Category Archives: Baseball

Targeting Pitchers To Fill Out Rotations

Toronto Blue Jays SP Aaron Sanchez

I love him; hope to have him in every league.  Blister problems derailed his 2017.  Led American League with a 3.00 ERA in 2016. I’ll go up and spend a mid-round pick on Sanchez this year.

 

Milwaukee Brewers SP Chase Anderson

12-4 2.74 ERA 1.090 WHIP in 25 starts. Anderson missed time with a side injury.  Living in Milwaukee I’ve watched him warm up before games and long toss in the outfield. Has a very strong arm.  Ratio’s may serve as a career year, but worth a rotation spot in fantasy lineups. Club gave him a 2-yr $11.75 extension early this offseason.

 

Oakland Athletics SP Sean Manaea

12-10 with a 4.37 ERA 1.399 WHIP in 29 starts. A 9.17 ERA in 5 August starts brought down his numbers.  He won 3 games in May, June, and September.  Manaea is a mid-round flier with upside.

 

St. Louis Cardinals SP Miles Mikolas

Couldn’t break thru in 6 minor league seaons/3 Major League seasons in the Padres and Rangers organizations. Went to Japan and found himself.  31-13 with a 2.18 ERA 0.994 WHIP and 8.0 SO/9 in 3 seasons in Japan.  Cardinals gave him a 2-yr deal worth $15.5 million dollars. If the Cardinals are willing to spend money to bring him back to the Majors, He’s worth a late round flier for my fantasy teams.

 

Texas Rangers SP Mike Minor

Jon Daniels was willing to give out a 3-yr deal worth $28 million dollars to a pitcher that was dynamite in relief for the Royals last season.  The plan is for Minor to work as a starter. He did pitch well for the Braves as a starter back in 2013 until shoulder injuries derailed his career.  I’m willing to spend a late round flier on Minor.

 

San Diego Padres SP Bryan Mitchell

Gets a chance to win a rotation spot in San Diego.  Couldn’t break thru in rotation in the Bronx. 9.3 SO/9 in AAA last season. Worth an end of the rotation roll of the dice.

 

Oakland Athletics SP Daniel Mengden

Worth drafting for the Moustache alone. Was acquired by the A’s from the Astros as part of the Scott Kazmir trade in 2015.  Had a 1.54 ERA in 5 late season starts. Pitching in that ballpark is at least a streamer for home matchups.

 

Mets SP Matt Harvey

6.70 ERA and 1.69 WHIP along with a myriad of injuries sum up Harvey’s 2017.  Cubs were reportedly trying to buy low on Harvey in December. Worth a last round lottery ticket in case The Dark Knight returns.  I’ll keep tabs on his velocity in Spring Training.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust American League

Baltimore Orioles SP Dylan Bundy

13-9 last season after finally being somewhat healthy.  4-0 with an 11.3 SO/9 in the month of August.  Bundy is a solid bet to take another step forward in 2018.  Middle to end of rotation target for fantasy players.

 

Boston Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers

10 Homers 30 RBI .284/.338/.482 slash rate in last season call up for Red Sox.  Will turn 22 after the season.  This will be the latest or cheapest Devers will be drafted for a very long time.  Keeper league owners should make sure to acquire Devers.  Seasonal owners should go up and get Devers in the middle rounds.  

 

Chicago White Sox RP Joakim Soria

The White Sox are absolutely loaded with prospects already in the majors and down on the farm.  Putting Soria at the end of the bullpen could help build a winning culture, while creating trade value.  If Soria wins the closers job over Nate Jones, could have some early season value.     

 

Cleveland Indians C/1B/3B Francisco Mejia

.293/.349/.447 career slash rate in 5 minor league seasons. If Indians find room in the lineup for Mejia watch out. One of the more interesting names I will track in spring training.  

 

Detroit Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera

16 homers and 60 RBI last season in 130 games. Yup that happened.  This future HOF’s body broke down last season as Cabrera played thru a myriad of injuries including a back problem.  How much Cabrera is able to play in spring training will dictate if and where I’ll draft him.  At age 35 league leading numbers may not be realistic, but don’t write off Cabrera just yet.

 

Houston Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel

.299 avg. 18 HR 75 RBI last season is a solid value in the middle rounds. The Batting Average may not be repeatable but the power numbers should be in that ballpark.  Just remember there’s a short suspension from the playoffs that starts in 2018.

