Starting Pitchers to Stream 6/18 – 6/24 Covey Don’t Lyles

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there! Let’s get rolling, last week was a mixed bag, a couple good pick and a couple not so good picks. We still have great numbers on the season, but we can’t let multiple weeks get away from us. Without further ado, here are my sleeper picks for this upcoming week.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) 6% Away vs PIT on Tuesday 6/19
I’ve got nothing for you on Monday for pitchers under 25% owned, I’m not trusting Bartolo Coon and Dylan Covey going against the Indians is too damn scary. Peralta is being called back up to start against the Pirates on Tuesday. You remember his dominant 13 K performance IN Colorado but then he blew up against the Twins in Minnesota. Strikeouts, walks, and deception is the name of the game with Peralta. The Pirates have struggled offensively with a wRC+ of only 92 in the past month with only an 8% BB rate. Certainly this is a huge risk and but also has probably the best upside of any streamer option this week. I’m not calling for a 13 K performance, but I think Peralta goes 5-6 IP with 7+K, the walks are anyone’s guess. I’m rolling with this one. STREAM

Tyler Mahle (CIN) 9% Home vs DET on Wednesday 6/20
I think this will be there 3rd straight week he’s made the streamers list. He’s was successful last week despite netting one K. He gets to face the Miggy-less Tigers. Again, I don’t love Mahle, he doesn’t have overwhelming stuff but he won’t only strikeout one batter again, especially against the Tigers. The Tigers have hit an MLB low 21 HR this past month and have a wOBA of only .294 in that span. It’s Nick Castellanos and … um…. Jose Igleseas or Leonys Martin as their best hitters. Yikes. STREAM

Chris Stratton (SF) 18% Home vs SD, Friday 6/22
Stratton isn’t very good you guys, but he hasn’t given up more than 3 ER in his last five starts. He’s only faced the Padres once this year, in that start he went 7 scoreless back in April. The Padres are bottom five in terms of walk rate this past month and have managed only a .294 wOBA in that time-frame. Stratton has not been good at home but he’s only allowed 3 HR at home this year in 33 IP. His BABIP has been extremely unlucky at home which is odd because his defense behind him is very good. I’m betting his luck turns around in this one and I think Stratton goes deep into this one with a decent shot at a W. STREAM

Jordan Lyles (SD) 10% Away vs SF, Friday 6/22
But wait, didn’t I just pick Stratton against Lyle’s Padres? Yes I did, and the Giants have been pretty damn good offensively this past month despite being without Belt and now lost Longoria for an extended period of time. McCutchen has heated up but I’m not concerned about the rest of this lineup. That being said, Lyles turned a positive outing this week for the first time in five starts. He hasn’t started against the Giants this year but has 4.2 scoreless innings in relief against them. Lyle’s ground ball rate looks fantastic recently, his main issue is the home runs. I think he holds the Giants down at home in this one. He’s been getting ahead of hitters nearly 70% of the time with his first pitch strike percentage. I’m in on this one, STREAM

Dylan Covey (CHW) 16% Home vs OAK, Saturday 6/23
So, I didn’t want to roll with Covey for his first start this week because, well, he’s facing the Indians. How about against the Athletics? Oakland does have some mashers, Khris Davis is hot right now, but other than KD, they are really struggling. In the past month, the Athletics have a .291 wOBA, a 22.5% K rate, and only a 7.2% walk rate as a team. I love Covey’s 61% ground ball rate, that should limit the long flys in this one. Covey isn;t a big swing a miss guy, but he also hasn’t been getting hurt with walking batters either. Covey is a good bet to go 6-7 IP with 2 ER and good ratios. STREAM

Weekly Rundown – Here’s the Story with Machado

HOT HITTERS
Paul Goldschmidt has finally broken out of his two month slump and is hitting .448 with six homers in the past eight days. If you visit the site, you know that back in mid-May I wrote a post about Goldschmidt’s struggles. There was a point in mid-May where Goldy had a .171 wOBA, a 20% hard contact, and a 42% K rate. The wOBA was the lowest of his career and his K rate was its highest since 2012. I haven’t dug deep yet into the numbers but this appears to have been a mental block with Goldy. Good for the owners that stuck it out, hopefully he didn’t dig you in too big of a hole.

Trevor Story is hitting a blistering .500 with three dingers, nine RBI and a steal this past week. He’s actually started to hit on the road for the first time this year and that could be dangerous. Story is making strides in the contact department now with a 6% jump from 2017, a career low SwStr rate and that has helped cut his K rate down below 27%. He’s basically looking a lot like his rookie season with a lower strikeout rate. He’s been a little unlucky in terms of power and he just stole his 9th base of the season, a new career high. His sprint speed is in the top 98 percentile. Add Coors to the mix and he could be a .270-35-18 type player this year.

Max Muncy continues his onslaught on the league mashing .350 with four bombs in the last seven days. Muncy is an OBP league’s dream. I recently compared his 45 games stretch (now 47 games) to Hoskins’ 50 game run at the end of 2017 and they are nearly identical. Muncy’s patience and great plate discipline makes him a viable option in all leagues. Sure, regression is coming but his clear swing and approach change makes him a solid .250-ish hitter with good power. Injuries and poor performance has given Muncy an everyday role and he can play almost anywhere.

Future 2018 NL MVP Freddie Freeman is hitting .409 with four homers and a steal this past week. Freddie keeps getting better, he’s cut his K rate for the third straight year and he continues to steal bases 6 for 8 on the season. He’s everything you hoped Paul Goldschmidt would be this year. Combine that with a career high hard contact and pull% and Freeman’s HR rate may actually improve. I can envision Freeman going .330-35-120-14 this year.

The Seattle Bombers Ryon Healy, Nelson Cruz, and Mitch Haniger have combined for 12 HR and 18 RBI this past week. What, only 18 RBI? Haha, that’s right, they kept hitting back-to-back bombs so no one was on base. Anyways, I read a comment on Twitter @bdentrek that the Seattle hitters busted into Cano’s medicine cabinet. LOL, that’s joke but damn, the ball seems to be flying out of Safeco. Cruz’s early season struggles are behind him, I’m convinced he can hit 40 homers until he’s 50 at this point. I love Haniger and the Diamondbacks have to be kicking themselves right now. Healy is on a hot streak, but I don’t love him in shallow formats. If I’m ranking them ROS, I’m going Cruz at 1A, Haniger at 1B, and Healy in a distant third.

Evan Gattis is hitting .320 with four homers and an amazing 15 RBI in the last seven days! Jesus man, slow down. A week like that from a Catcher will vault you into the top 5. Searching….searching…and he’s the number 1 ranked catcher. OMG, that’s hilarious. Rounding out the top 3 is Grandal and Cerevelli. Realmuto is 4th and I think by season’s end, he’s top 3. This is case and point why you never draft a catcher inside the top 100 overall.

Hot Pitchers
Trevor Bauer seems to be a regular on this list, he’s got 24 Ks in his last two starts with a 2.30 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. If you didn’t believe he was an ace before this week, you should now. If I told you in Mid-May that Bauer would end 2018 with better numbers than Gerrit Cole, you would have punched me in the face and laughed. Sure, the win totals are down for Bauer, but come on, luck can change on dime, all other numbers are almost identical between the two. It’s not a long-shot anymore. Bauer Power!

