As the season rolls along, my choices for starters to profile should be wearing thin. Luckily for all of you, myself, and my relationship with anyone not in the Crab Army, spot starts and rookie callups give me the perfect intersect of my two worlds. Now as any good Seinfield fan knows, worlds colliding can be catastrophic. Just ask George Costanza. That however is not the case for your loyal and eccentric Prospector/Pitchspector. It’s all good on this end. Why? Because I’m more than happy to dig into the ratio roulette that is rookie starting pitchers. In the grand tradition of my messiah like activity on the prospect side, I’m here to observe these wild cards, provide my take, and lead you on the path to true fantasy salvation. This is a really long winded, and pompous, way to say I’m profiling Reynaldo Lopez’s White Sox debut today. I’ve been lower on Lopez than many other prospectors in the industry. For what feels like two years now, I’ve been constantly banging my shoe on the table of the United Prospect Nations, sternly proclaiming that “Lopez is a pen arm!” I’d make a joke of my followers storming the town square with Pier 1 style tiki torches, but the rest of the Lifshitz clan prolly wouldn’t appreciate that. Anywho, here’s what I saw.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week’s slate of two-start starters was pretty light, so it is nice to see our list back to being robust for Week 20. A week after not having any two-start starters with a positive dollar value who were owned in less than 75% of RCLS according to Streamonator, we now have three. Streamonator likes two of the starters and like likes another one. Enough stalling and fluff, here are your three beloveds for this week:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Phils’ manager, Pete Macktheknife, said, “Everybody wants to see (Rhy Hoskins‘) bat but Tommy Joseph has done well enough where there’s enough games left for him to show even more improvement. It’s hard. You don’t want to put Tommy Joseph on the bench so maybe (having Hoskins play outfield) is a way to do it.” Hey, quick question, anyone got a participation trophy for Joseph? Sounds like he could really use one! “I accept this participation trophy on behalf of all the players who are at positions where the club has a better prospect in the minors, but is too cheap to promote them. Especially to my runner-up, Shin-Soo, way to keep down Willie Calhoun!” A bunch of prospblockers, the lot of you! Don’t even get me started on the absolute craziness that you risk putting your top prospect in left field just to keep playing Tommy Joseph. Hoskins should be okay out there, but there’s a ton more risk with injuries in left field than standing on 1st. I grabbed Hoskins in all leagues. He was top 30 for Prospector Ralph’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, and might be the last big name to come up that can make a difference. For this year, I’d say Hoskins = Mark Reynolds with way fewer Ks. Long term, well, I won’t say Votto, but his OBP is insane for a kid. Scouts call players kids, did I sound like a scout? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s just like old times, as we here at Razzball are profiling a Brewers starter this week. I can’t put my finger on what that means, but I digress. The familiarity doesn’t just end there my friends, oh no, we just happen to be covering the MLB debut for one of the top pitching prospects in the minors, Brandon Woodruff. On the heels of a somewhat out of nowhere breakout in 2016, Woodruff exploded onto the dynasty league radar, and squarely into the ranks on several top prospect lists. After leading the minors in strikeouts last year, the righty credited an increased pace, thanks to the direction of AA pitching coach Chris Hook. After a solid showing in the challenging confines of Colorado Springs earlier this season, Woodruff was called up in mid-June to make a spot start. Unfortunately he was injured warming up, was scratched from his debut, and did a month on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Recalled Friday to face the contending Rays in Tampa, Woodruff might be an interesting stream down the stretch in re-drafts of all sizes. Let’s see how the highly touted rookie looks vs a seasoned AL East lineup. Not a bad litmus test.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe Carlos Rodon is a bit more high, ahhh, ummm, profile than the usual pitching, ahhh, ummm, profile candidate I cover. After all, at points over the last few years this is a guy who’s been universally owned. Things have definitely been a different story in 2017, as he missed all of April and May, and most of June recovering from a biceps injury. Following two strong starts upon his return, we’ve seen “Bad Carlos” over the last three turns. The former third overall pick has been steady, but inconsistent throughout his first two seasons in the big leagues. Apt to spells of poor control and command, that typically led to some ugly pitching lines. Is that what’s happening here? Simply a case of “Bad Carlos”? Good or bad, something has obviously been amiss the past few starts, let’s take a look under the hood and see what’s going on. Are these problems fixable or is there a lingering injury? On Sunday Rodon faced the red hot Indians and my guess is you already know what happened. Here’s what I saw.Please, blog, may I have some more?
