Slow & Steady Wins the Race!

Good Friday afternoon! Kind of fitting we’re discussing 2B options today with the unfortunate news of Trea Turner hitting the DL with a broken right wrist. The Nationals thought they had problems before with their atrocious bullpen, this one seems to trump that by quite a bit. If you happen to be a Trea Turner owner, pay attention here and nab up one of these guys from the waiver wire, or make a low-value trade to acquire one. They should be able to hold you steady until Turner returns.

You’re all getting a bit of a treat today, we’ve got takes from both myself AND Shane this week! Have a great weekend!

Brandon Phillips vs. Ian Kinsler/Dee Gordon/Scooter Gennett

K- When you mention Brandon Phillips I think of a guy who’s been around for quite awhile, in the midst of his 16th season to be exact, does his job, but isn’t flashy. His season average numbers are 18 HR, 80+ RBI, 18 steals, and a nice .275 average. Those numbers aren’t anything to scoff at by any means, but as I mentioned, they’re not real flashy, so Phillips is a guy to easily overlook in the fantasy realm of things. Phillips had a stretch of 8 straight years hitting at least 17 HR’s. He’s played at least 141 games in 10 of the last 11 seasons. 2014 was the season for “down” numbers with Phillips as he only hit 8 HR, stole 2 bases, and hit .261. Phillips also missed 41 games that year, so I chalk up the “down” year to injury, whether there’s record of that or not! Phillips’ numbers this season are right on par with his career averages, although his RBI number could be a little higher. 28 RBI through 71 games isn’t exactly an ideal ratio. His BaBIP numbers are right in line with his careers numbers (.320 BaBIP this season), so I don’t expect any of that to regress. The strikeout rate and walk rate are, again, right in line with his career numbers for the most part, at least not a big enough difference to catch your eye. We can’t forget that Phillips is in the middle of his age-36 season, so the power numbers are more than likely going to decline a bit, but that shouldn’t affect him hitting for average. Brandon Phillips has always been a rock steady offensive guy, but easily overlooked without the gaudy HR numbers or RBI numbers. Don’t be silly, if you’re in need of a 2B option don’t feel ashamed one bit for slotting Phillips into your daily lineups. He’s obviously not a top ranking guy, but we’ll see how he plays in with the next batch of hitters.

S- Brandon Phillips is a guy it’s tough to get overly excited. This is a player who just turned 36 and is clearly in the twilight of his career, though he does still put up decent enough numbers to be worth a look in many leagues. Throughout his career he’s been the very definition of the word “steady,” with a stretch between 2006 and 2012 where he had at least 17 HR/14 steals/75 RBI and a batting average between .275 and .300 in all but one of those years. 2013 was the first sign of some cracks in the armor. He still managed his 18 homers and 80 RBI, but the batting average was a lower .261 and he only swiped five bases. After a down 2014 where he had single digit steals and HR for the first time since he became an everyday player, he’s created a new benchmark of decent steadiness with an average in the .290s, low double digit homers, around 70 RBI, and a return to stealing bases (23 in 2015 was his most since 2009). This year he’s doing more of the same with an average of .295 and on pace for 15 homers and 15 steals (to go along with 60 RBI). There’s a fairly noticeable drop after the top tier of 2B that includes Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve, and Jose Ramirez (and, ugh, Anthony Rizzo), but Phillips might have a claim to being among the jumble that is behind them. Let’s see how he compares to three other guys who may or may not belong in that same tier.

K- Whenever my grandpa caught glimpse of Ian Kinsler on tv via highlight or read his name in the newspaper he always told me “Ian Kinsler is the best player that played in Clinton, won the Midwest League MVP and he only played half a season here,” like clockwork, every single time. Ian Kinsler has been exactly that for most of his career, a stud for a 2B option. There aren’t many options out there that you can pencil in for 25+ homers each season, regardless of position. That being said, that was Kinsler in his early days. Ever since the 2013 season Kinsler has averaged 17 HR per season, having the hefty 28 he hit last year holding that average a little higher. Kinsler’s 28 HR last year were his highest since 2011 when he hit 32. From 2013-2016 Kinsler’s HR numbers were on the decline, but his average was on the rise and his RBI numbers remained nearly the same. I contribute that to the increase in his line drive percentage during that time frame. Since 2013 Kinsler has averaged 27.5% line drive rate compared to his 17.2% line drive rate from 2009-2012. Kinsler’s line drive rate is right with his recent run, sitting at 26% this year, but something’s amiss. He’s only hitting .250 this year and only on pace for 54 RBI, which would be his second worse season. Kinsler, like Phillips, is in his mid-30’s, he’s been a guy to get you 615+ AB’s each season, but it appears his numbers are heading in the wrong direction now. Call on the field: I’ve always like Kinsler, probably because of the ties to the hometown minor league team, but I’ve got to take the steady hand of Brandon Phillips.

S- Ian Kinsler is a guy it’s tough to get overly excited. Like Phillips, Kinsler just celebrated his birthday and is a player we’ve generally looked at to be top tier at the keystone. This season, though, he has seen a precipitous decline in his production. Some of his peripherals aren’t too far removed from his career norms, but looking at a babip that is 30 points lower than his career number and an OPS 40 points lower it’s not difficult to imagine that at age 35 this just might be the new normal. Sure, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a stronger second half thanks to some positive regression with the babip and maintaining a walk rate that is his highest since 2011. Last time Kinsler’s average and babip were this low was 2011 but that year he mashed 32 home runs and drove in 77 runs to go along with 30 steals. He isn’t coming close to that this year. Call on the field: Give me the guy doing what he always does over the guy showing serious decline across the board. Phillips it is.

K- When Dee Gordon finally got regular playing time in LA, he brought some excitement with his speed on the bases. If you can steal roughly 60 bases a season, there’s going to be room for you on a fantasy roster, more so in category leagues than points leagues, but regardless there’s room for you. Unfortunately for Gordon, there isn’t much else there other than the steals. Sure the speed helps out in other areas as far as hits and average, but he’s never been a huge power guy with a career high of 4 HR in a season and a whopping 9 for his career. Gordon’s strength is finding the gap and opening up his speed around the bases. With Gordon you essentially know what you’re going to get with him. He’s likely going to hit around .290, rack up about 180 hits, and steal around 50 bags. Sure, that’s nice and appealing, but there are other options out there who can add some power numbers AND steal bases. Call on the field: Dee Gordon is a nice bench stash for an emergency, but I’ll take Brandon Phillips here too. He provides a little bit of pop and some steals as well.

