Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Mark Reynolds:  3/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .336.  With Reynolds you ignore the average (whether it is .220 or .336) and just appreciate arguably the most natural power swing in the game.  Going to Colorado clearly is a major plus for someone like Reynolds with his insane strength and he is absolutely an everyday fantasy baseball bat despite his age.

Jake Arrieta:  5 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 5.35.  I mean seriously.  I am getting a slew of Arrieta "what is wrong with him?" tweets and all I keep thinking is "have you not read anything I have said about the guy since last October?"  I mean there was not one positive comment from me to Arrieta as I saw this a mile away and told you all to dodge.  This is a guy who was always hurt previous to his arrival with the Cubs and whose velocity was sagging last year pitching so deep into the season yet again.  While I will give Arrieta credit for still striking guys out, he arm is screaming for mercy overall and he is fighting his stuff like never before.  No surprise here.

Joey Gallo:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .205.  And as a bonus Gallo even threw in a second hit.

A.J. Griffin:  9 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.45.  Griffin is a quality arm no doubt but in fantasy baseball I think we have reached a point where things will go the wrong way.  He has a very heavy lean to being a good home pitcher and if you continue to go that route then fine but you are playing with fire toying with Griffin every five days.

Robinson Cano:  2/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .277.  Cano homers and then strains a quad that will likely land him on the DL along with two-thirds of MLB.  Fantasy baseball giveth and fantasy baseball taketh away.

Ben Gamel:  4/5 with his second HR while hitting .362.  Hey you can't argue with the average that is for sure,  Gamel has some AL-only appeal while Mitch Haniger is out but he lacks flash overall.

Michael Saunders:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .245.  Without the steals that left the station a few seasons ago, Saunders is barely even worth using in a backup capacity.

Tommy Joseph:  1/2 with his third HR while hitting .222.  Joseph has shown some recent signs that he is ready to emerge from his April fog and in deeper leagues and NL-only I would take a stab as a bench bat.

Aaron Altherr:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .343.  Who knew it would be Altherr and not the slumping Odubel Herrera who at this point would be the most interesting five category helping outfielder on the Phillies this season.

Ariel Miranda:  8 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 5.20.  Miranda has been one of those guys who is just good enough that you feel tempted to pick him up and see where it goes.  Then this happens and you can retire that idea for good.

Hector Neris:  1 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 4.08.  Guys if you need any proof of how a dominant setup man shows he may not have the mental capacity to close then Neris is ample evidence.  He has been hit fairly consistently since moving into the closer role for the Phils and looked nothing like the ace setup man he was prior.  Hold Joaquin Benoit as he was unfairly pulled from the role in the first place.

Daniel Muprhy:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .333.  Yeah someone other than Ryan Zimmerman I guess is allowed to hit a homer for the Nationals.

Adam Jones:  2/6 with his 5th HR while hitting .263.  Here's rooting extra hard for Jones given trhe garbage he had to deal with in Boston.

Max Scherzer:  8 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 B 11 K with an ERA of 2.59.  If Clayton Kershaw never existed, Scherzer would be getting all the massive acclaim his Dodgers counterpart has gotten.  He is that good.

Carlos Carrasco:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 1.86.  If you are really bored and got time on your hands, look up all the glowing pieces I did on Carrasco last season and pretend they were for 2017.  I loved Carrasco a year ago but he was an overall letdown due to injury.  It was the fear of injury that got him scared this time around and now look.  There was never any question about the stuff and so the talent is shining through.  Yes he is legit.

Salvador Perez:  3/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .272.  I am perfectly fine with Perez hitting .270 with the power.

Mike Moustakas:  2/6 with his 8th HR while hitting .254.  Moustakas went through a stat per game correction the last few weeks as the average came down to his typical area code there.  This is who Moustakas is which is a good fantasy baseball stick but a very streaky one.

Logan Morrison:  1/6 with his 8th HR while hitting .248.  Your classic "take what you can get" guy.

Brad Miller:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .193.  Already it looks like Miller's 2016 was an outlier all-timer.

Gary Sanchez:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .270.  Sanchez is swinging it well since coming off the DL but honestly I see an average finishing around where he is now but with big power.

Buster Posey:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .362.  One of the few guys in the majors to say he likes facing New York Mets pitching.

Michael Conforto:  2/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .330.  An absolute stud.  Remember I told you all to go heavy on Conforto this season despite the unknown playing time given the always profitable post-hype sleeper attachment.  He is not coming out of the lineup anymore folks no matter who is healthy.  I said 25 home runs was possible and we are already on our way there.  This is what I wrote in February in my "outfielders I will target" piece:  "Really like the swing that Conforto has and this is a future 25 hoJme run guy if he can get decent playing time in the New York Mets' crowded outfield."  Yup.

Zach Wheeler:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.18.  Wheeler has fully found his stuff since coming back from two completely missed seasons and honestly it is the same profile as before in terms of low hits, high walks, and decent K's.  Could reach SP 4 status easy.

Julio Urias:  6.1 IP 1 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.06.  Yeah he is a stud already.  Urias is going to be a top 15 guy as soon as 2018.  Bank on it.

Tony Watson:  first blown save with 1 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 1.32.  Nothing to see here as Watson has been tremendous and he did the minimum in terms of blowing the save.  By keeping it to just one run given up, the alarm bells stay silent.

Yonder Alonso:  2/3 with 2 home runs (11 for season) while hitting .309.  Incredible.  Right with Ryan Zimmerman we have Alonso as the downright biggest shock of the fantasy baseball season.  What is not surprising is the average as Alonso was originally a high draft pick on the strength of his smooth swing.  Having already set a career-best in home runs on May 9th, it all comes down to the power being sustainable.  On that front, Alonso has in fact changed his profile in putting more balls in the air which obviously helps the homers.  Think of Daniel Murphy as a comparison there and we all see how that has turned out.  So don't automatically scoff here as Alonso should be planted in your daily UTIL or CI spot.

Albert Pujols:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .246.  Boring.

Jharel Cotton:  7 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 5.68.  The good thing with this is that maybe finally I will stop getting questions about what I think about this guy.  He sucks that's what I think and have from the beginning.

Bud Norris:  scoreless ninth for sixth save with an ERA of 3.00.  Don't be shocked if Norris holds this closer role when Cam Bedrosian returns.  He has been very good and is yet another example of a hard-throwing but limited failed starter who is getting it done as a ninth inning pitcher.

Justin Upton:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .263.  Typical Upton season unfolding.

Robbie Ray:  5 IP 5 H 5 ER 5 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.14.  Ray is doing his thing in terms of nasty walk rates and high K rates.  You get a bit WHIP hit with Ray but also the boost of the strikeouts so this is a clear trade-off investment.

Javier Baez:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .260.  Baez is playing more and producing but so far no average breakthrough to really elevate his profile.

John Lackey:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.29.  Finally a decent outing for Lackey whose arm lacked pop in April due to the long 2016.  A buy low is a decent idea but don;t pay much if you can.

Kris Bryant:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .301.  Bryant is going to get to 40 home runs.  Count on it.

Ben Zobrist:  0/4 while hitting .215.  Yeah age can't be escaped by anybody.

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