Anibal Sanchez has somehow managed a 1.46 ERA with a 0.73 WHIP with 2 wins and 11 strikeouts in his last two starts. On the season he’s below 2.00 for an ERA! I think you know just like everyone else, he’s regressing. A near .200 BABIP with a below average K rate means you need get out now before your left rostering him when that blow up happens. I did see that he’s inducing 28% soft contact, so maybe his cutter has improved. Something to watch but he’s still a streamer.

Dylan Covey of the White Sox has put together several solid starts including 2 W with a 1.38 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in his last two. Covey has dropped almost 5.50 off his ERA from last year. Yup, you read that right. It’s odd because his WHIP is 1.30 which doesn’t jive with a 2.29 ERA. Listen I like 61% GB rate and increased velocity but I’m setting the over/under ROS at 4.15. I mean Covey hasn’t even given up a HR yet after allowing, get this 20 HR IN ONLY 70 IP last year. I’m take big the over.

Mike Clevinger has 16 strikeouts with a 1.98 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in his last two starts. Cool but what’s up with his sub-8.0 K/9 though? Yes, he’s around the zone a little more and sacrificing some swings and misses for called strikes and weak contact. He’s another Indians pitcher without a good fastball but has an ELITE slider. He’s finally throwing it over 20% of the time. His change up is pretty good too, if he ups his slider usage, I think his K rate settles in around 9.0/9. Me like

Jhoulys Chacin has managed to grab a couple of wins along with solid ratios and 14 strikeouts in his last two starts. Chacin is so boring, but you know what, he’s been useful with his ratios and has provided 6 wins. That’s about to change, I’d be moving on quick at this point. Everything is pointing in the direction. When your K rate is less than twice your BB rate, we have problems. When the BABIP and HR rate come up, he’s donzo.

The Dodgers Ace Ross Stripling, yeah I said it! Who else can claim that title thus far in 2018? I’m getting tired of writing about him on these rundowns, HAHA JK, it’s great! A near 30% K rate with a 4.2% BB rate, what!?! If I were to tell you a Dodgers pitcher has those ratios at the start of the season, Stripling would probably have been the 7th or 8th choice. Sure, there’s some luck with L-O-B% and I’m still down with O-P-P. However, that BABIP looks just fine, I don’t see regression there. Every pitch he throws has registered a positive pitch value, which is crazy. I said it before, the K rate may drop 3-4% but he’s still a top 30 SP if he keeps this up.

Freezing Hitters
Tim Anderson is 2 for his last 20 with no homers and a steal but somehow has 3 runs. That’s because he’s actually walking! An 8.3% BB rate up from an abysmal 2.3% in 2017, allows him for more stolen bases opportunities to weather these cold streaks. He’s still likely a .240-.250 hitter but with his change in approach (increased patience and increased fly ball rate), he should have no problems reaching 20 HR and 25 steals.

Giancarlo Stanton is 3 for his last 21 with no homers. If I’m being honest, I think Stanton is kind of a jackass but damn he can hit the ball hard. Yes, he’s in a funk right now but his 24% K rate from 2017 is up to nearly 32% this year! He’s also got a career worst 16% SwStr rate and a career low contact rate to back up the elevated strikeouts. Stanton has also decreased fly ball% and is pulling the ball less. So, less contact, lower fly ball rate and less pulled balls equals no where near 58 HR. I’m sorry, the people claiming “this is exactly where he was last year” are wrong. He never has contact issues like this last year. Expect a .250-35-40 HR season from Stanton.

Matt Kemp, what happened? After going nuts this past month, Kemp got old and fat quick, hitting .188 with one homer this past week. Damn, just last week I had him back with Rihanna and now he’s dating one of the Kardashians (and not the good ones). His K rate keeps heading north and his hard contact has dipped a bit. If this is a younger hitter, I’m not concerned but shizz can go sideways with Kemp in a hurry, so I’m keeping a close eye on this one. Another week like this and HE GONE!

Anthony Rendon has never really got on track this year; he’s 4 for his last 20 and no homers and no steals. He’s driving in runs because he’s in a great Nationals lineup, but what’s going on here? Rendon has really taken the launch angle Revolution (is that what’s it’s called now?) to heart the last two years. There are too many popups but he’s still stinging the ball when he doesn’t pop it up, his barrel% is up 5% and he’s nearly doubled league average for value hits. He still makes a ton of contact but he’s expanding the zone a bit which could be the reason for the elevated popups. It don’t matter, I’m buying Rendon right now. DO IT NOW!

Edwin Encarnacion is only 1 for his last 16 and he’s even seen the bench a couple games. I believe he’s harboring an injury. Either that or he’s finally aging and it’s showing. His fly ball rate has increased along with his K rate, but it’s become a detriment to his batting average. His hard contact and HR/FB rate still looks great but if he continues to sell out for power, his value will drop. The walk rate is also no longer elite and his O-Swing and SwStr rates are at career highs. He still might hit 35+ HR but it may come at a .230 AVG and a .310 OBP. I’d sell, but not at a draft day discount.

Speaking of high strikeout rates, Joey Gallo has a measly two hits this past week although one of them was a bomb last night.  All of that talk of him lowering his strikeout rate is out the window as he’s back above 36% on the season. This makes me sad and I thought Gallo was going to take a step forward this year. He still can and I do believe his 0.088 BABIP of fly balls and 0.171 BABIP on ground balls should rise, but he’s still pulling too many balls into the shift. I guess Gallo is just a .210-.220 hitter with 40+ homer power. Sigh

I was going to write about Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado but they both hit bombs last night and had multi-hit nights, so…. Let’s talk about Manny Machado. Machado is only 3 for his last 18 with no homers, runs, RBI, but 1 steal! I guess you’re the only top tier 3B that sucks Machado! Totally JK obviously. Machado is still killing it this year. The K rate and BB rate are at career bests and his BABIP normalized from last year’s outlier. I don’t love his batted ball profile, he’s hitting too many popups as he continues to increase his fly ball rate, so a 40 homer season is a possibility but not at a .300 average. Although a 91% zone contact rate goes a long way in terms of batting average. Machado will be on the move before the deadline, so a lot will depend on where he goes. Either way, I think he can be around .285 with 40 bombs with his first 100 RBI season. 

Freezing Pitchers
Vincent Velasquez is here mostly due to his 10 ER outing against the Brewers last weekend. He actually fired a solid 6.2 IP with 2 ER this week. Point is, his 12 ER in the past 10+ IP does not look pretty. These past two starts are great examples of VV’s volatility. Come to think of it, VV stands for very volatile. However, there are improvements, his K%-BB% is 20%, a career high. He’s also allowing less hard contact, his 1.2 HR/9 isn’t great, but it’s playable. If his LOB% and BABIP normalize just a little, he’s a 3.50 ERA guy with a great K rate.

Zack Greinke has given up 8 ER in his last two starts. He’s uncharacteristically given up 6 walks and 3 HR in that span. Greinke is averaging under 90 mph on his fastball. In the Spring, Greinke messes around and throws mid-80s but I think this lower velocity is real. Stinky Greinke is crafty AF but as the velocity continues to drop, his margins are razor thin. I’d look to move him while his K rate and BB rates are still fantastic. I think you can get 100 cents on the dollar for him (yes, that’s the same thing, I know that) but it needs to be done now. Try to get a Tommy Pham or Christian Yelich for him.

