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.
Chris Davis, on pace for a mind-blowing 57 home runs, rest of season bleacher shots 24.5
Brandon – OVER. The guy is country strong and he looks so comfortable at the plate these days that I wouldn't be surprised if he came to bat in a smoking jacket. He'd need to average at least eight home runs in each of the final three months to get to this number, and so far he has yet to hit less than nine dingers in any of the first three months.
Brad – OVER. Post-hype sleeper to the third power, Davis is finally delivering the Herculean numbers most fantasy pundits, including yours truly, anticipated years ago. He's locked in, killing everything and sports a Ruthian profile (.378 ISO! Say what?!). In a post-PED era (sort of), his probable 60-homer season will go down as one of MLB's greatest.
Scott – OVER. It hurts to have no stakes in this one. Davis has retooled his approach - he uses the whole park now - and he's far more selective. Enjoy the ride.
With Andrew Bailey banished to setup duty and Heath Bell on the verge of a demotion, which reliever will hold more value rest of season: Koji Uehara or J.J. Putz?
Brad – PUTZ. Heath Bell has been a complete misadventure over his past few outings, surrendering a home run in five consecutive appearances. His job security is tenuous at best. Once Putz is activated, possibly later this week, he'll retake the closer's gig and won't relinquish it the rest of the season. Uehara looks great, but Tazawa is just over his shoulder.
Scott – UEHARA. He's currently healthy and has a baton in hand. Possession of the job rules the day.
Dalton – UEHARA. Putz's health remains a question mark, while Uehara currently sports a 35.9 K% and 6.0 BB%. Since 2010, Uehara’s 15.8 SwStr% is third best among all pitchers (minimum 150.0 innings), and his WHIP (0.79) easily ranks first over that span. The right-hander has recorded a .138/.219/.325 against lefties this season. Uehara could very easily be a top-three fantasy closer from here on out pitching for the first place Red Sox.
On the scale of fantasy excitement with 1 being Carlos Gonzalez and 10 being Dan Haren, where does New York fireball Zolio Almonte rank?
Scott – Just a 7 or 8 for me. He didn't show a lot of category juice at Triple-A. (I'd like to see his birth certificate, too. Wait - different guy.)
Dalton – Around a nine. His home park helps, but this is someone with an unimpressive minor league track record based off a small sample with New York.
Brandon – 5. I had to opt for the middle here since I'm a little disoriented by the rating scale (shouldn't CarGo be the 10 rating and Haren be the 1?). But, seriously, Almonte has some nice, developing tools, but he's still a work in progress and MLB pitchers will expose the holes in his game soon enough, I have no doubt.
Fill in the Blank: Newly minted Met, Eric Young Jr., who's seen numerous at-bats atop Terry Collins' lineup, scores ______ runs and steals ______ bases rest of season
Dalton – 38 runs, 18 steals
Brandon – 44 Runs, 16 Steals
Brad – 41 runs, 22 steals
Taking another bite out of the Big Apple, Ike Davis, who is expected to return to the big leagues imminently, homers from recall on 14.5
Brandon – UNDER. He has just 17 home runs in his past 115 games so, given the absolute mess he was before being demoted this season, I'm not going to bank on him hitting 15-plus home runs in what will be half a season or less.
Brad – OVER. Granted his outward appearance wasn't nearly as dire, but he did club 15 jacks over the second half last year. Clearing the outfield fence five times in just 49 at-bats with Triple-A Vegas, he may have purged his sins. Spin the roulette wheel.
Scott – UNDER is the call, but I still think he's worth a roster spot for second-division roto clubs that need to catch lightning in a bottle. There's plausible upside here.
Twins top prospect Kyle Gibson is scheduled to make his MLB debut Saturday versus Kansas City. Predict his first-start line.
Brad – 6 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 H, 4 K, W
Scott – 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, ND
Dalton – 6 IP. 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, ND
Freshly activated second baseman Aaron Hill, who's been sidelined since early April with a fractured hand, rest of season RBI 39.5
Scott – I'll go OVER on that number, and he'll sail past 50 runs, batting in front of Paul Goldschmidt. Enjoy.
Dalton – UNDER. I like Hill, but I'm going this route only because I just don't know how healthy he'll be. It's not a super easy number to reach even if he plays in all of the remaining games.
Brandon – OVER. Not sure why RBI is Hill's go-to stat here, but he'll hit in the upper half of the NL's No. 4 offense, and it's not hard to fathom 40-plus RBIs in that situation.
Rank the following long-ball-blasting/batting average-sapping outfielders rest of season: Nick Swisher, Josh Willingham, Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez
Dalton – 1) Swisher, 2) Willingham, 3) Carter, 4) Dominguez
Brandon – 1) Swisher, 2) Carter, 3) Willingham, 4) Dominguez
Brad – 1) Carter (R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that's what he needs. Ignore the BA, he's on pace for 75 R, 31 HR and 84 RBI) 2) Swisher, 3) Willingham, 4) Dominguez
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one under-owned hurler: Tyler Chatwood (vs. NYM), Jeremy Guthrie (at Min), Chien-Ming Wang (at Bos), Trevor Bauer (at ChW), Chris Capuano (vs. Phi)
Brandon – CHATWOOD. He's been excellent over his past seven outings, he holds his own at home in Coors Field and he faces the team with the worst batting average in the league.
Brad – CAPUANO. The southpaw has been dealing. He hasn't yielded an earned run in 11 straight innings. Ride the hot hand.
Scott – CHATWOOD, who's getting a major endorsement from my West-Coast scouts. Let's attack the Mets, even in the thin air of Coors. Colorado should knock Jeremy Hefner around.
Dalton – BAUER. The former top prospect somehow has a 2.76 ERA this year despite a 15:11 K:BB ratio. Of course, the latter is embarrassingly bad, but it does illustrate upside since he's so tough to hit (he has a career .197 BAA in the majors). He'll also be facing a White Sox's offense that has scored the fewest runs in the American League this season.
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