Roto Roundup: Jason Heyward, Zack Greinke, Allen Craig and Others

Mike Stobe

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Wednesday's roto action, including thoughts on Jason Heyward's injury, Zack Greinke, Alex Wood, Allen Craig and others.

Deep League Thoughts: Avail yourself of Avisail

Daniel Kelley takes a closer look at White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia and says fantasy owners are making a mistake by staying away from Garcia, as he is owned in just 4% of Yahoo leagues, Check out his piece on Avisail here.

Alex Wood better than Zack Wheeler?

I was checking out my Twitter timeline on Tuesday night and saw this tweet from Ben Duronio, the manager over at Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fan site:

I saw the tweet and wondered who he was comparing Wood to. When I saw it was Mets starter Zack Wheeler, I was in shock, so I responded, and here are his reason for liking Wood over Wheeler:

I am no scout, so I cannot comment much on the quality of Wood's or Wheelers pitches, but I find it hard to believe that Wood will be better than Wheeler long term.

Yesterday, Wood pitched well, limiting the Mets to one run on 6 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts but did not figure in the decision. For the season, Wood is 2-2 with a 2.50 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 57.2 innings on the mound. He is striking out more than a batter per inning, limits his walks to under 3.00 per nine, and keeps the ball on the ground at a 48% clip.

Wheeler, on the other hand, has made 12 starts, going 6-2 with a 3.49 ERA, 4.44 FIP, and a 1.38 WHIP. He is striking out more than 8 batters per nine innings, but is walking more than four batters per nine. His ground ball rate is just 40% at the moment, so Wood is actually pitching better than Wheeler looking at his season stats to date. But, since June, where he had an ERA over 5.00, Wheeler has put up a 2.73 ERA in July and a 3.38 ERA in August, so he has pitched better over the last month and a half. Wood's monthly ERAs are: June - 3.55, July - 3.66, August - 0.98.

I am not ready to proclaim Wood as one of the better young pitchers in the game like Wheeler is, but he is someone to watch the rest of the season.

For more on Wood, make sure you check out Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fan site.

Allen Craig: Not much power, but still a valuable fantasy first baseman

I was pretty high on Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig coming into the season, as I had visions of a 30 HR - 100 RBI season from him, but that was not to be in 2013. Craig went 2-4 with a HR, double, and 2 RBI in the Cardinals win over the Brewers on Wednesday. Craig is now hitting .312-.368-.455 with 12 HRs, 27 doubles, 68 runs and 90 RBI this season. The power has dropped from last season, but the batting average and RBI totals are better at this point in the season. His ISO and SLG are both down this season, as his fly ball rate and HR/FB% are both down this season as well.

I won't rank him as my 5th best fantasy first baseman in 2014, but he should stay in the top 10-12 for sure.

For more on Craig and the Cardinals, make sure you check out Viva El Birdos, SB Nation's Cardinals fan site.

Round'em Up

Dodgers ace Zack Greinke was dominant on Wednesday night, limiting the Marlins to just one run, a home run to Giancarlo Stanton, on just 6 hits, no walks and 7 strikeouts over 8 innings in the Dodgers win last night. Greinke moved his record to 12-3 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 103-37 strikeout to walk rate in 133 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in eight of his last ten starts, and one run or less in six of those starts.

Marlins young starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched well enough to win last night, giving up just two earned runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts over 7 innings last night. I watched some of this game, and saw him throw his last pitch of the 7th inning at 98 mph to strike out Adrian Gonzalez for the second time. His last two pitches of the sixth inning were both clocked at 100 mph by the Marlins stadium gun. Pretty impressive.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez has no luck. Sanchez pitched great last night, limiting the Twins to one run over 6.2 innings, giving up just 6 hits, walking two and striking out 8, but left with two out in the 7th inning with a no decision. As luck would have it, the Tigers scored 7 runs over the next two innings though. On the season, Sanchez is 11-7 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 152-41 strikeout to walk rate in 139.2 innings. He has given up two runs or less in eight of his last nine starts, and one run or less in six of those starts.

2012 was Adam Jones breakout season, but Jones is putting up an even better season in 2013. Last night, Jones went 2-4 with a HR, 2 RBI and a stolen base, and is now hitting .301-.327-.512 with 26 HRs, 86 runs, 91 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts. Jones is on pace to hit 33 HRs, score 111 runs, drive in 117 and steal 15 bags. He is a top 10 outfielder for me in 2014.

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was hit in the jaw with a fastball from Mets starter Jon Niese yesterday afternoon, and has landed on the DL as a result. Heyward will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured jaw, which could end his regular season at this point. Lucky for the Braves that they have a huge lead in the NL East, as he is a big loss, as he had started turning his season around at the plate after moving into the leadoff role in their lineup.

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