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Sunday, June 17, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PROSPECT WATCH: ROYALS GIVE ADALBERTO MONDESI ANOTHER TRY

While he has a new name this time around, the hope for the Kansas City Royals is that outfield prospect Adalberto Mondesi will put forth a new offensive approach/results during his latest promotion to the major leagues.  It was early Sunday when the Royals made the announcement that Mondesi would get the call for Sunday's game and while he was not in the starting lineup that day, the plan according to manager Ned Yost is to start him 3-4 times a week.  Despite possessing breathtaking speed that could make him an annual stolen base dynamo, Mondesi has failed miserably at times both at the minor league and major league levels in terms of just picking up hits.  Even this season at Triple-A, Mondest was hitting just .250 he has yet to even bat over .200 during short stints with the Royals in 2016 and 2017.  On the bright side, Mondesi does have 5 home runs and 10 stolen bases (in 10 tries) and so there remains some decent power/speed upside here if he can figure out the hitting aspect of things.  In the meantime, Mondesi should be picked up in deep mixers and especially in AL-only leagues given how tough stolen bases are to find in today's game and maybe he could turn out to be the next prospect who got bored in the minors and failed produce before turning it on with a renewed focus in the majors. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SATURDAY

Matt Duffy:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .311.  Duffy is leading off every game now for the Rays and that alone carries decent value in fantasy baseball given the high amount of plate appearances.  Add in the .300 average and moderate power and Duffy is putting forth a nice value play season so far.

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .242.  A 31.5 K/9 is simply hideous and has really dragged down Stanton tremendously this season.  If he hits under .250 as he seems to want to do this season., it is imperative that Stanton hits at least 40 home runs given the first-round price tag.  The strikeout issue was the red flag that made Stanton a decent risk in the first place and this is the worst case scenario short of an injury for those who paid such a lofty price this spring.

Gary Sanchez:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .190.  There is only so many times I can say that Sanchez' season is being undermined by an insanely unlucky BABIP before his jaded fantasy baseball owners tune me out.  Understood.

Luis Severino:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.09.  The durability and excellence has been beyond anticipated from my vantage point this season as I was worried about the major innings jump he went through last year.  I guess Severino is nothing but an ace freak.

Eugenio Suarez:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .299.  Suarez' learning plate discipline in primarily lowering his K/9 from 23.3 in 2017 to just 17.1 this season has elevated him to very lofty status this season and really that was all he needed to do to reach that level.  Buy in fully.

Josh Harrison:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .297.  Typically underrated Harrison season who has annually is a favorite value play as he is one of those strange cases of a very effective offensive player who happens to always fall through the draft cracks.

Devon Travis:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .229.  The light is almost out here in terms of Travis being an interest in fantasy baseball. 

Max Scherzer:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.06.  I mean the guy never seems to have an off-day.

Marco Estrada:  6.2 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.66.  Estrada has been nothing but a batting practice pitcher for the last two seasons so don't overanalyze this outing. 

Nick Castellanos:  3/5 with 2 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .310.  Been wondering where the power has been all season but Castellanos at least has hit consistently overall throughout.  With the homers tending to come in bunches, Castellanos still can get to 25 but he really needs to continue picking it up on that front like this.

Alex Bregman:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .264.  Bregman batted second between George Springer and Jose Altuve and that is about as plush a spot as you can get.  The hits should really pile up if that setup remains. 

Dallas Keuchel:  6 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.15.  Keuchel has a .297 BABIP so his shaky numbers have been earned and one red flag is the fact his K/9 is down to around 7.00 which is below average and always an issue in the AL. 

J.T. Realmuto:  3/4 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting. 309.  Realmuto is a stud player on a team full of retreads/bench players but boy is this swing as pure as it gets. 

Jonathan Schoop:  1/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .209.  The encore to the 32 home runs a year ago has been quite ghastly but a drop from a .330 BABIP in 2017 to just .236 this season is a major reason why the average looks the way it does.  While I never saw Schoop as the .293 hitter he was in 2017 due to his allergy to walks, split that with his average now and that is where he SHOULD be. 

Marcus Semien:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .252.  Semien is doing just enough to hang as a starting option in deeper fantasy baseball leagues but some more steals (just 4 so far) would help improve that standing. 

Sean Manaea:  6 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.56.  The strikeout rate continues to lag under 7.00 which speaks to the limitations here and the regression in overall numbers since the no-no.

Eddie Rosario:  4/4 with his 16th HR and 6th SB while hitting .323.  Eddie Rosario has morphed into Mike Trout-lite right before our eyes.  I was already obsessed with guy coming into the season and now that is bordering on disturbing hysteria.  Completely legit talent who began hinting at this in 2017. 

Francisco Lindor:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .292.  Seems like ten years ago when no one could hit on Cleveland in April.

Jose Ramirez:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .292.  Ramirez would and should be taken over Kris Bryant next season.

Rhys Hoskins:  3/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .249,  That rumbling you feel is the nuclear home run explosion kicking off for this guy. 

Zack Eflin:  5 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.43.  Instead of focusing so much on Nick Pivetta, we maybe should have looked more closely here. 

Sean Newcomb:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.70.  Basically as a lineup, your toast if your not getting more than 2 walks from Newcomb. 

Madison Bumgarner:  6 IP 5 H 3 ER 4 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.67.  The guy looks so unimpressive so far and all those recent injuries and previous massive inning totals are always a red flag combination. 


Saturday, June 16, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JUAN SOTO OUTFIELDER WASHINGTON NATIONALS

I guess teenagers can play baseball at the highest level after all.  One look at Washington Nationals superstar outfield prospect Juan Soto would cement this previously discounted opinion as the 19-year-old has been nothing short of brilliant in his initial 20 games with the team, with the kid putting forth a power/average game that is very valuable in both today's real and fantasy baseball universe.  Already the projections are going haywire as to how great Soto can be and he goes into Friday's games looking to build on his tremendous start: 

.344
5 HR 
12 RBI 
14 R
1 SB
14.5 K/9
15.8 BB/9
.354 BABIP

I mean look at those K/9 and BB/9 rates!  While we always talk about how Vladimir Guerrero Jr. profiles just like his father, Soto may be an even better version of what the former Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels stud used to be.  You just don't see such tremendous plate discipline both in the walk and strikeout rates from such a young slugger like Soto and projections can one day center on him being a spectacular four-category monster (with just steals being open to debate).  The fact of the matter is that Soto already is an everyday OF 3 in fantasy baseball and you get the sense that he will only go up from here.  In fact given the talent at hand with the kid, Soto could very well graduate into an OF 1 before the end of the season and certainly for the following 2019 campaign.  What a start.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: ROSS STRIPLING SP LOS ANGELES DODGERS

What in tarnation is going on here?  How is it that a guy who was universally ignored when it came to 2018 fantasy baseball drafts back in March suddenly morph into one of the best pitchers in basebal just two-plus months later?  Well if you are Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling, that type of unfathomable journey is exactly what has taken place so far after another gem Friday night lowered his eye-opening numbers to the following rates:

6-1
1.76 ERA
1.01 WHIP
10.58 K/9
1.49 BB/9
.299 BABIP

Those are simply incredible number above and what makes them even more amazing as there has been almost zero luck involved as Stripling's .299 BABIP is almost right on the nose in neutral .300 territory.  So what you see is what you are actually getting here and it has been beyond ace-like no matter where you look.  The ratios are phenomenal as shown by Striplin's 1.76 ERA and 1.01 WHIP and if you didn't know any better, you would have thought you were looking at his teammate Clayton Kershaw a few seasons ago before health woes began to downgrade his stuff.  Then there are the strikeouts which are insane a 10.58 and again remind us of a healthy Kershaw.  What is interesting there is that Stripling didn't previously hint at such ability, what with his K/8 coming in at just 8.96 and 6.66 his previous two years in stints with the Dodgers.  Whatever adjustments Stripling has made, he has more swing-and-miss stuff than even before and a simple explanation may simply be that he is finally 100 percent healthy as he has dealt with some serious injuries during prior years.  Add in the excellent walk rate and the fact Stripling doesn't give up home runs and this performance has legs and the ability to continue onward throughout the summer.  If this were a Trend or Mirage post, Stripling would undoubtedly be a "TREND" and he is a HOLD as well the rest of the way. 


Friday, June 15, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: JERICK McKINNON RB SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

With the summer now just days away, it is time to begin our 2018 fantasy football coverage and we always begin by focusing in on the top sleeper target from yours truly to get things underway.  It is under that setup where we look deeper into San Francisco 49ers free agent arrival Jerick McKinnon who became the obsession of head coach Kyle Shanahan once the winter signing period began.  Once McKinnon signed on the dotted line, Shanahan didn't waste any time speaking glowingly over this new starting running back and how he has big plans for him.  This immediately set off fantasy football alarms everywhere, in particular for those who take part in PPR formats for reasons we will explain below.  So let's not waste any more time and get right to it.

