Starting Pitchers to Stream 5/21 – 5/27

Another dominate start from Pivetta going 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 11K. I believe I’ve streamed him three times, but safe to say he won’t drop below the 25% threshold for the rest of the season. He’s needs to be much closer to 100% owned. Some good, some bad last week but we still Anderson going today against the Giants today so hopefully we can grab a third win this week. So far here are the numbers this past week: 2 W, 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 31 K in 28 ⅓ IP. Kind of meh, but the strikeouts are nice. Here’s the season stats thus far on the streamers I’ve selected:

8 W, 3.26 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 170 K in 179 ⅔ IP; now those are solid, stick with the plan. Ok, let’s get to the streamers for 5/21 through 5/27.

Trevor Cahill (OAK) 15% Home vs SEA Tuesday 5/22
Cahill returned from the DL last week after missing only one start and performed better than expected against the Boston Betts. He gets a Cano-less Mariners and Cruz has been banged up as well. The lineup is actually still solid with Seager, Healy and Segura hitting well but I like what Cahill is doing by throwing more change-ups and throwing less sinkers. His change-up is his best pitch, it’s allowing only a 0.091 batting average with a 45% whiff rate. He’s getting even more ground balls than last year and as long as he doesn’t elevate his sinker, he should go 6-7 innings with a strikeout per inning and good ratios. STREAM

Vincent Velasquez (PHI) 19% Home vs ATL Tuesday 5/22
So VV allowed a couple of home runs in his last outing but he also struck out 12! His best pitch is his fastball but he can get whiffs on just about all of his pitches. The dilemma with Velasquez is if the fastball is off, it’s really off. He’s already given up 6 home runs off the pitch but an average exit velocity against of only 88 mph. He’s already seen the Braves twice and hasn’t fared well at home. I get that he could rip off 10 Ks and a win, but I don’t think he’s worth the risk against the many very good Braves hitters. STAY AWAY

Luiz Gohara (ATL) 7% Away vs PHI Wednesday 5/23
With Soroka going on the DL, the Braves are giving Gohara a spot start. I liked Gohara coming into the year but the ankle injury prevented a rotation spot to start the season. Gohara has been used out of the pen and will face a Phillies offense on the road this week. His slider is great and he throws his fastball at 94-95 mph. He was stretched out to start in the minors but hasn’t started a game in over 2 weeks. His slider usage out of the pen has been 50% and I don’t see that happening in this start. I see limited upside in this one with a 5 inning maximum. I’m playing it safe for this start and STAYING AWAY. Note: I do like Gohara long term, keep an eye on him, if he gets more regular starts, I’d scoop him up.

Ross Stripling (LAD) 6% Home vs SD Friday 5/25
Well Rich Hill is out again (surprise)! He left after throwing only two pitches in Friday’s start, so it’s clear that Stripling will remain in the rotation, especially after dominating the Nationals with 1 ER and 9 Ks in 6 IP. How has he been so successful? Well his slider is very good and his change and curve have also registered as plus pitches. He throws those three pitches 63% of the time. He’s only had 3 ball barreled against him this year and an avg exit velocity against of 84 mph! He’s also possesses good control and a solid ground ball rate. Throw in a home start against a poor Padres team and boom, easy street. Stripling is my stream of the week STREEEEEEAM!

Daniel Mengden (OAK) 8% Home vs ARI Saturday May 26
Mengden has been a solid if unspectacular streamer thus far and has only given up 4 ER in his last three starts. It’s not like he’s doing it against cupcakes either, he’s faced Boston, Houston, and the Orioles. He doesn’t get a ton of strikeouts and his fastball isn’t good. He does do a great job with his off-speed and breaking pitches keeping hitters off balance. I’d like to see the fastball usage go below 50% but we are talking about a pitcher owned in less than 10% of leagues. I like the home start against the Diamondbacks without their best hitter in Pollock (yeah I said it). If he keeps the ball in the yard he could go 7 or more innings with decent ratios. STREAM.

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Weekly Rundown – King Cron & Macahdo Man

Willson Contreras is finally heating up. I saw somewhere that in only four games he jumped from a .230 average and .669 OPS to a .281 average and an .868 OPS. A reminder that we are still in the small(ish) sample portion of the season. I may be cheating a bit because I’m including his two-homer game on 5/11 but he’s got 3 HR, 5 runs, and 11 RBI in the last 7 games he’s played.

C.J. Cron has been on fire and is sticking it to his old team by hitting .353 4 HR, 6 RBI, and throwing in a steal in the last seven days. King Cron was never given a full time job with the Angels and he’s making the most of his playing this with the Rays. Nothing in his profile screams regression, he is swinging and missing a little less and hitting a few more fly balls. However, his hard contact is down a bit and his .325 BABIP might be a touch high, so keep expectations in check.

The often injured Michael Brantley is starting to turn heads again with 3 homers and 10 RBI while hitting nearly .400 this past week. His K% is a crazy low 7.1% for the season! He’s also hitting the ball harder and in the air a little bit more. Putting the ball in play as often as he does with above average exit velocity basically gives him a floor of .290-.300 average with moderate power. It all comes down to health with Brantley, but ride this one out while you can. Buy him at a reasonable cost knowing the injury downside.

Brandon Belt makes his second appearance on this rundown because he’s killing baseballs and has 4 bombs this past week. Does anyone remember when Belt and Freeman were coming up, they were being compared to each other. Well until now, Freeman made a joke of that comparison and we may finally be getting peak Brandon Belt. Better late than never I guess. This is real and I’m buying but health (concussions specifically) is the concern with belt.

Manny Machado is making people forget about his .265 BABIP from 2017 and is tied with Mookie for the league lead in home runs with 14 and leads in RBI with 42. He’s also walking more and striking out less. This is more of who Machado is than what he did in 2017, but I actually think his .344 average is unsustainable based on his profile. But anything can happen because his .265 BABIP in 2017 also shouldn’t have been sustainable. Either way, I think he’s a .300 hitter with 35-40 HR upside and should smash his previous career high RBI of 96.

Khris Davis is quietly going about his business bashing 3 HR and 6 RBI in the last seven days. It’s not that he’s even been that hot, he’s already got 13 bombs on the season. Owners might roll their eyes at his .233 batting average but that’s driven by a low BABIP (even for KD). This is guy is like clockwork, you can always count n 40 HR and 100 RBI. He’s striking out a little less this year and I think he’s got a shot at 45 HR and 110 RBI with a .250 AVG.

Nick Goodrum is hitting .444 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in the past week. Where did this come from? i don’t care because I like good rum! Goodrum is 26 years old with almost no MLB experience prior to this year. The power does seem developing as he had moderate power in the minors. He does swing and miss a lot and typically very aggressive. I expect the walk rate to drop a bit and the K rate to sit around 30%. Ride this hot streak but can cut bait once he cools off.

I’ll close with the current AL MVP Mookie Betts (I heart).  He’s decided to stop hitting home runs in favor of stealing bases. He has an incredible 7 steals in a six game stretch including 3 on Thursday night! I’m convinced that Mookie will go 40/40, I tweeted about it over a week ago. He’s that good, if Mookie wants to go 40/40, he will do it. Oh an he homered last night for good measure.

HOT Pitchers
Justin Verlander has been the best pitcher in baseball since his trade to the Astros late last season. He reach 2,500 strikeouts last week by striking out Shohei Ohtani. That’s quite a milestone and I suspect he will reach 3,000 Ks by 2020. There’s not much more to say, if you grabbed Verlander outside of the top 10 SPs, good for you!

Charlie Morton (I promise these aren’t all Astros), has been damn good! If he wasn’t a high injury risk I’d rank him inside the top 12 overall for pitchers. Morton has gone 14 IP 2 ER 22 Ks in his last 2 starts. Yup, Morton is an Ace, deal with it. I don’t like the Win stat but it counts in fantasy and he’s 6-0. He might be a tad lucky in terms of BABIP and LOB% but he’s been unlucky with a 20%HR/FB. He’s also averaging 97.2 mph on his fastball, that’s up a tick from last year, he’s insane!

Luke Weaver started to have me a little concerned but he did turn a very good outing this past week and has only given up 1 ER in his last 12 IP. His SwStr% and contact against is very close to what he did in the 2nd half of 2017 so I’m starting to think the 10 K/9 was a bit overblown. He’s probably more of an 8.0 to 8.5 K/9 guy. His velo is up a tick and he’s inducing more IFFB, so that’s great but I’m not trusting him 100% of the time yet.

