Master Of The Twitterverse: Fantasy Advice On David Freese, Rick Porcello And Even Some Cricket

This week in the Twitterverse, @allinkid answers questions about players “being for real,” buying low, wide receivers, Rick Porcello, and he even tries to understand cricket.

@PC—86: Kyle Blanks real deal?

@allinkid: as in a decent OF option, yes…THIS good, not quite, but has value in 12-team or deeper

Kyle Blanks has always posted solid power numbers in the minors, and it’s no surprise that playing in San Diego hurt those same numbers. Whether it’s the wall adjustment in Petco Park or not, Blanks is flashing that power again. He currently has seven home runs in 131 at-bats, good for a .225 ISO – his best since his rookie season. Blanks is also hitting a respectable .282, and before you fret, it’s not due to a high amount of luck. His BABIP is .317, which is under Blanks’ minor league average by a decent amount. He still doesn’t have the best K/BB ratio, but Blanks is driving the ball better with a career-best 20.8 LD%. All of that adds up to Blanks being “for real” in that he is a quality fourth or fifth outfielder for teams and as long as he’s getting the playing time (which should remain given Cameron Maybin’s injury).

@af—st: time to pick up Kluber?

@allinkid: In deeper leagues, should have been already, standard 10 or 12-team, better hurry

Fresh tweet from Sunday, as Corey Kluber spun eight shutout innings and struck out eight in a 2-0 victory over the Nationals. Kluber has now allowed over three runs just once in his last seven outings. He lowered his ERA/WHIP from 4.08/1.22 to 3.58/1.18 and has a 65/12 K/BB ratio in 65.1 IP. Put any well-known name in place of Kulber’s, and you wouldn’t see him available in any league. The good news is that like Blanks, Kluber isn’t relying on luck, as his BABIP sits at .328, which is a bit high. That’s reflected in his 2.95 xFIP, which is carried by his great K/BB ratio, plus solid marks in GB% (44.4%), F-Strike% (62.5%) and SwStr% (11.0%). Kluber gets the Twins later this week, and at this point, is nearly a must-start.

@allinkid (June 11): #Cardinals David Freese extends hitting streak to 20 games. Oh & was hitting just .209 with 4 RBI before it. Now .287/20

@ks—i1: must add?

@allinkid: shouldnt have ever been on wire

The hit streak is gone, but David Freese has bumped his average up to nearly .300. He likely won’t notch 20 home runs again – 12-15 looks like where he’ll finished – but, we’re still looking at a .285-.300 hitter with those home runs, plus 50-60 Runs and RBI. Considering how thin third base is, that is a rather valuable player. My point in posting this tweet wasn’t mainly about Freese. It was about buying low and finding value from panicking owners. We’re halfway through June, not even halfway through the season. There is still plenty of time to make changes/moves/a run at the title. The fact that Freese was cut is a perfect example of panicky owners making rash decisions. You, as the smart owner, should be looking to deal for guys like Freese (well, a month-ago Freese) and get big value on players that will help you win the league: Jason Heyward, Matt Wieters, Martin Prado and Chase Headley are just a few names to toss out there.

@JC—10: Thoughts on Porcello tonight on DK? His price is awfully nice considering how well he’s pitched lately.

@allinkid: good matchup and true, but I personally, never ever trust Porcello

I’m sorry, I just can’t do it. I’ve been burned too many times by Rick Porcello, thinking he was finally doing things right, only to see him fail miserably in a great matchup. In 2011, Porcello had six straight outings with two or less ER, and then the Red Sox hammered him for six in three IP. He bounced back with three straight quality starts only to allow six, five and seven ER (never lasting more than 4.2 IP) in the next three starts. Then came six more starts with three or less ER, only to see him allow eight in 3.2 IP to Cleveland. The 2012 season started great with 14.2 IP, three ER and eight Ks in two starts, only to see Porcello follow those with eight ER in 1.0 IP against the Rangers. Then, starting June 20, Porcello dominates Texas with 6.0 IP, one ER and seven Ks and follows that with a 7.0 IP, zero ER and four K outing against the Rays. Then boom! He goes 3.2 IP with three ER and no Ks, followed by 5.2 IP and five ER against the Twins and Angels. Are you getting the picture? I can never trust Porcello, even with four straight starts of three ER or less (including two zero-ER gems). Just look back to May 23 against the weak-hitting Twins where he allowed five ER in 5.0 IP and then the HORRID 0.2 IP and nine ER outing against the Angels on April 20. Call me when it’s 4-5 starts from now without a blowup outing!

