Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: Trevor Rosenthal on alert in St. Louis

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 21 hrs ago

    You can fix a sandwich. You can fix a television set. Maybe you can even fix a soccer match. 

    Can the Cardinals fix closer Trevor Rosenthal? That remains to be seen.

    Rosenthal’s been a mess for most of the year, and the mess continued Friday at Seattle. Asked to protect a two-run lead in the ninth, he quickly blew up. Kyle Seager smoked a double. Dae-Ho Lee worked a walk. And then Adam Lind ended the proceedings, crushing a low fastball into the right-field seats, a no-doubter all the way

    Although Rosenthal is a reasonable 14-for-17 on save conversions this year, that doesn’t mean he’s pitching well. He’s carrying an ugly 5.63 ERA and 2.04 WHIP. His strikeout rate was ridiculous in April, but it’s fallen for two straight months. He’s walked 21 batters (none of them intentional) over 24 innings.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now!]

  • Closing Time: Mark Reynolds, summer rental

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    Ten years into the Mark Reynolds experience, we should have a good idea of what he is — and what he is not. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a fantasy story worth kicking around here. 

    Reynolds has seen more of the USA than Rand McNally. He’s cashed a check from seven teams over his career, and only two of those stops were more than one season. It’s the takeaway from Everybody Wants Some — here for a good time, not for a long time.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now!]

    When it comes to Coors Field, everybody certainly wants some (you want some, too). Reynolds has been useful in his partial role this year, a .290/.357/.455 slash with seven homers in 224 at-bats. And things get especially interesting if you have the flexibility to take the center cut of his production, to use Reynolds at his best. 

  • Closing Time: Trevor Bauer's breakout is finally here

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    When the 2016 season opened, Trevor Bauer wasn’t even in the Cleveland starting rotation. Now it looks like he’s finally giving us a breakout season that we’ve been dreaming about for five years.

    Bauer came to professional baseball with a ton of hype, the third pick in the 2011 amateur draft. Decorated kid from UCLA, made radar guns pop. The first year he qualified for the inner-circle prospect rankings, everyone had him in the Top 12. 

    When Bauer’s quick run through the minors was merely good, not outstanding, we made excuses for him. Maybe he’s bored. Maybe he’ll actually be better at the top level of competition. Bauer eventually debuted with the Diamondbacks in 2012, a mountain of expectations at age 21. 

    Bauer was forced into the Cleveland rotation in late April, a replacement needed when Carlos Carrasco suffered a hamstring injury. His first two turns were ordinary, but consider what he’s done over the last nine starts: 2.56 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. He’s striking out just under a batter per inning, and he’s giving us more than three whiffs for every walk.

  • Closing Time: Moving on from Ben Revere, Gerardo Parra

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 3 days ago

    Much of the fantasy chase in this column is about who to pick up, who to trade, who to target, who to embrace. But sometimes we have to flip the script and talk about who to get rid of, who to kick to the curb.  

    Ben Revere and Gerardo Parra, come on down.

    The obvious disclaimers apply to any fantasy discussion — it’s all contextual and your league shape and team needs will drive decisions, yada yada yada. You’re going to have to season this to taste, somewhat. I’d like to assume you go into every column with that disclaimer well in mind, but every so often it bears repeating. 

    Okay, back to our curbside outfielders, who are both owned in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Let's fix those bloated ownership tags.  

    Not much has gone Revere’s way this season. He suffered an oblique injury on opening day and missed a month, and he hasn’t hit a lick since returning (.206/.256/.271, one homer). Other than seven steals, he’s been just about worthless as a fantasy player. He took another collar in Tuesday’s loss at Los Angeles. 

    Joe Smith, the nominal understudy, is currently on the DL with a hamstring injury. Cam Bedrosian might be worth a look in deeper pools.

  • Fantasy Baseball starting pitcher values in latest Shuffle Up

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    Today we tackle the big one, the elusive one, the erratic one, those maddening starting pitchers...

    The idea is 5x5 value for rest of season. What's happened to this point is merely an audition. I didn't rank anyone on the DL, or anyone in the minors. Everyone seems to be more optimistic on injury returnees and hot prospects than I am.

    The prices are unscientific in nature, and players at the same price are considered even. I'm just looking for a way to show the pockets of value as I see them. I don't look at old prices when I construct these -- it's all from scratch. I don't even see the point of looking back there; live in the present, look to the future.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now!]

