Description: After going 2-for-5 with three RBI Thursday against the Blue Jays, O's center fielder Adam Jones is hitting .291 this season, but he has just one home run.
Insight: Jones increased his home run total in each of the last three seasons and had a career-high 33 last year. There's nothing wrong with his fly-ball rate; it's actually higher than last season at 36.9 percent, but his HR/FB is only 4.2 percent.
Description: Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison gave up two earned runs on six hits and struck out nine in six innings Thursday against the Orioles, but Toronto's bullpen turned a 3-2 lead into an 11-4 loss.
Insight: Hutchison has an impressive 11.42 K/9 and a 3.46 ERA so far. His WHIP is a little high at 1.38, but that's only because he has been hurt by a .364 BABIP.
Description: Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco is hitting .153 with 17 Ks and zero homers in 72 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.
Insight: Franco is Philadelphia's top prospect and MLB.com's No. 25 prospect in baseball, but he hasn't played like it so far. The 21-year-old hit .320 with 31 home runs, 103 RBI and a 70/30 K/BB in 581 minor-league at-bats last season (Double-A and Class-A Advanced).
Description: Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard has allowed 11 earned runs on 23 hits with a 15/8 K/BB in 20 innings with Triple-A Las Vegas this season.
Insight: Syndergaard had a 3.06 ERA and a terrific 133/28 K/BB in 117 2/3 innings in the minors last season (Double-A and Class-A Advanced). The Mets will probably take the same path with him that they did with Matt Harvey in 2012 and Zack Wheeler in 2013, calling him up in June or later.
Description: Cubs 2B/SS prospect Javier Baez has hit .184 with two homers and a 16/2 K/BB in his first 11 games with Triple-A Iowa this season. He also missed a week due to an ankle injury before returning to the lineup Sunday.
Insight: Baez, Chicago's top prospect and MLB.com's No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, hit five home runs in 53 at-bats this spring after belting 37 longballs in 130 games in the minors last season (Single-A Advanced and Double-A). He has game-changing power at the shortstop and second base positions and is someone to keep an eye on. However, the Cubs are in no rush to promote him.
Description: Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley has a 3.98 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and a 20/8 K/BB in 20 1/3 innings with Triple-A Reno this season.
Insight: The D'Backs have already had to replace three of the five members of their expected starting rotation (Patrick Corbin due to injury, Trevor Cahill and Randall Delgado due to ineffectiveness), but they haven't made the call for Bradley yet. Arizona GM Kevin Towers said earlier this month that the team wouldn't rush Bradley to the majors, and his mixed results so far make that decision easier.
Description: Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco has hit .403 with three homers, three steals, 20 RBI and a 1.062 OPS in his first 19 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
Insight: MLB.com ranked Polanco as the 13th overall prospect in baseball this preseason after he hit .285 with 12 homers, 38 steals and a .792 OPS in the minors last year. He should be up within the next six weeks to replace Travis Snider in right field.
Description: Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has flown back to Texas to have his back examined, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
Insight: Kouzmanoff has a history of back issues. The 32-year-old has been filling in for Adrian Beltre (quad) and hit .362 with two homers and 10 RBI in 13 games this season after not playing in the majors in 2012 or 2013. Beltre is expected back soon.
Description: Arizona infielder Martin Prado went 0-for-4 Thursday and is batting .234 with zero homers this season.
Insight: Prado has struck out in 17.2 percent of his plate appearances, up from just 8.0 percent a year ago. When Prado started off with a .238 average in his first 73 games last year, he had a 10.3 percent K rate and the low average was more the result of a .250 BABIP.
Description: Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras (ankle) returned to Triple-A Memphis' lineup Thursday, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: Taveras rolled his left ankle Monday and missed one game. The 21-year-old brought a .299 average, three homers, 12 RBI and an .849 OPS into Thursday's game. Taveras, MLB.com's No. 3 overall prospect, had surgery on his right ankle last August.
Description: According to Jane Lee of mlb.com, Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Jim Johnson could re-enter the ninth-inning mix with Luke Gregorson and Sean Doolittle
Insight: Johnson has thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings with six Ks and a 1.05 WHIP since he was removed from the closer role. Johnson is making $10 million this season so fantasy owners should expect him to get the role back if he continues to pitch well.
Description: Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig is hitting .179 with a .481 OPS this season.
