by Ray Kuhn
Impossible. Emotionally exhausting. Powerful. We can keep on going all day with adjectives to describe what we saw on the field in Miami last night. While the game itself did bring with it some level of normalcy, it was still like nothing we have seen before. And hopefully like nothing we ever will see again.
It’s hard to pivot to seemingly meaningless fantasy baseball analysis after talking about the sudden and tragic death of one of the best pitchers of our time, but that is what we do. And by that, I don’t mean be insensitive. Baseball, and fantasy baseball, exist to help us escape life and the tragedies that come with it.
As the end of the season draws near, let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from a fantasy perspective last night.
1) Justin Bour Just Misses a Cycle
If there was an element of the the cycle you would expect Bour to be missing, it would not be a home run. Well at least compared to a triple, because before last night, Bour had never tripled in his professional career. After missing two months, Bour returned in the beginning of September, and he has yet to find his groove. Including his 3 for 4 effort last night, Bour is hitting just .196 in September with three RBI. There is no arguing with Bour’s power, prior to his injury he had 15 home runs with 46 RBI, and he could be a good source of such over his next few games. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously the tragic news that started the day overshadowed what actually took place on the baseball diamond, as we mourned the loss of Jose Fernandez (and we at Rotoprofessor send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and the entire Marlins organization). What the game of baseball lost was irreplaceable, as one of the truly elite stars and transcendent personalities was taken from us far too soon.
1) Has Michael Pineda finally turned the corner…
Obviously it’s too little too late for fantasy owners, but Pineda is finally stringing together some strong starts. Taking on the Blue Jays, in Toronto, he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 5.2 IP. He’s now racked up 18 K over his past 11.0 IP and has lowered his ERA from 5.12 to 4.78 over his past five outings. As we’ve said all season long a lot of his struggles have been luck based (he entered the day with a .345 BABIP) and he should be able to improve upon his 1.30 HR/9. Considering his strikeouts (10.59 K/9) and control (2.55 BB/9), he has the upside of a Top 25 starter next season. Considering he’ll likely cost a lot less than that, given the numbers, he’ll likely be a strong buy for 2017. Read more
by Will Overton
The playoff race is heating up in real baseball, while in fantasy baseball the championship run is about to hit high gear as we close in on the last week of the season. Chances are if you are competing for that title in your league you may have a good idea of who did what in baseball last night, but if you missed it we have you covered with our top 10 stories of the night:
1) Did Rick Porcello Lock Up The Cy Young Last Night?
Here’s something we’ve seen a few times already this season, Rick Porcello got a win last night. In fact this was Porcello’s 22nd win to be exact. It wasn’t Porcello’s best outing with three runs allowed on eight hits in 6.1 IP, but Porcello’s “not that good outings” are still better than the average start. This continued the quality start streak of Porcello which is up to 12 in a row now. This did snap Porcello’s streak of 11 straight starts of seven innings or more though. Porcello also kept his nice strikeout total going last night too with nine strikeouts to bring his total to 183, a really nice number, especially contrasted with his 30 BB’s. There are other contenders for Cy Young in the AL, but I think Porcello is the hands down most deserving. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Jake Arrieta was dominant against the Cardinals, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, in what was his first double-digit strikeout game since June 17. Maikel Franco is once against starting to show his power, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R (his second straight game with a home run). Drew Pomeranz had a strong bounce back performance, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP to defeat the Rays. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:
1) Did Francisco Liriano simply need a change of scenery…
Taking on the Yankees he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6. Over his past three starts he’s allowed 4 ER over 18.1 IP and he owned 43 K vs. 15 BB over 43.0 IP as a member of the Blue Jays. Control was his biggest issue with Pittsburgh this season (5.46 BB/9), considering both the strikeouts and groundballs have been there (he entered the day with a 9.08 K/9 and 52.0% groundball rate). Obviously we would think the move to the AL East would be a downgrade, so it’s going to be hard to recommend trusting him, but things do appear to be headed in the right direction. At the very least consider him a matchup play, though depending on your situation he could be utilized in all formats. Read more
by Will Overton
There are less than two weeks to go in the season now and every game and at-bat matters for fantasy owners chasing that title. We here at Rotoprofessor are staying with you right down to the very end of the year breaking down all the baseball action. Right now we have the top 10 storylines from last night including some big power performances from veterans and rookies alike:
1) Two Find The Seats For Matt Kemp
Things got off to a little bit of a slow start for Matt Kemp after being traded to the Atlanta Braves, but they have certainly been picking up here in September. Last night Kemp went 2 – 4 with a pair of HR’s and three runs batted in. Kemp is hitting .361 so far in September with 7 HR’s and 18 RBI and he is now 4th in the NL in HR’s and 2nd in RBI. Until about halfway through last season it looked as though Kemp was done as an elite outfield option, but that isn’t the case anymore. The Braves offense is pretty terrible, but it hasn’t really slowed down the production of Kemp. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
As we approach the final week of the season, it’s time to start thinking about the composition of your roster. Despite the fact that the disabled list has ceased to be used in a lot of cases, Lorenzo Cain and Starling Marte haven’t been much help to fantasy owners as of late. With just one week left in the season, their value is now left to dynasty and keeper leagues, so releasing them is perfect reasonable. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from Wednesday’s action as we come down the stretch of the 2016 season.
1) Gary Sanchez Continues to Show His Power
Sanchez hasn’t been scorching hot throughout his entire time in the majors this season, and that is a good thing. It proves that the catcher is in fact human, although based on his power exploits, that still can be debated. Last night, Sanchez hit another milestone, as this time he became the quickest player ever to 19 home runs as he did it in his 45th game. He went 3 for 5 on Wednesday with two home runs and five RBI (38 on the season) while raising his average to .337. While we know that Sanchez won’t be able to keep this pace up, we almost sound like a broken record continuing to repeat it, it is clear that we have a legitimate power threat on our hands and this is a streak a fantasy owner can ride. With a .356 BABIP, the batting average will come down some, but considering his power, anything over .275 truly is a bonus. Sanchez has yet to establish a baseline for major league performance, but a 41.3% home run to fly ball rate is not sustainable. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t hit 25 home runs next season and have a chance to be a top five catcher.