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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: NATE LOWE 1B TAMPA BAY RAYS

As noted earlier in the day regarding the arrival of top Tampa Bay Rays slugger Nate Lowe on Monday, the comparisons here to the New York Mets' hotshot rookie Pete Alonso are right on par.  While you can quibble and say Lowe is the better pure hitter and Alonso the better pure slugger, the fact of the matter is that both guys carry immense upside and we already are seeing the latter take off with tapeshot homers for the Mets one month into the season.  Those who missed out on Alonso shares are receiving a second chance with Lowe however and his exciting combination of patience (i.e. walks) and power/average make the new Rays first baseman one to scoop up quickly. 

In terms of the numbers, Lowe certainly is ready to contribute after he batted .300 with 3 homers in 90 at-bats this season at Triple-A and this follows a 2018 campaign where he slugged a combined 27 home runs and batted .356 at A-Ball and .340 at Double-A.  Even more promising was the fact Lowe was a walks machine at all levels and since that skill often leads to helpful batting averages, the immense natural power here adds even more positives to the overall ledger on the kid.  Right now the plan is for the Rays to play Lowe daily against righties and he could sit versus lefties due to some struggles there.  While a platoon may be a bit annoying, Lowe is on the right side of it and like I said, the combination of power and average is obvious.  So while there figures to be plenty of dips and upticks along the way as there would be with any rookie, Lowe should be added in every league he is available given the immense upside. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Harrison Bader:  2/3 with his third HR while hitting .222.  Bader was a good 15/15 bet coming into the season and that path is back on track after coming back from injury.  Pick him up if someone foolishly made the drop.

Patrick Corbin:  6 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.58.  The ERA continues to rise here after Corbin absolutely dominated the first three weeks of the season.  While I am not overly alarmed, one gets the sense 2018 was a bit of an outlier campaign. 

Jesse Winker:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .239.  Winker was known for a .300 average and little power coming into the season and now he is doing the exact opposite.  Which means Winker is doing exactly what everyone else is doing in 2019 fantasy baseball.

Rafael Devers:  2/4 with his fourth HR while hitting .296. Just think about how nice this story would be with Devers hitting for average and stealing some bases if you know he actually swatted a home run or two. 

Frankie Montas:  7 runs allowed but only one earned as his ERA sits at 2.97.  All Montas owners had about 8 heart attacks looking at the score of the game before digesting the stats.

Eduardo Rodriguez:  4 ER in 4.2 IP with an ERA of 6.16.  Eventually Rodriguez will be all about unmatched potential and be fully of the wire.  That time is near. 

Ozzie Albies:  2/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .299.  Few do April better than Albies. 

Mike Soroka:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.62.  Last season we saw glimpses of this out of Soroka before injuries derailed the fun and things are looking even more promising this time around.  I for one am buying into the talent here so scoop up Soroka everywhere as he misses more bats than you think and the ERA has always been useful no matter the level. 

Kyle Freeland:  5 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 4.81.  Yeah so my prediction that Freeland would go completely bust this season has been right on track in every way. 

Jesus Aguilar:  2/4 with 2 home runs (2 for season) while hitting .156.  This seems to fall under the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" theme but Aguilar and poor April's always go hand in hand.  As a result, take a stab at him again if someone dropped him in your league.

Jose Altuve:  0/4 while hitting .248.  You wonder if Altuve is falling in love with the home run ball a bit too much.

Justin Verlander:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.45.  Reason number 1684612 why quality starts should replace wins in all fantasy leagues. 

Tim Anderson:  1/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .375.  Still no signs yet of cooling down from Anderson and honestly we all should have been more in on this considering the power/speed game and how only an improvement in plate discipline would send this stock through the roof. 

Manny Banuelos:  5.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.70.  A resounding NO! 

Nate Lowe:  1/4 in his MLB debut while hitting .250.  If you missed out on Pete Alonso this spring, you get a second chance here with this slugger who also draws a bunch of walks. 

Jorge Solger:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .227.  I guess asking Soler to hit even .250 is beyond his reach which is unfortunate given the power breakout. 


Thursday, April 25, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Jose Ramirez:  3/4 with his second HR and sixth SB while hitting .184.  Hey Jose nice of you to finally join us a full month into the season.  Boy has Ramirez been a giant bust to this point but I still fully believe in the talent and the fact he is still running so much is a big plus. 

