Closing Time: Giants are a mess in fantasy and reality
Despite it not being an even year, most projection systems had the Giants making the playoffs this season, albeit as a wild card behind the Dodgers. Baseball is often referred to as a marathon and not a sprint, so it’s usually unwise to make any conclusions around a month into any given season. But San Francisco has had a nightmare of a start, and it’s hard not to already write them off (and this is coming from a Giants fan). They have scored the second-fewest runs in baseball, sporting an ugly .228/.288/.342 team batting line. That doesn’t work well with their ERA (4.79) that ranks as the third-worst in MLB.
[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now and start winning season early]
The Giants lost Will Smith to a torn UCL before the season and have since seen Madison Bumgarner go down with a shoulder injury thanks to a dirt-bike accident. Addressing the bullpen issues last year in which they blew an MLB-high 30 saves (including blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning in Game Four of the NLDS against the Cubs, a game in which I was personally at), they gave Mark Melancon a $62 million contract during the offseason. He was placed on the DL Tuesday with an elbow/forearm injury that doesn’t sound promising (fantasy owners should add Derek Law and/or Hunter Strickland).
Jeff Samardzija has a 5.44 ERA. Johnny Cueto has a 17.0 HR/FB%, which is nearly twice as high as his career mark. Matt Moore sports a 6.52 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Buster Posey is on pace to finish with a .362 batting average and produce 33 RBI while hitting cleanup. (A weird oddity – Posey and Hunter Pence both have three homers this year, and all have occurred during the same games). Conor Gillaspie (who was batting .146) was the team’s No. 5 hitter Tuesday. To say this year has been a rough start for the Giants would be an understatement. Fangraphs currently projects them to finish fourth in their own division. Samardzija now has a 1.19 WHIP with 55 strikeouts over 46.1 innings. He’s 0-5, so that makes him one of the better buy-low candidates out there (someone outbid me in the highest of stakes league I’m in by spending 300+ FAAB this week).
The Padres were one of two remaining teams yet to have been shut out this season (the Nationals being the other) before losing 11-0 Tuesday afternoon. A.J. Griffin now holds a 2.45 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP after his gem. He’s currently owned in just 38 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Justin Wilson has replaced Francisco Rodriguez as Detroit’s closer. Rodriguez has allowed five runs over his past two outings (one inning total) and has an 8.49 ERA and 2.06 WHIP on the year. Wilson has a 14.4 SwStr% this season, and he’s available in more than half of Yahoo leagues right now.
Bartolo Colon has quickly gone from underrated to unusable…Chris Devenski now has 38 strikeouts in 21.0 innings. That seems good. His WHIP is 0.62…Hector Santiago walked five batters Tuesday yet his WHIP remains 1.16 (and ERA 2.76). He’s the rare pitcher with those stats still available in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues…After Max Scherzer, there wasn’t an obvious DFS option for Tuesday night, and my choice for #SP2 in Drew Pomeranz wasn’t a success…To go further, both Ariel Miranda and Jerad Eickoff were interesting DFS starting pitchers to use Tuesday night. These teams allowed a combined 19 earned runs in a game that entered with an O/U of 8. I hope you were contrarian and used John Lackey in Coors Field in a game that was a threat to be rained out…Yonder Alonso is the real deal and it’s time to stop questioning him. He hit two more homers Tuesday night, as his newfound flyball tendencies seem legit. He’s going to finish with 30+ this year.
Follow the Yahoo crew on Twitter: Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Brad Evans, Brandon Funston, Liz Loza and Scott Pianowski