Andrew Heaney threw an absolute unexpected gem against the defending Champion Astros going 8 IP, 1ER, 4H, 1BB, 10K. That’s a pretty line and he gets the start today against the Rays and you should grab him for that start and hold him. His 21.4% K-BB is near elite and he’s been BABIP’d a bit with an unlucky LOB%. I expect his 3.93 ERA to drop and he’s a must own in 12 team leagues and deeper. There’s a big injury risk here and a possible innings cap, but ride this out while you can.

Kyle Freeland has quietly strung together a couple great starts with 13 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 11 K. Is he worth a pickup? Well, I kind of believe he is, do you realize he has a 3.17 ERA and a near 50% ground ball rate? His K% is up 7% from 2017 and his fastball’s pitch value is ranked 6th in all of baseball right between Morton and Nola. Remember, he was a highly touted prospect and went 8th overall in the 2014 draft. I still don’t trust him against good hitting teams in Coors but he’s worth a look on the road.

Freezeing Hitters
Mike Trout on the freezing hitter list, BLASPHEMY. It’s true though, Mr. Trout has gone 2 for his last 23 with 1 HR (last night) and 1 SB. Is anyone concerned? No, I didn’t think so. Trout will be just fine, maybe his feelings are hurt because there’s talk of Mookie as the AL MVP. As great as Betts has been, I’m still taking Trout ROS, he’s somehow making more contact this year, so we could see a career year from Trout this year. I’m sure no Trout owner is panicking, there’s no selling and or buying opportunity here, move along.

Paul Goldschmidt on the other hand is a whole different can of worms? Ball of wax? Situation, there we go. Goldy hasn’t only been struggling this past week, it’s basically been all season. I wrote an in depth article on Goldy, take a look here! Basically, he can’t hit at home, he can’t hit righties, he’s striking out more, and he’s not hitting the ball as hard. So, any Goldschmidt owner is not going to get a good return on their investments. I’d sell him for a top 25-30 player if you can. Check out my write up

Nomar Mazara was on the hot list last week and now has gone 5/26 with no homers and 1 RBI. I mentioned that Mazara had made some positive changes but still lacks significant power upside due to his limited fly ball approach. Nothing’s changed, it’s the ebbs and flows of the season and with his decent contact rate, he should provide a solid average with 25 or so homers this season.

Didi Gregorius is now on here for the second straight week. Where did all the Didi backers go? HELLO, ARE YOU THERE? He’s gone 1 for his last 17 and the Yankees have even starting sitting him for a game or two trying to get him right. I guess when you perform head and shoulders above your talent, this is what happens. I’m kidding obviously, but here’s what I see, the BABIP is extremely low, that’s going to come up. He’s still walking more and his K rate is fine. A HR/FB around 12-15% is what you should expect ROS. So is he goes .260-25-85 will you be disappointed as an owner?

Marcell Ozuna is 3 for his last 25 with no home runs. I also could have written about Altuve but I want to do a deep dive on Jose later this month or in early June. Back to Ozuna, with only 3 HR and 8 XBH this season gives me cause for concern. This was supposed to be a middle of the order power bat. Instead he’s hitting under 30% fly balls and has a 50% ground ball rate. He’s never been a big fly ball guy and he’s actually hitting the ball harder this year. I think his BABIP goes up and he can still hit 25-28 HR. I’d be buying his from a frustrated owner for cheap and holding if I was an owner.

Dee Gordon hasn’t stolen a base this past week and is only hitting .161 the last seven days. Obviously Speedy Dee (no one calls him that) needs to get on base to steal, and I don’t see anything that will prevent him from this in the near future. The suspension to Cano is a concern for runs but if Haniger, Seager, or Healy can step up in his place, I wouldn’t be all that concerned, you got him for steals and he will get you plenty of them. Stick with Dee.

Freezing Pitchers
Oh hi there Kevin Gausman! Just when he was giving owners some confidence in starting him, he rips your heart out. He’s given up 8 ER in his last 12 IP but it’s come with a .358 average against. That’s not sustainable. What is sustainable is Gausman being inconnsistent. I can’t recommend him unless you really want an ulcer. Watch, next time he’ll throw complete game shutout. That’s the Gaus-Man.

Sonny Gray owners need to cut bait if they haven’t already. His velocity is fine so there probably isn’t an injury but his walks are way up, hard contact is up, and his strikeouts are down. Long hot summer nights in Yankee Stadium are not going to be kind to Gray. Don’t let your ego get in the way, there’s a lot better options on the wire.

Danny Duffy may have had one too many Duff Beers before he gets on the mound to pitch. Sorry, that was a low blow. Duffy should not be owned, I hope owners have moved on from Duffy, there’s something wrong, his velocity is down (similar to last year when he struggled) and his slider is trash. There could be some human factors at play here. He may need a DL stint or some time off before we can think about even streaming him.

Ugh, Drew Pomeranz is not very good this year. HR are up, walks are up, ground balls are down (literally), and hard contact is up. I’m sure owners have moved on but he’s probably hurt. His velocity is down over 2 mph and his curve ball has been bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the DL in the next week or so. He’s a safe drop.

Jason Hammel, how are you still in the league. Hammel hasn’t been effective since the first half of 2016 with the Cubs. He’s usually a first-half pitcher, and now, he’s not. Nothing to see here, don’t even think about streaming him.

So Chad Bettis has come back down huh? I think we all saw that coming. He can safely be dropped and forgotten about. I mean it, don’t even think about streaming him in the future, he’s not good. No strikeouts, too many walks, too many extra base hits. Leave him be.

Mining for Goldschmidt and Coming Up Empty

Paul Goldschmidt has been a fantasy stalwart for the better part of six seasons. His 162-game average is .295/106/30/106/20. There’s something satisfying about Goldy having the same number of runs and RBI but also the clean 30 HR, 20 SB average. That 162-game average is the definition of a five category fantasy stud. The news of the humidor managed to drop Goldschmidt’s average draft position from around fourth overall to between 10-14 overall. That’s a still a first round pick in most cases, so owners are growing tired of this sluggish start. So, what’s wrong with Goldschmidt? Is his performance a result of the humidor or are there more factors at play here?

At this point in the season, we can’t ignore Goldschmidt’s poor numbers at home and immediately blame the humidor. I can’t deny that the humidor at Chase Field is playing a huge roll in suppressing power. In 2017, the Diamondbacks averaged 1.51 home runs per game at home; thus far in 2018, Diamondbacks hitters have averaged 0.68 home runs per game at home! How about on the road? To date in 2018, the DBacks have averaged 1.53 home runs per game, or 225% more dingers on the road. Not surprising, the DBacks are slugging .737 on the road and only .645 at home.  Goldschmidt is feeling it more than anyone, here’s his home/road splits this year.


Yeah, that’s bad. The main effects of the humidor will add weight to the baseball by adding moisture to the ball and will decrease exit velocities. Lower exit velocities and heavier baseballs is going to significantly reduce the distance balls travel, relatively speaking. Hmm, I guess science is winning out on this one.

With this information, let’s compare Goldschmidt’s exit velocities between 2017 and 2018. His average exit velocity is down 2.2 mph from 2017 (91.4 mph) to 2018 (89.2 mph). That’s certainly concerning, but the majority of that may attributed to the effect of the humidor, especially since the Diamondbacks have played nine more games at home than on the road so far this year.  However, his exit velocity against fastballs is down a whopping 4.2 mph this year. Goldy typically mashes fastballs, his slugging against fastballs in 2017 was .660; in 2018 it’s down to a still solid but un-Goldschmidt like .487. While the humidor is clearly having an effect on Goldschmidt’s production, his struggles actually started in the 2nd half of2017.  His increased swing and miss rate and decreased hard contact began in late June of 2017, save for the month of August. 

Keep in mind Goldschmidt sees a much higher percentage of fastballs (red line) than any other pitch type. The bump up in swing and miss% on the fastballs is more dramatic than the graph shows. 

