Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: Joey Gallo goes off, now what?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 hrs ago

    On the schedule, it was listed as an American League baseball game. On the field, it played out as the Joey Gallo Breakout Party. 

    Tap the kegs in Arlington, we’re going to be here for a while. 

    Gallo arrived to the majors with plenty of press clippings - all those homers, all those strikeouts. And it didn’t take him long to get the locals excited Tuesday. He picked up a curious two-run single in the first inning - helped by a bad hop and perhaps a friendly official scorer - but there was nothing cheap about his later production. 

    In the third inning, Gallo blasted his first career homer, a towering shot that did everything but clear the moon tower. In the fifth, he cranked a double, just missing a second homer. 

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    Which means it’s probably a good time to dangle Gallo in trade. 

  • Closing Time: Andre Ethier, back in the game; can't touch Jason Hammel

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    A few years ago, Andre Ethier was a pretty big deal. He made a couple of All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove, snagged an $85 million contract extension in 2012. It looked like he’d be part of the landscape in Los Angeles for seasons to come, blending in with Vin Scully and the palm trees. 

    The big contract turned into a line of demarcation for Ethier. He struggled through a second-half slump in 2012, and things got worse in the next two seasons. For much of 2014, he was a fourth outfielder, a part-time player, someone you could safely ignore in mixed leagues. A .249/.322/.370 slash doesn’t make much of a case for fantasy relevance. Into his age-33 season, no one was expecting much. 

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    Should Ethier still be available in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues? I don’t think so. 

    Have some fun with sweet sixteen. A six-week sample is too great to ignore. 

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  • Shuffle Up: The Robinson Cano problem

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    Here are your middle infield Shuffle Up prices. We're trying to figure how the players will perform from here on out. What's happened to this point is an audition, nothing past that. 

    Assume a 5x5 scoring system, as always. Players at the same prices are considered even. 

    When I do these lists, they're composed completely from scratch. I don't care where I ranked everyone in March. I'm certainly not one of those guys who assumes his preseason ranks were probably right, so why change anything? Figure out the new season before the other guy, gamers. Marcus Semien and Brandon Crawford were probably good pickups.

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    You're going to have some disagreements, and that's good. That's why we have a game and why it's fun. I look at someone else's list and I see things I don't understand, too. If you did a list, you'd encounter the same thing. That's how these things work. 

  • Closing Time: Last call on Jung Ho Kang

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    It takes a while to get familiar with new players from overseas, but we know one thing about Pittsburgh infielder Jung Ho Kang

    Man, can he punish a hanging slider. 

    San Diego’s Ian Kennedy made a first-inning mistake to Kang on Thursday night, and the Pirates rookie didn’t miss it. Here’s the delicious video. I think the ball ended up in Balboa Park somewhere. 

    Perhaps the viral video will help Kang get more respect in Yahoo leagues. Although he’s stepped into a regular shortstop gig in May, rotoheads have been slow to add him. Kang has a tasty .341-10-3-13-3 line over the last 30 days, making him the No. 4 shortstop in 5x5 value, and yet he’s currently unowned in 75 percent of the Y. 

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    Let’s fix that ownership tag, amigos. 

    • Billy Burns, fast. Billy Burns on the waiver wire, slow. 

  • Daily Dime: Freddie Freeman, Will Venable, and a bunch of Athletics

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    The second game of the Baltimore-Chicago doubleheader is too funky to consider - teams do odd things with their nightcap lineups (perhaps that's a Mike Wright endorsement, from the side door). With that in mind, let’s focus on the evening shade, which offers an 8 pm ET start and five late games on the coast. Do your lineup and weather homework, then assemble your winning team. 

    Players to Buy 

    Freddie Freeman, 1B, at SF (Heston), $3300: Although we’re still in the early stages of Chris Heston’s career, take note of his jagged splits with respect to handedness. Righties haven’t figured him out (.214/.275/.298), but lefties sure have (.356/.398/.567). Freeman is an obvious play, especially when you consider that he’s merely the No. 7 first baseman, in price, on this abbreviated card. If you want to go with a cheaper Atlanta lefty, you could consider Jace Peterson, Nick Markakis, or (if he plays) A.J. Pierzynski. 

