Tag Archive | "Kansas City Royals"

Kansas City Royals – Contenders Or Pretenders?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kansas City Royals – Contenders Or Pretenders?

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Jennifer Gosline

As a baseball fan watching Kansas City suffer for years, I have to wonder if they are actually a good contender this season for the playoffs, or if this is just their 15 minutes of fame.

Kansas-City

There is certainly something for Royals’ fans to get excited about right now. At this point in the year, Kansas City is 17-10, when last season at this time they were only 10-20. A dramatic difference. Pitching, in particular, seems to be carrying most of the team, but their offense is not far behind.

Royal Pitching

Veterans like Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie are having stellar seasons. They have combined for 7 Wins to date, both with having an ERA under 2.50 and WHIP just above 1.00. According to ESPN, while Santana is owned in 97% of fantasy leagues, Guthrie is only owned in 50%. Guthrie brings a commendable work ethic to the team and I think would be a valuable pick-up if he is still available in your league. The right-hander excels at mixing all of his pitches to keep hitters off balance, and he recently threw his first major league shut-out.

The Royals’ starting rotation has been rounded out with the new additions of Wade Davis and James Shields. While Davis is has been struggling since joining Kansas City with a 4.75 ERA, he hopefully can get back down to that 2.43 ERA he finished with in 2012. And Shields may soon become the ace of the team, filling the void that Zack Greinke left. Both Davis and Shields are 2-2 this season.

The Royals’ bullpen has been strengthened with former-starting-pitchers-now-relievers, Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar. Chen has not allowed an earned run yet this year in 5 appearances, and Hochevar has only given up 1 earned run in 7 appearances. Greg Holland is settling in nicely as a solid anchor for the bullpen. He has 7 saves so far this year and only 1 blown.

Royal Batting

Kansas City’s pitching has started off hot, but the fans are still waiting to see the promise the line-up showed during Spring Training this year. There are only three batters with an average above .300 right now, Jarrod Dyson is one of them and he only has 20 plate appearances so far.

The power is not quite there yet from their top hitters. It somehow got lost in the transition between Spring Training and the regular season. If this team can get their bats going and keep the pitching consistent, they can be a force for the entire summer.

Fantasy owners might want to watch players like Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, and Mike Moustakas. They have all been showing signs of improving in their last 15 games, and might just break out of their slumps soon. Moustakas is only 39% owned in fantasy leagues which is obviously due to his struggle at the plate. If he can start making solid contact again, he will prove he deserves a position on your fantasy roster.

Even though the Kansas City line-up is not producing the way they are capable of, they can still be tough to beat in the American League Central. But if history is any indication, this poor team does not have a chance. If someone were to walk into the baseball world right now and not know anything about the Royals’ past, they would never know that they are usually toward the bottom of the AL Central division.

First place Detroit Tigers better take notice that Kansas City is only a half game back. Can they keep this up? Is this just a flash in the pan? If the starting pitching can continue eating up innings, their bullpen will be able to stay fresh for the long season. And if their bats start producing, then I would say that the Royals can shed the pretender branding and will be a contender in 2013.

Comments (0)

Tis The Time For Bold Predictions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tis The Time For Bold Predictions

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Nick Schaeflein

In the last week, the sports world has seen its fair share of bracket fever and the only cure is more predictions! The World Baseball Classic bracket tournament concluded with the Dominican Republic being crowned champions after going undefeated throughout the tournament. Congratulations to them. Also this week, the office pool of all office pools, the NCAA basketball tournament has tipped off with everyone and their mother filling out a bracket. Some brackets are filled out with knowledge and expertise; others are filled out with hopes and sheer guesses. But no matter what, the spectacle is a fun and exciting time.

PopeMadness

Being in the prognosticating zone and Opening Day just over a week a way, it is a good transition to some Major League Baseball season predictions. This week will be the American League 2013 preview.

