Given my status as a nerd, I feel obligated to let you know the film “Revenge of the Nerds” has been out for 30 years now. It hasn’t really held up over time — not that it was particularly great when it was released — but this quote from the character Ogre will continue to live on.
A strong start from Rubby de la Rosa
Yesterday the Boston Red Sox pitcher hurled seven innings of one-run baseball while scattering five hits. He did allow four walks against two strikeouts and gathered just nine swinging strikes out of 104 pitches. Lack of strikeouts aside, this was his fourth quality start in seven games started and now owns an impressive 2.64 ERA/3.84 FIP/3.49 xFIP. The walks do worry me as de la Rosa has had control issues throughout the minor leagues — over 4.00 BB/9 in 140 Triple-A innings — but the 25-year-old can gather strikeouts with his excellent changeup. Add in his 94.5 mph fastball and you have yourself a starter worth owning. One can grab de la Rosa in 90% of Yahoo! and ESPN formats as well as 65% of CBS leagues.
Everth Cabrera is making progress
Out since June 30th with a hamstring injury, Cabrera is scheduled to run the bases today. If all goes well there he is to report to Triple-A to begin his rehab assignment tomorrow. I really like having Cabrera on my team despite his poor rate stats because his running game is (arguably) elite and he plays shortstop. His current .218/.256/.290 line is pretty brutal however his .281 BABIP is over 40 points below his career average. Don’t expect Cabrera to be a top tier player for you — though last season was certainly encouraging — but his steals alone make him useful. He is available in over 50% of CBS and Yahoo! leagues and can be picked up in nearly 70% of ESPN leagues. Any owner in a league deeper than 12-teams should absolutely grab Cabrera if he is available.
Quick thoughts on Danny Duffy
On the other end of yesterday’s pitching matchup against de la Rosa we had Danny Duffy. He managed to go 6.2 innings while allowing two runs (one earned) and recorded a pair of strikeouts himself and allowed three walks. Duffy induced a mere five swinging strikes on 97 pitches and despite meeting the criteria for a quality start, it wasn’t much of a fantasy asset. Prior to yesterday’s game his 6.7% swinging strike rate was the 15th lowest among starters with at least 60 innings pitched. A 2.66 ERA is an unconvincing number given his 4.48 xFIP. Duffy has been remarkably fortunate in terms of his .238 BABIP and I don’t think I need to mention my thoughts on that number lasting very long. I believe Duffy can be a decent fantasy starter in deep leagues but with a low SwStr% and BABIP, I’m beginning to be concerned for the 25-year-old hurler. I wouldn’t roster him in standard 12-team mixed leagues but any format deeper than that and he makes for a useful spot starter. He’s owned in just 20% of ESPN leagues, 36% of Yahoo! formats and 63% of CBS leagues.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Johnny Cueto — $10,300
The New York Yankees are in the bottom third of baseball with a 90 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. I like Cueto to post a big day against them.
Starting pitcher: Zack Wheeler — $7,700
The right-hander is up against the San Diego Padres. The Padres don’t hit right-handed pitching very well. Or left-handed pitching, really. Just about any starter on the road at Petco is probably a safe pick.
Remaining budget: $17,800
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