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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL QB RANKINGS: A FIRST LOOK

The quarterbacks are up first as we begin our initial tour of the 2015 fantasy football position rankings.  Let's take a look at how this peanut stands sees it.

1.  Andrew Luck:  Tough call between Luck and Aaron Rodgers but the former Stanford star wins by a nose due to his durability. 
2.  Aaron Rodgers:  Standard excellence here from Rodgers who pilots an insane offense with Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Reggie Cobb, and Davante Adams all ready to help light up the NFL. 
3.  Peyton Manning:  The next tier down starts with Peyton Manning who went bust last December due to a calf injury.  The fastball is not there anymore from Manning but he is still as efficient and smart as they come.  We think Manning can put forth one more 35-40 TD season but there is no denying the risk is as high as ever.
4.  Drew Brees:  The trends are all going in the wrong direction for Brees whose TD's have gone from 43 to 39 to 33 the last three seasons and now he goes into 2015 without top targets Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.  Sean Peyton will continue to throw it all day though and Brees' extreme durability counts for something extra at the draft table. 
5.  Ben Roethlisberger:  From Brees all the way through Tony Romo, you can rank these guys in any order given how close they are in ability.  The Steelers have now become a firm pass-first offense and the offensive line is getting better which lessens the injury risk.  With Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has a tremendous set of wideouts at his disposal.
6.  Russell Wilson:  I am still not on board here like the rest of the fantasy football community as Wilson only three 452 passes in 2014 which puts a lot of pressure on his raw TD totals.  Where Wilson makes hay is on the ground where he ran for 849 yards and 6 scores in a RB 2 performance at QB. 
7.  Matt Ryan:  The pass-happy offense of Dirk Kotter is now in Tampa Bay but Ryan will still be permitted to throw it all game with Roddy White and Julio Jones out wide.  Over the last three seasons Ryan has thrown for 32, 26, and 28 touchdowns while going for 4,500 yards or more in each.  All of this was accomplished despite some of the worst offensive line play in the league.  The best part is that Ryan's draft price is still not reflected in his numbers.  Will likely end up on my roster again.
8.  Eli Manning:  Manning is a guy who is radioactive to many due to the high amount of interceptions he has thrown in his career but there is no denying the amazing arsenal of weapons he has for 2015 with Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz being joined by PPR gem Shane Vereen.  The value could be tremendous here.
9.  Tony Romo:  Despite DeMarco Murray and the run game putting up all types of numbers last season for the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo had his most efficient QB season ever in tossing 34 scores against only 9 picks.  He will have to throw it a whole bunch more in 2015 now that Murray is in Philadelphia and like with Matt Ryan, Romo is annually one of the best bang-for-your-draft-bucks passers.
10. Ryan Tannehill:  I had Tannehill as a prime sleeper heading into 2014 and the result was a career-high total of 27 touchdowns and 4,045 yards.  Tannehill now gets pass-catching tight end Jordan Cameron and Kenny Stills joining the developing Jarvis Landry to form a potent passing attack that could net 30 scores.
11. Tom Brady:  The four game Deflategate suspension is still in play as of this writing and even if it gets chopped to two games, the fact you are already down two starts from Brady is a sizable negative.  Despite being 38, Brady was still at the top of his game in 2014 in tossing 33 touchdowns and 4,109 yards.  The value will be there since many will turn away due to the suspension but you ideally want to draft a guy who will be ready to go Week 1 in order to get your team off to a good start.
12. Philip Rivers:  Not sure why some continue to knock Philip Rivers since he has tossed 32 and 31 touchdowns over the last two seasons in a rejuvenated San Diego offense.  The fact you can get Rivers for the price of a QB 2 makes him the perfect guy to target if you stock up early on backs and receivers.
13. Matthew Stafford:  Two of the last three years Matthew Stafford has earned the wrath of his owners in throwing less than 25 touchdowns, while also tossing his share of picks.  Stafford tends to throw into coverage way too often and panics easily when the rush gets to him.  Also has shown a tendency to melt down in December which is when you need your QB at his best.  Not for me.
14. Cam Newton:  Like with Russell Wilson, Cam Newton is a guy I can't ever get behind.  In fact it is even more stark for Newton who has a dearth of pass receiving weapons in Carolina and comes off a 2014 disaster when he threw only 18 touchdowns and 3,127 yards.  Even with a nice contribution on the ground, you can't live with those numbers from your starter.
15. Jay Cutler:  There is not a QB in all of fantasy football who elicits more disgust than the veteran Cutler whose penchant for turnovers is well-documented.  He actually got benched in favor of Casey Clausen of all people toward the end of last season despite statistically one of his best seasons with 28 touchdowns.  Still Marc Trestman took his pass-happy offense to Baltimore and in his place is the run-loving John Fox. 
16. Sam Bradford:  Coming off yet another serious injury, Sam Bradford would be a non-story if not for the fact he gets to operate the Chip Kelly-led Philadelphia Eagles offense.  This is the same offense that turned mediocre talents like Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez into QB 1's in fantasy football and the same is likely in play for Bradford in 2015 if he can stay in one piece.  Could be the biggest value among all QB's under that scenario.
17. Teddy Bridgewater:  It was a very nice rookie debut for Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 as he threw 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for an improving Minnesota Vikings offense.  We say improved because the team gets back one Mr. Adrian Peterson to take pressure off of Bridgewater, plus the addition of field-stretching Mike Wallace. 
18. Robert Griffin III:  Now a pariah in many fantasy football circles, the physically-challenged RG3 is looking to salvage his fledgling career in 2015.  His head coach doesn't trust him which is already a major issue and GRiffin's athleticism has not been on par since his knee injury as a rookie. 
19. Joe Flacco:  27 touchdowns is never anything to sneeze at but the veteran Flacco has been a longtime example of a better real-life QB than a fantasy football one. 
20. Andy Dalton:  With run-loving Hue Jackson in town as the OC, Dalton's numbers cratered last season and won't likely go back up in 2015.  Throws way too many interceptions as well to be trusted as anything but a backup guy.
21. Nick Foles:  It was a very quick descent for Nick Foles as he went from the 2013 QB darling to a 2014 complete bust.  Chip Kelly threw in the towel on Foles in dealing him to St. Louis and the new locale is a bad fantasy football matchup due to the run-loving ways of Jeff Fisher. 
22. Derek Carr:  Like with Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr was very good as a rookie in 2014 with 21 TD's and 12 INT's.  He gets a new and maybe spectacular toy in rookie WR Amari Cooper but Carr needs to improve on his ugly 5.46 YPA.
23. Carson Palmer:  A second torn ACL has Palmer a major question mark for 2014 but on the surface the veteran has a terrific trio of wideouts in Larry Fizgerald, John Brown, and Michael Floyd to help him build off his very good start to last season before he got hurt. 
24. Colin Kaepernick:  It was another step back for Kaepernick in 2014 as he showed no ability to throw the football consistently and go through is progressions.  The 49ers will continue to run all day long and when combined with the passing shortcomings, Kaepernick is nothing but a speculative backup. 
25. Alex Smith:  With no passing scores to a wideout last season, there really is no other stat that tells you not to own Alex Smith in almost any format. 
26. Blake Bortles:  The strong-armed Bortles was one big turnover last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie but he gets Julius Thomas and the return of Allen Robinson to help him take another step in his development in 2015. 
27. Marcus Mariota:  Never rely on any rookie QB in fantasy football and that includes the speedy Mariota.  If you are so inclined to do so, Mariota is more of an asset than Jameis Winston due to his running ability. 
28. Jameis Winston:  There will be growing pains for sure but Jameis Winston has two top receivers in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson to help speed up his rookie learning curve. 
29. Geno Smith:  Right there as one of the worst passer in the NFL.  Stay far away. 
30. Ryan Mallett:  Has a ton to prove before we even look at the guy as a backup option this season. 









 

2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL COVERAGE BEGINS TODAY

The 2015 fantasy football season is fast approaching and so we are now going to go into overdrive in our coverage leading up to Week 1.  From rankings, Draft Debates, Sleepers, and Busts, we will cover it all so that you are put in the best position to dominate your league.  We will start with the position rankings today and work our way through from there.  Also if you haven't picked up the 2015 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football Draft Guide, be sure to use the BUY NOW link on the homepage to do so.

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Clay Buchholz:  8 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.48.  I will admit that Buchholz is having a very nice season but his career has been defined by massive swings in performance and ERA's that are all over the map.  Investing in any Boston Red Sox starter is always extremely dicey but its your team and not mine. 

Yan Gomes:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .211.  Gomes has been pretty brutal this season but I will take into consideration all the of the time he missed early on with the knee.  Hopefully the home run will get his dormant bat going and Gomes all of a sudden didn't just forget to hit after very solid 2013 and 2014 campaigns.  I would take a stab if someone lost patience and kicked him to the curb. 

Cody Anderson:  8 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 2 K with an ERA of 0.57.  Second dominant start in as many tries for Anderson who also had a 1.87 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A this season.  The K rate is below average though so Anderson plays best in non-innings capped leagues and AL-only setups. 

Mitch Moreland:  2/5 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .300.  There is simply no excuse for Moreland being available in any league right now and that was even before the two home runs in this one.  Classic post-hype sleeper at work here as Moreland always had big power but never could stay healthy or consistent enough to stay relevant for a long enough stretch.  This has not been the case for any portion of 2015.

