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Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: TREA TURNER PLACED ON DL WITH FRACTURED WRIST

Wow what a disaster.  The Washington Nationals were forced to place shortstop Trea Turner on the 10-day DL on Friday with a fractured right wrist.  Turner was hit on the wrist Thursday night and subsequent testing showed the fracture which will likely keep him out for more than a month.  The fallout is astronomical as Turner was stealing bases by the boatload and his average was up as well recently.  A first round pick in many leagues, it could be August before we see Turner again who goes onto the DL for the second time this season.  Either way, his loss is as big as it gets.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: NICK WILLIAMS OUTFIELDER

Clearly in the midst of a rebuilding year, the Philadelphia Phillies brought a possible key piece of their future on Friday when they promoted top outfield prospect Nick Williams.  A toolsy player who the team's 2012 second-round pick, Williams goes into his promotion with 15 home runs, 5 stolen bases, and a .280 average at Triple-A.  Getting homers and steals from your outfielder is always a desirable commodity in fantasy baseball and so that alone has Williams as an intriguing add in mixers and especially NL-only formats.  Williams does have his worst though, with the biggest being a lack of plate discipline that manifests itself in the form of a 29.4 K/9 rate and drawing walks at just a 5.2 BB/9 clip.  That won't cut it at the major league level in terms of Williams' chances of not being a major average liability and so he needs to get to work there in a hurry.  However the power is real and Williams has the running ability to pick up some steals as well as a bonus.  There is an equal chance Williams will be back in the minors in a few weeks but he also could hit the ground running and be an asset as well.  A true lottery ticket at this point in the season.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Carlos Correa:  2/3 with 2 home runs (16 for season) while hitting .309.  It is almost unfair that the Houston Astros have a middle infield of Correa and Jose Altuve.  Both guys look like top 5 fantasy baseball picks next season.

Andrew Cashner:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.87.  And hit by a comebacker to add more to the regression assault.

Corey Kluber:  8 IP 3 H  1 ER 1 BB 12 K with an ERA of 3.02.  Once again we remind you that there may not be a better second-half pitcher in all of fantasy baseball than this guy.

Nomar Mazara:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .262.  Mazara seems to keep going back-and-forth between hitting for average and for power.  If he can ever blend the two....

Justin Upton:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .267.  Upton's numbers can be written (.265/27 HR/90 RBI) in ink each season.

Ian Kinsler:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .248.  Kinsler still hitting for power but the slip in average is now proof that he can't beat the age curve forever.

Michael Fulmer:  8.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.19.  Fulmer just refuses to go along with the argument here that he is not as good as his ratios suggest.

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .323.  Another monster season from Goldy who has been every bit the superstar first round pick he has been the last five years.

Jake Lamb:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .286.  I have been ripping Lamb most of the year outside of the power given the average uptick that looked like a major fluke to me.  A major part of that thinking was Lamb's K.9 rate that was pushing up against 30.0.  However he now has that mark down to 25.8 which is not horrible given his previous norms and Lamb is also drawing walks at a very high 13.3 clip.  In other words, I was wrong.

Lance Lynn:  6 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.90.  Lynn has been very bad lately but at least he stems the bleeding with this one.  Honestly you should have sold high by now since Lynn is moving into fatigue innings as he missed all of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Anthony Rendon:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .298.  Second straight game with a tater for Rendon who a case can be made is having a better year than his breakout from a few seasons ago.

Trea Turner:  1/2 with 2 steals (35 for season) while hitting .279.  Forget Billy Hamilton.  If anyone can swipe 100 bags today I would put my money on this running fool.

Jon Lester:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.69.  At least one Chicago Cubs starter is not burnt to a crisp.

Andrew McCutchen:  3/3 while hitting .278.  McCutchen hit almost .400 in June and has exploded as the weather has heated up.  Sounds pretty much like every McCutchen season in his career outside of his lost 2016?  I have to say that McCutchen for all intents and purposes is back.  The numbers don't lie.

Gregory Polanco:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .241.  For all the hype that has been attached to Polanco, the disturbing thing is that he has not shown he can hit enough to even go near those projections.

Chris Archer:  6 IP 8 H 3 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.92.  Man.  As an Archer owner, I have to say that this guy really is infuriating.  With his level of strikeout stuff, Archer should never struggle.

Ubaldo Jimenez:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 6.48.  Jimenez is the pitching version of a broken clock being right twice a day.

Ryan Braun:  2/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .265.  2.5 games until Braun is hurt again.

Jonathan Villar:  2/5 with 2 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .220.  Villar has been a complete disaster this season like I said he would be and none of his struggles as a shock since he struggles to hit which neuters the running game.  While we love the power, Villar needs to concentrate on simply getting on base more to salvage things even remotely.

Domingo Santana:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .271.  The Brewers this season are the Philadelphia Phillies a year ago in terms of possessing a slew of fantasy baseball values.  Bad teams=value plays.

Joey Votto:  2/2 with 2 home runs (23 for season) while hitting .308.  MVP, MVP, MVP!

Jimmy Nelson:  7 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.43.  Your welcome.  I will say this every time since Nelson was one of my biggest pitching recommendations for this season.

David Price:  7 IP 6 H 3 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.61.  Price has not been great but the K's have been there.  He remains annoying in that he continues to be in the zone way too much which gets him hit.  And then there is the matter of the not-so-healthy elbow.

Mookie Betts:  2/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .275.  You get the sense that while Betts has been very good, his fantasy baseball owners are actually a bit letdown by him.

Giancarlo Stanton:  2/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .274.  The average is taking on water.

Wil Myers:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .264.  Myers is losing the battle against the strikeouts again as his K/9 has jumped from 23.7 to this year's very high 28.8.  A 16/9 ratio is nice no doubt when it comes to the power/speed categories however and that means the average is a minor annoyance.

Yasiel Puig:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .251.  Yeah so this never panned out.
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Clayton Kershaw:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.32.  He is so good that Kershaw is boring.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: DUSTIN FOWLER OUTFIELDER NEW YORK YANKEES

At this rate, the New York Yankees will run out of players from the minor league system.  Another day and another top prospect did the team call up on Thursday; this time 22-year-old outfielder Dustin Fowler who will help make up for the absences of Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks, and Tyler Austin.  A former 2013 18th round pick, Fowler was not always as highly regarded prospect in the Yankees' system but his adept hitting and smooth glove put him on the map.  2016 at Double-A is what really got the Fowler ETA clock going as he hit .281 with 12 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 574 at-bats.  While he was allergic to walks, Fowler was a high-contact guy who put up a very shallow 15.0 K/9 rate.  2017 was just as impressive as Fowler put up a 13/13 ratio in home runs/steals and he threw in a .293 average at Triple-A.  Those are very fantasy friendly numbers to say the least and those skills should make Fowler a guy to add in all formats.  Of course Fowler will likely go down as soon as the walking wounded return but in the short-term he could supply a nice boost.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Kyle Seager:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .253.  As a big fan of the guy as there is in fantasy baseball, I am not happy with the season Seager is having.  What is funny is that Seager's advanced numbers are pretty much in line with his customary numbers outside of a dip in BABIP from 2016's .295 to this year's .280.

Robinson Cano:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .282.  Cano may have given up his .300 average for age but that is about the only noticeable sign of slippage.

Tommy Joseph:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .250.  Joseph took Edwin Diaz deep in the ninth and continues to show a knack for big home runs.  He is flawed for sure given the average challenges but Joseph has more than solidified his status as a UTIL or CI bat.

Edwin Diaz:  third blown save with 2 ER in .2 IP with an ERA of 3.77.  Here we go again with Diaz.  You have to wonder how much longer the Mariners will put up with this as they have a few setup candidates who are capable of finishing games.  Again NEVER pay for a career year and that is especially true for closers.

Hunter Strickland:  scoreless .1 IP with an ERA of 2.25.  I picked up Strickland in the Experts League as I no way in hell wanted anything to do with Sam Dyson.  I told you all to take a flier on Strickland or George Kontos instead and so your welcome.

Anthony Rendon:  3/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .299.  Rendon has saved his name in fantasy baseball with a big 2017 after stumbling 2015-16.  The steals are already mostly a thing of the past but outside of that, Rendon is back to upper tier status.

Matt Wieters:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .252.  Wieters has not changed as a hitter since his early Baltimore days outside of a dip in overall home runs but that still qualifies him as a mid-tier fantasy baseball catcher.

Daniel Murphy:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .339.  Maybe Murphy should try closing games for the Nats because at this rate he would likely kill it at that skill as well.

Willson Contreras:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .252.  Contreras has fully put his past April and May struggles behind him and now this is the massive prospect slugger we all chased starting a year ago.  And he can hit outside of homers too as Kyle Schwarber looks on in jealousy.

Anthony Rizzo:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .252.  At this rate Joe Maddon needs to keep Rizzo in the leadoff spot as his homers are really exploding since making that strange move.

Stephen Strasburg:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 13 K with an ERA of 3.51.  This dominant outing reversed an ugly trend for Strasburg who always starts to see his ERA rise to the mid-3.00 range starting in June.

John Lackey:  8 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 5.24.  Rock bottom.  Although Lackey keeps redefining it.

Blake Snell:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 5.36.  Yeah he is still not ready.

Justin Smoak:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .301.  Where do you draft Smoak next season?  I don't think the price will go up as much as you think as most will want to see him do it again.

Marcus Stroman:  7.2 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.41.  Stroman is funny in that he either absolutely dominates or gets shelled.

Salvador Perez:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .291.  What a great season Perez is having.  The last few seasons have seen ugly averages from Perez but good power and now he is blending the two which means fantasy baseball jackpot.

