Howdy Razzballero! I hope you all had a great Independence Day, and I’m not referring to the movie sequel that was released about a decade and a half too late. Doesn’t Hollywood have any original ideas anymore? Why are there so many mediocre sequels and remakes/reboots in the theaters at any given time? I briefly considered making a rare trip to the movies during the holiday weekend, but since the thought of dropping $20 a person on tickets, popcorn, and drinks while settling for the new Tarzan flick or another crappy sequel (Independence Day, The Purge) didn’t seem all that appealing to me, the decision was made to stay home and watch the old Dolph Lundgren flick I Come in Peace (also listed as Dark Angel in some places) instead. It’s a cheesy late 80s/early 90s sci-fi/action movie about an alien drug dealer who induces heroin overdoses in humans and then harvests their endorphins. And it features Ivan Drago kicking ass. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. Kind of like a cooler version of Independence Day. So I guess the moral of the story is to save your money and watch old Lundgren movies. But I digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, fantasy baseball! That brings us to this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Washington Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito (54.5% owned; +46% over the past week). Giolito has long been a coveted commodity in fantasy circles due to his mid-high 90s fastball and 80 grade hammer curveball. His buzz died down a bit following mediocre results in his first eight Double-A starts this season (18% K%, 13% BB%, 4.08 FIP, 3.82 ERA), but that was mostly due to early season mechanical adjustments that were made to his delivery. Over his last six Double-A starts, Giolito was much more effective (28% K%, 8% BB%, 2.39 FIP, 2.52 ERA). His control has been iffy at times, but he clearly has swing and miss stuff and the natural sinking action on his fastball tends to keep the ball in the park (13 HR allowed since his professional debut in 2012). A couple of popular current comps for Giolito are Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg, but he also reminds me of a couple of big righties with the hard fastball/hammer curve combo from their early Marlins days (Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett). Strasburg’s DL stint prompted his call up, and Joe Ross’ current one has allowed him to extend his stay in the majors. The upside here is obvious. If he’s still somehow available in your league, Giolito is a must add.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Junior Guerra: 30.1% owned; +14.8%

Guerra is a player who wasn’t on anyone’s radar entering this season. He was 31 years old, bounced around four different MLB organizations, and was essentially out of the league during a recent six season stretch (2009-14). That makes his production over his last ten starts (64.2 IP, 58/20 K/BB, 2.37 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) all the more remarkable. Guerra features three above average pitches which include a 94 mph fourseamer, a hard slider, and one of the best splitters in the game. His contact and swinging strike rates compare favorably to frontline starters like Jake Arrieta, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Sale. The facts that he’s an older, unknown player who pitches for the lowly Brewers might result in others being skeptical of his unexpected success continuing. From what I’ve seen, Guerra looks like the real deal. TREASURE.

Brandon McCarthy: 7.9% owned; +6.8%

Remember this guy? The one that I wrote about last offseason? Yeah, well he’s also the same player who blew out his elbow last April and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery that same month. Fast forward fourteen months and McCarthy appears to be back with a vengeance. He struck out eight Rockies across five shutout innings in his return to MLB action last Sunday, and perhaps more importantly, his velocity appeared to be back to normal and he claims to be completely healthy and ready to go. With Kershaw’s back becoming an issue and Urias quickly nearing his innings limit for this season, McCarthy will get every chance to prove himself in the rotation. His next matchup on Saturday against the Padres looks like a good one. Give McCarthy a whirl if you need a pitching boost. TREASURE.

  1. Chud says:
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    Good stuff!

    ROS 10 team 5×5 league: Guerra or Paxton?

    Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chud: Thanks! I’d take Guerra over Paxton.

  2. JVanSlyke says:
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    Thanks Magoo. I added Mccarthey for his San Diego start

    Harvey was just dropped in my 10 team roto. Should I drop Shoemaker for him??

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @JVanSlyke: I’d take Harvey over Shoemaker. Do you have anyone else to drop though? Shoe’s worth hanging onto if possible.