S- Dee Gordon is a guy it’s tough to get overly excited about. He’s somebody who holds plenty of value in roto and category leagues because of his stolen base potential, but what else does he bring to the table besides an empty batting average? Honestly I don’t know what else to say. I am generally averse to speed-only players and Gordon is the cream of that unappealing crop for me. If he brought literally anything else to the table I could see the added appeal, but this is a guy who is barely inside the top 30 at 2B in doubles, doesn’t take a walk, and hasn’t hit a home run all season. The steals give him plenty of perceived value in many formats and he scores a decent amount of runs. I’m not too stubborn to admit there is some value there, but it’s not enough to hide the giant holes in his game. Call on the field: Gordon’s speed is flashier, but give me the rock steadiness of Phillips. Someone will overvalue Gordon’s base stealing, so use that and trade him in order to make your team better.

K- Scooter Gennett, hmm, I don’t have much to say about Scooter. Gennett is a guy who has never excited me in any fashion. Sure he was fine last year for Milwaukee, putting up 14 HR and 56 RBI, but that’s nothing special. I almost thought it was a bit of a flash in the pan, but with regular AB’s this year for the Reds he’s already put up similar numbers to last year (12 HR, 42 RBI). I contribute a lot of that to the park he plays in as Great American Ballpark is a hitters heaven. The Reds have played Scooter all around the diamond this year, so it’s clear they’re doing what they can to get his bat in the lineup and why not, it’s not like they’re going to make a push for the postseason. If the Reds hold true to their word and he can still showcase his bat when Zack Cozart returns then the interest in Gennett should maintain at a high level, but they’ve also got some young guys they’d like to get experience during the rebuild. I don’t dislike Gennett, but there’s not enough there yet to make me like him. If he can continue with the show of power and average he’ll garner much more interest from me. Call on the field: Give me the former Red over the current Red. Phillips has a longer track record of success, putting him over Gennett here.

S- Scooter Gennett is a guy it’s tough to get overly excited about. The most appealing thing about Gennett is his name, but he has had flashes of decency throughout his major league career. Last year he got regular at bats for the Brewers and responded by hitting .262 with 14 homers and 56 RBI. I didn’t expect him to get much playing time once he came over to the Reds, but he’s inexplicably mashed his way to fairly regular at bats, something that the Reds announced would likely continue once Zack Cozart returns from the disabled list. When a guy has 12 homers and a .299 batting average through 184 at bats, it’s hard to keep that bat out of the lineup. I suppose it’s possible that there’s something about Great American Ballpark that has turned Gennett into a new man. It’s also possible he’s just a guy playing way over his head like numerous other players have done for a couple months and we’re going to see some serious regression for an ISO that is nearly 120 points higher than his career number. Gennett has been a fun story – anybody who homers four times in a single game has the potential to be a tricky bar trivia question for years to come – but I don’t see it continuing to quite this degree. If he ends up hitting 25 homers and 80 RBI, he’ll be the most valuable of these four guys. That’s a lot to hope for, though. Call on the field: Once more, I’ll take the guy doing what we expected over the guy punching way out of his weight class. Dat Dude Brandon Phillips it is.

Alright, now you see how we stand on each of the 4 guys and how they compare. It’s not all that surprising that we each value Phillips as the top guy here, but here’s how we broke it down with all 4:

Kenny-

  1. Brandon Phillips
  2. Ian Kinsler
  3. Scooter Gennett
  4. Dee Gordon

Shane-

  1. Brandon Phillips
  2. Scooter Gennett
  3. Ian Kinsler
  4. Dee Gordon

Keep in mind, we wouldn’t recommend rolling with any of these 4 as a primary 2B option, but in the need based on injury or annoyance of your regular guy, these 4 aren’t going to hurt you slotted in there for a temporary fix.

 

 

All info courtesy of ESPN.com & baseball-reference.com

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Elvis isn’t dead!

Good afternoon! I suppose now we can come accustomed to this post coming around the 3pm cst hour rather than in the AM. If we get one out in the morning it’s just a bonus to all of you!

One thing I do want to touch on, be careful who you throw under the bus! When you open your mouth about a former Cy Young winner taking a day and a half to deliver to the plate out of the stretch you’re going to find yourself without a job! It’s starting to unravel on the North Side of Chicago. One guy says something and he’s out the door. This almost seems to be writing on the wall that they miss the playoffs this year, right? Go Brewers?

Cody Bellinger will finish as a top 3 1B…

K- Man, Cody Bellinger is a man on fire since his call up in April! He’s got 24 homers on the season, which puts him only 2 behind the league lead, and he didn’t play for the first 20 games of the year! He’s also tied for 8th in baseball with 56 RBI. His numbers are insane so far this season. Looking at his brief minor league history there’s really nothing showing that this is a flash in the pan type of campaign. In 2015 at A+, he hit 30 HR with 103 RBI in 128 games and in 2016 across AA, AAA and the fall league he totaled 29 HR and 88 RBI across 137 games. While you have the power numbers you’re also going to have the strikeouts, as Bellinger is a guy who’s going to strikeout more times than games played. If he’s netting you 30+ HR and 100+ RBI that’s something that’s pretty easy to live with, but if he hits a slump it’s something that may hit you a little harder. To try and estimate if Bellinger will finish a top 3 1B option I went back and looked at what a top 3 guy consisted of last year. In order to finish top 3 Bellinger is likely going to need 35+ homers, 100+ RBI, 70-100 walks, less than 150 punch outs, and an average north of .260. Based on his current percentages, Bellinger will be around the 150 strikeout number (29% K rate) while only walking 50-60 times (10.5% walk rate). These numbers are based on 500 AB’s, which he’ll likely surpass, so expect these numbers to be slightly higher. Call on the field: Foul. While I don’t doubt Bellinger will finish with a line similar to 35/105/.260, his strikeout numbers and walk numbers won’t suffice to be a top 3 1B option, but I don’t hold it out of the realm of possibilities that he’s a top 5 guy.

