FanDuel: SB Nation One Day Fantasy Leagues
Many of you play in season-long leagues, while more and more of you are playing one day fantasy leagues. If you like the action of the one day leagues, make sure you join the FanDuel/SB Nation one day fantasy baseball leagues. All you need to do is click on the link below and join a league.
- Leagues start at 7pm every evening
- It is only $3 to enter, and the top 8,775 win cash
- Top prize of $10,000
- Click the link above to learn more and get started
- On most days, our own Tim Finnegan (@TimFinn521) on Twitter) offers his picks for your daily FanDuel rosters. His articles post at 6am daily.
Brandon Belt homers for third straight game
After going homerless in his first 29 games, Belt hit a long ball in each of his last three games against Cincinnati over the weekend. The Giants first baseman now owns a .321/.392/.509 slash with three home runs, 16 runs and 14 RBI in 125 plate appearances. Belt missed some earlier this season with a mild groin strain, and was even benched regularly against left-handed pitching, but he appears to be fully healthy and ready to produce in the middle of San Francisco's fast improving lineup.
Belt hit cleanup between Buster Posey and recently activated Hunter Pence on Sunday, going 3 for 4 with three runs, a home run and a walk. Could this finally be the start of a Belt breakout? The recent surge is encouraging, but there are some numbers that suggest he's just running lucky, most noticeably a .434 BABIP. Belt owns a career .338 BABIP, and his strikeout rate continues to be of concern (26.4 percent). His walk rate is up, however, from 7.7 percent to 9.6 percent (right at his career mark), and he continues to mash righties (.337/.410/528, compared to .158/.200/.158 against southpaws).
I boldly predicted in March that Belt would finish as a top-10 first baseman and bounce back from a forgettable 2014 that saw the first baseman hit just 12 home runs with 27 RBI in 61 games. Still only 26, Belt does posses 20-home run pop, and I still see that as a possibility despite a slow start in the power department. He won't continue to hit at a .300 pace, but he's a career .271 hitter and owns two seasons above .275 (including a .289 BA in 2013). The key here is health. If Belt can just stay healthy, he'll be a run producer batting between Posey and Pence. That's a pretty sweet spot to be. I wouldn't want Belt to be my regular first baseman, but as a corner infielder he's a perfect fit.
ZiPS has Belt hitting 10 home runs the rest of the way with 43 runs and 40 RBI the rest of the way. I think he can hit 15 with 50 and 60. He's still available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues. His struggles against lefties so far don't worry me, either, as he's hit .261 against southpaws in his career. He has a great week to do damage, too, with four games in Colorado to round out the week.
Shelby Miller flirts with a no-no
Miller was one out from a no-hitter Sunday when Justin Bour spoiled the party with a solid single up the middle. The speedy Dee Gordon followed with an infield single before Miller retired Martin Prado on a pop up to end the game. He finished with four strikeouts and one walk in the complete-game shutout. Miller, 24, now owns a 5-1 record with a 1.33 WHIP, 0.83 WHIP and 43/16 K/BB ratio in 54 innings.
Miller probably entered the season as Atlanta's third best starting pitcher according to the masses, behind Julio Teheran and Alex Wood. But he's been the best Braves starter thus far, and Sunday's start only solidified that even further. Miller's .203 BABIP, 3.70 xFIP and 3.80 SIERA indicated he's pitching way over his head, but, hell, I'm not about to tell you to sell your Miller stocks any time soon. He's seen a sharp increase in his strikeout rate (16.6 percent in 2014, 22 percent in 2015), and he's producing a 35.5 percent swinging strike rate on pitches outside of the strike zone. I'd actually rather buy high than sell high here, even though I don't expect Miller to keep up this level of dominance. I can't suggest selling him unless it's a no-doubter in your favor.
Kyle Seager makes me look smart, hits home run
"Buy low, sell high" is such a cliché in fantasy baseball trading that it has little meaning anymore. One hot day at the plate and a player is no longer a "buy low," and one awful pitching performance and that "sell high" recommendation looks stupid. It's still worth exploring slow starts, and I did that Sunday morning with a player I own in multiple leagues: Kyle Seager. The Mariners third baseman entered Sunday's action with an underwhelming .248/.299/.398 slash line with four home runs, 12 runs, 19 RBI and one steal in 144 plate appearances. This after a 2014 season in which Seager hit .268 with 25 home runs, 71 runs, 96 RBI and seven teals.
On Sunday, I tweeted out that Seager would hit a home run (or five), and, he did me a solid with a home run against a lefty reliever late against Boston. That's not how I pictured it going down, but thanks Kyle! The point here is Seager isn't doing anything different than last year, and I believe his early-season struggles are just unlucky. Entering Sunday, he owned a 10.4 percent strikeout rate (down a lot from 18), 6.3 percent walk rate (down slightly from 6.3), while his line drive rate was an identical 22.2 percent and his ground ball and fly ball rate were nearly the same from a year ago.
Calling at least one HR from Seager today. Maybe five.— Alex Kantecki (@rotodealer) May 17, 2015
The isolated power is down from .186 to .150, but he's working with a .252 BABIP (37 points below his career average). I don't see any reason to panic with Seager, and think he'll get his 20-25 home runs when all is said and down. He doesn't give you a great average, but his across-the-board production is still worthy of a top 10 third baseman. If you can buy low on Seager, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
James Paxton throwing blanks
James Paxton extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 with eight innings of shutout ball against the Red Sox on Sunday. Paxton struck out two, walked two and allowed five hits against Boston, winning his second straight start (the first came against San Diego) and improving to 2-2. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound left-hander now owns a 3.59 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 37/18 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings. Paxton struggled to work deep into games earlier in the year, but he's now gone seven innings or more in three out of his last four starts (and six or more in four straight).
Despite his recent dominance, I wouldn't bet on it continuing. He issued five walks in his last start before Sunday, and unless that number starts to come down significantly he'll run into trouble sooner than later. Furthermore, his swinging strike rate sits at just 7.4 percent, and his O-Swing% is just 20.9 percent (both numbers entering Sunday).
What else is there to say?
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Stats from FanGraphs.com