Fantasy Baseball Final: June 28, 2015

Photo Credit: slgckgc

Photo Credit: slgckgc


Many have questioned the Mets decision to turn to a six-man rotation with the call up of Steven Matz. After Matz’s first start Sunday, Mets fans probably want to see Matz as a part of their batting order every day. The 24-year-old went 3-for-3 while driving in four runs in his major league debut. The kid was pretty stellar on the mound as well with the Mets likely adding another dominant arm to an already phenomenal, young rotation. Matz went seven and two thirds innings while only giving up two runs and striking out six. After dealing with a delay to his start on the back end of a double header following 13 inning first game, the young starter seemed rattled early giving up a first inning home run to Brandon Phillips. Matz settled in after that and only surrendered one more run on a Todd Frazier home run in the fourth inning. The Mets surprisingly allowed Matz to throw 110 pitches in his first major league start. With the six-man rotation in place, it will be interesting how Terry Collins handles the pitching staff late in ball games and how long he allows his staff of young starters to go with an added day of rest.


In an unsuspecting low-scoring affair between the Blue Jays and Rangers, Josh Donaldson broke through once again for the Blue Jays hitting a home run in the fourth inning and led the Blue Jays to a 3-2 victory. After being shut out in their last game, the Blue Jays’ offense turned to Donaldson to get them back on track. Donaldson’s home run was his first since June 10th and hopefully signals a power resurgence for the all-star third basemen. However, Donaldson’s HR/FB rate still remains at his career high of 18.1% which may signal his home run production to continue to slow down.

Zack Greinke once again was Zack Greinke on Sunday afternoon giving the Dodgers seven and two thirds of solid pitching. Greinke struck out six and only walked one while surrendering four hits. Greinke has now gone at least six innings in every game he has started this year. Greinke’s FIP remains over a full point higher than his ERA currently does which may signal that some regression may come especially considering his incredibly high LOB% of 88.3. Even with these numbers, Greinke will still remain one of the best fantasy options on a weekly basis and owners were rewarded in with a great two-start week.


Collin McHugh shut down the Yankees offense on Sunday in a return to last year’s form for the Astros starter. McHugh led Houston to a 3-1 victory going eight innings while striking out eight and giving up two walks and two hits. It was a dominant performance for McHugh who desperately needed to turn his first half of 2015 around. The Astros had expected these types of performances more often throughout this year’s campaign but he had yet to pitch consistently. After back-to-back quality starts before Sunday and now this effort, things may be looking up the right-hander.

The Red Sox banged up offense was able to get to Chris Archer this afternoon running him from the game after he gave up five runs over six innings. The Red Sox, without Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia, relied heavily on their middle of the lineup of Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval who combined for five hits, two home runs and four runs batted in. The five runs surrendered by Archer were the most given up by the stud since May 7th. Archer still managed to strike out 10 batters keeping up with his ridiculous 10.75 K/9. Archer should return to form in his next start but owners should keep an eye on his propensity to give up the long ball in spurts.


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2015 Fantasy Baseball: Week 13 Two-Start Pitchers

A fantasy owner’s best friend is the waiver wire — where finding value can make the difference between a great week and a very disappointing week. Most pitchers see the mound once a week, but if you want to maximize the number of starts per week, it’s important to look for pitchers pitching twice and exploit favorable matchups if they exist. With that, let’s take a look at some pitchers you should be starting this week and some you should just leave on your bench.


Sonny Gray | Oakland Athletics

Opponents: Jorge De La Rosa (COL), Mike Montgomery (SEA)

There aren’t that many great two-start pitchers this week to consider, making Gray the safest option of the week. The Nashville native has been outstanding this season, posting a 2.90 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP. The righty will get the Rockies in his first start, followed by the Mariners in his second start. Colorado definitely has some power in their lineup, but with the game being in Oakland, it makes things much safer for fantasy owners. The Mariners are the worst hitting team in baseball—hitting a combined .231 as a team—making this an excellent matchup for fantasy owners. Roster Gray as you would normally. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Deep League Streaming for Week 13

It’s Sunday, and that means it’s time to start adding pitchers to stream for the coming week. Whether it be via FAAB or waivers, getting a jump on the competition is important. While everyone else is in their backyards pounding down brewskis and munching on BBQ ribs, you’ll be on your computer adding baseball players to your fantasy team (trust me, it’s better than it sounds, nerd!)

