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.
Imagine you're a Yasiel Puig owner in a non-keeper mixed league who is looking to cash in on the hype. Which of the following players would you be willing to deal the sensation for in a one-for-one transaction (FYI, there is more than one answer possible): A) Alex Gordon B) Giancarlo Stanton C) Matt Harvey D) Ben Zobrist E) All of the Above F) None of the Above
Brad – A, C and D. What Puig has accomplished in his first few games is nothing short of orgasmic for those lucky enough to pluck him off waivers, but now is the time to turn a massive profit. Stanton, who will be fortunate to crack 20-plus more homers upon activation, is the only commodity on the above list I would nix a trade for.
Brandon – F. NONE. Puig looks like a legit fantasy star in the making. I'd consider Stanton and Zobrist, depending on what my specific team needs were, but I'd lean towards sticking with the Cuban missile.
Andy – F. NONE. Why the rush to trade Puig? This is a five-cat asset, a player who hits for average while delivering power and speed. If I were going to deal Puig, it would have to be a wow-offer. (Stanton is close, I'll admit.)
Michael Pineda, who hasn't taken the hill in a major league game in roughly a year, rest of season ERA with the Yanks 3.75
Brandon – OVER. Let's not forget that he posted a second-half ERA of over 5 in his one season in the majors, and that was with half of his games at one of the friendliest pitching parks in the league. Given the injury layoff and change of venue, I'll treat him with caution.
Andy – OVER. C'mon. We're expecting a lot if we think he'll be a way-better-than-A.L.-average pitcher immediately upon returning. He's a nice fantasy flier, but Pineda is not a lock for rest-of-season excellence.
Scott – OVER. I don't expect miracles in this sort of spot, arm off a major injury, homer-friendly park, jagged division.
Austin Jackson, currently rehabbing down on the farm after a lengthy absence due to a pulled hammy, rest of season steals 12.5
Andy – UNDER. He will steal exactly 12 bases, rest-of-season. This is so obvious.
Scott – UNDER. Hamstring injuries can hang around (I know, they say that about everything) and while Jim Leyland has let Jackson do his own thing in 2013, the prudent play in Detroit is to wait until one of the big kids knocks you in.
Dalton – UNDER. Jackson was running at a greater frequency this year, but he stole just 12 bases all of last season and is coming off a hamstring injury that will end up costing him more than a month.
Jayson Heyward reached the cheap seats twice against San Diego, finally breaking his bat out of cold storage. Rest of season homers for the Bravo 14.5
Scott – OVER. Healthy again, and the fly balls are spiking.
Dalton – OVER. I'm still a believer in the 23 year old's talent. Over his first four years in the league, Heyward's GB/FB ratio trajectory looks like this: 2.03, 1.63, 1.20 and 1.05. That's a trend that suggests a power spike is in store. His current 11.6 HR/FB% is easily a career low.
Brad – UNDER. No doubt his recent string of success is encouraging, but he's exuded very little consistency when healthy this season. In power production terms, a repeat of 2010 is a best case scenario (18 HR, 83 RBI).
Recalled last week to man second base on a regular basis for the foreseeable future, predict Anthony Rendon's rest of season line (AB-AVG-HR-RBI-R-SB)
Dalton – 275-.270-8-35-35-0
Brad – 265-.264-6-28-32-1. Yep, about as exciting as a tofu sandwich. You can do better, mixed leaguer.
Brandon – 300-.275-9-44-40-3
What ballyhooed NL pitching prospect will be more productive from here on out: Gerrit Cole or Zack Wheeler?
Brad – WHEELER. Solving this dilemma all boils down to dominance at the minor league level. Wheeler was smacked around more, but his 9-plus K/9 was quite attractive. If he attracts whiffs routinely in The Show, he outdistances Cole by a reasonable margin.
Brandon – WHEELER. It's a simple matter of K upside here - I'm not sweating Wheeler's 4 ERA in the hitter-crazy PCL.
Andy – WHEELER. I feel better about the K-rate with Wheeler. Both pitchers should have their moments, however.
Julio Teheran, who's pitched brilliantly at times but could be the odd-man out upon Brandon Beachy's return, rest of season starts 9.5
Brandon – OVER. These things have a way of working themselves out (read: injuries). If Teheran continues to produce, he'll go over this number.
Andy – UNDER. He will make exactly nine more starts, rest-of-season. Again: So obvious.
Scott – OVER. It's very difficult for the same five pitchers to stay healthy, and it's possible someone else gets bounced.
Adam Lind, who improbably sports a .335 BA, rest of season BA .277
Andy – UNDER. But really, no one should care. You didn't draft Lind for batting average. He's just a power play. This is where I'm supposed to discuss his unreasonably high BABIP, right? Well, consider it discussed.
Scott – OVER. So many things to like here: a better all-field approach, off-field stretching, and limited exposure to lefties. I wish I had Lind on my primary teams. Toronto's offense has woken up from its April funk as well.
Dalton – OVER. His BABIP is crazy high (.382), but he also has displayed solid plate discipline (32:23 K:BB ratio over 163 at-bats), and at age 29, it's not crazy to believe in the former prospect making legitimate strides. Even for all his previous struggles, Lind's career BA is .269. I say he beats .277 from here on out by a wide margin.
Catcher conundrum. Rank 'em rest of season: Evan Gattis, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonanthan Lucroy, Salavador Perez, Victor Martinez, Russell Martin
Scott – 1) Perez (love him in the No. 3 slot) 2) Lucroy 3) Martinez 4) Salty 5) Gattis (McCann can't be ignored) 6) Martin
Dalton – 1) Martinez 2) Saltalamacchia 3) Lucroy 4) Gattis 5) Perez 6) Martin
Brad – 1) Gattis 2) V-Mart 3) Perez 4) Sultan of Sodium 5) Lucroy 6) Martin
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one under 50-percent owned starter: Jeremy Hellickson (vs. KC), Jake Westbrook (at Mia), Erik Bedard (vs. ChW), Rick Porcello (at Min)
Dalton – PORCELLO. All are good matchups, but Porcello looks like someone in a different class right now. Since April ended, he's posted a 3.09 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with a 46:8 K:BB ratio over 43.2 innings, as he's ditched his slider in favor of his curveball, resulting in a career-best 8.5 SwStr%.
Brad – BEDARD. A journeyman pitcher on a team brimming with minor league level talent? The Noise is insane in the membrane. But ye of little faith should roll the dice. Prior to his last implosion, Bedard allowed two earned or less in five consecutive starts. And let's remember how anemic the White Sox, the league's fourth-worst scoring team, are offensively.
Brandon – HELLICKSON. KC has really struggled to score runs of late and Hellickson has been solid in three of his last four turns.
Andy – WESTBROOK. Anyone against the Fish.
Scott – PORCELLO. Finally, the strikeouts have arrived.
Hungry for more advice? Tune into 'The Fantasy Freak Show' this Friday at 8 PM ET, 5 PM PT on Yahoo! Sports Radio
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