Four weeks into the season and hot starts are starting to level off and the slow starters are starting to break out. Now is the time where you need to try and sort through which players are going to still be useful and which ones may be dropping off a level (or two) in production. The other area that is hard to figure out is which prospects will actually provide value or will you fall for the “potential” that might not come out this year and instead of finding surplus value, you lose points by the move and it costs you wins that were there for the taking.
If you are playing fantasy baseball, you have to keep up on the next big prospect being called and there are always lists to help you out with that, MLB Ready Prospects, Top 30 rankings. Yet how much of a gamble is adding the next big prospect, when some take off right away and some can lose you that week’s game. So then, why are prospect call-ups such a big deal? A game within a game. Always fun to hear experts debate a topic, so here is one on how to handle elite pitching prospects and how to use Berrios and other top pitching prospects.
What to do when you have a player get suspended for 80 games? Replacing Dee Gordon. And a podcast of Eric Karabell and Tristan Cockcroft discussing Dee Gordon’s suspension and whether you should drop him or hang tight.
One of the hardest parts about fantasy baseball is trying to figure out if a player, and specifically a pitcher is a little off and getting bad breaks or about to fall off and not be usable anymore. That is very hard to always be sure, but are Adam Wainwright, Jose Berrios better than their numbers?
On the flip side, how to know if a pitchers hot start is for real? Buy or sell Mat Latos for your fantasy baseball team?
Here is the ESPN Player Rater that does use just the stats from this season. It is based on the ESPN standard league point system.
MLB Best of Last Week
Each week we will review the best performances of the week in all of MLB.
- Victor Martinez: 46 pts (3 HR, 5 2B, 8 RBI)
- Giancarlo Stanton: 39 pts (4 HR, 9 RBI)
- Nolan Arenado: 38 pts (4 HR, 8 RBI)
- Michael Conforto: 38 pts (2 HR, 5 2B, 8 RBI)
- Miguel Cabrera: 37 pts (3 HR, 3 2B, 6 RBI)
Some power bats at the top this week, with Victor Martinez leading the way with 46 points. Young guys take over the next three spots with Giancarlo Stanton, Nolan Arenado and Michael Conforto putting up 39 and 38 points. Miggy having a week that shows he can still put up the points with three home runs and three doubles.
Top Two Start Pitchers
- Clayton Kershaw: 59 pts (16 IP, 24 K, W)
- Rick Porcello: 52 pts (13.1 IP, 12 K, 2 W)
- Julio Teheran: 47 pts (14 IP, 17 K)
- Madison Bumgarner: 45 pts (12.2 IP, 16 K, 2 W)
- Chris Sale: 45 pts (13.1 IP, 12 K, 2 W)
- Chris Archer: 45 pts (12.2 IP, 14K, W)
Clayton Kershaw had something to say about people talking about Chicago’s Jake Arrieta and/or Chris Sale as the best pitchers right now. 59 points is a huge week and 24 strikeouts in just 16 innings pitched is beyond dominant. Ironically, the pitcher I least want to have the Cubs trade for and dreaded when I drafted in one league dominated the Cubs on Sunday. Julio Teheran pitched a very good game on the road (something pretty rare the last couple of seasons) and pitched seven innings and gave up no runs with nine strikeouts. A pair of stud lefties had a good week with 45 points and former Cub Chris Archer finally broke out of his early season slump with 45 points as well.
Top One Start Pitchers
- Johnny Cueto: 36 pts (9 IP, 11 K, W)
- Rubby De La Rosa: 33 pts (7 IP, 10 K, W)
- Wade Miley: 32 pts (9 IP, 4 K, W)
- Adam Conley: 32 pts (7.2 IP, 7 K, W)
Johnny Cueto had a great start this week and I think Rubby De La Rosa took offense to me saying he only made this list last week because of a couple of relief appearances had a very good start going seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
- Jeanmar Gomez: 30 pts (4 IP, 2 K, 4 Saves)
- Craig Kimbrel: 29 pts (3 IP, 5 K, 3 Saves)
- Francisco Rodriquez: 27 pts (3.1 IP, 4 K, 3 Saves)
- A.J. Ramos: 27 pts (3.1 IP, 6 K, 4 Saves)
There were some very good weeks for closers with four guys between 27 and 30 points.
