Description: Houston's young right fielder, George Springer, is completely recovered from the left quad injury that put a stop to am impressive early-season run, according to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Insight: The 24-year-old outfielder hit 20 home runs, knocked in 51 RBI, stole five bases and posted a .804 OPS in 78 games, but didn't play a game after July 19. He's got all the tools to be a fantasy star and should go high in next year's fantasy drafts.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve registered two hits and finished with a .341 batting average to win the American League batting title.
Insight: Altuve had to talk his way into the lineup as the Astros wanted him to sit and protect the batting title lead. He came into the day with a three point lead over Detroit's Victor Martinez, who went 0-for-3 on Sunday. Altuve had a fantastic year: .341/.377/.453 with seven home runs, 59 RBI, and 56 stolen bases.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is a career .357 (5-for-14) hitter against Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon.
Insight: After an 0-for-4 on Saturday, Altuve's average has dopped to .340, which is only three percentage points ahead of Detroit's Victor Martinez for the American League lead. With nothing to play for on Sunday, make sure Altuve is not sitting out to ensure he keeps the batting title before inserting him in your fantasy lineup.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 1-for-4 with an RBI-single on Friday.
Insight: Altuve tied the game with his single in the sixth. He also scored in the inning which proved to be the game-winner. Altuve is batting .342, which leads the American League. Victor Martinez of the Tigers is second, hitting .336.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve just keeps on hitting.
Insight: After a two-hit game last night, Altuve has a nice matchup against Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma. He is 9-for-22 (.409 BA) lifetime against Iwakuma, with four RBI. Altuve has the AL batting title locked up.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel continued his strong month on Saturday.
Insight: He went eight innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and lowering his ERA to 2.93. Keuchel received run support early, and he coasted to defeat Seattle, improving his record to 12-9. He has been somewhat of a sleeper this year.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve it hitless in seven at-bats against Seattle starter Chris Young.
Insight: It's hard to believe the "hit machine" hasn't had any success against Young, but it is a small sample size. He has 216 hits with a week still left on the season. The 24-year-old now has a commanding lead in the batting title race, hitting .343/.379/.456 on the year.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer (quad) is out for the rest of the season according to MLB.com
Insight: Houston does not want to push their 24-year-old outfielder to return for a lost season. In just 78 games in 2014, Springer hit 20 home runs, 51 RBI, stole five bases and posted a .804 OPS. Definitely keep an eye on him for 2015.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh caught a bit of tough luck, as he was forced to be removed from Monday's game, with a bruised left forearm.
Insight: He was in the midst of another outstanding start, when we took a line drive off the forearm. McHugh still went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out seven. Houston expects him to be ready for his next start against the Mariners.
Description: Astros right-hander Collin McHugh heads into tonight's start against the Cleveland Indians trending up.
Insight: An under-the-radar pitcher on a lousy team, McHugh is definitely not one to blame. He has been solid all season (9-9, 2.79 ERA and 1.04 WHIP) and has been even better during his past three starts (3-0, 1.59 ERA and 0.62 WHIP). McHugh needs to be plugged into your lineup, as his hot streak has lasted throughout the entire second half of the season (5-1, 2.11 ERA and 0.95 WHIP).
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was 2-for-4 with a RBI against the Angels on Saturday.
Insight: Altuve bumps his batting average back up to .338, which is four points higher than Victor Martinez for the batting title. Altuve has six hits in his last three games. He has 51 extra-base hits, 52 RBI and 79 runs this season.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is a career .500 hitter (8-for-16) against Mariners left-hander Felix Hernandez.
Insight: This would normally be a matchup you stay away from, but Altuve has had tremendous success against Hernandez. Three of Altuve's eight hits have been doubles. It is safe to leave the second baseman in the lineup on Monday.
Description: Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler drew a game-winning walk against the Athletics on Sunday as Houston won, 4-3.
Insight: Fowler went 1-for-3 with the game-winning RBI. The A's intentionally walked Jose Altuve ahead of Fowler with two runners on base. The center fielder drew a five-pitch walk to bring in the go-ahead run. Fowler has drawn 61 walks in 99 games this season and posts a healthy .378 on-base percentage.
Description: Astros closer Chad Qualls blew his sixth save of the season as Houston coughed up a 3-1 lead in the ninth to lose to Oakland, 4-3.
Insight: Coincidentally, five of Qualls' six blown saves are against the Athletics. Houston was leading by two with runners on first and third when Qualls came into the game. He gave up a double to Josh Reddick and then Jeff Lowrie hit a walkoff single.
Description: Astros pitcher Scott Feldman went eight and 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs but could not close the door on the Athletics and received the no-decision.
Insight: Feldman followed up his complete game shutout of the Rangers on Aug. 30 with another masterful game. He, however, could not finished the ninth and relief pitcher Chad Qualls blew the save. The Astros coughed up a 3-1 lead in the ninth to lose, 4-3. Feldman is still pitching very well, allowing just two earned runs over his last 17 1/3 innings pitched.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is a career .500 hitter (8-for-16) against Oakland left-hander Scott Kazmir.