S- I discussed my feelings about Cody Bellinger in Around the Bases a couple weeks ago. Despite the fact he’s actually been even more productive since then, I still am not fully on board with what Bellinger has been up to so far. Now, that doesn’t mean I think he’ll be bad moving forward; it just means I think the regression is coming and he will fall well short of the 50 homers he’s currently on pace for. In order to finish top 3 at 1B Bellinger is going to have to not only keep that pace, but hope all the guys above him falter as well. If this question was top seven I’d say absolutely. His hard hit percentage is elite and he’s going to keep mashing balls out of Chavez Ravine. If that 30% K rate catches up with him, though, and opposing pitchers figure out how to attack him, we could end up looking at another Joey Gallo in two months. A second coming of Gallo (a guy who is on pace for 40+ homers) has plenty of value in certain formats, but it’s hardly a top three 1B. Call on the field: Foul, Cody Bellinger will not finish as a top three 1B if Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo and Daniel Murphy have anything to say about it (heck, you ask me, Edwin Encarnacion will cruise past him before too long as well).

Brian Dozier finishes outside the top 10 2B…

K- As we sit today, Dozier is the 10th ranked 2B option out there. I could approach this a couple different ways; will he surpass guys ahead of him, will guys behind him pass him, or will it be a mixture of both? Dozier’s numbers are down slightly this year and the Twins are playing better, weird trend right there, but exactly how down are they? I think going into this year we all knew Dozier wouldn’t hit 42 homers again, right? I mean, sure it wasn’t completely out of the question, but he’s a 30-homer guy at most I’d say. That being said, his numbers are on pace to be just that this year, which is great coming from a 2B guy. Last year was the first year he’s ever batted over .250, which is the number he stands at right now. Dozier’s walk rate is nearly 3 points higher than it has been the last 2 seasons, while his strikeout rate is down nearly 2 points. Those changes should add up to be a better season than last years, without the home runs of course. All that being said, I’m not so sure I can buy Dozier as being a top 10 guy here. Out of the names listed ahead of him I’d take Dozier over 2 or 3 of them, just on power numbers alone. I’m a bit conflicted on this one. Call on the field: Fair, Dozier finishes outside the top 10 at 2B this year. Brandon Phillips is having a resurgence, Starlin Castro is flourishing as a Yankee, and Chris Owings is getting regular AB’s. The back half of the top 10 at 2B will be a complete crap shoot!

S- If it wasn’t for a high batting average in June of last season (.359) and 23 homers over the final two months, we would be looking at Brian Dozier’s 2016 in a different light. With June just about wrapping up, he’s at the same number of home runs and actually has four more steals than he did through June 2016. Do I expect Dozier to hit 23 home runs over the final two months of the season again? Under no circumstances. But does he even have to in order to finish as a top 10 2B? I don’t think so. Who are the guys who will definitely be at the top provided they don’t get injured? Murphy, Altuve, and Jose Ramirez will have to fall off a cliff to not finish near the top. (Don’t even get me started on this Anthony Rizzo 2B eligibility nonsense, but if he gains eligibility on all sites he’ll be top two.) Guys like Jonathan Schoop and Trea Turner do enough things well that they will likely rank up there as well. After that, though, there is a hodge podge of guys who all have a puncher’s chance. Dozier, Robinson Cano, Matt Carpenter, DJ LeMahieu, Dee Gordon, Josh Harrison, and Chris Owings are the guys I’d probably put in the tier who will end up occupying the final four 2B slots by season’s end. Dozier’s ISO, babip, hard hit percentage, and K rate are all flat with or better than his career numbers, so I see no reason Dozier doesn’t get into the top 10. Truthfully, this is really a perfectly fine season we’re getting from Brian Dozier. If he hadn’t gone off in August and September of last year, we’d be happy with the .250 average, 28 HR, 77 RBI, 22 steal pace he’s on. In fact, if 2016 didn’t exist it would be his best year. Call on the field: Foul, Brian Dozier had an absurd two months in 2016 that makes 2017 look disappointing by comparison, but he’s in the midst of a fine season and will be firmly within the top 10 2B by season’s end.

Elvis Andrus is a top 5 SS at season’s end…

K- Let me start with the fact I’m an Elvis Andrus owner and I had no idea he was currently the #1 ranked SS in points leagues. With all the “big name” guys at the position Elvis is a guy who easily gets overlooked each year. If I told you he finished last year as a top 10 SS would you believe me? You’d be surprised at some of the names he finished ahead of. It’d be easy to automatically jump at the idea that Andrus does NOT finish as a top 5 guy, but that’d be foolish. Over the last 2 seasons Andrus’ numbers are trending in a positive direction. His average has hovered around the .300 mark, his home run numbers have risen (already at a career high 9 this year) , his RBI’s have been right at career average (only 25 RBI away from a career high), and he’s averaged 25 stolen bases. As I’ve mentioned before, the “experts” talk that the late 20’s are when a player hits his peak, Andrus is 28 this season, looks to me like he’s hitting his peak. With Andrus already having 18 stolen bases this season I look for him to swipe 35+, which plays large, especially when adding a bit of pop with it. If Andrus can continue the rest of the way as he’s started out, there’s no reason why he can’t finish as a top 5 SS. Yeah, there are bigger and brighter names out there, but they don’t necessarily play the same in a fantasy lineup. Call on the field: Fair, Andrus surpasses 15 HR’s, swipes nearly 40 bags, all while hitting over .300 to cement himself as a top 5 SS. P.S. Don’t be like me, slot him in your lineup every day!

S- I owned Elvis Andrus for a couple seasons – seasons in which he generally finished among the top seven or eight SS – and I was miserable every moment of it because he was just so boring. It’s easy to forget that Andrus is still only 28, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility the gains he’s made over the past two seasons are evidence of him growing into his prime rather than outliers. Monday’s two-HR game gave him nine on the season – already a career high – and his peripherals are better than his career marks in nearly every conceivable category. You look at the .164 ISO which is nearly double his career mark, but it’s coming a year after he set a career high with a .136 mark. The year to year gains aren’t that absurd and if he can sustain the power throughout the summer months we could be looking at a 20 HR, 40 steal guy. The OPS is trending in a similar direction as the ISO, another enticing stat. Andrus’ career OPS is .699, but last year he set a career high with .800 and is beating it so far this year by putting up a .811 mark. If these power and on base gains can continue along with a career best hard hit percentage, we could be looking at a veteran guy (again, he’s only 28!) doing everything he can to reclaim the SS crown from the young triumvirate of Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Corey Seager. Call on the field: Fair. I’m planting my flag: Andrus will not only finish among the top 5, he’ll be THE number one fantasy SS in 2017.