@ja—ll: TY Hilton or Cecil Shorts ppr?

@allinkid: give me Shorts

After all, it’s summer, and I have some killer legs… (queue the “whanh whanh” sound effect… that joke was bad). I ranked Cecil Shorts 26th and T.Y. Hilton 31st in my latest rankings, so they’re not that far apart. And yes, I am doing so even with the QB mess in Jacksonville. Truthfully, I would move Shorts higher if we knew Chad Henne would be at QB. Shorts finished as the 22nd-ranked WR, even with Blaine Gabbert holding him back for much of the season. Shorts somehow finished just shy of 1,000 yards and caught seven TDs with the Jaguars QB situation. Meanwhile, Hilton had rather similar numbers. The Shorts/Hilton comparison is 55/50 catches, 979/861 yards, 7/7 touchdowns. If Shorts gets any consistent play from the QB position, he could easily crack the Top 15, while I have my concerns about a less pass-happy offense for Indy with Bruce Arians gone.

@allinkid: So South Africa is up on Pakistan 186-0 in the first inning. I have no idea what that means, but that score looks cool

@si—om: cricket is actually pretty awesome to watch when you understand it

@allinkid: that’s what I hear…but I don’t know if I can invest 6 hours a day for 3 days into one game

I tried. Maybe I need to read up on it some more, but cricket is tough to get in to, especially if all you’ve known is baseball. Apparently, there IS one-day and Twenty20 cricket limited by the numbers of overs per innings. Yes, there are overs, bowlers, batting in pairs, stumps, bails, wickets and more. Even with the few-hour versions, there are just too many rules, runs and players running around for my taste. I’m still confused!

@ad—ey: How’s this trade sound? I get RA Dickey for Tim Hudson and Michael Pineda?

@allinkid: good buy low but if I’m in first or second, I don’t take risk

@ad—ey: I’m in 5th in 12 team league.

@allinkid: then can do it for upside

This follow up is more about trading at this point of the season than this specific trade. I have a semi-blanket answer to anyone trading FOR risky players who have upside for greater: Yes, if you are in the middle of the pack or lower; No, if you are in the Top 30-35 percent. I say percent because in a 10-team league, that’s Top Three, 12-team is Top Four, 14-team is Top Five and so on. Basically, if you are well off and in contention, there isn’t much reason to make a risk-laden trade. However, if you need to make up ground, you have to take chances to do so, as minor changes won’t move you up enough, and that’s when you make moves like this one.

@so—24: Thinking of dealing A Ram & Nava 4 Wright? Too much?

@allinkid: not if have comparable replacement for Nava

Which I would be surprised if most teams didn’t. Daniel Nava is more than replaceable in most leagues, as we’re talking about a part-time player who will likely see around 400-450 at-bats. The reason is that Nava crushes righty pitching, but is just mediocre against lefties. Nava’s AVG against righties is .302 with seven home runs as opposed to .254/2 versus lefties. That’s a fringe outfielder in most leagues. If you are going to give me David Wright for Aramis Ramirez and someone I could find a replacement for off waivers, I’ll accept faster than you can propose the deal. Wright is on pace for a .290-.300 AVG with 20-plus HRs and SBs to go with 80-plus Runs and RBI. That makes him a Top 20 hitter. ARam did miss time due to an injury, but he is more of a .275-.285 hitter with a bit less pop and no speed. On top of that, the Brewers lineup is struggling to score, which makes Ramirez fall behind Wright in all categories. I wish I saw trades like these in my leagues!