 

Kansas City Royals DH Jorge Soler

Total bust in 2017 after being acquired from Cubs for Wade Davis. Still just 26 years-old, the Royals have incentive to give Soler a long look.  Playing in Triple A in the PCL Soler blasted 24 homers with a slash rate of .267/.388/.564.  The PCL is known as a hitter’s league, but it provides a glimmer of hope.  Pay attention in spring training as Kansas City could run on Soler Power.  

 

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim 3B Zack Cozart

Had a .77 point jump in OBP from 2016 .308 to 2017 .385.  Highly unlikely Cozart repeats that high of a number.  The multiple position eligibility may be worth the regression back to the mean.  

 

Minnesota Twins OF Eddie Rosario

27 homers out of nowhere in 2017.  I lost an opening round playoff matchup because I played CarGo instead of Rosario. Hit 17 homers and 52 RBI in the 2nd half last season.  Numbers are repeatable as his slash rate last season is on par with his minor league track record.  

 

New York Yankees 1B Greg Bird

Availability has been the major problem with Bird.  I’m buying the .2d83/.397/.486 career minor league slash rate. Look at his playoff run last season .364 OBP in ALDS, .464 OBP in the ALCS.  I plan to target Bird with one of my late round picks or late auction dollars. Certainly plan on getting him on all of my teams in 2018.  Hitting in the Yankees lineup Bird has the potential to do damage.  

 

Oakland Athletics OF Stephen Piscotty

http://thebaseballgenius.com/podcast/targeting-piscotty-in-2018/

 

Seattle Mariners OF Dee Gordon

Gordon is expected to play CF and bat leadoff in Seattle.  I put a premium on multiple position eligibility players. The flexibility allows me to take a chance on another prospect or stash a pitcher.  Grab Gordon a round or two earlier than usual to reap the rewards of position eligibility.

 

Tampa Bay Rays 3B Christian Arroyo

Minor league career slash rate of .300/.345/.434 in 5 seasons. Coming back as part of package for Evan Longoria, Arroyo should have a long leash in Tampa.  May have some ups and downs, but worth a late round flier.    

 

Texas Rangers SP Mike Minor

Pitched very well out of the Royals bullpen last season with 17 Holds, 2.55 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.  I believe Jon Daniels is very good at what he does. So if Daniels is willing to give Minor a 3-year-deal worth $28 million, I should be willing to spend a late round pick on him.  

 

Toronto Blue Jays SP Aaron Sanchez

Went 15-2 with a league leading 3.00 ERA in an All-Star campaign in 2016.  Last year was a lost cause in just 8 starts Sanchez went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA.  Blister problems were a recurring problem.  Sanchez is a stud go up and get him in drafts.  I plan to get him in every league. Major bounceback in 2018.

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust National League

Arizona Diamondbacks RP Archie Bradley

63 appearances 1.73 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 9.7 SO/9 25 Holds.  Brad Boxberger was brought in and has closing experience.  Bradley has better stuff and should slide into the 9th inning role.  

 

Atlanta Braves SP Luiz Gohara

4.91 ERA with a 9.5 SO/9 in 5 starts last year for the Braves. There’s a bit of a logjam in rotation spots at the time of this post.  Watch in spring training to see if Gohara breaks camp with the Braves.  If not be prepared to track his minor league stats in preparation for a call up.

 

Chicago Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber

30 bombs last season with a batting average that was less than his playing weight last season.  Ill-fated move to leadoff spot compounded matters.  Schwarber will bounce back in a big way in 2018. Should be a target to go after regardless of position eligibility.  

 

Cincinnati Reds SP Luis Castillo

http://thebaseballgenius.com/podcast/all-in-on-reds-sp-luis-castillo/

 

Colorado Rockies 1B Ryan McMahon

Played 1B, 2B, and 3B in Double and Triple A last season.  Slash rate of .355/.403/.583 in 519 plate appearances.  Faces an uphill battle in spring training for playing time.  Could force way into lineup with a hot spring.  McMahon is a potential late round flier in deeper leagues.

 

Dodgers 2B Logan Forsythe

Was a popular mid round target last season with the move from the Rays to the Dodgers.  Burned owners with a .224 avg, but actually posted a career high .351 OBP. In line to start again for the defending NL Champs.  Should provide decent value as a backup infielder in fantasy leagues.

