Having a big bank account certainly helps the Dodgers, but it’s guys like Zach McKinstry and Luke Raley who make them a juggernaut. You might’ve familiarized yourself with McKinstry at this point, but one thing to mention here is that he’s outfield eligible in most leagues now, even Fantrax’s Util purgatory, making him a nice option in leagues of all sizes. Second base eligibility should come next. He’s got six games there already. 

Side note: my Perts league team is thick with second basemen (DJ, Whit, Villar, France), so it’ll be special for the group when McKinstry earns that badge. Whit just got his. Ty France is in the waiting room with eight games at 2B as of today. Big Perts party incoming for team Itch. Michael Brantley finally added OF this morning. Woohoo for positions!

Back to Luke Raley, who started on Thursday and again Friday when he went yard against the Padres, likely earning himself a few more chances on a team that likes to play the hot hand. Los Angeles clearly liked Raley, having taken him out of tiny Lake Erie College in the 7th round of the 2016 draft. He wound up with Minnesota as part of the Brian Dozier trade, but Los Angeles got him back about a year later in the Kenta Maeda deal. On the field, Raley is a plus runner who’s stolen 21 bases and been caught five times across his minor league career. In 2019, he stole four bases in 33 games without getting caught. While he’s not going to carry anyone in the category, he’s a sneaky source for deep league speed, and one that comes equipped with plus power. He has never posted a below average offensive season according to wRC+, living mostly in the 125 range, or 25 percent better than the league average hitter. All this is to say: while his name probably rings hollow for the average fantasy player on first reference, Raley has serious upside if he can minimize the strikeouts. If anyone can get the most out of his rotisserie skills, it’s the Dodgers

Milwaukee LHP Angel Perdomo looks incredible. He’s a 6’8” lefty throwing high nineties heat he hides well behind his head just before uncoiling for release. Worth a watch. All it takes is a couple random video clips on statcast these days if you’re up for a quick and context-free glance at the general looks a reliever presents. Perdomo’s look is that of a long-term, high-leverage big league bullpen arm. The only question is his control, and he’s got it working for him at the moment. He struck out 35.1 percent of the AAA hitters he saw even with his control coming and going (15.5 percent BB%), so the idea of a Perdomo living in the strike zone is a little bit terrifying. 

Toronto RHP Anthony Castro cut his teeth as a starter but struggled to clear a path for himself partly because he lost the feel for his delivery in AA and walked 5.72 batters per nine innings. He always featured relief-only mechanics, and a 14.8 percent walk rate doesn’t look so crazy in the bullpen, but I’d expect him to command the ball much better in short relief, leaning on a sweeping bender and a four-seamer in and/or up. Looks like he’ll be extremely tough on righties. I think he’ll move up in the embattled bullpen’s pecking order quickly in Toronto. 

The San Francisco Giants’ bullpen has been great this season, but they’re a little short on righties. Enter RHP Camilo Doval, a super-talented A-ball closer who hadn’t reached AA before his promotion. I have a feeling this timing is not accidental–that the Giants have run the service-time math and suspect they can keep Doval up all year if he’s good enough to stick. I’m excited to see him. If he struggles, they’ll just send him back to the alternate site and give him half a season or more in the minors, but he’s a sharp pickup right now in deep Saves/Holds leagues.  

Arizona OF Nick Heath was acquired from Kansas City on Saturday in exchange for RHP Eduardo Herrera. Tim LoCastro got banged up attempting to steal third on Saturday. If he misses time, maybe Heath slides into a few stolen bases. 

Kansas City LHP Jake Brentz throws hard, averaging 97 on his four-seamer and 91.2 on his change. Seems like everyone is bumping up against 100 miles per hour these days, but the preponderance of high velocity relievers is not making those fastballs any easier to hit. Or maybe it is and we just wouldn’t be able to chart such a thing. Cesar Valdez might count as evidence that the extreme velocities are opening avenues for crafty junk ballers, but it’s not like hitters are growing accustomed to triple digits in ways that gives them an edge in the late innings. Sorry for the tangent there. It’s just interesting to watch the game transform. In the recent past, a guy like Brentz would be immediately ticketed for the back end of a bullpen thanks to his elite heat, but these days with pens stacked up, he’s a middle reliever for the time being. Manager Mike Matheny has been creative with his bullpen the past couple years, so if Brentz continues to be effective, he’ll become a high-leverage factor soon. 

