Overall Rankings Rest of Season – 7/18/2018
1 . Mike Trout (LAA ) CF
2 . Mookie Betts (BOS ) RF
3 . Jose Ramirez (CLE ) 2B,3B
4 . J . D . Martinez (BOS ) RF
5 . Nolan Arenado (COL ) 3B
6 . Francisco Lindor (CLE ) SS
7 . Aaron Judge (NYY ) RF
8 . Chris Sale (BOS ) SP
9 . Jose Altuve (HOU ) 2B
10 . Max Scherzer (WSH ) SP
11 . Freddie Freeman (ATL ) 1B,3B
12 . Manny Machado (BAL ) 3B
13 . Paul Goldschmidt (ARI ) 1B
14 . Jacob deGrom (NYM ) SP
15 . Andrew Benintendi (BOS ) LF,CF
16 . Trea Turner (WSH ) SS
17 . Giancarlo Stanton (NYY ) RF
18 . Alex Bregman (HOU ) 3B,SS
19 . Corey Kluber (CLE ) SP
20 . Joey Votto (CIN ) 1B
21 . Charlie Blackmon (COL ) CF
22 . Bryce Harper (WSH ) RF
23 . Luis Severino (NYY ) SP
24 . Ozzie Albies (ATL ) 2B
25 . Justin Verlander (HOU ) SP
26 . Starling Marte (PIT ) LF,CF
27 . Anthony Rendon (WSH ) 3B
28 . Aaron Nola (PHI ) SP
29 . Brian Dozier (MIN ) 2B
30 . Trevor Bauer (CLE ) SP
31 . Trevor Story (COL ) SS
32 . Nelson Cruz (SEA ) RF,DH
33 . Kris Bryant (CHC ) 3B,RF
34 . George Springer (HOU ) CF,RF
35 . Jean Segura (SEA ) SS
36 . A . J . Pollock (ARI ) CF
37 . Anthony Rizzo (CHC ) 1B,2B
38 . Noah Syndergaard (NYM ) SP
39 . Edwin Encarnacion (CLE ) 1B,DH
40 . Eddie Rosario (MIN ) LF,CF,RF
41 . Clayton Kershaw (LAD ) SP
42 . Christian Yelich (MIL ) CF
43 . Craig Kimbrel (BOS ) RP
44 . Eugenio Suarez (CIN ) 3B
45 . Khris Davis (OAK ) LF,DH
46 . Gerrit Cole (HOU ) SP
47 . Rhys Hoskins (PHI ) 1B,LF
48 . Zack Greinke (ARI ) SP
49 . Edwin Diaz (SEA ) RP
50 . Lorenzo Cain (MIL ) CF
51 . Jose Abreu (CWS ) 1B
52 . Justin Upton (LAA ) LF
53 . Blake Snell (TB ) SP
54 . Cody Bellinger (LAD ) 1B,LF
55 . Mitch Haniger (SEA ) RF
56 . Aroldis Chapman (NYY ) RP
57 . Ronald Acuna (ATL ) CF
58 . Javier Baez (CHC ) 2B,SS
59 . Carlos Correa (HOU ) SS
60 . James Paxton (SEA ) SP
61 . Madison Bumgarner (SF ) SP
62 . Stephen Strasburg (WSH ) SP
63 . Kenley Jansen (LAD ) RP
64 . Xander Bogaerts (BOS ) SS
65 . Matt Carpenter (STL ) 1B,2B,3B
66 . Marcell Ozuna (STL ) LF
67 . Max Muncy (LAD ) 1B,2B,3B,RF
68 . Dee Gordon (SEA ) 2B
69 . Juan Soto (WSH ) RF
70 . Tommy Pham (STL ) LF,CF
71 . Jose Martinez (STL ) 1B,LF,RF
72 . Patrick Corbin (ARI ) SP
73 . Carlos Carrasco (CLE ) SP
74 . Brandon Morrow (CHC ) RP
75 . Nicholas Castellanos (DET ) 3B,RF
76 . Carlos Martinez (STL ) SP
77 . Wil Myers (SD ) 1B
78 . Scooter Gennett (CIN ) 2B,3B,LF
79 . Corey Knebel (MIL ) RP
80 . Tim Anderson (CWS ) SS
81 . Jose Berrios (MIN ) SP
82 . Whit Merrifield (KC ) 2B,RF
83 . Justin Turner (LAD ) 3B
84 . Jesus Aguilar (MIL ) 1B
85 . Ross Stripling (LAD ) RP
86 . Blake Treinen (OAK ) RP
87 . Matt Olson (OAK ) 1B,RF
88 . Brandon Belt (SF ) 1B,LF
89 . J . T . Realmuto (MIA ) C,1B
90 . Charlie Morton (HOU ) SP
91 . Robbie Ray (ARI ) SP
92 . Michael Brantley (CLE ) LF
93 . Keone Kela (TEX ) RP
94 . Lance McCullers (HOU ) SP
95 . Travis Shaw (MIL ) 3B
96 . DJ LeMahieu (COL ) 2B
97 . Gary Sanchez (NYY ) C
98 . Jack Flaherty (STL ) SP
99 . Didi Gregorius (NYY ) SS
100 . Cody Allen (CLE ) RP
101 . Mike Moustakas (KC ) 3B
102 . David Peralta (ARI ) LF,RF
103 . Cesar Hernandez (PHI ) 2B
104 . Elvis Andrus (TEX ) SS
105 . Matt Chapman (OAK ) 3B
106 . Raisel Iglesias (CIN ) RP
107 . Alex Wood (LAD ) SP
108 . Brad Hand (SD ) RP
109 . Sean Doolittle (WSH ) RP
110 . Jed Lowrie (OAK ) 2B
111 . Johnny Cueto (SF ) SP
112 . Ender Inciarte (ATL ) CF
113 . Miguel Andujar (NYY ) 3B
114 . Miles Mikolas (STL ) SP
115 . Jon Lester (CHC ) SP
116 . Ian Desmond (COL ) 1B,LF
117 . Mike Foltynewicz (ATL ) SP
118 . Shin-Soo Choo (TEX ) RF,DH
119 . Mike Clevinger (CLE ) SP,RP
120 . Daniel Murphy (WSH ) 2B
121 . Gleyber Torres (NYY ) SS
122 . Felipe Vazquez (PIT ) RP
123 . Aaron Hicks (NYY ) LF,CF,RF
124 . Justin Smoak (TOR ) 1B
125 . Rafael Devers (BOS ) 3B
126 . Willson Contreras (CHC ) C
127 . Andrew McCutchen (SF ) CF,RF
128 . Dylan Bundy (BAL ) SP
129 . Brandon Nimmo (NYM ) LF,CF,RF
130 . Kyle Schwarber (CHC ) LF
131 . Josh Hader (MIL ) RP
132 . Bradley Boxberger (ARI ) RP
133 . Dallas Keuchel (HOU ) SP
134 . Corey Dickerson (PIT ) LF,DH
135 . David Price (BOS ) SP,RP
136 . Jake Lamb (ARI ) 3B
137 . Gregory Polanco (PIT ) LF,RF
138 . Carlos Santana (PHI ) 1B,RF
139 . Andrew Heaney (LAA ) SP
140 . Jake Arrieta (PHI ) SP
141 . Wade Davis (COL ) RP
142 . Eric Hosmer (SD ) 1B
143 . Chris Taylor (LAD ) 2B,SS,LF,CF
144 . Asdrubal Cabrera (NYM ) 2B,3B,SS
145 . Jose Quintana (CHC ) SP
146 . Joey Gallo (TEX ) 1B,3B,LF
147 . Yoan Moncada (CWS ) 2B
148 . Matt Kemp (LAD ) LF
149 . Jameson Taillon (PIT ) SP
150 . Nick Markakis (ATL ) RF
151 . Tyler Skaggs (LAA ) SP
152 . Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS ) SP
153 . J . A . Happ (TOR ) SP
154 . Jose Peraza (CIN ) 2B,SS
155 . Evan Gattis (HOU ) C,DH
156 . Sean Manaea (OAK ) SP
157 . Odubel Herrera (PHI ) CF
158 . Zach Eflin (PHI ) SP,RP
159 . Kenta Maeda (LAD ) SP
160 . Michael Conforto (NYM ) LF,CF,RF
161 . Rich Hill (LAD ) SP
162 . Kyle Tucker (HOU ) CF,RF
163 . Billy Hamilton (CIN ) CF
164 . Kyle Gibson (MIN ) SP
165 . Wilson Ramos (TB ) C
166 . Kyle Barraclough (MIA ) RP
167 . Justin Bour (MIA ) 1B
168 . Adrian Beltre (TEX ) 3B,DH
169 . Nick Pivetta (PHI ) SP
170 . Seranthony Dominguez (PHI ) RP
171 . Adam Jones (BAL ) CF
172 . Buster Posey (SF ) C,1B
173 . Eduardo Escobar (MIN ) 2B,3B,SS,DH
174 . Nomar Mazara (TEX ) LF,RF
175 . Kyle Seager (SEA ) 3B
176 . Jorge Polanco (MIN ) SS
177 . Jeimer Candelario (DET ) 3B
178 . Jake Bauers (TB ) 1B,LF
179 . Masahiro Tanaka (NYY ) SP
180 . Hector Rondon (HOU ) RP
181 . Shane Greene (DET ) RP
182 . Chris Archer (TB ) SP
183 . Ian Happ (CHC ) 2B,LF,CF,RF
184 . Teoscar Hernandez (TOR ) LF
185 . Yasiel Puig (LAD ) RF