Insight: Altuve continues to amaze, The second baseman has extended his hitting streak to 12 games (hitting .412 over that span) and is now batting .341 with an .829 OPS and 51 steals for the season. Hot bat plus favorable matchup equals must start.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter is a career .364 hitter with a pair of home runs and a 1.144 OPS versus Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Insight: Carter is having his most productive season with a career-high 33 home runs and needing just four RBI to reach the mark he set last season. He's been hot over the past two months, batting .278 with 20 HR and 48 RBI in his last 51 games. Start him.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits, struck out three and walked two in a no-decision against the Rangers on Saturday.
Insight: So Keuchel was not traded like we thought he might be at the deadline. He is stuck in Houston for now, and he has little fantasy value for now. He has gone at least seven inning in seven of his last eight starts, but he has just one victory.
Description: Orioles third baseman Jimmy Paredes is 5-for-11 in his first three games for Baltimore.
Insight: Balitmore acquired Paredes from Kansas City in July and called him up on August 28. He has hit well so far, but we don't expect him to maintain that success. He probably isn't worth picking up.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 4-for-5 and drove in the winning run as Houston defeated Texas, 3-2, on Sunday.
Insight: Altuve doubled twice off Texas starter Nick Martinez, and he hit a RBI-single in the eighth that proved to be the game winner. The second baseman extended his hitting streak to nine games and is now batting .336 with a .815 OPS.
Description: Astros right-hander Scott Feldman went the distance Saturday, giving up zero runs on three hits for his eighth win of the season.
Insight: He's simply too inconsistent for most fantasy owners, but if you only start him in front of a home crowd you will probably get a useful start out of him. He's 6-5 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.217 WHIP in 14 home starts including yesterday's complete game shutout.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler has batted .280 with two homers, four RBI, six runs and a steal since he returned from the DL.
Insight: Fowler missed more than six weeks due to an intercostal strain. He went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday against Oakland and is batting .272 with eight homers, 28 RBI, 49 runs, seven steals and a .785 OPS this season.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter is not in Sunday's starting lineup versus Trevor Bauer and the Indians.
Insight: No injury that we know of, though he did strike out three times Saturday night in four at-bats. The slugging outfielder has become a force over the past two months and hit his 30th home run Tuesday to go with 72 RBI.
Description: Nationals minor league third baseman Brandon Laird has been hitting the ball well this year with Triple-A Syracuse. He is batting .310 with 15 home runs and 77 RBI.
Insight: Brother of Gerald Laird, he played 25 games in big leagues this year, but Laird is in the Nationals minor league system. Even with Ryan Zimmerman is out, Anthony Rendon moved to third base, so Laird has yet to play in Washington.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter went 2-for-4 with two homers and five RBI Tuesday night.
Insight: Carter suddenly has 28 homers, fourth most in baseball, and a .230 average because he's batted .328 with 15 homers, 36 RBI and a 1.151 OPS in his last 31 games. Nearly everything has improved for Carter in that span compared to what he did the first 73 games. He's posted a lower chase rate, higher z-contact rate, lower strikeout rate, higher line-drive rate, lower infield fly-ball rate and higher HR/FB over the past 31 games than he did the first 73.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler (intercostal) will be activated Wednesday, according to Brian McTaggart of mlb.com.
Insight: Fowler has never played more than 143 games in a season and will barely cross 100 even if he stays healthy for the rest of this season. He's been out since late June due to an intercostal strain. Fowler will return to a .270 average, six homers, 24 RBI, 43 runs, six steals and a .774 OPS.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler (intercostal) has three rehab games under his belt, going 3-for-8, at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Insight: Fowler has put up solid numbers when on the field (.270, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 43 runs in 76 games), but he's continuing his streak of never having played more than 143 games in a season. He should be back later this week.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter has been hitting the long ball, but should be avoided Saturday night.
Insight: Carter is 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts versus Rangers starter Yu Darvish. The slugger is built in the Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds mold ... a home run hitter (25) with a low average (.225) and big strikeout total (122). Avoid.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter blasted two home runs as the Astros built a 5-1 lead.
Insight: Carter is another in the Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds mold ... a home run hitter with a low average and big strikeout total (119). His three hits Thursday still only brought his average to .225, but he has 24 homers and 57 RBI.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer (quad) aggravated his injury while running the bases during Wednesday's rehab game, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Springer, who has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a left quad strain, was hoping to return to the Astros later this week. Manager Bo Porter said he was removed for precautionary reasons.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer (quad) will begin a rehab assignment Monday at Quad Cities.
Insight: It is expected to be a short stay in Davenport, Iowa and then on to join up with the team for their series in Philadelphia. The young phenom hit 20 homers and knocked in 51 in his first 78 games and should continue to produce through the end of the season.
Description: Astros right-hander Scott Feldman went the distance Sunday, giving up just one run on eight hits for his fifth win of the season.