Now point and laugh at all the guys with cole slaw stuck in their beards.

Here are some pitchers with matchups to exploit in Week 13. All suggested players will be owned in less than 10 percent of ESPN leagues. Why? Because these articles are geared towards owners who play in deep league formats, where you can’t just add top 50 hurlers off the wire. Wanna fight about it? [Read more…]

Fantasy Baseball Final: June 26th, 2015

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Generated by IJG JPEG Library

If you read only one thing…..

Friday saw another manager go down with the ship. By all reports, Ryne Sandberg had one of those “you can’t fire me, I quit” kind of conversations with management. It looks like management is about to change with Andy McPhail rumored to be taking over as team president in Philadelphia by the end of the month. Sandberg supposedly saw the handwriting on the wall and chose to step down.

Sandberg’s failures prove two things about managers. First, being a Hall of Fame player doesn’t necessarily qualify you to manage. There have certainly been their fair share of Hall of Fame players that have tried their hand at managing and have not succeeded. Secondly (and more importantly), managers in baseball probably have less of an effect on the quality of a team than any other head coach in professional sports. Some will say Sandberg was overmatched, but I can’t honestly tell you whether that was true or not. Everyone knew they were going to suck the last two years and they did.

Here in Houston, we’ve seen a huge turnaround with A.J. Hinch at the helm. Did that mean that Bo Porter was an idiot? There are some that would paint that picture, but it could also be the addition of several new relievers and new hitters to the everyday lineup. I’m sure Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers have also had an effect on that. Meanwhile, Hinch has gone from having a horrible managerial record to having the best record in the American League. Did he go from idiot to genius overnight? I think not.

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Fantasy Baseball Final: June 25, 2015

Troy Tulowitzki Fantasy Baseball

Photo credit: Craig Welling

Welcome to the’s nightly fantasy baseball recap, where you’ll find updates on bullpen usage, lineup construction, injuries, and transactions. No matter the format, we have everything you need to know to help you win your league.

One of the first games to go final this Thursday was a back-and-forth contest between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. The Sox scored five runs over the course of the first five innings today, but could not seem to shake off the Tigers who answered with a pair of 2-run homers from Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the first and fifth innings, respectively. Martinez has been on a tair his last 10 games with seven home runs and a .925 slugging percentage. Today’s long ball was J.D.’s 18th on year, and has already brought him within five home runs his career best of 23 before the All-Star break. The Tigers now have two of the top 20 fantasy outfielders in baseball to go along with the best hitter on the planet, Miguel Cabrera. Detroit ended up losing 8-7 today in 10 innings, but have to be encouraged by their 16 hits. Though they still find themselves looking up at the Royals and the Twins in their division, the recent return of Victor Martinez from knee injury deepens the Detroit lineup, who look poised to go on a run despite today’s tough loss. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Expectations for Jose Fernandez

The time is almost here: Jose Fernandez will be making his 2015 debut on Thursday, July 2 against the San Francisco Giants. Let the fantasy world rejoice!

There is a lot of excitement in the air with the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year set to return in a week, but should fantasy owners be tempering their expectations a bit? To some degree, yes. It really depends on how you view the situation. [Read more…]

Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: June 25, 2015

We have 11 games on Thursday, but just three of them take place tonight. The majority of action is during the day, so I’m going to make this preview for the early eight-game slate, and discuss the top plays and values for today’s contests on DraftKings. I’ll give you my thoughts on the slate, and at the bottom we have rankings of the top plays at each position. If you’re on Twitter, you can find me @RyNoonan.


It’s difficult to nail down weather hours and hours before first pitch, but there could be some rain and high winds in the mix this afternoon. Given how often forecasts change between the time this post is written late the night before and when games actually start, make sure to follow @KevinRothWx for updates.