Marcell Ozuna finishes as a top 5 hitter…

K- Let me tell you, in the time between coming up with topics this week to writing, Ozuna fell from inside the top 10 to 16th, that was a span of maybe 3 days. I imagine if you look daily at something like this it’ll fluctuate quite quickly, but that seems a bit surprising to me. There’s no way Ozuna finishes as a top 5 hitter, right? I should just end it with that and move on to the next topic. Ozuna’s numbers this year are fantastic as he’s nearly reached his HR and RBI total from last season and he’s hitting nearly 50 points better than his career best. He’s on pace to have an MVP type season (40+ HR/110+ RBI), but I don’t see that pace continuing. He was a solid hitter last year, but when it comes to being a top 5 hitter in all of fantasy baseball it wasn’t anything special. One thing that’ll affect the rest of Ozuna’s season is what the Marlins decide to do at the deadline. They may become less competitive then they already are. They should probably consider trading Ozuna, but the impending sale of the franchise will keep him there I imagine. I know I didn’t go too in depth here, but for a guy that’ll likely end up with a very good, very solid year, there’s just no way he finishes as a top 5 guy. Call on the field: Foul, Marcell Ozuna will fade slightly, being lucky to finish in the top 20 of fantasy hitters. I’m not so sure he’s a top 5 OF player.

S- Ever since Marcell Ozuna was sent down to AAA for a 33-game stint in 2015, he’s been a rock solid bat in the heart of the Marlins order. He’s currently in the midst of another terrific season, batting .319 while being on pace for 44 home runs, 116 RBI, and 199 hits. Those are incredible numbers and he better be representing the Marlins during this year’s All Star Game (side note: the All Star Game fan voting this year is actually fairly reasonable; good job fans!). But a top 5 overall hitter? That’s just tough to see no matter what happens. If the question was about him finishing as a top five OF, I could definitely get on board there. I’m confident enough in Aaron Judge, Charlie Blackmon, and Bryce Harper finishing top five to write them down in ink, but there is some fluidity after that with Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, Corey Dickerson, George Springer, Giancarlo Stanton, Kris Bryant, and Ozuna lurking (not to mention this guy in Anaheim named Mike Trout who seems to be progressing faster than initially expected). So you have to take into account those guys AND non-OFs who are straight up studs like Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rizzo, and Daniel Murphy. Those counting stats listed above are incredible but they aren’t good enough to have him currently sniffing the top five overall. He’ll need to maintain his current paces – honestly he’ll probably need to improve them a little bit – AND he’ll need some of the current upper echelon guys to falter. I don’t see that happening. Call on the field: Foul. While Marcell Ozuna is having an incredible season and should garner a few MVP votes if he keeps this up, I just can’t see him finish as a top five overall hitter.

The Braves are the 2nd best team in the NL East…

K- The Braves are currently listed as the 2nd best team in the standings, 2 games under .500, and 8.5 games out of first. In my preseason projections I had the Braves pegged at 79-83, so I liked where they were headed. I also thought the Mets were going to be much better than what they’ve shown. Something within the clubhouse/organization in New York is very wrong. You’ve got guys going down like flies. Figure something out! The Braves seem to be employing the same tear down-rebuild idea the Cubs went through with and seem to be succeeding. Bringing in the veteran arms of Dickey, Garcia, and Colon might not have worked just as they drew it up, but they’ve been innings eaters to help cap the innings on some of Atlanta’s younger arms. Atlanta has quite a few nice pieces in place to help them get back to the top. Inciarte is a great leadoff hitter, Freeman is exactly the kind of guy you want as a franchise guy, and they’ve got a trio of young arms that could help propel them down the road. Call on the field: Fair! The Braves might still be a year or two away from really competing, but they’ve got a lot more going in the right direction than the other 3 teams in the division not from D.C.

S- I, like 95% of the baseball loving population picked the Washington Nationals to finish first in the NL East and the New York Mets to finish second. Looking at the rosters, it was really the only responsible thing to do. What we failed to take into account is that this is the year the the Mets finally had to pay the price for their complete inability to take care of their young cabal of starting pitchers. Bad decision after bad decision has led them to being fourth place in the division and I don’t foresee them being able to crawl out of the hole they have dug for themselves. In those preseason predictions, I had the Braves in third place at a fairly respectable 78-84 and they are currently sitting at a fairly respectable 37-39. The stakes on this question aren’t that high; we’re talking about a team that is 8.5 games back in the division and has next to no chance of catching the Nats or sniffing a Wild Card slot. But we’re looking at a changing of the guard and a sign of what might be soon to come in Atlanta’s SunTrust Park. The Braves have been looked at as a team that could be a few years away and we’re starting to see glimmers of that. They might not finish over .500 this year, but watch out. The Braves could be on their way to a Houston Astros-esque resurgence in the very near future. Plus, I hear they have a pretty exciting third baseman named Freddie Freeman who might be activated just before the All Star Break. There’s something to be excited about. Call on the field: Fair (mostly). While they might not, pound for pound, have the NL East’s second best roster, the group they do have is playing the second best baseball and will finished in second place in the NL East.

 

All info courtesy of ESPN.com, baseball-reference.com, & mlb.com

 

Cubs come and Cubs go

Good Tuesday afternoon to all of you! Let’s not waste any more time and get right to the most added and most dropped from the past week!

Top 5 Most Added

Ian Happ (2B, OF) – 23.6% – 43.9% owned

Trey Mancini (1B, OF) – 21.7% – 66.0% owned

Carlos Gomez (OF) – 21.0% – 58.0% owned

Scooter Gennett (2B, OF) – 16.1% – 27.8% owned

Cameron Maybin (OF) – 15.4% – 63.4% owned

Mancini and Maybin were on this list last week. This marks the third straight week Maybin has made the list. Your chances to add Mancini are likely gone by now, but Maybin continues to perform in the absence of Mike Trout, so he may be worth a flier in deeper leagues with more OF spots. If you’re in need of a 2B option, or simply just some depth at the position the addition of Gennett wouldn’t hurt you too awful bad and it’s less risky than adding Happ. Happ is a guy who could deliver you 4-5 homers in a week’s time, but as we’ve seen already, he can get equally as cold just as fast.