Sandy Alcantara:  5 IP 4 H 1 ER 4 BB 2 K with an ERA of 4.50.  The advanced metrics point to Alcantara being something more but on a miserable team like Miami you should take a pass. 

Bryce Harper:  1/4 with 3 more K's while hitting .261.  Harper is striking out in almost half of his at-bats and the honeymoon phase is already over in Philly.  We have said over and over again on here that Harper is overrated since he has had truly two blockbuster seasons in his career to this point. 

Rhys Hoskins:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .273.  I think Hoskins finally just now crossed home plate as he made no secret of showing up Mets pitcher John Rahm who tried to plunk him the night before. 

Vince Velasquez:  5 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 1.99.  FBI interrogators should force their subjects to watch this guy pitch as it is slower than paint drying.  Beyond that, Velasquez remains incredibly inefficient with his stuff but capable of big K's any time out. 

Whit Merrifield:  2/3 with his 4th HR while hitting .298.  Come on man some more steals please. 

Adalberto Mondesi:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .283. A Tim Anderson hitting disciple, Mondesi is certainly exciting to own on a daily basis minus all the K's. 

Eric Thames:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .273.  Decent buy low off the waiver opportunity here as Jesus Aguilar is persona non grata right now.  We all know Thames can get really hot with the power swing so now is the time to dive in. 

Yadier Molina:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .267.  The man still has got hit. 

Marcell Ozuna:  2/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .272.  And if the steals keep up wow this will be fun. 

Adam Wainwright:  1 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 3.96.  Wainwright has been serviceable but the 1.36 WHIP is a clear indication this is a short-time deal. 

Juan Soto:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .241.  I mean you had to figure there was going to be a sophomore slump. 

Charlie Blackmon:  1/4 with his third HR while hitting .279.  Say goodbye to the buy low window. 

German Marquez:  7 IP 8 H 3 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.54.  Marquez has been quite shaky at home this season and that issue is the only proving point the guy has to make to fully graduate into the circle of trust. 

Nomar Mazara:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .219.  I really have always liked Mazara but the guy can really test your patience.  The margin for error is lessened here considering Mazara doesn't run and so the early lagging average makes using him daily a bit dicey. 

Marcus Semien:  2/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .311.  Leading off for a truly monster lineup is not the worst fantasy baseball gig in the world. 

Matt Chapman:  1/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .311.  I admit I was a bit slow to this party early on but will undoubtedly endorse Chapman as a top-tier third baseman going forward. 

Chris Paddack:  7 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.67.  Man this kid looks like a young Justin Verlander.  A separate Status Report is on its way/

Felix Hernandez:  7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.91.  It took the listless Padres lineup and playing in Petco Park to get it but at least for one outing the King was back.

Drew Pomeranz:  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.65.  Yeah gazing at that ugly 1.38 WHIP makes this a lot less exciting I would say. 

Ozzie Albies:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .276.  Albies has been solid but he is being unfairly held to the ridiculous and unsustainable standard he set during the first two months of 2018. 

Ketel Marte:  2/5 with 2 home runs (6 for season) while hitting .247.  I think no matter how many home runs Marte hits, no one wants to hear about him anymore. 

Josh Bell:  3/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .299.  Solid but still not enough to make anyone do a cartwheel.

Eduardo Rodriguez:  6 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 5.88.  I feel like Rodriguez is the misunderstood stepchild who causes trouble but who really can excel if patience is given. 

Cody Bellinger:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .424.  You can't get a fastball by Bellinger and he is really as locked in as one can get.  Incredible stuff happening here. 

Javier Baez:  1/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .312.  Yeah I guess there is hope for those who have ill plate discipline after all.

Walker Buehler:  5.2 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 1 K with an ERA of 5.25.  I held off on sharing concern about Buehler but I am beyond that now.  There is nothing going right here for Buehler whose advanced metrics are not glowing to go with the steep drop in K's.  Is he hurt?  Lack of spring?  All scenarios are in play. 

Cole Hamels:  5/1 IP 3 H 3 ER 6 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.16.  Hamels simply did not have it in this one as he walked almost the entire ballpark.  Be that as it may, the NL has been a nice backdrop on this comeback story. 