Luke Weaver, everyone’s second favorite young starter coming into the 2018 (first being Luis Castillo The question is, where did the strikeouts go? His Contact, SwStr, and O-Swing match last year’s number but his K/9 is down almost 3.0 to a sub-par 7.8 K/9. I think you can move on from Weaver this year, he’s still only 24 years old and I do like him long term to be a solid #2 on your fantasy team in the future. See if you can get anything for him, but if not, he’s safe to drop.

Jake Arrieta got absolutely blown up last night giving up 8 run but only 4 ER in 3.1 IP. In his last three starts, he’s given up 13 ER while striking out only 9 batters. That’s not good. His K rate sits at a career low 16.2% combined with an 8% walk rate. I don’t see anything in his profile that tells me that his K rate will rise much. He’s probably going to be around a 17-18% K rate guy while limiting homers. I just don’t see him being successful giving up that much contact, especially if he doesn’t have a great walk rate.

Whoa James Paxton, what happened? I don’t want to use the “I” word but how can you not when he’s always hurt and usually super effective when healthy. Big Maple has given up 8 ER in his last two starts but what’s also concerning is the 20 hits he’s given up in his last 17 IP. Well, let’s check his velocity, uhoh, it’s down about 2 mph in his last start. Ok, that could explain the ineffectiveness. If I’m the mariners, I’m putting him on the DL to skip a couple starts and give him some rest. You don’t keep going down this road with Paxton. Keep a close eye on his velocity in his next start if they don’t put him on the DL. Look for 95.5+, if it’s 94, we’ve got problems.

BABIP Trailers – June Update Part 2 of 2

My last article highlighted some of the more fortunate hitters in terms of BABIP. I use xStats.org and find large discrepancies between xBABIP and BABIP. Today, I’m going the other direction and finding some potentially unlucky hitters in terms of their BABIP. Wow, ok I just typed BABIP a few too many times.

Someone you might expect included on this list that I will tell you upfront is not is Gary Sanchez. He’s hitting far too many popups (23.4% IFFB%) and hitting a career low line drive rate at only 13.9%. With his near 45% fly ball rate, that means that nearly 11% of his batted balls are pop ups or automatic outs and 8.5% of his batted balls are home runs which don’t influence BABIP. His profile lends itself to a very low BABIP and while his xBABIP and xAVG are higher, they don’t make the cut. Expect a low batting average this year with power and a decent OBP with his improved walk rate.

NameBABIPxBABIPDiffAVGxAVGDiff
Bryce Harper0.2160.296-0.080.2280.277-0.049
Johan Camargo0.2220.293-0.0710.2120.253-0.041
Anthony Rizzo0.2270.287-0.060.2380.274-0.036
DJ LeMahieu0.3010.346-0.0450.2840.312-0.028
Try Mancini0.2780.322-0.0440.2290.263-0.034

Would you look at that. How could I not start with Bryce Harper. That 0.080 difference is huge but the difference in AVG and xAVG is quite a bit less. That’s most likely due to his home run totals, since we are only talking about balls in play here. Looking at Harper’s value hits and high drive percentages this year, he’s actually hit a higher percentage of those batted balls this year compared to 2017. That’s great! His launch angle is just fine and his exit velocity is up from last year. His 18 home runs certainly back up those numbers, but why the low BABIP?

Here’s the deal, as I mentioned, he’s actually hitting the ball harder and barreling up a higher percentage of balls. He is swinging and missing a little more but that doesn’t affect BABIP. Based on the solid line drive rate and hard contact, you’d expect his BABIP to improve instead of decrease. Then there’s the pulled ground balls into the shift. I don’t fully support this argument except for the fact that he’s been a little unlucky on ground balls. His career ground ball rate when shifted against matches this years and his pull percentage is up a modest eight percent against the shift. So that’s a factor, but not a huge one. Take a look at his career BABIPs on grounders, fly balls and line drives and compare that to this year.

Bryce Harper BABIP Career 2018
Ground Balls 0.258 0.176
Fly Balls 0.139 0.067
Line Drives 0.679 0.459

There you have it. Based on the batted ball data and xStats, he’s been just plain unlucky, extremely unlucky. BUY, BUY, BUY!

Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo has turned it around of late but still lags quite a bit from his xBABIP. Similar to Harper, his power numbers have kept his difference between AVG and xAVG closer and therefore his fantasy value has not torpedoed many teams. If you’re a Rizzo owner, I’ve got good news for you! Rizzo has increased his exit velocity, launch angle and overall contact. I know what you’re thinking, his launch angle has increased due to an increase in popups. Nope, not at all. He’s hitting a ton of valuable line drives and fly balls, both up from 2017. He’s currently under-performing against all types of pitches: fastballs, offspeed, and breaking pitches. The only negative is a lower barrel percentage. It’s far from terrible though, and Rizzo is another buy here. Rizzo has been plagued by plain bad luck.

Johan Camargo
A relatively unknown and mostly a deep league option Camargo is holding down third base for the Braves right now until Austin Riley is ready. He’s part of the reason they let Bautista go, the Braves figured Camargo could handle the hot corner. Camargo has been a more patient hitter this year and he’s benefited by making more solid and hard contact. His K rate and BB rate are nearly identical. That’s fantastic! There’s no doubt Camargo has be dealt some bad luck but he’s also a slow runner and while launch angle has increased, he’s still hitting nearly 48% of balls in the ground. Combine that with a pretty terrible 23% IFFB rate and boom, low BABIP. I’m not buying in except in very deep formats and NL ONly leagues.

DJ LeMahieu
Previously known for his ground and pound approach, Lemahieu is elevating the ball a bit more. It’s not a huge increase but he’s attacking fastballs. Even with a short stint on the DL, he’s still managed to barrel more balls this year than in 2017 in one-third of the plate appearances.

Not bad right? It’s not that DJ is a power hitter now, he’s only decreased his ground ball rate by less than four percent. However, he’s increased the fly ball rate by almost six percent and he’s pulling the ball more. Oh wait, we are talking about BABIP here, not power. The two are related, more hard contact/barrels while limiting poor contact should boost his BABIP, not regress it. DJ is a moderate buy as I expect the average to hover around .300-.310 with 12-15 HR and 6-8 steals.

Trey Mancini
What a disappointment thus far after an unexpected rookie breakout. Am I right guys? Actually no, he’s the same guy he was last year in terms of his contact and batted ball profile. Now, he hits too many ground balls to really be a 30 home run hitter but he is ranked inside the top 20 for most barreled balls this season with 23. He’s also walking more than last year, so maybe he’s developing some patience. Mancini is kind of like a poor man’s Marcell Ozuna in terms of ground balls and hard contact. His line drive rate is solid and he sprays the ball all over the field. There’s not reason for Mancini to have a below average BABIP. Owners in shallow leagues have moved on, so give him a shot and grab him. In deep leagues add him as a cheap throw with a trade and reap the benefits.

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Starting Pitchers to Stream 6/11 – 6/17

I’m jumping right in this week, I should have a weekly/yearly update for how I’ve done to date next week. Let’s starts with a low owned pitcher on Monday and go from there.

