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Fake Teams Podcast; Episode 8: Tall, Dark and Handsome
Make sure you check out Episode 8 of the Fake Teams podcast hosted by Andrew Ball and Zack Smith. This week their guess was Daniel Schwartz from Fake Teams and Roto Banter, and they discuss Will Myers, Kyle Blanks and others.
Carlos Gomez: Is this for real?
Once upon a time, Carlos Gomez was a top Mets outfield prospect, but he was included in the deal that brought Johan Santana to the Mets. He lasted with the Twins for two years before being traded to the Brewers for J.J. Hardy. When a prospect gets traded a few times, one must scratch his head and ask why. A few reasons were that Gomez had trouble making contact and never walked. That is until last year when he had his breakout season. I was skeptical of him coming into the season, but he appears to be better than ever, a late bloomer.
Last night, Gomez went 4-5 with 2 doubles, 3 runs and 3 RBI, raising his triple slash line to .326-.366-.594 with 11 HRs, 15 doubles, 8 triples, 42 runs, 36 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 16 attempts. For you FanGraphs fans, he is the NL leader with a 3.9 WAR (before last night's game) and 160 wRC+. Gomez is on pace for 27 HRs, 105 runs, 90 RBI and 32 stolen bases. Yeah, he's for real.
Starlng Marte having a breakout season
A friend of mine recently traded Clayton Kershaw for Starling Marte in an NL only redraft league. There were other players in this deal to make the deal more palatable, but the names involved escape me. I told him he was nuts to make that deal, but after the way Starling Marte has played this season, maybe I am wrong. Marte went 4-5 with 4 runs and 2 stolen bases in the Pirates 12-8 win over the Giants. Marte, the Pirates leadoff hitter, has surprised me this season as he is hitting for average, scoring runs and stealing bases. Through last night's games, Marte is hitting .289-.357-.426 with 6 HRs, 42 runs, 19 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 28 attempts. He is striking out in about 25% of his at bats thus far and has walked just 13 times in 249 at bats. I am not sure how long he can keep performing well with such a low walk rate, but he is on pace for 100+ runs and 50 stolen bases, so he is quite valuable for fantasy owners.
I may have to write a profile piece on Jordan Lyles later today, as he has become a solid starting pitcher this season. Lyles shutout the Mariners for 7 innings last night, giving up just 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out a season high 10 batters. Lyles did not factor in the decision, and is now 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and a 41-16 strikeout to walk rate in 51.2 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in six straight games now. For those of you in ESPN leagues, he is available in 96% of ESPN leagues right now. Go grab him.
The same day I write a negative piece about him in the Roto Roundup, Albert Pujols has a big game at the plate. Isn't that how it always works? Pujols went 3-5 with a double, HR, and 2 RBI yesterday afternoon in the Angels 9-5 win over the Orioles. Pujols has disappointed owners big time this season, as he is hitting .249-.319-.438 with 11 HRs, 34 runs and 40 RBI. His power has dropped over the past few seasons, and that has continued this season, as he is on pace for 27 HRs, 34 doubles and 98 RBI. Not bad, but not what owners expected of him coming into the season.
Speaking of disappointing first baseman, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has been a huge disappointment this season. And last season as well. But he is showing signs of turning things around at the plate, as he went 2-5 with a run, RBI and a stolen base in the Royals 3-2 win over the Tigers. Hosmer drove in the game winning run, and is now hitting .274-.329-.341 with just one home run, 27 runs, 21 RBI and 5 stolen bases. While he has brought his batting average up over the past month and a half, the power is still non-existent, and that will severely impact his position ranking in 2014.
Reds starter Mike Leake is having a breakout season of his own this season. He probably wasn't drafted in many mixed leagues this season, but I am sure he is growing with the way he has pitched of late. Leake limited the Cubs to just one run on 3 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 8 innings to win his 6th game of the season yesterday. He is now 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 59-18 K-BB rate in 81.2 innings.
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen came on to preserve a one run lead in the ninth inning last night and blew up. He gave up 5 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and was able to get only one out last night to blow his fourth save of the season. He has 16 saves with a 3.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and a 21-15 K-BB rate in 28.2 innings. I am not sure if there will be a change at the closer role in Seattle, but with all the changes going on there, you never know. I think he will retain the job, but you may want to grab Carter Capps just in case.
Tigers closer Jose Valverde, on the other hand, could be on thin ice in Detroit, as he came on to preserve a one run lead, with a runner on base, and gave up a game winning, two run home run to Lorenzo Cain to blow his third save of the season. Bruce Rondon and Joaquin Benoit are possible candidates to replace Valverde at this point. I see the Tigers trading for an established closed at the trade deadline this season, as this team is built to win.
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