Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss four players who have made or will soon make their major league debut and could help your fantasy team.
Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays
Gose picked up a single in his debut as a pinch hitter against the Yankees on Tuesday. Just 21 years old, he boasts a high on-base percentage and even stole 70 bases a year ago. He is not a power hitter, which is fine for a Toronto lineup with plenty of them. The injury of Jose Bautista opens a door for Gose, who does strike out a little too often for a player most dangerous when on the base paths.
Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
The season-ending injury to Dillon Gee opens the door for Harvey to eventually make his debut. For now, the Mets will go with veteran spot starter Miguel Batista, but General Manager Sandy Alderson did confirm that we will see Harvey this season with the Mets. Harvey has been a bit wild this season but he does miss bats and even hit a home run with a .267 average as a batter at Triple-A.
Wil Myers, OF, Royals
The former catcher is shining bright at Triple-A this season with 15 home runs, 46 RBI and a .313 average through 53 games. The Royals are very much playing for the future and will likely be sellers this summer in order to open up some playing time for Myers. Look for Lorenzo Cain or Jeff Francouer to be on the move to get Myers some Big League at-bats.
Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
The Pirates are a small-market team and usually prefer to upgrade from within. For the first time in a while, they will have that opportunity the second they call up Starling Marte. The outfielder has 11 home runs and 18 steals while batting .292 at Triple-A. Marte is bound to mesh well with Andrew McCutchen as the Pirates look to win the division.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses five players who are making an impact in fantasy baseball.
Matt Cain, SP, Giants
Coming into the season, it was already clear that Matt Cain was the best starting pitcher in baseball to never reach 15 wins in a season. He averaged 13 wins over the last three seasons despite having an ERA less than three over that period. This year it looks like Cain is finally going to get the overdue respect he’s earned.
Whether it’s because of Tim Lincecum’s struggles, the 8-2 record, or the absurd 0.85 WHIP, Cain has shined bright this season and has become the clear ace for the Giants. Wednesday night was simply a celebration of that as he was not only perfect, but the accompanying 14 strikeouts tells you that he struck out the majority of the batters he faced. Best of all, his past tells us that Cain usually gets better in the second half of the season.
Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals
Year after year we see veteran players find their second winds in St. Louis. Well, you can add Carlos Beltran to the list that already includes such names as Larry Walker, Will Clark, Jim Edmonds, and more recently Lance Berkman. Beltran offered three hits on Wednesday including a solo shot, which would end up being the only run of the game.
His average is now at .298, which is not the biggest surprise, but the shock comes with the 19 home runs. The 35-year-old is on pace for a career high in home runs, perhaps up to 45. However, his pace is probably not sustainable because of the biggest threat of all: injuries.
Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals
Not many people have heard of Lance Lynn, but he is the lone reason that the Cardinals are competing despite the slow start from Adam Wainwright, who is rebounding from a missed season, plus the loss of Chris Carpenter due to an injury of his own. Lynn is a former first-round pick who showed some life in the bullpen a season ago, but no one predicted his performance this season. He is now 10-2 with a 2.42 ERA and has 23 strikeouts over the last two starts. Will he keep it up? The odds are against him. He is approaching 82 innings of work, which is a big boost from a season in which his innings were limited.
Trevor Plouffe, OF, Twins
In his first two seasons, Trevor Plouffe was a disappointment with the Twins, but now he’s one of the hottest sluggers in baseball. Plouffe blasted his 11th home run on Wednesday, which was his sixth over the last 10 games. His average remains low, less than .240, but his power has more than made up for that. So is it sustainble? Probably not. We have never seen this type of power in the minor leagues and there isn’t really much else that he offers to fantasy managers.
R.A. Dickey, SP, Mets
The Mets have protested the official scoring of Dickey’s start on Wednesday night against the Rays with hopes that the one hit he surrendered will be called an error on David Wright. While it was Johan Santana who picked up the no-no a little while ago, the ace on this team is very much R.A. Dickey. Not only is he incredibly durable, which is often the case for knuckleballers, but he is also changing speeds from the 50s to the 80s and throwing strikes with his knuckleball, which is very rarely seen.
The big story this season is that Dickey has recently turned into a strikeout artist, and he did so again on Wednesday with 12 K’s. He is now 10-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, and is looking like Roy Halladay at his best with the numbers that he’s posting. So is he really this good? Yes, he is very good and I do think he may be a top-five pitcher for the remainder of the season. His ERA has always been splendid with the Mets, as in sub-3, and now with the run support, he’s getting the much deserved wins. The only question is whether he will keep racking up the K’s, and so far, so good!
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Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three pitchers who you can look to for some production in fantasy baseball this week.
Jeremy Hefner, SP, Mets
The New York Mets are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and the excellent pitching has been contagious, so much so that even little known rookie Jeremy Hefner has gotten into the action as a replacement for the injured Miguel Batista.
If you’re wondering whether Hefner will be able to take care of business this week, what you should pay attention to are two statistics. First the BB/9, because so far in Major League Baseball of all pitchers with at least 15 innings of work, Hefner has the best command walking just one batter in 17 innings of work. Next, a key difference between his struggles in the rain delay loss to the lowly Padres compared to the win over the rival Phillies was his ability to finish off batters with two strikes. The Padres went 6-12 against Hefner with two strikes while the Phillies were just 1-10. Hefner will be pitching for a spot in the Big Leagues, as Batista is returning from the DL and Chris Young is slotted to return to the Mets as well.
Chris Young, SP, Mets
One thing to note about Chris Young, the 6’9 hurler, is that when healthy he is effective. After a successful tenure with the Rangers and the Padres, Young got off to a fine start with the Mets last season, offering a 1-0 record with four starts with a 1.88 ERA. Young may have to be a little better this season, as the fly ball pitcher will have to respond to the fences being drawn in at Citi Field. However, there is cause for optimism as he’s enjoyed success even in Texas, and his first start comes at Washington, one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. On the other hand, his second start may come at Yankee Stadium, so buyer beware.
Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers
Drew Smyly looks like a good bet this week as he gets two starts, the first coming at home against the Cleveland Indians. Smyly has come back to reality a bit in recent weeks, but the control is real, he just has to learn to keep the ball within the park. Also, after making four of his last five starts on the road, Smyly returns to the pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. The Indians are also coming back to earth, losing seven of their last nine games. Smyly’s second start this week comes at the pitcher-friendly Great American Ballpark, but at least there won’t be designated hitters involved.
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