Fantasy mailbag: Greinke, Hawpe, Niemann

Tim Dierkes runs a daily fantasy baseball blog called RotoAuthority. If you enjoy this column, check it out.

Let’s crack open the fantasy mailbag. Feel free to send a question for next week to
(but please, nothing specific to your fantasy team).

Why wouldn’t Blaine Boyer get a shot at the closer’s gig while Rafael Soriano is out? He’s striking out almost two batters per inning and has a better ERA and WHIP than Manny Acosta. Am I missing something here?

I see your point. Both have big-time control problems and carry plenty of risk. I don’t think Boyer is far behind Acosta and if Manny flubs one chance we may see Blaine. If you have bench room and fierce save competition, he may be worth a pickup.

Do you think it’s time to jump ship on Zack Greinke? Surely he can’t keep this up all year. His stock is at its highest. What do you think I could net in a trade of Greinke?

I usually sell high on a player only if I think he’s a complete fluke. Livan Hernandez, for example. That’s not the case with Greinke, though everyone knows he won’t finish the year with ratios under 1.00. Though his strikeout rate is dangerously low, Greinke has an ace repertoire. Seems like he’s pitching to contact purposely, not because he has to. I would hang on to him unless I could get a guy of the Dan Haren/Matsuzaka/Shields caliber. Guys like Dustin McGowan/Yovani Gallardo, I’d at least consider.

Tim, I’m falling behind quickly in Ks. Just didn’t get enough on draft day. For all of us owners in the same position, are there any undrafted guys out there that might be worth taking if you’re desperate for more Ks?

I am in this position in one league, and my decision is to keep waiting for the right guy to surface. (Max Scherzer? Homer Bailey?) That said, Scott Olsen might be worth a look despite his low K rate this year. Todd Wellemeyer has been whiffing a lot of guys; he might be a consideration. Some owners are starting to drop Ted Lilly, who could bounce back. Going for Daniel Cabrera or Jonathan Sanchez is dancing with the devil, though.

Brad Hawpe: Is this a true regression towards platoonville, or does he still hold enough value to warrant a starting job?

Doesn’t seem like Hawpe ever deserved to escape platoonville, even if he had a small late-season stint where he hit lefties. Just 36 ABs into the ’08 season, I can’t draw any conclusions. He was worse in April of ’07, for what it’s worth. Anyway, sitting Hawpe against lefties in your fantasy league seems wise.

So, Jeff Niemann just became available in Yahoo! leagues. Do you think he’s worth a top waiver claim?

No, I’d wait for more of a sure thing to come along. Niemann is no Johnny Cueto. Plus he plays in baseball’s toughest division and may not be up to stay. I wouldn’t commit too much yet.

Is there a good site to look up match-ups on our own? When CBS Sports tells me Willy Taveras hits .333 vs. Brandon Webb, how do I find out if he’s 1-3 lifetime or 10-33?

I would find the pitcher on ESPN and then hit the Bat vs. Pitch button. For example, here’s Webb against the Rockies in his career.

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