Now that he appears to be healthy, Valencia figures to play everyday as the A’s third baseman, and as long as he can continue to hit righties well, he is worth using in standard mixed Rotisserie leagues. That ability is not something owners should take for granted, as Valencia’s 0.14 BB/K ratio against righties could signal trouble ahead. For now, Valencia’s power should be enough to make it worth picking him up and using him in a corner infield slot.
Guyer, like Valencia, first made himself Fantasy-relevant (at least in deeper leagues) by mashing left-handed pitching. Desmond Jennings’ struggles have provided Guyer a chance to show what he can do versus righties, as he has been penciled into the lineup for the last four starts against a right-hander, and seven out of the last nine. So far, so good, as Guyer has slashed .353/.439/.647 against righties in 41 plate appearances.
With a career .698 OPS against righties, Guyer still represents some risk to Fantasy owners as an everyday player, but as long as he faces at least a couple of lefties per week, he will be worth using in mixed league formats with at least 14 teams. Though Guyer has yet to steal a base, he could eventually work his way into double digits in that category.
Last season, De La Rosa was a desirable Fantasy asset … as long as he didn’t have to face many left-handed batters. That situation didn’t avail itself nearly enough, as he registered a quality start in only 14 of his 32 outings. Though his control has actually worsened against lefties this season, De La Rosa has had remarkably great results against them, holding them to a .160 batting average and a .257 slugging percentage. That has lifted the tide of his overall stat line, particularly over his past five starts, which have produced a 1.93 ERA.
Since De La Rosa has seemingly been on the verge of a breakout for years, it’s tempting to buy into his recent success, especially since his lefty-righty splits have evened out. However, his triumphs against lefties have been built on the back of a .196 BABIP, while his 9.4 K/9 ratio has been helped by a surge in his called strike rate. The former is clearly unsustainable, while the latter could also be an artifact of a small sample. De La Rosa has fared well against some tough opponents, so he could be worth a stash, but standard mixed league owners should exercise caution before actually moving him into their rotations.
Bauer, another perennial breakout candidate, has been provided with yet another chance to make good on his promise. Filling in for Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) while he is on the DL, Bauer has performed well, particularly in his two most recent starts. It actually took Bauer just two starts to get back to pitch counts over 100, and in his third and fourth starts, he managed to go deeper than six innings. He still has control issues, and now that Bauer is 25, it might be time to stop wishing for substantial improvement in that area.
However, Bauer has bumped his ground ball rate up from 41 percent in 2015 to 48 percent this season. That has enabled him to limit opponents to a .139 Isolated Power, down from .162 in 2015. He is still getting strikeouts, so that could be enough to make Bauer trustworthy as a streaming option in standard mixed leagues.
All the main aspects of the seven-months-coming donnybrook(s) between theToronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers were covered Sunday by my colleagues Mike Axisa and Dayn Perry. An underrated aspect I’d like to cover here and now, though, would be the participation of Rangers DH Prince Fielder.
Fielder, a true Prince of a man, was hit with an obvious payback (for the payback of the payback of a bat flip that happened a long time ago) pitch. When that happens, here are the hitter’s options, from worst to best.
1. Throw the bat at the pitcher: This is the worst possible option and the action of a pathetic human being.
Detroit is getting big time offensive production from Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler,Victor Martinez, and Nick Castellanos, yet they are only averaging 4.37 runs per game. The AL average is 4.23 runs per game. The Tigers need to get Upton back on track to make the jump from average-ish offense to great offense.
This is a team designated to pummel opponents, and they can’t do it with Upton fanning more than out of every three trips to the plate. He has to be a difference-maker.
2. The middle and back of the rotation needs some tweaking
No free-agent pitching contract from this past offseason has worked out better than Zimmermann’s five-year, $110 million contract. He went into Monday’s start with a 5-2 record and a 1.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 48 innings. The Twins tagged him for eight runs (seven earned) in seven innings, so that’s now a 2.45 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, which is still excellent.