2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball, Week 4 Preview

Where has the time gone? 3 weeks already in the books and those slow starts are now turning into long slumps and killing your teams, right? That’s assuming you haven’t got like 5 players on the DL!

Don’t fret. It happens to us all. There’s still plenty of time to turn things around. But you may need to start getting creative on the waiver wire or through trades. There is one cautionary tale I shall offer up before you do.

So gather round children, it’s time for ol’ Grandpa to tell you all a story.

4 weeks ago, a dashing young man (we’ll call Jamie Steed) had a Head-to-Head league fantasy baseball draft. In that draft, he decided to select Justin Upton with the 58th overall pick. Now this Jamie fellow knew Upton was one of the streakiest hitters around.

But he also knew that even with periods of no production, the rest of the team was consistent and the good weeks would have a greater impact than the bad ones at season’s end.

Now fast forward to today. Upton has been hurt and not particularly useful. A .250 average with 2 homers and 1 steal is hardly a top 60 player. In fact, he’s barely in the top 200 of the ESPN player rater. But the dashing Jamie was far from worried. Why not I hear you cry?

That’s mainly because the hero of our story had no intention of trading away Upton when he drafted him. So, if he started the season with a cold streak rather than a hot one, no problem. If Upton suddenly gets hot, in a fortnight’s time he could be sat with a .280 average, 7 homers and 4 steals. Pretty much what you’d want at that stage.

Every good story should have a moral at the end of it. So what’s this one?

What value would you get for Upton now? Not nearly as much as you paid. And then when he has a hot streak, you’ve just conned yourself out of any decent return.

So before making any trade, just consider your options. Is the guy on a hot streak someone you believe will continue at that rate or can you get a better long term option? Is the struggling pitcher going to pull it together soon, in which case you’re getting minimal value from him?

Simply put; it’s much better trading away a player who’s hot rather than cold.

Now story time is over, let’s get on with previewing for week 4 with our Two Start Stars and the usual Gut Call. If you don’t know what the premise is behind these, where have you been?

Go back and read the previous previews. I’ll wait………….

Two Start Stars

Now we have some results on previous week’s Two Start Stars, we’ll grade them to see how things are working out.

Week 2 B+                  Antonio Senzatela A. Brandon Finnegan D (injury assisted).

Honorable mention – Dylan Bundy A-.

Week 3 (ongoing) B   Jaime Garcia B-. Derek Holland C-.

Honorable metion – AJ Griffin A.

Hey, not bad so far. Maybe I know what I’m doing after all.

This week’s Two Start Stars is a bit trickier than normal. There’s plenty of studs with two starts, (Kershaw, Strasburg and Archer to name but a few).

But we’ll start up with the Giants Ty Blach who gets two home starts, first on Tuesday against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, before hosting the Padres and another Clayton in Richard.

We’ll keep going back to the well of “the Dodgers struggle against lefties” until they consistently prove otherwise. Then there’s the Padres, the lowest scoring offense in the Majors. Neither lineup holds too much fear, especially pitching in the hitter friendly confides to AT&T Park.

Blach is replacing Bumgarner who hurt himself in a dirt bike accident. Go figure. So whilst the fans don’t get a Bumgarner vs Kershaw match-up, we fantasy folk have a chance to cash in.

Blach hasn’t done much out of the bullpen but he looked good in Spring and was in with a chance to replace Cain in the Giant’s rotation to start the year. He’s got a chance to stick as a starter if he does well so there’s plenty of incentive.

In the minors, Blach has been a pitch-to-contact guy, with low strikeout numbers but also few hits, few walks and barely taken deep. He could be the perfect fit for this very good Giants defense.

Expecting a win against Kershaw might be pushing it, but low ratios and a chance of a win against the Padres is enough to make us interested.

There isn’t much else which really appeals this week so things may be a bit tougher if you need to boost your pitching output in week 4. However, there is still one more two start pitcher I like and that’s the Mets’ Robert Gsellman.

Gsellman is someone I liked coming into the season and he hasn’t fulfilled that expectation so far. His ERA is sitting at 5.09, although he showed much more promise in his last outing with a 7 inning, 3 earned runs effort against the Phillies.

Now the strikeouts are there (20 in 17.2 innings) and looking at his BABIP, FIP, xFIP, strand rate and HR/FB, they all suggest he’s been unlucky so far.

So despite following a decent matchup on Tuesday (at home to Atlanta and Julio Teheran) with a trip to Washington and the 3rd highest scoring offense (plus facing Stephen Strasburg), Gsellman does still hold plenty of appeal for week 4.

There’s an honourable mention for Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has not pitched well at all so far. But he’s faced the Cubs and Rockies (twice) so will probably be looking forward to hosting the Phillies (Saturday) after a trip to San Francisco (Monday).

Gut Call

As with the Two Start Stars, we’ll take a quick peak at whether the Gut Calls are panning out for you.

Week 2                        Mike Foltynewicz F (start skipped). Patrick Corbin C.

Week 3                        Chad Kuhl B-.

Ok, so the gut might not be firing on all cylinders yet. But it’s just a cold streak, I’m not trading it away just yet!

This week, the gut is telling me to look at Jimmy Nelson. Or maybe it’s just the sausage and beer over in Milwaukee. We’ll see.

Nelson followed two gems with a dud at the Cubs on Tuesday. This Sunday Nelson takes to the mound against the struggling Cardinals. That should go well so he’ll be back on track for his start at home against the Braves and Mike Foltynewicz.

If the starts at Wrigley Field was an aberration, Nelson could find himself pitching another gem. And if Sunday’s start against the Cardinals does go as well as expected, he might start finding himself on more rosters than waiver wires.

If you haven’t already done so, go and check out the struggling stars piece to try and calm your nerves (or send you into a full-blown panic attack). And don’t forgot to follow The Fantasy Fix on Twitter for the latest articles and you can find me on Twitter too for any questions you have.

Until next week, happy fantasying.

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