Insight: Craig's GB/FB/LD percentage breakdown is .638/.188/.174 and he's hitting .206 on balls in play. He had a .450/.281/.269 percentage breakdown and a .368 BABIP last season. The decline is curious because his chase rate is way down and his contact rate on pitches in the strike zone has increased from 2013.
Description: Royals DH Billy Butler went 0-for-4 Thursday at Cleveland and his average is back down to .195.
Insight: Butler had a streak of productivity (9-for-27), but he's gone 0-for-8 his last two games. The lead-footed DH has a career-high ground-ball rate of 65.1 percent, a career-worst 18.4 percent K rate and just two extra-base hits (zero HR) this season.
Description: Mets starter Bartolo Colon gave up four hits and one run in seven innings Thursday afternoon to beat the Cardinals.
Insight: Colon struck out eight and walked none. The 40-year-old's ERA is still 4.50 because he gave up nine runs in five innings on April 13, but he has thrown quality starts in each of his other four outings this season (2-2, 2.33 ERA).
Description: White Sox DH Adam Dunn went 2-for-4 with a solo homer Thursday at Detroit.
Insight: As usual, Dunn (.266, 5 HR, 11 RBI) has a high strikeout rate (30 percent), but he's actually getting some good luck on balls in play this year. His .333 BABIP is 67 points higher than last year.
Description: Chicago right fielder Dayan Viciedo has gone 14-for-24 (.583) with four doubles, one home run, five RBI and six runs over his last six games.
Insight: Viciedo took over the starting job in right field when Avisail Garcia suffered a season-ending injury and has hit .377 in 69 at-bats. His strikeout rate is down from 20.7 percent in 2013 to 14.5 percent this year, but he also has benefited from a .431 BABIP and only has one home run all season.
Description: The Mariners have sent Erasmo Ramirez to High-A High Desert to work out his issues.
Insight: Ramirez had a 6.75 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP and a 20/11 K/BB in his first 24 innings this season. Brandon Maurer will start in his place on Sunday and then Hisashi Iwakuma is expected to take the spot when he returns from the DL.
Description: Boston right fielder Shane Victorino (hamstring) is in the starting lineup Thursday against CC Sabathia and the Yankees.
Insight: Victorino is a career .409 hitter (9-for-22) against Sabathia. The outfielder was activated from the disabled list Thursday after missing the first three weeks of the year with a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
Description: Yankees starter Ivan Nova has elected to undergo Tommy John surgery, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Insight: Nova started off this season with an 8.27 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings, and the injury explains why he has been struggling. Vidal Nuno will get the first shot at replacing him in the rotation.
Description: Yankees starter Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday's start at Boston for having pine tar on his neck, and has been suspended for 10 games.
Insight: Pineda appeared to have pine tar on his palm two starts ago, also against Boston, but the Red Sox dugout didn't say anything. However, manager John Farrell wasn't about to be fooled twice. His suspension will start Thursday so he may only have to miss one start.
Description: White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has been activated from the disabled list and is in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Beckham missed the first few weeks of the season with a strained oblique. His return will mean less playing time for Marcus Semien (.234, 3 HR, 13 RBI) and Conor Gillaspie (.302, 0 HR, 12 RBI).
Description: Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is not is Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Molina may be the best catcher in the game both in fantasy and real life. He's great behind the plate and is batting over .300 for the fourth consecutive season. He's batting .367 this season with three homers and a .955 OPS. Tony Cruz will get the start, but has little fantasy value.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games, but Davis is in the starting lineup and leading off.
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is not in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: Martin, who is appealing a one-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl this past weekend, was seen walking gingerly after a slide at home plate Wednesday night. Don't be surprised if he drops his appeal and uses the off day to his best advantage.
Description: Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez is not in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: Perez was zero for his last 21 going into Wednesday's game, but did hit his first home run of the season. He's a .292 career hitter, but has started off slowly, batting just .213 through the first 20 games.
Description: A's third baseman Josh Donaldson has begun to heat up and looks like the hitter who exploded onto the scene last season.
Insight: Donaldson is batting .308 with a .945 OPS over the past dozen games after batting .194 over his first eight games. He was one of last season's most improved players batting .301 with 24 HR, 93 RBI and 89 runs scored. After a slow beginning it appears he back to being a top fantasy 3B.
Description: Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is a lifetime .476 hitter (10-for-21) with a pair of homers against Dodgers starter Dan Haren.
