Scott Pianowski

  • Daily Dime: L.A. lefties, Seattle righties

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 hrs ago

    I’m not going to sell you on Max Scherzer or Coors Field (weather permitting), I suspect you can get there on your own. Let’s look for some names under the surface. As always, consider the lineups and the forecasts before you make your final DFS decisions.  

    Brett Anderson, SP, vs. PHI (Billingsley), $7900 on Fan Duel: Although Anderson is the highest Tuesday favorite by a mile, he’s merely the No. 11 pitcher by price. The Phillies do better against lefties than they do against righties, but it still washes out as the No. 28 offense in scoring. If you like the pitcher, you run to this matchup. Anderson is in fine form, with a 1.61 ERA over his last four starts (three of them victories). 

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  • Closing Time: Welcome to Juan Uribe Week

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 14 hrs ago

    You could add Juan Uribe for the clubhouse chemistry, or for the hot bat he’s swinging. The tie breaker should be the schedule. 

    When we last talked about Uribe, he was the 36-year-old third baseman creating a multi-car pileup in Los Angeles. The Dodgers traded Uribe to Atlanta in late May, essentially to open up time for Justin Turner (and not Alex Guerrero, as I suspected). Uribe had a .596 OPS at the time, so no one thought too much about it.

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    Uribe’s first 35 games in Atlanta have been fun: .305/.364/.500, six homers. He knocked three out of the park last week and had a couple of hits in Monday’s victory over Milwaukee. He’s the No. 10 third baseman in Yahoo leagues over the last two weeks. 

    The payoff to the story should be later this week, when Atlanta heads to Coors Field for a four-game junket. Thin air, the cure to all that ails us. The Rockies have a 5.42 ERA at home, the gasoline alley of the majors. No other pitching staff is close. 

  • Daily Dime: J.D. Martinez in the D, Brian Dozier against a lefty

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away. Check that weather, run some lineups, set your dream team. We're here to help. 

    J.D. Martinez, OF, vs. TOR (Estrada), $4300: He’s had a pretty good 22-game run, wouldn’t you say? It adds up to a .360/.396/.849 slash line, with 13 homers and 32 RBIs. Martinez’s best output this year has come at home (.983 OPS) and against right-handed pitching (.572 slugging percentage). Take some hacks in The D. Marco Estrada generally keeps the ball in the air, too. 

    Gerardo Parra, OF, at CIN (Leake), $3000: Life is better with a little Rico Suave in your life. Parra carries a zesty .824 OPS against righties this year, and over the last month he’s a .356/.500/.525 man, with four homers and five steals. How is this cat owned in just 19 percent of Yahoo seasonal leagues? Did you lose your password? Start clicking, clickers. 

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  • Closing Time: Kyle Gibson's steady improvement

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    For all the time a young player spends working out, practicing and honing his craft, there’s no substitute for experience. It still stands as the best teacher, the concept of learning on the job, making mistakes, adjusting the approach, growing into the gig. 

    With that in mind, we present to you the case of Kyle Gibson, third-year pitcher with the Twins. Maybe things are starting to clear up for him.

    Although Gibson was the 22nd pick in his draft class six years ago, his first trip around the majors was a rocky one. He posted a 6.53 ERA in 10 starts two years back, and modestly improved (4.47 ERA) in a full season last year. He wasn’t on anyone’s mixed-league radar entering 2015. 

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  • Closing Time: The Ian Kinsler problem

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    Name brands tend to die hard in fantasy leagues, which is why Ian Kinsler still holds a 95-percent Yahoo tag and a lofty ranking on many industry boards. But I know he’s available in one of my eight Yahoo leagues. 

    And he’s there because I dropped him . And heck, I was just kicking the tires (sorry, we kick a lot of tires here) after someone else dropped him a few weeks back. 

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    Kinsler turned 33 in the middle of June, and second base sure seems like a position where it gets late early. All the attrition, all those pivots. Kinsler’s 2014 Detroit debut had plenty of category juice and was driven by full-season volume, but let’s also acknowledge he’s just a .270/.314/.397 hitter since joining the Tigers. The bat doesn’t look so special anymore. He's walking more this year, but the average and power are depressed. So are fantasy owners. 

    I can guarantee you I’m not going old at second base next year. The keystone race is to the swift. 

  • Closing Time: We had a better headline, but Cesar Hernandez stole it

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    In the Tuesday Closing Time, we went with a soft sell of Cesar Hernandez. In the current edition, we’ll amp things up a bit. 

