I just got finished reading a write up of the Curiosity Mars Rover and I’m in the Riteup mood. For the sake of science, I hope you all watched the landings late last night (or early Monday morning if you live in the eastern time zone like yours truly).
• With Alex Rodriguez expected to miss the majority of the regular season (not to mention the beginning of the head-to-head playoffs), Eric Chavez seems to have had some serious playing time open up for him. Over the past seven games, Chavez had five hits—including a pair of home runs—and seems to be hitting better now than in recent years. Sample size aside, there are several important things I see with Chavvy. His ISO is the highest that it has been since 2004 and although ISO tends to stabilize very late, I have liked what I’ve seen from him so far. He has a higher walk rate and a lower strike out rate than in the previous two seasons and his contact rate is 3.5% higher than average. For the next four to six weeks, I’d say Chavez is a solid pick up. You should be able to grab him in almost 97% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.
• Your bi-weekly Stephen Drew update has arrived! During yesterday’s game Drew hit his first home run of the season. He was just 1-4 overall, but he did draw a walk as well. Nothing has swayed my previous opinions. I’m still a huge Drew fan for the last two months of the season. He’ still available in 80% of Yahoo! formats and over 85% of ESPN leagues.
• After seeing him play live over the weekend, I can say that Starling Marte sure seems like a legitimate big league outfielder. He already has two homers and two stolen bases in just 44 plate appearances. I do worry about his lack of walks, but if he continues to produce homers, runs, RBI’s and steals, I can live with four out of the five standard categories. His ZiPS only calls for two more home runs and just five more steals for the rest of the way, but I’d take the over on both of those. Marte is owned in just 25% of ESPN leagues and not even 20% of Yahoo! leagues. I’d grab him now.
• Since July 26, Chris Johnson has five homers and 13 RBI’s. He also has a 5:5 walk to strikeout ratio over that time span. It is hard to imagine that this pace becomes his (or anyone else’s for that matter) new standard, but he is worth owning while in the midst of this tear. You should still be able to grab him in over half of ESPN leagues and two-thirds of Yahoo! leagues.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Today: Ben Sheets at PHI
Sheets takes his sub 2.00 FIP to Philadelphia to face a below average Phillies offense. Sheets should be able to stream in 40% of Yahoo! leagues.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jake Peavy vs KC
Peavy is good; the Royals offense is not. Even U.S. Cellular shouldn’t factor in much, as the Royals have the 27th ranked HR/FB%.