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Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 16

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 18, 2019

If Kirby Yates gets dealt, then Andres Munoz may instantly become a solid closer

Like we talked about last week, this week’s version of the category analysis is going to be dedicated to the upcoming trade deadline. Since last week, we’ve already witnessed the Red Sox and A’s acquire pitching with Andrew Cashner and Homer Bailey joining their new respective clubs. The Cubs made an addition, too, as they brought in Martin Maldonado as Willson Contreras landed on the IL.

The deadline isn’t until July 31, but with players being pulled from lineups (Franmil Reyes), not being demoted to help their potential trade value (Nomar Mazara), and other rumors flying around daily, we are going to try to get ahead of potential deals so that you can get ahead of your leaguemates and grab those who will be impacted.

What we typically do is look at players who are rostered in 50 percent or fewer of leagues in Yahoo. This week, though, I’m bending the rules a bit to 55 percent or fewer to include a couple of players who need to be discussed. Let’s get to it so that you can get the jump on these players for a cheap price instead of waiting for them to go for a ton of FAAB.

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Runs

Scooter Gennett (2B – CIN): 50%
Since making his season debut a few weeks ago, Gennett has been just absolutely dreadful for the Reds. This could go a lot of ways for Gennett and the Reds. He could either A) be traded B) be the benefactor of someone else getting dealt, or C) end up back on the injured list.

I’m banking on A. I could see a scenario where the Reds trade Gennett and they acquire an outfielder, which would allow Nick Senzel to return to the infield. Regardless of where Gennett lands, I expect him to turn around his performance soon if he’s healthy. 

RBIs

Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU): 12%
Very quietly, Tucker has been working out at first base in Triple-A over the past couple of weeks. It’s a matter of days until Tucker could get the call, but don’t be surprised if he’s the chip the Astros use to acquire a starter before the deadline. What makes the most sense is to use him as the piece to get Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Stroman seems like the type of pitcher the Astros like, and Toronto should hit accept on that offer without a second thought. If that’s that’s the case, Tucker is a must-start player in fantasy right away in Toronto. 

If he isn’t dealt, the Astros will have to get creative to get Tucker playing time with Yordan Alvarez locked in at designated hitter, Yuli Gurriel on an incredible hot streak, and Carlos Correa returning soon. Talent wins out, and Tucker will make his mark this year for fantasy managers one way or another.

Home Runs

Franmil Reyes (OF – SD): 55%
So, I’m bending the rules for Reyes, because when you think of a bat who may get moved at the deadline, does anyone have more power potential than him? Maybe his teammate Hunter Renfroe, but he’s too highly rostered. I can get away with including Reyes here.

The Padres pulled Reyes from the starting lineup Tuesday, and the #HugWatch started. He ended up hitting a pinch-hit home run, which only increases his value. Reyes could be a key piece in a Trevor Bauer or Noah Syndergaard deal, and with regular playing time, you’re looking at someone who could challenge for the regular-season home run title.

Batting Average

Bo Bichette (SS – TOR): 12%
My guess is that Freddy Galvis is moved at the deadline, which opens up the door for top prospect Bichette. In a system with Vlad Guerrero, Cavan Biggio, and Nate Pearson, Bichette gets somewhat overlooked. He has an all-fields approach, and I’d put money down that Bichette will win a batting title at some point in his career. 

Stolen Bases

Billy Hamilton (OF – KC): 26%
Man, what a horrible year for Hamilton. This was the first time that I bought into him as a fantasy asset with his mid-teens ADP. He’s now on the bench for the Royals, and you could see him get shipped out the door at the deadline. He’s not someone I want to roster, but if I need to make up some ground in a deeper five-outfielder league, I’m OK taking a shot on him and keeping him on my bench until we see where he lands.

Wins

Andrew Cashner (SP – BOS): 53%
The first outing didn’t go well with Cashner in Boston. His ERA shouldn’t have been something that sold you on him, as he’s still the mediocre pitcher that he’s been throughout his career. What does help, though, is the team that he’s on now. 

Being on a good team doesn’t automatically lead to wins. Just look at Chris Sale’s 3-9 record. It does, however, increase the likelihood each and every time you take the mound.

ERA

Andres Munoz (RP – SD): 8%
Before the season, the pitcher that I was targeting for ratio help was Reyes Moronta. Now, the pitcher that I want to roster everywhere is Munoz. 

In Double-A and Triple-A this year, he had 58 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work. He’s only pitched 2.1 innings since getting called up, but he has three strikeouts and hasn’t allowed a hit yet.

I don’t expect Kirby Yates to get dealt, but there’s always a chance that he does. If he’s dealt, Munoz has a chance to be a top-10 closer the rest of the season. If he doesn’t, he’s still a great option to grab for ERA and WHIP help.

WHIP

Anthony Kay (SP – NYM): 1%
Kay has gone on record recently saying that he feels like he is learning how to pitch again with the new baseballs in Triple-A. He’s made five starts in Syracuse, and he’s been smacked around to the tune of a 7.32 ERA. This is, by the way, after dominating Double-A in 12 starts earlier this year.

Zack Wheeler has a bum shoulder, so that could prevent him from being dealt. But if he proves to be healthy, he’s the pitcher, after Madison Bumgarner and Mike Minor, who are the most likely to get dealt, in my opinion. 

There are also talks that the Mets are listening on Noah Syndergaard, too. If either Thor or Wheeler is dealt, the Mets could give Kay a shot. He’s a guy I’m really interested in for 2020, but I’ll pick him up in 15-team leagues if he is inserted into the rotation. I mean, who doesn’t need pitching help on their fantasy roster?

Strikeouts

Conner Menez (SP – SF): 0%
Like I mentioned above — the most-likely candidate to get dealt at the deadline is Bumgarner. His replacement? Look no further than Menez. Across Double-A and Triple-A this year, Menez has a 3.13 ERA in 95 innings pitched with 123 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP. 

Menez is a guy I have rostered in three leagues right now — all 15 teams or larger. He’s 24, and by all measures, he looks like he’s ready for his big-league audition. The issue here is that Menez isn’t in the Yahoo player pool yet. This is one you won’t be able to get the jump on, but once he’s added, you should look to add him.

Saves

Daniel Hudson (RP – TOR): 8%
Ken Giles looks like he’s going to be dealt from Toronto, as long as he’s healthy. He was dealing with inflammation after a massage. Yeah, really. 

Giles threw off a mound with no issues, which is great for the Jays. In his absence, Hudson has filled in for the ninth-inning role. He’s the clear leader in the clubhouse to get saves moving forward.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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