I will be wrong! I realize that this a very odd way to start a “suggestive” article, but it’s entirely true. I will be wrong this week, as I have been wrong the past 3 weeks. What is beautiful about this statement? The mere fact that while I may be wrong, there are going to be things that I get correct as well. Who is 2nd in the MLB at the time of writing? Mark Canha, yes, the very same Mark Canha who back in Week 1 I recommended picking up for runs. Injures shoulder patting self on back. Maybe this is how Juan Soto hurt his shoulder? With my shoulder now injured, and a trip to the IL imminent, good ole Grey has summoned me back into the on-deck circle for another AB. This time, I look at you Jay Bruce…..my shoulder is very safe from any pats on the back. He retired for crying out loud. The article giveth, and the article taketh.
What does all of this mean? What it means is that while I want to just give you all the info needed, I would love more than anything to teach you why these suggestions make sense on a week in and week out basis. You may see some redundant names here and there, but all in all, let’s find the competitive edge and dominate another week of Head to Head. Without further ado, here is Week 4.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, PHI-56% rostered in Yahoo-I am going to make a lone exception to my <50% rostered for my suggestions. No, Andrew McCutchen is not as bad as his .157 average would indicate. No, I don’t believe that he is the same ole Dreaded Pirate of yesteryear. That being said, he gets a trip to StL to face the Cardinals pitching staff who are last in the majors in combined WHIP and he still boasts a 17% BB%. After the trip to the Lou, he visits the Mets without the benefit of a DeGrom start. It’s a gamble, but I would walk the plank in this scenario.
Kike Hernandez, 2B/OF, BOS-41% rostered in Yahoo-Somehow Kike is leading off for the Red Sox, and I am going to ride this train for as long as it lasts. Getting on base isn’t exactly Kike’s forte, he does a good set of games next weeek (sans the DeGrom pairing).
Kole Calhoun, OF, ARI-20% rostered in Yahoo-Slowly recovering from meniscus surgery, Calhoun is likely to catch fire anytime soon. Add in the fact that he get a weekend series against the Rockies, and there is a good bet for a long ball or two. Last years’ 16 HR’s was good for a top ten finish, paced by his incredible 28% HR/FB.
Mike Ford, 1B, NYY-0% rostered in Yahoo-This is most definitely one of those gut calls that is going to be hard to justify for some. Called up to replace Jay Bruce after his retirement, Ford has been slotted immediately into the 6-hole in both games started. The Yankees get 7 games (4 vs Bal, 3 vs Det). While not getting much of any chance in 2020, he did have a bit of a power surge in 2019 when delivered 35 HR’s across 2 levels (AAA/MLB). I feel like it is becoming autotune, but a lefty at home in Yankee stadium is always music to my ears, especially against the Orioles and Tigers pitching staff.
Honorable mention: Robbie Grossman, OF, Det- Plays 7 games. Faces mostly RHP, whom he hits much better against as a Lefty (39 of 51 career HR from left side vs RHP).
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, TBR-2% rostered in Yahoo-Trying to predict stolen bases on the season has been pretty useless. All I can do is use the most ridiculous reason and wish it into existence. Trusting a player who is only a handful of days removed from a quad injury that landed him on the IL, but it is good news that on Wednesday, KK stole his 1st base of the season. Interesting to note that the Rays play 7 games next week at home, and Kiermaier has nearly twice as many SB’s at home as he does on the road (60 v 37)
Elvis Andrus, SS, OAK-7% rostered in Yahoo-Elvis didn’t start the season off extremely busy on the basepaths, but he has the opposing catchers All Shook Up over the past week. With a couple lefties next week, it may be a little more challenging, but he has 3 SB’s over the past 2 games and appears to have the green light at the bottom of the order.
Honorable mention: Nick Heath, OF, ARI- Blazing speed (60sb’s across 2 levels in 2019). Has started every game for Ari since the trade from KC
Justus Sheffield, SP, SEA-27% rostered in Yahoo-Coming off of a good outing vs the Dodgers where he allowed a lot of traffic, but no big damage, the lefty will face the struggling Astros on Monday, followed by a tougher matchup vs the Halos. The Mariners will be back to full health and I like for them to at least take the W in 1 of the 2 games for Justus this week.
Austin Gomber, SP, COL-4% rostered in Yahoo-The groundball inducing lefty has 2 good matchups in Week 4. Both are lefty-heavy lineups, where Gomber has had good success in 2021. Not having allowed a HR to a LHB yet on the season, and keeping opposing lefty hitters to a .105 average, Gomber should have as good a chance as any this season to snag multiple wins. As I mentioned earlier, with both the Giants and D’Backs doing the majority of the damage from the left side, the Rockies should do enough to give Austin some decent run support to put him in the Win column.
Jonathan Loaisiga, RP, NYY-9% rostered in Yahoo-Johnny Lasagna has been nothing short of spectacular on the short season. Appearing in 7 games (4-multi inning), sports a 2-0 record, 12 k’s, 1.64 ERA, and .73 WHIP. The Yankees starting pitching has not been the strength of the club, as only 1 starter (Gerrit Cole) has averaged 6ip/start. This has forced the Yankees to turn to their bullpen to fill more innings than they anticipated. With no clear cut 5th starter lined up, it could come down to Loaisiga filling multiple innings this week!
Tyler Rogers, RP, SFG-23% rostered in Yahoo-Only 2 relief pitchers in all of baseball have thrown more innings than Tyler Rogers. What has Rogers done with those 11.2 innings you ask? He has picked up a save, k’d 8 and maintained a .77 ERA and a .77 WHIP. He possesses a dangerously deceptive submarine style and was primarily the only RHP out of the Giants bullpen, until Camilo Doval was brought up.
Stefan Crichton, RP, ARI-13% rostered in Yahoo-SAGNOF. While the D’Backs await the return of Soria, they have turned to Crichton in back-to-back save situations. Soria is close to returning to action, and I am not overly thrilled with Crichton’s ability to hold the 9th, but he has been successful as of late and appears to have the job for now.
Lucas Sims, RP, CIN-20% rostered in Yahoo-Amir Garrett has not blown way too many opportunities. He has more walks than K’s, nearly as many HR’s allowed as K’s, and a more than capable replacement looking over his shoulder. While Sean Doolittle does have the closer experience, I expect the next crack to go to Sims. Again, SAGNOF.
Speculative Saves: Jake Diekman-It is most likely still Trivino’s role, but Diekman came in to get the save on Tuesday vs Cruz, Buxton, and Polanco. Stay Tuned!
Rafael Dolis-Money was spent heavily on the next Tor closer, and of course what happens, they bring Dolis in the 8th to get the meat of the order out on Wednesday and he gives up a run. I still think Dolis has the best chance at saves next week.
Ian Kennedy-Still only rostered in 58% of Yahoo leagues. NO reason for this. There is definitely a SP you can stream. SAGNOF