An incredibly hot month of August partially masked a sub-par 2nd half for Goldschmidt. The struggles and poor approach from July and September of 2017 mimic Goldschmidt’s 2018 to date. Since July of 2017, Goldschmidt is riding a 4.5 month stretch of poor exit velocity and increased swing and miss rate with only one positive month within that timeframe. Yes, Goldy’s SwStr rate has increased 1.3% since 2017, but that’s not all that concerning and doesn’t explain the nearly 8% jump in his strikeout rate. The real culprit is the first-pitch strike percentage which currently is 69% (nice). That’s a 10% increase from 2017 and 11% over his career F-Strike%. When a pitcher can get ahead that often, it puts the hitter, Goldschmidt in this case, at a disadvantage. Goldschmidt’s patient nature has kept a strong walk rate but at the expense of everything else.

His current patient/”wait for his pitch” approach is clearly not working as pitchers continue to attack him early in the count. He needs to adjust and be more aggressive on first pitch fastballs. Goldschmidt has had the most success in his career, like most hitters, against fastballs. The difference in 2018, instead of pitchers working from behind in the count grooving fastballs on 2-0, 3-1 counts, they are now getting ahead 0-1 and can now throw off-speed/breaking pitches putting Goldschmidt at a disadvantage.

I took a quick inventory of instances in both 2017 and 2018 where Goldschmidt was in an unfavorable count of 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, or 2-2. In 2017 he was in an unfavorable count just under 42.6% percent of the time. In 2018, he’s been in an unfavorable count 49% of the time. Typically batting average takes a jump of over .100 points and slugging is about .300-.400 points higher in favorable counts. That’s an old article but it’s principles remain the same as today.

Continuing with his plate discipline or lack thereof (yes there’s more), you can see that his zone contact (which is contact percentage on balls swung on in the zone) is down 5%. The league average for Z-Contact is near 83%, Goldy’s Z-Contact is at 75.5%; it’s odd to see him that far below the league average. What’s interesting, is his O-Contact (contact on balls swung on outside the zone) is the same as last year and in year’s past. What this essentially means other than he’s making less contact, a higher percentage of balls he’s making contact with are out of the zone.

Again, the results bare this out. Goldschmidt’s career BABIP is an incredible .354; in 2018, it’s an even .295. In addition to the contact outside the zone, his infield fly ball percentage is up to 11.4% and his soft contact is more than double what it was in 2017 (22.0% in 2018 vs 11% in 2017). Again, this justifies a decrease in BABIP among other statistics.

It’s not all doom and gloom; xStats paints a little bit brighter picture with some of the underlying numbers. xStats shows both his high-drive percentage remains strong  and poorly-hit balls are down 5% from previous years and currently half of the league average. So, that’s where there should be some positive regression but it’s not enough data to show that Goldy is the same player he’s always been.

Do you want more bad news Goldschmidt owners? Do you know how well (poorly) Goldy has performed against right-handed pitchers in 2018? No, well I’ll tell you. He’s hit .174 with 1 HR and 40 strikeouts against righties this year. That’s nearly a 32% K rate and a .277 BABIP, which doesn’t scream significant positive regression. Goldschmidt is a career .284 hitter against right-handed pitching. Luckily for him, he’s still murdering (not literally) left-handed pitchers.

As I approach 1200 words on why Goldschmidt owners should be panicked, save for the small xStats blurb, the question remains, what to do with Goldy? As I mentioned, you drafted Goldschmidt as your first round pick, you can’t just sell him for a top 75 player or lower. At that point you’re taking a complete loss because you’ve got next to nothing from him this year. I’m at least somewhat optimistic that the veteran All-Star can make the necessary adjustments to improve on his poor start to 2018. However, those approach changes I discussed are required before I am confident that Goldschmidt will post top 10 numbers at the position. With those adjustments, owners can at least feel confident the partially salvage the season even if the net result is not what was expected on draft day.

Follow me on Twitter @FreezeStats

Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 8

Well last week wasn’t great but Hellickson dominated and we did get that huge strikeout performance from Vincent Velasquez against the suddenly strikeout-prone Giants. What’s interesting is that the Giants, previously known for putting the ball in play (only 19.6% K rate as a team in 2017), are now striking out 25% of the time as a team. They’re also in the bottom third of the league in wOBA. It’s becoming apparent that we need to move the Giants into the “stream against” category, especially with their home park being as pitcher friendly as any in the league. Some other teams in the bottom third in both K rate and wOBA: Padres, Orioles, Rockies (surprise), and Rangers. I’d throw the Marlins in there as well as they are last in the league in wOBA and middle of the pack in K rate. I don’t expect the Rockies to stay there, and obviously you’re not streaming in Coors.

Tyler Anderson (COL) 8% away vs SD 5/14 and away vs 5/20 SF
Anderson gets two starts next week both on the road against the Padres who are 2nd to last in wOBA, and against the Giants who are 23rd in wOBA. Anytime a pitcher is throwing outside of Coors he gets a bump. Anderson is no exception and he’s increased his K rate and swinging strike rates. Both teams he faces this week are in the bottom five (or top five depending how you look at it) in strikeout rate, meaning they strikeout a lot. I’m not a fan of Anderson’s new sinker but his change up and cutter have been pretty good. I’m starting him with confidence in both starts. STREAM

Sal Romano (CIN) 1% Away vs SF 5/14
Romano has been getting it done with smoke and mirrors thus far in 2018. His K rate and walk rate are much too close for my liking. In an era when everyone strikes out, Romano can’t even muster a K/9 of over 6.0. His fastball has not be effective like it was in the minors and while the Giants don’t scare me at all, I think the veteran hitters like Posey, McCutchen, and Longoria get to Romano in this one. I see a short 4 inning start with crooked numbers in a bad way. STAY AWAY

Nick Pivetta (PHI) 25% Away vs BAL on 5/15
I’m not sure how Pivetta is only 25% owned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues. He’s had a couple of rough starts where he’s been BABIP’ed to death but his HR/9 remains stellar at 0.92/9. He still sports a 9.7 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9, those are fantasy #2 type numbers. Now, I’m not calling him a #2 but he should be owned in all leagues. I don’t love this one on the road where he has to face a DH but the Orioles are not good you guys. The only teams with lower wOBA are the Marlins and Padres. They also are in the bottom five in walk rate. As long as Pivetta can avoid Machado, he should go 6-7 IP with 6-7 Ks and solid ratios. STREAM

Chad Kuhl (PIT) 13% at Home vs SD 5/17
I had hopes for Kuhl to have a solid season and so far it’s more of the same. He’s very inconsistent start to start. I’m not worried about the Padres as a club, it’s more about can we trust Kuhl? The walks are down, the strikeouts are up a hair, his velocity is 96+ mph, but he’s been killed by the long ball. His curve and his slider are his two best pitches but he only throws them 29% of the time. It’s hard to feel confident in this one, but he is pitching at home where he’s been better and again, against a weak opponent. I’m going with this one if I’m desperate hoping for 5+ Ks, 3 ER and a win. STREAM but with caution.

Kyle Gibson (MIN) 25% at Home vs MIL 5/18
Right on the cusp of being owned in too many formats, but Gibson gets the Brewers at home in this one. Milwaukee gets to add a DH but with Thames out, they area little thin offensively. Surprisingly, the Brewers are in the bottom six in terms of team wOBA. I mentioned this last week, Gibson is good and needs to be owned, it’s just going to take a while for the fantasy community to come around on the 30-year-old. Every single one of his pitches have seen increased swing and miss percentages with the exception of his four-seamer. But he’s essentially eliminated that pitch as its usage is under 10%. He’s got to get his walks under control but a high ground ball rate and limiting barreled contact should keep this start within 3 ER or less with 6 to 7 strikeouts. STREAM

Andrew Heaney (LAA) 5% at Home vs TB on 5/19 or 5/20
Heaney has always had trouble staying healthy and I’m not touching him for his first start on Monday against the Astros but if he comes out of that one in tact, I like him in the start against the Rays. His surface numbers aren’t great but he’s rolling with a high BABIP of .347 and a low LOB rate of 64%. His strikeout rate is over 25% and his walk rate is 7%. He’s also inducing a lot of weak contact at over 10% which is over his 8% barreled contact. For the first time in his career he’s getting more weak contact than barreled balls. The Rays offense is better than anticipated but they don’t hit for a lot of power. I think Heaney rolls against the Rays next weekend. STREAM

Weekly Rundown – You Can’t Spell Goldschmidt without Old Shit

Hot Hitters
Nomar Mazara is only 23 years old and already has more than 1300 plate appearances in the Majors. He’s got power in his bat but has always struggles against lefties and hits far too many ground balls. Mazara is hot right now mashing .350 with 3 homers in the last seven days. After hitting 20 HR in his first two MLB seasons he’s got 10 before mid-May. I’m kind of buying in to Mazara as he’s hitting the ball harder than ever and barreling up over 10% of his batted balls up from 6%. His launch angle is trash if you want big power and he’s probably the slowest 23-year-old in the league but I think he could be a .300 hitter with 25 homer power.

