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Sunday, April 21, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Happy Easter!

Whit Merrifield:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .292.  I am a Merrifield owner in the Experts League and love the homers but I want steals bro.

Aaron Judge:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .288.  Judge injured his oblique during the game and will head to the IL according to Aaron Boone.  Which means the Yankees now pretty much have an entire All-Star team of players on the list.  Given that Judge has proven to be a slow healer in the past, this could be a 3 weeks-plus deal.

D.J. LeMahieu:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .309.  LeMahieu was the epitome of an empty average this season but finally gets on the board with his first homer.  When you break it all down, LeMahieu is a perfect bench option for Sunday's or light schedule days.

Clint Frazier:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .351.  The ballyhood bat speed everyone talked about is revealing itself and Frazier has fully taken advantage of the playing time bestowed on him this season.  Ride this out. 

Masahiro Tanaka:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA Of 2.76.  Another ace start for Tanaka who is as good an SP 2 as you can get, slightly torn UCL and all.

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .235.  Garbage time homer from Goldy but it all counts just the same. 

Miles Mikolas:  8 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.97.  Mikolas has turned things around and his 1.21 WHIP has shown he has gotten some rough luck on the batted ball so far.  That being said, Mikolas' lack of K's removes a great deal of margin for error in his starts. 

David Peralta:  1/5 with his third HR while hitting .352.  Peralta has really come into his own the last season-plus and he should be able to further solidify his 25-home run chops. 

Eduardo Escobar:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .234.  Ehhh.  Escobar is really for the NL-only crowd. 

Zack Greinke:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 4.60.  Greinke has pitched well since his initial clunker to begin the season but he is more smoke and mirrors than ever before. 

Yu Darvish:  5 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 5.96.  You know the minute you cut Darvish loose he will throw an 8 inning gem with 12 K's.  But if you hold him he will give up six runs next time out. 

Cole Tucker:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .333.  Nice debut for Tucker who was a 2014 first round pick who was hitting .333 with 3 homers and 5 steals prior to his promotion.  There is a ton of stolen base potential here as Tucker piled up 47 and 40 total the last two seasons.  Pick him up. 

Jameson Taillon:  5 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.12.  Taillon is a very solid pitcher but you always get the notion of expecting more out of him. 

Eddie Rosario:  3/5 with 2 home runs (8 for season) in Game 1 while hitting .300.  Well that narrative changed fast.  One of my favorite players in all of fantasy baseball, Rosario is a stud. 

Willians Astudillo:  2/4 with his second HR in Game 1 while hitting .300.  Hey owning both Mitch Garver and Astudillo and rotate them in and out sounds like a nice fantasy baseball plan. 

Dwight Smith Jr.:  2/4 with his 4th HR in Game 1 while hitting .288.  I mean we all think Smith Jr. will fade back into oblivion but he doesn't seem to be cooperating. 

Renato Nunez:  2/5 with his third HR in Game 1 while hitting .304.  Yet another example of how some fantasy baseball gems can be found in the muck on a bad team.

Justin Smoak:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .274.  Just about three more months until Smoak dons a new uniform. 

Corey Kluber:  7 IP 5 H 4 ER 2 BB 8 K with an ERA of 5.88.  Expectations need to be lowered here as batters are not having trouble catching up to Kluber's stuff now as the home runs are really flying out. 

Max Scherzer:  5.1 IP 11 H 6 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.45.  Yeah so who thought Jose Urena would beat Scherzer?  When even Scherzer is getting shelled, MLB has to realize they have a problem. 

Charlie Morton:  6 IP 5 H 5 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.38.  Some crazy stat lines for pitchers last night, starting with this one and Scherzer, and finishing with a certain Houston ace. 

Christian Yelich:  2/3 with 2 home runs (13 for season) while hitting .361.  (Throws hands up in the air.) 

Hyun-Jin Ryu:  5.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.10.  This guy is actually a pretty damn pitcher if he can ever put three straight outings together without getting hurt.  Add where available. 

Mitch Garver:  3/6 with 2 home runs (5 for season) in Game 2 while hitting .424/  Man Garver is doing a mighty fine Mike Piazza impersonation right now.  Again, pair him with Astudillo and look out. 

Eddie Rosario:  2/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .300.  Yeah it was a nice day to be a Rosario owner. 

Nelson Cruz:  4/5 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .326.  Baltimore still knows how to yield home runs better than most other locales. 

Jonathan Schoop:  3/5 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .274.  Own all of the Minnesota hitters I guess. 

Renato Nunez:  3/5 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .304.  There were a ton of home runs in the minors for Nunez and Baltimore is the perfect place for him to get a long leash to show what he can do.  So far it is impressive. 

Touki Toussaint:  7 ER in 1.1 IP with an ERA of 8.59.  I suspect more than a few fell into this trap.  Ouch. 

George Springer:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .278.  Par for the course. 

Joey Gallo:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .262.  If Gallo can just hold the .260 average, that send his stock even higher.  Come on bro do it 

Gerrit Cole:  8 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 5.22.  Baseball really has a problem when even their most dominant aces are getting destroyed like this.  Ridiculous. 

Luis Castillo:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.47.  Castillo is reminding me of Gerrit Cole last season. 




Friday, April 19, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: JACOB DeGROM HEADED TO NY FOR MRI ON SORE ELBOW

Oh my.  In a news item that can't get any bigger given the potential ramifications, New York Mets ace Jacob DeGrom is headed to New York to get an MRI on his elbow after he came down with soreness as reported to the team earlier in the day Friday.  Manager Mickey Callaway used the term "barking" to describe the discomfort DeGrom is feeling but either way this is a huge potential problem both for the player and his fantasy baseball owners.  Perhaps there was an indication something was wrong here when DeGrom uncharacteristically got shelled in his last two outings as home runs began to fly out at a high rate.  For a team that always seems to be dealing with physical problems every season, DeGrom missing time is as big as it gets.  Stay tuned.  


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Christian Walker:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .300.  The power is completely legit but a 30.0 K/9 rate will send the average plummeting real soon.  Think Khris Davis-lite here. 

Freddie Freeman:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting. 324.  Some light power so far from Freeman but you can't argue with his customary excellent average. 

Luke Weaver:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.92.  No surprise here from this peanut stand with what Weaver is doing as he was a top power pitching prospect before hitting hard into the sophomore slump jinx a year ago.  Kudos if you bought real low this spring.

Mike Soroka:  5 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.80.  While a top pitching prospect like Weaver, Soroka's problem in never-ending ill health.  The talent is obvious here as Soroka can miss bats and also has good control.  Add everywhere. 

Patrick Corbin:  7.2 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.36.  The Corbin signing is working out nicely so far for Washington.  We are now into a second season of ace-level dominance so 2018 is looking so much more legit. 

Eloy Jimenez:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting. 261.  Jimenez is finding his MLB footing but still hitting for his customary impressive power.  Just wait until he finds that comfort zone.  It will be impressive. 

Randal Grichuk:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .239.  I said in the beginning of the season Grichuk can make a run at 30 homers given the expected playing time but that average will be ugly and strip some of the power value away. 

Justin Smoak:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .259.  The Blue Jays have more all-or-nothing sluggers than anyone in baseball. 

Eddie Rosario:  2/4 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .262.  As if there were ever any reason to worry here. 

Michael Pineda:  6 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 5.30.  This is the risk you run when investing in Pineda who can be dominant for 3 of 4 starts but that fourth one will be beyond ugly and destroy your ratios. 

Jorge Soler:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .236.  Soler is becoming pretty boring right?

Domingo German:  6 IP 6 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.37.  Hey keep riding this out.  The K's are very impressive. 

Tommy Pham:  4/5 with his third HR and sixth SB while hitting .286.  Pham doesn't get as much pop as he should given the obvious five-tool ability but I admit I should have been more in on him than I was last March. 

J.T. Realmuto:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting. 277.  Given the nature of catcher over the years,  would not be surprised in the least if Realmuto failed to generate the numbers his high spring draft cost required. 

Ryan McMahon:  3/4 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .286.  McMahon came off the DL in grand fashion with the two bombs and given the glowing minor league numbers, he should be immediately added. 

Kyle Freeland:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.23.  Freeland is going to need to keep striking out guys out since his generous BABIP luck last season is not likely going to be repeated. 

Cody Bellinger:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting. 432.  Pretty much every fly ball Bellinger puts into orbit is going out. 

Christian Yelich:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .351.  This was literally a battle between Yelich and Bellinger for the early lead in the NL MVP race. 

Max Muncy:  2/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .270. Muncy was not someone I was willing to chase this spring as pitchers began to figure out him during the second half of 2018.  I think he can hit 20-25 homers with a mediocre average which is decent enough but really doesn't stand out much in today's baseball. 

Julio Urias:  6 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.66.  Urias will take this monstrous outing into the bullpen now that Hyun-Jin Ryu is back but give it only a start or two before the latter gets injured again.

Zach Davies:  5 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 2 K with an ERA of 1.19.  The 1.28 WHIP and middling K rate shows some nastiness is on its way real soon.  Stay far away. 

Omar Narvaez:  3/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .297.  I wrote in this past spring's draft guide that Narvaez was a real catching sleeper and getting a new home in Seattle has certainly helped unleash the potential.  I am a believer in the talent here so don't automatically think this is a short-term hot stretch.

