Archive for June, 2014

Bullpen Report: June 30, 2014

Jake Arrieta was four outs away from throwing a no-no before Stephen Drew singled and at 120 pitches, Pedro Strop came in to get the final out of the eighth inning. Hector Rondon entered for the ninth and pitched around a lead off single to record his 10th save of the season. Rondon has had a few flare ups of late but he’s still the Cubs closer and should continue to get save chances as they come, especially if he pitches more like he did tonight. However if he struggles again soon or is put on the trading block, look for Neil Ramirez to fill in for saves.

Dellin Betances finally showed he was human allowing two-walks and an unearned run in the eighth inning tonight against the Rays. With the “off” outing Betances still supports a 1.69 xFIP with a 14.25 K/9 and remains the likely best non-save option in fantasy baseball.  Robertson finished the eighth, allowing Betances’ inherited run to score and stayed on to throw a scoreless frame in ninth as well.

• Jake McGee entered tonight’s game with a one-run lead in the eighth and pitched around a couple of base hits for a scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to 1.24. Even though a couple of lefties were due up in the ninth, it was Joel Peralta who came on for the save that he quickly blew on a home run by an unlikely source in Brian Roberts. This is obvioulsy good news for McGee owners. He has received the last two save opportunities for the Rays and given Peralta’s performance tonight, I fully expect McGee to receive the next opportunity as well.

• There wasn’t a save situation in the Nationals game today but Drew Storen pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Tyler Clippard is likely next in line in the pecking order but Drew Storen is having a nice comeback season after a down year in 2013. His 1.03 ERA is likely to regress but Storen is keeping the ball in the park and avoiding the free pass. There are likely more exciting non-save options for strikeouts and even ratio help, but in Saves+Holds leagues, on a competitive Nationals team that should have a few leads to protect, Storen is certainly a sound option.

Sean Doolittle has had an incredible season a forgettable June 30th. Doolittle started the ninth in a 4-1 game, but ended up allowing a grand slam walk-off homer to Rajai Davis for his third loss of the season. This was actually Doolittle’s second blown save in a row but even after tonight’s blowup, Doolittle still has an ERA under three with an insane 57/2 strikeout to walk ratio and remains a top tier closer in both real life and fantasy baseball.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second DL/Minors
Arizona Addison Reed Brad Ziegler Oliver Perez
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Jordan Walden Shae Simmons
Baltimore Zach Britton Tommy Hunter Darren O’Day
Boston Koji Uehara Junichi Tazawa Andrew Miller
CHI (NL) Hector Rondon Neil Ramirez Pedro Strop
CHI (AL) Zach Putnam Jacob Petricka Javy Guerra Matt Lindstrom
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sam LeCure Sean Marshall
Cleveland Cody Allen Bryan Shaw John Axford
Colorado LaTroy Hawkins Rex Brothers Adam Ottavino
Detroit Joe Nathan Joba Chamberlain Al Alburquerque Joel Hanrahan
Houston Chad Qualls Tony Sipp Josh Fields
KC Greg Holland Wade Davis Aaron Crow
LAA Joe Smith Jason Grilli Kevin Jepsen
LAD Kenley Jansen Chris Perez Brian Wilson
Miami Steve Cishek A.J. Ramos Mike Dunn
Milwaukee Francisco Rodriguez Will Smith Brandon Kintzler Jim Henderson
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Casey Fien
NY (NL) Jenrry Mejia Jeurys Familia Vic Black Bobby Parnell
NY (AL) David Robertson Dellin Betances Adam Warren
Oakland Sean Doolittle Luke Gregerson Dan Otero
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Ken Giles Mike Adams
Pittsburgh Mark Melancon Tony Watson Ernesto Frieri
St. Louis Trevor Rosenthal Pat Neshek Jason Motte
SD Huston Street Joaquin Benoit Alex Torres
SF Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt Sergio Romo
Seattle Fernando Rodney Danny Farquhar Dominic Leone
TB Jake McGee Grant Balfour Joel Peralta
Texas Joakim Soria Jason Frasor Neal Cotts Neftali Feliz
Toronto Casey Janssen Sergio Santos Aaron Loup Brett Cecil
Wash. Rafael Soriano Tyler Clippard Drew Storen

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]

MASH Report (6/30/14)

Albert Pujols is hurt … again.

He disclosed after Sunday’s game that he has played with a swollen lymph node in his left groin since Wednesday.

The Angels did not send Pujols to a doctor. Pujols said the team athletic trainers considered the condition more of an infection than an injury, even with what he said was a gland swollen to the size of a golf ball.