186 . Yulieski Gurriel (HOU ) 1B
187 . Yadier Molina (STL ) C
188 . Yangervis Solarte (TOR ) 2B,3B,SS
189 . Maikel Franco (PHI ) 3B
190 . Michael Fulmer (DET ) SP
191 . Mitch Moreland (BOS ) 1B
192 . Kyle Hendricks (CHC ) SP
193 . Yonder Alonso (CLE ) 1B
194 . Marco Gonzales (SEA ) SP
195 . Ryan Braun (MIL ) LF
196 . Josh Donaldson (TOR ) 3B
197 . Walker Buehler (LAD ) SP,RP
198 . Nicholas Kingham (PIT ) SP
199 . Yoenis Cespedes (NYM ) LF
200 . Andrelton Simmons (LAA ) SS
201 . Adam Eaton (WSH ) CF
202 . Max Kepler (MIN ) CF,RF
203 . Greg Bird (NYY ) 1B
204 . Jeurys Familia (NYM ) RP
205 . Paul DeJong (STL ) 2B,SS
206 . Brett Gardner (NYY ) LF,CF
207 . Delino DeShields (TEX ) LF,CF
208 . Jesse Winker (CIN ) RF
209 . Rick Porcello (BOS ) SP
210 . Rougned Odor (TEX ) 2B
211 . CC Sabathia (NYY ) SP
212 . Ian Kinsler (LAA ) 2B
213 . C . J . Cron (TB ) 1B
214 . Mallex Smith (TB ) LF,CF,RF
215 . Zack Wheeler (NYM ) SP
216 . Carlos Gonzalez (COL ) RF
217 . Eric Thames (MIL ) 1B,LF
218 . Mark Reynolds (WSH ) 1B
219 . Harrison Bader (STL ) CF
220 . Marcus Semien (OAK ) SS
221 . Kevin Kiermaier (TB ) CF
222 . Michael Taylor (WSH ) CF
223 . Dustin Fowler (OAK ) RF
224 . Sean Newcomb (ATL ) SP
225 . Blake Parker (LAA ) RP
226 . Cole Hamels (TEX ) SP
227 . Brandon Crawford (SF ) SS
228 . Albert Almora (CHC ) CF
229 . Tyler Anderson (COL ) SP
230 . Starlin Castro (MIA ) 2B
231 . Ketel Marte (ARI ) SS
232 . Kevin Gausman (BAL ) SP
233 . Joe Musgrove (PIT ) SP,RP
234 . Yasmani Grandal (LAD ) C
235 . Jonathan Gray (COL ) SP
236 . Jonathan Villar (MIL ) 2B,CF
237 . Trey Mancini (BAL ) 1B,LF
238 . Dexter Fowler (STL ) CF
239 . Shane Bieber (CLE ) SP
240 . Fernando Rodney (MIN ) RP
241 . Freddy Peralta (MIL ) SP
242 . Sergio Romo (TB ) RP
243 . Stephen Piscotty (OAK ) RF
244 . Steven Souza (ARI ) RF
245 . Will Smith (SF ) SP,RP
246 . Brian Anderson (MIA ) 3B
247 . Ben Zobrist (CHC ) 2B,LF,RF
248 . Luis Castillo (CIN ) SP
249 . Bud Norris (STL ) SP,RP
250 . Nick Williams (PHI ) LF,CF,RF
251 . Leonys Martin (DET ) CF,RF
252 . Jose Bautista (NYM ) 3B,OF
253 . Salvador Perez (KC ) C
254 . Joc Pederson (LAD ) CF
255 . Josh Bell (PIT ) 1B
256 . Zach Britton (BAL ) RP
257 . Ryon Healy (SEA ) 1B,3B,DH
258 . Jackie Bradley (BOS ) CF
259 . Travis Jankowski (SD ) LF,CF
260 . Zack Godley (ARI ) SP
261 . Amed Rosario (NYM ) SS
262 . Kendrys Morales (TOR ) 1B,DH
263 . Eloy Jimenez (CWS ) LF,RF
264 . Mark Trumbo (BAL ) RF,DH
265 . Matt Davidson (CWS ) 1B,3B,DH
266 . Arodys Vizcaino (ATL ) RP
267 . Colin Moran (PIT ) 1B
268 . Brad Brach (BAL ) RP
269 . Joakim Soria (CWS ) RP
270 . Gio Gonzalez (WSH ) SP
271 . Willie Calhoun (TEX ) LF
272 . Chase Anderson (MIL ) SP
273 . Scott Schebler (CIN ) CF,RF
274 . Michael Wacha (STL ) SP
275 . Vladimir Guerrero Jr . (TOR ) 3B
276 . Nathan Eovaldi (TB ) SP
277 . Scott Kingery (PHI ) 2B
278 . Christian Villanueva (SD ) 3B
279 . Tanner Roark (WSH ) SP
280 . Addison Russell (CHC ) SS
281 . Marcus Stroman (TOR ) SP
282 . Ryan Tepera (TOR ) RP
283 . Joe Jimenez (DET ) RP
284 . Wilmer Flores (NYM ) 1B,2B,3B
285 . Yu Darvish (CHC ) SP
286 . David Dahl (COL ) LF,CF,RF
287 . Jonathan Schoop (BAL ) 2B
288 . Alen Hanson (SF ) 2B,LF,CF,RF
289 . Julio Teheran (ATL ) SP
290 . Robinson Chirinos (TEX ) C
291 . Danny Duffy (KC ) SP
292 . Jhoulys Chacin (MIL ) SP
293 . Mike Zunino (SEA ) C
294 . Manuel Margot (SD ) CF
295 . Chad Green (NYY ) RP
296 . Jordan Hicks (STL ) SP
297 . Jake Odorizzi (MIN ) SP
298 . Johan Camargo (ATL ) 2B,3B,SS
299 . Reynaldo Lopez (CWS ) SP
300 . Josh Reddick (HOU ) LF,CF,RF
301 . Avisail Garcia (CWS ) RF
302 . Vince Velasquez (PHI ) SP
303 . Carlos Rodon (CWS ) SP
304 . Marwin Gonzalez (HOU ) 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF
305 . Forrest Whitley (HOU ) SP
306 . Jason Heyward (CHC ) CF,RF
307 . Tyler Mahle (CIN ) SP
308 . Joey Lucchesi (SD ) SP
309 . Kole Calhoun (LAA ) RF
310 . Francisco Cervelli (PIT ) C
311 . Ervin Santana (MIN ) SP
312 . Michael Kopech (CWS ) SP
Here’s a look at my rest of season rankings All-Star break edition. The column showing the “vs ECR” is compared to the expert consensus rankings. If you’d like to see where I had players ranked previously, check out my June update or May update. Obviously, some experts don’t update their ranks because guys like Max Muncy have an average ECR of 202, which is just crazy. Without further ado, here are my rest of season ranks. There’s been a few issues with the site code, if the rankings do not appear here, click this link to get to a simple list version of the rankings.
Welcome to a special edition of Weekly Rundown with the All-Star break coming up this week. There’s actually nothing special about it except I gush over Jose Ramirez. Just as we all predicted, he’s tied for the league lead in homers and the Phillies are in first place. Does anyone realize than Franky Lindor has 85 runs already! How about Scooter Gennett leading the NL in batting average with Nick Markakis right on his heals. That seems about right. Nope. It’s baseball.
Welcome back Wil Myers! Myers is on a homer binge as he’s blasted 6 HR in the last 7 days and has chipped in with 2 steals, he’s been the top player over the past week. Is it just me or has Myers put up more production since coming off the DL than Hosmer has all season? I’m kidding obviously, but Hosmer has really had a boring season hasn’t he? I’ll touch on him later. Anyways, Myers has got his groove back and is no longer swinging at garbage outside the zone as much and in return has got a 50% hard contact rate over the past week. Remember, Myers is a 30-20 type player, so he could rip off double digit homers and steals the rest of the way.
