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.
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- Click the link above to learn more and get started
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Adrian Beltre leaves game after jamming left thumb
Josh Hamilton provided an emotional walk-off win in Arlington on Wednesday afternoon against Boston's Koji Uehara in the Rangers' 4-3 win over the Red Sox, but earlier in the game the team lost its third baseman, Adrian Beltre, after the veteran jammed his thumb trying to breakup a double play.
Beltre will miss the next two weeks with a sprain and laceration in his left thumb, and won't take a swing for the next 12 days, according to the Fort Worth-Star's Telegram Jeff Wilson. Texas, which has won 8 of 10, was really starting to look like a contender in the American League West with improved play from Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, and had climbed all the way to third in the division, five games behind the Astros.
Beltre, however, has had a rough start for the Rangers, hitting well behind his career line with a .257/.294/.408 slash line to go along with six home runs and 18 RBI. We saw a decline in Beltre's power numbers last year (19 home runs in 2014 after three straight years of 30 home runs), and that has continued over into this season.
With Beltre out, Adam Rosales, who is hitting .243/.303/.368 with three home runs, will see additional playing time at third base. But outsider of the deepest AL-only leagues, Rosales isn't a smart option for fantasy owners looking for a replacement. Rougned Odor, who was demoted back to Triple-A, would be the best-case scenario for the Rangers if they believe he is ready to come back. But he hit just .144/.252/.233 in his 29 games with the Rangers. However, he's hitting a cool .283/.368/.633 in Triple-A right now, and his plate discipline has been a plus with strikeout and walk rates of 10.1 percent.
Is Manny Machado turning it around?
After bursting onto the scene in 2012 and hitting 51 doubles in 2013, Machado looked destined for stardom. But he struggled to stay healthy last year, playing in just 82 games and hitting .278 with a .324 on-base percentage and a .431 slugging percentage. He did, however, hit 12 home runs in those 82 games.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old hit a pair of home runs for the Orioles in a 9-5 loss to the Rays. In 49 games, Machado is hitting .270/.333/.470 with eight home runs, 11 doubles and 22 RBI. Machado has shown better plate discipline this year with 9.4 percent walk rate (up from 19.7 percent), and his power has improved from a .153 ISO in 2014 to a career-best .200 ISO in 2015. His 122 wRC+ also ranks inside the top 10 of third basemen.
Given Machado's pedigree, there's no reason to believe that Machado can't keep up this type of performance going forward. He hit .254 in April with four home runs, but improved to .281 in May with a slightly higher on-base percentage of .339. Machado is on his way to his first 20-home run season, and I think we can see Machado reach 80 runs scored and 60-70 RBI. They aren't eye-popping stats, but they're certainly worthy of using at the hot corner. The biggest boost to fantasy owners has been seven steals, which already sets a career high for Machado. There's a ton of upside here, so trades are worth exploring. He might not even cost that much depending on the owner.
Stephen Vogt continues to show his hot start is not a fluke, blasting a two-run home run in a 3-0 win against the Yankees. Vogt is now hitting .322/.411/.611 with 11 home runs, 25 runs and 38 RBI. I don't remember anybody ranking Vogt in the top 10 of catchers (I could be wrong), but right now he's the top catcher on the board on ESPN's Player Rater. His plate discipline has been awesome with 26 strikeouts and 25 walks in 180 plate appearances, and it's not like he's been particularly lucky with a .316 BABIP.
What do you know? Paul Goldschmidt homered again for the Diamondbacks, his third in two days, in Arizona's 7-6 loss to the Brewers in 17 innings. Goldschmidt walked four times in this one, and now has a .354/.463/.680 slash line with 15 home runs, 39 runs and 43 RBI. Goldschmidt gets love, don't get me wrong, but being stuck in Arizona takes away some of the cache not like Anthony Rizzo in Chicago or Bryce Harper in Washington. Harper is still the MVP frontrunner in the National League, but Goldschmidt isn't far behind.
Jesse Chavez was dominant in Oakland's win, tossing eight shutout innings against the Yankees while allowing seven hits, striking out six and walking nobody. The performance dropped Chavez's ERA to 2.11, and he also owns a 2.62 FIP and 3.67 xFIP. Chavez hasn't allowed an earned run in his last two starts spanning 16 innings, and now owns a 51/15 K/BB ratio in 59 2/3 innings. Chavez is getting more swings and misses, but I'm not entirely sure I'm buying a breakout. I recall he started hot as a starter last year before fading some down the stretch. And I'm not sure he'll stick in the rotation all year, as he's been moved between starter and reliever many times in his career already.
One starting pitcher I am buying is Carlos Martinez, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers in a 3-1 win on Wednesday. Martinez struck out eight and allowed just one hit in the dominant victory, dropping his ERA to 3.13 with 64 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old right-hander can get wild at times and hasn't had s start with less than two walks, but he's now thrown three straight quality starts without allowing a single run in 20 1/3 innings. Over that time, he has 21 strikeouts and seven walks. One of the worries with Martinez was his struggle against left-handers, but he's shown great improvement in that area with a slash line against lefties of .228/.333/.426.
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