Justin Upton is on one of his binges as he’s mashed 5 bombs in the past week and now has 10 HR on the season. This is Upton, you know there are going to be highs and lows. Enjoy this one because a three week slump is around the corner. In the end, he’s a .260 hitter with 30 homers and 100 RBI with 8-10 steals. If you can sell high and get a top 30 bat, do it, otherwise just sit and chill with a little J-Up.

Odubel Herrera is hitting a blistering .500 with 3 bombs, 10 RBI and a steal in the last 7 days! He also leads the league in batting average at .360. Herrera is good hitter you guys! He’s a career .293 hitter in just under 2,000 PA and is only 26 years old. He’s not this good based on his elevated BABIP but he’s regularly had .350+ BABIPs in his career. He’s also cut his K rate, so high contact plus low Ks equals a really good batting average. Throw in 15 HR & 15 SB, he’s a moderate buy/Hold for me.

Odubel’s teammate Carlos Santana has 3 dingers and a boat load of RBI (13 to be exact) in his last seven games. I discussed Santana a few weeks ago as a buy low candidate and I’m still buying. He’s taking the launch angle thing to the extreme but squaring up the ball with regularity. I think he gets hot and hits 30+ homers this year while driving in over 100 RBI but an increase in fly balls and popups brings a low batting average. He may hit only .240 this year but he’s under .200 right now, so could hit .255 the rest of the way. Go ahead make a SMOOTH trade offer for Carlos Santana.

I’m glad I wrote about how Kris Bryant was struggling last week. Since then, he’s gone 9/24 with 4 HR and 7 RBI. Bryant doesn’t hit for much power in April but heats up in May. In 79 career April games, he’s hit 10 home runs; in 90 career May games, he’s hit a whopping 26 homers! KB has somehow cut his strikeout rate again and looks to be a legit .300 hitter with 30 homer power. He’s cut his flyball rate which could limit his HR upside but he’s pulling the ball again. He’s 0-1 on the bases and the Cubs run less than anyone in the National League, so anymore than 5 steals would surprise me from KB.

Delino DeShields, AKA the Dentist is getting on base at a .500 clip this past week and is walking more than he’s striking out. He’s got a homer and 3 steals in the past 7 days and is starting to look like the breakout player I hoped he’d be. He’s making more contact and while it’s not quality contact, the spring speed, which ranks 2nd in all of baseball, along with his ground ball approach should yield great results. He should stay atop the Rangers lineup with his improved OBP. I’d be buying, he could still reach 10 homers and 30 steals this year.

Freezing Hitters
What is going on with Bryce Harper? With only 2 hits in his last 25 ABs without a run, RBI, or steal. He had a similar stretch last May when the Cubs decided to walk him in about 90% of his ABs during a series in May. The success to stopping Harper, walk him for an entire series and watch him struggle, got it. Obviously, I’m kidding y’all! Harper has been extremely unlucky recently. If an owner is frustrated by the recent poor performance try to BUY him for $0.90 on the dollar.

Christian Villanueva came out like gangbusters blasting 3 homers in a single game early in April. To his credit he carried his hot streak across three weeks and still has a impressive nine homers on the season. However, he’s gone 0 for his last 21 with just one walk, and one run. Villanueva appears to have issues hitting righties as he’s hitting .162 with one homer in 84 plate appearances. Yes, he’s been murdering lefties but here’s the problem, only about ⅓ of the pitchers in MLB are left handed. He’s even been lucky per xStats, his swinging strike rate and approach are both terrible. You should have listened when I told you to sell this MFer about three weeks ago. He’s a drop in shallow formats.

Didi Gregorius is finally coming back down to earth. No one expected him to keep up his April pace (at least I hope), but he doesn’t have a hit in his last 22 plate appearances. Regression is a bitch! You know what’s going to happen right? Watch Didi become the player we all thought he’d be, check out my Didi bust post way back in the offseason, going something like .260 with 14 homers the rest of the way. The problem is, he started off like Babe Mantle and will finish the season above expectations. Actually, he has made adjustments by improving hard contact, launch angle, and pull%. So he should be just fine as a borderline top 100 player the rest of the way. I’m holding.

The Oakland Matts (Chapman and Olson) have combined to go 4 for their last 44 with 1 homer which came off the bat of Matt Chapman last night. What’s going on? Both have been a little bit unlucky because they both hit the ball hard and hit it in the air a lot. I expect Olson’s power numbers to go up based on his batted ball data where I think Chapman’s numbers are about right. The problem is, Olson’s plate discipline is trash and Chapman’s is great! It’s odd that they have similar strikeout and walk rates. I’d be buying Chapman right now and holding Olson. The power will come in bunches with Olson, but it will come at a .220 average and 30+% K rate.

Paul Goldschmidt is having his worse start to a season ever.  What’s going on, did he just get old fast? The power is down (humidor), the speed in down, and the strikeouts are up. There’s a lot to look at with Pauly, I’m going to do a deep dive, but right now he’s looking like Joey Gallo without the power, not good. Hold tight for now, but this could be a major sell or a hidden injury. Stay tuned.

Hot Pitchers
Aaron Nola just keeps getting better. I’ve already anointed him ACE status. He’s given up 1 ER in his last 14.1 innings striking out 19 batters! But I thought he didn’t have a good K rate? How about a 4th straight season with an increase in SwStr rate up to 11.9%. The 8 K/9 is a mirage. He managed a 9.8 K/9 in 2017 with a lower SwStr rate in 2017. I’m buying him as a top 12 SP ROS and believe he ups his K rate to around 9.5 K/9 and should be a sub 3.00 ERA with a WHIP around 1.05.

Sean Newcomb has been a man possessed with 2 wins, 14 Ks, 0 ER in 13 IP in his last 2 starts. His stuff is really good, it really is, he can get swings and misses on his slider, change and sometimes his fastball. However, looking at his heatmaps, he’s all over the place with his command. He’s out of the zone far too much and pep this, his fastball velocity is down a tick while the change up velocity is up 1.6 mph. That means that the difference between the two pitches is less than 6 mph which tells me that the changeup won’t be as effective as an off-speed pitch. That being said, I’m riding this out until he loses control again. Right now, he’s effectively wild.

Gio Gonzalez is doing it again. I’m just going to have to ignore what the peripherals tell me with Gio and just trust he’s a pretty decent pitcher. The walks are up and the zone% is down, so don’t expect a pretty WHIP but the whiffs and Ks are up as well. He’s given up 2 ER and struck out 21 in his last 18 innings. Gio may be doing this with smoke and mirrors but he’s a nice guy to have at the back end of you rotation.

Freezing Pitchers
How could I not write about Dylan Bundy after his last outing. Literally anyone in the world could have done what Bundy did last time out as he failed to record an out, gave up four bombs and seven ER! What to do with Bundy because he looked so good the first five starts of the season. His last three have been disasters. In deep leagues you have to hold him but keep him on the bench. He’s not own-able in 10 or 12 team mixed leagues. I’m hoping it’s an injury because the velo is down and he was looking like a top 20 SP the first month of the season. But right now I’d rather be owning Ted Bud Bundy.

Brandon McCarthy is actually healthy but can’t seem to get many outs. That’s too bad, maybe he is hurt? He used to put up solid numbers when healthy and now he’s not giving you anything. Without being able to count on 100 IP from McCarthy, he’s a hard drop.

Yu Darvish, what the hell bro? The Cubs just DLed him because he has the flu. Yeah, ok we are all sick of your pitching Yu but you don’t see us on the DL! Whoops sorry for the rant, the only positive thing I can say is that his strikeouts remain high but so is everything else, in a bad way. Walks are up, HR are up, fly balls are, hard contact is up. Of course I’m stashing him for now, but he’s no longer a top 30 SP going forward. I need to see what he looks like when he clears his head or whatever.

