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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Eduardo Escobar:  2/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .313.  We saw hints of this last season from Escobar and so nothing surprises me with his performance.  I think Escobar is a sure hold and only his lack of name brand has some doubting the guy.

Jose Martinez:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .287.  Martinez has been well off the radar since his big first two weeks but the average is holding steady which is important for him to stay in the lineup.  He still works as a low-end UTIL or CI bat.

Luis Castillo:  5.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 6.47.  This was better for sure but Castillo still couldn't get 6 innings under his belt and he remains a strict bench for those who still even own the guy.  My theory was that Castillo would heat up with the weather but that hasn't exactly happened yet either.  Along with Luke Weaver, Castillo has been among the biggest pitching disappointments so far this season.

Jorge Soler:  3/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .324.  Soler just continues to hit and with power as well.  I wrote back in spring training that Soler was worth one last look due to the fact he was still very young and getting a fresh start in K.C. and here we now are.  It is very possible Soler was rushed too early by Chicago Cubs and the challenges coming from Cuba just compounded things.  What a pleasant surprise.

Mike Moustakas:  3/6 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .300. Moustakas has been damn good for the second season in a row and at least in fantasy baseball leagues next spring, he will get paid well in terms of being a high draft pick.

Salavador Perez:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .276.  Steady as they come.

Alex Gordon:  4/5 with his third HR while hitting .321.  I have to admit I never thought I would type one more word about Gordon in this space but here we are.  Hitting at the bottom of the lineup seems to have helped take the edge off and Gordon will certainly continue playing every day given his contract.  Sure why not?

Dylan Bundy:  7 ER in 0 IP with an ERA of 5.31.  I think Bundy has already locked up the worst start of the year award with no argument.  I mean I warned you all on this even though Bundy was throwing great in April.   He was a fraud all the way propped up by a lucky BABIP and strand rate and then the dam finally burst.  Predictable all the way.

Giancarlo Stanton:  2/3 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .237.  With Mookie Betts sitting in the other dugout, Stanton wanted to show his counterpart that he can do the whole multi-home run thing as well.

Luis Severino:  6 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.21.  Severino has been just as good as any pitcher who dons a Houston Astros uniform.

Carlos Santana:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .173.  That avergae is so tough to look at but Santana has gone back-to-back games now with a knock so if there were any time to use him again, now would be it.

Jorge Alfaro:  1/2 with his 4th HR while hitting .222.  I am watching Alfaro closely because if he can gain any semblance of plate discipline, he actually could be a very good daily league guy.  Not yet though.

Aaron Nola:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 12 K with an ERA of 2.05.  This is what I wrote about Nola back on April 28th when his K/9 was under 7.00:  "When everything is taken into consideration, I think Nola will be just fine in terms of his overall product and that the K's will come forward as the weather continues to heat up.  Nola has always done his best K work the second half of the season and that should be the case yet again.  If you are holding stock in Nola. I would keep him around and not entertain offers despite the fact he should give back his ERA a bit due to the lucky BABIP.  The guy will be a strong SP 2 when you take it in all in so stay the course."  That about covers it.

James Paxton:  throws a no-hitter versus the Toronto Blue Jays with 7 strikeouts to lower his ERA to 3.40.  Coming off a 16-strikeout gem, Paxton actually manages to one-up that domination.  Folks this is a fantasy baseball ace all the way on a per game basis no matter how much time he misses with injury.  What a talent.

Ronald Acuna Jr.:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .320.  The wait was well worth it.

Sean Newcomb:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.88.  As if the Atlanta Braves don't already have a ridiculous array of young hitters, they also possess a left power stud who if has ace qualities.

Blake Snell:  6.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.40.  I love that Snell and Newcomb faced each other last night because they literally are in the same exact positions being young power arms who only had to overcome some nasty control to set themselves up as strong SP 2's for 2018.  Both have succeeded by the way in the latter quest.

Francisco Lindor:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .289.  Almost at .300 as Lindor makes the average jump I said he would in his Stock Watch a few weeks ago.

Jose Ramirez:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .284.  You can make a good argument whether or not Lindor or Ramirez now is the best young hitter on Cleveland.

Victor Martinez:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .255.  Still can hit a bit but you really want to try and do better here.

Justin Bour:  1/2 with his 7th HR while hitting .236.  Bour is capable of better than this in terms of average so try and keep him around despite the reality he is in fact arguably the least flashy hitter in all of baseball.

Justin Upton:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .245.  Among the most aggravating players to ever own season after season.

Jon Gray:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 4.24.  Gray usually doesn't do well with prosperity but he is begging us to pay attention again.  Proceed at your own risk as we have been down this road too many times to count.

Sean Manaea:  4 ER in 5.2 IP with an ERA of 2.11.  I took a lot of flak for posting that Manaea's early performance was a Mirage and then he went out and tossed a no-hitter.  Timing is everything when it comes to these posts but the greater meaning is that it applies to OVER TIME and not immediate.  I think Manaea has been pitching way over his head so far and he is more of a 3.50 ERA guy. Which means selling high is still the way to go. 

A.J. Pollock:  2/6 with his 11th HR while hitting .308.  I think Pollock needs to show Paul Goldschmidt how to hit home runs again.  Or even get one hit for that matter.

Yasmani Grandal:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .280.  I am rooting for Grandal to maintain the average as we desperately need some dependable catchers offensively in today's fantasy baseball.  His new approach has drastically cut down on K's which is why he is at .280 so far into the season and Grandal already has gone down as a tremendous buy considering his cheap draft cost. 

Rich Hill:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 7.11.  I am starting to think the feel-good story that has been Rich Hill the last few seasons has reached the final chapter. 



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