This week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, Oakland A’s third baseman Danny Valencia (63.8% owned; +36.4% over the past week), has undergone quite the transformation over the last calendar year. Prior to the 2015 season, he was just a part-time player who mashed left-handed pitching in the Ryan Raburn/Scott Van Slyke mold. From his MLB debut in 2010 through the end of the 2014 season, Valencia’s .870 OPS vs lefties far surpassed his .615 OPS against right-handed pitching. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, it’s been business as usual vs LHP (.907 OPS), but he’s improved considerably against RHP (.845 OPS). His ISO also jumped from .142 (pre-2015) to .225 (2015-present day) during that period. Hmm… a player displaying a huge power surge at 30 years old isn’t suspicious at all! Well, there may be a couple of reasonable explanations for Valencia morphing from Kelly Johnson into Ryan Braun at the plate virtually overnight. The first thing is the addition of a leg kick in his swing courtesy of former teammate and elite slugger Jose Bautista. The second thing is the opportunity to play every day. Valencia never received that opportunity until late last season in Toronto, and his performance during that time convinced the A’s to give him a shot as their starting third baseman. Through his first 14 games this season though, Valencia’s power disappeared, as he managed just a .353 slugging percentage with no homers and 2 RBI in 55 plate appearances. Maybe that power surge was just a fluke after all. After a DL stint at the end of April into the beginning of May, however, the power returned with a vengeance. Since returning on May 7th, Valencia has produced a .354/.360/.729 triple slash line, which includes smashing 6 homers across five games from May 13th-17th. He looks like a good bet for a .280 average and 15-17 homers moving forward, so add him if you can (or more likely, try to get him on the cheap via trade).

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

Matt Andriese: 40.1% owned; +20.2%

ESPN’s ownership numbers are pretty funny sometimes. Players like Jonathan Villar and Marcell Ozuna took forever to reach the 40% owned threshold this season, but Andriese is already there after a mediocre run with the Rays last season and just three starts this year? Admittedly, his complete game shutout of the A’s earlier this month was quite impressive, but that should be considered more of an anomaly than anything else. He features a low 90s fastball to go along with a mid 80s cutter that he uses to induce groundballs and keep lefties honest. Andriese has solid control (2.11 BB/9), but he doesn’t miss many bats (8.3% SwStr%) and pitches in the treacherous AL East. His 2.11 ERA is likely to regress in the near future (4.79 xFIP) as well. Think of him as a the AL version of Mike Leake. Outside of very favorable matchups, leave him on the wire in shallow formats. TRASH.

Kevin Gausman: 42.1% owned; -7.5%

Much like Andriese, Gausman calls the tough AL East his home, but the similarities end there (well, they’re both 6’3″ righties, but semantics). Gausman is one of the hardest throwers among starting pitchers in MLB (94.6 mph average fastball velocity) and features a heavy splitter that’s a true out pitch (26.8% SwStr% against that pitch). He hasn’t walked more than 2 batters in any of his 6 starts this season, and he’s only allowed more than 3 earned runs once (4 ER vs Detroit on May 15th). Gausman is pretty effective at keeping the ball on the ground (45.9% GB%) and in the ballpark as well (0.74 HR/9). Maybe his poor luck (zero wins) is keeping owners away, but he’s the real deal. TREASURE.

  1. Jason says:
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    Would you trade Tyler White for Valencia in a dynasty league?

    • WhiteRabbit says:
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      @Jason: probably – but both are close. I am basing this ff too much competition in Houston and white has already started regressing.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jason: I’d take Valencia if you’re a contender this year, but probably hold the younger White otherwise.

  2. WillisReid says:
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    Thoughts on Owings? Looks like a decent MI option with OF eligibility as a bonus.

    Also. I have Tulo collecting dust on my bench. Is he a hold/drop or should I try to trade him?

