Sweetbob’s Fantasy Baseball F/M/K – May 4th

Sweetbob's Fantasy Baseball F/M/KWe are now a month into the 2017 MLB season.

The new 10-day disabled list is causing some new issues this year. A lot more guys are being put on there since they wouldn’t lose him for two weeks. There are a lot of guys on the waiver wire on the DL that would be on a roster if they weren’t injured.

We look at some players who started out hot, some who are struggling and maybe some guys who should be targeted in your free agent pool.

Before I begin, let’s go over the F/M/K terminology. The guys that I list under “F*ck” are guys that are currently hot and you need to pick them up. “Marry”, are guys that you need to stick with the whole season, even if they are struggling a bit. “Kill”, are guys that need to be dropped for better players in the free agent pool.

* In the player description, the “owned %” was taken from ESPN.com leagues.

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Scott Schebler – Cincinnati Reds – 41.1% owned – There aren’t a ton of power on the waiver wire, but Schebler could be a nice short-term power resource. He has hit 8 homers and drove in 18 RBI, but is only hitting .223. If you can take the average hit, Schebler is worth a pickup.

Michael Conforto – New York Mets – 62.4% owned – Conforto was a blue-chip prospect for the Mets, but hasn’t really put it all together at the MLB level. It looks like he’s starting to see the ball better. He is batting .357 with seven homers and 18 RBI. He crushed Washington and Atlanta’s pitching staffs.

Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers – 35.0% ownedThe Dodgers called up their top prospect after Joc Pederson was put on the disabled list. It looks like he’s on the roster for the long haul. He has power and speed, so I would pick him up for a test drive. In a week’s time, he is hitting .303 with two homers and five RBI.

Bud Norris – Los Angeles Angels – 39.0% owned – Norris stepped into the closer role after Cam Bedrosian fell to a groin injury. It’s unknown how long he will keep this job, but up until May 2nd, he successfully saved five-straight attempts. If you need saves, add Norris on your roster.

Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals – 57.8% owned – Lynn had two sub-par outings to start the season, but Lynn has had three-straight starts giving up a run or less. He is 3-1 with 2.45 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He’s a solid streaming starter and could stay hot enough to keep on your roster long-term.

Alex Avila – Detroit Tigers – 23.0% owned – The catcher position is quite thin this year. Avila could be a nice replacement if your starting catcher hits the DL. He catches most days for the Tigers and is hitting .391 with four homers and 12 RBI so far this season.

Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates – 40.1% owned – Harrison, who is eligible for both 2B & 3B, is getting hot. He has had a hit in nine out of the last ten games. He is hitting .308 with five homers, 11 RBI and two steals. I like his position flexibility and should be on a roster until Jung Ho Kang is allowed in the United States.

Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants – 24.7% owned – I can’t believe I’m suggesting this, especially how awful he has been the last three season, but Cain is currently the best starter on the Giants. He is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. Over five starts, he has only allowed more than one run in one start (his first). Ride the Cain hot streak until he has a bad game. His next start is at Cincinnati, which if he had a good start, could mean he has fixed his past issues.

Corey Dickerson – Tampa Bay Rays – 67.3% owned – Dickerson hasn’t been very fantasy-relevant since leaving Colorado. He changed that so far this season by hitting .330 with six homers and scored 14 runs. He would be a great streaming outfielder if you have guys on your roster stuck in platoons or have off days.

Julio Urias – Los Angeles Dodgers – 58.8% owned – Urias had an up and down rookie year last season. You could see how great he could become, but his control was not there. He has had two starts since getting called up. He has a 0.84 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The reason his WHIP is so high is that he has walked nearly a person an inning. If Urias can control his walks, he could be a very good fantasy starter. I’d ride him until he starts giving up runs, then ditch him.

Michael Taylor – Washington Nationals – 3.1% owned – Adam Eaton is gone for the year. Taylor will now be Washington’s everyday centerfielder. He has some pop and speed and has had a hit in every game since Eaton’s injury. He could put up some nice numbers with 500+ at-bats.

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Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers – 58.5% owned – People are still bailing on Martinez. I know carrying a DH-only player in a standard league is rough, but Martinez will bounce back from his slow start. He raised his average to .237 this week and finally hit his first homer. The good thing Martinez is doing is driving in runs, 15 RBI at the moment.

Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers – 71.1% owned – He’s is off to a cold start. Gonzalez will still be an everyday first baseman for the Dodgers, so he will eventually turn it on. His power numbers will go up…it’s almost impossible for them to go down.

