Welcome to the MLB Stock Report! This will be a weekly piece where I break down players whose stocks are rising and players whose stocks are falling based on performances from the previous week.
Check back every Monday for the latest report, geared towards helping you in your FanDuel contests. Here's a look at the happenings from the week of June 8 to June 14.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton has been absolutely locked in over the month of June. Over the first two weeks of the month, he’s hitting .388 with a .455 on-base percentage and a whopping eight home runs. That’s pretty good. He is locked and loaded as a top fantasy outfielder and perhaps the top overall fantasy player when facing a left-handed pitcher. His power numbers are off the charts against southpaws.
Jace Peterson, 2B, Atlanta Braves – The Atlanta offense hasn’t been as bad as everyone predicted it would be this year, and Peterson is a big part of the reason for the improvement. He had a massive game on Sunday, logging three hits, a home run, and stealing a base for good measure. In total, he has 13 hits over the last seven days, good for a .419 average over that span. He has also drawn three walks, and he is proving to be a great table-setter for the Braves.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers – Welcome to the big leagues, Joey Gallo! The prized prospect for the Rangers has announced his arrival in a big way, as he clubbed a 471-foot home run on Saturday and another home run off Phil Hughes on Sunday. He’s going to struggle against left-handed pitching, and he’s going to strike out a lot, but he is also going to hit for massive power. His price tag on FanDuel is entirely too cheap right now, so take advantage while the opportunity to buy low is still available.
Max Scherzer, SP, Washington Nationals – Mad Max was unhittable on Sunday against the Brewers, tossing a one-hit, complete game shutout against the Brewers and racking up 16 strikeouts in the process. That was good for a massive 29 fantasy points on FanDuel, and it was nearly impossible to finish near the top of a tournament without him. Scherzer has been his generally dominant self pretty much all season for the Nationals, though his win/loss record doesn’t reflect that. He received almost no run support over the first month and a half of the season. He is certainly in the discussion as the top overall pitcher in the fantasy game today.
Lance McCullers, SP, Houston Astros – Houston’s prized pitching prospect has transitioned himself comfortably to the major league level, pitching to a 2.00 ERA and 10.00 K/9 rate through his first six big league starts. The walks (and his corresponding pitch counts) are still too high, but hopefully he learns that he can attack the zone with the tremendous stuff that he has. He won’t often pitch very deep into games as of now, but he can rack up fantasy points in a hurry thanks to his strikeout upside.
Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals – It’s been a rough June to date for Ian Desmond. He is currently mired in a stretch where he has collected just one single over his last 21 at-bats, with no walks and a whopping 13 strikeouts over that span. That is a massive slump for a guy who was hitting around Bryce Harper in a dangerous order for a while. Wait for Desmond to get things figured out before locking him into your rosters, even at a declining price tag.
Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard’s fantasy value is mainly derived via his ability to deliver the long ball. Unfortunately for him, the depleted state of the Philadelphia offense has reduced Howard’s ability to contribute, too. There is little incentive for pitchers to give Howard anything to hit, even when they fall behind in the count. Howard has just one home run since May 23rd, and his long-term arrow is not pointing in the right direction.
Dee Gordon, 2B, Miami Marlins – While Ryan Howard derives value from home runs, Dee Gordon derives value from his ability to wreak havoc on the bases. His stock was near an all-time high earlier this year, as he was tearing the cover off the ball at the start of the season. The problem is that his batting average has normalized, and he’s also a player who doesn’t draw a whole lot of walks for a leadoff man. This leads to a low on-base percentage, and a low on-base guy is not what you need for your upside-driven DFS lineups. Give Gordon a break until his price declines or his bat heats up again. He has just a .192 on base percentage over the last week.
Jimmy Nelson, SP, Milwaukee Brewers – I must admit that I bought into the Jimmy Nelson hype at the onset of 2015. He raced through Milwaukee’s minor league system with elite strikeout rates at every level, and it seemed as though he would make a smooth transition to the big leagues. That hasn’t been the case, as hitters are sitting on Nelson’s fastball and hitting him hard. His strikeout rate is still decent, but he is walking almost 3 ½ batters per nine innings and has a lackluster 3-7 record and 4.60 ERA to this point of the season. Perhaps a season of grooming will help him improve going into 2016 and beyond, but Nelson is not a fantasy asset right now.
Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Atlanta Braves – Foltynewicz is in pretty much the same boat as Nelson, as the Atlanta prospect has yet to find success at the major league level. He has been getting tagged hard by left-handed batters, culminating in a very poor start against the Mets on Sunday. Opponents are hitting .447 off him over his last two starts, and he is another pitcher who cannot be trusted for fantasy purposes at this point.