In the following weekly preview, we have a game breakdown for all 30 MLB teams, pitching rankings and latest IL info to dominate Fantasy Baseball…
Jeff Mans and I were sitting around the metaphorical campfire, singing “Kumbaya” and talking about baseball, the future of the fantasy business and days of old. He reflected upon his Fantasy Alarm days and then, Eureka! Like a flash of lightning, the thought sprung from his mind… the MLB Weekly Preview. For those of you who have followed his work for years like myself, you know exactly the article of which I speak. A valuable preview that prepared us for our weekly conquests. A detailed dissection of the weekly matchups is a time-consuming undertaking and, with everything else on his plate as Elite Sports Network is booming, just not possible. But like all good leaders, he delegated the responsibility to me… and I don’t make it a habit of letting people down, Mans nor you, our loyal MLB subscriber.
In the following weekly preview, you will find a game breakdown for all 30 MLB teams (including Interleague play), two-start and overall pitching rankings and the latest IL information to help you dominate this week’s matchup and through the entirety of your seasonal league.
Fantasy Guru had a huge weekend making our brand new, squeaky-clean and crisp website LIVE! How do you guys like it? Very state-of-the-art and just as interactive as the old site, if not more. This is the good news (ok, this is fantastic news, as the old site was long overdue for an upgrade). The bad news? My main function here at Elite Sports Network is as a lead editor, and between making the shift to the new site as well as dropping our MASSIVE 2019 NFL Coaching Breakdowns (if you also play fantasy football, these are a must-read), I did not have the time to do my normal full-scale article. I felt it irresponsible to draft a full piece with little time for research and working off seven hours of sleep in a three-day period (don’t worry, I’ll sleep when I’m dead haha).
With so much on the line week-to-week, the last thing I would want to do is offer advice based on little research. Still, I did want to get an article out with the *nuts & bolts* in order to help set your lineups for Monday night and have a guide for your daily decisions. Subscribers have been telling me the best feature of these articles is having the informational tables/charts/lists all in one place. This is my context for the abbreviated article. By now, I’m confident in your ability to take in this information and run wild. I sincerely hope it helps you this week, as we trudge slowly toward our main goal, fantasy domination!
Weekly Report Card
Included in the past several weekly previews has been this report card. A great means of holding myself accountable and making sure the work is being done. Felt it necessary to include even in this shortened article, otherwise, I would be letting myself off the hook. You pay hard-earned money to receive the finest advice, and the teacher in me is always looking to educate.
I like to think of fantasy analysis as similar to screenwriting or composing the great American novel. Only, the plotlines here are made of facts and numbers, and these cast of characters are based on actual people; names will not be changed to protect the innocent. No matter what sport, when a given matchup commences, we look for the story. Who is facing who? How is a particular player performing for the season? For the past 15 days?? Where is their team in the standings and what are they going through at the moment (i.e. long road trip with poor park factors vs. homestand at a great hitter’s park)? When is it time to stream a flier and why make the roster adjustment (i.e. down in a particular Roto category, making up points from bad start by a stud, or just bored and looking for something to do)?
They are all important questions that, when answered, paint the picture of a winning tale. It’s really that easy, only made more complicated with our own stories. ::Pauses to reflect. Realizes he is being paid to give fantasy tips:: Did I write easy? I mean it is hard so let me do it for you.
“What’s past is prologue” – Two of the top hitters I was on last week were Freddie Freeman (week results: 8/27, 2 XBH, HR, 7 RBI, 4/6 BB/K) and Mike Trout (3/16, 3 XBH, 2 HR – missed 3 games due to injury), especially with Freeman’s BvP for the arms he was scheduled to face and Trout’s BvP vs. Mike Leake (14/26, 10 XBH, 3 HR, 4/4 BB/K, .538/.600/1.154/1.754). All Leake did was darn near throw a perfect game, so prologue only tells a part of the story.
“Everybody roots for the underdog” – We took our last stand with a once heralded but down on his luck pitcher in Rick Porcello. Porch squared off with Toronto at home and the Orioles in Camden Yards. The results? Further decomposition of the 30-year-old 10-year vet’s career. Two wins were gained because of Boston’s offense catching fire (.303/.391/.525/.916 team slash line last seven days). However, by totaling 10 ER on 19 H in 11 innings pitched between the two starts, the stench is growing to mammoth proportions. Porcello is officially dead to us!
“We want a story that starts out with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax” – I was right about Pete Alonso tiring out (4 for last 34, although three of those hits were BOMBS!). Quote from last week’s article:
All I see here is a young player going 120 MPH, game in, game out. As a fan, you love that player on your team. As a fantasy owner, you have to expect the crash. Dog Days, they are a-coming, and how many times have you seen a player either win or go deep in a derby only to see the bat slow up and/or take on some holes? Answer: Plenty! At the end of the day, Alonso is going to go on and have a Rookie of the Year season. However, I feel we have received a large portion of his 2019 fantasy value. I again stand pat in dynasty formats (duh) but am shopping him in redraft leagues.”
He just looks like a drained player; surely Mets’ losing ways are not helping matters.
“Conflict and Resolution” – My top SP stream last week was Jordan Yamamoto, who had a mixed bag of a two-start week against San Diego and Los Angeles Dodgers. Here are the numbers… vs. SD: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7/7 GB/FB, 99 PIT, W; @ LAD: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 91 PIT, L. Not a terrible stream, but the Dodger game hurt, not gonna lie. Can we calm down with the “Yamamoto for Marlins ace” talk now? That job still belongs to Caleb Smith.
Overall Letter Grade: B-
MLB GAME BREAKDOWN GRID
Yankees/Red Sox four-game series in Boston is the Highlight of the Week, as it will be chock-full of fantasy goodies. Yankees also face Twins for three games, making this a very challenging week for New York.
