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Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Ender Inciarte:  0/4 while hitting .179.  I know things are ugly right now but please resist the urge to cut Inciarte loose.  This is a guy who has proven himself to be a firm .300 hitter with 20-steal speed and a few homers thrown in.  He will be fine.

Preston Tucker:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .308.  It seems like every season some unknown hitter has a big start to the season to hold off a top-tier prospect from being called up.  This season it is Preston Tucker.  

Yu Darvish:  4.2 IP 9 H 4 ER 4 BB 4 K with an ERA of 6.00.  Yeah Darvish got squeezed a bit in this one but he also allowed 13 baserunners in less than 5.  He is no longer a fantasy baseball ace and in fact, has been very disturbing since midway of 2017.  Remember, that Japanese pitchers historically don't age well given the insane early workloads in their careers.  

Yadier Molina:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .288.  Where was he drafted in your league?

Dexter Fowler:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .196.  Really wanted Fowler to continue struggling so that Tommy Pham could move to leadoff.

Luke Weaver:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.08.  Weaver dominated the first five IP before tiring a bit in the sixth.  Still Weaver has been the rare much-hyped sleeper to make good so far as his stuff screams out "future ace!"

Bud Norris:  scoreless ninth for his second save with an ERA of 1.35.  Greg Holland better get his stuff in order quick or else this guy will be saving games in May.

Justin Bour:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .208.  Bour is trying to pull himself out of an early funk and the last week has been good.  Trust in the development the last season-plus and stay patient.

Jeff Faria:  5.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 8.18.  Faria responds here with a good outing when he was on the border of being demoted.  Obviously he has been so bad previously that you don't throw him back out there even next time out but the talent is in there.

Vince Velasquez:  6.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.52.  Velasquez actually looks like a competent MLB starter but the 1.37 WHIP shows he is getting lucky with the ERA.  Look out.

Ryan Braun:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .174.  Braun is aging and it looks like he is becoming more of an all-or-nothing slugger than ever before. 

Travis Shaw:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .268.  Love this guy because Shaw always comes cheap at the draft table and is the rare fantasy baseball hitter you can always turn a profit on. Something to be said about this. 

Todd Frazier:  3/3 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .282.  The fantasy baseball community has very little patience for middle-aged sluggers who struggle in average and don't steal base so Frazier may be sitting there on your league's waiver wire.  Now is the time to put him in the lineup as Frazier has made a career of nuclear hot streaks. 

Carlos Gonzalez:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .255.  Steady production from CarGo or should I say a guy who was nearly sent to fantasy baseball Siberia. 

Tanner Roark:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.00.  Don't forget about this guy to round out your fantasy baseball rotation.  At least you know the wins will be there. 

Eduardo Nunez:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .271.  Take your time Dustin. 

Eduardo Rodriguez:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.72.  I said to pick this guy up prior to his first start and even after despite it not going well.  It is very rare you can add a big strikeout guy on waivers like this. 

Aledmys Diaz:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .237. Anyone who lost Elvis Andrus should try this reclamation project out. 

Marcus Stroman:  5 IP 9 H 4 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 7.98.  Stroman looks unhealthy to me as he is much better than this.  Still, he is a control guy with a mediocre K/9 rate which doesn't jive well in the AL East. 

Aaron Hicks:  2/3 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .364.  An inside-the-park job and then a traditional one.  I would say it has been a nice return from the DL.  Hicks can also steal some bases and hit for average so he is absolutely a daily play. 

George Springer:  2/4 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .196.  The average is a reminder of the contact struggles of the past but Springer is a Charlie Blackmon with less of an average from the leadoff slot. 

Joey Gallo:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .197.  Right now the bigger shock would be if Gallo hit .200 and not if he smacked 40 homers. 

Albert Pujols:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .28.  Aging veterans tend to start the season well before fading and so a good April performance is no shock despite how much I said you needed to stop living in the past here. 

Khris Davis:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .264.  All he ever does is smack home runs.  Nelson Cruz with a lesser average and cheaper draft cost. 

Matt Chapman:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .358.  Chapman is killing it right now and it needs to be pointed out that for a guy who was a 25.0-plus K/9 guy in the minors, he is at a terrific 16.9.  Can he sustain it?  Even if it goes to 20.0, Chapman is looking like a major value play. 

Andrew Triggs:  5 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.87.  Triggs began the year this way last season as well but he reeks of being at best an SP 5 since he was just a 19th round pick who has had an ERA over 4.00 the last two seasons.  Law of averages will win out. 

Chris Taylor:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .226.  Count me as being skeptical of Taylor's 2017 numbers and so I own no stakes here.  Remember that Taylor was not an overly impressive hitter in the minors and so buying into a breakout at the major league level is risky.

Cody Bellinger:  3/5 with his second HR while hitting .304.  While the power has been down on a per game basis compared to last season, I really like the way Bellinger is swinging the bat as his K/9 is just 16.7 which is down from 26.6.  I would gladly trade 5 homers or so for a .280 average or better. 


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