On Monday each week I take a look at the fantasy baseball game breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances of late – not just positive outings mind you, but I'll also delve into some of the players that have been sucking wind of late.
To get your daily fantasy baseball fix make sure you head over to DailyJoust.com to set your salary cap club. Can you use this information to your benefit over at DJ?
GAINERS OF THE WEEK
Matt Holliday (+21, $128,000 in DailyJoust Salary) And you were doubting him just a few weeks ago, admit it. Holliday is on fire over his last eight games as he's produced 17 hits, two homers, 12 RBI and nine runs. In the process he's jacked up his average to .299 on the year with 12 homers, 47 RBI and 48 runs scored. Guess what? That puts him on pace for his traditional .300-25-100-100 effort. The greats usually figure it out and end up producing by the time the season is over.
Tommy Milone (+70, $241) Doesn't it seem like his name should have two “L's” in it? I need to talk to his parents about that. When a rookie starts the year 7-5 with a 1.21 WHIP you can't help but be excited about it. However, his ERA is slightly below average at 4.13 and he's taken the whole “I'm Clayton Richard and you only pitch me when I'm at home” situation to a whole other level. In eight starts on the road Milone is 2-4 with a 7.42 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. In six starts at home in Oakland he's the best pitcher ever at 5-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. There's your blue print on how to use him.
Chris Nelson (+20, $93K) With Troy Tulowitzki out of action, Marco Scutaro has moved on to short leaving second base to Nelson. Displaying an uncommon power bat given his “game,” Nelson has gone deep three times with two doubles and a triple over his last eight games leading to nine RBIs. He's also lifted his average from .226 to .268 the past 10 days thank to five games with at least two hits. He makes an excellent short term play given how hot he has been and for the fact that he should qualify at second and third in all leagues (many seem to be slow to the party, just take a look at his owned rate at Feaflicker).
Jake Westbrook (+105, $320K) The last time he took the hill he tossed the 14th complete game of his career as he allowed only one unearned run to the Tigers. Over his last three outings he's been “quality” each time out lasting at least six innings with no more than three earned runs allowed. One of the main reasons for his success is that he's walked only two batters in those three games. It's really pretty simple. When he avoids the free pass and keeps the ball down in the zone he has a lot of success. He's a two-time starter this week against the Marlins and Pirates, and that would seem to make him a solid play this week.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Felix Doubront (-60, $274K) After a run of 5-straight games allowing two or fewer earned runs, Felix has now permitted 12 earned runs over his last three starts as his ERA has gone from 3.75 to 4.31. The strikeouts are terrific, 85 in 79.1 innings is impressive, but his recent cold spell has knocked his ratios down to below league average (his WHIP is 1.35). He's 8-3 and pitches for a strong squad, but it might be time to consider whether or not you should be counting on him to lead your fantasy rotation.
Bryce Harper (-19, $73K) Hey, it was bound to happen. Bryce Harper might end up being the next Mickey Mantle as some say, but let's not forget he can't legally buy a Jack & Coke – not by a longshot – and that he isn't exactly flush with professional experience at this stage of his life. At his current pace he'd produce the following numbers over 150 games (he's played 50): 21 homers, 60 RBI, 95 runs and 14 steals. That's impressive for any player no doubt, never mind one his age, but he's seen his average fall .017 points the past 10 games (.286), the same total his OBP has dropped (.367). Everything is still impressive, but perhaps, just maybe, there's a slowdown on the horizon?
Trevor Plouffe (-24, $87K) Plouffe has a rather amazing 15 homers in just 175 at-bats this year thanks to his insane run the past month, but let's keep things real here. He is batting .246 with a .327 OBP, hardly impressive numbers. He has 40 strikeouts in 175 at-bats. He has just one long ball and two RBI over his last eight games. You added him for nothing so who's complaining, but his outlook in the second half of the season isn't exactly golden.
Giancarlo Stanton (-21, $62K) Look at his monthly totals. Maybe Jay Bruce has some company for the streakiest high level power bat in the game.
April: .247-1-9 May: .343-12-30 June: .205-3-5
Like I have said every time someone has asked me, this guy just isn't a .300 hitter. His current mark of .274 seems about right, and he's on pace for 35 homers and 100 RBIs which would also be impressive, but that transcendent season people were hoping for isn't likely to materialize.
I've likely got some big news coming on this front this week, so keep an eye our for that. As for right now...
Today you can sign up for the King Arthur's $50 Free Roll on DailyJoust. No entry free is required to get a chance to play the game and earn your free chance to take home part of the $50 prize pool. All games that start at 7:05 PM EDT or later are open to add players to your daily fantasy baseball squad. So get over to DailyJoust, put together your one day lineup, and get ready to win some free $.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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