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Fantasy Baseball Lineup Analysis: NL 07/07

National League lineup analysis is back for the third week in a row on Fantrax. The five hottest hitters in the NL over the past two weeks have been Christian Walker, Ian Happ, Brenton Doyle, Matt Chapman, and Jackson Chourio. A few young players have been stepping up for fantasy managers recently. Keep reading for news and notes on all 15 lineups across the National League.

Please note that this article is finalized the day prior to publish. I will do my best to update the information as it comes in later that night.

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Takeaways: NL Edition

National League East

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Bryson Stott has been batting leadoff for the Phillies
    • Stott’s move up in the lineup comes with Kyle Schwarber being on the IL
    • Schwarber’s injury is not expected to keep him sidelined for an extended period of time at which point Stott will slide back down in the lineup
    • Stott has started to pick things back up at the plate after his prolonged slump batting .283 since June 18
  • Kody Clemens is playing over Edmundo Sosa
    • With Bryce Harper on the IL, the initial belief was that Edmundo Sosa would slide into the lineup at third base and Alec Bohm would shift over to third
    • Instead, Kody Clemens has been serving as the team’s primary first baseman and has been batting sixth
    • Sosa is getting playing time against lefties but is not worth rostering in fantasy

Miami Marlins

  • Tim Anderson was designated for assignment
    • This could be the end of Anderson’s career in what has been a drastic downfall over the past couple of seasons
    • Anderson never was able to regain his BABIP magic and now Miami is officially moving on
    • In a corresponding move, Xavier Edwards was recalled from Triple-A
    • Edwards appears to be getting the first chance at playing time and has been batting sixth or seventh so far
    • Edwards has hit for excellent average in the Minor Leagues but his stolen bases have declined this season and there is not much of any power in his profile
  • Otto Lopez was placed on the IL
    • Lopez has been dealing with lower back inflammation and is now likely to be sidelined through the All-Star Break
    • With Lopez on the IL, Vidal Brujan has entered the starting lineup. He has been batting seventh in most games
    • Brujan’s offensive struggles have continued this season and he is not worth adding to your fantasy teams
  • Nick Gordon is either still sick or losing playing time
    • Gordon was a bit under the weather for most of the week but has continued to ride the bench lately
    • In his place, Emmanuel Rivera has been seeing his playing time increase and has been batting eighth
    • Rivera has been swinging a hot bat over the past week but has not done much offensively to make you believe he is going to maintain his grip on a starting job

Atlanta Braves

  • Orlando Arcia has been dealing with a tooth issue
    • Not often a mouth issue holds people out of the lineup but that is the case with Arcia who has been kept out of the lineup since Sunday
    • This issue is not expected to keep Arcia sidelined for an extended period of time
    • In his absence, Zack Short has been filling in at shortstop batting at the bottom of the lineup
  • Sean Murphy is getting his timing back
    • Murphy had struggled initially once activated from the IL batting .143 across his first 53 plate appearances
    • In the last 43 plate appearances, Murphy has hit three home runs and is batting .342
    • The strikeouts are down, the walks are up, and his barrel rate has increased. These are all encouraging signs for a player who should be considered a reliable fantasy asset moving forward

Washington Nationals

  • James Wood!
    • The top prospect in all of baseball was recalled from Triple-A this past week and made his Major League debut on Monday
    • Wood is batting sixth in the lineup against lefties and moved up to third against a righty
    • He has elite potential with plus power and speed. The biggest challenge will be keeping his strikeout rate in check
    • The Nationals released Eddie Rosario in a corresponding move
  • Joey Meneses was sent to Triple-A
    • Prior to his demotion, Meneses had been sliding down in the lineup and now has officially lost his lineup spot
    • Meneses had been struggling for much of the season batting below .240 and will look to regain his confidence in Triple-A
    • Harold Ramirez is most likely to see the bulk of playing time at first base with Meneses optioned
    • Ramirez is batting just .231 since joining the Nationals
    • Juan Yepez was also recalled from Triple-A and could factor into the playing time mix
  • Ildemaro Vargas has been in the lineup six times this week
    • The Nationals have faced a lot of lefties forcing Luis Garcia and Jesse Winker to the bench and giving Vargas a chance to play
    • Vargas has been batting eighth in the lineup and has not shown any signs of improving offensively
    • He is slashing just .250/.305/.325 on the season with zero home runs. He is not a fantasy-relevant player

