Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: Alex Guerrero is raking, but where does he play?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    On the right ballclub, Alex Guerrero could be a dynamite power bat, maybe an intriguing designated hitter. On the 2015 Dodgers, he’s reduced to pinch-hitting star and occasional fill-in. 

    We could be stuck in SoCal gridlock for a while. 

    Guerrero’s first year in Los Angeles was a washout, spent mostly in Triple-A and on the disabled list. That qualifies at a notable disappointment, given the Dodgers spent $28 million to land the highly-regarded Cuban hitter in advance of the 2014 season. When you pay up for someone into their age-27 season, you're expecting immediate returns. 

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    Nine hits, a 1.211 slugging percentage, it all leaps off the page. Everyone seems to be excited about Guerrero in L.A. – well, everyone except skipper Don Mattingly. You bring up Guerrero and Mattingly somehow forces the discussion to … Justin Turner?

    If you don’t want to use Buchholz against Toronto next week, I see your point. But when he reaches the Rays in two weeks, I’ll be on board. 

  • Daily Dime: Time for Yangervis Solarte in Thursday fantasy lineup

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    I’m not here to talk you into the big-name aces, I’m here to help find the undervalued assets that help you shape your roster. You know the drill, make sure you double-check lineup and weather before you commit. Let’s get to it. 

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    Players to Buy 

    Yangervis Solarte, 3B, at Colorado (Lyles), $2700: This will probably be a heavily-owned play, but sometimes the value is too great to look past. Solarte is on a 10-for-25 binge with two homers against right-handed pitching this year (1.204 OPS), he homered Wednesday, he's hitting cleanup for the series finale, and he’s against an ordinary pitcher (and in the best possible hitting park). If you want to go even cheaper with a San Diego bat, Cory Spangenberg is getting a rare start at second base, batting second, priced at $2200. Have some Friar fun with the midday slate. 

    Players to Fade 

  • Closing Time: Mark Melancon and the Infinite Sadness

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    For a solid 20 years, the Pirates didn’t have to evaluate their bullpen situation with any great deal of urgency. The Bucs downshifted into non-contender mode after the 1992 season (not coincidentally, when Barry Bonds left town), and Pittsburgh didn’t see a single winning club from 1993 to 2012. When you’re not a threat for the playoffs, every situation takes on a little less gravity. Small brushfires don’t turn into ten-alarm calls. [ Still not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ] Ah, but the 2015 Pirates are different. The Men of Clint Hurdle are coming off two straight playoff appearances, and they’re expected to contend again this year. So when their closer goes off the rails, even in a smaller sample, it’s something we have to take seriously.

    Mark Melancon, you’re on the hot seat.

    Of course, you know a lot of teams really don’t want to close with a southpaw. 

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  • Closing Time: And now we make room for Addison Russell

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    Ah, Chicago. Come for the culture, the bars and the pizza, stay for the prospects.  

    Addison Russell, come on down.

    The news leaked out late Monday – the Cubs are going to promote Russell, another touted prospect, in advance of Tuesday’s game at Pittsburgh. It looks like Russell will settle in as the team’s new second baseman.

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    Kris Bryant, Carlos Rodon, now Russell - it’s been a fun five days. 

    The speedy promotion speaks to how highly the organization regards Russell. The 21-year-old infielder has been a shortstop for most of his pro career, but the Cubs still made the call after watching him play a week of second base at Triple-A Iowa. Russell also saw some keystone time in the Arizona Fall League, but it’s still a new position for him.

    • The Tigers are a team built to win now – right now, please. Owner Mike Illitch desperately wants to win a World Series in his living years, and he turns 86 in July. The clock is ticking. 

  • Daily Dime: Jake Arrieta, Coors Field, Mariners look appealing on Monday

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    You know the drill, we’re offering up ten Daily Fantasy reccos in this space every night. Be sure to double-check lineups and weather before you commit. Please enjoy your April 20 lineup responsibly.  

    Players to Buy 

    Jake Arrieta, SP, at Pittsburgh (Burnett), $9200 on Fan Duel: I was all over Arrieta in the preseason, so I certainly like him in this cushy landing spot. The Pirates are third in strikeout rate and 28th in walk rate, and 23rd in weighted runs created. A.J. Burnett is a capable opponent, but at least Arrieta misses one of the true Pittsburgh aces.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Player to Fade

  • Closing Time: Happy Kris Bryant Day

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Put the finishing touches on your get-out-of-work excuse. Double-check the status of your baseball subscriptions. 

