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News, Buys, and Sells for National League Lineups

Back at it with National League lineups… There is plenty to catch up on from the last 10 days of baseball. The five hottest hitters in the National League over that time period have been Ryan McMahon, Jack Suwinski, Luis Arraez, and Spencer Steer.

Disclaimer: This article is written the day before publishing. Not all statistics will be 100% accurate from the night before. I will do my best to update any important news or notes that come through at the last second. Keep reading to stay up to date on the latest trends from all 15 National League teams.

Trying out a new format for this one. Let me know what you think!

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

National League Lineup Analysis

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Alec Bohm to the IL -> More playing time for Sosa/Clemens Platoon
    • Clemens: 9.4%-barrel rate (28/600 HR Pace). Worth a look in deep leagues
    • Drew Ellis is on the short side of the platoon with Sosa and is not worth adding despite his two home runs on Sunday
  • June usually means Schwarbombs. He is now batting leadoff with Trea Turner moving down to fifth.
    • A slight bump in runs for Schwarber and RBI chances for Turner.
    • Schwarber has a .162 BABIP on the year despite good metrics. Buy low opportunity here. (This opportunity might have closed after two home runs on Sunday)
  • Marsh heating back up and batting seventh in the lineup
    • Whiff and chase rates are going back up which is worth keeping an eye on.
  • Nick Castellanos batting second recently
    • This is a bump to his value batting in between Schwarber and Harper
    • He has been hot and should continue having a strong bounce-back season

Atlanta Braves

  • Marcell Ozuna is up to fifth in the lineup. .297/.338/.578 since May 13
    • .341 BABIP over that time despite 50% fly-ball rate. Worth an add if you need power but expect the average to fall back around .240-.260 range.
  • Eddie Rosario continues to bat sixth in the lineup and has been swinging it well over the past week
    • Ozuna and Rosario being in the lineup at the same time prevents Travis d’Arnaud from getting consistent playing time
  • Orlando Arcia continues to bat well over .300 and hit eighth in the lineup.
    • Arcia is currently running a .364 BABIP with a GB% north of 55%. Do not expect this to continue. Solid option in deep leagues, but might be a sell-high candidate

Washington Nationals

  • Corey Dickerson continues to bat in the middle of the lineup against right-handed pitchers
    • Worth a look in fantasy: .286/.340/.500 since returning. 8.8% barrel rate so far.
    • No speed and reliant on righty starters, but worth a look
  • Alex Call down to ninth in the lineup and could start sitting more soon
    • .115/.207/.173 7wRC+ since May 15th. Should not be rostered in any leagues
    • Stone Garrett could be most likely to take lineup spot if Call is benched
  • Keibert Ruiz suddenly hitting for power with 4 home runs since May 19.
    • He has a 14.8% barrel rate since the start of May
    • .221 BABIP despite LD%>20%
    • Pick up Ruiz now! Could be a big breakout happening with already great plate discipline

Miami Marlins

  • Jesus Sanchez is back from the IL. Batting 4th against righties, sitting against lefties
    • Worth a look. Was hitting .419/.419/.839 before IL stint. Suspect plate discipline creates significant risk
  • Yuli Gurriel has taken the full-time starting job away from Garrett Cooper.
    • Gurriel has cooled back off after a six-game hitting streak and is unlikely to hold an everyday lineup spot. I am not adding Gurriel
    • Cooper is on the short side of the platoon with Sanchez and is not worth rostering with current playing time situation
  • Bryan De La Cruz continues to bat all over the top half of the lineup and needs to be rostered everywhere for now.
    • .333/.388/.519 with 5 HR and 2 SB since the start of May
    • The strikeout rate continues to decrease as his chase rate drops lower and lower
    • Big-time upside!

