Fantasy Baseball Planner: Stream Pirates’ Jameson Taillon, Nationals’ Michael Taylor
Our new Weekly Fantasy Baseball Planner has Pitching and Hitting Streamers and Waiver Adds
Most of you have no reason to start serious debate over whether to draft Todd Gurley II or Le’Veon Bell or questioning when the first quarterback goes off the board of a Fantasy Football draft. Unless your team had as much misfortune as Sylvester the Cat, the beginning of May means there’s still a chance to compete.
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended Two-Turn Starters)
Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox (vs. Royals, Monday; at Rangers, Saturday): Strikes out better than a batter per inning and benefits from strong run support (6.25 runs per game). He’s more effective on the road, having limited batters to a .188 average outside of Fenway.
Matt Boyd, Tigers (vs. Rays, Tuesday, at Royals, Sunday): The opposite of Rodriguez, Boyd’s strong start has been betrayed by a Detroit lineup that has averaged 2.5 runs in each of his first four outings. Flyball rate approaches 57 percent, yet that shouldn’t be a concern considering who he faces this week.
Jameson Taillon, Pirates (at Nationals, Monday; at Brewers, Saturday): He was due for some regression. Despite getting shelled in his two starts, let me point to his 1.17 WHIP and .232 opponents’ Batting Average Against. Taillon has averaged 58.5 pitches in his last two outings, which means his arm should be good to go deeper into his two apperances this week.
Charlie Morton, Astros (vs. Yankees, Monday; at Diamondbacks, Saturday): Why Morton has become a latter-day Mike Scott is beyond me, but he’s averaged better than 10 whiffs per nine innings since arriving to H-Town last season. One explanation could be a fastball that has gone from 92 MPH in 2015 to the current 96 MPH he’s dialing up thus far. Sometimes, it’s best not to ask and simply enjoy the ride.
Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays (at Twins, Monday, at Rays, Saturday): The early control issues are subsiding. Sanchez has been filthy outside of Rogers Centre, sporting a 2.57 ERA and a .204 BAA in his first two starts away from Oh, Canada this season.
Jordan Montgomery, Yankees (at Astros, Tuesday; at Indians, Sunday): Has yet to allow a hit to a lefty this season. For all of his control issues, Monty has allowed a nifty .694 OPS to opposing batters and tends to bring out the best in the Pinstripes bats, which have averaged almost eight runs in his first five starts.
Jordan Zimmerman, Tigers (vs. Rays, Monday; at Royals, Saturday): Detroit has scored at least 10 runs in three of his five starts, so there. Well, that and the fact neither Tampa Bay nor Kansas City is going to scare you with their pop. He’s risky, yet this is a good week to buck sanity and run with Zimmerman.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (at Diamondbacks, Monday; at Padres, Saturday): We bring up Kershaw only to point out the fact that the Dodgers are averaging 3.1 runs per game this season. Yes, it’s killing his win total yet he’s due.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers (at Diamondbacks, Tuesday; at Padres, Sunday): Sure, the BB/9 has tweaked up, yet you’ll gladly trade that for a hurler who is striking out 30.7 percent of the batters he’s faced.
Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks (vs. Dodgers, Monday; vs. Astros, Saturday): Please, please, please try to go one start without allowing a homer. The 1.17 WHIP tells us his control is pinpoint but when he hangs one up...
Albert Almora, OF, Cubs: A .377 OBP and .853 OPS will earn you more playing time and an increase in ownership as Almora is now property of 16 percent of CBSSports.com owners. He doesn’t run much yet has enough occasional pop to enhance his game. He may be the answer to the Cubs’ leadoff issues.
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Brewers: With Eric Thames (thumb) out indefinitely, Aguilar will join Ryan Braun in a timeshare at first. Aguilar entered the weekend with a 1.034 OPS and should see a rise in his current 11 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.