Kole Calhoun:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .191.  I can't believe Mike Trout wanted to come back to a team that uses this guy as their leadoff hitter. 

Ryon Healy:  2/4 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .232.  Power is not in question here but like with a million other guys on this list, the average is iffy.  You can do better. 


Thursday, April 18, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: JOSE RAMIREZ 2B/3B CLEVELAND INDIANS

This one hits close to home.  From the very beginning, yours truly has been an avowed fan of Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez.  Going all the way back to his debut and through his MVP-type blockbuster 2018 performance, myself and Ramirez have taken a journey together through thick and thin and in good times and bad.  Well the relationship is quite frayed right now as Ramirez is in the midst of a hellacious slump that has his numbers in the gutter going into Thursday's slate:

.145
1 HR
3 RBI
8 R
5 SB
14/.7 K/9
5.3 BB/9
.155 BABIP

Wow what can I say?  Outside of steals, Ramirez has been a colossal bust to this point no questions asked.  As we always do here however, the advanced metrics need to be looked at and here is where some telling things reveal themselves.  The first is that Ramirez is pressing badly as his 5.3 BB/9 is way down from the 15.2 he posted a year ago.  Always possessing good patience throughout his development, Ramirez is swinging at everything right now which is not his game.  On the flip side, Ramirez is getting no luck on the batted ball as his .155 BABIP is comically unlucky.  Obviously, that number will correct itself and the average will rise.  Don't forget Ramirez has been a big time batting average asset for years and even last season his .270 mark was hurt by an unlucky .252 BABIP.  Finally, Ramirez is getting a bit homer happy with his swing in that his fly ball rate has spiked the last two seasons and is resulting in more outfield outs.  That will no doubt hurt the average a bit and maybe prevent another .300 mark but nothing earth shattering either. 

All in all, Ramirez is your classic slow starter who actually came out of the gates quiet last season as well.  The guy is one of the premier power/speed dynamos in the game and if you can buy low here, by all means do so. The payoff will be immense and the advanced numbers show a rebound is on its way. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Michael Conforto:  2/4 with his 5th HR and second SB while hitting .324.  Curious to see whether the steals are now becoming a new weapon for Conforto like we have seen of late with Trevor Story or if he simply caught two catchers completely napping.

Scott Kingery:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .480.  Remember it was only a year ago at this time we all were fighting to get our hands on this kid.

Cesar Hernandez:  1/2 with his second HR while hitting .237.  Stable and underrated just like always.

Jake Arrieta:  8 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 2.25.  I have been a huge critic of Arrieta's in the past in rightfully predicting he would go bust when his fastball began to erode but now he has finally adjusted his approach after some initial stubbornness with impressive results.  I can get on board with this version of Arrieta if he sticks with it but the lack of K's drop him to SP 4 territory.

Marcell Ozuna:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .290.  Six home runs in six games now for Ozuna who is beginning to really cement himself as a supreme slugger.

Matt Carpenter:  1/5 with his third HR while hitting .203.  We all know Carpenter began selling out for home runs a few seasons ago but he is taking this approach to the extreme.

Hunter Dozier:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .298.  That's one home run since I told you to pick up Dozier.

Tim Anderson:  1/2 with his 4th HR while hitting .424.  Listen the tools were all there for Anderson to turn into a monster five-tool stud in fantasy baseball if he learned some plate discipline but it seems like having a baby simply did the trick.

Scott Barlow:  scoreless 9th for first save and ERA of 2.25.  Wily Peralta pitched the 8th and 9th in the closer spot while Ian Kennedy is dominating in setup.  Such a mess.

A.J. Pollock:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .243.  Pollock used to be a .300 hitter but perhaps rampant injuries and swinging for the fences conspired to take that away.

Sonny Gray:  6 IP 2 H 3 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.79.  The poster guy for pitching in the NL being easier than operating in the AL.  Or the posted child for someone who can't hack it in a big city.

Walker Buehler:  6.1 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 5.40.  It is likely there was almost zero buy low window here given the immense upside and a return to dominance was certainly expected.  Back on track to stardom.

J.D. Martinez:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .352.  About the only Red Sox player who has not absolutely stunk up the joint early on.

Brett Gardner:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .203.  The grand slam was the 100th homer of Gardner's career.  Aaron Judge almost is even with him with about 10 fewer seasons.

J.A. Happ:  6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 7.23.  Velocity readings don't matter here as Happ throws his fastball so up in the zone it appears faster than it really is.  Instead, the four-seamer is getting crushed right now but perhaps this is an indication things are heading in the right direction.

Jose Ramirez:  0/4 while hitting .145.  I mean this guy has got to be kidding me. 

Carlos Carrasco:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 12 K with an ERA of 7.41.  Much better.  Once Carrasco put up a few quick zeroes with a haul of K's, you knew he would dominate which is his M.O.

Erik Swanson:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.38.  This one needs to be watched closely as Swanson can really miss bats and has decent control as well.  Add to the radar. 

Steven Duggar:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .247.  Duggar is on a hot streak right now.  That's all. 

Juan Soto:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .254.  The power may not be as potent as you think when you digest the advanced metrics which showed Soto was quite into the outlier realm given his previous norms.  Be that as it may, Soto is still a supreme natural hitter who will at the very least earn top OF 2 status. 

Howie Kendrick:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .500.  The guy could always hit. 

Javier Baez:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .324.  Yeah it used to be we worried about Baez' batting average.  Now not so much.

Cole Hamels:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.77.  It pretty much looks like we have the Philadelphia Phillies version of Hamels again. 

Brandon Lowe:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .300.  Truth be told, I thought Lowe could cool off by now.  Not happening. 

Adam Jones:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .319.  Surely someone should have signed Jones well before he inked his deal with Arizona.  Same goes in fantasy baseball drafts.

Kevin Gausman:  7 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.75.  I picked up Gausman prior to this outing as he is a two-start pitcher next week with solid matchups but also because he has thrown pretty damn well since arriving in Atlanta. 

Jose LeClerc:  1 ER in 1 IP for his 5th save and an ERA of 6.14.  Boy has this been ugly so far.  I was a big fan of LeClerc's coming into the season but he is starting to look like yet another one-year closing wonder.  Shawn Kelley is the recommended handcuff. 




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: KRIS BRYANT 3B CHICAGO CUBS

Yeah him again.  If it seems like we have been in Crisis Point mode with Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant for a long while now, it is because we have.  A shoulder injury that dogged him for almost all of 2018 and led to depressed offensive numbers across the board for the former MVP and first-round monster are now creeping into a second season as Bryant goes into Wednesday's action with the following digits:

.217
1 HR
6 RBI
10 R
1 SB
22.9 K/9
10.0 BB/9
.279 BABIP

As we have said over and over again in this space, shoulder injuries can be career-derailing ailments not only for a pitcher but a hitter as well.  If not surgically fixed like in Bryant's case, shoulder trouble can sap power and greatly diminish the velocity of the ball coming off the bat.  It is no coincidence that Bryant managed just 13 home runs last season (down from a high of 39 in 2016) and is sitting on only 1 as we write this.  Add in a woeful .217 average and 1 steal and Bryant has been almost a complete zero from a fantasy baseball angle.  Even more troubling is that Bryant's strikeouts have gone up each of the last two years as well, going from 19.2 in 2017 up to 23.4 and 22.9 since.  Finally, Bryant's fly ball rate has dropped dramatically; going from 45.8 in 2016 all the way down to a terrible 34.1 this season.  As we already noted, this is not a coincidence as it appears Bryant is having big trouble generating power and you can't say for a second the shoulder is not to blame.  Where there is smoke there is fire in situations such as this and if I am an owner of Bryant, there is major cause for concern you have a major bust candidate on your roster. 





2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Gleyber Torres:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .290.  In what was one of the all-time heists, the Yanks got the Cubs to give them Torres for Aroldis Chapman.....and then re-signed Chapman that winter. 

Clint Frazier:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .293.  We have quickly learned that Frazier can be incredibly streaky so get him back in there now that he went yard for the first time in over a week.

Chris Sale:  5 IP 7 H 4 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 8.50.  The velocity was actually better as Sale hit 98 once and sat in the 94 range.  Still he tore himself a new one after the game which shows he has zero confidence and again no surprise here as his slight frame was never going to hold up against the insane workloads of the last few seasons. 

James Paxton:  8 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 12 K with an ERA of 3.91.  It was confirmed that Paxton was tipping his pitches prior to this and so he obviously adjusted in a major way.  Paxton was still hitting 98 in the 8th inning and the movement was wicked.  Additionally, the outing at least quiets questions for now that he can't handle the NY spotlight. 

Michael Conforto:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .313.  When you talk about easy power, this is it. 

Wilson Ramos:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .321.  Owning Ramos is incredibly stressful as any one move could meant a trip to the DL.  While on the field on a per game basis however, Ramos is as good as it gets. 

J.T. Relamuto:  3/5 with his second HR while hitting .263.  Realmuto's power is still at Miami Marlins rates but I think that changes as the weather heats up. 

Scott Kingery:  3/4 with his first HR while hitting .524.  Pick this man up as it looks like Jean Segura is headed to the IL with a hamstring strain. 

Maikel Franco:  1/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .259.  You can't say Franco has not been consistent with his power for the better part of a season now. 

Steven Matz:  6 ER in 0 IP with an ERA of 4.96.  Matz' owners who played him yesterday likely need therapy this morning. 