Jeff Samardzija has not looked good since coming off the DL. What’s worse is that his previous ability to limit walks has apparently stayed on the DL. Guess what, maybe his command was all an act and his command/control is actually trash. Just ask Eno Sarris of The Athletic and that dude is smart! Here’s the main problem, his sinker is way up. By way up I mean it’s way up in the zone and he’s decided to nearly double its usage. Therefore fly balls have skyrocketed and many of them go over the fence. STOP THROWING YOUR SINKER JEFF! I’m dropping him in shallow leagues because he’s going to continue to hurt your ratios without helping your strikeout numbers.

Tommy Pham Validating Fantasy Star Status

The fantasy community was split on Tommy Pham coming into 2018 and for good reason. You had a 29-year-old career minor leaguer coming off monster 6.1 WAR season per FanGraphs when his previous most valuable season was 2016 with a 1.6 WAR. Pham has been plagued by injuries, vision, and just plain poor performance in the past, so the skepticism was valid. I was on the side leaning on the optimistic side mostly due to the correction in his vision evidenced by his plate discipline improvements I’ll highlight later, but also due to his immense tools.

In 2017, his plate discipline improvements were a direct result and confirmation that his vision issues were in the past. Take his O-Swing (swings outside the zone) of 19.0% in 2017 which is 11% lower than league average. His swing strike rate was nearly cut in half from the previous season down to a career-best 7.6% (league average is around 10%). I suppose injuries are still a concern and the inflated HR/FB rate which sat at 26.7% in 2017 seemed unsustainable, which I did agree with. So, the skeptics remained firm on their assessment of Pham as they searched for other outliers such as the .368 BABIP. Surely that comes down and he won’t hit .300 again.

So far in 2018, Pham’s BABIP sits at .386! His career BABIP in the majors is a robust .360 in just over 1000 plate appearances. I think it’s safe to say that Pham is going to carry and sustain an elevated BABIP throughout the season. How though? Well, he hits a lot of ground balls and his average sprint speed is 28.5MPH which is in the top 14% of the league. In addition, Pham has a knack for hitting a high quantity of balls that fall within the low drive (LD%) and high drive (HD%) per xStats. As you can see, these batted ball types are by far the most valuable in terms of batting average but also in terms of SLG, wOBA, etc for high drives. In 2018, Pham has hit an incredible 40% of his batted balls within these two categories (LD+HD). The league average is 28.0%. This justifies not only his ability to yield an elevated BABIP but to also provide solid power numbers despite a low fly ball rate.

Simply put, Pham squares up a lot of baseballs. I mentioned his low launch angle previously which currently sits at 6.9 degrees which is up 0.4 degrees from 2017; that’s almost negligible. Most players that have that average launch angle are hitters with low power numbers. Checking BaseballSavant, his expected batting average is .318, and his expected slugging is amazing .611! Compare that to Christian Yelich who also has a low launch angle but hits the ball extremely hard. His expected slugging is currently a still solid .496 but still over 100 points lower than Pham. Essentially, Pham is a beast. His current wOBA is .417 but Statcast thinks that’s low as his xwOBA currently sits at .443 AKA Mike Trout territory. 

The last skill Pham possesses, is his ability to avoid chasing pitches out of the zone and smoke balls inside the zone. His O-swing (or chase rate) is 21% while his zone contact is nearly 92%! This has led to a career-low swinging strike rate of only 7.4% (league average is about 10%). To me, this verifies that his vision issues are behind him as they were last year as well. His 20% strikeout rate would also be a career low and his 17.5% walk rate would be a career high.

Unfortunately, the injuries continue to pop up as Pham has currently missed a couple of games due to a groin injury this week. Which is a shame of course because I’d love to see a full season of health from Pham. Maybe he can get through these minor injuries and find his way to 145+ games in 2018. If that happens, you may be looking at a top 20 fantasy player at year’s end to the tune of something like .300 BA, 25 HR, 30 steals while scoring 100 runs hitting in the two-hole for the Cardinals. I’m going to have to back off in terms of stolen bases because of the groin issue, but a 25-20 season is well within reach for Pham. It starts and ends with health.

Starting Pitcher Streaming Options Week 6

Welcome back to this week’s addition of streamers for week 6 of the fantasy baseball season. I hope you were able to stream Trevor Cahill this week, he completely dominated and bolstered the numbers for this week. We still have Marco Estrada going today, so let’s hope for a win. Here’s how we did last week.

1 Win, 2.25 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 33 Ks in 24 IP. It’s too bad we didn’t get more wins, but those ratios and strikeouts will help in all leagues.

Here’s how the streaming options have performed for the entire season to date from this site.

4 Wins, 2.87 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 112 Ks in 125 2/3 IP

That’s all the streamers 25% owned or less in Yahoo/ESPN consensus ownership via FantasyPros. Those wins have been elusive, but at least we are getting great ratios! If you enjoy these, give me a follow on Twitter @FreezeStats.
Moving to week 6, there’s literally nothing I like on Monday 5/7. I could see Jarlin Garca performing well against the Cubs with the Cubs scuffling right now, but he’s owned in over 25% of leagues.

Jeremy Hellickson (WAS) 2% Away v SD Tuesday 5/8
Hellickson is not a good pitcher. However, his team, the Nationals is a very good team and his homer happy ways get to pitch in cavernous Petco Park. While he’s not striking out batters, he’s locating his pitches well and getting a lot weak contact. He’s limiting walks and limiting home runs by inducing more ground balls that he typically does. I’m looking for a solid 6 IP with maybe 4 Ks and a couple ER as he walks away with a win. That’s good enough for me to STREAM.

Mike Minor (TEX) 9% Home v Det Tuesday 5/8
I’d actually prefer this one on the road but beggars can’t be choosers. His SwStr rate tells me that his strikeouts should be better and he’s really not walking many hitters. He’s finally stretched out as he’s gone 6 IP each of the last two starts. I think he’s got upside against a weak Detroit lineup especially if Miggy can’t go. There’s some risk of a blowup but I’m rolling with it thinking of a 7 K upside and decent ratios. STREAM

Vincent Velasquez (PHI) 10% Home vs SF Thursday 5/10
VV finally turned in a solid start yesterday got my 5 IP with 1 ER and earned the win. Sure it came with 4 walks but that’s why he’s on the wire. But check this out, his K% is 25% and his BB.% is only 7%. xStats absolutely loves him and pegs him for a mid-3 ERA pitcher thus far. There’s always walk and HR risks with Velazquez but I’m using him here, his velocity is up and he looks healthy. STREAM

Caleb Smith (MIA) 17% Home vs ATL Thursday 5/10
On one hand he’s striking out 33% of the batters he faces, on the other hand he’s walking 12% of them, on the third hand who the hell is this guy? Don’t get me wrong I’m impressed by how well he’s done thus far in the season but he allows a lot of fly balls and a lot hard contact. At some point when you mix hard fly balls (get those checked out) with walks you got problems. Atlanta’s got a few patient hitters and the young core scares me; even veteran Nick Markakis is mashing right now. I’m guessing this one goes sideways. STAY AWAY

Marco Gonzalez (SEA) 9% Away vs DET Friday 5/11
So, Marco was ok last night as he went 6 IP 4 ER 7 K. That was against the Angels, and it was one rough inning (the 6th), now he get to go to Comerica to face the Detroit Tigers. Do we really need to analyze this one? A ground ball pitcher who gets decent Ks and walks no one against one of the worse offensive clubs? Yeah, ok let’s roll. STREAM

Kyle Gibson (SEA) 18% Away vs LAA Saturday 5/12
More Kyle Gibson! Did you know he is 6’6″? Wow he’s tall. Ok, let’s get to it. Gibson’s strikeouts are up, his home runs against are down but his walks are up. Basically, he’s not giving up as much contact as in the past. While I like what’s doing this year, I don’t think I want any part of him on the road against the Angels. If this was at home , I’d consider it. There could be a couple of long balls in this one on the Angels side (maybe one from Trout) and with the high walk rate, they could turn into 4 or 5 runs. I envision a 5 IP 4 ER 2.00 WHIP and 4 Ks. STAY AWAY

Fantasy Baseball Weekly Rundown: 4/28 – 5/5

I don’t want to keep writing about Mookie Betts every week because we know how good he is and he continues to embarrass Major League pitching. I’m just kidding, I love writing about Mookie, he’s the Betts! Sorry about that, but his OPS is over 2.0 this past week, and on the season he leads the league in AVG, HR, Runs, ISO, wOBA, OPS, WAR, saving 3rd World Countries, etc. His batting average is higher than his BABIP, .363 BA with a .313 BABIP, LOL. So, yeah I “heart” you Mookie.