    • WhiteRabbit says:
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      @WillisReid: As usual, you should definitely try to trade Tulo before he gets hurt if he has built up some value

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @WillisReid: Follow the white rabbit

  3. Andre says:
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    I have a potential trade in the works where the main pieces are Lindor and Correa. I’m in contention and need pitching, but I’d be moving Correa and get Lindor in return. 10 team, head to head categories, keeper league that uses H, Avg, BB, R, RBI, Steals and HR. Which shortstop would you rather have long term? I originally turned down the idea until seeing a Fangraphs article taking about how good Lindor was and also looking at year to date numbers. Is this the second coming of prime Tulo & Reyes?

    • Cram It says:
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      @Andre: Correa > Lindor. Year to date numbers be damned. But I don’t see how this trade helps your pitching when there’s no….pitchers involved.

      • Andre says:
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        @Cram It: The pitchers weren’t important because they weren’t going to be kept for next year. I was trying to figure out which one of the keeper players in the deal was worth more long term.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Andre: I’d say that Correa/Lindor are the modern counterparts of A-Rod/Jeter from around 20 years ago, though neither of the current guys are quite as good as their predecessors. I agree with Cram that it would take a sizable pitching upgrade along with Lindor in order to comfortably part with Correa in a keeper format.

      • Andre says:
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        @Big Magoo: Thanks!

        • Big Magoo

          Big Magoo says:
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          @Andre: No problem

  4. Ross Watson says:
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    Points league ROS value. Devon Travis or Jhonny Peralta?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ross Watson: I’d give the edge to Peralta. Travis’ injury was more severe and could hurt his power numbers this year.

  5. Scott says:
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    Hisashi facing the A’s tomorrow. Available in too many of my leagues. I guess I shouldn’t complain.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Scott: Iwakuma’s been fairly hittable this year, but that’s a solid matchup

  6. Jolly rancher says:
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    Hiya BM:
    Having SP problems in my 10 team weekly H2H points league. Have Arieta, Greinke, Gaussman, Keuchel, Velasquez, Kennedy, JRoss, and TRoss (DL). Thinking either trade/drop Keuchel for CMart or drop one of my infielders namely Rendon or Villar for CMart. Thoughts? Shouldn’t stick with what I have? Could also drop and stash either Taillon or Glasnow. This week is a write off for me!! I am at negative points because of lousy pitching and batting yesterday. I’ve got some major catching up to do if I can get myself out of this hole! Thanks much.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Jolly rancher: Hey, JR! In a points format, it’s probably a good idea to give some more rope to Keuchel. I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s been unlucky in terms of BABIP and strand rate, so his results should improve in the coming weeks. CMart’s had a few mediocre outings recently, but his velocity looks fine and nothing looks too out of the ordinary except for the fact that his Ks are down. I’d grab him over whichever MI (Rendon or Villar) is more expendable for you based on your roster construction.

  7. I’m guessing you wouldn’t stream Andriese tomorrow vs. the Marlins, right? It’s a deep league and I need wins, but I’m scared off by Stanton, Ozuna, et al. What do you think?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Enrique: How deep? In an AL-Only or 15+ team mixed league, I’d start him. He’s at home and the Marlins will still be sans Yelich, most likely. Not a terrible scenario. In a 12 team mixed league, could go either way.

      • @Big Magoo: It’s 14 teams. Thanks … I’m going to take another look now.

  8. Hugh G. Rection says:
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    In a full keeper league I have the chance to lock up Ozuna and Souza Jr. for the next 4 years. I can keep them next year regardless but the asking price will go up. Thoughts on the long term value of those guys? Ozuna is looking like the Bonds effect is helping a ton.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Hugh G. Rection: I wouldn’t want to lock up Souza for four years at escalating salaries. Ozuna is a possibility though. What kind of salaries would you be looking at for him going forward?

  9. rick says:
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    drop andriese for park? 13 team roto

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @rick: Byung-ho? Yes, definitely. He has a shot at 30 homers and his average should settle into the .250 range.

  10. OaktownSteve says:
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    Valencia is the only person in the last 25 years to hit 3 homers in a game all of which traveled over 425 feet.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @OaktownSteve: Is he referred to as “The Juice” out there? Or too much OJ/Ped association?

