It's really easy in Fantasy Baseball to get caught up in upside, especially at pitcher. A young guy with a blazing fastball and a a big strikeout rate can hold our attention no matter how high is ERA is, at least for a while. Of course the flip side is we probably ignore starters who need to be rostered because we just don't want to believe they might actually be good.
Anibal Sanchez is one of those guys.
He held the White Sox to one run and five baserunners across six innings Monday night. Yes, he only struck out one, but Sanchez has now allowed two runs in his past three starts. He has 15 strikeouts and three walks across his past 17.1 innings. And this is not just a hot streak.
Since the start of the 2018 seasons Sanchez has a 3.16 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and a 3.86 FIP with 191 strikeouts across 196.1 innings. That type of pitcher needs to be owned in more than 52% of leagues, especially during a two-start week. He's also not someone I'd necessarily drop if you picked him up just for this week.
Four more to add
Scott Kingery (47%) -- Kingery has triple eligibility (third base, shortstop and outfield), a clear path to regular playing time and a .970 OPS. I have now idea how he's still available in more than half of leagues. He was bad as a rookie, but he has good pedigree and the quality of his contact has greatly improved. His hard-contact and barrel rates are both above league average. Go get him now.
Zach Plesac (66%) -- Plesac didn't pitch last night, but it seems like everyone needs a reminder what he's done so far. In starts against the Yankees, Red Sox, and White Sox, Plesac has allowed four runs in 19.1 innings. He's completed seven innings in two of those starts. This is a very good control pitcher with more strikeout upside than he's shown so far. He should be owned in almost all leagues.
Framber Valdez (42%) -- The first start of 2019 couldn't have gone much better for Valdez last Friday. He struck out seven and gave up just one run in seven innings. He worked his way up to 84 pitches, which should mean he has at least 90 in him moving forward. Valdez has now thrown 70 innings in the major leagues and owns a 2.44 ERA.
David Bote (20%) -- Bote doesn't need to be owned in every league, but he is under-owned at 20%. He's started the past six games for the Cubs and has seven hits (including two home runs) in that stretch. For the year he owns an .846 OPS and is second base eligible. At the very least he should be owned in leagues that use a middle infielder.
Monday's winners and losers
Sean Newcomb -- Newcomb took over after another Kevin Gausman blowup and threw 4.2 shutout innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Since being recalled he owns a 1.42 ERA with 21 strikeouts and two walks in 19 innings. He could become a fifth starter or a closer in the future. Watch his usage.
Ildemaro Vargas -- Vargas was one of a handful of double dongs on Monday night. His playing time is too sporadic to care in anything other than NL-only, but he is worth adding in that format.
Starling Marte -- Marte also homered twice on Monday. In his past 18 games he owns a .400/.458/.667 slash line with five home runs and four stolen bases. It looks like his slow start is behind him.
Nick Markakis -- Markakis had been pretty cold at the plate, but a four-hit game with a home run is a good way to fix that. He's still not exciting but worth an add if someone dropped him in frustration.
Brandon Lowe -- I was starting to get concerned about Lowe late last week. Eight hits and three home runs in four games will fix that. Lowe is still best fit for a categories leagues with daily lineups, but he's must own in all formats.
Eduardo Escobar -- It might be time to start taking Escobar seriously. After Monday's four-hit, two-homer game, Escobar has a .950 OPS and ranks as the No. 2 shortstop and No. 3 third baseman in Fantasy.
Matt Barnes -- Barnes blew his fourth save on Monday and now has as many blown saves as actual saves. He's also allowed six runs in his past four outings.
Michael Chavis -- Chavis sat for Eduardo Nunez and Sam Travis on Monday. And the way he's hit lately he probably deserves to. He needs to wake his bat up before Mitch Moreland is ready to come off the injured list or he could be the odd man out permanently.
Khris Davis -- Davis struck out three more times and just hasn't been the same since returning from the injured list. He's stuck out 16 times in 44 plate appearances and has just two extra base hits. It's easy to wonder if he's still not right.