Insight: After homering on Opening Day, Bryd has not done much. He hit .291 with a career-high 24 round-trippers last season, but we're still skeptical that he can match those numbers this season. He's batting .238 through the first 21 games with two homers and 12 RBI.
Description: Padres right fielder Will Venable is a career .077 hitter (1-for-13) against Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.
Insight: He's batting .211 with zero home runs, two RBI and zero steals through the first 22 games. Venable hit .312 with 12 homers and 13 steals over his final 74 games last year to finish with 22 homers and 22 stolen bases, but he's failed to carry that over into the 2014 season. The home run drought isn't likely to end on Thursday.
Description: Indians DH Jason Giambi is a career 6-for-16 (.375) with four home runs versus Kansas City starter Bruce Chen.
Insight: This is contrary to Giambi's career numbers which show he's a much better hitter against right-handers (.283, .945 OPS) than lefties (.264, .852 OPS). With DH Ryan Raburn batting .191 this season and unfavorable numbers against Chen, expect to see Giambi in the lineup and he'll have fantasy value if started.
Description: The suddenly hot-hitting Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas has a favorable matchup on Thursday.
Insight: Moustakas, who has homered in the last two games and has has four homers and 10 RBI over his last eight games, is a career 6-for-12 against Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber. You won't hear this often, but start Moustakas.
Description: White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is just 4-for-42 (.095) against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Ramirez is off to a quick start, batting .352 with four homers, 15 RBI, 15 runs and a .944 OPS. he's hit safely in 21 of 22 games this season. All these numbers are well above his six-season averages and he's a "sell high" candidate. Don't start him against Scherzer.
Description: Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis is a career .500 hitter (7-for-14) against White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana.
Insight: Davis is hitting .304 with one homer, 11 runs and seven steals in 15 games this season. He's also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts against Quintana. Just called up J.D. Martinez has played the last two games.
Description: Brewers starter Kyle Lohse improved to 4-1 Wednesday with seven strong innings against the Padres.
Insight: Lohse allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and has a 2.38 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and a 31/10 K/BB in 34 innings this year (8.21 K/9). He only struck out 5.66 batters per nine innings last year and has a 5.69 K/9 in his career.
Description: Angels closer Ernesto Frieri blew a 4-1 lead Wednesday at Washington, but manager Mike Scioscia said he's sticking with him, according to Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com.
Insight: Frieri allowed four runs on three hits with a walk in 1/3 of an inning. He has a 9.35 ERA and has given up an astounding five home runs in 8 2/3 innings. Joe Smith is probably next in line for saves, though Fernando Salas has some experience in the ninth inning.
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen made it three straight games with a home run Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: The reigning NL MVP went 7-for-10 with three homers, three RBI, four runs and four walks in the first three games of Pittsburgh's series against the Reds. He's hitting .298 with four homers, 13 RBI, 12 runs, three steals and 19 walks so far.
Description: Boston right-hander John Lackey struck out 11 Yankees and allowed one run on seven hits over eight innings in Wednesday's victory.
Insight: Manager John Farrell said Lackey (3-2, 4.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) and pitching coach Juan Nieves made some adjustments after Lackey allowed 12 earned runs on 20 hits over 11 innings his last two starts.
Description: Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie raised his average to .165 with three hits Wednesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Lawrie hit a three-run homer off Chris Tillman in the second inning. Despite the low average, the third baseman has five home runs and 18 RBI because he has been opportunistic with runners on base.
Description: Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters (forearm) returned to the lineup Wednesday and went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI.
Insight: He missed yesterday's game with a sore forearm. Wieters is off to a fantastic start with the stick, hitting .344 with four home runs, 13 RBI and a .973 OPS. The backstop hit .249 and averaged 22 home runs and 77 RBI per season from 2011-13.
Description: Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit his second home run of the season Wednesday at Toronto.
Insight: Davis (.246, .771 OPS) didn't have one in his first 11 games of the season and went seven games without one between his first and second. However, if there's one thing we aren't worried about with Davis, it's his power hitting.
Description: Orioles starter Chris Tillman won his third game of the season Wednesday at Toronto despite allowing seven earned runs on nine hits (three homers) in 5 2/3 innings.
Insight: Tillman's longball issues returned Wednesday after he gave up just two homers in his first 26 1/3 this season. He allowed 33 blasts in 206 1/3 innings last season, but 23 were solo shots and none came with more than one man on base so he escaped with a 3.71 ERA. He'll take a 3.38 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP into his next start.
