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Roto Never Sleeps: Week 6 MLB Recap Featuring Harper, Gomez, Cano, Miller, Strasburg and More


Time to recap Week 6 of the fantasy season, or maybe we should just label it “Bryce Harper’s Week of Reckoning.”

 

MLB & Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Player Recap

Bryce Harper (OF, WSH) absolutely put on a clinic last week. Twelve hits, three home runs, nine RBI, ten runs, nine walks and just one strikeout. I said a few weeks ago that this was the year Harper finally broke out and that has become blatantly obvious after last week.

Justin Masterson (SP, BOS) continued his season to forget, giving up six earned runs after just over two innings. In fact, the Red Sox put him on the disabled list afterward – even though he has no discernible injury. He can be dropped in all formats.

Jered Weaver (SP, LAA) pitched another great game, making me look like a moron in daily fantasy. Weaver twirled seven and a third innings allowing just one earned run. I can never recommend Weaver as a relevant fantasy option because the strikeouts are no longer there, which are a huge part of scoring and also prevent such things as bad luck from occurring. Weaver will continue to have some good starts, but I would guess a lot more bad ones.

Victor Martinez (1B, DET) continued to struggle. I’m extremely concerned with V-Mart; he had an incredible 2014 and still has the talent to produce, but he needs to be healthy and it doesn’t look that way. He missed three games, but will play on Monday. At 36 years-old, injuries shouldn’t be too surprising. Still, his 0-for-9 with three strikeouts made for a tough week.

Pablo Sandoval (3B, BOS) only had two hits, but made the most of them with two round-trippers. Pablo is a low-end 3B option, with upside to crack the top 10 if the Red Sox offense starts hitting again.

Carlos Gomez (OF, MIL) is starting to heat up after returning from the disabled list recently. His two home runs and stolen base last week were a sight for sore eyes. If you can still buy low on Gomez, I would recommend it.

Seeing what Jason Kipnis (2B, CLE) has done this year makes me want to cry after rostering him through all of 2014. Kipnis put together another strong week, going 14-for-24, and is finally living up to his talent. With Robinson Cano struggling, Kipnis is entering Tier 1 for second basemen.

Miguel Cabrera (1B, DET) showed his muscle this week with four home runs and nine RBI. After a “down” 2014, Miggy showed a lot of encouraging signs coming into 2015 – chief among them the fact that he hit so many doubles last year. This year, he’s starting to convert them into home runs and is rewarding owners who kept the faith. Miggy is as good as it gets.

James Paxton (SP, SEA) picked up two wins this week. I was a fan of his a few years ago, but I don’t love what I see this year. He’s still young and I was hoping he’d make “the leap,” but his strikeout rate is average and his swinging strike rate (6.9%) is down from 2013 and 2014. He’s a sell high candidate in my book as he’s also out performing his 3.59 ERA by over half a run.

Hanley Ramirez (OF, BOS)collected seven hits, but struck out eight times and recorded only one XBH. Hanley hurt his shoulder a little over a week ago and has not looked like the same hitter. In the first few weeks of the season, he was destroying the ball; he’s clearly not the same hitter right now. With his injury history, this is a big red flag to linger.

Someone brought up Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) on Reddit the other day. Gardner is having an awesome start to the year, but it doesn’t look sustainable. His .354 BABIP is well above his .322 career rate, and its unsupported by his LD%. Fortunately he’s cut down on his strikeouts, but I don’t see him carrying his .830 OPS for very long.

Devon Travis (2B, TOR) was a hot pickup in early May, but he missed Monday’s game with an apparent injury. The disabled list isn’t out of the question for Travis, who could be quite valuable at the top of the Jays lineup. Keep monitoring.

Koji Uehara (RP, BOS) is defying the limits of age (40). He finished the week with three saves, two strikeouts, and a walk. His 20.3% Swinging Strike rate is actually the best of his career! This is 40, I guess.

Adrian Beltre (3B, TEX) has been defying the limits of age for what feels like two decades. Beltre hit his 400th home run (of his career, not the week) to cap a strong week 5. Beltre is as consistent as they come, and even when it seemed like studs David Wright and Evan Longoria would pass him a few years ago, he keeps producing. Continue to start Beltre with confidence, with more upside once Texas starts giving him some support.

Plantar fasciitis is difficult to spell, and very difficult to play through. Just ask Corey Dickerson (OF, COL), whose been trending down since Week 3. My guess is that he’s headed for the disabled list; this is the type of injury that lingers (I remember Carlos Quentin struggling with it a few years ago). It doesn’t make sense for the Rockies to push Dickerson at this point. Try to deal him if you can for face value.

Sell-Sell-Shelby Miller (SP, ATL) just missed a no hitter over the weekend. I don’t care; I’m still not owning him in any league. Regression is going to hit Miller SO hard. His 1.33 ERA is nearly two full runs lower than his FIP and two-and-a-half runs lower than his SIERA. I will credit Miller for improving his strikeouts, but his current output is unsustainable. He’s made great strides to his K rate, walk rate, and GB%, but he’s not close to an ace.

Stephen Strasburg (SP, WSH) had an up-and-down week. So far, 2015 seems like a down season. Rumors are swirling that Strasburg may not be 100% healthy, which is extremely concerning. His peripherals are very human right now; he still possesses the strong K rate, but his Swinging Strike rate is down meaningfully to 7.3% (if you’ve been reading, James Paxton’s is 6.9%) and batters are just making better contact overall. I would try to deal him for another ace, hoping that someone is willing to buy low.

I’m sounding a lot like a pessimist, but a lot of people are concerned with Robinson Cano (2B, SEA). The good news is that the power will come back; his 3.3% HR/FB rate is by far his lowest ever. The bad news is he’s clearly pressing at the plate with a 16.9% K rate (career 11.9%) and a 5.0% walk rate, his lowest since 2009. The days of closing on 30 home runs are gone due to Safeco, but there’s a lot to like with Cano otherwise. Expect his average to pop back up to around .280 in the next 30 days.

Michael Brantley (OF, CLE) has returned. I’m developing a full blown mancrush on Brantley, who has one of the league’s best contact rates and is in the middle of a surprisingly strong Cleveland lineup. Brantley went 8-for-21 this week with six walks and only four strikeouts. Expect great results the rest of the way.

 

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