Top 5 Most Dropped

Kyle Schwarber (OF) – 21.2% – 53.4% owned

Aaron Hicks (OF) – 16.2% – 56.9% owned

Yangervis Solarte (3B, 2B) – 11.9% – 38.4% owned

Derek Fisher (OF) – 11.1% – 4.1% owned

Dexter Fowler (OF) – 8.9% – 56.1% owned

Finally we have a week where all five most dropped player aren’t DL eligible. Schwarber and Fisher are the two that don’t meet the DL requirement, but they’re essentially the same thing as they were each demoted to triple-A this past week. Schwarber is a guy who worries me. He was thrown into a role where he had to succeed, he didn’t, and now his mind is all sorts of screwed up. Fisher was a guy that showed promise, and he demonstrated he belonged, but there’s a bit of a log jam in the outfield in Houston. Of these five players the one I’d stash away over others would be, actually you know what, you can let them all go. There are better outfield options out there and if you’re a Solarte owner and Gennett is still on the waiver wire scoop him up!

 

All info courtesy of ESPN.com

Lugo, Arrieta & Klubot!

We had two pitchers in the same day take a no-hitter/perfect game into the 6th or later (Scherzer & Verlander). Wouldn’t that have been something if each guy completed the feat!? I wouldn’t have been rooting for it as I faced both those pitchers this week, but no worries, I dodged a bullet there. Oddly enough, neither of those pitchers got to celebrate a win after their outing! There were two complete games fired last week, a complete game loss by Scherzer and a complete game shutout by Corey Kluber. Whatever seemed to hamper Kluber earlier in the year is clearly gone as he’s been nearly unhittable since his return from the DL (0.71 WHIP & 1.28 ERA).

Also, nice touch by the White Sox in the ceremony to honor Mark Buehrle over the weekend. He wasn’t the best White Sox pitcher ever, he likely won’t get the call to Cooperstown, but the success he had while he was in Chicago coupled with the type of individual he is gained him the honor of having the #56 retired on the South Side.

Sleeper Streamer of the Week

Last week’s prediction – Mike Fiers goes 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K’s and a W

Fiers’ actual line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3BB, 5 K and a W

This could go down as my first successful pick of the season! Fiers allowed one less baserunner than I predicted, had he gone another inning he may have allowed that one more. His strikeouts were a little less also, but I still consider that a victory. If you happened to start Fiers this week, nicely done, I’ll take all the credit for that.

My sleeper this week is going to be Seth Lugo (28.8% owned). I generally try to avoid Met’s pitching because that whole operation is a train wreck. Letting your own player choose to skip an MRI only to now be out practically the entire season is a decision that should’ve had somebody fired. I won’t continue anymore with that as it’s a worm hole I could get so far down I’d never see light again! Sure, he’s only made three start this year, but none of them have been awful. His most recent start he gave up 4 earned to arguably the worst team in baseball, but that doesn’t discourage me. Lugo has a matchup against the Marlins Thursday and as long as he can keep the walks to a minimum, I look for Lugo to have a nice deal of success. Call on the field: Lugo mows down the Marlins the first time through the lineup, with little else happening after that – 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Sitting Mr. Popular

Last week’s prediction – Masahiro Tanaka goes 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB 7 K’s and a L

Tanaka’s actual line: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, and a ND

Alright, so picking the guys to sit each week has backfired the first two weeks. If you remember, I thought Quintana would stink up north against Toronto the week before last. I didn’t miss on that one quite as much as I did on Tanaka. That’s only the third time in the last month and a half Tanaka has lasted more than 6 innings, so do with that what you wish. I’d still be leery of him a bit myself. That arm is going to literally fall off on the mound.

The guy I’m sitting this week is owned in 98.4% of leagues and has a matchup against Max Scherzer on Tuesday, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta is a two-start pitcher this week as he also faces Cincinnati on the road Sunday. All you Cub’s fans should be happy about this because he’ll likely be lights out, as will The Zer, and the game will be over in a little over 2 hours. Arrieta finally looked a little more like himself from two seasons ago his last time out against the Marlins, except the lack of strikeouts surprised me a bit (3 in 6 IP). As I mentioned in the post Friday, Arrieta’s peripherals aren’t awful this year as his strikeout rate is up and his walk rate is down, but he’s getting hit around a bit more. A pitcher getting hit around and the Nationals lineup aren’t a good pairing. His last start marked the first time he surpassed 6 innings since April 9th and only the second time all season he’s gone 7 IP. Call on the field: Arrieta vs the Nats is something that will hurt your ERA and WHIP – 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K – his start in Cincinnati will be better though.

Hero of the Week

The Klubot is back! I touched on Kluber a bit in the opening and he’s the Hero of the week. The man was unhittable! He was on the road against Baltimore and at home against Minnesota. If you want to be picky you can deduct points for the ND against the Twins, but he can’t control what the bullpen does when he leaves. Klubers line for the week: 16 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 24 K

Zero of the Week

I’ve got a few to pick from here. We had the horrendous return of Homer Bailey, the second straight dud by a couple pitchers and Zack Wheeler being bad then landing on the DL. I’ll give Homer Bailey a pass because it was his return and the Reds did him no favors “allowing” that to be against the Nationals. This week’s Zero is Nick Turley. Turley squared off agains the White Sox Thursday and didn’t make it out of the first inning! That effort, combined with his previous blunder against the Indians landed him a plane ticket back to triple-A. Turley’s line for the week: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

 

All info courtesy ESPN.com & baseball-reference.com

Alex Wood for Cy Young?

Good afternoon on this late Friday afternoon! This late posting is starting to become a habit I’d like to break. It’s hard to sit inside when it’s absolutely gorgeous outside! Today you have just me giving my input during the “Around the Bases” segment. One of these Friday’s you’ll get lucky enough to get both mine and Shane’s take on this stuff.

Today I’ll take you Around the Bases with Alex Wood. Wood was a guy who likely went undrafted in all of your leagues (346th ADP), whether it be talent level, the Dodgers full rotation, or his injury history. If you had a chance at picking him up off the waiver wire you probably, like me, thought “…one more start…” then a fellow owner scooped him up. Wood is now owned in 91% of leagues so you’re time likely came and went by now. After reading what I’ve got to say today, you may be kicking yourself a little harder.

Alex Wood vs. Jake Arrieta/James Paxton/Michael Fulmer/Ervin Santana

When I thought of today’s post earlier in the week I originally had Ervin Santana penciled in to compare with Alex Wood. With his recent string of rough outings, he’s not even worth comparing here.