 

Miami Marlins RP Kyle Barraclough

10.4 SO/9, 22 Holds, 3.00 ERA, 1.38 WHIP for the Marlins last season.  I find it hard to believe the cost cutting Marlins will hold onto 38-year-old Brad Ziegler to be their closer for all of 2018.

 

Milwaukee Brewers OF Brett Phillips

.276/.351/.448 slash rate in 87 late season AB for the Crew last season.  Creating playing time for Phillips is something to watch for in spring training. Has a rocket arm in the field and enough range to play CF over Keon Broxton.  I live in Milwaukee, switch should have been made much sooner in 2017.

New York Mets SS Amed Rosario

I love Rosario’s skill set. I tried and failed to acquire him in a dynasty league. Looked overmatched in limited action last season, but I’m banking more on his minor league track record (.291/.336/.405)  I hope to draft him in every league I play based off his speed and OBP.   

 

Philadelphia Phillies SP Aaron Nola

12-11 3.54 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.9 SO/9 in 27 starts. Nola has taken his lumps in 60 major league starts. I plan to target him as a pitcher to help fill out my rotation.  I believe Nola takes a step forward in 2018.  

 

Pittsburgh Pirates SP Jameson Taillon

8-7 4.44 ERA 1.481 WHIP in 25 starts in 2017.  Also missed time after winning a bout vs. Testicular cancer.  Taillon is a talented arm with 43 major league appearances.  Pitching coach Ray Searage is one of the best in the business in my opinion.  A healthy Taillon with another year of tutelage from Searage breaks out in 2018.  

 

Padres SP Bryan Mitchell

Acquired in the deal that brought back Chase Headley to San Diego.  Marshall didn’t get a chance to start in a crowded rotation in the Bronx. The Padres are lacking arms in the rotation and Marshall could be worth a late round flier.

 

San Francisco Giants SP Johnny Cueto

Huge bust on rosters last season with 8-8 record, 4.52 ERA, 1.45 WHIP.  At age 32 it’s possible Cueto bounces back in 2018. If he falls far enough in drafts, I’ll gladly take a chance on a rebound.  

 

St. Louis Cardinals 1B Matt Carpenter

Had a .384 OBP despite a .241 avg. I find it hard to believe Carpenter hits .241 again.  Weekly locking league owners may want to drop him down a bit on draft boards due to recurring back problems.  

 

Washington Nationals LF Adam Eaton

Missed most of last season with an ACL tear.  Career .358 OBP should play well batting leadoff for the loaded Nats lineup.  Eaton easily could score 100 runs, steal 20 bags, and bat over .280.  Owners in categories leads should target Eaton more so than points leagues.         

Fantasy Baseball Bombs

This list of players consists of early and middle round picks that blew a hole in your roster.  There’s a variety of reasons these players under-performed be it injuries, age, diminished skills.  In some cases it ends up being all three.   Just because these players didn’t perform in 2017 doesn’t mean to completely avoid all of them in 2018.  Each player is a case by case scenario.  *Some of these players I plan to target in 2018 because their value in drafts will be cheaper*.

C Jonathan Lucroy Rangers/Rockies
AVG  R   HR   RBI   SB
.265 45   6     40     1

1B Miguel Cabrera Tigers*
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.249  50  16   60     0

2B Logan Forsythe Dodgers
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.224  56   6     36     3

2B Jason Kipnis Indians
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.232  43  12    35     6

CI Ian Desmond Rockies
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.274  47   7     40    15

SS Addison Russell Cubs*
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.239  52  12    43     2

SS Aledmys Diaz Cardinals
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.259  31   7     20     4

MI Jonathan Villar Brewers
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.241  49  11    40    23

3B Maikel Franco Phillies
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.230  66  24    76     0

OF Jose Bautista Blue Jays
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.203  92  23    65     6

OF Mark Trumbo Orioles
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.234  79  23    65     1

OF Yoenis Cespedes Mets*
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.292  46  17    42     0

OF Stephen Piscotty Cardinals
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.235  40   9     39     3

Util Ryan Braun Brewers
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.268  58  17    52    12

