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.
Top Tampa prospect Wil Myers, who is crushing in Durham, call-up date June 1
Andy – OVER. Or LATER. Or...well, you know what I mean. Never bet on the Rays to make things easy on the fantasy community.
Brandon – OVER. The Rays are frugal, which means they'll likely look to avoid Super 2 status for Myers, which means prolonging his arbitration eligibility arrival. So look for Myers in mid-June, which should keep the Rays safe of the dreaded Super 2.
Scott – OVER. Tampa seems to have a "what, me worry?" approach to their start, though it's made more acceptable with James Loney waking up from the dead. See you in June, rookie.
Preseason darling Kris Medlen has recorded a mere 18 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched. Final K/9 for the hurler this season 6.75
Brandon – OVER. I've always been a Medlen fan, and he's been one who has seen his K totals gain steam as the season progresses. Since he's never had a K/9 rate below 6.94 in his career, I'll bet he brings his strikeout numbers up to a point that he finishes over 6.75.
Scott – OVER. I still love his approach, his mix, and his moxie. Sounds anecdotal, doesn't it? That's because it is. It's a gut call, sure. I still expect Medlen to figure it out.
Brad – OVER. Similar to Funbags, yours truly is also a card-carrying member of the Medlen fan club. His unwieldy command has been puzzling to say the least, but count on him rediscovering his groove in short order. He's simply too talented to be just mediocre.
Nate McLouth, the most popular outfield addition in Yahoo! leagues this week, combined homers/steals rest of the way 19.5
Scott – It's a good thing you invited me to the McLouth question, so I didn't have to crash it. Don't give me the AL-only silliness; he's a strong mixer play. He won't play against lefties but that's fine; you can plan ahead with that sort of thing, especially in daily pools. When he wants a bag, he takes it (career success rate: 86.2 percent). McLouth showed category juice in last year's 55-game sample in Baltimore, so this run isn't completely out of nowhere. Of course I'm going OVER on my boy.
Brad – OVER. Provided he isn't randomly mauled by a renegade tiger, the journeyman's chances of eclipsing this number are strong. He's solidified his standing as the Orioles' lead-off man, displaying a 91-plus contact percentage and willingness to run. Another 7-8 homers and 15-17 steals are certainly possible.
Dalton – OVER. He's playing over his head right now, and of course his .346 BA is going to come way down, but McLouth combined for 19 homers/steals over just 209 at-bats after joining Baltimore last season. He's been successful on 24 of his last 26 stolen base attempts and currently sports a 9:15 K:BB ratio.
Nolan Arenado, who cracked his first big league homer Monday, final rank among third basemen rest of season 12.5
Brad – UNDER. Feasting on Triple-A pitching is a simple exercise, especially at hitter-friendly Colorado Springs, but his bat should translate seamlessly to the next level. More aggressive at the dish, he is finally blossoming. Don't be surprised if he tallies numbers equivalent to Pablo Sandoval's this summer. Fearless Forecast (ROS): 500 at-bats, .285 BA, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 65 R, 1 SB
Dalton – OVER. I like Arenado, and Coors Field will really help, but I peg him around the 15th ranked third baseman from here on out. His power projects more as doubles than homers right now.
Andy – UNDER. He was called up early enough in the season that his year-end counting stats will look just fine. The talent is evident and the home park is friendly. Add and enjoy.
Andy – EVERTH. I'll take the defending NL champ in this showdown. We know he can reach 40-plus. I'm still forecasting 30-35 steals for Segura, so it's not like he's Brett Wallace.
Brandon – CABRERA. I went with Everth last time this question was posed, and I don't have a strong enough reason to change my initial opinion – Cabrera now has 53 SB in his past 142 games.
Scott –I'm a SEGURA believer now that he's parked at the top of the lineup, and if this were overall value (I know it isn't), he wins this in a romp. I wish I had any shares, but I worried too much about the bat batting slot in March. You win, kid.
