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Trending Up, Trending Down: Fernando Tatis Is A Cheat Code

Fernando Tatis is toying with MLB pitchers at this point, while Brandon Woodruff and Kevin Gausman are carrying fantasy rotations.

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Fernando Tatis is toying with MLB pitchers at this point, while Brandon Woodruff and Kevin Gausman are carrying fantasy rotations. Alec Bohm and Dane Dunning have disappointed, however, as has the always reliable DJ LeMahieu.

Each week, the NERDS will bring you three players who are trending up, and three who aren’t looking so good. A player’s presence in any of these lists will never be injury-related.

Trending Up:

Fernando Tatis, SS, San Diego Padres

A few weeks ago, we were talking about the possibility of Tatis undergoing season-ending surgery as a result of an injury he suffered during a swinging strike. Now, he is carrying the San Diego Padres and fantasy owners in that injured shoulder.

Over the past two weeks, Tatis scored 13 runs, hit six homers, drove in 22 runs, stole five steals, and had a .447 average and a 1.573 OPS. That’s without yesterday’s stats (he homered and tied for the league lead with his 16th blast).

The Padres’ shortstop is truly one of a kind, and you should feel lucky to own him in your virtual team.

Advice: Easy hold, unless someone offers something extremely crazy

Brandon Woodruff, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Would you believe us if we told you that, at least in 2021, Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Brandon Woodruff has been more dominant than Gerrit Cole and even Jacob deGrom? No? Well, numbers don’t lie.

Over the last two weeks, these are Woodruff’s numbers: 21.2 IP, two wins, 22 strikeouts, 0.42 ERA, 0.60 WHIP. That is absolutely insane.

He’s been pitching like a legit Cy Young award candidate, with a 1.27 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in 71 frames, with 83 punchouts. If you want translation for fantasy purposes, that’s SP1 production right there. Don’t even entertain trade options: keep him and enjoy the ride.

Advice: Hold tight

Kevin Gausman, SP, San Francisco Giants

Speaking of Cy Young award candidates, here is another one for you: Kevin Gausman. Apparently, leaving the Baltimore Orioles is a recipe for success if you are a starting pitcher. It worked for Dylan Bundy, too, at least during last season.

Gausman has pitched 17 frames during the last two weeks, accumulating three wins, a 0.00 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts. He left his last outing with a minor injury, but start him with confidence: he expects to make his next start.

A 1.40 ERA and a 0.81 WHP, with 83 whiffs in 70.2 innings during the 2021 season puts him in the thick of the NL Cy Young award race.

He’s a big reason why the Giants are fighting toe to toe with the Padres and Dodgers for the NL West division lead, and a big driving factor behind the success of his fantasy owners.

Advice: Hold and enjoy

Trending Down:

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, New York Yankees

Last season, LeMahieu was an MVP candidate in the American League, and is the reigning batting champion with a .364/.421/.590 line. He hit 10 homers, he earned a six-year, $90 million, and the Yankees were happy with their leadoff man.

This year, LeMahieu’s hitting .267 with a .698 OPS for the season, a far cry of his 2020 numbers. The Yankees have grown frustrated with his ground ball tendencies (54.8 GB%) and he is no longer an offensive threat.

Of course, the situation can change any day now, as he has shown he is a talented hitter capable of making adjustments. However, his performance over the last two weeks (.233 AVG, .542 OPS with no homers or steals) isn’t at all encouraging.

Advice: Take advantage of name value and sell high, but only if the return is worthwhile

Dane Dunning, SP, Texas Rangers

After opening the season with only one earned run allowed in his first 15 innings, things have been unraveling quickly for the right-handed command artist. Dunning doesn’t have overpowering stuff, so he’s prone to some duds from time to time.

In the last month, the Rangers’ young hurler has a mediocre 5.47 ERA and an elevated 1.58 WHIP. Texas is closely monitoring his innings, so he won’t get too many quality starts, and the offense behind him is just not good, limiting his potential for wins.

All of this results in a not-so-encouraging outlook for Dunning for the rest of the season.

Advice: Drop in shallow formats

Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

A Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League last season after hitting .338 with four homers in 160 plate appearances, the 2021 season has been much more difficult for the young third base prospects.

In the last two weeks, Bohm has hit .132 with a paltry .372 OPS, with no homers or steals. For the season, he has four round-trippers, but with a mediocre .205 batting average and .549 OPS. The Phillies may be getting impatient with the prized prospect, but as long as he remains in the big leagues, he should play.

The third baseman, additionally, comfortably leads the league in GIDP (grounded into double plays) with 12, evidencing a clear issue with ground balls. In the minor leagues, his profile indicates that he should eventually hit more fly balls in the bigs, so he requires patience.

Advice: Bench, but don’t drop

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