The amount of games played this season has almost reached the total played in 2020, which is wild. We based a lot of decisions heading into 2021 on what these players did in 60 games and now this year, we still have three and a half more months. We have already seen a major increase in injuries, so it will be interesting to see how the players respond moving forward with 100 games still left to be played.

Three Up:

1. Baltimore Orioles Outfielder Cedric Mullins — The center fielder continues his impressive season after a monster weekend against the Cleveland Indians. Mullins finished the week collecting 13 hits, three home runs and one stolen base. The outfielder had nine consecutive hits at one point and raised his batting average to .322. Mullins reworked his swing the last couple of years and ditched switch-hitting. As a result, he has become one of the better fantasy players in baseball and is helping in multiple categories.

2. Baltimore Orioles First Baseman/Outfielder Ryan Mountcastle — After losing 14 games in row, it’s odd to have two hitters on the Orioles on this list a week later. However, both deserve it. Mountcastle finished the past week with 11 hits which included four home runs, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. He entered June 1 with a .226 batting average, but the hot streak has raised his batting average to .254. My pick to win Rookie of the Year struggled mightily in the month of April but bounced back to have a solid May and has been red hot in June. He is now back on pace to have a strong season.

3. Milwaukee Brewers Starting Pitcher Corbin Burnes — The right-hander continues to dominate this season. Burnes had two starts in the past week and allowed only one earned run while striking out 20. For the season, Burnes has a 1.97 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. However, Burnes has just three wins, which is frustrating. The 26-year-old has quickly become one of the better pitching options for fantasy owners this season and will look to continue making an impact moving forward.

Three Down:

1. Tampa Bay Rays Outfielder Randy Arozarena — The playoff hero from this past October entered this year with rookie status and has played well through the first two months. However, it was a rough week. Arozarena collected only five hits while striking out 13 times. The struggles have lasted longer than this past week, as Arozarena’s batting average has dipped from .283 on May 20 to his current average of .252. There’s not a lot of history with Arozarena, and since October, baseball has come easy for the outfielder. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from this slump.

2. New York Yankees Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole — Major League Baseball has made it a point to crack down on sticky substances being used on the baseball by pitchers. Cole has been accused in the past and in his first start after this crackdown, the righty had his worst start of the season, allowing five earned runs. Coincidence? Most likely, but it makes for good debate. Cole has been dominant all season long and still has a 2.26 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. He will look to bounce back in his next start and quiet any more discussion about this topic.

3. Chicago Cubs Shortstop Javier Baez — The good news about Baez was he hit three home runs this past week, The bad news is he only had four hits for the entire week while striking out 11 times. Baez entered June with a batting average of .260, but the recent struggles have cost the shortstop 20 points on his batting average as he is now hitting .240. I’m not overly concerned, but it will ease a lot of fantasy owners’ minds if Baez can end this slump quickly. Baez was in the midst of a nice bounce-back season so it would be a shame if a couple of bad weeks puts a damper on that.

Phil Backert

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