Fake Teams is covering fantasy hockey
I recently added a new writer to cover fantasy hockey, Troy Langefeld, and he has laid out a schedule to get you ready for your fantasy drafts later this month. His schedule includes how to set up a league, position rankings, sleepers, breakouts, busts and much more. To check out the schedule for his coverage throughout the month, check out the link below.
Tyson Ross: Top 20 starting pitcher
Coming into the 2014 season, Padres starter Tyson Ross was a very popular "sleeper" starting pitcher, if there is such a thing. Ross has definitely outperformed his draft day value this season, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. On Monday, Ross limited the Diamondbacks to just one run on 6 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 6 innings of work in the Padres 3-1 win.
The win moved his record to 13-12 with a solid 2.60 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, a 1.17 WHIP and a 184-66 strikeout to walk rate in 187 innings of work. He has given up two runs or less in 22 of his 29 starts this season, including 13 of his last 14 starts. Ross is on the cusp of becoming an ace starter, and he just needs to work on his control, as he strikes out just under a batter per inning, and owns an elite 57% ground ball rate.
Ross has had trouble staying healthy in his career, and this is his first time making more than 20 starts. Heading into the 2015 season, I have already ranked him as my 20th ranked starter based on his excellent strikeout rate and elite level ground ball rate.
For more on Ross and the Padres, make sure you check out Gaslamp Ball, SB Nation's Padres fan site.
I have written about Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera a few times recently, discussing his dr op in power this season. Part of the reason for his decline in power is due to the various nagging injuries he is playing with, and part can be attributed to the beginning of a possible decline. On Monday, Miggy showed off some of the power fantasy owners were missing from him this season, as he homered twice in the Tigers big win over Corey Kluber and the Indians. Miggy went 4-5 with 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Tigers 12-1 win, raising his slash line to .304-.367-.501 with 19 home runs, 86 runs scored and 94 RBI. The two time MVP has seen his slugging percentage of .501 drop to the lowest level in his career. He is on pace for 22 home runs, just half of his total (44) hit in each of the last two seasons.
Phillies left hander Cole Hamels may be one of the more highly sought after trade targets this offseason, and on Monday, he combined with three relievers to no-hit the Braves. Hamels needed 108 pitches to get through 6 innings, giving up 5 walks and striking out 7, moving his record to 8-6 with a 2.50 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 165-52 strikeout to walk rate in 169.1 innings. He has given up two runs or less in 15 of his 25 start this season.
Braves outfielder Jason Heyward reached on two of Hamels five walks, and he took advantage, as he stole three bases without being caught. On the season, Heyward is hitting 272-.354-.391 with just 11 home runs, 68 runs scored, 54 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 21 attempts. The stolen base total is solid, but fantasy owners expected more power from him this season. His 11 home runs represent his worst home run total of his career, and his slugging percentage is percentage points from his lowest SLG of his career. The Braves have signed several of their young stars to long term deals, including Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons, but Heyward has yet to sign a long term extension yet, and some opine that the Braves may listen to offers for him before he becomes a free agent.
Twins starter Phil Hughes figured to perform better in 2014 after moving out of Yankee Stadium and into the pitcher-friendly Target Field, but no one could have expected him to pitch this well this season. On Monday, Hughes limited the Orioles to three unearned runs, giving up f5 hits, walking none and striking out 5 in 8 innings or work in the Twins 6-4 win. Hughes moved his record to 15-9 with a 3.54 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a ridiculous 157-15 strikeout to walk rate in 180.2 innings this season. He has given up one run or less in four of his last five starts, lowering his ERA by half a run over those same five starts.
I wrote back in the preseason that Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is one of the more consistent hitters in the game, and should be valued highly due to his consistency. He has underperformed expectations to date, but he had a huge weekend at the plate and wouldn't surprise me if his end of season numbers come close to expectations. On Monday, he went 2-4 with 3 RBI in the Cardinals 5-4 win over division rival Pirates. In the weekend series, Holliday went 7-11 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 12 RBI, raising his slash line to .269-.370-.435 with 16 home runs, 72 runs scored and 81 RBI. He is on pace for 19 home runs and 96 RBI, which is close to expectations back in March.
Fan Duel Partnership
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If you are looking for more fantasy advice, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown for all your fantasy baseball and football needs.