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: GERRIT COLE SP HOUSTON ASTROS

Another day and another Crisis Point detailing yet another prime fantasy baseball starting pitcher who has hit the skids early on.  Today we bring you the case of Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole who re-established himself into a top-tier power pitching monster in 2018 by recording 276 strikeouts while also posting a 2.88 ERA and winning 15 games.  Like most other pitchers all across the game however, that success has not carried over into 2019 as Cole goes into his next start with the following ugly numbers:

1-3
5.22 ERA
1.19 WHIP
2.76 BB/9
1/23 HR/9
.333 BABIP
2.81 FIP
2.66

When you look at the case of Cole, it draws a lot of similarities to one we did on the New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard a few days ago.  Both guys have suffered from some rough BABIP luck and in Cole's case, his adjusted FIP (2.81) and XFIP (2.66) are both terrific numbers that resemble what he accomplished last season.  In addition for Cole, his strikeouts remain tremendously potent as his current 13.50 K/9 is above the monstrous 12.40 he had in 2018.  About the only quibble we have with Cole is that he is giving up a high number of home runs this season which have skewed his overall results but the bottom line here is that when the luck begins to adjust, he should go right into his ace numbers once again.  It really is quite stark that Coles underlying metrics all point to him being as good as ever and so if anyone in your league is nervous based on the early results, do your best with regards to trying to snag him cheap. 



2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: TUESDAY

Xander Bogaerts:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) in Game 1 while hitting .286.  Boagerts is about the only Boston Red Sox hitter to carry his weight and that is saying something. 

Matthew Boyd:  7 IP 3 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.16.  Again. I am fully on board the reinvention here as Boyd is really spinning his offspeed stuff to great effect. 

Chris Sale:  5 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 7.43.  The 10's made it looks like a vintage Sale outing but Detroit hitters were still squaring up on him.  Still far from out of the woods. 

Todd Frazier:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .250.  Frazier already has a steal and a homer since coming back from his oblique injury.  His Mets tenure has been beyond ugly and at this stage asking for more than a .230 average is begging. 

Zack Wheeler:  7 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 4.85.  Take out the one rough outing versus Washington and Wheeler has been every bit the monster he was the second half of 2018.  At one point Wheeler punched out seven in a row and he is spotting his fastball nicely. 

Jorge Alfaro:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .281. Alfaro is striking out at truly horrendous levels and so the average is built on stilts. 

Carlos Carrasco:  4 scoreless with 4 strikeouts before leaving with knee injury.  Carrasco is headed for an MRI which is not what you want to see and so he seems determined to get his yearly IL stint out of the way early this season. 

Yasiel Puig:  2/4 with his third HR while hitting .183.  I admit I fell into the Puig trap this season but boy this homer was epic.  Maybe this gets him going?  Who the hell knows anymore with this guy. 

Sonny Gray:  5.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 3.28.  In typical Gray fashion, he strikes everyone out early and then at the first sign of trouble in the sixth he is out.  At the very least, the move to the NL has really jumped up the K rate as anticipated. 

Renato Nunez:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .292.  Nunez could be this year's version of Jesus Aguilar but we all have seen with the latter that there is a shelf like to the power breakout for Quad-A guys. 

Dwight Smith Jr.:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .287.  Maybe I should have looked past Puig in drafts and just picked this guy up. 

Luke Weaver:  6/1 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.33.  Anyone who saw Weaver pitch in 2017 knew he was nowhere near as bad as 2018 showed and the results now are bearing this out.  We always need to prevent ourselves from falling into the trap of writing a young player off for a rough early year.   Development is not linear and stumbles are common.  Eventually though the talents wins out. 

Emilio Pagan:  scoreless 9th for second save in two days with an ERA of 1.50.  Yeah the Rays have literally three closers and all are tremendous.  The organization doesn't care about fantasy baseball. 

Michael Chavis:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .231.  Yeah so Rafael Devers better hit a home run any day now. 

Spencer Turnbull:  5 scoreless IP with 4 K and an ERA of 2.77.  Smoke and mirrors special. 

Travis Shaw:  2/4 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .198.  I bet you many Shaw owners didn't benefit from this since they either benched him or cut him loose.  Man Shaw is making things so difficult for himself with almost zero discipline at the dish. 

Jose Quintana:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.21.  Memories of Chicago White Sox days are beginning to come back into our consciousness. 

Eddie Rosario:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .274.  Hope you all followed my lead in climbing over everyone else in your league to reach for Rosario this past March.  How is it working out?

Jose Altuve:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .289.  Maybe Altuve has decided to take away his steal numbers and add them onto the long balls.  Even Altuve's mom didn't foresee this type of power. 