Now as far as the Shanahan marriage with McKinnon, it needs to be brought back to the attention of the fantasy football community how he helped turn Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman into a first-round PPR stud over the last few seasons.  When Shanahan was in charge of the Atlanta offense before landing in San Fran prior to last season, it was Freeman who he unleashed as a running/receiving dynamo who held top RB 1 status in PPR formats and low-level RB 1 status in standard leagues.  Remember that in addition to rushing for over 1,000 yards and a massive 22 total touchdowns on the ground from 2015-16, Freeman also caught 73 and 54 passes respectively during that span as well.  Talk about a PPR monster and Shanahan has plans for McKinnon to be that type of player for the 49ers this season.  Now entering into his fifth NFL season, we have seen flashes of big speed from McKinnon during his previous four years while with the Minnesota Vikings and also the ability to be a decent factor as a receiver as well.  Unfortunately, McKinnon was stuck in a timeshare almost throughout this time period and so he was never able to really flourish in a way he figures to do now.  The best part in all of this is that McKinnon's 2018 fantasy football draft price doesn't figure to be astronomical so a tremendous value/upside pick could be had here.  Given the track record of Shanahan and his work with running backs previously, McKinnon could be a monster PPR man on the lines of a David Johnson or a Kareem Hunt but a full round or two cheaper.  Get on board here because McKinnon is headed for big things this season.

2018 PROJECTION:  1,125 rushing yards 7 TD, 59 receptions 554 yards 2 TD  

******BE SURE TO PICK UP YOUR COPY OF OUR 2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT GUIDE HERE:  https://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Football-Draft-Guide/dp/1717048900/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1528988288&sr=8-4&keywords=2018+fantasy+football

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: J.T. REALMUTO CATCHER MIAMI MARLINS

As the figurative "last man standing" in a Miami Marlins clubhouse that was almost completely dismantled during the offseason as Derek Jeter traded whatever wasn't nailed down, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto trudges ahead with another very good season as the rare/very valuable backstop that can put forth a terrific offensive game.  Despite beginning the year on the DL, Realmuto has been as good as any catcher this season in fantasy baseball as he takes the following numbers into Thursday's games:

.304
7 HR
22 RBI
30 R
1 SB

Still young at the age of 27, Realmuto is once again showing the very rare skill of being a catcher who can bat .300 and the power continues to impress as well which is a tremendous combination given thee offensive challenges of those who don the tools of ignorance.  What really makes Realmuto a hitting talent is his annually low K/9 rates and this season is no different as his 17.2 K/9 shows.  While he could use some more walks (just a 6.9 BB/9 rate), Realmuto has few issues you can knock the guy on.  The big question now is if the Marlins will trade him and as far as right now is concerned, all is quiet on that front.  If Realmuto doesn't get dealt, he will be hurt a bit in the counting numbers given the lack of support in the Marlins lineup but a trade virtually anywhere else will serve as a major boost.  While it is a tough slog for Realmuto operating in such a listless environment, his fantasy baseball owners have zero complaints about his game this season.


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Rhys Hoskins:  3/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .244.  Hoskins is starting to percolate and the buy low window will close very fast here.  Possibly last chance to get him dirt cheap.

Nick Williams:  2/3 with his 8th HR while hitting. 230.  Was never excited about Nick Williams coming into the season and he still smells like a fourth outfielder to me. 

Ryan McMahon:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .202.  Like Tom Murphy a few seasons ago, this Rockies prospect fizzled out quickly but always pay attention to any Colorado hitter. 

Andrew McCutchen:  3/7 with his 8th HR while hitting .267.  Yeah I guess you got to use him again.  After all that, McCutchen is close enough to .280 with improving per game power. 

Dan Straily:  5 IP 3 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.23.  Straily strong suit is not giving length with his starts but the K's are always underrated and he has been a top SP 5 for a while and through multiple organizations. 

Francisco Lindor:  2/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .295.  The average up around .300 as expected after the fluky drop a year ago and the power is being completely legitimized from 2017 as well.  What a talent and Carlos Correa is clearly looking up to him in every way. 

Jose Ramirez:  1/5 with his 20th HR while hitting .292. So after all that talk about Ramirez trying to replicate the power uptick a year ago, he may now actually get to 40 home runs.  Incredible. 

Jose Abreu:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .288.  The fact that Abreu slipped to the third round this past March in drafts makes him one of the best picks relative to round in all of fantasy baseball.  There may not be a more dependable hitter around. 

Mike Clevinger:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.15.  Add in the 1.18 WHIP and Clevinger has been tremendous.  Lots of validation among Cleveland hitters and pitchers this season and Clevinger has come through in every way and more for his fantasy baseball owners after the unexpected a breakout a year ago. 

Michael Fulmer:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.13.  This is about where I anticipated Fulmer being around ratio-wise after his unsustainable previous seasons.  Pay the cost based on these ratios going forward. 

Brian McCann:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .216.  You can make the case that McCann has been the third-best catcher-eligible player on the Houston Astros this season.  No longer a fantasy baseball story even in very deep leagues. 

Khris Davis:  2/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .248.  Extra credit goes to Davis for going long versus Justin Verlander. 

Matt Olson:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .242.  Olson has been worth everyday status for about two weeks now and that should continue.  A 28.5 K/9 is dangerously high though so the bottom could drop out at a second's notice. 

Justin Verlander:  7 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 1.61.  This "shelling" opens the door for Gerrit Cole to grab the AL Cy Young favorite spot. 

Matt Duffy:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .316.  Not sure how much longer Duffy can hit over .300 given his .260-ish career marks but as always enjoy the fun while it lasts and at the very least he is a terrific MI guy in leagues that go deeper than 12.

Aaron Hicks:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .243.  A .276 BABIP has depressed thins for Hicks in terms of his average but a 7/6 split on his per game pace is not awful by any means given the earlier DL stint. 

Gleyber Torres:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .295.  Nothing Torres will do from now through the end of the season will surprise me given the vast amount of talent at work here.  Already moving toward top-tier status. 

Blake Snell:  5 IP 5 H 4 ER 4 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.58. Again, while there were a ton of baserunners, Snell hung in there and punched out 8 in Yankee Stadium which is another sign of growth here.  What a season. 

Domingo German:  6 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 5.23. We have seen the strikeout potential in glimpses but German is much too raw to use outside of streaming at this point in his very young career.

Ender Inciarte:  2/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .250.  Really think the Braves should put Inciarte back in the leadoff spot to remove some pressure from the scuffling Ozzie Albies. 

Anibal Sanchez:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.93.  Sanchez has been rejuvenated with the Braves and honestly, he faded to the reaches of the fantasy baseball world due mostly to serious injuries.  Pretty much everything in Atlanta has come up smelling like roses this season so no reason this shouldn't be any different. 

Brandon Nimmo:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .265.  The Mets are so pathetic that Nimmo is now hitting in the third spot.  Good for Nimmo's growing fantasy baseball value but a huge indictment on his team.

Amed Rosario:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .238.  Things have not gone according to the sleeper plan for Rosario this season but that just means the post-hype sleeper angle is in place.

Michael Conforto:  1/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .216.  Conforto is playing for his major league life so this helps but boy has it been a trying season.

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .258.  Goldy is killing it right now in almost completely erasing April and May.  That's how it goes in fantasy baseball which is about as an extreme "what have you done for me lately?" arena. 

David Peralta:  2/3 with 2 home runs (14 for season) while hitting .279.  Just hours after doing a feature on Peralta's power growth, he goes yard two more times.  Yes sir. 

Xander Bogaerts:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .281.  Love the power growth here as Bogaerts taps into his prime years but it always just comes down to health here which already has been a bit of a challenge. 

David Price:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.76.  Price will throw a gem every single time out the rest of the season based solely on the fact I cut him last month.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: MIGUEL SANO DEMOTED ALL THE WAY DOWN TO HIGH-A

Having already stated my strong opinion to avoid Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano for 2018 fantasy baseball due to what I felt was a vastly overrated/strikeout-prone power game, anyone had to be shocked when we learned Thursday that he had been demoted all the way down to High-A in the minors.  Previously dogged by allegations of domestic violence, Sano dealt with injuries the first two months of the season and was woeful at the dish to the tune of a .203 average and a downright hideous .40.5 K/9 rate.  The fact of the matter is that Sano was becoming an automatic out and the Twins clearly are trying to light a fire under him with the demotion to High-A.  Sano will have to revamp his swing in order to work his way back to the Twins as his current approach simply is not working.  While some in deeper formats may want to hold Sano, I would suggest cutting him loose in all fantasy baseball formats given the fact we don't know how long he will be on the farm and since he has been nothing but putrid when in the majors this season. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: DAVID PERALTA OUTFIELDER ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

When it came to the 2018 Arizona Diamondbacks batting lineup entering into the fantasy baseball season, the talk that dominated things centered on the installation of the humidor at Chase Field and how it could negatively impact the Paul Goldschmidt's, Jake Lamb's, and A.J. Pollock's of the world. With two of the three having seen their offensive numbers crater and the third go out with serious injury, good news on the hitting front was few and far between.  One bright spot however has been the performance of outfielder David Peralta who at the age of 30 seems poised for a career-year as he goes into Thursday's action with the following numbers:

.274
12 HR
34 RBI
30 R
2 SB
22.7 K/9
7.7 BB/9
.317 BABIP

Looking at the number, the home runs jump out quickly as Peralta already is just 5 short of his previous high of 17 set back in 2015.  Clearly, Peralta is hitting for power at a per game right he has never shown previously and some of that has to do with an increase both in his line drive (decent) and fly ball (slight) rates.  In addition, Peralta seems to be swinging much more aggressively this season as well since his K/9 of 22.7 is up by a bunch from 16.3 the year prior.  So while the power uptick is nice, Peralta has taken a hit in the average department after hitting a very good .293 a year ago. That is the trade-off that usually takes place under such an arrangement though and his fantasy baseball owners are not complaining.  

