smile

Get ready for all the feels. Back in the preseason someone, either JB or an emailer, asked Grey on the Razzball Podcast (did you know we had one? Subscribe!) who could be the next Corey Kluber in fantasy baseball, a pitcher that had a high K%, a good minor league trajectory, and displayed something that would trigger a breakout? In 2014 Kluber ascended into Cy Young status, and won many a fantasy league for owners everywhere (this guy included – love you Corey!). It’s the type of question posed every offseason, because finding the diamond in the rough is part of what it takes to really excel in fantasy baseball. The season is so long, there is such a huge accumulation of stats, and there are so many players. If only you can find that special one.

Driving in the car listening to the podcast that day in March, a name immediately popped into my head. An answer. No, the answer! And I got all smiley thinkin’ about it: Drew Smyly! So far in 2016 he’s just had that affect on people…bringing smyly faces everywhere he goes. For me, it’s been nothing but that since late March because I own him nearly every league and he’s making look like quite the smarty pants.

While he may not win the Cy Young in 2016, thanks in part to the anemic Rays offense (can a brotha get some run support?), he may win some of you fantasy leagues if he keeps this up. And nothing in his peripherals says that he can’t. Not much has changed for Smyly this season compared to years past, except he may be throwing a four-seamer more and walking batters at a slightly slower clip. Nothing’s changed other that the giant elephant in the room when it comes to Smyly: injuries. He’s only topped 100 IP in a season once (that’s not good), and compiled just 66 in 2015 before a shoulder injury derailed his stellar season. He’s a great target in your leagues, but since he’ll cost a pretty penny due to his 10.66 K/9,  2.70 ERA and 0.78 WHIP use his injury history as leverage to lower the price. But hey, none of that matters or puts a damper on the incredible value Smyly brings this week as a Two-Start Pitcher! Here’s where he, and the others, rank for Week 6.

Pitchers are listed in order by rank. 

Gettin’ Giddy‘ (The Best) – Well, would ya look at that, he’s right next to his best friend (in my mind)! There are plenty of aces in this group, and you’ll need em to excel in Week 6 as the dropoff from this group to the rest is massive compared to weeks past. Both Kluber and Smyly, mentioned above, settle firmly into the middle of this group. And no, I’m not worried about DeGrom at Coors. Tap the Rockies, Jacob!

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Stephen Strasburg (WSH) DET, MIA 2.36/1.78 10.07/1.93
Jose Fernandez (MIA) MIL, @WSH 4.28/2.65 12.56/4.28
Jon Lester (CHC) SD, PIT 1.58/3.14 8.55/2.03
Corey Kluber (CLE) @HOU, MIN 3.35/2.58 8.79/1.47
Drew Smyly (TB) @SEA, OAK 2.72/3.02 10.66/1.82
Jacob DeGrom (NYM) @LAD, @COL 1.02/2.06 7.13/2.04
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) KC, CWS 2.87/2.78 8.04/1.72
Kenta Maeda (LAD) NYM, STL 1.41/2.79 7.88/1.69

Got Me Tickled‘ (The Replicas) – A good friend of mine said I laugh like Amy Poehler. I’ll take that, as she probably has the best laugh around. Does that mean I have the best around? No, I won’t venture to say that. It’s more of a replica of the best, which is what you’ll find in the following five: not quite the best of the week, but have the potential to look like the aces above with their final lines.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Aaron Sanchez (TOR) @SF, @TEX 2.82/3.33 7.98/2.82
Felix Hernandez (SEA) TB, LAA 2.21/4.10 7.12/4.42
Kevin Gausman (BAL) @MIN, DET 2.45/3.52 8.18/2.45
Steven Matz (NYM) @LAD, @COL 2.83/2.37 9.42/2.20
Adam Conley (MIA) MIL, @WSH 3.67/3.77 9.33/4.00

A Good Chuckle‘ (The Standards) – Sometimes you just need a good one. Ya know, the kind that can make your day. The laugh that doesn’t bend you over and make you have to wet yourself, but solid enough to turn that frown upside down. It’s a necessary element in the good day equation. You’re starting these guys below, but they’re just the standard with a lot of potential to grow.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Carlos Rodon (CWS) @TEX, @NYY 4.36/4.01 9.00/3.82
Sonny Gray (OAK) @BOS, @TB 4.84/4.54 8.15/4.08
Hector Santiago (LAA) STL, @SEA 3.58/4.47 7.65/3.11
Tyler Chatwood (COL) ARI, NYM 2.15/3.39 6.45/1.91
Michael Fulmer (DET) @WSH, @BAL 3.60/2.07 7.20/1.80

