Today marks the 17th anniversary of the film “Air Force One.” Linked is the hijacking scene, one of the most intense action sequences nine-year-old me had ever seen. My parents never would have let me watch this at such a young age, but I have a pretty cool uncle.
They see em Stroman, they waiting
Awkwardly shoe-horned pop culture references from 2006 aside, Marcus Stroman rolled opposing batters yet again yesterday, but many fantasy owners have largely failed to take note. I touched on Stroman a bit in a previous edition of these digital pages seven weeks ago and much of what I mentioned before remains true. He is still posting a ground ball rate north of 50% and I love his pedigree. The Toronto Blue Jays first round pick from the 2012 draft is sporting 7.89 K/9 against a 2.00 BB/9. His 3.21 ERA/3.11 FIP/3.37 xFIP is excellent and while his 0.67 HR/9 rate is most likely going to go up, Stroman still makes for an attractive fantasy option. He can be grabbed in just 20% of CBS formats but is available in 65% of Yahoo! formats and 85% of ESPN leagues. It’s almost like they see him throwin, they waitin, trying to catch Stroman K-ing.
Jesse Hahn to start today
While on the topic of starting pitchers who are available, Hahn has been confirmed as today’s starter for the San Diego Padres. He was sent down to the minors to keep on schedule and now he’s back with the big league club. This will be his first start of the back half of the season and let us hope it mirrors the front half. Hahn owns an impressive 2.21 ERA/2.80 FIP/2.94 xFIP to go with an even more impressive 10.40 K/9. His 3.54 BB/9 isn’t the prettiest thing to look at but when one fans over a batter per inning pitched, I’m willing to bend on the walk rate. Hahn has posted an 11.4% swinging strike rate through seven starts (40.2 innings pitched) a rate that places him in the top 15 starters in baseball (minimum 40 IP). On top of tons of whiffs and subsequent strikeouts, Hahn has burns worms at 50% clip thus far and his minor league batted ball info (courtesy of Minor League Central) paints him as a ground ball pitcher as well. Factor in a favorable home park and you have yourself one heck of a fantasy starter. I’m buying Hahn where I can. One can pick him up in 25% of CBS formats, 40% of ESPN leagues and 50% of Yahoo! leagues.
Shane Victorino is hitting
Since returning from the disabled list Victorino has posted a five game hitting streak and has eight hits (plus one walk) during that time frame. He still owns a rather poor .273/.305/.373 line but most of the badness can be credited to the month of May. One month of terrible hitting —Victorino hit for a 55 wRC+ — and then being placed on the 15-day DL with initial hamstring strain followed by a setback due to back pain tends to hurt ones batting line. Two days ago Victorino hit leadoff and yesterday he hit second. Hopefully he’ll continue to see plenty of plate appearances near the top of the lineup to maximize his potential on fantasy rosters. Both ZiPS and Steamer project him to hit approximately .270 and he has 10+ steal upside if his hamstring allows it. The Red Sox seem to be playing it safe with his playing time — he sat out one game already post All-Stare break — let alone his running game so we’ll what kind of steal opportunities he is given. Even still, if you’re looking for batting average help then Victorino offers AVG, albeit it somewhat empty. He is available in 50% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formats and 40% of CBS leagues.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Jesse Hahn — $9,100
I’m doubling down on Hahn today. He will be
at home on the road against the Atlanta Braves and their 26th ranked 86 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.
Starting pitcher: Jason Hammel — $7,700
This isn’t just a homer pick from an A’s fan. The right-handed Hammel should have a strong outing today in Texas. The Rangers have hit a 27th ranked 85 wRC+ against righties.
Other hitter: Jose Altuve — $5,100
The Houston Astros have hit left-handed pitchers at the third best clip in baseball with a 115 wRC+ against southpaws. Altuve in particular blasts lefties to the tune of a .423/.448/.550 rate thus far.
Remaining budget: $19,700
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