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10 fantasy baseball thoughts from Week 3 of MLB action

Yandy Diaz tends to start slow, then heat up.

Divisional Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Welcome to a Week 3 MLB recap, with a fantasy baseball slant!

1,) Touki Toussaint (36% owned Fantrax; 6% owned Yahoo) was a highly touted prospect when he came up three years ago. He finished 2018 with a decent 4.03 ERA. Last year his ERA eclipsed 5.00 and he was dropped in many leagues. Currently it’s above six, but there are a number of things he’s doing that have caught people’s attention. The whiff rate on his four-seamer is 2X what it was in 2019 (in fact all of his pitches are up in whiff %), his speed on his pitches is up, and he is in the 85th percentile in K-rate.

2.) Andrew Benintendi is batting .061. He is 2-for-44 with a 34% strikeout rate. He has never been above 23% and he’s currently sporting an insane 22% walk rate. Expect him to go on an insane stretch soon, I'm thinking he goes through a two-week stretch hitting .400.

3.) Miguel Andujar was optioned down to Triple-A as MLB rosters were slimmed from 30 down to 28. He had one hit across 14 at-bats this season. I’m torn on this one, he clearly showed a strong pedigree in 2018 and as we saw clearly last year with New York, injuries could open up some spots quickly. That said, given a limited sample size of success, some struggles early on, and a nasty injury that took him out for a season, I have to wonder if he’s worth holding onto.

4.) The Cleveland Indians hitting coach opted out of the remainder of the season to remain safe in these times. They were among the worst in the league in a number of hitting categories. First game after, they had one of their best hitting games of the season. It all ties in probably too nicely, but it does make you wonder if their bats will start to heat up.

5.) Kyle Lewis. I mean. Just unreal. A 78% barrel rate, a 13% strikeout rate. His kryptonite appears to be offspeed pitches, which are putting him out 71% of the time. Watch for pitchers to start pushing more on him.

6.) Kyle Tucker. Masher of fastballs. Currently hitting an insane .429 on fastballs (don’t watch the other pitches, that gets ugly). He continues to pull the ball more each year.

7.) I was bummed Tyler Mahle (46% owned Fantrax, 6% owned Yahoo) didn’t have a spot when the Reds opened the season. He continues to improve and currently sits 75% in whiff rate, with an ERA of 1.80, and is among the best in MLB in XBA, XWOBA, and XWOBACON. Major downside is that when contact is made, he’s getting hit hard. His slider is filthy right now.

8.) I am all in on Jake Cronenworth (40% owned Fantrax, 5% owned Yahoo) ...for now. Eric Hosmer is back and but I’m hoping they find a spot for him. How rare is it to have a player who is 1B and SS eligible? Looks like he could be the utility infielder who is hitting .360. And strangely enough, while he's batting best on the fastball, he’s hitting his home runs on the offspeed and and breaking ball pitches.

9.) I imagine we see a spike in relief pitcher games this season with the compressed schedule. How much (if at all) does that dilute the need for a good SP?

10.) Yandy Diaz (19% owned Yahoo, 74% owned Fantrax) has a .211 batting average this season. Over the last month he’s batting .220. In the last two weeks its .243. Over the last week it’s .350, including a six-game hitting streak. Last year he started off the first month with a .095 average before batting .350 over the next month. He’s a slow starter.