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Chris Meaney

The Athletic
Featured Pros: Under-the-Radar Waiver Pickups
Fri, Apr 13
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?
Jose Pirela had a respectable 10 homers and .288/.347/.490 line across 344 plate appearances last season. His play from the second half carried over to the spring where he racked up six extra base hits and finished with the second highest average (.385). His 18 hits so far in 2018 are tied for the third most in baseball as are his six multi-hit games. The outfielder has appeared in the one, two, three and four spot this season with the injury to Wil Myers, but he began the year as the Padres' cleanup hitter. Despite zero home runs so far, Pirela has 15/15 upside, and shouldn't hurt you in the average category.

What one starting pitcher should fantasy owners look into picking up that is owned in less than 25% of Leagues?
Sean Newcomb's ownership is most likely at 23% in Yahoo leagues because I own him in about a dozen spots. People are afraid of the high walk rate. I get that, but don't let that fool you... Newcomb can pitch. His 11.1 swinging strike percentage in 2017 would of been a top 20 mark if he had a few more innings to qualify. He also showed a great O-Swing rate (30.9) and contact percentage (75.8). Newcomb struggled in his first outing against Washington, but was flawless in Colorado allowing only five hits over six scoreless innings. He punched out nine batters in that game and has 15 strikeouts over 10.1 innings. His 9.72 K/9 last season was no fluke as he had at least seven strikeouts in nine of his 19 outings. The 6-foot-5 southpaw can hit mid 90s with his fastball, has three other pitches to mix things up including a deadly change up, and keeps the ball on the ground. I'm confident the Braves' hurler will figure out his command as he gets more comfortable in the league. Newcomb is just one of many high upside studs inside the organization.

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?
Stolen bases are certainly at a premium, but as totals decline, so does the threshold to compete in that category. Dee Gordon may very well lead the league in stolen bases yet again this season, but it's not a good enough reason to draft him as a top 30 hitter. Gordon's a two to three category guy that will provide nothing from the home run or RBI department, and if you're playing in OBP leagues, forget about it. Whit Merrifield, Tommy Pham, Brett Gardner and Cameron Maybin are just a few guys who finished with high stolen base totals last season, and none were even considered on draft day. Certain players will pop up throughout the season, steals can be found in the later rounds, and passing on Gordon doesn't mean you won't be able to compete in that category. I'd much rather the likes of Brian Dozier or Alex Bregman, or waiting it out at the position for someone like Ian Kinsler.

What starting pitcher ranked in the top 25 of the expert consensus has the biggest bust potential this season?
It's easy for me to say Noah Syndergaard, James Paxton or David Price because of some of their recent injury history, but I'll take it one step further and 'pick' on the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers' ace is coming off a season where he had his lowest ground ball rate since 2013, highest fly ball rate and ERA since 2012, and the 23 home runs allowed were by far the most he's ever given up in a season. Now, home runs were up across the board last year, and we are nitpicking because Kershaw's numbers were still fantastic, but it makes you wonder if the two lengthy DL stints over the past two seasons due to lower back injuries has affected him. Kershaw is still the best pitcher in baseball, but his price tag hasn't come down to reflect the risk, making him a first round pass for me.

MLB Offseason Risers
Thu, Jan 11
MLB Offseason Risers
What pitcher that has changed teams will be impacted the most in fantasy due to their new home?
Tyler Chatwood isn't that appealing in fantasy, and he's really only a late-round selection as of now, but his new home should improve his numbers. Chatwood is coming off a career high 7.31 K/9 mark, but it's the home runs that killed him last season as he had a 22% HR/FB ratio. Chatwood allowed 47 earned runs over 70.1 innings at Coors Field last season, compared to only 30 over 77.1 innings on the road. That's a 3.49 ERA on the road, and a 6.01 ERA at home. Wrigley Field is a much better environment for Chatwood, and he'll have a great defense behind him.

What hitter that has changed teams will be impacted the most in fantasy due to their new home?
There are still some big time hitters out there who have yet to sign with a team, but there's no question the early answer here is Giancarlo Stanton. It'll be hard to top his league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI from a season ago, but he's in a much better environment this season. ESPN Park Factors had Yankee Stadium as the second friendliest home run park in 2017, while Marlins Park ranked 25th. There are also a few hitter friendly ball parks inside the AL East, and Stanton is joining a team that finished second in the league in runs last year.

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