Fake Teams is covering fantasy hockey and fantasy basketball
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.
I also added Bobby Del Rio as our fantasy basketball writer, and he released his early Top 100 Rankings yesterday:
Bobby also writes for his full time job as an actor, writer.filmmaker and producer, and he recently wrote and directed a feature film called The Market, which is a movie about four bond traders who made $12.5 billion dollars.
Padres call up R.J. Alvarez - Future Closer?
I know what you are thinking. Who the HECK is R.J. Alvarez?? I know. I would probably be saying the same thing if I hadn't checked out Twitter last night while writing the Roundup. Here is where the value of following the beat writers for each team comes in handy for fantasy owners.
I came across this tweet from Padres beat writer, Corey Brock, from MLB.com:
The big piece? I never heard of him, so I HAD to read what he had to say. I will save you the trouble of clicking the link. Here is an excerpt:
The Angels didn't want to part with him. The Padres insisted on him being part of the deal, one that was brokered by then-assistant general manager A.J. Hinch.
On Tuesday, the Padres added Alvarez, a right-hander, to their active roster even though he didn't have to be protected this winter. The message was clear -- the Padres want to get a look at Alvarez, a pitcher they feel who could be a part of their bullpen in 2015.
"Our scouts are very high on this guy," Padres manager Bud Black said. "This guy was one of the guys our baseball ops department had targeted."
While Alvarez will get some innings in September, Black said he wouldn't hesitate to use him in higher-leverage situations because he's shown he can handle those in the Minor Leagues, where he has a 2.41 ERA and an average of 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings for his career.
Could he close for the Padres next season? I don't know, but I took the chance and spent the required $5 on him in the UBA NL only keeper league I participate in. Current closer Joaquin Benoit was mentioned in several trade rumors at the July 31st trade deadline, but was never dealt, so it's possible he gets dealt this offseason. His contract is cheap enough that a team needing a closer - like the Tigers, Mets, among others - could look to deal for him this winter.
Alvarez has the pedigree, and the strikeout rate, to pitch late in games, and the fact that the Padres want to get a look at him now, rather than in spring training is a big tell. Toss in the fact that they insisted on including him in the Huston Street trade tells you they were very high on him.
For more on Alvarez and the Padres, make sure you check out Gaslamp Ball, SB Nation's Padres fan site.
Carlos Carrasco: Making adjustments
Remember when Carlos Carrasco was a top pitching prospect in the Phillies organization? Yeah, me too. Well, he was including in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Phillies, but he seemed to be on a long roller coaster ride....until this season.
Last night, Carrasco limited the Tigers to one run on 10 hits, a walk and 10 strikeouts in just 5.1 inning. Assuming the Indians hold onto the 2-1 lead they had as I was writing this, Carrasco moved his record to 7-4 with a 2.94 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a solid 96-22 strikeout to walk rate in 95 innings. He has appeared in 35 games this season, but as a starter, he owns a 3.46 ERA and a solid 57-13 strikeout to walk rate in 52 innings.
He has made improvements across the board, increasing his strikeout rate from 6.0 K/9 to 9.0 K/9, reduced his walk rate from 3.50 BB/9 to just over two walks per nine, and improved his ground ball rate to 53%......all the skills for a breakout season in 2015.
For more on Carrasco and the Indians, make sure you check out Let's Go Tribe, SB Nation's Indians fan site.
This might deserve a write-up of it's own, but I am beginning to think that one can make the case that Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton could be the #1 pick in fantasy drafts in 2015. I know Mike Trout is the best player in the game, but Stanton has 40 home run power potential. Last night, Stanton went 2-4 with a home run and 2 RBI in the Marlins 8-6 loss to the Mets. On the season, Stanton is hitting .293-.401-.561 with 35 home runs, 85 runs scored, 101 RBI and 10 stolen bases, with an excellent shot at 40 home runs. I get sick to my stomach every time I think about the offseason trade I made in the UBA NL only keeper league where I dealt Stanton and Devin Mesoraco for Oscar Taveras.
Mets outfielder Juan Lagares filled up the boxscore last night, going 4-4 with a double, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases in the Mets 8-6 win over the Marlins. Lagares, known for his defense in center field, raised his slash line to .282-.321-.389 with 4 home runs, 43 runs scored, 44 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 12 attempts in 103 games played. The 25 year old outfielder should see regular playing time in center field for the Mets as he is a gold glove center fielder. He doesn't offer much power, but has stolen 20+ bases in the minors, so he is only rosterable in the deeper mixed and NL only leagues.
One of the more disappointing young hitters this season has been Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Coming into the season, I ranked him in my top 5 shortstops for 2014, yet he has failed to meet my high expectations. Last night, facing their rival Yankees, Bogaerts had possibly his best night at the plate in several months, going 4-5 with a home run and 2 RBI in the Red Sox 9-4 win. Bogaerts raised his triple slash line to .231-.298-.350 with 9 home runs, 49 runs scored, 32 RBI and an uncharacteristic 122-37 strikeout to walk rate in 451 at bats. He will have to improve his plate discipline to remain in the Red Sox lineup in 2015.
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.