There is a decent chance that the MLB Trade Deadline throws some wrenches into our list this week. Yu Darvish is currently on the list and could very well get traded. He got absolutely rocked his last time out, though, so some owners might be a little shy about throwing him out there for two starts this week. Depending on your team and league format, though, the chances are you should probably send Darvish out there for his two turns this week. He is going to start at least once even if he gets traded, and August is not the time to start second-guessing your squad.
Our focus for this week is Charlie Morton. He is only owned in 49% of RCLs, and Streamonator likes him for a $13.60 value that is partly due to favorable matchups against the Rays and Blue Jays, both of whom are in the bottom eight in team wOBA over the last couple weeks. In his last start out against the Phillies (who are surprisingly in the top eight for team wOBA over the last two weeks), he tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts on just three hits and a walk.
The main difference in Morton this year that has increased his fantasy value is he is striking out batters at a much higher rate than he ever has in his career. His career K/9 is 6.66, but his K/9 in 2017 is up over 10/9:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The fans that arrived early yesterday at Nationals Park were puzzled to find what appeared to be a show on HGTV. The newest Property Brother, Michael Blazek, the Brewers pitcher, opened a box from Ikea, and sat at home plate for six hours during the pregame, assembling something. At one point, he screamed to the heavens about being screwed, but Bryce Harper (3-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homers) realized Blazek wasn’t saying he was screwed, he needed a screw the box was missing. Ryan Zimmerman (2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 21st and 22nd homers) had a fix, they could use Dusty’s toothpicks to hold together Blazek’s contraption. Then Anthony Rendon (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 21st homer) had a brilliant idea. The twine holding together the Nats’ bullpen could be used to hold together Dusty’s toothpicks. Brian Goodwin (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer) and Wilmer Difo (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 3rd homer) were the first ones to the plate to see what Blazek had constructed. It was a bit shoddy in places, but it was holding up. Pulling back, we reveal that Blazek had built a baseball tee to place all his pitches on. All of these guys are either owned or are Wilmer Difo, with the exception of Brian Goodwin. He has three homers since the All-Star break, and has been cemented in the leadoff spot (for reasons only Dusty can explain). Won’t help you on average, but has a solid base of speed and power that could help in deeper leagues while he’s leading off, and especially when hitting off a tee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If your approach in RCL leagues is anything like mine, then you’re carrying maybe 2-3 starters, and filling in the cracks with well researched streamers. Part of my process, as I’m sure it is with many of you, is to check the streamonator for the highest value available probables. Then I dive deeper into the matchup stats, and follow that up with a glance at the starters recent track record. One of the more common suggestions over the past few weeks has been Mets starter Rafael Montero. Best described as a AAAA starter, he’s long been the shuttle guy, and spot starter, whenever an elbow pops in the Mets rotation. With injuries a plenty in Flushing, there’s been abundant opportunity for Montero to stick for the better part of the next month, and beyond. Let’s take a deep dive into Montero’s Sunday start vs. the Oakland Athletics, and see if he might be an arm to keep in mind, as we stream our way to the promised land.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Way back in April the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Commonwealth of Independent States, sent the notorious “Player To Be Named Later” to the Baltimore Orioles for Parker Bridwell. At the time Bridwell was an unheard of 25 year old righthander with less than 20 innings above AA. The move flew under the radar to most of the baseball world with the exception of the Bridwell family, and an eccentric dyslexic real estate agent named Shelly with a passion for anything bird related. See no one at the time, could have foreseen this unheralded pro in his 7th season in the minors helping a major league ball club. Fast forward 3 months, and here we sit about to breakdown Bridwell’s 6th major league start of 2017 against the contending Tampa Bay Rays. What a world!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Grace picked up his 2nd save in as many games on Saturday for the Nationals, and Ben Zobrist’s wife started to work on a song titled, “Saving Grace,” and requested Ben’s trade to Washington. Then, first thing on Sunday, the Nats traded for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, and Saving Grace became a B-side for “Halleberrylujah, A Catwoman Licks Herself (Rated PG).” When asked if the trade makes his team better, the Nats’ GM said, “That’s right,” and, “I’m Mike Rizzo.” Picture this: Dusty and Rizzo looking at a book called, “Baseball Strategy.” Rizzo looks at Dusty, and Dusty says, “I got the baseball part,” and Rizzo nods his head. Finally, Rizzo chimes in, “I don’t know the 2nd word and I don’t think it’s worth investigating.” Dusty agrees, and that’s the Nationals. So, who will close between Madson and Doolittle? Your guess = my guess. I’d want to say Madson, but it could be either, both or neither as they trade for David Robertson or someone else. By the time the calendar turns to August, the Nationals might have five closers from teams not in the pennant chase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?