New York Mets

  • Mark Vientos continues to take more and more playing time away from Daniel Vogelbach.
    • Vientos is pounding the ball into the ground which is hurting his stats
    • Not worth picking up until he can fix this while also lowering chase and whiff rates
  • Brett Baty is platooning with Eduardo Escobar but is batting fifth against righties.
    • Baty’s slash line has been underwhelming, but there is plenty to like
    • GB% creeping up lately which is worth watching
    • I am still holding in redraft and buying in dynasty leagues
  • Mark Canha really took out vengeance on me for talking down on him. He killed my Phillies and has been awesome lately.
    • He has hit safely in 8/9 games.
    • Slightly better contact skills, but not much is changes. I am not picking him up.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

  • Matt Mervis is losing more and more playing time. Trey Mancini getting half the starts versus righties and all against lefties
    • Mervis is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Could wind up back in Triple-A. Fine to drop in redraft leagues
  • Miles Mastrobuoni and Christopher Morel are working into more of a platoon.
    • Mastrobuoni is batting leadoff when playing while Morel bats in the back half of the lineup
    • The same issue as last year with Morel and he is no longer a must-roster player. Likely to have hot and cold streaks throughout the year
  • Mike Tauchman is playing every day and batting toward the middle of the lineup.
    • His .306 average comes with a .407 BABIP and he is unlikely to retain a regular role once Cody Bellinger returns from the IL
    • Not somebody worth adding, but he is getting consistent at-bats.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Jordan Walker is back with the Cardinals due to Lars Nootbaar landing on the IL.
    • Walker still has the same GB% issues but is worth adding based on upside alone
    • He is batting toward the bottom of the lineup with Brendan Donovan assuming the majority of leadoff starts.
  • Tommy Edman is playing center field for the Cardinals as they deal with injuries.
    • He is primarily batting ninth and should gain OF eligibility shortly.
    • Eligibility is nice, but Edman is 2-for-30 recently. No longer a must-roster player in shallow leagues although his BABIP should start increasing
  • Luken Baker is up with the team and could eat into Alec Burleson’s playing time.
    • Baker was batting .313 with 18 home runs in Triple-A.
    • Could be a big boost of power although he has strikeout concerns. Worth throwing on your watch list, especially in OBP Leagues.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Joey Weimer has gotten hot at the plate. He continues to bat toward the bottom of the lineup but has reclaimed his everyday role with the team.
    • .333/.478/.611 since May 28 with a 13% strikeout rate.
    • Lots of power/speed upside here and if he is bringing the strikeouts down, he could take off. Worth adding to see if this continues.
  • With Willy Adames on the IL, Andruw Monasterio is playing SS every day and batting in the back half of the lineup.
    • Monasterio does not have much power but has plus speed and a solid hit tool
    • Not a must-add, but is somebody to consider in deep formats
    • Could eat into Brice Turang’s playing time when Adames comes back
  • Darin Ruf, Tyrone Taylor, and Jesse Winker are all on the IL
    • Owen Miller is batting second and Jon Singleton is up with the team
      • Singleton was a former top prospect and has a ton of power
      • I am keeping my eye on Singleton to see if he can stick at the Major League level

Cincinnati Reds

  • Kevin Newman has taken over the leadoff role and keeping Elly De La Cruz in the Minor Leagues.
    • Newman is batting .400/.500/.543 since May 23
    • Not much has changed except a slightly lower chase rate and a .467 BABIP. He is not worth adding and should not expect to keep the lineup spot
  • Will Benson is getting another chance to start with TJ Friedl on the IL and is batting eighth against right-handed pitchers
    • Benson has incredibly loud tools and is only striking out 22.7% of the time since his promotion back to the team.
    • GB% is too high to ever have much success and he is not worth picking up
  • Joey Votto is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A
    • His return could keep Christian Encarnacion-Strand in Triple-A and force the team to shift players around
    • Most likely candidates to lose playing time are Kevin Newman or Will Benson