As far as the rest of the numbers are concerned, the counting stats in runs and RBI are solid which is helped by Peralta hitting at or near the top of the D-Backs lineup but the speed is almost non-existent so far with just the two stolen bases.  Overall though, Peralta has been a terrific waiver add who is holding his own as a solid OF 3 this season.  Still in his prime and showing the increased power, we are on the side of the fun continuing.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Freddie Freeman:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .344.  Freeman is as locked in as you can get right now and he has been the best buy by a mile with other first-round options such as Anthony Rizzo and Paul Goldschmidt.

Jacob DeGrom:  7 IP 7 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 1.55.  Ridiculous.  Over his last five starts, DeGrom has given up 6 earned runs COMBINED and he has ZERO wins!  With a 1.55 ERA.  I mean you can't make this stuff up.

Mike Soroka:  6 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.57.  All outings versus the Mets need to be put into perspective but Soroka seems more than here to stay.

J.A. Happ:  5 IP 1 H 0 ER 3 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.48.  Wednesday was the day of the one-hitter I guess.

Lorenzo Cain:  2/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .288.  Cain has been incredibly steady throughout the course of the season which is something to never overlook when you guys like Justin Upton drive us all up the way with his vast swings in production.

Mike Montgomery:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.31.  The WHIP is down to 1.08 as Montgomery has been downright dominant since moving into the Cubs rotation.  Said from the beginning he was worth trying out and his production has done nothing to change that line of thinking.

Mookie Betts:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .352.  Betts is picking up right where he left off in terms of the dynamic five-tool ability he was achieving before landing on the DL.  Short of Mike Trout, no one has been better per game.

J.D. Martinez:  1/3 with his 22nd HR while hitting .313.  Why pitchers continue to give Martinez anything to hit is one of the season's great mysteries.

Chris Sale:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.75.  It always needs to be said how incredible a performance Sale has put forth during his Boston Red Sox tenure given the AL East surroundings.

David Peralta:  1/4 with is 12th HR while hitting .274.  I didn't see this power coming.

Zack Greinke:  5 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 3.87.  Well this ERA is moving toward shaky territory which is concerning given the velocity dip but no need for a full blown panic just yet.

Mitch Haniger:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .270.  It's like April all over again.

Nelson Cruz:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .255.  I didn't think it was possible at the end of April but Cruz looks like he may get to 40 home runs yet again.

Ryon Healy:  3/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .255.  Four home runs in his last three games now for Healy as he fully has moved into daily status as your UTIL or CI bat.

Marco Gonzales:  5 IP 7 H 3 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.42.  Lots of baserunners for Gonzales but the strikeouts were impressive.  Keep trotting him out there.

Juan Soto:  2/3 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .344.  Forgive me for going overboard but I can't help it.  With Miguel Cabrera going out for the season, I now see a baby Cabrera/outfield version of the guy in this kid. 

Greg Bird:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .200.  Bird has done nothing for so long since coming back from injury that I thought he went back on the DL again.

Gleyber Torres:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .296.  It is always double exciting when a top prospect is hyped to the moon and back and then goes out and actually performs like this such as what we are seeing from this gem.  Looking already at second-round status in 2019.

Jorge Alfaro:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .248.  The average is up to usable status for Alfaro but only in two-catcher formats.

Jose Berrios:  6 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.51.  The WHIP remains a gem at 0.95 which speaks to how good Berrios is really pitching and while I try to avoid AL pitchers in yearly fantasy baseball leagues, I will be going after him with determination next season. 

Andrew McCutchen:  2/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .262.  McCutchen is saving his season midway through the year yet again but he is now officially one of the most boring players to own in all of fantasy baseball. 

Trevor Bauer:  7.2 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.69. Bauer has dealt with a lot of Jacob DeGrom bad luck with wins (just 5-5) but he is making a push for 300 strikeouts in what is shaping up to be one of the greatest post-post-post-POST-hype breakouts ever.

Dylan Covey:  7 IP 10 H 2 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.29.  Did a Trend or Mirage on Covey a few days ago that came out a "Trend" and so this outing doesn't surprise me.  Keep him sending him out there.

Luke Weaver:  4 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 4.52.  Move on please.

Evan Gattis:  2/3 with 2 home runs (13 for season) while hitting .246.  Holy cow Gattis is a bit insane right now.  Was wondering early in the season is he was on the back-nine of his career and maybe even the 16th hole but he is doing a top-five catcher thing right now.

Khris Davis:  3/4 with 2 home runs (19 for season) while hitting. 243.  You can't deny Davis his 40 home runs. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: GARY SANCHEZ CATCHER NEW YORK YANKEES

There was some news that was easy to overlook on Tuesday when it was learned that New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez would not be in the team's lineup for that night's game versus the Washington Nationals.  On the surface alone, Sanchez missing one game was no big deal but later it was learned from manager Aaron Boone that he would also sit for Wednesday's game as well.  While Boone would not say whether the rides on the pine had to do with Sanchez' previous calf injury or whether it was due to his season-long slump at the dish, the fact of the matter is that the Yankees backstop has been one of the bigger disappointments when it comes to 2018 fantasy baseball.  Having gone as high as a late first-round pick and mostly in the second round in the majority of 12-team mixed fantasy baseball drafts this past March, Sanchez goes into Tuesday's action with the following numbers:

.190
12 HR
35 RBI
33 R
0 SB
24.8 K/9
12.2 BB/9
.197

Wow there is a lot to digest here but as far as the surface numbers are concerned, Sanchez looks like a typical catcher who struggles to hit better than .200 as he is actually under that number as of this writing.  That alone is a shockingly bad number but Sanchez has been plagued by some of the worst BABIP luck I have seen in all of fantasy baseball as his .197 number there is beyond ridiculous and in no way sustainable.  The hits are bound to start falling in soon and the average almost has to rise and by more than a little.  Adding to the optimism is the fact Sanchez is drawing a bunch of walks with a 12.2 BB.9 and that also will help improve the average soon enough.

Now on the flip side, Sanchez has seen his K/9 spike a bit from his 22.9 mark a year ago and that no doubt has something to do with him pressing.  Beyond that though, Sanchez has been fine in home runs, runs, and RBI and the average as we said has been knocked down tremendously by the unlucky BABIP.  That said, I would still suggest buying low on Sanchez as his price will never be cheaper and you would be getting arguably the best offensive catcher in fantasy baseball as we all thought he was back in March with little debate.  Throw out the average and Sanchez has been just fine.  Stay the course.


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: MIGUEL CABRERA DONE FOR 2018, LOOKING DONE FOR FANTASY BASEBALL

The big news of the day in fantasy baseball Tuesday was learning that Detroit Tigers first baseman/DH Miguel Cabrera would miss the remainder of the 2018 season due to needing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left biceps.  The devastating injury puts a bow on what has been nothing but an injury-marred campaign that continued from 2017 when his offensive numbers cratered terrible as Cabrera's back became a major issue.  Now that he will be turning 36 next April and has had back-to-back seasons of nothing but health woes, we have clearly reached the point where Cabrera is just a name brand best left avoided in yearly fantasy baseball leagues.  I have stated on too many occasions to count that big-bodied sluggers like Cabrera never age well (Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Carlos Lee anyone?) and that his health will continue to betray him.  It has been a fun ride as Cabrera became the most feared hitter in the game in his prime but the current situation says that he is nothing but a shell of his former self as he wasn't even hitting for power before the biceps issue. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Andrew Benintendi:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .297.  The Boston Red Sox not only have one but TWO five-tool outfielders who will be first-round picks next season.

Rafael Devers:  1/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .231.  A 27.2 K.9 shows the youth at work here and so Devers likely needs the remainder of this season to work toward being more of a stud in 2019.

Ozzie Albies:  1/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .255.  Albies picking up with the long ball again and fighting his way through his first extended slump of the season which is a tremendous overall sign he can maintain his terrific level of production from April and early May.

Freddie Freeman:  1/2 with his 13th HR while hitting .341.  You simply can't get this guy out right now.  Even Joey Votto is envious of the hitting ability.

Mike Foltynewicz:  5 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.16.  What might have been if Folty hadn't been forced out early with a triceps issue.  Bigger picture is that he was excellent yet again in this unbelievable breakout season and he is in line to make his next start.

