Aaron Ashby Milwaukee Brewers
2021 Stats: 31.2 IP, 3-2, 4.55 ERA, 1.168 WHIP, 39 K, 12 BB
Even if that 4.55 ERA might fail to blow you away, Aaron Ashby has just about every tool you could want in a dart throw at pitcher.
Since the Milwaukee Brewers took him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, hes added four mph to his fastball, which now sits at 97 and acts more like a sinker than a four-seamer. He has a devastating slider that yielded a .079 xBA and features an inhuman amount of drop, as well as a solid changeup. His delivery is deceptive. He misses a ton of bats and keeps the ball on the ground whenever hitters do make contact.
Plus, even those lackluster results in his first taste of big league action were misleading.
Ashby was the victim of a .273 BABIP and a Milwaukee bullpen that allowed 44.4% of his inherited runners to score. His xERA , FIP , xFIP , and SIERA all painted a picture of a much stronger underlying profile than the basic stats might indicate.
The only reason for hesitance here? Ashby might begin the season in middle relief, remaining stretched out until a spot in the Milwaukee rotation is available.
Cincinnati Reds: Nick Senzel
Senzel is a former No. 2 pick who produced 26 homers/steals in just 375 ABs as a rookie. Hes been a huge disappointment while battling numerous injuries over two years since, but the former top prospect is going to once again be given a chance at an everyday role for the rebuilding Reds.
Senzel is still just 26 years old, possesses a 70 grade on his future hit tool and has real power/speed upside. He has a career .402 wOBA and a 156 wRC+ in more than 1,000 career PAs in the minors, so health is the real issue holding him back. Moreover, Great American Ballpark has been one of the friendliest venues for hitters, increasing homers a whopping 28% for right-handed batters over the last three seasons. Senzel is even eligible at 2B as well, so hes a real sleeper in Yahoo leagues.
Philadelphia Phillies: Zach Eflin
Eflin was posting a solid 3.87 expected ERA thanks to a BB% in the top one percent of the league last year before a knee injury ended his season prematurely. His underlying stats suggest further growth could happen, and Eflin will benefit from a loaded Phillies lineup that should provide a ton of run support.
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Strategies For Building A Successful Fantasy Baseball Team
Anyone that has played fantasy sports before knows that the first, and usually most important, step in building a successful team is emerging from the draft with a solid and balanced team. You can patch holes in your roster here and there, but you will have to be either really good or really lucky to fix a team that is short on power or doesn’t have a single 15-game winner on the roster.
Drafting a balanced team that is ready to dominate right out the gate isn’t always easy. However, with a solid plan and a good base of knowledge, you can accomplish that with pretty good consistency. I realize that everyone doesn’t build their team the same way, but here are some strategies that I use to consistently stay near the top of the standings.
1) Focus on hitting early in the draft
Acquiring a strong base of elite hitters gives your team a solid foundation. Outside of a few exceptions every year, you typically can’t get 30/30 guys or sluggers with 40-homer pop late in the draft or in free agency.
I try to have no more than three pitchers on my team when the ninth round starts. Instead, I make sure I have at least a few balanced hitters who can club at least 30 homers, drive in at least 100 men, score at least 100 runs, and hit at least .300 .
2) When you do draft a pitcher, select one that can get strikeouts.
3) Don’t overpay for position scarcity
I’ll even take this a step further with a little comparison.
Player A: 87 R, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 18 SB, .280 BA
Miami Marlins: Anthony Bender
Even though Bender has emerged as one of baseballs best relievers, hes still plenty affordable at draft tables with Miamis closers role up for grabs. His ADP is admittedly on the rise with presumptive closer Dylan Floro dealing with arm soreness, but don’t be surprised if Bender runs away with the job . Fangraphs expects the Marlins to be much improved and projects them to have a winning record this season, so more save opportunities should be in store as well.
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Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Two
Time to get back into the swing of setting your fantasy baseball lineups on a daily or weekly basis. The MLB All-Star Game is over and done with, and now rotations are being adjusted, which makes the process of locating useful two-start SP options a bit more challenging. MLB lineups are in flux, but the below tables are as up to date as possible as of publication date. It’s time for teams to buckle down and make their big acquisitions ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline to make a push for the postseason.
Please realize that these articles feature most recent rotation information available when the article is written, but that circumstances do change due to weather conditions, injuries and general craziness with managers. If a pitcher listed here as having two starts ends up with one in the upcoming week, apologies but this article is meant to provide analysis, it is up to the manager to set the lineups or rotations. Without further ado, here are this weeks two start pitchers.
Spenser Watkins, the second year right-hander, has been a solid if unspectacular part of the Baltimore rotation this season. He is a sub-par K producer but does boast a sub-4.00 ERA. He has been better away from Camden Yards this year, so the game in Cincy stands out as the better time to use him in Week 16 if you are skittish about using an Oriole SP despite the improvement to their pitching in 2022.