Description: Cleveland starter Justin Masterson has tossed two straight quality starts after giving up 10 earned runs on 14 hits in 8 1/3 innings in his previous two turns.
Insight: Masterson still doesn't have a decision this season. The right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits with a 6/2 K/BB in 6 1/3 innings Wednesday against Kansas City and now has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. He should improve once his .346 BABIP comes down, though he'll have to get his 4.18 BB/9 in check as well.
Description: Indians closer John Axford tied Francisco Rodriguez for the MLB lead with his eighth save Wednesday against the Royals.
Insight: Axford lost the closer job last year with Milwaukee but was effective in 16 innings for the Cardinals (including playoffs) after being traded to earn a contract with Cleveland. His 1.34 WHIP and 6.51 BB/9 suggest you should sell high while he has a 2.79 ERA.
Description: Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas homered for the second straight game Wednesday at Cleveland.
Insight: Moustakas has drilled four homers and driven in 10 runs over his last eight games but he's still just 11-for-69 (.159) this season. This is the second straight year he raked in spring training and then got off to an ice cold start.
Description: Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson went deep Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Jackson had his first day off of the season Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Wednesday. He's batting .310 with two home runs, nine RBI, eight runs, one steal and a 13/9 K/BB in 58 at-bats.
Description: Tigers starter Drew Smyly tossed six innings, struck out seven with one walk and allowed two runs on six hits Wednesday against the White Sox.
Insight: Smyly didn't make his first start of the season until April 18 due to a rainout and lasted just three innings in that game. The 24-year-old should get back into a regular rhythm now and has good upside.
Description: Extra innings certainly helped owners of Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau Wednesday, as he started off 0-for-4 but went 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBI in his last two at-bats.
Insight: The move to Coors Field has led to the resurrection of Morneau, who struggled in Target Field the last four years and PNC Park briefly in 2013. The 32-year-old now has a .346 average, a .984 OPS, five home runs and 17 RBI in 78 at-bats.
Description: Yankees starter Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday's start at Boston for having pine tar on his neck, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Insight: Pineda appeared to have pine tar on his palm two starts ago, also against Boston, but the Red Sox dugout didn't say anything. However, manager John Farrell wasn't about to be fooled twice. Pineda will face a 10-game suspension for using a foreign substance.
Description: Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood served up three homers and allowed five runs in six innings Wednesday against the Rockies.
Insight: Colorado gave up a 5-1 lead going into the top of the third but he squandered it. After giving up just five home runs in 111 1/3 innings last season, Chatwood (1-0, 4.26 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) has allowed four in his first 19 innings this year.
Description: Giants starter Matt Cain was roughed up by the Rockies on Wednesday at Coors Field.
Insight: Cain (0-3, 4.35 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits (2 HR) in six innings (4 K, 3 BB). He has allowed five homers in his two worst starts (9.00 ERA in 12 IP) and zero in the other three (1.42 ERA in 19 IP).
Description: Colorado right fielder Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-5 with a homer, three RBI, four runs scored and a steal Wednesday against the Giants.
Insight: Blackmon has hit four homers over his last three games and now has five on the year to go with his .410 average, 16 RBI, 19 runs, six steals and a 5/6 K/BB. The low-strikeout rate and Coors-Field factor should give the 27-year-old Blackmon staying power in fantasy leagues.
Description: Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi struck out seven and allowed one unearned run on five hits in six innings Wednesday at Atlanta but he took a no decision.
Insight: Eovaldi, who is one of the hardest throwers in the majors, has taken a major step forward in his first 31 1/3 innings. He has a 2.87 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 30/4 K/BB after putting up a 3.39 ERA and a 3.39 BB/9 in 2013. Eovaldi's numbers could be even better, but he has a .330 BABIP despite inducing a fantastic line-drive rate of 16.1 percent.
Description: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija gave up two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings Wednesday against the Diamondbacks but failed to pick up his first win because Chicago's bullpen blew a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning.
Insight: Samardzija is 0-2 despite throwing at least seven innings in all five starts this season and posting a 1.53 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
Description: The Astros went to Josh Fields for a second straight save chance on Wednesday but he couldn't close out the Mariners.
Insight: Fields gave up a walk-off three-run homer to Kyle Seager. Three members of Houston's bullpen -- Fields, Anthony Bass and Chad Qualls -- have recorded a save this year, and the Astros will probably stick with a committee after Fields' blown save on Wednesday.