If you like Jake Arrieta that’s fine, there’s a lot to like about him. There’s also a lot to dislike about him. His value is still riding on his amazing 2015 season, which is showing to be either somewhat of a fluke or a situation where the stars aligned perfectly. A lot is said that a guy reaches his prime around the ages of 29 or 30, and the 2015 season for Arrieta was his age 29 season. His 2016 wasn’t terrible, but when you have a great offensive team behind you that helps aid you to 18 wins. Arrieta seems to be somewhat of a statistical question mark this year. His ERA is over 4, yet his walk numbers are down and his strikeout rate is up. Those numbers might be attributed to his .311 BaBIP this year, 70 points higher than the previous two seasons. When it comes to both Arrieta and Wood, they both are backed by solid offense teams, the Dodgers maybe a bit more so than the Cubs this year. They’re each going to tally you a nice amount of strikeouts each time out, so that’s a wash. Arrieta is a great “buy low” candidate right now, but is it just that or will he continue to be just average as the season wears on? Man, this one is pretty much a coin flip. Call on the field: Woods’ ERA regresses a bit and Arrieta’s ERA should come down. The Cubs offense should wake up sometime soon, helping Arrieta feel a bit more comfortable so I’ll take Arrieta for now, but just slightly, but Alex Wood is on the rise!

When we’re talking James Paxton are we talking the Paxton who started the season or the Paxton who came off the DL? Yes, they’re the same guy, but they’re pitching like they’re not related one bit! His recent struggles lead me to believe that the 29 days missed weren’t quite enough. Since coming off the DL on May 31st he hasn’t made it past 5.1 innings in an outing, giving up at least 3 runs in his last 4 starts. His most recent start (Wednesday vs. Detroit) was encouraging in the fact his strikeout numbers were back as he K’d 8, but he also gave up 9 hits, so he’s not quite there yet. Once again, the K/9 rates with Paxton and Wood are very similar, so you can’t really use that as a gauge here. Both of these young lefties have experienced injury problems in the past. Does this sound like a broken record yet? Anyone have another coin ready to use? Call on the field: Give me Alex Wood over James Paxton. Ask me again in another month and I might be flipped. Wood has shown sustained success in his limited career and something with Paxton isn’t quite right yet.

Michael Fulmer has hit somewhat of a rough patch his last three or four outings, but I’m not sure that’s anything to worry about. There’s nothing wrong with the season he’s having after putting together a great rookie campaign last year. Glancing quickly at his numbers you might think Fulmer is down from last year, but in reality, a lot of his numbers are right with his numbers from last year. He’s not going to be a flashy guy on the mound with elite K/9 numbers (7.5 last year and 6.6 currently this year). Sure he might be aided a bit by playing a majority of his season against the lowly AL Central, but he can’t control that! As far as fantasy baseball goes Fulmer would be a great guy to have as a 4th or 5th option. He’ll go out and put together a solid outing each time out, but he isn’t a guy that has a huge ceiling as far as going out and delivering that big point game. When I look for pitchers I’m generally looking at guys who strike out a lot of hitters, thus giving me a higher floor if they have a rough outing. When Fulmer isn’t sharp, he’ll net you much less than what you might be after. Call on the field: Due to the low K numbers, I’d rather have Wood. Fulmer is a fine pitcher to have, but he seems more match-up limited to me. Wood gives you a higher floor with his K/9 over 10.

My rankings of these 4 from now to end of season-

  1. Jake Arrieta
  2. Alex Wood
  3. James Paxton
  4. Michael Fulmer

 

Have a great weekend! Red Sox Nation should be hopping tonight with the retiring of David Ortiz’s number. The White Sox are also retiring Mark Buehrle’s number this weekend as well!

 

All info courtesy of baseball-reference.com, ESPN.com, & fangraphs.com

Break out your parrots!

Good afternoon! This post is much later than I wanted it to be, so I’ll cut the small talk and just tell you real life gets in the way sometimes. Hope you enjoy today’s Fair/Foul segment!

From today on Edwin Encarnacion will be a Top 3 fantasy 1B…

K- My initial reaction to this is screaming “not a chance!”, but then when I pause for a minute I think this could actually be a thing. EdwinG, don’t forget that G on the end because that will have a great impact on whether or not he finishes as a top 3 firt base option. For those of you that aren’t familiar, this is pertaining to his home run trot with his right arm extended as if he has a bird resting on it. Over the last 15 days he’s been the #1 first baseman and over the last month he’s 2nd only to Anthony Rizzo, who has recently excelled after being moved to leadoff for the Cubs. Over that time frame Encarnacion is hitting .364. With the way he started the year he could very easily trend back in the other direction, which will happen to some degree, but with the weather heating up I expect the hot hitting to continue. He’s on pace for a 41 HR season, which would be an additional 24 from this point on. Couple that with the fact he WILL add on to the 7 doubles he’s got (I expect this to quadruple) and I’m in on him. Call on the field: Fair, Edwin finishes top 3 from here to end of season along with Goldschmidt and Rizzo…but be careful of Jose Abreu lurking in the shadows.

S- The important thing to remember about Cleveland slugger Edwin Encarnacion is that when he hits a home run he trots around the bases with his arm cocked as if there’s a bird on it. Wait, no, that’s not right. The important thing to remember about Edwing is that he’s always been a slow starter. Over his last three seasons, he’s batted .239 with only nine home runs and a .697 OPS in April. After landing a contract with Cleveland, he took that to the next level by hitting a measly .200 in the month of April before seeing things normalize to a more expected .263 average in May (his career mark is .266). Encarnacion has exploded in June, crushing seemingly everything that has been thrown his way, and any concerns fantasy owners had in the early going have been assuaged. Now, it’s possible that at 34 years old, Encarnacion might experience more peaks and valleys than usual. The K rate, for example, is quite a bit higher than normal, which is something worth monitoring. But for now there is no reason to be concerned and every owner who didn’t think they were being clever by trading him for, like, Brandon Finnegan or some nonsense can deploy him with confidence. With a fairly normal May and a torrid June, Encarnacion’s peripherals are in line with his recent norms and I fully expect that to continue. Call on the field: Fair, there are plenty of formidable 1B eligible players, but Edwin Encarnacion WILL be among the three best from today forward.