The Pretentious‘ (The Knockoffs) – Should you laugh with it? Should you be turned off by it? Both? You’ll find a good matchup below, but coupled with one you’d rather not mess with.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Trevor Bauer (CLE) @HOU, MIN 5.28/4.18 10.57/4.11
Jose Berrios (MIN) BAL, @CLE 6.75/5.65 12.54/6.75
Matthew Wisler (ATL) PHI, @KC 3.24/4.34 6.21/2.43
Kris Medlen (KC) @NYY, ATL 6.85/4.90 7.25/6.85
Robbie Ray (ARI) @COL, SF 4.97/5.00 9.59/5.33
Colby Lewis (TEX) CWS, TOR 3.32/5.53 6.39/2.61
Chase Anderson (MIL) @MIA, SD 5.55/5.94 7.03/3.70
Chris Young (KC) @NYY, ATL 5.76/5.73 8.80/3.34
Adam Morgan (PHI) @ATL, CIN 6.00/3.51 9.00/3.00
Zach Davies (MIL) @MIA, SD 6.98/4.93 6.05/4.66

Sad Panda (The Trash) – I don’t care the name, the perception, the percentage owned. I’m staying away. Because if not, they’ll make me a….you get it.

Player Opponents ERA/FIP K9/BB9
Mike Fiers (HOU) CLE, @BOS 5.35/4.97 6.95/1.07
Scott Kazmir (LAD) NYM, STL 5.68/5.09 8.52/2.27
Rubby De La Rosa (ARI) @COL, SF 4.60/4.09 9.82/3.07
Wily Peralta (MIL) @MIA, SD 7.50/5.54 5.40/3.90
Daniel Straily (CIN) PIT, @PHI 3.56/5.18 7.71/4.41
Clay Buchholz (BOS) OAK, HOU 5.71/4.97 6.49/3.89
Mike Leake (STL) @LAA, @LAD 6.03/5.11 5.77/2.63
Anibal Sanchez (DET) @WSH, @BAL 5.87/5.09 9.68/5.58
Jonathon Niese (PIT) @CIN, @CHC 5.94/5.74 6.75/3.78
Michael Foltynewicz (ATL) PHI, @KC 9.82/13.16 9.82/4.91
Cesar Vargas (SD) @CHC, @MIL 1.10/4.23 6.61/4.96
Jake Peavy (SF) TOR, @ARI 9.00/4.96 7.76/2.48
Colin Rea (SD) @CHC, @MIL 4.61/4.64 7.24/4.28
Henry Owens (BOS) OAK, HOU 4.82/6.92 6.75/6.75
Matt Cain (SF) TOR, @ARI 7.00/4.66 7.00/3.00

All players listed are projected for two starts, and this list is subject to changes after the article is posted.

So, there you have it! Hopefully you can find some sunshine in your life and get all the smiley feels like me! Drop a comment below, and good luck with Week 6! Check back next weekend for Week 7!

  1. Bobby says:
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    Hey man great post, but are you sure maeda has two starts? He’s currently slated to go Wednesday making him not a two start pitcher for week 6

    • @Bobby: Thanks Bobby! And you’re actually right, he’s slated to throw Wednesday, not Tuesday. He should be off the list.

      • Bobby says:
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        @[email protected]:

        With him on wed this week looks like he has two starts next week though

  2. Mike in Busan says:
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    Is Tyson’s kid brother not tossing two this week?

    • Mike in Busan says:
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      @Mike in Busan: I ask purely out of self-interest, mind you. Enjoy your posts, Mr. Mampersand.

      • @Mike in Busan: No worries! Yes, Joe Ross should get his second in next Sunday with a WAS DH on Saturday. My bad on missing that, and good find!

  3. Josh Freeman says:
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    Lil’ Ross and Alex Wood have 2. Thoughts?

    • @Josh Freeman: How’s FA treating you? Missing K State yet?

      Yeah, Joe should be in there. Missed him. Wood is projected for it as well. I had Maeda in there. Wrong Dodger. I’d slot Ross in with those that get me all tickled, and Wood with The Pretentious. Must be an LA thing…

  4. WillisReid says:
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    Nice draw for Smyly this week. Love Matz but just don’t have the courage to start him in Coors.

    Love these. And thanks for rolling them out Saturday so I can get the drop on the rest of the league.

  5. jason bourne says:
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    Nice post. How giddy are you about Mat Latos (if he was throwin’ two games)?

  6. Jurickson BROfar says:
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    What do you think of Urias to the bullpen?

    • @Jurickson BROfar: Should be electric if only going one inning at a time. I’d imagine they’ll send him back down in a few weeks or months. He won’t stick in the bullpen.

  7. Nicholas Pieroni says:
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    with how giddy you are with Ross. Would you trade him for Liriano and Berrios? H2H pts league.