Chicago Cubs Batters
- Anthony Rizzo: 17 pts (2 2B, 3 RBI)
- Dexter Fowler: 13 pts (2B)
- Ben Zobrist: 12 pts
- Matt Szczur: 12 pts (Grand Slam!!)
- Addison Russell: 12 pts (3B)
- David Ross: 10 pts (HR)
- Javier Baez: 10 pts (2B)
- Kris Bryant: 10 pts (2B)
- Tommy La Stella: 9 pts (2 2B)
- Jason Heyward: 4 pts
- Jorge Soler: 4 pts
- Tim Federowicz: 0 pts
What happens when you get not one, but two games rained out? Well you end up with some bad looking weeks for the batters. Anthony Rizzo led the way with just 17 points, but keep in mind that is 4.3 points per game. We actually had eight players average 3.0 or better. But with just four games, the totals are just not there.
Chicago Cubs Pitchers
- Jon Lester: 21 pts (1 GS, 7 IP, 10 K)
- Jake Arrieta: 18 pts (1 GS, 5 IP, 6 K, W)
- John Lackey: 17 pts (1 GS, 8 IP, 2 K)
- Kyle Hendricks: 15 pts (1 GS, 5 IP, 4 K)
- Jason Hammel: No start
- Adam Warren: 14 pts (2 IP, 3 K, W)
- Hector Rondon: 13 pts (3 IP, 4 K, 1 Save)
- Pedro Strop: 8 pts (2 IP, 4 K, W)
- Justin Grimm: 6 pts (1.1 IP, 3 K)
- Trevor Cahill: 3 pts (1.2 IP, 2 K)
- Travis Wood: 2 pts (1 IP)
- Neil Ramirez: 1 pt (1 IP, K)
The four starters who got starts, it was a normal week. Jon Lester pitched a great game but didn’t pick up the win, led the team with 21 points. Jake Arrieta was just okay and had to throw a lot of pitches and went just five innings yet picked up the only win for the starters this week. John Lackey had a good outing, picking up a quality start and Kyle Hendricks went just five innings and will now be skipped in the rotation with the rain outs this past week.
CCO Fantasy Leagues
The leagues are off and running. This year with three leagues it will be harder for me to watch all teams to see if someone isn’t playing. If you see a team that didn’t make any moves all week during your match-up, let me know. Sometimes teams just need a reminder or life happens and they can no longer keep up with a team. On the other side of that, if you would like to take over a team to get your foot in the door to these leagues, send Neil an email to forward to me or comment below. There are always openings as the season goes in leagues of this size.
I actually lost track of games started this week and ended up with eight starts in one league, one over! Boy, do I wish ESPN could figure out how to turn off the starts when you hit seven and not only be able to do it if you start the day over seven. But just remind people, please try to stay on top of this and not leave it to me to remove the extra start(s). I go by game time and never try to judge who would have started if you had made the choice. I also never save you and remove negative starts (that is the penalty for going over).
CCO Leagues Trades
A little bit of activity going on in the trade markets with one trade with some very big names getting a new home.
CCO Fans Trades Last Week
• Maddons Madmen traded Aledmys Diaz, Sonny Gray and J.A. Happ to Dock Ellis D for Jose Abreu, Starlin Castro and Mike Leake.
CCO Trades Last Week
• No trades
CCO Auction Keeper Trades Last Week
• Clark Addison traded Aaron Nola to Northside Bleacher Bums for A.J. Ramos
• Eamus Catuli traded Brad Ziegler and Lucas Giolito to Varmit Vigilante for Hisashi Iwakuma and Aroldis Chapman.
Scoreboards and Standings
- CCO Scoreboard
- CCO Fans Scoreboard
- CCO Auction Keeper Scoreboard
- CCO Standings
- CCO Fans Standings
- CCO Auction Keeper Standings