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NL Lineup Analysis 04/29

Is anybody sick of baseball yet? For me at least the answer is definitely no. Each week brings a new set of headlines and things to grab your attention. In this article, I detail things to be aware of in National League lineups. The five hottest hitters over the past week in the National League have been Eric Hosmer, Randal Grichuk, Ian Happ (MY GUY!), Willy Adames, and Charlie Blackmon. Each of these hitters has had an excellent week. Check out the article below to stay up to date on all the latest trends around the NL!

NL Lineup Analysis

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies decided to send down top prospect Bryson Stott. If you own him in redraft leagues there is no reason to keep him on your roster. Stott still holds dynasty value as this is the final year in Gregorious’ contract. Stott should be the everyday SS in 2023, but this way he is able to get everyday at-bats in Triple-A. This clears up the playing time situation in Philadelphia. There are now only three players competing for two lineup spots between Gregorious, Camargo, and Bohm. Bohm has the most potential and is hitting .326/.375/.500 so far. Bohm should be picked up in every league that he is available in. Gregorious figures to get most of the starts at SS, especially against righties. Camargo will likely play all over the infield and start four times a week.

I mentioned last week how Odubel Herrera has come back from the IL. So far this week he has been on the strong side of the platoon with Matt Vierling. Herrera has been crushing the ball since returning including hitting two home runs. He is a notoriously streaky hitter, but this is a situation worth monitoring.

New York Mets

May is fast approaching. After this weekend rosters are going to have to be trimmed and somebody is going to be the odd man out in NY. Joel Sherman recently wrote an article discussing how the decision will likely come down to releasing Canó and demoting Dominic Smith. This is a decision to watch closely as whoever stays on the roster is due for increased playing time. Canó has little to no fantasy value at this point and Dominic Smith has struggled just as much. The Mets might be able to avoid this issue for a little bit if J.D. Davis is placed on the IL. Davis was hit by a pitch on Wednesday and left the game with an ankle injury.

I personally would be trying to sell high on Jeff McNeil. His profile looks almost exactly the same as last year and he currently has a .358 BABIP. This number will likely come down closer to his .325 career average. To be clear, I am not cutting McNeil or trading him for nothing, but if I own him, I would be seeing if I can get a quality player in return for him. The average should drop some and the slugging percentage is likely to come down.

Atlanta Braves

I mentioned last week I was monitoring Eddie Rosario’s playing time. News came out on Tuesday that he is undergoing a procedure to fix his vision. This explains why he was struggling so much early in the season. This injury will keep him out 8-12 weeks. Ronald Acuña Jr returned from the IL on Thursday and take over Rosario’s lineup spot. Alex Dickerson was DFA’d which will provide playing time opportunities for Orlando Arcia and Travis Demeritte. Demeritte has played all three games since Rosario was placed on the IL. In 2021, Demeritte hit 21 home runs and stole 7 bases in Triple-A. If the Braves play him every day he could be a useful fantasy player.

Washington Nationals

The only notable lineup move over the past week was Lane Thomas batting leadoff against a lefty. Cesar Hernandez has struggled and has yet to work a walk this season. The Nationals will likely move him out of the leadoff spot if this continues and Lane Thomas could take over. However, with Thomas also struggling the Nationals could promote prospect, Luis Garcia, to play SS. Garcia could be given the chance to bat leadoff if the Nationals decide to go that route. I think Garcia is going to be called up within the month.

The Nationals also seem intent on getting Yadiel Hernández into the lineup. He has batted fifth four straight games. I have mentioned him a couple of times already. He is off to a hot start and somebody that should be on fantasy manager’s radars.

Miami Marlins

Joey Wendle continues to stay hot at the plate. I feel like I have talked about him every week and he is still only 61% rostered. Wendle looks like a completely different hitter outside of Tropicana and he should be a must-add player to every roster. He likely will continue to sit against lefties, but the production against righties has been phenomenal.