Nomar Mazara – Texas Rangers –75.7% owned – Mazara is getting ditched in all leagues, but he is starting to turn it on. He didn’t hit very well at home, which is odd, but has looked great at Houston his week.

Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets – 41.6% owned – Yes, another Mets player who has been struggling. He sprang back to life at Atlanta by getting a hit in every game and scoring six runs in three games. He’s a great backup shortstop or flex 2B/SS, so keep him on your roster.

Brad Brach – Baltimore Orioles – 43.6% owned – Brach took over as closer while Zach Britton was on the DL. Brach did a great job and should have earned a spot permanently on your roster. He will help your team’s ERA and WHIP, especially if you went all closers on head-to-head leagues.

Vince Velasquez – Philadelphia Phillies – 36.6% owned – Valasquez will not be a very good source of wins or WHIP, but the dude knows how to miss bats. He will end the season with 200-ish K’s, which you need on your roster.

Mike Napoli – Texas Rangers – 40.7% owned – Napoli is a streaky hitter, but puts up solid numbers across the board. His batting average is very weak right now (.158), but he has shown signs of life over the past week. He is in a good offense, so RBI and hits will come his way. I wouldn’t bail on him right now.

Manuel Margot – San Diego Padres – 50.1% owned – Margot was thought to be a base stealing machine, but he only had one before last week. He has stolen three bases this week. He has hit three dingers and scored 15 runs. I’m not sure why people are dropping him. He has had a hit in 10 of his last 12 games.

Eduardo Nunez – San Francisco Giants – 81.0% owned – I’m not sure why almost seven percent of ESPN fantasy owners have dropped Nunez this week. He’s on a six-game hitting streak and has seven stolen bases on the year. He is hitting .257 and hasn’t hit a homer, but a dozen or so homers were only expected from Nunez this year. I’d stick with him for awhile.

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Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays – 37.3% owned – There are other outfielders worth owner, also two other Rays outfielders worth owning more than Kiermaier (Dickerson & Souza). Kiermaier got off to a hot start, but it’s time to dump him. He has only scored on run sine April 21st and just two RBI since then as well.

Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves – 41.4% owned – I know that he was a former #1 overall pick, but that draft was pretty weak. Also, the Braves rushed him to the Majors a little too fast. I don’t think he’s ready yet. He should get some more seasoning in the minors. He shouldn’t be on any roster right now. He’s only batting .156 and I don’t see it getting much better in the near future.

Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds – 63.9% owned – I usually don’t bail on steal this early, but Peraza only has a .258 OBP and a .248 average, so the dude is barely getting walks. He needs to get on base to get steals and he hasn’t been doing that. He does have seven steals on the season, but only one in the last two weeks.

Matt Moore – San Francisco Giants – 43.4% owned – I had high hopes for Moore coming into the year, but he has been getting rocked. He just can’t miss bats. He has a 6.75 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP. The Giants have their issues in the rotation and I’d avoid most of their starters.

Jeff Samardzija – San Francisco Giants – 62.7% owned – I know Samardzija just had an 11 strikeout shutout of the Dodgers, but I’m still condoning that you don’t put him in your future plans. He is, at best, a streaming pitcher you pick up for good match-ups. He still has a 5.003 ERA and he’s just too unpredictable and inconsistent for my taste. He will still have a nice strikeout total at the end of the year, but you can get K’s elsewhere without the hit to your other categories.

Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners – 34.0% owned – Iwakuma hasn’t really been good since 2014. He has a 4.35 ERA after leaving his last start when a comebacker hit off his left knee.. He’s getting rocked by teams in his division and that’s a bad sign. He might be an okay streamable option if he has a good match-up, but I’d drop him at this point.

Matt Harvey – New York Mets – 86.9% owned – It’s time throw Harvey back on the waiver wire. He was just rocked by the Braves…in back-to-back games. He gave up 12 runs in 9 2/3 innings against the lowly Braves. He currently has a 5.14 ERA with only 20 strikeouts in 35 innings. He’s only a streaming option right now.

Curtis Granderson – New York Mets – 33.8% owned – I will keep Granderson on this list until his ownership drops to less than 25%. He shouldn’t be owned in standard fantasy leagues. At this point, he might even be on the bubble in an NL-only league. He’s only hitting .137 and hasn’t been getting good contact on the ball. I’d drop him for an outfielder like Steven Souza Jr. or Michael Taylor.

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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