Matt Koch, P, Diamondbacks: Taijuan Walker’s replacement in the rotation isn’t flashy but Koch merits mention in deeper leagues. Owned in 12 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, he’s had two solid starts and could be a good source of wins as the D-Backs keep their grip on the NL West lead.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, Red Sox: The lefty half of the platoon with Hanley Ramirez, Moreland is killing right-handers to the tune of a .927 OPS. He’s held his own in limited ABs versus lefties, which is one reason why his CBSSports.com ownership is at 20 percent. Ramirez isn’t the paragon of good health, so Moreland’s value could rise if Hanley is hamstrung.
C.J. Cron, 1B, Rays: An increased fly ball rate and more focus on spraying the ball has been the story behind Cron’s early season power display. Drawing walks isn’t his strong suit, yet it hasn’t stopped his CBSSports.com ownership from climbing to 31 percent. Tampa Bay will play him daily, so don’t be shocked if we’re discussing Cron as a 25-30 home run hitter at season’s end.
Franchy Cordero, OF, Padres: The guided missile he launched in Arizona last week was no accident. Cordero has power to spare and while he’s scuffling to hit over .220, he’s a speculation buy in deeper leagues as his 26 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues will attest. However, it would help his cause to cut down his 38.9 percent strikeout rate. That’s Rob Deer-like whiffing.
Marco Gonzales, P, Mariners: Man, was he throwing darts on Tuesday, striking out eight while shutting out the White Sox over six innings of work. It’s an encouraging sign for Gonzales, who fanned eight in his previous start against the Astros. He’s owned in 26 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and offers just enough intrigue to add him to your roster.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Drew Pomeranz, Red Sox (vs. Royals, Wednesday): Nothing like facing the worst offense in baseball to help get your groove back.
Yu Darvish, Cubs (vs. Rockies, Wednesday): Repeat after me...now is not the time to panic. Now is not the time to panic...
Julio Teheran, Braves (at Mets, Thursday): Entering the weekend, he’s allowed just three runs in his last 19 innings. The stuff has always been there, so if his head’s on straight, watch out.
Mike Foltynewicz, Braves (vs. Giants, Friday): Wait, we’re talking about Braves pitchers in consecutive profiles? How 1998 of me.
Lance McCullers Jr., Astros (vs. Yankees, Thursday): Last two starts prior to Friday’s outing against the A’s are a sign his early-season control issues are fading. Considering he’s the one Astros starter still struggling, that’s very scary news if McCullers’ act is back.
Jose Urena, Marlins (vs. Phillies, Wednesday): Union rules require we mention the Marlins at least once.
Dylan Bundy, Orioles (at Angels, Wednesday): Too bad his arsenal arrived the same time the rest of the team is cratering.
Blake Snell, Rays (at Tigers, Wednesday): He’s putting it together but expect some regression. Just not against the Tigers, though.
Sean Manaea, Athletics (at Mariners, Thursday): I don’t think we’re too far from putting Manaea from must-start status. He’s close to stamping his claim as Oakland’s ace.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals: Like the rest of the Nats’ lineup, his bat is slowly warming up. He’s got strong buy-low due to his steals and a bat that can get 15-17 homers.
Mitch Haniger, OF, Mariners: The 2018 poster boy for the Age 27 season. Haniger’s power is maturing and makes him a must-start in any format.
Yoan Moncada, 2B, White Sox: Remember the scene in the first Matrix movie when Neo finally got it? That’s what Moncada’s bat has looked like over the last 7-10 games. A 72-point rise in batting average over 10 games will do that.
Jesse Winker, OF, Reds: The .449 OBP overshadows his .387 slugging percentage. Winker’s power will eventually arrive, so play him in deeper leagues.
Nicholas Castellanos, 3B/OF, Tigers: Detroit’s patience with him is paying off as Castellanos is getting on base at a .382 clip. He’s no longer under the radar.
Andrelton Simmons, SS, Angels: The glove is elite and his bat isn’t too far behind. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Simmons flirting with a 20-20 campaign.
Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves: A must-start, even if his bat cools off. He will steal bases and eventually have the type of weeks where he carries a team in head-to-head leagues.
Jameson Taillon Featured Image: (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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