Meanwhile, A.J. Pollock is doing his thing with five dongs and two steals in the last week+. I actually believe he’s a damn good player and this is his talent level when healthy. The problem is, he’s almost never healthy. That being said, he is healthy and I’m not selling. You likely drafted him after guys like Starling Marte and Elvis Andrus and if he can stay healthy you are looking at a top 25 type season. Something in the vicinity of 30 home runs and 25 steals. HUMIDOR WHAT!

Kevin Pillar has got a nice power/speed stretch going with three homers and two steals this past week. Oh nice, he’s kind of like a poor man’s Pollock. A poor Pollock is that even a thing? I don’t even know and I’m half Polish. This is more or less a hot streak for Pillar. I’d pick him up for now, but I’m not buying him at this level for the rest of the season. He’s going to wear down and go back to his true talent level. That’s ok, the 6 steals could end up around 15-18 with 14-15 homers. That’s a solid forth or fifth OF, so, yes he should be owned in all 12-teamers.

Old Man Nick Markakis is doing something he hasn’t done since his days in Baltimore. He’s hitting .458 with three home runs in the last seven days and has six dingers on the year after only having eight in all of 2017. It took Markakis until August to hit his sixth homer in 2017. I checked his batted ball profile along with xStats, and if you’re wondering, no, this will not last. He has however improved his plate discipline and should be a good source of AVG and OBP (for those leagues) and should be hitting in a good spot in one of the most exciting lineups in the league. He still likely ends up around .285/.360 with 12-14 homers, no speed but probably around 85+ RBI.

Dee Gordon is hitting a crazy .630 with five steals over the last week and has taken over the league lead in steals with 14. This is what Dee does, he steals bases. Any concerns about slowing down went out the window but his .415 BABIP won’t last. Yeah, he’s a .340 BABIP guy. Ok, so he’s basically a .290 hitter with 55-60 steals. Oh, that’s exactly what I projected him for this offseason. Great!

Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor started slow this year and fantasy owners were worried. What are their numbers now?  Ramirez is hitting .293 with 9 HR and 3 steals and is walking more than he’s striking out; Lindor is hitting .283 with 7 HR and 5 steals. Sounds like they are both going to be just fine. Everyone relax.

Quick hit: Eugenio Suarez came back from a fractured thumb in like 3 weeks! How? I don’t know but It doesn’t matter, he’s killing it with 2 HR and 12 RBI in the last 7 days. He’s now got 4 HR, 20 RBI and hitting over .300 in only 16 games. He shouldn’t be available but I’m buying his breakout.

Kris Bryant and his dreamy blue eyes is 4 for his last 23. He does have a homer but to be honest, it was wind aided and was 2 rows deep at Wrigley. What’s interesting is that KB has reduced his strikeout rate and SwStr for the fourth straight year. That’s good but his FB% and launch angle are down. If you were expecting 40 HR from KB, you’re going to be disappointed. He’s more of a 25-30 HR hitter but he might hit .300, so that’s something, right?

This is the Cubs portion of the article; Javy Baez is hitting .200 in the last seven days with no homers. He has managed one steal so maybe he can weather these slumps by stealing bases. Doubtful, the Cubs are next to last in steals as a team. But he’s walking more, nope. I said this before, he had as many IBB as BB in 2017 because he hit in front of the pitcher. If he’s hitting higher in the order it’s good for his counting stats but bad for his OBP. Maddon has already moved him down after one bad week, so who knows what to expect. He’s still swinging out of the zone just as much and missing nearly the same as 2017. I’d be selling Baez and would have done it two weeks ago.

Paul DeJong is 3 for his last 16 with no homers,one run and no RBI in the last seven days. At least he’s but his K rate down to 31.7% though, right? This is the real Paul DeJong. The power is legit, but he’s going to have a lot more stretches like this one with a few hot streaks in between. They will very few and far between. I’m not buying DeJong, I’d be selling.

Rhys Hoskins was looking like a God among men through his first 70 or so games in the Majors. However, his line over the last week looks like this .083 with no homers, 1 R, 1 RBI, and an astonishing 11 strikeouts! This is just a slump, he’s still walking at just under 20%. If you thought Hoskins was going to turn into a .300 40 110 hitter in his first full season, then you will be disappointed. I think he could be that at his peak, but right now he hits too many fly balls to hit for a very high average. He’s more of a .260 hitter with 30+ homer power and great on base skills. I’d buy if someone is jumping ship.

Nick Kingham crowned as this week’s rundown pitcher of the week. I’m sorry, that was lame. Kingham ruled his opponents this week. I’ll let myself out.  2 starts with 16 Ks, 4 ER and 2 W this past week. Another Tommy John Surgery pitcher for the Pirates to ruin. His slider has been reinvented which means he’s got 3 plus pitches. He looks like the real deal. He’s not going to over power hitters but mixes in his secondary pitches very well. If it wasn’t for the 2-run jack by Domingo Santana in his last start, he’s would have completed another gem. I’m buying Kingham in all 12 team leagues and deeper.

Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole are my fifth and sixth best SPs right now. It’s way too late to buy Gerrit Cole but I believe in his stuff this year. The Pirates have got to be kicking themselves right now for not letting Cole use pine tar while pitching. LOL, I’m JK, right Tyler Bauer? Anyways, he’s got 77 strike out against 9 walks! He’s going to be very good this year but the high launch angle (18 degrees) and hard hit rate of 38% could create a few blowups in the future. Although when you strikeout everyone, does it matter? Sevy while not an dominant has given up an average launch angle of only 5.8 degrees and backs it up with a 52% ground ball rate. He’s got the safer floor than Cole by limiting home runs and keeping the ball on the ground.

Blake Snell’s like teen spirit is on a roll! I wrote that sleeper post back in December. He hasn’t given up more than 2 ER in a single start since his 2nd start of the season against the Yanks. He’s keeping his walks way down and finally missing bats like he was in the minors. You are witnessing Snell’s breakout and it Snells damn good! I’m buying him as a borderline top 30 SP. If an owner isn’t as fond of him, make an offer for him.

Sean Newcomb has put together a couple of very good starts. He’s kind of like Blake Snell back in 2017 but with more strikeout upside. He’s always had great stuff and high swing and miss numbers but his control has historically been bad. Well, he’s only walked 2 batters and struck out 16 in his last two starts. I like this kid and I’d be buying in 12 team and deeper leagues. His Zone% is up 3% so if he can keep the walks down, he’ll be very valuable. Expect some 4 IP 5 ER with 4 or 5 walk games but the good should out weight the bad.

Freezing Hurlers
David Price’s struggles hit a climax (and not in a good way) on Thursday night. He’s given up 12 ER and 19 base runners in his last 9 ⅓ innings. What’s up David? Do we need to get Dennis Eckersley to take trash about you again? I’m beginning to think Price’s best days are behind him. His average FB velocity is around 93 mph. Back when he was an ace, he was slinging it between 95 and 97 mph. His secondary offerings are just not that great. Without a dominant fastball you can see his K rate dropping and the walk rate is nearly up to 10%. I’d hold for now, he’s a good veteran pitcher. I want to see a few more starts and how he adjusts.

Carlos Carrasco serving up cookies to opposing batters in his last two starts. Tehehe. Carrasco’s skills all look to be intact. His velocity is fine, his walk rate is good, and his swings and misses are there, but the strikeouts are down (they will come back up). The only change is an increase in fly balls. His launch angle against is up 4 degrees from 2017. Maybe he gives up 2 more HRs than last year, so what. I’m not all that concerned, if a Carrasco owner is selling, I’m buying.

Jason Vargas and Chris Tillman can go back to being ignored in fantasy. Unless you’re stacking hitters against them. I wouldn’t be owning either of these guys or even streaming them. I’d actually be surprised if they are both pitching in the Majors in September this year.

Matt Harvey has been DFAed by the Mets as he refused to be sent to the minors. Wow, that escalated quickly. What a fall from grace for the Dark Knight. Back in 2015 his fastball averaged 96.7 mph and this year he averaged 92.6 mph. Here’s really the only other stat you need to know, in 2015 his xwOBA against was an incredible .255 and this year it’s .400! So basically, he turned every hitter into Alcides Escobar in 2015 and he’s turning everyone into Mike Trout now.