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Josh Palacios is playing on the strong side of a platoon with Connor Joe.
    • Palacios is another player plagued by LA issues and a high GB%. I am not picking him up.
  • Tucupita Marcano is batting toward the top of the lineup more often.
    • Marcano is quietly batting .333/.351/.667 since May 21 with two home runs and three stolen bases.
    • His barrel rate is up, with good contact skills. Could be worth adding in deeper formats and watching closely in shallow formats.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes has a .566 slugging percentage since May 19.
    • His pull rate is still low, but the rest of his contact metrics look really strong
    • He continues to be worth watching as a breakout may be coming.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Trayce Thompson is on the IL and the team is calling up Jonny DeLuca
    • Thompson was not playing regularly making me doubt DeLuca will
      • He was batting .315 with 4 home runs in Triple-A with plus power
      • Not a must-add, but worth keeping an eye on
    • Jason Heyward is playing more often and batting sixth most games
      • Heyward continues to hit the ball hard with good plate discipline.
      • Worth a look as long as he continues to be on the strong side of a platoon.
    • Miguel Vargas has gone into a bit of a slump and has sat twice in the past week.
      • Vargas has been hitting the ball in the air too often while striking out too much lately
      • This feels like more of a slump than anything serious and I am holding Vargas in all formats

San Diego Padres

  • Manny Machado is back from the IL and batting fourth again.
    • His return pushes Rougned Odor out of the lineup while Ha-Seong Kim shifts back to the middle infield.
  • Gary Sanchez has taken primary catcher responsibilities away from Austin Nola
    • Sanchez is batting all over the back half of the lineup
    • Sanchez still has plenty of power so it is all about keeping the strikeouts in check. He is worth an add in two-catcher leagues where you need help at the position. Big time power upside makes the shot worth it
  • With Nelson Cruz on the IL, Brandon Dixon has taken over the short side of the DH platoon with Matt Carpenter
    • No fantasy relevance to this change

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Emmanuel Rivera is starting to play more even against right-handed pitchers.
    • He hits the ball hard with great launch angle and excellent plate discipline
    • Now might be a good time to grab him as he could continue playing regularly
    • His playing time comes at the expense of Josh Rojas who is struggling and worth dropping now.
  • Jake McCarthy is playing every day and stealing a lot
    • .320/.370/.360 with six steals since coming back.
    • His slash comes with a .444 BABIP and now is the perfect time to sell high
  • Pavin Smith has just three hits in his last 32 plate appearances
    • He continues to bat leadoff but is starting to see less playing time.
    • He is not worth rostering outside of deep OBP leagues.
  • Late News: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was scratched Sunday
    • If Gurriel is forced to miss time, Pavin Smith’s spot in the lineup becomes more secure

San Francisco Giants

  • Thairo Estrada is on the IL meaning Casey Schmitt shifts to second base
    • Schmitt could continue to gain more eligibility while Brandon Crawford reenters the lineup
    • Schmitt is chasing 50% of the time which is the reason for his recent struggles. I am continuing to hold Schmitt despite his slump
  • Michael Conforto is dealing with a heel injury and has not started since May 30.
    • He should avoid an IL stint and return to the lineup soon.
    • Wilmer Flores has been seeing additional playing time in his absence

Colorado Rockies

  • Ryan McMahon is HOT at the plate.
    • .487/.556/1.000 with five home runs since May 25
    • McMahon is a streaky hitter but needs to be rostered everywhere
    • He is batting third most games
  • Ezequiel Tovar continues to bat ninth in the lineup but is also heating up
    • .346/.404/.538 since May 20 but that comes with a .436 BABIP
    • Sell high in redraft, but his recent success is a reminder to be patient with prospects
  • Kris Bryant landing on the IL opens more playing time for Nolan Jones.
    • Jones is batting between fifth and seventh most nights
    • His average looks nice, but he has a strikeout rate of 37% in the Major Leagues and a .467 BABIP. I am not adding Jones
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  1. Jay says

    Dig this format a lot, hope to see more of it!

    1. Matt Heckman says

      Glad to hear! Going to stick with it for a while and see how it works

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