Mike Moustakas:  2/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .273.   I am willing to bet Moustakas is wearing a New York Mets jersey next season.

Alex Avila:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .321.  Nepotism at its finest.

Miguel Cabrera:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .265.  Second straight game with a homer from Cabrera who could be hinting at one last big second-half kick before more erosion arrives next season.

Adam Duvall:  2/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .284.  Home Run Derby here we come.

Scooter Gennett:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .306.  Gennett needs to be on the poster front and center with the heading "why home runs were out of control in 2017 fantasy baseball."

Ryan Braun:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .259.  Braun is now in the phase of his career for the next 1-3 years where he will tempting to own due to the sliding draft price but in mid-June when he has missed a batch of games with 7 different injuries, the realization of why he was so cheap becomes real.

Travis Shaw:  2/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .294.  Speaking of that poster, Gennett needs to stand next to Travis Shaw.

Curtis Granderson:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .235.  Said yesterday how Granderson is stupi hot and now we have to upgrade that to insanely hot.

Steven Matz:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.67.  As we always note with Matz, the issue is never the stuff but instead the health.  He has dropped in K/9 as Matz has tried pitching more to contact to lessen the strain on his elbow and so far, so good on that front.

Robinson Chirinos:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .248.  Chirinos, Avila, Tyler Flowers.  Never a need to chase catchers in the draft ever again.

Elvis Andrus:  3/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .301.  It used to take Andrus three seasons to collect 10 home runs.

Aaron Judge:  1/3 with his 27th HR while hitting .333.  Take that Cody Bellinger.

Miguel Andujar:  3/4 with 4 RBI in MLB debut.  I said yesterday that Andujar is James Loney with his .300 stick but below-average power.  Right on par.

Masahiro Tanaka:  6 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 5.56.  Two good starts in a row now but still anytime you put Tanaka in the lineup is a call to pray to whoever your savior is.

Carlos Rodon:  5 IP 2 H 0 ER 6 BB 2 K with an ERA of 0.00.  Walks have always been what has held Rodon back and so this is not what you want to see right away.

Khris Davis:  2/3 with 2 home runs (21 for season) while hitting .256.  Love the recent average uptick as we will take whatever we can get there.

Ryon Healy:  1/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .272.  And the homer came off a righty.

Trevor Rosenthal:  1 ER in 1 IP for fourth save with an ERA of 4.25.  Not impressive if Rosenthal was now getting a look closing games replacing the struggling Seung-Hwan Oh.

Zack Godley:  7 IP 2 H 3 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.67.  Said Godley was worth using every time out last week and a lot of what he is doing is legit.  Yuppers.

Yasmani Grandal:  2/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .268.  If Grandal can show he is not a .240 hitter, upwards we go.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: MATT HOLLIDAY PLACE ON DL WITH VIRAL INFECTION, MIGUEL ANDUJAR GETS SHOT

A mysterious viral ailment has forced the New York Yankees to place outfielder Matt Holliday on the 10-day DL so as to get the testing needed to find out what the root cause is.  Holliday could be dealing with allergies or maybe some other ailment but either way, the Yanks can't be left shorthanded any longer.  That allowed the team to call up prospect Miguel Andujar who will now be the everyday DH.  Andujar has hit .312 at Double-A and .308 at Triple-A this season with a total of 9 home runs.  Think James Loney here in terms of a comparable as Andujar doesn't have big-time power but he is still just 22 and could develop some.  For now Andujar is mostly for AL-only leagues and as a backup guy in deeper mixers.

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: MARK MELANCON (PRONATOR) LANDS BACK ON DL

The very rough 2017 season for San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon continued on Wednesday when he was placed on the 10-day DL with a right pronator strain in his elbow.  This marks the second time Melancon has dealt with this type of injury this season and he is almost guaranteed to miss more than a month this time around since clearly he was not 100 percent recovered.  In between, Melancon has been brutal in pitching to an ugly 4.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP while also showing a drop in his K/9 rate amid declining velocity.  Melancon has not panned out so far in terms of the big free agent contract the Giants gave him this past winter to help solve 2016's rampant closer woes and his fantasy baseball standing can't be any lower.  Now attention turns to who will take over and already speculation is that retread Sam Dyson could be the guy.  This is puzzling since Dyson absolutely bombed out with the Texas Rangers to begin the season which got him released from the team.  Dyson has not been much better with the Giants as shown by his 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP but he has 10 K's in 7 innings.  We would avoid Dyson if you can and actually take a stab with either George Kontos or Hunter Strickland to see if they get a shot at it.  Either way this is one big mess.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Trea Turner:  2/4 with 4 steals (32 for season) while hitting .274.  Holy crap.  While I said repeatedly I thought using a first round pick on Turner was not the greatest idea, I also noted that he could win the steals category for you by himself.  My projection was for over 50 but now over 70 seems like the mark which is a huge number.

Max Scherzer:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.06.  In this year of horrid pitching performances and injuries, it is another reminder how ultra-durable and dependable (and valuable) this guy is.

Jake Arrieta:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.67.  So all those people on Twitter who called me an idiot for having Arrieta as a bust candidate this season......why so quiet?

Alex Cobb:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.73.  Cobb had no-hit stuff in this one and has been on a tear since the middle of May when I first told you to pick him up.  The post-Tommy John version of Cobb is less on strikeouts and more on pitching to contact but it is still working out just fine.

Alex Colome:  fourth blown save with 2 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 3.57.  Almost seems like it was Colome's turn to start blowing saves left and right as almost every single closer at the start of the season has either gotten hurt or been bad.

J.D. Martinez:  2/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .301.  Still don't think Martinez is not an OF 1?

Miguel Cabrera:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .261.  Expectations now have to be lowered to a .280 season with 24 home runs.  Wow.  Age sucks.

Manny Pina:  2/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .288.  Pina has been solid all season in a two-catcher format sort of way.

Orlando Arcia:  3/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .276.  Arcia is on the verge now if becoming a decent fantasy baseball presence at shortstop.

Travis Shaw:  1/3 with his 16th HR while hitting .289.  And the Boston Red Sox are stuck with Pablo Sandoval at third base.  I would think they want a do-over there in terms of getting rid of Shaw prematurely.

Billy Hamilton:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .243.  Any home run here is a holiday present.

Adam Duvall:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .281.  If Duvall can maintain the .280 average throughout the rest of the season, we need to move him up a tier in fantasy baseball.

Joey Votto:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .301.  The scary thing about this incredible Votto season is that he is capable of more in the average department.

Drew Pomeranz:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.81.  Red Sox only allowed Pomeranz to go five as they feared he would get hurt running up the steps back out to the mound for the sixth inning.

Curtis Granderson:  1/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .234.  Granderson has been stupid hot the last three weeks and it is now coming at the expense of Michael Conforto in the New York Mets outfield.  Didn't think we would ever say that.

Travis D'Arnaud:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .226.  It doesn't look like D'Arnaud will ever come anywhere near justifying the hype as a top catching prospect but he does have 9 home runs which at catcher actually is pretty darn good.

Robinson Chirinos:  1/2 with his 11th HR while hitting .247.  Of you can simply dump D'Arnaud and pick up this guy.

Jose Quintana:  6.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.37.  GM Rick Hahn was seen doing cartwheels in the hallway as he now pictures the haul he can get in return leading up to the July 31 deadline.

Luis Severino:  7 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 12 K with an ERA of 3.15.  Holy strikeouts.  So I guess Severino made moot all those "he belongs in the bullpen" debates.

Ryon Healy:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .273.  Add Healy and Shaw as the new additions to the ever-growing third base fraternity in terms of daily league starters.

George Springer:  2/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .283.  Get this man into the Home Run Derby.

David Peralta:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .324.  He is hitting .324?  Damn that kind of snuck up on us.

Carlos Martinez:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.88.  Martinez has not been playing around for weeks now in completely shutting down opposing lineups at a rate never this consistent.

Seung-Hwan Oh:  third blown save with 1 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 3.75.  Always an adventure.  Another piece of strong evidence that one big season from a new closer doesn't always carry over to the next one.

Sean Newcomb:  6 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.48.  I guess Newcomb left all of those walks in the minors.  Wow.

Kenta Maeda:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.15.  The Dodgers need to just leave Maeda alone in the rotation.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT DEBATE: EZEKIEL ELLIOTT/LE'VEON BELL

Generally speaking, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is the clear and undisputed number 1 draft pick in all fantasy football drafts this summer.  Having rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also catching 80 balls for 879 yards and 4 more scores, Johnson's numbers are out-of-this-world and thus make him the easy call at the top of the draft.  However right behind Johnson is where debate is beginning to take place and most often, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and his Pittsburgh Steelers counterpart Le'Veon Bell have been most mentioned as being number 2 in the draft pecking order.  This makes them the perfect twosome to highlight our first Draft Debate of the 2017 fantasy football season as we compare them in the standard/PPR categories and also the intangibles to find out who should go ahead of the other.  

