It’s safe to say that Danny Salazar ($9,300) is back on his game, after striking out 12 batters in seven innings his last time out against the Yankees. Salazar’s numbers have been bonkers since returning from the DL, striking out 28 batters in 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA. The strikeouts should keep coming on Thursday against the Rays, who have the third-highest K-rate against righties at 25.0%. Other fantasy players may be scared off by Tampa’s strong-hitting lineup, but Salazar’s upside makes him a great contrarian play. He looks straight up untouchable, and I’ll be starting him in just about every lineup.
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Due to their continuing dominance throughout the season, I’m endorsing the two big Dominican arms on the slate for tonight, Ervin Santana, $18,200 vs the Brewers and Carlos Martinez, $16,300 at the Royals. Fun fact, Ervin Santana’s real name is Johan Ramon Santana. Yeah, his birth name was Johan Santana. Do you remember another SP named Johan Santana? In case you forgot, he was a two time Cy Young winner and he also pitched for the Twins? Yeah I remember that, I guess it’s ironic or even poetic justice that a guy who changed his name in order to not be confused with one of the most dominant lefty’s ended up on the same team as his predecessor. Ervin is facing the Brewers tonight, who rank second in Ks versus RHP. Yes, please, and thank you! CMart has a tough task against the Royals tonight, but I have feeling he’s going to take advantage of a team that just wrapped up a double header yesterday. Now that the pitching is locked and loaded, let’s take a look at our offensive targets for tonight.
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Tim Beckham was a perfect 4-for-4 Friday night at Camden yards with his fourteenth home run of the year. He’s now homered in back to back ball games. Welcome to Baltimore, Timmah! Where everyone hits everything. Beckham’s bomb came off Tiger’s ace Justin Verlander in the second inning to tie the game at one. He added base hits in each of his next three trips to the plate. Sure, his .279/.331/.453 slash is nothing to write home about, but that was with Tampa. Let’s leave the past in St Petersburg and let’s look at that slash line for Beckham since arriving in Baltimore: .688/.688/1.375! Much nicer, right? And that 2.063 OPS? Unreal! OK, so maybe I’m having a little too much fun with small sample sizes but the truth is Tim Beckham is a hot little crab cake right now! He’s 11-for-16 in his last four games with three doubles and two homers. He’s also scored five runs with four RBI in that stretch. As long as J.J. Hardy is sidelined, Beckham should see playing time every day and you need to ride him while he’s hot. Also, for a player in the midst of a career year in Tampa, playing in the friendly Camden confines and in a much stronger Orioles line up should only help his production. He’s out there in about 85% of leagues, if you’re in need of a hot middle infielder, there are few bending it hotter than Beckham right now.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
And suddenly, it’s August. Week 18 of the season. Ahhh, I remember the good ol’ days of April, when former World Series contenders (*cough* Blue Jays *cough*) still had hopes of surfing their wave of 2016 success into 2017. I also remember the very first post I wrote for you lovelies, on April 8th, because here we are again, on a new go-around on the great Monopoly board of life (do pass “Go”; do collect $200), with the Phillies facing the Rockies in Colorado. The last time this match-up happened on a Saturday, poor old Jeremy Guthrie gave up 10 runs—on his birthday, to boot. I don’t wish that on anyone, but I do want all those runs again! A platter of relatively slim pickings on the pitching front has me wishing I didn’t have to start any pitchers today in my FanDuel slate, but we do what we must: fade (just a little) on pitching while paying up for hitting. Luckily, there are a couple of reasonably priced pitchers today — Gerrit Cole and Drew Pomeranz, I’m looking at you — around whom we can build our lineups.
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Today Dr. Easy and I are taking a deep dive into the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater, the good ol’ STD PR. We’re focusing on the dollar-per-game ($/G) category, looking for surprisingly good (or bad!) hitters who might (or not!) offer you value in the short term on days when they’re in the starting lineup. Many of these players are likely to be available off the waiver wire in your roto leagues, or you could look to play them in DFS line-ups. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but Imma say it anyway: obviously, don’t just take these rankings at face value for batty calls and DFS starts; check out match-ups and recent performance.
First, a word on how this works. The $ category is absolutely key as an overall ranking of players, but it tends to overlook players who haven’t played all that much. This could be due to injury or platoon or call-up situations. For example, on the STD PR, Mr. Mike Trout is 43rd out of all hitters when sorted by $, because he has only 275 plate appearances; but when sorted by $/G, he is 1st. He offers the most value per game, overall. Similar deal with Freddie Freeman: 73rd of hitters when ranked by $ (because of his 269 plate appearances this season), but 8th when ranked by $/G. We set the STD PR to show us hitters who have a minimum of 50 plate appearances, then sorted by $/G. Trout and Freeman’s rankings probably won’t raise any eyebrows, so let’s see if we can find some who will titillate your “I didn’t know that!” muscle along with your facial hair (includes beards, peach fuzz and Grey mustache wannabes).
Next, before we proceed, just a quick note: despite the name, “$/G” is not dollars divided by number of games. See the FAQs on the Player Rater page for a full explanation. And lastly, all stats lobbed at you are up to date as of Wednesday. So check for changes early and often.