Insight: It's his second consecutive one-run outing after giving up 16 runs in the previous three starts. He's simply too inconsistent for fantasy owners. Feldman was decent in 2013, but hasn't really been fantasy worthy since 2009.
Description: Two more hits for Houston second baseman Jose Altuve ... ho hum.
Insight: Actually they were a bit of a surprise as he had entered the game hitless for his career against R.A. Dickey. Altuve has surprisingly emerged as fantasy's top second baseman this year leading the league in hits (154) and stolen bases (43) along with his .339 batting average.
Description: Astros first baseman Jon Singleton went 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and two runs Wednesday against Oakland.
Insight: Singleton has been working on shortening his swing with hitting coach John Mallee, and Mallee said the results so far have been "absolutely amazing," according to mlb.com. The first baseman has hit .174 with eight homers, 26 RBI, 23 runs and a Chris Carter-esque 35.7 percent K rate in 196 plate appearances.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw a complete game four-hitter in an 8-1 win over the Athletics Wednesday afternoon.
Insight: Keuchel could be a trade target for contenders and he showed how valuable he can be by shutting down one of the top offenses in the league. The left-handed ground-ball artist has a 2.97 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 104 Ks in 136 1/3 innings.
Description: Houston catcher Jason Castro has homered in two of the past three games.
Insight: Castro hit .276 with 35 doubles, 18 homers and an .835 OPS in 435 at-bats last season, but he's failed to follow that up with a fantasy-worthy campaign. He's hit .226 with 10 home runs, 40 RBI and a .679 OPS.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter went 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBI Monday against the Athletics.
Insight: Carter has gone 23-for-75 (.307) with six doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI in July, but with 110 Ks in 309 at-bats this season he can't be counted on for long-term production. He's hit .214 with 21 home runs, 49 RBI and a .771 OPS.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh (fingernail) allowed four runs and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings Sunday against the Marlins.
Insight: McHugh hadn't pitched since he left his start on July 6 after one of his fingernails ripped off. The right-hander has struck out 102 batters in 88 2/3 innings this season and has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel threw his best start since June 11 Friday against the Marlins.
Insight: Keuchel (9-7, 3.11 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) was due for a rough patch after starting out 8-3 with a 2.38 ERA, but it lasted longer than we would have liked. He had a 6.07 ERA over his previous five starts before holding Miami to two unearned runs over seven innings (7/0 K/BB, 9 H).
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer was out of the lineup Sunday due to soreness in his right knee and quad, but is probable for Tuesday's game against Oakland.
Insight: The 24-year-old has done everything expected of him with 20 homers and 51 RBI in 295 at-bats. We'd like to see him strike out a bit less (league-leading 114 Ks) and steal a few more bases (5), but all-in-all its been an excellent beginning to hopefully a long career.
Description: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and two runs Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Power is just about the only thing the 5-foot-5 Altuve hasn't provided this season. He's batted .336 with an MLB-leading 135 hits, 30 doubles, two triples, 51 runs and 41 steals, but has just three home runs.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer is out of the lineup Sunday due to soreness in his right knee and quad.
Insight: Springer slammed his knee into the center-field wall while making a leaping catch on July 8 and missed a game with soreness. Houston manager Bo Porter doesn't think he'll need a DL stint. The 24-year-old prospect has struck out frequently, but it's hard to say he hasn't lived up to expectations when he has 20 homers and 51 RBI in 295 at-bats.
Description: Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez could be a good low-cost fantasy option Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Dominguez has a .295 average and an .800 OPS against lefties this season, compared to a .209 average and a .580 OPS against righties. He's also gone 3-for-5 with two homers against White Sox left-hander John Danks.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler (intercostal) is not ready to return from the DL, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Despite not having the comforts of Coors Field (career .880 OPS there) to fall back on anymore, Fowler has put up similar numbers to last season. Unfortunately, this will be the sixth straight season in which he hasn't reached the 150-game mark.
Description: Houston pitching prospect Nick Tropeano has a stunning 2.38 ERA and 0.954 WHIP pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Insight: In the PCL, numbers like that don't come along very often. He's also striking out almost a batter an inning (81 in 87 IP). I'd expect him up in September and a candidate for the rotation in 2015.
Description: Houston catcher Jason Castro (left shoulder) is back in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Castro is dealing with pain in his left armpit and missed his third straight game Wednesday night. Those who were hoping he would build on last season's 18 HR, 56 RBI, .836 OPS statistics have been disappointed thus far in 2014.
Description: Houston catcher Jason Castro (left shoulder) is questionable for Friday's game against Boston.
Insight: Castro is dealing with pain in his left armpit and missed his third straight game Wednesday night. Those who were hoping he would build on last season's 18 HR, 56 RBI, .836 OPS statistics have been disappointed thus far in 2014.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh (fingernail) will throw a bullpen session Thursday to determine if he'll be able to start Saturday against the Red Sox, according to mlb.com.
Insight: McHugh left Sunday's start after four innings after the fingernail on his right middle finger pulled away from the skin. Even if he can't start Saturday, he'll only miss one start due to the upcoming All-Star break. McHugh has been a nice surprise for the Astros this season, posting a 3.28 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 93 Ks in 82 1/3 innings.
