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Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Alek Manoah, Nathan Eovaldi, Spencer Strider

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Alek Manoah, Nathan Eovaldi, Spencer Strider

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means.

Each and every Wednesday, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking for either answers during the week or questions that may help fantasy managers navigate the week-to-week grind of their team.

Let’s get to it.


Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions

How did Alek Manoah do in his Rookie Ball Outing?

So if you’re looking for good news, you came to the wrong spot. Because while it was positive – I guess – that Manoah took the mound, the results were anything but.

Manoah threw just 2.2 innings in his Florida Complex League outing, giving up 10 hits, two walks, and 11 earned runs.

Yes, 11.

It continues the absolutely brutal 2023 campaign from Manoah, and if you were hoping that there was a chance that he’d return to his old self this year, I’m here to tell you that you can comfortably drop him and move on with your life and season.

What’s up with Nathan Eovaldi?

Eovaldi has been tagged for four earned runs in two of his last four outings, and in one of the other outings, he allowed three earned runs.

But that’s not the concerning part as we have seen pitchers get absolutely shelled on the regular this season.

No, for Eovaldi, the concern is the major dip in velocity.

On the fastball alone, Eovaldi, who sat at a high-water mark of 97.1 on the pitch this year, has been at 93.8 and 94.4 on average over his last two starts. We’ve seen the same trend with his cutter, too, which was at 88 mph two starts ago – down from the 92 mph range it sat in earlier this season.

I’m not a doctor. Not on TV and not in fantasy. But I have extreme concerns with Eovaldi, given his injury history and the recent dip makes him someone I’m looking to unload fast.

Is Spencer Strider back?

After a really, really rough start to June, which carried over from a so-so month of May, Strider seems to be right the ship, if you will.

Over his last two starts, Strider has 19 strikeouts and two walks and has allowed just two earned runs over the span of 13 innings.

I still have some concerns about him down the stretch as he hits an innings count he’s never sniffed before, but he’s a clear top-five arm moving forward.

Who are some players who are over-rostered?

We typically look at the inverse of this, and we still will below. But Joe Orrico, contributor at FantasyPros, put a tweet out earlier Tuesday that touched on this very topic.

So to steal his idea (with attribution, of course), here are five players who are over-rostered in Yahoo leagues.

  • Jacob deGrom (SP – TEX): I refuse to believe there is 42 percent of managers who either have checked out or are in dynasty leagues on Yahoo. I refuse!
  • Cristian Javier (SP, RP – HOU): He shouldn’t be dropped in standard leagues. Let’s make that clear. However, seeing Javier rostered in 98 percent of leagues is surprising, given the expectations we had for him entering the season vs. what he’s given us so far.
  • Hunter Greene (SP – CIN): Greene is rostered in 88 percent of leagues, but the Reds aren’t anticipating him returning before August. He’s a drop where you need the roster spot.
  • Tim Anderson (SS – CWS): Anderson is at 67 percent rostership, but even that may be too high. It’s a lost season for him, and there’s no real reason to be rostering him.
  • Chris Sale (SP – BOS): I’m not sure why Sale didn’t get the injury tag heading into the season that we gave to others like deGrom. I’d be surprised if he gives us 25 innings the rest of the way.

Who are some players rostered in 50 percent of leagues or fewer I should target?

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers who you should add to your watchlist who are available in 21-50 percent of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).



What about 20 percent?

Like above, here are 10 hitters and pitchers rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer who should be on your deep-league radar.



Who are you encouraged by?

Here are some players I’m encouraged by.

Who has you concerned?

Any random findings?

A few, actually. Thanks for asking, Michael.

  • Triston Casas is one of eight players in the league with a BB% north of 14 percent and a Barrel% in the double-digits.
  • So far, 278 pitchers have committed a pitch violation this season. That’s out of 705 pitchers who have thrown a pitch this year. The Mariners (four) have the fewest pitching violations.
  • MacKenzie Gore has increased his Whiff% to 30 percent this year – up from 24 last year. That’s tied for the second-biggest increase among starters from 2022 to 2023.

Dylan Crews or Paul Skenes?

The College World Series is over, and the MLB Draft is right around the corner. The Pirates will be on the clock, and they’ll have a decision to make. While Wyatt Langford could make a case to go 1.1, it’s likely to come down to Dylan Crews or Paul Skenes.

For me, it’s a no-brainer, as there’s too much historic risk with taking a pitcher first overall. College bats are by far the safest investment, but Travis Sawchik of The Score made a solid argument for taking Skenes – how else will the Pirates get an ace?

They won’t be able to sign one. They can hope to strike gold with player development, but to get a true ace, they’d have to be willing to take on the injury risk that an arm presents.

I don’t have the guts to do that, and ultimately, I think the Pirates stick to the plan – draft Crews.

In FYPDs next year, Crews will be the clear 1.1 in all non-points league drafts, no matter who takes him in the actual draft.

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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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