Starling Marte:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .213.  Not a lot of hitting going on right now for Marte but this represents a nice buy low opportunity. 

Matthew Boyd:  7 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.96.  Yeah I am getting on board now with this as Boyd's offspeed usage and increases spin rate has sent his decent stuff to another level.

Joe Musgrove:  7 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 0.81.  Musgrove is a control artist with K's that go up and down like an elevator but he certainly has a place as a strong SP 4 on any roster. 

Shane Greene:  2 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 2.00.  Hope you sold high. 

Brandon Belt:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .237.  Once a lauded hitting prospect all the way around, it seems like Belt is now selling out for homers and nothing else. 

Evan Longoria:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .200.  There is no reason to ever own Longoria again. 

Stephen Strasburg:  6 IP 6 H 4 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 5.56.  Strasburg's velocity remains in the 93 range and opposing hitters are not having any trouble driving the ball.  The home runs are going out at such a scary rate that Strasburg is now reminding me of Scott Baker. 

Javier Baez:  3/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .314.  Baez has now fully graduated into a star player no questions asked. 

Jose Quintana:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.43.  That's two completely dominant starts in a row now for Quintana who we all know has some big talent but inconsistency has plagued him badly since leaving the White Sox. 

Tyler Glasnow:  7 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 1.13.  Zero walks!  I mean we all knew going to Tampa Bay would go swimmingly for Glasnow as they are now the premier pitching factory in baseball in nudging ahead of longtime great St. Louis. 

Diego Castillo:  scoreless 9th for second save and ERA of 0.00 while Jose Alvarado worked the eighth.  We now have another full blown committee as Tampa Bay joins Baltimore, K.C., Philadelphia, and Minnesota. 

Ozzie Albies:  2/5 with his second HR while hitting .333.  Those who panicked when Albies slumped the second half of last season and avoided him this spring have learned a harsh lesson not to doubt obvious young talent. 

Ronald Acuna Jr.:  2/2 with his sixth HR while hitting .337.  Likely will be a top three pick for the next 5 years at least. 

A.J. Minter:  3 ER in .2 IP with an ERA of 9.94.  Minter doesn't look right to me and so Jesse Biddle should be on your watch lists.

Marcell Ozuna:  1/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .293.  Ozuna is completely locked in now on his way to 30 homers.

Lorenzo Cain:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .306.  A little bit of everything here. 

Christian Yelich:  2/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .357.  You got to be F-ing kidding me. 

Yasmani Grandal:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .404.  I don't ever chase catchers in drafts but if I need, Grandal was going to be the guy. 

Jack Flaherty:  2.2 IP 9 H 5 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 5.00.  Like everything else in terms of those who throw a baseball for a living, this is not working out. 

Jorge Polanco:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .415.  The PED bust really dulled the hype surrounding Polanco but that just means you can grab him off waivers like I did in the Experts League. 

Eddie Rosario:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .264.  The buy low window is closing fast. 

Joey Gallo:  2/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .245.  Gallo was even nice enough to add a second hit to the homer which you don't see often. 

Asdrubal Cabrera:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .222.  This fantasy baseball existence has gone on about two years beyond what we all anticipated. 

Mike Minor:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.60.  Many have forgotten that Minor was once a top pitching prospect in the Atlanta Braves's system due to fantastic control and deceptively good strikeout stuff.  You know like he showed here. 

Yoan Moncada:  2/4 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .333.  This full breakout is going to be a beautiful thing to see. 

Garrett Hampson:  2/4 with his first HR and first SB while hitting .200.  Hampson literally did nothing coming into this game so he likely was dropped in many leagues.  Still worth a look. 

Nolan Arenado:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .264.  After Arenado hit his first home run a few days ago,  I said he would now go yard every day for a week.  That's three down and 4 to go. 

Wil Myers:  2/2 with his 5th HR while hitting .317.   Tried to get Myers on as many teams as I could this spring given the fact the price fell way down past where it should have gone.  Still a top power/speed guy. 

Jon Gray:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.42.  Queue up the shelling for his next time out. 

George Springer:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .265.  Still no sign of Springer ever moving out of leadoff.  Bummer. 

Alex Bregman:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .302.  There are few guys I would pay through the nose to get a hold of but this is one of them. 

Colin McHugh:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.96.  McHugh making it look easy and yeah so wishing I picked him up when I had the chance. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: EVEN ONE MISSED START A BIG DEAL FOR BLAKE SNELL OWNERS

Given how insanely poor the pitching has been during the first half of the month of April to begin the season, one of the precious few hurlers who actually have dominated for large stretches of that run hit in the IL on Tuesday in the form of Tampa Bay ace and reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell.  While Snell is only expected to miss one start due to fractured toe, even that one missed outing is a big loss for his fantasy baseball owners given how tremendous a pitcher the strikeout artists has turned out to be.  Even though we expected at least some bit of a regression in Snell's numbers this season compared to his monster 2018, he was still worthy of top-five status among all starters entering the season and the struggles of guys like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Nola, Noah Syndergaard, and Stephen Strasburg have shown just how valuable Snell has been. 

-Another hard-throwing pitcher hit the IL on Tuesday and that was the Milwaukee Brewers' Freddy Peralta.  While lauded for his terrific ability to miss bats that led to 11 K's during his first start of the season, some truly pitiful control and pitch efficiency prevented Peralta from even reaching 4 innings of late.  It turns out Peralta's shoulder was bothering him and that means the Brewers will likely take a ton of precautions here just in case.  Cut him loose.

-Finally, it never ends with New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird whose pronounced injury history became even more stark Tuesday when he hit the IL with plantar fascia tear.  At this point, Bird's once top-notch prospect hype has completely vanished and this only strengthens the leash for Luke Voit who has been struggling so far this season. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: FRANMIL REYES OUTFIELDER SAN DIEGO PADRES

When a player hits three home runs in the last five games, the fantasy baseball world takes notice.  Whether things continue on a positive path from that point forward is entirely on the skill set of the player involved and most often a look under the statistical hood is needed to come to some clarity on this.  This is where we are at right now with San Diego Padres outfield slugger Franmil Reyes who in fact has hit 3 home runs in his last five games and who goes into Tuesday's action with the following numbers:

.222
4 HR
8 RBI
5 R
0 SB
15.1 K/9
11.3 BB/9
.171 BABIP

Perhaps most importantly in all of the numbers above is the fact that Reyes is still just 23 and since he already is an imposing power hitter, the 3-4 seasons or remaining upside point to something really positive taking place here.  Getting back to the numbers, Reyes is a power guy all the way and he showed this in spades during his 2018 rookie debut when he hit 16 home runs and drove in 31 batters in just 261 at-bats for the Padres which planted him firmly on the fantasy baseball radar.  Now Reyes did show his youth when he posted an ugly 28.1 K/9 rate but he pretty much fell in line with almost all young slugger in that area.  More impressively was that Reyes drew walks at a 8.4 BB/9 clip and that is a sign of patience/maturity that other young hitters don't always have.  Fast forward to present day and Reyes has improved both number in posting a 15.1 K/9 and 11.3 BB/9.  Yes, the .222 average remains ugly but keep in mind Reyes' .171 BABIP is incredibly unlucky and is due to regress some more to the mean.  This means the average is due to come up more than a bit and when combined with the power, make Reyes a big breakout candidate for 2019.  Again you wont find any steals here which is a minor quibble and Reyes may still struggle to hit .265 but 25-30 home runs is very much i in play if the playing time is there.  Reyes has the type of immense natural power that no ballpark can hold and so Petco Park doesn't figure to be a major deterrent either.  So given the fact the discrimination of San Diego hitters remains pervasive, it is likely Reyes is still sitting there on your league's waiver wire.  If this is the case, pick him up now before the real fun gets going.  Given the recent power spike, it might already be underway. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Dwight Smith Jr.:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .270.  Not sure how much longer this will last in terms of consistent contributions from Smith Jr. but as always ride out the streak.

Brandon Nimmo:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .241.  Nimmo is starting to come out of the funk that engulfed the first two weeks of his season and so if anyone dropped him, now is the time to make the add. 

Maikel Franco:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .265.  Being dropped in the order likely took the heat off of Franco and allowed his bat to start to come around but truth be told, he has been performing quite well since the midway point of 2018.

Noah Syndergaard:  5 IP 9 H 5 ER 3 BB 9 K with an ERA of 5.63.  The ERA is ghastly but Thor's WHIP is 1.13 which is very good and he continues to miss a ton of bats which shows he is also getting a bit unlucky.  Stay the course.

Aaron Nola:  4 IP 7 H 5 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 7.45.  Remember that Nola was pretty bad the first month of last season as well so try not to panic just yet.  The average 92.9 fastball velocity is right on par with his standard norm there as well.

Wilson Contreras:  2/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .341.  With the early career detours out of the way, look out here. 

Yu Darvish:  5.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 4 BB 8 K with an ERA of 6.11.  Pathetic that this is the best the vastly fading Darvish can do versus a listless Miami team.  What garbage he has become. 

Paul Goldschmidt:  2/3 with his 7th HR while hitting .226.  Maybe Goldy just doesn't hit for average in April anymore. 

Marcell Ozuna:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .291.  Loving the way Ozuna is hitting the ball right now and this is what all of his 2018 fantasy baseball owners anticipated when they invested here.  Still flat in his prime and now adding some steals, Ozuna could be looking at a career campaign. 

