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Andrew Gould

FantasyPros
Featured Pros: Under-the-Radar Waiver Pickups
Thu, Jun 14
Featured Pros: Under-the-Radar Waiver Pickups
What one hitter should fantasy owners look into picking up that is owned in less than 20% of Leagues?
Batting .255 with three home runs and no steals, Jesse Winker is admittedly a boring fantasy option. Yet the 24-year-old has also netted a .365 on-base percentage with as many walks as strikeouts (31) through 223 plate appearances. He's hitting .297/.409/.486 in June and boasts a 40.9 hard-hit rate and .364 xwOBA this season. Grab Winker in deeper leagues, especially OBP formats.

What one starting pitcher should fantasy owners look into picking up that is owned in less than 20% of Leagues?
Batting .255 with three home runs and no steals, Jesse Winker is admittedly a boring fantasy option. Yet the 24-year-old has also netted a .365 on-base percentage with as many walks as strikeouts (31) through 223 plate appearances. He's hitting .297/.409/.486 in June and boasts a 40.9 hard-hit rate and .364 xwOBA this season. Grab Winker in deeper leagues, especially OBP formats.

I was initially going to pick Dylan Covey, but I think his ownership rate will shoot above 20 percent by the weekend. Let's instead turn to Marco Estrada, who has allowed three runs in his last two starts while collecting 15 strikeouts and one walk. The overall numbers (5.09 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) are still ugly, but the 34-year-old righty has also recorded a career-high 65.3 first-pitch strike rate with a 10.1 swinging-strike rate that should steer his 19.0 strikeout percentage back over 20 for the fifth time in six seasons. Managers might be able to wring out some useful starts from Estrada as a matchup play.

Featured Pros: Fact or Fiction
Fri, May 11
Featured Pros: Fact or Fiction
Which player who is greatly outperforming his ADP will be able to sustain his performance and why?
He's not the flashiest answer, but it wouldn't surprise me if Cesar Hernandez finishes 2018 as a top-12 second baseman. Batting atop a Phillies lineup ranking eighth in runs scored as of Friday, the 27-year-old has bolstered his walk percentage from 10.6 to 16.4. As a result, he has already scored 27 runs and stolen six bases in eight tries, so he should challenge respective career highs of 85 runs and 19 steals. Even if he does not sustain his current power pace, he's now in line to bank double-digit home runs for the first time. With a contact rate (80.1 %) close to career norms, his .270 average should normalize closer to his .283 career norm.

Which player is destined for negative regression despite his early season success and why?
Although I targeted Sean Manaea as a preseason post-hype sleeper, I'd now be willing to cash out for a big haul. Oakland's southpaw has posted a 2.11 ERA and 0.72 WHIP despite only narrowly improving his strikeout percentage to 21.7. The seven walks in eight starts offer far more encouragement, but he's unlikely to sustain that command with a 58.5 first-pitch strike rate. Pitching to his 3.54 FIP and 3.68 SIERA will still make Manaea a useful fantasy asset, just not an ace.

What one player do you expect to positively regress after a slow start to the season?
Carlos Santana is at it again, batting .191 despite a 39.1 hard-hit percentage. It's nothing new for the notorious slow starter, who has registered a career .335 wOBA through April and .326 wOBA in May, a mark that jumps as high as .384 in July. He's still drawing walks (13.6 %) and generating pop (six homers, .221 ISO in 37 games), so it's simply a matter of repairing his batting average. Statcast's .272 xAVG suggests that shouldn't be a problem.

Featured Pros: Under-the-Radar Waiver Pickups
Fri, Apr 6
Featured Pros: Under-the-Radar Waiver Pickups
What one hitter should fantasy owners look into picking up that is owned in less than 25% of Leagues?
I'm not giving up on Randal Grichuk because of one putrid week. He has gone 2-for-27 with nine strikeouts to start his Blue Jays tenure, but there's still easy 30-homer power waiting to be untapped. Severe ebbs and flows come with the territory for a slugger of his ilk, so I still want him in deep leagues or a format with ample bench spots to wait for a hot streak.

What one starting pitcher should fantasy owners look into picking up that is owned in less than 25% of Leagues?
Eduardo Rodriguez is set to make his 2018 debut on Sunday, so grab him now. While inconsistency has kept him from morphing into a mixed-league fixture, he made positive strides last year with a 9.83 K/9 and career highs in first-pitch (61.2) and swinging-strike (11.6) percentage. The 24-year-old southpaw remains a high-upside arm to use carefully, but a matchup with the Rays makes him an immediate starting option.

Featured Pros: Bold Predictions
Tue, Mar 27
Featured Pros: Bold Predictions
Please give us one fantasy related bold prediction with the season about to start that owners should keep in mind.
Dexter Fowler stays healthy and scores 100 or more runs. Perhaps this isn't bold enough, as he crossed home plate 102 times when last playing a full season in 2015. He has since scored 152 runs in 243 games with a .378 on-base percentage and 125 wRC+ that matches marks from Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, and his new Cardinals teammate, Marcell Ozuna. Avoiding the DL is the boldest part of this pick for Fowler, who can inflict major damage batting atop a lineup with Ozuna, Tommy Pham, and possible breakout star Jose Martinez.

Featured Pros: Busts to Avoid
Fri, Mar 16
Featured Pros: Busts to Avoid
What hitter ranked in the top 30 of the expert consensus has the biggest bust potential this season?
I'm guessing Aaron Judge is a popular answer to this question, but 2017's other Rookie of the Year also has considerable downside at a lofty cost. Because of Cody Bellinger's massive power profile, drafters may be overlooking a 69.2 contact percentage that could cause prolonged slumps and a mediocre batting average. Playoff sample sizes are small, but 26 strikeouts in 63 plate appearances presents a warning flag for what could happen if pitchers adjust to the newcomer in 2018. I'm not avoiding Bellinger altogether, but he carries a far lower floor than Anthony Rizzo or Jose Abreu.