Didi Gregorious:  2/4 with 2 home runs (13 for season) while hitting .248.  I feel like these are the first two HITS Didi has had since April.

Scott Kingery:  1/2 with his third HR while hitting.215.  The Phillies and Kingery's fantasy baseball owners forced this from the get-go this season with disastrous initial results but the kid wouldn't be the first guy to come back and play much better the second time around in letting the letting do the talking.

Aaron Nola:  6.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.27.  By the end of the season at this rate, we could be saying Nola is on the verge of top 5 SP status.  Would you take him over Madison Bumgarner or Noah Syndergaard?  The answer is yes.

Wilson Ramos:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .284.  I always like to needle the Buster Posey owners that you could have had a much cheaper value and more production catcher in this guy.  I should say the same thing to those who own Wilson Contreras.

Yoan Moncada:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .232.  This guy just really knows how to test patience.  So much potential but so many damn whiffs.

Chase Anderson:  7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.13.  Anderson has not lived up to 2017 but I never thought he would anyways so I am fine with the SP 4 production.

Eric Hosmer:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .286.  Hosmer's home run rate is slightly up this year which is quite exciting for the worm killer.  Will take anything we can get there.

Carlos Correa:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .268.  Correa is starting to feel like that top pick you invest in every season but still leave disappointed in for one reason (no steal) or another (increase in K's).

Evan Gattis:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .239.  The fact Gattis plays every day is always a huge plus for a catcher-eligible player but now that he is actually hitting, even better.

Mike Trout:  3/5 with 2 home runs (23 for season) while hitting .310.  My father was the biggest Mickey Mantle fan there is and he has said to me numerous times this is as closer to the Yankee legend that he has ever seen.

Mitch Haniger:  2/3 with 2 home runs (15 for season) while hitting .267.  I have had to bring back a lot of Haniger owners off the ledge the last few weeks.  Let this outing speak for itself in terms of what to do with the guy.  Leave him alone.

Ryon Healy:  2/4 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .245.  Three home runs in two games now for Healy who I said at the start of the season could quietly be one of the more production UTIL or CI bats in fantasy baseball.

Starling Marte:  2/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .286.  The benchmark in homers I wanted from Marte this season was 20.  A bit behind the pace but still hopeful.  Everything else has been very good.

Trevor Williams:  3 ER in 3 IP with an ERA of 4.38.  Garbage.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: YOENIS CESPEDES (QUAD) STILL NOT READY TO RETURN

For the second season in a row, it has been nothing short of an injury-marred mess for both New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and his increasingly annoyed fantasy baseball owners.  Having endured unending injuries in a 2017 where a major chunk of the year was spent on the DL, this season is shaping up already as more of the same as Cespedes has been out for the last month with a quad strain and apparently is still not ready to make his return.  With Cespedes having reported ongoing pain in the quad as recently as just this past weekend, we could be looking at another 10 days at least until Cespedes can be considered close to getting ready to play again.  In the meantime, Cespedes' fantasy baseball are left with a guy who was not playing all that great before he got injured (.255 average, 8 home runs) and now is missing a major portion of the season for the second year in a row.  While the patience is growing thin, all Cespedes owners have to still stash him away as his power bat is too valuable to just cast to the waiver wire for someone else in your league to scoop up for nothing but the patience has already gone out the door here. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: BRANDON CRAWFORD AS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

When it comes to yearly fantasy baseball leagues, one class of player who gets overlooked/discriminated against almost every season are middle infielders (second baseman, shortstops) who don't steal bases.  Admittedly one who has fallen prey to that line of thinking, I myself have espoused making sure you get a decent amount of your team stolen bases from these two spots on your fantasy baseball rosters.  As a result, players who may be very good offensive players in the other four standard ROTO categories can become tremendous values both at the draft table and off the waiver.  Think Asdrubal Cabrera of the New York Mets in terms of the draft and the San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford as the wire gem with regards to the early results from 2018.  Crawford has certainly become a big story in his own right as the 31-year-old shortstop has done nothing but hit the baseball this season to the tune of the following numbers:

.338
8 HR
30 RBI
28 R
2 SB
20.5 K/9
6.6 BB/9
.401 BABIP

Looking at the numbers from above, it is easy to see how good of a season Crawford is having.  He is both putting forth a batting title season with his current .338 average and the power has been at a terrific level as well with the 8 home runs in just 244 at-bats.  Having hit more than 12 home runs just once in his career, the home run pace is a bit outlandish given Crawford's previous rates but those 21 homers did come recently in 2016 so it is possible he grew into the power as he went further into his prime.  As far as the average is concerned, Crawford keeps his strikeouts down but his lack of walks and past as a .260-ish hitter make sustaining such a lofty average like he has right now tentative at best.  Add in the insanely lucky .401 BABIP and Crawford is on borrowed time in terms of maintaining his current form of numbers.  With all that said, there is almost no chance of dealing Crawford for adequate value as the fantasy baseball community has always been lukewarm when it comes to Crawford and two months of very good production won't change that much, if at all.  So your best course as a Crawford owner is to hold him and see where this goes.  You may get a career-year for a guy that cost your almost nothing and that is a win-win all the way.


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Dylan Bundy:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.66.  I admit Bundy is making me eat massive amounts of crow by the start of late.  The 10.22 K/9 brings back memories of how potent a power arm he was prior to Tommy John but he seems to have that ability again so many years away from the procedure.  That also has helped fight off the pull from a lucky .282 BABIP.

Steven Wright:  6.2 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.21.  We saw this out of Wright a few seasons ago but the disgrace that he was last year (both on and off the field) is a reminder of how the volatility goes no higher than when you are dealing with a knuckleball pitcher. 

J.T. Realmuto:  3/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .301.  It is so refreshing to see a catcher who can hit .300 consistently like Realmuto can but boy his runs and RBI are being neutered in Miami.

Brian Anderson:  3/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .310.  Anderson has hit well pretty much all season in putting his name into the fantasy baseball lexicon for the first time but he remains mostly an empty batting average reserved for NL-only formats.

Madison Bumgarner:  5.1 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.76.  You have to start to wonder when all these serious injuries Bumgarner has suffered the last season-plus will start ripping away his stuff.  It is early but just now his average fastball velocity is jus 91.2 which continues a trend of dropping from 93 in 2015. 

Teoscar Hernandez:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .265.  Those who picked up Hernandez when he first got promoted this season have pretty much gotten Michael Conforto 2017. 

Michael Brantley:  1/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .317.  Man has Brantley been awesome in every sense of the five-category word. 

Carlos Carrasco:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.90.  When Carrasco is on like this in any given outing, he looks like Chris Sale. 

Anthony Rizzo:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .246.  The average still needs work but Rizzo's fantasy baseball owners came in off the ledge about a month ago now. 

Jonathan Villar:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .276.  Things worked out nicely here in terms of Villar being a post-hype 2017 pick gone back to good. 

Jose Quintana:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.09./ Still so maddening how Quintana pitched better in the AL then he has in the NL so far. 

Junior Guerra:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.71.  I threw up my hands here awhile ago.  I mean the BABIP is still a very lucky .264 and Guerra's 3.12 BB/9 is gross.  Still, you can't get anything for him since there is no track record so just keep going on with this. 

Jose Martinez:  3/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .327.  Martinez is right there as one of my best picks in the Experts League draft.  The guy has an incredibly smooth swing like Joey Votto and the power is exploding of late as well.  Big things happening here. 

Marcell Ozuna:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .282.  I keep saying to stay patient here but put 2017 out of your mind as it looks like a gross outlier more and more.

Jack Flaherty:  6.1 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.96.  This one was teed up for Flaherty at home versus San Diego and he delivered. 

Jake Lamb:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .235. I still don't get why people elevate Lamb above where he should go given how flawed he is overall as a hitter. 

Joe Musgrove:  6 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.16.  Musgrove is really throwing well and the strikeouts have been decent to boost him to SP 4 status if he can maintain what he is achieving so far this season. 

Patrick Corbin:  5.1 IP 6 H 4 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.10.  Took a TON of flak (and still am) for going to town on Corbin a month ago when all of a sudden the velocity began to crater.  ERA up two full runs since and climbing. 

Mike Trout:  2/3 with 2 home runs (21 for season) while hitting .304.  There was a late injurt scare to his leg that turned out to be nothing and so Trout continues to make us all shake our head in wonderment. 

Nelson Cruz:  2/3 with 2 home runs (15 for season) while hitting .260.  This is what I wrote two weeks ago about Cruz:  " So bad luck is really playing a key role in depressing Cruz' average and so his fantasy baseball owners should not really be buying into the "getting old" narrative.  Yes Cruz' 5.6 BB/9 rate is a sharp fall from previous norms but other then that and some ill earlier health, things are looking pretty much on par from a statistical standpoint.  So all Cruz owners should stay calm here as things should turn around overall from here on out as the average should rise and the power is likely going to remain at or just slightly below previous levels"  Enough said. 