RUSHING YARDS:  Now on paper Elliott out-rushed Bell 1,631 yards to Bell's 1,268 but the Cowboys back had four more games under his belt.  Still Elliott put up a better yards per game number than Bell (108.7-105.7) and that gives him the nod.  ADVANTAGE:  Ezekiel Elliott

RECEPTIONS:  This one is a slam dunk win for Bell as he is arguably the best receiving back in the NFL and 75 catches in 12 games last season was an insane number.  Elliott was disappointingly not involved much in the Dallas passing game as he caught just 32 passes but he is expected to get more looks on that side of the offensive attack this season.  Be that as it may, it still won't be enough to top Bell.  ADVANTAGE:  Le'Veon Bell  

RECEPTION YARDAGE:  Going along with the receptions, Bell is the easy winner in this debate over Elliott.  
ADVANTAGE:  Le'Veon Bell  

TD's:  Last season combined Bell had 9 touchdowns which came well short of the 16 Elliott produced.  Elliott is also the focal point of his team's offense near the red zone, while the Steelers pass it as much as they throw it.  As a result, Elliott is the easy call here.
ADVANTAGE:  Ezekiel Elliott

INTANGIBLES:  A few things here need to be looked at.  The first is that Bell has a durability and also a behavioral problem.  He has been suspended for off-the-field trouble and also has missed numerous games to injuries.  Elliott himself is no saint off the field but he has yet to be suspended and he played in every game as a rookie.  Bell's injury history is scary for such an early pick and that give Elliott the advantage here as well.
ADVANTAGE : Ezekiel Elliott

WINNNER:  Ezekiel Elliott

So as you can see, Elliott is the pick when it comes to number 2 overall despite the knee-jerk thought Bell is.  Elliott has the higher upside and more durability and so he is the guy to pick.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: TYLER WADE INFIELDER NEW YORK YANKEES

On Tuesday the New York Yankees brought up the latest in what has been an insanely productive conveyor belt of top prospects, tabbing infielder Tyler Wade from Triple-A Scranton as a move to replace the injured Starlin Castro.  With Castro having hurt his hamstring on Monday, Wade will now be looked at as an infield solution that could stick around even when his new teammate return to action given the year-long struggles of third baseman Chase Headley.  In terms of Wade, the former 2013 fourth-round pick has had a very good year so far on the farm where he has put up the following numbers:

.313
5 HR
59 R
25 RBI
24 SB

What quickly stands out about Wade is his average, runs, and steals which are all prerequisites of being a top-of-the-order hitter.  Wade has the advanced skills to be succeed there as well, putting up a very impressive 17.1 K/9 and 10.4 BB/9 rates at Triple-A to show he has a very good eye and ability to put the bat on the ball.  The speed is tremendous here and average and steals will be in the immediate contributions from the 22-year-old.  Like we said, Wade could stick around and make Castro move to third base if Headley keeps on struggling as well so this is not just a short-term add.  Pick up Wade where available as the recent track record of Yankee prospects (Jordan Montgomery, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge) have been huge difference-makers to say the least.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Zack Greinke:  5 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.08.  Your not getting a lot of length from a bunch of Greinke starts but no matter if he is still getting the wins.

Jedd Gyorko:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .298.  The once .400-plus BABIP has dropped to a still lucky but not insane .345.  Be that as it may, a solid K/9 of 21.9 and lots of walks at 8.5 BB/9 signals that Gyorko's overall seasons is pretty accurate.

Randal Grichuk:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .232.  Sorry still not interested.

Willson Contreras:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .252.  Contreras batted leadoff and unlike Kyle Schwarber, he has hit at a nice clip over the last month.  It could work.

Gio Gonzalez:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 5 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Gio lucky to keep damage to the minimum with all those walks but the latter has been an annoying staple throughout his career.  The bigger story is Gio's dependability unlike Tanner Roark or even more recently Stephen Strasburg.

Eddie Butler:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K with an ERA of 3.71.  Smoke and mirrors special.

Mitch Moreland:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .275.  Moreland is starting to really like Fenway Park.

Chris Sale:  6.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.77.  Now up to 10 wins and the AL Cy Young already being polished for him.

Jose Berrios:  6.1 IP 8 H 4 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.98,  This wasn't a good matchup for Berrios on the road and going against Chris Sale.  Tough to get a win out of that combination and ratios will be challenged also.  Always be sure to evaluate who your guy is pitching against as part of your decision-making process.

Adrian Beltre:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .294.  It is like Beltre never left the first two months of the season.

Elvis Andrus:  3/4 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .298.  Yet another veteran no one wanted coming into the season who had been incredible.  Another classic example of a guy who gained power as he continued to move into his prime years.

Joey Gallo:  1/2 with his 20th HR while hitting .197.  Wow he is almost at .200.

Carlos Carrasco:  8 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 3.67.  So yeah now I don't have to eat crow anymore when I told you to avoid Carrasco this season.  Guy is way too high maintenance on a yearly basis.

Cole Hamels:  7 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 4.38.  I hated the way Hamels looked before he got hurt as his velocity looks shot and his K/9 was in downright pathetic levels.  This is especially deadly in the AL and we are seeing why.  I wouldn't even start him next time out.

Tyler Austin:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .182.  Needs to stop striking out to have a chance and not remind the New York Yankees of Chris Carter.

Todd Frazier:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .212.  Man Frazier is now a part-timer for me as I can't stomach this average.  Shows no signs of coming around and we are fully into a second straight season of this now.

Jordan Montgomery:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.53.  I would start entertaining offers now on Montgomery who has the Yankee cache going for him to help on that front but also moving toward uncharted innings territory.

Jeff Samardzjia:  6.1 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.63.  Still can't get that ERA past the BABIP pull.


Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: FREDDIE FREEMAN (WRIST) SET TO GAIN 3B ELIGIBILITY

Just about 7-10 days away from beginning a rehab assignment, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is also set to embark on transitioning to third base upon his return so as to keep the suddenly potent power bat of Matt Adams in the everyday lineup.  Prior to breaking his wrist on an HBP, Freeman was in the midst of a truly monstrous start to the season as he was hitting .341 with an insane 14 home runs and 25 RBI in just 125 at-bats.  Still just 27 despite it feeling like he has been around forever, this is what a hitter reaching his prime looks like.  Unfortunately fate interfered in terms of the HBP but Freeman still has plenty of time to put up a huge season when he gets back to the Braves in early July.  Having already begun taking ground balls, Freeman will now try to become the new third baseman for the Braves which of course will add precious third base eligibility as well which makes him even more valuable.  While Freeman is a top tier first baseman easy, he actually has slightly more value at third base given the more shallow aspect of the position compared to the other corner.  

Now in terms of the numbers, part of the reason Freeman had such a big breakout this season was due to sizable gains both in his BB/9 and K/9 rates.  In 2016 those numbers were 12.8 and 24.7 respectively.  This season?  Try 16.4 and 18.8.  Yes a .356 BABIP is well in the lucky zone but overall Freeman has reached a new level of hitting ability.  So in terms of his numbers prior to getting hurt, they were pretty much totally legit and so expect nothing but more blockbuster statistics when he does get back into action.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .274.  Yeah he is on pace for 40 homers again.  Where have we heard that before?

Mike Montgomery:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.03.  I told you to pick up Montgomery last week and other than shoddy control, he has some very good stuff that can certainly carry the SP 5 weight.  

Trey Mancini:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .321.  Talk about coming out of nowhere.  If he had some more at-bats, Mancini would be in the batting title hunt and the power has been well past his minor league rates.  Since it is the end of June. we are well past the fluke stage of the season so it looks like Mancini is carving out a tremendous breakout campaign.  

Jonathan Schoop:  2/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .295.  All free agent hitters need to get to Baltimore.  The place is the hitting equivalent of pitching in Pittsburgh.

Ervin Santana:  6 IP 9 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.80.  This is Santana giving the bird to the regression fairies.  

Scooter Gennett:  4/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .308.  And now Scooter Gennett is a slugger.  I can't stand it.  

Michael Taylor:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .273.  Could be the light bulb is going on here finally.  Maybe not at full blast but it is glowing.  

Tanner Roark:  6 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 5.15.  It has all gone so wrong here after a nice start and a very good 2016.  Could be an injury we don't know about but Roark also has seen his HR/9 soar.  Cut him loose.  

Mitch Moreland:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .270.  In this extreme era of the home run, we have no use for Moreland.

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .269.  Like with Moreland, we need home run hitters who can either hit .300 or steal bases now to have the optimal starting value in today's power-driven fantasy baseball.  

Travis Shaw:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .289.  Think the Boston Red Sox could use Shaw at third base right about now?

Keon Broxton:  3/4 with his 11th HR and 13th SB while hitting .250.  Man you love the seduction of the power/speed game from Broxton but he strikes out more than the drunk dude who tries to take hacks in the batting cage at Dave and Busters.  

Zach Davies:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K with an ERA of 4.96.  All you need to see here is the zero in the K's column.  Moving on.  

Shin-Soo Choo:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .257.  Guess we wrote him off a bit early.  

Gary Sanchez:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .298.  Yeah I admit I was wrong about calling Sanchez a bust.  Although it looked good even as late as the conclusion of May.  

Michael Pineda:  7 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.12.  And the old and infuriating Michael Pineda is back.  

Sonny Gray:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.45.  Gray has often done his best work down the stretch of the season so taking a stab here in a trade is not a bad idea but this is also not the 2014 version of the guy either.  

Jorge Bonifacio:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .250.  Like a younger version of the following guy.

Jose Bautista:  2/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .234.  The above is not a compliment.  

Jay Bruce:  2/6 with his 20th HR while hitting .270.  Extra kudos to Bruce who was pilloried by the New York Mets faithful last season but tuned that all out this season to post a big first half.  

George Springer:  1/3 with his 22nd HR while hitting .280.  Springer is in uncharted average territory right now which of course is nice considering the massive power.  If Springer can keep that going, he gains another level of respect in my eyes.  

Evan Gattis:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .267.  Where has the power been?  

Wil Myers:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .259.  Decent but nowhere near last season.  