  11. dom says:
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    what do we expect from Villar going forward? my bad not sure if you had him at trash or treasure

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @dom: Expect plenty of runs and steals. He’s unlikely to hit .280+ though. More of a .250-.260 hitter.

  12. Chris says:
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    Alright Magoo huge challenge (well maybe not that huge) I’m getting a few opinions on this one.

    I’m in a 14 team h2h league this is the staff I face next week:
    SP-Moore-Porcello-Santana-Cain-Chen-Tillman (he will start 5)
    RP-Kenley-Gregerson-Kimbrel-Madson (He will start all 4)

    My Staff:
    Carrasco(hopefully) Tex or KC at home
    Eickhoff home against Mil
    Fiers vs Ari
    Gio @ cincy
    Liriano @ LAA
    Matz vs CHW
    Miley @ SD
    Corbin Vs Hou and @ Chc
    Rodon at Mets
    Wright vs Tor and @ Balt
    Krod-Dyson-Street
    I need a few of his starters to get blown up to have a decent shot at era and whip. Do I start zero closers? What would you do against that? Obviously can only start 9 total need 30 inn min.

    Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Chris: Yeah, I’d go with all SPs to get the edge in wins and Ks. I don’t think that Carrasco will be back next week, but if he is, I’d probably bench Rodon there.

  13. Johnc says:
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    Semien has given me ten long balls which has been nice but his lack of average and Ks are hurting me. I have Schoop and Villar at other MI spots so wondering if it is time to drop Semien for Peralta, Cabrera or Turner if you see him up June 1. Thanks.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Johnc: I’m not sure if Turner will be up by June 1st, but he should be up fairly soon. He’d be a solid add if you have another MI to fill in for Semien.

  14. Ryan says:
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    Would you rather have Dozier or Schoop at 2B ROS? Currently have Dozier but Schoop was dropped and is a FA. Does it make sense to drop Dozier for him or ride it out with Dozier?

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Ryan: Bench Dozier for the time being if possible, but if you need that roster spot, I’d take Schoop there.

  15. Matt says:
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    Being offered Rougned Odor for my Victor Martinez, who is DH eligible only. Traded away Rendon and Goldy for Harper and Desmond, and now I need a 2B. 12 team h2h cats, non keeper

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Matt: I’d take Odor there

  16. Schwab says:
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    Dynasty offer. 8 teams H2H point based league where we all keep 15 each year. Was offered Glasnow for Rendon and Suarez. Do it? Thanks.

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Schwab: Yeah, I’d probably gamble on Glasnow’s upside in that format

  17. Gerry Randell says:
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    Would you drop Lawire for Valencia? Thanks!

    • Big Magoo

      Big Magoo says:
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      @Gerry Randell: Basically apples for apples, so depends on positional needs

  18. RonnieMatt says:
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    I need to drop a couple pitcher. I have Yu darvis and carrasco coming off the DL soon. Its a 14 team H2H points league, 7 starts a week. My rotation now is Stras, Cole, Tillman, Taijuan Walker, Steven Wright and Adam Wainwright. Should i keep darvish on the DL for a week to track his playing?

    Also thoughts on picking up leonys martin?

  19. We're Out Of Room says:
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    Whats up Magoo, Valencia is available in my league but I dont see an obvious drop, any suggestions…roster is below:

    ESPN 12 team HTH 5×5 with OBP and QS daily moves and 4 keepers per season

    C Molina
    1B Cabrera
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B Seager
    SS A. Russell
    OF Stanton
    OF Springer
    OF Polanco
    UTIL OF Burns
    UTIL OF/DH Sano
    Bench 2B/SS Castro
    Bench OF Maybin
    DL Pollock

    SP Salazar
    SP Corbin
    RP Kimbrel
    RP Melancon
    P T. Walker
    P Odorizzi
    P C.Rodon
    P Chen
    Bench SP Pomeranz
    Bench SP Kennedy
    Bench RP McGee
    DL SP E-Rod

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