Luke Voit:  2/4 with 2 home runs (7 for season) while hitting .235.  Once again Voit remains an on-base machine and the power is not too shabby either.  Maybe he is competely legit outside of being a .300 2018 hitter. 

Domingo German:  6/2 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.75.  Yeah the Yankees didn't need Gio Gonzalez at all. 





Tuesday, April 23, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: CARLOS CARRASCO EXITS EARLY WITH KNEE INJURY

No stranger to injury, Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was forced out of his Tuesday start early due to suffering a knee injury while covering first base in the fourth inning.  Carrasco began limping badly after the play and immediately came out of a game he was pitching well in with 4 prior strikeouts.  His status is expected to be updated later in the night. 

Analysis:  Right now the initial news release is that Carrasco is feeling "discomfort" in the knee but further testing will surely be undertaken.  Carrasco has been very up-and-down so far this season with his pitching results but that generally has been par for the course for his career.  Aging and with some velocity leakage, Carrasco is not the sure thing 200-K monster he was the last few seasons. 


2019 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Jose Abreu:  3/6 with his 4th HR while hitting .214.  Classic regression to the statistical mean. 

Rhys Hoskins:  1/4 with his 6th HR while hitting .272.  This is the last season where Hoskins has some upside/unknown in terms of his numbers before he settles into his prime years so it will be interesting to see if he can get past the 40 homer mark as we all have assumed all along. 

Jeff McNeil:  2/3 with his first HR while hitting .384. Do yourself a favor and watch this guy hit.  I will say again that McNeil is already one of the very best pure hitters in baseball but his lack of juice (homers, steals) make him strictly a bench option for now. 

Steven Matz:  1 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 4.03.  Since the last time Matz faced the Phils resulted in 8 runs in zero innings, this was a nice outing to see that he could mentally get over that hurdle and thus, be more trustworthy as a fantasy baseball SP 4. 

Eduardo Escobar:  3/5 with his third HR while hitting .247.  A firm member of the All-Boring Team.

Christian Walker:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .347.  That pit in many of our stomaches emanates from the feeling we should have picked this guy up when he was available. 

Joe Musgrove:  6 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 1.59.  While the ERA will obviously come up, I am not totally surprised with what we are seeing out of Musgrove since he showed flashes of this in between a bunch of injuries.  Also, when you have impeccable control as Musgrove goes, that's winning half the battle right there. 

Hunter Dozier:  2/2 with his 7th HR while hitting .324.  What we have to appreciate with the breakout happening here is that Dozier's power is being accompanied by a .300-plus average which is not what you usually see from emerging young sluggers.  Ride it out and see where it goes. 

Alex Gordon:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .313/  Amazing what some good health can do for a veteran hitter like Gordon.  He even is running a bit too and since the Royals have the financial incentive to play him daily, this could be a fun mini-comeback deal. 

Jorge Soler:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .227.  The average has gone into the gutter which stinks because it looked promising early on for a post-hype sleeper breakout. 

Yandy Diaz:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .289.  Since he is a young player on Tampa Bay, this is guaranteed to work out. 

Brad Keller:  5 ER in 6.1 IP with an ERA of 3.41.  It is easy to see that Keller has the ability to miss some bats and help as a strong SP 5 but good luck figuring out what any one start will look like. 

Yasmani Grandal:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .333.  Yeah there may not be a more cushy lineup spot than right behind Christian Yelich which is where this guy resides.  Also, good to see the .300 minor league averages of Grandal now catching up with his 20-25 home run major league power. 

Travis Shaw:  1/4 with his second HR while hitting .182.  Shaw has been swinging for the fences like never before and that has really put a major hurt on his batting average.  Still, the great versatility stands out and the power will continue to flow freely soon enough.  In fact, this could be the start of a nice power surge/ 

Ryan Braun:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .205.  Braun still has power and can run a little but the frequent days off and sliding average make him nothing but a bench bat at this stage of his career.

Paul Goldschmidt:  3/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .270.  Just like a year ago, the early average rut was a temporary annoyance. 

Jack Flaherty:  6 IP 3 H 4 ER 1 BB 10 K with an ERA of 5.25.  As a Flaherty owner, it has been a tremendous mixed bag of strikeouts and gopher balls to distort the overall picture.  The K stuff is immense though and if Flaherty can just get the ball down, he can challenge for a Cy Young.  Seriously. 

