Jacob deGrom (@SEA, @MIL)
Over his last five starts, deGrom boasts a 1.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP to go along with 38 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. Next week, he gets to face a Mariners team that ranks in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored, home runs and batting average in a pitcher-friendly park. The @MIL matchup is a challenging one, but deGrom’s recent performance has convinced me to pitch him.
Ryan Vogelsong (@PHI, vs. LAD)
Although Vogelsong’s 2014 stat line doesn’t exactly jump off the page, he’s usually a safe bet for a quality outing. The Phillies rank 11th in the NL in runs scored and 13th in batting average and while the vs. LAD matchup is a little scary, note that Vogelsong’s ERA at home this year (3.04) is more than two full runs lower than his road mark (5.18).
Collin McHugh (@OAK, vs. MIA)
There’s a small chance that McHugh won’t make the @OAK start, but all indications are that he will be activated from the DL in time. Regardless, I’d be very wary of pitching him next week, as the A’s and Marlins both rank in the top-4 in their respective leagues in runs scored and McHugh hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he was during the early part of the season. In a league with daily lineups, I might consider pitching him against the Marlins if he does well against the A’s. But in a weekly, I think you’re better off ditching.
Shane Greene (vs. TEX, vs. TOR)
Greene has no doubt been a nice story, but let’s not overlook the fact that his entire big league body of work spans a mere 13 2/3 innings and his career minor league numbers are really nothing special. The bottom line is that I need to see a lot more before I can trust Greene in any mixed league and I don’t like these matchups at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few weeks, the tale of Greene looks a lot like that of Chase Whitley. The wheels could fall off in a hurry.
Simon @ McCarthy
Lewis @ Stroman – Stroman no sure thing but Rangers a mid-pack offense this year.
Kluber @ Ray (Gm 1) – Ray expected to be sent back down after this start.
Salazar @ Scherzer (Gm 2) – Ditto for Salazar but he has slightly better chance of sticking around.
Duffy @ R. De La Rosa – Taking a chance on Rubby versus so-so offense.
Keuchel @ Noesi
Price @ Correia
King Felix @ Richards
W. Chen @ Hammel
Greinke @ Kelly
Garza @ G. Gonzalez
B. Anderson @ Morton – Rockies a mediocre at best offense away from Coors.
Hamels @ TBD (ATL)
Hudson @ Alvarez
T. Wood @ Miley – Miley has struggled at home but he’s hot.
Gee @ T. Ross
Cueto @ Kuroda
Tepesch @ Buehrle – Buehrle’s been a lot more hittable lately.
Tomlin @ Smyly – Both too risky.
Ventura @ Lester
Cosart @ Danks – Danks worth a try here.
Archer @ Hughes – Hughes 5 ER or more in four of his last five starts.
Young @ Skaggs – Not completely sold on Young but you can’t argue with the results. Skaggs a decent play vs. Mariners club that ranks last in AL in runs scored this month.
Gausman @ Gray
Lincecum @ Hand
Kendrick @ TBD (ATL)
Gallardo @ Fister – Not liking this matchup for fading Gallardo.
Matzek @ Locke – Locke has been outstanding of late and as mentioned above, Rockies can’t hit on the road.
Wheeler @ Despaigne – Nice matchup for both.
Arrieta @ Collmenter – Collmenter a solid play in NL-only leagues though.
Kershaw @ C. Martinez – Martinez still has some kinks to iron out
Mikolas @ Greene – Need to see a little more from Greene before I can fully trust him in a 12-team mixed.
Lackey @ Hutchison
Guthrie @ Sale
House @ K. Johnson
Norris @ Shoemaker
Niese @ Elias – Favorable matchup for Elias but he’s been terrible over his last three starts (10.05 ERA).
Vogelsong @ Lee – Vogelsong has done just enough this year to deserve the nod.
Ryu @ Volquez
Koehler @ Teheran
Latos @ Peralta
Fister @ Morales
Verlander @ Nuno – Not overly confident in Verlander though.
Leake @ Phelps – Taking a chance on both.
Darvish @ Dickey – Dickey 2 ER or less in each of his last three starts.
Bauer @ An. Sanchez – Bauer a real toss-up though.
Shields @ Buchholz – I’ll never recommend pitching Buchholz.
Feldman @ Quintana
Cobb @ Gibson
Iwakuma @ Weaver
Tillman @ Samardzija – Tillman seems to be back on track but I’ll play it safe in tough matchup.
Lohse @ Strasburg
J. De La Rosa @ Liriano
Bumgarner @ Eovaldi
Burnett @ Big Erv
Haren @ Lynn – Haren fading badly lately.
