Your Fantasy Baseball Planner Includes Prime Streamers and Waiver Adds
Playtime’s over. It’s June, and either you’re all-in toward winning a title or beginning to find your mouse pointed toward our Fantasy Football content. There is no in between, so direct your wishy-washy thoughts toward the medical insurance co-pay that leads to an hour with a therapist.
For the rest of us who understand there is no “C” in an A or B question, here’s the Fantasy Baseball Planner for the week ahead:
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended Two-Start Pitchers)
Joe Musgrove, Pirates (vs. Dodgers, Tuesday; at Cubs, Sunday): Two quality starts, one earned run allowed in 14 innings and an acceptable 12:4 K:BB rate means start him without regret. Bonus points for doing the ever-dying act of throwing 100 pitches. They don’t make ‘em in Pittsburgh like this anymore.
Nathan Eovaldi, Rays (at Nationals, Tuesday; vs. Mariners, Sunday): Six innings of no-hit ball in the first start after Tommy John Surgery? Splendid! Now let’s see how he defies a luck of a draw that has him going against Max Scherzer on Tuesday before facing James Paxton on Sunday. His heater averaged 96.9 MPH on Wednesday, so those velocity questions can be tossed out.
Breaking down Nathan Eovaldi’s first official outing with the Rays https://t.co/dOJsv8qSOI
— DRaysBay (@draysbay) June 1, 2018
Jose Urena, Marlins (at Cardinals, Tuesday; vs. Padres, Sunday): He’s beginning to remind us of Gil, the hard-luck character from The Simpsons who, despite all his efforts, ends up getting the short end of the stick. Urena is dropping his ERA and really, really should have earned his first win of the season at San Diego on Wednesday. I know, Jose…you could just taste that W, right?
Junior Guerra, Brewers (at Indians, Tuesday; at Phillies, Sunday): Sure, you’re getting six innings at the most from Guerra, yet you’re cool with that because he’s allowed two or fewer runs in his last four starts. With the way the Milwaukee bullpen is starting to develop, six isn’t a bad number after all.
Danny Duffy, Royals (at Angels, Monday; at Athletics, Saturday): Freefalling K/9 aside, Duffy has resembled a reliable option by allowed two earned runs over his last two starts. The fly ball tendencies are strong in this one, but he’ll be pitching in a pair of parks that suppress the long ball.
Zach Eflin, Phillies (at Cubs, Tuesday; vs. Brewers, Sunday): This week’s roll of the dice, here’s hoping the Eflin, who allowed three earned runs in his first three starts, makes a return from the Eflin who’s given up 10 earned runs in his last two starts.
Reynaldo Lopez, White Sox (at Twins, Tuesday; at Red Sox, Sunday): The encouraging sign with Lopez is that he’s becoming more of a ground ball pitcher. Yeah, he got tagged in his last start but only one of the eight hits he gave up was for extra bases. Trade in the risks that come with him starting at Fenway in exchange for what should be solid outing against the low-scoring Twinkies.
Kyle Freeland, Rockies (at Reds, Tuesday; vs. Diamondbacks, Sunday): The most consistent of Colorado’s arms has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one start this season. He’s not blowing away hitters but his 7.54 K/9 rate is 1.17 K/9 better than last year. Improvement’s a good thing, right?
Clayton Richard, Padres (vs. Braves, Monday; at Marlins, Saturday): Like Lopez, Richard is putting his infield to work lately, recording double-digit ground balls in four of his last five starts. A home start at Petco followed by pitching in front of hundreds of fans in Miami is a good two-step.
Max Stassi, C, Astros: Too bad if you didn’t listen to me about Stassi last month. Brian McCann’s trip to the DL has opened the door for more playing time for Stassi, who entered Saturday with a .906 OPS and is now owned in 29 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. There’s no reason not to get him if your catchers have the impact of ice on a Houston sidewalk these days.
Max Muncy, 1B/3B, Dodgers: Sure, the .235 batting average crinkles your nose, but those seven homers and .847 OPS in 102 at-bats squashes that fast. Muncy, owned in 24 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, doesn’t appear to be leaving the Dodgers lineup soon and also doesn’t hurt you knowing he qualifies in the outfield in leagues that are liberal about position eligibility.
Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals: Deeper leaguers may want to jump in now on Bader, whose 14 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues will go higher now that he’s become a regular in a crowded St. Louis outfield. The 8.3 percent walk is pleasant (as is the .363 OBP) and goes along well with his budding power. Oh: he also has six steals, so there.
Devin Mesoraco, C, Mets: He’s not a bad consolation prize if you didn’t get Stassi. His batting average has climbed from the deeper dregs of the .190 range and the power he once displayed with the Reds is showing up again. Mesoraco is owned in 33 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will remain a fixture behind the plate for the Mets over the long haul of the season.
