Seven years ago today “The Simpsons Movie” launched internationally. I won’t touch on too much Simpsons stuff, that is Paul Swydan’s territory, but I will say I enjoyed the film.
Wilson Ramos continues to rake
With at least one hit in 19 of his past 20 games, Ramos has brought his batting average above .300 on the year and over .350 for July. I don’t expect Ramos’ .336 BABIP to continue forever but it has been a fun ride. Going forward with something closer to his career .297 BABIP will bring his current .301 AVG to the mid .270’s, still useful from a catcher. I’d still like to see more power from him — Ramos has gone deep just three times in 176 plate appearances — and I think we’ll see some more balls clear the fence. Ramos owns a 10% HR/FB % this year compared to his career 15.7%. The most realistic best case scenario is to see his rate stats come back down to earth a bit but his power gets a boost. Sounds like a fair trade to me. One downside to Ramos is he has consistently been penciled in the eighth spot in the lineup. He hasn’t hit higher than sixth in the order since June 6th. Ramos and the Washington Nationals are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for fourth most runs in the National League — just eight runs behind the third place Los Angeles Dodgers — so his lineup positioning has more to do with a strong offensive team around him than anything else. I’m grabbing Ramos in any league where he is available. In both CBS and Yahoo! formats he can be picked up in about 50% of leagues and almost 40% of ESPN formats.
A strong start from Drew Smyly
His start may have only lasted 5.2 innings but Smyly was able to gather a career high 11 strikeouts against the Los Angeles Angels. He generated an eye popping 20 (!) swinging strikes out of 92 pitches. He didn’t get the win as his two runs allowed gave him the tough luck loss 2-1. Smyly is still putting the ball into the air a bit more than I like to see but he plays in a favorable park for fly balls. His 36.9% ground ball rate puts him the bottom 10 starting pitchers (minimum 80 innings pitched). Even with a lack of grounders Smyly has proved to be an effective stream option, sporting a 3.77 ERA/4.18 FIP/3.99 xFIP through 17 starts. He is currently owned in about 50% of both ESPN and CBS formats though one can grab him in 77% of Yahoo! leagues. In standard 12-team mixed (redraft) leagues I’d stick with streaming him as right-handed hitters have given him a very rough go, hitting .304/.369/.525 against him prior to yesterday’s outing. With rates like that against opposite-handed hitters, I can’t justify rostering him to even spot start him. He’s a stream guy for me until he gets his changeup to be more consistent.
A comparison with Zack Wheeler
A quick comparison between Wheeler and Pitcher X:
|Wheeler||9||3.64||121||3.64/3.47/3.40||1.35||85% – 61% – 68%|
|Pitcher X||7.9||3.53||119.2||3.31/3.24/3.75||1.31||90% – 77% – 89%|
Pitcher X is Chris Archer, someone who is 18-months older than Wheeler. CBS owners have noticed the similarities between the two starters, though Wheeler is still available in too many Yahoo! and ESPN formats. Grab him now and be happy you did.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Sonny Gray — $9,100
Gray is a very good pitcher. The Texas Rangers are not a very good team.
Starting pitcher: Odrisamer Despaigne — $6,700
The Atlanta Braves don’t hit right-handed pitchers very well — their 85 wRC+ rank 25th — and strike out at the seventh highest rate against them. I expect Despaigne to get his major league strikeout rate in line with his minor league rate and hopefully it starts today.
Outfielder: Michael Brantley — $4,900
The Cleveland Indians blast right-handed pitchers at the second best rate in baseball. They’ll be up against Jeremy Guthrie today and Brantley owns a 168 wRC+ against righties this season.
Remaining budget: $19,600
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