Starting in the American League East, I am anticipating this division being the best division in baseball this season. All five teams will be ultra strong and all have visions of the post season. Sadly, one team will finish in last and it may be the New York Yankees turn. Injuries and an older roster may finally catch up to the Bombers and bring up the rear in the East. The Baltimore Orioles may also have a set back year compared to last year, finishing fourth and the Tampa Bay Rays, while pesky, in third. The Boston Red Sox will have a bounce back year (hard to have a worse year), and finish in second. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are pitching great thus far this spring. The new Toronto Blue Jays will be division champs this season. The roster is fully balanced after off season moves and will narrowly come out on top.

In the Central, the Detroit Tigers will repeat as division champions. In the division they have the best pitcher and best position player that should keep them on the top line of the standings. The Chicago White Sox will be runners up again but compete for a wild card spot. Both the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals are improved and could be major thorns in the sides of other clubs. The Indians were well represented in the WBC that could lead to an improving campaign and the Royals made one of the boldest off season trades this past December trying to spark the franchise. The rebuilding Minnesota Twins will finish in fifth.

Out west, the Los Angeles Angels are heavy favorites and will win the division by the widest margin of any of the six division winners. That will be aided by playing the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros several times during divisional play. Houston is making their inaugural season in the American League and on paper appears to be heading toward a difficult season in the wins category. The Texas Rangers lost a lot of fire power this off season and are not quite the same team that has had recent playoff success. They will finish in second while the Oakland A’s will finish in third. Oakland, like Baltimore will fall back a bit after a surprise 2012 season. In fourth, will be the Seattle Mariners, who while trying to make some improvements still cannot quite compete for a full season compared to the other ball clubs and the Astros will be a distant fifth place.

Come October, the Wild Card match up will feature the two Sox teams – Red versus White. Winning the one game playoff will be Boston and advancing to the Divisional Round.

In the Divisional Round, the Red Sox will show some fight but in the end be defeated by the Angels while the Blue Jays will take down the Tigers. The American League Championship will showcase the high power offenses of the Angels and Blue Jays. In five games, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and company will put the Jays into a halo effect and advance to their first World Series since winning it back in 2002.

Come awards season, the American League Most Valuable Player will be the man who was runner up a season ago. Mike Trout has all of the talent and the ultimate protection to post video game like numbers for the second straight season. The CY Young, boldly will be handed to Jon Lester. Lester has CY Young talent and perhaps with a new coaching staff in place, this will finally be the year he puts it all together. The Manager of the Year will be awarded to Robin Ventura of Chicago. I believe he should have won the award last season, but with a possible second solid year in a row, this could be his. With the line up and high expectations, Mike Scioscia of Los Angeles may cancel himself out. Finally the Rookie of the American League will be Dylan Bundy of Baltimore (not Polk High). A young talent on the mound, Bundy will see a lot of innings and post good first year numbers.

Next week, predictions on the National League. May your brackets be good to you!

Comments (0)

Playing The Name Game: Spring Training Edition

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Playing The Name Game: Spring Training Edition

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Chris Caylor

This is the first of a two-part spring training edition of Playing the Name Game. This article is targeted at those owners whose drafts (or auctions) haven’t yet taken place. Most of my drafts/auctions have not occurred, which is unusual, based on the comments of several fantasy baseball writers I read and respect. Now, I happen to play in AL-only and NL-only leagues, as I find those leagues more challenging than typical mixed leagues.

NameGame

Regardless of whether the format is draft or auction, fantasy baseball league winners are usually the owners who get the most bang for their buck. Owners who drafted Mike Trout in the mid-to-late rounds, or spent his/her money on R.A. Dickey instead of Tim Lincecum, probably enjoyed finishing in the money in their leagues last year.

The goal of these articles is to identify players who might similarly boost your team in 2013. Let’s jump right in.

First Base

Player A: .299/.344/.463, 18 HR, 108 RBI, 116 OPS+
Player B: .227/.308/.462, 32 HR, 90 RBI, 110 OPS+

Player A is the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez. Player B is Ike Davis of the Mets. Gonzalez has superior talent around him, but his home run totals have dropped each of the past three seasons. At 25, Davis is five years younger and smacked 20 home runs in his final 75 games in 2012. The difference in average draft position, though, is what really struck me: Gonzalez is going in the 3rd-4th round, while Davis is going between rounds 12-16. Why draft A-Gon when you can fortify your middle infield and outfield in the early rounds and get plenty of power from a guy like Davis (or Paul Goldschmidt) later?