Ryon Healy:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .239.  This is the only player who is third base eligible on Seattle I would own right now.  Sorry my old friend Mr. Seager. 

Andrew Heaney:  5 ER in 3 IP with an ERA of 3.68. Heaney hasn't found consistency yet which is the last battle before stardom for a pitcher.  I still believe. 


Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL PROSPECT WATCH: FRANCISCO MEJIA CATCHER CLEVELAND INDIANS

With the Cleveland Indians dealing with a slew of injuries throughout their batting order, they made a big move on paper to supply reinforcement when they promoted top catching prospect Francisco Mejia on Monday.  While Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez have done a decent enough job behind the plate to keep Mejia on the farm, the Indians were forced to make the move as both Perez and 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion are battling injuries.  Now as far as Mejia is concerned, he came into the 2018 season universally considered the top catching prospect in all of baseball as his pure hitting skills in the minors drew comparisons to Buster Posey as he hit .297 with 14 home runs in just 92 games at Double-A in 2017.  Alas, Mejia has taken a detour on his way to the majors as he has struggled badly at Triple-A almost from the start of the season as he goes into his promotion with just a .214 average and 4 home runs with 25 RBI in 50 games. The hitting struggles are shocking considering how good of an approach Mejia has shown previously but a spike in strikeouts has been the biggest issue since moving from Double-A in 2017 (13.8 K/9) to Triple-A this season (21.0).  Be that as it may, Mejia is still the future at the position which has been nothing but a complete wreck this season across fantasy baseball.  Unfortunately, Mejia is not likely going to stick around long as he should head back to the minors once Perez and Encarnacion are back from their day-to-day absence.  Despite this, Mejia deserves to remain a person of interest for all prospect hounds as we go through the summer and remainder of the season.  

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: MAX MUNCY 1B LOS ANGELES DODGERS

For all of the insane amount of money they have spent over the last decade in chasing what so far has been an elusive World Series championship, the Los Angeles Dodgers sometimes stumble into some value play hitters or pitchers as well to help supplement the high-priced items on the roster.  Nowhere has this been seen more so far in 2018 than in the case of Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy who began the year in Triple-A but who has fully taken advantage of an early promotion to become an instant impact players in fantasy baseball to the tune of the following numbers:

.272
12 HR
28 RBI
21 R
1 SB
24.3 K/9
16.4 BB/9
.286 BABIP

Admittedly, I didn't pay Muncy much mind when he began hitting home runs last month and truth be told, he hadn't done much previously to this season to deserve our time as he bounced around from the Oakland organization to the Dodgers and all their various minor league levels along the way.  After years of listless hitting on the farm however, Muncy put forth his best work at Triple-A a year ago when he batted .313 with 12 home runs in 109 games.  Still, nothing jumped out here even when the Dodgers gave him a call.  Well Muncy has certainly put his best foot forward since the Dodgers gave him a look and the power has been eye-opening since he has those 12 homers in just 152 at-bats.  What also really has intrigued me has been the walks as Muncy's 16.4 BB/9 is Jason Giambi territory and serves as a big help to keep any average hit to a minimum since Munch does have a habit of striking out.  Add in a depressed .286 BABIP and Muncy's should even have a higher batting average at this point which adds to the legitimacy here.  So when you put it all together, Max Muncy is a decent person of interest who should be added where available as the Dodgers give him an extended run to see if he can be a continued daily presence in their lineup.  As far as your fantasy baseball lineup is concerned, Muncy is already reaching that classification this season. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAUP: SUNDAY

Eric Hosmer:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .292.  Typical season for Hosmer which I guess is all that you could have expected or anticipated when you invested in a guy going from a pitching-leaning park in K.C. to an even more stark one in San Diego.

Clayton Richard:  7 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.40.  While Richard is strictly just a play at home, making an exception versus the Miami Marlins or New York Mets would be the right call.

Reynaldo Lopez:  6.1 IP 6 H 1 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.26.  Beating the Red Sox at home is another feather in Lopez' cap in terms of fantasy baseball.  Amazing how he is beating the BABIP/K/9 curve so much but his owners are not likely going to get enough back in a trade to make moving him worth it.

Leonys Martin:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .262.  More and more power from Martin who I didn't think ever had it in him.

Corey Kluber:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.99.  10 wins already for Kluber who is the AL version of Max Scherzer as an ultra-durable ace whose ratios and massive K numbers are right there as the best in all of baseball.

Carlos Martinez:  3.2 IP 4 H 5 ER 7 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.50.  The walks were just hideous here and Martinez has been brutal since coming back from injury.  He may still not be 100 percent which bears watching but there is always some volatility with Martinez each and every season.

Nelson Cruz:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .254.  Typical Cruz season unfolding again as usual.  Which I said would happen after that slow and injury-filled start.

Kyle Seager:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .225.  Seager used to be an annual favorite in this space every season but even I have no use for this nasty average.

C.J. Cron:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .258.  The breakout continues.

James Paxton:  7 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.02.  Paxton is one of the top ten pitchers in all of baseball on talent alone and we are now into a third month where we could be on our way to seeing what a full year of production looks like.

Zach Eflin:  6 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.63.  While Nick Pivetta is deservedly getting most of the credit, don't overlook the mini-breakout happening here as well.

Fernando Romero:  5 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.92.  There have been a few nasty hiccups like with any rookie hurler but Romero looks like a guy who can be a firm SP 3 someday.

Josh Harrison:  2/5 with his third HR and second SB while hitting .295.  Good, old reliable Harrison at your service again in one of the more underrated power/speed games in all of fantasy baseball.  I bet if you owned Harrison and tried to trade him nobody would bite.

George Springer:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .295.  Anyone who is a Springer owner should hope one day the team will move him down the order.  Since Springer doesn't steal bases, he wouldn't lose much of anything exiting leadoff.

Yuli Gurriel:  4/5 with his second HR while hitting .295.  Gurriel reminds me of Sean Casey as a tremendous average/contact hitter but one who lacks power. 

Dallas Keuchel:  5 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 4.45.  Keuchel seems to have nailed down the alternating between good and bad seasons bit. 

Zack Godley:  5.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.97.  Figures that Godley would pitch well since most of his owners dropped him after his last putrid outing.  That's how fantasy baseball goes.  As far as this outing is concerned, Godley has more than this to do and then some to get back into good graces of his original or maybe now second owners. 

Brandon Crawford:  4/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .338.  Crawford is your classic example of a middle infielder who is disrespected greatly in fantasy baseball given the utter lack of steals since most like to get a boost in that category from their middle infielders. 

Max Scherzer:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.00.  It seriously is news when Scherzer doesn't strike out at least 9 in any of his starts. 

Freddie Freeman:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .340.  Just stay healthy bro so you can put forth that insane season we all forecasted for you.

Ozzie Albies:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .256.  Hopefully this is a sign of Albies getting out of the rut that has dragged him down the last two weeks. 

Max Muncy:  1/2 with his 12th HR while hitting .272.  I admit I threw cold water on this early on but willing to take a firm second look here given the power. 

Sean Newcomb:  5 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 2.92.  Just a bad day at the office.  No need to panic. 

Ross Stripling:  6.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.65.  Lots of Ross Stripling regrets for those of us who once saw him just sitting there on the wire. 


Sunday, June 10, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CARLOS CORREA SS HOUSTON ASTROS

One of the more pronounced fantasy baseball player debates entering into 2018 drafts centered at the top of the shortstop position where the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor and the Houston Astros' Carlos Correa vied to be the top pick among the group most often around the end of Round 1.  With Correa coming off the better 2017 campaign, he was the guy who most considered to be the better choice between the two. That being said, those who went against the grain and took Lindor have made out by a sizable margin as he has put up blockbuster five category numbers so far this season, while Correa has been something much less.  While his offensive numbers have fluctuated wildly, Correa has also dealt with numerous injuries such as the side soreness that has him out for Sunday's game.  Going into that day's action, Correa had put up the following numbers:

.264
10 HR
39 RBI
36 R
2 SB
11.3 BB/9
25.4 K/9
.320 BABIP

When you look at the numbers, Correa is certainly doing the job in home runs, RBI, and Runs scored but his average and steals leave a lot to be desired.  What is crazy is that Correa already seems like his stolen bases days are gone for good despite being just 23.  Correa after all stole a very good 13 bags in 2016 but has gone for 4 total the last season-plus combined.  Then there is the average which is being hurt by Correa's major spoke in K/9; going from 19.1 in 2017 up to this season's 25.4 as he is swinging and missing like never before in his young career.  With a BABIP that is still in lucky territory, Correa is earning his average hit. 

With all that said, Correa is still a supreme talent who can easily turn around the average before you know it and like I said earlier, his numbers in home runs, runs, and RBI are already swell.  Stay patient as a Correa owner as he should be able to earn his first-round keep but taking him over Lindor was not the right call by the looks of it. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SATURDAY

Nick Hundley:  2/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .273.  Like Kurt Suzuki in Atlanta, Hundley has become a very solid and quite underrated backstop you can sign off waivers every season and receiver useful numbers.  