Description: Houston DH Chris Carter went 2-for-4 with two solo homers Tuesday at Texas.
Insight: Carter (.194) has sent one to Souvenir City four times in his past four games and has 17 home runs this season. However, fantasy owners looking to ride his hot streak should think again with Yu Darvish on the hill Wednesday. Carter is 0-for-11 with seven Ks against the Rangers right-hander.
Description: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve has a .333 lifetime average against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards (5-for-15).
Insight: Not many people have favorable numbers against the Angels' flamethrower, but Altuve's been a bit of a superman this season. Of his five hits against Richards, one was a double. We don't need to tell you Altuve is a must-start from now forward, but it'll be nice to expect some good results against a very good pitcher.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 27.
Insight: Fowler hasn't been anything special this season, hitting just .270 with six homers and 24 RBI in 77 games, though he's played better at home than on the road and can be a viable option in Minute Maid Park (.290 BA, .858 OPS at home).
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler has missed the first two games in the series with Detroit and is questionable again on Sunday.
Insight: He's dealing with back stiffness. Fowler hasn't been anything special this season, hitting just .270 with six homers and 24 RBI in 77 games, though he's played better at home than on the road and can be a viable option in Minute Maid Park (.290 BA, .858 OPS at home).
Description: Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer has given up four runs on 15 hits in 19 1/3 innings since he was recalled from Triple-A.
Insight: Oberholtzer had a 5.68 ERA when he went to the minors; he's down to 4.40 after holding the Tigers to one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings Saturday. The left-hander had a 2.76 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP as a rookie last year.
Description: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve is 0-for-7 against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: Altuve leads the league with a .342 batting average. But he's done a lot more than hit for average with 40 runs scored, 32 stolen bases and 28 extra-base hits. He's playing at an All-Star level. He just has an unfavorable matchup on Saturday.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler will sit out Friday against Detroit. SOURCE: Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle
Insight: He's dealing with back stiffness. Fowler hasn't been anything special this season, hitting just .270 with six homers and 24 RBI in 77 games. Alex Presley (.232, 3 HR, 8 RBI) will get the nod at center field.
Description: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve collected two hits and two stolen bases Thursday in a victory over Atlanta.
Insight: Altuve (.334, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 30 SB) is having a remarkable season and is part of the reason the Astros feel so optimistic about their future. Altuve won't beat Robinson Cano in the fan voting but he's certainly done enough to warrant a spot on this year's All-Star squad.
Description: The Astros have called up Jose Veras from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Insight: Veras (0-1, 7.90 ERA) was let go by the Cubs earlier this month but quickly caught on with his old team. Veras could carve out a role for himself in middle relief but is unlikely to challenge Chad Qualls for the closer's spot.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer wemt 1-for-5 with a solo homer Tuesday against Atlanta.
Insight: Springer went 4-for-31 in his previous nine games and has batted .206 with four home runs and 28 Ks in June. The 24-year-old has 14 home runs in just 225 at-bats, but with 83 strikeouts and a .240 average. He's also not running after stealing 45 bases in the minors last season.
Description: Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said Monday that Carlos Correa will miss a significant amount of time with a right ankle injury, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, has hit .325 with six homers, 57 RBI, 20 steals and a 45/36 K/BB in 293 plate appearances with High-A Lancaster this season. The 19-year-old should make the majors at some point in 2015.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (hand) had four hits in his return to the lineup Tuesday.
Insight: He didn't start the past three games due to a right hand contusion, but had two doubles, two singles adn two RBI Tuesday against Washington. The 5-foot-5 second baseman leads the big leagues with 94 hits and is fifth with a .326 average.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer capped a miserable series by striking out four times Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: All our worst fears about Springer are coming true. A .302 career hitter in the minor leagues, Springer's long swing and lack of a two-strike approach have caused him to strike out 76 times in his first 200 major league at bats. It seems contact will always be an issue for Springer but at least his power hasn't gone away (12 HR, .470 slugging percentage).
Description: Houston starter Jarred Cosart has allowed three runs or less in each of his last 10 starts.
Insight: Cosart still has a 4.16 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP because he started out with a 7.36 ERA in his first four starts. The right-hander has a 4.00 FIP and probably isn't going to be much better than his current statistics.
Description: Astros starter Dallas Keuchel looked like he was on a mission Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: In eight innings, Keuchel gave up just four hits and one earned run. He's now won six of his last seven starts, compiling an absurd 1.33 ERA during that stretch. An unknown at the start of the season, Keuchel is now owned in all ESPN fantasy leagues.
Description: Houston DH Chris Carter smashed two homers in Wednesday's victory over the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Both were solo shots. Carter has six RBI in his last three contests but is still hitting just .199 for the season. Until he can get that average up to a more respectable level, we can't endorse Carter as a fantasy option.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is not in the lineup Wednesday, according to Brian McTaggart of mlb.com. UPDATE: Altuve says he tweaked his left oblique Tuesday and that he's going to try to force his way into the lineup.
