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By the Numbers: June Recap

Jul 7, 2015

Your fantasy team's situation will dictate whether you should try and trade Giancarlo Stanton or ride out his absense

Your fantasy team’s situation will dictate whether you should try and trade Giancarlo Stanton or ride out his absence

This year’s Independence Day weekend was a big one, with the United States Women’s National Team winning the World Cup. In baseball, the All-Stars starters were announced, which signals that the ceremonial halfway mark of the season is just around the corner. With that in mind, it’s time for a quick review of June.

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.456 – Giancarlo Stanton’s June isolated power percentage

Stanton was placed on the DL last week with a fracture to the hamate bone in his hand. The hamate is traditionally removed, and the player recovers without any significant change in their performance in about a month and a half. The timing of Stanton’s injury is unfortunate, and your team’s position in the standings will say a lot about how you should handle his situation. If you are middling, you probably cannot survive six weeks without Stanton’s production. Sell him to an owner who can weather the storm for help right now. You may not be able to deal with the production vacuum if you’re fighting for a playoff berth or mired in the middle of your roto league’s home run ranks. Don’t sell Stanton for pennies on the dollar, but it would be wise to shop him to make your team better now if his stellar production only moved you to the middle of your league’s ranks.

.935 – Edwin Encarnacion’s June OPS

Encarnacion started off the season mired in a slump of sorts, mustering only a .736 OPS before June 1. He managed 12 home runs in that span but had only a .212 batting average, which drastically reduced his value. In June, Encarnacion put a lot more doubles into play, hitting seven doubles on the month after managing only six in the first two months of the season. Frustrated Encarnacion owners can set aside their concerns about their struggling first or second round pick.  Despite his OPS struggles, E5 plays in one of the most potent lineups around, and even if he slumps again, his production will be enough to get you at least a 90-90 season. Don’t let his low batting average scare you off from Encarnacion, he’s coming around.

3 – Players with more stolen bases this season than Billy Hamilton had in June

Specifically, Hamilton had 19 stolen bases in June, and only Dee Gordon, Jose Altuve and Justin Blackmon have more than that on the entire season. Hamilton’s sudden uptick in stolen base production came alongside an uptick in his batting average, which makes total sense. It’s also entirely possible that his stolen base production will go up even more. He had a .257 BABIP going into June and managed to steal everything to go along with a .282 BABIP in June. Like most speedsters, he traditionally has a higher BABIP, so that .282 should improve along with his batting average. Hamilton doesn’t have the best eye at the plate, so don’t expect a high OBP but his average will carry him to first enough to let his legs do the rest. Hamilton is a bona fide category winner all on his own.

8 – Weeks since Chris Sale hasn’t struck out more than ten batters in a game

In an eight-game stretch, Sale has struck out at least ten batters. This is the longest such in-game streak, and the second longest of all time (ten games by Pedro Martinez between 1999 and 2000). While he’s racking up strikeout gold, a sputtering White Sox offense and a blowup against Minnesota (five earned runs) have given him only three wins in this timeframe. He’s enjoying one of the best stretches a pitcher has ever had. There isn’t much to do with Sale, set him and forget him. If you want to try to flip him to a frustrated Kershaw owner for Kershaw and an elite hitter, then by all means go for it. I wouldn’t mess with a good thing though since Sale has been dealing.

92.3% – Kendall Graveman’s left on base rate

On the surface, Graveman was incredible in June, carrying a 1.93 ERA for the month. The deeper you look, the more blemishes develop on Graveman’s month. His 1.19 WHIP is indicative of a pitcher who has an ERA in the mid-threes, not sub-two. He also has given up an inordinate amount of home runs. He has yielded nine earned runs total in June, along with four long balls. Alongside his 92.3 strand rate (92.3% of baserunners who got on base stayed on base), these numbers show that Graveman has gotten extremely lucky to tally his June numbers. His other peripherals do not inspire confidence either. His WHIP is very high for his ERA, as previously mentioned, and his K/BB rate (27 strikeouts to ten walks in June) also points to a higher ERA. Graveman is a very talented pitcher and comes with a pedigree (he was a major component of the Josh Donaldson trade). Stick with him, but know a rocky correction is on the horizon. It goes without saying that stranding 92.3% of baserunners cannot be the norm, especially with his propensity for hits and walks.

45 – Days Jaime Garcia was available before landing back on the DL

Jaime Garcia presents an enigma of sorts. He hasn’t posted a FIP over four as a full-time starter, but he hasn’t pitched over 20 games since 2011. When he’s available, he’s mixed-league relevant, especially this season. This year he has a 1.69 ERA & 0.875 WHIP. He was pitching a bit over his head with those numbers, but he still provided useful fantasy numbers. The good news with Garcia’s injury is that is a lower body injury (2014 and 2013 ended due to shoulder surgeries). The bad news is that he suffered it running the bases when the game was already in hand. The Cardinals think he should be back after the Al-Star Break, so he’ll be missing a start or two. Hang onto him unless you’re in a significant roster crunch. His breakout should continue when he returns.

Jeff Krisko is a correspondent at FantasyPros, and he also writes for Fantasy Sports Warehouse. To read more from Jeff, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @jmkrisko and Fantasy Sports Warehouse @FantasySportsWH.

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