Bryce Harper:  2/5 with his 19th HR while hitting .232.  Man that average continues to get dragged down by an unlucky BABIP of .222 which is just insane.  Taking that massive bit of bad luck out of the equation and Harper has been terrific as always.  

Nelson Cruz:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .253.  He refuses to get old.  

Felix Hernandez:  5 ER in 3 IP with an ERA of 5.70.  The end is simply looking ghastly here.  

Blake Snell:  6 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 1 K with an ERA of 2.30.  Wow just one K but if this is Snell struggling, then wow again.  

Danny Duffy:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 10 K with an ERA of 5.28.  Everyone has a big day at least once a season.  

Nick Kingham:  6.1 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.82.  The Pirates need to just let Kingham loose and leave him in the rotation.  He remains quite intriguing given the results we have seen thus far.  

Jon Lester:  7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.22.  Damn Lester has been tremendous and unexpectedly so as I thought he was headed for a rough season given his age and mileage.  With that said, continue entertaining sell high offers for those same reasons.  

Randal Grichuk:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .157.  Only hit the of the game as is typical here.  Ignore. 
 
J.D. Martinez:  2/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .318.  It is like watching Manny Ramirez again without the juice.

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .197.  I said the last few years that Bradley Jr. was not that good despite what on the surface looked like breakout potential.  So now we see why.  

David Price:  6 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.00.  Price still pissing me off as he threw like garbage when I owned him and is throwing well not that I got rid of him.  

Carlos Rodon:  5 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.60.  Rodon still has the massive K potential but the control is where this will go in terms of impact.  Like we saw out of Blake Snell however, any change for the better there can result in a massive value add.  

Derek Dietrich:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .288.  The versatility is very valuable in all fantasy baseball leagues and Dietrich has hit well this season to boost things even more so.  

Jose Martinez:  Other then Mr. Paul Goldshcmidt, no one has the home run swing going better now than this guy.

Matt Carpenter:  2/5 with his 8th HR while hitting.232.  Carpenter has been hitting the ball very hard for the last three weeks or so and on that alone he should have been back in lineups.  He is selling out so much for the homer these days though and it really speaks to how drastic a drop-off he has been overall as a pure hitter.

Marcell Ozuna:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .274.  Just six home run at this stage of the season is not going to cut it for Ozuna who is capable of so much more.  With that said, he remains a buy low for me as Ozuna's 18.0 K/9 is a vast improvement from the 21.2 a year ago when he slugged 37 homers.  However the reason the homers are down has more to do with the fact Ozuna's ground ball rate is up (47.1 to 50.3) and that is moving dangerously close to Eric Hosmer territory.  

Eugenio Suarez:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .298.  Folks this is a top ten fantasy baseball third baseman now.  

Michael Wacha:  5.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.47.  I have to admit that I can't believe Wacha is still just 26 as he literally has been around forever it seems.  Having successfully dealt with serious shoulder trouble a few years ago, Wacha on the surface is putting forth a big season.  I have sounded the alarm on it throughout though as there are some potent red flags beginning with his insanely lucky .240 BABIP which is not going to hold up.  With FIP (3.41) and XFIP (3.82) ERA's that are much higher, Wacha should be actively shopped.  

Luis Castillo:  6 IP 4 H 5 ER 3 BB 10 K with an ERA of 5.79.  While the K's were nice, Castillo and Luke Weaver are reminders not to overindulge in sophomore pitchers as the hitters always seem to gain the upper hand in the battle between the two sides at that juncture.  

Jesus Aguilar:  2/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .297.  Brewers really stumbled onto something here as did Aguilar's fantasy baseball owners.

Jonathan Villar:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .275.  Just like with Mark Trumbo a few years ago when he cracked 40-plus homers in Baltimore, Villar became a major value play on a vastly sinking ADP alone.  

Rhys Hoskins:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .239.  Hoskins looked refreshed off the DL and hopefully ready to look more like the stud from a year ago than the complete non-factor of early 2018.  

Jake Arrieta:  4 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 2.97.  Still on record saying Arrieta will have an ERA north of 3.75 when all is said and done.  Getting closer by the start.  

Ian Kinsler:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .219.  Smells like a last hurrah to me but in AL-only leagues you don't ask questions.  

Albert Pujols:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .252.  I remember how awesome a player Pujols was in fantasy baseball with numbers literally overflowing everywhere.  

Tyler Skaggs:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.08.  This former top prospect is really beginning to take off and being another year away from his past Tommy John surgery is just as big a reason why as the potent stuff.  

Ozzie Albies:  0/5 while hitting .253.  Damn!  

Max Muncy:  1/1 with his 13th HR while hitting .268.  The Twitter universe has been hitting me up on this guy for a few weeks now so I will dig in deeper later in a separate piece.  

Jeimer Candelario:  1/6 with his 10th HR while hitting .263.  Really impressed with this kid so far this season but he needs to rally the average or else that sentiment will change.  

Yan Gomes:  1/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .234.  Gomes is annoying the crap out of me in that he is hitting just enough to keep Francisco Mejia a story for 2019.  

Rajai Davis:  1/5 with his first HR while hitting .230.  One of the more underrated careers that no one talks about.  

Charlie Morton:  3.2 IP 1 H 1 ER 6 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.82.  Morton channeled his inner Tyler Chatwood for this start.  

Paul Goldschmidt:  3/4 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .250.  Well I would say things have turned around for the better as Goldy has had back-to-back double homer games.  The average is improving by the day as well.  Honestly there was almost no way Goldschmidt was toast at the age of 31 and so this comeback was completely expected.  About the only thing that I noted was up for grabs in terms of numbers not being repeated were the steals.  

Trevor Story:  3/4 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .255.  Decent outburst from Story this week so as always ride it out but the volatilty will remain.  



Saturday, June 9, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TREND OR MIRAGE: DYLAN COVEY SP CHICAGO WHITE SOX

With the Chicago White Sox in full rebuild mode entering into the 2018 season, it figures that young players would percolate the majority of the roster and that a few would yield some intriguing fantasy baseball upside.  Well at least on the pitching side, Dylan Covey has been that player as another gem on Friday when he tosses six scoreless innings with 3 hits and 7 K's brought his season numbers to look like the following:

2-1
2.33 ERA
1.27 WHIP
8.89 K/9
3.49 BB/9
0.00 HR/9
3.09 BABIP

While Covey has only tossed 28.1 innings so far, they have been very good one as shown by the ERA and he is picking up a decent amount of K's as well.  Even prior to his promotion by the White Sox this season, Covey recorded a 2.33 ERA at Triple-A with an 8.15 K/9 so he has been dealing all season.  The question now is if this is sustainable and if Covey should be used liberally moving forward.  Well as always we look to the advanced world and the 26-year-old has some things that stand out.  The first is that Covey's .309 BABIP is almost in neutral territory and his FIP (2.30) and XFIP (3.39) ERA's show that he is making his own luck and getting good results no matter the prism you look at him through.  Having yet to give up a home run, Covey is helping him ERA by keeping any possible damage to the minimum.  Now in terms of the past, Covey has had struggles with control and that could be a particularly troublesome issue in the American League.  Outside of that though, he has been pretty good and honest with the results. 

So when you put it all together, Dylan Covey at least to this point has been a solid performer who has the skill set to continue yielding nice results.  While we don't see him as anything near a front-line guy, Covey can continue to work nicely at the back of your rotation. 

TREND OR MIRAGE:  TREND




2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Mike Montgomery:  6 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K with an ERA of 3.56.  That's three straight excellent starts or two since I told you to pick Montgomery up.

Kevin Pillar:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .261.  At the end of the season Pillar will be sitting with 15 home runs and 25 steals and we will wonder how that snuck up on us.

Randall Grichuk:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .153.  When you have the kind of natural power that Grichuk has, you are going to show up in the Wrapup from time-to-time.  Those will be his only hits though. 

J.A. Happ:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.71.  Considering how Happ's career has shockingly taken off in Toronto of all places, it makes you wonder what he could have done if he stayed in Pittsburgh. 

Andrew McCutchen:  2/5 with his 6th HR while hitting .257.  When you take into account the fact that McCutchen is still quite young, he almost had to start hitting at some point.  Still, there is offensive leakage everywhere. 

Juan Soto:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .339.  Really ridiculous of Toronto to sit there and watch how this 19-year-old has taken the league by storm and they choose to leave Vlad Jr. on the farm where he now gets hurt. 

Stephen Strasburg:  2 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 2 K with an ERA of 3.46.  You knew as a Strasburg owner that you were on borrowed time with his health and so the inevitable happened in terms of a bum shoulder which is always scary for a pitcher.  To the DL we go. 

Christian Yelich:  2/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .303.  This is why you reached for the moon like I was tempted to do for Yelich this season.

Ryan Braun:  2/4 with 2 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .236.  Braun still has it.  Both the power and the juice in his locker. 

Vince Velasquez:  10 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.95.  I am going to save this linescore and have it automatically sent to anyone who asks me again about picking Velasquez up.  I have been saying since 2016 this is a bullpen arm and no more right?

