I'm Ray Flowers, co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Each week I'll be answering questions that have been sent to me at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account in my never ending attempt to replace myself by explaining to everyone how I evaluate players thereby making myself obsolete.
Drop disappointing Eric Hosmer for a legit power threat of Manny Machado in 16 team non-keeper points league? – @linas2000
Manny Machado is one of the top-10 prospects in baseball. Still, it's very questionable for the Orioles to be calling up the 20 year old at this point. First, though a shortstop, the club is going to play him at third base where he has played all of two games. Second, he's just 20 years old and owns a mere .263/.343/.428 slash line in 218 minor league games. Third, let's just put it – is he ready for this? One GM doesn't think so according to Jon Heyman. "I still think it's too early to recall him. Just because he's better than Wilson Betemit doesn't mean it's the right move for the kid.'' To me, this move smacks of desperation by the Orioles.
Hosmer is hitting .227 with one home run in his last 26 games, and he's just not getting it done despite the fact that we all expect him to one day. Given that your league is 16 teams you could take a shot at catching lighting in a bottle with Machado if you need to do something significant to move up in the standings. I don't think Machado's going to have a Josh Rutledge like impact but at this point Hosmer isn't getting it done.
Zack Greinke has become a matchup pitcher this year. Am I wrong? – @keithsweat96
All depends how you look at it. On the year Greinke has a solid set of ratios (3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), has nearly a K per inning (137 in 142 frames) and his 3.81 K/BB ratio is impressive. In three starts with the Angels he has a 5.68 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and a terrible 1.88 K/BB ratio. He's also posted a poor 5.23 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over his last five starts with a 2.60 K/BB ratio. The answer depends on the strength of your pitching staff and your place in the pitching categories. If you wanted to be careful with starting Greinke I could totally understand that, but if you wanted to continue to roll with him that might also make sense as well. Manage those categories.
12 team 5x5roto. Amazing I'm asking you this, but is Jon Lester dropable at this point? – @Only1dREWSTAR
It's a fair question to ask given his up and down work, though I'm still inclined to say that it would be a mistake to let him go (the folks over at Fleaflicker seem to agree). I certainly wouldn't feel compelled to start him right now though. In five of his last six outings he's allowed at least four earned runs, and over his last five starts his ERA is 8.79 and his WHIP 1.57. He's also gone 0-4 and only won five games all year. The real answer to your question is who you would be picking up off waivers to take his roster spot. There might be a hidden gem or two on your waiver-wire wire even in a 12 team league, so it's worth investigating.
Aaron Hill or Neil Walker - which one has more value ROTW? Looking more for Hits/Runs/RBI. – @atlbravesfan_84
Let's compare season long work.
A. Hill: .293-13-47-53-8 with a .823 OPS and 119 hits Walker: .292-13-65-57-7 with a .811 OPS and 115 hits.
Well that didn't help at all since they are both identical performers this year. How about we look at who is trending and take a look at the last month.
A. Hill: .269-2-7-14-1 with a .700 OPS and 25 hits Walker: .294-7-24-15-0 with a .944 OPS and 25 hits
Again, a virtual toss up.
I'd slant things slightly toward Walker given that he is a slightly performer better right now and has been a run driving force for two months now.
Would you drop Phil Hughes for Matt Harvey? – @ThatsAndyG
I feel like a broken record here. I don't know how many times I can tell people that I'm not a fan of Hughes. Sure he has his moments, but at the end of the day he's just... average. The 11 wins and 3.61 K/BB ratio are strong totals, but the 4.10 ERA and 1.28 WHIP are league average stuff. He's also a total disaster with homers given that his GB/FB ratio is brutal at 0.67 this year and 0.75 for his career. The guy is always going to be homer prone in that ball yard in New York. Plus, remember this. Over his last 49 outings covering 281.2 innings Hughes is 23-20 with a 4.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 6.8 K/9 and 2.46 K/BB. All of that is league average stuff.
My only real concern with Harvey is that the Mets plan on shutting him down around 165-170 innings. He's at 126.1 innings right now.
Who will have more saves ROTS: Casilla, Balfour, Myers, Janssen? – @BodyPillow_Pimp
I really just wanted to answer a question from “Body Pillow Pimp.” Great user name. As for the question, honestly, how am I supposed to know the answer to this one? I have no idea who will produce the most saves. We need to get past the point where we are “guessing” about who will have more saves. You shouldn't be rostering players on a guess, you should be rostering them on skill and opportunity.
Santiago Casilla: Has a blister, a 5.40 ERA, a loss and two blown saves in his last 11 outings. Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo are more likely to get the save chances ROTW.
Grant Balfour: 0.90 ERA/WHIP last 10 outings. Meanwhile, Ryan Cook has four blown saves an a 8.10 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over his last 10 outings. The A's still keep giving Cook the ball in the 9th though.
Brett Myers: He's appeared in nine games with the White Sox and doesn't have a single save chance to his name.
Casey Jannsen: He's 14/15 this year in save chances, has a 2.11 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 44 Ks in 42.2 innings.
Should be pretty obvious who the best choice is (hint: it's the last guy I mentioned).
Oh, an in case you were wondering what my answer is for the self asked question from my Twitter account last year – Batman or Jason Bourne ? – I'm going against the grain and saying Jason Bourne. Batman is amazing, especially in the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale incarnation, but Batman's success is with the gadgets money buys. Bourne improvises and gets by more on his wits than anything fancy pants he pulls out of a utility belt.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87 from 7-10 PM EDT, Monday through Friday.
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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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