Kevin Gregg, who miraculously is 4-for-4 in late-game opportunities, rest of season saves 15.5
Dalton – UNDER. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if he surpasses this number, but it's more likely he doesn't. Gregg hasn't finished with an ERA of 3.50 or lower or a WHIP of 1.30 or lower since 2008. It also sounds like Kyuji Fujikawa will return relatively soon. There's also incentive to build Carlos Marmol's trade value.
Andy – UNDER. C'mon. No way he locks down a closing gig — even a bad team's closing gig. Fujikawa should reenter the saves discussion at some point; he's nearly read for rehab appearances
Brandon – UNDER. Fujikawa, baby! (the less words said about Gregg, the better)
Fill in the blank: Hot-slugging third baseman Pedro Alvarez finishes with ______ homers and musters a _______ BA.
Brandon – "25" and ".233" batting average (his career clip)
Scott – "28: and ".239." But remember, in today's hack-heavy offensive environment, that's useful and playable in most leagues.
Brad – "27," ".241"
What struggling corner infielder will be less of a rest-of-season burden: Adam LaRoche, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Moustakas, Erik Hosmer or Ike Davis?
Scott – LAROCHE does this April rope-a-dope every year. He's locked into a deep lineup. Go with the proven resume.
Brad – IKE. Davis is quickly becoming the Adam Dunn of the NL. His epic swoons followed by power binges makes him tough to own, but he offers more HR/RBI upside than anyone else on this list. If you can stomach what will be a sub .250 BA, he should deliver another 23-25 long-balls and 70-plus RBI.
Dalton – DAVIS. I had Hosmer ranked slightly higher entering the season, but I'm officially worried about him. Not that Davis hasn't been horrendous to open the year, but he got off to a terribly slow start last season too before hitting 20 homers over 251 ABs after the All-Star break. He has the most power upside among this group.
Andrew Cashner, brilliant in his second start of the season allowing just one earned with five strikeouts against San Francisco, rest of season ERA 3.70
Brad – OVER. This is extremely close, but peg the finely-bearded starter for a rest-of-season ERA in the 3.85-3.90 range. His propensity for walks (3.72 BB/9) and homers (12.5 HR/FB%) will occasionally lead to unpalatable appearances, especially on the road.
Dalton – UNDER. Cashner walks too many batters to be a big asset in WHIP, but he throws extremely hard (average FB velocity is 96.6 mph for his career) and has combined a 25.0 K% with a 51.0 GB% this season. The 25 year old should only continue to improve, and I haven't even mentioned the fact he has Petco Park on his side. I'll say he finishes way under this mark.
Andy – UNDER, barely. In this case, the number is just slightly below NL-average, and I think Cashner has more than enough stuff to get there.
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one plug ‘n play pitcher: Travis Wood (vs. SD), Justin Grimm (vs. ChW), Jonathan Pettibone (vs. Mia), Mike Leake (at ChC)
Dalton – WOOD. He's been lucky so far this season, there's no question about that, but a matchup at home against a middling Padres lineup is a decent enough spot start. I could also see the case for Pettibone, as the Marlins offense has been historically bad so far and will be without Giancarlo Stanton.
Andy – LEAKE, pitching for his job, facing a lousy lineup.
Brandon – WOOD. The Padres have one of the league's worst OPS marks on the road, and they haven't been that good against lefties. And then there's the fact that Travis Wood is a perfect 5-for-5 in Quality Starts this season.
Scott – Take me to PETTIBONE JUNCTION because the Marlins can't hit, with or without Mikey Stanton. (Whisper to a Stream? We're never going to consider the Stream Police? Mike Damone was one of my heroes, Bradley.)
Brad - GRIMM. His -1.73 ERA vs. xFIP differential is a tell tale sign not to expect the status quo. However, his near 8.00 K/9, low walks yield (2.12 BB/9) and sterling groundball rate (48.1 GB%) offer plenty of encouragement. Considering the ChiSox are hitting just .216 as a team, he's definitely trustworthy.
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