Potential Streaming Options for Week
Spring Training Stats Don’t Really Matter
I get the lure of these silly numbers. Spring training baseball represents the first time with competitive, recordable game action in four months, and as stats-obsessed baseball fans, we crave new statistics. By March 1, we’re ready to dive right into these new numbers, often to the point we get carried away with players’ spring performances and make unnecessary, and almost always unadvisable, adjustments to our cheat sheets.
Here are the problems with spring statistics: They’re drawn off a minuscule, roughly one month or 30-day sample, and one that, unlike during the regular season, features prominent players playing fractions of the games themselves or often not many of them at all . They’re also played in states where weather conditions are quite different from what the same teams will see during the regular season, as Cactus League games in Arizona are played at 1,000-plus-foot elevations, often in humidity, pumping up the offensive numbers, while Grapefruit League games in Florida are played at or near sea level, in often larger ballparks that favor pitchers. And, perhaps most importantly, they’re played against far more variable levels of competition than what we’d see during the regular season, as expanded rosters mean that certain players could capitalize from facing nothing but inexperienced, Class A ball competition for a good number of their at-bats or innings.
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Pittsburgh Pirates: David Bednar
Given his lack of track record, the Pirates unlikely to rack up wins and Pittsburgh’s reported plan to split closing duties, Bednar remains plenty affordable at draft tables despite posting a 1.05 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP after the All-Star break last season. Hes the Pirates clear best reliever by a wide margin so Im not too worried about the uncertain role to start a very long season. Bednar has a strong fastball/curveball combination, is only getting better and posted a 2.51 expected ERA last season that was in the top 3% of the league. He’s available after Round 16 in Yahoo formats.
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
While some sleepers are unknown youngsters, the best undervalued players are often older, boring veterans like Blackmon. His ADP has rarely been this low , as the 35-year-old just posted his worst OPS in nearly a decade. But Blackmon was much better during the second half and most importantly, still calls Colorado home. Coors Field has increased run scoring by 34% over the last three seasons Great American Ballpark is second over that span at 16%. Colorado has also boosted batting average by 18% over the last three years, with the second-best a full 10% lower. Its simply an unfair advantage to hit there.
Blackmons expected batting average was in the top 8% of the league even during a down season last year, and hes slated to hit leadoff in 2022 . There are 50+ outfielders being drafted ahead of Blackmon in Yahoo leagues.
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Texas Rangers: Jon Gray
Gray is a former No. 3 pick who recorded 77 strikeouts over 63.0 innings after the All-Star break last season and is now finally free from Colorado. Coors Field has increased run scoring by 36% over the last three seasons and has boosted homers by 13%. Texas has both home runs and scoring since opening Globe Life Field. Gray will also benefit from frequently getting to pad his stats against the As and what looks like their league-worst offense as well as from his new middle infield defense. Gray had the biggest jump in K-BB% after the All-Star break among all pitchers last season and now gets a major upgrade in environment, so hes a strong target currently coming off the board after Round 20.
Waiver Wire Pickups For Shallow Leagues
Pitcher pickup recommendations for leagues of any size
Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants
Since June 1st, the lefty has put up a strong 24.1%-4.3% K-BB%, that 19.8% differential ranks him in the top 30 over that time frame, and yet he’s only rostered in half of leagues. He has struck out 25 batters over his last four starts, although it’s been a pretty light schedule for him and his teammates.
He is really checking all of the boxes recently, with a 31.4% CSW%, a 12.2% SwStr%, and a 51% GB% over his last six starts. We know that Wood can be a reliable fantasy starter for you, and it seems that he’s healthy and throwing the ball well right now – he should rostered and started in most leagues.
Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins
Garrett has taken advantage of two matchups with the super soft Pirates lineup recently, but man the underlying metrics are hard to ignore. Over his four starts, he has a 27.5% K%, a 5.5% BB%, and a 49.2% GB%. That’s exactly what we want to see from a guy, although we would feel better if half of that data sample weren’t games against the Pirates.
He is a slider-first pitcher, but it’s a dandy with a 23.3% SwStr% and a 34.6% CSW%. The four-seamer holds its own as well with an 8.2% SwStr% and 30.6% CSW%. The fun doesn’t even end there as his sinker has a 36.5% CSW% and a 54.5% GB% – so that’s where the ground balls are coming from.
Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants
George Kirby, Seattle Mariners
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Patrick Sandoval Los Angeles Angels
Patrick Sandoval generated 13 swings and misses on his changeup during his no-hit bid. His 4th time generating double-digit swings and misses on the pitch in a single game.