Brett Gardner is playing baseball everyone! At nearly 35 years old, he’s still putting up some solid numbers as he’s popped 4 dingers and stolen 2 bases this past week. Get this, in the last two weeks, Gardner has a 12.9% walk rate with a 9.7% strikeout rate to go with a minuscule 2.7% swinging strike rate and a 100% zone contact rate (yes, he has not had a swing and missed in the zone since June 29th). Now, the rest of his batted ball profile leaves something to be desired, but as long as he’s making contact and getting on base, he will have value.
Whoa Starling Marte has hit a couple home runs and stolen 6 bases while hitting .407 in the last eight days. I’ll admit, I did not expect Marte to bounce back so well offensively, especially in the power department. But, here we are and Marte has 11 HR and 24 steals. Yup, those are stud type numbers. Actually, it basically matches Trea Tuner’s output to date. The issue is that Marte rarely plays 150 games, a total he’s reached once in his career. So, personally, I’m selling high. Now that he’s killing it going into the break, maybe you can flip him for a top 10 SP or a top 25 hitter.
Carlos Gonzalez has shown some life hitting three home runs, driving in 9 runs and hitting .450 this week. Now, the Rockies have been at home for a good portion of these numbers, but it’s still impressive. Unfortunately, I’m not buying this. He’s stockpiling stats at home but his IFFB% is up, his soft contact is up, and he’s swinging more but pitchers are throwing him less strikes. He’s also doesn’t run much anymore, so you aren’t getting value there. Oh and then there’s the Home/Road splits. He’s hitting .320 with 7 homers at home, good for a .409 wOBA but is hitting .243 with 3 homers good (bad) for a .280 wOBA on the road. Obviously, ride this out until the break, maybe you can flip him. He’s kind of a hitting streamer, but only at home from here on out.
We are past the 81-game mark and therefore Brian Dozier has started to go nuts. This dude has blasted 49 home runs in the second half the last two seasons! To put that in context, he’s hit 43 home runs in the first half of the last THREE seasons. Dozier basically turns into Aaron Judge in the second half. As I look at his profile, I’m not predicting 20+ homers in the second half this time around, but wouldn’t be surprised if he rips off another 15 with a handful of steals. That’s good for a top 35 player the rest of the way.
Mike Trout or Jose Ramirez, rest of season, who ya got? It’s seems crazy, but it’s not. Ramirez has four more home runs this week to tie him with Just Dong Martinez on the season, and has added a couple steals over the past 7 days. He’s driven in 10 runs over that time and there’s literally no stopping him. The best part about Jo-Ram’s transformation which began in 2017 is that he’s improved hard contact and increased his fly ball rate without sacrificing his already elite plate discipline. He’s actually improved on O-Swing the past three seasons. Oh and his .296 batting average could be unlucky with his .272 BABIP.
Do I have to lead with Chris Sale every week? No, but he’s striking everyone out and has allowed 1 ER in his last two starts. He’s struck out 24 batters in his last 13 IP, that gives him five straight games with at least 11 strikeouts. I think I’m bumping Sale up to number one overall for SPs in my All-Star break rankings coming out in a few days. Sale is kind of a machine. A really tall, rail-thin baseball slinging machine. At some point in his career he may breakdown, but I’m not betting against him at this point. No fire sale here.
Kyle Gibson just won’t go away. He’s grabbed a couple wins along with 18 Ks in his last two outings and this looks legit. Gibson is breaking out at age 30! I know, that’ seems late to be stuck with acne, but I digress. Look, Gibson has improved on his strikeout rate but he’s also throwing less strikes. As a result, the walks have jumped up. His hard contact against is up this year but the HR/FB is down. I’m not completely sold that he can keep this up. Walks + hard contact does not mix well. He’s 12-team viable, but as a back end starter.
Is Ross Stripling an Ace? I’m asking for a friend. Check out this post from @Smada_bb from yesterday basically comparing what Stripling has done in the first half compared to the best pitchers in the game. The answer is yes, he’s an ace. His strikeout rate is great, he doesn’t walk anyone, induces nearly 50% ground balls and an above average IFFB%. Sure, the LOB% isn’t going to stick at 90% and I do think the strikeout rate dips just a bit. Even still, he’s probably a 2.75-3.00 ERA pitcher with a great WHIP and solid strikeout rate. So, yeah, that’s a borderline top 10 SP.
I finally get to pour myself a nice glass of Jameson and discuss Taillon with you. He just came off a 10 K outing and has 16 over his last two starts. His 2.87 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in that time frame is more than solid. It’s all the slide-piece that he’s added. He’s had nine games started since the addition of the slider and here are the results: 3.29 ERA 1.19 WHIP 24.6% K%, 6.4% BB%, 11.2% SwStr, and a 3.07 FIP. MMM, that’s smooth, just like my favorite Irish Whiskey. I’m exciting for this development, but I still think Taillon is capped around a top 30-35 starter the rest of the season. That’s helpful, but I wouldn’t sell the whole barrel (get it) for him.
Zack Goldey has turned in a couple nice starts and even threw a scoreless inning in between this past week+. He’s given up only 2 ER in his last 13 IP with 16 strikeouts. Godley teased us earlier this year looking like he was getting back to last year. The problem is his cutter. It’s not good this year like is was in 2017. It’s way to hittable (if that’s a word), contact is up 8% against it and he’s given up an OPS of 1.015 when throwing the pitch. His control is off as well, so the walks are an issue. I’m not trusting this from Godley. You hurt me before bro, I won’t let you do it again.
Freezing Cold Hitters
I mentioned Eric Hosmer in the Wil Myers blurb and here he is! He’s been trash this past week netting 3 hits in 35 at bats without a homer or steal. I think Hosmer is the new example I use for Ground and Pound. I’ve been wanting to dig into Hosmer’s profile because I need a good dry heave. He’s upped his strikeout rate by 6%, swinging out of the zone more than league average and it’s backed up with an elevated 12.1% swinging strike rate. Here’s the kicker, he’s hitting the ball on the ground 62% of the time! That’s worse than Yelich, like way worse. Now he’s hitting under .250 with a .305 BABIP. Sure, he probably brings that up to .275 but with under 20 HR, he’s not worth much in terms of fantasy. No thanks.
Anthony Rizzo has just never got on track this year. He’s two for this last 23 without a home run. His power numbers are down but his season has been partially salvaged by driving in 60 runs. Really proving the the RBI stat is super meaningful. A .242 average and 12 HR is not going to cut it. Who does he think he is, Eric Hosmer? Rizzo has been unlucky with his .243 BABIP, especially with a solid 25% line drive rate, that does not compute. His hard contact is down, which is concerning because his fly ball rate is also down. Unless he changes his approach, we might have to expect a modest 20 homers from Riz this year. The average should rebound some and he will drive in over 100 runs, so there’s that.
Speaking of Chicago First baseman, Jose Abreu has been awful with only 1 hit this past week and a pathetic OPS of .100! Come on man, it’s the second half, you’re supposed to go nuts. Abreu has me more concerned than Rizzo. His hard contact is way down, like 6% down and his IFFB% is up. He may be pressing because his O-Swing is trash right now. He’s got to correct that by not chasing at bad pitches. If he’s not pressing, then he’s hurt. Either way, I cannot recommend him as a buy in the second half.
Trea Turner is hitting .138 this past week but has somehow managed 4 runs! “Thanks Anthony Rendon for driving me in whenever I’m on base.” That was Turner to Rendon after one of their games. Turner hasn’t stolen a base this week and I’m beginning to think he won’t sniff 50 SBs this year. Trea will be fine just as the Nationals heat up. He won’t reach the heights we hoped for but owners will be happy with Trea at the end of the season. Would I take Marte over Turner right now? Not a chance.
Hey Chris Taylor, maybe your 2017 was a bit of a fluke. It’s his lack of contact that’s the problem. He’s actually swinging outside the zone less but is whiffing more. His zone contact is nearly 5% below league average. That’s not good. I think he could still hit 20 homers but is only 4 out of 9 on the bases. Without a significant speed component to his game, he’s just another guy who is eligible at a bunch of positions. Best case scenario, he goes 20-10 with a .265 average.
Freezing Cold Pitchers
Mike Foltynewicz has been beaten around recently with 10 ER in his last 12.2 IP along with 4 homers! I’m willing to look the other way a bit because he came off the DL three weeks ago, but he was due for a little bit of regression prior to the injury. I am encouraged because his swing strike rates in the last three games have all been higher than his season rate of 10.6%. If Folty can prove that he can maintain his elevated strikeout rate, he’s a top 25 SP. A this point, I need to see a couple more starts before making a recommendation on buying or selling.