Shin-Soo Choo:  3/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .232.  The speed is now completely shot but Choo is still hitting home runs at his usual 20 pace, albeit with a much lower average as well.  With two categories now fading fast, Choo is now barely an outfielder 3.

Brian Dozier:  3/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .266.  Dozier will be right on the cusp of 30 home runs at this rate and he is now graduating to the new Ian Kinsler, especially with the latter fading quick. 

Billy Hamilton:  2/4 with 4 steals (40 for season) while hitting .224.  Right now Hamilton is on pace for 88 steals which is Vince Coleman territory and as big a category difference-maker as you can get.  He has waffled back and forth from leadoff to the 8th or 9th spot but you have to wonder if Hamilton could steal 120-plus bags with even a decent batting average. 

Mike Pelfrey:  8 ER in 2 IP with an ERA of 3.81.  Give it enough time and veteran players will always go back to their mean statistics.  I present to you Mike Pelfrey.  One of the worst starting pitchers in the game. 

Mike Leake:  7 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.38.  This game was a referendum of why you just can't own smoke and mirror pitchers like Leake or Pelfrey. 

Salvador Perez:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .271.  Second home run in a row for Perez who continues to carry on with his best MLB season since becoming a regular.  While the .300 average didn't stay part of the equation, Perez' power has been unleashed as he reached his prime hitting years. 

Jose Altuve:  1/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .292.  Second home run this week for Altuve who looks like he wants to reach double-figures there for the first time in his career.  The 2014 average was a tremendous outlier but the first round price so far has not been money poorly spent. 

Chris Carter:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .198.  All right. 

Lance McCullers:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.19.  What a debut we are seeing out of McCullers who is reminding me of the instant success of Sonny Gray with the Oakland A's.  McCullers was a guy I told you all to pick up right away upon promotion due to his top-notch power stuff and he has fallen right in line with my optimism. 

Charlie Blackmon:  1/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .275.  Here is what is interesting about Blackmon and this is coming from someone who was not sold on his 2014 breakout.  The numbers he is putting up this season has stamped him as an outfielder 1 with the power/speed shizz.  Disagree?  We drafted Carlos Gomez at that level and Blackmon is on pace to better any of his counterpart's seasons from 2012-14. 

Josh Reddick:  1/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .287.  Teams like the A's and Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres before the A.J. Preller rebuild almost always supply some massive value when it comes to hitter's since no one wants guys who play in those spacious parks.  Reddick has been that guy a few times over the last few seasons, both from his breakout to his now solid comeback after two wasted years. 

Billy Butler:  3/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .254.  Butler filled up the boxscore Monday night but games like this come fewer and farther between from his early Kansas City Royals. 

Kendall Graveman:  7 IP 5 H 0 ER 3 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.47.  After bombing out in April and early May, Graveman has become the latest Oakland A's non-innings capped pitching asset in posting a 2.01 ERA in his last eight starts.  There is not much of a K rate to speak of here which makes Graveman setup-specific. 

Joc Pederson:  1/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .241.  Some might have the audacity to say that Pederson has been a disappointment as he has done next-to-nothing in the steals department after being a big asset there in the minors and the average is quite ugly due to a boatload of strikeouts.  However banking 20 home runs and counting before the All-Star break shows you the massive potential Pederson carries and his already cemented outfielder 2 status could rise even further as the season goes on.  We saw the similarly skilled George Springer make leaps with his steals and average his second year in the league and Pederson will likely follow the same path so stay dedicated. 

Andre Ethier:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .268.  Ethier has been a guy I have used religiously as a bench help on light schedule days and he is always seems to come up big on those days.  Carl Crawford is beginning to rehab from his strained oblique which is big trouble for Ethier's playing time however so he could become a waiver guy when that scenario unfolds. 

Yasmani Grandal:  2/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .266.  Yeah so by now if you haven't realized that going value when drafting catcher is the way to go, you are completely lost.  Derek Norris, Matt Wieters, Yasmani Grandal, and the list goes on and on. 

Yasmani Tomas:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .314.  Still waiting for the power explosion from Tomas but in the meantime we are more than enjoying his .300-plus average which has stayed true since his recall.  I think Tomas is still finding his way and has been instructed by the Arizona coaching staff to shorten his swing a bit in order to cut down on the K's.  Once that is perfected, watch out.

Paul Goldschmidt:  2/4 with 2 steals (15 for season) while hitting .352.  Goldschmidt is making it look easy across all five categories and all of you who picked the white Derrek Lee as the first half fantasy baseball MVP got it right.

Mike Trout:  1/3 with his 20th HR and 9th SB while hitting .300.  So hilarious how Trout's amazing excellence now is an old story like with Miguel Cabrera the last few years when he cracked 40 homers and batted .340.  While Goldschmidt's numbers have been overall better this season, Trout is still in a tier all to his own.

C. J. Wilson:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.78.  Once again it is all-or-nothing with Wilson. 

 

Monday, June 29, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: HANLEY RAMIREZ (HAND) OUT OF LINEUP AGAIN MONDAY

Boston Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez is out of the lineup Monday, once again due to the injured hand that was hit by a pitch early last week.  Ramirez has now missed five straight games with the hand and had an MRI Sunday in order to see if there was any breaks.  Alejandro De Aza will once again start in his place.

Analysis:  De Aza has been on a major home run tear since replacing Ramirez in the lineup and is worth using until his counterpart returns.  Meanwhile there is still no word on what the MRI found, if anything, on Ramirez.  Continue considering him day-to-day in the meantime. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: BRANDON PHILLIPS (HAND) OUT OF LINEUP MONDAY

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is out of the lineup Monday with sore hands.  Phillips hurt both of his hands in Sunday's game versus the New York Mets, a contest he hit a leadoff home run against Steven Matz.  Ivan Dejesus will replace him in the lineup.

Analysis:  Philips has been a revelation this season as most ignored him in drafts due to his age and coming off two rough seasons where his speed looked completely shot.  The veteran has started running again and is hitting for average atop a potent Cincy lineup which has once again made him a firm top ten fantasy baseball second baseman. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: BRAD BOXBERGER RECLAIMS NINTH INNING FOR TAMPA BAY

-It appeared as though a dip in performance combined with a sore triceps had taken the previously unhittable Brad Boxberger out of the closer role for the Tampa Bay Rays back in the beginning of June, which just so happened to coincide with the very impressive return of lefty Jake McGee from the DL.  McGee of course was the closer for the Rays down the stretch of 2014, showcasing a very high K rate and the goods to be a potential star closer as 2015 dawned.  However McGee's rise was interrupted due to having to undergo offseason elbow surgery and that allowed the equally hard-throwing Boxberger to take over the ninth inning.  It looked like Boxberger would not let go of the closer role as he dominated both in April and May, putting up a massive K rate and adding stability to the ninth inning even when McGee first returned.  Than the triceps began to bark, the hits started to fall in, and McGee was reeling off four saves in a row for the Rays.  Just like that a changing of the guard seemed set.  Only this is the Tampa Bay Rays who, whether Joe Maddon is the manager or Kevin Cash, defy convention with constant changes at closer.  Almost overnight, Price switched things up again in the middle of June, flipping McGee back into setup and giving Boxberger the save chances.  The latter was back on track, locking down 6 saves in 6 tries to once again take firm hold of the ninth inning for the first-place Rays.  Those who held onto Boxberger like I suggested you do are now rewarded for their dedication.  Meanwhile McGee loses almost all of his fantasy baseball as he falls back into setup, most likely due to his lefthandedness. 

-With the Brett Cecil finally booted from the ninth inning and hopefully for good, the mystery was whether rookie Roberto Osuna or veteran Steve Delabar would inherit the gig.  Osuna came right out and struck out five in a two scoreless inning save the day after Cecil's demotion but than Delabar got the save the next chance a few days later.  However it was back to Osuna Sunday afternoon as he threw 1.1 scoreless inning for the save, while Delabar pitched he eighth.  While we can't say 100 percent that Osuna is the guy, the fact he has gotten 2 of the 3 chances and nailed down both is a major feather in his cap.  I would still hold Delabar for another few days to see how the next save chance comes down but Osuna was the guy I told you to add all along even going back to the start of the season.  Osuna has the ability to be a big success in the ninth inning with his high-K stuff and thus maybe the Jays finally have someone to depend on when it comes to collecting saves. 

-Fernando Rodney just won't go away.  For some beyond strange reason, Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon continues to have an obsession with Rodney in the ninth inning which was shown once again when the veteran was given (and converted) a save chance Friday, with Carson Smith throwing in the eighth.  While Smith continued his terrific season after being moved into the closer role in place of Rodney two weeks ago, McClendon had other ideas regarding how things would play out there.  McClendon went so far as to confirm on Saturday that he wants Rodney to take over the closer role again, seeing in his opinion that this is the best chance for the team to be successful.  As asinine as that statement is considering the numbers, we now have to accept the fact Rodney will be getting saves again in the immediate future.  I still would hold Smith as Rodney is a walking disaster and/or McClendon could be finally sent packing soon. 

