By the time you read this, the first season of the World Championship Series for the Korean region, also known as GSL, will have been played. If anyone has any interest in StarCraft II, the present author urges you to check it out. Become an eSports while reading baseball nerd articles!
On today’s agenda:
1. Stephen Strasburg exits after two innings
2. A couple two home run days
3. The Empire Strikes Back
4. Keep the faith in Shaun Marcum
Stephen Strasburg exits after two innings
The Washington Nationals — and really, baseball fans everywhere — held their breath as Stephen Strasburg left his start yesterday after two innings against the Atlanta Braves. The Nationals have made it known that it was back pain, specifically an oblique strain. He’ll require further analysis over the weekend, however the key takeaway is at least this isn’t an elbow or shoulder injury.
A couple two home run days
Both Jonathan Lucroy and Domonic Brown each powered two home runs yesterday. Brown has been ridiculously hot all month long and he made the final day of the month really matter. He drove in four with his home runs and now sits at 36 RBIs. Another important tidbit is that he now leads the National League with 15 home runs.
Lucroy’s perfect 5-for-5 game yesterday — that included a double in addition to his home runs — surpassed Brown’s day. That being said, even after yesterday’s big game, Lucroy’s line sits at .253/.306/.399. As Michael Barr pointed out just yesterday, if you were looking to grab a catcher, Lucroy makes for a great rebound candidate. He won’t dazzle you with amazing stats, even for a catcher, and he doesn’t have to put up amazing stats to be worthy of ownership in two catcher leagues or even for fellow catcher streamers. Lucroy is owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues, 40% of Yahoo! leagues, and 70% of CBS formats.
The Empire Strikes Back
No, this isn’t about the greatest sequel of all time (yes, over The Godfather Part II), but about the New York Yankees getting Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back from the disabled list. While Teixeira is owned in over 90% of leagues for the three major sites, Youkilis lags behind at 37% in ESPN, 45% for Yahoo!, and 70% at CBS. Youkilis has a starting job, is third base eligible, and should have a solid on-base percentage. He should continue to get run plenty of scoring and RBI chances with his solid OBP combined with him hitting in the top half of the Yankee lineup. His right-handed bat — plus the switch hitting Teixeira — give the Yankees some much needed lineup a flexibility. Prior to his injury, Youkilis hit almost exclusively third or cleanup, though that was without Teixeira avilable. Given the options on the third base waiver wire, Youkilis should be an easy pick up and a likely upgrade.
Keep the faith in Shaun Marcum
He may only have one quality start this season — not to mention an ERA approaching six — but there are good things on the horizon for Shaun Marcum. His start yesterday was another somewhat rough outing, but fear not, for help is on the way. Maybe help is the wrong word, how about regression to the mean? Marcum’s 5.71 ERA stands in stark contrast to his 3.21 FIP and 4.00 xFIP. He has been getting BABIP’d into submission and his 59% LOB% rate is painful to see. Both of those numbers are unsustainable, and while his home run rate may creep up slightly, overall regression should work in Marcum’s favor.
The reasons to worry about him have been largely overstated and owners dropping him instead of simply benching him are knee-jerk reactions. His strikeout to walk ratio is over 3.5 and his SwStr% remains in line with his career average. Ride out the bumpy times or buy low on Marcum and let him post his typical numbers for you. With a measure of discernment on your behalf regarding his match ups, there is no reason that Marcum can’t post a sub 3.50 ERA with 100+ strikeouts in your team log. Marcum is available in over 80% of ESPN formats, 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and 63% of CBS leagues.
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