The massive wave of rookies who were bid on across the fantasy community this weekend makes its way into Tuesday's Daily Notes and a couple of them might be worth holding for the long term.
We also have a trio of interesting starters to stream, all of whom should be on more rosters while they continue to pitch well.
Chris Bassitt (R), rostered in 33 percent of ESPN leagues, Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians: Bassitt has fanned six or more batters in each of his five starts, including a pair of nine-strikeout games. His 30 percent strikeout rate is far and away a career high and has helped fuel a fantastic 1.93 ERA/0.92 WHIP in 32 2/3 innings. Home runs have been a bit of an issue, but when you don't put a ton of baserunners on, the long ball is less damaging. The Cleveland offense sits 28th in wRC+ (weighted runs created-plus) with a 75 (100 is average, so it is 25 percent worse than average). The Indians have been slightly better of late with an 86 in the past month, but they are still worth picking on with streaming arms like Bassitt.
Spencer Turnbull (R), 23 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Miami Marlins: Turnbull's last outing saw him allow six runs, but only one was earned. Unfortunately, the pitch count ran up to 85 in four innings so it tied for his shortest outing of the year. He still netted six strikeouts to salvage the outing, though. After a two-strikeout start in Boston, there were some concerns that his strikeouts would start to come down, but in the four starts since then, he's had a 24 percent strikeout and 13 percent swinging strike rate. Miami is, of course, a brutal lineup and one of the best to go against with streamers. The Marlins are dead last in wRC+ against righties and only San Diego (28 percent) strikes out more than their 27 percent rate.
Matt Strahm (L), 31 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Remember when Strahm had a rough season debut? He allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings and looked nothing like the guy who tore up spring training and pushed himself up the draft boards. Seems like it was just a bad start. Since then, he has a 2.18 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 41 1/3 innings with a 22 percent strikeout rate and 3 percent walk rate. This will be a great challenge for him. The Diamondbacks hit him up in that season debut, but he also dropped five scoreless on them two starts later.
The shock of the century: The Washington Nationals have a bad bullpen. Outside of Sean Doolittle, they don't have a single reliable reliever. This lack of stability makes it difficult to trust guys like Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin for wins both in season-long formats and, more importantly, in DFS.
Catcher -- Jonathan Lucroy (R), 42 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Michael Pineda): Did you notice Lucroy's renaissance? He has already topped his home run count from last year with six in 138 plate appearances (4 in 454 last year) and his 115 wRC+ is far and away a three-year high after totals of 81 and 70 in 2017-18. Pineda is allowing a .934 OPS to righties so far this year, including 8 of his 13 homers.
First Base -- Christian Walker (R), 35 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres (LHP Matt Strahm): Walker has come back to earth in May with a .693 OPS and just one homer, but he's still smacking the ball and his plate approach is still strong. He isn't chasing more or swinging through pitches at any sort of alarming rate and he has a minuscule 8 percent soft contact rate. In other words, he will get hot again with these skills. The hype has died off on Walker so now is the time to consider buying low.
Second Base -- Jonathan Schoop (R), 57 percent, Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Trevor Cahill): Schoop has rebounded from an ugly 2018 and looks a lot more like his 2017 self. In fact, if he continues at this clip and matches his playing time, his 33 HR/103 RBI combo will be shockingly close to his 32/105 output from 2017. Schoop has been part of an excellent Minnesota offense that has stormed the AL Central and makes most of its everyday players viable across all formats. His 57 percent roster rate a little higher than our normal threshold, but I had to highlight him because he should be on more teams. Max Kepler is on about 65 percent of rosters so check his availability in your league, too, as he's crushing righties this year.
Third Base -- Austin Riley (R), 44 percent, Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants (RHP Shaun Anderson): Riley was one of the biggest pickups across the fantasy industry this weekend, particularly in deeper leagues as his power could make him a premium asset the rest of the way. He should be a shallow league consideration, too, at least while he's guaranteed playing time. He was toting a 1.057 OPS with 15 homers in just 37 Triple-A games and he's already clubbed two in his first week as a big leaguer. He'll add outfield eligibility soon and you should jump on board now in case he's this year's "Next Big Thing" a la Juan Soto last year.
Shortstop -- Nicky Lopez (L), 7 percent, Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Michael Wacha): Lopez was also a popular pickup this weekend, though his ceiling isn't as high as Riley's. That said, Lopez has been inserted into the 2-hole of KC's lineup and his arrival forced a move of Whit Merrifield to the outfield even after the Royals said they weren't going to do that. Lopez was incredible in the minors, posting a .353/.457/.500 line with 3 HR and 9 SB in 138 plate appearances while striking out just five times and garnering 20 walks. He wasn't a heralded prospect, but there is some all-formats upside here in the mold of the aforementioned Merrifield. Keep an eye on him in shallower leagues and be ready to pounce if he hits the ground running (pun fully intended).
Corner Infield -- Mitch Moreland (L), 30 percent, Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Marcus Stroman): Moreland just keeps smacking homers off righties. He now has 12 against them, just one shy of his entire count from last year and he's done it in about a third of the plate appearances. If you're playing matchups with your corner or utility spots, consider Moreland against any right-handers.
Middle Infield -- Howie Kendrick (R), 9 percent, Washington Nationals at New York Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler): Multiple injuries have ravaged the Nationals' lineup and Kendrick has taken advantage of a boost in playing time. He has already ripped seven homers and put up a 141 wRC+ in 119 plate appearances, bouncing around the diamond to play 1B, 2B and 3B.
Outfield -- Franmil Reyes (R), 47 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Zack Greinke): It didn't seem like the Franimal could maintain his absurd home run pace from the second half of last year when he hit 16 in 87 games. Instead, he's amplified it with 14 in just 47 games. Only 10 players have a higher slugging percentage than Reyes' .585 mark and only Christian Yelich (19), Cody Bellinger (17) and George Springer (17) have hit more homers than him.
Outfield -- Hunter Pence (R), 31 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Tommy Milone): Pence and Willie Calhoun comprise an outfield platoon, with the rejuvenated Pence getting play versus southpaws, as well as select games facing right-handers. The veteran homered off Mike Leake in last night's contest and now draws journeyman Milone, who has surrendered a whopping 37 longballs in just 144 innings since 2016.
Outfield -- Melky Cabrera (S), 4 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP German Marquez): Did you know Cabrera is hitting .341?? In fact, he's hitting .318 since the All-Star break last season, which is seventh-best in the league. Marquez has been great on the road, but I had to put some shine on Cabrera for this incredible batting average run, especially given that he's on just 4 percent of rosters.