Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

The Cut List (Week 10) - Time to Let Go?


Welcome to June, and to something a little different this week, although it may end up a one-week affair. Today we suggest a couple cuts each at varying league sizes: 10, 12, and 14-15 teams. Recommendations in one league size obviously apply to smaller leagues. You can also feel free to drop a shallower suggestion in a deeper league. Generally, however, the dividing line is there for a reason.

Stats are through Friday, May 31. The usual weekly notes do not apply, of course. Also, the Watch-Out List is on hiatus given the new format. Let's see how this goes.

As usual, you can find ideas on how to replace your cut candidates at the Waiver Wire Pickup List.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

10-Team Cut Candidates

Nick Markakis (OF, ATL)

Potentially, anyone who rosters Markakis is getting exactly what is expected from him, a strong batting average and some runs and RBI in a strong lineup. However, as someone who rarely either homers or steals, his usefulness in shallower leagues is limited.

Lately Markakis has been batting fifth in Atlanta's lineup. It's a nice spot, but it's one that is more conducive to driving in runs than scoring them. Markakis' strengths (reaching base) and weaknesses (power) as a hitter, however, are more conducive to scoring runs than driving them in. So it's not the best fit.

Markakis would be a worse hitter if he moved away from his strengths and tried to sky the ball out of the park, but at the same time that limits his ceiling. In shallower 5x5 leagues, getting the rate stat category plus both team-dependent counting stats is not necessarily enough to roster a player.

Marcus Stroman (SP, TOR)

Marcus Stroman is fine, but the Blue Jays are bad, and that is not a good combination for a starting pitcher's fantasy value. And while you got a 2.74 ERA from Stroman entering Saturday's contest at Coors, that's about all you were getting thanks to a 1.33 WHIP, just a 19.5% K rate, and only three wins due to bad support from Toronto's hitters. It's a weak 2.74 ERA as well, with a 4.07 xFIP behind it and an even worse 4.42 SIERA. Get out before this one blows up.

Even Stroman's 12-team value is questionable with all of this going on, but he does have the benefit of usually being a sub-4.00 SIERA pitcher. Of course, SIERA is more predictive than descriptive, and this year it's predicting impending doom. Plus, Stroman's SIERA has increased every season of his career, even including the incomplete ones like 2015 and '18. Obviously, that's a bad trend.

Hopes that Stroman can keep his ERA well below his peripherals are the only reason to hang on, but that could well be a losing game. At least in 10-teamers, it's best to get out now before too many more starts against New York, Boston, and Tampa Bay.

 

12-Team Cut Candidates

Jose Martinez (OF, STL)

This season has been a bit of a roller coaster for Martinez. He had no playing time earlier in the season (and was a Week 2 cut candidate), found some time thanks to injuries, kept it because of his batting average, then lost it again as the average fell. Although he has played in all 56 Cardinals game this year, he started just four of St. Louis' first 16 games, and now only three of their last nine entering play on Saturday, but also 30 of the 31 team games in between.

During that 31-game stretch, Martinez found his way back to fantasy rosters as he hit .333/.395/.468. It was somewhat of a Markakis-like run, with three homers and single steal inducing reliance not only on his personal success to score and drive in runs but that of his team. However, since May 3 (which includes some overlap with the 31-game sample), he is hitting just .224/.298/.329. There went the regular playing time.

Every player has hot and cold streaks, but when the cold streak cuts your starts by two-thirds, it becomes a difficult situation for fantasy players. Markakis, as a full-time player who has not met any resistance to such status, does have 12-team value -- it's the shallower leagues where his profile becomes an issue. Martinez, meanwhile is rosterable when he plays, and not rosterable when he does not play. The fact that he has bounced between the two, plus his statistical profile, makes it unlikely to cost very much for very long if someone swoops in to grab him on the wire.

Joe Musgrove (SP, PIT) and Chris Archer (SP, PIT)

Musgrove has a 4.57 ERA and a 3.59 FIP. He has a 4.59 xFIP (and 4.67 SIERA). Home run suppression is the only thing keeping all of Musgrove's peripherals from lining up with his ERA. Musgrove's K% has fallen every year he's pitched in the Majors: from 21.5% in 2016 to 21.2% to 20.6% and now just 18.6% this season to date. What is Musgrove giving you this season? Nothing much at all.