Jorge Polanco:  4/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .392.  Of course Polanco went off yesterday.  It was a lock since I cut him loose in the morning.  Commence putting my head in the oven. 

Michael Brantley:  2/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .310.  Brantley can go into hibernation for ten years and then wake up to hit .300. 

Carlos Correa:  1/5 with his 4th HR while hitting .257.  Correa is another guy I am watching closely this season to see if all those early injuries are derailing all of the run we initially had here.  So far, so good though.

Brian Dozier:  1/2 with his 4th HR while hitting .188.  It is no coincidence Dozier is starting to hit now that he has been removed from the second spot in the order.  Those in NL-only leagues should rejoice. 

Nolan Arenado:  3/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .281.  If I were a betting man, I think Arenado homers again today and then again Friday. 

Luke Voit:  1/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .222.  You get the strong sense Voit has been bad but he also has been on base for 30-plus games. 

J.A. Happ:  1 ER in 7 IP with an ERA of 5.96.  I picked up Happ for the two start week versus the Angels and Giants and it seems his early stumbles are now a thing of the past. 


Monday, April 22, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: NOAH SYNDERGAARD SP NEW YORK METS

Maybe we should just do a Crisis Point on the entire starting pitcher fraternity no?  After all, the pitching dominant era of a few seasons ago is long in the rearview mirror and now we have a Home Run Derby situation enveloping the game on a nightly basis.  The result has been chaos among even the very best pitchers in baseball as top-tier names like Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard have all come out of the gates with some very shoddy results.  As far as Thor is concerned, he added another clunker on Sunday by yielding 4 earned runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 K's in 5 innings in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday which has left him with the following numbers:

1-2
5.90 ERA
1.28 WHIP
.261 BAA
2.17 BB/9
0.93 HR/9
.346 BABIP
2.92 FIP
3.34 XFIP

Obviously, the surface numbers are ugly and when it comes to Syndergaard, you always have to worry about his health given how hard he throws.  We all know that if you were a betting man or woman, Syndergaard would be among your top 3 choices in terms of predicting the next Tommy John victim and he already has had multiple scares on that front.  In addition, Syndergaard tore a lat two seasons ago as well to add to the litany of health trouble.  As of right now there has been no indication Syndergaard is hurt but he clearly is struggling.  Or is he?  The real beauty with advanced metrics is that they reveal some "fluke" aspects of things and in this case, it is easy to see Thor has had some very rotten luck with the batted ball.  Right away you can take note of the unlucky .346 BABIP which means a lot of hits are falling in in an odd way.  When adjusted, Syndergaard's ERA comes out to a very Thor-like 2.92 FIP and 3.34 XFIP.  This alone should get the buy low alarms blaring.  In addition, Syndergaard's control has been very good with his 2.17 BB/9 and while the home runs have gone up, they are not terrible in terms of rate.  Finally, Syndergaard;s average fastball velocity of 98.2 has been tremendous and is right with his career norms.  So adding everything together, you get the picture Syndergaard should be able to turn it around real soon and represents a major buy low opportunity.  Trying to snipe Syndergaard away from a panicking owner would be the right thing to do here so do so quickly before that buy low window eventually starts to close. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY WATCH: AARON JUDGE (OBLIQUE) OUT AT LEAST A MONTH

Is there anyone left healthy enough to play this game?  The injury blotter went into overdrive on Sunday morning as a slew of prime fantasy baseball hitters hit the IL with various injuries or differing degrees.  The most important of those was Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge who suffered a significant oblique injury on Saturday according to an update Sunday morning from manager Aaron Boone and he figures to miss AT LEAST a month and likely more given the fickle nature of the ailment.  Given how massive a power hitter Judge is, his loss is a monstrous one and also given how many Yankees are on the IL (up to 14 at last count), streaming pitchers versus their listless lineup is not the worst idea in the world.

On a related front, the Tampa Bay Rays placed emerging outfielder Austin Meadows on the IL Sunday with a right thumb sprain.  The timing is unfortunate since Meadows has been one of the best hitters in baseball the first month of the season in showcasing a five-tool game but his absence figures to depend on what the results are after he visits a hand specialist. 

Finally, Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Mike Moustakas suffered a fracture to the top of his ring finger but won't need an IL stint as of yet.  The team will try to see how Moustakas can operate with the fracture before making any IL call but all in all, it looks to be a minor situation for the slugger. 


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.