Welcome to the second edition of the Lineup Maximizer! If you’re here as a result of my Reddit AMA, glad to know that that day wasn’t all for naught. Kidding! My motivations for dispensing fantasy advice are purely altruistic.
Before we get under with this week’s streaming picks, let’s recap how we did last week in honor of commenter Simply Fred. Record-keeping and accountability are taken seriously around these parts.
Last Week & Season Results
16 AB, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .188 AVG.
My first edition’s picks did perform as well as hoped, but if you agree with the process, results should follow over a larger sample. The question should be raised though, what should we expect from these players? Sure, most of them have favorable matchups, that’s why I highlight them in the article. But they are still available in the vast majority of leagues for a reason, that reason being they aren’t good enough to be owned in the vast majority of leagues.
I could try to compute a baseline scientifically, something like the rate at which replacement level hitters score runs, homers, etc. on a per game basis, but let’s instead just do something that feels nice. A .250 average, that feels nice. If the hitters I suggest here end up getting one hit for every four at-bats, I think everyone would agree it was worth our time to do this. Also arbitrary, I’ll aim for .5 runs per game, .5 RBI, .2 HR, and .2 SB. If one of every five players hits a home run (one per article), I think we all go home happy.
Thursday Game Stats
20 of 30 teams playing
Every team played the most recent Monday because of Memorial Day, hence no Lineup Maximizer was published this past Sunday. Tomorrow one-third of MLB teams will take a breather, likely creating at least a hole or two to fill in most lineups. As they say in Boston Kreme factories, let’s fill!
#28 - Jonny Gomes (R) Bos – OF – vs Atl (Minor-L) – 7:10 PM – 1% owned
What, Jonny Gomes again?! What are they paying me millions of dollars for? If Mike Myers can use the same joke that he did in last Austin Power movie, then I can start off consecutive Lineup Maximizers with the same player. At least it’s not without reason as Gomes bats a wholloping .286/.410/.510 off southpaws and is often slotted either fourth or fifth in the Red Sox lineup when he plays, baseball that is. As long as those damn Sawx keep facing lefties on Mondays or Thursdays, you’ll likely keep seeing Gomes name here. I just checked, Boston does not face another lefty on Monday. We’re safe.
#35 - Oswaldo Arcia (L) Min – OF – vs Tex (Martinez-R) – 1:10 PM – 30% owned
I’m highlighting Arcia here as more than just a potential streaming option, but he’s someone you could potentially keep for good. The recently-turned 23 year old was doin his thang down in Triple-A, batting .312 with five homers in 22 games before getting recalled Sunday. This is after he more than held his own in 100 games at the major league level last year, blasting 15 homers and batting .251. For a then-22 year old, I think it’s safe to say we should be impressed with his power output thus far. In his two games since being recalled, he’s batted cleanup for the Twinkies and just hit his first homer of the season. He’s currently owned in 30 percent of RCL leagues, that number should rise like leavened bread going forward.
#84 - Mike Zunino (R) Sea – C – vs LAA (LeBlanc-L) – 10:10 PM – 14% owned
If you’re looking for a replacement at catcher on Thursday, look no further than Zunino, who faces arguably the day’s weakest pitcher in lefty Wade LeBlanc, formerly of the Marlins and Friends. Zunino has cooled off considerably since his quick start to the season, but still boasts an impressive .296/.333/.481 line off lefties. The only risk here is John Buck getting the start on Thursday, which he gets about every fifth game or so. All I’m saying is, keep an eye out for it. His Preciseness, Hitter-Tron, gives Zunino a 77 percent chance of starting for what it’s Wuertz.
#94 - Juan Lagares (R) NYM – OF – vs PHI (Buchanan-R) – 7:05 PM – 7% owned
I’m in three leagues this year; I own Lagares in two of them and the only reason I don’t in all three is because I’m afraid to triple down on one player. I mean I get it, he doesn’t stuff the fantasy cat-sheet, but it’s not like he’s a slap-hitting singles hitter a la Luis Castillo circa 2009. Lagares also rips his fair share of doubles and triples–12 so far in 2014– to give some pow to his soothing .294 average. It would be nice if he threw a few steals in the mix like he did last year, but even still, I think more people should be considering him as a fifth outfielder in 12 and 14-team mixers. If you don’t want to get so serious so fast, at least consider starting him tomorrow when he faces David Buchanan, who gets so little respect his Yahoo player page won’t even load for me. Seriously.
#111 - Grant Green (R) LAA – 2B/OF – vs Sea (Maurer-R) – 10:10 PM – 7% owned
I’ll admit, there’s a solid risk Green doesn’t draw the start vs Maurer with Kole Calhoun healthy and Ibanez and Cowgill and Cron all in the mix. The Scosciopath is at it again, divvying out playing time like he looks up each player’s daily horoscope to make decisions. If there’s one guy who should be in the lineup it’s Green, who’s been money for the Halos, batting .396/.412/.521 in his 50 plate appearances. Methinks he’ll slot in somewhere on Thursday and keep up his usual productive ways.
Here are a few more options for your streaming pleasure:
#40 Lucas Duda – NYM – 1B/OF
#62 Stefen Romero – Sea – OF
#104 Jon Jay – STL – OF
#106 David Freese – LAA – 3B
#110 Nick Franklin – Sea – 2B/SS