Util Troy Tulowitzki
AVG   R   HR   RBI   SB
.249  16   7      26    0

SP Noah Syndergaard Mets
W-L   K    ERA    WHIP
1-2   34   2.97    1.05

SP Danny Duffy Royals
W-L    K     ERA    WHIP
9-10  130  3.81    1.26

SP David Price Red Sox*
W-L   K    ERA    WHIP
6-3   76   3.38    1.19

SP Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays*
W-L    K    ERA    WHIP
1-3    24   4.25    1.72

SP Rick Porcello Red Sox
W-L      K      ERA    WHIP
11-17  181  4.65    1.40

SP Johnny Cueto Giants*
W-L     K      ERA    WHIP
8-8    136    4.52    1.45

RP Mark Melancon Giants
W-L    SV    K    ERA    WHIP
1-2      11  29   4.50    1.43

RP Seung-Hwan Oh Cardinals
W-L    SV    K    ERA    WHIP
1-6     20   54   4.10    1.40

RP Zach Britton Orioles
W-L    SV    K    ERA    WHIP
2-1      15  29   2.89    1.53

2017 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Wonders

These are players that were more than likely waiver wire pickups. Each one of these players far surpassed their acquisition cost and helped win a lot of fantasy baseball games this season. I won 2 league championships with the help of quite a few of these players. There were so many breakout players this season, it’s tough to pare them all down. Feel free to comment on the ones I missed.

C Mike Zunino Mariners

.251 avg. 25 Dongs 64 RBI

 

1B Cody Bellinger Dodgers

.267 avg. 39 Dongs, 97 RBI, 10 SB

 

2B Scooter Gennett Reds

.295 avg. 27 Dongs 97 RBI

 

SS Paul De Jong Cardinals

.285 avg. 25 Dongs 65 RBI

 

3B Travis Shaw Brewers

.273 avg. 31 Dongs 101 RBI 10 SB

 

MI Didi Gregorious Yankees

.287 avg. 25 Dongs 87 RBI

 

CI Justin Smoak Blue Jays

.270 avg. 38 Dongs 90 RBI

 

OF Tommy Pham Cardinals

.306 avg. 95 R 23 Dongs 73 RBI 25 SB

 

OF Domingo Santana Brewers

.278 avg. 88 R 30 Dongs 85 RBI, 15 SB

 

OF Whit Merrifield Royals

.288 avg. 19 Dongs 78 RBI 34 SB

 

OF Eddie Rosario Twins

.290 avg. 27 Dongs 78 RBI

 

Util Marwin Gonzalez Astros

.303 avg. 23 Dongs 90 RBI eligibility at 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF.

 

Util Chris Taylor Dodgers

.288 avg. 21 Dongs 72 RBI 17 SB eligibility at 3B, SS, 2B, OF

 

SP Luis Severino Yankees

14-6 230 K 2.98 ERA 1.04 WHIP

 

SP Alex Wood Dodgers

16-3 151 K 2.72 ERA 1.06 WHIP

 

SP Ervin Santana Twins

16-8 167 K 3.28 ERA 1.13 WHIP

 

SP Trevor Bauer Indians

17-9 196 K 4.19 ERA 1.37 WHIP

 

SP Jimmy Nelson Brewers

12-6 199 K 3.49 ERA 1.25 WHIP

 

RP Corey Knebel Brewers

1-4 39 SV 11 HD 126 K 1.78 ERA 1.16 WHIP

 

RP Brad Hand Padres

3-4 21 SV 16 HD 104 K 2.16 ERA 0.93 WHIP

 

RP Felipe Rivero Pirates

5-3 21 SV 14 HD 88 K 1.67 ERA 0.89 WHIP

 

P Charlie Morton Astros

14-7 163 K 3.62 ERA 1.19 WHIP

Championship Week Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Diamondbacks OF A.J. Pollock

It’s about time Pollack got hot, better late than never. Pollack has a .391/.417/.739 slash rate in the last 7 days. Pollock has 3 games on the road vs. the Padres and 3 at home with the Marlins. A .455 average in San Diego and .291 at home this season along with recent hot streak means Pollock should be in your lineups this week. Pollock is available in roughly 9 percent of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

A’s 1B/OF Matt Olson

Dongs in 3 consecutive contests. Olson is available in 40 percent of fantasy baseball leagues. Quietly has hit 20 bombs in 188 plate appearances. This week its 3 road games with the Tigers and 3 at home against the Rangers. Olson is hitting .429 vs. the Rangers this season and Detroit is in full on tank mode at this point.  Don’t fear a power outage at home has Olson has hit 11 dongers in Oakland.

