Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: May 20
Brett Talley goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed seven scoreless innings in Cincinnati yesterday, and while it wasn’t the best pitching performance of the day (more on that in a moment), it’s worth pointing out that Ryu has now thrown 31 consecutive scoreless innings. Exactly one week ago today we profiled Ryu in this same space and pointed out that Ryu has been on a crazy run going back to his return to the rotation in mid-August last year. In 18 starts since then, he has a 1.69 ERA and a 112:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 112 innings.
Pitching Performance of the Day
Despite the run Ryu is on, he wasn’t remotely the best starter yesterday. That honor easily goes to Shane Bieber who pitched a complete game shutout with a whopping 15 strikeouts. Here is each third strike, rapid fire.
Shane Bieber, 15Ks in 23 Seconds. pic.twitter.com/DgazoOUSH5— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 19, 2019
After some tough luck that led to a 4.55 ERA in his rookie season last year, Bieber now looks like the stud that his 3.30 xFIP in 2018 indicated he was. Bieber has a 3.22 ERA this season with a similarly good 3.42 xFIP to back it up. His 23.8 percent K-BB% is 13th best in the league among qualified starters. He has excellent control with a five percent walk rate for his career, and that allows him to go deep into games as he’s gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.
Hitting Performance of the Day
Edwin Encarnacion was a triple short of the cycle yesterday going 3-for-4 with a home run. Trevor May hung a curveball and E5 did not miss.
After a bit of a dip in performance last year, it seemed like the now 36-year-old Encarnacion might finally be hitting the aging curve hard. But by hitting curves like that hard, the veteran is having a bounce back season so far. He now has 13 home runs with a stellar walk rate and his lowest strikeout rate in four years. That’s led to a 143 wRC+, and he had a wRC+ of 130 or better in the six seasons prior to last year.
Game of the Day
The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first against the Rangers, but after Shin-Soo Choo led off the bottom half with a home run, it was a one-run game the rest of the way. The Rangers tied the game at two in the fourth and took the lead in the eighth on a solo home run by Danny Santana. The Cardinals tied the game in the ninth and took a one-run lead in the top of the 10th. In the bottom half, Rougned Odor led off with a single followed by a Danny Santana walk. Willie Calhoun singled and scored Odor, and Santana went first to third. After a Logan Forsythe strikeout, Nomar Mazara ended it with a walk off sac fly. Santana, who didn’t start the game, scored after both his plate appearances, including the winning run off the sac fly. Here’s the game graph courtesy of Fangraphs.
What to Watch for Today
Despite his excellent start to the season, the aforementioned Bieber isn’t even the best pitcher on the Indians. That designation belongs to Carlos Carrasco who will start tonight against the A’s. Carrasco’s 28.4 percent K-BB% is fourth in the league behind only Gerrit Cole, Blake Snell and Chris Sale. While Carrasco’s strikeout rate is only in the low 30’s compared to the high 30’s for those other three, Carrasco’s walk rate is almost half of theirs. He has an above average matchup against an Oakland team that ranks 20th in wRC+ vs. RHP. The only probable starter whose opponent has a lower projected run total per Vegas is San Diego’s Chris Paddack against the D’Backs.