Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: Fernando Rodney struggles, Carson Smith looms

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 hrs 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 1 day 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 2 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 2 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 4 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. 

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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. 

    Courtesy Injury Ranks

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  • Closing Time: Rusney Castillo can't be far away

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    Sometimes the dots line up perfectly and you can sense a change is imminent. That appears to be the case with the Red Sox and their lousy right-field situation. Don’t be tripped up by the organizational quotes from recent days; teams have zero incentive to tell us the truth. The high-priced Boston offense is struggling, and the Red Sox may have reached the tipping point.

    Rusney Castillo isn’t in Boston as we go to press, but it probably won't be long before the $72 million man gets a chance to show what he can do. And this is a fantasy story worth investing in. 

    The Red Sox offense has a bunch of problems at the moment; we don’t have the time to list all of them. But two of the biggest issues are a lack of offense from right field, and a lack of production against left-handed starters.

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    • The Arizona bullpen could get complicated again, as all of a sudden everyone is pitching well.

  • Closing Time: Enrique Burgos, Arizona firecracker

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    Brad Ziegler has been the best reliever in the Arizona bullpen this year, and it’s not particularly close. The submariner has a 1.04 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and a tiny .169 batting-average against. If you need a ground-ball, Ziggy plays guitar

    Does that make him a saves candidate? Not necessarily. 

    Ziegler pitched two scoreless innings, the 10th and 11th, in Monday’s extra-inning victory at Miami, which earned him the night off Tuesday. And with that, we have a new entry into the Arizona save chase. Enrique Burgos grabbed a Monday save in the 13th inning, then came back with a more conventional ninth-inning save Tuesday. 

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    Ziegler is owned in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues, while Burgos has chased up to seven percent. And 51 percent of the Yahooligans are still holding out hope with Reed. 

  • Daily Dime: Welcome home, David Ortiz and James Shields

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    Check the weather, analyze the lineups, join a daily contest. Repeat until rich. 

    Let's look at the Tuesday slate.

    Players to Buy

    David Ortiz, 1B, vs. TEX (Gallardo), $2900 on Fan Duel: Think he missed the friendly confines of Fenway Park? Ortiz has a .333/.410/.490 slash in front of the Lansdowne Street vendors, but it drops to .171/.259/.342 on the road. Get that man some Dirty Water, not to mention a few hit-me fastballs from Yo Gabba Gabba. 

    And if you’re going to consider Pablo Sandoval, it’s when the Red Sox are facing a right-handed opponent. The third-sacker is crushing at Fenway (.849 OPS) and against northpaws (1.024) this year, but it’s a Sad Panda story against lefties (2-for-41, and under .200 last year). Tuesday is a Sandoval Night. 

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    Players to Fade 

  • Closing Time: Buying low on Rockies; appreciating Curtis Granderson and Brandon Crawford

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    Playoff baseball is unlikely to visit Colorado this year. There’s no need to print a bunch of Rocktober shirts. Colorado dropped another ballgame on Monday, a 4-3 decision to Philadelphia, and is now 13-22 on the season. That’s the worst record in the National League, and 10 games behind the front-running Dodgers. 

    There’s plenty of blame to go around for Colorado’s lousy start. The offense ranks 28th in runs, the pitching staff sits 30th in ERA, the fielders sit 24th in defensive WAR (for whatever that means to you). If you see these guys at the ballpark, spread the boos equally. 

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    Alas, there is one reason for optimism here. Because of a quirky early-season schedule and some wonky weather, the Rockies have only played 14 home games through their open 35 matches. That’s the lowest ratio in the NL, by far. By comparison, every other NL West club has played 20 or more home games. 

    Start your engines, Colorado. Gravity always wins.

  • Daily Dime: All my lefties hit in Texas

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Ah, the full-slate Sunday, a joy to behold. Just make sure funky lineups and spotty weather aren't holding you back. 

    Players to Buy  

    Jason Kipnis, 2B, at TEX (Martinez), $4500: Lou raised the price of Kipnis, he’s been losing at the track. But with Kipnis on a ballistic 19-for-31 tear the last seven games (10 runs, one homer, five RBIs, three steals), you have to strongly consider paying up. The Nick Martinez hit-rate luck tour has to come to a stop eventually; last year lefties posted an .832 OPS against him. 

    Shin-Soo Choo, OF, vs. CLE (Carrasco), $3200: Something’s clicked for him during the current homestand (13-for-28, three homers), and he’ll enjoy the platoon split on Sunday. Maybe the Rangers didn't get rooked on this contract after all. 

    Didi Gregorius, SS, at KC (Volquez), $2200: Normally I’d want no part of a ninth-place batter, but Gregorius is the minimum salary and he’s already gotten comfortable against Edinson Volquez (4-for-7, two homers).