Christian Yelich:  3/4 with 3 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .354.  Just hand him another MVP already.

Mike Moustakas:  2/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .241.  I said this past March that Moustakas is well-worth investing in given his power matchup with Miller Park and this from a guy who always hated on him previously.  In twisting what the Million Dollar Man once said, "every player has a spot on my team for a decent price." 

Freddy Peralta:  3 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 7.13.  This is not working as Peralta can't get out of the fourth inning with his high pitch counts and ugly control. 

Matt Shoemaker:  6 IP 4 H 3 ER 4 BB 4 K with an ERA of 1.75.  Already Shoemaker is starting to come back to earth.  Get out now. 

Kole Calhoun:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .190.  If Calhoun ends up on your team, you should be doing something else.

Joey Gallo:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .217.  Good to see Gallo settling back into his sub-.220 average after flirting with .250 for a bit. 

Shin-Soo Choo:  3/5 with his first HR while hitting .333.  The Texas Rangers lead baseball in boring veteran hitters with no speed who can still be a help.

Asdrubal Cabrera:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .216.  See above.

Hunter Dozier:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .300.  Maybe Brian should contact him to learn how to hit again. 

Jose Ramirez:  1/3 with his first HR and two steals (5 for season) while hitting .150.  Took long enough.  Man Ramirez has been downright pathetic to begin the season but he also came out of the gates slow last year as well.  Good to see he is still running though.

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .298.  Yeah he is not done yet. 

Omar Narvaez:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .281.  Narvaez showed glimpses of this level of performance a year ago and is carrying it over to Seattle. 

Trevor Bauer:  6.2 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.05.  The best pitcher in Cleveland right now hands down.

Yusei Kikuchi:  3 ER in 6 IP with 5 K and an ERA of 4.23.  You get the sense that Kikuchi is one big yawn. 

Yasiel Puig:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .191.  I don't think the Dodgers are missing Puig too much. 

Joc Pederson:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .255.  Pederson is available in more leagues than you think which goes to show you that minus steals, guys who hit for power like this are being treated as a bore.

Clayton Kershaw:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.57.  Successful return for Kershaw but he has a ton to prove not only with his health but with his stuff. 

Raisel Iglesias:  2 ER in 0 IP with an ERA of 6.75.  Robert Stephenson is becoming more interesting by the day. 


Monday, April 15, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: JACOB DeGROM SP NEW YORK METS

Did Jacob DeGrom just give up another home run?  With 5 homers surrendered in his last two starts, DeGrom has undoubtedly hit a rut his last two starts where he got blasted by the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves to the tune of 9 earned runs in 9 innings which raised his ERA to 3.68 but some perspective is needed overall here.  For one thing, it was going to be virtually impossible for DeGrom to replicate his insane 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP like he had during his Cy Young season of 2018 and so that alone should have been cause for expecting the ratios to rise.  So while the last two starts have been a bit disturbing, the underlying metrics still point to DeGrom as being a slam-dunk ace for 2019 fantasy baseball in every sense. 

In digging into the numbers a bit more, DeGrom's stuff remains as overpowering as ever as he already has 36 strikeouts in just 22 innings which is good for a ridiculous 14.73 K/9.  In addition, DeGrom's average fastball velocity of 96.8 would be a career high if the season were to end today.  Add in a walk rate that is just slightly elevated and DeGrom is pretty much doing what he was for almost all of 2018.  That being said, the home runs are clearly a bit of an issue right now but considering that DeGrom is still missing so many bats, the thought that he may be tipping pitches is not out of the realm of possibility.  If DeGrom were to start losing velocity with all the home runs, then there would be cause for some major concern but that is clearly not the case here.  As a result, those who own stock in DeGrom need not worry about any drop in productivity and instead should trust the talent will eventually do its thing with regards to more dominance.  For the DeGrom owner in your league is becoming a bit jittery then by all means try to buy low but overall this is a whole bit about nothing. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Xander Bogaerts:  2/3 with his second HR while hitting .308.  What's funny about Bogaerts is that many of his fantasy baseball owners thought the sky was falling in terms of his start to the season but yet he is hitting .308.

David Price:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.79.  Don't think for a second that Price's big postseason performance last fall didn't unleash a new level of comfort now in Boston.  

J.D. Davis:  1/2 with his third HR while hitting .257.  The return of Todd Frazier will make Davis a non-story real soon.

Josh Donaldson:  2/3 with his second HR while hitting .264.  Donaldson's seems to have found his sea legs now in Atlanta.  The push for another contract next winter could lead to a mini bounce back.

Nick Markakis:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .327.  Markakis might be one of the most underrated hitters of his generation.  

Jacob DeGrom:  5 IP 5 H 3 ER 4 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.68.  Don't panic here DeGrom owners as he is still missing a ton of bats which shows the stuff is as great as ever.  Instead, DeGrom could be tipping his pitches a bit given the 5 home runs allowed in his last two.  

Tim Anderson:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .429.  I think more MLB hitters are going to try and knock up their significant others given how insane Anderson has performed with the stick since the birth of his child.  

Carlos Rodon:  6 IP 3 H 2 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.27.  Rodon's control remains as bad as ever but the allure of his K's also is still present.  The AL version of Jon Gray.  

Masahiro Tanaka:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 3.22.  Tanaka was dominant coming in so just a bad outing.  

Freddy Galvis:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .351.  Starting to think Galvis worked out with Jose Altuve this past winter in figuring out ways to hit more long balls.  

Jean Segura:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .317.  Segura is dropping into boring veteran territory.

Cesar Hernandez:  2/5 with his first HR and second SB while hitting .200.  Hernandez is a guy who always yields a profit and if someone dropped him off the bit of a slow start, grab him.  

Brian Anderson:  1/5 with his second HR and second SB while hitting .228.  Anderson will need to do a whole bunch more of this to be anything but NL-only fodder.  

Max Scherzer:  8 IP 7 H 3 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.43.  Scherzer has been a bit more hittable than ever so far this season but small sample size abounds.  

Leonys Martin:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .271.  What's funny about Martin is that no matter how many home runs he hits, no on will still want to pick him up.

Whit Merrifield:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .328.  Any power from Merrifield serve as icing on the top of his blockbuster fantasy baseball game.

Jorge Soler:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .217.  I still think there is a very useful player here.  

Corey Kluber:  2.2 IP 6 H 6 ER 5 BB 4 K with an ERA of 6.16.  Yup I told you all to avoid this potential land mine and the 6 walks likely indicate a guy who is losing velocity and trying to unsuccessfully alter his approach to overcome it.  

Matt Chapman:  1/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .294.  Beginning to think of Chapman as the AL version of Anthony Rendon.  

Elvis Andrus:  3/4 with his third HR and fourth SB while hitting .414.  Andrus fell hard in drafts this season but boy he and Tim Anderson look like they are trying to one-up each other.  

Nolan Arenado:  1/2 with his first HR while hitting .254.  The fact it took Arenado this long to hit his first home run means he will hit 8 in the next 6 games.  

German Marque:  9 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.00.  This game was tailor-made for dominance since Marquez got the woeful Giants lineup away from Coors Field.  Marquez clearly has the ace-level stuff but still has to show he can do this consistently at home.  

Mitch Haniger:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .289.  Haniger is a pronounced first-half guy as he is showing once again but that blockbuster season he has always hinted at could be attainable if the health cooperates.  

Gerrit Cole:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 3.24.  Finally a win for Cole which was way overdue.  

Joc Pederson:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .235.  Still not seeing average gains despite a better approach at the dish.

Alex Verdugo:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .343.  Verdugo should have already been picked up in your league but he is still worth checking to see if you league fell asleep.  




Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: BRAVES PLACE ARODYS VIZCAINO ON THE DL WITH SHOULDER INFLAMMATION

Here we go again.  In a theme that has gone back for years, the Atlanta Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the IL with what the team is calling shoulder inflammation.  Having been bothered by shoulder trouble for years, this is par for the course for Vizcaino and now that means the very capable A.J. Minter will go back to finishing games like he did very well the second half of 2019.  Those in need of saves should move aggressively here as Minter is skilled enough to hold onto the job even when Vizcaino eventually returns.  As far as the latter, it is likely Vizcaino will be out longer than the minimum IL stay given the nature of his shoulder trouble. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CODY BELLINGER 1B/OF LOS ANGELES DODGERS

While the Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon may have something to say about it, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger is already making himself the front-runner for not only real game MVP but also fantasy baseball MVP after the23-year-old swatted his 9th home run in just 71 at-bats Saturday night to help raise his average to a scorching .422.  While we already have seen a monster campaign from Bellinger back in 2017 when he came up as a rookie to swat 39 home runs and drive in 97, a bit of a sophomore slump in 2018 when those numbers dropped to 25/76 dulled some of the enthusiasm for the kid.  If you were a smart fantasy baseball player however, you would have known some giveback with the numbers was on the way last season since opposing pitchers would adjust but that also the talent was undeniable to hold Bellinger down long.  Enter into present day and Bellinger has been hitting everything right on the nose so far with his 9 home runs and 22 RBI and he also has added 2 steals to continue to contribute in that category.  Combined together, Bellinger is a five-tool superstar slugger who qualifies both at first base and the outfield to help separate himself from most of the rest of baseball in terms of value.  Even better, Bellinger's K/9 of just 11.3 is miles down from the 26.5 and 23.9 marks his first two years in the game and it shows the rapid maturity in his approach.  So when you factor in Bellinger is only still just 23, the ceiling is frighteningly immense as the numbers should enter into the ridiculous mode this season. 


