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) – Kevin Slowey shut down the Mets Tuesday night going eight innings pitched, allowing one earned run, four hits and striking out eight. I’m buying Kevin Slowey a little bit, but its going to be very difficult for him to get any wins on this dreadful Marlins team. I can see him being added to 12-team mixed-leagues if he ends up getting traded to a contender down the road. He is definitely a guy you want to keep tabs on going forward.
Mr. Clutch (hitter) – Edwin Encarnacion powered his team past the Red Sox Tuesday night, going 2-for-4, with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs. Many, including myself, wondered if Encarnacion could replicate his numbers from last season. The power is legit. He already has nine home runs on the season and his ISO of .287 is right inline with last year’s .277 ISO. His .203 BABIP (career .278 BABIP) suggests that his average should jump up a bit more as the season progresses. Expect solid numbers going forward.
Surprise, surprise! – I talked about Ryan Raburn yesterday and he did it again going 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs. A couple things about Raburn, so I can talk you off the ledge about picking him up. First off, his BABIP of .387 is way off his career BABIP of .316 and, secondly, he has a career 24.4% K% and it is 27.8% this season. Playing time aside, his numbers are going to dip back down to his career averages.
Here comes the heat – Starling Marte has been on an absolute tear this past week. Last night against the Brewers, Marte went 3-for-5 with one home run, three RBIs and two runs. The .327 batting average his a bit over his head, and I expect a bit better power numbers, but Marte has been a pleasant surprise this season. He should be good for 25-30 stolen bases this season, and I think he gets right to 10 home runs.
Left out in the breeze – Not a good day for some top-tier pitchers. Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, Alex Cobb and Gio Gonzalez all got touched up, but Roy Halladay was the worst of the worst. He ran into the red-hot Cleveland buzzsaw, lasting 3.2 innings, giving up nine hits, eight earned runs, two walks and striking out eight. He now has a 6.75 ERA, 5.71 FIP and a 3.71 xFIP. The one bright spot is his 61.0% LOB% is a bit low, and his 27.6% HR/FB rate is through the roof and very unsustainable. I think the time to buy Halladay is now. His value has to be rock bottom right now.
Who’s trending? – Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Hamilton are two guys that are creating quite a bit of chatter recently. Not for their outstanding play, but for what to do with either one of these two. I am always of the mindset to buy low on players like this. Before the hamstring strain, Stanton was showing signs of life with three home runs in three games. If I have the DL spot, I am making a play for him. Would someone take Coco Crisp or Dexter Fowler for Stanton? It never hurts to ask.
With Josh Hamilton, I am a bit more worried just because he has been flat out awful, and you know he is going to miss time sometime this season. He has zero plate discipline to the point where he looks lost at the plate sometimes. Would someone take Vernon Wells or Austin Jackson for Hamilton? At this point, I think Hamilton will end up with a .260 average and 28 home runs. There is value in that, but the question is, how cheap can you get Hamilton at this point?
Bench me, please? – The last time Gio Gonzalez had a HR/FB rate of 16.7 was 2009 in Oakland. That 2009 year produced similar ERA number to this season. I would not drop Gio, but after going 4.0 innings and allowing five runs, walking five and striking out nine, I think it is high time for Gio to ride the bench on your team. Home runs plus walks will get pitchers into trouble every time. Take the wait and see approach with Gio.
The Streamer – The pick for Wednesday has to be Dillon Gee. Miami has one of the worst offenses in baseball (they made Jeremy Hefner look like a stud), and now with Stanton out for a few weeks, feel free to stream with confidence against Miami.