Garrett Cooper has been moved down in the lineup due to his early-season struggles. Cooper has found himself batting sixth now instead of second. I still believe in the talent and Cooper has turned it on over the last week. Maybe Cooper is more comfortable lower in the lineup, or maybe he has just found his stroke. Either way fantasy managers who showed patience with Cooper are starting to be rewarded.

After starting the year hitting at the bottom of the lineup, Jazz Chisholm is now batting leadoff for the Marlins. Chisholm was somebody that I avoided during the draft season and three weeks is not enough time for my opinion to change on him. I would use this hot start and move up in the lineup as fuel to sell high on a big named player like Jazz. Over the past week he has struck out 30% of the time and I think darker days could be ahead for Chisholm and his owners.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

There have not been many changes to the lineup over the past week. Jonathan Villar is playing multiple times a week for a variety of different players. He looks like a better hitter than Patrick Wisdom and it will not shock me if he starts to take more at-bats away from Wisdom. He could be worth a look in deeper leagues.

The Cubs were initially anticipating Andrelton Simmons beginning a rehab assignment soon. This has changed as Simmons experienced soreness again in his shoulder. He is without a timetable for return.

Milwaukee Brewers

Andrew McCutchen is still playing and still struggling against right-handed pitching. However, currently, he is not at risk of losing playing time due to the struggles of Tyrone Taylor and Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe has seen his strikeout rate exceed 30% for the first time since 2019. As a result, he is struggling with just a .228 average. Those hoping for a big season out of Renfroe in Milwaukee should be looking elsewhere for production. If he keeps struggling, he could find himself battling Taylor for playing time.

Luis Urias has started a rehab assignment for the Brewers. He has already completed a rehab game playing all nine innings and looks very close to returning. He will slot in every day for Jace Peterson at third base. I also think it is possible that Peterson plays some against lefties for Kolton Wong at second. This will hurt Wong’s fantasy value if he moves into more of a platoon.

St. Louis Cardinals

Tommy Edman has officially claimed the leadoff spot away from Dylan Carlson. Edman has led off every game this week while Carlson has moved down to fifth or sixth depending on the lineup. Carlson has struggled to make hard contact this year posting just a 17.5% hard-hit rate. He has yet to barrel up a ball and I am starting to conclude that Carlson is who he is. He is not going to hit .215 all year, but if you were hoping for a breakout year in 2022 I am not sure that is going to happen. I would not be dropping him yet, but I am certainly not starting him in my lineup.

Lars Nootbaar was sent down to Triple-A this week and Brendan Donovan was called up. I am not sure how much he is going to play with him, Pujols, and Dickerson all competing for at-bats. I do not think any have any real fantasy value. Paul DeJong has sat twice over the past week. Even though he adjusted his swing during the offseason he has not seen any positive results. He is hitting just .133/.235/.244 and the Cardinals might be ready to move on. This would move Edman to SS and call up top prospect Nolan Gorman. Gorman is worth a look if you can afford the bench spot right now. He has hit another two home runs in the past week and is up to ten already on the season.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have gotten healthy over the past week. Tyler Naquin and Jonathan India have both returned to the lineup. India is back hitting leadoff like he was before the injury. Tyler Stephenson is still on the injured list, but Mike Moustakas came off on Thursday. Nick Senzel hit his first home run of the season this past week and has looked solid since coming back from battling sickness. He has hit .294/.333/.529 since returning. Senzel might be worth a flier on the end of your bench to see if he can keep this hot streak going.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Bryan Reynolds was added to the COVID list this week. After getting off to a slow start, hopefully, the time away will give him a chance to reset. He returned to the team on Wednesday. Yoshi Tsutsugo is still really struggling at the plate and it would not shock me if he starts to lose playing time or at least move out of the clean-up spot. Daniel Vogelbach has been destroying the baseball early on and could even start to gain some at-bats against lefties with Tsutsugo struggling so much.