Saturday, April 13, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: CARLOS CARRASCO SP CLEVELAND INDIANS

It was ugly and it was quick when it came to the utter beating Cleveland Indians ace-level starter Carlos Carrasco underwent Friday night versus the Kansas City Royals.  Generating just two outs and surrendering a massive 6 earned runs, Carrasco was a complete abomination all the way around as his season ERA through three starts rose to an unsightly 12.60 and the WHIP at 2.50.  A pitcher who has long been known for suffering yearly injuries (not to mention a past Tommy John surgery), Carrasco is also aging a bit as he turned 32 this past March.  Be that as it may, Carrasco was widely viewed as an ace pitchers in fantasy baseball given the fact he had struck out 200 batters or more in three of the previous four seasons to go with attractive ERA and WHIP rates and so his draft price did not come cheap.  Unfortunately, there have been nothing but bad signs here so far and the most glaring is the fact Carrasco's already sliding fastball velocity is down yet again this season.  Starting in 2014 when Carrasco's average fastball velocity was a very potent 96.4, he has slid each and every season since including 2018 when it dropped to 94.1.  This season so far that number has dropped even more to 93.5.  Going along with that decline is an increase in home runs given up and that is par for the course for a pitcher who is leaking fastball potency.  So that has led us to the current predicament for Carrasco's owners and needless to say the inbox filled up last night after his early exit.  Obviously, the only thing to do now is hold since you can't trade Carrasco low for pennies on the dollar but sitting him the next time out is also not out of the discussion.  While I still believe in the talent, the leaking velocity, injury history, and increase in homers is a bad omen that needs more time for us to digest in terms of whether or not this is an overall decrease in level of performance.  Yes the season is very much in its early phases but Carrasco is right there at the top of pitching concerns. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: FRIDAY

Albert Pujols:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .239.  It is staggering the amount of money Pujols is still owned.  This is why teams don't want to give out long term deals and has nothing to do with collusion.

Wilson Contreras:  3/4 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .333.  I tried my hardest to get shares of Contreras this spring but the fantasy baseball community as a whole seemed to accept 2018 was just an off year and nothing more.  Obviously this is looking to be the case.

Anthony Rizzo:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .204.  Starting to think Rizzo has some Mark Teixeira in him in terms of an April phobia. 

Tyler Skaggs:  4 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.20.  The ball was flying out of Wrigley which resulted in three homers given up by Skaggs but he also struck out 7 which shows the quality of stuff was intact.  I would hold. 

Cole Hamels:  8 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.79.  Hamels still has some prime fantasy baseball life left now that he has left Texas and if this doesn't show the difference between the two leagues, I don't know what will.

Brandon Nimmo:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .205.  If someone dropped Nimmo, I would give him a shot in deeper leagues as he does a little of everything, strikeouts be damned. 

Zack Wheeler:  6 IP 6 H 2 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 7.47.  The walks have been unacceptable but this is what you sign up for when also trying to get a hold of this breakout power arm. 

Eloy Jimenez:  3/4 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .319.  Right on schedule. 

Brett Gardner:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .200.  Gardner will struggle to hit .250 but an easy 15 homers and 15 steals is still in the picture. 

Yonder Alonso:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .162.  I bet you the White Sox don't even want Alonso around now that they failed to get Manny Machado but luckily you don't have such a commitment. 

J.A. Happ:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 8.76.  I mean it is not like Happ has not succeeding in the AL East and in a brutal park as well like he did in Toronto.  Man it is tough to hold here given the lack of run support now in the listless Yankee lineup but maybe bench Happ for one more start to see if he can pull out it it. 

Josh Bell:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting. 295.  Liking what I am seeing out of Bell so far and he should be picked up everywhere to fill in UTIL or CI.  Like with Wilson Contreras a year ago, I think Bell is shaking off some 2018 struggles.

Anthony Rendon:  2/5 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .426.  That is now 5 homers since I said Rendon is a darkhorse NL MVP.  Maybe not so darkhorse anymore. 

Patrick Corbin:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.84.  As a Corbin owner, I have to nitpick the home runs given up but the bigger issue if the disgusting Nats bullpen throwing all his wins away. 

Austin Meadows:  3/5 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .367.  I nailed the sleeper post on this guy so far.  I will say the talent was obvious enough though if you looked past some missteps in the minors. 

Brandon Lowe:  2/5 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .289.  20 home runs with a .280 average and a few steals sound about right.  What is that worth to you?

Dwight Smith Jr.:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .278.  On miserable teams like the Orioles, you can find some useful young pieces and Smith Jr. qualifies for those in deeper formats. 

Andrew Benintendi:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .278.  It is early but still have not seen power growth yet from Benintendi which is mildly disappointing. 

Eduardo Rodriguez:  6.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 7.98.  Yes it was the Orioles but this is why I said to hold E-Rod.  The guy can really crank it in terms of strikeouts and the Red Sox will provide plenty of win chances once they get their heads out of their assesses. 

Ryan Brasier:  scoreless .2 IP for his third save and ERA of 1.35.  Yeah Brasier is the guy so I picked wrong drafting Matt Barnes.  I never want to play in a league with closers again. 

Andrew McCutchen:  3/4 with his third HR while hitting .262.  McCutchen has become such a blah name in the fantasy baseball community that you may be able to steal him for a bag of balls in your league.  Try it. 

Jake Arrieta:  7 IP 5 H1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.25.  Impressive but of course it has to be qualified that it is the Miami Marlins. 

Khris Davis:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .265.  I mean pitchers need to stop throwing him anything to hit. 

Ramon Laureano:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .258.  We have seen more than enough so far for Laureano to be owned almost everywhere.

Carlos Carrasco:  6 ER in .2 IP with an ERA of 12.60.  Wow.  Carrasco is down in velocity so far and since he has always been home run prone, this is a problem.  Again, the guy never seems to be able to fight through adversity but obviously for now you have to hold since you can't sell low. 

Brad Keller:  6.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 5 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.45.  I guess you could say Keller was effectively wild. 

Jose Altuve:  2/5 with his sixth HR while hitting .321.  It is like Altuve is transforming himself as a hitter right before our eyes.  It used to take him three months for six homers but how we get this.  Altuve certainly is adding power as he ages which is often what you see (Charlie Blackmon for example) and so I won't say this is a fluke.

George Springer:  2/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .281. Springer is kind of just "there" for me. 

Cody Bellinger:  2/4 with his 8th HR and second SB while hitting .417.  Wow if Bellinger can keep up the running with his insane power, the numbers overall could be insane. 



Friday, April 12, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: PETE ALONSO 1B NEW YORK METS

Aaron Judge move over.  You got some company in New York as a superstar monster slugger and it comes in the form of Mets first baseman Pete Alonso who is not only taking the city by storm but the fantasy baseball world as well.  Already having carried a ton of hype coming into the season after he smacked 36 homers at two levels in 2018, Alonso has exploded out of the gates with 5 bombs in just 46 at-bats.  Almost every one of those homers has been of the majestic variety and that included last night versus the Atlanta Braves when Alonso sent a baseball splashing down into the pond beyond the centerfield fence.  As we go into Friday's action, Alonso takes the following numbers with him:

.366
5 HR
15 RBI
9 R
0 SB
30.4 K/9
10.9 BB/9
.455 BABIP

Obviously, the power is immense here as Alonso is a monster of a man physically and he will continue to collect home runs by the bushel in making a firm run toward 40 bombs this season.  What also has to be mentioned here which doesn't get as much attention is the fact that Alonso is a terrific pure hitter as well.  Granted Alonso does strike out a bunch which was anticipated but he also draws walks and goes the other way when needed.  So Alonso is far from being just a pure power hitter and the average reflects that.  

Now as far the downside of things, Alonso's .455 BABIP is obviously due to come down a ton and so the average will take a plunge with it.  Prior to the season, I felt Alonso would be more of a .265 hitter and given the 30.4 K/9 that could still be the case.  Still, Alonso's 10/9 BB/9 helps offset the strikeouts some and the power as we noted is as good as it gets. So really Alonso is fully graduating into being one of the very best sluggers and first baseman in fantasy baseball and that doesn't figure to change for quite awhile.  The ride has certainly been tremendous so far and even the similarly skilled Judge has to be impressed.  


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY WATCH: GARY SANCHEZ COULD BE HEADED TO IL WITH GROIN INJURY

Having started the season red hot with 6 home runs, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez may be headed to the IL with the groin injury that had him on the bench for Wednesday's game.  Fueling speculation of this move was the Yankees calling up minor league catcher Kyle Higashioka late Thursday to possibly back up Austin Romine.  While the Yankees have made no public comment on a possible IL stint for Sanchez, one has to wonder if the Higashioka move is a pretense.  Stay tuned. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Khris Davis:  2/5 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .266.  You can't get anything past Davis right now and while the average always leaves a lot to be desired, there is not a better power hitter in the entire game.

Josh Phegley:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .313.  With Yadier Molina facing a day off for rest and no game Friday, I picked up Phegley to fill-in which worked out nicely.  As far as Phegley is concerned, he has been surprisingly good for a guy who was a borderline major leaguer.  As always with catcher being the way it is, you ride out any hot player here. 