Dylan Bundy’s roller-coaster season continues as he’s allowed 10 ER in his last 7.1 IP with 5 walks and only 5 Ks. I recently rage dropped Bundy in my H2H 12-team mixed league. He’s too sporadic for H2H leagues and gives up far too many homers. His only plus pitch is his slider and when his control is off, you’re bound to get stuck with a 5-6 ER outing. A 1.74 HR/9 just isn’t going to play. I love the swing and miss stuff and believe in his upside, so I’d hold in 15-team leagues and deeper. Here are his earned runs given up in his last 7 games: 5, 5, 2, 4, 0, 0, 3. He also has two 7 run outings as well. Ugh, frustrating.
Tyson Ross was a pretty cool story for the first two months. Since then, he’s sporting a 5.91 ERA with only 29 strikeouts in 42.2 IP. Ross looks toast and probably needs the break more than anyone. Maybe he should take a couple weeks off on the DL. If he doesn’t, he is going to be a pitcher I look to stream against. Even if he does hit the DL, I can’t trust him again this year. Move along everyone.
Matt Boyd is another long-shot coming into the year. He showed some promise over the last year+ and with the addition of Chris Bosio as the pitching coach, I figured either Boyd or Norris would see some improvements. I don’t know what happened to Norris. He’s probably living in a van down by the river, literally. Boyd at least looked great for a couple months. He still wasn’t getting strikeouts. Turns out hes more or less the same guy he was last year. A low-end streamer. I guess Bosio isn’t some magic pitching genius. Oh well.
Delino DeShields (ADP 190) outperforms Starling Marte (ADP 49) in Standard 5×5
I’m not the biggest fan of Starling Marte coming into 2018 and the hype train is once again full steam ahead for Delino DeShields aka “The Dentist” (just like in 2016). On the surface, it’s easy to see DeShields pulling this one off because he’s finally been given the leadoff spot and there isn’t much competition for his job in center field. Obviously, he has to perform and get on base for the Rangers to keep him there. What I see is six home runs and 29 steals in only 440 plate appearances in 2017. Given 600 to 650 PA this year he could hit 10 home runs and steal 35-40 bases and while I don’t think he will hit for as high of an average as Marte, the run total should be around 90 given his 10% walk rate. My projections for Marte are .275-9-33, I just don’t believe in the power and he’s never been a great run producer.
Um, well ok. So DDS is letting me down again. The skills seem to be there but a combination of health and just straight up poor performance has all but put this one to bed. I really was a believer that DDS could hit over .260, steal a ton of bases, and draw a bunch of walks. He’s walking at a very solid 11.2% clip and has 16 steals, but a .222 average with only 2 HR! Yikes, I’m done with you DDS! 1% chance
Ozzie Albies hits 25 home runs, steals 30 bases and is a top 25 player
I’ve seen a lot of people ridiculously high on Albies, but not many are predicting 20 home runs let alone 25; that’s what makes this one bold. I threw in the top 25 player ranking even though almost anyone who goes 25/30 is likely a top 25 player. The steals aren’t as crazy because he stole 29 bases in 154 games in 2017 (AAA and MLB) and 30 in 2016 between AA and AAA plus scouts have tabbed him at 70-grade speed out of 80. Here’s where it gets bold; he is being projected for between 10 and 15 home runs, so where do I get 25? Albies changed his approach early in 2017 to try and elevate the ball more which he accomplished upping his fly ball rate from about 30% in 2016 to 39% in 2017. He ended up hitting 15 home runs between AAA and the Majors which was 9 more than in 2016. He’s continued this trend in the spring with a ground out/air out ratio of 0.73, meaning he’s hitting only about 40% ground balls and 60% LD+FB. Let’s assume 41% FB rate for 2018 with 650 PA for Albies (hitting 2nd for 150+ games) with a 17% K rate and an 8% BB rate. That comes out to about 485 balls in play at 41% FB rate with a HR/FB rate of 12.6% comes out to 25 HR. I believe.
Ok, here we go. Maybe I should have said he’d go 30-20. Either way, looks like I nailed the power numbers, but what happened to the steals Ozzie? He stole a base last night but only has 9 on the season. This one is a long shot thanks to the low steal total, but I’ll give this one a 15% chance of happening, because he’s all but wrapped up the 25 HRs.
Patrick Corbin is a top 20 Starting Pitcher
Here are the statistics from the 20th best SP in 2017: 10 Wins, 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 209 strikeouts. That’s Yu Darvish if you’re wondering. Kind of a mixed bag, low win total, high(ish) ERA, low WHIP and a lot of strikeouts. My projections for Corbin this year are 13 Wins, 3.65 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 179 strikeouts. More wins and a better ERA but fewer strikeouts and a higher WHIP, but that would definitely be good for a top 30 stater for sure. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to assume more wins (he did win 14 games in 189 innings in 2017) and maybe a few more strikeouts given 200 innings pitched (I have him projected for 190) to put him right around the top 20. He’s got a 50+% ground ball rate, a Swstr rate of 11% last year, the humidor should help with some of his HR issues as well as the high BABIP effectively lowering his projected ERA and WHIP.
This one is looking good. I loved Corbin coming in and ranked him inside the top 40 SP and his slider is bumping those Ks up. If he can stay healthy, this one looks like a lock, especially with the improved strikeouts. Right now, he’s 13th on the ESPN Player Rater. Probability 75% (health)
Lewis Brinson Outperforms Byron Buxton in Standard 5×5
Brinson should be given every opportunity to show his skills this year in Miami because let’s face it, there’s really no else that should take his spot. He’s mashing this spring to the tune of .339/.377/.607 triple slash line and RosterResource has him leading off! Brinson doesn’t have the speed Buxton does (not many do) but I feel that Brinson will be the better hitter long-term and takes a step in that direction in 2018. I think given a full season, Brinson is more than capable of hitting 20 homers and stealing 15-18 bases while hitting .260-.275. That’s good enough to keep him in the leadoff spot (if he can walk a little) and with Castro, Realmuto, and Bour hitting behind him, I can see 85+ runs. Buxton, on the other hand, may hit 8th or 9th so that’s a killer for run production. I can see Buxton struggle to hit for average again and while I like his ability to hit 15-20 homers with 30 steals, I think Brinson has a chance to outperform him.
This one may play out in my favor but I’m not proud of it. Both have been awful and Buxton has missed most of the 1st half. If Brinson takes off in the 2nd half, I may take the win. As far as their outfield ranks, Brinson is currently 133rd and Buxton is 174th on the ESPN Player Rater. I give this one a 60% chance
Joey Gallo leads the majors in home runs with 50 AND Hits .245 with 10 steals
At first, I thought about just doing 50 homers and 10 steals, but he’s such a beast, if he’s given 650 plate appearances, 50 homers is basically a lock. However, given his 37% K rate, a .245 average is a long shot. He did cut his K rate to under 35% in the second half last year and his BABIP, which was .250, had a xBABIP of about .275. Using a 34% K rate and a BABIP of .275, I still fall short of a .245 batting average, so this prediction needs a bit of luck to something like a BABIP of .290, now that’s possible! For the HRs, he needs to keep his 52% FB rate with his 30% HR/FB rate and 615 plate appearances. Steals can be fluky but he did steal seven bases in only 532 plate appearances, so three more in 85 more PA is certainly possible.
Maybe Gallo simply can’t hit over .210. He still might hit 50 bombs though. What happened to taking a step forward with that K rate Gallo? He currently sits at a 37% strikeout rate. The average is currently under .200, he’d have to hit .300 the rest of the way. I give this one a 1% chance of happening.
Chad Kuhl outperforms Gerrit Cole in all fantasy categories other than wins
This is more about Kuhl taking a big step forward than significant regression for Cole. The categories I’m referencing in my prediction are ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Cole’s numbers last year were 4.26/1.25 with 196 strikeouts; Kuhl last year: 4.35/1.47 with 142 strikeouts in 157 innings. Cole has a career K rate of 8.44 and will no longer get to face the pitcher two or three times a game. I’m expecting a slight K rate drop to 8.2. His innings should go down with all the able body long relievers/spot starters (Peacock, McHugh), the 10-day DL, and his ratios should be around 4.00 and 1.25. I do believe Kuhl is a much better pitcher than his numbers indicated last year and a significant walk rate decrease is in order to keep his WHIP in check. I could see a 4.00 ERA and 1.25 WHIP from Kuhl but how about the strikeouts? Kuhl throws 96 mph with a nasty slider that he only threw 20% of the time last year. If he throws that more and can locate his fastball, he could be around a 9.0 K/9. With that rate, he would only have to throw about 175 innings to Cole’s 190 IP.
