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Top fantasy baseball takeaways from Week 1 (July 23rd - 26th)

A look at the standouts from the opening weekend of Major League Baseball.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Welcome back, baseball! And welcome to the Roto Recap. For long-time readers, this is the new version of the Roto Report! I'm very excited to be doing this weekly now with a focus on the best-of-the-best and the worst-of-the-worst. I'll also throw in some advice on what to do with these breakouts and slumps. Let's take a look at the highlights from opening weekend of the 2020 season.


Nelson Cruz - .538, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R

I know he's owned and started everywhere but holy crap! Nelson Cruz started the year on fire. He continues to outperform his ADP year after year. Looks like 2020 will be no exception. Maybe this is the start of his MVP campaign???

Miguel Rojas - .700, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 1 SB

Rojas (7% owned) looks to be a popular waiver wire add after a solid weekend. The 31-year-old is a low end option for power and speed that hits low in the Marlins lineup. Perhaps this performance moves him up to a better spot in the order. In addition to this, there is a major unknown with the Marlins right now concerning a COVID-19 outbreak. Rojas has not been named as one of the infected. If he's healthy, he'll get playing time.

Here’s a quick look at the standouts from the weekend to scoop up off the waiver wire:

Dansby Swanson - .417, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R

Kyle Lewis - .364, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R

Kiké Hernandez - .333, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R

Eric Hosmer - .667, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 R

Swanson (57% owned) is a cheat code at SS for those who waited at the position. He has all the tools to be top 10 at the position by seasons end.

Lewis (45% owned) showed off his power again this weekend. He has a lot of it. The strikeout rate is a major concern but the power is legit.

Hernandez (52% owned) made a huge splash with four hits including a home run and five RBI in the season opener. That, plus the Gavin Lux demotion made Hernandez's ownership skyrocket. I don't buy it! Hernandez is as streaky as they come. Let someone else pick him up and deal with the downside he shows more often than the upside.

Eric Hosmer (58% owned) is amazing y'all! All he has to do is change his laugh angle... well it's finally changed! Hosmer set a Padres record with a six RBI game in their season opener. He followed that up by homering on Sunday. Grab him up wherever you can.


Kyle Hendricks - 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 9 K, Win

Hendricks takes opening weekend honors for best pitching performance easily with this gem. In a home game against the Brewers, Hendricks was dominant. He recorded 19 swinging strikes as well. This shines new light on him as he was often viewed as a low strikeout guy. It's only one game, but Hendricks owners might have a top tier starter on their hands. So much for pitchers not being stretched out...

Shane Bieber - 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 14 K, Win

A popular pick for AL Cy Young (yours truly included) Bieber was in mid-season form on Friday. Sure it was against the Royals, but you still want your top SP to dominate the easy matchups. Not much analysis is needed here, keep starting the Biebs.

Ross Stripling - 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 7 K, Win

Dylan Bundy - 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 7 K, Win

Stripling is in a prime spot firm in the Dodgers rotation without David Price and now no Clayton Kershaw. Stripling had a 3.47 ERA with 93 Ks to just 20 BB last season over 90.2 IP in 2019. He was bounced around between starter and long reliever last year. The shortened season and lack of other options (funny to say for the Dodgers) should keep Stripling at SP all year. He’s must own and must start in this role.

Bundy has been a breakout candidate for several seasons now but has been held back by the confines of Camden Yards. Now with the Angels, Bundy has found new life. He wasted no time in showing his upside. The change in scenery is just what the former number four overall pick needed.

Stripling (72% owned) and Bundy (73% owned) are must adds if they are out there in your leagues.

Lucas Giolito - 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, Loss

James Paxton - 1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 K, Loss

Shohei Ohtani - 0 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, Loss

These aces were not at their best in their first starts of 2020. Ohtani failed to even record an out! I'm still starting them in their next outing though. Ohtani is the one I'd look to sit if possible. At least until he proves he has his stuff back.