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 which 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.
Pitching probables are all over the map this week. Managers keep us guessing along with the competition for as long as possible. It’s the daunting task we take on, yet, a small price to pay for glory. Remain flexible and have a backup plan in place. A great example of this can be illustrated when looking back to Week 10. Luis Castillo was slated by the world to have a two-start week. But my gut told me the organization would ultimately choose to start Sonny Gray twice since he is a workhorse, and prior to this season, Castillo had pitched more than 90 innings in a season once – 169.2, last season. One had to figure this would be a great week to help manage his innings. I grabbed Gray in a minor trade and started both pitchers, maximizing on Castillo’s lone start and guaranteeing the two-step.
This is my Multiple Starter Strategy, owning and even running out 2-3 starters from the same team. It has its perks in weekly/biweekly leagues as well as daily formats. Virtually guarantees you rostering two-start pitchers every week, but it can hamper wins because teams see their fair share of wins and losses… unless you are the bloody Yankees who can win by fielding a team of Little League players. We will further examine this strategy in further writings. For now, did my best to make sure I accurately documented how the week will shape out (why article is out a little later than usual). Let’s keep the guessing game to.. let’s say… zilch!
DOWN ON THE FARM
Franklin Barreto (2B/OF) – A once highly-touted international prospect, Barreto began his professional career by signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. Acquired in the Josh Donaldson deal of 2014, Oakland viewed Barreto as their shortstop of the future. However, Franklin was a growing boy, and his body frame grew too massive for the fluidity and range the position requires. The organization has subsequently shifted him to 2B, and he’s even seeing some reps in the outfield on the minor league level. Any way the A’s can get his bat in the lineup because it is massive when right.
Barreto has been downright torrid over the last 11 games for the Las Vegas Aviators of the PCL (.489/.500/1.021, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 14 XBH, 20.8% K-rate). It has been that last statistic, on top of a crowded A’s lineup, which has kept him from the majors. But it is a stark contrast to the 29.6% he had prior to 5/13. The A’s seriously need to quit dicking around and find a way for this bat to perform on the major league level.
GAME BREAKDOWN GRID
Due to this week’s article coming out late, I wanted to stick to the “meat and potatoes” so that you can have access to the key information. Any questions about teams or hitter matchups? @ me!
Rivalry Series time this week with the Subway Series, Freeway Series and Ohio Cup. These rivalry series are the more interesting and competitive series for interleague play, no matter how antiquated interleague games have become. They are all short jaunts so hard to maximize for fantasy purposes. Five of the six series this week are two games as a matter of fact, but all five are in AL parks so more ABs for the likes of Dominic Smith, Chris Taylor and even José Peraza if you still give a flying f…
TOP TWO-START PITCHERS
IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE
- Hyun-Jin Ryu (@LAA, CHC)
- Chris Sale (TEX, @BAL)
- Charlie Morton (OAK, LAA)
- Masahiro Tanaka (NYM, @CHW)
- German Marquez (CHC, SD)
- Griffin Canning (LAD, @TB)
- Spencer Turnbull (@KC, CLE)
- Anibal Sanchez (@CHW, ARI)
- Mike Minor (@BOS, @CIN)
- Mike Foltynewicz (PIT, PHI)
- Dakota Hudson (@MIA, @NYM)
- Chris Archer (@ATL, @MIA)
- Martin Perez (SEA, KC)
- Felix Pena (LAD, @TB)
- Jose Quintana (@COL, @LAD)
- FADE: Yu Darvish (@COL, @LAD) – Maybe even fade Quintana too with these matchups, but I like how he’s been pitching of late and he has four QS in last seven. Two-start pitching is ROUGH this week!
- LAST STAND: Trevor Bauer (CIN, @DET) – Showing some signs of life and former brilliance over last three and these are good matchups.#ReclamationProject
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
Max Scherzer has FIVE games with 15+ strikeouts and one or zero walks. Only three other pitchers in MLB history have more games of this ilk: Randy Johnson (11), Roger Clemens (9) and Pedro Martinez (7). Chew on that!
