Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 14
Happy Independence Day, everyone. I hope you get to spend it with the people you love and that you, especially, stay safe.
Typically, I write a lede to set the tone for the categorical impact players you should pick up. That’s not the case this week.
This week, I want to just focus on Tyler Skaggs. The loss of Skaggs is tragic. Seeing the outpouring of emotion from his teammates, peers, and people who knew him well shows the type of person he was.
Instead of writing an intro, let’s instead look at some great tributes to Skaggs.
– MLB (@MLB) July 3, 2019
– SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 3, 2019
– Momentum (@Watch_Momentum) July 2, 2019
Due to the tragic passing of Tyler Skaggs, Alex and I have decided it best to not record On The Corner this week. The List will be pushed to tomorrow as well.
Instead, let’s watch 47 seconds of Tyler Skaggs throwing one of the prettiest curveballs in the game. pic.twitter.com/F10bqKq1wi
– Pitcher List (@PitcherList) July 1, 2019
RIP, Tyler Skaggs pic.twitter.com/SqN2h3ghoR
– ⚾️Matt Veasey🇺🇸 (@MatthewVeasey) July 2, 2019
Rest in peace, Tyler.
Here as some guys who can help out in the traditional roto categories who are owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer.
Gavin Lux (SS – LAD): 4%
With Corey Seager on his way back after the All-Star break, finding playing time may be tough for Lux. He has, however, risen up the prospect ranks this season with his stellar play in Double-A, and now Triple-A. He’s a middle infielder, so his only shot at regular playing time (barring injury) is if the Joc Pederson experiment at first base doesn’t go well, and the Dodgers move Max Muncy over first. Lux should be stashed if you have an open minor league spot or in deeper leagues. On the year, he has 14 homers, 52 runs, 40 RBIs, and a combined slash of .325/.387/.546.
Alex Verdugo (OF – LAD): 46%
The power returned for Verdugo in June after disappearing in May. With Pederson playing first base, Verdugo seems to be locked into a starting spot in the Dodgers’ outfield. He has more power against righties, with eight of his nine homers coming against them, but he is actually hitting for more average (.329) against lefties. That bodes well for his playing time.
Tyler O’Neill (OF – STL): 2%
With Marcel Ozuna on the shelf for a while, O’Neill should get semi-regular playing time for the struggling Cardinals. In an environment where everyone is hitting home runs, O’Neill isn’t as valuable as he would have been in years’ past, but he has the type of power that could one day lead the league in home runs.
Kevin Newman (SS – PIT): 37%
Move over, Cole Tucker. You’re old news. All Newman has done since getting called up by the Pirates is hit, hit, and hit some more. He’s developing power, too, which is an added bonus at a position where it’s hard to stand out. He’s a guy to grab in a league where you need a middle infielder or average help.
Jarrod Dyson (OF – ARI): 13%
Care to guess how many players have more stolen bases than Dyson? The answer is two. Why, then, in an era where stolen bases are hard to find, is he owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo leagues?
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but let’s do a Player A, Player B, and Player C comparison.
Player A: 5 home runs, 41 runs, 23 RBIs, 22 stolen bases, .231/.301/.359
Player B: 5 home runs, 39 runs, 18 RBIs, 19 stolen bases, .258/.347/.373
Player C: 5 home runs, 35 runs, 31 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, .214/.307/.322
Let’s get Dyson on more teams, folks.
Julio Urias (SP/RP – LAD): 34%
Ross Stripling seems to be the Dodgers’ preferred starting option after the Rich Hill injury. Even with his lackluster performance Tuesday, he’s going to start every fifth day. Urias, though, has dominated in three-inning spurts. That won’t help him earn any quality starts, but if he’s piggybacking and entering the game in the fifth inning, he’s going to get some cheap wins. Take them how you can get them. He’s currently on a 17-inning scoreless streak.
John Means (SP/RP – BAL): 55%
Trey Mancini should have been the Orioles’ All-Star rep, but Means got the nod. He doesn’t have enough innings to qualify for the MLB leaders, but for pitchers with at least 70 innings pitched, his 2.50 ERA ranks sixth. His -1.43 ERA/FIP differential is second in baseball, so regression is probably going to hit him hard. Until then, ride Means as a streaming option and hope that he keeps out-pitching his peripherals.
Michael Pineda (SP – MIN): 18%
Pineda has a 1.19 first-half WHIP, which is remarkable considering he had a 1.48 WHIP in March and April. But he’s been a WHIP master since the beginning of May, posting a 1.05 mark in 10 starts.
Dylan Cease (SP – CHW): 36%
Cease made his major league debut Wednesday, and it sounds like the White Sox plan on keeping him around. With Brendan McKay up and Jesus Luzardo suffering an injury setback, Cease is the pitching prospect to own. While he only struck out 9.61 per nine in Triple-A this season, he’s averaged 11.4 K/9 over his minor league career.
Nathan Eovaldi (SP – BOS): 60%
I’m breaking the rules on this one a bit. The cutoff is 50 percent, but everyone who drafted Eovaldi expected him to be in the rotation. Well, the Red Sox, who have played closer roulette all season, announced that Eovaldi is going to be the closer when he returns from the injured list. We saw him in relief in the playoffs last year, and he excelled. I expect him to be a shutdown option for Boston.