Tyler Chatwood of the Chicago Cubs has pitched like a Cy Young candidate over his first 2 starts of the season

Photo Credit: AP

With the first few weeks of the baseball season underway, we have a big enough sample size to begin deciding what players having hot starts are worth targeting for your fantasy squad.

As the MLB has dealt with some covid related issues since the start of the season, it's difficult to manage your fantasy team when you don't know if any of your players will be affected by a positive covid diagnosis or postponement of games due to teams finding widespread positive tests among their organization. Because of the unique conditions pro sports are in now, this list is reflective of targets that are filling roles that should provide stable production long term.

From a fantasy perspective in this short season, if players can manage a few stretches of solid production, they can end up a top 75 player over the course of 60 games. Here are a few players that are currently enjoying one of those kinds of stretches to begin the season.


Donovan Solano of the San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Getty Images

Donovan Solano 2B/SS SF Giants (40% owned Yahoo) - The 2020 season has seen Solano get off to a fast start by amassing 15 hits and 13 RBI in 9 games. Splitting time between second and third base thus far, it appears that Solano has established an everyday role with the Giants. He was impressive in his playing time last season hitting .330 in 215 plate appearances. It's obvious that he can hit for contact, but Solano does lack power. The good news for fantasy owners is that Solano's defensive flexibility makes him an everyday play, and hitting sixth in the lineup should provide him a lot of opportunity to continue to drive in runs with the heart of the Giants lineup table setting in front of him.

Jairo Diaz of the Colorado Rockies It appears as though Diaz will be taking over closer duty in ColoradoAndy Cross, The Denver Post

Jairo Diaz RP COL (22% owned Yahoo) - With Wade Davis going on the IL without a clear timeline to return, the opportunity for Diaz to take over the closer role in Colorado has opened up. He may be a new name in fantasy, but he had 63 strikeouts across 57 2/3 innings in 2019 for the Rockies and managed 6 wins and 5 saves. Manager Bud Black also saw Colorado lose reliever Scott Oberg over the weekend due to health problems (blood clots) and his return this season is highly doubtful. The hard throwing righty, Diaz, will likely enjoy a long leash as Colorado is short on options, and he has experience closing games for the team already. If he is still on the waiver wire in your league, grab him while you can.

Tyler Chatwood Strikes Out 8 Batters in Season Debut www.youtube.com

Tyler Chatwood SP CHC (58% owned Yahoo) - In two starts this season, Tyler Chatwood has been nothing short of spectacular for the Cubs. Over 12 2/3 innings he has 19 strikeouts, 0.71 era, and 0.79 whip in 2 wins. While the chance of Chatwood sustaining this level of production would be unlikely to span an entire 162 game regular season, in this shortened season Chatwood has already made about 20% of the starts he will make for the entire 2020 regular season. He projects to have about 10 more starts this year and if he can manage to continue this run of play for a few more starts, then he could be in the running for NL Cy Young consideration and your fantasy team's MVP.

Colin Moran of the Pittsburgh Pirates MLB: MAY 05 Athletics at Pirates Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire

Colin Moran 3B/2B PIT (51% owned Yahoo) - The Pittsburgh Pirates' Colin Moran had been leading the MLB in home runs up until Aaron Judge hit his sixth (league leading) homer over his last 5 games on Sunday. Moran won't get the attention his play has warranted due to the market he's in, but, as Josh Bell proved last season, that doesn't mean Moran cannot be a productive fantasy player for your team. It appears that the team feels confident putting Moran into the cleanup spot right behind Bell against both righties and lefties so far this season. If Moran maintains hitting for power, his second base eligibility could make him a steal as there are a shortage of second basemen that can hit for power the way Moran has shown early on this season.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

Keep reading... Show less

Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

Keep reading... Show less

The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


Keep reading... Show less