    Player to Fade

  • Closing Time: Fernando Rodney struggles, Carson Smith looms

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    In many of the fantasy questions we face on a regular basis, it’s best to analyze and trust skills and not worry too much about roles 

    Alas, in the chase for saves, that rule gets flipped upside down. When it comes to the handshake hunt, often the role is what matters, the baton, the ownership of the ninth. 

    With that in mind, let’s head over to the Seattle bullpen. 

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    Fernando Rodney was a hot mess in Tuesday’s ninth inning at Tampa Bay, allowing three runs and blowing his second save of the year. Rodney gave up three hits and plunked a batter. There was one intentional walk out of necessity. He didn’t strike anyone out, and his ERA rose to 6.98. 

    Ultimately the baseball gods smiled down on Rodney and his nifty, slanted cap - the Mariners won the game in the tenth inning, giving Rodney his second victory of the year. Journeyman lefty Joe Beimel came through as the last hand on deck (two strikeouts, 12 pitches), and Seattle went off to attack the spread. 

  • Closing Time: Is gridlock clearing for Alex Guerrero?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    While you were chilling and grilling on the Memorial Day weekend, Alex Guerrero was doing what he usually does: clocking home runs for the Dodgers. And maybe it’s time his organization loved him back, a little bit. 

    Guerrero’s seventh homer of the season came in Sunday’s loss to San Diego (nice catch, Zapruder). He was back on the bench for Monday’s series opener with Atlanta, an ultimate victory that was in part sparked by Guerrero’s pinch-hit home run. This guy is a walking souvenir dispenser. 

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    It appears the Dodgers are at least open to freeing up some third-base time, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

    No one else needs a little speed? Burns is owned in just ten percent of Yahoo leagues. Where are you, gamers?

  • Daily Dime: Get Brett Anderson I said

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    Memorial Day! Lineupsand weather on the 2s. Let's have some fun, be it for Daily or for Seasonal. 

    Players to Buy  

    Brett Anderson, SP, vs. ATL (Perez), $6700: Although the Braves offense hasn’t been quite the wasteland I expected, it still ranks an ordinary 19th in runs scored. And things really collapse when the opposing starter is left-handed: the Braves rank 28th in OPS against the southpaws.

    While our L.A. lefty is no sure thing to work deep into the game, he did record 19 outs in his last turn. Anderson has also fanned 15 (against just four walks) in his last two appearances. The push over the cliff is the Vegas line: the Dodgers are the biggest favorite of the day, minus-190. 

    Ian Desmond, SS, at CHI (Wada), $3100: His horrendous defense really doesn’t bother us, so long as he doesn’t get booted from the lineup, and his bat has perked up nicely of late (.344/.400/.625 over eight games). Desmond has been hitting second for a week now, part of a Washington offense that’s come alive. Runs are expected at Wrigley on Monday. 

  • Daily Dime: Mike Napoli early, Brian McCann (and teammates) late

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Ah, the weather. Hey, the lineups. Daily Fantasy is ready to go, a full slate (hopefully) waiting for us.

    I'm not going to give you superstars to play; you can talk yourself into Mike Trout and Anthony Rizzo. You don't need any expert help there, right? You know they're pretty good, don't you? 

    Players to Buy

    Mike Napoli, 1B, vs. LAA (Santiago), $2700: For a while, it was a nightmare. Lately, it’s a dream. Napoli is on a 7-for-18 binge over his last five games, with four homers, and he’s a career .276/.389/.521 man against lefties. A lot of pundits scoff at the theory of a hot hand, but there are Stanford Academics who present the other side. You decide what you want to do; in the meantime, give me Napoli at this giveaway price. Xander Bogaerts ($2300) also looks like a reasonable play, especially in the No. 5 slot.

    Players to Fade

    Risk-Reward Play

  • Shuffle Up: A.J. Pollock makes the leap

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 11 days ago

    Here are your outfielder Shuffle Up prices. We're trying to figure how the players will perform from here on out. What's happened to this point is an audition, nothing past that. 

    Assume a 5x5 scoring system, as always. Players at the same prices are considered even. I reserve the right to tweak the list on the weekend. 

    When I do these lists, they're composed completely from scratch. I don't care where I ranked everyone in March. I'm not one of those rankers who moves a handful of guys and calls it a day. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is back: Sign up for a league today!]

    You're going to have some disagreements, and that's good. That's why we have a game and why it's fun. I look at someone else's list and I see things I don't understand, too. If you did a list, you'd encounter the same thing. That's how these things work. 

    Courtesy Injury Ranks

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