Uhhhhhhhh, whoops. Let’s move along. 0%
The Phillies make the playoffs
Hoskins, Kingery, Santana, Arrieta! Other than 50 games from Hoskins, those are all new ML players for the Phillies this year. All of them should be worth between 2.0 WAR to 4.3 WAR. I also think Nola takes a step forward as well and you lose the likes of Tommy Joseph who was worth -1.1 WAR (yuck) in 2017 and Michael Saunders who was worth -0.7 WAR. I also believe Maikel Franco (-0.5 WAR) improves this year and Odubel Herrera takes a step forward. Now, this is all very unscientific and you can’t just say all of these players/improvements are worth 20+ wins this year (which would put them at 86 wins). Right now they are projected for 75 wins, good for 11th best in the NL. To reach a top-five spot in the NL makes this prediction bold.
Ok, this one is looking good. The Phillies are currently in first place in the NL East by 1 game over Atlanta and 5.5 games ahead of the Nationals. I expect the Nationals to get hot, but even if the Phillies lost the lead in the division, they would still have a very good shot at making one of the two Wild Card slots. I give this one a 60% chance of happening.
Tim Beckham outperforms Justin Upton in Standard 5×5
Yeah, even this one is hard for me to believe. Upton is coming off a career year hitting 35 home runs, stealing 14 bases and driving in 109 runs and now he gets to hit behind Mike Trout. It’s not that I think Beckham will put up those numbers but I think Upton is a bit of a letdown in 2018 after signing a big contract with the Angels. I think Upton’s batting average goes back to the .255 range and his power falls back to around 27-30. At age 30, his speed will continue to dwindle and an 8-10 steal season is likely. Now, for Beckham, he needs to build on his second half of 2017 and now with a full season in Baltimore and an increase in fly ball percentage indicated by his Spring Training GO/AO ratio tells me he can hit 30 home runs. That’s his ground out/air out ratio which is under 1.0 during Spring Training. He’s also not a zero in terms of speed so 8-10 steals is possible. If he hits .260, he’s right on par with Justin Upton. This is a longshot, but that’s what makes it bold.
I’ll just go ahead and let myself out, 0% chance of happening
With this late submission, we look at some streaming options this week.
Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY) 15% Away vs BAL, Monday, July 9th
Johnny Lasagna! Sure it’s a road start but it’s not like Yankee Stadium is a great place to pitch. JL has had limited innings in the Majors, but I like what I’ve seen so far, his K rate is great and his ground ball rate is 60%. He averages nearly 96 mph on his fastball and gets swings outside the zone over 36% of the time. Then there’s Baltimore. They are tanking and other than Machado, who are you worried about? They strike out a bunch and are near the bottom of the league in offensive production. Johnny’s got a great shot at a win and 6 to 8 strikeouts in this one. STREAM
Zack Wheeler (NYM) 19% owned, Home vs PHI, Monday July 9th
With Loaisiga scratched, I’m rolling with my backup options Zack Wheeler. He has the first game of the doubleheader against the Phils today. Wheeler has a 97 mph fastball that generates a ton of weak contact, on the season, he’s given up 25.5% soft contact. He’s also getting a lot more swings and misses on the pitch because of the increased velocity. He’s been solid over his last four games going at least 6 IP in all four and a 2.73 ERA. The Phillies are decent offensively but can be neutralized on the road as they are middle of the pack when away from Citizens Bank. They also swing a miss a bunch, so Wheeler should be a good bet to pile up 6 or 7 Ks. STREAM.
Matt Andriese Ryan Yarbrough (TB) 1%, Home vs DET, Tuesday, July 10th
The things you need to know about Andriese are that he doesn’t get a ton of Ks, won’t kill you with walks, is getting ground balls at a 51% clip, and hasn’t gone more than 3.2 IP in any start this season. This is a bullpen game, but Detroit has been bad this past month with a .285 wOBA and strikeout and walk rates that are worse than league average. This could be either be Yarbrough or Stanek’s game to win in the middle innings if that’s how the decision goes. This is only a very deep league option, especially if you have limited starts for pitchers. Try one or both, but most likely Yarbrough unless they deploy him on Monday. Again, AL-Only or 16+ mixed with games started limits should look at this option. DEEP STREAM
Mike Montgomery (CHC) 22%, Away vs SF, Wednesday, July 11th
Montgomery has been good since joining the rotation in late May. However, his last three starts have not been very good giving up 12 runs (10 earned) and allowing 26 base runners in only 16 IP. The Giants are a very disciplined team striking out only 20% of the time and waking nearly 8.5% in the last 30 days. AT&T Park is a great pitcher‘s park but I can’t see much strikeout upside from Montgomery in this one. I also don’t see him going much more than 5 innings limiting his upside. I see a few earned runs and a bad WHIP in this start from MM. STAY AWAY
Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) 21%, Home vs KC, Friday, July 13th
I actually don’t trust Rey-Lo at this point in the season. I think he’s got very good skills and stuff but needs to be more consistent. He throws 96 mph and has an above average slider, but doesn’t get the swings and misses. However, he’s a guy that could throw seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts. The Royals have literally been the worst team in the league by a long-shot in the past month. As a team, they have hit .200/.255/.308 with a .248 wOBA in the last 30 days! Their K%-BB% is 17.5%, good for 5th worst in the league and are averaging 0.5 homers per game in that stretch. I think this is a moderate STREAM due to the struggles of KC but I can’t give full confidence.
Nick Kingham (9%), Home vs MIL, Friday July 13th
Kingham has been jerked around a bit but will make his third straight start in the Majors for the first time this year. He’s coming off a very good start against the Phillies and has a to face a potent Brewers lineup at home. Here’s the thing, the Brewers haven‘t been great offensively this past month, but they were missing some key players (Yelich, Cain, Braun, Thames), for portions of June and July. All but Braun is back, but the Brewers strike out over 26% of the time. I think Kingham is legit and will throw a solid game against the Brewers now that the Pirates are showing more confidence in him. STREAM
Mike Minor (13%), Away vs BAL, Sunday July 15th
Minor’ has been solid of late and the Orioles are one of the worst offensive teams in the league. Minor’s velocity however, is decreasing and that’s worrisome. He doesn’t get hurt with the walks, so it’s really just the home run ball that kills Minor. Personally, I think the innings jump is going to put a toll on Minor sometime soon, like a couple weeks after the All-Star break. I’m not 100% confident, but I’d say roll with Minor for another couple weeks if the match-ups are good, then cut bait. STREAM
With the Fourth of July coming and going, fireworks, parties, parades, here we are. Smack dab in the middle of the baseball season. The All-Star game is around the corner and the dog days of summer are just about here. It’s time to make the moves that make or break your fantasy team. Here’s a look at the top and bottom performers this past week.
Trea Turner graces the list and a two homer, eight RBI game will do that. He’s hitting .419 this past week with one steal. I caught some flak for keeping Turner inside my top 10 (7th overall) in my June update, but he’s performed just fine to justify the ranking. His stolen base totals aren’t what we expected but he’s still on pace for about 20 homers and 40+ steal with a .280 batting average. His run total is a bit low but as the Nationals offense heats up, those numbers will get better. He’s not quite the 60 steal guy owners were hoping for, but he’s not hurting your team if you drafted him in the first round.
Avisail Garcia has come off the DL and been mashing. He’s hitting over .400 this week with 5 HR, 7 RBI, and 9 runs. If he’s available, pick him up and ride this out. Once he cools off you can sell him, he won’t keep this up. There are people out there who believe Garcia is a .330 hitter. I’m not one of them. He needed an unsustainable .380 BABIP in 2017 to pull that off. He’s a .280 hitter with awful plate discipline, low flyball rate and moderate power. He’s walked 1.5% of the time this year! He won’t hurt your team but some people have higher expectations than I do with him.
Aaron Judge has been showing his power/speed combination hitting 4 HR and stealing a couple bases. You don’t need me to tell you that Aaron Judge is great. He’s just about the exact same player as last year. He might not hit 50 HR but then again, he could get hot and hit 55! I think he’s a .280 hitter with 45-50 HR, 220 R + RBI and 10-12 steals! Yes please!!
Aaron Hicks has just about matched Judge’s production this week also hitting 5 homers and stealing a base. It’s too bad he can’t stay healthy and old ass Gardner is still on the roster. Here are Hicks’ numbers since the start of 2017 in 156 games .264/.365/.495 with 31 HR and 17 steals with 96 runs and 92 RBI! For context, that’s basically Jose Ramirez from 2017 without the average. Yup, Hicks is a top 50 player when healthy. BUY!