Cody Bellinger:  3/5 with 2 home runs (24 for season) while hitting .274.  Giancarlo Stanton is thinking of calling Bellinger for advice on how to hit home runs.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS: 41-60

41. Adam Thielen:  I think I have Thielen ranked too low here as he showed big-time PPR ability last season.  Has to show he can do it with opposing defenses now focusing on him but I like Thielen's chances.
42. Mike Williams:  Maybe this 'Mike Williams" will not go bust in the NFL.
43. Stefon Diggs:  Injuries and wild swings in production make Diggs a WR 3 at best.
44. Pierre Garcon:  A profession who gets his numbers no matter what team he is on.
45. Kevin White:  Just can't ever seem to stay on the field to show what people have always said was top-end ability.
46. Sterling Shepard:  The arrival of Brandon Marshall didn't help Shepard's causes but Eli Manning looked his way in the red zone more than any wideout last season outside of Odell.
47. Jordan Matthews:  Stock has dropped sharply the last season-plus and showing no signs of stopping.
48. Randall Cobb:  See above.
49. Kenny Britt:  Britt can be a red-zone weapon which puts him in WR 3 territory in standard formats but that is as far as I would go when it comes to usage.
50. DeVante Parker:  Another one more on potential than production.
51. Cole Beasley:  Has developed nicely as a WR 3 in PPR.
52. Jeremy Maclin:  Fresh start in Baltimore where Maclin has a chance to do some nice things at a very cheap price.
53. Mike Wallace:  Capable of the big play at any moment but Wallace's story has gotten boring.
54. Cameron Meredith:  Another PPR guy who has developed well lately.
55. Allen Hurns:  Had a lost 2016 due to injury but Hurns has proven himself to be a good backup receiver/WR 3 in his still-young career.
56. John Ross:  Took a step back last season but Ross capable of bouncing back as a deep-threat wideout if he stays healthy.
57. Quincy Enunwa:  Now the top wideout on the New York Jets but that may not be saying much.
58. Marvin Jones:  Outside of a monster September last season, Jones was a liability to own.
59. Tyler Lockett:  Has some remaining upside but not a fan of the offense.
60. Will Fuller:  Drops too many passes and second fiddle behind DeAndre Hopkins on a QB-challenged team not a good combination.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JACOB DeGROM SP NEW YORK METS

Going into his start on May 31 versus the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom was in the midst of a rocking ace-like fantasy baseball campaign.  Coming off elbow surgery the year prior, DeGrom roared back with an MLB leading K/9 rate and led baseball overall in strikeouts going into the start; to go along with a 3.23 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and .231 BAA.  Splendid numbers all the way around.  However as with anything that has gone on with the Mets' rough season, DeGrom hit the skids in a beyond horrid way beginning with that Milwaukee start.  In just four innings that day, DeGrom was hammered for 7 earned run to raise his ERA to 3.97.  A terrible start no doubt but it would be easy to see it was just a bad day at the office.  DeGrom then followed that up though with an even worse outing the next time out on June 6 when he gave up 8 earned runs versus the Texas Rangers in four more innings.  His ERA after that outing?  Try 4.75 and DeGrom's WHIP 1.44.  Alarm bells rightfully began to blare given the injury-marred history of DeGrom and the fact his control was horrendous to go with all the hits that suddenly began to pop up.  His fantasy baseball fate the rest of 2017 hung in the balance in terms of what DeGrom would do to adjust.

Well adjust DeGrom did and in a major way.  In terms of approach, DeGrom came up with a two-pron plan, with the first aspect being to pitch more down into the zone to generate more ground ball outs.  This would come at the expense of some strikeouts but DeGrom would not be giving up as many home runs as he was.  Secondly, DeGrom began to throw TWO bullpen sessions between starts but at a relaxed intensity.  The two BP sessions were to give DeGrom a better feel for his stuff and in turn to stop with the walks.  So did it work?  The evidence seems overwhelming.

Since the two-start debacle, DeGrom has made three starts since and needless to say, the dominance has returned.  Let's see how those starts broke down:

June 12 VS. Cubs:  9 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K
June 18 VS. Nats:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K
June 24 VS. Giants: 8 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K

That's comes out to 25 IP with just 2 earned runs total and 12 hits allowed.  There has been a slight dip in strikeouts as expected but DeGrom is fully in control now as he lowered his ERA to 3.71 and WHIP to 1.27.  In other words, back to ace level.  So for those who own DeGrom, it is time to exhale here and fully embrace him again for every start.  While fatigue could be an issue in September, DeGrom seems very much back to his olf ace self.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS: 21-40

21. Julian Edelman:  Same story as ever here with Edelman being a top PPR wideout but lack of TD's drops him down in standard.  Also the arrival of Brandin Cooks could steal some catches.
22. Golden Tate:  I am a big fan of Tate as he has been an excellent PPR wideout for a few years now and his TD's are solid enough.  Great value.
23. Larry Fitzgerald:  Like David Ortiz in baseball (but clean), Fitzgerald will go into retirement as a stud to the end.  Bump up in PPR.
24. Emmanuel Sanders:  The QB situation has really hurt Sanders more than Demaryius Thomas in terms of fantasy football production.
25. Corey Davis:  Could be the top wideout in terms of fantasy production given the crying need for receiving help in Tennessee.
26. Donte Moncrief:  Still waiting for the breakout from Moncrief but can't argue with setup catching passes from Andrew Luck.
27. Michael Crabtree:  Remains a major TD threat which boosts Crabtree in standard but look for Amari Cooper to ascend to top spot in Oakland receiving hierarchy.
28. Brandon Marshall:  Clearly no longer a WR 1, Marshall could be a sneaky value coming off a rough 2016 and joining with Eli Manning with the New York Giants.
29. Kelvin Benjamin:  It was an overall disappointing season for Benjamin after a hot start in 2016 but another year removed from ACL surgery should help.
30. Eric Decker:  Signing with Tennessee was a good move for Decker's fantasy football value as Marcus Mariota needs a veteran wideout.
31. Tyreek Hill:  In PPR Hill is a potential monster since he is a receiving/running/returning dynamo.
32. Corey Coleman:  Hate the QB setup with the weak-armed Cody Kessler limiting big plays from Coleman but the talent is easy to spot.
33. Willie Snead:  With Brandin Cooks having departed, there are more catches to be had now in the potent New Orleans Saints attack.
34. Zay Jones:  Was a monster reception guy in college and now goes to a Buffalo team in desperate need to receiving help given the ongoing injuries to Sammy Watkins.
35. DeSean Jackson:  Way too all-or-nothing and injury prone to bother with.
36. Rishard Matthews:  Has done some nice work in a quiet manner the last few seasons but now Matthews figures to be pushed down a bit with the new arrivals in Tennessee.
37. Tyrell Williams:  The San Diego Chargers always love to throw the football behind QB Philip Rivers and so Williams should be able to carve at least a backup role in fantasy football leagues.
38. Jamison Crowder:  Still think Terrell Pryor will be the guy in Washington but Crowder has the talent to be heard from.
39. Sammy Watkins:  Just can't stay healthy despite big talent.
40. Martavis Bryant:  Now back from suspension, Bryant has a nice chance here in a potent Pittsburgh passing attack.




2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: TYLER AUSTIN 1B NEW YORK YANKEES

Apparently the New York Yankees had seen enough of all-or-nothing slugging veteran Chris Carter, having made the decision late Friday to DFA the 2016 40-homer man in favor of promoting first base prospect Tyler Austin.  The last time we saw Austin. he had his spring training and chances of making the Yankees derailed due to a broken foot and he only recently made it back at Triple-A where he took part in 26 games before the call from the big league team.  In those 26 games, Austin hit .292 with 4 home runs in 107 at-bats; while also playing very good defense.  Meanwhile Carter was simply an abomination on both sides of the ball and so the DFA was no surprise.  With Greg Bird still showing no signs of coming back from his ankle injury, Austin has a chance to stake his claim to the first base job and allow the Yanks not to go the trade route in July.

Now in terms of what Austin can bring to the fantasy baseball table, he had a nice run at Triple-A last season when he hit 13 home runs and batted .323 to put himself back on the prospect map after some years of struggle.  While Austin does draw walks, he also strikes out a bunch as he did at a 40.0 K/9 clip in his debut with the Yanks in 2016.  Strikeouts will likely drag Austin's average down some but hopefully he walks enough to offset the damage there.  Meanwhile, Austin has a good power swing that can lead to some homers and he can steal the odd base as well.  Throw in outfield eligibility to go with first base and Austin should be added at least in AL-only formats.  In mixers you can take a stab but don't play him until you see if there is an adjustment period or not for Austin.  Also cut Carter loose in all formats as he will likely only be a backup if he is scooped up by another squad.  


Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS: TOP 20

The deep wide receivers are up next so let's check out who made the first 20 for 2017 fantasy football.  