 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Sometimes a debut falls under the heading of surreal.  Even ridiculous.  Such was the case for the latest power arm coming out of the New York Mets system in the form of lefty Steven Matz.  Following in the footsteps of Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndegaard, Matz showed that he can be every bit as good as that foursome when he tossed 7.2 innings of two-run ball while giving up 5 hits and 3 walks and striking out 6.  As impressive as that line was, Matz also went an incredible 3-for-3 at the plate with 4 RBI which doesn't count for fantasy baseball purposes but adds to the crazy debut of the kid.  With the Mets using a six-man rotation, the plan is for Matz to pitch as a starter the rest of the way and his power arm is fully capable of performing as an SP 2 during that span.  Matz is going to be a special one and stardom is in his future.  Hope you were lucky enough to get your hands on him. 

Josh Donaldson:  2/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .301.  Donaldson will go into the All-Star break with 20-plus home runs which makes it obvious the only thing I missed on saying he would be an MVP or second round pick, was that he would also hit 40-plus bombs.

Roberto Osuna:  1.1 scoreless innings for his second save with an ERA of 2.02. while Steve Delabar pitched the eighth.  Yup.  Who said that Osuna would be the closer eventually for the Blue Jays back in April?  Yup 2.0. 

Manny Machado:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .306 in Game 1.  For all the talk about Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier, and Nolan Arenado, this guy needs to be in the same conversation.  And in actuality Machado is the best value of the four as he was drafted in the late middle rounds in most leagues. 

Jimmy Paredes:  2/2 with his 9th HR while hitting .326.  The breakout continues for Paredes who has been remarkably consistent in the first three months.  I am not sure where this will end up because truth be told he was not anywhere near mine or anyone else's fantasy baseball radar but Paredes has firmly put himself on the map with his hitting. 

Ubaldo Jimenez:  8 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.09.  So you keep waiting and waiting to pick up Jimenez because you are absolutely convinced he will turn to crap the very first time you start him.  Now it is three months later and the guy looks like an All-Star.  This game is maddening. 

Zack Greinke:  7.2 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.58.  When is the last time this guy has given up a run?  Try June 18th which is three full starts ago.  And yet this is Greinke's first victory since May 5th.  Just goes to show you that the wins stat should be taken out of standard 5 x 5 fantasy baseball once and for all and replace with on-base percentage.  Agreed?

Melky Cabrera:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .255.  Like the old egg drug commercial:  "These are your numbers.  These are your numbers without steroids.  Any questions?" 

Alejandro De Aza:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .241.  Third home run in three days for De Aza who has taken full advantage of the injury absence of Hanley Ramirez.  With Ramirez back in Boston getting an MRI on his injured hand, any DL stint makes De Aza even more of a smart pickup in Al-only and deeper leagues than he already is.

David Ortiz:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .231.  After a horrendous April, Ortiz has hit home runs are his normal rate in May and June.  The average has been horrid but at 40-years-old it was foolish to think Ortiz would help there at this stage. 

Pablo Sandoval:  2/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .275.  Look no further than this disgrace as one of the primary reasons the Red Sox are struggling so bad.  If you were to give GM Ben Cherington truth serum, he would admit he wants out of this marriage already.  Unlike Hanley Ramirez, going to an offensive park in Boston did nothing to help boost the already fledgling fantasy baseball value of Sandoval.  Waiver garbage. 

Chris Archer:  6 IP 5 H 5 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.31.  Some will say that there is some regression going on with Archer which I don't agree with.  While we all knew Archer was not a 2.00-ERA pitcher, he is still a potent power guy who is in posting a classic breakout season.  Archer from time-to-time will give up home runs which happened here (3 surrendered) but that shouldn't become a trend. 

Stephen Strasburg:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 5.49.  Second straight dominant outing from Strasburg since coming off the DL.  Strasburg clearly was hiding physical issues in his brutal April and May and he also had some of the worst BABIP luck in baseball during that time which heightened the bloated ratios.  Feel secure in Strasburg being a big-time ace from this point forward as along as he is healthy.  He is just too powerful a pitcher to think he was going to struggle all season the way he was. 

Michael Pineda:  8 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.08.  From now until his next start, all Pineda owners should be offering him to every team in your league.  Things will only get more rocky from here on out as the fatigue continues to take hold.

Colin McHugh:  8 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.61.  McHugh has gotten hit hard this season and only has the wins due to some of the best run-support in the game.  He has thrown well his last two times out though and let us not completely forget his terrific 2014.  If McHugh is lounging on your wire, I would make the add and start against light-hitting clubs./

Jace Peterson:  1/5 with his third HR while hitting .266.  Peterson has made the grade as a daily second baseman in 12-team mixers for the last month.  He looks like a poor man's Jason Kipnis to me, right on down to the power/speed deal. 

Alex Wood:  7.1 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.17.  All of a sudden Alex Wood has a 3.17 ERA and my calls to reach for him a round or two early in March is not looking like the disaster it appeared back in April.  The strikeouts have really come on during Wood's last few starts and the April issues likely were the kid fighting through some hitting adjustments. 

Torii Hunter:  1/4 with his 11th HR and third in two days while hitting .266.  :)

Adam Lind:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .292.  While Lind has never come close to the 35 home runs he hit back in his early days with Toronto, he has become a very dependable and cheap power hitter who can give you 25 with a useful average.  For some reason he continues to fall through the cracks which makes him annually one of the best value bats in the game.  Remember this next season.  Or you can pick him up off waivers unbelievably in some leagues. 

Ryan Braun:  1/2 with his 15th HR and 9th SB while hitting .259.  Outside of the average which has been on a steady rise, Braun is pretty much looking like the guy who won the MVP before his career spiraled under the weight of his positive steroid tests.  It just goes to show you with Braun and with what Alex Rodriguez and Nelson Cruz are doing this season that they never had to do the juice in the first place.  Idiots. 

Tommy Milone:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.19.  Milone has had some success in the past as a solid SP 5 who can strike enough guys out to be useful in all formats.  Other than being careful with road starts, Milone can be trusted as your back end guy in your team's rotation. 

Mike Fiers:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.14.  Now that nobody cares or is paying attention to anything Fiers is doing, this is when he will start reeling off good starts.  Story of his career. 

Jake Lamb:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .284.  The early DL stint stopped in its tracks what could have been a very interesting start to the season for Lamb but with third base becoming infused with a massive amount of young talent and depth, this story already seems dated. 

Wellington Castillo:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .211.  Castillo can help you with the power stick in two catcher formats but that average is in Mike Zunino territory which is never a good thing. 

Matt Kemp:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .250.  Like with Wil Myers before he took up permanent residence on the DL, moving to leadoff has awoken the sleeping bat of Matt Kemp.  Not sure if the extra focus needed to be a leadoff guy and get on pace is what does the trick but there is no doubt Kemp has looked his best since being moved up.  Maybe this season won't be the complete disaster it was looking like after all. 

Derek Norris:  2/4 with 2 home runs (11 for season) while hitting .246.  Norris had been in a horrific slump leading into this game so this was a nice breath of fresh air.  You can't worry about slumps with your catcher as they are more prone to them than any other position and your expectations needs to be seriously lowered when it comes to what you anticipate your backstop doing offensively.  The sinking average just means I can get Norris back again next season maybe even towards the last few rounds of the draft. 

Nolan Arenado:  2/4 with 2 home runs (24 for season) while hitting .293.  Maybe I should have included Arenado in the just completed 2015 early season fantasy baseball MVP poll.  My goodness. 

Matt Duffy:  3/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .303.  Told you to pick up Duffy last month or 5 home runs ago. 

Brandon Crawford:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .275.  The new J.J. Hardy with a slightly better average. 

Madison Bumgarner:  7.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.99.  Someday Bumgarner will become the next Justin Verlander or C.C. Sabbathia whose arm will give out under the insane heavy usage he underwent early in his career.  That day is not now. 

Felix Hernandez:  6 IP 1 H 0 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.05.  Standard excellence as Hernandez is a guy you only talk about when he gets shelled, so rare is that occurrence. 

Hector Santiago:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.58.  This is another story that is getting swallowed up on the West Coast when most East Coasters are sleeping.  Santiago is having the type of breakout Garrett Richards had a year ago before the knee fell apart. 



 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: DENARD SPAN (BACK) PLAYING IN FIRST GAME OF DH

                                               

Washington Nationals outfielder Denard Span is in the lineup for the first game of the team's doubleheader Sunday after sitting out since Thursday with a sore back. 

Analysis:  Span has done a nice job out of the leadoff spot for Washington this season and his absence was a bit of a drag.  However it looks like nothing major is happening here in terms of the seriousness with the back.  While he could sit the second game, Span should be a safe bet going forward this week. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS : HANLEY RAMIREZ (HAND) HEADED FOR MRI, COULD HIT THE DL

                                              

Updating an earlier item, Boston Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez will head back home to get an MRI on his injured hand which will determine if he needs to be placed on the DL. 

Analysis:  Uh-oh.  Apparently the Red Sox fear this is not simply a bruised hand as Ramirez has now sat for four games and is still in pain.  With shortstop eligibility for one more season, Ramirez would be a tremendous loss if he were to be placed on the DL.  Check back for updates later on. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ADAM JONES (SHOULDER) RETURNS TO LINEUP SUNDAY FOR FIRST GAME OF DH

                                              

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is back in the lineup at least for the first game of the team's doubleheader on Sunday, after sitting out 8 of the previous 10 contests with a bum shoulder.  No word on whether Jones will also play the nightcap but the team will likely play it safe and sit him.