St. Louis OF Justin Williams hit an opposite field home run on Friday, the first of his MLB career. This team has demonstrated a flawed approach to outfield construction for quite a while now, in my opinion, so certainly nothing is guaranteed here, but Williams looks like the best of the non-Carlson bunch to me, at least at the plate, at least for the moment. Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader should be off the IL soon enough to undercut Williams’ chances of a real breakthrough, but neither has proven himself an everyday big leaguer despite the club’s unwavering loyalty to them. 

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

37 Comments
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Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Itch I know it’s late and you may or may not answer this but I need some advice in a full keeper league. I’m in 1st place right now and I’ve got Gore, Kelenic, Cj Abrams, and Luciano for my only 4 bench spots. I’ve got a relatively great lineup but I’m starting to get the injury bug…Albies, Bellinger, (maybe Acuna), Grisham, Bregman, and Buxton is a time bomb. If you’ve got these prospects, do you just eat it and hold or do you drop and grab a guy like Badoo, Naquin, or Mercedes? My feelings are I should probably hold. I really wanted to roster another active player at my last draft but felt like Luciano is too good to be on waivers. The trade option is probably off the table because most guys in my league don’t value prospects.

Scrapski
Scrapski
1 year ago

Please also include E Escobar and rank the three
Thanks!

Scrapski
Scrapski
1 year ago

Hey Itch,
Thanks for the info.
Jazz or McKinstry in 5×5 roto?

luvdarooks
1 year ago

jeffries or Gilbert in a 6×6 QS -k -Whip -ERA -Net -wins

Lower the Jolly Roger
Lower the Jolly Roger
1 year ago

Itch! Great stuff… 12 team dynasty … 10 farm… I added Gilberto Jimenez yesterday into an open spot… would you add Priester and drop Trammell? Thank you as always!

Slimcompoop
Slimcompoop
1 year ago

Good read Itch! Thank you.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
1 year ago

Amazing how St. Louis (Mozeliak) can give Matt Adams a 5-year leash to suck but won’t give Luke Voit a shot and trades him away for essentially nothing. Gallegos is a nice bullpen arm but he’s garbage compared to Voit.

Then there’s the unwavering commitments to the outfielders that suck like Dexter Fowler, Tyler BlowNeil, and Harrison Bader. Mozeliak, again, extends the leash for these guys 3-4 years, but trades away a guy like Randy Arozarena after only a few months in the Bigs just like Voit.

I can go on and on about St. Louis’ questionable front office decisions. I get that it can happen to anybody once in a while, making a bad trade that is. But Mozeliak’s resume for how he got the job is downright laughable and Bill DeWitt is a moron to keep an idiot who has wasted over a 1/3 billion dollars in spending for nothing and at the same time traded away future stars.

Just for context on the 1/3 billion reference I made: these contracts all belong to Mozeliak.

Fowler ($85 million), Leake ($80 million), Jhonny Peralta ($52 million), Andrew Miller ($34 million) Brett Cecil ($32 mllion), Greg Holland ($16 million), Luke Gregerson ($11 million), Jonathan Boxton ($8 million), Mark Ellis ($5 million) and on and on and on it goes.

That’s $322 million right there. Who in their right mind keeps a clown like Mozeliak employed after all these bad decisions?

By the way, nice piece. Raley looks like he has some potential!

Mookie
Mookie
1 year ago

11 team AL-only keeper roto league with $260 budget, 12 active keepers that count towards auction budget, 3 reserve keepers that don’t count towards auction budget (generally prospects). My full roster at bottom—think I have top 2-3 squad based on talent so in GFIN mode . One issue is I have Ohtani and Alvarez as DH-only so trying to move Alvarez even though he’s a good keeper. Would you take or leave this trade?

I get: Maeda (after this year, contracts he can be kept are $44, 44, 49, 54); Chris Sale (12, 12, 17, 22); Jorge Polanco (6, 11)

I give: Yordan Alvarez (15, 20); Luis Patino (10, 10, 15, 20 – though can be kept for ‘free’ in next years auction)

MY TEAM
C – Chance Sisco; Alejandro Kirk
1B – Vladito
2B – Pinder
SS – Bogaerts
3B – Devers
MI – Andrus
CI – Bregman
OF – Tucker, Gallo, Vaughn, M Taylor, DJ Stewart
DH – Ohtani

P – Berrios, Eovaldi, Luzardo, Bassitt, ERod, Stripling, Heaney, Barnes, C Valdez

Bench – Yordan, Tsutsugo, JaCoby Jones, Casas, Rutschman, Tanner Scott, Patino

toolshed
toolshed
1 year ago

Josh rojas did it to me again. I had to move on. I was hoping he’d get a little bit more time but AZ has not cooperated. I think they wanted him to succeed, but didn’t give him enough time amd he may be moved at some point.