      • JVanSlyke says:
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        @Big Magoo:

        I’m stuck with Mcgee and Estevez until Weiss decides what he wants to do which is killing my flexibility

        Other option is Danny Duffy or one of the above relievers

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @JVanSlyke: I’d ditch McGee for Herrera if you need a closer. Wade Davis just hit the DL. If Herrera isn’t available, I’d stash Ottavino over McGee too. Hold Duffy.

          • JVanSlyke says:
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            @Big Magoo:

            Great, thanks!!

            • Big Magoo

              Big Magoo says:
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              @JVanSlyke: No problem

  3. Excellent fodder, thanks! It has inspired me to ask you this:

    In Keeper’s. We have a mid-season draft in which we get to pick one player from big group who we didn’t pick at the beginning of the year.

    I need both SP & OF.

    Presuming J. Guerra, MLK, is picked by my turn which of the two remaining SPs would you favor: D. Mengden, OAK; B. McCarthy, LAD; B. Norris, LAD; D. Fister, HOU, and/or M. Shoemaker, ST.L?

    Need an OF’er too. A. Duvall, CIN, will already be nabbed. Any reason to invest in S. Moya, DET, or M. Upton, SD, than one of the arms above?

    In advance: MANY THANKS!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @FANTHEAD: Any of Guerra/Shoemaker/McCarthy would be solid picks. Moya has intriguing upside, but he’ll likely be relegated to a bench role once JD returns in a few weeks. Upton is a safeish bet for power/speed due to his job security. If you grab one of those SPs + Upton (or two SPs, depending on how badly you need them), that would be solid.

  4. Max says:
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    Do you like Fulmer’s outlook for the remainder of the year? I have a surplus of power, but my staff is weak. Fulmer for my Jake Lamb has been proposed. Should I do it?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Max says:
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      FYI this is a H2H league. And if I trade Lamb who has been occupying my Util, I’d be choosing between Schoop, Duvall and Espinosa to fill that spot.

      Thanks again for the advice.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Max: I like Fulmer quite a bit, but he’s likely to be shut down/skipped in September due to workload considerations. In a H2H format, that could be an issue. That being said, if you need a pitching upgrade, that’s a fine deal. Duvall would slide in at utility just fine, even if it’s an OBP and/or hitter Ks format.

  5. Robert says:
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    Would you drop Cishek to grab Herrera?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Robert: I’d try to make room for Herrera, but probably not at the expense of Cishek. He’s been very good over the last month and a half and appears to have solid job security now.

  6. Jose says:
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    Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon ?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jose: Slight edge to Blackmon overall due to the steals, but CarGo has an edge in HR/RBI if those are bigger needs.

  7. Ben says:
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    Please rank the following for (1) this year and (2) as a cheap keeper for the next two years:

    Danny Duffy
    Aaron Sanchez
    Trevor Bauer

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ben: Bauer, Duffy, Sanchez for this year. Sanchez, Bauer, Duffy for the next two.

  8. Red5 says:
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    In a vacuum: Which side of the trade would you want: Cole and Fowler or Nelson Cruz?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Red5: For this season? I’d want Cruz. If you need pitching, the Cole/Fowler side is fine (assuming it’s Gerrit).

  9. Rusty Arms says:
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    Kyle Hendricks. Guerra. Dan Duffy. Best of the 3 for rest of the season. Thanks

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Rusty Arms: Hendricks. Great ratio guy. Awesome situation gives him great win potential. One of the best changeups in baseball. I like all three pitchers though.

  10. I need power in a bad way. I have for SP
    bumgardner
    Kershaw
    cmartinez
    D Duffy
    Pomeranz
    J Nelson
    MULLER
    MOORE

    I wad offered Harper for Bumgardner. 6×6 ops QS H2h
    your thoughts My Magoo

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dnut Eastwood: I’d take Harper. He’d give you a nice power boost. CMart has been coming around lately, and I don’t think that Kershaw’s injury is that serious (though I could be wrong).