Sam Gaviglio (Tor) 3% Away vs TB Monday 6/11
Sammy G everyone! So this 28 year old is not a mid-2 ERA guy due to an unsustainable 90% LOB%. I do however like his 55% ground ball rate, 22% soft contact rate, and 23% strikeout rate. Those are numbers I can get behind because he should be able limit home runs and limit long innings with his sub-6.0% walk rate. Now, looking at the Rays, they are a middle of the road offensive team (which is surprising considering they are sellers), but they are bottom five in home runs. Another mark in Sam Gaviglio’s favor. He’s available in almost all leagues, so go out and grab him and
STREAM

Chris Stratton (SF) 17% Away vs MIA Tuesday 6/12
This one’s a no-brainier right? The Marlins sport an MLB worse .289 wOBA with a 23% K rate and a sub 8% walk rate as a team. This game would be better for Stratton if it was at home but Marlins Park still definitely favors the pitcher. The issue is Stratton hasn’t been great, he’s giving up too much hard contact and not a whole lot of soft contact while carrying a sub-20% K rate. With Stratton this week, I’m torn like Natalie Imbruglia on this one. There’s limited upside here, so this is probably my least favorite of the streaming bunch, but if you’re desperate, go ahead and STREAM.

Tyler Mahle (CIN) 9% Away vs KC Wednesday 6/13
Normally an NL pitcher going to an AL park to face the DH does not favor the pitcher. In this case, getting out of Great American Ballpark and into Kauffman Stadium is a good thing. His K and BB rates are just fine, it’s his home run rate that is ugly. That’s ok because the Royals are third to last when it comes to hitting homers this year and are bottom six in terms of wOBA. The Royals don’t strikeout much but Mahle should be just fine in this one. STREAM with confidence

Matt Koch (ARI) 8% Home VS NYM Thursday 6/14
Who the hell is Matt Koch? I don’t really know but he’s facing the Mets at home. Well actually, Koch is 27 years old with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 60 innings this year. Not bad for a streamer right? Especially for one that’s facing the Mets. Under the hood though, Koch has a 13.4% K rate, a .257 BABIP, and a 1.8 HR/9. His hard contact against justifies the elevated homer rate. He’s due for BABIP regression and I’m betting it comes against a weak Mets lineup, why? Because Koch is due, that’s why. STAY AWAY

Lance Lynn (MIN) 24% Road vs DET Thursday 6/14
Lynn had an awful start to 2018 and his numbers on the season are still terrible with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP. However, his last 5 starts, Lynn has a 2.28 ERA and a 22% K rate. He gets to face Detroit which is great because they don’t walk much and that’s been Lynn’s Achilles heel. I expect good strikeout numbers and at minimum a quality start with a good shot at a win. STREAM

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Weekly Rundown – 6/2 – 6/8: Young Joc Pederson & Eddie Money Rosario

HOT Hitters
I’ve got to leadoff with Young Joc Pederson who has gone 9 for his last 20 with an insane 6 long balls. Well, welcome to 2018 Mr. Joc. I was a big fan of Pederson’s going into last year, especially in OBP leagues. His struggles against righties and the depth in the LAD outfield has curbed his playing time. He’s cut his K rate below 15% and his swinging strike rate is under 9%! Previously known for his high K rates, he’s turned into a contact first guy. He still can’t hit lefties and usually sits vs them, so ride this streak but then you can kick him to the curb.

Eddie “Money” Rosario and Eduardo “Don’t call me Nunez” Escobar are at it again in the Twin Cities. They’ve combined to go 23 for their last 57 with a combined 10 homers and 20 RBI! I touched on Escobar in my recent FantasyPros article comparing him to Correa, which was more of a shot at Correa, but Escobar’s numbers have been legit to date. I’d hold him and keep playing him. Rosario has been a man possessed this year His metrics looked terrible in the first month. His ground ball rate has dipped 10% from last year and his hard contact and pull percentages are up.I still don’t like his plate discipline as he expands the zone too often and his swinging strike rate is up this year but his K rate is down. I’m holding but see if the market has come around on him. Maybe you can get a top 50 asset for him.

Matt Kemp is a on binge going hitting nearly .391 with 3 home runs this past week. Did he get back with Rhianna or something? I wrote about his insanely high BABIP the other day but the metrics say that while he’s been lucky in terms of average, he’s still been absolutely killing the ball and should improve on his power numbers. His injury history and the Dodgers depth may end up hurting his value, so look to sell, but don’t give him away. If there aren’t any takers, just ride out this healthy, hot streak.

Andrew Benintendi is locked in after a somewhat slow start. His power has jumped up hitting four HR and one steal this past week. Benintendi is putting the sophomore slump rumors to bed. His performance should cement him a spot in the two hole between Betts and Martinez. I’m not sure if there’s a better spot to be in in terms of hitting out of the two spot in all of baseball. The thoughts of 20/20 are there but he could be a legit 25/25 player with great counting stats. I envision him as a borderline top 30 player.

Dan’s be nibble, Dans be quick, Dansby hitting bombs out at Candlestick. That would have been better if this was 1990 and he played for the Giants. Anyways, should you go out and grab Dansby Swanson? The young SS is finding his power stroke with three home runs and seven RBI in the last seven days. Now with 6 on the season, he’s already matched his total from 2017. Is this for real? The power jump is real but everything else is not. His .358 BABIP will come down, and his K rate is over 28% with poor plate discipline to back that elevated rate up. He’s still only a 15 homer guy with .240-.250 average. Try to sell him to some Dansby believer, if not you can drop him.

Michael A. Taylor is actually hitting you guys! He’s got a .333 average with a homer and 3 steals this week. Michael A. Taylor or MAT as I call him may be feeling the heat with Eaton coming back from the DL and Juan “Wonder Kid” Soto producing like a veteran. The way Soto is playing, the Nationals have to leave him in the lineup, he’s even mashing lefties. Eaton is far from a pillar (Not Kevin) of health so Taylor and Eaton could platoon until the Nats are confident in Eaton’s health. Taylor’s not a great hitter, he strikes out way too much and has moderate power. He can be dropped in shallow leagues but in deeper leagues, hold for the steals.

Jose Martinez hit a couple bombs last night and now has 3 in the past week while hitting a blistering .556 with 8 RBI. Martinez is for real. He’s got great plate discipline and his zone contact is over 92% with a SwStr% of only 6.2%. He’s hitting the ball hard over 40% of the time and looks like a legit .300 hitter.  He will be limited with his power numbers because of a near 50% ground ball rate. But he looks like a .300-20 hitter with a ton of RBI production in the middle of the Cardinals lineup.

Freezing Hitters
Jonathan Schoop has not been producing like many thought. I wrote a bust post on his in the offseason, is it too early to take the W on this? Probably, but he’s hitting .222 with no homers, one run, and no RBI this past week. On the season he’s hit five homers with a .224 average. This is the downside of a free swinger who doesn’t walk and has no speed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s harboring an injury, his hard contact is down to a slap-hitting 22%. On a one-year deal, he could be traded to a contender which might help him reset. Right now, he can be dropped in shallow leagues

Francisco Lindor is only 2 for his last 19 with 2 runs and 1 RBI, no HR or steals. Sure, it’s a cold week, that’s all it is. Lindor’s a stud, he might be striking out a bit more but the rest of his metrics are even better than last year. He’s going to hit 30+ HR, steal 15 bases and hit .290-.300. Mmm Lindor truffles.

