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) – Anibal Sanchez continued to roll last night, taking down the Rays. Sanchez went 7.0 innings allowing four hits, one run and one walk while striking out nine. Sanchez’s K/9 continues to be one of the best in the majors for starting pitchers. Sanchez also has one of the highest SwStr% (13.0) in the majors, which leads me to believe Sanchez can sustain his high K/9. Definitely do not sell low on this guy. He should continue to be money in the bank.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Welcome to the show young blood! Yasiel Puig put on a clinic last night against the Padres, going 3-for-4 with two home runs, two runs and five RBIs. This goes without saying, but Puig should be owned in all formats. The plate discipline is what really shines for me in his minor league numbers, which usually translates well to the majors. Though Puig is not going to be as good as his first two games throughout the season, he has the ability to put up double-digit home runs and steals, and the upside alone makes him a very attractable commodity to own.
Surprise, surprise! – Coming off the worst stat of his career, David Phelps had quite possibly one of the best starts of his career. Against Cleveland, Phelps went 6.0 innings allowing one hit, zero runs and four walks while striking out seven. This was a nice bounce-back game, and even though he will have to out duel Felix Hernandez, Seattle is a nice matchup for his next start Sunday. Phelps is a guy to keep your eye on, and he’s proving to be a very good spot starter in standard leagues.
Here comes the heat – A.J. Griffin continues to turn things around, and last night was his best start of the season. Griffin went 7.0 innings allowing four hits, zero runs and one walk while striking out five. Though his advanced stats do not look that enticing, Griffin is on pace to deliver about what he gave you last season, which is a 3.50 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and a 7.0 K/9. Not elite numbers but serviceable nonetheless.
Left out in the breeze – Matt Moore took his first loss of the season in grand fasion last night. Against Detroit he lasted just 2.0 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs and six walks while only striking out one. Could this outing be because his timing was messed up due to his one-inning outing last Saturday? Could it be because Moore has been extremely lucky thus far and his 2.95 ERA is trying to balance out with his 4.31 FIP and 4.61 xFIP? I am going with the latter. If you can get a legit top-10 pitcher for Moore, I would do so in a hurry.
Who’s trending? – You don’t have to even be a sports fan to know who is trending in baseball right now. For fantasy purposes, the PED story starts and ends with Ryan Braun. Yeah, some of the other guys like Nelson Cruz have value but if I can get Braun for 25 cents on the dollar right now, I am making that deal in a heartbeat. This suspension is not going to happen over night. When Major League Baseball announces the suspensions, Braun and the others are going to appeal, which could take months to get through the appeals process. So, if I can trade someone like Brett Gardner for a two-month Braun rental, I’m doing that in a heartbeat. Sports wise, this is another black eye for professional baseball. But if you check out the number-one most liked comment from the ESPN article, the poster, EIGHTANDAHALF, sums it up best. “Stop this nonsense, I have a fantasy league to win.” No matter how you feel about all of what has happened, shoot that nervous Ryan Braun owner a terrible offer, because you got a fantasy league to win.
Bench me, please? – It maybe time to put Lance Berkman out to pasture. The .279 batting average is solid, but the power is all but gone. You were hoping that playing in Arlington would rejuvenate Berkman and the 30 home-run power would return, but it just hasn’t. That coupled with the high injury risk makes Berkman very unappealing. He could also be losing some playing time if Adrian Beltre is regulated to DH duties while his hamstring heals. Time to cut bait.
The Streamer – Though Bartolo Colon against the Brewers is enticing, I am a bit worried that the PED scandal could effect his performance. Instead, I am going with Jason Vargas against the Cubs. His last four outings have been very solid, and he has not allowed more than two runs in six of his last seven outings. He should be worth a spot start. Deploy with confidence!