1.  Antonio Brown:  Duh.  Worthy of the number 1 pick overall in PPR.
2.  Julio Jones:  Less volatility and arrival of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram could curtail some catches for Odell Beckham Jr. to give Jones the nod.
3.  Odell Beckham Jr.:  While I think Beckham will lose a few catches due to the arrival of the two mentioned above, I think the big plays and yardage will go up due to facing single-coverage.  
4.  Mike Evans:  Finally made into top PPR land last season to go with all his scores.
5.  A.J. Green:  Health has been ill the last couple of years but Green will be force fed all game long this season.
6.  Jordy Nelson:  Getting a bit up there in age but Nelson remains a monster TD producer and reception totals have trended upward the last few seasons.  
7.  Michael Thomas:  This is me telling you Thomas can threaten 100 catches and 10 TD's this season.  Bid aggressively.  
8.  Doug Baldwin:  Lots of TD's the last two years and Seattle not exactly filled with receiving competition.
9.  T.Y. Hilton:  Runs a bit too hot and cold for my taste and value depends almost exclusively on health of Andrew Luck.
10. Brandin Cooks:  Moving to New England and Tom Brady?  Yes please.  
11. Amari Cooper:  Should now firmly pass Michael Crabtree on by as the top dog in the Oakland receiving unit.  
12. Dez Bryant:  Not a fan of Bryant as he is always hurt and now Dallas operating a big run-heavy attack.  Overrated.
13. Alshon Jeffery:  Willing to give him another chance after getting a fresh start in Philly.  Talent is never in question but only health.
14. Davante Adams:  Yes there is room for two top wideouts from same team.  
15. Allen Robinson:  Disappointed last season but Robinson remains a true WR 1 talent.
16. Demaryuis Thomes:  Still manages to catch a ton of balls but TD numbers have dipped sharply the last two seasons.  
17. DeAndre Hopkins:  Was a colossal bust last season and most of it was not his fault as the QB situation in Houston was a joke.  
18. Terrell Pyror:  I think there is major sleeper value to be had here as Pryor heads to the potent Washington offensive attack led by QB Kirk Cousins.  
19. Keenan Allen:  If Allen can ever find health, he is a top WR 1 in PPR formats.
20. Jarvis Landry:  Another PPR gem who has nice durability.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Carlos Martinez:  6 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Martinez is 6-6 with a .287 ERA.  The wins column in fantasy baseball needs to go.

Aaron Nola:  7.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.32.  Nola seems back on track but boy has he tested patience the last two seasons.  What is a real shame is that Nola has been striking out guys at a very high clip since making his way into the Phils rotation but injuries and a homer tendency have stunted things.

Tommy Joseph:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .261.  Joseph ebbs and flows like the tide.

Jose Abreu:  1/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .296.  Love how Abreu's value dropped this season for no apparent reason other than he was not the fresh kid on the block at first base.  He is the new Adrian Gonzalez in terms of being arguably the best first base value since he can be had now in Round 3, while everyone else spends first round picks on the position.

Todd Frazier:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .210.  Is it too much to ask Todd to hit .250?  Damn.

Matt Davidson:  3/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .265.  Davidson has more than shown himself to be a starter in AL-only formats; with the power stroke to challenge 30 home runs at this rate.  Third base has been the position that has been the biggest explosion of offensive talent the last three years though so Davidson gets lost a bit in the noise.

Jose Quintana:  6.2 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.69.  Quintana has not gained any traction on the season after a truly putrid start in April.  If he can get on a run now though, it will really heat up his trade prospects for July 31.  A move out of offensive haven Chicago to a possible NL locale would also boost his fantasy baseball value.

Mike Napoli:  1/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .201.  If you are using Napoli as anything more than a bench bat, you are not going it right.

Carlos Gomez:  3/4 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .267.  Wow Gomez is really tearing the cover off the baseball since coming back into the lineup.   While clearly well past his prime, Gomez qualifies as a nice OF 3 as the summer heats up in Texas.

Gregory Polanco:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .252.  Polanco better have a big second half to remove his name from the All-Bust Team for 2017.

Travis Shaw:  3/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .298.  Yeah it is not often you can say that leaving Boston and Fenway Park is a PLUS for a hitter's fantasy baseball numbers.  This is Travis Shaw 2017.

Chase Anderson:  6 IP 2 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.92.  The beat goes on here for Anderson who gained a full 1.5 miles per hour on his fastball this season which coincides with the breakout.  No need to sell high here.

Paul Goldschmidt:  3/5 with his 18th HR while hitting .335.  25 steals?  Check!  30 home runs?  Check!  Batting title?  Maybe.

Chris Owings:  1/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .291.  Owings still doesn't walk (5.2 BB/9) but he has the speed that beats the BABIP (.334) curve just as he did a year ago.  Hold.

Charlie Blackmon:  2/3 with his 16th HR while hitting .328.  Since he doesn't steal anymore, most Blackmon fantasy baseball owners would do well to hope he gets moved down the order a bit to the 3 spot to add more RBI.

Antonio Senzatela:  9 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 4.79.  I would say the end of the fantasy baseball train tracks have been reached here.

Zack Godley:  7 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.53.  All right let's dig in here.  Godley is already 27 and bombed to a 6.39 ERA last season for D-Backs.  However Godley checks all the legitimacy boxes as his BB/9 (2.68), K/9 (8.21), and HR/9 (0.63-especially important in Arizona) all check out.  I'm sold.

Jesse Hahn:  2 IP 6 H 9 ER 3 BB 0 K with an ERA of 4.66.  And just that like that overnight, Hahn is a fantasy baseball pariah for the rest of the season.  When you toy with marginal fantasy baseball arms for an extended period, you often get burned.

Marwin Gonzalez:  2/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .312.  Someone in the Experts League mocked me on the message board when I picked up Gonzalez in April.  Whose is laughing now?

Cameron Maybin:  1/3 with his 6th HR and 22nd SB while hitting .277.  Maybin reminds me of what Carlos Gomez was when he was a first round pick.  But with more pure speed.

Aaron Judge:  1/3 with his 25th HR while hitting .331.  The K's are picking up a bit lately but Judge always refuses to allow enough games to go by before swatting a homer.

Luis Severino:  5 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.30 .  I have started to tell Severino owners out there to begin selling high as he moves closer into uncharted innings territory.  The end months are usually not good in these situations.

Kris Bryant:  2/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .264.  Nothing to see here in terms of the average.  On the surface it seems like Bryant is slumping there but not true as he has IMPROVED both his BB/9 and K/9 rates but has seen a .40 drop in BABIP.  Yes it can be that simple.

Willson Contreras:  1/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .249.  Contreras hit everything in sight in the minors so I advised to stick with him through the early struggles.  That patience is starting to pay off now and at catcher you really need to let your draft picks take extra time to pan out.

Marcell Ozuna:  2/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .328.  Always overshadowed by Giancarlo Stanton. Ozuna is making his case that he is actually the best fantasy baseball outfielder on the Miami Marlins.  Seriously.

Buster Posey:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .344.  To think that Joe Mauer was supposed to be one of the best hitting catchers of all time when he arrived.  Sorry it is this guy.

Brandon Belt:  1/2 with his 13th HR while hitting .226.  Ugh that average just sucks.

Matt Adams:  2/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .297.  At this rate Adams is going to hit 30 homers.  No one even saw 15 happening back in April.

Robinson Cano:  2/4 with 2 home runs (13 for season) while hitting .284.  Still going strong.  Literally.

Miguel Cabrera:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .271.  I won't say that Cabrera is not capable of going nuclear with the bat the rest of the way but boy this looks like as classic a cliff season as you can get.

Ian Kinsler:  2/5 with his 8th HR and 6th SB while hitting .254.  This was Kinsler saying "I want to feel what it was like to be 23 again" prior to the game.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: GEORGE SPRINGER HEADED FOR X-RAYS AFTER HBP TO HAND

Houston Astros outfielder George Springer exited the team's Thursday game in visible pain after taking an HBP to his hand.  Springer was in obvious discomfort right after the hit and he quickly went to the locker room to get X-Rays.  We have been down this road numerous times with players this season in fantasy baseball and of course the big fear is a fracture which would mean six weeks at least on the DL depending on the severity.  The way Springer reacted would make it seems there is a good probability there is a break.  His loss would be huge as Springer has hit for major power this season and so holding your breath time is here.  Stay tuned.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL TIGHT END RANKINGS

1.  Greg Olsen:  Threatening a holdout but Olsen most dependable and durable tight end in fantasy football.
2.  Travis Kelce:  While Alex Smith holds back some big play potential, Kelce should be right behind Olsen when it comes to being the top picks among this group.
3.  Rob Gronkowski:  No one ever questions the supreme talent but Gronk quite possibly is the most injury-prone "name" player in all of fantasy football.
4.  Jordan Reed:  Call Reed "Baby Gronk" in terms of tremendous natural ability but a non-stop penchant for getting hurt.
5.  Zach Ertz:  Ertz always seems to start blow before turning into a monster in the second half but count on him being the best receiving friend of second-year QB Carson Wentz this season.
6.  Delanie Walker:  Walker predictably failed to match his 2015 numbers last season but his floor seems safe for another year.
7.  O.J. Howard:  The top receiving tight end in the 2016 draft, Howard has off-the-charts ability.
8.  Jimmy Graham:  Yes Graham has see his numbers dive since leaving New Orleans but he also remains a solid and now quite affordable buy.
9.  Kyle Rudolph:  Always an annual big TD threat, Rudolph took off in the receptions department with Sam Bradford last season.  Like with Jimmy Graham, Rudolph comes cheaper then he should and always seems to supply decent value.
10. Evan Engram:  I like Engram more than most and it is due to the fact Eli Manning always loves throwing to his tight ends.  Also Engram has wide receiver speed and could pile up the numbers in a hurry.
11. Eric Ebron:  Still waiting on that breakout from Ebron who has as much physical talent as anyone at the position but it won't cost much to find out if this is the season it happens.
12. Hunter Henry:  Antonio Gates is back for one more year which caps the 2017 upside of Henry a bit but he was still fantasy football useful last season even with the future Hall of Famer around.
13. Martellus Bennett:  It is always interesting when any type of receiver heads to Green Bay and hooks up with QB Aaron Rodgers as Bennett did this past winter.  While Rodgers likes to spread it around, he always seems to look his tight end's way in the red zone.
14. Zach Miller:  Injury interrupted what was looking like a nice breakout season from the smooth-receiving Zach Miller in 2016 but the lack of receiving targets for QB Mike Glennon should ensure another nice haul of targets.
15. Antonio Gates:  Now more name brand than actual production.
16. Tyler Eifert:  Just can't stay on the field as Eifert already is facing an uphill climb for the second year in a row in terms of being ready to go for Week 1.
17. Jack Doyle:  I think Doyle could quickly move up this list given his nice rapport with QB Andrew Luck.
18. Cameron Brate:  The arrival of O.J. Howard really put a hurting on what was to be expected out of Brate this season.
19. David Njoku:  Another freakish tight end who can really catch the football.