Dylan Covey:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.22.  I smell a TRend Or Mirage on the way. 

Chris Sale:  8 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.83.  Can't do much better without getting a win so once again the wins category sucks. 

Trevor Bauer:  8 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.62.  Bauer is Chris Sale with less control now.  Incredible. 

Jose Martinez:  2/4 with 2 home runs (8 for the season) while hitting. 315.  The power had been very light of late before the recent explosion but overall Martinez is quickly gaining a very underrated label as a rare hitter who can put up a .300 average with decent pop. This is the kind of support player who can win you a title. 

Luke Weaver:  5 IP 7 H 4 ER 5 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.35.  When a young player is struggling previously and now is walking the ballpark mid-season. he is saying he has no clue right now what he is doing.  What a bomb this has been. 

Brett Gardner:  2/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .268.  Always starts with Gardy who quietly has been a decade Yankee and one of those stalwart guys in fantasy baseball for that same time period. 

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .251.  Liking what I am seeing out of Stanton of late who seems to have finally found some comfort in NY.  The home runs would be coming fast and furious now. 

Brandon Nimmo:  1/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .268.  It has been a nice season for Nimmo but he is a complete zero versus lefties so you got to play the annoying matchup game here. 

Jacob DeGrom:  8 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.57.  I mean you got to be kidding me here.  DeGrom has given up virtually NOTHING his last four starts and he has not claimed a victory in one of them. 

Masahiro Tanaka:  5 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.58.  Tanaka was dominating the Mets as every single pitcher does these days before leaving early with a sore hamstring.  Given the short 10-day DL span a trip could happen but this looks like a minor deal. 

C.J. Cron:  1/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .257./  Stay over .250 bro. 

Marco Gonzales:  7.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.28.  I already discussed Gonzales at length this past week so scroll down and take a look.  The gist is that he has been pretty legit to this point and worth using in everything but the most dire matchups. 

Alex Bregman:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .268.  Here we go!

Jose Altuve:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .341.  The home runs are down but at least Altuve picked up his previously dormat running game.  Those averages are also just insane. 

Shin-Soo Choo:  2/3 with his 11th HR while hitting .272.  Choo is beginning to age like a fine wine. 

Justin Verlander:  6 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.45.  Boy Verlander struggled badly by his standards. 

Ian Kinsler:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .218.  Kinsler looks like he has finally reached that stage in his career where he becomes an ugly all-or-nothing hitter.  You can't do that at second base.

Justin Upton:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .260.  Add another 15 home runs and freeze the average and this is a typical Upton season. 

Paul Goldschmidt:  3/5 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .241.  Those who correctly bought low are dancing in the streets right now.

Jake Lamb:  1/5 with his third HR while hitting .239.  Never a fan of his as Lamb is another typical ugly average slugger but he seems to get more of a pass then he should from the fantasy baseball community regarding that issue. 

David Peralta:  3/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .264.  Peralta is hitting for more power than ever before and he seems to enjoy it since his average has taken a hit from past levels. 

Charlie Blackmon:  1/5 with his 13th HR while hitting .288.  The power slowed down from the insane previous levels of April but otherwise this has been par for the first-round cost. 

Trevor Story:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .247.  The Story here has not changedi n terms of the numbers. 




Friday, June 8, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: SHOHEI OHTANI COULD BE HEADED FOR TOMMY JOHN AS UCL DAMAGE IN ELBOW GETS WORSE

Like clockwork.  Just like almost every other hard-throwing pitcher who comes over from Japan, now the biggest name of them all has UCL damage in his elbow and it has gotten so bad now for Los Angeles Angels pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani that Tommy John surgery could be inevitable.  Joining Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish, Mashairo Tanaka, and other Japanese imports to come down with UCL damage soon after arriving in the States, Ohtani has gone from having a Grade 1 sprain in the area to a Grade 2.  That puts him perilously close to Tommy John territory as the tear gets more pronounced.  The current plan is for Ohtani to rest for a few weeks and try to come back but any one pitch can now send him under the knife.  It is likely Ohtani is going to have to alter his approach a bit like we have seen with Tanaka and so that calls into question how effective he could be as well when he returns.  All in all, this is looking like a very bad situation which is only getting worse. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: ROBERT GSELLMAN BECOMES MAJOR PERSON OF CLOSING INTEREST AS JEURYS FAMILIA HITS THE DL WITH SHOULDER SORENESS

Already there were reports and whispers that New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia was growing disenchanted with the way new manager Mickey Callaway was using him and now we get word Friday that he has hit the DL with a bout of shoulder soreness.  Having come back from surgery to remove a clot in his shoulder a year ago, Familia was dominant in April before becoming a bit more inconsistent in mid-May and into June which also involved Callaway having him pitch in the eighth inning on two separate occasions.  Familia reportedly was upset by the eight innings cameos and also with his overall usage since Callaway came over prior to the season and you have to wonder if the shoulder going bad is related.  In the meantime, Robert Gsellman is the add as he pitched the ninth on the two occasions Familia was in the eighth.  Despite failing miserably as a starter in 2017, Gsellman has done very well in relief this season with a 3.19 ERA and 8.84 K/9.  Gsellman has no track record closing games though which we all know is a whole different animal so this is far from a given.  Add Gsellman anyways given the solid work so far and hopefully he takes to the gig quickly. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: OZZIE ALBIES 2B ATLANTA BRAVES

All good things must come to an end.  Or at least a temporary end when it comes to the insane production put forth by Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies in April and early May when he was the absolute number 1 hitter in all of 2018 fantasy baseball.  While the scouting report on Albies entering into the season was that the 21-year-old would score a bunch of runs, bat .300, and swipe a high amount of bases, even his mom had to be shocked when he came out and smacked 8 home runs in April and then another 5 in May to go with boatloads of runs and RBI as well.  Just like that Albies graduated into a top-tier overall fantasy baseball monster when he was barely of legal drinking age and his owners were delirious with joy considering his modest draft cost.  Well like we said earlier, the fun stops eventually and for Albies that has meant the month of June where he went into Thursday's action with 3 hits in 27 at-bats for a .111 average and a bagel in the home run column.  Clearly, opposing pitchers have figured out a chink in the armor of Albies and they are now exploiting a weakness in his swing that is not giving him anything to drive in terms of power.  This was a completely expected development as Albies was never going to continue on his April/May pace and now the onus is on him to respond in kind by altering his approach some.  For one thing, Albies needs to do a whole lot better than a 5.5 BB/9 rate.  With pitchers knowing he will hack away, they are making him chase outside the zone more than ever which has led to the hits drying up.  On the positive side, Albies' 17.2 K/9 rate is phenomenal for someone so young and so he should be back on the .280-plus average bandwagon before too long if he shows some more patience.  Ultimately, this is just the ebb and flow of the season for Albies and there is no reason to do anything drastic here outside of just staying the course.  The kid will be all right.


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Tyler Anderson:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.81.  The answer is still a firm no on adding this guy.

Anthony Rizzo:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .253.  Rizzo is now fully out of the fog with homers back-to-back games and like I said yesterday, he is not far from a respectable average as well.  If Rizzo can get to .280 with the power at usual standards, them all if forgiven.

Nick Pivetta:  4 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.76.  Pivetta struck out six so the K's are there even when he is a bit off which is crucial for the guy to maintain decent fantasy baseball value.

Tyler Chatwood:  4.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 7 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.86.  I haven't seen control this bad since Kaz Ishi.

Joc Pederson:  3/5 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .272.  Second two-homer game this week for Pederson and despite me being very hard on the guy in the past, I am a bit intrigued again as Pederson's K/9 is incredible by his past ugly standards at just 14.2.  If Pederson has in fact made firm gains there, the power could really be something.  Pick him up where available.

Cody Bellinger:  3/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .237.  Maybe the trick to get all major league hitters out of a season-long malaise is to simply put him in the seventh spot for just one day.

Francisco Cervelli:  1/1 with his 9th HR while hitting .275.  Hopefully you didn't edit your lineup if you are a Cervelli owner since he didn't get the start.

Jose Martinez:  2/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .311.  Martinez has hit all season and really looks like a firm .300 bat you depend to get a boost in that category for the next few years at least.

Miles Mikolas:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.27.  It may be a good battle this season between Mikolas and Andrew Heaney in terms of who deserves the nod of my top under-the-radar pitching recommendation this season.

Eddie Rosario:  2/3 with his 14th HR while hitting. 312.  From Torii Hunter to Eddie Rosario, I have an unhealthy obsession with Minnesota Twins outfielders.

Eduardo Escobar:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .286.  I think Escobar is terrific and that he should absolutely be considered a top 12 fantasy baseball third baseman.

Jose Berrios:  9 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.66.  While there have been some blowups, the low WHIP Berrios has carried on all season shows he is sitting on ace ability.

Mark Trumbo:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .292.  Been a few seasons now since Trumbo had fantasy baseball value but he is always worth using when A:) the homers are going out and B:) the average is useful.

