Fantasy Baseball Final: August 27, 2015
Welcome to the TheFantasyFix.com’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.
The struggling Angels looked to right the ship this afternoon and salvage a split in their four-game series with the Detroit Tigers. Both ball clubs are playing as though they are only half-heartedly in the American League Wild Card race, and L.A is having a particularly disappointing season considering the numbers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have been putting up. The Angels were supposed to have one of baseball’s best offences, but once the opposing pitcher gets past Kole Calhoun, Trout and Pujols, the rest of the lineup is significantly weaker. Though the Halos were only able to push across two runs in today’s game, one of which coming off the bat of Pujols, but were able to get the win thanks to a solid outing from righthander Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker surrendered just one hit in 7 ⅓ innings of scoreless ball while striking out five and only walking one. He’s been very hit or miss in his sophomore season, but has shown the ability to be dominant like he was tonight, or how he was during his streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings which was snapped just two starts ago. L.A seems to be fading fast in the 2015 playoff hunt and will need continued performances like Shoemaker’s today out of all their players to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING…
The New York Mets keep on rolling. The Amazin’s overcame a five run deficit tonight to complete a four-game series sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite falling behind quickly and going just 2-18 with runners in scoring position on the night, the Met offense was able to tie the game at five and send it into extra innings thanks to home runs from Travis d’Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, and Kelly Johnson. That first hit with a RISP didn’t come until the top half of the 13th inning when Daniel Murphy hit a go ahead two-RBI double into the left field corner. Long relief man Carlos Torres picked up the win in tonight’s marathon game by pitching 2 ⅓ scoreless innings as well as scoring the go-ahead run after leading off the 13th with an infield single. The Met offense has been unstoppable lately and they have finally shown the ability to bail their pitchers out when they have an occasional poor outing. They scored a total of 40 runs in their road-sweep of the Phillies, and are hitting .338 as a team with 73 runs and 19 bombs during their current seven-game win streak. Tonight’s win helps New York stay 6 ½ games up on the Washington Nationals as they head back to Citi Field to begin a series against the Red Sox.
JUST AS WE EXPECTED…
I think Madison Bumgarner can smell October because he has been pitching like a man that is hungry to repeat as World Champion. Bumgarner’s ERA is just 2.31 in the second half of the season, and he has given up just 5 runs over the course of his last 31 ⅔ innings. The lefty added another strong start tonight against the Cubs, helping the Giants finally pick up some ground in the National League Wild Card race. San Francisco was just 2-11 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs prior to today, but got six innings of two-hit ball out of Bumgarner along with 12 strikeouts and a hit at the plate. Pittsburgh and Chicago are first and second in the NL Wild Card standings respectively, and are separated from the rest of the field by 5 ½ games. Although he may not have needed it, Bumgarner got plenty of run support tonight, as the Giants offense went off for nine runs on 10 hits. Marlon Byrd had three RBI and two runs scored in tonight’s 9-1 win, and homered for his first extra base hit since he went deep in his Giants debut roughly a week ago. San Francisco, who plays half their games in the spacious AT&T Park, have surprisingly built one of baseball’s best offenses, and lead the National League with a 2.68 team batting average. San Fran may have to set their sights on the division crown as they are finished playing both the Cubs and the Pirates for the season, but still have six games remaining with the NL West leading Dodgers. The club has won six of nine so far in the season-series with L.A. and sit just 2 ½ games behind in the standings.
– Huston Street (31)
– Jim Johnson (10)
– Shawn Tolleson (26)
– Jonathan Papelbon (21)
– Brad Boxberger (31
– Mark Melancon (41)
– David Robertson (27)
The Washington Nationals’ roster has been riddled with injuries since the very start of the 2015 MLB season. The club’s awesome potential has been hindered due to key players such as Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Denard Span, Jayson Werth, and Stephen Strasberg all missing solid chunks of playing time while on the disabled list. Because of these injuries, the World Series-hopeful Nats have struggled to get into a groove, and found themselves six and a half games out of the NL Eastern division lead entering play on Thursday. Now, with almost all of these players finally back, and at least relatively healthy, it is absolutely possible for this talented team to go on a run and put themselves back into the playoff hunt; however, that will have to be done without the help of journeyman outfielder, Nate Mclouth, as he is expected to miss the rest of this year after tearing a labrum in his right shoulder way back in July of last year. Mclouth career trajectory is a curious one. After breaking into the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 at the age of 23, he steadily improved his game each season until fully breaking out in 2008 with what would be his career-year. That season, Mclouth won a gold glove, made the All-star team, and finished with 26 home runs and 96 RBI, all while leading the league with 46 doubles. He began to decline after that, and was bounced around to a couple different teams before finally finding a home in Baltimore. There, Mclouth didn’t have to be the go-to guy and was able to hit .261/.333/.409 in 829 plate appearances while providing some additional speed and defense down the stretch for the O’s. Mclouth would have served as a fourth or fifth outfielder for Washington so being without him may not seem like that big of a deal, but the Nats inability to overcome their other injuries this season speaks to a lack of depth on their bench that Mclouth could have provided. Manager Matt Williams will have a tough time trying figuring out how to configure his outfield with the injury uncertainty going forward.
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
With September baseball less than a week away, several teams across the MLB are looking to put together the final pieces of their rosters as they get ready for the home stretch of the 2015 season. Playoff-hopeful clubs have roughly five days to make any more additions and still have those given players eligible for postseason play in October. News has been quiet on the waiver wire as of late, and this year’s biggest buyers have stated that they are likely standing pat for the for the remainder of the season, according to MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. The Toronto Blue Jays made a splash near the deadline this summer by trading for all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and lefthanded ace David Price, while also adding some role players such as Latroy Hawkins, Cliff Pennington, and Ben Revere. Toronto has already scored more runs than any other team in baseball by a wide margin, so the only logical place for the club to try and improve is in their pitching staff. The talent in that department falls off considerably after Price at the top; and although veterans R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle have both enjoyed a solid 2015 season, neither has the kind of stuff you would confidently throw as a number two in a playoff series. The Blue Jays will have to hope for the best out of starting pitcher Drew Hutchison when he returns to the rotation in September. Hutchinson has been rather inconsistent when healthy this year, but does possess the kind of talent that can totally shut down a potent offense. In addition to Hutchinson’s return, the Jays could also get starter Marcus Stroman back from injury around mid-September. Stroman has been on the disabled list with a torn ACL for some time now, but is progressing through his rehab at an incredible rate and will throw a simulated game tomorrow before heading out on assignment with Toronto’s Low-A club. An abundance of pitching heading into the playoffs is a good problem for any team to have, and it is possible the Jays could be adding a couple good arms for their run from within the own organization.