Insight: Altuve hasn't had a day off this entire season. He leads baseball with 88 hits and is hitting .315 with 33 runs and 24 steals.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh is dealing with a blister on his right middle finger but is still listed as the scheduled starter for Friday's game against the Rays, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: McHugh has a surprising 2.82 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 60 Ks in 54 1/3 innings this season. The Rays are a fantastic matchup right now, as they have been shut out in three straight games and have the worst record in baseball.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer will miss a second consecutive start with right knee soreness.
Insight: After a slow start, Springer pounded the baseball in May, batting .294 with 10 homers and 25 RBI. He's slowed a bit in June and now has an injury to deal with. He's got huge upside and this is just a temporary setback.
Description: Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar went 3-for-5 in Sunday's win over Minnesota.
Insight: It's a welcome sight for fantasy owners as Villar (.205, 5 HR, 18 RBI) has struggled mightily at the plate this season. Villar's speed can be an asset but he hasn't stolen a base in his last 13 games.
Description: Astros first baseman Jon Singleton launched a grand slam Sunday in a win over Minnesota.
Insight: Two of Singleton's five hits since being promoted have been home runs. Manager Bo Porter says Singleton is the everyday first baseman so he should get plenty of chances as the season rolls on.
Description: Astros DH Chris Carter slugged his first career grand slam Sunday versus Minnesota.
Insight: After going 78 games without a grand slam, the Astros hit two in a span of three innings on Sunday. Carter is hitting under .200 but at least he has ten homers and 27 RBI. The 27-year-old is owned in fewer than ten percent of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Description: Houston DH Chris Carter has hit Angels flamethrower Garrett Richards well throughout his career (6-for-13, 1 HR, 1 2B).
Insight: Carter has struck out three times against Richards, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for the power-hitting DH, who is batting .200 on the year and struck out a whopping 62 times. Still, he's got nine home runs and 11 doubles and could be a savvy play tonight.
Description: The Astros will immediately make Jon Singleton their everyday first baseman. Singleton is set to make his major league debut on Tuesday. SOURCE: Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle
Insight: Singleton, who signed a five-year extension today, will start off batting out of the No. 6 spot in the lineup. The impressive power he displayed in Triple-A (14 HR in 195 at bats) suggests he could be a factor right away.
Description: The Astros have signed first baseman Jon Singleton to a five-year, $10 million contract extension.
Insight: He's slated to make his big league debut on Tuesday. Singleton's career was briefly derailed by substance abuse but he's put that behind him and has had a very good season for Triple-A Oklahoma City (.267, 14 HR, 43 RBI).
Description: Houston DH Chris Carter is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: After hitting two home runs on Wednesday, Carter went hitless in his next to games. The 27-year-old has always had good power but his .193 batting average in 166 at bats this season can't be too appealing to fantasy owners.
Description: Houston catcher Carlos Corporan delivered three hits in Wednesday's win over Kansas City.
Insight: Corporan (.193, 4 HR, 8 RBI) isn't someone we talk about in fantasy too often because Jason Castro sees most of the action behind the plate. Wednesday marked Corporan's first multi-hit effort of the season.
Description: Houston right fielder George Springer launched his ninth home run of the season Wednesday in a win against Kansas City.
Insight: All nine of his blasts have come in the month of May. If not for the dominance of Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu, Springer (.269, 9 HR, 27 RBI) could be a Rookie of the Year candidate. He's on pace for 27 homers, which would be the most by an American League rookie since Mike Trout in 2012.
Description: Astros starter Collin McHugh continued to rack up strikeouts Tuesday at Kansas City.
Insight: He struck out nine without walking a batter or allowing a run over seven innings and is now 3-3 with a 2.80 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and a 50/12 K/BB in 45 innings this season. He was 0-8 with an 8.94 ERA in 47 1/3 career innings before this season, but he's figured things out. He has the lowest contact rate on swings in the strike zone of any pitcher with at least 40 innings.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a homer, three RBI, a walk and five runs Monday at Kansas City.
Insight: It appears Springer has figured out big league pitching after struggling initially. The 24-year-old has homered five times in his last four games and gone 24-for-70 (.343) with eight home runs, 20 RBI, 18 runs, 10 walks and a 1.204 OPS over his last 18.
Description: Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel didn't allow an earned run in a complete game Sunday at Seattle.
Insight: The 26-year-old ground-ball artist has gone the distance in two of his last three starts and came within one out of a complete game in the third. He's 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP and is a must-add in all leagues.
Description: Astros catcher Jason Castro isn't someone you want in your fantasy lineup Sunday against the Mariners.
Insight: He's never done well against today's starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (2-for-14 with four strikeouts). You might want to consider sitting all Houston players Sunday as Iwakuma (3-0, 1.76 ERA) has allowed just two runs total over his last 24 innings pitched.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer smashed two homers Saturday in a win against Seattle.
