On Monday each week I take a look at the fantasy baseball game breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances of late – not just positive outings mind you, but I’ll also delve into some of the players that have been sucking wind of late. Can you use this information to your benefit over at DailyJoust?
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GAINERS OF THE WEEK
Bronson Arroyo (+123, $357K in DailyJoust Salary)
Arroyo is one of those guys that you begrudgingly draft, and then more times than not he does something to help you. Though just 4-5 on the season, he’s been pretty solid this year, especially of late. Over his last two starts he’s allowed two runs in 15 innings, and he’s thrown five quality starts in his last six trips to the hill. His 6.13 K/9 rate is a four year best, and his 1.49 BB/9 rate would be a career best mark,m so it’s fair to ponder how long he will be able to keep his current pace up.
Michael Fiers (+64, $411K)
Since being inserted into the Brewers rotation all this guy has done is have success. In eight appearances this season he’s posted a 2.31 ERA, has a 1.07 WHIP, has a better than 5:1 K/BB ratio, and has 50 Ks in 46.2 innings. Yeah, he’s been that dominating if you hadn’t noticed (he’s only owned in 14 percent of Fleaflicker leagues). Over his last five starts he has allowed three runs, and over his last three outings he’s struck out 26 batters. The only thing keeping him from being a national success story is that 3-3 record, but you can’t blame him for that since he’s pitching about as well as anyone in the game.
Jeff Karstens (+74, $342)
After missing two months due to injury, Karstens is back to getting batters out. Last year he posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. This year in six starts he has a 3.94 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Even better, over his last two starts, both victories, he has allowed two earned runs in 15 innings while, shockingly, piling up 15 Ks. That’s all well and good, but let’s keep it real here. Karstens really isn’t a 3.38 ERA type of guy. His career K-rate is below the league average, and his 6.75 mark this season is a batter an a half above his mark the last two seasons. He’s not likely to hold on to that. He’s also been hit pretty hard despite the outward appearance, and his 2.5 percent HR/F is literally a quarter of normal. Parlay his solid numbers into a better arm if you can.
Jason Vargas (+109, $379)
Through 19 starts Vargas has a 1.15 WHIP. Pretty dang good. He’s also been able to lower his ERA from 4.66 to 4.07 over his last three starts as he’s permitted just four runners to cross the plate. He’s also, and I have no idea how this is possible, posted 22 Ks over his last 23.2 innings. Given that his total of 131 strikeouts last season was a career best it’s pretty obvious that you can’t expect him to continue to punch fellows out at that rate. Solid, but remember that he allowed 23 earned runs in his previous four starts before this nice three game run.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Edwin Jackson (-88, $226K)
After being the good Edwin for 2.5 months the evil EJax as returned with a vengeance. The lasttwo time times he’s taken the hill he’s been beat around for 15 hits and four walks leading to 12 earned runs in 8.2 innings. Panic stricken owners are vomiting the world over. Still, let’s pull back from the madness for some perspective. Edwin’s best ERA is 3.62 from 2009. It’s currently 3.73. His best WHIP was 1.26 in 2009. It’s currently 1.13. His career K/9 is 6.69. It’s currently 6.75. His career K/BB ratio is 1.87. It’s currently 2.53 (a career best). His HR/9 mark is 0.98. His career mark is 0.99. I know you don’t want to hear it after the two beatings he just took, but the truth is that his overall numbers put him on pace to have the best season of his career, or at worst, exactly what you should have expected.
Jesus Montero (-20, $50K)
Montero has one hit in his last eight games dropping his average .021 points down to .242. Obviously the youngster is totally lost right now. His future is still very bright, but as I often warn when the discussion roles around to youngsters – their path to success isn’t always linear. Sometimes, there are bumps in the road. If Montero wants to turn his recent slide around he would be wise to start with his control of the strikezone. Currently sporting a 0.22 BB/K mark that is half the big league average, he’d be wise to start working that count a bit better. Of note. On the season he’s hit a mere .203 against righties with four homers in 192 at-bats while he’s murdered lefties to the tune of a .326 average and four homers in just 89 at-bats.
Ervin Santana (-153, $189)
How is this still happening? “This” is all the homers Santana is allowing which are simply tanking his season. A career 1.18 homers allowed per nine innings kinda fella, that number is in the stratosphere this season at 1.74 per nine. Given that massive increase your initial reaction is likely ‘he must be giving up a lot more fly balls this season.’ That’s a fair assumption, but it’s totally wrong. Right now Santana has a 33 percent fly ball rate. That would be the lowest total of his career. Right now Santana has a 48 percent ground ball rate. That would be the highest total of his career. ‘But Ray, that makes no sense. How is he giving up so many homers then?’ The answer is a near doubling of his HR/F mark from 10.3 percent for his career, and never worse than 12.8 percent in a season, to 18.9 percent right now. That number simply has to come down, doesn’t it? He’d also be well served to throw more strikes (his 3.66 BB/9 mark would be his first season over 3.05 since 2007).
Luke Scott (-19, $72K)
One of the streakiest hitters on the planet, Scott has been abysmal for a long while now. How bad? Since June 2nd Scott has a total of five hits. He was hurt for a while, but that’s still just five hits in 55 at-bats (.091). As a result he’s hitting .200 in 220 at-bats for the Rays. Sure he has 11 homers and 42 RBIs, strong totals, but can you really live with that batting average drain in your lineup right now? Don’t worry, he’ll probably have a week where he has 12 hits and four homers soon – it’s just how he rolls.
Today, and every day, you can sign up for the King Arthur’s $50 Free Roll on DailyJoust. No entry free is required to get a chance to play the game and earn your free chance to take home part of the $50 prize pool. All games that start at 7:05 PM EDT or later are open to add players to your daily fantasy baseball squad. So get over to DailyJoust, put together your one day lineup, and get ready to win some free $.