Hard as it may be to believe, we’re roughly one-quarter of the way through the season. All of 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 even smaller, 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 examples.
Through the season’s first two weeks, Duda hit .200/.243/.229 with no home runs and only three RBI. Over the past month, however, he’s produced a much more palatable .250/.320/.534 line and hit seven homers. Among first basemen, only Anthony Rizzo and Chris Carter have gone deep more often in that time.
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Sano had an even worse start than Duda, posting a pitiful .143/.286/.171 line through the opening two weeks of the year. He had no homers and only one extra-base hit. Since then, he’s hit safely in 20 of 26 games. The light-tower power than enticed many fantasy owners to invest heavily in him also showed up, as he has six homers over the last month, including three in his last five games.
Verlander has allowed just one run and struck out 17 batters in his last 15 innings of work. A pair of disastrous outings earlier in the year has kept his ERA near 5.00. While those games obviously still count, they also represent more than half of the runs he’s allowed this season. Strip them out and you’re left with a 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and better than a strikeout per inning. Those numbers are essentially what he provided at his peak.
White became an early-season sensation thanks to an absurd opening week. Expected to be a placeholder in Houston for top prospect A.J. Reed, White had 10 hits in his first 15 at-bats, including three homers. He’s just 15-for-92 since. Reed injured his hamstring last week, but still figures to take over as the starting first baseman eventually – particularly if White and the Astros continue to scuffle.
Coming off the best fantasy season of his career and penciled in as leadoff man in a stacked Cubs lineup, Fowler was a savvy under the radar pick for many owners. He’s been better than anyone could have imagined, producing a .992 OPS with three homers and going a perfect 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts. Over the last two weeks, though, he’s been less impressive: No homers, just one steal, and an OPS virtually identical to his career .789 mark.
The Phillies’ rookie started his season with 15 scoreless innings, including a 16-strikeout, three-hit complete game gem against the Padres. He’s been much less impressive in his last five turns, averaging less than six innings per outing and posting a mediocre 4.13 ERA in the process.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles and Fantasy Baseball Rankings are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.