Hard as it may be to believe, we’re roughly one-quarter of the way through the season. All the major fantasy platforms have tools which allow you to see how players have performed more recently. While you should be cautious about using arbitrary end points and cutting already-small samples into even smaller ones, these splits can be useful in helping to identify players whose hot or cold starts are propping up or suppressing their season stats. Here are a few sample cases.
Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
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Bautista entered May with a putrid .178/.309/.244 batting line and just a single home run to his credit. Fortunately for patient fantasy owners, April showers have brought May power. Since the calendar flipped, Bautista has looked much more like the elite hitter he’s been the entire decade, hitting .300/.410/.629 with six homers and 30 R+RBI so far. He’s even stolen two bases this year to boot. The resurgence of Joey Bats is just the latest example of why it’s usually a bad idea to make rash decisions regarding established players.
Jose Quintana, SP, Chicago White Sox
Here’s another example. Quintana was a mess in his first three starts this season, allowing four homers and nine walks in just 17 innings of work. Thanks to those atypical numbers, he carried abysmal ratios (6.75 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) that are only now recovering. Over the last month, the White Sox ace has more closely resembled his normal self, pitching to a 2.70 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while allowing just two homers in six starts. It’s true that his walk rate is still a bit elevated from what we’re used to seeing, but he’s also striking out nearly a batter per inning. Not a bad trade-off.
Khris Davis, OF, Oakland Athletics
Davis had a career year in 2016, smacking 42 homers and driving in 102 runs in his first season with the A’s. He went deep twice on Opening Day and 10 times total in the month of April. Not only that, his walk rate was up substantially, leading to an excellent .268/.374/.659 line for the month. Davis didn’t hit his first homer in May until the 15th, and despite two more since, he’s hitting an awful .171/.221/.329 for the month.
Danny Duffy, SP, Kansas City Royals
Duffy has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his nine starts this year, but it wasn’t until his last turn that he resembled the budding ace we saw last season. Going up against a loaded Yankees lineup, Duffy struck out the side in the first on his way to a gem: seven shutout innings, 10 strikeouts. Prior to that, however, he had just 35 strikeouts against 17 walks in 50 innings. Even with that dominant outing, he has a 4.45 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over the past month.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles and Fantasy Baseball Rankingsare your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.