    I welcome your respectful disagreement. Obviously you will feel passionate about what you don't agree with, that's why we have a game. The discussion can be deep and illuminating if you want it to be.

  • Freak Show Pod: Cavs, Cardinals, Contreras

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    Yes, we're smack-dab in the middle of the fantasy baseball season, and we talk a lot of hardball on this episode, as usual. But the opening segment begins with NBA talk. Some stories are too big to ignore. 

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    Listen in for a wrap on the NBA Finals, Brandon Funston's brush with pro basketball greatness, and a talk about the fantasy values of Kevin Love, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. We'll then transition to the diamond, where hot topics are Willson Contreras, the Cardinals bullpen, and Pianow's ongoing (and perhaps misguided) love affair with Michael Taylor. After the break, it's all pickups, all the time. 

    Give it a listen, you might just like it 

    And dig our iTunes and RSS feeds

  • DFS Sunday: The two Jake deGroms

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    Watch the lineups and weather, set a DFS lineup, watch them go.  

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    Dalton Del Don 

    SP Jacob deGrom, vs. Atl, $50 SP Gio Gonzalez, at SD, $41 C Stephen Vogt, vs. LAA (Weaver), $13 1B Adrian Gonzalez, vs. Mil (Garza), $14 2B Starlin Castro, at Min (Santana), $12 3B Travis Shaw, vs. Sea (Walker), $12 SS Addison Russell, vs. Pit (Taillon), $12 OF Yoenis Cespedes, vs. Atl (Teheran), $16 OF Giancarlo Stanton, vs. Col (Anderson), $14 OF Joc Pederson, vs. Mil (Garza), $16 The Mets are big favorites, and Gonzalez seems like a bargain pitching in Petco Park. Stanton’s price has officially reached rock bottom. 

    Scott Pianowski

     

  • Closing Time: Colby Lewis can't lose

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 days ago

    If you saw this Colby Lewis story coming, you’re a better man than I. It didn’t take me long to discount him before the season. 

    Although Lewis posted 17 wins last year, I didn’t see a lot of fantasy worth tied to the story. A 4.66 ERA doesn’t play in any format, and his strikeout rate tumbled to 6.24/9 last year. His ERA was over 5 in the previous year, and he was stepping into his age-36 season. With a fastball in the high 80s, this had “must avoid” written all over it. 

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now]

    Fast forward to the middle of this season, which has been mostly sunshine and lollipops for Lewis. He’s off to a 6-0 start with a 2.81 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, making a strong push for the AL All-Star team. The best start of all came Thursday at Oakland, when Lewis took a no-hit bit into the ninth inning at Oakland. He eventually settled for a two-hit complete game, cruising to win No. 6 (1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). 

  • Middle Infield Shuffle Up: Ian Desmond makes good

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    Rest-of-season value is what we're after. What’s happened to this point is merely an audition.

    Today, we rank all those eligible at middle infield (second base, shortstop).

    Assume a 5x5 scoring system. Players in the minors or on the DL do not get ranked. I’ll add comments Friday, and reserve the right to make some changes. Win the discussion, win the rank.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now]

    If you have disagreement, I’m all ears — so long as you have a reason. Remember not to add or dock value from the players just because you like them, dislike them, roster them, etc.

    $30 Jose Altuve $28 Xander Bogaerts $28 Ian Kinsler $28 Manny Machado $26 Robinson Cano $25 Carlos Correa $24 Ian Desmond $22 Ben Zobrist $22 Daniel Murphy $21 Francisco Lindor $20 Corey Seager $20 Jonathan Villar $20 Matt Carpenter

  • Closing Time: Adam Wainwright rebounds, Mallex Smith runs

    Scott Pianowski at Scott Pianowski for Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    There are all sorts of things to admire about Adam Wainwright, St. Louis right-hander. Hard worker. Good teammate. Solid hitter. And for many years, a reliable fantasy option — hell, many years, an ace.

    Until the opening weeks of 2016, mind you. That’s when it all went poof. But Wainwright appears to be back on the beam, pitching to a high level in June.

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    Wainwright didn’t receive a decision in Thursday’s loss to Houston, but it was hardly his fault. He threw seven clean innings at the Astros (4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K), taking his ERA under 5 in the process. He has a 1.80 ERA in June, with a snappy 21 strikeouts against just five walks.

    Anyway, now is your time. Now is your Mallex Moment. Make the add in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues. ( Your 2 pm ET update : Smith has stolen yet another bag. This is not a test, this is the real thing. Please add him. And Behrens, please drop him.)