Morneau’s move to the steel city 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.
Ok, now back to the business at hand . . . .
Justin Morneau: In a big move that begs the question, why didn’t other teams do it, the Pirates acquired 1B Justin Morneau for OF Alex Presley. Morneau should fetch big FAAB dollars in NL-only leagues. Yes, his yearlong stats of .259 with 17 home runs are good but not great, but one must remember that 7 of those dingers came in the last month. Look for Morneau to continue to hit for power but a subpar average in his new home.
Jeff Locke: Every now and then I like to reprint a blurb when I . . . NAILED IT ! Last week I wrote “Since the break, Locke has an ugly 5.58 ERA. Fantasy baseball lesson: when something seems to be too good to be true it usually is. So, if you see something that does not make sense, look for the explanation. With Locke, you would have found it – a BABIP down 50 points, a strand rate up 25% and an average FB velo of just 90 MPH. Bottom line here is do not fall in love with your out of nowhere players unless the peripherals and what you see with your eyes back up the unexpected results. With Locke, they simply did not.” Locke proceeded to get bombed again – a bombing that earned him a ticket back to the minors. Ok, now back to this week’s analysis.
Jeremy Guthrie: Jeremy Guthrie tossed seven innings of 1 run ball against the Blue Jays on Saturday, walking none and striking out four. On the year, Guthrie has a 4.18 ERA and 13 wins. Guthrie will not help you in K’s and the WHIP is high but for those in AL-only leagues, this is exactly the type of back of the rotation starter you need – do little damage and add some wins. Given that his ERA over the last 60 days is basically the same as over the whole year, what you see is what you get. Plan accordingly.
Zack Wheeler: According to reports in the New York Post and subsequently reported on this site, Zack Wheeler is "a little tired" as he closes in on his 180 innings limit. What to do here is simple. In keeper leagues, keep Wheeler. In re-draft leagues, move him now and carp about how he has 25 innings or 3-4 September starts left and trade him for what you can get. With a drop in velocity and the prospect of an earlier shutdown as the Mets have to be gun-shy after Harvey, the prospects for star-like production going forward in 2013 are slim indeed.
Angel Pagan: Angel Pagan doubled, walked and scored a run in his first game off the DL. If he has somehow hit the waiver wire (likely because of DL slot limits), Pagan should be very high on your FAAB list. He is a fly under the radar type who quietly posts better numbers than most think. Pagan has averaged 9 HR and 33 SB over the last three years and could easily produce at that level over the last month of the season. Buy!
Taijuan Walker: Taijuan Walker looked pretty good in his big league debut Friday, giving up an unearned run over five innings. So, should you rush out and pick up Walker? Not if you are in a re-draft league. Seattle is going nowhere and is sure to shut down the prize rookie before season’s end. If you are only paying for two starts, go ahead. If you think you will get 5-6, you will be sorely disappointed.
Evan Gattis: In a bit of a surprise, the Braves sent Evan Gattis to Triple-A. Will he be back in September? You have to think so. However, given that Gattis has only 1 homer and 10 RBI in 25 games since the All-Star break, there is little reason for optimism in the short term. If you are in an NL-only 2 catcher league, gamble. Otherwise, look elsewhere for a September power display.
And last and but not least, Schultz says: “As the baseball season moves into its final weeks, the fancy of most roto-addicts rightfully turns towards their upcoming fantasy football drafts, a fresh slate upon which the roto-art can be practiced anew. With the passing of the trading deadline of most roto-baseball leagues, there's really very little that can be done at this point of the season to truly improve your team for the 2013 season. While those in keeper leagues can still hunt for bargains by taking flyers on closers-in-waiting and potential 2014 starters and waiting until April to see if their speculation pays off, those in the hunt for roto-championships usually aren't afforded such luxury. However, with the waning interest that usually besets roto-leagues (yep, I'm beating the roto-prefix into the roto-ground this roto-week) each September, it does become a little easier to find some diamonds in the rough.
Although he has showed glimpses of greatness, many that have counted on Ricky Nolasco have only learned new ways to curse at a pitcher for ruining their pitching stats. In eight years with the Marlins, Nolasco amassed a putrid 4.44 ERA and 1.30 WHIP as well as a fervent cult of disbelievers. Better prophets than myself have gone down this road before but if he is sitting on your waiver wire due to league-wide disinterest or good memories, it may be time to pounce. Since moving out west to Los Angeles, Nolasco has a 2.20 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 51 Ks (in 61 innings) and a 6-1 record. History says that this isn't sustainable but it doesn't have to be, there's only four weeks left.
Jake Peavy surely wasn't sitting unclaimed (unless you play in a four team league). However, should someone have lost faith in the veteran hurler, it's worth noting that his ERA with the Red Sox is a run lower than with the whiter shade of hose, his WHIP is under 1 and he is playing for a team that wins games. This likely won't help anyone in a truly practical sense but it’s interesting nonetheless.”
Response: Sage roto advice from roto’s Carlton the Doorman. (PS – for those who do not know who Carlton is and therefore do not get the joke, Google it).
Some fantasy football thoughts I provided last week which I feel compelled to repeat this week as many of you will be drafting this weekend: Take your RBs early and often. The WR position is very deep and the value will be there later. How deep you ask? Well, this very site ranks Brian Hartline as the 49th best WR – that means that he is a WR5 on some team in a 12 team league and he had over 1000 yards last year. Sticking with those rankings, names such as Anquan Boldin, Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt will be your WR4. I think you get the point!