What could be a better way of starting off All-Star Weekend than with yours truly and the Roto Riteup? I guess bacon would make it better. I don’t know if that is really fair to say though, as bacon makes any and everything better. One of my good friends, we’ll call him Pablo, has a different theory. He insists that nacho cheese makes everything better (excluding dessert and sweets). I am inclined to agree. We’ve tested this several times and it has always proven to be true. Don’t take our word for it; go and try it for yourselves. And yet I digress.
• I think Justin Masterson is a man eater. He makes me swoon, then breaks my heart. Last night was no exception. After pitching at least six inning in 13 consecutive starts, Masterson was torched for eight earned runs and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning. His seasonal FIP is now back up to 3.89; about his career norm. I fell in love with Masterson last year due to the GB% and 150+ strikeouts. As a heavy ground ball pitcher, I understand that his BABIP will vary greatly, but last night wasn’t a case of a bunch of ground balls with eyes. He gave up a pair of long home runs, a very hard hit double and a long sac fly that scored a run. His SwStr% is fine, as is his overall BABIP. Perhaps he just is a 3.80 FIP pitcher. Useful, but certainly not what I was hoping (and banking) on for this year. I haven’t dropped him, but he’s going to get spot started from now on.
• Chipper Jones is giving old timer’s baseball a good show over the past two weeks, and when healthy, all season. He is hitting .447 over his past 14 days and after last nights 1-3 performance with a walk, he continues to see and hit the ball well. Much of his power is now gone, but he is still a useful bat. His seasonal batting line of .318/.394/.482 will play anywhere; the issue is of course playing time and health. Regardless of those concerns Chipper deserves to be owned in more than 31% of Yahoo! leagues and 32% of ESPN formats.
• Adam Lind of all people just went 2-4 last night with a home run. Since being called up (again), that is his fourth home run. He won’t do much for your average, but his power shouldn’t be in doubt. The elephant in the room with Lind is of course his strikeout rate. He already has racked up 11 strikes after his promotion too, so the strikeouts are just going to be a part of the package. ZiPS isn’t too keen on Lind, but it does predict 11 more homers for him. If you’re starved for power, Lind might be your guy. He should be available in about 75% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.
• If you’ve already been around the block with Lind are are looking for another first base alternative, try the latest installment of the revolving door in Oakland. Right now it seems as though Chris Carter is beginning to hit his way into the lineup with some consistency. After last night’s pinch hit extra-inning walk-off home run, he now has three homers in just 16 PA’s. The shine is surely off of Carter’s prospect status, but he is still just 25. With basically zero pressure to perform (because the A’s don’t have another 1B breathing down his neck), it’s possible that Carter finally translates his minor league stats to the majors. Carter is owned in just 1% of Yahoo! leagues and 0.3% of ESPN 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: Trevor Cahill vs LAD
I swoon over Cahill’s GB%, do I really need to say more?
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jonathon Niese vs CHC
Niese has shown solid peripherals to back up his strikeout total this year. I’m buying him.
A Hitter for Today: Josh Reddick vs SEA (Jason Vargas)
I know this is a lefty/lefty matchup, but Reddick has a fairly strong reverse split. I don’t really believe in those very often, and I think once he gets enough PA’s against right-handed pitching we’ll find out that Reddick can just flat out hit. Either way, Vargas isn’t much of an opponent.