Memorial Day is often considered to be a reasonable checkpoint for fantasy managers to truly assess how good (or bad) your roster is when matched up against the competition. Now is the perfect time to take stock of where you're at and what your team might be able to achieve "as is" and, if the answer is "not much," then some moves need to be made. Meanwhile, Tuesday's slate offers some interesting pitching, though the hitting options are a bit light.
Jordan Lyles (R), rostered in 51 percent of ESPN leagues, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds: Lyles was beat up a bit in his most recent outing at home against Colorado, but the six runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings only raised his ERA to 2.81 over 51 1/3 innings. He had been great with five scoreless before it fell apart in the sixth. He even opened the sixth going out-hit-out before four singles and a walk saw things snowball. Lyles has more than a strikeout per inning and keeps the ball in the yard. A trip to Cincinnati isn't overly worrisome.
Lucas Giolito (R), 39 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: Giolito has been amazing this month. Since returning from the IL, Giolito has a 1.35 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in five May starts, with 36 strikeouts over 33 1/3 innings. This was capped off with a shutout in Houston his last time out. I'm actually quite surprised he's not on more rosters at this point. He has allowed only two runs with 13 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings against Kansas City so far this year.
Dylan Bundy (R), 24 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers: Bundy is also having a strong May with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings and could wind up with two quality starts against Detroit and San Francisco this week. He will definitely face Detroit on Tuesday -- a team that is tied for last in wRC+ at 71, with the league's third-highest strikeout rate of 26 percent. Get him for this start and keep an eye out for a potential Sunday start against San Francisco and its 78 wRC+.
Catcher -- Robinson Chirinos (R), 27 percent, Houston Astros vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Jon Lester): Chirinos has been a perfectly cromulent catcher with a healthy 129 wRC+ and six homers. He's always done his best work against lefties, with a career 87-point OPS platoon split. While he has been a bit worse against lefties so far this year, he's had only 43 PA against them -- so he's just getting started.
First Base -- Pablo Sandoval (S), 49 percent, San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins (RHP Trevor Richards): Guess what Sandoval's wRC+ is right now. Go ahead, I'll give you a second. It's 149. Panda has quietly found his footing back in San Francisco, particularly against righties. He's blistering them with a .329/.355/.726 line, including all seven of his home runs to go along with 16 RBIs. Although Richards is strong against lefties, thanks to his excellent changeup, we're still taking our shot with Sandoval.
Second Base -- Logan Forsythe (R), 7 percent, Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales): Forsythe has always handled lefties in his career, with a 110-point OPS platoon advantage. He's at only .744 OPS in 44 PA (with only eight hits) but eight walks are keeping his OBP up at .372. If you don't go for Forsythe in this matchup, consider Hunter Pence in your outfield. He's crushing lefties to the tune of a .921 OPS with four homers in 43 PA.
Third Base -- Renato Nunez (R), 5 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): Plain and simple, Nunez crushes lefties. He's been on fire lately because the Orioles have faced a string of southpaws and also took a trip to Coors Field. He has hit home runs in four consecutive games -- and only two were against righties, so he's just flat out "dialed in" right now. He hit another homer off a lefty on Monday afternoon, taking Daniel Norris deep for his 13th of the year. If he shows some consistency against righties, he could be a major power source. In the interim, just keep spotting him against lefties.
Shortstop -- Marwin Gonzalez (S), 46 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Zach Davies): After a slow April (.501 OPS), Gonzalez has turned his season around in May (.843). We'll take a piece of that Minnesota offense whenever we can get it. He can play anywhere, too, so you should be able to find space for him. Davies has been good on the year, but hit his first big hiccup last time out, allowing six earned runs in just three innings.
Corner Infield -- Justin Smoak (S), 51 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (Undecided): This game will likely feature an opener and it's not locked in as to who the follower will be. As a result, consider Smoak as more of a TBD. However, if we get news that it's someone like righty Emilio Pagan, then Smoak is a full go, thanks to his .932 OPS with 10 homers. If it's lefty Ryan Yarbrough, you might be looking for a better option since Smoak has only a .608 OPS against southpaws, with a single homer. He's been generally worse against LHP throughout his career, but did spike a seven-homer, .977 OPS season in 143 PA back in 2017.
Middle Infield -- Derek Dietrich (L), 19 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Jordan Lyles): Dietrich already has 13 homers -- just three shy of his entire 2018 total. All of them have come against righties, yielding a 1.038 OPS. I did promote Lyles as a strong streaming option and I stand by that. Still, he could pitch well while also allowing a Dietrich homer or, better yet, Dietrich could mash against a righty reliever.
Outfield -- Hunter Renfroe (R), 51 percent, San Diego Padres at New York Yankees (RHP Masahiro Tanaka): This one is straightforward. Renfroe smashes homers and Tanaka allows them. Renfroe has a 31 percent HR/FB rate and sells out for his power with a 42 percent fly ball rate and a 58 percent pull rate. Tanaka has a career 1.3 HR/9 rate, including a 1.5 mark over the past three seasons.
Outfield -- Avisail Garcia (R), 10 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Clayton Richard): Garcia has made a career out of raking against lefties and, like our other lefty-destroying candidates for the day, he's not off to a great start against them this year. He currently has just a .687 OPS, though that's in large part due to a .219 BABIP. I'm still willing to bet on his career 78-point OPS platoon split, especially against Richard.
Outfield -- Bryan Reynolds (S), 2 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Lucas Sims): Reynolds, a 2016 second-round pick for San Francisco, came over to Pittsburgh in the Andrew McCutchen deal. He looks great so far this year. After hitting five homers in 57 PA at Triple-A, he has clubbed another five in his first 102 major league PA. He's starting to get picked up in deeper leagues and could become a solid shallow-format option soon.