Ozzies sure seem to always be MIs. Oswaldo Arcia must not have been allowed to change his name, he should’ve switched with Orlando. I’m at the waiver wire like this, “Go shopping…Go shopping…Let’s all go shopping…Go shopping…” Ya know what? I’m just gonna leave this here…
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
I’m at the Albies Square Mall!
You have to love Biz’s way with words. Can only be described as slow and methodical. Ozzie Albies can best be described as mini-Altuve. What’s he a dwarf? You little person, Ozzie Albies Square Mall? He has a ton of speed (70 score), and makes contact, while his power has made serious gains. Or GAINZ, according to Endorphin Ralph. He’s a must grab in all leagues, and could be a top 25 fantasy player for dynasty leagues. This little guy is big-time. Unlike Ozzie Guillen and Ozzy Osbourne, this Ozzie will use his bat for something useful vs slapping and biting. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Adrian Beltre was promoted to the Dodgers the same year I moved to Los Angeles. I distinctly remember listening to AM sports radio a lot that summer, and, man, did people in LA hate Beltre. With justification too, he struggled for six seasons. When he finally broke out in 2004 (48 HRs, .334), no one believed it. If you would’ve told people in LA, Beltre would be a surefire Hall of Famer, they would’ve thought you were related to him. This would be the same as now saying Nick Castellanos will be a Hall of Famer in 14 years. Yesterday, Beltre went 1-for-5, 2 runs and secured his place in history with his 3,000th hit. Good on, Beltre, may all your cheap beers and head remain untapped. As for fantasy, well, doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a hat tip, while a hat pat is forbidden. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Shades of Freddie Freeman… Pedro Strop might want to hire security for his home in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic because bitter Nationals fans are going to be hurling lots of huevos from Trea Turner‘sbroken wrist. Nationals fans are an interesting lot to begin with. Many of the people who attend Nationals home games are transplanted fans of other teams who are only in DC temporarily for business or pleasure. I went to a Nationals game once where a woman was reading and knitting the entire time. I don’t think she witnessed a single out. Back on track! Trea! Of course his amazing stats are only told to you AFTER he is set to miss about two months. In June he had 22 stolen bases. 22. By himself. And yes, I did list Trea as a bust in the 2017 Razzball Writers Predictions. But here’s what I wrote to Jay as justification: “Turner has skills—no doubt. But he has less than 1,000 at bats since he entered professional baseball in 2014. He is going to be this year’s Carlos Correa—drafted in Round 1 or 2 and not earning back that cost.” Steals will be there. Runs too. Everything else? Ehhhhhh. Stash or Trash: Stash. Please. Fill In: So there is no replacing 22 stolen bases in a month. But you know that, right? Hell, over the last 30 days there are only 4 players with over 10 stolen bases. So I’m going to recommend one of them: Cameron Maybin (61.9%.) This is more of a shallow league add, but he’s one of the few players that can even give you part of Trea’s stats. Maybin is always a risk to find himself in an issue of Ambulance Chasers, but right now his 24 SB and 49 runs aren’t bad.
Yankees called up their 3B prospect, Miguel Andujar (3-for-4, 4 RBIs, and a steal), to fill-in for DL’d Matt Holliday. That reminds me of Joaquin Andujar, and now I’m sad. Gone too soon. RIP, Joaquin. “I always thought you’d kill someone before life killed you.” That’s my eulogy to him. Any hoo! I watched some game film on Andujar (while chewing on an unlit cigar, because that’s how scouts do it, right?), and he reminds me of so many Dominican players that take the Roberto Clemente/Vlad Guerrero approach. Old adage goes: You can’t walk your way off the island. We should have a glossary term for these type of hitters. Please suggest in the comments. Any hoo, Part 2: Still Hoo’ing, Andujar is raw, swings at a lot and makes contact, sometimes to his detriment. He could DH or see time at 3B, but will need to hit to stick. Could be a deep league power bat if he hits and Headley is benched indefinitely or Holliday stays out a while. Maybe Andujar will be so lucky that Girardi gets one more wish filled this year and looks at Andujar, saying, “Now, you be the Judge.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Y’all better be ready. (Gotta love some fantasy baseball puns that involve some Cypress Hill.) Well, even if you didn’t like it, I did. So there’s that. So A.A. Ron Hicks hit the DL with an oblique injury… but I have to ask: Why is it so oblique if we actually know what it is? If anything, it’s an un-oblique injury because we know what the injury is. Regardless, and I am dropping the “ir” because it is not a word, though it should be. Jacoby Ellsbury has returned like a stallion on a white stallion. Unfortunately for fantasy, Jacoby hasn’t been such since dunkaroos were still a cool snack. As a Yankee rooter, Hicks’ injury hurts because he is versatile and Ellsbury is just a DL nightmare. The rewards that you reaped from the waiver wire add of Hicks aren’t lost though, because it is a substitute by substitute principle. It’s like walking through the store and finding a 20 dollar bill. Only to realize that a month later it was your money to begin with. So reinvest that sorta found money to the waiver wire and keep digging. The expectations for Ellsbury should remain limited, but are boosted by where he bats in the Yankee lineup. Though in his SAGNOF defense, he did have 8 steals in just 149 plate appearances, so he does have some value as it relates to steals and such. And with the scuppering Yankees in a fall from fantasy grace, minus Judge, he could ease out some OF 4-5 value. Stay glued to that chair, more goodies after the jump on swipes, thievery and save-dom.