With Jeter nearly back in the saddle, many owners are willing to bed the 13-time All-Star. (USAT)
Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders this week.
Derek Jeter, who Joe Girardi said Monday 'has a chance' to return this weekend, rank among shortstops from activation on 9.5
Andy – UNDER. But really, that's just an indictment of the position, not a strong endorsement of Jeter. We still have to deal with injury risk here, and Jeter won't offer a ton of power or speed. However, I still think he can out-rank guys like Hardy and Alexei rest-of-season, and that should be enough to land him ninth.
Dalton – OVER. Jeter is 39 years old coming off a serious injury playing a taxing position. Shortstop isn't the deepest position, but there are easily 15 of them I'd prefer to Jeter from here on out.
Brandon – UNDER, meaning inside the top 10. Let's face it, it wasn't a terribly difficult feat to be among the first-half top 10 at the SS position, as four of them ranked outside the top 160 in the Y! game – last season Jeter ranked No. 51 in the Y! game.
Matt Garza, rumored to find future employment the Nationals, Indians, Dodgers, Red Sox or Rangers, rest of season ERA 3.69
Dalton – UNDER. Obviously this depends on whether he's dealt to the NL or AL, but I'm a believer in Garza's stuff either way. Over his past five starts, he has a 0.97 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with a 34:8 K:BB ratio over 37.0 innings. It appears he's now healthy.
Brandon – OVER. He's a career 3.80 guy, but all three of his seasons in the AL resulted in ERA marks above this number, and I feel like there's a better chance that he's returning to the league with the DH. Either way, he's still likely to return solid value given the always strong K rate.
Brad – UNDER. Garza's final destination will obviously play into this, but assuming he doesn't bake under the hot Texas sun, he's very capable of landing well-below the proposed number. If his combination of long-balls (1.12 HR/9) and fly-balls (0.93 HR/FB) don't overtake, expect a rest of season line around 70-6-3.50-1.18-68.
Ike Davis, recently recalled from his brief banishment to the minors, rest of season big flies 9.5
Brandon – OVER. Nothing like a trip to Triple-A Las Vegas to get some confidence back. He hit 20 home runs post-break after a mostly miserable first half last year. Can he have at least half of that turnaround this year? I'll say yes, but just barely.
Brad – OVER. Davis' first-half reeked of expired meat, but if his sharpened eye from Triple-A carries over, he should crack at least another dozen homers. Recall after a horrible start last year he blasted 15 homers over the season's second-half. A repeat could be in the cards. Reacquire if you need a power pick-me-up.
Scott – OVER, easy. They'll play him. The respite in Las Vegas did wonders for his swing and most of all, his confidence. Heck, he's even stealing bases now. This is the perfect type of gamble to take if you're in the second division and need to make something happen.
PICK-UP or PASS (12-team mixer): Marlins OF Logan Morrison (20-percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Brad – PASS. With three homers and six RBI already this month Morrison is sizzling on South Beach. Still, you'll be fortunate to get another 5-7 homers and 20-25 RBI out of him the rest of the way. That isn't much category juice at an overloaded position in mixers.
Andy – In a mixer? PASS. He's eligible only at the deepest fantasy positions, his team's lineup is something less than ideal, and he doesn't really excel in any standard category. No thanks.
Scott – Fine, I'll be the other guy. This is a PICK UP. Morrison is showing some pop and he's always had a terrific sense of the strike zone. And is first base really that deep? Go look at the ownership levels on guys like Konerko, Loney and Berkman. Keep an open mind to LoMo, he can help you - honest.
Rajai Davis, who's blazed the basepaths with Melky Cabrera sidelined, rest of season steals 14.5
Scott – OVER, because he'll run every time he gets on base. Playing time becomes cloudy if Melky Cabrera returns soon, but Davis always finds a way into roto relevance, yearly.
Andy – OVER. The man has topped 40 steals in three separate seasons. I'm not betting against him.
Dalton – OVER. It certainly doesn't take an everyday job for him to be an impact on the base paths. In fact, Davis has recorded one steal per 9.17 at-bats throughout his career.
Raking Raul's 22 homers might be the biggest surprise of the season (USAT)
BELIEVE or MAKE BELIEVE. Upon activation, Troy Tulowitzki doesn't miss another game this year and reclaims his seat on the shortstop throne, producing the best numbers at the position down the homestretch.
Andy – Partially BELIEVE. Obviously he's not going to play every game for the remainder of the year. The Rockies will give him a day or two at some point. But I'd rank him at the top of his position rest-of-season, without hesitation.
Dalton – MAKE BELIEVE. It's entirely possible Tulowitzki is the best fantasy shortstop upon his return, but it's also a huge long shot he doesn't miss another game.
Brandon – MAKE BELIEVE. I actually believe he'll produce the best numbers at the position down the stretch, but not missing a game the rest of the way? C'mon, this is Tulo we are talking about.
At 41 years-young, Raul Ibanez, seemingly doing backstrokes in the Fountain of Youth, rest of season bleacher shots 11.5
Dalton – UNDER. Ibanez deserves a ton of credit for what he's accomplished so far, but I'm not betting on the 41-year-old keeping a 24-homer season pace from here on out.
Brandon – OVER. He's definitely been dipped in the fountain of youth – his eight home runs against southpaws is already his second-best tally against southpaws in his career.
Brad – OVER. When Ibanez broke into the league in 1996, the Noise was getting rejected by homely girls at his senior prom. Though stiff arms by the opposite sex toward yours truly haven't changed, the fact he's still cranking big flies 17 years later is nothing short of extraordinary. Sporting a ridiculous .303 ISO, he should easily go yard another 12-plus times.
Expected to be recalled for Thursday's start against Boston, predict Erasmo Ramirez's line in his 2013 debut.
Brandon – 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Brad – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K, ND
Scott – 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K, ND.
Fill in the Blank: Tyler Skaggs, who could be a permanent part of the D'Backs rotation with no timetable set for Trevor Cahill's return, tallies ______ wins, a _______ ERA and ________ K/9 over ________ innings the rest of the way.
Brad – 6-3.80-7.8-67. And that's likely a conservative estimate. Pitch like he did against Colorado ... SP3.
Scott – 5-3.82-7.5-68. Pick and choose your spots.
Andy – 5-3.72-7.5-65. Useful, in other words, but not dominant.
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one minimally owned plug 'n play: Jake Westbrook (vs. ChC), Wade Miley (at Mil), Jonathan Pettibone (at ChW) or Charlie Morton (vs. NYM)
Scott – Give me MORTON. Maybe I'm just in the mood for a steak. Although the Mets have scored a few more runs than you might think, that .235/303/.378 slash line provides a cushy backdrop.
Andy – WESTBROOK, please. I'm gonna go ahead and take the pitcher employed by the .609 team, facing the Cubs.
Dalton – MILEY. He has the best track record (and was easily drafted the highest among this group) and hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past seven starts.
Brandon – WESTBROOK. He's at home, where he's allowed 1 ER in 29 IP, and that includes seven innings with no earned runs against the Cubs in mid-June.
Brad – MORTON. Westbrook is the obvious choice, but fading the majority often works in this little prediction game. The righty has just one win in five turns, but look for him to double that number against an offensively-challenged Mets squad. Pittsburgh's 'We Are Family' vibe is infectious.
Thirsty for more advice? Listen to 'The Fantasy Freak Show' this Friday at 8 PM ET, 5 PM PT on Yahoo! Sports Radio
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