Jake Peavy’s strong start
Though he was denied the win, Peavy lasted six innings and allowed just one run yesterday. He scattered seven hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts. Of his 105 pitches, Peavy induced 11 swinging strikes. It was just his second quality start in his past seven outings, however Peavy has pitched at least six innings in six of those starts. Many fantasy owners have taken note of Peavy’s struggles as he is owned in just 45% of Yahoo! leagues as well as 51% of ESPN and CBS leagues. His 3.40 BB/9 represents his highest mark since 2003 and I’d expect him to rediscover the strike zone as the season continues to progress. One area of concern is Peavy’s velocity has dipped nearly a full mile-per-hour this year compared to last season. A right-hander sitting 89.8 doesn’t leave much margin for error and we’ve seen him get tagged for 13 home runs already this year (81.1 IP, 12% HR/FB) versus 20 all of last season (144.2 IP, 10.1% HR/FB%). I still like him as a spot start candidate in standard 12-team mixed leagues and I think he is worth rostering in standard leagues. In a shallow 10-teamer I’d leave him to the waiver wire because while I don’t hate his game, I don’t love it either.
The return of A.J. Ellis
I am a sucker for cheap, high on-base percentage players and Ellis is a personal favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Ellis from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday’s game and he has drawn three walks and recorded two hits since then. His .196 batting average is tough to see past but just beneath his average one can see his .388 OBP. Ellis has recorded just 67 PA’s this season after he underwent knee surgery in the second week of April, so we are still well withing range of small sample size issues. His 12.1% career walk rate pales in comparison to his current 22.4%, but as he gets more and more PA’s under his belt I expect his BB% to normalize. Even with his outstanding plate discipline I wouldn’t grab him in standard 5×5 leagues as Ellis doesn’t offer much in the terms of average or power. It’s a different story in OBP and two catcher leagues as he is nearly a must-own in those formats
Some (very) early thoughts on Eugenio Suarez
Let’s get this cleared up right away: 25 plate appearances does not a career make. Not even a season. Really, 25 PA’s is about one week over the course of a 600 PA season. With the small sample size, level of competition, etc. caveats out of the way, let’s take a look at the young Detroit Tiger. Yesterday Suarez fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle in his 3-for-4 day while also drawing a walk. Through eight games he now has a 4:4 walk to strikeout ratio and I do think he has the ability to continue to draw walks at a decent clip in the majors. During his stints in Double and Triple-A his lowest walk rate was 8.8%. I’m not counting on much in the way of counting stats from the 22-year-old shortstop as his power profile doesn’t scream “home runs!” at all. I do think he can score a decent amount of runs despite most likely hitting ninth in the Detroit lineup. Suarez’s walk rate should get him on base often enough for the top of the lineup to go to work behind him and drive him in. If I were Blake Murphy (I’d be taller and more handsome) I’d probably place Suarez somewhere in the middle of tier six for now. I harbor concerns about Suarez’s strikeout rate getting the best of him at the major league level but I do see the upside to him.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Corey Kluber — $8,800
Kluber will be facing the Boston Red Sox today. The Sawx haven’t hit righties terribly well this season and Kluber has been brilliant most of the season.
Starting pitcher: A.J. Burnett — $7,700
Squaring off against the Chicago Cubs is not something right-handed pitchers have had trouble with. As a team the Cubs’ 74 wRC+ against righties is the lowest in baseball.
Infielder: Adam Lind — $3,900
The powerful lefty gets to hit against Chris Tillman today, a right-hander. Lind does the vast majority of his damage against opposite-handed pitchers and I hope he goes Yahtzee! today.
Outfielder: Dexter Fowler — $4,400
Despite the fact the Houston Astros will be going against David Price, the Astros have hit southpaws quite well this season with their 112 wRC+ ranking fifth best. Fowler in particular has fared well against left-handed pitchers and I hope the trend continues today.
Remaining budget: $21,600
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