2021 Stats: 87.0 IP, 3-6, 3.62 ERA, 1.207 WHIP, 94 K, 36 BB
If you search the interwebs for sleepers and breakout pitchers, youll run into Patrick Sandovals name more often than not. Theres a reason for that, even if his ADP doesnt yet reflect his status as one of the most tantalizing up-and-comers found in the later rounds of drafts.
Before back injuries reared their ugly head, he used a dominant changeup to produce actual results for the Los Angeles Angels. They only came in a grand total of 87.0 innings, but the numbers you can see up above already showcase the upside here, and theyre backed up by the underlying metrics. His 3.57 xERA, 4.03 FIP, 3.79 xFIP, and 4.03 SIERA are all in the same ballpark, and hes still just 25 years old with plenty of growth opportunity left.
Sandoval also has incredible strikeout potential. He already posted more than one per inning in 2021, thanks largely to a vastly different pitch mix that saw him drop his fastball percentage from 44.6 to 29.6 in favor of his devastating changeup and other impressive secondary offerings. That changeup induced whiffs 51.4% of the time and had a .139 xBA in 2021.
Have Patience Through Streaks
To repeat, baseball on the whole is an unpredictable game, full of ups and downs that only even themselves out over a full, 162-game schedule. Narrowing the scope, however, there is a subset of baseball players who are even more subject to peaks and valleys than others, and it’s with these which you must be the most patient.
On the hitting side, big sluggers who hit a lot of home runs at the expense of many strikeouts, often referred to as “three true outcomes” players because of the high likelihood that the outcomes of their plate appearances will be a home run, strikeout or walk, represent the streakiest around. Two of the most notorious kings of “three true outcomes” are Joey Gallo, who through the first five seasons of his big-league career has seen 58.3% of his plate appearances end in a home run, strikeout or walk, and Miguel Sano, who paced the majors in 2020 with 59.0% of his trips to the plate ending in one of those three results. Sure enough, during one 17-day span in 2020, Gallo batted .111 with zero extra-base hits and 20 strikeouts, crushing his fantasy managers in head-to-head leagues, which came directly on the heels of a 25-day stretch during which he swatted seven homers in 20 games, which probably fueled a lot of wins for said teams. Sano, meanwhile, had a torrid August, batting .284 with seven home runs in 27 games, underscoring his tendency for streaks.
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Fantasy Baseball: Top Week 10 Pitcher Streamers
Week 10 of the fantasy baseball season is set to get underway. We are over 2 months into the 2022 MLB campaign and there has been no shortage of excitement. From a fantasy baseball perspective, streaming pitchers has been crucial for success due to the absurd amount of injuries to star pitchers such as Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer. Today, we are going to take a look at the top two-start Week 10 fantasy baseball pitcher streamers.
Rules: As always, these will be pitchers rostered in 60 percent or less of Yahoo Fantasy Baseball leagues. Each of these pitchers listed are scheduled to make two starts. But it should be noted that teams do sometimes switch up their scheduled starters, so that is something to keep your eyes on.
Without further ado, lets discuss the top Week 10 fantasy baseball pitcher streamers.
Starting Pitcher Rankings For Tuesday
Pitchers are ranked in order of their Forecaster/Daily Notes projected fantasy points, using ESPN’s standard scoring system .
T: The pitcher’s handedness. OPP: Opposing team. ML: Caesars Money Line. O/U: Caesars Over/Under for runs scored. W%: Starting pitcher’s win probability. For the projected stat line, IP is innings pitched, ER is earned runs allowed, BR is baserunners allowed and K is strikeouts.
If a team is planning on using an “opener” to start their game, but will rely on a “bulk pitcher” to follow him on the mound after 1-2 innings, we will list the bulk pitcher and indicate with an asterisk.
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Toronto Blue Jays: Alejandro Kirk
Kirk suddenly looks like a top-five fantasy catcher now that DH at-bats have opened in Toronto thanks to the Randal Grichuk trade. The 5-8, 265-pounder hit .347 in Triple-A last year and has real power. Kirk has the potential to be the best hitting catcher in baseball soon and just had his playing time concerns eased, so its go time.
San Diego Padres: Dinelson Lamet
Lamet is likely pitching through a partially damaged UCL, but its possible many pitchers are doing the same without our knowledge. Hes certainly looked healthy this spring, with Lamets fastball clocking in at 97 mph while his vintage slider appears to be back. A full-time move to the bullpen should help keep the converted starter healthier Lamet would often wear down when asked to go out for a second inning last season, so a strict one-inning role in the ninth makes sense.
In a truly wide-open Padres bullpen, Robert Suarez looks like the favorite to close for the Padres to open the year, but Lamet can turn into a shutdown, dominant reliever if his arm cooperates, and San Diegos sick rotation should provide a bunch of save chances.
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