My young love, Ozzie Albies has fallen on hard times hitting only .111 with no homers, no steals, and just two runs. I mean, honestly you had to know he would slow down, right? Well he wasn’t going to hit 50+ homers. Everything looks fine with his profile. His K rate is below average, his walks are low but fine and his batted ball profile is solid. He’s been getting unlucky with a .276 BABIP. He’s more of a .310-.320 BABIP guy. He’s going to his .280-25-18.

Ozzie’s teammate Ender Inciarte is hitting under .100 with no homers or steals this past week and all of the sudden the Braves look weak! This is probably just a cold streak because they miss Ronald “GOD” Acuna but what’s going on? How can a guy with his speed and high contact rate hit .244? I mean, WTF?!? How about a .272 BABIP for a career .323 BABIP guy, that’s how. I’m buying Inciarte and you should too.

Evan Longoria’s move from the Desperate Housewives to San Francisco has not been great. He’s especially been bad this past week going 1 for 20! A career 9% BB rate currently sits at 3.7%. His power is still there with 10 homers on the season. He’s actually been hitter the ball harder with a higher percentage of quality contact compared to last year. I’d view his as a moderate buy right now as I expect the power to continue (25ish-HR) and his average to jumped back into the .260-.270 range. That’s not great for shallow leagues, but in 14-team and deeper leagues, try to buy low.

HOT Pitchers
Welcome back Sonny Gray! Gray has only given up 1 ER and allowed only 8 base runners in his last two starts. He’s even struck out a batter per inning in that stretch. What should we do with Sonny Gray? He was likely dropped in shallow leagues and in deep leagues, owners are finally looking on the bright side (get it?). I hate to break it to those owners, but I don’t trust it. His K/BB has actually gone down in this hot stretch while both contact and hard contact have gone up. Leave him on your wire or owners should try to sell if anyone believes he’s back.

Mike Foly*#)&$^$&z is not only having a great season, he’s given up only two ER and struck out an amazing 19 batters in his last two starts. So Folty has had a great season, no doubt, but if I’m an owner, I’m selling. Everything screams regression to me. Hard contact is up while BABIP and HR/FB are down. His O-Swing is down and the SwStr% remains below 10% while his K rate is at a career high. His walks have also gone up for the third straight season. He’s more of a 4.00 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP pitcher. Don’t give him away, but try to sell.

Dylan Covey just battled Chris Sale and the Red Sox (san Betts) and won! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. He’s now gone 11 IP with 0 ER, 1 R and 14 strikeouts this past week. He’s only had one bad start and that was at Cleveland, so it’s understandable. Covey was not a highly touted prospect and has never been a big strikeout pitcher, but he does get ground balls. He’s getting them to the tune of 61% this season. He’s doubled his sinker usage and basically eliminated his fastball, plus he’s throwing 2 mph faster than in 2017. I’m not saying he’s going to be great but could be useful in deeper leagues. He gets the Indians next so you may want to sit him for that one.

Trevor Bauer has 23 strikeouts in his last 13.2 IP and while wasn’t great two outings ago, he still struck out 11. Last night, Bauer struck out 12 Tigers in eight innings giving up only 1 ER. Is Bauer an Ace? His second half last year was ace-like and since the All-Star break last year, he’s thrown 169.2 innings with a 2.81 ERA and 202 strikeouts. AKA Ace. I’m not putting him in the top 10 SPs but with all the recent injuries to the top pitchers, there’s no reason to keep him outside the top 15 right now.

Garrett Richards is on a roll, striking out 16 and giving up only 2 ER in his last two starts. Plus, he’s healthy! I like Richards, he’s got great stuff but I’ve got concerns ya’ll. He’s giving up 40% hard contact, his walk rate is over 11% (10% is too high), and he’s only averaging 5.1 innings per start. Maybe the Angels are being cautious, but you’re not getting many wins if you can hardly average 5 innings in a start. That combined with his major injury concerns makes him a sell for me.

Freezing Pitchers
Dallas Keuchel has given up 11 ER with 3 HR in his last two starts. This is what happens when you don’t have great stuff and rely on ground balls, control, and defense. I didn’t mention the walks, but he’s walked four in this 11+ IP. All of sudden, the K rate is down, ground ball rate has decreased, and his hard contact is up. That makes a 3.50 ERA 1.10 WHIP pitcher a 4+ ERA and a 1.25+ WHIP. That combined with 7.0K/9 is hardly a top 50 SP.

Alex Wood 11 ER in his last 7.1 IP. Yes one was in Colorado, but he also gave up 5 ER to the Padres. What’s good by on here? Wood has enjoyed a second straight great start to a season and checking his plate discipline tells me his numbers should be identical to last year. He’s getting swings out of the zone and contact and swinging strikes are the same as 2017. Here’s the problem, velocity is down another 1.5 mph, but it’s been like that all season. True, but his GB rate is down, hard contact is up. So the HR are going to remain elevated but his LOB% should go down. He’s actually a moderate buy with his 4.42 ERA. He should keep it just under 4.00 ROS.

Nick Pivetta has struggled in his last two starts giving up 7 ER, 15 base runners in 9 innings. That’s not good but at least he’s averaging a strikeout per inning in those starts. I’m ok with this, his velocity is still great and his slider and curve are still fantastic. He was unlucky with an elevated BABIP and a high HR/FB rate but his hard contact was lower in those starts compared to the season totals. So, this is just a blip, keep rolling with Pivetta or buy if you can.

Ian Kennedy has not fared well over the last two starts, but he’s been worse the last month. His ERA since the start of May is over 9.00. Sure, his Ks are still ok, but he no longer should be streamed in fantasy. There is no match-up that I would ever trust Kennedy. He’s had a decent career but much the pitcher I discuss next, this may b the end of the road for Kennedy.

I have to think that this is Big Game James Shields last year in the Majors. He’s been terrible for the better part of three your now. He’s given up an incredible 6 homers in his last 13 IP and 10 ER. This isn’t fantasy relevant, so I’ll keep it short, but if you’re ever thinking about streaming Shields do yourself a favor and take 7 shots of tequila and pass out. You’ll wake up feeling better than a James Shields fantasy owner.amp;z is not only having a great season, he’s given up only two ER and struck out an amazing 19 batters in his last two starts. So Folty has had a great season, no doubt, but if I’m an owner, I’m selling. Everything screams regression to me. Hard contact is up while BABIP and HR/FB are down. His O-Swing is down and the SwStr% remains below 10% while his K rate is at a career high. His walks have also gone up for the third straight season. He’s more of a 4.00 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP pitcher. Don’t give him away, but try to sell.

 

What’s up? BABIP, that’s what – June Update

BABIP across Major League baseball normalizes right around .300 league-wide. It’s a number we always look at when a player is running a very low or very high BABIP. We typically point to the outlier and expect it to regress back to the mean. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can sway a players BABIP one way or the other such as: sprint speed, hard/soft contact, fly ball%, line drive%, pull% on ground balls into the shift, etc. I could go on, but you get the point, not all BABIPs are created equal.