Analysis:  Finally.  Of course we are not out of the woods yet here as Jones could come down with more pain in the shoulder after playing the first game of the DH so stay tuned there.  Either way Jones has work to do to pick up the numbers expected from this late first round talent. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BRYCE HARPER (HAMTRING) TO PLAY IN FIRST GAME OF DH, SIT SECOND

                                              

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will return to the lineup for the first game of the team's doubleheader Sunday but will sit the second one out for precautionary reasons.  Harper is just making it back from missing a few games with a strained hamstring. 

Analysis:  Good news in terms of Harper getting back into the lineup but a bummer you won't get two games out of him Sunday.  Harper has been slightly behind only Paul Goldschmidt in terms of the hitting fantasy baseball MVP this season and as long as he remains healthy, that monster season we all waited on should continue unabated. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: YASIEL PUIG (HAND) RETURNS TO LINEUP SUNDAY

                                                     

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup Sunday after sitting out since last Tuesday with an opened callous on his hand. 

Analysis:  Puig remains as maddening a player to own as ever, what with his drastic swings in production, mercurial behavior, and injuries.  He still has not busted through to superstar status that he seemed to be destined for when he first arrived in the majors but he makes the grade as a firm outfielder 2.

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: HANLEY RAMIREZ (HAND) OUT AGIAN SUNDAY

                                            

Boston Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez is out of the lineup again Sunday, his fourth straight missed game since being hit on the hand with a pitch.  Alejandro De Aza will once again start in his place.

Analysis:  Ramirez is not going on the DL with this but his penchant for nagging day-to-day injuries is becoming more pronounced as he ages.  On the field, Ramirez has been terrific with his home run swing and run/RBI totals checking out nicely. 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SATURDAY

Torii Hunter:  3/4 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .266.  Love it.  Hunter is going out in style unlike David Ortiz or Aramis Ramirez as he still hacks it as an outfielder 3.

Mitch Moreland:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .305.  Moreland has been a terrific value play at UTIL or CI this season after disappointing for years.  Moreland had shown big power coming up the Texas system but never could put two months of production togetjer, let alone a full season.  It is well past time we added Moreland to the post-hype sleeper made good column.

Roughned Odor:  2/3 with his third HR and 4th SB while hitting .203.  Odor like Moreland looks like another post-hype sleeper who is making strides after a demotion.  Odor has the power/speed thing going on and precious infield eligibility so this is a story that needs to be revisited.

Matt Boyd:  6.2 IP 9 H 4 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 5.40.  Boyd was a bit too amped-up for this one as he gave up three home runs and his fastball was coming in a bit too straight.  Still he walked no one and struck out 7 which shows you that the tools are there for some future success.  For now just continue stashing on the bench in order to check out his next start and go from there. 

Yovani Gallardo:  8.1 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.72.  By now Gallardo has shown that he has successfully reinvented himself in giving back strikeouts and in turn allowing his defense to do the work for him.  The result is the best ERA in years for Gallardo but his past as an ace is now down to a low-end SP 3 at best. 

Chris Young:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.71.  Young's WHIP is a tiny 0.99 as he stands here with a 7-3 record.  After almost being out of the league entirely and having to settle for a series of minor league deals, Young is shockingly good this season.  The guy is 6-11 and always presents a problem for hitters due to the fact he appears to be right on front of you by the time he releases the baseball but his control has gotten better at this late stage as well.  I continue to say for you to start only at home and be very careful on the road.  Under that scenario Young can still help you. 

Justin Turner:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .325.  Turner has batted over .320 for a season-and-a-half now and this is pure fantasy baseball insanity at its best right now.  What once looked like a classic career unfolding as a prime utilityman, Turner has really latched onto a starting job this season for the first time in his career and the results are spectacular.  While Turner qualifies everywhere, plug him into shortstop where he is hitting like a top tier guy there. 

Alejandro De Aza:  1/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .234.  With Rusney Castillo in the minors, De Aza gets new life with the Boston Red Sox after he was cut loose by the Baltimore Orioles.  With two home runs this past week and also possessing the ability to steal bases, De Aza should at the very least be picked up in AL-only formats. 

Evan Longoria:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .280.  How has this guy gotten so boring over the last two years? 

Matt Andriese:  6 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.24.  The other day I said I will automatically seek out and label a sleeper any pitcher who comes out of the Tampa Bay system.  While the K rate is just average at best, Andriese has the pedigree to be an add in AL-only formats. 

Julio Teheran:  6 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 4.94.  Good to see Teheran is back to being complete horse shizz after his one-game reprieve against the streaming New York Mets. 

Matt Duffy:  3/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .294.  As boring as Evan Longoria is, Matt Duffy is the opposite. 

Brian McCann:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .274.  Maybe all of those glowing 2014 fantasy baseball scouting reports we typed on McCann after he signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees should be dusted off for 2015.  Tremendous year unfolding for McCann who has not hit this well since his early Atlanta Braves days. 

Chase Headley:  1/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .254.  Basically Headley has not hit even close to enough while calling Yankee Stadium home which means he should be mentioned from here on out unless he has a Hit and Run Special. 

Carlos Correa:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .301.  I can see a scenario where if Correa keeps this up, he will be a top five pick next season.  Yes I mean that.  Shortstop who can hit for average, power, and steal bases?  Top five in all formats.

Chris Carter:  2/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .200.  With Jon Singleton now joining the team, Carter relaxed a bit realizing he is not the most pathetic average hitter on the Houston Astros now.

Jose Altuve:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .290.  Good to see Altuve running the other day after his hamstring injury and the power is always a nice addition to the tremendous stat package he supplies.  As long as the legs continue to be in fine working order, Altuve will be the monster we anticipated. 

Masahiro Tanaka:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.88.  Second straight horrible outing for Tanaka who gave up three home runs and is not fooling anyone right now.  The fact he is giving up so many home runs is telling since opposing batters are not having any trouble catching up with his less potent fastball.  Trouble. 

Dellin Betances:  scoreless ninth for his sixth save with an ERA of 1.17.  Good to see Betances lock it down his last two times out since that four earned run disaster the other day.  We never seriously doubted the kid. 

Michael Wacha:  6 IP 6 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.77.  The hit rate is sneaking up a bit on Wacha but nothing to be alarmed about.  Again he goes into the Michael Pineda, Matt Harvey, Scott Kazmir mode of sell highs on July due to fatigue after missing a great deal of 2014 with shoulder trouble. 

Kole Calhoun:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .258.  The Angels seem to not have a clue as to where to play Calhoun, moving him around from leadoff to cleanup and now the number two.  Ultimately I think this has had a detrimental effect on Calhoun's hitting numbers due to all the moving around.  Since he doesn't steal bases, Calhoun needs to hit for average and home runs.  While the latter has been all right, the former not so good. 

Garrett Richards:  7.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.54.  That 6-earned run horror show in the first inning is still bringing back nightmares for Richards' owners but he has been solid to very good in the four starts since.  The ERA is quite a bit higher than his breakout 2014 however and the K Rate has sunk noticeably which are pock marks on his outlook right now. 

Justin Upton:  2/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .276.  At this rate Upton will slam 30 home runs which is where we ideally want any outfielder whose power is their greatest asset.  And in Petco Park no less.  While Upton never will be the five-tool monster we first thought he was destined for, the overall body of work still falls in as a clear outfielder 1. 

 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: GIANCARLO STANTON DOWN 4-6 WEEKS DUE TO HAND SURGERY

The update is in on the broken hand suffered by Miami Marlins slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and the news is not good.  Stanton will undergo surgery to fix the broken hamate bone in his hand which will keep him out for the next four-to-six weeks.  The blow to Stanton's fantasy baseball owners is a massive one and outside of Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and maybe 1 or 2 other players, there is not a bigger loss in all of fantasy baseball.  With pure power that is unmatched by anyone else in baseball, Stanton exits with 27 home runs and 67 RBI.  After suffering a scary facial fracture from a HBP to the face late summer, Stanton once again is facing serious missed time due to injury.  While it looked like 40 home runs was a cinch finally prior to the broken hand, now we have to wonder if Stanton can get there if he returns on the latter portion of the timetable which will put his first game sometime in the middle of August.  Either way there is not much Stanton's fantasy baseball owners can do right now other than to cry a bit and hope they have some depth to keep them afloat.  Clearly this is one of those monumental days during the fantasy baseball season which changes the landscape of how your league shapes up in terms of the standings among the teams. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: MATT BOYD SP TORONTO BLUE JAYS

While the Steven Matz promotion deservedly gets all of the pub as the latest to prospect to be called to the majors, the Toronto Blue Jays made their own move to bring aboard a highly-touted arm of their own Friday in announcing the promotion of LHP Matt Boyd to make his debut in a start Saturday.  While Boyd is not nearly in the class of Matz in terms of pedigree and his status as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, he is coming to the majors with some impressive numbers attached to his name so far on the farm this season and is at least worth looking into.  Let's see what could be in store for those who decide on bringing aboard the kid in order to see what he could be all about. 