Jackson @ Cahill
Colon @ Kennedy
Zach here again,
Yesterday, I unveiled my AL Fantasy All-Star Team. Today, let’s move over to the Senior Circuit. Remember that I’m filling a standard fantasy starting roster of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers while following the All-Star Game rule requiring at least one representative from each MLB team. Here’s the National League roster.
C Jonathan LuCroy
C Devin Mesoraco
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Dee Gordon
SS Troy Tulowitzki
3B Todd Frazier
CI Anthony Rizzo
MI Daniel Murphy
OF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Charlie Blackmon
OF Billy Hamilton
OF Carlos Gomez
UT Hunter Pence
SP Johnny Cueto
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Clayton Kershaw
SP Zack Greinke
SP Stephen Strasburg
SP Tyson Ross
RP Francisco Rodriguez
RP Craig Kimbrel
RP Jonathan Papelbon
As for the notable snubs, there’s no shortage of them.
Evan Gattis – Mesoraco vs. Gattis was incredibly close, but I ultimately chose Mesoraco as the #2 catcher due to the slightly higher AVG.
Yasiel Puig – His numbers are certainly All-Star worthy but I needed a Giants representative, so Pence got the last available hitter spot.
Julio Teheran - Unfortunately for Teheran, I needed a Padres representative (Ross).
Alfredo Simon – His non-elite strikeout rate was the difference.
Jason Hammel – I simply couldn’t justify picking him over any of the other starting pitchers on the roster.
Josh Beckett – See above.
Rafael Soriano – Lowest ERA of any closer (1.00) but he’s striking out less than a batter per inning and I needed a Phillies representative (Papelbon).
Anthony Rendon – I’ll save the biggest snub for last. Had him as my MI until I realized that the Mets were not represented, and Murphy is really the only reasonable choice out of all the Amazins.
As always, your feedback is more than welcome.
Carroll @ McAllister
Greene @ Jimenez
Peavy @ McHugh – Peavy better of late but I still don’t quite trust him. McHugh a little risky but Red Sox offense isn’t very good right now.
Hutchison @ Price
Porcello @ Shields – Porcello looking to bounce back from ugly outing last time out.
Weaver @ Mikolas
Chavez @ Iwakuma
Minor @ Jackson
Miley @ Vogelsong – Miley an automatic pitch when on the road (3-1, 3.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP).
Wainwright @ Nelson
Koehler @ Matsuzaka – Koehler coming off disaster outing but he’s done very well against the Mets this year.
Correia @ Matzek
Morton @ Leake – Not a great matchup for Morton but he’s on a roll.
Strasburg @ Hamels
Kennedy @ Maholm
Danks @ Bauer – Could be 2-1 or 10-9. I’d lean towards passing.
Happ @ Odorizzi – Odorizzi pitching well lately and Blue Jays offense is struggling.
Verlander @ B. Chen – Sticking with Verlander, though I wouldn’t blame you for ditching.
Buchholz @ Cosart – I have very little confidence in either.
Skaggs @ TBD (TEX)
Gray @ Young – Young has been a pleasant surprise but this matchup is as tough as it gets.
TBD (NYY) @ Tillman – Tillman has improved dramatically of late and he’s been strong at home all season (2.74 ERA).
Liriano @ Cueto
Hand @ deGrom – deGrom’s last four starts: 25 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 30 K.
Roark @ Kendrick – Roark fading a bit but I’ll give him another chance.
C. Martinez @ Peralta – Martinez worth a look in NL-only leagues but this matchup isn’t a favorable one.
Teheran @ T. Wood
C. Anderson @ Bumgarner – Decent enough matchup for Anderson.
Ross @ Ryu
Hughes @ B. Anderson – Not trusting Hughes at Coors.
What better way to honor the upcoming All-Star game than to assemble Fantasy All-Star teams? Well, that’s exactly what I decided to do, starting with the AL squad today before naming the NL team tomorrow. The framework is simple. I’m using a standard fantasy starting roster of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers with the one caveat being that every real-life team has to be represented, just like in the real thing. So without further adieu, here’s the Junior Circuit roster.
