Today’s lead item is Jurickson Profar, who might finally be giving us a fun post-hype breakout season. As for the remainder of fantasy baseball, here’s some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about.
Let’s start with an ugly confession:
Dallas Keuchel hammered for 10 runs
I streamed Dallas Keuchel on one of my weekly-moves teams, a very deep mixer where the allure of two starts can be intoxicating.
The Guardians rocked Keuchel for 10 runs Wednesday — hey, only eight were earned — and Keuchel didn’t even get a strikeout. And because of earlier postponements, Keuchel won't get the two-step originally scheduled. Heck, maybe that's a good thing.
Maybe I need a strikeout minimum or a K/9 baseline before I consider future streamers. Or maybe streaming is just about dead in deeper pools, where so many lesser pitchers don’t work late into games. Perhaps middle-relief maintenance is the new streaming. Hey, Chad Green got a win.
Royals living that committee life
The Royals won again, squaring their record at 5-5, and this time it was Josh Staumont working the eighth and Scott Barlow getting the handshake reward for the ninth. Both were tidy — Staumont had a perfect inning with two strikeouts, Barlow worked around one hit and needed just 14 pitches. It’s tricky enough to carry closers on teams presumed to be under .500 — you don’t have a big pool of saves to go after, and often those save-grabbing relievers turn into trade chips in midseason — but in the medium and deeper mixed leagues, I’ll still find room for Staumont and Barlow, even as it’s not optimal.
Save-chasing sure isn’t pretty.
There are dozens of modern baseball stats that can promise you the moon. Some of them are useful, some of them are noisy, some of them aren't even worth looking at. In the meantime, strikeouts and walks are still essential. K/BB is the water of baseball stats.
— scott pianowski (@scott_pianowski) April 21, 2022
Jorge Lopez still interesting in Baltimore
Mind you, the .500 Royals look like the 1927 Yankees compared to the Orioles. Baltimore improved to 4-8 with a 1-0 trimming of the Athletics, in front of a depressingly-small crowd in Oakland (I get it, the fans should be angry; I support what you’re doing). At least Jorge Lopez has percolated to the front of the Baltimore committee, scoring his second save.
The key with Lopez is to ignore his career starting stats and focus on what he’s done as a reliever. He’s been a little wild this year — four walks — but nine strikeouts over seven innings, that will play. And the ratios are in a rosterable area, too (2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP). Ultimately this comes down to just how desperate you might be for saves.
Miguel Cabrera closing in on 3,000
The Tigers and Yankees get started shortly. Maybe this is the day for Miguel Cabrera. He rapped out three hits Wednesday and currently stands at 2,999. I’ll give you the full-out Miggy appreciation after the milestone happens.
I wish Miggy had a little more playable fantasy juice. Since the beginning of the 2019 season, his power has largely disappeared. He’s slashed .268/.333/.396 over his last 334 games, starting from the beginning of 2019. He belongs in the big leagues if he wants to be here. He’ll always be one of my favorite players. But he’s not fantasy worthy in most pools, other than an occasional prop or DFS play as a novelty.
Of course, at peak, this guy was outrageous. A walk-in Hall of Famer, for sure. And I’ll appreciate him as long as he’s around.