In terms of the numbers Boyd accumulated at Double-A New Hampshire this season, they certainly are pretty:

1.26 ERA
0.81 WHIP
82/18 K/BB
85.2 IP

Drafted in the sixth round in 2013, Boyd certainly has made quick progress through the Toronto system.  The lefty possesses a good fastball that can hit 95 consistently and his secondary pitches are solid as well, highlighted by the changeup.  That has allowed Boyd to post very good K rates in the minors at Double-A (9.28 last season, 8.55 in 2015) and the walk rates are good enough for a young starter as well (2.74/2.20).  The fact Boyd is a lefty and can strike guys out make him more of a chore for unsuspecting major league hitters and there have been scores of cases this season where guys coming up from the minors have dominated their first few times out due to the lack of film on their pitches.  While I won't guarantee this is what will be the case with Boyd, he should absolutely be picked up in AL-only setups and even serve as a speculative add in mixed leagues but only to see how he does while on your bench. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: GIANCARLO STANTON TO GO ON DL WITH BROKEN HAND

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has a broken bone in his hand as shown by X-rays conducted For day.  The team will place Stanton in the disabled list Saturday and update on how long he will be out later in the day.

Analysis:  It doesn't get any bigger than this as Stanton is truly a top five fantasy baseball star whose power is unmatched.  Hope for a short end for any DL projection but count on Stanton being out for at least a month.  

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Robinson Cano:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .246.  Whereas with the Yankees we expected 25 home runs as a lock for Robinson Cano, now we have to downgrade that outlook to around 15 which is amazing.  Throw in the depressed batting average by a mile and if his name was Joe Smith and not Robinson Cano, he would rot on the wire.

Mike Trout:  3/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .303.  You know someone is beyond excellent when you see he hit his 19th HR and you should shrug and move on to the rest of the wrapup.

Tajuan Walker:  7 IP 7 J 1 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.64.  Walker is on a nice winning streak and continues to churn out quality starts since the end of May.  Listen we all loved the arm for years even through the injuries and now when he is starting to throw like we expected, we should be jumping up and down and not ignoring the kid after those very ugly first two months.  Remember Walker had next to no major league experience coming into the season so growing pains were part of the deal.

Fernando Rodney:  scoreless ninth for his 15th save with an ERA of 5.70.  And Carson Smith pitched in the eighth.  Commence sticking head in oven and lighting the gas. 

Tyson Ross:  6 IP 2 H 2 ER 5 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.57.  Geez Ross has absolutely no idea where the baseball is going right now as he has seemingly turned into Victor Zambrano overnight.  Very tough to even take a chance with that kind of pitching chaos.  Major step back for Ross in 2015 after it looked like he was heading for at lest being a firm SP 2.

Nolan Arenado:  2/4 with 2 home runs (22 for season) while hitting .290.  Arenado has watched Albert Pujols this month and said to himself, "yeah I can do that." 

Kendrys Morales:  1/2 with his 9th HR while hitting .288.  After the big April, Morales has been solid and steady in May and June, with the power retreating to his Seattle performance and post-leg surgery level.  While that is mildly disappointing, Morales has been an RBI machine and doing his best Adrian Gonzalez impersonation which says a lot for his usefulness.

Alex Gordon:  3/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .280.  I can't believe I am saying this but I miss the days of Alex Gordon hitting leadoff where he at least could boost his runs and take some bases.  He is actually more boring than he already was which is quite the statement. 

Edinson Volquez:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.18.  If this guy is not proof positive that even pitches with ungodly control can eventually turn into very good starters, than good luck finding someone who fits that profile better. 

Jake Arrieta:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.94.  No run support here but salute yet another dominant outing from this late bloomer.  Amazing what the Cubs have accomplished with Arrieta and Jason Hammel.  Now if Matt Shoemaker ends up there next season, I am slapping the Sleeper tag on him before the ink is dry on the contract. 

Brian Dozier:  3/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .268.  While Jason Kipnis is getting all the pub at second base and rightly so, don't overlook the terrific season Dozier is having again as he ups the home run rate and greatly boosts the batting average.  We always said that if Dozier could hit even .260 with those home runs and steals, he could graduate to upper tier status.  Here we go. 

Aramis Ramirez:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .216. Been tough to watch my old friend ARAM struggle this season but again like other aging sluggers, the power is the last number that hangs on for dear life.

Scooter Gennett:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .209.  Only thing attractive about the guy is his name. 

Max Scherzer:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 1.79.  Fresh off the no-hitter, Scherzer took a perfect game into the sixth inning.  This guy is the definition of unhittable as over his last three starts he has given up only 6 in his last 26 frames.  Read that last part again.  The best pitcher by a mile in 2015. 

Carlos Santana:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .218.  There is not a bigger indictment I can place on a player than to cut him loose in the Experts League which I did for this fool.  Expectations unfulfilled career-wise.

Brandon Moss:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .239.  I bet you Moss is sitting there on the wire in your league.  And yours too.  And yours. 

J.J. Hardy:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .248.  Now the second season in a row Hardy's power rates are well off the beaten path as he is nothing but waiver fodder when that happens since he has no other consistent statistical numbers. 

Corey Kluber:  7 IP 7 H 3 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.66.  Those strikeouts are sparkling but I will be very interested to see where the ERA ends up with Kluber. Is he more the 2014 ERa guy or 2015?  The difference is ace to SP 2.

Edwin Encarnacion:  3/5 with 2 home runs (16 for season) while hitting .245.  Its like Encarnacion realized it was almost July and his numbers are down everywhere and he flipped the switch.  Whatever works my friend.  Just start showing us you are not becoming an aging, injury-prone, home run specialist. 

Russell Martin:  1/2 with his 11th HR while hitting .274.  Got to start learning to never doubt Russell Martin.  Even when he turns 40.  Like a younger version of A.J. Pierzynski but more likable. 

Prince Fielder:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .346.  So this is pretty much what Fielder was missing all of those years in Detroit and that pitching haven.

Nick Martinez:  8 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.39.  Nothing like a meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays to slap a pitcher back to fantasy baseball reality.  Next stop:  4.00 ERA. 

Adam Eaton:  1/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .252.  The home runs are nice but start stealing bases dude and than we can start chatting.

Jose Abreu:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .290.  Abreu is just kind of there this season which is very disappointing since we wanted 40 home runs.  Now 30 may not even happen for a guy who went in the top five in drafts. 

J.D. Martinez:  2/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .274.  Martinez is one guy who wished this week had like 5 more days to go.  Has taken over for Pujols as the hottest slugger going. 

Curtis Granderson:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .250.  If you had Granderson in the lineup for the last week, you did well.  Classic power hitter who can get on a tear with the home run and not much else.
 
Noah Syndegaard:  8 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.59.  If you are a Syndegaard owner in a redraft league, you really want to consider selling high off this gem as the Mets are going to a dreaded six-man rotation which tends to throw guys off and have them prone to ugly outings.  Also there is increasing chatter Syndegaard will be the one to go to the bullpen to conserve innings later on where he can't help you.  Still the future if very bright. 

Brett Anderson:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.13.  It wasn't that long ago when Anderson was considered one of the very best young pitchers in baseball but endless injuries made him a forgotten man.  He landed in as great a spot as you can get though for 2015 and the results have been tremendous.  The best part is that Anderson has stayed healthy which makes total sense due to the fact I finally don't own him after enduring all those injuries over the years.  That is how it goes. 

 

Friday, June 26, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BRYCE HARPER (LEG) OUT OF FRIDAY LINEUP

                                                

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is out of the lineup again on Friday with ongoing soreness in his right leg.  This marks the second straight missed game by Harper since first coming down with cramps in the leg during Wednesday's game.

Analysis:  Harper is no stranger to injury and this is another reminder of how fragile he can be with his health.  That represents the biggest threat to impeding the monster season Harper is having.  This is considered a minor deal but again the threat of things going off the rails with more injuries is a real issue. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: HANLEY RAMIREZ OUT OF LINEUP FRIDAY WITH WRIST

                                               

Boston Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez is out of the lineup with soreness in the wrist that was hit by a pitch Wednesday.  He is considered day-to-day but still will miss his second straight game. 

Analysis:  Ramirez has become a guy that is growing more and more susceptible to nagging day-to-day type injuries which we are seeing this season.  His production at the plate has been tremendous however, hitting for big-time power and driving in a high numbers of runs. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEVON TRAVIS (SHOULDER) ACTIVATED FROM DL FRIDAY

                                            

The Toronto Blue Jays activated second baseman Devon Travis after he spent the last month on the DL with a shoulder injury. 

Analysis:  Travis was the story of fantasy baseball back in April when he got off to a monster start in showcasing a tremendous power/speed game.  May was a different story however as opposing pitchers began to adjust and the shoulder went bad.  Travis is still worth picking up where available as the jury is still out on whether it was the shoulder that caused the May dip or baseball catching up to him. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ADAM JONES (SHOULDER) OUT AGAIN FRIDAY

                                                    

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones is out of the lineup Friday night which marks his eight missed game in the last ten due to a nagging shoulder problem.  Buck Showalter still is not talking about a possible DL stint for Jones and said he could return as soon as Saturday if he shows improvement.

Analysis:  Basically this is the same situation on a daily basis for the last two weeks.  We are well past the point of this being ridiculous as Jones should have been placed on the DL weeks ago when this first cropped up. 

FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATE SHORTSTOP RANKINGS

We are up to the shortstops as we once again take a look at the updated position rankings almost three full months into the season. 