Marcus Semien:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .323.  Been saying for years Semien was criminally underrated and he is showing that more than ever.  Now with an 11.8 K/9 and 10.3 BB/9, all signs point to Semien being a very stable breakout candidate.

Dylan Bundy:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 8.76.  Bundy has an appointment with a chiropractor after seeing so many home runs (4) sail out behind him. 

Amed Rosario:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .283.  I still think Rosario should be hitting near the top of the order where his burgeoning power/speed game can really dazzle but for now expect another season of incremental gains across the board.

Pete Alonso:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .378.  There will be a Pete Alonso Status Report later today since you can never have too much Pete Alonso.

Ronald Acuna Jr.:  3/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .262.  If you were to draw up a baseball player who physically checks all the boxes, this guy would be it. 

Steven Matz:  6 IP 4  H 2 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.65.  This is the best I have ever seen Matz pitch as his fastball and offspeed stuff are generating a ton of swings and misses.  Health has been a long-term struggle for Matz over the years but that has stabilized going back to 2018 which is likely allowing the stuff to flourish.  See where it goes. 

Eugenio Suarez:  3/4 with his third HR while hitting .297.  Stability all the way.

Sonny Gray:  4 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.03.  Gray is loving life in the NL now as he is really racking up the Ks but of course still infuriates by leaving one inning shy of getting a win. 

Leonys Martin:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .237.  Said the other day Martin should be owned everywhere given his leadoff chops and 15/10 ability.

Shane Bieber:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.80.  No one will be shocked at how well Bieber is pitching given that he dominated all spring and literally walks no one.  There will be regrets felt all around for those who didn't get shares.

Daniel Vogelbach:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .400.  Meet the 2019 version of Jesus Aguilar. 

Dee Gordon:  3/4 with his first HR while hitting .365.  The Mariners are setting all sorts of home runs records that even Dee Gordon is getting in on the fun. 

Adalberto Mondesi:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .306.  I admit I was leery of the exploding price on Mondesi this spring given his shaky track record as a hitter but I also will admit few players are as fun to own right now in terms of the litany of numbers across the board he can supply. 

Kike Hernandez:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .349.  Why is this guy not leading off?

Walker Buehler:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 8.25.  Honestly the talent is so obvious here that I would do what I could to buy low from Bueheler's jittery owner.  Yes the sophomore jinx is real but I think by the end of May this will all be forgotten.

Justin Smoak:  1/3 with his 2nd HR while hitting .212.  It is not even exciting the fact Smoak will be traded at some point considering he has stunk while calling the launch pad that is Rogers Center home.

Freddy Galvis:  4/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .395.  Good to see Galvis adapting well to his new surroundings not only in Toronto but the bandboxes in the AL East.

Mitch Moreland:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .275.  I mean Moreland is so boring that I would rather go to the dentist than pick him up but he clearly is in a major streak of productivity right now.

Nathan Eovaldi:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 8.40.  Parts of last season (and obviously the postseason) taken out of the equation, Eovaldi has been a punching bag almost every year he has been in the majors.  This should not be a surprise the fact he is struggling. 

Jose Quintana:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 5.14.  Quintana still has this type of performance in him about once a month but it is the rest of the time that makes him impossible to depend on. 

Austin Hedges:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .214.  I mean Francisco Mejia really has to beat this guy out. 

Kevin Pillar:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .200.  You wanted too pick up Pillar the other day but didn't and now he has hit homers in two straight.  This is how it works. 


Thursday, April 11, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ROYALS OUTFIELDER BILLY HAMILTON CARTED OFF AFTER CRASHING INTO WALL

In what was an ugly scene late in their game versus the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton was carted off the field Thursday after crashing into the outfield wall chasing a fly ball.  Hamilton was in obvious pain after hitting the wall and he is currently undergoing testing.  While Hamilton has had a career filled with being overrated based almost singularly on his ability to steal bases, there was some optimism surrounding his name going into the 2019 fantasy baseball season due to the fact the Royals are arguably the most aggressive team in the majors in swiping bags. Unfortunately, it looks like Hamilton will be out for possibly an extended time given how bad the whole scene today appeared. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: TREY MANICNI OUTFIELDER BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Heading into the 2019 fantasy baseball season, the Baltimore Orioles arguably had the least amount of usable hitters/pitchers for our fake game and it wasn't even close for second.  While second baseman Jonathan Villar was the exception given his excellence in stealing bases, no one else up and down the lineup netted anything more than a very late round pick.  With that said, perhaps many missed the boat on outfielder Trey Mancini who first gave an indication he could contribute with the bat in fantasy baseball back during his 2017 debut but a rough encore campaign in 2018 send him to the netherworld when it came to drafts this past spring.  Fast forward to present day and Mancini just got done smacking his sixth home run of the season on Wednesday which raised his average to .362 and bumped his runs/RBI totals to 12.  Just now entering into his prime after turning 27 this past March, it appears Mancini's early performance has some legs to it but as always lets dig in on the advanced metrics to get a better read on this. 

As noted earlier, Mancini first burst onto the scene in 2017 when he came up to smack 24 home runs and bat .293 for the Orioles; a performance that put him right into the firm OF 3 territory due to the fact those numbers were backed up by some swell minor league metrics.  Specifically speaking, Mancini hit .300 or better in 5 out of 7 minor league stops prior to arriving in Baltimore and they were accompanied by solid power that portended what was to come in the major leagues.  Unfortunately, Mancini couldn't avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx that takes down so many young hitters these days and he struggled so badly during the first half of 2018 that he was cut loose from the majority of his original owners.  Still, Mancini stayed with it and the second half was a different story as he got back on track and actually wound up finishing with the same 24 homers from his rookie campaign.  Yes, the .242 average was nasty but an unlucky .285 BABIP helped in that matter.

So as we sit here today, Mancini is fully taking advantage of a plush spot in the middle of the Orioles lineup and his advanced rates are improved almost across the board as well.  On the latter front, Mancini's 7.7 BB/9 is a career-best so far and his 19.2 K/9 as well.  Yes, a lucky .344 BABIP will have to be answered for eventually but Mancini seems set to further solidify himself as a firm OF 3 whose is only held back with pretty much no contribution in the stolen base category. 

In the end, Trey Mancini is a stable commodity who should have a firm everyday spot in daily fantasy baseball lineups and while the Orioles will undoubtedly be awful this season, their slugging outfielder should be a bright spot. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Jose Ramirez:  0/4 while hitting .154.  No the Ramirez sky is not falling as he struggled quite a bit early last April as well.  What I will say is that Ramirez misses the Francisco Lindor protection a lot. 

Trevor Bauer:  5.2 IP 10 H 4 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.29.  Bauer did not have his best stuff clearly in this one but if anyone can dethrone Max Scherzer from the strikeout title this season, this guy is it.

Matthew Boyd:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.60.  Could Boyd be the new Charlie Morton in terms of mid-career renaissance?  Starting to look like it.

Shane Greene:  scoreless 9th for 8th save and ERA of 0.00.  Given how insanely volatile the closer fraternity is this season, it would feel tough to sell high here.  That being said, we all know Greene is not this good and he will be traded by the Tigers once they get their first decent offer into likely a setup situation. 

Mitch Garver:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .474.  How about the last two days Garver had?  Two homers off Jacob DeGrom and one against Edwin Diaz.  Pick him up.

Noah Syndergaard:  4 ER in 7 IP with 7 K and an ERA of 4.74.  Frustrating outing for Thor owners as he dominated for seven and then came out for the eighth where he gave up three runs with zero outs.  Should have been so much better. 

Austin Meadows:  3/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .341.  There was always some very intriguing power/speed upside here and Meadows is really starting to show it.  This could be the start of something big.

Tommy Pham:  2/5 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .286.  Pham is one of those guys who takes a meandering route to his achieving his numbers but in the end they are impressive in an OF 2 sense either way.

Tyler Glasnow:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 0.53.  Did a lengthy sleeper piece on Glasnow this past March in espousing how he was set up in a great situation in Tampa Bay which is a pitching factory.  The arm is a howitzer and since Glasnow continues to make positive gains in his previously nasty walk rates, a monster breakout could be in the offing.

Manny Machado:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .244.  Looking right at home out West.

Kevin Pillar:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .185.  There will be a home runs or two fewer in San Fran than in Toronto but Pillar leading off for the Giants should spike the steals to offset things. 

Nick Margevicius:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.69.  Margevicius is making the jump from A-Ball to the Padres this season and he is far from overmatched based on the swell early results.  The fastball velocity barely reaches 90 which means the margin of error is on the smaller side but in deep leagues and especially NL-only, the kid should be on your radar.

Jesse Winker:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .125.  Winker is a bit of an empty .300 average (obviously not right now) but he is young enough that he could very well tap into another level of power.  Another one for the deeper league crowd.

Matt Chapman:  3/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .305.  Boy is the Oakland lineup stacked.

Khris Davis:  3/5 with 2 home runs (7 for season) while hitting .254.  I would say this Khris won the battle of the Davis boys.

Chad Pinder:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .318.  Pinder is a bit of a product of the Oakland lineup in terms of getting good pitches to hit so don't overplay this hand. 

Trey Mancini:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .362.  We are in a bit of uncharted territory with Mancini as he never has hit for power at this rate.  Given his .300 hitting chops, the added pop really can send his stock soaring. 

