MLB Stock Watch: Arrieta continues to rise, Upton and Wong falling

Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

STOCK UP

Jake Arrieta: He had a 0.75 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP after the All-Star break last season, but I worried about his innings increase and loss of FB velocity down the stretch, so I kept Arrieta out of my top-five fantasy starters entering 2016, which was obviously a huge mistake. He’s remained dominant to open the year and would easily be worthy of a first round pick if a draft were held today. There's clearly an argument he's the best pitcher in basbeall.

Kevin Gausman: He’s back in action healthy again, and while the A.L. East is hardly ideal, Gausman owns a 12.1 SwStr% through two starts, with a 23.98 K-BB% that would rank top-10 if he qualified. He’s currently owned in fewer than 40% of Yahoo leagues.

Jordan Zimmermann: He was someone I admit I was down on entering the year, moving from the National League to the A.L., but he’s allowed just one run over 26.0 innings so far in 2016. Zimmermann’s 16:7 K:BB ratio suggests he’s been “lucky,” but he’s still been highly valuable to fantasy owners. His 6.8 SwStr% is a career low, so I’d suggest selling high, but there’s no question Zimmermann has pitched well so far in 2016.

Joe Smith: Huston Street is on the disabled list with an oblique strain that will keep him out for at least the next couple of weeks, so Smith should take over as the Angels’ closer in the meantime. Smith’s K rate is down this season, but he owns a career 2.88 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP and should clearly be owned in all leagues at this point.

Jose Berrios: He’s one of the best prospects in all of baseball so don’t let one bad start prevent you from not treating him as such. The Twins have a poor offense and defense, which won’t help, and Berrios is no guarantee not to get sent back down, but his upside is still huge. I’d grab him in even the shallowest of leagues.

STOCK DOWN

Justin Upton: He homered Saturday for the first time in nearly three weeks, but he still sports a .221/.242/.326 line on the year with a 37:3 K:BB ratio. Upton is just 28 years old, so there’s plenty of reason for optimism, but the move to the American League has been a major problem so far.

Marcell Ozuna: He hit 23 homers as a 23 year old, which is a pretty rare occurrence and suggested future stardom, but Ozuna continues to disappoint. He’s off to a .218/.282/.372 start so far this year with 21 strikeouts over 21 games. This is especially discouraging considering Marlins Park has played as one of the best hitter’s parks in all of baseball so far.

Kolten Wong: He sure seemed like a major asset at second base, but Wong is still searching for his first homer of the season. Over the last seven days, he’s accrued a total of five at bats. Teammate Randal Grichuk has been another fantasy bust so far.

Ken Giles: The presumed Astros closer might not even be the team’s setup man at this point. The trade Houston made during the offseason wasn’t exactly great.

Dallas Keuchel: My guess is he’ll be fine, but his velocity is way down (87.9 mph), and he currently sports barely a 2:1 K:BB ratio. To be fair Keuchel’s SwStr% is a career high 11.7%, and he continues to produce a bunch of groundballs. But we are five starts into last year’s Cy Young winner's campaign, and he has a 4.41 ERA with a 1.41 WHIP.

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