Skip to main content

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Kyle Schwarber, Alek Manoah, Bryce Miller

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Kyle Schwarber, Alek Manoah, Bryce Miller

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

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

This week, since we are into June and two months into the season, I will look at some names that you may be debating cutting and whether or not you should.

I joined the Operating Room podcast earlier this week, and we discussed a few of these guys. I took to the Twitter streets for the others and asked for some names you’re torn/frustrated about.

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions

Alek Manoah (SP – TOR)

We recorded the podcast right before Manoah took the mound for the Blue Jays against the Astros. At the time, we said that you could cut him in 12-team leagues, but we understand holding on to him to wait and see. After his Monday start, he’s an easy cut.

He didn’t make it out of the first inning and allowed six earned runs. A trip to Triple-A seems likely, and it could help him in more than one way. We expected regression from him, but we didn’t expect this.

There’s a lot less H” on the slider this year, and hitters are absolutely teeing off on his fastball and sinker. He did a good job living on the corner with his sinker last year, but he’s just throwing it in the heart of the plate this year.

What’s more, he has a 26.1 Chase% but allows 63.5 Chase Contact. He lives in the chase zone more than any other pitcher, and he’s not getting the hitters to miss there.

Lance Lynn (SP – CHW)

Like Manoah, Lynn was someone we discussed on the podcast. Unlike Manoah, though, Lynn has shown flashes this year of being good. He started the year with an outstanding performance, then had a three-start stretch where it looked like he was back.

And then came his start against the Angels, where he was obliterated.

The upcoming schedule isn’t great for him, but he does get the Yankees without Aaron Judge, which is a plus-matchup for me.

When digging into Lynn, I noticed that he has the worst Swing/Take score in baseball at 22. It’s Lynn, Jordan Lyles, and three A’s making up the worst five to give you an idea of how bad it’s truly been.

What’s more, he only has one pitch lower than a .250 xBA, and while he seems to be spotting the cutter well, the location seems off on the fastball and curve.

I’m holding in 12-team leagues, but he’s one bad start away from being someone else’s problem.

DJ LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B – NYY)

This one came in from Twitter, and it surprised me to see that DJLM was rostered in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues. Are we still holding on to the 2019 Rabbit Ball season with DJLM where he hit 26 home runs and hit .327?

He’s hitting .239 and hitting under .200 over the last month of the season. The strikeout rate is at a career-high by a long shot – 27.3 percent – and outside of fastballs, he’s not doing anything at the dish that warrants him being rostered.

He’s an easy drop that has a Yankees tax attached to his name and nothing more.

Bryce Miller (SP – SEA)

Well, the first few starts were fantastic for Miller, to the point that he looked like he was this year’s Spencer Strider.

But then, the last two happened, and we are all pulling at our buttoned-down collar, wondering what to make of him.

After giving up three combined earned runs in his first 25.1 innings, the Yankees and Rangers knocked him around to the tune of 15 earned runs in 7 innings over his last two starts.

Not great, Bob!

He was hit around hard, so it’s hard even to say it was BABIP-related despite the .474 and .585 respective marks over his last two games.

I’m not jumping ship yet, and while I don’t think he’ll constantly shut down the opposition, I don’t think he’s going to give up 7.5 earned runs per start, either.

We’ll take somewhere in between.

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Assistant

Brett Baty (3B – NYM)

This was another one submitted by someone on Twitter, and I thought it was a really good call, given the excitement that we collectively had when he was called up.

Baty is struggling against non-fastballs so far, hitting .211 against breaking balls and .111 against offspeed offerings. What I love seeing, though, is the quality of contact, as he has a 51.6 HardHit% and a 92.1 average exit velocity – both well above the average mark in baseball.

I’d like to see him lift the ball more, as he’s hitting too many groundballs, but that’s something we’ve seen with many prospects as they get the call.

He’s someone I don’t want to abandon ship on yet.

Miguel Vargas (1B/2B – LAD)

You’re pretty happy with Vargas if you’re in an OBP league or a league that rewards walks. But outside of that, he’s been incredibly disappointing.

The lack of quality contact has me concerned, as he’s below average in EV and HardHit%.

He only has 176 batted-ball events in his career, so we aren’t panicking about his career, but he needs to show something fast to warrant carrying him this year. He has a 25 Whiff% on breaking balls this year, which is something I’d like to see him improve upon.

Jameson Taillon (SP – CHC)

We can all agree that Taillon is just a guy, right? He’s had five starts this season where he’s allowed at least four earned runs or more, including a four-start stretch where he allowed 18 runs in 14.1 innings pitched.

Even if his 7.05 ERA is higher than his peripherals, his xFIP is 4.67 and his xERA is 5.09.

He’s emphasizing a cutter, throwing it a career-high 24.4 percent of the time, but he probably shouldn’t, as it’s hitting to the tune of a .395 average against and a .605 slugging against. It’s tied as the fifth-worst cutter in all of baseball.

He’s no more than a streaming option for a great matchup.

Kyle Schwarber (OF – PHI)

Fifteen home runs with a 17.1 BB% are fantastic. In fact, he’s one of four players with a walk rate over 17%, and he’s the only one who has more than 10 home runs (Juan Soto has 10 home runs with a 21.6 BB%).

But what’s hurting us with Schwarber in standard leagues is the .171 average, which is the lowest batting average in baseball. The xBA is better – .223 – but still a big drain.

You really need to have some safe batting average to not have Schwarber crush you in the category. But we’ve seen the stretches where he can be fine for average by hitting around .240 or so.

I think there’s a buying opportunity here, and I definitely wouldn’t be cutting him.

Jake Cronenworth (1B/2B/SS – SDP)

Like Schwarber, Cronenworth is giving you good walk rates, but he’s not giving you enough in other areas to compensate for his .202 average. His average has decreased each of his four years in the league, and while he’s been a little bit unlucky against fastballs this year, it hasn’t been enough to move the needle.

We’ve seen San Diego struggle as a whole this year, so it’s no surprise that Cronenworth is among the names underperforming. I do like seeing his LD% up and his Solid% up to 9.9.

He’s a tough one because the BA drag hurts, but the multiple eligibility really makes him attractive. I’d hold and hope the changes with his batted-ball profile can unlock more gap-to-gap power.

Keibert Ruiz (C – WAS)

And we’ve reached the catcher portion of the program, I see. The plate skills are fantastic for Keibert, as have been the case in his career, as he’s sporting a 7.8 strikeout rate. The only issue is the walk rate just won’t get above 7 percent for him.

With that, and the lack of quality of contact at all, he’s just becoming a guy who is playing a lot and still hitting for some power, but he’s the definition of a replaceable guy.

I dropped him for Francisco Alvarez in a points league last week, and I feel pretty good about it. If you want a set-and-forget catcher and don’t really care about the position, he’s fine, but won’t do anything to really help or hurt you.


SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

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

More Articles

Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Predictions: Tuesday (9/26)

Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Predictions: Tuesday (9/26)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 2 min read
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Watch List: Cristopher Sanchez, James McArthur, Zack Gelof

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Watch List: Cristopher Sanchez, James McArthur, Zack Gelof

fp-headshot by Ben Rosener | 4 min read
MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (9/26)

MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Tuesday (9/26)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 1 min read
MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Monday (9/25)

MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Monday (9/25)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 1 min read

About Author

Current Article

time 4 min read

Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Predictions: Tuesday (9/26)

Next Up - Underdog Fantasy MLB Pick ‘Em Predictions: Tuesday (9/26)

Next Article   arrow-image