Luke Voit:  1/5 with his 4th HR while hitting.  Voit always seems to knock a homer just when the chorus begins to get ready to explode and call him a 2018 fluke.

Brett Gardner:  1/5 with his second HR while hitting .196.  Given that the aging Gardner is now being forced to play everyday with there being so many injuries decimating the Yankee lineup, count on him now fatiguing out in July instead of August.

Jose Altuve:  2/4 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .314.  I am fine with Altuve trading away steals for homers if that's how he wants to do this.

Carlos Correa:  3/4 with his second HR while hitting .316.  This is the best I have seen Correa perform since he was a rookie. 

Colin McHugh:  6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 2.65.  The movement on McHugh's stuff is something to see and that is why he is generating so many strikeouts early on this season.  A true waiver wire gem so far given the way he has dominated. 

James Paxton:  5 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 6.00.  Paxton's main goals this season had to be staying healthy and proving he had the mental strength to handle pitching for the Yankees.  Right now he looks like he is being afflicted by Sonny Gray Disease. 

Joc Pederson:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .243.  Pederson had been in a hell of a slump leading into the game so this was good to see.  All part of the deal in owning this elevator (up and down) player.

Max Muncy:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .256.  Muncy is about right where I thought he would be coming into the season in terms of average and power. 

Marcell Ozuna:  3/4 with his third HR and second SB while hitting .262.  Ozuna seems to be unveiling a new trick with his steals so far. 

Yadier Molina:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .208.  Already there is talk Molina is going over the cliff given the average but instead, he has suffered from some ugly BABIP luck and the exit velocities are still on par.  He will be fine. 

Jack Flaherty:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.93.  I reached a bit for Flaherty in the Experts League given how much I believed in his power stuff and he should get extra credit for completely silencing what had been a murderous Dodgers lineup. 

Starling Marte:  2/5 with his first HR and third SB while hitting .225.  That's more like it.  Maybe Marte gave himself a bit of a "boost" before the game.

Jason Heyward:  3/4 with his fourth HR while hitting .371.  I guess we need to buy in again.

Yu Darvish:  4 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 7.50.  Should be on waivers everywhere.  Really. 

Lance Lynn:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.82.  You got so much more in the way of guts than yours truly if you use Lynn at any point this season. 

Jose LeClerc:  1 ER in .1 IP with an ERA of 7.20.  We may have a prime contender for the Derrick Turnbow One-Year Closing Wonder Award. 

Robbie Ray:  5 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.52.  If there are 2 walks or less, you are not getting anything off Robbie Ray.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: TWO ACES BITE THE INJURY DUST TUESDAY

It was one of those trainwreck days in fantasy baseball when injuries struck down top-tier talent across the game and in the process left owners in quite a bit of pain.  Right at the top of the injury blotter was not one but TWO ace-level pitchers going down for extended time periods and it adds to the chaos among a starting pitching fraternity that has been besieged with an insane amount of home runs going out of parks the first two weeks of the season.  Let's take them one at a time given the significance of the names:

Luis Severino:  Already on the IL after coming down with shoulder pain in spring training, New York Yankees ace Luis Severino is now going to be shut down for six weeks due to suffering a Grade 2 lat strain.  On its surface, this means Severino will be out at least until July as he will need to have the equivalent of a full spring training to get himself in shape but it is likely he will be out even longer given the severity of the injury.  Keep in mind that last season New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard missed virtually the entire year with a Grade 2 lat strain and so Severino is far from guaranteed to come back based on the original timeline.  Already looking like a bust candidate before the second injury, Severino's 2019 is already looking like a washout. 

Mike Clevinger:  There may not have been a more dominant starting pitcher to begin the 2019 season that the Cleveland Indians' Mike Clevinger who burst out of the gates 12 scoreless innings and a truly insane 22 strikeouts.  Unfortunately, Clevinger exited his last start after five innings with back pain and the results from testing was disastrous as it was revealed he suffered a major back strain.  As a result, Clevinger will now miss the next 6-8 weeks which is truly a disaster and you also now have to worry he will never be the same pitcher again given the nature of back injuries.  Anyone who has suffered a back injury knows that once a major injury is suffered here, it never is truly the same and flareups happen constantly.  So for a guy who was looking like he was graduating into ace status this season, Clevinger is now nothing but a second-half stash who really leaves his owners in a lurch. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Leonys Martin:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .167.  It is good to see Martin even playing after last year's health scare.  In terms of his game, Martin did some very impressive things when given the chance to play consistently the from 2017-18 and his underrated power/speed game works nicely in five outfielder formats.

Corey Kluber:  6 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.86.  The 1.47 WHIP is quite ugly and again Kluber is more risky than ever before given his advancing age, workload concerns, and declining velocity but ultimately he should be able to squeeze at least one more SP 1/2 year out of his arm.

Mookie Betts:  1/5 with his third HR while hitting .255.  Like the rest of the Red Sox, Betts has been a bit slow out of the gates but no one else in all of baseball could have been picked ahead of Mike Trout this spring in drafts without argument.

Mitch Moreland:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .257.  What's crazy about Boston is that about the only thing going right is Moreland swinging the bat.

Chris Sale:  4 IP 7 H 5 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 9.00.  Again I told you so.  Don't give me the baloney that Sale will find velocity as the season goes on.  Been saying for years Sale is a ticking time bomb given his brutal delivery and massive inning totals the last five seasons and now we are getting the fallout.  Sale was never physically constructed to last under all those innings given his slight frame and he is shaping up to be the gigantic bust I said he could be this past March.

Matt Shoemaker:  5.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 0.92.  We are going to start seeing more regression back to the mean from Shoemaker so be careful how liberally you use him going forward.

Austin Meadows:  4/5 with his third HR while hitting .308.  Meadows actually started getting cut loose after his mini-slump the last week which is ridiculous. That just means you have another precious chance to bring him aboard if you missed out on him the first time around.

Brandon Lowe:  2/3 with his second HR while hitting .278.  Lowe hit a combined 22 homers at Double-A and Triple-A last season and he can also swipe the odd base as well.  Since everything also always comes up smelling like roses in Tampa Bay, this is guaranteed to succeed.

Yoan Moncada:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .326.  Well look who is now playing like a superstar.

Charlie Morton:  5 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.25.  An April stud to the highest level.

Jesse Winker:  2.5 with his first HR while hitting .103.  Even Joey Votto is disgusted with Winker's slow start but this is a quality .300 hitter based on past metrics who can pop the occasional homer and steal a few bags while batting leadoff.  Don't sleep on this.

Eugenio Suarez:  3/5 with his second HR while hitting .258.  Like the whole Reds lineup, it has taken a while for everyone to get on track, Suarez included.

Matt Kemp:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .148.  Still obviously very early in the season but a cliff campaign for Kemp who is taped up like a mummy and has been traded a zillion times over the last few years is very possible.

Luis Castillo:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 0.92.  There seems to be no stopping Castillo right now and hoestly the seeds began being planted for what is going on now during the second half of 2018. Yes the first half was incredibly ugly but Castillo's arm was never in question but just his ability to harness the stuff.  I am a full believer.

Jonathan Schoop:  2/5 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .250.  All of a sudden Citi Field is playing like Coors.

Eddie Rosario:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .235.  It was ridiculous how many tweets I got about "what is wrong with Rosario" leading up to the last few days.  Nothing is wrong.   The guy is stud and was off to a slow start like half of the hitters around baseball.  Geez.

Jorge Polanco:  4/5 with his second HR while hitting .405.  The PED stain is a Scarlett Letter he can't escape but Polanco sure seems to be able to hit no matter what is in his system.

Pete Alonso:  2/5 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .385.  There may not be a stronger slugger in all of baseball and that includes you too Mr. Judge.  In fact the Mets have their own Judge now in Alonso. Believe it.

Michael Conforto:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .375.  My love for Conforto is right up there with Lorenzo Cain and Eddie Rosario.  Yes that kind of hallowed terrain.

Brandon Nimmo:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .152.  Nimmo is in Chris Davis strikeout territory this season which is where you never want to be but the Mets continue to throw him out there at leadoff which keeps him interesting.

Jacob DeGrom:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 3.18.  Wow DeGrom is human after all.  All of the streaks (scoreless IP, quality starts) went out the window in this one and obviously we can forgive the brutal outing since you know DeGrom has literally been unhittable for more than one season now.  Take a deep breath.

Jurickson Profar:  4/5 with his first HR while hitting .182.  By now we all know the narrative of Profar coming back from years of injuries after being the consensus top prospect in all of baseball.  Truth be told, this is still a very talented player who can fill up the categories across the board when his body cooperates.

Marcus Semien:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .309.  Semien still doesn't get the credit he deserves as a very useful and underrated shortstop who is leading off for a power-packed lineup. 

Victor Robles:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .324.  I mean how much longer do we have to see Brian Dozier hitting second and not this burgeoning star?  What is really standing out here is the power which seems to have reached another level to go with the super speed.

Juan Soto:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .270.  Noticed a bunch of posts leading into the season that Soto was going to give back some numbers from his beyond impressive 2018 debut but I think that's hogwash and a "look at me writing this" deal.

Yan Gomes:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .292.  Just a day after Kurt Suzuki went yard, Gomes does the same.  How is that double-dip Washington catching arrangement I told you to invest in going?

Bryce Harper:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .333.  It looks like we are getting the average and power aligning together for Harper this season and under such a setup, he will be in line for the top overall numbers in the game this season.