    He keeps running, so we keep writing. 

    When it comes to fantasy specialists, there’s a low barrier to relevance. Anyone who is collecting saves for a major-league club is worth rostering in most fantasy leagues, even if the other stats are dodgy (the good old Mesa Mandate). It isn’t quite that simple with offensive players, but if someone is capable of running aggressively when they reach base, we’ll overlook some other stuff. 

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    And heck, maybe Hernandez will settle into a role even when Utley returns. Here’s what interim manager Pete Mackanin had to say about Hernandez on Tuesday - head over to the Phillies team site

    It’s about time the 2015 Mariners got a break. 

  • Daily Dime: Can Billy Hamilton outrun the raindrops?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    I’m not going to point you to Chris Sale for Tuesday night. If you can’t build that case on your own, there’s no hope. Let’s see if we can support him with some other plays, and give you alternatives if you need to go contrarian, here and there.

    Study the lineups, consider the weather. Let's get to it. 

    Billy Hamilton, OF, vs. MIN (Hughes), $3000: He’s been on a stealing rampage this month, and he’s set to lead off for the second straight game. Phil Hughes is nothing special when it comes to stopping the running game. There’s some rain in the forecast, but if things look clear around opening pitch, Hamilton is a dynamic play at a modest cost. 

    Josh Phegley, C, vs. COL (De La Rosa), $3100: Here’s the best-kept secret at the catcher position, someone who’s mashed to a .362/.423/.617 line against lefties. Colorado's De La Soul is a southpaw, so if Phegley is in the Oakland lineup, he’s in my lineup. 

  • Opening Time: Kendall Graveman's sinker is on the rise

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    A lot of pundits have picked on the A’s for the Josh Donaldson trade, and you can count me in that group. But any transaction where you acquire Kendall Graveman can’t be so bad. 

    Graveman’s first go-round in Oakland was rocky - he had an 8.27 ERA at the end of April. But Oakland stuck with the rookie right-hander and rewards have followed: a 4-2 record over eight starts, with a 2.01 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Graveman threw seven bagels at the Rockies on Monday, then watched the bullpen finish off the 7-1 laugher. 

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    Pitching to contact is a major chunk of the Graveman story. He has a modest 37 strikeouts (against 14 walks) over the 53.2 quality innings he’s given us the last two months, something that could be a deal breaker in some leagues that cap your starts or innings. He throws his sinker about half the time and induces a ground ball on 47 percent of his batted balls, obviously a good thing. 

  • Shuffle Up: J.D. Martinez, the real deal

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    The assignment on the docket is outfielders. What's happened to this point is merely an audition. How should we rank the Yahoo-eligible outfielders, 5x5 value, if the season started right now?

    A few rules. Catcher-eligibles who also qualify in the outfield are ignored. I don't rank anyone in the minors - you can decide what they're worth to you. And while I do rank injured players, I'm not going to debate those ranks. It's not my back, my wrist, or my surgery, and I've found over the years that almost everyone is far more optimistic about long-term injury returnees than I am.

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    The dollar values are unscientific, and merely provided as a tool to compare the players at the same position (I wouldn't suggest you use them to compare players at different positions). Groups of players at the same price are considered even. 

    Game on. 

    Brantley and Puig are two more players I'm treading carefully on, concerned about how healthy they may or may not be.

  • Daily Dime: Exes (Bogaerts) and Ohs (Odor) on a Monday

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    Run the lineups, check the weather, nod to Elle King, assemble your dream team. Let's get to it...

    Rougned Odor, 2B, at BAL (Norris), $2600: There have been three distinct portions of Odor’s season: the awful five weeks that forced a demotion (.486 OPS), the ballistic month at Triple-A where he restored his confidence (1.065 OPS), and the snappy 12 games since he returned (.395/.442/.632, two homers, four steals). The Rangers are using Odor at the top of the lineup more often than not these days, and I have to assume he sticks there Monday, off a three-hit game and facing the ordinary Bud Norris. The backdrop of Camden Yards is also a plus. Even if Odor were into the 3K range, I’d strongly consider him. At this bargain cost, it’s an easy punch. 

    I’d like to see more of the seasonal players jumping in, too. Odor is the No. 6 second baseman in Yahoo over the last two weeks, but he’s still free to add in 71 percent of leagues. Get to work.