CCO Fantasy Baseball: Around the Leagues in Week Seventeen
Most leagues are down to the last three to four weeks of the regular season. Is it time to move on from some players and give some young guys a chance in your lineup? Tough calls for sure, especially when some of the players you know can get back on track and win you a few weeks during a hot streak.
Speaking of one such player, what to do with a superstar player having a really bad season? Or is it because of an injury? That is the question with Andrew McCutchen, what is wrong and what to do with him. McCutchen’s line this year is not terrible for an average player (.241/.318/.402/.720), but when we are talking about a player who has a NL MVP award on his mantle and a career OPS of .869 and has ranged from .889 to .853 the last four years, it is cause for concern. Now McCutchen challenges the notion he’s struggling.
It is very hard to keep up with all 30 teams in fantasy baseball. A.J. Mass does his best to give you some info on every team in one spot. Ender Inciarte, Brian McCann and Matt Carpenter are among key players with shifting value.
More closer merry go round with Ken Giles finally taking over the closer role in Houston. Check that out and all the other Closer depth chart changes over the last few weeks.
Eddie Matz, ESPN Senior Writer – “Remember when the Indians’ rotation was the second coming of the 1971 Orioles? Not so much anymore. From June 1 through the All-Star break, Cleveland’s starters posted a 3.14 ERA that was baseball’s best. Since the break, including Josh Tomlin’s clunker today, Tribe starters have a 5.09 ERA. Among AL teams, only the A’s have been worse.” Just saying, you can never take anything for granted in this game and all teams go through slumps. Josh Tomlin’s back-to-back negative point total starts are likely just that, a slump, but the Indians rotation isn’t looking so hot right now. Only Corey Kluber has a per game average over 12.6 over the last 30 days, Trevor Bauer is only averaging 4.8 per game over the last month with two negative starts of his own, plus Danny Salazar is on the disabled list.
Let’s compare that to the Cubs rotation over the last 30 days. Lowest per game average is 19.0 by Jon Lester and the two pitchers with over 20 per game, the Cubs’ No. 4 Jason Hammel (21.5) and No. 5 Kyle Hendricks (22.4). The Cubs’ ace, Jake Arrieta is averaging 19.8 per game and John Lackey is at 19.2 over the last 30 days. Pretty impressive and shows just how worn out the whole Cubs team was the last three weeks before the All-Star break.
Let’s take a look at the Cubs rotation and how each is doing in fantasy as we get into the dog days of August and still have a perfect record.
- Jake Arrieta – 22 GS – 142.1 IP – 428 pts – 19.5/game
- Jon Lester – 22 GS – 135.1 IP – 385 pts – 17.5/game
- John Lackey – 23 GS – 151.2 IP – 394 pts – 17.1/game
- Jason Hammel – 21 GS – 120.1 IP – 323 pts – 15.4/game
- Kyle Hendricks – 21 GS – 133 IP – 387 pts – 17.6/game
That is an amazing rotation and not a single guy who shouldn’t be owned in most leagues. The lowest ownership is 87.3% for Kyle Hendricks, but that keeps going up, rightfully so. I think we all had high hopes that the Cubs rotation would be good and thought that pre-season rankings had them a little low on the list. But I can’t believe anyone would have said the Cubs would be this good and doing it in August with the same five guys getting all but two starts. Here is the thing, this could be the rotation for next year as well. I do believe the front office will do everything they can to add a younger, controlled starting pitcher to the rotation next season and then again the year after versus having to do it all after 2017.
Player Raters and Rankings
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.
Mike Trout is the best player in fantasy based on the updated Top 250 Rankings, but who at the beginning of the season had the rest of the top five as Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. That is why they play the games and we play fantasy baseball. But here it the real question, who thought that Kris Bryant would be sixth and Anthony Rizzo eighth? Yes, we thought this was possible, but to have two of the best eight fantasy players on the Cubs is great to see.
- 6th – Kris Bryant
- 8th – Anthony Rizzo
- 22nd – Jake Arrieta
- 32nd – Jon Lester
- 75th – Aroldis Chapman
- 82nd – Kyle Hendricks
- 87th – John Lackey
- 98th – Ben Zobrist
- 146th – Dexter Fowler
- 155th – Wilson Contreras
- 159th – Javier Baez
- 169th – Jayson Heyward
- 175th – Jason Hammel
- 211th – Addison Russell
I have to say that is pretty impressive, with eight players in the Top 100 and 14 in the Top 211.
Two start pitchers are big in weekly leagues, but even in daily leagues as well depending on how many starts you need to add when looking to add a player, sometimes you can get two starts from one roster move. Next week there are some big names with two starts in Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Noah Syndergaard. But who should you be targeting to add. I will give you some guys below 75% ownership in ESPN leagues to look at and some below 50%.
Ervin Santana – 72% Ownership
2.11 ERA over his last three starts and getting starts in Atlanta and Kansas City. Normally I stay away from adding a two start pitcher with two road starts, but these are some pretty good road starts.
Drew Smyly – 66% Ownership
2.84 ERA over his last three starts and has two home starts in Tropicana Field versus the woeful Padres and the ever dangerous Texas Rangers lineup.
Tom Koehler – 42% Ownership
0.47 ERA over his last three starts looks good but has to go to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Neither team is playing all that well, and if you need a two start guy in a deeper league, he may be the best you can add.
Brandon Finnegan – 40% Ownership
1.50 ERA over his last three starts and gets two home starts but against good teams in the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers
There are other arms that you could take a chance on, but the risk may outweigh the upside.
Scoreboards and Standings
- CCO Scoreboard
- CCO Fans Scoreboard
- CCO Auction Keeper Scoreboard
- CCO Standings
- CCO Fans Standings
- CCO Auction Keeper Standings