Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: July 31
Greg Jewett 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.
Although it felt a bit apocalyptic last night, baseball went on in spite of a bevy of trades, the lights going out in Los Angeles and the tweet of the evening from Arizona:
Not being aware of what a haboob was, one learns something everyday. This caused a 21 minute delay during the Rangers and Diamondbacks game which eventually finished with the Rangers winning. For those with piqued interest, here’s some footage of the haboob:
Things started quietly with the Yankees trading long reliever Adam Warren to Seattle for international pool money. While this seems like a trendy deal, New York drafts from the back next June and will try to reach the maximum $3.75 million in order to sign top prospects from the international pool to keep the farm system stocked. It’s been working so far and the Yankees have heavily invested in scouts to proliferate the success.
New York also traded Tyler Austin and pitcher Luis Rijo to the Twins for Lance Lynn . This does not exactly move the needle for fantasy excitement, but Lynn owns a career 1.80 ERA in five starts and 30 innings against the Red Sox. He also provides depth to the rotation in order to try and keep innings down for C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino . Rumors suggest the Yankees have shopped Sonny Gray , so they may not be done dealing.
A whopper of a deal with Toronto sending its suspended closer, Roberto Osuna to Houston for Ken Giles , David Paulino and Hector Perez. Osuna should take over as closer for the Astros when he can be activated on Sunday but enters a very strong clubhouse led by Justin Verlander . This could get interesting inside the clubhouse. On the field, Osuna’s success versus American League contenders make this a wise gamble in spite of the public backlash to the organization. Osuna’s held the Yankees to a .122 batting average against in his career, the Mariners to .071, Cleveland to .231 and struggled a bit versus Boston but still at .290 to this point.
Could a change in scenery help Ken Giles find his slider? This remains to be seen a key part of this trade for the Blue Jays. Giles is 12-for-12 in save chances this year despite his bloated ERA (4.99) with a 31:3 K:BB in 30.2 innings this year. If he gets the bite back on his money pitch, Giles could return to a top-15 closer and not be the Michael Pineda of relievers. Giles should see save chances sooner rather than later thanks to this trade.
In an under the radar acquisition, the Braves traded for Adam Duvall in exchange for Lucas Sims , Matt Wisler and Preston Tucker . This allows Atlanta to sit Ender Inciarte against southpaws and shift Ronald Acuna Jr. to center when a left-handed pitcher starts with Duvall playing left. Duvall’s hit six home runs with a .245 average and .811 on-base plus slugging in 109 plate appearances versus lefties. Inciarte’s hitting .216 against them with one home run and a .614 on-base plus slugging. For Cincinnati, moving Duvall clears the corner outfield spots for Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker for 2019. They also plan on transitioning Lucas Sims back to a starting pitcher.
Boston traded two pitchers for Ian Kinsler late in the evening. Kinsler’s ranks second in defense this year in the majors and has been improving at the dish of late. He’s hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games going 20-for-48 (.417) with 13 runs, five doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. This move will shift Brock Holt and Eduardo Núñez into a timeshare at third base and give the Red Sox more depth off the bench. It’s also the death nail to a Dustin Pedroia return.
Last, but not least, Pittsburgh traded for Keone Kela to bolster its bullpen. Kela recorded a 2.10 ERA his last 26 games for Texas and converted 24 of 25 save chances this season. One pitcher going back to Texas will be Taylor Hearn who can touch 97-to-98 MPH with his fastball and owns a good changeup with his slider in development.
Vultures seem to be circling around the Nationals with word Bryce Harper hit the market. Cleveland’s already contacted Washington but seems unwilling to part with Shane Bieber for a rental. This could be like the Yankees of the past trading free agents to be for a retooling in order to contend. If Washington does trade Harper, teams needing stolen bases better stash Victor Robles who could be promoted in the event of a trade. As for Harper, the next few hours could be unsettling.
Six teams placed final offers to Tampa Bay for Chris Archer . No word on if the Rays will offer a rose to a finalist, stay tuned.
Brad Ziegler could be on the move with the Cubs leading the charge. Ziegler’s 0.64 ERA over his last 28 games makes him a desirable commodity. He’s been scoreless in 26 of these outings with 22 strikeouts in them.
After being unable to complete five innings, Carlos Martínez underwent an MRI after last night’s start and will head back to the disabled list with continued shoulder soreness.
