Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: What's happened to Jason Heyward?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    It’s easy to see why fantasy players talk themselves into Jason Heyward. He carried a boatload of prospect buzz prior to making the majors at age 20. He posted some fantasy-useful seasons in Atlanta, especially 2012. He looks good in the uniform. He’s athletic and multi-talented, one of the best defensive players in the game (that’s why WAR loves him so much). 

    And when Heyward shifted teams last winter, it was the Cardinals making the call. If you made a short list of organizations you want to backline, St. Louis is on it. Heyward also was entering a contract year, if that angle means anything to you (it doesn’t always check out if you grade those things in bulk, but motivation obviously varies from player to player). 

    Are you buying, selling or holding on Heyward? Take the temperature and share it in the comments.

  • Daily Dime: Stephen Strasburg, Thursday start or fade?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    We've got six evening games to break down on the Thursday card. Be sure to check those lineups and weather reports carefully.   

    Here's my ten cents, worth less in Winnipeg. 

    The Big Name Fade

    Stephen Strasburg, SP, at NYM (deGrom), $9200: At some point Strasburg is going to find his form and throw some monster strikeout game at somebody. But for the moment, he’s a little off his game, strikeouts down, walks up. The Mets put the ball in play, eighth in walk rate and fifth in strikeout avoidance. I’ll spend my blue chips elsewhere, ask Strasburg to give me a prove-it game first. 

    Players to Buy 

    Daniel Norris, SP, at CLE (House), $5800: It’s been an up-and-down go for Norris, though he was very sharp in his last turn, a tough-luck no-decision against Tampa (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K). The Indians offense isn’t doing much against southpaws: .213 average (that ranks 25th), .623 OPS (27th). 

    Player to Fade

  • Closing Time: Can Joc Pederson offset his manager?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    Although I was well aware of Joc Pederson’s prospect file before this season, I didn’t go after him with any gusto in March. I was worried about the pretzel logic of his manager, Don Mattingly. Maybe the skipper would jerk Pederson in and out of the lineup. Maybe the manager would keep Pederson buried in the order. 

    Now we’re at the end of April, and I have zero Pederson shares. And that’s no fun.

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    Pederson was off to a snappy .296/.458/.556 start through his opening 20 games, though it all came at the bottom of the Los Angeles batting order. Peterson regularly slotted eighth for the Dodgers, and moved up to seventh on the days A.J. Ellis started. You know Mattingly and his veteran-loving ways. 

  • Daily Dime: Adam Lind against a rookie, Carlos Martinez against Philly

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    Another full slate of delicious DFS action. Be sure to check those  lineups  and  weather reports  carefully.    

    Here's my ten cents, worth less in some municipalities. 

    Players to Buy

    Adam Lind, 1B, at Cincinnati (Lorenzen), $3300 on Fan Duel: He’s made a career out of punishing right-handed pitching (.862 OPS), and here he takes dead aim against a 23-year-old pitcher making his Major League debut. Michael Lorenzen’s profile shows a lot of pitch-to-contact and spotty control (6.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9); rookie pitchers are guilty until proven innocent. 

    [It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball!]

    Players to Fade

  • Closing Time: The AL East shows its teeth again; J.A. Happ goes west

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    Hope you enjoyed the one-year respite with AL East offense. The division is reloaded and ready to pile on the runs. Fun place to hit, dangerous place to pitch. 

    The Red Sox and Blue Jays offered their nominal aces for Tuesday night’s game and it didn’t matter much; Toronto pounded out an 11-8 victory at Fenway Park. Clay Buchholz didn’t make it out of the third inning, and Drew Hutchison expired in the fifth. Jose Bautista clocked a home run that still hasn’t landed yet, and Josh Donaldson and Hanley Ramirez also went deep. (Ramirez completed the Hanley Hat Trick by making an error and being caught on the bases. Ah, Ramirezes in Boston, the gift that keeps on giving.)

    [It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball!]

    If you’re interested in a Happ purchase, he’s still available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues. He draws Houston (road) and Oakland (home) for his next two starts. 

  • Daily Dime: Buying Tyson Ross, fading Archie Bradley on Tuesday

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    Another heavy night of DFS action. Be sure to check those lineups and weather reports carefully.  

    Players to Buy 

    Tyson Ross, SP, vs. Houston (Hernandez), $8400 at FanDuel: The Astros are the easiest team to strike out, and Petco is obviously the best pitcher-park in the league. Ross loves the home cooking, that’s for sure: 2.03 ERA, 1.01 WHIP at the sandbox. He’s also drawing one of Houston’s weaker starting pitchers, giving him a better chance at those critical victory points.

    [It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball!]

    Players to Fade

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

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 9 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. 

    [It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball!]

    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 10 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. 

    [It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball!]

    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 11 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 12 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.