Speaking of middle infield:

Second base

Player A: .290/.347/.449, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 20 SB, 112 OPS+
Player B: .257/.335/.379, 14 HR, 76 RBI, 31 SB, 103 OPS+

Player A is Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox. Player B is Jason Kipnis of the Indians. Personally, I consider Pedroia one of the most overrated players in baseball. The way he runs his mouth, you’d think he was better than the Yankees’ Robinson Cano. But the numbers prove otherwise. Kipnis, meanwhile, will turn 26 shortly after Opening Day and plays for a team that added Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to its 2013 lineup. True, Kipnis did tail off drastically in the second half of 2012 after a terrific first three months. But the power is developing to complement his 30-steal speed. In ESPN leagues, Kipnis is coming off the board two rounds after Pedroia. That equals two rounds where you can load up on big-time outfielders or an elite shortstop instead. I’m buying.

Shortstop

Player A: .287/.360/.486, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 2 SB, 111 OPS+
Player B: .292/.335/.511, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 21 SB, 126 OPS+

Player A is Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies. Player B is Ian Desmond of the Nationals. Last year was supposed to be The Big Year for Tulo, as he was entering his age 27 season and coming off three consecutive seasons where he compiled an OPS+ north of 130. Instead, Tulo only played 47 games and missed the final four months of the 2012 season. Entering his seventh season, Tulowitzki has played in 140+ games just three times. When healthy, he is the best shortstop in either league. Unfortunately, that’s become a huge gamble for fantasy owners due to the multiple leg injuries. Desmond is entering his own age 27 season and put up his 2012 stat line despite missing about a month with a dreaded oblique injury, so his numbers could have been even better. Oblique injuries don’t seem to recur with the same frequency as leg injuries. Tulo has the edge in power, but Desmond has better speed, which is more difficult to come by.

Third Base

Player A: .306/.391/.492, 21 HR, 93 RBI, 15 SB, 143 OPS+
Player B: .244/.317/.476, 30 HR, 85 RBI, 1 SB, 117 OPS+

Player A is the Mets’ David Wright. Player B is Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates. Here’s an interesting stat: in 2009 and 2011, Wright combined for just 24 home runs. In 2010 and 2012, Wright smacked a combined 50 home runs. Which Wright will it be in 2013? Will the moved-in fences at Citi Field boost his power numbers, or are the 30-homer days gone for the six-time All-Star? It strikes me as an expensive gamble, given his average draft position in the 1st-2nd round. Meanwhile, in 2012, Alvarez found the power stroke that tantalized the Pirates into making him the #2 overall pick in 2008. Like all Pittsburgh hitters, he tailed off in the second half of the season, but his 53-point jump in batting average (and 178-point jump in slugging) shows that Alvarez has figured some things out at the plate. It looks like the Buccos have finally found their cleanup hitter to protect Andrew McCutchen. And at less than half of Wright’s average auction value, Alvarez should be a major-league bargain for fantasy owners.

Catcher

Player A: .319/.416/.446, 10 HR, 85 RBI, 8 SB, 81 R, 141 OPS+
Player B: .301/.328/.471, 11 HR, 39 RBI, 0 SB, 38 R, 117 OPS+

Player A is the Twins’ Joe Mauer. Player B is Salvador Perez of the Royals. Mauer is now on the wrong side of 30, playing a position that is notoriously brutal on an athlete’s body. That said, Mauer bounced back nicely from a wretched 2011. Mauer is still an elite player, but he lands on this list because he is playing fewer and fewer games at catcher. While the Twins aim to preserve their big-money star, meet the new Joe Mauer: Sal Perez. The Royals’ 22-year-old backstop kept up his impressive contact rate after returning from a knee injury last year and looks like a future superstar at the position. Because he is buried in woeful Kansas City, he may slip a few rounds in your draft or auction. Perez’ 2013 projections are equal to or better than Mauer in every category except RBI. Don’t miss the boat on him.

You may have detected a trend is these five comparisons: I recommend younger, up-and-coming players as better bargains. That isn’t to say you should avoid any of the “bigger” names; only that you should be able to get similar production at a lower cost later in your draft/auction. If it works out, you allow yourself to acquire elite talent at a different position, while another owner might find himself reaching for a backup or platoon player to fill a roster spot.

