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White Sox’ Carlos Rodon and Indians’ Danny Salazar Are Showing Their True Potential

Michael Waterloo Staff Writer August 9, 2017 8:52AM EDT
It’s that time of that year that is rough for Fantasy Baseball players. The season is a marathon that is grueling, and by early August, owners are either jockeying for playoff position, or they’re out of it and figuring out if they want to use the zero-RB strategy in their upcoming Fantasy Football draft.

Stay focused and stay the course, as now is the perfect time to make up ground on those league mates who are checked out.

Take a break from the grind, though, and sit back and have some fun with numbers.

11: Since the All-Star break, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has 11 double-digit strikeout games in the team’s 22 games. He has at least one strikeout in each one of the Yankees games since the break. During that 22-game stretch, Judge has a .182 average and a 36.5 percent strikeout rate. Those numbers are close to the same numbers we saw him put up in a 27-game sample in 2016, as he had a 44.2 percent strikeout rate and hit .179.

Carlos Rodon is in the midst of his best three-start strikeout stretch of his career. Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire

31: In his last three starts, Carlos Rodon has struck out 31 batters. That’s the best three-game stretch of his career, besting the 25 strikeouts he had in three games from September 19-30 last year. In his last start against the Red Sox, Rodon didn’t walk a batter. It’s only the fourth start in his career that he’s achieved that. Last August and September, Rodon had a 3.10 ERA and 70 strikeouts to 20 walks. He’s looking for his second straight strong finish to a season.

2: It would be Danny Salazar’s ranking if he had enough innings to qualify for the best K/9 in baseball. Salazar’s 12.60 mark would rank right behind Chris Sale’s 12.68 mark. Like Rodon, Salazar has been magnificent in his last three outings, racking up 28 strikeouts.

.059: There is still improvement to be had for Miguel Cabrera, but time is running out. His wOBA is .335, but his xwOBA is .394. He’s still hitting the ball hard, but he’s just been very unlucky all season. At this point, your trade deadline has either passed or is getting close. It’s worth a buy-low offer if it hasn’t passed. If you have him, though, you’ve stuck it out this long. Hold on and hope that it normalizes.

.178: Since his first start in June, Zack Godley has held the opposition to a .178 average against. During that stretch, Godley has a 3.18 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke have gotten the majority of the attention for the Diamondbacks, but Godley deserves just as much, as he’s given Arizona a third Fantasy must-start pitcher.

1: That’s the number of stolen bases that Mookie Betts is behind his 2016 pace. It feels like a disappointing season for Betts, but at this point in the season last year, Betts had 18 steals, a .311/.352/.545 slash line, 13 percent strikeout rate, 23 homers, 74 RBIs and 86 runs. This year, Betts has 17 steals, a .269/.343/.462 slash line, 10 percent strikeout rate, 18 homers, 69 RBIs and 74 runs. What’s the big difference? Well, besides the average and slugging percentage, Betts’ BABIP is down from .319 to .268 this year, and his soft-hit rate went up from 15.7 to 19.3 this year. While it seems like a down year, Betts is still on pace to deliver first-round caliber numbers.

.338: Since the All-Star break, Alex Bregman has hit .338 with five homers and four steals, showing the multi-category ability that had him so highly ranked entering the season.

3: While Bregman has been excellent since the arbitrary midpoint of the season, he hasn’t come close to teammate Jose Altuve, who is one of three players to hit .400 or higher since July 14. Altuve (.427) joins Adam Frazier (.420) and Gerardo Parra (.414) in the .400 club. Well, since the All-Star break, at least.

41: It’s the number of Barrels by Manny Machado this year. His 41 Barrels puts him behind only Aaron Judge, Kris Davis, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Smoak and Paul Goldschmidt on the season. If you haven’t noticed, the five players above Machado are all having excellent seasons. Machado’s turnaround has started, but he’s far from done. Expect an elite tear to take place from now until the end of the season.

18.8: The percentage difference between the best and worst IFFB% in baseball. The worst being Rougned Odor at 19.5%. The best, of course, being Joey Votto at .7%. Votto has been twice as good at avoiding infield flyballs as Shin-Soo Choo, who has the second-best rate in baseball.

1: The number of qualified hitters in baseball who do not have an infield hit this year. Step right up, Yonder Alonso. You can claim your prize.

0.00: That’s Brad Hand’s ERA since the All-Star break. In 10.2 innings since July 14, Hand has allowed just four hits – all singles – and walked one batter while striking out 14 and holding the opposition to a .118 average against.

43%: Tim Beckham has the 12th hardest hard-hit rate in baseball this year. Yes, THAT Tim Beckham. Since going to Baltimore, he’s done his best Brooks Robinson impression, but he’s been smoking the ball all season long. It should be noted that both Cabrera and Nick Castellanos are Top 4 in the category. Say it with me, folks. They’ve been unlucky.

13.1%: That’s Jordan Montgomery’s SwStr%, which is 10th in all of baseball. Montgomery and his swing-and-miss stuff are in Triple-A now in favor of Jaime Garcia.


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