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.
Corner Infield conundrum. Pick one from this point forward: Albert Pujols, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis or Anthony Rizzo
Scott – GOLDSCHMIDT, Jerry, Goldschmidt. It pains me to have him on zero teams. (Check that: I have Goldschmidt in one hybrid league that doesn't count home runs. Boy is that league fun.)
Andy – GOLDSCHMIDT, easy. This one doesn't seem like much of a contest. He's an all-category contributor. If Price were in here, we would have had something to debate.
Brad – GOLDSCHMIDT. At the No. 15 pick in the Roto Arcade Redo Draft, I had the opportunity to acquire Pujols. However, I kicked the old codger to the curb, opting for the younger, sexier 'Schmidt. Goldy is what Phat Albert use to be, a multicategorical monster who offers much consistency. His BA will likely dip a little, but given the nourishing offensive environment it would be no stretch for him to finish in range of .285-35-120-15.
If participating in a 12-team mixed league redraft today, round Jean Segura deserves to be taken 4.5
Andy – OVER. We like the speed, obviously, and he plays a premium position. But I don't know that he'll hit another six homers rest-of-season, plus he almost certainly can't maintain that .390-something BABIP.
Brad – UNDER. The Brewers' breakout stud is worth every penny as a Round 3 pick in a 12-teamer. Shortstop is again brutally shallow and the former top prospect is blossoming right before owner eyes. His sudden power emergence seems anomalous, but another 30 swipes, 55 runs and a healthy BA is in the cards. Among shortstops, he might be second only to Troy Tulowitzki in the virtual game.
Dalton – UNDER. He was the No. 3 fantasy player entering Tuesday before he hit his seventh homer of the season. His 13 steals lead MLB. Obviously he'll regress some, but Segura is going to be a major BA help and already has a strong argument as the No. 2 fantasy shortstop behind Troy Tulowitzki.
Brandon McCarthy, who appears to be turning things around logging consecutive quality starts, rest of season ERA 3.75
Brad – UNDER. After his first six awful starts, most owners probably thought a McCarthy turnaround was McCrazy. But the high-priced free agent has looked dynamite in his past two turns, surrendering just three earned in 14 IP. If he continues to keep the ball down in the zone and draw weak contact (61.9 GB% vs. PHI), the righty should post a handsome mid-3s ERA down the stretch. His underlying profile is very attractive.
Dalton – UNDER. Chase Field won't help, but McCarthy has a 5.33 K:BB ratio, which currently ranks as the 10th best in all of baseball. He'll settle with around an ERA of 3.50 from here on out.
Brandon – OVER. He's getting the living tar beat out of him by opposing hitters - fourth highest LD% allowed in the league, 68 hits allowed in 48 IP! I do think he'll improve and get close to this number the rest of the way, but he's just too hittable to take the under here.
Fill in the blank: Dodgers speed demon Dee Gordon records ______ at-bats, swipes _______ bases and crosses home _______ times rest of season.
Dalton – 300, 23, 40.
Brandon – 264, 27, 33
Scott – 420, 37, 59. I think the Dodgers are stuck with him.
Multiple Choice: Hector Santiago, who Robin Ventura recently proclaimed will remain in the White Sox rotation for the foreseeable future, should graduate from the stream ranks in 12-team mixers: A) Strongly agree, B) Moderately agree C) Indifferent, D) Moderately disagree, E) Strongly disagree F) I would rather own a dozen Dickeys
Brandon – C (indifferent). He looks better in relief and his xFIP is about a run and a half higher than his ERA, but the K rate plays nicely in fantasy leagues as a starter. So, a little good, a little bad means I'm mostly indifferent.
Scott – Moderately agree. I'm a sympathizer for all things Hector and the BB/K rate is in place. I do worry about gopheritis.
Andy – E. The Ks should be there, but Santiago is gonna get hit. You won't love these ratios a couple months down the road. In a mixer of unusual size, maybe I'd stash and hope. But in a 12-teamer, I doubt he's the most appealing free agent SP.