These are only one man’s opinion. For what it’s worth, though, I did win my league in 2012.

Coming up In Part 2: pitchers and outfielders.

Follow me on Twitter: @ccaylor10.

Comments (0)

Down On The Farm: Kansas City Royals

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Down On The Farm: Kansas City Royals

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Blake Murphy

Wil Myers hits the ball very far, very often. As one of the most complete minor league hitters in baseball, it is almost astonishing that he is yet to crack the line-up of the Royals. He is one of the most exciting, major-league ready talents still yet to accrue service time, a major boon for the system. However, the system’s top arms have either struggled or been hurt, and a farm system that was once the envy of the league now has some question marks. The consensus pre-season top-5 system of the Kansas City Royals is today’s focus on Down On The Farm.

My apologies for no DOTF or Sabermetric Mining piece last week. I was driving from Kitchener, ON to Vancouver, BC and then settling in to a new place.

Pre-Season Rank: #5 (ESPN), #5 (Baseball Prospectus), #2 (Baseball America)

The Top 5
1. Wil Myers
Overall Ranks: #13 (ESPN), #19 (BP), #28 (BA)
As mentioned, Myers hits the ball very far, very often. The converted catcher has played the outfield this year to try and preserve his body in the long run, and reports show him as a good corner outfielder with a strong arm, though he likely won’t continue to play center field for long. Still, it is the bat that has people buzzing, and with good reason – Myers has clubbed 35 homers across two levels in 128 games this year. He first astonished onlookers at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with 13 taters and a ridiculous .388 isolated power (ISO, slugging percentage minus batting average) in 35 games, earning a promotion to Triple-A Omaha at just 21. 93 games and 22 homers later, with an ISO of .247 and a wRC+ of 133. Myers should have earned a September call up with this performance, and at the very latest will probably start the season for the Royals next year, an enticing idea for Royals fans and fantasy owners alike.

2. Bubba Starling
Overall Ranks: #15 (ESPN), #27 (BP), #24 (BA)
The converted quarterback is all athleticism and tools at this point, but even just getting him to sign after the 2011 draft was a huge boon for the system. He is still just 20, but the fact that a late signing and an early injury pushed his career start date back to late June of this year, at Rookie Ball, is of some concern. Basically, Starling lost a full year of development right away. Luckily, it does not appear to have set him back too much, as he has posted a 144 wRC+ for Burlington. The 30.3% strikeout rate is a concern but not uncommon for young, inexperienced players, and his 12.3% walk rate indicates there is potential for plate discipline. Starling is a few years away from making a major league impact, but this type of ultra-high-upside player always reflects well on a team and system.

3. Cheslor Cuthbert
Overall Ranks: #43 (ESPN), #83 (BP), #84 (BA)
Along with having one of the oddest first names out there, the 19-year old third base prospect also has an enviable resume for his age and an advanced approach for his point on the development curve. With that said, the promotion this year to High-A Wilmington has been a challenge, seeing Cuthbert’s wRC+ fall to an ugly mark of 72. With just an .081 ISO and a sub-.300 OBP, the Royals are likely concerned at the performance dip compared to a successful 2011 at Low-A. Still, Cuthbert doesn’t strike out too much (15.7% K-rate, 19% last year), walks enough (7.0% walk rate, 10.5% last year), and may have just been advanced too quickly for the hit tool to catch up with the approach. Cuthbert will likely repeat at Wilmington for a part of next year, putting him off the major league radar for another two seasons at least.

4. Mike Montgomery
Overall Ranks: #52 (ESPN), #N/R (BP), #23 (BA)
Montgomery is an imposing 6’5” lefty who has been on the prospect map for several seasons now. Drafted back in 2008, Montgomery has had a slow climb through the Royals system, but is failing to find success at the Triple-A level for the second year in a row, this time as a 23-year old. Last season, Montgomery struggled to a 5.32 ERA and 4.30 FIP over 150 innings, and this year it has been more of the same with a 5.69 ERA and a 4.95 FIP over 91 frames. It got so bad that Montgomery was actually demoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas in hopes of regaining some semblance of his command. Unfortunately, he is yet to find success there as well. There is obviously still time for a 23-year old lefty with two plus-pitches (fastball and changeup) to find the missing piece, likely a third reliable pitch, but the Royals have to be getting concerned that a former top prospect will need a third attempt at Triple-A next year.