1.  Hanley Ramirez:  Prior to the season I told you all to draft Hanley Ramirez over Troy Tulowitzki every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  With Tulo coming off very serious hop surgery and HanRam moving to an offensive park for the first time in his career, this was pretty much a non-debate for me.  While his speed I fading fast, Ramirez has smashed 15 home runs a picked up 38 RBI as of this writing
2.  Troy Tulowitzki:  Yeah I nailed it on Tulo as well when I said the hip surgery would greatly hurt his power  Try only 7 home runs as of June 23.  Start listening to me more. 
3.  Carlos Correa:  Yeah this seems like I am getting way out of hand with this ranking considering Correa just got here but he already has 4 home runs and steals and is batting .300 after three weeks.  Could be number 1 by the end of the season, so amazing is his talent. 
4.  Jhonny Peralta:  The fact Peralta is this high on the strength of his 11 home runs and .300 average shows you how pathetic shortstop has been this season. 
5.  Jose Reyes:  Already with a lengthy DL stint to his name this season, Reyes is fading across the board.  At 32, age is only going to exacerbate his health woes.  After this season I won't be looking here anymore.
6.  Brandon Crawford:  Prior to this season Crawford was a guy who would hit .230 with a decent amount of home runs for a shortstop.  Like every other San Francisco infielder in 2015 though, Crawford is having a career-year with 9 home runs,4 steals, and an average that has stayed above .270 all season. 
7. Justin Turner:  While Turner qualifies everywhere, he has his most value at the always thin shortstop spot where his 9 home runs and terrific .330 average stand out. 
8. Jean Segura:  Has posted a useful season with 9 steals and 3 home runs but Segura still leaves you wanting something better. 
9.  Ian Desmond:  Proof positive that impending free agency doesn't help everyone's numbers.  Desmond has been a disgrace all season, both on the offensive and defensive side.  While the ugly .222 average is hideous enough, Desmond is not going to come anywhere near 20/20 for the fourth straight season as he had only 5 home runs and 2 steals as of this writing.
10. Starlin Castro:  With 5 home runs and 4 steals, Castro has been just all right.  Which has been the story of his career after turning 22.
11. Marcus Semien:  Semien was very good in April and May before cooling in June but overall he has been solid.  Looked like he would be more than this early on however but for now he has slid back to barely daily status. 
12. Elvis Andrus:  Been saying how overrated Andrus has been for years and now finally the fantasy baseball community has caught up to my argument.  Only has 8 stolen bases and a horrid .242 average which shows you how bad Andrus has been. 
13. Wilmer Flores:  Have to give credit to 10 home runs as a shortstop but Flores is pretty much one-dimensional with no speed and a horrid .240-ish average.
14. Yunel Escobar:  Has hit for a very high and unexpected average all season but Escobar still falls short in the home run and stolen base categories. 
15. Xander Bogaerts:  Once again Bogaerts is putting up an empty batting average as he has only 3 home runs and 4 steals.  Better player in real-life than in fantasy baseball.
16. Ben Zobrist:  Zobrist is hitting some home runs since coming off the DL but his three-position eligibility remains his best attribute which is not saying much. 
17. Alicides Escobar:  Escobar has hit pretty much but the steals are falling through the floor with only 5. 
18. Jimmy Rollins:  Can still pop some homers and steals bases but the average is now down to .200.  The end is near. 
19. Alexei Ramirez:  Age is showing here as Ramirez's bat is slipping badly and the power is going along with it.  Can still run some but that is pretty much it.
20.  Jose Iglesias:  Has surprised with 15 steals and .325 average but there is zero power here.  Overall though has been a solid value. 
21. Addison Russell:  Has not taken off like many thought he would but that is due to hitting at the bottom of the Chicago Cubs lineup.  Next season the true Russell will starting showing. 
22. Asdrubal Cabrera:  Barely hitting .200 but still makes it into this list due to the 5 bombs.  Yeah that kind of season at shortstop.
23. Erick Aybar:  Only one home run is all you need to know about how bad Aybar has been this season.  Even falling short in the speed department with just 5 stolen bases. 
24. Brad Miller:  Shows glimpses of power/speed ability but sporadically. 
25. Andrelton Simmons:  Hitting better this season but still known for the glove. 
26. J.J. Hardy:  Still like the power but Hardy has been a mess for awhile and showing no signs of turning it around. 
27. Odubel Herrera:  Can steal some bases but that is all she wrote. 


 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ANTHONY RENDON BACK TO THE DL WITH STRAINED QUAD

The Washington Nationals placed third baseman Anthony Rendon on the 15-day DL Friday with a strained quad, backdating the move to June 25.  Rendon injured the quad in Wednesday's game and still reported soreness early Friday which promoted the DL stint.  Overall Rendon has missed the entire season with knee/oblique/quad injuries outside of just 18 games.

Analysis:  There is no competition right now for the title of biggest 2015 fantasy baseball bust as Rendon has it locked up.  Things started off terribly when he came down with a knee injury in March which was followed by a strained oblique in April while rehabbing that injury.  Now add the quad to the list as Rendon has been a colossal bust when you take into account the fact he was a first round pick in most formats.  Ridiculous. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BYRON BUXTON PLACED ON DL WITH THUMB INJURY

The Minnesota Twins placed outfielder Byron Buxton on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb injury.  Buxton hurt the thumb while attempting a steal in Tuesday's game and he struggled badly Wednesday in striking out in all four of his plate appearances. 

Analysis:  Darn.  The Buxton Breakout Tour will be put on hold for a bit as the Twins don't want to take any chances with their supremely gifted rookie outfielder.  Hold onto Buxton if you can as the kid will light it up once he finds his major league footing. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: MATT HOLLIDAY (QUAD) STARTS BASEBALL ACTIVITIES

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday has resumed taking part in baseball activities as he begins to make his way back from the quad injury that landed him on the DL.  Holliday recently took a cortisone shot to the quad in order to speed up the healing but his timetable is currently around the All-Star break for a possible return.

Analysis:  Holliday is aging and starting to fade across the board but he remains a professional hitter who can come close to 20 home runs with good health which is not the case right now.  He still makes the grade as an outfielder 3 but the end is getting closer in terms of his fantasy baseball appeal. 

 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Lance Lynn:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.84.  Lynn dodged a scary potentially injury bullet after he came down with forearm soreness but it turned out all right.  He was at his best here outside of the walks which was due likely to the layoff.  As along as Lynn doesn't complain of any issues tomorrow, he seems find to use as you normally would. 

Matt Kemp:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .243.  The San Diego Padres are so to the point of throwing up their hands with Kemp that they are now trying him at leadoff.  That could help unlock some steals for Kemp but he has not hit one bit all season and we are almost into July. 

James Shields:  7 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.24.  Shields has been beaten around over the last few weeks but he still is striking out a massive amount of guys which means his stuff is still potent but the location is off a bit. 

Chris Heston:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.73.  The WHIP is also very solid at 1.22 so overall Heston has been very good in his first full season in a major league rotation.  While it is always playing with fire starting Heston on the road in a park not named Citi Field, he is starting to grow on me. 

Ian Desmond:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .224.  Its almost like Desmond say that the calendar read June 25 and he realized he better get his butt moving to post another 20/20 campaign.  Sorry too late for that but Desmond is redefining how not to play in a contract year. 

Doug Fister:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.15.  First Stephen Strasburg comes back and fires a five inning shutout and now Fister posts seven scoreless frames in his return from injury.  Look out baseball.  The Washington Nats just woke up. 

Nolan Arenado:  1/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .287.  Arenado has been ridiculous in June and at this rate he will be pushing up at 40 home runs by the end of September.  Incredible. 

Troy Tulowitzki:  1/1 with his 8th HR while hitting .314.  Tulo seems like he is getting back into form after needing a month or so to get over the invasive hip surgery he had a year ago.  A monster second half is very likely when on the field but Tulo is made of glass. 

John Axford:  scoreless ninth for his 13th save with an ERA of 2.42.  Whew.  When Axford gets bombed the way he did the other night, we always have to worry about the avalanche which he stemmed with this outing.  With trading season now underway, Axford stands a good chance to being moved into a setup role somewhere else.  Sell high but I doubt anyone will want him and the unmatched risk Axford brings to the table. 

Matt Wieters:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .292.  Shame on you if Wieters is still sitting on the wire in your league.  What a waste for a proven 20-homer catcher who of course are among the rarest commodity in the game. 

Eduardo Rodriguez:  6 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.33.  Things are going off the rails now for Rodriguez and a bit more of this will put him right back into the minors leagues.  The league has started adapting to Rodriguez' based on the about face his numbers have taken after his initial burst and so far the kid is having a tough time responding.  Stash on bench for now. 

Mitch Moreland:  3/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .302.  Moreland has been really good but the funny thing is that he has been a disappointment for so many seasons that no one wants to even bother with this so far decent 2015.  You can only screw us so many times. 

Sonny Gray:  6 IP 9 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.09.  Now up to 9 wins and counting as Gray is knocking on the top ten starting pitching overall rankings. 

Jacob DeGrom:  8 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.15.  Sorry but I will say it and that is the fact Jacob DeGrom is the best pitcher on the New York Mets which of course includes Matt Harvey.  Now up to 8 straight starts of giving up 2 or fewer earned runs and DeGrom is also up to 93 K's in 92.1 innings.  Ace pitcher my friends. 

