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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: April 15, 2019

April 15, 2019
Most baseball teams have played 15 games, which puts into perspective how early we still are in the season. Fantasy owners who drafted Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw will get a big boost as he will make his season debut April 15. If Kershaw can make close to 25 starts this season, I would consider that a success.

Three Up:

1. Houston Astros Second Baseman Jose Altuve -- The 2017 American League Most Valuable Player dealt with injuries in 2018, but he appears to be completely healthy this season. Altuve is batting .328 with seven home runs, 12 runs scored and 13 RBIs. The 28-year-old is coming off a week in which he collected 10 hits, six of those being home runs. I'm not sure if Altuve will be the stolen base threat he was earlier in his career, but his ability to fill up the stat sheet in the other categories still makes him an elite fantasy option.

2. Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Austin Meadows -- We highlighted Meadows as an undervalued candidate in March and through the first couple of weeks, the youngster is making us look good. Meadows finished this past week with a .545 batting average, four home runs and 12 RBIs. After this amazing week, Meadows is now batting .357 with six home runs and 17 RBIs. Meadows has two stolen bases, so it will be interesting to see if he continues to make that part of his game.

3. Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Blake Snell -- Snell continues to prove why he has quickly become one of the top fantasy pitchers. In two starts this past week, the left-hander struck out 20 in just 12 innings pitched while allowing one earned run. For the season, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has allowed just six earned runs and is well on his way to duplicating his 2018 campaign.

Three Down:

1. Cleveland Indians Second Baseman Jose Ramirez -- It has been a difficult start for one of the top fantasy players. Ramirez is batting .140 with two RBIs and is still searching for his first home run. This is a player who has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last two seasons. The Indians' lineup is not very good, which could be playing a role in Ramirez's struggles. His talent level is too good to struggle for much longer, and with teammate Francisco Lindor returning soon, Ramirez should begin helping fantasy owners again.

2. New York Mets Starting Pitcher Jacob deGrom -- The reigning 2018 National League Cy Young Award winner pitched at a historic level last season, so regression was expected. The last two starts have proven deGrom to be human, as he has allowed a combined nine earned runs and has failed to pitch into the sixth inning. I'm not worried at all, but this does put in perspective just how good he was in 2018. 

3. Colorado Rockies Outfielder Charlie Blackmon -- It shouldn't come as a coincidence that Blackmon is having a slow start to the season, as the Rockies have only played five of their first 16 games at home. The 32-year-old has yet to him a home run and is only batting .234. Fantasy owners just need to weather this storm; Blackmon's bat will heat up once the Rockies begin playing more games in Colorado.