5. Jake Odorizzi
Overall Ranks: #71 (ESPN), #47 (BP), #68 (BA)
Omaha has had one success on the mound, at least, with 22-year old righty Odorizzi posting a 3.08 ERA over 102 innings after earning the mid-season promotion from Double-A. While the surface ERA is fine, Odorizzi has not carried his impressive strikeout rate at Double-A (11.13 K/9) to Triple-A (7.21), causing his FIP to inflate to 4.21. Still, the team should be happy with his development, especially the fact that he uses four pitches reliably. One of those offerings needs to evolve into an out pitch to predict success at the major league level, but he could probably fill in at the back of a rotation right now. Look for him to crack the majors at some point in 2013, though he is unlikely to be fantasy relevant right away.

Additions and Subtractions
The Royals made just a single deal during the season, cashing in on their Jonathan Broxton gamble by acquiring a pair of players from Cincinnati in Donnie Joseph and J.C. Sulbaran. Sulbaran has struggled at Double-A since coming over and will likely have to repeat the level as a 23-year old next season, while Joseph is a LOOGY in training at Triple-A. The Royals grabbed righty Kyle Zimmer fifth overall in the draft this summer, and he’s an exciting prospect to watch next year, as he has already been moved to Low-A and had success through six starts.

Other Interesting Names By Level
Triple-A Omaha – Along with Montgomery and Odorizzi, Omaha is also home to 25-year old Ryan Verdugo, a lefty who has had success with a 3.37 ERA but was the recipient of six earned runs over 1.2 innings in his July major league debut. 24-year old Nate Adcock has struggled to a 4.86 ERA but held his own in a brief audition as a swing-man earlier in the year. Finally, 23-year old lefty Will Smith had a good half-season starting before earning a promotion, though he has struggled mightily for Kansas City. Beyond Myers, Johnny Giavotella is having success, though he has flopped in the majors twice now.

Double-A Northwest Arkansas – Yordano Ventura earned a promotion in mid-July but has struggled, though it was not unexpected for the 21-year old who relies primarily on his heater. For some reason, 24-year old lefty Chris Dwyer got promoted to Omaha despite a 5.25 ERA at this level, though sadly that made him one of the better candidates. Michael Mariot was converted to starting partway through the year and has had success with a 3.40 ERA over 113 innings, though he’s only struck out 81. Justin Marks, a 24-year old lefty, has posted a 3.80 ERA through 17 starts, making him the de facto ace of the staff. At the plate, Myers’ promotion left the cupboard pretty bare, so it is no real surprise that the Naturals are a shameful 19-43 in the second half. Shortstop Christian Colon posted a .364 OBP over 73 games, enough to get him promoted to Omaha, but he offers very little at the plate beyond the OBP.

High-A Wilmington – Wilmington has been the part-time home of several strong pitchers this year, including one with perhaps the best name in baseball. Jason Adam is 6-12 but has a 3.61 ERA and has shown great command with a 3.5:1 K:BB ratio. Sugar Ray Marimon posted a 2.12 ERA over 68 innings before earning the bump to Double-A, where he has posted a 3.97 ERA over 10 starts. Matt Ridings is too old for this level at 24, but has a tidy 2.26 ERA and less than two walks per nine. 23-year old Andy Ferguson has climbed the ladder quickly, with Wilmington being his third stop, and he has struck out 53 over 56 innings with a 3.34 ERA so far. Finally, Elisaul Pimentel got dropped from Double-A at mid-season, but has been strong since with nearly a strikeout per inning and an ERA of 3.00. A few hitters have performed well for the Blue Rocks, but most are too old for the level to get excited.

