Scott Pianowski

  • Rapid React: Yoenis Cespedes hits the Big Apple

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    I had a lot of pointed things to say about Yoenis Cespedes in the preseason. I called him overrated, a sucker play. I ranked him lower than just about anyone. 

    Thus far, Team Cespedes is having the last laugh, an extended last laugh. He’s currently the No. 10 outfielder in Yahoo 5x5 value, enjoying a strong .293-62-18-61-3 season. So long as you didn’t pay a ridiculous price in March, this has been a fun profit season for you. 

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    Everyone knows that NL baseball is shaded by the lack of a designated hitter, while AL baseball enjoys the DH and a freer scoring environment. The average AL club slugs .405 and has 432 runs for the year; in the NL, it drops to .391 and 404. 

    Cespedes isn’t just going to any offense of course, he’s going to the Mets –  the lowest-scoring club in baseball entering Friday’s action. He’s not going to get a lot of help here. 

  • Closing Time: Alex Wilson steps into the Detroit void

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    For most of the season, the Tigers didn’t look to Alex Wilson for holds.  But in the new world order Thursday at Baltimore, the club decided the 28-year-old righty was worthy of a handshake. 

    Wilson only had two holds on the year through his first 38 appearances, despite a pretty set of ratios (1.84 ERA, WHIP under 1). With that in mind, it wasn’t clear if he’d be part of the closing chase after Joakim Soria was dispatched to Pittsburgh. Bruce Rondon had the big strikeout rate and seemed like someone who would get a chance, despite other flaws. Al Albuquerque also strikes guys out, though he has a walk problem. Blaine Hardy is generally a lefty specialist. Neftali Feliz has been horrendous since joining the Tigers; that's the first name I eliminated. 

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  • Five mistakes even good fantasy football owners make

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    We're bringing back five tips from last year to help you prepare for drafts in the coming weeks.

    I'm not going to list off the common and inane "mistakes to avoid" that are regularly trumpeted in this kind of piece; let's try to be better than that. Everyone knows not to draft off last year's stats. Everyone knows not to rely on a magazine cheat sheet that was created several months ago. Everyone knows not to show up at the draft reeking of Old Milwaukee. Everyone knows to monitor the waiver wire like a hawk. 

    No new tale to tell there. 

    Here are five mistakes I see even smart fantasy owners make, the second-level of leakage. Consider them, make of them what you will. Add your own ideas in the comments. 

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    The league changes too quickly. No sport reshuffles as thoroughly as the NFL.

    Play For Today.  

    But these things need to be constructed with a pencil, not a pen. You don't want to be locked into anything.

  • Opening Time: Aaron Hicks would like your attention

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    The Minnesota Twins, for all their fine play this year, are not an attention-grabbing franchise on the national landscape. Perhaps that’s why Aaron Hicks is still kicking around free-agent wires despite a strong rally this summer.  

    Although Hicks is just 25, he’s already had his share of ups and downs during his pro career. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft, and was ranked favorably in prospect circles for the ensuing four years. But the star quickly faded when Hicks flopped with the Twins in 2013 and 2014. Over what’s essentially a full-season sample, he posted a putrid .201/.293/.313 slash, along with nine homers and 13 steals, in those two campaigns. 

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    Hicks is ready to add in 95 percent of Yahoo leagues. He might just make it after all. 

  • Opening Time: Bullish on J.T. Realmuto

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    Catcher is the most physically-demanding position on the sandlot, and maybe that explains why the position has been such a fantasy mess this year. 

    Consider all the big names disappointing us. Carlos Santana hasn’t returned what we expected. Yadier Molina’s power might be gone for good. Yan Gomes got hurt, hasn’t hit since. Devin Mesoraco also got hurt, and basically punted the year. Wilin Rosario isn’t in the mix in Colorado. Matt Wieters has been so-so since his injury return. 

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    With all that in mind, we savor the players who have panned out, and the surprises that emerged from nowhere. Russell Martin is no hoser in the YYZ. Yasmani Grandal is an OBP machine in L.A. Francisco Cervelli is here to help your batting average. Buster Posey remains one of the most bankable and reliable players around. 

