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.
What the Buck?! Rest of season long-balls for possessed Mets catcher John Buck 14.5. Also, rank the following backstops in power terms ROS: Buck, Wilin Rosario, J.P. Arencibia
Dalton – UNDER. This was a tough one for me, as Buck definitely has pop, and I acknowledge his start to the year may be more than just a small sample fluke when it comes to home runs. But he plays catcher (he's reached 410 at-bats just once during his career), so I'll say he finishes with around 23-24 homers this season. Even including his scorching start to the year, Buck's career SLG is .411.
Scott – UNDER, and Buck is the lowest option on this list (Arencibia first, Rosario second). We can't throw everything we know about Buck in the shredder.
Andy – UNDER. Maybe not by a lot, though. I would have laughed off this question two weeks ago. Rest of season, gimme JP, then Wilin, then Buck.
With Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey disabled, BoSox backup Junichi Tazawa season total saves 9.5
Scott – UNDER. With so many capable candidates in this bullpen, the baton might be passed around a few times.
Andy – UNDER. Bailey and Hanrahan aren't dead, just dinged. I don't think Tazawa will run away with the job.
Brandon – UNDER. I'm betting that Uehara will get the occasional spot save chance, and when Hanrahan and Bailey come off the DL, Tazawa will return to third in line.
Miami miracle Kevin Slowey, one of the most added commodities in Yahoo! leagues this week, rest of season ERA 3.99
Andy – UNDER. I mean, that's actually worse than league-average for the N.L. He doesn't even have to be particularly good in order to beat this number.
Brandon – UNDER. He always felt like a pitcher that belonged in the NL, and he's certainly looked the part in his first month in the senior circuit. Slowey has altered his pitch offerings a bit from the past and it seems to be helping. As is Marlins Park, which suppresses the long ball. So, while regression will certainly happen, I don't think it'll be "over 3.99 ERA" drastic.
Brad – UNDER. Let Slow lead you to the dough, deep leaguers. His 3.80 xFIP is a bit concerning, but his other secondary stats sparkle. The man doesn't walk guys, has missed more bats and is benefited by a pitcher-friendly home park. Wins will be a rarity, but he should continue to be a godsend in the ratios department.
Combined rest of season homers/steals for under-owned (43-percent) Bravos shortstop Andrelton Simmons 16.5
Brandon – UNDER. Surprisingly, I think it's the SB count that will hurt him here. He's just not running much for the Braves (3 attempts in 79 games since last season). And while his power is developing, it won't be enough to carry him over this mark.
Brad – UNDER. Speaking as a Simmons supporter in NL LABR, I would love nothing more for him to exceed the above number. However, he projects as a high single-digit home run hitter and, with only a pair of attempts on the season, low double-digit base stealer. He'll be close but an additional 4-5 HRs and 8-10 SBs seems most likely.
Dalton – UNDER. Again, a close one. Simmons is a terrific commodity for the Braves, as he might be the most valuable defensive player in baseball. But his seven homers over 273 major league at-bats have already eclipsed his career total of six during 930 minor league ABs, and he's not a prolific base stealer. So I say he falls just short of this number.
Hot Corner Hoedown. Which third basemen would you rather roster rest of season: Josh Donaldson, Yuniesky Betancourt, Kyle Seager or Nolan Arenado.
Dalton – ARENADO. Donaldson is looking more and more legit, but Arenado has both the most room for growth and is in the best situation. Coors Field becomes even more so a hitter's park during the hotter summer months.
Scott – Just to rile everyone up, I'd love to say Betancourt. I'm always sentimental to the Wiggys. But the right answer here is SEAGER: line-drive bat, and he's been around the block once already.
Andy – ARENADO, easy. Brad obviously loaded this field with pushovers (Seager aside), because he wants us all to pick his guy. Arenado offers the highest ceiling, plus he'll do his home hitting in the friendliest park.
