While the All-Star break gives you a temporary reprieve from the daily fantasy baseball grind, it should also serve as a reminder to you that changes are coming for the second half. Not only do you need to prep your team for the stretch run, but you also need to make preparations to deal with the upcoming MLB trade deadlines. Yes, that’s right, deadlines…plural. You’ve got the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline where anything goes and then there’s the August 31st deadline where players just have to pass through waivers first before they’re dealt; usually your more high-priced/stupid, big contract guys. It’s a steady month of unrest for fantasy owners.
Mixed-league owners have a bit of an easier time with this, but those in AL or NL-only leagues need to make sure that they have contingency plans in place in the event their players are dealt to the opposite league. The latest rumor mill has the Tigers looking at Francisco Rodriguez which means that not only do AL-only folk need to check in on their waiver priority, but Joaquin Benoit owners may need to start looking for another closer if they can’t immediately land K-Rod. Meanwhile, those in the NL-only realm have to figure out if it’s going to be Jim Henderson or John Axford again for the Brewers.
And obviously that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Astros are shopping Bud Norris around, Cubs starter Matt Garza should be on the move, the White Sox may unload Jake Peavy and even though he just went on the DL with appendicitis, Rafael Betancourt is likely to be shipped out of Colorado soon enough. As for position players, Michael Young, Justin Morneau and Aramis Ramirez have all had their names bandied about in trade talks and some recent whispers even have Alex Rios possibly finding a new home. And these are just the names that are being mentioned in public. You know that there are going to be a few surprises as well. There always are.
Not every deal is going to have a major fantasy impact, but there’s always enough movement that your standings are going to be affected in some way. Owners will be scrambling; jockeying for position. Your email should be blowing up, your cell phone should be buzzing with texts, and the negotiations are going to be fierce. The first of the two deadlines is just 11 days away, so get ready. It’s sure to be a bumpy ride.
And as always, should you need to get an impartial, third-party opinion on a potential deal, you can always hit me up via email or Twitter (both are linked at the bottom of this article) or if you’re on Facebook, you can check out the RotobuzzGuy.com Facebook page and post your questions there.
Now let’s hit the highlights from Saturday…
The best part of having two beasts yesterday is that I don’t feel bad about not having one today. Sure, we had some good performances, but there just wasn’t anyone who stepped it up, head and shoulders, above the rest. But here are the guys who came close…
|Alex Rios, OF CHW||3-5, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C MIL||4-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI|
|Dexter Fowler, OF COL||2-3, R, 3B, 3 RBI, SB|
|C.J. Wilson, SP LAA||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 8 K|
|Yovani Gallardo, SP MIL||W, 0.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 5 K|
The more things change, the more they stay the same. We got a taste of some vintage Alex Rios this weekend as he gets benched for half-assing it and not running out a ground ball on Friday and then turns around and shows you why managers don’t want to bench him for an extended period of time with a big game on Saturday. He can be one of the most frustrating guys to own and if you look at his career numbers you’ll see that rarely is it good to own him two years in a row. His numbers right now look pretty solid and so far, this year seems to be an exception to the rule, but then again, we’ve got half a year still to go. Whether he stays in Chicago or not, his track record doesn’t exactly scream trustworthy, does it?
Remember when everyone was down on Jonathan Lucroy at the start of the season? The poor guy had a rough first month, batting just .235 with three home runs and then started off May a little on the slow side. Emails came flying in about whether to drop him, as if the word patience was never a part of anyone’s vocabulary. Well, go and check his monthly splits now and see the progression. The average steadily climbs, as does the OBP, and here in July, he’s already got six home runs. Safe to say that he’s been a good bet this year? I’d say so.
Dexter Fowler, on the other hand, has been the complete opposite. He came out of the gate like a house of fire, hitting .305 with eight home runs and 15 RBI by the end of April and since May 1st, while he’s hit .280, he has just three home runs and 15 RBI in total. You were fooling yourself if you thought that he was anything more than a decent base-stealer with a little bit of pop, so just make sure you know exactly who you’re buying as we head into the second half.
Like C.J. Wilson, for example. Here’s another guy who, similarly to Lucroy, started out slow and had a rough first month. People jumped the gun when they started giving up on him as you can see in his monthly splits as well. Hell, you don’t even need to look at that progression. Just look at his player page on whatever site you use and look at his last seven starts. Six wins, six quality starts, five starts with seven or more innings pitched, three shutotuts and only one start with more than two earned runs allowed. His strikeout rate is just ok, but everything else first-rate. Look for him to continue at this level over the next two-plus months.
Yovani Gallardo is a bit more enigmatic. I’ve actually never been a big fan as to me, he was like a rich man’s Bud Norris – great strikeout numbers, but the ratios aren’t always the best. Now, this year, he doesn’t even have the strikeouts. His K-rate is down, walks are the same, and while his FIP and SIERA indicate improvement, the numbers really aren’t that great. Maybe he gets a little better, but we’re not looking at huge improvements at all.
|Trevor Plouffe, 3B MIN||0-4, 4 K|
|Yasiel Puig, OF LAD||0-5, 3 K|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C BOS||0-4, 3 K|
|Ross Wolf, SP TEX||L, 31.50 ERA, 5.50 WHIP, 2 K|
|Paul Maholm, SP ATL||L, 21.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP|
Kris Medlen owners can send their note of thanks to Paul Maholm as it looks like the sprained wrist he suffered during his pasting on Saturday will knock him out of the rotation for a bit. Brandon Beachy (or possibly Alex Wood) will take his place. There were rumors that Medlen would be bumped for Beachy as he [Medlen] is at least experienced in the bullpen, but it’s starting to look like a moot point now.
Isn’t it funny how no one is talking about the fact that Yasiel Puig is just 1-for-14 over his last four games? How about the fact that he hasn’t hit a home run in 13 games or recorded an RBI in 11? I don’t want to run the guy down or anything, but maybe we were a bit hasty anointing him as the new Mike Trout.
Eric Chavez, 3B ARI – hip (day to day)
Jason Heyward, OF ATL – hamstring (day to day)
Rafael Betancourt, RP COL – appendicitis (15-day DL)
Chris Getz, 2B KC – knee (day to day)
Aramis Ramirrez, 3B MIL – knee (15-day DL)
Matt Harvey, SP NYM – finger (questionable for July 21 start)
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK – wrist (day to day)
Logan Forsythe, 2B SD – knee (day to day)
Brandon Crawford, SS SF – foot (day to day)
Matt Holliday, OF STL – hamstring (15-day DL)
Yunel Escobar, SS TB – hamstring (day to day)
Adam LaRoche, 1B WAS – illness (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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