While Sunday is normally a day of rest for most, we fantasy baseball players need to be at our sharpest. The week is wrapping up and the waiver wire is a hotbed of action. We have to go through each team, check playing time situations, pore over injury reports, and see who’s hot and whose cold spell is pushing them closer and closer to bench time. From there, it’s checking next week’s match-ups and, for those in leagues with weekly moves, it’s all about planning the course of attack for the next six or seven days. We’re only two months in and this type of due diligence needs to be followed each and every week. It’s the dedicated ones who rise to the challenge while the casual fan whose interest drifts in and out starts to suffer.
Is that enough of a pep talk for you? Are you ready to get into baseball now? The weekends are always jam-packed with crucial information to help move you along to next week, so let’s stop with the early morning pleasantries and get right to it starting with Saturday’s…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|David Ortiz, DH BOS||3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB|
The guy just keeps going and going. Every time you think he’s about done, he always manages to wage a comeback and put up a day like this. And obviously he does is more than just for the day, otherwise he wouldn’t be as coveted around your league as he is. I’ve never been a huge fan because of the limited position flexibility, but at some point you just have to realize that it’s about getting the most production out of every position and of that means clogging up your utility spot with David Ortiz, then so be it. All too often you see people rotating guys in and out and still, they don’t get the same production that this tub of goo gives you.
|Elvis Andrus, SS TEX||5-5, 3 R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB|
|Robinson Cano, 2B NYY||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Matt Joyce, OF TB||3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI|
|Brandon McCarthy, SP ARI||W, CG, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 5 K|
|Bronson Arroyo, SP CIN||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 6 K|
As we go through the top performers from Saturday, I realized that I don’t really need to say anything about a lot of these guys. They’re no –brainer fantasy starts and even if they’re playing a little cold at the moment, they’re still must-starts as they can catch fire at any moment. So let’s skip talking about how amazing Robinson Cano is and we can obviously gloss over Elvis Andrus’ name as well. Both are in your lineup day in and day out and if they aren’t, then they better not have a game that day because you’re obviously over-thinking things. No need to micro-manage to the point where you’re sweating each and every lineup choice each and every day. Sometimes you just have to leave your guys alone and let the chips fall where they may.
Some guys, however, you just have to get out of your lineup for certain reasons. Like when the Rays are facing a left-hander, you have got to keep Matt Joyce on the bench. I mean, talk about a much-needed platoon. Joe Maddon usually keeps him on the bench anytime there’s been a southpaw on the mound, but sometimes you have to make an on-game sacrifice and leave the lineup as it. Joyce has found himself against lefties 17 times this season and he’s now sporting a .059 average against them with no home runs and no RBI, making him a career .191 hitter against them. Obviously the Rays were facing a righty here.
Don’t look now but it would appear as if things have finally clicked for Brandon McCarthy. After a not-so-impressive first month, May has looked a whole lot brighter for him. In fact, if you look at each start this month, you’ll see that he’s actually improved each and every time. He’s now thrown three straight quality starts, culminating with this complete-game shutout. For the month now, he is 1-0 with a 2.15 ERA with a 19:5 K:BB over 29.1 innings. His walk and strikeout rates have remainined the same, but he’s allowing much fewer base-runner (1.02 WHIP) and is enjoying a much better .261 BABIP as opposed to the .396 mark he endured last month. While that BABIP is a bit lower than where it should normally be, it’s actually a bit closer to his career mark, so while there may be a splash of regression, we’re not talking about a whole lot. I’d be looking to buy on him right now.
When I turned on the TV here on Saturday and saw the Reds/Phillies game being broadcast, I knew that this would be A. the best time to start Bronson Arroyo and B. the best time to warn you off Bronson Arroyo. Maybe it’s just me, but it always seems like Arroyo flourishes in one of these nationally televised games, everyone runs out to pick him up, and those who are successful, end up getting bit in the ass as he subsequently flounders over the next few starts. I haven’t checked the data on his performance level during a national broadcast, but it’s got to be pretty darn good. Watch his ownership percentage climb this week and then watch him toss 6 innings of five-run ball – not good enough to help you in any way, but just good enough for you to give him another shot. And that’s where he’ll get you…
|John Mayberry, OF PHI||0-4, 4 K|
|Conor Gillaspie, 3B CHW||0-5, 3 K|
|John Jaso, C OAK||0-3, 2 K|
|Roberto Hernandez, SP TB||ND, 22.50 ERA, 4.00 WHIP, 1 K|
|Anibal Sanchez, SP DET||L, 16.88 ERA, 4.13 WHIP, 2 K|
Nothing much to say here other than a very ill-timed bad start for Anibal Sanchez. We all kne something like this was coming and it could have actually been a lot worse. Let’s hope a third solid outing against the Twins this week can make everything all right again.
Just a few things to point out here that deserve a bit of attention….
With Johnny Cueto off the DL, the Reds opted to send Tony Cingrani back down to Triple-A. While most of us would have much preferred seeing Mike Leake get bumped, I think the move will help Cingrani in the long run. First off, his ailing shoulder should get some rest. And secondly, he’s not being demoted due to poor performance which should keep his confidence high. He goes back to Louisville knowing that he impressed during his call-up and there’s no doubt that he’ll be back at some point again this season. Stash him if you can, because you’ll definitely want him down the stretch.
Mark Reynolds may be tied for the home run lead, but he is now 4-for-22 (.182) over his last seven games so we’re already seeing that batting average come down to where we thought it would be.
It’s a week like Daniel Murphy has had that make me hate weekly roster move leagues. He’s 14-for-28 (.500) with a home run and four RBI over his last seven games. By the time I get him back into my lineup, he’s running ice-cold once again.
And finally, I sure hope none of you bought into the Tim Lincecum-hype from last week after he tossed seven shutout innings against the Braves last week. You had to know he was going to revert back, didn’t you?
Jason Kubel, OF ARI – quadriceps (day to day)
Stephen Drew, SS BOS – back (day to day)
Shane Victorino, OF BOS – back (day to day)
Adam Dunn, 1B CHW – back (day to day)
Bud Norris, SP HOU – back (day to day)
Jarrod Dyson, OF KC – ankle (15-day DL)
Jerry Hairston, OF LAD – groin, knee (15-day DL)
Chris Stewart, C NYY – groin (day to day)
Brett Anderson, SP OAK – ankle (15-day DL)
Jaime Garcia, SP STL – shoulder (15-day DL)
Ian Kinsler, 2B TEX – ribs (day to day)
Bryce Harper, OF WAS – knee (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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