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
Ike Davis (+25, $104 K in DailyJoust Salary)
He’s hitting just .213. Ugh. Now the positive. He has 20 homers, the same total as Mark Teixeira. He’s driven in 60 runs, nine more than Paul Konerko. He’s hit .253 the last 49 games after hitting .170 in his first 48 games. Certain progress no doubt, but there are still two situations that you want to make sure Davis is firmly rooted to your bench. (1) He’s hit .179 with a .576 OPS against lefties this season. (2) He’s hit .151 with a .484 OPS at home. I’m not kidding. Davis has a .151 average at home, a .214 batting average and .270 SLG in 159 at-bats. Can’t get much worse than that and remain a big leaguer.
A.J. Griffin (+69, $344K)
The former college closer just knows how to pitch. Winner of each of his last three starts, each of the six times that Griffin has taken the hill this season he’s gotten exactly 18 outs while allowing no more than three runs in any outing. In fact, he’s sporting some elite ratios – including a 2.25 ERA and 0.97 WHIP – as he’s held batters to a .205 average while posting 29 Ks, against only eight walks, in 36 innings. It’s impossible to think he will keep up this pace, but he’s been a waiver-wire gem the past five weeks.
Justin Maxwell (+14, $70K)
For those of you in NL-only leagues Justin has been a nice, reserve round gamble, hasn’t he? Maxwell has socked 10 long balls with 31 RBIs and 29 runs scored in just 172 at-bats, some pretty impressive marks given that relatively small sample size. However, he’s also hitting .227 which, unfortunately, is .015 points better than his career average. You’re really pushing it if you’re using him in mixed leagues, but he’s a valuable commodity, despite the warts, in league specific setups.
Max Scherzer (+149, $437K)
The last five times he has taken the hill he has emerged victorious four times. In his last four starts he’s allowed a total of eight runs. He’s walked an unappealing eight batters in his last two trips to the hill, but he’s offset the wildness with his huge stuff that has led to a 10.99 K/9 mark, the best in the Junior Circuit (11.58 for Stephen Strasburg to lead the NL). The K/9 mark is a career best, as is his 3.39 K/BB ratio. He needs to do a better job keeping the ball in the yard as he’s given up more fly balls than ever before, an a greater percentage of those fly balls have landed in the seats than ever before.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Mike Aviles (-14, $55K)
On the year Aviles has been a borderline top-10 shortstop option as he’s hit .252 with 10 homers, 51 RBIs, 42 runs scored and 10 steals. Unfortunately for Aviles owners, it’s gotten ugly of late. Aviles is hitting .200 over his last 50 at-bats. He’s also hitting just .194 in July. He has just two homers in his last 48 games. He’s scored just 12 runs in his last 48 games. Yeah, it might be time to explore going with another option up the middle.
Mark Buehrle (-40, $370K)
The guy has been a rock this year with a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 20 starts. It’s not all sugar plumbs and roses though as he’s allowed six earned runs over his last two starts (just 10 IP) as he’s walked five while striking out five. We could play this game all day, he’s killing it, he’s mortal, but in the end he is what he is – and that is a pretty darn impressive big league hurler who never gets hurt an almost always gives his team a chance to win, even if he isn’t an impressive big league arm.
Trevor Cahill (-47, $283K)
When will they learn? The loser in two of three starts and four of six, Cahill has been the past month what he often is – a below average big league pitcher. In five July starts he has gone 2-3 with a 4.45 WE, 1.48 WHIP and 21 Ks in 30.1 innings. If that excites you have at it with Cahill, but I personally don’t understand the love affair people have with him. Working on a career best K/9 rate, it’s just 6.50, the only think that Cahill does well, the only thing, is keeping the ball on the ground. Still, even with a career best 59 percent ground ball rate his current ratios (3.86 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) look exactly like his career numbers (3.90 ERA, 1.32 WHIP).
Mike Trout (-24, $128K)
A chink in the armor perhaps? Trout’s average has dipped to .350, the lowest it’s been in two weeks, and he’s stolen only one base in his last 13 games. What a loser. I’d still exercise caution when it comes to telling the future with Trout given that his line drive rate is huge and likely unsustainable (25.4 percent). Ditto his BABIP of .402. He’s having a magical season no doubt, but will he finish as strong as he started?
Today 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 $.