Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.
Note: With our football coverage in full swing, the Rundown will enter warp-speed mode through the rest of the baseball season.
Former '06 first-rounder Brandon Morrow is stretched and prepared to enter the Mariners rotation September 5 against the Yankees. Despite posting an ominous 6.51 ERA in 15.2 IP with Triple-A Tacoma, the electrifying 24-year-old is someone to reacquire in deeper leagues. After getting blasted in his final minor league tune-up (4.2 IP, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), rocky performances could be the norm initially according to Mariners skipper Jim Riggleman. Per MLB.com:
"You know Brandon has raised the bar pretty high in terms of velocity and results, so last night wasn't a great night for him," Riggleman said. "It's going to be a little bit of a hot-and-cold process. He was hot the one before, he wasn't as hot last night. The breaking ball wasn't as effective for him last night as it had been the previous outing, and we look for the next one and then we'll get him here."
Yes, trusting the unseasoned Morrow during the year's most crucial hour is an enhanced risk, but his mouthwatering 11.84 K/9 with the Rainers makes the pursuit worthwhile, especially for owners with comfortable leads in ERA and WHIP.
Equipped with an explosive 95-98 mph fastball, hard-biting slider, splitter and change, the Seattle flamethrower certainly has the stuff to thrive in his new role. However, given his unattractive 0.78 GB/FB ratio (37.2 GB%, 47.4 FB%), long-balls could be problematic away from the cavernous specs of Safeco. Still, most of Morrow's scheduled September starts are very favorable. After tussling with the Yankees Friday and the Angels in LA September 11, he finishes against the soft-hitting Royals (in KC) and A's twice (one away, one home).
Rostered in less than 10 percent of Y! leagues (9.8), Morrow has the stuff and matchups to make a Joban impact on your squad down the homestretch.
For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.
Other AL Double Dippers: None
TO CATCH A THIEF
Unrelated to the "Dateline NBC" predator stories, the "Rundown" investigates the best and worst base burglar matchups for the upcoming week. Stats reflect numbers through August 29:
FEAST OR FAMINE?
Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Scott Olsen is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through August 29:
Full Slate (teams with seven games): Atlanta, Detroit, San Diego, Washington