Taking a look around the league, here’s a recap of last night’s action and suggestions for your fantasy baseball team.
Mr. Clutch (pitcher) – It seemed to be a pitchers night last night. Jordan Zimmerman with a complete game shutout against a very good Cincinnati Reds team, Kyle Kendrick, also with a complete game shutout, and Wei-Yin Chin, with eight innings pitched and zero earned runs. But this is fantasy we are talking about, and Anibal Sanchez was freaking ridiculous last night, putting up video-game numbers and setting franchise records (in your face Justin Verlander). Eight innings pitched, five hits, one walk and 17, count them, 17 strikeouts! Anibal Sanchez raised his K/9 from 8.42 to 10.96 in one outing. For that game, he had a -0.88 FIP and -.054 xFIP! Unfortunately, a couple of numbers worry me. His LOB% is 82.9% and he has yet to give up a home run. I don’t think Anibal Sanchez is a sell-high guy, but if you could flip him for someone like Cole Hamels, you have to swing for the fences and make a deal like that.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – My, how a day turns things around! Yesterday, Anthony Rizzo was featured in the bench me please section. Now Rizzo has risen to the ranks of the elite for the day. Rizzo went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a stolen base, two RBIs and three runs, but do not read too much into this because he was facing a glorified triple-A pitcher in Wade LeBlanc. Rizzo is going to give you stretches where you want to pull your hair out and then turn around a give you gems like he did Friday night.
Surprise, surprise! – You got to give a little love to David Ross when he goes 4-for-4, with two RBIs and three runs. If you are in a deep AL-only league and had him rostered, you are probably streaking down the alleyway right now. For the rest of us, this is a nice story, but we shall not think twice about picking him up.
Here comes the heat – As bad as third base has been this season, Kyle Seager has taken a big step forward. He is on a 15-game hit-streak, batting .303, three with home runs, 10 walks, 12 RBIs and 10 runs. His BB% of 10.1% is at a career high, and his plate discipline has been outstanding. However, the .348 BABIP (career .296) is a bit worrisome. Seager’s approach has definitely improved; let’s hope he can keep it up.
Left out in the breeze – My favorite part about this section is going through the box scores and making mental notes of guys, like Pablo Sandoval going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, who have the potential to be in this section. I keep scouring until I get to the “ah-ha!” guy you know won’t be topped. For this, ladies and gentleman, I give you Paul Maholm. His stat line of 3.2 innings pitched, 10 hits, eight earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts did it for me. It seems like he has been one of those sneaky buy-low guys since the start of the season with that amazing defense behind him. Now? He just looks like Paul Maholm.
Who’s trending? – It’s time for the Rockies to see what they have stashed away in triple-A. Nolan Arenado is flat-out crushing the minors. They are in first place and have one best offenses in baseball, but Chris Nelson and platoon partner Jordan Pacheco are not Miguel Cabrera. Hell, they are not even Juan Francisco. Arenado has a .387/.414/.710 slash line and three home runs in 71 plate appearances. He is not going to be any better than Manny Machado, but he has the potential to be better than Nelson and Pacheco. I still think he is one of the first top-tier prospects called up this season.
Bench me, please? – Josh Reddick had a good run last season, but since then, he has been flat-out awful. The beard withstanding, he may be able to turn it around, because there are some good signs looking through the numbers. His .208 BABIP (career .272 BABIP), as well as his .123 ISO (career .196 ISO) seem unsustainable. But do not expect the 32-homer outburst from last season. Reddick’s 14% HR/FB rate from last season looks like an anomaly compared to his career numbers.
The Streamer – I took Ervin Santana for Friday’s matchup and it got rained out. Though he is still one of the best streaming options for Saturday, let’s go ahead and see who else is available. Travis Wood against Miami does not get much better. Eventually the wheels are going to come flying off for this guy, and it is not going to be a pretty train wreck when it happens, but it is not going to be against the Marlins. Stream this guy with confidence.