Assuming J.J. Putz remains sidelined, date Kirk Gibson is fed up with Heath Bell’s transgressions and hands ninth-inning duties over to David Hernandez July 1
Scott – OVER. Bell's back to collecting strikeouts and pounding the zone, and that plays in the ninth. Kirk Gibson is the type of manager to pay for a proven-closer tag, too.
Andy – OVER. Hernandez is coming off an excellent season, but he was just some dude in 2010-2011. He hasn't exactly been lights-out this year, either.
Brad – OVER. Bell ruined McCarthy's best start of the season, failing to close out the Phils last Sunday. Still, he looked sharp in his three previous conversions. With his K/9 (11.25) back to what it was in 2010 and his walks under control (1.69 BB/9), he's in excellent shape to hold onto the gig long-term. It's not like Hernandez has lit the world on fire.
SP showdown. Who’s more attractive from a fantasy value view: Chris Tillman or Jorge De La Rosa?
Andy – TILLMAN, easy. Rout. Over. *Waves arms*
Brad – DE LA SOUL. Donning full body armor while riding a high horse, the Conquistador has quietly ruled over his opponents. His 1.65 K/BB is a bit unsightly, but because his velocity and repertoire haven't changed, I suspect his K/9 will eventually creep over 7.00, making the Rocky the prettiest of the pair.
Dalton – TILLMAN. De La Rosa has some upside and the current lower ERA, but he calls Coors Field home and has a poor 28:17 K:BB ratio. Tillman has to pitch in the AL East, but he's one year removed from a season in which he posted a 2.93 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Moreover, Tillman's K% this season is 17.5 compared to De La Rosa's 15.5.
Freshly activated Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson rest of season home runs 19.5
Brad – UNDER. Based on the precedent set by Grandy as a Yankee, eclipsing this number with more than half the season remaining would appear to be a simple feat. However, he needs to shake off a thick coating of dust, an adjustment phase which may hinder his power. It will be close, but I'm projecting 18 bleacher balls the rest of the way.
Dalton – OVER. It will likely come with a poor BA, but Granderson has averaged 42 homers over his past two seasons, so reaching 20 over 4.5 months is plenty doable. The new Yankee Stadium has been the best park for home runs for LHB in the American League (and only Coors Field has surpassed it in the NL) over the past three years, according to The Bill James Handbook.
Brandon – OVER. He's like Cris "All he does is catch touchdowns" Carter -- the long ball is what Granderson does these days. I don't have any confidence about what he'll do with the rest of his roto cats, but I'm confident you won't have to worry about the HR tally.
Underrated middle infielder, Kelly Johnson, combined homers/steals rest of the way 18.5
Dalton – OVER. Over Johnson's last two seasons, he's averaged 33.5 homers/steals. He's looking good so far in 2013 as well, as he's on pace to finish with 21 homers and 17 steals. I'm a believer.
Brandon – OVER. He's already reached half that number in just 33 games. With more than 120 games left, he shouldn't have too much trouble hitting this mark.
Scott – OVER, maybe well over. The category juice has always come with the KJ package. But that pretty batting average might burp along the way.
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one Thursday thrower: Francisco Liriano (vs. Mil), Jhoulys Chacin (vs. SF), Edinson Volquez (vs. Wash) or Jerome Williams (vs. ChW)
Brandon – CHACIN. I'm a bit biased because I'm an owner of Chacin as opposed to a streamer of Chacin, but he's been solid in five of his six outings. I'll keep taking my chances with him.
Scott –None of these guys. I don't care if it's not an answer. It's okay to pass on a slate if you don't see the right answer; Ace Rothstein taught me that. Don't force it if it's not there.
Andy – Um...pass? OK, gimme CHACIN. But I don't feel great about it. He would only be a desperation heave for me, and Thursday is a little early in the week to throw up one of those.
Brad – WILLIAMS. Batting a mere .229 as a club and dead last in the AL in runs, the ChiSox are ripe for the picking. Williams was terrific in his last turn versus the Sox on May 11 (6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 K, W). A repeat seems inevitable. Stream merrily.
Dalton – LIRIANO. Williams isn't a bad option at all against a struggling White Sox offense, but I'm a perpetual Liriano fan. I've been sucked in yet again.
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