Even when Musgrove was relatively successful during April, with a 1.54 ERA, there were reasons for concern, as although his FIP was a still-great 2.52, his xFIP was merely okay at 3.90. With a devastating May (8.10/4.85/5.41 in ERA/FIP/xFIP) now in the mix, it's hard to say where Musgrove's standard league value lies. Pittsburgh's tough division only adds to his difficulties; all four offenses (with the possible exception of Cincinnati's) are a gauntlet for opposing pitchers and hitter's ballparks abound (especially Cincinnati's). Chris Archer, also cuttable in 12-teamers (with all four of ERA, FIP, xFIP, and SIERA above five, the 5.04 SIERA being the least bad), faces a similar issue.

Musgrove entered the year with good potential and still has enough for deeper leagues, but in most leagues you will want to find better at this point.

 

14+ Team Cut Candidates

Jay Bruce (1B, SEA)

If the reported trade between Seattle and Philadelphia happens, Bruce will go from being nearly an everyday player to...not an everyday player. The deal could still fall through, but it's not too early to move on from Bruce in most league sizes. Losing AB's would just make it even easier.

Bruce also has the issues of not being a completely full-time player already, and an atrocious batting average. He has started 44 of Seattle's 60 games through May 31. As a side note, those 60 games Seattle has played represent two more than any other team in MLB, so all of their players are going to have slightly inflated counting stats for projecting rest of season. (Although if Bruce changes teams, this will matter less in his specific case.) Either way, Bruce already isn't helping as much as he could.

As for the .212 batting average, Statcast finds it completely deserved, Bruce posting a ninth percentile and nearly-identical .211 xBA. Combined with the missing playing time, Bruce is treacherous even in deeper leagues. Additionally, there's the fact that much of Bruce's overall production is old. He had seven home runs by April 9, and only has seven since while hitting .222/.287/.487.

The trade rumors are a facilitating factor here. It can't hurt to get out ahead of the game.

Archie Bradley (RP, ARI)

Greg Holland has been wildly and unpredictably successful as the closer for Arizona. That second adverb has led to relatively common ownership of Archie Bradley as a handcuff. However, because Holland has seen success, and because Bradley's performance this year has not been closer-worthy, it's hard to justify rostering Bradley.

In fact, Bradley's potential as a reliever goes back to his 2017 debut in the role, when he posted a 1.73 ERA in 73 innings. His 3.19 SIERA that year was good but not quite as pristine. Last year, he pulled off just a 3.64 ERA but with a similar 3.22 SIERA. So far this season, however, he's at 4.44 and 4.26 in 24 1/3 innings. Bradley has managed 11.5 K/9, an improvement on his sub-10 rates in 2017 and '18, but Bradley's K% is only up a couple ticks, 25.8% this year after a 25.3% last year, because of all the base runners he's allowing with that 1.89 WHIP. He's running a .400 BABIP, but he's also walking almost twice as many batters, 13.3% of them this year after 6.8% last season.

Relievers who don't get saves should only be owned if they produce great ratios and strikeouts, even at this depth. Bradley hasn't done the former since 2017 and never been great (by relief standards) at the latter. If Holland does lose the job, and Bradley gets the gig, put in some FAAB (if your league uses that). But before then, there's no reason to have him around.

