Mighty Max Scherzer’s incredible run highlights this week’s edition.
Before I get started, I want to alert those of you who have not already heard that Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio with Rick Wolf and me is moving to a new time. We will now be on every Tuesday night from 10pm to midnight eastern time. Feel free to call in to comment on anything you like (or, heaven forbid, dislike) about the analysis and tips below or just to hear the Wolfman howl. Fun week this week as we do a mock fantasy football draft in preparation for the season!
Ok, now back to the business at hand . . . .
Max Scherzer: Max Scherzer upped his record to a ridiculous 17-1 by beating Schultz’s Indians on Thursday. Thus far this year, the Tiger hurler has 175K and a .90 WHIP to go with those 17 wins. But here is the really scary part: over his last three starts, he has been even better, posting a .58 WHIP. This may not be brilliant advice but if anyone in your league thinks a regression is coming, jump on the opportunity to land a classic in his prime second half stud to your roster.
Avisail Garcia: With Alex Rios off to Texas, the White Sox recalled Avisail Garcia. The former Tiger was raking at AAA, hitting .379 with seven homers, 36 RBI and six steals over 216 plate appearances. Remember, this is a guy who got big time big game experience in last year’s playoffs and acquitted himself well. There is no reason to think he will wilt in the major leagues this time around. Keeper and re-draft leagues alike should pounce on this guy. Physical similarities aside, he may not be his former teammate Miggy Cabrera, but then who is?
Sonny Gray: Sonny Gray joined the rotation Saturday and did pretty well. Gray tossed 6 innings while giving up just 2 ER and striking out 5. Word is he is in the rotation to stay. So, if you need a starter, this is a good place to shop. First, Oakland is good. Second, they play in a pitchers’ park. Third, he had a 3.42 ERA and 118K in 118 innings in the hitter haven PCL. Invest
Delmon Young: In what at least this writer would call a surprise, the Phillies designated Delmon Young for assignment. Was he great? Hardly. However, after missing the first month of the season due to injury, Young hit .261 with 8 HR in 80 games. At just 27, Young will hook on somewhere. If he lands on an AL team with a DH spot open, he could be a very good low priced keeper for next year. I know I am in the minority, but I think this guy can hit and will hit big time in the major leagues.
Scooter Gennett: With Rickie Weeks landing back on the DL, the Brewers recalled 2B Scooter Gennett to play 2B. What can we expect from the new Milwaukee 2b? Well, he did not light it up in his first stint, hitting just .231 in 22 games. However, Scooter has a great name, is a career .297 hitter in the minors, and will get the at-bats fantasy leaguers need badly this time of year. Oh, and as an added benefit, Scooter has added double digit steals at every level. NL-only leagues take notice.
Mark Reynolds: In a less surprising DFA, the Indians designated Mark Reynolds for assignment. Unlike Delmon Young who OK and is just 27, Reynolds, hit just .133 since the start of July and .215 over all. Given that Reynolds is 30, has not hit over .221 since 2009 and strikes out ALL the time, the prospect for getting full time work in the future is remote. Move along.
Elvis Andrus: Elvis Andrus went 3-4 with two runs scored and three steals in Wednesday's win against the Angels. He followed that up with his first dinger of the year on Saturday. Andrus, who is hitting .313 with 12 SB over the last 30 days is a good bet to just keep getting better. Remember, this is a playoff tested kid who at the tender age of 25 is already in his 5th season in the big leagues. Those in keeper and redraft leagues alike should target Andrus before the price gets too high.
And last and but not least, Schultz says: “In three weeks, the major league rosters expand and playing time for quite a few marginal, but useful, roto-players will start to become scarce. Rather than wait until Labor Day, now would be the time to start scanning your roster and ascertain who on your team will be playing meaningful baseball games in September. With the Dodgers streaking, it's not folly to count on Matt Kemp coming back and putting up significant numbers (provided he lasts more than 24 hours without hurting himself). However, with the Phillies sinking quickly to the bottom of the NL East, would it be surprising to hear that they won't rush Ryan Howard back from knee surgery or simply tell him to rest up for 2014?
Last year's implementation of the extra wild card spot not only served to keep the playoff races interesting until the very end, it enlivened roto-ball for the simple reason that teams kept trying. Setting aside this week's sweep by the Tigers (who may very well have the best team in baseball), the Indians will be fighting this year out to the end. Everyone is probably aware of Danny Salazar and his electric arm and excited over the prospect of him finishing the season in Corey Kluber's spot. While everyone salivates over the uber-rookie, it might be a good time to quietly snatch up Josh Tomlin, who should also be returning from Tommy John surgery later this month. Tomlin never put up gaudy numbers but at the end of a roto-season, you just want consistency, which Tomlin should provide.
There looks to be more competition in the American League so it's worth keeping an eye on the Orioles and Royals in addition to the Red Sox/Rays, Rangers/As battles. The Yankees may have a puncher's chance of staying relevant while they try to get healthy and deflect the developing fiasco at third base.”
Response: Good points all despite the left-handed compliment to the Yankees. I disagree that Tomlin will be roto-relevant this year but those in AL-only keeper leagues should pay attention.
Final Note: I just wanted to make some of you aware of a very interesting new project involving two of my very favorite people – FSTA Hall of Famer Rick Wolf and future superstar (yes, I am biased) Bobby Colton. Check out his column describing this new fantasy sports game at http://news.thefantasy100.com/fantasy100.php?id=34