Insight: Fantasy owners may have been scared off by Springer's slow start but he's been raking over his last six games (.364, 3 HR, 8 RBI). If Springer is still available in your league, make sure to scoop him up before someone else does.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer is not available for Friday's game against the Mariners. SOURCE: Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune
Insight: Springer (.240, 4 HR, 15 RBI) strained his hip flexor Wednesday while colliding with Albert Pujols on a play at first base. He's hoping to avoid the disabled list. Alex Presley (.202, 3 HR, 7 RBI) is getting another start in right field.
Description: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is 5-for-12 (.417) versus Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez.
Insight: Altuve has made himself into a top fantasy second baseman. He's batting .310 with 23 runs scored, 15 RBI, a league-leading 16 steals and a .785 OPS. He's batting .418 over the past two weeks and has a favorable matchup. Start him.
Description: Houston will be without right fielder George Springer Thursday against Seattle.
Insight: The rookie is out with a strained right hip flexor. Springer, who is hitting .286 in May, told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he does not expect to require a stint on the disabled list. Alex Presley (.207, 3 HR, 7 RBI) is getting the start in right field.
Description: Houston shortstop Jonathan Villar left Sunday's game with a right hand contusion and is doubtful for Monday's game against the LA Angels.
Insight: Villar has surprisingly added the home run ball to his fantasy value which last year was exclusively base stealing. He's already hit five homers and has 15 RBI along with 11 steals and 18 runs scored.
Description: Houston shortstop Jonathan Villar left Sunday's game with a right hand contusion, according to Brian McTaggart of mlb.com.
Insight: Villar went 2-for-2 with two RBI, a run and a steal before leaving the game. The 23-year-old is hitting .233 with five homers, 15 RBI, 18 runs and 11 steals this season, so he has some fantasy value.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and one RBI Saturday against the White Sox.
Insight: Springer has gone 14-for-47 (.298) with two doubles, a triple and three homers in his last 12 games, though he still struck out 21 times in that span and has 45 Ks in just 124 plate appearances (36.3 K%) this season.
Description: Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel fired his first career shutout Tuesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Kuechel had a 7/0 K/BB and gave up seven hits in his nine innings of work Tuesday. The left-hander, who has a 65.1 percent ground-ball rate this season, has posted a 2.63 ERA and a 42/9 K/BB over 48 innings his last seven starts and is still widely available in Yahoo! leagues (9.0% ownership).
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer has been slotted in the No. 2 hole for Tuesday's game against the Rangers.
Insight: Springer is batting .280 over the past dozen games after hitting just .170 for his first dozen. We're still waiting for him to show the speed we know he has. He has yet to steal a base (caught once) after swiping 45 in the minors last season.
Description: Astros catcher Jason Castro is 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run (2.833 OPS) versus right-hander Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: Castro has missed a few games after being hit by a backswing Wednesday and is not guaranteed to be in the lineup. The 26-year-old has four homers and 14 RBI in 29 games, but he's hitting just .215 with 39 Ks. We await the 2013 version that batted .276 with 18 HR and 56 RBI in 120 games.
Description: Astros right-hander Scott Feldman (biceps) returned to the rotation Friday and allowed two runs on six hits with a 6/0 K/BB in six innings at Baltimore.
Insight: Feldman gave up a pair of solo homers, his first two round-trippers allowed this year, but otherwise didn't allow the O's to score. The right-hander will take a 2-1 record, a 1.93 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP into his next start against the Rangers.
Description: Houston left fielder L.J. Hoes broke out of an 0-for-20 slump by delivering three hits Thursday in a 6-2 win over the Tigers.
Insight: Hoes, the everyday right fielder before George Springer came to town, has fallen into a platoon with Alex Presley (.224, 3 HR, 7 RBI) in left field. Neither player has done enough to warrant a spot on any fantasy teams.
Description: Astros first base prospect Jon Singleton has 10 homers and a .997 OPS in 32 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.
Insight: MLB.com ranks Singleton as the top first-base prospect in baseball. He may already be in the majors if he wasn't suspended 50 games in 2013 for failing two drug tests for marijuana. Astros first basemen have a .533 OPS this season, third-worst in the majors.
Description: Houston SS Jonathan Villar won't start Wednesday's game versus Detroit. SOURCE: Evan Drellich, Houston Chronicle
Insight: He's dealing with a jammed thumb. It's possible we could see Villar (.250, 5 HR, 13 RBI) as a pinch hitter later in the game. The 23-year-old is on pace for 25 HR this season. Last year, he homered just once in 210 at bats.
Description: Houston starter Jarred Cosart allowed just one unearned run Monday in a loss to Detroit.
Insight: Cosart (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 K's) had the bad fortune of going up against last year's Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K's). Despite the loss, Cosart (1-3) was able to lower his ERA from 5.52 to a much more respectable 4.50. He's scheduled to throw again Saturday versus Baltimore.
Description: The Mariners touched up Astros starter Collin McHugh for six runs (five earned) on eight hits in four innings of work Sunday.
Insight: McHugh gave up just one run on five hits and struck out 19 batters in his first two starts (15 1/3 innings) this season, but he came back to reality on Sunday; the one in which he has a career 7.15 ERA in 66 2/3 innings.