  11. any reason other than pressing from getting walked so much that he couldn’t have a huge 2nd half

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dnut Eastwood: Harper? He’s had trouble when busted inside (especially down and in), but he seems to have adjusted. Just one bad month really (May). He’ll be fine. Good time to buy.

  12. Dane says:
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    In a QS league with innings cap, why should I keep Matt Harvey or Chris Archer? They’ve murdered me all season.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dane: Harvey has posted quality starts in four out of his last seven starts (and one was shortened by rain). Archer has been inconsistent, but pretty good for the most part outside of his first four starts. Early struggles have hurt their stat lines.

  13. J-FOH says:
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    Reading all this Q&A makes me want to ask a question. Maeda or Hendricks? Ive looked at all the numbers and I give the slightest of edge to Maeda, what are your thoughts?….oh and great stuff as usual mi amigo

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @J-FOH: Thanks bro. Pretty much a toss up between Maeda and Hendricks. If forced to choose, I’d lean Hendricks due to the durability factor (Maeda’s preexisting elbow issues + slight build).

  14. Jeff says:
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    just got offered lackey for duvall. who the better player long term, will duval sustain what hes done this season? will lackey hold up for the rest of the season?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jeff: I’d definitely go with Duvall there unless your league’s scoring system heavily favors pitching. He’s probably closer to Mark Trumbo (30-35 homers) than Chris Davis (40+) long term, but that’s plenty valuable. His power is for real.

  15. Knucks says:
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    Guru goo, what say you about the Grichuk call up? Think he has a decent 2nd half?

    .271 AVG with five slams in 50ABs on the farm

    Thinking of dropping Judge for him in 12 Team Roto Redraft

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Knucks: I’ve liked Grichuk since the 2nd half of last season. 30 homer power (though probably more of a mid-20s player currently). I’d definitely take him over Judge in a redraft.

  16. jason bourne says:
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    Has Ned Yost said Kelvin Herrera will be the closer while Davis is out? He’s better than Soria, but can you trust Yost to do the right thing ha ha?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @jason bourne: I haven’t seen/heard him announce anything yet. When speculating, I always think it’s a good idea to prioritize skills over roles whenever there’s uncertainty. Herrera is a much better pitcher at the moment than Soria. Herrera has been KC’s primary setup guy all season long, so I think he’s worth gambling on.

      • jason bourne says:
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        I could not find any news except the Royals have Perez, Hosmer, Davis and Herrera in the All-Star game. Ned Yost will be managing. I realized it was speculation and picked up Herrera, but Yost doesn’t always go by what most people think is right.

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @jason bourne: Yeah, it’s basically a coin flip. Yost is the kind of manager who might prefer the “experience” factor in the 9th. I’d still speculate on Herrera over Soria.

  17. Nelson says:
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    Guerra or his teammate Davies?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Nelson: Definitely Guerra. Davies is more of a matchup play while Guerra’s stuff/Ks has almost pushed him into must-start territory.

  18. Jiggy Nits says:
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    Puig + Tyler Anderson – Jason Hayward + Jon Gray

    NL only ROTO with BB instead of R

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jiggy Nits: I like the Heyward/Gray side there

  19. Dave says:
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    Would you drop Iwakuma for McCarthy? Dynasty league, I’m contending this year and my starting pitching is my biggest weakness.

    Thanks

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Dave: Yeah, I’d take McCarthy over Iwakuma. Iwakuma has morphed into more of a junkballer at this stage of his career.

  20. Ryan says:
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    My pitching staff is: archer, Harvey, carrasco, Lester, tanaka, Duffy, Bauer, hill, Giolito. Guerra is on the wire. Do I drop anyone? Categories: ip, QS, k, whip, k/bb. Harvey and archer are benched half the time.
    Also have abreu, Sano, Bradley on bench.
    Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ryan: Hold Harvey and Archer. They’ve been frustrating to own, but they’ve been better lately. I’d take Guerra over Archie Bradley though, especially in a QS league.

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