Pitching Perspective

There are four top shelf options today in terms of pricing, with a few value plays to sprinkle in. The highest priced arm today is Jacob deGrom ($10,100), who’s slightly over-priced but gets a bump with his matchup against Milwaukee. The Brewers (27th in wOBA and wRC+ against RHP) hit well at home, but the ball park’s not enough to scare me away on an eight-game slate. deGrom has improved on his impressive debut season, and his ability to dominate lefties (.269 wOBA-against) is a big part of his success this season. Vic Carapazza will be the home plate ump here, and he’s one of the more ‘pitcher-friendly’ umps in the game.

James Shields ($9,900) has enjoyed his transition to the National League, and it’s been a boon to his fantasy value, particularly on DraftKings where his strikeouts are so valuable. He’s in one of the best run-suppressing environments in the game today, but the Giants are 8 percent better than league average (108 wRC+) against right-handed pitching, and Shields has really struggled to retired left-handed bats (.375 wOBA-against). The Giants are a left-handed dominant lineup with a low strikeout rate, which doesn’t bode well for Shields.

Sonny Gray ($9,500) has been a pleasant surprise this season. His strikeouts aren’t the elite totals that other big name pitchers post, but they’re improving. He has raised his strikeout rate this season by about 2 percent, while seeing his walk rate dip by the same amount. He’s essentially eliminated any platoon advantage against him as well, leaning on his slider a lot more (and his curve ball a lot less). Arlington can become a launching pad as we move in to late June which is the only reason to give pause on locking Gray into all of your lineups.

The last $9K+ starter is Jon Lester ($9,300). Lester has yet to really get rolling this season, but his overall numbers don’t look much different than his previous few seasons. I’ve been staying away from him of late, but as the cheapest of the elite today, I expect his ownership levels will be elevated. It’s not a terrible matchup either, as the Dodgers aren’t nearly as explosive against left-handed pitching (23rd in wOBA) as they are against right-handers.

Some other pitching quick takes:

    • I like Chris Heston ($7,500) quite a bit today. I made mention earlier that AT&T Park is one of the best pitching parks in the game, and the Padres (25th in wOBA against right-handed pitching) are a positive bump for Heston’s value as well. He’s struggled against left-handed bats (.368 wOBA), but the Padres are predominately right-handed and that’s where Heston has been dominant. No, seriously, dominant. His xFIP is 2.91 in these situations, and his 24.9% strikeout rate is top-20 in the game.
    • When you look at that sorry lineup that the Braves are running out with Freddie Freeman on the shelf, you want to consider any starter who’s facing them. But I can’t in good conscience recommend that you play Doug Fister ($7,100) right now. He’s a much better roto/season-long starter than he is a DFS asset. There’s no strikeout upside here, and it’s compounded by the minute whiff rate of the Braves.
    • Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,600) gets to face the team that drafted him today, squaring off against the Orioles. Rodriguez’s early season success has caused his price to skyrocket, it’s up $1K here compared to his last time out. There’s definitely some strikeout upside here, and the Orioles are basically league average against left-handed pitching (99 wRC+).
    • Taylor Jungmann ($5,300) is your full-on-punt-play of the day. We’ve only seen 18 innings from the Jung Man this season, but they’ve been encouraging enough to recommend him against the Mets (.290 wOBA/86 wRC+).

Stack Options

According to Vegas, our best bets today are the Rockies (5.4 implied run total), Diamondbacks (4.8), and A’s (4.6).

With two strong offenses going head-to-head in Colorado, we have to start here. Rubby de la Rosa gets the ball for the Diamondbacks, and he has some major platoon splits to exploit here. He’s been so good against right-handed bats (.242 wOBA) that I wouldn’t advise a huge Rockies stack, but Rubby has been shellacked by southpaws (.410 wOBA), so load up on Rockies’ left-handed bats.

The Diamondbacks are in a similar situation, as the de la Rosa Bowl will be in full effect. Rockies left-hander Jorge de la Rosa toes the rubber for Colorado, who possesses some of the best hitters in the league against lefties. These pitchers have such sharp platoon splits that it’s difficult to truly ‘stack’ them, but getting a fair share of exposure to both clubs is highly recommended.

The A’s are in Texas against Colby Lewis, and it’s time to pay up, Colby. The regression police are here, in gold and yellow, and I want a first row seat to the action. It’s not as if Lewis has pitched well, but his 5.28 xFIP against left-handed hitter’s tells us that he’s due to be even worse than he’s been. The A’s are able to matchup up here and go extremely left-handed. So, Colby Lewis and the Bad News, basically.