Description: Astros right-hander Scott Feldman is hoping to return Friday against Baltimore after throwing a simulated game on Sunday. SOURCE: Houston Chronicle
Insight: It doesn't appear that he'll need a minor league rehab assignment. Feldman (2-1, 1.69 ERA) went on the DL about two weeks ago with biceps tendinitis. Colin McHugh (2-0, 2.79 ERA) has been filling in for him.
Description: George Springer brought home the game-winning run for Houston Friday against Seattle.
Insight: It came on a single to left with no outs in the 11th inning. The hit was Springer's lone highlight in what was otherwise a disastrous evening for the 24-year-old (1-for-6, 4 K's). All rookies go through growing pains so fantasy owners shouldn't panic even though Springer is hitting just .180 through his first 61 major league at bats.
Description: Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer had a 3.04 ERA over his first four starts but he's allowed 12 earned runs on 19 hits in his last 8 1/3 innings.
Insight: Oberholtzer had a 2.24 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 64 1/3 innings after joining the rotation last season and started off well this year, but things have gone off the rails for him. After giving up 11 hits and six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Nationals Wednesday, the 24-year-old has a 5.63 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.
Description: Astros outfielder George Springer has gone 8-for-47 (.170) with 15 Ks since being called up on April 16.
Insight: Springer was arguably the best player in minor league baseball last season and was absolutely crushing it at Triple-A Oklahoma City before his callup (.353, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 SB in 13 games). However, he has failed to carry that over to the majors. We'll let the 24-year-old get to 100 plate appearances before we panic.
Description: For the second straight start, Astros right-hander Collin McHugh was nearly unhittable Sunday in a win over Oakland.
Insight: McHugh (8 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 7 K's) came within one out of his first complete game. Through two starts, McHugh's strikeout rate is off the charts (11.15 K/ 9 IP) and opponents are hitting .100 against him. He'll be on the mound next Sunday against Seattle.
Description: According to Brian McTaggart of mlb.com, Astros reliever Jesse Crain has bursitis in his elbow and is out indefinitely.
Insight: Crain had biceps surgery last October and was expected to return in early May, but that timeline is no longer applicable. He'll be shut down from throwing for 7-10 days. The Astros will continue to use a committee of Josh Fields, Anthony Bass and Chad Qualls at closer.
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.
Description: Astros right-hander Collin McHugh picked up his first major league victory Tuesday against Seattle.
Insight: McHugh was spectacular, fanning 12 hitters and allowing just three hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings. He was called up Monday to replace the injured Scott Feldman (biceps tendinitis) in the starting rotation.
Description: Houston has placed right-hander Scott Feldman on the 15-day disabled list. SOURCE: Brian McTaggart, MLB.com
Insight: Feldman (2-1, 1.69 ERA) has been dealing with tendinitis in his right bicep. Collin McHugh was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City in the corresponding roster move. He'll get the start Tuesday against Seattle.
Description: Houston catcher Jason Castro is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against Oakland.
Insight: No injury, normal catcher rest with a day game after a night game. castro has hit three homers, but is struggling with a .216 average. carlos Corporan will start behind the plate, but his .190 batting average should be enough to keep fantasy owners at a distance.
Description: Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar is sitting out for the first time this season Wednesday against Kansas City.
Insight: Villar is just one for his last 19 and has now struck out in 32.6 percent of his at bats this year. Marwin Gonzalez is playing shortstop on Wednesday and could see more time there in the future if Villar's struggles continue.
Description: George Springer will make his major league debut Wednesday against the Royals. He's batting second and starting in right field. SOURCE: Howard Chen, Comcast Sportsnet Houston
Insight: Springer was arguably the best player in minor league baseball last season and was absolutely crushing it at Triple-A Oklahoma City before his callup (.353, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 SB in 13 games). If Springer lives up to the hype, he could be a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Description: The Astros designated Lucas Harrell for assignment to make room for George Springer on the 40-man roster.
Insight: It's not really surprising, as Harrell went 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA and a 2.27 WHIP in three starts after going 6-17 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 153 2/3 innings last year. Jerome Williams may take his spot in the rotation.
Description: The George Springer era is about to begin. The Astros will promote their top prospect for Wednesday's game, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Springer hit .353 with three homers and four steals in his first 13 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He had 37 longballs and 45 steals to go with a .303 average in the minors last season and needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues.
Description: Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer took a tough-luck loss Sunday at Texas.
Insight: He gave up five hits and one earned run, didn't walk anyone and struck out seven in seven innings, but Houston didn't have a baserunner reach second base and lost 1-0. Oberholtzer had a 2.24 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 64 1/3 innings after joining the rotation last season and is 0-3 with a 3.50 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 2014.
Description: Houston's top minor league prospect, George Springer, is batting .290 with a .937 OPS in his first week at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Insight: Springer is expected to make the jump to the big club sometime around June 1. After hitting 37 homers with 108 RBI last season between Double-A and Triple-A, he should take over in right field and be the Astros everyday starter. Make sure you have a space available on your roster for this slugger.
