Friday, August 28, 2015


Zack Greinke:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.61.  With Jacob DeGrom having been shelled in his last start, Greinke is now clearly the top dog for the NL Cy Young.  It has been a non-stop bonanza of fantasy baseball gems from Greinke, with no letup in sight. 

Anthony DelScalfani:  7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.84.  For a guy who had no expectations attached to his name coming into the season, DelScalfani has been a very serviceable SP 5 in fantasy baseball circles.  The WHIP is high due to a high hit rate and DelScalfani's ERA should be a half-run higher due to a somewhat lucky BABIP but overall the kid has been solid. 

 Matt Shoemaker:  7.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.48.  Shoemaker is the absolute definition of volatility as he can put up a game like this or just as easily give up 6 earned runs in only 2 innings.  The home run tendencies are well documented and the Angels have been fed up with him a few times this season already as he was summoned from the minors for this outing.  A 1.24 WHIP is solid and shows you there is a good amount of skill here but until Shoemaker gets the gopher ball issues somewhat solved, he is tough to depend on.

Marlon Byrd:  1/3 with his 21st HR while hitting .238.  The average continues to sink since Byrd's renaissance with the New York Mets a few seasons ago but the power is holding steady and still quite impressive.  Now squarely just a home run specialist though. 

Madison Bumgarner:  6.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.97.  Figures Bumgarner would get better as the season goes along as the postseason is approaching.  I was on this bandwagon well before anyone else going back to 2012 and right now we have to really consider Bumgarner right there as one of the best in the game and at least top five.  You talk about ridiculous, check out the strikeout totals in his last five starts:  9, 12, 14, 6, and 12.  That is Chris Sale/Clayton Kershaw strikeout tallies.  Wow. 

Marco Estrada:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.19.  After giving up four home runs in his two starts leading into this outing, good to see Estrada keep the baseball in the park.  When I talk about Matt Shoemaker, this is where he has to get himself to.  While Estrada still gives up a high amount of home runs, he has made himself into a tremendous starter in 2015 by curbing them somewhat. 

Yordano Ventura:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 4 BB 11 K with an ERA of 4.41.  Pitching ruled the day on Thursday as Ventura went with the theme.  The arm is electric but Ventura doesn't always get the strikeouts expected due to his fastball sometimes coming in way too straight.  Not a problem for this outing at least. 

Logan Forsythe:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .278.  Forsythe looks primed to finish near or at 20 home runs which is a very solid total for a fantasy baseball second baseman.  Not sure if this is repeatable in 2016 as there could be an outlier aspect to Forsythe's season but that is a story for another day. 

Jayson Werth:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .205.  Werth as been horrific and really is fast becoming a non-entity in fantasy baseball.  Lots of injuries combined with age can do that to a hitter. 

Ryan Zimmerman:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .224.  Another aging and injury-prone Nationals staple who is barely holding on in fantasy baseball circles.  Zimmerman can still hit for power but gone are his days of a .280 average and 25 home runs.  Disappointing early fade. 

Joe Ross:  6 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.24.  Ross is quietly having a tremendous rookie season and should even be the envy of his disappointing brother Tyson.  The control is phenomenal for a young pitcher and the K Rate grades out nicely as well.  All the tools are the for high SP status. 

Pedro Alvarez:  1/3 with his 21st HR while hitting .249.  Nothing to add here that has not already been said 1,000 times about the good power and ugly average. 

Gerrit Cole:  7.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.44.  If he wanted to, Cole could have easily punched out 10 batters in this one but as he said in the SI article, the key to his tremendous 2015 breakthrough is that he is pitching more to contact and not overusing the 100-mph fastball.  Now up to 15 wins, Cole is the only one other than DeGrom and Clayton Kershaw in the NL who is even in the Cy Young picture with Greinke.
Brandon Moss:  1/2 with his first St. Louis home run while hitting .180 since the trade.  Needless to say, this one has not worked out well for the Cards as Moss has been in town for a month now. 

Carlos Martinez:  6 IP 4 H 3 R 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.91.  The 1.27 WHIP shows there has been some strand rate and BABIP luck but Martinez' arm is a missile that piles up the K's.  There has been no major signs of control trouble like was feared initially with them move to the rotation which means the upward movement to upper tier status will continue on.

Franklin Gutierrez:  1/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .300.  There is something to be said for a veteran who can swing free and easy knowing this is possibly his last chance to stick in the majors.  Now hitting .304 with 8 home runs since the break, Gutierrez is the epitome of an unexpected second half title push player.

Carlos Rodon:  6 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.15.  If you didn't know any better, you would think this was 2015's Danny Salazar.  The paths of both are very similar with their cannon arms and lack of utter control when first debuting.  Rodon though seems to have figured things out quicker than Salazar and you would have a tough time naming four other young pitchers who have more upside than this kid. 

Yoenis Cespedes:  1/6 with his 26th HR while hitting .295.  Cespedes falling right in line with the Mets lineup overnight turning into Murders' Row.  Nothing more to add than what I already stated in the feature Thursday. 

Travis D'Arnaud:  1/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .278.  D'Arnaud is hitting some titanic shots lately and once again his power run has come after a few weeks of working off the rust from another DL stint.  The kid is fully capable of posting a Brian McCann-type line with around 25 home runs if he can get his health shizz together but right now you have to go into a relationship with D'Arnaud knowing there will be start and stops along the way. 

Jonathan Niese:  5 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.95.  Niese has been pitching very well over the last two months but all of a sudden he has been ripped in two outings in a row.  Always a not-so-fun roller coaster owning Niese, proceed very carefully his next time out. 


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