Max “Money” Muncy just keeps hitting. He’s got three home runs this week and nine runs while hitting .400. Unfortunately he’s only got three RBI as well, but his patience at the plate discipline is insane. I posted on Twitter yesterday that Muncy leads the league in wOBA since May 1st! Yes, that’s over Mike Trout. Early on I compared Muncy to Hoskins but he’s actually surpassed what Hoskins did in the 2nd half of 2017. He’s older and slower than Hoskins but probably has a slightly better batted ball profile and plate discipline. I’ll continue to rate them closely meaning Muncy is likely a .265-.270 hitter with 30-35 HR power over a full season.
It’s funny how Jedd Gyorko starts playing well when Paul DeJong was lurking after a lengthy DL stint. He’s hitting over .300 with 2 HR and 8 RBI this past week. For me, Gyorko is just kind of bleh. There’s no guarantee for every day at bats and his contact rates are down this year. When he hit 30 HR in 2016 at age 27, it came with an amazingly low 9 doubles, I think reaching 30 HR was a bit lucky. Best case for Gyrk-store is .250-25 HR with low end run production.
Tyler Anderson everyone! Look! A Rockies pitcher who has performed well in two straight starts! He’s gone 16 IP with 17 strikeouts, no earned runs, and a WHIP of only 0.56. I’ve always liked Anderson but hate that he’s on the Rockies. The thing is, he’s basically the same guy he was last year except he’s giving up less homers and more fly balls. No that’s not good. His swinging strike rate is well above league average but his strikeout rate is basically league average. Something isn’t jiving, but it’s the same issue as last year. I think the fly balls and hard contact catch up with him and he ends up around a 4.25 ERA. He’s a sell if anyone is buying.
Chase Anderson (yes, another Anderson) has looked good for probably the second week all season. He’s given up two runs and only seven base runners in his last two starts. I was in favor of Anderson as a sleeper coming into the year believing in his velocity increase. However, he’s not getting as many swings and misses outside the zone and therefore, is giving up more contact. His zone percentage is down as well and the walk rate is up as a result. He can be left if waivers in 10 and 12 team leagues but can be spot started in deeper leagues.
Chris Sale continues his pursuit of back-back 300 K seasons as he stuck out 23 batters in his last two starts. Oh and by the way, he’s managed a 0.69 ERA in his last 13 IP. Nothing to see here, if you drafted Sale over Kershaw you deserve a pat in the back. Oh, but the rest of your staff sucks? I’m sorry to hear that. Anyways, Sale is like a machine just like Scherz-Bot & Klub-Bot. Sale-Bot? Sale-boat?
Andrew Suarez, brother of stud 3B Eugenio Suarez (kidding), of the S.F. Giants has strung together a couple nice starts with an ERA of 1.38 and a WHIP of 1.08. He’s only managed 11 strikeouts in the 13 innings but he does carry a 50+% groundball rate. Is there something here? Well, his 22.6% K rate paired with a 4.7% walk rate says yes. However, his hard contact against is nearly 42% and he gives up a lot of homers considering the high groundball rate. In addition, his SwStr% (7.6%) does not match a strikeout rate of over 20%. He’s a streamer in all leagues but 15+ and deeper leagues.
Lance MuCullers everyone! He’s compiled 2 wins, 19 strikeouts, and given up 1 ER in his last 14 IP. His peripherals are basically the same as last year but with more neutral luck. Essentially if you get 200 IP from LM, he’s a top 12 SP, but he rarely throws over 125 IP. He’s at 108 right now. I’d love to see him go over 180 but I’m a little skeptical. I love that his change up has yielded great results, so I’m confident that if health prevails, he’ll continue to be a stud. Quite the dilemma because owners may only have a handful more dominate starts before injury sets in… and then what?
Freezing Cold Hitters
I have to start with arguably the worst player in baseball this year, Chris Davis. No, not Khris Davis of the Athletics, he’s great! C-Davis is hitting .125 this past week without a home run or RBI. Here are hit home run totals the last four years: 47, 38, 26, 7 (this year) and on pace for 13. Davis is hitting .152 on the season and I don’t think they can keep him in the lineup much longer, especially with Austin Hayes wasting away in the Minors. They could slide Mancini over to 1B and give Hayes a shot. Back to Davis, yeah, his career may be over.
Odubel Herrera only has has two hits in the last seven days but one is a home run, yah! He’s hitting under .150 this week after coming off his second incredible hot streak of the season. I wrote about Herrera at TheSportsDegens a couple days ago. Unfortunately, he’s struggling now, so his sticker price may have dropped a bit. Then again, if the Phillies can put up 20 runs today, maybe he gets four hits and his poor week will be forgotten. SELL
Marcell Ozuna is four for his last 28 without a homer. The entire Cardinals outfield is a mess right now. I really thought Ozuna turned the corner about a month ago when he adjusted his leg kick. Now, I’m not so sure. I want to take a closer look at Ozuna around the All-Star break to see what’s up. Maybe it’s just Cardinal Devil Magic working in reverse. He’s swinging and missing a lot more the last week and a half but he’s hitting the ball as hard as ever. He’ll come out of this just like he did earlier this year. The problem is that he seems to be more like a .275-25 type player rather than the .315-38 hitter he was last year. I’m holding because you’d be selling too low and a hot streak is around the corner.
So, Carlos Gomez absolutely went off on the cooler in the dugout this past week. What did the cooler do to him? At least we now know that Gomez is capable of hitting something, am I right? Gomez has been worth -0.7 WAR this season and even his defense has been bad. He’s on a one-year deal so the Rays wanted to flip him, but I don’t think anyone is buying. Unfortunately, the Rays will play him until after the trade deadline. If he can’t be moved, he’s going to probably sit. Move along, he’s not ownable.
George Springer is in the midst of a massive slump and is hitting under .150 without a homer or a steal this week but it goes deeper than that. A .203 BABIP in June is part of the problem just as his .108 BABIP for the season on fly balls. Those should stabilize but I am concerned about his lack of power, only 4 homers since the start of June, and 25% hard contact thus far early in July. Monitor his hard/soft contact to see if an injury and possible DL stint is in play. I can’t say he’s a sell low, I think he will be fine.
Jesus Aguilar is only four for his last 23 without a home run this week. Ah, yes MLB pitching is adjusting to Jesus. His K rate is up a bit as a result. That has been the issue with him in the past. He does expand the zone and he’s now getting strikes thrown to him less than 40% of the time. He’s a good hitter and should provide a solid BABIP but he’s due for a small amount of regression there. As long as he continues to get playing time, he can be a .275 hitter with 32-35 home runs.
Freezing Cold Pitchers
Jeremy Hellickson did not fulfill my streaming expectations as he got completely rocked against the Marlins of all teams. He’s not given up 11 ER in his last two starts with a WHIP of 2.19. At best Hellickson was a streamer and he blew up in my face this past week. With his limited strikeout upside, he needs to be ignored even as a streaming option until future notice.
Tanner Roark (I’m not picking on the Nationals starters, I promise) has now had very poor outings in three of his last four outings. Roark is suppose to be a safe option, not a volatile one! What’s going on Roark? This is not 2016 Roark. He likely was never getting back to the numbers he had that season, but I thought he could be a 3.75 ERA type pitcher with a good number of wins. Unfortunately, he’s still giving up a lot of walks and is giving up more contact (less Ks). He’s also lost one mph of velocity on his fastball. I’m leaving Roark on the wire and maybe dropping him in deeper leagues.
I’m positive I talked about Dylan Covey a couple weeks ago and how he can be dropped and forgotten about in all leagues, even as a streamer. I hope you listened because he now has a 21.00 ERA and a 2.83 WHIP in his last two starts! This is nuts. He hadn’t allowed a homer in in his first four starts if the season. Since, he’s given up six in his last six starts, but that’s in less than 28 IP. Yeah, not good. A 6.1% K%-BB% does not get anyone excited except the opposing hitters. It doesn’t appear that Covey is going to be fantasy relevant this year, so we can move along.
Jose Berrios has given up nine ER in his last two starts and a total of 17 baserunners. Right when I think he’s turned the corner, he blows up. Is he ever going to be an ace everyone hoped for? He’s made progress again this year, take a look at his K%-BB% the last three seasons 5%, 14.8%, and 19.3% this year. However, he’s giving up more home runs and hard contact. There’s always a catch. I really like what I see in Berrios, he just needs to be more consistent. I won’t say that he can be Max Scherzer, but I see a little bit of Scherz in Berrios. Remember, Berrios is only 24 and Scherzer didn’t start dominating until 27. I’m buying in keeper and dynasty, but in redrafts, there may be a few more bumps to go along with those fantastic outings.