Talk about TMI. With baseball, stating it is groin injury is just fine. No more gory details are needed. But since the Angels gave out the unwanted information, he may have to deal with the swelling for a couple of weeks after looking up the symptoms.

Painful lymph nodes are generally a sign that your body is fighting an infection. The soreness usually goes away in a couple days, without treatment. The lymph node may not return to its normal size for several weeks.

His owners may look for a replacement for the next couple of weeks. In most cases, owners are just going to have to ride through the pain also.

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2014 Second Base Tier Rankings: July

If you’d like to check out my tiered second-base rankings from last month, click here.


Jose Altuve
Ian Kinsler
Robinson Cano

Alright, Cano, you’ve officially got company. I said last month that, if Cano still wasn’t hitting many homers, he would no longer be the sole occupant of Tier One, and I am staying true to my word. Cano’s got three homers over the last month, and a total of five on the season. Altuve and Kinsler are both having monster years, and I would take either over Cano rest-of-season. Cano is still having a very productive season, and the slight uptick in power in June is a welcome sign, but Altuve and Kinsler are simply performing far too well to keep valuing Cano over them in his own tier.



Brian Dozier
Dee Gordon
Anthony Rendon
Daniel Murphy
Jason Kipnis

If you’re in an on-base percentage league, push Dozier up into that first tier as well. I took some heat for ranking Gordon fourth last month, but he was the No. 6 fantasy second baseman in June, and he’s still No. 2 on the season. Sticking to my guns with him.

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Sergio Romo Out — Who’s In?

Sergio Romo is out. The committee is in. And so we get our divining rods out and try to figure out who will leave the heap on top.

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The Daily Grind: 6-30-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Halfway
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Tuesday Picks
  4. Table

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When to Worry About Mike Minor

After undergoing uretha surgery and then injuring his shoulder as he tried to ramp up for spring training, Mike Minor has been uninspiring in his first 11 starts this season. It is difficult for those that drafted him and stuck with him during his extended stay on the disabled list, but when should we start worrying and even start considering dropping Minor?
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Daily Fantasy Strategy — June 30 — For Draftstreet

Nine teams currently have a wRC+ over 100 for the season. Anytime you’re looking to stack hitters from the same team, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to just pick a team or two out of that group of nine with the best matchup for the day. But this is just a quick reminder that some of those top offensive teams are much better against pitchers of a certain handedness.

For example, the Blue Jays are tied with the Angels for the best wRC+ in the league at 112. But the Jays have a 116 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which they see two-thirds of the time, and have just a 102 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. The simple fact that the majority of pitchers are right-handed is what makes them the best offense in the league. If the majority of pitchers were left-handed, the Jays total wRC+ might be something like 104. Long story short, they’re not as good of a stacking option against lefties. Which makes sense because their lineup features left-handers Adam Lind, Juan Francisco and Colby Rasmus as well as two switch hitters who are better from the left side of the plate in Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera.

Here is a chart showing you how the top nine offensive teams fare against pitchers of either handedness.

Team wRC+ vs. L wRC+ vs. R
Blue Jays 102 116
Angels 121 107
Athletics 104 114
Tigers 111 111
Dodgers 92 114
Indians 89 114
Rockies 111 102
Pirates 108 103
Brewers 95 106


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A Quick Look at June Breakouts

The month of June is coming to an end and a quick look at the June leaderboards shows some surprising names (and some not-so-surprising names). Monthly stats, as we know, are subject to all the issues that all other small sample sizes suffer from. But sometimes you can find a guy who made an adjustment and is starting to hit.

I took a look at the top 10 qualified hitters in wOBA in June to see if there were any surprises or anyone worth looking at closer.

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Roster Trending 6/30/14: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

I’m back with the third edition of roster trending, checking out some of the players who have experienced the biggest ownership spikes in CBS leagues over the last week. These lists are always interesting and offer an insightful glimpse into the mind of the average fantasy owner. So let’s take a gander at who is being added in leagues and determine whether fantasy owners have the right idea.

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Roto Riteup — Presented by DraftKings: June 30, 2014

After today, we’ll be officially half-way through the 2014 season. There’s as many Roto Riteups to come this year as there has already been, which could either be great news, or the bane of your existence.

On today’s agenda:
1. Chris Parmelee in center: good for you, bad for Twins
2. ALERT/Reminder that Taijuan Walker’s starting today
3. An Alex Cobb comparison
4. Manny Machado’s righting the ship
5. The Figurative Five

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