New York Mets

  • Mark Vientos has been moving up in the lineup
    • With JD Martinez a bit banged up dealing with an ankle injury, Vientos has been the primary beneficiary
    • Vientos has earned a move up in the order with his excellent offensive performance at the plate
    • He has six home runs since June 16 and is batting well over .300 during that span
    • His average is not sustainable, but the power is legit. Fantasy managers should ride out this hot streak even if he is a sell-high in dynasty formats
  • Harrison Bader is dealing with a head injury
    • Bader hit his head on the wall during the game on Tuesday and has been out of the lineup since
    • Reports are that Bader avoided a concussion, but he could still land on the 7-Day IL with this head injury
    • In his absence, Tyrone Taylor has shifted over to center field and Ben Gamel has been getting additional playing time
    • Bader had two homers and four stolen bases since June 23

National League Central

Chicago Cubs

  • Christopher Morel continues to struggle at the plate
    • The Cubs continue to play Morel every day and bat him sixth in the lineup but things could start changing
    • Since June 13, Morel is batting under .175 with just two home runs over that span
    • The quality of contact continues to be excellent but his strikeout rate has crept back up recently. He has enough potential to be worth holding onto but he might be better suited for fantasy benches right now
  • Ian Happ is rewarding those fantasy managers who remained patient
    • Happ has been on fire at the plate over the past few weeks and that has continued this week
    • He went 4/4 with two homers in Thursday’s game and is now up to six homers since June 17
    • Happ has been providing strong four-category production lately and is especially valuable in OBP leagues

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Paul Goldschmidt is playing better lately
    • Goldschmidt is batting .262 with three home runs and two stolen bases since June 16
    • He is absolutely crushing the baseball lately with an average EV over 94 mph and a barrel rate above 20% since the 16th
    • Everything is trending in the right direction for Goldy. He could be a nice buy-low option for those thinking he has already fallen off the proverbial cliff
  • Michael Siani is still struggling offensively
    • Siani has continued to play every day but it is fair to wonder how long St. Louis will stick with him
    • He is batting under .230 on the season with a wRC+ below 70
    • Things have been slightly better as of late batting .275 since June 20 but is still not a helpful fantasy asset
    • Jordan Walker continues to struggle in Triple-A and does not appear close to a promotion back to the Major Leagues

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Joey Ortiz was placed on the IL
    • Ortiz was day-to-day for a while now and the Brewers finally opted to give him a stint on the IL
    • With Ortiz out, Andruw Monasterio is getting the majority of playing time at third base batting at the bottom of the lineup
    • Monasterio does not offer much in terms of fantasy upside and Ortiz should not miss extended time. He is not worth picking up anywhere
  • Garrett Mitchell has returned to the lineup
    • Mitchell returned from the IL on Monday and appears to be playing on the strong side of a platoon
    • Mitchell has hit fifth in both games he has been in the lineup but also sat against a righty on Thursday
    • Over the past couple of seasons, Mitchell has shown flashes of power and speed before but has never performed consistently
    • Fantasy managers should hold off on adding him until he proves he can produce consistently and remain in the lineup
    • Jake Bauers has seen the biggest decrease in playing time
  • Sal Frelick is hitting for an excellent average lately
    • Frelick has been batting seventh in the lineup lately and is batting .323 since June 12
    • Over that time, Frelick is striking out less than 10% of the time showing off his excellent hit tool
    • He has not hit a home run since May 15 but fantasy managers can rely on Frelick for plus average and some stolen bases

Cincinnati Reds

  • Noelvi Marte is working to regain his timing
    • Marte has gotten off to a bit of a slow start which can be expected since his long absence
    • The chase and whiff rates are concerning, but Marte is a talented young player with loads of potential
    • Fantasy managers should be patient with Marte who will continue getting everyday playing time
  • Jonathan India is red hot
    • India has moved up into the leadoff spot in the Reds lineup and is showing no signs of giving that spot up
    • He is batting over .400 since June 18 partially due to a high BABIP but partially due to a lower strikeout rate
    • He is being more aggressive at the plate and barreling the ball more than he has at any point this season
    • With consistent playing time at the top of the lineup, India should be rostered in 100% of leagues

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Joey Bart is back from the IL
    • Bart had been on the IL since the end of May but returned to the lineup last Saturday
    • He appears to be splitting time with Yasmani Grandal right now with both players rotating into the lineup
    • Things have been better for Bart since landing in Pittsburgh but inconsistent playing time caps his fantasy potential
  • Edward Olivares is batting cleanup
    • Olivares has been on the bench against two righties this week but he is also batting fourth in the lineup and seeing his playing time increase
    • Throughout his professional career, Olivares has shown flashes but has never put that together and he is not showing any signs of breaking out
    • Connor Joe is rotating in with Olivares and is likely to continue mixing into the playing time
  • Jack Suwinski has not walked since June 14
    • Suwinski is continuing to play every day batting toward the bottom of the lineup
    • This season continues to be a major disappointment for Suwinski who has a wRC+ below 70
    • Strikeouts continue to be a major concern for Suwinski who is not worth rostering in any fantasy format