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Since I got this up a bit later than normal, I won’t waste your time with worthless rambling. Let’s see what streaming options we have over the Independence Day Holiday. I don’t love the streaming options this week with limited strikeout upside, but the ratios should be solid. Make sure you grab your streamers early in case you plan on tying one on during the holiday week.
Nathan Eovaldi (TB) 9% Away vs MIA, Monday July 2nd
This one seems like an easy call. Except that the Marlins are actually middle of the road offensively the last 30 days. That’s ok, because the Marlins have been worse at home with a sub-.295 wOBA. Eovaldi averages nearly 98 mph on his fastball and it’s been very effective at getting weak contact. On the season, he’s nearly given up 25% soft contact which would be top 10% if he qualified. Unfortunately, Eovaldi doesn’t have the secondary offerings to get swings and misses, but he’s also always around the zone and not walking batters. This is a low-risk, low-reward option. But I’m rolling with it, STREAM
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) 10% Home vs CWS, Tuesday July 3rd
Great American Ballpark is not a great place to pitch in the summer. But get this, in the last 30 days, the White Sox have the highest strikeout rate and the lowest walk rate in MLB. They are also rocking a .282 wOBA as a team in that time. DeSclafani has not been great but his velocity is good and his slider has registered positive results. I believe he turns a solid outing against the struggling White Sox. STREAM
Marco Estrada (TOR) 19% Home vs NYM, Tuesday July 3rd
Let’s be clear, it’s been a rough year for Estrada, the strikeouts are down, he’s giving up more fly balls and it’s led to a 4.52 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. However, in June he has a 2.35 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP and even the strikeouts have rebounded. Estrada is walking less batters this year compared to 2017, down to 6.4% on the season. Home runs are a concern but the Mets are bad. In the month of June the Mets are hitting .210 as a team! They are only averaging one HR/game last month, so I think Estrada is good for about 7 IP with a couple ER and 5-6 Ks. STREAM
Jeremy Hellickson (WAS) 22% Home vs MIA, Thursday July 5th
Oh look, another low strikeout option. NHe’s not exciting either, but Hellickson has been useful this year and can keep hitters off balance. He only throws 90 mph but his arsenal has five pitches all of which he throw more than 10% of the time. I like Hellickson at home where he sports a 1.65 ERA, yes in limited sample (16.1 IP), but I believe Hell-boy can get through a weak Miami lineup three times on his way to a easy victory. The Nationals bats are too talented to continue this offensive slump. Let’s STREAM
Steven Matz (NYM) 20% Home vs TB, Saturday July 7th
Maybe Matz is our strikeout upside option this week? Matz just handled the Marlins on Sunday with 6 Ks in 5.2 IP on his way to a win. A home start against the Rays look awfully tasty. I understand that the Rays are better with the bats than anticipated but over the past month they have a nearly 26% K rate and a .285 wOBA. Combine that with a .118 ISO as a team and I could see a dominate outing from Matz. I just hope he can get some run support. Either way, I’m in, STREAM.
We are just about smack dab in the middle of the season. Most teams have played between 79 and 81 games. Ok, so let’s just double every player’s stats to figure out their final season numbers. Unfortunately we can’t just extrapolate, but it’s a fun exercise and we there is sufficient sample size to back it up. Let’s roll right into the this week’s rundown.
I almost led with JDM (see below), then 19-year-old phenom, Juan Soto blasting two more bombs last night. SOTO IS GOD! He now has 8 homers in his first 35 games as a big leaguer! Let’s marvel at his slash line of .336/.446/.621! No, that’s not Mike Trout’s line, that’s a 19-year-old’s slash. I don’t know what to say! Is a 26.7% HR/FB sustainable, probably not with his batted ball profile, but his plate discipline is that of a veteran. In keeper leagues, owners stumbled upon a goldmine. I think he ends up around .290 with 18-20 HR but in redrafts you could probably get a top 25 player for him right now. He could present an interesting sell opportunity. Let me be clear, in keeper and dynasty, you don’t take anything less than Mike Trout if you’re selling. Hell, just hold him in keeper/dynasty.
This just in, J.D. Martinez is good a hitting baseballs! After his 25th home run on Tuesday night, he now has an astonishing 71 home runs in his last 200 games! He’s on pace for 52 homers this year and has been healthy. There’s no better slugger in the game right now than JD. What might be overlooked in his game is his batting average. He hasn’t hit under .300 since 2015 when he hit .282 for the Tigers. This is a guy who understands hitting and launch angles, his high drive percentage is more than double the league average! I wish I had the guts to rank him over Stanton in the preseason, but alas I stuck JD around 15 and Stanton just inside the top 10.
Cody Bellinger has picked up the pace hitting .333 with 4 HR and 8 RBI this past week. Anyone who wrote him off after a poor first two months definitely jumped the gun. Bellinger’s 23rd birthday is next month. Look Bellinger doesn’t have a perfect batted ball profile, he swings and misses a bit too much and hits too many popups. What he does do well is hit for power, he pulls a high percentage of fly balls, so he should still hit around 35 homers this year. It just might come with a .245 batting average. The walks are coming back, so he gets a bump in OBP leagues.
Jesus Aguilar is a monster! He’s hitting .444 with 5 dingers and 7 RBI this past week. How does a 1.809 OPS sound? Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Here’s a guy with a superior batted ball profile to Bellinger. He’s older and slower than Bellinger, but that doesn’t mean the breakout isn’t real. His plate discipline could use some work, so I doubt he hits .300, but .280 with 35+ homers is possible.
Matt Carpenter kind of put that terrible April behind him and is hitting .524 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and an amazing 10 runs in the last 7 days! Carpenter along J.D. Martinez, Betts and maybe two or three others are the only batters with more than double the league average in high drive percentage. Carpenter is on fire and probably should be hitting .290 with 20 HR right now if he weren’t so unlucky in April and part of May. I don’t love that he’s kind of selling out because his K rate is nearing 25% and he usually can’t stay healthy. If he stays hot the next couple weeks, I’d sell high on Carp.
Jose Peraza is running! Jose Peraza is hitting homers! Peraza is doing it all hitting .320 with 2 HR, 4 SB, 7 runs, and 4 RBI in the last 7 days. Talk about a buffet of statistics. The things to remember here are, he only strikes out 10% of the time and is fast. He makes contact with pitches he swings at in the zone 96% of the time! If he had Billy Hamilton;s speed, he’d hit .325 with 75 steals. But he doesn’t. So I’d expect this type of production going forward. If he’s available, pick him up. He’s like a cheap Whit Merrifield. He should be good for a .270 average with 6-8 HR and 25-30 steals.
Jesse Winker has started to heat up as he’s hitting just under .500 this past week with 3 homers and 8 RBI. That’s kind of a big deal because he only has six HR on the year. I went deep on Winker in an article on the SportsDegens last week. Basically, I Winker has incredible plate discipline and doesn’t strike out much. His power is still developing but he’s increased his launch angle. He’s a must add in deeper OBP leagues and shallow leagues need to start taking notice if he gets every day playing time.
Madison Bumgarner just ripped off a couple nice starts striking out 16 batters in 15 IP without giving up a run. Is Mad Bum back? As long as he doesn’t go on some dirt biking vacation during the All-Star break, we should be good. Look I like Mad Bum, but it’s now about a year and a half since we’ve seen dominate Bumgarner. I’m concerned about his K rate in a day and age where everyone and their mother is striking out a batter per inning or more.His .226 BABIP and 83.3% LOB probably come back to earth a little. I think he’s a 3.40-3.50 ERA guy with a solid WHIP and just under K/9.
Lance McCullers is finally tantalizing us with ace-like outings. He’s got 16 strikeouts in his last 13.1 IP with a 2.08 ERA nd a 0.85 WHIP. Speaking of strikeouts, this guy’s got em! His K rate is lower than last year, but WAIT, it’s actually the same! His K/9 is lower but his K% is nearly identical. His SwStr% is better this year and contact against is lower. He may actually be a little bit better than the numbers indicate. If can keep the walks down a bit and improve on his LOB%, he could be a top 15 SP.
Zack Wheeler has looked sharp striking out a batter per inning with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in his last two starts. His velocity continues to climb. He’s averaging 96 mph but in recent starts was sitting around 97 and touching 100 mph. The fastball is good, no doubt, but I’d like him to use his slide piece a little bit more. Opponents are hitting just .186 off it. I don’t see Wheeler as a huge strikeout pitcher which limits his upside, but a K per inning is great if he can limit walks. I’m buying Wheeler in 12 team and deeper leagues.
Shane Bieber graces this article for the second straight week as he’s earned a couple wins with 14 Ks and only 1 ER allowed in his last 13 IP. There’s a bunch of small sample numbers that are way out of whack in both positive and negative directions. What I do know, is his control is solid and his fastball is terrible. Weird! An Indians pitcher with a bad fastball! Never heard of it. Kidding, obviously. The good news for Biebs is that his slider and curve are great, he just needs to bump the usage of both pitches up near 20%. I’d be buying to see if he makes those changes in almost all leagues right now.