I’m focusing on players with elevated BABIPs and comparing them to xStats.org definition of xBABIP. I’ll also be referring to value hits, poor hits, and high drives so check the definitions here. xStats isn’t perfect, but what is? Even mlb.com Baseballsavant has issues with its expected stats. It’s still a great tool to use and is considerably more accurate than other expected stats. You’ll notice that many players with high sprint speed will often run a lower xBABIP than their actual BABIP. Knowing that, we can use that to our advantage. However, other players who are not graced with a high quantity of quick-twitch muscle fibers will have to rely of line drives and hard contact to boost their BABIP. Without further ado, here’s the

NameBABIPxBABIPDiffAVGxAVGDiff
Ian Happ0.3850.297-0.0880.2370.188-0.049
Matt Kemp0.40.32-0.080.3440.295-0.049
Starling Marte0.3520.291-0.0610.2940.248-0.046
Albert Almora0.3650.312-0.0530.310.261-0.049
Domingo Santana0.3680.308-0.060.260.239-0.021
Scooter Gennett0.3890.341-0.0480.3440.294-0.05
Nick Castellanos0.4110.356-0.0550.3360.304-0.032

Well, there’s Ian Happ. After a disastrous April which involves a near 50% K rate, he’s righted the ship a bit. But alas, his BABIP is an unsustainable .385! Not only should he regress, but xStats is calling for a drop of 0.091 and should have a batting average below the mendoza line.  Happ has above average speed, so I don’t expect full regression, but if he maintains his 40% strikeout rate, I don’t see him hitting over .220 this year. He’s getting by with a very good high drive percentage which has maximized many of his batted balls. But, how long can he keep this up with a 40% strikeout rate? I like Happ longterm, but he’s in a hole this year and is too risky to make it HAPPen.

No one is going to mistake Matt Kemp for having great speed now that he’s well into his 30s, so a BABIP of .400 is insane! What’s interesting, is how xStats still pegs him for a .320 BABIP which can still yield positive results, unlike Happ. What’s also interesting is his high percentage of value hits and a solid 15.5 degree launch angle. His expected home runs currently sits at a very impressive 12.2, he currently sits at 10 HR on the season. His plate discipline is poor (but it’s always been below average) however, he’s got a hard contact% of over 45% with a 12% soft contact rate. I’m not buying Kemp at face value, but while the average will come down, his power may jump a little. Maybe he’s got one more 30 HR 95 RBI season in him.

I won’t spend much time on Starling Marte. As I mentioned in the introduction, speed tends to trick xStats a little in terms of xBABIP. In fact, Marte has outperformed his xBABIP by nearly .030 on average the last three seasons. That being said, his current 0.061 difference is double last year’s difference. While his power looks just about right, there is some cause for concern with his low high drive (LOL sounds weird) rate and high poor hit percentages. I’m not completely selling Marte, but I’d expect him in the .280 range for batting average by season’s end. He’s still a valuable piece with mid-teens power and around 30 steals.

Albert Almora is basically getting by with smoke and mirrors. Sure an expected average of .261 isn’t the end of the world. The Cubs are deploying Almora in the lead off spot basically because they have no one else. That at least should give him a cushion, but he doesn’t walk much and has a xOBP of .317. It’s more than just outperforming in terms of average too though, he’s barreled a total of one ball out of 139 batted balls in 2018. His average exit velocity is 85.7 mph which puts him the bottom 10% for all qualified hitters. Get this, his xwOBA against off-speed and breaking pitches is under .210! No, that’s not his expecting batting average, it’s the expected weighted on-base average you guys! I don’t need to ramble because he’s hardly fantasy relevant, but a guy with no power and no speed should not be owned. If someone is loving this average boost move him immediately.

Domingo Santana has not followed his breakout with much success at all. He’s lost some playing time with the additions of Cain and Yelich and he’s really struggled to get on track. Would you believe me if I told you than Santana had a .363 BABIP and a 30.9% HR/FB rate in 2017? Yup, and that was in over 600 plate appearances. The difference is, he actually earned that elevated BABIP last year with an xBABIP of .373! Previously, he was a line drive machine, which other than speed will fuel a high BABIP. This year, he’s down about 5% from his previous two seasons. Here’s the deal, he strikes out 30% of the time, hits over 50% of his batted balls on the ground, and have average speed at best. He hits the ball hard but you probably got his career year last year. He could get hot, but should be left on the wire in shallow mixed leagues.

Nicky C, MY BOY! The hard contact King! The Exit Velo C-Lo-anoes. Annnnd we’re back. He somehow has a 48% hard contact rate with a sub-10% HR/FB rate. What!?!? The good news is xstats believes he should still be very good in terms of average and has been unlucky in terms of power. The bad news is, I don’t have any but it’s time to do the splits. Not that kind, the hitter splits. Castellanos is hitting .458 with a .543 BABIP against lefties! I’m not an psychic but I think that might not stick. There are no home/road splits and he’s hitting well to all fields. Here’s the issue with his power, nearly 78% of his fly balls are to center or the opposite field. He’s hit a total of 1 HR to center and 0 HR the other way. Detroit isn’t a great park for power and center is where homers go to die. He doesn’t hit the ball as hard the other way, so Nicky C needs to start yanking fly balls to the pull side if he wants to hit 30 ding dongs like I projected. Come on dude, pick it up to make me look good!

Last, but not least, may favorite non vespa, Mr. Scooter Gennett. His breakout last year involved a four homer game and a couple of multi-homer games. For some reason, fantasy owners held that against him as if to say, you’re not that good, you only a handful of great games! As good as he’s been this year, it’s nice to see his expected average above .290. The rest of his xStats metrics are relatively average in terms of exit velocity, launch angle, and value hits. That means he’s been extremely lucky in terms of home runs, xStats has him at about four homers less than his 12 to date. His 26% line drive rate is fueling the high BABIP and batting average, so I expect his average to creep back to or below .300 to match his expected batting average. I also would expect less home runs going forward but keep in mind, he out performed all of his metrics last year and is performing similar in terms of skills in 2018. I’d think of selling, but don’t take a discount on him. Try to get a top 50-75 player, if not, keep rolling with him.

June Rankings – Rest of Season (Desktop)

