Welcome to the American League Edition of OBT’s Fantasy Foray series, where we will review the past week’s hottest hitters, pitchers (SP and RP), and share who the hottest “under the radar” players are–-in the world of Fantasy Baseball.
Not only will we review the best-of-the-best, but we will also keep you in the loop about injuries that could re-shape your fantasy season. Who is hitting the DL? Who is soon to come off?
Read this reoccurring article each week to find out the answers to these questions–and more!
We will begin with a section dubbed the Fantasy FOUR-Play, which will begin by sharing with you the top FOUR ranked Fantasy Baseball hitters from the past week, as ranked by Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.
For this week’s article, we will use information over the past TWO weeks, due to the MLB All-Star Break throwing a wrench into our plans…
Note: For the purpose of this reoccurring article, we will be determining the offensive ranks based off of Yahoo’s 5×5 Public League settings, which consist of: Runs Scored (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), and Batting Average (BA).
We will also use the same format for pitching stats, which consist of: Wins (W), Saves (SV), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), and Walks and/or Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP).
*Note: Stroman and Kluber only made two starts during this period, while the others made three (each).
Under the Radar (Under 25% Owned)
*Note: Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Todd Redmond was ranked at #74, ahead of Wei-Yin Chen; however, he threw only one start. I omitted him based on lack of IP and gave Chen the nod.
Keep It on the D-L
Edwin Encarnacion: The Toronto Blue Jays slugger appeared ready to come off of the Disabled List (DL) next week after recovering from his quad injury; however, he suffered a setback on Friday while swinging a bat. The Jays will give him the weekend off, but are expected to let him resume his activities beginning on Monday. If he suffers no setbacks, we can see him being activated during the first full week of August. EE is 1B and 3B eligible in the Yahoo! game, which is a huge plus (especially at a typically-weak hot corner). So far this season he has hit .277, with 26 HR, 70 RBI, and 57 R–in 328 ABs.
George Springer: Another slugger, another quad injury. Springer is eligible to come off of the DL in early-to-mid August for the Houston Astros, if he can resume exercises shortly. He is currently unable to do so, which could push his return back. The rookie slugger hasn’t been able to hit for average so far in the majors; however, in only 295 ABs this year he has hit to the tune of .231, with 20 HRs and 51 RBIs. Troublesome is the low batting average, plus his 39 BB: 114 K walk-to-strikeout ratio. Apparently, only Jose Altuve is allowed to hit for average in Houston…?
Joe Mauer: Shampoo salesman, and part-time ballplayer, Joe Mauer has been swinging a bat for about a week without issue. Plans have him taking live batting practice Monday through Wednesday, then he could begin his rehab assignment soon after, barring any setbacks. The Minnesota Twins C/1B has batted a career low .271 so far this season; however, he is a career .320 hitter. Only in 2009 has he eclipsed 14 HRs (28), and he has averaged less than 9 HR per season (including this season) since 2010. All BA, no pop, out of Mauer. Expect this out of him for the rest of the season, should you decide to roster him (which I wouldn’t suggest).
Wil Myers: Last year’s American League Rookie of the Year has had an awful sophomore season with the Tampa Bay Rays, before fracturing his right wrist; however, he is hoping to return to the club in mid-August to prove that his rookie season was no fluke. Currently hitting .227 with 5 HRs and 25 RBIs, Myers has put fantasy owners in quite the predicament this season. Do I stash him? Do I cut him? My advice… cut him. If you thought his sapped power was bad before, do you think a broken wrist is going to help him get his power back? Not a chance.
Masahiro Tanaka: The New York Yankees import was well on his way to the AL ROY award, and possibly an AL Cy Young, until his right elbow gave out on him. A partial tear in his ulnar collateral brought on a prognosis that could end in two ways–a whole lot of rest or the once-dreaded Tommy John surgery. Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying that it is still far too early to tell which way this will ultimately go. Assuming the very best, he is weeks away from returning; however, with surgery he could be gone for the remainder of this (and possibly next) season.
Jason Vargas: The Kansas City Royals lefty was expected to start today (Sunday); however, he “didn’t feel right” after a bullpen session on Wednesday, which has slowed down the process of his return. The good news is Vargas was placed on the DL after having an appendectomy, so this doesn’t relate to his pitching arm. He will probably not need a rehab assignment, so as soon as he has full confidence in his abilities he will be activated.
C.J. Wilson: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starter was placed on the DL retroactive to July 1 with a right ankle sprain. He is currently scheduled to make a rehab start tomorrow (Monday) with Double-A Arkansas, with the plan being to activate him from the DL assuming everything goes as planned. Wilson, with a career 3.67 ERA, has only allowed an ERA over 3.75 once since his transition from set-up guy to starting pitcher; however, his ERA sat at a disappointing 4.33 before his injury. He will have a chance to get you W(ins) and Ks upon his return, which may be good enough to roster him with SP4 expectations (and SP3 upside).
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