Todd Frazier will finish outside the Top 25 3B…

K- Everybody thought the move from Great American Ballpark to US, sorry, Guaranteed Rate Field, would be no big change for Frazier as they’re both very hitter friendly parks, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case. Yes, Frazier hit a career high 40 HR’s last year, but he also hit a career worse .225, until this year. Frazier is barely keeping his head above the Mendoza line, coming in at .205 this year, 42 points worse than his career line. June and July have historically been his best months at the plate, as he’s showing that again this year hitting .254 so far this month compared to .183 and .185 in April and May. Even with that, Frazier is only on pace for 29 HR’s, 11 fewer than last year and 87 RBI, 11 fewer than last year. While his walk rate is up, increasing his OBP numbers, I don’t see that mattering in the long run of the season. Heck, his 40 HR season last year only had him 14th overall at 3B! Call on the field: Fair, there are guys ahead of Frazier with 30-40 less AB’s and better players behind him. Frazier will be lucky to finish as a top 30 3B option.

S- White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier has certainly had more good fortune in June than in April or May, but it’s still not much to write home about. After batting under .190 in each of the season’s first two months, he’s currently at .259 in June. To be fair, his .211 babip is quite a bit below his career average of .273. While the batting average might rise a bit, it’s not as though he’s ever been mistaken for an elite average guy. The same is true for his on base skills, which have always left something to be desired. This year he is at .312 which is actually higher than each of his previous two seasons (his career high 13.4% walk rate surely helps with that). Frazier’s ISO isn’t too far off his career number (.205 this year, career .213) and his HR/FB ratio is about right (14.9% vs 15.6%). Perhaps the power comes back based on many of his rates and peripherals being in line. Or perhaps his soft hit percentage being 5.5% higher than his career and his hard hit percentage being 2% lower is the truth. In my opinion, what we’re seeing is a player who can no longer buoy himself with sheer power. Last year Frazier snuck into the top 10 in standard leagues, primarily on the back of his 40 homer/98 RBI season. This year he’s on pace for 26 homers and 79 RBI. If he isn’t trading power for average or raising his game in other ways, then 2017’s Todd Fraizer is worse than mediocre. Call on the field: Fair, Todd Frazier will not see his power return to the level of previous seasons and with poor numbers in every other category will finish outside the top 25 3B.

Craig Kimbrel finishes as a Top 20 pitcher at the end of the season…

K- A reliever finishing as a top 20 guy out of ALL pitchers? No way this happens, right? That would’ve been much easier to answer had Kenley Jansen and Zach Britton not been beyond brilliant last year each finishing as a top 20 guy. Kenley Jansen even did that with 6 blown saves last year! Back to Kimbrel, he has been amazing this year. He’s literally been nearly unhittable. His WHIP is a career best 0.442. Opposing hitter are hitting .084 against him and he’s only walked 5 guys all season, that makes a total of 15 base runners in 31.2 innings. Kimbrel has a K/9 of 16.8 (59 K’s), which gives him a SO/BB ratio of 11.8! With the season Jansen had last year even his SO/BB ratio wasn’t that high (9.85). Wait, hang on, did I get these numbers from the created player on my PS4? You know, the guy you can edit and make all his attributes a 99? NO! These are legit numbers and they’re mind boggling! Kimbrel currently sits top 5 in pitching rankings in points leagues at the moment with 1/3 of the innings tallied as other starters. Only Sale, Scherzer, Kershaw and Greinke are ahead of him. Call on the field: Fair, Kimbrel continues to be lights out, being the guy Boston thought he’d be when nabbing him from San Diego, and leads the Red Sox to the postseason. Notching his 2nd career 50-save season nets Kimbrel a top 20 finish.

S- A reliever being among the top 20 overall pitchers in fantasy is hardly unheard of, though it is difficult for a guy throwing 70 innings to compete with guys throwing 220. But when a reliever is as dominant as Kimbrel has been this year there’s no reason for it not to happen (heck, Rockies closer Greg Holland has a fighting chance too!). Do I think Kimbrel is going to continue having a 0.44 WHIP? No, that number will probably rise a little bit over the course of the summer, as will his batting average against. Kimbrel is out there pitching like a man possessed after a down 2016 season, but a career-low .178 babip will likely normalize slightly and cause his .086 batting average against to go up (his career number is .152). Still, with a chip on his shoulder wanting to show that 2016 was a fluke, I think he can continue striking out guys at something close to his 16.77 K/9 rate. By manning the 9th inning for a Red Sox club that hasn’t even fully hit their stride – a scary proposition for the rest of the American League – Kimbrel will have plenty of opportunities to rack up points all summer. Call on the field: Fair, but why stop at 20? I say Craig Kimbrel finishes as a top 15 overall pitcher in fantasy baseball! Come at me.

A pitcher not currently on the Nationals will lead them in saves from today on…

K- Yes, move on! Ok, ok, I’ll talk about the Nationals. The Nationals bullpen is awful, like make you change the channel bad whenever the starter comes out. As a Nationals SP owner I hope for a complete game whenever I deploy him for fear of a ND regardless of how big the lead. The Nationals leading save leader is Koda Glover, with 8, and he’s currently on the DL with a back issue. Their second leading save guy is Shawn Kelley, with 4, also on the DL with a trapezius strain. As a team the Nationals have notched 20 saves while having 12 blown saves, so it’s clear that something needs to be fixed. As I recall, I believe it was a week or two ago, they blew a lead to the Braves in the 9th, going on to lose 11-10, and even the offensive players like Harper and Murphy had visibly frustrating reactions in the dugout and media following the game. They need to engage in talks with the White Sox to acquire David Robertson, something they couldn’t get done in the preseason, but that just feels too obvious to me to get done. They’ll probably end up feeling like the get a bargain by adding Pat Neshek or a resurgent Jim Johnson for 9th inning duties. Call on the field: Fair, regardless of who they bring in for the 9th inning, someone other than a current Nationals pitcher will lead their team in saves from today forward.

S- Boy, that Nationals spring training closer battle sure looks ugly in hindsight. Rookie Koda Glover has shown flashes – he had a dominant May in which he racked up five saves and 10 Ks in 8.2 innings – but he’s currently on the DL after a miserable start to June. The other two candidates, Blake Treinen and Shawn Kelley, both have ERAs north of 6.20 and WHIPs over 1.67. Because of all that, Dusty Baker has resorted to another shoddy patchwork operation in which Oliver Perez, Enny Romero, and Matt Albers have gotten recent save opportunities. 34-year old journeyman Albers got a save opportunity on June 12th and promptly saw his ERA rise from 1.08 to 2.10 after the Atlanta Braves destroyed him. So to say the Nationals are in need of some stability at the back end of their bullpen is an understatement. They have been linked to White Sox closer David Robertson for a long time now and that seems like the type of move a contender such as the Nationals would deem necessary to try to propel themselves to the World Series. There are some other RP who have had quality seasons and seem like possible trade deadline chips, but I doubt the Nationals would want to bring anyone with little closing experience such as Pat Neshek or Brad Hand. If the Royals end up selling at the deadline – something that seems far less likely at this point considering they are hot and right in the thick of the crowded AL Wild Card race – maybe they make a play for Kelvin Herrera. Occam’s Razor, though, says the simplest explanation is most often correct, and the Nationals landing David Robertson fits the bill. Call on the Field: Fair, David Robertson will be traded to the Nationals in the next month and lead the team in saves from today forward.