Jose Alvarado, P, Rays: With Alex Colome traded to Seattle, Alvarado becomes the closer for a team that’s ripe with opportunities. He throws premium octane, averaging 98.1 MPH on his heater. Alvarado is sitting at 34 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues. Jump in early on Heat Miser in training.
Kyle Barraclough, P, Marlins: If there’s one thing Miami has done right, it came on Thursday when it was announced that Barraclough would be the closer, effectively ending the brief and shaky reign of Brad Ziegler. Barraclough has walked 15 batters in 24.1 innings but you won’t care when you realize he’s allowed just nine hits and fanned 27. He’s owned in 34 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, so run with him until he becomes a popular name on the trade block in mid-July.
Frankie Montas, P, Athletics: His first two starts have been solid and while his 0.64 ERA and 0.86 WHIP certainly will take a small hike, Montas is worth the speculative buy. He’s at 15 percent in CBSSports.com leagues but watch his stock rise with another impressive outing or two.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
C.C. Sabathia, Yankees (at Blue Jays, Tuesday): The Pinstripers are giving Sabathia over six runs per game in his last seven starts. Just get to the sixth inning with a lead, big guy.
Clay Buchholz, Diamondbacks (at Giants, Wednesday): Let’s not get too hasty with “Buchholtz is Back” mantras, but he has allowed just three earned runs in his three starts while also seeing his pitch count rise from 61 to 99.
Brock Stewart, Dodgers (at Pirates, Wednesday): A 1.98 HR/9 rate bothers me, yet Clayton Kershaw’s stand-in has a chance to be a decent start now that he’ll be in the rotation for the next month.
Tyler Mahle, Reds (vs. Rockies, Wednesday): Mahle has kept the ball in the yard his last two starts. Trust me, that’s major news. Colorado’s free-swinging tendencies show up on the road and Mahle has the stuff to record a double-digit K night.
Jack Flaherty, Cardinals (vs. Marlins, Wednesday): I’m getting the feeling this may be one of the last times Flaherty makes this list. He’s looking more like an elite-level pitcher with each start. Oh, and he gets the Marlins.
Jameson Taillon, Pirates (at Dodgers, Thursday): Man, did he look sharp against the Cardinals on Friday, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing two hits. Consistency has been an issue, yet I think he’s continuing to trend upward.
James Shields, White Sox (at Twins, Thursday): Shields held Minnesota to just two hits over six innings in his previous start against them on May 6 yet gave up three runs.
Kevin Gausman, Orioles (at Blue Jays, Thursday): Shaky of late, Gausman is a good source of whiffs and has the stuff to be dominant. My worry is that he’ll get less effective as the O’s continue their downward spiral.
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (vs. Brewers, Friday): Frustrating to watch, yet Philly is smart by keeping him in the 85-95 pitch range. However, you can live with the 10.99 K/9 rate.
Anthony DeSclafani, Reds (vs. Cardinals, Friday): He’s making his 2018 debut and while he’ll be on a pitch count, I’d be interested to see how much of his 2016 form (3.28 ERA) is still there.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters’ Edition)
Mitch Moreland, 1B, Red Sox (vs. White Sox, Friday-Sunday): Moreland’s 1.044 OPS against righties gets first dibs against the returning Carlos Rodon.
Ryan Jankowski, OF, Padres (at Marlins, Friday-Sunday): You gotta love his .380 OBP, although it wouldn’t hurt if he became more active in stealing bases.
Max Kepler, OF, Twins (vs. White Sox, Tuesday-Thursday): He’s struggled against Pale Hose pitching thus far in 2018 (1-for-18). He’s due.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Blue Jays (vs. Orioles, Friday-Sunday): Has yet to see Baltimore pitching this season. Boy, what a weekend he could have.
Ronald Guzman, 1B, Rangers (vs. Astros, Friday-Sunday): The rookie loves Houston pitching, tagging them for a pair of homers en route to a .983 OPS.
Dylan Cozens, OF, Phillies (vs. Diamondbacks, Friday-Sunday): Rhys Hopkins’ replacement is a power-speed player who could thrive at home.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Athletics (at Rangers, Tuesday-Thursday): Get him the hell out of Oakland and Chapman becomes must-start. He’s sporting a .903 OPS on the road, compared to a .581 OPS at home.
Tyler Flowers, C, Braves (at Padres, Monday-Thursday): An .882 OPS in 88 ABs, boosted by a .417 OBP. He splits time with Kurt Suzuki but he’s a deeper league play worth taking.
Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees (at Blue Jays, Tuesday-Wednesday): Still coming around from his DL stint, Bird gets Rogers Centre for two nights of rehab.