    • @Nicholas Pieroni: Joe Ross for BOTH Liriano and Berrios? Um, how do I say this…YES! I like Ross, but I’d rather have Liriano alone (bad start and all). Throw in arguably the top pitching prospect in the MLB? Done.

  8. Derrick says:
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    Who is the first catcher up in your opinion? W.Contreras, Tom Murphy, A.Knapp, M.Zunino, G.Sanchez, R.McGuire, Hedges, Alfaro, Pentecost, Tyler Stevenson??? Or do I just ride Curt Cassili?

    It’s a 10 team mixed roto (2 catchers). Also why wouldn’t they at least give Urias a few shots at starting with Wood being placed in the pen with his middle relief experience.

    Also do you believe Jose Reyes will get playing time when he returns??

    Trea Turner, Baez, Kang or JP Crawford rest of season

    • @Derrick: Haha, man…I’m not good at projecting call-ups. Sorry. I know I like the huge ISO that Murphy carries hitting in Coors. Other than that, sorry…not much help. Zunino and Sanchez have pedigree? Haha, question mark intended.

      All depends on how they view Wood, I suppose. But they can limit Urias innings this way and postpone his clock, still. It’s a safe move to see what they have in him at MLB level. If he comes in and just obliterates hitters, he may stick. Maybe they send him back down to stretch back out? If he’s Jose Fernandez 2.0 they’ll utilize him all year. But if he comes up and struggles, no worries, just send him back down to work it out as a starter, which is where he should end up. I’d imagine it’s all about the arbitration clock at this point.

      I do think Reyes plays. I don’t think he plays in Colorado. Look for him to land on another team. Somehow.

      Aaaaand Kang. He’s the only guarantee at everyday at bats.

  9. Might have once again been just a smidge too early to buy that funeral jacket to wear for Beltre.

    Also, that Cano guy can maybe hit a little bit – having them both has been pretty nice this week. Cano is en fuego right now.

    Thanks god, since Au Shiz is stuck in 2nd gear.

    • @Lucky Dog: oops – posted this to the wrong topic. That’s how I roll. lol

  10. Papa C says:
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    Owens is in the minors, right?

    • @Papa C: Yes, he was demoted after I wrote the article. Haha, but he shouldn’t have been on your roster anyways.

  11. Adam says:
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    Sanchez , Conley , hammel , moore
    Please rank
    Thx!

    • @Adam: The names above are by ranking. I like Aaron Sanchez at home in every start. ROS: Hammel, Conley, Sanchez, Moore.

  12. Matt says:
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    Barrios for 2 starts or Velesquez for 1 against the Braves?

    • @Matt: Until I see Berrios actually have a good start, give me Velazquez against the Braves for 1. He may get to double digit Ks.

  13. #stopwalkingharper says:
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    Doesn’t Wisler have two starts? (PH-KC) Where would you put him?

  14. ECTO says:
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    Why do you like Fulmer? @WAS & @BAL, I don’t see it…

    Tillman & Colon on my roster…

    Would you drop either (or both) for Fulmer and/or Manaea?

    • The Harrow says:
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      @ECTO: not me.

      • @The Harrow: Fulmer has a solid track record through the minors. The two road starts aren’t wonderful, but I like him better than all those names below him.

        I also agree. I’d probably hold onto both Colon and Tillman right now. At the first sight of dropoff Fulmer’s a name to look for, though.

        • ECTO says:
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          @[email protected]:

          I waived Colon, his only start this week is against Kershaw on the road, yikes.

          I added Clay Buchholz. Bold strategy Cotton, let’s see how it plays out for him.

          Red Sox fan, I believe in the pumpkin-pie haircutted freak.

  15. Ken says:
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    Is Conley still a 2? My app says he pitches the 10th with off day wouldn’t he be a 2 next week? Thanks

    • @Ken: Yes, the Marlins have a double-header Saturday, leaving Conley as the Sunday starter after he throws tomorrow.

  16. The Harrow says:
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    here’s some weirdness
    1. why is ray a tier above rubby when they have same matchups, and rubby at least looked good recently?
    2. how is fiers a tier below davies/c.young/c.anderson (esp anderson) who’ve been way more terrible than fiers (fiers with one very bad recent start)?
    3. i get it on vargas and rea (more so on rea), they’ve gotten quite lucky, but esp in the case of vargas i’d much rather have them than davies/c.young/anderson. sort of the same thing on straily, he’s gotten lucky, but done well.

    • @The Harrow: Love how you intro’d your points, haha.

      1. Ray and De La Rosa are both struggling. As for me, I’d prefer Ray to Rubby still. Call it just personal preference, even though both are awful so far.
      2. Fiers is under Anderson, Young and Davies this week because they each get starts against the Padres or Braves. Gimme that all day long. That tier is ‘One good start, one bad start’.
      3. Again comes back to those matchups against the Padres and Braves.

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