    And very quietly in South Florida, rookie J.T. Realmuto is making his mark with the Marlins. 

  • Opening Time: Jays and Rockies make a roto trade, swap Tulowitzki for Reyes (and prospects)

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    While it’s a seismic move in the real baseball world, the Troy Tulowitzki-Jose Reyes deal isn’t nearly as important to fantasy owners. The two key players are universally owned and their values don’t change much. Nonetheless, we should offer up a few thoughts before we move onto subtler things. 

    I’ve been out on Tulowitzki for a few years now, worrying about his injury risk and whatnot. You know what you’re signing up for with him. I give his fantasy value a minor boost in Toronto, now that he’s in the hitter’s league and with a better lineup around him (the best lineup in baseball, of course). 

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    This summer, Tulowitzki didn’t make it into Cameron’s Top 50. And no, Reyes and some prospects is not a Walker payday. 

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  • Daily Dime: Chris Heston, Kyle Hendricks, Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    Here are some thoughts as you get ready for Monday’s DFS slate. As always, be sure to check the weather and the final lineups before you lock things in.  

    Chris Heston, SP, vs. MIL (Lohse), $45: The Regression Police had their fun after Heston’s surprise no-hitter in early June, but guess what? The music keeps playing. Heston has a tidy 2.20 ERA in his last seven starts since the gem at Citi Field, and if you look at all of his non-Colorado starts (thin air ruins everything), we’re looking at a 2.50 ERA. The Giants have been sizzling since the break, and I certainly expect them to have some fun against Kyle Lohse on the other side.  

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  • Daily Dime: Cooney, Kluber, Coors, two guys named Ian

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    Yahoo Daily Fantasy is fun, especially when all the teams are in play. Here are some names to consider as you do your Friday shopping. Make sure you check out the weather and lineups before you make final commitments. 

    Tim Cooney, SP, vs. ATL (Williams), $25: You’re hoping for six innings from Cooney, an ordinary lefty, but also take note he’s the second-biggest favorite on the Friday card. Those win points sure come in handy. Atlanta’s offense isn’t much without Freddie Freeman; the Braves are the NL’s lowest-scoring team for the second half. 

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    Ian Desmond, SS, at PIT (Locke), $14: Is his nightmare summer finally turning around? Desmond has seven hits and two homers over his last four games, and now he draws the platoon advantage against a soft-tossing lefty. Sounds good to me. 

  • Closing Time: Zack Greinke, guaranteed no-hitters, and outliers

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    Back in the middle of 1990, the wacky Seattle Mariners came up with a fresh promotional idea: Guaranteed No-Hitter Night. If the June 16 game between the Rangers and the Mariners didn’t produce a no-hitter, all fans in attendance received a free ticket to a future game. 

    The timing seemed right. Nolan Ryan, fresh off his sixth career no-no, was pitching for the Rangers. Seattle had the second-worst offense in the American League that year. Alas, no one threw a no-hitter that evening, and Mariners lefty Matt Young wound up stealing the show with a three-hit gem. (Guaranteed Shutout Night doesn't generate the same buzz.) 

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  • All-Hitter Shuffle Up: Where does Joc Pederson go from here?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 16 days ago

    Normally we shuffle the hitters by segments - outfielders, corners, middles, that sort of thing. But with a break in the action, it's a good time to take a look at the entire landscape. Enjoy. 

    The usual rules apply. 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. 

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    When I do these lists, they're composed completely from scratch. I don't look back at old ranks. 

    You're going to have some disagreements, and that's good. That's why we have a game and why it's fun. 

    The injury ranks are for courtesy. I will not debate them. If you're a better doctor than I am, that's fine. I'm generally very cautious with hurt players and it's served me well over the years, but you are welcome to play differently. If you know when Stanton and Cabrera will come back and what they'll do, good for you. 

    I didn't rank players in the minors. I never do. They're worth whatever you want.