THE REST

20. Jason Witten
21. C.J. Fiedorowicz
22. Julius Thomas
23. Charles Clay
24. Dwayne Allen
25. Coby Fleener
26. Vance McDonald
27. Ladarius Green


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Scott Schebler:  2/3 with his 20th HR while hitting .258.  The BABIP is still a very unlucky .247 which means Schebler is a .280 hitter with all this power.

Max Scherzer:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.09.  And Scherzer lost.  Hate the wins category in 5 x 5.

Salvador Perez:  3/3 with his 15 HR (grand slam) while hitting .292.  If Perez holds the average with all this power, you can make a firm case that he is the number 1 catcher in 2018 fantasy baseball.

Andrew Benintendi:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .274.  Benintendi fought through that one dip in production that led to a few benchings and is back assaulting opposing pitchers.  One of those rare cases of a young player who already has it all figured out.  What a talent.

Xander Bogaerts:  1/2 with his 5th HR while hitting .322.  While he is still young, we have seen more than enough of Bogaerts now to conclude the power may not improve much, if at all.

Ian Happ:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .221.  Damn this guy.  Happ is making a point for torturing me for cutting him a few weeks ago.  I deserve the flogging.

Francisco Lindor:  2/5 with his 14th HR while hitting .256.  Here is all you need to know here:  Lindor's BB/9 and K/9 this year is almost to the number the same as the year prior but his average is way down.  Why?  A .251 BABIP is solely to blame.  So with that said, get very excited about the power uptick here as Lindor is still a .300 hitter underneath it all.  Next year Lindor should be picked in the late first round.  Yes he should.

Carlos Carrasco:  6 IP 7 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.99.  First time since originally getting hurt that Carrasco has looked totally in control of his stuff.  This should be considered a sign he is feeling well for the next 2.5 weeks and then the next injury will show up.

Didi Gregorious:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .321.  Special props belong to Didi as he has pretty much achieved the impossible and that is to seamlessly replace Derek Jeter.

Matt Holliday:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .275.  Yankee Stadium has a way to ward off age for veteran hitters.

Tommy Pham:  2/5 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .286.  For all those who chased Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk, it turns out Tommy Pham was the best fantasy baseball outfield option on the St. Louis Cards for 2017.  And that was with him beginning the year in the minors.

Jedd Gyorko:  3/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .297.  Starting to believe.

Nick Pivetta:  6 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.46.  46 K's in 42 innings show you that Pivetta can miss bats but he is far from a finished product given his ugly 4.04 BB/9.

Matt Adams:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .293.  What's funny here is that Adams' huge season is being overshadowed by the overall offensive assault from all corners of the fantasy baseball hitting community.

Tyler Flowers:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .325.  Tyler Flowers is hitting .325.  See above starting at the word "offensive."

Matt Kemp:  1/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .320.  Yeah I am so making it a point to draft all Atlanta Braves batters next season.  Don't recall ever saying that before.

Sean Newcomb:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 1.96.  It is very simple when it comes to Newcomb:  avoid the walks that plagued him in the minors and he will help you significantly.

Shin-Soo Choo:  2/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .270.  Maybe I need to just draft all veterans to complement my Braves batters next season as well.

Tyson Ross:  7 ER in 3 IP with an ERA of 9.35.  Another thoracic outlet syndrome pitcher who seems completely shot overnight.

Miguel Sano:  1/3 with his 18th HR while hitting .290.  There will be some MVP votes earnedh ere.

Jose Berrios:  8 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.67.  Amazing what a little seasoning can be for a young hurler who was not ready last season.

Josh Bell:  2/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .235.  Bell swinging for the fences all out this season as he wants in on the home run fun.  At the expense of his average of course.

Jeff Hoffman:  9 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.29.  You were pushing the envelope here going with Hoffman at Coors against a powerful Arizona lineup.

Carlos Correa:  2/5 with his 14th HR while hitting .301.  It already seems like Correa has dropped the steals from his ledger but that is just a minor hit.

Mitch Haniger:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .319.  Breakout back on track.

Justin Verlander:  5.2 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 4.52.  Retired the first 16 batters and then couldn't get out of the sixth.  Rough.

James Paxton:  5.1 IP 9 H 3 ER  2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.39.  It is all starting to fall apart here for Paxton who I don't think is 100 percent healthy.  Tread carefully using him in the future as the stuff is not working.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: EDWIN ENCARNACION 1B CLEVELAND INDIANS

No one does a nuclear power month better then Mr. Edwin Encarnacion.  The former Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays first base monster had made it his yearly tradition to go completely nuts in the month of May, often hitting 5 home runs in a 7 week to help overcome an annually tough start.  The bottom line by the end of the year would be first round numbers centering on 40-plus home runs, 110-plus RBI, and an  average around .280.  While moving away from Toronto was looked at as a negative in terms of numbers given the power tendencies of Rogers Center, Encarnacion's arrival in Cleveland didn't keep him from being a late first round pick yet again for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Unfortunately, Encarnacion's slow April starts followed him to Cleveland but even more disturbing is the fact he carried those struggles over to May as well which sounded the alarms on his overall fantasy baseball value.  Given the fact that Encarnacion was now into his mid-30's, there was some concern that he was now in the decline phase of his career.  Fortunately, that has not proven to be the case as Encarnacion is in the midst of an insane June that already has him hitting .360 for the month with six home runs in just 50 at-bats.  That brought Encarnacion's season totals to .265 with 17 home runs and 39 RBI on the year, with the average going up each month.  This shows that Encarnacion has settled firmly into the Cleveland lineup and grown comfortable with the ballpark.  With that easing of the mind, the power swing is back in full force.

Now things are still not all gravy here as Encarnacion's K/9 rate has now gone up for the fourth straight year which no doubt can be pinned to age.  Last season that number was 19.7 and this year it has jumped sharply to 23.3.  That is quite the leap no doubt and again calls into question the bat slowing a bit as he moves close to the age of 35.  Alas, Encarnacion is showing better patience than ever, with his 14.8 BB/9 being a career-best so far.  That has helped mitigate any major average drop and so with things trending northward in that category, a move close to .280 again is very possible.

When you put it all together, Edwin Encarnacion may not supply first round numbers and may never be worthy of such a high pick again in fantasy baseball.  However he has shown he is not done just yet and that his best stretch of the season could be from now and through the fall.  For all Encarnacion owners, it is time to breath again.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Manny Machado:  4/4 with 2 home runs (15 for season) while hitting .227.  What no stolen base?

Jonathan Schoop:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .289.  Man I see Bret Boone whenever I watch Schoop.

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .265.  Looks like I got to update the Status Report I am posting on Encarnacion later today.  7 home runs in the last 12 games now.

Aaron Judge:  1/4 with his 24th HR while hitting .333.  Even Judge can't save the sinking New York Yankees (7 straight losses) right now.

Gary Sanchez:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .288.  The first two months were rough but I will say now that Sanchez is beating me in my argument he would go bust this season.

Cameron Maybin:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .279.  Me and most everyone else in the fantasy baseball community are kicking themselves for not picking up Maybin off waivers when they had the chance.

Jedd Gyorko:  1/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .289.  Like air slowly leaking out of a balloon, notice how Gyorko's average has dripped, dripped, dripped its way downward since his scorching start?

Yadier Molina:  1/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .261.  Molina has tapped into some unexpected power this season which is a nice bonus for a guy who is always a tremendous fantasy baseball buy.

Mike Leake:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.03.  Leake halts a very rough three weeks stretch that shot his ERA up more than a run.  Or as I like to call it, regression back to the Mike Leake mean.

Corey Dickerson:  2/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .327.  Seems like Dickerson is 2-for-4 every single night.  What a year.

Joey Votto:  1/5 with his 20th HR while hitting .307.  Speaking of what a year, Votto's power is ridiculous this season.  With even veterans like Votto, Ryan Zimmerman, Yonder Alonso, Molina adding power sharply this season, it lends credence to the juiced ball theory for sure.

Marcell Ozuna:  2/4 with his 19th HR while hitting .333.  The best fantasy baseball offensive season no one is talking about.

Daniel Murphy:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .346.  Here is a good debate:  who is the better pure hitter, Murphy or Votto?  Answer in comments section.

Gio Gonzalez:  7 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.96.  I own Gio in the Experts League but I really didn't want to as I was tired of his inconsistent act but he is having a great season so far.  Yet another veteran value play jackpot.

Andrew McCutchen:  3/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .268.  McCutchen has impressed Jason Vorhees with the way he has risen from the fantasy baseball dead.

Anthony Rizzo:  1/3 with his 17th HR while hitting .268.  Rizzo hit yet another leadoff homer.  Any day now look for Paul Goldschmidt leading off for the D-Backs.

Ian Happ:  1/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .218.  That's 4 home runs since I cut Happ when I had a serious roster crunch.  Yup even I am an idiot in this racket sometimes.

