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.
Stephen Strasburg, who was placed on the DL with a Grade 1 lat sprain, rest of season innings pitched 104.5
Dalton – OVER. This is basically asking whether or not he can pitch three of the final four months of the season. Believe me, I'm as annoyed with Strasburg's seemingly constant issues, but I've gone all in with the guy, so I might as well continue.
Scott – This is an easy UNDER for me. This is someone already hurt, and someone who rarely goes past seven innings. And if the Nats are out of the race at some point in September (a legitimate possibility), the club might put Strasburg back in bubble wrap. Such a shame the team iced its 2012 playoffs on Operation Shutdown; so many pitching injuries can't be projected or prevented.
Andy – OVER. But I have absolutely no idea. None whatsoever. This is injury-related. The important thing is that Strasburg's issue doesn't sound severe. Head-to-head owners, you'll have him when you need him most.
Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig rest of season combined homers/steals 24.5
Scott – I can't imagine he's going down after that ridiculous debut. The last two days left a mark on my clipboard that's not going away. OVER.
Andy – OVER. OK, here's a question where I'm relatively confident. I think L.A. will find a way to squeeze Puig into the everyday lineup, probably via an Ethier trade. Puig has a stellar fantasy profile; it's easy to imagine him going 15/13 the rest of the way.
Brad – OVER. If there's one rookie capable of making a Mike Trout-like fantasy impact this year, it's Puig. Blessed with gazelle wheels, prodigious power and a solid approach, he has all the tools. His two-HR game Tuesday against the Friars is just the beginning.
Giancarlo Stanton, rehabbing currently on the farm and slated to return to the lineup next week, rest of season long-balls 21.5
Andy – OVER. If he gets back to (nearly) full health, he can reach this number with two good months. The power here is upper-tier.
Brad – UNDER. His unfavorable home environment combined with the opposition's willingness to pitch around him suggest his power will remain locked away in cold storage. He can hit long-balls in bunches, but an additional 16-17 dingers feels right.
Brandon – UNDER. Terrible support, tough home park, and a myriad of aches and pains (shoulder, hammy, knee) ... it just doesn't inspire confidence.
Rest of season rank ‘em, second basemen edition: Matt Carpenter, Kelly Johnson, Jedd Gyorko, Neil Walker, Jose Altuve and Kyle Seager
Brad – 1) Carpenter 2) Johnson 3) Gyorko 4) Seager 5) Walker 6) Altuve
Brandon – 1) Carpenter 2) Gyorko 3) Johnson 4) Altuve 5) Seager 6) Walker
Dalton – 1) Johnson 2) Carpenter 3) Altuve 4) Seager 5) Gyorko 6) Walker
Kendrys Morales, still widely available in shallow mixers and in the midst of an RBI tear, knocked in runs rest of season 44.5
Brandon – OVER. The question is basically whether I think he'll get to 80 RBIs or not, which I definitely believe he will - he ranks 24th in MLB in ABs with runners on base (98)
Dalton – OVER. He has a .299/.364/.491 line on the season, so it appears an injury would be the only way to prevent him from reaching this RBI total. Morales shouldn't be available in any fantasy league at this point.
Scott – It's crazy that he doesn't have even more RBIs given that 1.099 OPS with runners in scoring position. Seattle's support cast figures to be better in the second half, which means Morales can do more even as the efficiency drops. We push the OVER.
Mark Teixeira, who drilled a grand salami in his fourth game back, rest of season home runs 15.5
Dalton – OVER. Batting average will likely remain a problem, but with Yankee Stadium on his side, the homers will be there. New York has 104 games remaining this season - Teixeira hit 24 home runs in 124 games last year even while posting the lowest OPS of his career.
Scott – Does the April slump no longer apply to Teixeira? He's piled up a bunch of strikeouts but he's also clocked a couple of homers. The short porch missed you, Teix. OVER.
Andy – UNDER. This number actually seems just about right to me. I'm not extremely bullish on Tex, plus he's returning from a power-sapping injury
Assuming he gets four more starts with Brandon McCarthy on the DL, predict Tyler Skaggs’ line (W, ERA, WHIP, Ks)
Scott – 2 W, 3.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 25 Ks.
Andy – 1 W, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 17 Ks
Brad – 2 W, 3.85 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 23 Ks
On a scale of 1-to-10 with 1 being HELL YES and 10 being HELL NO, what number would you blurt out if asked whether owners should sell high on Dominic Brown?
Andy – TWO. But the devil is in the details. I wouldn't sell if I didn't love the offers, but if you don't at least shop players like this, then you're not playing the game correctly. Obviously no player can sustain the level of performance Brown has given us lately.
Brad – THREE. Being a former top prospect, Brown always possessed breakout potential. However, his recent rampage presents a prime opportunity to cash in. He should blast another 15 homers, but his value is at its peak. Dangle.
Brandon – FIVE. You have to expect the NL to make adjustments to his new free-swinging approach (0 walks in May!). I don't doubt the legitimacy of his breakout, but it almost surely doesn't get better from here. If you can get a sweetheart deal for him, you have to seriously consider it.
The Conquistador, Jorge de la Rosa, who is the No. 12 ranked SP over the past 30 days in Yahoo! leagues, rest of season ERA 3.89
Brad – UNDER. I know, I know, he's a Rockies pitcher. Many owners would rather attend a One Direction concert than invest in his services. But he's conquered Coors thus far (2.45 home ERA), sports a terrific groundball rate (46.0 GB%) and has yielded few homers.
Brandon – OVER. His xFIP is 4.20 and his career ERA is 4.81. I'm not expecting something drastically better than what we've become accustomed to from the 32 year old.
Dalton – OVER. He has a 24:11 K:BB ratio over 37.1 innings during this 30-day span, and Coors Field becomes more of a hitter's park during the summer months. Although admittedly his career 10.0 SwStr% is intriguing.
Requiem for a STREAM. Pick one minimally owned starter: Miguel Gonzalez (vs. Hou), Jhoulys Chacin (vs. SD) or Jarrod Parker (at ChW)
Brandon – PARKER. He's run off five straight quality starts, including 6.1 scoreless innings against them his last time out.
Dalton – PARKER. It's a tough hitter's park, but Parker has the best pedigree by far and has posted a 1.98 ERA and 0.84 WHIP over his last four starts. Moreover, the White Sox have scored the second fewest runs in all of baseball this season.
Scott – I know Houston recently ripped off a six-game winning streak, helped in part by the dead-ass Angels, but that's still where I want to aim on these things. The Orioles look pretty darn legit to me, top to bottom and in all phases. Go GONZO.
Andy – PARKER. Feel free to pick on the Sox, as needed.
Brad – PARKER. The White Sox need to coax Harold Baines out of retirement.
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