Seth Trachtman

The Week Ahead

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The Week Ahead: The Oldies

Saturday, September 2, 2017


As I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for aging athletes has grown. With that in mind, let’s take this time to appreciate R.A. Dickey.

 

The 42-year-old had a 4.46 ERA with Toronto last season and looked like he might be approaching the end early this year, with an ugly 5.70 ERA and 20 walks in 36.1 innings during May. Since then, the knuckleball has been working again.

 

Since the start of June, Dickey has a 3.30 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 90 strikeouts in 101 innings. In other words, he’s held significant fantasy value in most leagues, despite only being owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues at this point.

 

The durable Dickey is on pace to finish just shy of the 200 inning mark, and he’s certainly been Atlanta’s most reliable starter this season with Julio Teheran’s struggles. Showing it’s never too late to get better, Dickey has also shown a slight uptick in velocity this season.

 

Signed for $8 million this season with an equivalent team option next year, Dickey will almost certainly be brought back by the Braves in 2018. There’s no reason to think he won’t continue to be an asset down the stretch, and he’s headed into a two-start week against Texas and Miami.

 

Editor’s Note: Win a FREE trip to the World Series plus cash prizes!

 

-Speaking of old pitchers, let’s not overlook how Bartolo Colon has helped spark Minnesota’s recent run and saved his career, in the process. After posting an atrocious 8.14 ERA in 13 starts with the aforementioned Braves, Colon is 4-2 with a 4.09 ERA in nine starts for the Twins. While that ERA shows some luck given his 11 home runs allowed in 55 innings, Colon’s pinpoint control has returned. He has a 1.6 BB/9 after leading the NL in BB/9 in 2015 (1.1) and 2016 (1.5). Minnesota has won five of his last six starts, and Colon is a possible streamer in larger parks like Kansas City late next week.

 

-While the second half has been great for Dickey and Colon, we certainly can’t say the same for Jason Vargas and Ivan Nova. The pair were darkhorse Cy Young candidates at the All-Star break but have completely plummeted recently. It’s been a regression to the mean for both pitchers, but there have also been disturbing signs. For Vargas, he’s walked 20 batters in 45 innings since the break after walking only 25 batters in 106.1 innings in the first half. The result has been a 6.80 ERA. For a player whose average fastball is less than 86 mph, that’s not a recipe for success. Nova’s control has still been good by human standards since the break (2.4 BB/9) but it’s nothing compared to what he did in the first half (1.1 BB/9). He’s also been completely unable to keep the ball in the park (11 home runs in 48 innings), resulting in a 6.38 ERA since the break. A difficult schedule with road starts at Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Colorado since late July hasn’t helped. With starts against the Cubs and Cardinals next week, Nova should continue to ride the bench of fantasy rosters.

 

-Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has been aggressive in adding starting pitching out of necessity with his top four starters entering the year now on the DL. He added Mike Leake this week, and is hopeful this trade works out as well as the Erasmo Ramirez acquisition. Acquired from the Rays late in July for Steve Cishek, Ramirez has been comfortable in a Seattle Mariners uniform with a 3.62 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in six starts. Ramirez’s calling card for most of his career has been his control, and that’s been the case again this year with a 2.1 BB/9. The hope was that the move to Safeco Field would help the home run prone Ramirez keep the ball in the park, but five of his six starts with the Mariners have come on the road. As a result, he’s continued to have major long ball issues. Ramirez finally gets two starts at Safeco Field next week, albeit against Houston and an Angels lineup than now has Justin Upton.

 

 

Going Twice…

 

American League

 

Strong Plays

 

Dallas Keuchel: @SEA, @OAK

Jose Berrios: @TB, @KC

Collin McHugh: @SEA, @OAK

 

Decent Plays

 

Trevor Bauer: @CHW, BAL

J.A. Happ: @BOS, DET

Danny Duffy: @DET, MIN

Alex Cobb: MIN, @BOS

Danny Salazar: @CHW, BAL

Dylan Bundy: NYY, @CLE

Rick Porcello: TOR, TB

Erasmo Ramirez: HOU, LAA

Jaime Garcia: @BAL, @TEX

Andrew Cashner: @ATL, NYY

Jason Vargas: @DET, MIN

Bartolo Colon: @TB, @KC

Kendall Graveman: LAA, HOU

 

At Your Own Risk

 