2018 Rest of Season Rankings – May Update

Take a look at my updated rest of season ranks now that we are one month into the 2018 season. I’ll be updating the rankings about once a month, anything more than that is too much. There isn’t usually enough movement outside of injuries in a short time frame.  Here’s a list of some of the biggest risers and fallers from my preseason rankings.

UPDATE: Corey Seager has been removed from the list with the news of his Tommy John Surgery coming down last night. Let’s hope for a full recovery from Seager who just turned 24 years old.

1Mike Trout  (LAA - CF)10
2Mookie Betts  (BOS - RF)53
3Nolan Arenado  (COL - 3B)30
4Bryce Harper  (WSH - RF)40
5Jose Altuve  (HOU - 2B)2-3
6Trea Turner  (WSH - SS)82
7Charlie Blackmon  (COL - CF)6-1
8J.D. Martinez  (BOS - RF)1911
9Paul Goldschmidt  (ARI - 1B)7-2
10Freddie Freeman  (ATL - 1B,3B)166
11Max Scherzer  (WSH - SP)9-2
12Carlos Correa  (HOU - SS)10-2
13Francisco Lindor  (CLE - SS)207
14Corey Kluber  (CLE - SP)13-1
15Manny Machado  (BAL - 3B)172
16Giancarlo Stanton  (NYY - RF)11-5
17Joey Votto  (CIN - 1B)181
18Chris Sale  (BOS - SP)15-3
19Jose Ramirez  (CLE - 2B,3B)223
20George Springer  (HOU - CF,RF)244
21Aaron Judge  (NYY - RF)210
22Kris Bryant  (CHC - 3B,RF)14-8
23Clayton Kershaw  (LAD - SP)12-11
24Gary Sanchez  (NYY - C)306
25Rhys Hoskins  (PHI - 1B,LF)4217
26Anthony Rizzo  (CHC - 1B,2B)23-3
27Stephen Strasburg  (WSH - SP)25-2
28Jose Abreu  (CWS - 1B)27-1
29Brian Dozier  (MIN - 2B)26-3
30Luis Severino  (NYY - SP)399
31Justin Verlander  (HOU - SP)4110
32Alex Bregman  (HOU - 3B,SS)5624
33Noah Syndergaard  (NYM - SP)31-2
34Tommy Pham  (STL - LF,CF)5218
35Dee Gordon  (SEA - 2B)33-2
36A.J. Pollock  (ARI - CF)4812
37Jacob deGrom  (NYM - SP)34-3
38Nelson Cruz  (SEA - RF,DH)380
39Anthony Rendon  (WSH - 3B)456
40Justin Upton  (LAA - LF)35-5
41Edwin Encarnacion  (CLE - 1B,DH)37-4
42Andrew Benintendi  (BOS - LF,CF)431
43Carlos Carrasco  (CLE - SP)36-7
44Cody Bellinger  (LAD - 1B,LF)28-16
45Khris Davis  (OAK - LF,DH)472
46Lorenzo Cain  (MIL - CF)559
47Zack Greinke  (ARI - SP)46-1
48Marcell Ozuna  (STL - LF)44-4
49Christian Yelich  (MIL - CF)40-9
50Craig Kimbrel  (BOS - RP)599
51Yu Darvish  (CHC - SP)50-1
52Gerrit Cole  (HOU - SP)608
53Ozzie Albies  (ATL - 2B)7522
54Didi Gregorius  (NYY - SS)7319
55Ronald Acuna  (ATL - CF)8732
56Starling Marte  (PIT - LF,CF)32-24
57Joey Gallo  (TEX - 1B,3B,LF)7922
58Carlos Martinez  (STL - SP)49-9
59Aaron Nola  (PHI - SP)623
60Aroldis Chapman  (NYY - RP)7010
61Edwin Diaz  (SEA - RP)9837
62Miguel Cabrera  (DET - 1B)653
63DJ LeMahieu  (COL - 2B)8522
64Miguel Sano  (MIN - 1B,3B,DH)7410
65Jean Segura  (SEA - SS)694
66Masahiro Tanaka  (NYY - SP)8620
67Nick Castellanos  (DET - 3B,RF)8417
68Roberto Osuna  (TOR - RP)768
69Yoenis Cespedes  (NYM - LF)58-11
70Xander Bogaerts  (BOS - SS)66-4
71Whit Merrifield  (KC - 2B,RF)9120
72Jose Quintana  (CHC - SP)8210
73Eric Hosmer  (SD - 1B)57-16
74David Price  (BOS - SP,RP)13359
75Trevor Story  (COL - SS)10833
76James Paxton  (SEA - SP)67-9
77Michael Conforto  (NYM - LF,CF,RF)12447
78Robinson Cano  (SEA - 2B)53-25
79Kenley Jansen  (LAD - RP)51-28
80Travis Shaw  (MIL - 3B)68-12
81Rafael Devers  (BOS - 3B)810
82Shohei Ohtani  (LAA - SP,DH)77-5
83Ender Inciarte  (ATL - CF)896
84Felipe Vazquez  (PIT - RP)11127
85Matt Chapman  (OAK - 3B)202117
86Zack Godley  (ARI - SP)14054
87Cody Allen  (CLE - RP)11023
88Justin Smoak  (TOR - 1B)10517
89Dallas Keuchel  (HOU - SP)78-11
90Jeurys Familia  (NYM - RP)14353
91Wil Myers  (SD - 1B)54-37
92Andrew McCutchen  (SF - CF,RF)71-21
93Trevor Bauer  (CLE - SP)13037
94Mike Moustakas  (KC - 3B)995
95Willson Contreras  (CHC - C)961
96Patrick Corbin  (ARI - SP)16569
97Jonathan Schoop  (BAL - 2B)72-25
98Raisel Iglesias  (CIN - RP)12022
99Dylan Bundy  (BAL - SP)14849
100Brad Hand  (SD - RP)11515
101Gregory Polanco  (PIT - LF,RF)1021
102Robbie Ray  (ARI - SP)90-12
103Tim Anderson  (CWS - SS)15653
104Hanley Ramirez  (BOS - 1B,DH)16460
105Ryan Braun  (MIL - LF)61-44
106Carlos Santana  (PHI - 1B,RF)1071
107Jose Berrios  (MIN - SP)11912
108Jose Martinez  (STL - 1B,LF,RF)15749
109Adam Jones  (BAL - CF)101-8
110Sean Doolittle  (WSH - RP)14131
111Charlie Morton  (HOU - SP)13625
112Ryan Zimmerman  (WSH - 1B)1175
113Jake Arrieta  (PHI - SP)83-30
114Kyle Seager  (SEA - 3B)88-26
115Adrian Beltre  (TEX - 3B,DH)97-18
116Josh Bell  (PIT - 1B)1237
117Lance McCullers  (HOU - SP)1181
118Daniel Murphy  (WSH - 2B)64-54
119J.T. Realmuto  (MIA - C,1B)15031
120Brandon Morrow  (CHC - RP)17252
121Eddie Rosario  (MIN - LF,CF,RF)13110
122Kyle Schwarber  (CHC - LF)14220
123Justin Turner  (LAD - 3B)15431
124Sean Manaea  (OAK - SP)18662
125Josh Donaldson  (TOR - 3B)29-96
126Mitch Haniger  (SEA - RF)15125
127Yasiel Puig  (LAD - RF)93-34
128Blake Snell  (TB - SP)17850
129Chris Taylor  (LAD - 2B,SS,LF,CF)13910
130Cesar Hernandez  (PHI - 2B)22292
131Brandon Belt  (SF - 1B,LF)19968
132Yoan Moncada  (CWS - 2B)14513
133Adam Eaton  (WSH - CF)100-33
134Billy Hamilton  (CIN - CF)129-5
135Chris Archer  (TB - SP)63-72
136J.A. Happ  (TOR - SP)21882
137Brett Gardner  (NYY - LF,CF)134-3
138Yonder Alonso  (CLE - 1B)16628
139Alex Wood  (LAD - SP)95-44
140Kenneth Giles  (HOU - RP)1499
141Wade Davis  (COL - RP)128-13
142Scott Kingery  (PHI - 2B)21977
143Rich Hill  (LAD - SP)109-34
144Jake Lamb  (ARI - 3B)104-40
145Jon Lester  (CHC - SP)114-31
146Matt Olson  (OAK - 1B,RF)94-52