Adam Eaton:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .253.  Yawn. 

Ian Kinsler:  1/6 with his second HR while hitting .257.  The power has now joined the stolen bases in falling completely off the fantasy baseball map.  It was a fun ride while it lasted but Ian Kinsler is pretty much finished as a top or second tier second base asset. 

J.D. Martinez:  1/5 with his 18th HR while hitting .270.  Geez Martinez is as locked in as one can get.  It also could be Victor Martinez donating all of his 2015 home runs to his namesake. 

Alfredo Simon:  5 ER in 6.1 IP with an ERA of 3.57.  Let the second half fade begin. 

DallasKeuchel:  9 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.17.  Just an incredible season from Keuchel who has been ten times the value play he was last season when he first showed up on the fantasy baseball radar.  Clearly this story is showing no signs of a final chapter and honestly we all collectively missed the boat on this guy as anyone who says otherwise is full of it. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: METS CALLING UP STEVEN MATZ

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the New York Mets will call up top pitching prospect Steven Matz from Triple-A. Rosenthal didn't report on what specific day the promotion would be but Matz will go right into the rotation when the move becomes official. 

Analysis:  Matz is the best pitching prospect left in the minor leagues right now and he has dominated in the offensive haven that is the PCL with a 2.19 ERA and 94 K's in 90.1 IP.  No word on who will come out of the rotation but there is talk Noah Syndegaard could go into the bullpen.  Stay tuned. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WEEKLY PICKUPS: 6-25-15

We are now nearly into July as the 2015 fantasy baseball season is now almost halfway though.  Let's see who makes the grade as the hot pickups for the next week.

Evan Scribner:  Seems like it is only a matter of time before the Oakland A's clear house and start selling attractive commodities such as closer Tyler Clippard.  That means adding Evan Scribner right now is a good idea since he has pitched well all season and his ratios can help you until Clippard is sent packing. 

Roberto Osuna:  It didn't take the young and hard-throwing Osuna long to get his first save in place of the demoted Brett Cecil, striking out five in two scoreless innings Tuesday.  Osuna has a very bright future and has he classic closer profile. 

Will Smith:  With the Milwaukee Brewers likely joining the A's in selling off parts, now is the time for all Francisco Rodriguez owners to pick up Will Smith who has been tremendous in setup the last two seasons. 

Justin Turner:  Turner is available in more leagues than one would think after the week he just had but that is because old habits die hard in fantasy baseball.  With Turner being mostly a backup utility guy throughout his career, his terrific 2015 performance has gone under the radar.  We think even Don Mattingly can't screw this up. 

Mike Montgomery:  I admit I was not immediately on board with Montgomery when he came up and started firing blanks but his hot start has now gone into a second month and fresh off a 10-K outing.  Time to catch up with the public. 

Logan Forsythe:  Quietly Forsythe has 8 home runs and 7 steals for the Tampa Bay Rays with no one paying any attention.  Second base eligibility?  Yes please no matter how mediocre the guy was previously. 

Andrew Heaney:  Heaney gets called up again by the Los Angeles Angels despite a very ugly 4.71 ERA at Triple-A.  However Heaney still has all the tools that made him one of the top prospects in baseball and often when a guy is in the minors longer than he should be, the results start to become a big ugly due to boredom. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Adam LaRoche:  3/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .237.  The home run and the three-hit game signals to us that LaRoche is ready for his annual second half power burst.  Pick him up where available and install at UTIL or CI. 

Chris Sale:  6.2 IP 8 H 5 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.02.  Yet another double-digit K game for Sale which was the silver lining in his rough outing.  Just one of those days and enjoy the uncanny strikeout rates from here on out. 

Phil Hughes:  8 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.20.  Hughes was shockingly bad in April and May when he was looking to build off his tremendous 2014 breakout which actually should have been even better if not for an unlucky BABIP.  There was a bit of a loss of velocity early on no doubt due to the high innings total form a year ago but Hughes has looked sharp his last two times out which is maybe an indication of a nice finish.  Starting to get back into the circle of trust. 

J.D. Martinez:  1/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .272.  If Martinez reaches the 30 home run mark, he graduates to outfielder 2 status going forward.  About the only thing the Houston Astros have not done well over the last two years was get rid of the guy.

Francisco Lindor:  2/3 with his first HR while hitting .243.  Lindor is on the home run board after a two week initial foray into the major leagues.  Right now Lindor is not anywhere near the class of Carlos Correa and I don't think he will get there in due time either.  His bat is just not that potent and overall Lindor will be known more for a good average, runs, and steals totals than anything else.  Still a bright future thought but expectations needs to be tempered. 

Carlos Carrasco:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.16.  Carrasco is close to getting the ERA under 4.00 but it has been a Tyson Ross-like struggle in alternating big K totals but elevated ERA's and WHIP's.  Remember that Carrasco was tremendous the second half of last season and he could be ready to launch that run again.  Could be a second half guy which is a trend Carrasco will cement this season if he goes that route again. 

Chris Colabello:  1/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .343.  Why this guy is not universally owned and started is beyond me.  How much more do you need to see and did you notice Colabello plays half his games in Toronto? 

Marco Estrada:  8.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.45.  For the second start in a row Marco Estrada almost tossed a no-hitter.  His recent string of gems has been startlingly great and even though the threat of home runs is as high as any pitcher in the game, I can't argue anymore against starting him more religiously. 

Nathan Karns:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.28.  In yesterday's wrapup I said I will label and draft any Tampa Bay Rays pitcher who comes out of their system.  Hence Mr. Nathan Karns. 

Steve Delebar:  scoreless ninth for his first save with an ERA of 1.42.  Darn.  Roberto Osuna did start the ninth inning but was removed after getting one out.  This just a few days after Osuna picked up a two inning save.  We could be looking at a timeshare between the two but Delabar could be the guy based on how this went. 

Cole Hamels:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.26.  That is not the way for Hamels to audition to the New York Yankees. 

Ivan Nova:  6.2 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 1 K with an ERA of 0.00.  Have seen this act way too many times to ever feel the need to pick up Nova in any league.  Only one strikeout tells you all you need to know about the smoke and mirrors aspect going on with the kid. 

Mike Moustakas:  2/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .328.  At least this is one Kansas City Royal who deserves to be elected to the All-Star team.  By now it has become clear that Moustkas has figured something out at the dish, mainly to shorten his swing at a bit of an expense of power.  No one wanted to look at another .220 average so this is a fine development indeed. 

Roenis Elias:  7 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.25.  Just when you started to buy into the numbers, Elias does this to remind you that he can't fully be trusted.  Still the kid was money up until this slop and his ERA was under 4.00 as a rookie last season as well so don't overreact to one bad outing.  Next time out will tell more of the story regarding what we need to do with this. 

Buster Posey:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .287.  Posey is firmly one of those guys whose numbers will always be there at the end no matter how long a slump might go on like back in April. 

Justin Turner:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .323.  Turner continues to surprise us, first with the batting title averages and now with the power which we haven't seen much of before.  The fact Turner qualifies at shortstop already makes him a top five guy there in this horrid season for the position. 

Adrian Gonzalez:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .296.  There are some pundits out there patting themselves on the back for telling you to sell high on Gonzalez back in April when he homered like every day for a week.  We all knew that was an outlier rate soon to be corrected but anyone who sold high there was dumb simply for the fact Gonzalez is incredibly durable and always gives you the numbers expected.  There is something to be said for that type of consistency and there is immense value in that to be held onto. 

Mike Bolsinger:  4.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.95.  WHIP now up to 1.24.  Regression, regression, regression. 

Curtis Granderson:  1/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .242.  Granderson is the only Met hitting right now on their sinking ship and his home run rate is above his 2014 debut with the team.  On pace for 24 homers, Granderson is pretty much just the one-category power specialist he has been since leaving the Yankees.

Jimmy Nelson:  8 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.34.  I won't go crazy here as the Mets are the slam dunk number 1 team to stream pitchers against right now.  Nelson has had his moments this season and 2016 could be the breakout his stuff suggests but he remains a very volatile investment. 

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .353.  I put up a poll asking who you thought was the early fantasy baseball MVP expecting Bryce Harper to win it but instead Goldschmidt is pacing the field which is what I was hoping to see.  There is no contest in my opinion who is number 1 and he has made a whole mockery of any Jose Abreu debate from March. 

John Axford:  first blown save with 3 ER in .2 IP with an ERA of 2.53.  There is it.  You wait long enough and the inevitable disaster from Axford will fall upon you.  Now we got to see how he does the next time out since Axford tends to take outings like this into his next appearance as all hell breaks loose. 

Shelby Miller:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.94.  With Jason Heyward hitting some home runs lately, Miller decided it was time to once again remind the St. Louis Cardinals how stupid they were to make the trade.

Jordan Zimmerman:  8 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.42.  Typical Zimmerman start here with the lack of hits and also lack of K's but total domination. 

Billy Hamilton:  0/4 with 2 stolen bases (35 for season) while hitting .223.  Back in the leadoff spot and Hamilton did what Hamilton does which is to not get a hit but somehow swipe more than one base.  As clear a one category player as you can get but boy is he a difference-maker there. 

