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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Zack Greinke:  5 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.08.  Your not getting a lot of length from a bunch of Greinke starts but no matter if he is still getting the wins.

Jedd Gyorko:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .298.  The once .400-plus BABIP has dropped to a still lucky but not insane .345.  Be that as it may, a solid K/9 of 21.9 and lots of walks at 8.5 BB/9 signals that Gyorko's overall seasons is pretty accurate.

Randal Grichuk:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .232.  Sorry still not interested.

Willson Contreras:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .252.  Contreras batted leadoff and unlike Kyle Schwarber, he has hit at a nice clip over the last month.  It could work.

Gio Gonzalez:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 5 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Gio lucky to keep damage to the minimum with all those walks but the latter has been an annoying staple throughout his career.  The bigger story is Gio's dependability unlike Tanner Roark or even more recently Stephen Strasburg.

Eddie Butler:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K with an ERA of 3.71.  Smoke and mirrors special.

Mitch Moreland:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .275.  Moreland is starting to really like Fenway Park.

Chris Sale:  6.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.77.  Now up to 10 wins and the AL Cy Young already being polished for him.

Jose Berrios:  6.1 IP 8 H 4 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.98,  This wasn't a good matchup for Berrios on the road and going against Chris Sale.  Tough to get a win out of that combination and ratios will be challenged also.  Always be sure to evaluate who your guy is pitching against as part of your decision-making process.

Adrian Beltre:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .294.  It is like Beltre never left the first two months of the season.

Elvis Andrus:  3/4 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .298.  Yet another veteran no one wanted coming into the season who had been incredible.  Another classic example of a guy who gained power as he continued to move into his prime years.

Joey Gallo:  1/2 with his 20th HR while hitting .197.  Wow he is almost at .200.

Carlos Carrasco:  8 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 3.67.  So yeah now I don't have to eat crow anymore when I told you to avoid Carrasco this season.  Guy is way too high maintenance on a yearly basis.

Cole Hamels:  7 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 4.38.  I hated the way Hamels looked before he got hurt as his velocity looks shot and his K/9 was in downright pathetic levels.  This is especially deadly in the AL and we are seeing why.  I wouldn't even start him next time out.

Tyler Austin:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .182.  Needs to stop striking out to have a chance and not remind the New York Yankees of Chris Carter.

Todd Frazier:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .212.  Man Frazier is now a part-timer for me as I can't stomach this average.  Shows no signs of coming around and we are fully into a second straight season of this now.

Jordan Montgomery:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.53.  I would start entertaining offers now on Montgomery who has the Yankee cache going for him to help on that front but also moving toward uncharted innings territory.

Jeff Samardzjia:  6.1 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.63.  Still can't get that ERA past the BABIP pull.


Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: FREDDIE FREEMAN (WRIST) SET TO GAIN 3B ELIGIBILITY

Just about 7-10 days away from beginning a rehab assignment, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is also set to embark on transitioning to third base upon his return so as to keep the suddenly potent power bat of Matt Adams in the everyday lineup.  Prior to breaking his wrist on an HBP, Freeman was in the midst of a truly monstrous start to the season as he was hitting .341 with an insane 14 home runs and 25 RBI in just 125 at-bats.  Still just 27 despite it feeling like he has been around forever, this is what a hitter reaching his prime looks like.  Unfortunately fate interfered in terms of the HBP but Freeman still has plenty of time to put up a huge season when he gets back to the Braves in early July.  Having already begun taking ground balls, Freeman will now try to become the new third baseman for the Braves which of course will add precious third base eligibility as well which makes him even more valuable.  While Freeman is a top tier first baseman easy, he actually has slightly more value at third base given the more shallow aspect of the position compared to the other corner.  

