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Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies -- available in 59 percent of Yahoo leagues
Bohm’s outlook at the start of the season didn’t look so great as he started the year in a platoon with rookie Bryson Stott. Stott has struggled, and Bohm’s performance has earned him five consecutive starts for the Phillies. The 25-year-old third baseman goes into Monday’s action 11-for-31 (.355) at the plate with two doubles and a home run. He’s shown excellent plate discipline with a 5/6 BB/K ratio while making hard contact on everything with a 53.6 percent hard-hit rate. His 53 percent ground ball rate will continue to suppress his power until he starts lifting the ball. But a 25 percent line-drive rate is ideal for producing a good batting average. Bohm’s defense is an issue, so he’ll need to keep hitting to stay in the lineup. With the third base position as weak as it is, he should be in consideration for most mixed leagues.
Joc Pederson, OF, Giants -- available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues
Pederson put his power on display Sunday with two homers against the Nationals. He’s off to an excellent start, hitting .364/.383/.750 with five homers across 47 plate appearances. The Giants are known for putting players in a position to play to their strengths. This means limiting Pederson’s exposure to left-handed pitching. It can often be challenging to start players in weekly lineup leagues that don’t play every day. But the Giants go into the week in line to face right-handed starters in all six games. And with Mike Yastrzemski on the COVID-19 injured list, Pederson could hit leadoff until Yastrzemski returns. The 30-year-old slugger could continue his hot streak and makes for a great hitting streamer for power, even in shallower mixed leagues.
Josh Naylor, 1B/OF, Guardians -- available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues
Naylor’s 2021 season was cut short by a significant knee injury. He hit .253/.301/.399 with seven homers across 250 plate appearances. After an offseason of rehabbing, Naylor has made his way back into the mix for the Guardians. The 24-year-old has gone 10-for-25 with a homer and two doubles through Sunday’s games and appears to have taken the first base job over Bobby Bradley. Naylor has displayed good contact skills throughout his young career but has struggled to tap into his raw power. He’s currently producing a 55 percent hard-hit rate but is still hitting too many ground balls. Regardless, Naylor can continue to find success at the plate with a profile more suited for batting average. His hot start has him hitting fourth or fifth in the Guardians’ lineup. So he could be in a position to drive in runs this week with a full seven-game slate.
Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals -- available in 80 percent of Yahoo leagues
While he’s struggled with the bat, Bader finds himself among the league leaders with four steals on the season. Three of those steals came in Saturday’s game against the Reds. The 27-year-old outfielder has started the year hitting .227/.320/.295 with two doubles and a 4/12 BB/K ratio. Regardless of how he’s hitting, Bader will continue to find himself in the lineup due to his Gold Glove defense. The 27-year-old has a good chance to surpass his career-high of 15 steals as long as he can stay healthy. Some of those steals can come this week with a full seven-game slate ahead for the Cardinals.
Nicky Lopez, 2B, Royals -- available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Bobby Witt Jr. struggling in the early going, Lopez has found himself atop the Royals’ lineup as Witt Jr. has moved down the order. Lopez has hit leadoff for three consecutive starts and is slashing .295/.340/.364 across 48 plate appearances. While he’s only scored four runs, that could rise with his new spot in the lineup. The 27-year-old second baseman scored 78 runs for Kansas City last season and hit .300/.365/.378 with 22 stolen bases. Lopez won’t contribute any power, but teams looking for help in batting average and runs could consider starting Lopez this week.
Tony Gonsolin, SP, Dodgers -- available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Dodgers finally let Gonsolin go deeper into a game this week. He held the Braves scoreless with three strikeouts over six innings to earn the win. With Andrew Heaney on the injured list, the Dodgers will need Gonsolin to continue giving them length in games. The 27-year-old right-hander has a good chance to get in the win column once again this week with a matchup against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Through three starts, Gonsolin carries an 0.69 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and eight strikeouts across 13 innings. He’ll need to limit walks to lower his WHIP, but he’s done a good job of suppressing hard contact to keep runners from scoring. And a 14.6 percent swinging-strike rate could signal improvements coming to his 15.1 percent strikeout rate.
Aaron Ashby, SP, Brewers -- available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues
One of the better streamers this week, Ashby gets an excellent matchup against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The 23-year-old left-hander has produced a 3.18 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts across 11 1/3 innings. In his previous start against the Cardinals, he tossed four shutout innings with four strikeouts. Ashby’s lack of experience can bring volatility, but he has plenty of upside with bat-missing ability and a groundball rate of 68.8 percent. That propensity to suppress fly balls is what limits the damage done by opposing teams, as Ashby has walked eight batters in his small sample. He’ll get an excellent opportunity to put it all together this week and hopefully gain some momentum going forward.
Bailey Ober, SP, Twins -- available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ober opened the season with a four-run outing against the Mariners. Since then, he’s been excellent over his last two starts, allowing one run with nine strikeouts across 11 innings. On the season, the 26-year-old right-hander carries a 2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts to just three walks over 16 innings. Limiting walks has been a skill he’s carried throughout his minor league career, and it’s leading to success in the majors. Ober could be prone to the occasional blowup given how many fly balls he allows, but he’s safe bet to help fantasy teams in the WHIP category. He gets a decent matchup this week when he takes on the Tigers at home.
Josiah Gray, SP, Nationals -- available in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues
Gray held the Diamondbacks to one run over 5 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts in his last start. On the year, he has a 3.14 ERA with an 18/7 K/BB ratio across 14 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander possesses some of the highest strikeout upside among leagues young pitchers with his excellent breaking pitches. This week, he’ll get two starts, starting with the Marlins at home before going to San Francisco to face the Giants. Both teams ranks among the bottom third of the league in strikeout rate. Gray has an excellent opportunity to take advantage of that and accumulate some strikeouts.
Jorge Lopez, RP, Orioles -- available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues
Surprisingly, the Orioles pitching staff is off to an outstanding start to the season. The bullpen has produced a cumulative 2.81 ERA. They’re led by closer Jorge Lopez, who owns a 2.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts over nine innings while going 4-for-4 in save chances. The 29-year-old right-hander picked up three saves in the last week, and has a secure hold on the closer role in Baltimore. That’s something we haven’t been able to say about anyone on the Orioles in quite some time. Everything about Lopez’s performance so far appears legit. The former starter has seen a significant increase in velocity since transitioning into the bullpen, with a fastball averaging 97 miles per hour. The Orioles have some tough matchups this week with the Yankees and Red Sox on the schedule, but Lopez could a worthy season-long add capable of locking down 20-plus saves.