Gerrit Cole:  5 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 2.16.  I can't recall Cole having even one bad start this season so we can easily look past this. 

J.J. Hoover:  scoreless ninth for his first save with an ERA of 1.39.  Got the save with Aroldis Chapman on paternity.  At least we know who the replacement will be if the Reds wind up moving the Cuban fireballer. 

David Ortiz:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .232.  Ironic that on the day the Red Sox lose two players to injury, the 40-year-old Ortiz remained upright and slammed another home run.  The power is picking up as summer dawns.

Andrew Heaney:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.50.  Yeah the minor league numbers are very ugly this season but I chalk that up to Heaney being bored in knowing he deserves to be in the majors.  I would pick him up in all formats and see where it goes. 

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEXTER FOWLER OUT WED. WITH SORE ANKLE

                                                   

Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler is out of the lineup again on Wednesday due to the ankle he injured during Monday's game.  Fowler is considered day-to-day and is likely to return by the end of the week.

Analysis:  Fowler has been decent to carve out his niche as an outfielder 3 but the overall body of work is still barely above-average.  Overall Fowler has never exactly lived up to the hype he had when he first arrived with the Colorado Rockies. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BRANDON PHILLIPS OUT WITH JAMMED THUMB

                                                  

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is out of the lineup on Wednesday with a jammed left thumb.  Phillips was originally slated to play before he reported that the pain was a bit too much for him to be in the lineup. 

Analysis:  The scary thing is that this is the same thumb Phillips has surgery on last season but he is considered day-to-day for now.  Overall Phillips has turned back the clock some in 2015 by stealing bases and hitting .300 but one has to wonder if he can sustain that production into the second half. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: CARLOS GOMEZ OUTFIELDER MILWAUKEE BREWERS

There was a bit of news good news announced for fantasy baseball owners of Milwaukee Brewers five-tool outfielder Carlos Gomez on Tuesday night.  After missing a slate of games due to persistent pain emanating from his hip, Gomez was back in the lineup for Tuesday and batting cleanup no less.  Those owners of Gomez will take what they can get out of the guy right now as almost three months into the season, the theme surrounding the first round talent has been disappointment.  Heading into Tuesday's action, Gomez had a grand total of 5 home runs and 6 stolen bases while batting a shaky .275.  All of this from a guy who has gone 19/37, 24/40, and 23/34 the three seasons prior.  Clearly the hip has been the main source of trouble for Gomez who has not hit one home run since the issue was first reported.  That would make sense since the hip is a crucial part of the torque needed in the swing to generate power.  With Gomez not firing on all cylinders there, his home runs have dried up.  In addition, Gomez is running less as well due to the hip, as he can't accelerate the way he is used to as a result of the discomfort.  Put it all together and Gomez is well off his usual rate states.  With Gomez not turning 30 until December, there is no reason to think he is starting to erode with his skills.  No instead we are simply dealing with a nagging injury which is almost completely to blame for the erosion in production.  If Gomez can finally get the hip under control, he is surely going to go back to the five-tool monster he has been the previous three seasons.  The guy is simply too talented and still in his prime not to do so.  All of the advanced indicators are also in the normal range as well in terms of what Gomez supplies in his stardom seasons so there really are no issues there either.  Gomez just needs to get his body right and the numbers will start flowing real soon.  Stay patient with the guy as Gomez is still as talented an outfielder as there is in the game. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Logan Morrison:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .248. Very odd that idiot Lloyd McClendon thinks Logan Morrison is a leadoff hitter but the fact of the matter is that the guy has some serious pop when he is not expending energy on Twitter. 

Mike Montgomery:  9 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.04.  I guess Montgomery can now be added to the post-hype sleeper made good bin.  Remember the guy at one time was considered a top pitching prospect in the Kansas City system before a series of injuries and inconsistency doomed him there.  Clearly he is feeling good now and dealing with great efficiency.  There is no guarantee this will go on all season as opposing hitters will get a book on him soon enough but as always ride it out until trouble arrives. 

Madison Bumgarner:  7.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 14 K with an ERA of 3.04.  This is how you win in fantasy baseball.  You trade an injury-prone player who is off to a hot start such as Jacoby Ellsbury and move him straight up for an April struggling Madison Bumgarner.  Fast forward later and you are in first place.  Yes said scenario was from yours truly experts league team. 

Carlos Correa:  3/6 with his 4th HR while hitting .308.  I was offered Correa in a package weeks ago that included me sending Paul Goldschmidt packing.  I rejected it but I do admit to wondering how sweet it would be to own Correa right now.  This is reminding me so far (yes its early) of Mike Trout's debut.  At shortstop no less.  I don't think one can be more excited owning anyone not named Trout or Kris Bryant at this moment. 

Luis Valbuena:  3/5 with 2 home runs (19 for season) while hitting .195.  There is not a better matchup for a slugger and team than Valbuena with the Houston Astros.  Now the race is on between Valbuena and Chris Carter to see who can hit .215. 

C.J. Wilson:  7 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 3.92.  All or nothing. 

A.J. Pollock:  3/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .310.  Now firmly batting leadoff, Pollock has made my pants tighter all season.  Meet the new Carlos Gomez with a better average. 

D.J. Lemathieu:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .316.  Mini-breakout taking place here with a big assist from Coors Field of course.  At middle infield you pick up and ask questions later.  Doubly true in Colorado.

Nolan Arenado:  2/4 with 2 home runs (19 for season) while hitting .287.  I have made it my stated goal to own either Arenado or Todd Frazier on the Experts Team next season.  Can't wait to do that draft debate next March.  Who you like more? 

Wilin Rosario:  2/3 with his fifth HR while hitting .280.  Late at night Rosario and Alex Guerrero have chats over the phone wondering why their managers hate them so much. 

Roughned Odor:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .202.  Post-hype sleeper alert.  At second base too.  Do your thing. 

Jesse Chavez:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 2.90.  I am chalking this up for now as just a bad start but Chavez has to be watched closely as we are getting into the summer now when the innings become a negative factor for him.  The sell high window was gaping after his last start but now everyone will be cool to him off this mess due to the history of fading from the middle season and on. 

Jason Hammel:  7.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.65.  For all the praise I have given Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel might very well be the best pitcher on the Chicago staff. And his K/BB rate and peripherals indicate maybe even top 15 in all of baseball.  Numbers don't lie.

Zack Greinke:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.70.  Boring excellence at its finest. 

Curtis Granderson:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .241.  There is now a massive amount of home urn specialists in fantasy baseball which relegates Granderson to barely outfielder 3 status at this stage of the game. 

Maikel Franco:  2/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .319.  Second straight night of 5 RBI for Franco who seems to be making it his personal goal to make me look bad after being very cool on his status upon promotion.  Any way I can help pal. 

Brett Gardner:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .294.  Gardner has gone all Albert Pujols over the last week-plus with four home runs in that span.  Clearly the gains he made last season when he swatted 17 homers are legit. 

Alex Rodriguez:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .285.  I mean is this guy for real?  Ummm wrong question to ask considering the history but I thought 15 home runs for the WHOLE season with around a .260 average.  And 99.9 percent of the public thought the same. 

C.C. Sabbathia:  6 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 5.65.  Could be the worst starting pitcher in fantasy baseball.  Or all of baseball. 

Dellin Betance:  4 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 1.25.  Wow.  Betances goes three months without giving up four earned runs so this is strange.  Only one outing but the complete meltdown makes you at least start to get the brain waves rolling that maybe Betances' mind is not as strong in closing out games. 

Cameron Maybin:  1/5 with his 6th HR while hitting .286.  It took about 7 years but Cameron Maybin could finally be living up to his early hype.  That's a joke. 

Stephen Strasburg:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 5.90.  It took until June 23 but Strasburg fantasy baseball owners finally got something out of their second round pick. 

Edwin Encarnacion:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .236.  Encarnacion's mission is to prove that at his advancing age that he is now not a pure home run specialist with an ugly average.

Chris Archer:  8 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.10.  Up to 9 wins as Archer has shown no letup in this monster breakout campaign.  Pretty much any pitcher who comes up in the Tampa Bay system from now on automatically gets a sleeper tag. 

Jason Heyward:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .278.  Typical Heyward to finally start producing after everyone pretty much threw him away and stuck a fork in him.  Still not liking what I am seeing despite the recent mini-surge.  As disappointing a players in terms of hype that I have seen in awhile. 

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/3 with his 26th HR while hitting .261.  Stanton seems determined not to leave anything to chance in terms of reaching 40 home runs.  Looks like he wants to do it by July 31. 

Carlos Martinez:  7 IP 8 H 3 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.89.  What a nice comeback from Martinez off that ugly finish to April.  The K rate is explosive and Martinez is in the right spot in St. Louis to further his development into the ace he will be real soon. 

David Price:  6.2 IP 9 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.42.  Price has his Cy Young stuff working at optimum potency right now as he has been incredibly hot over the last month.  While I would like to see Price move the baseball around a bit more, he has more than reaffirmed his top ten starting pitching status. 

Andrew McCutchen:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .292.  Yeah it has been a major struggle at times but if McCutchen hits 15 home runs the rest of the way, we can live with it. 

Jay Bruce:  2/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .237.  Bruce will hit 25 home runs and bat .250.  Same scenario next season as well.  And season after.  And the season after.