Low-A Kane County – A young trio of arms have led the way, with Edwin Carl (23-years old, 1.92 ERA, promoted to Wilmington), Angel Baez (21, 3.17 ERA, 83 K in 76 IP), and Kyle Smith (19, 3.00 ERA, 72 K in 57 IP) all impressing. None of the hitters have been amazing, with nary an 11-homer bat or a .300 average on the team, but just about everyone has been solid, helping the team to a .500 mark.

The Royals system has strong depth, especially on the mound, and it is scattered nicely across all levels. While there have not been many stand-out performers aside from Myers, he alone is reason to look favourably on the system. John Lamb, when recovered, adds another high-end arm to the mix, along with top pick Zimmer. The Royals can expect to be a top-10 system again next year, though with the shine coming off a few pitching prospects and a few players graduating to the majors, a top-5 system is not a certainty.

Come get to know me on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

Comments (3)

fishing

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Field Of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

Posted on 05 August 2012 by Will Emerson

Welcome to Field Of Streams, a weekly look at some viable and, possibly, some non-viable, streaming options for your fantasy team(s) in the upcoming week. Fantasy leagues are in the home stretch and if you’re in the playoff hunt, it is time to be savvy, get crafty and stream away! All of these pitchers are owned by less than half of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy owners, meaning there is a good chance you will be able to snag ‘em. So without further ado, here’s a look at your best streaming options for the week of 8/6-8/12:

Erik Bedard (PIT- Yes, THE Erik Bedard! You see, the Pittsburgh Pirates, as hard as it may be to believe for most, are in the playoff hunt. Their offense has been getting it done, so the run support is definitely there for Mr. Bedard. Plus, he gets two starts this week at home; one against the Arizona Diamondbacks and one against the San Diego Padres. Now, against the D’Backs, anything could happen but the Padres are no offensive juggernaut by any means. But if you need further convincing and, you know, stastical backing to support the case for streaming Bedard, well then, okay. Here are the numbers he has put up this year at PNC Park- 2.72 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7.61 K/9 and a 2.99 FIP. So if you are in a daily league and that Diamondbacks game has you nervous, I’d say at least expect great things against the Padres. (8.7% owned in ESPN and 26% in Yahoo!)

Chris Tillman (BAL) - Owned by less than 6% of users in ESPN and Yahoo fantasy leagues, Tillman could be a great pickup this week. Another two start picther, Tillman will take the bump at home against the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. Both the Mariners and the Royals are in the bottom four of the AL in runs scored and in the bottom half of the AL in pretty much every other major offensive category. His ERA in his stint time this year is 2.70 and his FIP is 3.57. Now, if you look at the projections for Tillman, his numbers are bound to regress and his K/9 is a bit low for my comfort, but his average fastball has been around 95 MPH and his swing and miss rate is double what it was last year and that is a good sign for the 24 year-old. Sure, Tillman may a bit riskier than others, since his decentness this year is through a small sample size, so proceed with caution. But if you are in a deep or AL-only league, he is worth a look . (2.1% owned in ESPN and 5% in Yahoo!)

Ross Detwiler (WAS) - On the surface, the talented Mr. Detwiler will not blow you away with his numbers; a K/9 just over 6, an xFIP just over 4, a WHIP of 1.21 and a BABIP of .274. BUT, he has two starts this week and the first is against the Houston Astros. At this point there are not a lot of pitchers I would not recommend throwing out there against the Astros. Yes, that was a double negative and it was intended. Stream away against Houston, who as been “Astro”-nomically bad lately. And by lately I mean pretty much all season. Houston won a total of three games in July and in 19 of those 27 games they scored 3 or fewer runs. So grab Detwiler against Houston and enjoy reaping all of the benefits! (17.4% owned in ESPN and 24% in Yahoo!)

Mike Minor (ATL) - Minor has been a major stud lately! Over his last 5 starts he has tossed 31 innings, striking out 27 batters, allowing just 18 hits and 6 earned runs, while allowing only 6 free passes. In July he sported an ERA of 1.98, while striking out just over eight and a half batters per nine innings, with a WHIP of  .73. Now the ERA is bound to rise closer to the low or mid-threes, but the Ks are legit and so is Minor. The only major concern with his start this week is it will take place in Citizen’s Bank Park, but I am pretty sure he is worth the risk. Not only is Minor a good streaming option, but you may want to hold on to him for the stretch run as well.  (49% owned in ESPN and 37% in Yahoo!)