Wil Myers has been taking ground balls at third base of late. There’s no word of him trying to return to the infield, but it’s something to track going forward.
Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías made a rehab appearance on Monday night hitting 94 MPH on the radar. He, along with recently disabled listed Ross Stripling could bolster the Dodgers bullpen for the stretch run.
That Just Happened
A pitching duel between Aaron Nola and David Price led the way in a match-up in Boston. Nola yielded four hits, one earned run and a walk with six strikeouts in eight innings generating 15 swinging strikes along with 23 called. Nola’s allowed five or fewer hits in 16 of his last 22 starts. Price also worked eight innings allowing eight hits, one earned run and a walk with five strikeouts. Boston’s now 12-2 in his last 14 starts.
A.J. Minter locked down his sixth save and has been scoreless in 16 of his last 18 outings. Freddie Freeman hit his 18th home run, and first in a week. Johan Camargo tallied two doubles in three at-bats with an RBI. Ronald Acuna also homered, his 10th, and has slashed .314/.415/.657 in 35 at-bats as the leadoff hitter with eight runs, three home runs and three stolen bases.
Cleveland’s dynamic duo could not produce a win but still shined. José Ramírez entered last night’s action without a hit in his previous seven games. He launched two home runs to snap out of it and stole a base. On the season, Ramirez has 32 home runs and 24 stolen bases while pacing towards 49 dingers and 37 steals. Francisco Lindor tripled and stole his 16th base. He’s on pace to record 42 home runs, 25 stolen bases and score 139 runs. Each went in the second round in most drafts.
Hot hitting Mitch Garver continues to fly below the radar in two-catcher leagues. Garver went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Monday. He’s hitting .358 his last 23 games with 11 runs, four doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and 11 walks.
National League home run leader Nolan Arenado launched his 28th, a grand slam to drive in all four runs for the Rockies. Marcell Ozuna hit his first career walkoff home run and has homered in three straight contests. Ozuna’s in the midst of a modest six game hit streak during which he’s nine for 26 (.346) with three home runs and seven RBI.
Another struggling hitter busted out with two dingers. Shin-Soo Choo entered game play hitless in his prior 11 at-bats and sporting a .118 average his previous 18 games but hit two home runs in Arizona to reach 20 on the season driving in four. Teammate Elvis Andrus extended his personal hit streak to 11 games with two hits and he’s hitting .378 in it over 45 at-bats. Steven Souza homered for the Diamondbacks, his second of the year and he’s sporting a .308 average his last 16 games with six doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI.
Oakland scored 10 runs their first game home after scuffling in Coors this past weekend. Nick Martini racked up two hits and scored a run with an RBI. He’s 12-for-his-last-30 in 14 games including six starts. Mark Canha hit his 14th home run and third off a right-handed pitcher this year. Stephen Piscotty continues to rake in July. Piscotty has 16 of his 27 hits this month have gone for extra-bases (eight doubles, eight home runs) and he’s hit 18 on the season.
Strong return to the mound for Big Maple. James Paxton fired seven shutout innings needing only 82 pitches to navigate them. He allowed three hits with eight strikeouts against Houston with the Mariners limiting his pitch count fresh off the disabled list. Edwin Díaz locked down his 40th save, marking the first time he’s reached this plateau. He’s currently on pace for 61.
Tough luck loser Gerrit Cole threw 6.2 innings giving up four hits, two earned runs and two walks with eight strikeouts. He generated 14 swinging strikes with 21 called but made one mistake to Nelson Cruz .
Travis Shaw racked up three more hits to improve his average to .287 in July and he’s eight for his last 22 with six RBI and a 1.053 on-base plus slugging percentage. Eric Thames crushed his 14th home run, a three run shot to propel the Brewers to victory. Manny Machado hit his second home run with the Dodgers and 26th of the year in the loss. As a Dodger, Machado’s hitting .304 in 11 games with five runs, two home runs and five RBI.
Rumored to be on the trade block, Andrew McCutchen tallied three hits as the leadoff hitter. He entered with only two hits in his previous 19 at-bats and has only recorded six extra-base hits over his last 38 games. Will Smith garners the win in relief striking out all four hitters he faced.
What to Watch For
A wild end to the trade deadline could ensue with big names remaining available. No team faces more scrutiny than the Nationals in the next eight hours.
Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm and read tonight’s Closing Bell by Justin Mason to stay ahead of your competition when the dust settle.