What starting pitcher ranked in the top 25 of the expert consensus has the biggest bust potential this season?
They're pitchers, so would it be a cop-out to say all of them? Noah Syndergaard could wrestle the NL Cy Young Award away from Max Scherzer by tossing 200 innings, but he has never eclipsed 183.2 in a single season. Despite logging just 30.2 frames in 2017, there's no discount on Thor because of his league-winning upside. There's something to be said for taking the most-skilled hurler since they all come with added health concerns, but it's dangerous to project any more than 180 innings from Syndergaard. That might be enough to cement him as a top-10 option, which is why the industry is essentially giving him a mulligan. Just remember how drafting him this early panned out last season.

Featured Pros: Must-Have Players
Tue, Mar 6
Featured Pros: Must-Have Players
Who is the one hitter outside the top 30 in hitter ADP you are targeting as a must-have on all your teams
I'll love the start of any draft where I can get Nelson Cruz in the fifth round. Apparently nobody learned their lesson with David Ortiz, because Seattle's veteran designated hitter remains under-drafted despite hitting .287 with a MLB-leading 166 home runs over the last four seasons. Who cares if he doesn't have a position? I'll gladly lock a high average and 40 long balls into my utility slot.

Who is the one starting pitcher outside the top 30 in pitcher ADP you are targeting as a must-have on all your teams
The word is out on Trevor Bauer, so I'm going to have to pay up to buy some shares this spring. He found another level after last year's All-Star break, posting a 3.01 ERA and 3.68 FIP with a 19.2 K-BB percentage. He upped his curveball usage to a career-high 29.8 percent in 2017, and the pitch induced a .558 OPS. This should finally be the year the 27-year-old realizes his potential with a sub-4.00 ERA while chasing 200 strikeouts.

Featured Pros: Spring Training Bold Predictions
Tue, Feb 27
Featured Pros: Spring Training Bold Predictions
Please give us one bold fantasy prediction (player related) that you believe could happen by the end of Spring Training
The Padres make a another major free-agent splash and sign one of the top available starting pitchers. I'm thinking Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, but maybe even Jake Arrieta if the market is terrified of his regression. After Eric Hosmer, Brad Hand ($7 million) and Wil Myers ($5.5 million) are the only players set to earn more than $3 million in 2019, so why not fortify their rotation while the checkbook is open? I'm not overly interested in any of these starters, but going to San Diego certainly beats other potential landing spots like Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Texas from a fantasy perspective.

Regression Candidates
Tue, Feb 13
Regression Candidates
Which pitcher do you expect to negatively regress significantly in 2018?
Regardless of where he signs, Jake Arrieta will unlikely frequent any of my fantasy teams this season. His average fastball velocity has dipped from 94.6 to 93.7 to 92.1 mph over the last three seasons, and I'm not willing to bet on that trend reversing during his age-32 campaign. While he maintained a strong 8.71 K/9, his swinging-strike rate tumbled from 10.5 to 8.7 %, his first single-digit mark since joining the Cubs. His ERA, WHIP, FIP, SIERA, and FB% all increased in 2016 and 2017, so I want no part of him as a No. 2 or 3 fantasy starter, especially now that the Cubs eliminated a possible reunion by signing Yu Darvish.

Which hitter do you expect to negatively regress significantly in 2018?
Didi Gregorius's career-high 25 home runs traveled an average distance of 375 feet. Alcides Escobar hit his six homers 385 feet per pop. Billy Hamilton's four long balls traveled an average of 380 feet. It should thus come as no surprise that his xStats estimated 15.2 home runs based on his battled-ball profile. His batting average also spiked to .287 despite a regressed contact rate, so expect closer to 2016's .276, 20-homer line (if not worse) from someone whose main value stems from inhabiting a premium lineup spot in a loaded Yankees lineup.

MLB Prospects to Stash
Thu, Jan 25
MLB Prospects to Stash
Q1. What pitching prospect should owners target as a draft-day stash even though he may not begin the season in the big leagues?
I'm unlikely to stash any pitching prospect in a standard redraft league, but Brent Honeywell is the best bet to make an immediate impact. After posting a 3.64 ERA with 152 strikeouts and 31 walks in 123.1 innings, the Tampa Bay Rays righty has little left to prove in the minors. With Alex Cobb almost certain to sign elsewhere, Austin Pruitt, Matt Andriese, Nathan Eovaldi and Jose De Leon shouldn't shield Honeywell from making his MLB debut by the summer. A deep, polished pitch arsenal would make him an instant strikeout contributor and a popular 2019 breakout pick who merits a look in deeper formats this spring.

Q2. What hitting prospect should owners target as a draft-day stash even though he may not begin the season in the big leagues?
Picking Ronald Acuna defies the premise's purpose of identifying a late-round dice roll, and I won't say Willie Calhoun because he's currently poised to open as the Texas Rangers's designated hitter. Ryan McMahon will rake if he gets the chance to play at Coors Field. The infielder hit .355/.403/.583 with 20 homers and 11 steals between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and his versatility he played at first, second, and third widens his opportunities to arrive as an injury replacement. Some sites project him to open at first with Ian Desmond playing left field, but I wouldn't anticipate an Opening Day appearance. Given his readiness and five-category upside, the 23-year-old is still worth stashing.

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