Prospect Buy and Hold
We all want to know when Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras will be called up to the big leagues, as they are the next prospects in line to make an impact on your fantasy teams. But who are some other top prospects who can help you this season? Jason Hunt publishes his weekly Buy and Hold article every Saturday morning, ranking his top 10 prospects in line for a call up, along with some other prospects to consider as well. In his week 8 Buy and Hold, he has two new faces in his top 10.
I am sorry I didn't get to the Roundup on Wednesday morning. I watched the Canadiens - Rangers playoff game and was pretty beat when the game was over, so I didn't get to it.
Mark Buehrle: Cy Young Award Leader?
I am pretty sure Mark Buehrle was not in my top 50 starting pitcher rankings, and he probably was in the lower part of my top 75 starting pitcher rankings, but who knew he would have nine wins before June 1st. Buehrle is the Blue Jays top starter at this point, and he has to be the early leader for the American League Cy Young award at this point. The Blue Jays are surprising many as they currently reside in first place in the AL East.
On Tuesday night, Buehrle limited the Rays to four runs, three earned, on eight hits, a walk and three strikeouts in the Blue Jays 9-6 win. He is now 9-1 with a 2.33 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. He has given up just two home runs in 73.1 innings to date, and has given up two runs or less in nine of his eleven starts this season. Buehrle is due for some regression, because he isn't THIS good, but his 3.09 FIP says he has pitched close enough to his ERA to indicate he has been as good as he has shown. I expect his 0.25 HR/9 to increase from this point forward, and his ERA to rise as a result.
For more on Buehrle's amazing season, check out Bluebird Banter, SB Nation's Blue Jays fan site.
Collin McHugh: Should we buy now?
The Astros called up Collin McHugh back in April when Scott Feldman landed on the disabled list, and now he is looking like their second best starter behind the ace-like Dallas Keuchel. McHugh has been a hugh surprise for Astros fans and fantasy owners this season, as he is striking out ten batter per nine innings, walking just over two batters per nine, and pitching to a sub 3.00 ERA.
On Tuesday night, McHugh was at his best, shutting out the Royals over seven innings, giving up just five hits, no walks and striking out nine. He moved his record to 3-3 with a 2.80 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 2.98 xFIP, a 0.98 WHIP and a solid 50-12 strikeout to walk rate in 45 innings. He has given up two runs or less in five of his seven starts since his call up, but is still owned in 13% of leagues right now.
I had the pleasure of owning McHugh in an AL only keeper league, picking him up when one of my starters landed on the disabled list. But, when Alex Cobb returned from the DL last week, I decided I had to keep Roenis Elias over McHugh, and that was a big mistake, I think. I should have looked at who Cobb was facing in his next start before activating him, as he got bombed by the Blue Jays on Tuesday evening, while McHugh was shutting out the inept Royals offense. Had I waited to activate Cobb, I would still own McHugh and would have dropped Elias before Cobb's next start.
I think there could be some regression once McHugh goes through the league a second time, but I would grab him if available on my league waiver wire right now and stream him till he regression hits.
For more on McHugh, check out the Crawfish Boxes, SB Nation's Astros fan site.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum pitched well on Wednesday, as he tossed five no-hit innings, but walked four and struck out 5 and did not figure in the decision. He lasted only five innings as he needed 96 pitches to get through five innings. He has given up two runs or less in three of his last four starts, but with a 26-17 strikeout to walk rate. Wow.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann was ranked in my top 20-25 starting pitchers coming into the season, but he has not pitched anything like the pitcher we saw last season. Last night, he gave up four runs, three earned on eight hits, a walk and three strikeouts in five innings in the Nationals 8-5 loss to the Marlins. On the season, Zimmermann is just 3-2 with a 4.07 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 50-13 strikeout to walk rate in 59.2 innings. He has gone seven innings or more just twice this season, and has given up three runs or more in each of his last four starts.
Brewers outfielder Khris Davis was one of the more popular sleeper picks this offseason, but he disappointed his owners in April., hitting .245 with three home runs and eight RBI. He is hitting for more power in May, and that was on display on Wednesday night. Davis went 2-3 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and three RBI in the Brewers 8-3 win over the Orioles. Davis is now hitting .251-.292-.486 with 9 home runs, 30 runs scored and 21 RBI in 183 at bats. He is striking out a ton, with 49 strikeout in his 183 at bats vs just 8 walks. But you drafted him for his power on draft day and he is starting to hit for power in May.
I have never been a big fan of Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and ranked him much lower than many of my fellow Fake Teams writers in the offseason. But, he is showing me that he is a valuable fantasy asset. Last night, he went 3-5 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI and 2 stolen bases in the Yankees 7-4 win over the Cardinals. He is now hitting .268-.340-.384 with 2 home runs, 27 runs scored, 21 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts. For some reason, he is hitting lefties much better than righties this season (.310 vs .244), but I see that improving going forward, so his batting average, and runs scored and stolen bases, should improve.
You have to hand it to Athletics GM Billy Beane, He is one of the smartest, if not THE smartest GMs in baseball, and his offseason signing of starter Scott Kazmir is looking very good at this point. Last night, Kazmir tossed a complete game limiting the Tigers to just one run on six hits, no walks and eight strikeouts, in the A's 3-1 come from behind win. Kazmir is now 6-2 with a 2.36 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and a 53-13 strikeout to walk rate in 68.2 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in 7 of his 11 starts thus far.
Kazmir went head to head with Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez who pitched great for 8.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits, a walk and nine strikeouts. Sanchez left with a runner on base and one out in the bottom of the ninth and saw closer Joe Nathan serve up a game winning three run home run to A's third baseman Josh Donaldson in the A's 3-1 win. Sanchez was in line for the win but Nathan blew it for him. He is now 2-2 with a 2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and a 41-15 strikeout to walk rate in 43.1 innings. He has given up three runs or less in all eight of his starts thus far, but two of his starts have gone four innings or less due to injury or rain delay.
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