June Rankings – Rest of Season
Rank Name Team Positions
1 Mike Trout LAA CF
2 Mookie Betts BOS RF
3 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
4 J.D. Martinez BOS RF
5 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
6 Trea Turner WSH SS
7 Bryce Harper WSH RF
8 Aaron Judge NYY RF
9 Max Scherzer WSH SP
10 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B,3B
11 Francisco Lindor CLE SS
12 Manny Machado BAL 3B
13 Jose Ramirez CLE 2B,3B
14 Corey Kluber CLE SP
15 Joey Votto CIN 1B
16 Charlie Blackmon COL CF
17 Chris Sale BOS SP
18 George Springer HOU CF,RF
19 Kris Bryant CHC 3B,RF
20 Giancarlo Stanton NYY RF
21 Carlos Correa HOU SS
22 Justin Verlander HOU SP
23 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
24 Gary Sanchez NYY C
25 Luis Severino NYY SP
26 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B,2B
27 Jose Abreu CWS 1B
28 Tommy Pham STL LF,CF
29 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
30 Brian Dozier MIN 2B
31 Alex Bregman HOU 3B,SS
32 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
33 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B,DH
34 Dee Gordon SEA 2B
35 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B
36 Aaron Nola PHI SP
37 Justin Upton LAA LF
38 Khris Davis OAK LF,DH
39 Christian Yelich MIL CF
40 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
41 Nelson Cruz SEA RF,DH
42 Andrew Benintendi BOS LF,CF
43 Lorenzo Cain MIL CF
44 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP
45 Craig Kimbrel BOS RP
46 Starling Marte PIT LF,CF
47 Marcell Ozuna STL LF
48 Zack Greinke ARI SP
49 James Paxton SEA SP
50 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B
51 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
52 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B
53 Aroldis Chapman NYY RP
54 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B,LF
55 Whit Merrifield KC 2B,RF
56 Carlos Martinez STL SP
57 Charlie Morton HOU SP
58 Edwin Diaz SEA RP
59 Patrick Corbin ARI SP
60 Ender Inciarte ATL CF
61 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B,LF
62 Eugenio Suarez CIN 3B
63 Mitch Haniger SEA RF
64 Scooter Gennett CIN 2B,3B,LF
65 Jean Segura SEA SS
66 Kenley Jansen LAD RP
67 Joey Gallo TEX 1B,3B,LF
68 Gleyber Torres NYY SS
69 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
70 Eddie Rosario MIN LF,CF,RF
71 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
72 Javier Baez CHC 2B,SS
73 Travis Shaw MIL 3B
74 Miguel Sano MIN 1B,3B,DH
75 Blake Snell TB SP
76 Cody Allen CLE RP
77 Justin Turner LAD 3B
78 Daniel Murphy WSH 2B
79 Eric Hosmer SD 1B
80 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP
81 Justin Smoak TOR 1B
82 Trevor Story COL SS
83 Nicholas Castellanos DET 3B,RF
84 Mike Moustakas KC 3B
85 Brad Hand SD RP
86 Brandon Morrow CHC RP
87 Andrew McCutchen SF CF,RF
88 Jose Berrios MIN SP
89 Carlos Santana PHI 1B,RF
90 Shohei Ohtani LAA SP,DH
91 Matt Olson OAK 1B,RF
92 Raisel Iglesias CIN RP
93 Dallas Keuchel HOU SP
94 Ronald Acuna ATL CF
95 Sean Doolittle WSH RP
96 Wade Davis COL RP
97 Willson Contreras CHC C
98 DJ LeMahieu COL 2B
99 Didi Gregorius NYY SS
100 Lance McCullers HOU SP
101 Matt Carpenter STL 1B,2B,3B
102 Michael Conforto NYM LF,CF,RF
103 Odubel Herrera PHI CF
104 Chris Taylor LAD 2B,SS,LF,CF
105 Dylan Bundy BAL SP
106 Josh Hader MIL RP
107 Miles Mikolas STL SP
108 Ryan Braun MIL LF
109 Jake Arrieta PHI SP
110 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
111 Alex Wood LAD SP
112 Cesar Hernandez PHI 2B
113 Jose Martinez STL 1B,LF,RF
114 Michael Brantley CLE LF
115 Matt Chapman OAK 3B
116 Tim Anderson CWS SS
117 Madison Bumgarner SF SP
118 Chris Archer TB SP
119 Adam Jones BAL CF
120 David Price BOS SP,RP
121 Corey Dickerson PIT LF,DH
122 Marcus Semien OAK SS
123 Jeurys Familia NYM RP
124 Kyle Schwarber CHC LF
125 Yasiel Puig LAD RF
126 J.T. Realmuto MIA C,1B
127 Yonder Alonso CLE 1B
128 Luis Castillo CIN SP
129 Garrett Richards LAA SP
130 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B
131 Josh Bell PIT 1B
132 C.J. Cron TB 1B
133 Delino DeShields TEX LF,CF
134 Buster Posey SF C,1B
135 Sean Manaea OAK SP
136 Jed Lowrie OAK 2B
137 Bradley Boxberger ARI RP
138 J.A. Happ TOR SP
139 Kyle Hendricks CHC SP
140 Jon Lester CHC SP
141 Corey Knebel MIL RP
142 Nick Markakis ATL RF
143 Billy Hamilton CIN CF
144 Blake Treinen OAK RP
145 Shin-Soo Choo TEX RF,DH
146 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B
147 Yoan Moncada CWS 2B
148 Kyle Seager SEA 3B
149 Jose Quintana CHC SP
150 Brandon Belt SF 1B,LF
151 Jeimer Candelario DET 3B
152 Jameson Taillon PIT SP
153 Robbie Ray ARI SP
154 Kenneth Giles HOU RP
155 Nick Pivetta PHI SP
156 Ryon Healy SEA 1B,3B,DH
157 Yoenis Cespedes NYM LF
158 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B
159 Michael Clevinger CLE SP,RP
160 Mike Foltynewicz ATL SP
161 Juan Soto WSH RF
162 Walker Buehler LAD SP,RP
163 Wil Myers SD 1B
164 Nomar Mazara TEX LF,RF
165 Yasmani Grandal LAD C
166 Michael Wacha STL SP
167 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 3B
168 David Peralta ARI LF,RF
169 Felipe Vazquez PIT RP
170 Aaron Hicks NYY LF,CF,RF
171 Jesus Aguilar MIL 1B
172 Jonathan Gray COL SP
173 Jake Lamb ARI 3B
174 Rick Porcello BOS SP
175 Kelvin Herrera KC RP
176 Mitch Moreland BOS 1B
177 Maikel Franco PHI 3B
178 Ian Happ CHC 2B,LF,CF,RF
179 Evan Longoria SF 3B
180 Brandon Nimmo NYM LF,CF,RF
181 Yangervis Solarte TOR 2B,3B,SS
182 Teoscar Hernandez TOR LF
183 Ian Desmond COL 1B,LF
184 Zack Godley ARI SP
185 Keone Kela TEX RP
186 Kenta Maeda LAD SP
187 Asdrubal Cabrera NYM 2B,3B,SS
188 Mallex Smith TB LF,CF,RF
189 Yu Darvish CHC SP
190 Andrelton Simmons LAA SS
191 Justin Bour MIA 1B
192 Max Kepler MIN CF,RF
193 Salvador Perez KC C
194 Jack Flaherty STL SP
195 Brett Gardner NYY LF,CF
196 Michael Fulmer DET SP
197 Shane Greene DET RP
198 Jonathan Villar MIL 2B,CF
199 Gio Gonzalez WSH SP
200 Eduardo Escobar MIN 2B,3B,SS,DH
201 Bradley Zimmer CLE CF
202 Dexter Fowler STL CF
203 Kevin Gausman BAL SP
204 Wilson Ramos TB C
205 Leonys Martin DET CF,RF
206 Cole Hamels TEX SP
207 Sean Newcomb ATL SP
208 Gregory Polanco PIT LF,RF
209 Domingo Santana MIL RF
210 Manuel Margot SD CF
211 Kyle Gibson MIN SP
212 Zack Cozart LAA SS
213 Carlos Gonzalez COL RF
214 Hunter Strickland SF RP
215 Ian Kinsler LAA 2B
216 Christian Villanueva SD 3B
217 Francisco Cervelli PIT C
218 Jackie Bradley BOS CF
219 Arodys Vizcaino ATL RP
220 A.J. Pollock ARI CF
221 Tyson Ross SD SP
222 Austin Meadows PIT LF,CF
223 Greg Bird NYY 1B
224 Matt Davidson CWS 1B,3B,DH
225 Amed Rosario NYM SS
226 Addison Russell CHC SS
227 Luke Weaver STL SP
228 Tanner Roark WSH SP
229 Ross Stripling LAD RP
230 Yulieski Gurriel HOU 1B
231 Jose Peraza CIN 2B,SS
232 Jay Bruce NYM 1B,RF
233 Trevor Cahill OAK SP,RP
234 Brad Brach BAL RP
235 Andrew Heaney LAA SP
236 Dustin Fowler OAK RF
237 Byron Buxton MIN CF
238 Caleb Smith MIA SP,RP
239 Joe Musgrove PIT SP,RP
240 Evan Gattis HOU C,DH
241 Rougned Odor TEX 2B
242 Starlin Castro MIA 2B
243 Eduardo Rodriguez BOS SP
244 Chris Devenski HOU RP
245 Jorge Soler KC RF
246 Hector Neris PHI RP
247 Julio Teheran ATL SP
248 Jimmy Nelson MIL SP
249 Mike Zunino SEA C
250 Chad Green NYY RP
251 Adam Duvall CIN LF
252 Colin Moran PIT 1B
253 Mac Williamson SF LF,RF
254 Marco Gonzales SEA SP
255 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B,CF
256 Michael Taylor WSH CF
257 Harrison Bader STL CF
258 Alex Reyes STL SP
259 Albert Almora CHC CF
260 Fernando Rodney MIN RP
261 Tyler Skaggs LAA SP
262 Steven Souza ARI RF
263 Nick Senzel CIN 3B
264 Franchy Cordero SD CF
265 Jonathan Lucroy OAK C
266 Willie Calhoun TEX LF
267 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B,DH
268 Todd Frazier NYM 3B
269 Joakim Soria CWS RP
270 Hanley Ramirez FA 1B,DH
271 Blake Parker LAA RP
272 Johnny Cueto SF SP
273 Mike Soroka ATL SP
274 Josh Reddick HOU LF,CF,RF
275 Jake Odorizzi MIN SP
276 Trey Mancini BAL 1B,LF
277 Chase Anderson MIL SP
278 Logan Morrison MIN 1B
279 Jacob Faria TB SP
280 Eduardo Nunez BOS 2B,3B,SS,LF
281 Travis Jankowski SD LF,CF
282 Yadier Molina STL C
283 David Dahl COL LF,CF,RF
284 Marwin Gonzalez HOU 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF
285 Kyle Barraclough MIA RP
286 Nate Jones CWS RP
287 Nicholas Kingham PIT SP
288 Kyle Tucker HOU CF,RF
289 Jorge Polanco MIN SS
290 Stephen Piscotty OAK RF
291 Rich Hill LAD SP
292 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
293 Adam Eaton WSH CF
294 Reynaldo Lopez CWS SP
295 Jeff Samardzija SF SP
296 Ketel Marte ARI SS
297 Matt Kemp LAD LF
298 Josh Harrison PIT 2B,3B,LF
299 Archie Bradley ARI RP
300 Andrew Miller CLE RP
301 Ryan Tepera TOR RP