Now in terms of the numbers, part of the reason Freeman had such a big breakout this season was due to sizable gains both in his BB/9 and K/9 rates.  In 2016 those numbers were 12.8 and 24.7 respectively.  This season?  Try 16.4 and 18.8.  Yes a .356 BABIP is well in the lucky zone but overall Freeman has reached a new level of hitting ability.  So in terms of his numbers prior to getting hurt, they were pretty much totally legit and so expect nothing but more blockbuster statistics when he does get back into action.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .274.  Yeah he is on pace for 40 homers again.  Where have we heard that before?

Mike Montgomery:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.03.  I told you to pick up Montgomery last week and other than shoddy control, he has some very good stuff that can certainly carry the SP 5 weight.  

Trey Mancini:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .321.  Talk about coming out of nowhere.  If he had some more at-bats, Mancini would be in the batting title hunt and the power has been well past his minor league rates.  Since it is the end of June. we are well past the fluke stage of the season so it looks like Mancini is carving out a tremendous breakout campaign.  

Jonathan Schoop:  2/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .295.  All free agent hitters need to get to Baltimore.  The place is the hitting equivalent of pitching in Pittsburgh.

Ervin Santana:  6 IP 9 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.80.  This is Santana giving the bird to the regression fairies.  

Scooter Gennett:  4/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .308.  And now Scooter Gennett is a slugger.  I can't stand it.  

Michael Taylor:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .273.  Could be the light bulb is going on here finally.  Maybe not at full blast but it is glowing.  

Tanner Roark:  6 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 5.15.  It has all gone so wrong here after a nice start and a very good 2016.  Could be an injury we don't know about but Roark also has seen his HR/9 soar.  Cut him loose.  

Mitch Moreland:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .270.  In this extreme era of the home run, we have no use for Moreland.

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .269.  Like with Moreland, we need home run hitters who can either hit .300 or steal bases now to have the optimal starting value in today's power-driven fantasy baseball.  

Travis Shaw:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .289.  Think the Boston Red Sox could use Shaw at third base right about now?

Keon Broxton:  3/4 with his 11th HR and 13th SB while hitting .250.  Man you love the seduction of the power/speed game from Broxton but he strikes out more than the drunk dude who tries to take hacks in the batting cage at Dave and Busters.  

Zach Davies:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K with an ERA of 4.96.  All you need to see here is the zero in the K's column.  Moving on.  

Shin-Soo Choo:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .257.  Guess we wrote him off a bit early.  

Gary Sanchez:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .298.  Yeah I admit I was wrong about calling Sanchez a bust.  Although it looked good even as late as the conclusion of May.  

Michael Pineda:  7 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.12.  And the old and infuriating Michael Pineda is back.  

Sonny Gray:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.45.  Gray has often done his best work down the stretch of the season so taking a stab here in a trade is not a bad idea but this is also not the 2014 version of the guy either.  

Jorge Bonifacio:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .250.  Like a younger version of the following guy.

Jose Bautista:  2/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .234.  The above is not a compliment.  

Jay Bruce:  2/6 with his 20th HR while hitting .270.  Extra kudos to Bruce who was pilloried by the New York Mets faithful last season but tuned that all out this season to post a big first half.  

George Springer:  1/3 with his 22nd HR while hitting .280.  Springer is in uncharted average territory right now which of course is nice considering the massive power.  If Springer can keep that going, he gains another level of respect in my eyes.  

Evan Gattis:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .267.  Where has the power been?  

Wil Myers:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .259.  Decent but nowhere near last season.  

Cody Bellinger:  3/5 with 2 home runs (24 for season) while hitting .274.  Giancarlo Stanton is thinking of calling Bellinger for advice on how to hit home runs.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS: 41-60

