Scott Pianowski

  • Closing Time: We worry about Ryan Madson, we stump for Leonys Martin

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 16 hrs ago

    Ryan Madson ended up on a few of my rosters this March, and I feel fortunate through the first quarter of the season. He took control of an uncertain Oakland closing situation, racking up a quick 11 saves. He’s already earned far more than the buy-in cost.

    Nonetheless, the save chase being what it is, there’s some blood in the water. It might be a good time to move on from Madson (preferably in a trade), or a good time to speculate on a new Oakland closer in the near future. 

    Madson’s latest appearance was the messiest one, a blown save at Seattle on Tuesday night. He served up a nothing change to Leonys Martin, and Martin deposited it over the right-field fence. No doubter. Game over. Party in the streets, Funston. 

    Perhaps it’s not too late to get out while the selling is good. We are talking about a 35-year-old reliever, after all, and someone with a career ERA of 3.43. Good player, sure. Hardly a rock of gibraltar. 

  • Outfielder Shuffle Up: Mookie Betts, superhero

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    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 (hi, Buxton) 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.

    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.

    And remember the golden rule -- a player doesn't gain value because you like him, nor does he lose value because you don't like him.

    Prices now, comments later tonight. I reserve the right to make changes in this list during the first 24 hours. Win the debate, win the rank.

  • Matt Harvey: All questions, no answers

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    Here we are, the third week of May, and Matt Harvey has a 5.77 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. He’s torching your ratios. He’s frustrating you every five days. We know all the right questions, but it’s hard to find answers. 

    The Nationals kicked Harvey around Thursday night, collecting nine runs (six earned), knocking the Mets ace out in the third inning. New York’s shoddy defense didn’t help. 

    Let’s be fair about this, Washington’s offense doesn’t present a nightmare matchup, not in 2016. The Nats are 19th in weighted on-base average, 19th in weighted runs created, 19th in offensive WAR. For all the wonderful stuff we say about Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy (homer Thursday), this is a lineup with holes all over it.

    At some point, someone on the Mets going to blame the mechanics. That’s what pitchers do, that’s what coaches do, that’s what organizational mouthpieces do. It’s the mechanics, right?

    - Rajai Davis (19 percent, going off at top of Cleveland order)

  • Closing Time: Will Harris underrated in Houston

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    Like many things in the Houston dugout this year, Luke Gregerson has been less than expected. He’s already blown three saves, and his 3.86 ERA is higher than expected. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate modestly down. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll be holding the Astros closing gig all season.

    What the Astros might do if Gregerson needed a break, that’s open to question. Ken Giles is the big name because of what the team traded to acquire him in the offseason, but Will Harris has been the eighth-inning sheriff — and the much better pitcher this year. 

    Let’s go to the stats. Giles is still stuck with a 6.61 ERA and 1.65 WHIP, though he hasn’t been scored upon in his last six appearances. Mostly, he’s been hurt by four home-run balls. His K/BB rate is starting to get where we want it, even with the occasional touch of wildness: 21 punchouts against seven walks. He’s still making the radar gun pop in the 96 mph range. 

    Your call, save chaser. Your call, innings chaser. What’s your take in Houston? 

  • Closing Time: The Last Days of Tolleson

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 7 days ago

    I had some viewing options late on a Tuesday night. Ultimately it came down to two choices on the dish.  

    Somewhere in the 500s, I could watch The Last Days of Disco. It’s a talky bunch of ennui about 20-somethings too early for a mid-life crisis, the end of the Studio 54 era. Whit Stillman being who he is, the story bounces around a bit. It ends, optimistically, with a sing-along of Love Train

    Somewhere in the 700s, I could watch The Last Days of Tolleson. A high-scoring game between the Rangers and Athletics, ultimately capped by another train wreck in the Texas bullpen. It ends happily for the Oakland home folks, with a sing-along of Celebration

    This being a baseball column, we’ll focus on the scene in Oakland. 

