So kind of a lot went down yesterday. For all the news that happened off the field, I urge you to read the Trade Reaction Roundup. In addition to the real-life implications, our very own Zach Sanders killed it yesterday with three timely trade articles and Nicholas Minnix chipped in another. You may find their work below the jump.
On today’s agenda:
1. Trades and their fantasy impact
2. Another strong outing for Yordano Ventura
3. Cliff Lee potentially done for the year
4. Ben Revere, still hitting, running and available
5. Welcome back, Will Middlebrooks
6. The daily five
Trades and their fantasy impact
On Asdrubal Cabrera being traded to the Washington Nationals
The Lackey/Kelly + Craig trade between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals
The Cespedes/Lester swap and implications
Regarding Justin Masterson to the Cardinals
Another strong outing for Yordano Ventura
Including yesterday Ventura now owns an impressive 3.50 ERA/3.86 FIP/3.62 xFIP through 20 starts and 121 innings pitched. Despite a solid ERA, I would still like to see a few more strikeouts from him as his 7.59 K/9 is just okay. Prior to yesterday’s game he had very nice 10.2% swinging strike rate and he gathered another 14 whiffs on 103 pitches against the Minnesota Twins. With a SwStr% ranking in the top 20 (among starting pitchers with 100 IP) I expect the strikeouts to rise. He may not rack up the wins for you but it isn’t his fault the Royals don’t score a ton of runs. Even without the wins Ventura makes for a useful fantasy starter is available in far too many leagues. At the time of writing he can be picked up in over 40% of both ESPN and CBS formats. Owners in CBS leagues have already caught on as he is owned in 85% of their leagues.
Cliff Lee potentially done for the year
After making a mere three starts since returning from the disabled list, Lee once again finds himself on the shelf with elbow issues. The talented starter lasted just 2.2 innings before being removed from the game yesterday. With two outs in the third inning Lee threw a pitch and then immediately signaled to the dugout. He was taken out of the game with either another or the same elbow issue that caused him to miss two months of the season already. Lee acknowledged the very real possibility he won’t pitch again this year in a post game interview. I’d drop him in any redraft leagues.
Ben Revere, still hitting, running and available
Shifting gears to the Philadelphia outfield, Revere had himself a nice game yesterday. He went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored and a stolen base, and is now up to 30 bags on the year. Though he has just 13 RBIs on the year — that isn’t a typo — he does offer a strong average and speed. Obviously power isn’t part of his game nor are walks, but in standard 5×5 leagues Revere has real value. His batting average is once again over .300 and he should crack the 40 steals mark. If you happen to be in need of AVG or SB, Revere can be picked up in just 20% of ESPN formats but is free to grab in over 40% of both CBS and Yahoo! leagues.
Welcome back, Will Middlebrooks
The Boston Red Sox will call upon Middlebrooks today to fill the void left by trading away Stephen Drew for (the currently on the disabled list) Kelly Johnson. The plan is to shift Xander Bogaerts back to shortstop and thus open the third base position for Middlebrooks. I still don’t love his game — his 25.7 career strikeout rate doesn’t appeal to me — but he does offer some pop and some playing time now. While in Triple-A Middlebrooks hit a very pedestrian .240/.287/.390 but his previous stints there were much more successful. If you’re hurting for help at the hot corner, I’d look to grab Middlebrooks and cross my fingers. It seems as though Brock Holt will be left standing when the music stops so grab Middlebrooks now if you need help. He is available in over 75% of the three major fantasy websites.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Sonny Gray — $9,500
Homer alert! But really, Gray will be throwing against the Kansas City Royals and their 18th ranked 91 wRC+ against right-handed hitters. While fully realizing the Royals have the lowest K% against righties in baseball, I still think Gray posts a big day.
Starting pitcher: Danny Salazar — $7,000
I love Salazar and the Rangers stink versus right-handed pitchers.
Other hitter: Carlos Santana — $5,400
Another Tribe hitter who crushed right-handed pitching.
Remaining budget: $18,000
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