Description: Astros outfielder Chris Carter is 0-for-8 with six strikeouts against Texas starter Yu Darvish.
Insight: Carter led the league in strikeouts last season with 212 and is doing the same this year. He's a home run hitter, with 29 long balls last season, but it comes at an expensive price to your team batting average. Obviously, avoid him on Friday.
Description: Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez is not normally on many fantasy radar screens, but he's faced Texas ace Yu Darvish 11 times and has taken him deep three times.
Insight: Dominguez is an all or nothing option. He doesn't hit for much of an average, but can hit the long ball. He's batting just .129 in 10 games this season, but does have a pair of homers after blasting 21 last season.
Description: Houston catcher Jason Castro blasted a solo homer Thursday at Toronto.
Insight: The former first-round pick broke out with 18 homers in 435 at-bats last season, though he needed a .351 BABIP to hit .276 due to a 26.5% strikeout rate. He's batting just .179 so far but has two homers.
Description: Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler (illness) will return to the lineup Wednesday, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: A bout of gastroenteritis landed Fowler in the hospital and caused him to miss four straight games before pinch hitting Tuesday. Fowler is hitting .462 with four extra-base hits and five runs this season.
Description: Houston center fielder Dexter Fowler (illness) will sit out Sunday and likely won't play Monday, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Fowler (6-for-12, four extra-base hits) was in the hospital with gastroenteritis on Saturday. He was released but hasn't rejoined the team yet and manager Bo Porter said he's not a given to play in the Toronto series, which begins Tuesday.
Description: According to the Houston Chronicle, Astros reliever Jesse Crain (shoulder) thinks early May is a realistic goal for his return to the majors.
Insight: Crain experienced shoulder soreness following his first bullpen session late last week. He had biceps surgery last October. The 32-year-old could take over the closer role (currently a committee) once he's healthy.
Description: According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, George Springer's agent and the player's union are considering filing a grievance against the Astros for manipulating Springer's service clock.
Insight: Last week, Houston demoted Springer less than 24 hours after a story leaked about him turning down the team's offer of a seven-year contract extension. Springer didn't have a very good spring training (.161 AVG in 31 at bats) but it's hard to ignore his tremendous upside. He'll be in the majors at some point during the 2014 campaign.
Description: Astros manager Bo Porter said he will enter the season with a closer by committee, according to Brian McTaggart of mlb.com.
Insight: Chad Qualls will most likely get the first crack, with Matt Albers factoring in until Jesse Crain returns from biceps surgery in May. Fantasy owners should avoid this situation entirely if possible.
Description: The Astros have re-assigned top prospect George Springer to minor league camp. SOURCE: Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle
Insight: He was batting just .161 in 31 at bats before his demotion. Springer, who recently turned down a seven-year, $23 million contract extension, is expected to arrive in the big leagues sometime after the Super Two cutoff in June.
Description: Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a stiff neck, according to Brian McTaggary of mlb.com. The move was precautionary and Fowler should be back in the lineup soon.
Insight: The 27-year-old Fowler hit .263 with 12 homers, 19 steals, 71 runs and a .776 OPS with Colorado last season, but his numbers were boosted by a .311 average and an .874 OPS at Coors Field. In fact, he owns a career .298 average, 27 homers and an .880 OPS at Coors compared to .241, 13 HR and a .694 OPS everywhere else. His pronounced splits make him unlikely to duplicate last season's numbers with the Astros.
Description: Astros reliever Jesse Crain (2-3, 0.740 ERA, 1.145 WHIP with the White Sox) has a strained right calf and figures to start the season on the disabled list, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.
Insight: Crain and Chad Qualls were expected to battle for the closer's role for Houston, but it appears that Qualls will get the first shot by default.
Description: The Astros have designated former first-round pick Brett Wallace for assignment.
Insight: With Wallace out of the picture, it looks like Chris Carter (.223, 29 HR, 82 RBI) will get most of the playing time at first base this season. Wallace hit .221 with 13 HR and 36 RBI in 79 appearances for Houston in 2013.
Description: Astros top prospect Mark Appel had an emergency appendectomy earlier this week. He's hoping to be back by the start of spring training. SOURCE: Brian McTaggart, MLB.com
Insight: Appel was drafted first overall by Houston in last year's MLB Draft. In ten Single-A appearances in 2013, Appel was 3-1 with a 3.79 ERA. ESPN's Keith Law recently named Appel the 11th-best prospect in baseball. He was ranked Houston's second-best prospect behind shortstop Carlos Correa (No. 4 overall). Appel is likely to begin the year in Double-A.
Description: The Astros acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler on Monday for Brandon Barnes and righthander Jordan Lyles. SOURCE: Rockies on Twitter
Insight: Fowler got off to a hot start lin Colorado last season but injuries led to a second half slump (.221 AVG after the All-Star break). It will be interesting to see how this trade affects the progression of George Springer, who was arguably the best hitter in minor league baseball last season. Fowler and Springer both play center field.