Mike Montgomery:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.26.  Montgomery was once a highly admired prospect so don't dismiss his performance.  He is well worth picking up where available as the fastball can tough the upper 90's and Montgomery keeps the baseball in the park.

Adrian Beltre:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .295.  Wow it has been a nasty campaign for Beltre so far.  Whatever he does from here on out is window dressing.

Nomar Mazara:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .279.  Mazara seems to be in one of those hot streaks he showed in early April so ride it out or make the add.  You know the drill by now.

Miguel Sano:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .290.  Man a .413 BABIP and 34.7 K/9 rates are just insane as the crash is coming but boy Sano has done his best to hold it off so far.

Avisail Garcia:  3/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .339.  A .411 BABIP doesn't jive here as well and neither does a 4.4 BB/9 but like with Sano, Garcia has used his magic to ward off regression evil.  Still this is a nice post-hype sleeper made good story so far.

Jose Abreu: 4/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .303.  So it took 2.5 months but Abreu is back to hitting .300.  You know like usual.

Ervin Santana:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 2.97.  The nasty outings are beginning to show up more frequently but they almost had to.

Mike Moustakas:  1/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .277.  If the Royals weren't such a putrid team, Moustakas would have gotten so much more fantasy baseball pub then he has gotten.

Chris Sale:  8.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.85.  Standard operating EXCELLENT procedure.

Corey Seager:  4/5 with 3 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .293.  Saw some fantasy baseball so-called experts call Seager overrated coming into the season.  Yeah all right.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: BUD NORRIS FUN IS OVER AS HE HITS THE DL

The Los Angeles Angels placed closer Bud Norris on the 10-day DL Tuesday with what is believed to be a knee injury and in the process will now turn back to former stopper Cam Bedrosian to take over the ninth inning.  Norris had been a revelation in locking down 11 saves in dominant fashion while Bedrosian was on the DL himself and he did so well, that he was likely going to keep the job outright.  However the injury comes at a terrible time for Norris owners as it opens the door to Bedrosian to take hold of the closer role again and his top-shelf stuff should be more than up to it.  In fact Bedrosian has a 0.00 ERA in 7.2 innings so far this season and he was in complete control last season as well when given a chance to pitch in the ninth.  It was fun while it lasted Norris owners but it looks like his time finishing games are through.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

1.  David Johnson:  Truly insane power/speed numbers and workload no issue.
2.  Ezekiel Elliott:  Flip a coin between Elliott and Bell.  Former more durable than latter.
3.  Le'Veon Bell:  Threatening holdout but likely will show Week 1.  Insane PPR value but has to kick injury woes.
4.  Jordan Howard:  I like Howard a bit more than most but will be rare bellcow back and was a rushing machine as a rookie.
5.  DeMarco Murray:  Derrick Henry could eat into more work and Murray far from durable which is why I have him behind Howard.
6.  LeSean McCoy:  Age is in clear Danger Zone but McCoy still dominating touches and is expected to see uptick in receptions.
7.  Jay Ajayi:  Dolphins plan to use Ajayi in passing game more and when combined with bellcow role, could easily vault into top four.  Have to see it first though.
8.  Melvin Gordon:  Still lacks in yards per carry but no doubt Gordon took step forward last season.  No more Danny Woodhead around to steal catches.
9.  Devonta Freeman:  If not for Tevin Coleman, would have Freeman top five.  In PPR though he can be moved up a bit.
10. Christian McCaffrey:  I am very bullish on McCaffrey who looks like a PPR dream.  Only has to answer question of holding up to NFL pounding.
11. Marshawn Lynch:  Tough call here as Lynch is a true BEAST but a year off and injury concerns are valid worries.
12. Lamar Miller:  Man everything went wrong last season as Miller went bust.  Lots of us will be gun shy this time around but that could make Miller a value.
13. Dalvin Cook:  Very explosive back could be instant PPR RB 2 but Latavius Murray caps his overall impact.
14. Bilal Powell:  The Jets still have Matt Forte around which is a bummer as Powell capable of RB 1 numbers.
15. Leonard Fournette:  I am unsure here because I see some trouble here in terms of injuries and being a big back who will take a ton of hits.  Jags will ride him heavily though.
16. Todd Gurley:  Called that one.  Said Gurley would go bust last summer and he came through in a big way to make me look smart.  That one was obvious as Rams O-line a joke and Gurley can't take a hit.  Still avoid.
17. Isaiah Crowell:  Those in PPR need to knock Crowell down but the guy showed last season he can run effectively.
18. LeGarrette Blount:  Blount landed in an ideal spot in Philly where he will dominate touches and have a chance for 2016 New England rushing numbers.
19. Joe Mixon:  I think there is an excellent chance Mixon emerges as the starter given how slow Gio Bernard's return from torn ACL has gone and the continued ineffectiveness of Jeremy Hill.
20. Mark Ingram:  Was better than you thought last season given all the turmoil but the arrival of Adrian Peterson a big negative to value.  Seems too high maintenance a player to own.
21. Carlos Hyde:  Has missed about half his NFL games with injury and that is where convo ends for yours truly.
22. Ty Montgomery:  Not sure exactly what the Packers have in mind here for Montgomery but should only be interesting as a RB 2 in PPR.
23. Spencer Ware:  Very disappointing last season as Ware blew a golden chance to be the Chiefs' primary runner.  Kareem Hunt already gathering a ton of buzz.
24. Mike Gillislee:  Gillislee takes over the LeGarrette Blount role in New England and we saw with the latter last season how much potential standard league value this can carry.
25. Doug Martin:  Talk has been all over the place regarding what the Buc's will do with Martin.  He was a complete disaster last season and has to earn the coaching staff's trust again.  Far from a guarantee, Martin could be a decent reclamation project as a RB 3.
26. Frank Gore:  Gore continues to churn out yardage but count on the Colts beginning to push him aside in 2017.

THE REST

27. Tevin Coleman
28. Matt Forte
29. Paul Perkins
30. Kareem Hunt
31. C.J. Anderson
32. Danny Woodhead
33. Eddie Lacy
34. Theo Riddick
35. Latavius Murray
36. Duke Johnson
37. Ameer Abdullah
38. James White
39. Jonathan Stewart
40. Adrian Peterson
41. Jamaal Charles
42. Darren Sproles
43. Kenneth Dixon
44. C.J. Prosise
45. Rob Kelley
46. Gio Bernard
47. Charles Sims
48. Samaje Perine
49. Derrick Henry
50. Jacquizz Rodgers
51. Terrance West
52. Dion Lewis
53. Wendell Smallwood
54. Chris Thompson
55. Alvin Kamara



2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Jason Kipnis:  2/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .238.  Next season no on will draft Kipnis.  Outside of his mom.

Carlos Santana:  2/2 with his 9th HR while hitting .225.  Same with Santana.

Dylan Bundy:  6 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 3.72.  Yeah so how about the advice I gave you in late April saying to sell high on Bundy who was set for a crash?  At the time his ERA was in the mid-2.00 range and now it is pushing up on 4.00.  A current .265 BABIP and ugly 6.36 K/9 means more trouble is ahead.  How about his FIP of 4.63 and XFIP of 5.28?  Yikes.

Corey Kluber:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.58.  Believe it or not, Kluber is now one of the most dependable fantasy baseball aces in the game.

Steven Souza Jr.:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .269.  A 28.2 K/9 is still very ugly which will continue to keep Souza from hitting for average but he has boosted his BB/9 to 14.3 which is why he is at .269 and not .235.

Scott Schebler:  2/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .254.  Really like what Schebler has done this season as he is now a firm OF 2 with an average that still should improve.

Scooter Gennett:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .293.  Yeah Gennett I would say has already turned a tidy profit.  Amazing how many non-descript veterans have been monsters this season.

Justin Bour:  2/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .290.  Wow.  I was already in love with Bour prior to the season and now am delirious.  A .324 BABIP has propped up the average no doubt but how about a .378 average against lefties who used to own him?  Progress my friends.

Giancarlo Stanton:  3/5 with his 18th HR while hitting .293.  Is this the year of 40 home runs?  Now I guess we can also add is this the year of a .300 average?

Bryce Harper:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .316.  Harper has to stop being a douche and enter the HR Derby with Stanton, Duvall, and Judge.

Anthony Rendon:  1/1 with his 13th HR while hitting .289.  Mr. Rendon we forgive you for 2015.

Matt Adams:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .302.  What happens when Freddie Freeman comes back?

Travis Shaw:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .296.  Shaw also has swiped 7 bases and if his name were Machado he would be lauded as a first/second round talent.

Andrew McCutchen:  2/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .260.  I mean if McCutchen could hit .275 with his homers and steals holding steady, I would say he has been fantasy baseball saved.

Gerrit Cole:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.28.  Of course Cole won and dominated.  He will win every game the rest of the season because I cut him.

Wilson Contreras:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .254.  If anyone lost patience with Contreras and cut him loose, strike now as he is looking to be heading toward his best work of the season.

Jose Pirela:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .354.  Said to pick up Pirela the other day and so you lost one homer already.

Nomar Mazara:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .278.  Mazara has failed to take the next step in his development and so he failed to make the jump from OF 3 status.

Justin Smoak:  3/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .300.  The advanced metrics continue to hold steady to the rapid and almost overnight improvement from Smoak this season which further adds to the validity of what he is doing.

Jose Bautista:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .225.  Now a good season from Bautista is 20 homers and a .230 average.  Fading.

Marco Estrada:  6 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.98.  Wow has Estrada been brutal in June.  I would not be opposed to cutting him loose because you can't wait on pitchers to come out of a slump when they operate in Rogers Center.