 

Diamondbacks SP Zach Godley

A Tuesday road matchup with the Padres this week. The Padres have scored the fewest runs in all of baseball by a wide margin.  Godley has gone 6 or more frames in 4 consecutive starts.  Godley is available 25% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust Round 1

Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar

.360/.360/.600 slash rate the last 7 days.  3 on the road vs. the Red Sox and 3 at home with the Tigers.  Batting .280 vs. the Red Sox this year and .286 in Boston.  While the Tigers are in free fall mode.  .370 OBP this season vs. Left-handed pitchers and gets to face lefties on Tuesday and Saturday.  Available in over 75% of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

Braves SS Dansby Swanson

7 home games this week 3 with the Rangers and 4 against the Marlins. Swanson was sent down earlier this summer to regroup and has done just that. A .329/.429/.447 slash rate for the last 28 days. Swanson is available in nearly 87% of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

Red Sox SP Doug Fister

Takes on the Blue Jays at home on Wednesday. In his last 3 starts has gone 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 0.652 WHIP.  One of the feel good stories of the season as Fister opted out of a minor league deal with the Angels and was placed on waivers. The Red Sox picked him up and have reaped the benefits. The Angels are still looking for solid starters. Available in over 84% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Week 21 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Cubs 2B/SS/3B Javier Baez

.306/.344/.588 slash rate in the month of August.  Spends all week in the friendly confines with 3 against the Pirates and 4 vs. the Braves.  Batting .212 vs. the Pirates this season and .583 vs. the Braves.  Available in 25% of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

Twins SS Jorge Polanco

6 home games this matchup. 3 vs. the Royals and 3 with the White Sox.  Polanco has 4 HR and 12 RBI in the last 7 days.  Available in 84% of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

Cardinals SP Luke Weaver

2 road starts this week vs. the Brewers on Tuesday and on Sunday against the Giants. Weaver. The Brewers have hit .237 as a team since the All-Star break. While the Giants .310 OBP this season provides a good matchup for Weaver.  Available in 77% percent of fantasy baseball leagues.

Week 20 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Twins OF Byron Buxton

2 Home Runs 5 RBI and 2 Steals in the last 7 days. Buxton is available in 69% of fantasy baseball leagues. Buxton has 8 road games this week 5 vs. the White Sox and 3 with the Blue Jays.  The White Sox have allowed the most steals in all of baseball with 95, while the Blue Jays have allowed the 4th most with 82. Buxton should be off to the races with 8 games this scoring period.

 

Phillies 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins

4 Dongs and 8 RBI since getting called up Aug 10th. Hoskins is an elite power threat that should get plenty of AB for the Phillies as the season winds down.  Hoskins has 7 home games this week 4 with the Marlins and 3 against the Cubs. The Marlins and Cubs both have team ERA’s over 4.40 vs. right-handed hitters. Hoskins is available in over 80% of fantasy baseball leagues.

 

Rangers SP Martin Perez

Streaming option this week on Thursday vs. the Angels. Owns a career 2-4 record and 3.53 ERA vs. the Halos. The Angels have won 8 out of their last 10 games. The Angels have struggled vs. Lefties this season to the tune of a .233 clip.  Perez is available in 92% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Week 18 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

A’s 3B Matt Chapman

Hitting .400 this month with 6 walks and 6 RBI.  Chapman is available in 92% of fantasy baseball leagues. Faces the Mariners and Orioles who allow a .280 avg. vs. right-handed hitters. I picked him up in a keeper league with a wait and see approach.

 

Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong

.296/.383/.426 slash rate this season. Has hit at a .385 clip to start the month of August. Takes on the Royals and Braves in this week’s matchup. Braves have a 4.28 ERA vs. left-handed hitters this season.

 

Rays RP Tommy Hunter

Six straight scoreless appearances. Has a Win and 3 Holds in his last 4 appearances. Hunter has worked his way into more high leverage situations. Available in 95% of fantasy baseball leagues. I picked up Hunter in a daily categories league that scores Holds.