Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: May 21
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.
Yoenis Cespedes reportedly fractured his ankle in multiple places on Saturday on his ranch in Florida after a “violent fall” and twisting his ankle in a hole. This feels like one of those scenarios where a story is concocted to avoid a contract violation. Feels like, not saying it definitively is.
As an Astros fan, this injury reminds me of when Moises Alou apparently tore his ACL adjusting the speed of a treadmill while he was on it. Alou missed the entire 1998 season. The Astros had won 102 games the year prior with Alou having a career year at the plate with a 158 wRC+ and .981 OPS. Without Alou the following season, the Astros used Richard Hidalgo as Alou’s primary replacement in left field, and he had a .748 OPS for the season. However, the Astros still won the NL Central and lost in the Division Series 3-1 for the second year in a row. So maybe I should cut Alou some slack two decades later.
Pitching Performance of the Day
No starting pitcher yesterday had more strikeouts without allowing a run than Brad Peacock . Mike Minor bested him in strikeouts with 11 to Peacock’s nine, but Minor allowed two runs. Minor also allowed seven baserunners over six innings, while Peacock allowed only two in five innings. It’s always a concern when a guy goes from the bullpen to the rotation like Peacock has this season, but he’s made the transition nicely. Through eight starts, Peacock’s strikeout and walk rates are both better than league average for starters.
If there’s a long-term concern, it’s that he’s throwing his fastball and slider more than 85-percent of the time combined. That said, his curveball and change have been plus pitches in limited usage per Fangraphs’ pitch values. The long story short is that a guy with above average strikeout and walk rates on the team with the best winning percentage in baseball should probably be owned in more than half of ESPN.com leagues.
Hitting Performance of the Day
Ronald Acuña Jr. was one of three hitters to double-dong yesterday, but of those three hitters he was the only one to get a hit aside from his home runs. Acuna added a double for a three extra-base hit day and a whopping 10 total bases. The most impressive thing about the performance was that he did it on the road in the pitcher-friendly park in San Francisco. Acuna has been better on the road in his young career, though that’s mainly driven by a large gap in BABIP at home and on the road. But BABIP doesn’t factor in when you leave the park, and Acuna did so in style yesterday as neither one was a cheapie.
"How you start a game"— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) May 21, 2019
A short story by Ronald Acuña Jr.pic.twitter.com/M0W8mjbhj5
Game of the Day
Both Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta turned in quality starts in a Phillies-Cubs game that went to extras yesterday. The Cubs scored the only run of the first five innings, but the Phillies took the lead on a César Hernández two-run triple in the top of the sixth. With the Cubs trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Daniel Descalso came to the plate with two men on base and also tripled. But instead of simply tying the game, the Cubs took the lead when Descalso scored on a Jean Segura error.
Segura got some redemption in the top of the ninth when he singled with two outs to drive in Maikel Franco and tie the game at four. The Cubs did nothing in the bottom half, and the first two Phillies went down in the top of the 10th. But then J.T. Realmuto took Kyle Ryan deep, and the Phils won 5-4. Here’s the game graph courtesy of Fangraphs.
What to Watch for Today
There are a few games that don’t have a line in Vegas as of this writing, but at publication, the White Sox have a projected run total a full run lower than any other team as they’re set to face Justin Verlander in Houston. The Astros are massive -390 favorites and have the second highest projected run total of the slate. The Yankees are the only team with a higher projected run total as -225 favorites against Baltimore in a game with an over/under of 9.5.