147Buster Posey  (SF - C,1B)92-55
148Josh Hader  (MIL - RP)22072
149Shin-Soo Choo  (TEX - RF,DH)1556
150Jameson Taillon  (PIT - SP)147-3
151Michael Fulmer  (DET - SP)18433
152Johnny Cueto  (SF - SP)132-20
153Odubel Herrera  (PHI - CF)1530
154Byron Buxton  (MIN - CF)80-74
155Rick Porcello  (BOS - SP)23883
156Yadier Molina  (STL - C)1604
157Bradley Boxberger  (ARI - RP)21659
158Kyle Hendricks  (CHC - SP)103-55
159Marcus Semien  (OAK - SS)19132
160Javier Baez  (CHC - 2B,SS)121-39
161Garrett Richards  (LAA - SP)1687
162Hector Neris  (PHI - RP)1631
163Domingo Santana  (MIL - RF)106-57
164Aaron Hicks  (NYY - LF,CF,RF)25692
165Nick Senzel  (CIN - 3B)283118
166Eugenio Suarez  (CIN - 3B)20640
167Luis Castillo  (CIN - SP)161-6
168Corey Dickerson  (PIT - LF,DH)18820
169Madison Bumgarner  (SF - SP)126-43
170Matt Davidson  (CWS - 1B,3B,DH)25585
171Yulieski Gurriel  (HOU - 1B)19423
172Yasmani Grandal  (LAD - C)20836
173Michael Clevinger  (CLE - SP,RP)20330
174Jed Lowrie  (OAK - 2B)286112
175Matt Carpenter  (STL - 1B,2B,3B)127-48
176Delino DeShields  (TEX - LF,CF)19721
177David Peralta  (ARI - LF,RF)1814
178Kelvin Herrera  (KC - RP)1791
179Justin Bour  (MIA - 1B)137-42
180Maikel Franco  (PHI - 3B)22545
181Teoscar Hernandez  (TOR - LF)305124
182Manuel Margot  (SD - CF)171-11
183Miles Mikolas  (STL - SP)27390
184Rougned Odor  (TEX - 2B)113-71
185Ian Desmond  (COL - 1B,LF)112-73
186Kenta Maeda  (LAD - SP)162-24
187Nomar Mazara  (TEX - LF,RF)122-65
188Jay Bruce  (NYM - 1B,RF)125-63
189Evan Gattis  (HOU - C,DH)180-9
190Arodys Vizcaino  (ATL - RP)20515
191Evan Longoria  (SF - 3B)159-32
192Zack Cozart  (LAA - SS)22634
193Luke Weaver  (STL - SP)144-49
194Jeff Samardzija  (SF - SP)185-9
195Keone Kela  (TEX - RP)23136
196Ian Kinsler  (LAA - 2B)135-61
197Gio Gonzalez  (WSH - SP)176-21
198Chase Anderson  (MIL - SP)175-23
199Andrelton Simmons  (LAA - SS)174-25
200Corey Knebel  (MIL - RP)22121
201Josh Reddick  (HOU - LF,CF,RF)170-31
202Blake Treinen  (OAK - RP)187-15
203Dexter Fowler  (STL - CF)182-21
204Wilson Ramos  (TB - C)2095
205Jonathan Gray  (COL - SP)192-13
206Adam Duvall  (CIN - LF)152-54
207Marcus Stroman  (TOR - SP)167-40
208Chris Devenski  (HOU - RP)26254
209Mallex Smith  (TB - LF,CF,RF)27566
210Bradley Zimmer  (CLE - CF)198-12
211Leonys Martin  (DET - CF,RF)389178
212Orlando Arcia  (MIL - SS)23018
213Michael Brantley  (CLE - LF)200-13
214Scooter Gennett  (CIN - 2B,3B,LF)24026
215Nick Pivetta  (PHI - SP)30792
216Jeimer Candelario  (DET - 3B)320104
217Jackie Bradley  (BOS - CF)215-2
218Salvador Perez  (KC - C)189-29
219Franchy Cordero  (SD - CF)31495
220Steven Souza  (ARI - RF)190-30
221Albert Pujols  (LAA - 1B,DH)23312
222Jake Odorizzi  (MIN - SP)30078
223Trey Mancini  (BAL - 1B,LF)158-65
224Amed Rosario  (NYM - SS)28763
225Gleyber Torres  (NYY - SS)28964
226Tanner Roark  (WSH - SP)25226
227Yangervis Solarte  (TOR - 2B,3B,SS)29467
228Luiz Gohara  (ATL - SP)29971
229Reynaldo Lopez  (CWS - SP)29667
230Ryan McMahon  (COL - 1B)24313
231Jordan Montgomery  (NYY - SP)26433
232Eduardo Nunez  (BOS - 2B,3B,SS,LF)177-55
233Colin Moran  (PIT - 1B)353120
234Alexander Colome  (TB - RP)169-65
235Hunter Strickland  (SF - RP)27237
236Danny Duffy  (KC - SP)195-41
237Marco Estrada  (TOR - SP)29154
238Welington Castillo  (CWS - C)2468
239Addison Russell  (CHC - SS)2489
240Ian Happ  (CHC - 2B,LF,CF,RF)146-94
241Willie Calhoun  (TEX - LF)27433
242Stephen Piscotty  (OAK - RF)211-31
243Logan Morrison  (MIN - 1B)212-31
244Brad Brach  (BAL - RP)242-2
245Aaron Altherr  (PHI - LF,CF,RF)30459
246Drew Pomeranz  (BOS - SP)210-36
247Chris Iannetta  (COL - C)399152
248Keynan Middleton  (LAA - RP)28234
249Paul DeJong  (STL - 2B,SS)138-111
250Kevin Gausman  (BAL - SP)213-37
251Chris Davis  (BAL - 1B)228-23
252Brandon Nimmo  (NYM - LF,CF,RF)404152
253Jonathan Villar  (MIL - 2B,CF)214-39
254Eduardo Rodriguez  (BOS - SP)31157
255Michael Taylor  (WSH - CF)2605
256Carlos Gonzalez  (COL - RF)207-49
257Starlin Castro  (MIA - 2B)234-23
258Jorge Soler  (KC - RF)30244
259Sonny Gray  (NYY - SP)173-86
260Jake Junis  (KC - SP)29232
261Kole Calhoun  (LAA - RF)241-20
262Randal Grichuk  (TOR - LF,RF)244-18
263C.J. Cron  (TB - 1B)28421
264Jonathan Lucroy  (OAK - C)29329
265Marwin Gonzalez  (HOU - 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF)193-72
266Jose Peraza  (CIN - 2B,SS)263-3
267Chad Green  (NYY - RP)29730
268Shane Greene  (DET - RP)254-14
269David Dahl  (COL - LF,CF,RF)2778
270Lance Lynn  (MIN - SP)251-19
271Cole Hamels  (TEX - SP)227-44
272Nick Markakis  (ATL - RF)32250
273Mark Trumbo  (BAL - RF,DH)2818
274Joakim Soria  (CWS - RP)30834
275Joe Panik  (SF - 2B)33863
276Matt Kemp  (LAD - LF)224-52
277Archie Bradley  (ARI - RP)270-7
278Andrew Miller  (CLE - RP)183-95
279Mike Zunino  (SEA - C)239-40
280Michael Wacha  (STL - SP)259-21
281Fernando Rodney  (MIN - RP)267-14
282Chad Kuhl  (PIT - SP)403121
283Julio Teheran  (ATL - SP)253-30
284Lewis Brinson  (MIA - LF,CF)261-23
285Aaron Sanchez  (TOR - SP)249-36
286Jacob Faria  (TB - SP)217-69
287Max Kepler  (MIN - CF,RF)223-64
288Avisail Garcia  (CWS - RF)201-87
289Mike Minor  (TEX - SP,RP)34960
290Jason Kipnis  (CLE - 2B,CF)235-55
291Ivan Nova  (PIT - SP)422131
292Carlos Gomez  (TB - CF)288-4
293Brad Peacock  (HOU - SP,RP)2952
294Kendrys Morales  (TOR - 1B,DH)245-49
295Hyun-Jin Ryu  (LAD - SP)269-26
296Brad Ziegler  (MIA - RP)34246
297Aledmys Diaz  (TOR - SS)36467
298Tyler Skaggs  (LAA - SP)32527