National League West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Chris Taylor is getting a chance to play more often
    • The team continues to search for answers at third base with Max Muncy out and Taylor is the latest to enter the starting lineup
    • Taylor has been batting eighth in the lineup this past week over Cavan Biggio
    • Taylor’s strikeout rate has ballooned since the 2021 season and has continued to be a problem this season. He is not worth rostering in fantasy leagues
  • Andy Pages has not hit a home run since June 18
    • Despite this recent power outage, fantasy managers should remain confident that the home runs will return
    • Since his last home run, Pages has a barrel rate of over 14% with excellent pull rates
    • He is batting in the middle of the Dodgers’ lineup and should remain an excellent option for fantasy managers

San Diego Padres

  • Donovan Solano has been batting fifth in the lineup
    • Solano has been playing every day since the injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and has been playing well for San Diego
    • He is a better real-life player than a fantasy asset due to his lack of speed and below-average power
    • Solano can provide a strong batting average (batting over .300 since June 20) if you need that on your fantasy team
  • Manny Machado is looking more like Manny Machado
    • The 2024 season got off to a slow start for Machado after dealing with a lingering injury for much of the first two months
    • Machado looks healthy now and the offensive numbers are starting to show up
    • He has hit five home runs since June 20 with an average of over .300

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Gabriel Moreno is back from the IL
    • Moreno returned to the lineup on Tuesday and hit sixth
    • The 2024 season has been a disappointment up to this point although he was turning things on just before landing on the IL
    • He figures to still see the bulk of the playing time for Arizona which can be valuable in two-catcher formats
  • Alek Thomas is back from the IL
    • Thomas returned to the lineup on Tuesday and has been batting eighth in the lineup when playing
    • The biggest thing for Thomas is elevating the ball more. A low average launch angle has prevented Thomas from tapping into his game power consistently throughout his Major League career
    • He figures to get the majority of playing time in center field moving forward
    • Jake McCarthy has seen his playing time decrease with the return of Thomas
  • Christian Walker is taking over at the plate
    • Nobody has had a better week than Walker who has hit five home runs in the past week with multiple hits in each game
    • On the season as a whole, Walker has been excellent with 22 home runs already and is batting .291 since May 21
    • He is a top-tier option at first base without some of the name recognition other first basemen get

San Francisco Giants

  • Mike Yastrzemski is back from the IL
    • Yaz returned to the lineup on Friday and was batting eighth even with a righty on the mound
    • He figures to remain on the strong side of a platoon rotating out in favor of Austin Slater with a lefty on the mound
    • Yaz has not been particularly good even against righties this year further decreasing his fantasy value
  • Jorge Soler has moved into the leadoff spot
    • Soler’s bat has started to come to life lately and is now batting at the top of the Giants’ lineup
    • Since June 12, Soler is slashing .270/.353/.514 and should continue to see positive regression in the home run category
    • Moving to the top of the lineup should lead to more runs scoring opportunities and he is worth adding where available
    • Brett Wisely has moved down to the back half of the lineup
  • Helliot Ramos is the only outfielder not platooning
    • Ramos is batting third in San Francisco’s lineup and continues to exceed expectations
    • Since June 24, Ramos has added another two home runs with an average over .300
    • A below-average whiff rate is likely to lead to some batting average regression, but the power is legit and should continue throughout the season

Colorado Rockies

  • Elias Diaz is back from the IL
    • Diaz returned to the lineup on Sunday and has been batting in the middle of the lineup since returning
    • He is batting over .300 on the season but that is primarily fueled by an unsustainable BABIP
    • As Diaz’s numbers come down he could start to move down in the order and lose playing time
    • Drew Romo continues to swing it well in Triple-A and is likely to be promoted at some point this season
  • Brenton Doyle has been red hot this week
    • Although his batting average has dropped off since the beginning of the season, Doyle has been an excellent option for fantasy managers
    • He has four homers and two stolen bases since June 28 and has been lowering his strikeout rate lately
    • Doyle is a reliable source of power and speed who gets the benefit of playing in Coors Field
    • He is batting fifth in the lineup most games
  • Michael Toglia is serving as the team’s first baseman
    • Toglia is batting eighth in the lineup most games
    • Since being recalled from Triple-A on June 6, Toglia has hit five homers but is batting under .230
    • His BABIP (.205) is due for some serious positive regression, but a high strikeout rate caps his offensive upside
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