    He’s available to 53 percent of Yahoo seasonal owners, and 100 percent of DFS owners willing to chase the story. Let's swing for the seats. 

  • Starting Pitcher Shuffle Up: Jose Quintana catches a break

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 8 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 (hi, Berrios) 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.

    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.

    And remember the golden rule -- a player doesn't gain value because you like him, nor does he lose value because you don't like him.

    Prices now, comments later tonight. I reserve the right to make changes in this list during the first 24 hours. Win the debate, win the rank.

  • Fantasy Freak Show: Odor fallout, cutting Gomez and Wainwright

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    They're fighting in Texas. They're striking out in Houston and Detroit. They're getting cuffed around in St. Louis. We have much to discuss. 

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    Rougned Odor, Carlos Gomez, Adam Wainwright and Justin Upton are some of the headliners today. Funston and Pianow are here to help. 

    Give it a listen, make it a habit

    And dig our iTunes and RSS feeds

  • Optimal Lineups for Sunday DFS Baseball

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Before finalizing rosters, be sure to watch the weather and stay on top of MLB lineups. Two of our experts are taking a shot with Sunday's slate... 

    Dalton Del Don

    Scott Pianowski 

    SP Kevin Gausman, $39, vs. Detroit SP Danny Duffy, $30, vs. Atlanta C Steven Vogt, $8, at TB (Moore) 1B Hanley Ramirez, $18, vs. Hou (Devenski) 2B Dustin Pedroia, $18, vs. Houston (Devenski) 3B Josh Donaldson, $24, at Texas (Ramos) SS Didi Gregorius, $10, vs. Chicago (Gonzalez) OF Jackie Bradley, $21, vs. Houston (Devenski) OF Jose Bautista, $18, at Texas (Ramos) OF Brock Holt, $13, vs. Houston (Devenski)

    Went with cheaper pitchers so I could get two stacks I wanted — the Red Sox at home against a pitcher with a short resume, and two major Blue Jays against a lefty. Such a strategy forced me to go punt at catcher and shortstop, which I was willing to do. My secondary lineup will have De La Rosa, like D3; it looks like De La Rosa is finally figuring out how to retire lefty batters, the only hurdle to a major breakout season. 

  • Closing Time: Another mess for Dallas Keuchel

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 12 days ago

    Score one for Dustin Pedroia, pitching coach. Boston’s veteran middle infielder spotted a minor and correctable flaw in David Price’s mechanics last week, and the fix was a smash in Thursday’s romp over Houston. Price worked into the seventh inning, allowed just six hits and one walk, gave up run, struck out 12. Take another big name off the restricted list. There’s not much to talk about here. Price still has to deal with a tricky park and division, but we’ll sign off on him going forward.  

    Dallas Keuchel, you ask? Ah, that’s the rub. Keuchel was a mess once again, and he’s one of the trickier calls on the current pitcher board. 

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    Keuchel’s allowing a .349 hit rate on balls in play, as batters as hitting the ball much harder against him than they did last year. The ERA estimators suggest he’s been a little unlucky, but not grossly so: a 4.04 FIP or a 3.77 xFIP wouldn’t match what you expected in March. 

  • Strikeout Time: Scherzer and Pomeranz combine for 30 punchouts

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 13 days ago

    I try not to lead this column with stupendous feats done by the universally owned, but sometimes you can’t avoid it. 

    Hey, Max Scherzer struck out 20 Tigers. Go add Max Scherzer! 

    Scherzer’s the fourth member of the 20-strikeout club (Roger Clemens did it twice; Kerry Wood — in the best game I’ve ever seen pitched — and Randy Johnson did it once). Scherzer didn’t walk anyone, and he got to 20 strikeouts in the midst of a competitive, stressful 3-2 victory. No cruise control in this one.  

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    Pomeranz’s next two starts are a home-and-home with San Francisco, matching up with Johnny Cueto. Sounds like appointment viewing to me.