Thursday, May 12, 2016


Sometimes there is a performance so awesome or so dominant that it deserves its own paragraph as the lead-in to the WRAPUP.  Such was the case last night when it came to the 20-strikeout record recorded by Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer.  Struggling quite often the first month of the season, Scherzer reminded us all of how no one has better pure strikeout stuff in today's game as he whiffed 20 batters against the Detroit Tigers while giving up two runs (on solo homers) and only six hits altogether in the complete game outing.  Scherzer's ERA drops to 4.15 which is still elevated and shows you how much trouble he has faced early on.  It was a very encouraging outing to see as I was starting to get really concerned wear and tear on his arm was the cause.  While one outing won't remove that thought, at least we know the K's are still more than there. 

Brett Wallace:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .224.  Leave it to the San Diego Padres to give the perennially awful Brett Wallace who has been a bust each and every season.  I don't need to say anything more. 

Fernando Rodney:  scoreless ninth for his ninth save with an ERA of 0.00.  A 0.00 ERA?  Seriously?  This falls squarely under the "I have seen it all" in fantasy baseball parlance. 

Kyle Hendricks:  6.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.03.  At the beginning of the season I said Hendricks was one of the very best SP 5's in fantasy baseball.  Maybe I should have amended that to SP 4.

Brett Lawrie:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .278.  Lawrie continues to put forth a fine season for fantasy baseball purposes with his solid power and holding steady average.  As part of the reason why the White Sox have been shockingly good this season.

Todd Frazier:  1/2 with his 11th HR while hitting .222.  Frazier exited with stitches in his lip after diving into the stands for a fly ball but before he did that he supplied yet another home run.  Frazier is going to easily clear 30 homers and the average is inching up as we go along.  We remind you how we said from the beginning not to panic over Frazier's slow start as guys in his prime the way he is will always respond. 
Mat Latos:  5 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 3.40.  The WHIP is now up to 1.34 as all hell is breaking loose now with Latos' numbers after that smoke and mirrors start.  With a terrible K Rate that belies the loss of velocity Latos has seen, perhaps we jumped the gun a bit at the beginning of the season when we said he had adjusted his approach successfully. 

Cole Hamels:  5.2 IP 9 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.95.  It was not the most smooth outing but Hamels has been quite good in his first full season in the AL thus far.  The 1.27 WHIP is elevated but we said the ratios would job northward in moving from the NL to the AL as it would with anyone. 

Sam Dyson:  scoreless ninth for his first save with an ERA of 2.12.  At least we now know who will be first in line for saves if the struggling Shawn Tolleson completely spits the bit. 

Adam Jones:  4/5 with his third HR while hitting .238.  Perhaps with the oblique in the rearview mirror, Jones is now starting to finally feel like his old set at the dish.  The recent numbers bear this out as Jones was too in his prime and too good of an overall player to continue scuffling the way he had been.  The future months look bright. 

Mark Trumbo:  2/5 with 2 home runs (11 for season) while hitting .323.  Like A.J. Pollock was in 2015, Mark Trumbo has been the BEST value play yours truly have recommended to the masses this season.  Trumbo is taking full advantage of being back in a prime hitter's park and batting behind Chris Davis gives him more than a few juicy fastballs to feast on.  Right now Trumbo is on pace for over 50 home runs which would put his season in the MVP talk.  Both in real-life and in fantasy baseball. 

Chris Davis:  4/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .242.  It usually takes Davis four games to notch 4 hits so he was clearly locked in during this one.  The fact Trumbo has more homers than Davis would serve as more than a mild upset. 

Miguel Sano:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .227.  Sano pretty much is where I expected him to be in terms of his numbers at this juncture.  The 30 percent K rate will not allow anyone to bat above .250 without luck but the power has been a bit below average.  Remember though that Sano is still very raw and when he does begin to unload, they are likely to come in bunches. 

Charlie Blackmon:  3/5 with his second HR while hitting .282.  I told you all last season that 2015 was me joining the Blackmon bandwagon after being skeptical of his 2014 breakout.  The guy took a few years to find his footing but his five category production is already in the low-end outfielder 1 tier. 

Nolan Arenado:  3/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .321.  I mean there literally are no more adjectives we can find to describe the awesome top five fantasy baseball production of Arenado.  In fact Arenado can now pretty much be put in with Bryce Harper and Mike Trout as top three talents.  Who would argue? 

Corey Dickerson:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .182.  Boy Dickerson really has this whole home run asset and nothing else thing going perfectly since leaving Colorado. 

Nelson Cruz:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .270.  Cruz is getting up there in age which means his home run rate dropping this season may not be a coincidence.  Of course we have to see more but Cruz likely has no shot to realize his numbers the last two seasons.  More OF 2 now in my opinion then anything else. 

Chris Archer:  5 IP 5 H 4 ER 4 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.57.  It is just not happening for Archer this season as he joins fellow high-priced fantasy baseball aces Max Scherzer, Matt Harvey, and David Price when it comes to their huge struggles out of the gate.  My one theory that has been firm and accurate the last number of seasons is that a high innings jump like Archer and Harvey had at a young age last year often has a negative effect the next time out.  This of course may not be what is happening but the numbers could be backing this up.

Tajuan Walker:  5.2 IP 5 H 4 ER 3 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.63.  It took Walker a number of stops and starts to find his MLB footing but the big hype we started giving him a few seasons ago is being fully realized.  Power arms like this eventually do their thing and Walker is yet another post-hype sleeper made good. 

Madison Bumgarner:  6.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 4 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.72.  The control that Bumgarner has fought since spring training still is an issue but everything else is checking out as usual.  I grow more and more concerned about the innings as each season goes by but so far the health doesn't appear to be a present issue. 

Jaime Garcia:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.58.  Before there was Kyle Hendricks, Jaime Garcia who served and still is as good an SP 5 as you can get.  In fact Garcia is upping the narrative even more with his tremendous performance this season and throughout his career he remains a guy you look at his numbers at the end of the season and go "wow he was so much better then I thought.  Why didn't I own him?" 

J.D. Martinez:  1/4 with his fifth HR while hitting .230.  I said the other day when Martinez went yard that they would now start coming in bunches which has been his career-long trend.  Here we go. 

Noah Syndegaard:  8 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.53.  Remember when the narrative on Syndegaard when he came up last year was that he was a bad pitcher on the road?  Yeah I don't remember either.  To up the awesomeness, he went deep TWICE in channeling his inner Micah Owings. 

Corey Seager:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .272.  Seager is settling in nicely now and the numbers are showing up in force.  While he is not having a Carlos Correa debut, that is like saying your girlfriend doesn't look like Megan Fox. 

Yasmani Grandal:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .250.  If Grandal is out there on your waiver wire, pick him up as he offers above-average pop at the disastrous catcher position this season and remains with some ceiling. 



  1. Cain had one of those special nights Tuesday when he blasted 3 bombs in one game!!