Bold Strategy Cotton Play: Dakota Hudson
INJURED LIST REPORT
Besides names already listed, here is the latest injury news on a few of your fantasy studs. I will update early in the week.
- Mitch Haniger Ruptured Testicle!!!
- Domingo German (left hip flexor strain) just went on the 10-day IL (6/9), as he hasn’t looked like an “ace” his last three starts. Starting to feel the wear and tear? Expect Chance Adams to be called back up to the Bronx.
- Caleb Smith (left-hip inflammation) also hit the 10-day IL on 6/7 after his start the previous night against Milwaukee. Smith had been scuffling through his last three starts, and now we know why. “It sounds like it was something he was dealing with,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, “and after the San Diego [start], he didn’t bounce back the way he had been getting back to the point of feeling good. … It just didn’t make sense for him, at this point in the year, to kind of limp through starts instead of getting him right.” His average fastball velocity has dropped about 3 MPH because he couldn’t drive with his legs, however, injury is not being considered serious.
- Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) has been placed on 7-day IL.
- On the flip side, we have gotten back fantasy stars Didi Gregorius, who has returned early from Tommy John (eight months removed from surgery), and David Peralta!
POV SPECIAL – TOP SP STREAM OF THE WEEK
→ Framber Valdez, LH HOU (TOR, 6/15) – Valdez absolutely manhandled the Orioles lineup in his first start of the year on 6/8. Utilizing his career minor league total of 10.33 K/9, Valdez sent seven Baltimore bats packing in seven innings of strong work. His only blemish was a solo shot given up to Renato Núñez, who had already victimized 15 other pitchers. Strong outing, yet no decision for Valdez. I like his chances for the W this week against Toronto. Blue Jays have an ugly slash line of .230/.289/.375/.664 vs. LHP plus have only scored 70 runs total against lefties this season, good for 20th in MLB. On top of this, Toronto has fanned 577 times this season (27% K-rate) due to all of the free swingers, and not the Vince Vaughn/Jon Favreau variety.
A hidden gem here is, due to 17 relief appearances since coming into the league, Valdez should qualify for RP in your league. If so, you could gain an extra start this week, assuming you have an RP slot available and are not rocking the likes of Kirby Yates, Brad Hand, Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Josh Hader. Valdez has had control issues in the majors but gave up zero free passes on 6/8. With Toronto’s 8.6% BB-rate vs. LHP, Valdez control issues do not deter me. Bang for the buck, Framber is so ::bleeping:: money and not that many people know it (43% owned; up from 17% due to Baltimore start so get your keister to the waiver wire)!
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)
- Starlin Castro vs. Michael Wacha – 6/10 (12/25, 5 XBH, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .480/.500/.920/1.420)
- Jose Abreu vs. Anibal Sanchez – 6/10 (13/26, 5 XBH, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB/2 K, .500/.517/.846/1.363)
- Freddie Freeman vs. Jerad Eickhoff – 6/16 (10/25, 6 XBH, 3 HR, 4 BB/7 K, .400/.483/.880/1.363)
- Ryan Braun vs. Jeff Samardzija – 6/14 (11/26, 4 XBH, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB/1 K, .423/.500/.808/1.308)
- Wil Myers vs. Jon Gray – 6/13 (12/31, 6 XBH, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .387/.429/.774/1.203)
- Adam Jones vs. Max Scherzer – 6/13 (13/35, 7 XBH, 4 HR, .371/.371/.800/.1.171)
- Mookie Betts vs. Dylan Bundy – 6/15 (9/33, 5 XBH, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB/5 K, .273/.368/.667/1.035)
- Nelson Cruz vs. Tommy Milone – 6/12 (6/20, 3 XBH, 2 HR, .300/.300/.650/.950)