    Friday is Kris Bryant Day, and you'll want to savor every minute of it.

    The Cubs will promote the much-touted Bryantin advance of their matinee home game against San Diego. First pitch is set for 1:20 pm CT; first Bryant at-bat should come before the top of the hour. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Who had April 17 in the Bryant Promotion Pool? Only everyone. It was well-speculated that Chicago had this target in mind, the perfect intersection of service-time reduction tied to a speedy promotion to the majors. Baseball's consensus top prospect had nothing else to prove in the bush leagues, it was just a matter of protecting one more season of potential club control. 

  • Daily Dime: Drew Pomeranz draws the scuffling Astros

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 12 days ago

    You should know the rules by now. We suggest, you consider, then we sit back and watch. Let's get to the DFS shopping list.  

    Players to Buy 

    Drew Pomeranz, SP, at Houston (McHugh), $6800: The Astros lineup has better shape against opposing lefties, not that it mattered earlier this week against Scott Kazmir. I'm going to keep aggressively streaming against this Houston crew until it fights back a little bit; only the Twins have scored fewer runs than Houston's 17, and only the Pirates are striking out more often. Good work if you can get it. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Jerry Sands, OF, vs. Chicago (Danks), $2200 on Fan Duel: Sands has bounced from LA to Tampa to Cleveland through an undistinguished career, but we know he can hit lefties (.310/.355/.530). He's slotted fifth in the Cleveland lineup for Wednesday, enjoying a day game against the underwhelming John Danks. Save some cash, load up on bats elsewhere. 

    Players to Fade 

  • Closing Time: Adam Ottavino grabs the Colorado baton

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 12 days ago

    Youth has finally been served in the Colorado bullpen. Rockies manager Walt Weiss made it official Tuesday: Adam Ottavino is the new closer. Number zero in your program, number one in your hearts. 

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    Ottavino's line from 2015 validates the promotion. He's only allowed two baserunners over 5.1 innings, piling up 10 strikeouts. His first conversion opportunity came Tuesday night at San Francisco and it was a daisy, three strikeouts on 15 pitches. Everyone shake hands, go attack the spread. 

    Ottavino is 29 years old, which makes him a pup in the Colorado bullpen. Opening-day closer LaTroy Hawkins is 42, and Rafael Betancourt is closing in on 40. Betancourt was called upon to work the eighth inning Tuesday – a day after a surprising save of his own – which further underscores the new pecking order. 

  • Closing Time: How high is the Mookie Betts sky?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 13 days ago

    Although Mookie Betts homered in Boston’s season opener a week ago, he didn’t do a lot in his first five games of the season. When the Red Sox touched down to Fenway Park in advance of Monday’s home opener, Betts was sitting on a .191/.241/.346 slash, with a modest two runs and two RBIs. He didn’t have a stolen base to his name.  

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    Alas, it took just an hour for Betts Mania to grip The Hub. The Red Sox have one of the best young players in baseball, and it’s hard to keep both cleats on the ground at times when it comes to evaluating him. 

    To cap things off, Betts clocked a baseball over the Green Monster in the second inning, a three-run blast. No hustle required here. Have a trot around the bases, kid. Have a day, Mookie. 

    Mookie Betts is Boston's baseball Flutie. They are all losing it.

    Place your bets, gamers. Let us know where your chips are at. 

  • Daily Dime: The Two Jakes, buying deGrom and fading Odorizzi

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 14 days ago

    It’s brave new world at Yahoo, as we’re offering Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) content in addition to our standard season-long pieces. The goal is to help you for the long haul; we’ll have our share of hits and misses along the way, dealing with the inevitable variance.    

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    In this space, we’ll be offering 10 total value plays for the upcoming slate, some to buy and some to fade. It’s a new season and a new series (beginner's guide for the DFS rookies); we welcome your feedback, and your own player recommendations in the comments. 

    The prices listed are from FanDuel. As always, make sure you double-check announced lineups and late-breaking news (including weather, especially tricky in April) before you commit to your starting choices. Buena suerte. 

    Players to Buy 

    Players to Fade