10 Important Stories From 07/30/20 Box Scores: Big Names To Give Up On (Already), Breakout Players To Grab & More…


Miguel Cabrera turned back the clock, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. It was another dominant outing from Shane Bieber, who tossed 8.0 shutout innings with 13 K against the Twins (he has 27 K over his first 14.0 innings of work while not allowing a R). It was an impressive start from Dinelson Lamet, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 7, over 5.0 IP against the Giants. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Is it time to worry about Hyun-Jin Ryu…

It’s only two starts, but in a 60-game season decisions have to be made quicker than usual. Obviously we aren’t going to panic over 9.0 IP, but they have been rather ugly:

  • at TB (07/24) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K
  • vs. Was (07/30) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K

So in 9.0 IP he’s allowed 13 H and 4 BB, meaning his WHIP is nearly 2.00. He’s also allowed a HR in each start, and while home runs hadn’t been a problem recently it’s not a foreign issue (1.56 HR/9 in ’17). Obviously we aren’t really panicking quite yet, and he should right the ship, though we’ll have to watch him closely.

2) Does another solid showing make Brady Singer worth a look…

After a solid debut against the Indians (5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K), Singer was equally as impressive against the Tigers. Going 5.0 innings he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 3. Of course there are few numbers that aren’t going to excite you:

  • Swinging Strikes – 5
  • Home Runs Allowed – 2

He did show significantly more swing and miss stuff in his first start (14 swinging strikes) and even yesterday he generated more flyballs (6) than groundballs (4). Singer may not have elite upside, but he could be a usable option depending on the matchup. He’s not a must buy, but he’s worth watching.

3) Jose Berrios rebounds strong…

After imploding in his first start (5 ER over 4.0 IP), it was certainly nice to see Berrios post a better outing this time around. While he didn’t quite match Bieber, he did his best allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP. He did allow a home run for the second straight start, but otherwise there’s a lot to like. With that not being a concern, continue to view Berrios as an upper echelon option.

4) Is Hanser Alberto a viable, under-the-radar option…

Alberto went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him three multi-hit games in his past four (he’s hitting .400 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 4 R over his first five games). Even more impressive is his 2 K vs. 1 BB, though while he’s proven capable of making contact he does tend to chase far too much (in ’19 he posted a 7.9% SwStr% and 47.6% O-Swing%). Swinging at that many bad pitches makes it tough to consistently hit the ball hard (24.6% Hard% in ’19), and in turn post strong numbers. Over the first four games he appears to be commanding the strike zone more (35.3% O-Swing%), and while there’s still work to be done he’s worth monitoring to see if he can put it all together.

5) Christian Vazquez proving ’19 was no fluke…

He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R yesterday against the Mets, giving him 3 HR in his past two games (and 4 HR in his past four games). Overall he’s hitting .421 with 4 HR and 8 RBI, and it’s answering the one real question that we had coming out of ’19 (can he maintain a 16.0% HR/FB). While he’s not going to maintain this pace, he has a solid approach and his power has clearly developed. Continue to view him as one of the best catching options in the league.

6) Has Ryan Yarbrough truly arrived on fantasy radars…

Taking on the Braves he allowed 2 ER on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.1 IP. He’s now allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 4 BB over 11.2 IP, and he did a better job of missing bats in this start (13 swinging starts) after striking out just 1 in his ’20 debut. He still needs to prove he can maintain that, and if he can he has the control and groundball abilities (16 groundballs vs. 11 flyballs this season) to have success. There’s still some questions to ask, but if the swings and misses will be there he’s going to be a worthy fantasy option. It’s worth grabbing him now to find out.

7) Has Max Fried officially emerged as a must use option…

Taking on the Rays Fried allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.2 IP and has now allowed 5 H and 3 BB, with 12 K, over 11.2 IP to open the season. Yesterday against Tampa Bay he was missing bats (14 swinging strikes) and generating groundballs (8 groundballs vs. 4 flyballs), though those two skills have been there as he’s developed. The question has always been his control, but with that seemingly coming around (after he posted a 2.55 BB/9 in 165.2 IP in the Majors in ’19) the sky could be the limit for the southpaw. Considering his .336 BABIP in ’19 it was easy to see an improvement coming, and over his first two starts he’s backing it up. It’s hard to say he’s a “must” start, but he’s quickly getting close.

8) Has Robbie Ray crossed into unusable…

Obviously the strikeout allure is going to grab our attention, but look at the lines from his two starts this season:

  • at SD (07/25) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K
  • vs LAD (07/30) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 6 BB, 4 K

So in 8.1 IP he’s allowed 8 ER as he has 9 BB and also yielded 3 HR. It shouldn’t surprising that he’s had these problems, and while they may be extreme let’s not forget that in ’19 he posted a 4.34 BB/9 and 1.55 HR/9 (due to a 37.0% groundball rate). Strikeouts are nice, but there are better ways to find them. He’s not necessarily droppable, but we wouldn’t want to be using him.

9) J.P. Crawford continues his emergence as a fantasy threat…

Both Crawford and Kyle Lewis (2-5, 2 RBI) are giving Mariners fans a sense of hope for the future. Hitting atop the Mariners’ lineup yesterday Crawford went 2-5 with 2 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB, pushing him to .375 on the young season as he now has a modest four game hitting streak (6-15 with 4 RBI, 6 R and 2 SB). He continues to command the strike zone (2 K vs. 7 BB on the season) and if he can continue to prove that he can steal bases and potentially chip in a few HR (think 10-12 HR over a full season) there’s going to be significant value. We aren’t there yet, but he could get there.

10) Is Kevin Gausman a viable fantasy option…

After working in long relief for his first appearance of ’20, Gausman got the start against the Padres and wasn’t bad. Going 4.0 IP he allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 8. Seeing 14 swinging strikes in just 4.0 IP is a strong number, but he was hittable and he also brings the risk of home runs (last season he saw his groundball rate drop to 37.5%). If he can maintain this type of swing and miss stuff there’s going to be value, though that remains to be seen. For now consider him more of a matchup, wait-and-see type of option.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


  1. How concerned should we be about Vlad JR? It looks worse then last year?

    And another guy is Semien. What the heck has happened to him??

    • It’s only 7 games. It’s hard to stay patient in a short season, but we have to give it at least 2 full weeks before hitting the panic button

  2. Hello Professor,

    My league is doing Roto this year instead of H2H. I currently roster Castillo, Darvish, Lynn, Gallen, R. Ray, Canning, Burnes, Singer, and J. Montgomery.

    I do not roster any bench bats, but looking to add either Voit or Grisham to add flexibility for off and rest days for my starters.

    Is Ray the drop here? Houston on deck for him or Singer who has the Cubs next?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback

    • I don’t love Ray, but he’s a tough drop. That said, how many teams? I’m not opposed and would def. grab Grisham

      • 12 Team 6×6 OPS QS 3 OF Daily

        After relying on the advise of the Draft Guide I was able to put together the following bats as my starters:

        C Narvaez
        1B Muncy 1B-2B-3B
        2B Marte 2B-OF
        SS Story
        3B McNeil 3B-2B-OF
        OF Martinez
        OF Laureano
        OF J.D. Davis OF-3B
        UT Edman 2B-3B

        I’m currently in 1st place with 116.5 points and have used 15 of 110 maximum pitching starts.

        Another SB from Grisham last night. Your thoughts on my squad and who to drop to grab Grisham would be greatly appreciated.

        Subscriber Barry

          • I would not have to drop a bat. I dropped Singer because it looks like he has CHC and MIN next. Grisham got me an HR last night. I’m going to hold Ray, but bench him versus HOU in his next start and see what happens.


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