Do you think the Chisholm hot start will continue? Obviously he can’t keep up his current level, but I did not see this coming. Thanks

toolshed
toolshed
Reply to  toolshed
1 year ago

Rojas surprisingly leading off today. He will start hitting now that I moved on. Lol

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
1 year ago

Itch, just drinking my normal Sunday coffee, enjoying the weekly Sunday read. Maxwell House this time, None of the fancy Van Houtte Belgian Chocolate stuff.

Thanks for the write-up, as always. One thing stood out to me that I’m hoping you can expand on. Regarding St. Louis, “This team has demonstrated a flawed approach to outfield construction for quite a while now”… any chance you can elaborate on this? I always though that St. Louis is one of the best teams you could ever ask to play for. They seem really professional. I’d want to play there as a player because I’d have that feeling that I could win it all, every single year. Is there OF construction that rough?

Thanks Itch,

Jolt

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Itch, you’re gold! You went way above and beyond. I appreciate it immensely. I recalled Pham, but couldn’t recall the others. I forgot about Ozuna on the Cards. I still say Miami had the most insane hitting lineup in recent memory with 1. Dee Gordon, 2. Yelich, 3. Stanton, 4. Ozuna, 5. Realmuto (& 6. Justin Bour, 7. Dietrich just for fun). That was a monster of a first 5 + 6.&7., so to speak.

Now imagine if that 2016/2017 Marlins offense + Pitcher Fernandez joined the currebt pitching unit. Oh man. The thought of it makes me shiver. A strong team + legit star power. It would be a world reknowned team. Now I apologize for the jog.

BTW, you’re also spot on with the coffee. It eventually all just turns into non-unique coffee after a week or two after the flavour wears out from the repetitive drinking.

Have an excellent weekend.

Jolt

Cable
Cable
1 year ago

So trade is actually Sanchez/Meadows for Molina/Judge

cable
cable
1 year ago

if you can…h/h points league ..which side

I just picked Molina (FA)

G Sanchez & A Meadows for A Judge

Betterplay
Betterplay
1 year ago

Who is the better play today?

Brandon Lowe vs Cole
Nate Lowe vs Means
Franmil Reyes vs Miley

Thanks!

rocky61
rocky61
1 year ago

Thanks for all this precious info!
Deep NL-only, standard ROTO, need to replace Yelich. Options are Justin Williams, Raley, McKinney, Daza and Tyrone Taylor. Tempted by Williams, but could you please rank them for me.

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 year ago

Would you grab Perdomo at the expense of JP Feyereison? Would grab Raley at the expense of Willie Calhoun? One question do we Alek Manoah soon….thank you!!

Jimmy
Jimmy
Reply to  Jimmy
1 year ago

18 team dynasty 5×5….thanks again itcj

Baggie John
Baggie John
1 year ago

Hi Itch

Loving your stuff. No issues for you missing the Strike Zone at all!

I’m in several Dynasty leagues, and love me some high-K relievers. Would you see Perdomo ranking above Joely Rodriguez or Brusdar Graterol if his command holds up? At 27 he’s more of a target for this year I guess than the future

Have a great weekend!

Baggie John
Baggie John
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Thanks!

Graterol might have some value, I suppose, when he starts pitching! Joely was a FA in all my Leagues. I’ve added Perdomo in my 16-team Dynasty, where I’m not competitive this year (or likely next year either) for $0 so I can keep an eye on him … he certainly sounds intriguing

HamPorter
HamPorter
1 year ago

Morning Itch,

Need some guidance in a 14 team H2H points league. I would like to pick up a bench outfield player, I currently have Soler, Kapler, Robert, and McKinstry in the OF. The best options are Adolis, Wille Calhoun, and Andrew Vaughn. I liked the look of Adolis the other day, but we lose points for strikeouts and I already have Soler and Kapler, so Adolis worries me quite a bit with his swing and miss potential and missing out on more points. Who would you go with of those three?

Pitching: I have Lynn, Ryu, Gallen, Alcantra, Dunning, Peterson, Trevor Williams, Kenley, and Trivino. My bench spots are Yardbrough, Corbin, and I’m holding Jefferies. I have Corbin on the bench for the foreseeable future because he looked like my 3-year-old pitching to me in the backyard the other night. Pitching is slim pickings, would you drop Corbin or Yardbrough for Logan Gilbert? Also, would you add Josh Fleming (Probably taxi squad when Archer gets back) or Cole Irvin looked manageable (albeit it was against the Tiger potent offense)?

Thanks for the help!