Leonys Martin:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .259.  You can do a whole lot worse than Martin as your OF 3 in deeper formats.  The power has been consistent now for a second season in a row. 

Andrew Benintendi:  2/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .299.  Note to self:  do whatever you got to do to get Benintendi on my 2019 fantasy baseball teams. 

Jalen Beeks:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 13.50.  The fact Beeks got beat up in his first outing at home against a brutal Detroit lineup means nerves were a problem.  Hold Beeks though as he has big strikeout upside but this could be a one spot start deal. 

Mitch Haniger:  2/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .274.  The average has been in a sharp downward turn for Haniger but a slump was inevitable considering how hot he started the season.  Don't overthink this as Haniger should remain a staple in your lineup.

Daniel Robertson:  1/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .263.  Solid season for Robertson but he works best as your jack-of-all-trades bench guy for plugging in when needed. 

Mike Leake:  8 IP 8 H 2 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.46.  Leake is rallying his ratios like he seems to do every season with the requisite low strikeout rate.  You still want to take a pass though. 

Alex Bregman:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .268.  Yeah so this is about the time where Bregman will explode like I said he would going back to when I began getting sell questions in late April.  Like with Andrew Benintendi the same month, the talent is just too natural and potent not to shine through. 

Evan Gattis:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .234.  This is why you drafted Gattis in March and why you hopefully stuck with the guy, 

Gerrit Cole:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.16.  Again you have to wonder where the hell this was in Pittsburgh in the easier NL the last two seasons. 

Matt Olson:  1/3 with his 13th HR while hitting .257.  Olson is leaving Chapman in the dust. 


Thursday, June 7, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: JAKE BAUERS OUTFIELDER TAMPA BAY RAYS

The writing was on the wall when it came to the status of infielder Brad Miller on the Tampa Bay Rays' 40-man roster and after a year-plus of nothing but brutal offensive results, the team finally gave him his walking papers to make room for outfielder prospect Jake Bauers.  Bauers will make his debut with the Rays on Thursday and the number 55 overall prospect in MLB arrives in the Show with the following numbers at Triple-A:

.279
5 HR
24 RBI
31 R
10 SB
10.4 BB/9
21.2 K/9
.345 BABIP

So as you can see, there are a lot of tools to work with here as the 22-year-old has burgeoning power and very good speed to make himself an instant HR/SB weapons which is always a big deal when it comes to fantasy baseball.  Even better is that Bauers has a good eye at the dish already as he draws walks at a decent clip and that will help keep the average afloat when his strikeouts spike some as it does for all hitters in arriving on the major league scene.  While Bauers is not Ronald Acuna, he has enough upside and pure talent to be worth an add in all leagues as he figures to have a decent leash on a rebuilding Rays squad. 


2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: CHRIS HOGAN LOOKS LIKE A MAJOR PPR SLEEPER WITH JULIAN EDELMAN DOWN 4 GAMES DUE TO PED'S

While we are in a dead period when it comes to fantasy football and the NFL for that matter now that the draft is out of the way, we still got a major piece of news Thursday when it was revealed that New England Patriots slot receiver Julian Edelman will be suspended four games by the league due to a PED violation.  While Edelman is appealing, he is unlikely to get any games knocked off as other PED offenders have failed to do so in the past.  Now that Edelman is out for the first four games (and thus delaying his return to the field after missing all of 2017 due to a torn ACL), Chris Hogan looks like a major sleeper for 2018 fantasy football at least for the first four weeks.  This would mark the third straight season Hogan was a sleeper candidate as he was prior to both 2016 and 2017 but so far he has failed to break through into even WR 2 status due to injuries and Tom Brady spreading the wealth.  Be that as it may, Hogan has little competition for receptions as Danny Amendola signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency and Brandin Cooks was traded to the Los Angeles Rams.  So while tight end Rob Gronkowski will continue to be a major target while he is healthy, Hogan needs to be elevated in terms of the 2018 fantasy football wide receiver rankings.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: JALEN BEEKS SO BOSTON RED SOX SP BOSTON RED SOX

With the Boston Red Sox in need of an arm to fill a start for the team on Thursday, the decision was made to promote the team's 2014 12th-round draft pick Jalen Weeks.  While the Red Sox at this point are taking Weeks on a start-to-start basis, there is some intriguing talent here that became evident through his impressive results at Triple-A where he logged a 2.56 ERA and was a K machine to the tune of a massive 12.78 K/9 rate.  The strikeouts alone make Beeks someone who is a major person of interest in fantasy baseball and now that he will be throwing for one of the best teams in the game, win opportunities will flow here if he can stick in the rotation as well. 

Now in digging into the numbers, Weeks began to build a name for himself in 2017 as he put forth a 3.86 ERA at Triple-A after he absolutely dominated at Double-A with a 2.19 mark.  What has really elevated Beeks this season is that he lowered his shaky 3.10 BB/9 last season at Triple-A to just 2.24 at the same level prior to this promotion.  Throw that in with Week's monster strikeout numbers and we have a lot to work with here.  So at the very least, Weeks is worth starting on Thursday given the strikeout appeal and also for the fact that rookie pitchers making their debut tend to have a sizable advantage against hitters who have never faced him before.  This is especially true for guys who can collect K's like Weeks can and so this promotion has legs to it.  Add Beeks where available and throw him in there Thursday as we begin to see how this will stock will shape itself. 


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Michael Conforto:  0/3 while hitting .228.  Sigh!

Dylan Bundy:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.04.  Nice outing but sorry I am not giving much praise for shutting down the New York Mets who are the worst offensive team in the majors right now.

Zack Wheeler:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.57.  You know the Baltimore Orioles are mailing it in when they make this guy look good.

C.J. Cron:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .260.  Really need Cron to keep the average above .260 as he will look like just another flawed slugger that is available all over the wire.

Tanner Roark:  2 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.56.  With a 1.10 WHIP, Roark has a 3-6 record to go with the decent ERA.  The wins category sucks.

Carlos Carrasco:  7 IP 8 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.23. Talk up the shaky ERA and try to steal Carrasco away from his unsuspecting owner.  Advanced metrics are bullish.

Paul Goldschmidt:  4/5 with 2 RBI while hitting .233.  On July 6th the real Paul Goldschmidt finally showed up.

Freddie Freeman:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .338.  Yeah so that batting title we always talked about here?  It could be upon us.

Ozzie Albies:  1/4 while hitting .261.  So the power has dried up a bit and the average is sinking which means Albies has reached the point where opposing pitchers have a plan against him.  Now it is time for Albies to adjust back/

Mike Foltynewicz:  5 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.31.  Folty is still not giving length to his starts but the K's have been ace-like to say the least.  Terrific breakout now in its third month.

Matt Kemp:  3/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .353.  This encore in Los Angeles with the Dodgers has been one show that has been very impressive to say the least. 

Cody Bellinger:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .227.  Back into the fifth hole for this one, Bellinger has now gone long in two games in a row.  A little 7th spot demotion humble pie seems to have done the trick. 

Caleb Ferguson:  4 ER in 1.2 IP with an ERA of 21.60.  Yeah he may need some more seasoning. 

Trevor Williams:  4 ER in 3 IP with an ERA of 4.18.  And now the ERA is over 4.00 like I said it would be when Williams shot out of the gates in April looking like a breakout guy.  No way was he ever that. 

Aaron Judge:  1/5 with his 17th HR while hitting .274.  And just one strikeout too!

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .251.  We cant change how ugly April and May were at times but Stanton seems primed for a big summer as he is swinging as well as he has all season now. 

Sonny Gray:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.81.  This won't make me run out to pick Gray as name brand be damned, he has to show this was not a once a month fluke.  Gray has been so brutal that he has lost the benefit of the doubt. 

Andrew Benintendi:  2/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .296.  Look out here as Benintendi seems like he is now aiming for first-round status for 2019.  I think he could get there. 

Eduardo Rodriguez:  5.2 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.68.  You need patience with this guy sometimes but Rodriguez has some of the best movement on his stuff I have seen in the entire league this season.

Khris Davis:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .241.  Davis and the Matt Trio have turned Oakland into the rare team in the recent organization's history to be a home run hitting juggernaut. 

Jurickson Profar:  3/5 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .243.  I mean he was the most hyped prospect for a while there a few seasons ago for a reason.

Joey Gallo:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .207.  I don't even like talking about Gallo given how ridiculous his all-or-nothing game is.  As overrated as it gets. 

Daniel Medgden:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 3.45.  Statistical correction at its finest. 

Anthony Rizzo:  1/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .251.  Hey its not that far to .280 all of a sudden. 

Jose Quintana:  5.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.20.  Better.  Unlike Sonny Gray, Quintana has earned the right to now he used liberally again.

Nelson Cruz:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .260.  Hope you bought low when I told you to on Cruz as the power is flowing and the average is climbing as anticipated.

Evan Gattis:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .227.  Should already be back in the lineup in two-catcher formats. 

Lewis Brinson:  3/5 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .172.  It is almost like Brinson closes his eyes when he swings and hopes he makes contact to hit one out.