Fantasy Baseball The Week That Was: April 8
Glenn Colton takes an in-depth look at the past week of the MLB season and goes over how everything turned out for fantasy baseball owners.
Gary going boom, boom and boom again highlights this week’sWeek That Was.
Gary Sánchez : Remember when Gary Sánchez hit .186 with 18 HR for ALL of 2018. Well, after hitting not one, not two but three bombs Sunday (and notching six RBI), Sanchez already has six bombs in just nine games in 2019. Yes, he is on pace to hit over 100 dingers and no he will not hit anything close to that (though 40+ is hardly out of the question). However, that math does show just how hot he is. If the Sanchez owner in your league scoffs at scarcity or thinks he is selling high, make the deal, reap the benefits of production at a super scarce position and watch the dingers fly. Oh, and make sure you do not tell your trading partner that Sanchez hit .278 and .299 in his first two MLB stints. Buy, buy, buy! (get it?)
Joe Musgrove : Joe Musgrove twirled 7.0 innings of shutout ball Friday giving up three hits and one walk while striking out eight. Combined with his two shutout innings of relief to start the year, Musgrove now has 9.0 blank frames and counting. The window to buy is closing fast! Want proof? OK, here goes. First, Joe has posted swinging strike rates over 11 and a 45% ground ball rate each of the last two years. Second, he induced more swings outside the zone last year than the year before. Third, Musgrove upped his first pitch strike rate to over 68%. Elite advanced metrics + stellar early results + Ray Searage as a pitching coach = roto value! Buy!
Lance Lynn : After a dud to begin the year, Lance Lynn pitched very well in a losing cause Friday night. Lynn tossed 7.0 innings of two-run ball giving up five hits and one walk while striking out five. I still believe in what I wrote last month when explaining why Team Colton & the Wolfman drafted Lynn in both Tout Wars and LABR: “We get it, Texas is not a great place to pitch. However, neither was Yankee Stadium and Lynn posted a solid 3.34 xFIP and 25% K rate in the second half. With Lynn, I put a lot of stock in those second half numbers as he missed all of 2016 with TJS and it is often the second year post-TJS that shows true colors. More reason for optimism: Lynn posted a 50% ground ball rate in 2018 (key to keeping the ball in the park in Texas) and had the highest infield fly ball rate of his career (meaning that when he elevated, he often did so at a proper plane). Finally, he cut his walks in half after the break, meaning the season-long 1.53 WHIP should not chase you away.” He can be had cheap. We have bought low and recommend you do as well.
Kevin Gausman : Kevin Gausman came off the IL in style Friday tossing 7.0 innings of shutout ball while striking out seven. Having escaped Baltimore and moved to the National League, Gausman is primed for a big jump. I know I am in the minority in being a Gausman fan these days but consider these facts: 1) Gausman pitched to an ERA under 3.00 in Atlanta after the trade to the NL; 2) even with four months in Baltimore, Gausman posted career highs in swinging strike and groundball rates; and 3) remember what escaping Baltimore did for Jake Arrieta (just sayin’). If you are in a 10 or 12 team league, Gausman could well be on your waiver wire. Owners will be hesitant to spend a lot this week given that he next pitches in Coors. Be SMART and roster and reserve Gausman while other owners are sitting on their hands.
Matthew Boyd :Last week we wrote: “Matthew Boyd was solid in his first start tossing five innings of three run ball striking out 10 while walking only one. Yes, the wins will be hard to come by on a woeful Tigers team but the lefty seems to be for real as the 10 punch outs attest. Remember, in the second half last year, Boyd upped his velo by over 2.5 mph, got ahead in the count more often and threw a plus slider far more often. Buy if there is a doubter in your league or he is somehow out there on your waiver wire, well, you know what to do!” I hope you listened if he was available in your league. All Boyd did was go out and mow down 13 Yankees to take his strikeout total to 23 (against only 4 BB) in 11.3 innings on the year. Oh, and if you really want to know how well Boyd has been hurling, consider this: he has a negative FIP! I did not know it could go below zero. Impressive.
Finally, the moment you have been waiting for all winter (ok, maybe all month) -- Schultz says: “In the old days, the coming of Spring foreshadowed the beginning of the baseball season. Now, the beginning of baseball season, much like Punxsutawney Phil, lets us know that sometime within the next 6 weeks, Spring might show up sometime soon . . . maybe.
Every roto-owner wants to see their team immediately rise to the top of their league's standings. It validates their draft day/auction strategy and clearly shows that you're smarter than everyone else in your league. Quick question though - last year, who was in first place of your league in the first week of April? Unless the answer is "me," you definitely don't know the answer. The season is more than six months long, so while nice to start off well, might be a bit early to start popping champagne corks.
By the same token, it's also too early to hit the panic button: José Ramírez will greatly improve on his .185 0 HR, 1 RBI start. Maybe Nathan Eovaldi doesn't become the ace he seemed like he would be in the World Series but he's surely going to lower his ERA from its present 8.10. As long as game summaries include phrases like "took the mound in 38 degree weather with swirling winds" and "start postponed due to potential snow flurries," it would be premature to start seriously having concerns.
Response: #truth. Re-read the first paragraph of Schultz says every week in April.