Fantasy baseball: Three players to grab now

As fantasy baseballIt's Week 4 and one of the most popular teams in baseball is The Minnesota Twins. The Twins were last season's worst team, finishing last in the American League Central. They also finished 16 games below.500. In the past 10 games, they have won nine of the last ten games and now hold a three-game lead.

As noted in my weekly ForecasterIt's fortunate timing for a Twins hot streak. They have one of the most flexible schedules in baseball. A four-game road series will be held against the Twins in Week 4. Baltimore Oriolesa three-game home series against them Oakland AthleticsTeams that have performed well on the pitching side, but not much on offense, are called out. The Twins will play the Athletics three times on the road (May 16-18), and eight against the Twins. Detroit Tigers(7 against the clock, May 23-25 at home, and May 30-June 2, on the road. This doubleheader includes a doubleheader). Kansas City Royals(May 20-22 at the road, and May 26-29 at the home), and three against. Cleveland Guardians(May 13-15 at Home), with only a 3-game home series against The Houston Astros(May 10-12), rated as a challenging group.

My Forecaster does not mention a player who is available in 83.2% ESPN leagues and warrants an immediate add/start when considering these matchups. He's leading Monday's “Three Up” picks

Chris Paddack, SP, Twins:Paddack is Week 4's pitcher and the Twins' only starter. He'll be available Monday at Baltimore and Saturday against the Athletics. Joe Ryan(Tuesday-Sunday), is currently aligned with Paddack to join Paddack because of the injury status. Bailey Ober (groin, 10-day IL). Amazingly, Paddack is rostered only in 50% less leagues than Ober and 70% less than Ryan, despite two solid outings (5 fantasy point on April 20 and 16 on April 26). Paddack is a great Monday add/drop target and worth keeping in mind throughout May. He's poised to skip the upcoming Astros series altogether.

Last season Paddack was limited by injuries. However, one of the positives for 2021 was his increased reliance on a curvy ball, which he has thrown a record-breaking 21.2% of the times in 2022. The right-hander's pitch choice seems to be more consistent than usual. This means that any improvement he makes in his changeup is not a result of chance but rather an adjustment to his pitch selection. That's almost always a good thing. Paddack was ranked No. Paddack was the No. 25 starting pitcher in the 2019 Player Rater. He has demonstrated his ability to help all fantasy teams in the past. His upcoming schedule makes him a great pick.

Paul Blackburn, SP, Athletics: OK, I'll bite. Blackburn was a typical pitch-to contact, rotation-filler type entering this season. He got the opportunities he did with Athletics because there were few other big-league-ready starters. He has looked different through four starts. It's enough to warrant a speculation add. Blackburn's 2.7% walk rate and 69.9% strike rate are both a testament to his ability to throw more strikes. FarHis best pitch at any point in his professional career was his sinker. It showed a little more velocity (career-high 91.7mph average) as well as greater extension. He also appears to have a good grasp on the curveball, which is his most popular swing-and-miss pitch. Because of the foul territory of the game, Athletics pitchers can be attractive options in fantasy. While their offense may not make winning easy for right-handers, they are clearly in the streaming conversation.

Blackburn's next matchup is at home on Tuesday with the Tampa Bay RaysThe team scored 19 runs in six games over the past week.

Taylor Ward, OF, Los Angeles Angels: TheWard was the most-added player during the week in ESPN leagues. However, Ward's roster percent (75.9%), is still low considering his year-to date returns. Ward, a 28-year-old outfielder, was promoted to the leadoff position on the team just one week ago. He hit.448 (13-for-30) with four homers, 11 RBIs, and 10 runs. The metrics that support his breakthrough are as follows: He is recognizing breaking pitches more efficiently, hitting.400 with three out of five homers, while also lowering his whiffrate against them by 10%. His chase rate has dropped to a career-low 17.3%, which is nearly 8%. Ward was the first round pick in the 2015 amateur draft and was the leadoff player of a lineup. Mike Trout, Shohei OhtaniAnd Anthony RendonHe might be able to surpass 100 runs if he has a batting partner. His solid numbers in both home runs and batting average could help him. You should activate him immediately after adding him. If he is still available in your league, you might consider making this last call.

Additional Week 4 notes

While Julio RodriguezHe finally made it big with his first home run in the major leagues, a fellow rookie phenom. Spencer TorkelsonHis weekend was not inspiring, but he saw his called-strike rates rise to 35.1%. This is much higher than Rodriguez's, and 146th among 175 qualifiers. The hard-contact metrics of Torkelson, which I talked about last week, are solid and his Tigers have a favorable part upcoming on their hitting side. Remain patient!

The Arizona DiamondbacksPlaced closer Mark MelanconOn the COVID-19 injures list over the weekend. This pushes Ian Kennedyto fill in for Melancon temporarily. Melancon can be activated at any moment, but those looking for cheap saves may want to add Kennedy for the week. Kennedy's team will play three games at LoanDepot Park, which is a friendly pitching park, and three at home against the Yankees. Colorado Rockies.

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