Some offensive quick takes:

      • Today feels like a day to get multiple small stacks in both your cash and GPP’s. Add the Giants to your list. In the pitching breakdown I spoke of James Shields struggles against left-handed hitters, so give me all the Brandon Belt ($3,700) today. Joe Panik ($3,200) and Brandon Crawford ($3,600) both have some reverse split action in their game, but hit right-handed bats well enough to fire them up for cheap.
      • I like the A’s lefties, but Marcus Semien ($3,800) is better against right-handed pitching than he is against lefties, so don’t shy away from him if you’re using A’s in your lineup.
      • Getting some exposure to Coors is important, and looking at the end of the lineups can be a nice way to do so. Guys like Ben Paulsen ($3,500), Aaron Hill ($3,700), and Wellington Castillo ($3,400) are great ways to get in on the Coors action.

Player Rankings


1. Stephen Vogt -$4,300 Oakland Athletics

2. Wellington Castillo -$3,400 Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Michael McKendry -$3,500 Colorado Rockies

First Base

1. Brandon Belt -$3,700 San Francisco Giants

2. Paul Goldschmidt -$6,600 Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Ben Paulsen -$3,500 Colorado Rockies

4. Anthony Rizzo -$5,300 Chicago Cubs

Second Base

1. Ben Zobrist -$4,700 Oakland Athletics

2. D.J. LeMahieu -$4,000 Colorado Rockies

3. Joe Panik -$3,200 San Francisco Giants

Third Base

1. Miguel Cabrera -$5,700 Detroit Tigers

2. Aaron Hill -$3,700 Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Yasmany Tomas -$4,300 Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Kris Bryant -$5,000 Chicago Cubs


1. Marcus Semien -$3,800 Oakland Athletics

2. Jose Iglesias -$3,300 Detroit Tigers

3. Brandon Crawford -$3,400 San Francisco Giants

4. Andrew Romine -$2,400 Detroit Tigers


1. Charlie Blackmon -$4,800 Colorado Rockies

2. A.J. Pollock -$4,800 Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Josh Reddick -$4,400 Oakland Athletics

4. Billy Burns -$4,700 Oakland Athletics

5. Bryce Harper -$5,800 Washington Nationals

6. Rajai Davis -$4,100 Detroit Tigers

Starting Pitcher

1. Jacob deGrom -$10,100 New York Mets

2. Chris Heston -$7,500 San Francisco Giants

3. Sonny Gray -$9,500 Oakland Athletics

4. Jon Lester -$9,300 Chicago Cubs

5. Eduardo Rodriguez -$7,500 Boston Red Sox

*Rankings are price sensitive

Fantasy Baseball Final: June 24, 2015

Welcome to the’s nightly fantasy baseball recap, where you’ll find updates on bullpen usage, lineup construction, injuries, and transactions. No matter the format, we’ve got you covered on everything you need to know to help you win your league. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Deep League Waiver Additions

Below are a few players to consider adding in leagues deeper than the standard mixed league.


Colby Rasmus – Houston Astros – OF

Rasmus has been hot and cold this season, much like every hitter that’s available on the waiver wire in fantasy baseball, but he has been hitting well recently for the Astros. He hit his 10th home run of the season on Father’s Day, and added another two-hit day Tuesday as well. Rasmus will provide solid numbers when he is on a hot streak and will have plenty of opportunity to drive in runs, hitting fifth in the Astros lineup. [Read more…]

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Rookie Report – Rest-of-Season Hitter Rankings

Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images North America

Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images North America

There have been so many high-profile prospects called up to the Majors recently let’s take stock of where they stand amongst each other.

1. Joc Pederson – You could place the second guy on this list here and I don’t think anyone would quibble with it, but Pederson has outproduced Mystery Man No. 2 throughout the season. Also, over the past 30 days Pederson has hit for more power, walked more and struck out less than the second guy on this list. No. 2 could do better than Pederson the rest of the season, but it’s a toss up for me – and Pederson has shown no signs of slowing down. He’s been the 14th-best hitter by wOBA in the past 30 days in all of baseball, minimum 100 plate appearances.

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