Christian Yelich and his Brewer teammates will be enjoying home cooking all.. week… long!
Tough decisions loom for Dodger fantasy owners, as LA has only five games this week.
WEEKLY INTERLEAGUE OUTLOOK
TOP TWO-START PITCHERS
IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE
- Gerrit Cole (OAK, @STL)
- Trevor Bauer (@TOR, @KC)
- Stephen Strasburg (COL, LAD)
- Chris Sale (@TB, NYY)
- Mike Clevinger (@TOR, @KC)
- Robbie Ray (BAL, @MIA)
- Chris Paddack (@NYM, SF)
- Matthew Boyd (PHI, @SEA)
- Eduardo Rodriguez (@TB, NYY)
- Domingo German (@MIN, @BOS)
- Dallas Keuchel (KC, @PHI)
- Jon Gray (@WSH, @CIN)
- Chris Archer (STL, @NYM)
- Sonny Gray (@MIL, COL)
- Dakota Hudson (@PIT, HOU)
- Kyle Gibson (NYY, @CHW)
- FADE: None
- LAST STAND: None
For a detailed breakdown of more two-start pitchers who may be available on your waiver wire, check out Vlad’s FAAB Values!
STARTING PITCHER RANKINGS FOR JULY 22-28
Nick Pivetta has been horrid this season. This is not news. What is news, you ask? Phillies picked up journeyman Drew Smyly after Texas designated the lefty for assignment, and he will take Pivetta’s spot in the rotation, relegating Nick to the bullpen. Smyly is scheduled to face Atlanta in Philly on 7/28 and pitched masterfully in Pittsburgh (6 IP, 4 H 1 ER, 8 K vs. Pirates on 7/21) his first time around. Braves are a far better offensive lineup, but in deep point-based leagues, I’m taking a flier on Smyly as my Bold Strategy Cotton Play. And no, he is NOT the next coming of Cliff Lee… smh!
MLB INJURED LIST REPORT
Besides names that may already be listed, here is the latest injury news on a few of your fantasy studs.
- Matt Carpenter (right foot contusion) hit IL on 7/16 but has already resumed baseball activities. Manager Mike Shildt confirmed Carpenter’s rehab assignment will begin “sooner rather than later.”
- Spencer Turnbull (upper-back strain) was placed on IL 7/20 after having the strain pop up during a workout day prior. Tigers were planning on managing his innings in the second half, so this helps those matters. Two IL stints in the same month could illustrate a proclivity for injury… something to keep in mind for dynasty leagues.
- Kevin Kiermaier (sprained left thumb) was just tabbed for the 10-day injured list. The oft-injured center fielder was hurt diving headfirst into first base on an infield single. When will players learn? You DON’T get to first base faster by sliding… run through the damn bag! Kiermaier learns the hard way. An MRI found the ligament intact, and no surgery is required.
- Brandon Woodruff (left oblique) is expected to be placed on the 10-day IL after suffering the injury during start on 7/21. At first thought to be merely abdominal issue, the official diagnosis is an oblique issue. MRI on 7/22 will indicate timetable for return.
- Max ScherzerUpdate (shoulder/back): Originally supposed to come off IL on 7/20 due to back issues, Nats training staff discovered an inflamed bursa sac in his shoulder and gave him a cortisone shot. He is now scheduled to throw a bullpen session on 7/22, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll “hopefully” start Thursday’s game against Colorado.
POV SPECIAL – TOP SP STREAM OF THE WEEK
→ Jacob Waguespack, RH TOR (TB) – Despite the lack of research time this week, I have confidence in Waguespack even in a moderate matchup vs. the Rays. In his last start, Waguespack generated 14 swinging strikes while racking up 7 strikeouts, albeit, against Detroit. He does have some sweet swing-and-miss stuff, as evident by his 9.47 K/9 this season with the big club and a 23.8% K-rate in his 5-year minor league career. The former Phillie farmhand throws a Fourseam Fastball (94mph) and Cutter (91mph) while also mixing in a Curve (80mph), Slider (86mph), Sinker (92mph) and Change (85mph), according to Brooks Baseball. By the way, Tampa Bay has the 5th-most strikeouts in baseball with a whopping 957 (27% K-rate).
For more streaming options on the mound AND at the plate, visit Vlad’s FAAB Values!
Top Hitter BvP for the Week (minimum 20 ABs)
- Francisco Lindor vs. Jakob Junis – 7/26 (12/25, 6 XBH, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .480/.480/.960/1.440)
- Paul Goldschmidt vs. Jordan Lyles – 7/24 (10/21, 3 XBH, HR, 6/3 BB/K, .476/.607/.762/1.369)
- Carlos Santana vs. Danny Duffy – 7/28 (15/33, 4 XBH, 2 HR, 2/3 BB/K, .455/.486/.727/1.213)
- Edwin Encarnacion vs. Chris Sale – 7/28 (7/21, 3 HR, 4/5 BB/K, .333/.440/.762/1.202)
- Yasiel Puig vs. Jhoulys Chacin – 7/24 (13/32, 4 XBH, 3 HR, .406/.441/.719/1.160)
- Elvis Andrus vs. Mike Fiers – 7/28 (9/26, 4 XBH, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .346/.370/.731/1.101)
- Kris Bryant vs. Chase Anderson – 7/28 (7/23, 4 XBH, 3 HR, 2/2 BB/K, .304/.360/.739/1.099)
- Ian Kinsler vs. Jason Vargas – 7/23 (25/67, 12 XBH, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3/2 BB/K, .373/.408/.642/1.050)
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