Snake in the grass, Patrick Corbin, who’s surrendered just eight earned in 40.0 IP, final ERA 3.50
Brad – UNDER. His 3.69 xFIP would suggest Derrick Rose has better odds of returning to the Bulls than the D'Back does staying under the proposed number, but his other peripherals suggest otherwise. His 3.20 K/BB and 1.32 GB/FB are outstanding. If he keeps the ball in the park, a problem he had last year, his final ERA should land in the 3.30-3.40 range.
Dalton – UNDER. I certainly didn't see this coming, but Corbin has impressed (20.1 K%, 6.3 BB%, 1.32 GB/FB). Both his fastball and slider velocities are up, and even calling Chase Field home, he looks likes a strong fantasy option. And even if he posts a 3.75 ERA from here on out, he already has a 1.80 ERA banked through 40.0 innings this season
Scott – UNDER. This is reason #51 you don't have to overly chase pitching on draft day, you can always find stuff for free.
Since April 27, former top prospect Dominic Brown, owned in just over a quarter of Yahoo! leagues, has clubbed four homers. Homers from this point forward for the outfielder 17.5
Scott – UNDER. Are we sure Charlie Manuel has completely bought in? Brown wasn't exactly Dave Kingman in the minors, either.
Andy – UNDER. I'm just gonna see if I can go under on everything here. Brown is a talent, but not necessarily a special power source. His single-season minor league HR high was 20. He'd need perfect health to reach this total.
Brandon – OVER. He'd have to average a HR a little every seven games the rest of the way, which is doable, but I think it'll be very close since he's not much of a fly-ball hitter.
R.A. Dickey, pounded of late allowing 14 earned in his past 19 IP, final ERA 4.30
Andy – One of the best numbers Brad has selected all year. Tip of the cap, sir. OVER. I'm gonna say he finishes at 4.33. So basically, I think he gets better, but I'm still concerned about both the league switch, plus his health.
Brandon – UNDER. He hasn't been all bad, with four of his first seven starts being of the Quality variety. I think he'll probably settle in a bit under this mark the rest of the way, but he should have stayed in the NL.
Brad – OVER. The fat lady is warming up on Dickey's amazing three-year run. For much of the season, his knuckler has resembled a slow-moving asteroid to opposing hitters, indicative in his ghastly 1.71 HR/9. Missing fewer bats and strike zones, he is likely to have a final ERA north of 4.50.
Fill in the blank: Suddenly mighty Marlin Marcell Ozuna, still available in 80-percent of Yahoo! leagues, finishes the year with a line reading _______ BA, _______ HR, _______RBI, _______R and _______SBs.
Brandon – .260-14-60-50-5
Brad – .267-13-53-48-4
Dalton – .260-16-65-65-9
Requiem for a Stream. Pick one Friday freak: Matt Magill, LAD (vs. Mia), Dan Straily, Oak (at Sea), Phil Hughes, NYY (at KC), or Freddy Garcia, Bal (at Min)
Brad – GARCIA. It's nothing short of amazing how Garcia continues to resurface on contending teams. The man is the Robert Horry of MLB, minus the rings. Strikeouts will be few and far between, but look for him to carry over momentum after a near no-no last week versus LAA. Minnesota ranks 26th in the Bigs in runs scored.
Dalton – HUGHES. Mainly because I think he's easily the best pitcher in a vacuum, but the Royals have also scored the eighth fewest runs in the majors this season, and Kauffman Stadium has always suppressed home runs for left-handed batters. Straily is a strong alternative, but Hughes has a 34:7 K:BB ratio over 35.0 innings this season.
Scott – I've been chasing STRAILY all spring and I'm not going to stop now. The marine layer is your friend.
Andy – STRAILY. Terrific strikeout potential, plus a clear favorite vs. M's. (Sorry, Brandon.)
Brandon – STRAILY. Seattle has scored the fifth-fewest runs, including the third-fewest against right-handed hitters. (Can't fault the logic, Andy)
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