Maikel Franco:  2/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .294.  The 8th spot sucks in an NL lineup but Franco making the most of it.  Many forget this was once one of the top hitting prospects in the game and the post-hype sleeper tag is blaring now.

Aaron Nola:  4 ER in 6.1 IP with an ERA of 6.46.  Nola is all sorts of messed up as his walks have spiked, the K's cratered, and the velocity is down slightly.  Alas, Nola does tend to get going as the season progresses so no worries just yet.

Stephen Strasburg:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 5.40.  Man this guy is just trash.  Strasburg's velocity is down in the 92-93 range and as a result, the homers are flying out.  This is big trouble for a guy who already had a well-earned reputation for always being hurt.  This is why I never invest here and never will. 

Hector Neris:  scoreless eighth follow by Edubray Ramos blowing it in the ninth.  I mean Gabe Kapler is working overtime to literally piss everyone off. 

Paul Goldschmidt:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .195.  That scorching start has devolved into reminders of last April's struggles for Goldy but since he turned it around spectacularly last season, there is no need to rehash the "sky is falling" themes. 

Luke Voit:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .195.  Luckily for Voit, Greg Bird has been his usual garbage self to lessen the heat on him.  Remember we were completely in outlier territory for Voit the second half of last season and so this is totally a "prove it" campaign.  So far the results are not overly promising. 

Jose Altuve:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .298.  The homers are nice but Altuve's value will take a huge hit if he continues to avoid running. 

Gerrit Cole:  7 IP 4 H 3 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.32.  Cole is still without a win through three starts.  Wins category is a complete waste. 

Jay Bruce:  1/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .188.  Bruce has 9 hits and 7 homers.  Joey Gallo is jealous. 

Dansby Swanson:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .324.  Yeah listen we all probably jumped the gun proclaiming Swanson to be a bust after some ugly initial seasons but talent always eventually wins out in most cases. 

Ronald Acuna Jr.:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .211.  Acuna Jr. may not hit .280 this season but 30 homers and 20 steals possibly. 

German Marquez:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.00.  It was obviously not good to see Marquez struggle like this at home since his fantasy baseball owners don't want to have to weigh home starts from here on out.  Something to keep in mind going forward. 

Joey Lucchesi:  7 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 4.40.  The sophomore slump theme is in play here for Lucchesi who had a lot of optimism about this season.  Usually I wait until the middle of May to make any sort of definitive proclamation on a player in fantasy baseball but the early results are not looking good. 

Yasmani Grandal:  3/4 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .364.  A career-year is on tap here for Grandal in Milwaukee and their launching pad ballpark and in fact, I would not be shocked if he challenged for the top spot among backstops. 

Mike Moustakas:  1/2 with his 4th HR while hitting .211.  Man Moustakas' average is a real pain almost every season but 30 home runs is very much in play this season given his new home locale. 

Freddy Peralta:  7 ER in 3.1 IP with an ERA of 6.91.  You just knew this was coming after the dominant initial outing of the season and the youth and massive inconsistency of Peralta.  The positives here is that Peralta walked just one and punched out 5 but he figure to be as big of an all-or-nothing pitcher as you can possibly have this season. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: DAN VOGELBACH 1B SEATTLE MARINERS

Given the vast dimensions of Safeo Field, very rarely has the fantasy baseball community panned for sleepers or upside plays among the Seattle Mariners.  2019 is certainly challenging this trend though as not only is Domingo Santana lighting things up in the outfield but first base prospect Dan Vogelbach is doing the same after cracking his fifth home run of the season Monday night.  Now with 3 homers in his last two games, Vogelbach is one of the most added players in fantasy baseball this past weekend and those who had a passing interest in him prior are now taking a second look.   Now in terms of Vogelbach and his history, he is already 26 and originally a 2011 second-round pick of the Chicago Cubs.  While Vogelbach has gotten some cup of coffee chances with the Mariners, nothing really came of it as he struggled to hit in each opportunity.  Still, Vogelbach has some skill when it comes to swinging the bat as he first hit 17 homers with a .290 average at Triple-A in 2017 and then followed that up with a 20 more homers and another .290 average at the same level a year ago.  There has been some suspicion that Vogelbach was Quad-A guy but so far he is disproving this notion with his big start. 

Digging into the numbers a bit more, Vogelbach has always made solid contact in the minors (15.6 K/9 last season at Triple-A) and so the current .471 average; while obviously due to come back down to earth, is an indication of the bat-to-ball ability.  In addition, Vogelach is a walks machine as he currently sports a 25.0 BB/9 with the Mariners and he has a long history of putting up tremendous numbers in that category.  So in essence, we maybe should not be surprised at what Vogelbach is doing right now and so he should be added where available.  The eventual return of Kyle Seager could complicate things for Vogelbach but for now ride this out and see where it can take you. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Blake Snell:  6 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.84.  After the first start hiccup, Snell has been as untouchable as he was throughout 2018.  While it is a validation year for Snell in terms of last season's numbers, he is well on his way towards doing so.

Carlos Rodon:  4.2 IP 8 H 4 ER 5 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.38.  Same old story here for the AL version of Jon Gray.  No semblance of control or consistency.

Starling Marte:  0/3 while hitting .200.  Maybe this is Marte with the juice no longer in his system.

Kyle Schwarber:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .250.  Nothing new here as Schwarber remains a flawed but potent power hitter like a million other guys out there.

Jameson Taillon:  2 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.00.  Wow did Taillon's owners have a bunch of needless heart attacks after seeing all the runs scored by the Chicago Cubs but all 6 were unearned.  Whew!

Jon Lester:  2 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.57.  An almost certain win fell by the wayside due to Lester leaving with a leg injury and he may be headed to the IL.  Age spares no one.

Jonathan Villar:  2/5 with his third HR while hitting .341.  There is something to be said for being able to hit with zero pressure as Villar has on the Orioles this season.  The numbers could be silly here.

Trey Mancini:  3/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .385.  Yes Mancini is completely legit.  Go check out his minor league rates.

Kurt Suzuki:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .267.  I said in spring training to draft both Gomes and Suzuki who both are above-average hitters at a putrid position.  In fact Suzuki could be a top ten guy if he played anywhere else where he could start.

Brian Dozier:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .103.  For a guy who I have always hated on, it is no shock Dozier is struggling.  Vastly overrated for most of his career, this is almost literally Dozier's only hit two weeks into the season.

Rhys Hoskins:  2/4 with 2 home runs (5 for season) while hitting .367.  Cody Bellinger deservedly is getting most of the praise but don't overlook the insane start of this guy.

Odubel Herrera:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .324.  Herrera has been all over the map with his numbers as a pro but this is a chance to get in on the ground floor on someone who has shown four to five category ability.

Pat Neshek:  1 earned run in 1 IP for first save with an ERA of 1.59.  When is J.T. Realmuto going to get a save chance?

Aaron Judge:  2/3 with 2 home runs (three for season) while hitting .289.  Look out because Judge is ready to launch.

Jose Altuve:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .279.  I am very curious to see what happens here with Altuve in terms of whether he starts breaking down a bit and stops running.  Second base has been known to do that for All Star players approaching 30 (Carlos Baerga, Juan Samuel, Dustin Pedroia) so this bears watching.

Masahiro Tanaka:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 1.47.  I got to hand it to the guy.  We are now years from when the partial tear of the UCL occurred and Tanaka is still going strong as a top SP 2.

Marcell Ozuna:  1/3 with his second HR while hitting .229.  Ozuna has become a bit volatile given the injuries of late but this is still an easy 25 homers with the ability to also bat .280.

Hyun-Jin Ryu:  1.2 IP 2 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K with an ERA of 3.07.  Injured again with a strained groin, Ryu just can't handle prosperity.

Domingo Santana:  3/5 with 4 RBI while hitting .340.  This is really looking like something major happening here.

Jay Bruce:  1/5 with his 6th HR while hitting .186.  Good to see Bruce channeling his inner Joey Gallo.  Or not.

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .324.  I admit I wanted no part of Encarnacion this season after owning the aging slugger through a rough 2018 but there seems to be no letdown with the power and in fact he seems a bit rejuvenated in his new digs.

Daniel Voglebach:  1/2 with his 5th HR while hitting .471.  We may need to dive in a bit more here later.

Ronald Acuna Jr.:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .176.  I said in the spring a slow start would not be unexpected here for Acuna Jr. so some patience may be needed.

Trevor Story:  1/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .231.  Watching the average closely as Story has a bad history there and needs to validate his 2018 performance in that category.

Kyle Freeland:  7 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 5.40.  Yeah so I said in print in the draft guide and on here all spring to avoid Freeland everywhere.  Yup. 

Wil Myers:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .316.  Myers' price came down quite a bit this spring which is why I wanted to invest but I failed in this endeavor.  Damn. 

Fernando Tatis Jr.:  1/2 with his third HR while hitting .237.  Almost everything so far has gone according to statistical predictions as Tatis is hitting for power but also posting a shaky average. 

Kevin Pillar:  1/4 with his first HR and second SB while hitting .150.  The Giants need to generate offense in any way they can and so that means Pillar will be fully unleashed on the bases.  Remember he has been around a 15/15 guy two seasons running (pardon the pun) and there is something to be said for that kind of consistency.

Madison Bumgarner:  5 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.32.  I think Bumgarner is going to be one gigantic roller coaster this season in terms of numbers in any given start.