Starting Pitchers to Stream 6/4 – 6/10

I was going to make the title something stupid like “Lyles on my Buchholz” but I’m a mature adult; or at least that’s what my wife tells me. Last week was another great week to stream pitchers. I’m almost ready to ditch my bottom 3 SPs and just stream every week in my leagues! That’s kind of a joke, but maybe it isn’t? Most of the streaming options last week are long gone now in terms of ownership, so we just have to do more digging for this week. First, let’s look back at how last week’s streamers did.

NameDateOpponentIPHBBERKW
Marco GonzalesMay 28, 2018TEX6.6744041
Marco GonzalesJune 3, 2018TB6.6752161
Caleb SmithMay 28, 2018@SD741141
Daniel MengdenMay 31, 2018TB862351
Jordan LylesMay 31, 2018MIA761271
Trevor CahillJune 1, 2018KC4.6772460

Not bad, huh? The final line last week looks like this: 6 Starts – 5 W, 2.47 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 32 Ks in 40 IP.  We nearly doubled our win total on the season. The only weakness we have had this season is the K/9 which sits just over 8.0/9. However, our ERA at 3.02 and WHIP at 1.05 with 15 wins and 224 Ks basically means we have put up 220 IP of Zack Greinke-type quality from our streaming options this year!  Let’s keep rolling with it this week.

Jordan Lyles (SD) 12% Home vs ATL on Tuesday 6/5
Since Acuña has gone down, the Braves don’t seem as dangerous. Albies has finally hit a snag in his incredibly hot start to the season. This start is at home away from Freddie Freeman’s strength when at home. Lyles may be getting a little lucky but he’s increased his curveball and decrease the use of his sinker. Both his curve and fastball are now plus pitches and he’s improved on his swinging strike rate. Getting a W may be tough but, I think he’ll get you solid ratios and around 6 Ks. STREAM

Tyler Mahle (CIN) 10% Home vs COL on Wednesday 6/6
The Rockies on the road are not all that scary, they have a .654 OPS on the road and a 23.4% K rate as a team. However, GAB is also a launching pad. As a prospect, Mahle had great command, so far in the Majors he’s near a 10% BB rate. However, his K rate has improved to 22%. Those still aren’t great numbers and the Rockies have DJ LeMahieu back. The top of the Rockies order concerns me and I doubt Mahle can get through three times without giving up a few runs. I think I just talked myself out of this one so if you’re desperate, give him a shot. But I’m STAYING AWAY

Clay Buchholz (ARI) 13% Away vs SF on Wednesday 6/6
I get it, it’s Clay Buchholz and he’s been extremely lucky in his small sample of 3 starts. But the Giants have a 24.9% K rate and a wOBA of .315 as a team. However, much of that production is tied to Brandon Belt who hit the DL with an emergency appendectomy. Buchholz has actually been missing a decent number of bats and his change up and cutter have registered positive results. I’m not recommending Buchholz long term, but I thought no he can keep the Giants in check in that huge ballpark. The DBacks have picked it up if late offensively, so a cheap win is a good possibility as well. STREAM

Tyler Anderson (COL) 8% vs CIN on Thurs 6/7 or Jason Hammel (KC) 3% vs OAK
I’m going to be honest, I really wanted to find another mid-week streamer but these two are was too volatile. Both pitchers are very homer prone and the teams they are facing can mash. You’re more likely to end up with 6 ER in 4 innings and tie you to the WHIP-ing Post as I like to say than 6 IP of 2 ER ball. STAY AWAY from both

Clayton Richard (SD) 6% Away vs MIA on Sunday 6/10
I bet you didn’t realize that Clayton Richard had a 56.5% ground ball rate and a 20.6% soft contact rate. I also bet you didn’t realize his his SIERA is sub-4.00 and he’s averaging over 6+ inning per start. Clayton has his slider working for him this year and is posting a career low 77.8% contact rate. All these numbers are borderline 12-team owneable. However, you can pick him up for free off waivers against the 28th worst offensive club against lefties. Richard may not pile up the strikeouts, but I think he can go 6-7 IP with 2 ER and a WHIP near 1.00 and a great shot at a W That’s something I can Quality Control. STREAM

Shot in the dark: Jose Urena against the aforementioned San Diego Padres. Urena is better than his number indicate and the Padres are weak. I’m envisioning a pitcher’s duel with Richard in Miami’s pitcher friendly stadium and not a whole lot of hitters to be concerned of. If you’re desperate next Sunday, grab both, you’re sure to get a win and decent ratios.

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