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Roto Roundup: Miguel Cabrera, Aaron Harang, Troy Tulowitzki and others

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Ray shares his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's MLB action, including, Miguel Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, Aaron Harang and others.

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Aaron Harang: Undervalued starter

Back on draft day, there were relatively few Phillies that were drafted in most mixed leagues. Cole Hameil - yes, Chase Utley - yes, Jonathan Papelbon - yes, Ryan Howard -maybe very late, Ken Giles - only in deep NL only leagues, Ben Revere - yes. Any others? Nope. Well, Aaron Harang was probably drafted in most NL only leagues, but very late in drafts, or for a buck or two in auctions.

Harang shut out the Pirates on 5 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts over 8 innings yesterday afternoon, moving his record to 4-3 with a 2.03 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and a 37-10 strikeout to walk rate in 53.1 innings thus far. He has gone six innings or more in each of his eight starts, and has given up two runs or less in six of those eight starts. The Phillies have 13 wins, and he has four of those wins. He gave up one run in one of his losses and two runs in another, so he has pitched well even when he gets the loss, thanks to the Phillies inept lineup.

Harang is owned in most leagues, but is still available in 14% of leagues out there, so if for some reason he is available in your mixed or NL only league, by all means, pick him up.

For more on Harang and the Phillies, make sure you check out The Good Phight, SB Nation's Phillies fan site.

Roto Roundup

Remember back in the offseason, we were all worried about Miguel Cabrera and his ability to stay healthy in 2015? Yeah? I do too. That was overblown, but there usually isn't much to talk about in the offseason, so we had to speculate on something right? His offseason surgery and his slow return from it, depressed his draft day value somewhat. Well, Miggy is proving he is same as he ever was this season. Yesterday, he went 3-5 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 5 RBI in the Tigers 13-1 win over the Twins. The big day improved his slash line to a Miggy-like .328-.437-.568 with 8 home runs, 20 runs scored and 26 RBI, and is on pace for 37 home runs and 120 RBI this season. Who is betting against him? Not me. It appears he drop in power last season was a one year aberration.

With Ian Kinsler slotted at second base for the foreseeable future, the Tigers traded second base prospect Devon Travis to the Blue Jays for outfielder Anthony Gose in the offseason. It appears the trade is working out for both teams, as Travis is having one heck of a breakout season, and Gose is having one of his own as well. Yesterday, Gose went 4-5 with 2 runs scored in the Tigers big win over the Twins. Gose is now hitting .348-.394-.500 with a home run, 16 runs scored, 7 RBI and 6 stolen bases in the leadoff role for the Tigers. I have to admit I expected to see him with more than six stolen bases. He's been on first base, via a single or a walk, 29 times and has attempted just 8 stolen bases, so his stolen base opportunities appear to be limited either due to manager Brad Ausmus or his ability to read pitchers. Anyone have an idea as to why?

I was pretty high on a rebound from Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis coming into the season after reading that he changed his offseason workout routine to emphasize flexibility rather than muscle, and it appears to be paying off in the early going. Yesterday, Kipnis went 2-4 with a double and a walk, raising his slash line to .316-.383-.471 with 3 home runs, 2 triples, 8 doubles, 19 runs scored, 15 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 149 plate appearances. He is showing a solid eye at the plate as well, walking 13 times while striking out just 18 times thus far. He has been on fire over his last ten games, going 20-42 with a home run, 9 runs scored, 6 RBI and 3 stolen bases, and is on pace for 15 home runs and 25 RBI.

I have said many times that Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is one of the more consistent fantasy hitters you can find on draft day. When you draft him, you know what you are getting - 20 home runs, 90 RBI, and a .290 batting average. Well, he is off to another solid start to the 2015 season, hitting .336-.460-.462 with 3 home runs, 16 runs scored, 21 RBI and an excellent 27-24 strikeout to walk rate in 134 plate appearances. I know it's early, but Holliday's strikeout rate is up, his walk rate has increased as well, and his power is down.According to ESPN, he is on pace for just 14 home runs and 100 RBI, which would be his worst home run output of his career. Holliday isn't getting any younger, so that projection might not be too far off what his season ending stats will look like.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has seen his name floated in trade rumors over the last few days as there was speculation that he might request that the Rockies trade him. The Rockies are suffering through another bad season, and it probably behooves them to deal him while he is healthy and still has trade value. The Rockies are struggling to score runs this season, ranking in the bottom five in baseball at the moment, and as a result, Tulo is having a sub-par season, for him. Heading into his game last night in Los Angeles, he was hitting .303-.310-.477 with 2 home runs, 16 runs scored, 11 RBI and a terrible 25-2 strikeout to walk rate in 113 plate appearances. His strikeout rate is up from 15% last season to 22% this season, while his walk rate has plummeted from 13% last year to under 2% this season. Tulowitzki is coming off offseason hip surgery, so I wonder if pitchers are challenging him more, and he is seeing more first pitch strikes (62% vs 58% last season), and is swinging at more pitches inside and outside the zone. So, it appears he is seeing more strikes in the early going, partially explaining his low walk rate. His home runs are down a bit too, as his HR/FB% has also plummeted from a career 15% rate to just under 6% this season. It's early, but it bares watching to see if his recovery from hip surgery is negatively impacting his power.

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