Matt Bush:  third blown save with 2 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 2.88.  Bush is hitting his first rut as a closer which he is allowed to have but what he is not allowed to do is let it go past a week or so or the vultures will start circling.

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  3/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .261.  Bradley Jr. seems to be another hitter who heats up as the season goes on and so feel free to add where available.  What this season has shown though is that he is far from an impact outfielder who can be more than an OF 3.

Brad Peacock:  5.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.82.  The guy is 29 and a minor league lifer so go start-by-start with this.

Cody Bellinger:  3/5 with 2 home runs (21 for season) while hitting .269.  Gary Sanchez eat your heart out as Bellinger knocked him from the record books with 21 homers in first 51 games.  Bellinger only seems to do two-homer games lately and what he has done is incredible.

Justin Turner:  4/4 with his fourth HR while hitting .399.  Turner has been a hitting machine since ending up with the Los Angeles Dodgers and his value can be immense as the guy to prop up your team batting average.

Zack Wheeler:  7 ER in 2 IP with an ERA of 5.29.  Zack Wheeler meet the pitching wall.  Cut him loose.


Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: MICHAEL BRANTLEY LANDS ON DL WITH ANKLE INJURY

Oft-injured Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley once again couldn't make it through the season without a DL stint, landing on he list Monday with what the team is calling a sprained right ankle.  The big news here is that Brantley did not suffer any sort of shoulder injury which have ruined his last two seasons coming into 2017.  Prior to the injury, Brantley has been good but not great with a .296 average, 5 home runs, and 7 steals.  Known mostly for average and high counting stats, Brantley is pretty much now what Nick Markakis used to be during his early Baltimore Orioles years when he hit for some power. 


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: GLEYBER TORRES TO UNDERGO TOMMY JOHN SURGERY

WOW.  New York Yankees top infield prospect Gleyber Torres will be forced to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery and will miss the rest of the 2017 season.  Torres suffered the elbow injury sliding into the plate over the weekend and suffered a tear of the UCL in his elbow which will shelve him for the remainder of the year.  Torres was getting close to being promoted by the Yankees and with incumbent third baseman Chase Headley enduring a season-long struggles, some reports had him being called up by the end of June.  Obviously this is a huge blow for prospect chasers and those who have held Torres all season to this point.  We are talking about a top five prospect overall who has star potential written all over him.  That story will now have to unfold in 2018.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JACOB FARIA LOOKS LIKE NEXT BIG POWER ARM

Three starts into the Major League career of Tampa Bay Rays top pitching prospect Jacob Faria in 2017 and the kid has three wins.  Plus a tiny 1.37 ERA and a 10.07 K/9 to boot.  Want more?  How about not yet giving up a home run or posting a sell 1.83 BB/9.  No matter where you look, Faria has excelled and already the hype is growing for the former 2011 tenth-round pick.  Still just 23 years of age, Faria has built on a dominant Triple-A run (3.07 ERA, 12.89 K/9) to immediately put himself into every start status this season in fantasy baseball but maybe we should have seen this coming.  For one thing, Faria has some extremely potent strikeout stuff and he has been a double-digit K/9 guy at every step of the way.  He also had going for him the optimal environment for a young power arm to grow in the Tampa Bay system.  Consider that the Rays over the years have churned out David Price, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and others who came right out of the minors piling up strikeouts by the boatload and Faria seems to be on his way toward joining that group.  Again the stuff has been overpowering so far and Faria still has his best years ahead of him.   The one struggle he has coming up the minor league ladder was free passes but so far that has not been an issue.  As long as he keeps that at bay, Faria will likely continue to be a high-impact fantasy baseball arm who can be a sizable asset the rest of the season.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Kendrys Morales:  2/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .257.  I was a big fan of Morales coming into the season but I expected more to this point both in average and a bit more in power.  Maybe he is finally finding his footing in a new locale like Edwin Encarnacion in Cleveland and the best days are ahead.

Russell Martin:  1/2 with his 7th HR while hitting .225.  I said a few weeks ago that Martin does his best hitting work from the middle of May onward and so those in two catcher formats should be adding him.

J.A. Happ:  6.2 IP 8 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.26.  Happ has found his groove since coming off the DL and so it is safe to use him again despite my overall reservations about the guy as a whole.

Adam Duvall:  2/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .275.  Really like the improvements from Duvall this season in terms of the average and they are somewhat legit as he has cut his K/9 by two points.

Scooter Gennett:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .287.  Gennett is fully realizing the joys of hitting in Great American Ballpark.

Eugenio Suarez:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .278.  Talk about improvements, Suarez himself has firmly taken another step forward this season with his overall development as his K/9 has gone from 24.7 to this year's 21.9.  He also has raised his BB/9 from last year's 8.1 to this season's 11.3.  When gains are made in these two areas, it really elevates one's fantasy baseball stock another tier.

Justin Turner:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .385.  That glowing average is awesome no doubt but I believe most Turner fantasy baseball owners would trade 40 points there for some more power.

Logan Morrison:  2/4 with 2 home runs (21 for season) while hitting .234.  Now on pace for 47 home runs, leave it to the Rays to turn someone else's crap into gold.

Evan Longoria:  1/2 with his 10th HR while hitting .253.  When Longoria doesn't hit 25 home runs, he honestly is just another player no one would look twice at.

Steven Souza Jr.:  2/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .265.  Souza Jr. knows no in between when it comes to being either cold as ice or scorching hot.  He is currently the latter.

Jacob Faria:  7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.37.  Now 3-0, Faria has been pitching at an ace-level already and gets added for now as the latest power fireballer coming out of the Rays system,  We have seen more than enough to start Faria every time out until further notice.

Trea Turner:  1/3 with 4 steals (26 for season) while hitting .265.  So now we are seeing why some were willing to pay a late first round price for this gem.

Jacob DeGrom:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.94.  Two completely dominant outings in a row for DeGrom since he overhauled his approach and began pitching more down in the zone.  It means less K's but boy the results have been superb.  Back to ace status we go.

Aaron Altherr:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .278.  Third home run in the last week for Altherr so if you were to make a list of Whose Hot/Whose Not, the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder would be on the former.

Maikel Franco:  1/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .223.  I am as disappointed in him as I am anyone in 2017 fantasy baseball that I propped up.

Paul Goldschmidt:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .324.  The rare first round pick this season that has completely panned out according to script.

Chris Owings:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .292.  I think we are going to look at the end of the year numbers here and see close to 20 homers and 20 steals.

Ben Lively:  6 IP 8 H 3 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.33.  Lively's mediocre K/9 leaves very little margin for error and in his home ballpark, this is a fate you may not want to test.

Anthony Rizzo:  3/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .263.  Third home runs since moving into the leadoff spot.  Eat your heart out Rickey Henderson.

Ian Happ:  1/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .223.  Think Jonathan Schoop right now but with a worse average.  The funny thing is that most in the fantasy baseball community would rather own Happ given the uncertainty of how good he can be.  That's how this works.

Marcell Ozuna:  1/3 with his 18th HR while hitting .324.  Believe it or not if the season ended today, Ozuna would have a firm spot on the All-Fantasy Baseball Team for 2017.

Stephen Piscotty:  2/4 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .250.  Been tough to own Piscotty the last year-plus but I still believe the natural hitting skills he showed in the minors will be there eventually.  Do you want to wait it out is the question.

Dexter Fowler:  2/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .254.  It is almost like Fowler woke up last week and said to himself, "Yeah I want to ditch running and be a home run hitter now."

Yadier Molina:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .263.  Once again Molina has been a tremendous catching buy for pennies on the dollar.  There is always something to be said at catcher for relying on the aging but still effective veterans like Molina, Martin, and Brian McCann.

Mark Trumbo:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .263.  Mount Trumo has erupted.

Trey Mancini:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .310.  Looks like Buck Showalter has dug up another hitting gem that no one in the fantasy baseball community saw coming.

Wellington Castillo:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .291.  See Molina, Yadier above.

Lance Lynn:  7 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 3.33.  I think it was simply a bad day at the office but Lynn is a fatigue candidate soon enough considering he missed all of last season.

Edwin Encarnacion:  3/4 with 2 home runs (16 for season) while hitting .261.  You can't get Encarnacion out right now as he has 6 home runs in the last 10 games.  His May performances have been epic in the past but it looks like he pushed that forward to June this year in needing an extra month to adapt to being in Cleveland.  Either way, we are getting first round Encarnacion right now.

Hernan Perez:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .273.  Perez is having a nice season and I own him in Experts where I love the four-position versatility.

Jimmy Nelson:  9 IP 6 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.28.  Yuppers.  Hope you weren't stupid and dropped Nelson after his rough road start versus St. Louis last time out.  Nelson's breakout is completely legit and supported by his advanced metrics and this is what I was always saying was possible here if there was enough patience.

Carlos Gomez:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .253.  I guess he is back.  No one cares.

Nolan Arenado:  4/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .299.  Arenado went for the cycle here.  The home run rare is down slightly but that is really stretching to try and say something negative.

Trevor Story:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .227.  I guess it is progress Story has the average north of .220.  What a disaster but you knew this since I did a long BUST piece on Story this past March.

Mark Melancon:  fourth blown save with 4 ER in .1 IP with an ERA of 5.09.  Wow.  Melancon's dip in velocity began to be noticeable early last season but it didn't seem to inhibit him.  Well not anymore as Melancon has been brutal and injured this season.  The Giants just can't get a break in the ninth inning and they are heavily invested here which means they will continue to ride with Melancon.

Salvador Perez:  3/5 with his 14th HR while hitting .253.  Been a few years now of Perez hitting around .260 but the power has ticked up since the start of this run.