41. Adam Thielen:  I think I have Thielen ranked too low here as he showed big-time PPR ability last season.  Has to show he can do it with opposing defenses now focusing on him but I like Thielen's chances.
42. Mike Williams:  Maybe this 'Mike Williams" will not go bust in the NFL.
43. Stefon Diggs:  Injuries and wild swings in production make Diggs a WR 3 at best.
44. Pierre Garcon:  A profession who gets his numbers no matter what team he is on.
45. Kevin White:  Just can't ever seem to stay on the field to show what people have always said was top-end ability.
46. Sterling Shepard:  The arrival of Brandon Marshall didn't help Shepard's causes but Eli Manning looked his way in the red zone more than any wideout last season outside of Odell.
47. Jordan Matthews:  Stock has dropped sharply the last season-plus and showing no signs of stopping.
48. Randall Cobb:  See above.
49. Kenny Britt:  Britt can be a red-zone weapon which puts him in WR 3 territory in standard formats but that is as far as I would go when it comes to usage.
50. DeVante Parker:  Another one more on potential than production.
51. Cole Beasley:  Has developed nicely as a WR 3 in PPR.
52. Jeremy Maclin:  Fresh start in Baltimore where Maclin has a chance to do some nice things at a very cheap price.
53. Mike Wallace:  Capable of the big play at any moment but Wallace's story has gotten boring.
54. Cameron Meredith:  Another PPR guy who has developed well lately.
55. Allen Hurns:  Had a lost 2016 due to injury but Hurns has proven himself to be a good backup receiver/WR 3 in his still-young career.
56. John Ross:  Took a step back last season but Ross capable of bouncing back as a deep-threat wideout if he stays healthy.
57. Quincy Enunwa:  Now the top wideout on the New York Jets but that may not be saying much.
58. Marvin Jones:  Outside of a monster September last season, Jones was a liability to own.
59. Tyler Lockett:  Has some remaining upside but not a fan of the offense.
60. Will Fuller:  Drops too many passes and second fiddle behind DeAndre Hopkins on a QB-challenged team not a good combination.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JACOB DeGROM SP NEW YORK METS

Going into his start on May 31 versus the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom was in the midst of a rocking ace-like fantasy baseball campaign.  Coming off elbow surgery the year prior, DeGrom roared back with an MLB leading K/9 rate and led baseball overall in strikeouts going into the start; to go along with a 3.23 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and .231 BAA.  Splendid numbers all the way around.  However as with anything that has gone on with the Mets' rough season, DeGrom hit the skids in a beyond horrid way beginning with that Milwaukee start.  In just four innings that day, DeGrom was hammered for 7 earned run to raise his ERA to 3.97.  A terrible start no doubt but it would be easy to see it was just a bad day at the office.  DeGrom then followed that up though with an even worse outing the next time out on June 6 when he gave up 8 earned runs versus the Texas Rangers in four more innings.  His ERA after that outing?  Try 4.75 and DeGrom's WHIP 1.44.  Alarm bells rightfully began to blare given the injury-marred history of DeGrom and the fact his control was horrendous to go with all the hits that suddenly began to pop up.  His fantasy baseball fate the rest of 2017 hung in the balance in terms of what DeGrom would do to adjust.

Well adjust DeGrom did and in a major way.  In terms of approach, DeGrom came up with a two-pron plan, with the first aspect being to pitch more down into the zone to generate more ground ball outs.  This would come at the expense of some strikeouts but DeGrom would not be giving up as many home runs as he was.  Secondly, DeGrom began to throw TWO bullpen sessions between starts but at a relaxed intensity.  The two BP sessions were to give DeGrom a better feel for his stuff and in turn to stop with the walks.  So did it work?  The evidence seems overwhelming.

Since the two-start debacle, DeGrom has made three starts since and needless to say, the dominance has returned.  Let's see how those starts broke down:

June 12 VS. Cubs:  9 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K
June 18 VS. Nats:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K
June 24 VS. Giants: 8 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K

That's comes out to 25 IP with just 2 earned runs total and 12 hits allowed.  There has been a slight dip in strikeouts as expected but DeGrom is fully in control now as he lowered his ERA to 3.71 and WHIP to 1.27.  In other words, back to ace level.  So for those who own DeGrom, it is time to exhale here and fully embrace him again for every start.  While fatigue could be an issue in September, DeGrom seems very much back to his olf ace self.