 

Last Week's Updates

Player Last Week This Week Reasoning
Odubel Herrera Cut in 12 Cut in 15 DV charge may end season
Howie Kendrick Cut in 12 Cut in 12 Playing time still issue
Jerad Eickhoff Cut in 12 Cut in 12 Last start was more of the same
Billy Hamilton Cut in 12 Cut in 12 Never going to change as a player
Mychal Givens Cut in 12 Cut in 15 Lost closer gig
Christian Walker Watch Out in 12 Hold in 12 Kevin Cron back to AAA already
Yonny Chirinos Watch Out in 12 Watch Out in 12 For same reasons as last week

More Fantasy Baseball Busts and Avoids




More Recent Articles

 

Engel's Angles: ADP Insights, Perspectives on Aaron Judge and Ketel Marte (Premium Content)

Spring training exhibition play has just opened and expert draft season is here. The trends are being firmly established on how to draft, and where to draft certain players. We all know pure ace top starters are going to be taken very early, and there will be a high emphasis on garnering top speed merchants.... Read More


RotoBaller Friends & Family Industry Mock Draft: What the Experts Were Thinking

The RotoBaller Friends & Family Mock Draft has become an annual tradition where we gather some of the biggest names from the fantasy baseball world and put together a mock draft just as spring training has commenced. Thanks to RT Sports for once again hosting and providing a custom draft site where readers could follow... Read More


H2H Points League Draft Strategy

Points leagues are essentially the rawest version of fantasy baseball. These are not players, these are stat-lines and you want to put up as many points per week as possible. Do not get too attached to underperforming players who have name-value and potential. There is a stark difference in draft strategy when it comes to... Read More


2020 Catcher Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

Spring Training is upon us! Pitchers and catchers have reported and we finally have some box scores to desperately over-analyze. The catcher position can really be a headache for dynasty owners trying to plan for the future. Needless to say, it is not a position that many MLB teams count on for offense, leaving fantasy players... Read More


Questionable Closers: An Early Look at Some Unsettled Bullpens

As anyone who has played fantasy baseball for even five minutes knows, bullpens around the league are always in flux. There are fewer and fewer closers who are no doubt, always in for the ninth inning, always healthy, never slumping, and always celebrating wins for their team. We're seeing more and more teams go with... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Aaron Civale

With Mike Clevinger sidelined to start the year and Corey Kluber off to Texas, the Indians will rely on the emergence of Aaron Civale to bolster their typically-formidable rotation. Civale impressed in his rookie season with 10 starts, 57.2 innings pitched (IP), a 3-4 win-loss record, 2.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 46 Ks. Due to the... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Didi Gregorius

The Philadelphia Phillies finished 2019 with a record of 81-81, which was only good enough for a fourth-place finish in the NL East. They have since added the likes of Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius to improve their chances of a division title in 2020. They have also brought in highly-touted manager Joe Girardi to... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Shortstop

If you're keeping up with the Keeper Value Rankings, you know we've already covered First Base, Second Base, and Third Base. Today, we will address Shortstop. These rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based... Read More


ADP Showdown: Anthony Rendon vs. Rafael Devers

The first two rounds in your fantasy draft can be challenging because each available player is tremendously skilled with significant upside. Every pick looks desirable, so it’s important to try to determine which player has a greater likelihood of producing superior fantasy production. This can be accomplished by examining overall production and team context.  This... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth... Read More


Industry Expert Mock: ADP Surprises

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut break down the recent RotoBaller Friends & Family industry mock draft to see how the experts fared and look at some of the most surprising picks, for better or worse. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and... Read More


Fantasy Insider Angles - Thor, Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis and More (Premium Content)

Success in baseball isn’t always just about pure numbers. For those who play the game and are inside the clubhouse, it’s also about creating the right chemistry and environment. As the New York Mets opened spring training this season, there was a fresh air of optimism around the team. It also seemed to extend to... Read More


Points League Ranker Tool - NFBC

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Brought to you by RotoBaller's Nicklaus Gaut (@Nt_BurtReynolds), this Points Rankings tool uses RotoBaller's 2020 MLB projections to build out custom rankings for NFBC Points Leagues. The tool uses the default NFBC scoring settings. All fantasy baseball platforms have different scoring settings for their points leagues.... Read More


Points League Ranker Tool - CBS

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Brought to you by RotoBaller's Nicklaus Gaut (@Nt_BurtReynolds), this Points Rankings tool uses RotoBaller's 2020 MLB projections to build out custom rankings for CBS Points Leagues. The tool uses the default CBS scoring settings. All fantasy baseball platforms have different scoring settings for their points leagues.... Read More