Who is your MVP & LVP of the fantasy season to this point?

K- I initially want to say Paul Goldschmidt here because a) he’s just plain awesome and b) he’s in the midst of a career season, but the MVP should be someone putting up great numbers coming from a deeper draft slot. That being said, I’m going with another somewhat obvious choice in Aaron Judge. He’s currently the 3rd best hitter in points leagues. Yes, he was a prospect to watch for some time and he was likely kept in deeper leagues, but with an ADP of 282, nobody could’ve expected what they’ve got out of him this year. Looking at his counting numbers of 24 HR’s and 54 RBI, I’m sure many Judge owners would’ve been happy to have that at seasons end with something like a .260 average. Having those numbers coupled with a .333 average not quite halfway through the season should be leaving every Judge owner ecstatic…and they should be wanting to sell, sell, sell!

As for my LVP, I’ve got to go with Kyle Schwarber. His ADP was 68th, marked as the 20th outfielder off the board. That leads me to think he was probably drafted as a teams 2nd outfielder, possibly 3rd. Schwarber had a flash of lightning last year in the World Series, then being announced as the leadoff hitter for the Cubs this preseason, people had a right to think they’d be grabbing a for sure guy to pencil in every day. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Schwarber is hitting a measly .174 with 12 HR’s and 28 RBI. He’s having serious trouble hitting LHP and with a less than steller glove in the OF he’s starting to lose AB’s in a platoon situation. For a guy likely drafted in the top 6 rounds, being owned in 73.3% of leagues on ESPN is depressing.

S- There are a couple rules of thought behind determining who the most valuable fantasy commodity is in a given season, but for me it is all about the value returned. Guys like Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado were high draft picks selected to do exactly what they are doing. Without question MVP candidates, but hardly the highest return on investment in fantasy leagues. To find the true MVP of fantasy baseball, you have to scroll down the average draft position list and see who is among the top scorers in your league despite barely being drafted. For me it comes down to two players who we have already discussed on Fair or Foul: Ryan Zimmerman and Aaron Judge. Judge is the talk of MLB and is currently the runaway Rookie of the Year AND American League MVP in my humble opinion, but even though he was undrafted in standard leagues, it’s not totally surprising that he’s come up and crushed the ball. Zimmerman, on the other hand, is a guy who seemed totally finished and is having an unfathomable resurgence in which he’s currently among the top five 1B in fantasy leagues and a top 10 overall scorer. To be getting that out of a guy whose average ADP according to FantasyPros is 362 is amazing..

As for the Least Valuable Player, I’m most interested in guys who have not done anything to reward you for using a high draft pick on them. The three players who immediately spring to mind have spent a bit of time on the DL, but they’ve had plenty of time to prove something on the field and failed. Manny Machado was a top eight pick and is barely hanging onto a top 20 3B spot. What’s saving him is his 35 HR pace (thanks to a two HR performance last night) and shortstop eligibility. Take that away and he might “win” this, but despite the miserable batting average and on base percentage he’s still among the top 10 SS. Jonathan Villar (32.3 ADP) is a player many were excited about because of the 20-60 potential, but he’s been a complete travesty at 2B and not any better at the plate. His 14 HR/32 steal pace is not what owners willing to spend a late 3rd or early 4th round pick on him signed up for. How bad has Villar been? Once he comes off the DL he’s likely to lose playing time to Eric Sogard, for goodness sake.  Lastly, Trevor Story (35.5 ADP) set the baseball world on fire at the start of 2016 but has fell victim to a season-long sophomore slump. He’s currently on pace for 23 HR and 63 RBI which is definitely a disappointment considering how well the Rockies lineup has been performing. There are some other candidates, but for me these are the three guys who have done the least to satisfy their fantasy owners so far in 2017. Without further ado…

 Call on the field: Ryan Zimmerman is the Most Valuable Player in fantasy baseball through the first two and a half months of 2017 and Jonathan Villar is the Least Valuable Player thus far.

 

All info courtesey of fantasypros.com, ESPN.com, baseball-reference.com, & fangraphs.com

Keep or Hold your Oriole’s 1B!

Good late afternoon on this Tuesday. Busy days lead to late posts, sorry about that. I won’t delay any longer, let’s get to the add/drops of the past 7 days!

Top 5 Most Added Players

Trey Mancini (1B/OF) – 30.6% – 44.3% owned

Matt Adams (1B) – 18.6% – 31.9% owned

Andrelton Simmons (SS) – 17.1% – 64.4% owned

Mike Zunino (C) – 15.3% – 25.8% owned

Cameron Maybin (OF) – 15.3% – 48% owned

Out of these 5 guys I’m not sure you could go wrong with adding any of them, depending of course who you currently have rostered. In your smaller leagues Simmons, Zunino, and Maybin probably aren’t worth it. With Mancini getting regular playing time for at least another month he’s a must-add, especially with dual-position eligibility. Adams playing his home games in Atlanta surely doesn’t hurt things as that has shown to be a bit of a hitters park.

Top 5 Most Dropped Players

Neil Walker (2B) – 23.8% – 32.6% owned

Ben Zobrist (2B/OF) – 15.6% – 53.9% owned

Cesar Hernandez (2B) – 15.3% – 27.4% owned

Chris Davis (1B) – 11.7% – 73.2% owned

Victor Martinez (UTIL) – 10.9% – 37.8% owned

Once again we’ve got 5 guys leading the most dropped list who are all DL-eligible. Zobrist hasn’t had a great year (only hitting .223), but he’s probably worth stashing based on the offense he’s in and the dual eligibility he brings, but I wouldn’t DL him ahead of a guy like Chris Davis. Davis will likely be back in a little over a month, so if you’ve got a solid 1B option still, go ahead and stash him until he returns. His strikeouts won’t help you when he returns, but he could still reach 30 HR’s on the season.

 

All info courtesy of ESPN.com