Baseball On Our Minds
Fantasy baseball is still alive, even with all the fantasy football talk. You know I've got you covered here at BaseballGuys.com. Today I'll break down some infielders that have slowed, some pitchers who are continually up and down, an a couple of prospects in Miami that are about set to make their move into fantasy relevance.
A.J. Ellis is hitting .267 with five homers and 32 RBIs profiling as a very boring mixed league second option at catcher. However, he had a huge game Monday with four hits, five RBIs and three runs scored. Moreover, he's gone deep twice and driven in 12 runners in his last 10 games. That will play.
Didi Gregorius was a must add according to most early in the year as he hit .319 over his first 31 games. I warned you not to buy in. Did you listed? Over his last 37 games Didi has hit one homer, hasn't stolen a base, has driven in only seven runs and has hit .246. Told ya. Another guy going in the same direction, with a similar offensive outlook, is the Red Sox' Jose Iglesias. I know, I know, Jose is hitting .351 right now, but he was also hitting .388 two weeks ago. Iglesias also has an unsustainable .401 BABIP, and the guy has been very fortunate with a ton of infield hits. He's a great AL-only option with his positional flexibility, but that average is coming way down.
Aaron Harang allowed one run in seven innings Monday. He's still sporting a strong 4.13 K/BB ratio, and his WHIP is 1.25. However, he's 5-8 and had a 5.06 ERA for the Mariners. However, take out that rough outing he had on July 10th (seven earned runs in five IP) and he's allowed a total of 10 earned runs his last six starts. He's a solid matchup play IF he can keep the ball in the yard (he's allowed 15 homers in 16 games including one in each of his last four outings). Speaking of homers...
Dan Haren allowed two homers Monday pushing his total up to 21 allowed on the year. From 2008-12 he allowed an average of 25 big flies a season, though of course he was pitching an average of 220 innings a season while he was doing that. He's thrown only 98 innings this year.
Tim Lincecum was bombed for eight runs Monday night, his first start after the no-hitter. Amazingly, he became the sixth pitcher to allow at least eight earned runs the start after a no-no (how is that even possible?). Lincecum had allowed six runs in his previous three starts. Timmy also was taken deep three times in the terrible outing, this after allowing three homers in his previous nine starts. His last 10 starts he's whiffed 59 batters in 55 innings while walking only 18, and his ratios are passable even with that outing last night (4.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Still, he's such a dangerous play with that up and down nature that you're always risking a blow up that can kill a week worth of stats.
Anyone notice that Victor Martinez has remembered that he's Victor Martinez? His average has spiked to .270 on the year thanks to a crazy strong run of hitting .425 over 18 games in July. He's also 9-for-17 since the All-Star game.
Chris Sale has struck out at least 10 batters five times this season, and in those five starts he's walked a total of 10 batters. His record in those ten outings? Try 1-3. Meet this years Cliff Lee as Sale has been fantastic – 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 142 Ks in 128 IP – though he has a 6-9 record. So it goes sometimes.
Christian Yelich is set to join the Marlins. The 21 year old outfielder wasn't exactly killing it in the minors this season hitting .271 with nine homers and five steals, but he is an absolutely elite prospect. He's likely to play every day with the Marlins and makes for a solid add in mixed leagues if you need some outfielder hype. He's got speed, raps balls around the yard, and has an advanced approach. Add him if he's available. The Marlins are also calling up Jake Marisnick who was actually performing better hitting .294 with 12 homers and 11 steals at the Double-A level. Marisnick is another youngster who doesn't know how to take a walk however (17 walks in 70 games this season).
To see how others are evaluating players, including the youngsters from Miami, don’t forget to go to Fleaflicker.com where you can check out the owned percentages of all your favorite players.
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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