End Game Fantasy Baseball Lessons from Music Lyrics
Glenn Colton takes a look at guys to chase and guys to avoid as the fantasy baseball season hits the final laps in this week's Week That Was
For those of you who only think of baseball when you hear the name Corey Hart, well, that is too bad. Nothing against the big guy but one must appreciate the former pop chart wizard. Back in the day, many ambled about humming or singing “I wear my sunglasses at night” or more to the point for this article “never surrender”. The latter is good advice as there are still 3 big weeks to go in this fantasy baseball season. You have been working since February so if there is any chance to take the Yoo Hoo shower, why quit now? With that in mind, some players who could help you or prevent you from singing a happy tune highlight this week’s Week That Was.
Johnny Cueto: Johnny Cueto had a rough outing Sunday, giving up 7 ER on 11 hits while striking out only 3. Cueto has gone stone cold. Over his last 6 starts he has a whopping 7.16 ERA and a fantasy baseball appalling 1.75 WHIP. There are many reasons not to depend on Cueto the rest of the way. First, he threw 243 innings in 2014 after just 60 in 2013. He could just be out of gas. Second, players who find themselves in new homes tend to struggle out of the gate as they try to prove themselves. Being a hired gun for playoff races is a very tough thing to do. So far, Cueto has not cut it. Proceed at your own peril. After all, as the song says “just a little uncertainty can bring you down”.
C.J. Cron: C.J. Cron hit two bombs Sunday for the Halos. On the year, C.J. has 14 homers with a .275 average. Pretty darn solid. Over the last 30 days, he has been even better. In that span, Cron has hit .294 with 7 HR and 19 RBI. Of course, you cannot do this but if you did extrapolate over a full season, that is 42 dingers and 133 RBI. At least you now know how hot he is. CJ will DH or play 1B every day and should be in your lineup for the final three weeks. He should also be on your keeper league roster as this kid can hit. After a cold start, C.J. has lived up to the Corey Hart line “with a little perseverance you can get things done.”
Kyle Gibson: Kyle Gibson beat Chris Sale Sunday. Yep, you read that right. Gibson tossed 7 and 2/3 shutout innings while striking out seven. Yeah, yeah, I know that he does not strike out as many as you would like. However, here is a young pitcher with an ERA of 3.71 and a 1.27 WHIP who is only getting better. I trust him the rest of the way. Why? First, he has a 3.55 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last 6 starts that include two starts where he allowed no earned runs. Second, he keeps the ball down as shown by his sweet GB/FB rate. Finally, he pitches in a pitchers’ park and that can only help in September. After some early struggles, Gibson has bounced back proving the Corey Hart line: “a little more time can open closing doors”
Adonis Garcia: Adonis was raking again on Sunday, notching 3 hits and 3 RBI for the Braves. Garcia is now hitting .272 in his first 43 games in Atlanta with eight home runs and 18 RBI. Not too shabby. I like him a lot the rest of the way. First, there is no reason for Atlanta to play aging veterans at his expense. Second, he is on FIRE, hitting .545 over the last week. Third, his production has come despite a depressed BABIP. Fourth, I just like the name! Ok, the fourth reason is not compelling but the first three should be. Buy. [With a name like Adonis, no need to delve into song lyrics here]
Masahiro Tanaka: Masahiro Tanaka stepped up and stopped the dumpster fire that was the Yankees last 5 home games. Tanaka was great, going seven scoreless innings while mowing down seven. Yes, there is a worry about that elbow but you would never know it from his recent performances. In his last 12 starts, the Yankee ace has a 3.01 ERA, a miniscule 0.91 WHIP and a 5/1 K/BB ratio. If the Yankees go anywhere in the playoffs, they will have Tanaka to thank. After all, “with a little perseverance you can get things done.”
Abraham Almonte: Almonte had another good day at the dish, going 2-3 with 2 runs and a swipe Sunday. As noted right here on fantasyalarm.com, since joining the Indians, Almonte is hitting .287 in 31 games with 22 runs, four home runs, 16 RBI and four stolen bases. I like the odds of this continuing throughout the fantasy pennant race. Almonte is just 26 and in his third big league season (albeit in parts), gets on base at a nice clip (.340 over the last 30 days) and does a little bit of everything. Nothing to sing about here but this is exactly the type of roto 5th OF that wins titles.
And now the moment you well, may or may not be waiting for, the Baron of Bottom of the Page pontificates a/k/a Schultz says: “Surely everyone remembers the September that the Angels called up Mike Trout and he immediately started destroying major league pitching while stealing bases at a Brockian clip. You don't? How can that be? Ah, that's right, because it didn't happen. In fact, our modern day roto-saviour failed horrifically in his brief initial late summer stint - much like a young Alex Rodriguez when Seattle called him up too soon.
As far as keeper leagues go, this September can pay great dividends for the future if you're willing to be patient and oftentimes ignore the evidence staring you in the face. After Trout's unmemorable September, no one felt the need to keep him for next year. Granted, you might have needed Grays Sports Almanac to see it coming but each and every one of those folks regretted the decision next May when he established himself as the undisputed king of roto.
Why is Schultz bringing up such nonsense? Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Hector Olivera and Trea Turner are presently on major league rosters. They are very likely not going to do much in 2015. However, if you can finagle a way to keep them cheaply for 2016, you have some work to do.”
Response: Quality keeper league advice from the Baron!