happenings from the week of April 13-19.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, Cincinnati Reds – DeSclafani is somewhat of an unheralded pitching prospect for the Reds, and I’ve gotten the chance to watch him pitch a few times already this season. I came away impressed with his command and his ability to attack hitters despite not having elite stuff. He is not going to beat himself and he is not going to walk a lot of batters. His 1.38 ERA is obviously not sustainable, but his peripherals are solid with just 2 BB/9 and 7.62 K/9 through his first two starts. He’s a solid option as long as his price remains relatively cheap on FanDuel.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs – The next Hall of Famer has arrived, and everybody knows about it. Bryant obviously pressed in his debut, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, but it was understandable as the home crowd was giving him a standing ovation each time he stepped up to the plate. He followed that contest with a pair of solid games, and the Cubs are committed to hitting him cleanup despite his youth. With a budding offense around him, Bryant should immediately become an RBI machine at the big league level.
Shane Greene, SP, Detroit Tigers – In terms of pure surface statistics, Shane Greene has been the best pitcher in baseball to this point. Through three starts, he is 3-0 with a miniscule 0.39 ERA. He’s always been a decent prospect, and his ability to pound sinkers should induce a lot of ground balls. His strikeout rate throughout his minor league career has always been solid as well, and he should be able to improve on his current 4.30 K/9 this season. Regardless of how he’s doing it, he’s getting outs. He is quickly turning into a solid #2 starter behind David Price.
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles – The Baltimore outfielder is clearly locked in at the dish right now, as he sports some ridiculous numbers that include a .457 batting average and 16 RBIs in just 12 games. While he tends to do most of his damage against left-handed pitching, he’s hitting against pretty much everyone right now. Ride the wave while he’s hot.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners – There was much discussion about the four-year deal the Mariners gave Cruz in the offseason, but certainly nobody is complaining right now. Cruz is another player who tends to destroy southpaw hurlers, and he has done some damage of late with eight home runs over Seattle’s last eight contests. That’s some kind of power surge. His stock is definitely on the rise this week.
Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox – His home run on opening day had folks abuzz about a potential 30/30 season from the Boston leadoff man, but we need to pump the brakes a little bit on Mookie Betts. His average currently sits at .191, and he has an alarmingly high 21.2 strikeout percentage so far on the year. He should improve, especially given the overall strength of the Boston bats, but his public name value probably has him a bit over-rated at this time.
Kyle Lohse, SP, Milwaukee Brewers – To put it simply, you should not be playing Kyle Lohse on any FanDuel rosters these days. Through three starts, his numbers are some of the worst that you will ever see. He is 0-3 with a mammoth ERA of 10.34, and he is striking out just 5.7 batters per nine innings. He’s also allowing a plethora of home runs, which is not good in a home park that tends to be hitter-friendly once summer hits. The Brewers are a mess right now, and avoiding the whole team is probably a wise decision - they currently sit at 2-10.
Chris Carter, 1B, Houston Astros – Chris Carter has always been known as a boom-or-bust option, but he is in a mighty slump right now. Cover your eyes as you read them: he sports a 38.6 strikeout percentage, a .075 batting average, zero home runs, and zero RBIs through 44 plate appearances. He will likely get it going at some point, but right now there is simply too much going in the wrong direction to take a chance on him.
Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners – Heading into 2015, it looked like the Mariners had finally settled on Zunino as their full-time backstop. Unfortunately, he has really struggled at the plate through the season’s first two weeks. His price is reasonable on FanDuel as he is a mid-range to cheap catcher option, but wait to give him a look until the bat comes around. Right now, the Mariners are riding the coattails of Nelson Cruz, and he’s the Seattle bat you want.
Rick Porcello, SP, Boston Red Sox – He has always allowed a lot of contact, but Porcello tends to get by as a fringe fantasy option because he goes deep into games and doesn’t beat himself with walks. However, it looks like he is not going to find much success in the mashing AL East. Teams like Baltimore, Toronto, and even the Yankees can punish pitchers that pitch to contact, and that’s not good for Porcello. His limited strikeout upside already hurts his fantasy value, and his stock is definitely going the wrong way.