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]

Tommy Pham To Rays - Fantasy Implications


In what has to be classified as one of the more confusing trades during this year's crazy trade deadline, The St. Louis Cardinals shipped outfielder Tommy Pham to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera, outfielder Justin Williams, and right-handed pitcher Roel Ramirez.

The Rays, in addition to Pham, receive $500,000 in international bonus money as part of the deal.

What does the Cardinal outfield look like now and which players could benefit most from this trade, including Pham himself?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

The Cardinal Way Out

Tommy Pham has failed to live up to expectations so far in 2018, but to be fair the bar was set very high following the monster year he had with the Cardinals in 2017.  Last year, Pham put up a .306/.411/.520 line, adding 23 home runs, 73 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.  So far this season, Pham has a .248/.331/.339 line, with 14 home runs, 41 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.  Taking a look at his non-surface number metrics only serve to further cloud his fantasy projections.  His walk rate (10.6%) is great, his strikeout rate (24.5%) is subpar, his ISO (.151) is the lowest of his career, and his Hard Hit % (47.5%) is the highest of his career by far.

There are a few things we know for sure when it comes to Pham's rest-of-season fantasy outlook.  First, he will be an everyday starter for the Rays, most likely in left field.  This assures that he will receive ample opportunity to produce, especially if he slots in somewhere toward the top of the batting order.  Secondly, we know that Pham is capable of a 20 homer / 20 stolen base season because he just did it last year.  That is the immense power-speed combo that fantasy owners salivate over, and though his numbers this year haven't been up to par, he is still well on his way to 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases - which are significant numbers in all fantasy formats.  Pham has a career batting average of .271, and his 2018 BABIP sits at a career-low .303, so one can expect his batting average to adjust in due time.  It's probably time to give up on the hope that Pham will return to his 2017 form, but with the change of scenery with his new team and an expectation that his batting average will rise at least a little, Pham is still a very serviceable outfielder in fantasy baseball.

The Cardinals outfield rotation won't change much with the loss of Tommy Pham.  Marcell Ozuna will continue to play left field, Harrison Bader will play center field, and Dexter Fowler will keep his spot in right field. 23-year-old Tyler O'Neill will step in as the fourth outfielder, and Cardinals president John Mozeliak has stated that O'Neill and Harrison Bader will split the center field position 50/50.

Marcell Ozuna has had a relatively quiet 2018 season, at least when compared to his 37 home run, 124 RBI campaign last year with the Miami Marlins.  This year, he's slashing .268/.312/.396 with 13 home runs, 58 RBI, and 43 runs scored.  He has been heating up as of late, however.  In the last seven games, Ozuna is hitting .300/.323/.633 with three home runs, seven RBI, and four runs scored.  He has hit homers in three straight games.  Ozuna is a firm hold in all fantasy formats due to his recent form and home run and RBI upside.

Harrison Bader has been pretty mediocre so far in the MLB.  In 2018, he is slashing .265/.338/.400 with six home runs, 15 RBI, and 34 runs scored in 200 at-bats.  He has a 29.2% strikeout rate, which is just terrible.  Bader does have one thing going for him, however, and that is his speed.  He has nine steals in 11 attempts, which is a fair amount considering he has had about half the at-bats of an everyday MLB player.  That being said, Tyler O'Neill will still be pilfering Bader's playing time, and that likely saps most of the fantasy value from both players.  Bader is viable in deep leagues that value stolen bases, but be aware that he won't help in most other categories and also still doesn't have an everyday role.

Dexter Fowler is experiencing the most disappointing fantasy season among all of the Cardinals outfielders, as he's slashing just .179/.274/.301 with eight homers, 30 RBI, 39 runs scored, and five steals on the year.  His .575 OPS is embarrassingly low, while his 22.1% strikeout rate and .121 ISO also leave much to be desired.  On the plus side, he does have a great 10.9% walk rate and seems to still have a tiny bit of the power/speed category juice that he is (was) known for.  Projection sites have him finishing with around 13 homers and 8 steals.  If that doesn't get you excited...well, it shouldn't.  He's having a terrible year and should only be on a roster in the very deepest of NL-only leagues.

Tyler O'Neill has seen very limited MLB action, slashing .227/.255/..455 with three homers, seven RBI, and eight runs scored in his 44 at-bats in 2018.  His batting average, on-base percentage, walk rate (2.1%), and strikeout rate (42.6%) are all terrible but figure to normalize as he registers more at-bats.  He is not a player to target in fantasy for the time being, although he could have keeper league value.

To summarize, it seems that Tommy Pham's situation won't be that much different, at least fantasy-wise, than it was in St. Louis.  He will continue to be an everyday starter and will hit toward the top of the lineup.  The Rays are surprisingly close to the Cardinals in terms of offensive production this year, so I don't believe his counting stat production takes a significant hit.  Similarly, the Cardinals outfield situation doesn't change much as a result of this trade.  Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler will resume their regular roles in left and right field, respectively, while Tyler O'Neill was called up to platoon with Harrison Bader in a 50/50 split in centerfield.

 

More 2018 MLB Advice and Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

All of a sudden, the Chargers look like one of the worst teams in football and the Jets look like a playoff contender. Maybe things won't shake out that way in the end but it goes to show how quickly things change in the "Not For Long" NFL. For that reason, we advise looking at... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Some of you have been rewarded for your meticulous roster planning by receiving excellent production from your running backs. Unfortunately, many of you have been equally prepared when making roster decisions, but have been undermined by injuries, inconsistent usage, or underwhelming performances. If that applies to you, then those unwanted outcomes have forced you to... Read More


Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers – Week 7

Another week, another four teams on bye in the NFL. Fantasy football players are going to have to make due this week without Carolina’s Greg Olsen, Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard and Pittsburgh’s Vance McDonald, not to mention Seattle’s Will Dissly, who was injured this past Sunday. It could be a worse week for fantasy players... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 7

It was another big week at the quarterback position, as five quarterbacks topped 30 points and 12 scored more than 20 heading into Sunday Night Football. Most of the big performers were players we expect, such as Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson, but we also got some surprising starts from quarterbacks who are widely available.... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

The Jets are back! OK, maybe not back because they were never here but at least there's some actual hope and fantasy value to be had from a previously winless team. The tight end landscape has changed drastically again, as Hunter Henry returns right at 60% ownership, while breakout second-year Seahawk Will Dissly's season appears... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 6 Amari Cooper (quad) has been ruled out for the game. Will Dissly went down with a non-contact achilles... Read More


Week 6 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More


Week 6 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 6... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Updated Week 6 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 6 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 6 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Albert Wilson is making his return this week. Tyreek Hill will officially make his return today. Marquise Brown (ankle) will miss this week's game. Kenny Stills is... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 6

Welcome to our Week 6 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 6

In Week 5, Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was the best wide receiver play of the week. Even if you didn't play Fuller and missed out on his big day, you still had a chance to win your DFS contests if you played other receiver options that were recommended in this column, such as Michael... Read More


The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 6

Welcome to Week 6, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based off my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More


Week 6 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

Weeks 4 and 5 saw a combined four teams go on bye. Week 6, however, will be the first week of the season with four teams off in the same week. That will also be the case in Weeks 7, 9, 11 and 12. Meanwhile, in Week 10 there will be six different teams taking... Read More