James Shields: CLE, SF

Chris Smith: LAA, HOU

Derek Holland: CLE, SF

Troy Scribner: @OAK, @SEA

 

 

National League

 

Strong Plays

 

Stephen Strasburg: @MIA, PHI

Carlos Martinez: @SD, PIT

Robbie Ray: @LAD, SD

Jacob deGrom: PHI, CIN

Jake Arrieta: @PIT, MIL

 

Decent Plays

 

Chase Anderson: @CIN, @CHC

Jose Quintana: @PIT, MIL

R.A. Dickey: TEX, MIA

Hyun-Jin Ryu: ARI, COL

Kenta Maeda: ARI, COL

Michael Wacha: @SD, PIT

Chad Kuhl: CHC, @STL

German Marquez: SF, @LAD

Julio Teheran: TEX, MIA

Mark Leiter Jr.: @NYM, @WAS

 

At Your Own Risk

 

Ivan Nova: CHC, @STL

Matt Moore: @COL, @CHW

Rafael Montero: PHI, CIN

Adam Conley: WAS, @ATL

Chad Bettis: SF, @LAD

Robert Stephenson: MIL, @NYM

Travis Wood: STL, @ARI

Homer Bailey: MIL, @NYM

Odrisamer Despaigne: WAS, @ATL

 

Total Games

 

American League

 

6: BAL, BOS, DET, LAA, NYY, SEA, TB, TEX, TOR

7: CHW, CLE, HOU, KC, MIN, OAK

National League

 

6: ARI, MIL, SF

7: ATL, CHC, CIN, COL, LAD, MIA, NYM, PHI, PIT, SD, STL, WAS

 

 

 

Streamer City

 

The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:

 

American League

 

Wednesday, September 6: Buck Farmer vs. KC

The enigma that is Farmer pitched relatively well at the White Sox this week. He should have a rotation spot during September after the Justin Verlander trade, and has a relatively easy matchup vs. KC next week.

 

Thursday, September 7: Kyle Gibson @ KC

Is it ever safe to use Gibson?  Probably not, but he is coming off two of his best starts of the year, and faces a weak Royals lineup.

 

Saturday, September 9: Brett Anderson vs. DET

Desperate AL-only owners could give Anderson a look. He was solid in his first start with the Jays, and will be facing a Tigers lineup without Justin Upton (traded), Victor Martinez (DL), and possibly Miguel Cabrera (suspension).

 

National League

 

Monday, September 4: Rafael Montero vs. PHI

Coming off the start of his career, Montero gets his shot against a mediocre Phils offense on Monday. He’s quietly had a 2.77 ERA over his last five appearances, with three quality starts.

 

Wednesday, September 6: Ben Lively @ NYM

After the Mets lost Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes last week, it’s a great time to pick on their lineup. Lively has torn through the Giants and Marlins since his return to the majors a couple weeks ago, and this is another opportunity.

 

Friday, September 8: Sal Romano @ NYM

Why stop at Lively against the Mets? Romano will also get his shot to face the weak Mets lineup late in the week.

 

 

The Infirmary

 

Here’s some injuries to prominent players over the last week, and other players to watch for in the coming week. You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page.

 

Jose Abreu: Day-to-day (elbow)

Tim Anderson: Day-to-day (hamstring)

Carlos Beltran: Status uncertain (foot)

Adrian Beltre: Status uncertain (hamstring)

Madison Bumgarner: Day-to-day (illness)

Byron Buxton: Day-to-day (hand)

Yoenis Cespedes: Out for the season (hamstring)

Michael Conforto: Out indefinitely (shoulder)

Jerad Eickhoff: Placed on DL (hand)

Tyler Flowers: Placed on DL (wrist)

Adam Frazier: Placed on DL (hamstring)

Yuli Gurriel: Day-to-day (knee)

Jedd Gyorko: Placed on DL (hamstring)

Victor Martinez: Could be out for season (heart)

Bud Norris: Placed on DL (knee)

David Phelps: Status uncertain (elbow)

Manny Pina: Day-to-day (hip)

Corey Seager: Day-to-day (elbow)

Travis Shaw: Day-to-day (foot)

Justin Smoak: Day-to-day (calf)

Jesse Winker: Placed on DL (hip)



You can find Seth Trachtman on Twitter @sethroto.
Email :Seth Trachtman



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