C Salvador Perez
C Yan Gomes
1B Edwin Encarnacion
2B Jose Altuve
SS Alexei Ramirez
3B Miguel Cabrera
CI Jose Abreu
MI Ian Kinsler
OF Nelson Cruz
OF Mike Trout
OF Michael Brantley
OF Adam Jones
OF Jose Bautista
UT Victor Martinez
SP Felix Hernandez
SP Masahiro Tanaka
SP Yu Darvish
SP Scott Kazmir
SP David Price
SP Jon Lester
RP Koji Uehara
RP Glen Perkins
RP Dellin Betances
And just like in the real thing, there are snubs, most of them as a result of that annoying representative rule. Don’t get me wrong, every player who I ultimately chose for this team is deserving, but here are the notable guys who were left off the team even though from a stats perspective, they certainly deserve a spot.
Chris Sale – Needed a Rays representative, so Price got the nod.
Garrett Richards – Needed representatives from both the Rangers and Red Sox, so Darvish and Lester were automatic picks. Felix and Tanaka were no brainers, so in order to fit Richards, I would’ve needed to leave out Kazmir. Richards vs. Kazmir was a very close call.
Greg Holland – Needed a Twins representative, and Perkins was the best option.
Derek Norris – Gomes beat him out by a tiny margin.
Brandon Moss – Counting stats are there but his unspectacular AVG held him back.
Agree with the roster? Disagree with the roster? Any other snub suggestions? Let’s hear from 411 nation!
Kuroda @ M. Gonzalez
Noesi @ Kluber
Buehrle @ Archer – Buehrle due for regression but I like this matchup.
Richards @ Tepesch
An. Sanchez @ Duffy – Challenging matchup for Duffy but I think he’s up for the task.
Lackey @ Feldman
Samardzija @ King Felix – Nice!
Al. Wood @ Arrieta
Zimmermann @ Burnett
Locke @ Latos
Alvarez @ Wheeler – Wheeler no sure thing but he did shut out Marlins last month.
Kelly @ Gallardo – Kelly a decent play in NL-only leagues but this matchup is a bit scary.
K. Johnson @ J. De La Rosa
Hahn @ Haren – Tough matchup for Hahn but I’ll give him a shot. Expect a rebound outing from Haren coming off Coors Field debacle.
Bolsinger @ Lincecum – Hard not to pitch Lincecum right now.
Kuroda @ M. Gonzalez
Noesi @ Kluber
Buehrle @ Archer – Buehrle has a 4.09 ERA in his last five starts…
Richards @ Tepesch
An. Sanchez @ Duffy
Lackey @ Feldman – Lackey 4.76 ERA since the start of June
Samardzija @ King Felix
Al. Wood @ Arrieta
Zimmermann @ Burnett – six straight QS for A.J. after rough May
Locke @ Latos – Reds struggle vs. lefties
Alvarez @ Wheeler
Kelly @ Gallardo
K. Johnson @ J. De La Rosa
Hahn @ Haren
Bolsinger @ Lincecum
Quintana @ Lester
G. Gonzalez @ W. Chen
Phelps @ House
Santiago @ Lewis
Smyly @ Guthrie – struggling Smyly vs. lesser offense, or groovin’ Guthrie vs. big offense? I’ll sit this one out
Pino @ Wilhelmsen
Hendricks @ Bailey
Buchanan @ Garza
Kazmir @ Hudson
Harang @ Colon – Colon’s last two outings haven’t been sharp but I like him at home
Volquez @ Miller
Despaigne @ Kershaw
Greinke @ Scherzer – yes please!
Stroman @ Wilson
Roark @ Norris
McCarthy @ Tomlin – bad matchup for McCarthy’s pinstriped debut
Sale @ R. De La Rosa
Ventura @ Cobb
Keuchel @ Darvish – Keuchel is regressing
Gibson @ Elias
Stults @ Jurrjens
Eovaldi @ Collmenter
Beeler @ Simon
Big Erv @ Gee – tough matchup for Gee’s return, but I’m going for it
Cumpton @ Lynn
R. Hernandez @ Lohse
Hammel @ Cain – nice matchup for Hammel’s A’s debut
Tanaka @ Bauer
Ryu @ Verlander
Danks @ Workman – just when I started to trust Workman, he gets blown up by the Cubs
Vargas @ Hellickson – good spot for Hellickson’s return
Peacock @ Irwin – Peacock has skills but isn’t reliable enough yet
Dickey @ Skaggs – Dickey hasn’t been great on the road, but good enough
Bumgarner @ Gray
Hughes @ Young – most improbable double-pitch of the day… maybe of the year?!
T. Wood @ Cueto (Gm 1)
Wada @ Holmberg (Gm 2)
Norris @ Fister
Teheran @ deGrom
Kendrick @ Peralta
Worley @ C. Martinez – might as well roll Worley while he’s hot
T. Ross @ Morales
Hand @ Nuno