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Thursday, June 16, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

By Michael Wong  

Nolan Arenado:  2/5 with his 20th HR while hitting .290.  The insanity that is the 2016 season for Nolan Arenado continued and right now one can make the strong opinion that he is the BEST pure power hitter in the game right now.  Combine that with the solid average and Arenado is putting himself in the conversation with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper at the top for 2017. 

Clayton Kershaw:  7.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 1.58.  I mean there really is nothing else to say about how ridiculously insanely dominatingly great Kershaw is that we haven't already said before.  He threw in 300 strikeouts as his latest trick a year ago and now wants to have a Kirk Gibson ERA by the looks of it.

Johnny Cueto:  7 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.10.  Silly numbers here as well and basically all you have to do to formulate a top-of-the-line fantasy baseball rotation is to just draft San Francisco pitchers.  The move back to the NL and in a spacious park in San Fran has pushed Cueto right back up to ace status and also boosted Jeff Samadzjia from crapville to even an arguable SP 2.

Jayson Werth:  2/5 with the game-winning single for the Nats with an average of .248.  Werth is perking up with the bat over the last three weeks so now would be a good time to pick him up as he can still hit for power and boost your counting numbers in runs and RBI when the going is good.

Edwin Encarnacion:  1/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .251.  The hot stretch of home run power from Encarnacion continued as he is once again on pace to approach 40 home runs for the Jays and his fantasy baseball owners.  April is cementing itself as a bad month for Encarnacion but from May onward there are few better pure home run hitters in the game.

Colin McHugh:  6.2 IP 7 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.89.  The XFIP ERA is at 3.97 so McHugh has pitched better then the ratios indicate.  He has had moments of big time performances in the past but this is just an SP 5 at best.

Noah Syndegaard:  8 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 1.91.  Kershaw has some competition for the NL Cy Young Award and it comes in the form of the "Thor" pitching dominator.  It has been beyond insane how good Syndegaard has been this season and what is really incredible here is that his previous control problems coming up the minors have not shown itself at all in 2016.  With a fastball that on average comes in at 98 and routinely touched 100 and above, Syndegaard has more than lived up to our winter hype when we said he was the best pitcher on the New York Mets staff that includes Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, and Steven Matz.  Maybe best in the game with Kershaw should have been the opinion. 

Freddie Freeman:  4/7 with his 11th HR and hit for the cycle with an average of 257.  Yeah the average is ugly but again that has to do with pitchers being careful with Freeman and not giving him anything to hit in the bare Atlanta lineup.  He is doing a decent job with the power however and at the very least is yielding some value back to his fantasy baseball owners who had to be questioning him after that truly brutal start in April. 

Rougned Odor:  2/4 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .266.  The making of a fantasy baseball star is happening right before our eyes here with the power-hitting second baseman Odor.  While the average needs a bit of work (issues there have to do with youth), the tools are all there for Odor to be a second round pick for years to come based on what we are seeing. 

Drew Smyly:  6.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 0 BB 12 K with an ERA of 4.75.  We told you all to be patient with the strikeout machine that is Drew Smyly after he went through a likely dead arm period in May and this is why.  Remember he has hardly thrown any innings the last few seasons due to injury and so a bumpy road was part of the deal.  The guy can light up the K board though whenever he goes out there so keep him on board.  

INJURIES

-Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was forced out of the team's blowout loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday after taking a bad bounce on a grounder off his face.  Marte was seen smiling after the incident and his removal was likely precautionary in nature.  While Andrew McCutchen continues to struggle horrible, Marte is solidifying himself as the best fantasy baseball outfielder for the Pirates.

-Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is expected to begin a rehab assignment Thursday as he moves closer to returning from his quad injury.  While the power has been good (a nice development after he dipped in that area coming back from hip surgery a year ago), Tulo's average has been hideous which is doubly concerning in Toronto and the launching pad in Rogers Center. 


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