Zach Eflin just keeps Eflin’ dominating! He’s compiled a couple wins with a 1.50 ERA in his last two starts. His strikeouts aren’t off the charts, but he’s starting to look legit. His velocity is up and he’s always had good control. I do think Eflin has made tangible progress but I don’t think he’s a 9.0 K/9 type pitcher. I see the K9 dropping to 8-8.5/9 which is still solid, especially with the low walks. I’m concerned that as a fly ball pitcher, he’s only allowing 6.5% HR/FB without a ton of popups. There’s a few rough starts coming, but he’s ownable in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Freezing Cold Hitters
Well, it looks like I’ll be taking the L on Joey Gallo this year. Prior to last night’s game Gallo was hitting a pathetic .150 this past week without a HR or an RBI. Of course, he jacks one last night. For the month of June though, here are his numbers: .135 with 4 HR and 33 strikeouts. I get it, a .172 BABIP is part of the problem but so is only 4 homers and a 40% strikeout rate. It’s a little fluky because he had a 60% hard contact rate with a 50% pull rate but his lowest HR/FB of the season. I still think he reaches 40 HR but he’s dropped in the order and is looking more like a .210 hitter than a .250 hitter.
Oh boy, Tommy Pham is hittless in his last 20 ABs. He’s been straight awful in June and wasn’t great in May. I know you don’t want to hear this but Pham was unlucky in May. So far in June, he’s just been bad. He’s expanding the zone and not being patient. His normally PHAM-tastic walk rate is below 4% and his K rate is nearing 30% for the month. I think he’s pressing and just needs a recharge because he’s still mashing the ball when he hits it. It’s all mental Pham.
George Springer Dinger is not hitting dingers these days, instead he’s only 1 for his last 25! It’s not like he’s flailing, he’s only got 6 Ks in his last 7 games. He’s pretty close to the same player he was a year ago expect he’s not hitting the ball quite as hard, hitting a few more popups and few less line drives. That’s it, though. It’s a simple tweak or one good month and he’s right back where he was last year. I’m holding and if he struggles for the next couple weeks, I might try to buy low.
Is the Eduardo Escobar experiment done? Here’s what I’ll tell you, the power is legit. He’s got a very high launch angle with very good hard contact. However, his plate discipline is trash. He’s swinging out of the zone more than 40% of the time and is swinging 54% of the time. As a result, pitchers are not throwing him as many strikes, his zone rate is down to 40% and his K rate is up to 25% in June. Cold stretches are coming but I do think he hits 25+ homers this year but at a .250ish average.
Brandon Belt just hasn’t been the same since he lost an organ last month. He did homer the other night but otherwise is hitting just .208 with 2 RBI this past week and .229 the last two weeks. It’s too bad because we were finally seeing the Belt breakout much like my pants at Thanksgiving. The good news for Belt owners is that he’s hitting the ball harder, so that’s not an issue. He’s not pulling the ball as much which has decreased his power production. I think he bounces back and if he struggles up to the All-Star break, I’d buy low.
Whit Merrifield is hitting .273 this past week which isn’t bad but without any speed or power. He actually hasn’t homered in the month of June and has only stolen 2 bases in the past 2 weeks. Did anyone think he was a 20 home run hitter? I didn’t think so, the 19 last year is going to be his career high. Look, the walk rate is up and his strikeouts are below average. He hits for a solid average and is on pace for 32 steals. You should be happy, he’s probably a .280 10 HR, 30 steal player.
Freezing Cold Pitchers
Corey Kluber had a rough start against the Cardinals this week. A 6 ER outing without getting out of the 2nd inning is very un-Kluber like. I didn’t realize that Kluber had given up 16 HR on the year already! He only gave up 21 last year and never more than 22 in a single season! Kluber is giving up a lot more hard contact than he typically does and that justifies the home runs. He’s also getting less swings and misses and is allowing a career high 90% zone contact. The thing is, he never walks anybody and his LOB% is over 80% for the second straight season. Maybe Kluber isn’t a 2.30 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP pitcher this year but he’s still a stud
Remember when Dylan Covey was a thing? I do but only because I streamed him a couple times and the results were good! Covey hadn’t allowed a home run in his first four starts this season. In his last two starts, he’s allowed 5 homers! In those two starts, he’s got a 17.05 ERA with and allowed 17 base runners in only 6.2 IP! I hope you weren’t owning him, he was a decent streamer, but now we can forget about Covey for the time being.
Ahhh Nick Pivetta. He got smoked by the Nationals (again) giving up 7 ER in less than two innings. He’s now given up 15 ER in three starts against the Nationals. I won’t make many excuses for Pivetta, he’s been giving up far to many homers this past month (8 to be exact). That combined with his normally good control has put some crooked numbers on the board. Check this out though, as bad as he’s been since 5/27, his K/9 is 11.7 and his BB/9 is 3.82. Not bad, the walks need to come down oh and by the way his BABIP in that time .391! I’m cautiously optimistic with Pivetta and still holding in 12-team leagues.
Eduardo Rodriguez how now given up 9 ER in his last two starts where’s he’s given up 18 base runners in only 10 IP while only striking out four. E-Rod has also be BABIP’d a bit but he’s also struggling with strikeouts since his 9 K performance against the Mariners. I like E-Rod but he’s coming off a major injury and there will be some bumps this year. He’s basically the same pitcher he was a year ago. He’s introduced a cutter to his pitch mix which is decent but he doesn’t have a dominate pitch right now. I think he’s a 3.75-4.00 ERA pitcher this year but think he can be much better in the future.
Jose Quintana can’t seem to get on track, his last two starts weren’t complete garbage, he’s got a 6.10 ERA in 10.1 IP. However, he’s given up a whopping 16 hits and 5 walks in those 10.1 IP! This is killing me as a Cubs fan because other than Lester pitching way over his head, this pitching staff is on the rocks.For Q, it’s walks, walk, walks. A 10.7% BB rate isn’t going to cut it. His previous career high was 7.7%, and that was last year. What else, soft contact down, HR are up and his fastball is getting smoked to the tune of .288/.382/.477. Last year the numbers off the fastball were .215/.263/.333. This isn’t a buy-low and owners can’t drop him, he’s a vet, let’s hope he figures it out.
This week, I’ve got four streaming options. I really like all of them. It’s a good mix of high upside and solid floor pitchers available in 75% of leagues per FantasyPros.com. Since I usually get this out Sunday morning, I’ll move this along and get right into the options for all the weekly moves leagues out there. These daily moves league players can come check in throughout the week.
Seth Lugo (NYM) 24% Home vs PIT, Monday 6/25
Lugo gets to face a middle of the road offense at home. He wasn’t good his last two times out but one of those starts was a Coors and both were on the road. Lugo is a much better pitcher this year, his K rate is up, both walk rate and contact are down. He’s also much better at home. By much better, I mean a 0.90 ERA with 29 Ks and only 2 walks with a .186 BA against. Um ok! Yes please. STREAM!
Freddy Peralta (MIL) 24% Home vs KC, Tuesday 6/26
The Royals don’t really strike out very much. They also don’t walk much and are ranked in the bottom five offensively against right-handed pitchers. Peralta’s strength is his strikeout rate thanks to a funky delivery. His weakness is his control. I’ll take Peralta over the aggressive but weak Royals and expect about a strikeout per inning. I believe Peralta can go 6 IP with a good shot at a win against the DH-less Royals. STREAM
Ivan Nova (PIT) 14% Road vs NYM, Wednesday 6/27
While Nova was busy striking out 8 batters against the Diamondbacks, the Mets were bust sucking. Nova has given up a total of 2 ER in his last 3 starts while piling up an un-Nova like 19 Ks. The Mets as a team have a .302 wOBA with a 23% K rate. This one is a no-brainer. Nova could go the distance but I’ll be conservative and say he goes 7 innings of 2 run ball with 5-6 strikeouts. STREAM
Mike Montgomery (CHC) 22% Home vs MIN, Saturday 6/30
How is Montgomery not over 25% owned? Please do me a favor and pick him up now then come back and finish reading the write-up. The Twins are just ok with average to below-average offensive production. Montgomery has only given up more than 1 ER in once in his last 6 starts. The biggest threat to MM in Eddie Rosario who should be somewhat neutralized as a left-handed batter. A start at home without the DH for the Twins gives Montgomery the edge. There won’t be 8-10 K upside but he’s a good bet for 6 IP and a handful of Ks with a good shot at a win. STREAM
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