Jeff Samardzija (CHC) - I am honestly a bit baffled that Samardzija is not owned more. Although he is owned by more than 40% in both ESPN and Yahoo!, it’s hard for me to understand how a pitcher rocking a K/9 over 8 can be so widely overlooked. Here’s what Samardzija did in July: 1.91 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 9.82 K/9. Now, I am not saying that will be the norm, by any stretch of the imagaination as his .231 BABIP in July points to a regression down the stretch, but on the season his BABIP is right in line with the league average. Throw in the fact that he will pitch against the San Diego Padres at Petco this week and he becomes a double dip stream dream! (45.5% owned in ESPN and 44% in Yahoo!)

Marco Estrada (MIL) - Well for starters, Marco is facing the Astros (see Detwiler, Ross) this week. But I’m not here to pile on the Astros. In fact I will give the Astros some love momentarliy, so stay tuned for that. As far as Marco is concerned, he had me at his 9.76 K/9 on the season. Boy do I love me some good K/9 numbers! His 3.44 xFIP and 1.13 WHIP ain’t too shabby neither. Needless to say, you gotta like his chances against the lowly Astros. (2.3% owned in ESPN and 8% in Yahoo!)

Bud Norris (HOU) - As promised, time for some Astro love. Astro love? Sounds like a title of some awful SyFy orignal movie, am I right? Sorry, I digress. I have always been a big fan of Bud because of his monster K/9 numbers. Now Bud’s not about to be a Cy Young contender, well, probably ever, but he is a great stream option, especially at home. At the Juice Box he has an ERA of 2.12, a 1.05 WHIP, a 10.61 K/9 and an xFIP of 2.96, which would be Cy Young numbers if it were over a full season. If you have the room to stash him for home starts I would highly recommend it! (29.1% owned in ESPN and 35% in Yahoo!)

Franklin Morales (BOS) - Bobby V. is putting Frankie M. back in the rotation and you should pounce quickly! In his previous short stint as a starter for the Boston Red Sox, Morales was superb apart from a bump in the road against the New York Yankees. In his games started, aside from the Yankees game, Morales allowed four earned runs, struck out 29 batters, allowed just 16 hits and six free passes in 25 innings. That is darned impressive to say the least. Even better news is, he is not facing the Yankees this week, he is facing the Cleveland Indians. Stream him and enjoy! (2.5% owned in ESPN and 9% in Yahoo!)

Lucas Harrell (HOU) - Astro Love 2? Bet you were not expecting a sequel, right? Harrell’s numbers are not impressive to the naked or, for that matter, the clothed eye, but when you dig deeper you find another Astros picther who is far better at home. At home Harrell has an ERA of 2.02, a WHIP of 1.21 and a K/9 of right around seven. Even better are young Lucas’ July numbers. A 3.03 ERA, and a K/9 over nine! Now he does not have the easiest of draws this week against the Washington Nationals, but he fared well against that now potent Pittsburgh Pirate offense not too far back, so I say give him a whirl.  (2.6% owned in ESPN and 8% in Yahoo!)

THE QUALITY START KIDS: Freddy Garcia (NYY), Jake Westbrook (STL) AND Aaron Harang (LAD) These are three picthers that are stream options because they have a favorbale chance at a “W” this week, but will more than likely not put up any eye-popping numbers whilst getting said “W”. All of these guys can be expected to get a quality start, but almost the exact definition of a QS, six innings and three earned runs or so. So streaming them is not without risks. Stream with caution depending on the stats you need. Garcia (1.3% owned in ESPN and 6% in Yahoo!), Westbrook (28.3% owned in ESPN and 29% in Yahoo!), Harang (10.7% owned in ESPN and 21% in Yahoo!)

So there you have it, the first edition of  Field Of Streams pretty much in the books! So what did we learn? 1) Stream against the Astros, unless the stars of Astro Love or Astro Love 2 are involved, B) Ks/9 are your best friends, 4) Erik Bedard still has value and F) there are veterans out there that can still serve a purpose. Good day and godspeed!

Comments (2)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here