Fantasy Baseball The Week That Was: June 10
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.
Mike Moustakas : Mike Moustakas went yard for the 20th time this year Sunday. On the day, Moose was one for four with a run, two RBI and of course, the dinger. With a .275 average, an OPS well over .900 and 53 RBI to go with those 20 dongs, Moose is just killing it. Indeed, he has four dingers over the last four days so he is hardly cooling off. The question is whether 2019 is the year Moose finally puts it all together. I say yes. He is in year two in Milwaukee so he is obviously more comfortable. Moreover, this is his first year playing a full year in a hitter’s park. Finally, the advanced metrics are Moose-friendly: highest hard hit rate of his career; highest line drive rate of his career; and a BABIP that actually signals a bit of bad luck in those impressive numbers. If the Moose owner in your league thinks Moose is performing over his head, pounce. I am all in!
Jorge Soler : Jorge Soler had a big day Sunday going two for three with a dinger, two runs and an RBI. On the year, the Cuban slugger has 17 dingers and 44 RBI – very strong production, especially given his price tag at the draft table. So, will the power display continue. I am very optimistic. People forget that Soler is only 27 years old because he came into 2019 with over 1,000 plate appearances under his belt. Given the injuries and shuffling (from Cuba to Chicago to KC), it is not surprising that Soler is blossoming now that he has an every day role, is healthy and is in his age 27 season. On the year, Soler has shown serious metric growth: reduced soft contact; 40+ hard hit rate; increased flyball rate; and a dramatically reduced infield fly rate (which as you know are automatic outs). Leaving aside all of the above, just take a look at Soler and tell me if you do not see the very picture of a natural athlete. I believe and have invested accordingly.
Asdrúbal Cabrera : Asdrúbal Cabrera had a big day Sunday going three for five with two runs, three RBI and a dinger. On the year, Cabrera is hitting .260 with a .340 OBP, 10 dingers and 38 RBI. Given that Texas has played approximately 40% of the season, Cabrera is on pace for 25 dingers and 95 RBI. Not too shabby for a guy eligible at 2B, SS and 3B. Moreover, that little intellectually dishonest extrapolation is actually very reachable as Asdrubal has hit 23 dingers in two of the last three years and has never called a hitter haven like Texas home for an entire season (Oh, and if you want more proof, Cabrera is a “buy”, his BB rate is up and BABIP says he has been a bit unlucky so far).
Matt Olson : Remember, when everyone was worried about Matt Olson suffering a power outage as a result of his hamate injury. Well, worry no more. Olson went yard for the ninth time in only 113 AB since coming off the IL. Call up the Olson owner in your league and focus him/her on the .227 batting average while avoiding reference to the impressive .500+ slugging percentage and see if you can make a steal of a deal. Coming into this year, Olson was a prime breakout candidate having hit 54 dingers in less than 780 MLB plate appearances. The power is back, the weather is warming up and Olson is on the rise. Get on the flight now while you still can.
Adrian Sampson : Last week we wrote: “Adrian Sampson was on fire Sunday hurling seven innings of one run ball while striking out eleven and walking none. That is 17K and only 1BB in his two-step for the week. I am kinda insufferably proud of myself for rostering him on team Colton & the Wolfman’s Tout Wars AL team (it was a team decision but only I gloat – Rick would never). Seriously, the real issue is what comes next. Well, I do like a start against Oakland next week. Digging deeper, his 4.14 ERA is decent but it should be better as the .330+ BABIP attests. Moreover, the increased velo (over 1.5 MPH up) is also a good sign. In the end, this is probably only a mono-league play but 17K/1BB in the week is hard to ignore. Buy cheap and be vigilant.” Score one for team Week That Was! Sampson was a great play against the A’s. He tossed a complete game while allowing only one earned run and five baserunners while mowing down seven. That is now 24K/2BB over his last three starts. Am I worried about the start against the Red Sox? Yeah, a bit. Can I bench Sampson now? No, no, no!
Finally, the moment you have been waiting for (sort of) -- Schultz says: “The most intriguing story of the past week that was is unquestionably the long-awaited completion of the full slate of roto-eligible players. Regardless of whether Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel held out or MLB owners engaged in some light collusion to protect future #1 picks, the 2019 roto-season spent two months with a final grade of I for incomplete. We can pay lip service to Yordan Alvarez , Kyle Tucker and Carter Kieboom but Keuchel and Kimbrel are going to be the only free agents that will undoubtedly move the needle on the roto-success meter.
Ever since Mariano Rivera retired, Kimbrel was the only closer in baseball that remained a sure thing. Aroldis Chapman may be close but there's usually a multi-week period where he either misses time or struggles to succeed. Once he completes his minor-league tune-up, Kimbrel will immediately vault to the top of the closer rankings as the anchor of the Cubs bullpen. Kirby Yates may be the current flavor-of-the-month but Kimbrel is the brand that's always remains dependable. Unless you are super-confident in your present pen, bust your free agent budget to bring Kimbrel on board.
Keuchel doesn't provide as much certainty as Kimbrel. Even without the holdout, he's always been mercurial, leaving roto-owners to wonder whether they will get Cy Young success or Matt Young disappointment. Putting Kevin Gausman out of mind, Atlanta seems to be a haven for starting pitching. Bid circumspectly but Keuchel won't come with the uncertainty of any of the other minor league arms that get a summer promotion.”
Response: Yes, Kimbrel is a must get and the Cubs is a GREAT landing spot. As to Keuchel, well not so fast. That 8% swinging strike rate from 2018 (lowest of his career) has me worried. In other words, his margin for error is low. I will not be breaking the bank for Dallas. Just sayin.