Oneil Cruz is struggling to get going in AAA. While Kevin Newman has not looked great in the majors, Cruz is giving no push for the starting shortstop position thus far. Owners holding Cruz and hoping for an early-season call-up might have to be patient for a little while longer. The Pirates will likely want Cruz to cut back his strikeouts (30.3 K%) before calling him to the bigs.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte’s rough start has led to the Diamondbacks moving him down to sixth in the lineup at a certain point this week. The struggles are concerning, but Marte is the Diamondbacks’ most talented player with a strong track record of success. I am sure Marte will find himself in the top third of the lineup for the Diamondbacks soon. Seth Beer is playing every day at this point. The only downside to Beer is he it UTIL only in most formats. Nick Ahmed came back this week and has started a few games for the Diamondbacks. He is clearly a better player than both Sergio Alcantara and Geraldo Perdomo at this point in their careers.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Cody Bellinger has gotten a lot of buzz over the past couple of weeks for “being back.” I wrote about how he had an excellent week in my NL Lineup Analysis article last Friday, but I am far from a believer that he is back. Yes, Bellinger has two home runs over the past week. Everybody can post a clip on Twitter showing the big highlight. Outside of those two home runs, Bellinger has only one other hit over the past week. He has struck out 33% of the time and has not walked. Bellinger might be back to hitting home runs, but still looks lost at the plate most of the time. If you own Bellinger I would try to sell him now while the Twitter highlights are elevating his value.

Justin Turner is 0-for-21 over the past week. There is a chance he could see his playing time take a small hit if he continues to struggle this badly. The Dodgers do have a top prospect in Miguel Vargas at AAA. If something were to happen to Turner, or he cannot break out of his slump Vargas could find himself in the bigs.

San Diego Padres

Luke Voit was placed on the IL, which resulted in the Padres recalling Luis Campusano. Campusano has been in the lineup both nights since he was called up to the bigs. He has struggled in both previous stints in the majors and I am lacking optimism that the third time will be the charm.

I have been encouraged by the adjustments Eric Hosmer has shown at the plate. Although his launch angle is still only at 7 degrees, this marks a vast improvement from his 3.3 number in 2021. Hosmer has never had difficulty hitting the ball hard, he has just struggled to get it in the air. He is doing a better job of that this year and could be a player that is undervalued in all fantasy formats. His name is not sexy and it is quite honestly boring, but value is value and Hosmer has it.

Jurickson Profar has moved into the cleanup spot in the lineup. He has been a revelation so far this year. Profar, who hit four home runs all last season, has already hit five this year. His pull rate has sky-rocketed from a career average of 40.2% to 59.1% this year. He is clearly trying to drive the ball out of the park more and increasing his pull percentage is a good way to do that. Hitting cleanup should provide him with excellent RBI opportunities in San Diego.

Colorado Rockies

Kris Bryant has been dealing with a sore back. He has missed two games and, in both, Randal Grichuk has moved up to third in the lineup. Grichuk is off to an excellent start at the plate. Grichuk is hitting .327 so far in 2022. The power and home runs should come especially when he plays in Coors. However, the move to Coors Field might do more for his batting average than his power. Grichuk could be one of the steals of draft season if this continues. Over the past week, Grichuk has posted a hard-hit rate of 54%, a LA of 21 degrees, and an xBA of .408.

Connor Joe is batting leadoff every game and has been excellent so far. Ryan McMahon hits fifth against righties and then moves a little bit lower in the lineup against lefties. McMahon’s peripherals still look very good this year so fantasy managers should be patient with him.

San Francisco Giants

Mike Yastrzemski tested positive for COVID this week. In his absence, Joc Pederson has taken over leadoff duties. Pederson is off to a great start so far. The Giants are excellent at player development, and they might have been able to help Joc cut down on his whiff rates. Pederson could be in for a big year.

A name to keep on your radar is LaMonte Wade Jr. He should be back from the IL in the next week. Darin Ruf has really struggled early on, and Wade could start to eat into his at-bats on a strong side of a platoon. Wade hit 18 home runs in just 109 games last season and could provide a boost for your fantasy team.

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