Fantasy Baseball Planner: Add Rockies’ Adam Ottavino, Start Mets’ Steven Matz
Our New Fantasy Baseball Planner Includes Recommended Drops/Adds and Two-Turn Pitchers to Stream
Cold weather isn’t the only reason most bats are freezing during the first three weeks of the season. Entering Friday’s 16-game slate, the composite MLB batting average was .241. Only the Red Sox (.292), Braves (.271) and Angels (.271) were hitting above .270 while 17 teams were swinging it below average. Anyone whose Fantasy lineup is reliant on hitting from usual offensive friendly teams like the Rangers (.230), Rockies (.214) and Indians (a league-worst .208) is likely to be frigid.
History tells us those numbers will climb as the weather eventually warms up, yet there are those whose slow starts are conducive to becoming a member of the Release That Sucka! club, one whose first members are about to inducted.
Logan Morrison, 1B, Twins: His batting average when the ball is in play is .094. I am not making this up. Morrison’s 2017 numbers screamed “CAREER YEAR,” yet how many of you suckas bought in during Draft/Auction season? Only the Timberwolves’ playoff hopes are dropping faster in Minnesota than Morrison’s Fantasy ownership in CBSSports.com leagues. It is at 40 percent and is likely to continue dipping as he approaches the second month of the season without a home run and one double on his 2018 resume.
Best line I’ve heard this Baseball Season courtesy of @CommonManKFAN at the expense of Logan Morrison...They are building a new park in Minneapolis called LoMo Park . It has three Swings and a Bench... Hope LoMo breaks out soon but that was funny AF
— Doug Munson (@TwinsWild16) April 20, 2018
Chris Davis, 1B/DH, Orioles: The days of tolerating his graphic strikeout rates are over. Sure, Davis will have a stretch or two where he’s going Clubber Lang on pitchers, yet those are fewer and further in between. His robust .174 batting average, combined with a 32.9 percent whiff rate, is only manageable in AL-only leagues. In mixed formats, Davis’ fall to 44 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues is a clear sign his act is getting tired.
Russell Martin, C, Blue Jays: A full-blown Danny Jansen (as in Toronto’s top catching prospect who is hitting .389 in Triple-A) watch is looming in Oh Canada as Martin’s bat stands on guard with the impact of a potato gun. Martin entered the weekend hitless since April 6 with a slash line (.128/.277/.282) that makes children sleep with the lights on. That Martin still has a 35 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues may be the most damning indictment of just how thin the position is for Fantasy production.
Matt Harvey, P, Mets: With rumors of his moving to bullpen inching closer to reality, Harvey said he was a “starting pitcher.” Um, no. Harvey’s 6.00 ERA is made more painful by his .302 batting average against, numbers that have made his owners scurry like rats on the Titanic. Those rats stood a better chance being waterlogged in the cold North Atlantic than Harvey making a rapid turnaround. Having gone from 86 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues to 69 percent, the phrase “middle reliever” is one Harvey had better get accustomed to.
Waiver Wire Options Waiting to be Picked Up
Bud Norris, P, Cardinals: The closer role Greg Holland was expected to fill may not be there by the time he’s ready for ninth-inning duties. Norris grabbed three saves in a span of four days and his 16.39 K/9 rate only bolsters his chances of keeping the job. He’s owned in 38 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and is a speculative buy as long as he’s blowing hitters away.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Blue Jays: Five of his first nine hits are of the extra base variety and if you think he’s a fluke, may I lead you to his Fangraphs profile. His four percent walk rate is a tad concerning, yet there’s a potential breakout with 15-homer, 20-steal upside, which is why his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues is at 36 percent. He’s a gem in DFS, going for $3,300 at FanDuel.
Adam Ottavino, P, Rockies: Cool cat Chris Mitchell touched on Ottavino earlier this week and with good reason. Ottavino’s 18.56 K/9 rate looks like something from a video game and his 0.28 WHIP isn’t a typo. How long he keeps up his impersonation of the 2004 version of Octavio Dotel is in question, but if you’re not one of the 36 percent of CBSSports.com owners who are benefiting from Ottavino’s sick start, then shame on you.
Ronald Guzman, 1B, Rangers: Injuries led to Texas bringing up their eighth-rated prospect last week, resulting in Guzman hitting his first big league homer in just his second game. The question with Guzman is whether he’ll be heading back to Triple-A once Delino DeShields comes off the DL, but he’s worth the risk considering the Rangers’ bats will eventually warm up. Owned in just nine percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Guzman leans more toward the deeper league/AL-only side of things for right now.
Two-Start Pitchers/DFS Picks to Believe In
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (vs. Diamondbacks, Tuesday; vs. Braves, Sunday): For now, he’s healthy and making batters swing and miss (10.13 K/9) while also keeping his walk rate (2.11) down. As a team, the D-Backs are swinging it at a .217/.287/.413 outside Phoenix, making him a low-end play ($7,100) on DraftKings as well.
Steven Matz, Mets (@Cardinals, Tuesday; @Padres, Sunday): The 30.7 percent strikeout rate is an anomaly but I’ll buy the .211 Batting Average Against and take my chances with Matz in a pair of starts in pitcher-friendly parks. Matz is $35 at Yahoo, a price I’d really love on Sunday versus the Pads.
Kevin Gausman, Orioles (vs. Indians, Monday, vs. Tigers, Saturday): Both Cleveland (28th) and Detroit (14th) are below-average in OPS. Gausman has been a decent pitcher since getting shelled in his first start on April 1, putting together consecutive quality starts. At $6,400 at DraftKings, there’s an under-the-radar vibe to him.
Jose Berrios, Twins (@Yankees, Tuesday, vs. Reds, Sunday): I’m not quite ready to put him into elite status but he’s damn close. Berrios tends to be overlooked when it comes to the top young arms in the game, yet the filth he was dealing to the Indians in Puerto Rico on Wednesday might have been his coming-out party. He’s a pricey $21,200 at FantasyDraft and that will lead some to take caution with him on Tuesday. However, I’m definitely paying against the Reds on Sunday.
Tyler Chatwood, Cubs (@Indians, Tuesday; vs. Brewers, Sunday): Pitching in weather more suited for NFL Wild Card Sunday isn’t the main reason he’s 0-3 with a 1.79 WHIP, but you try pitching in low-20s wind chill. I’m still a believer in Chatwood and see the seven whiffs in each of his last two starts as a jumping point to better (and warmer) days. He’s due a breakout, one that I can see arriving Monday.
Swinging It, DFS Style
Khris Davis, OF, A’s ($4,300/FanDuel): He has four games of at least 20 Fantasy points in his last seven. Oakland’s been swinging it well as a team and should be able to keep the torrid run going on the road (Monday-Wednesday) against a Rangers pitching staff ranked 29th in hits allowed per game.
Paul Goldschmidt 1B, Diamondbacks ($5,000/DraftKings): Goldy’s batting average has gone from .191 to .254 over the past week. Expect that number to climb as he gets a four-game set (Monday-Thursday) in Philly, where Goldschmidt sports a career .979 OPS.
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves ($22/Yahoo): He’s freaking legit, I tells ya. Albies should continue his assault on National League hurlers in a gem of a four-game set (Monday-Thursday) at the Reds. The steals will be coming soon, so enjoy the surprising display of power while you wait.
Adam Ottavino Featured Image: (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
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