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Roto Roundup: Bryce Harper, Noah Syndergaard, Rubby de la Rosa, and others

Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Friday's MLB action, including Rubby de la Rosa, Noah Syndergaard, Bryce Harper, and others.

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Rubby de la Rosa: Time to buy?

Diamondbacks starter Rubby de la Rosa was one of the pitching prospects, the other was Allen Webster, that that Dodgers traded to the Red Sox in the huge trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. Remember that deal? Well, Rubby didn't fare too well in Boston, making just 18 starts over two seasons, all of which were made last season. In those 18 starts, de la Rosa went 5-8 with a 4.43 ERA, 4.30 FIP, a 1.49 WHIP while striking out just under seven batters and walking three batters per nine innings. Not good.

de la Rosa was traded to the Diamondbacks this offseason, and made their starting rotation out of spring training. I have to say I was pretty skeptical of de la Rosa, and pretty much any Diamondback starting pitcher back on draft day. I can say that I didn't draft one Diamondbacks starting pitcher in any of my four NL-ony leagues this season, but I wonder if I should have tossed out a dollar bid on Rubby late in my auction drafts.

On Thursday night, Rubby took the mound against the solid Padres lineup, a lineup that is leading the National League in runs scored in the early going. de la Rosa was dominant on Thursday night, shutting out the Padres for seven innings, giving up just 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7 in the Diamondbacks 11-0 win. The win moved his record to 3-2 with a 4.38 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 3.46 xFIP, a 1.16 WHIP and an excellent 38-10 strikeout to walk rate in 37 innings. He has given up 6 home runs in his 37 innings of work thus far, but he is striking out more than a batter per nine, walking less than three batters per nine, and keeping the ball on the ground at a 43% clip in his six starts this season.

He is prone to the blow up start, as he has given up 5 runs or more in two of his six starts, and three runs or more in four of his six starts. All the while limiting base runners. Rubby is owned in just xx% of leagues right now and is a decent speculative waiver wire add if you are looking for a strikeout pitcher.

For more on de la Rosa and the Diamondbacks, make sure you check out AZ Snake Pit, SB Nation's Diamondbacks fan site.

Mets to call up Noah Syndergaard

The Mets announced last night that they will promote Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday to start in place of injured starter Dillon Gee, and I wrote about the fantasy impact last night in this piece.

The Mets now have a rotation that will be one of the best in the National League:

Matt Harvey

Jacob deGrom

Bartolo Colon

Jon Niese

Noah Syndergaard

I thought before the season started that the Mets could challenge the Nationals for first place in the NL East. Well, it appears the Nationals will have to challenge the Mets for first in the division after their rough start to the season. I think Mets GM Sandy Alderson sees that the Mets can compete this year, thus the reason for calling up Syndergaard now. It will be interesting to see what moves he makes by the trade deadline to improve the team, as he has needs at shortstop and possibly third base with the setback David Wright had in his rehab.

For more on Syndergaard and the Mets, make sure you check out Amazin Avenue, SB Nation's Mets fan site.

Bryce Harper: Having THAT breakout season

Ever since he was called up to the big leagues, the hype seemed to precede Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, as he was being drafted in snake and auction drafts as if he has already put up that 30+ home run, 90+ RBI season. He has all the tools to lead the NL in home runs and hit for a high average. It's not uncommon for owners to project Harper to put up a huge breakout season, as we all know it is coming. And it might just be this season.

Harper is one of the hottest hitters in the game over the last few days. On Thursday, Harper went 3-4 with three home runs and 5 RBI vs the Marlins. Last night, Harper had another big night at the plate, going 3-4 with 2 more home runs and 5 more RBI in the Nationals 9-2 win over the Braves.

He is now hitting .284-.426-.627 with 10 home runs, 23 runs scored, 25 RBI and an excellent 37-26 strikeout to walk rate in 128 plate appearances. He is on pace for 50+ home runs, 130+ RBI and 200 strikeouts. I doubt he reaches any of those projections, but he could hit 35-40 home runs and drive in 110+ runs. He's only 22 years of age too.

Yeah, it appears he is finally have that huge breakout season.  Finally.

For more on Harper's power breakout and the Nationals, make sure you check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals fan site.

Roto Roundup

The Cardinals just seem to breed excellent hitters in St.Louis, and second baseman Kolten Wong is another solid hitter that the Cardinals drafted a few seasons ago. Wong had a huge playoff series last season, hitting three home runs and driving in 7 runs in the NLDS and NLCS, after hitting 12 home runs and stealing 20 bases in just over 400 plate appearances during the regular season. This year, he appears to be building on his strong rookie season, as he is hitting over .300 and has been moved up to the second spot in the Cardinals lineup. Last night, Wong went 3-5 with a home run, 3 RBI and a stolen base in the Cardinals 8-5 win over the struggling Pirates. Wong is now hitting .340-.375-.505 with 3 home runs, 15 runs scored, 15 RBI and 3 stolen bases. For the rest of the season, ZiPS projects him to hit .274 with 10 home runs, 55 runs scored, 44 RBI and 17 stolen bases. I think he can hit a few more home runs and steal a few more bases than what ZiPS projects, but that is a pretty solid season for the second baseman.

One of the reasons for Wong moving up in the lineup is how well he is hitting, but also the weird injury to third baseman Matt Carpenter. He will miss the weekend series with the Pirates due to "extreme fatigue". What? I hope that is all it is, but I have to wonder if there is something else to this story.

The Brewers are a bad team and they may start breaking up that team in the next few months, but luckily they have a starting pitcher that they may be able to build around. His name is Jimmy Nelson. Last night, Nelson was dominant, although he did give up 4 runs on 5 hits, walking one and striking out 11 Cubs in the Brewers 7-6 loss to the Cubs. The loss moved his record to 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a solid 35-12 strikeout to walk rate in 36 innings. He is striking out just about a batter per inning, walking three batters per nine innings and inducing ground balls at a 49% clip, so the recipe is there for a solid #2 or #3 starting pitcher in the future.

I wrote about Phillies ace Cole Hamels last week, indicating that his slow start to the season was nothing to worry about. Thankfully, he made me look good for saying that last night, as he limited the Mets to just one run on 4 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Phillies 3-1 win over the Mets. The win moved his record to 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a 46-21 strikeout to walk rate in 44 innings. He is giving up far too many walks and home runs through seven starts, but he has given up just one home run in his last four starts, so hopefully that problem has been corrected going forward. He will probably end up being traded in the next few months, and hopefully for those of you in NL only leagues, he is dealt to an NL team. At least, that is what I am hoping for, as i own him in one of my NL only keeper leagues. A trade to an NL team would help his fantasy value, as he SHOULD earn more wins on a better team, and hopefully he lands in a better pitchers park.

There has been a lot written about Angels starter Jered Weaver and his decreased fastball velocity this season. Well, that didn't seem to matter last night, as Weaver tossed a complete game shutout vs the Astros. Weaver limited the Astros to just six hits, no walks and struck out six en route to a 2-0 win. The win moved his record to 1-4 with a 4.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 21-5 strikeout to walk rate in 43.1 innings. He is more of a fly ball pitcher these days, so he will have starts where the balls end up in the seats more than you would want. Coming into the season, I thought he was undervalued in drafts, but he is owned in just 54% of leagues right now, so fantasy owners want to see a few more starts like Friday nights start before adding him to their rosters.

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