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Friday, April 20, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Manny Machado:  3/5 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .338.  Yeah so I did say Machado's drop in average last season was a gigantic fluke.  

Chris Davis:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .145.  If the Orioles could, they would make Davis disappear forever.  Let's hope they figure out a way.  

Jiemer Candelario:  4/4 with his third HR while hitting .284.  Said the other day after home run number 2 to pick up Candelario.  What is funny is that Candelario is doing what I expected Nick Castellanos to put forth.  

Alex Cobb:  5 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 15.43.  Cut him loose.  Man Cobb should really have done his best to steer clear of the AL East since his K/9 has not come back to pre-TJ levels.  

Jose Altuve:  3/4 while with 4 RBI while hitting .342.  This guy is seriously one of the best hitters I have ever seen.  Just one steal and no homers yet but Altuve's averages the last few seasons have been utterly ridiculous.  

Josh Reddick:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .250,  Reddick is a .280-ish hitter so he will get the average back up and a 20/10 season is also very possible for a guy that went VERY late in 2018 fantasy baseball drafts for some reason.  

Charlie Morton:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 0.72.  Just unbelievable here.  I am in two competitive leagues (Experts and a high-stakes money) and own Morton in both.  I was fully on board with the mid-career renaissance but this is even beyond my wildest dreams.  We are talking early AL Cy Young front-runner numbers so far.  

Luke Weaver:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.22.  Weaver has hit his first rough patch of the season which likely comes at a time when major league hitters are getting enough film on him to make adjustments.  Now its Weaver's turn to fire back. 

Jon Lester:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.10.  Lester has been either really good or really bad this season in his four starts but overall the ERA has worked nicely.  Truth be told, I was very down on Lester coming into the year given his age and previously high workload and still think by the summer his arm will be screaming for mercy.  Think of a sell high here.  

Todd Frazier:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .293.  This is the best I have seen Frazier since 2016 and remember he has had some truly unlucky BABIP's the last two seasons which at least partly explains the horrendous averages.  With a 20.5 BB.9 rate right now that is tremendous, Frazier is offsetting a rising K/9 (23.3) so far.

Adrian Gonzalez:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .256.  Gonzalez has gotten hot himself of late but this is strictly just a deep NL-only add as 2013 is never coming back.  

Kurt Suzuki:  3/4 with his third HR while hitting .317.  We have seen trends lately of previously impotent hitting catchers get going in their 30's and Suzuki joins Chris Iannetta in that trend.  

Matt Harvey:  6 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 6.00.  Mickey Callaway has not committed to Harvey's next start and nor should he.  The evidence is clear Harvey's TOS surgery has ruined his overall stuff but I think he can succeed in the bullpen in a similar deal like what we see now with Bud Norris.  Norris saw his stuff erode through injuries and bombed as a starter but now he is closing games at a high rate in St. Louis.  Unfortunately, Harvey is blocked for saves and so he has zero value to speak of.  

Aaron Judge:  1/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .339.  Yeah Giancarlo Stanton was a first-rounder while Judge slipped to Round 2 in most fantasy baseball leagues but the latter has been by far the better player so far.  Also it needs to be said that Judge has lowered his K/9 from the nasty 30.7 a year ago to 24.0 so far which is a terrific improvement.  As the 20.0 BB/9 and Judge can hit .280 if he holds these.

Rhys Hoskins:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .327.  There is not a player in all of fantasy baseball I don't own but wish I did.  

Jameson Taillon:  5 ER in 1.2 IP with an ERA of 2.86.  I swear it feels like all the pitchers who got off to red hot starts all got bombed for the first time in the last few days.  It was almost like the Law of Fantasy Baseball Averages collectively saying "enough of the fun."  This was ugly for sure but Taillon looks like the real deal.

Jake Arrieta:  7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.04.  I have been trying to kick dirt on this guy for awhile now but then he goes out and does this to make my arguments moot. So what we can now surmise here is that Arrieta still has good stuff but instead I will lean on him not staying healthy.

Lewis Brinson:  2/3 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .156.  Brinson was really straddling the demotion line there before the much-needed big game but being dropped in the order will hurt the steals potential.  Still looking like an overall mess but the hope is he won't be the latest annual tease like Byron Buxton has been.  

Lorenzo Cain:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .303.  For those who are new to the site, former Minnesota Twins outfilder Torii Hunter was one of my all-time favorite players in fantasy baseball who I had to have every year.  Well now that Hunter has retired, Lorenzo Cain has stepped up to fill this void.  Said to draft him everywhere and he is off to a great start with numbers coming from all directions.  

Ryan Braun:  1/1 with his 4th HR while hitting .214.  Typical Braun who annoyed his fantasy baseball owners yet again as he didn't start and then homers which most didn't get credit for.  I still don't understand why anyone drafted the guy this season given all the day-to-day injuries and slipping overall game.  

Orlando Arcia:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .203.  Arcia's season is already being hurt badly by batting so far down in the order which is a major issue in NL locales.  

Brandon Belt:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .255.  Remains boring as hell but the advanced metrics hinted at a decent year for Belt if he could stay healthy.  

Ketel Marte:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .237.  Still not happening here completely but Marte remains more than an intrigue given his offensive skills based on speed and contact.  

A.J. Pollock:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .254.  Pollock getting good pitches to hit behind Paul Goldschmidt but you get the feeling if you own him like I do that this season is not very exciting without the leadoff spot.  

Zack Greinke:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 2 K with an ERA of 4.13.  Greinke always finds a way to post good outings which speaks to how smart a pitcher he is. I say smart and not overpowering due to the fact Greinke's K/9 is dropping in being down almost a full K from a year ago and his average fastball velocity is under 90 for first time in his career at 89.4.  


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