Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Monday 6/20/16
We're here to try and help you navigate the ever-changing landscape that is fantasy baseball. It's not easy to keep up with all of the day-to-day fluctuations, so it can help to have someone to bounce ideas off of. That's what our daily mailbag will look to do.
Feel free to shoot us any questions you may have throughout the day on Twitter, and then we'll try to answer as many as we can in the form of a post. If you prefer, you can also send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com. These questions can be anything fantasy baseball related. That means daily fantasy baseball, season-long, dynasty, and everything else are all in play.
Obviously, we won't be able to get to all questions because there's a lot to cover. For additional questions, be sure to check out our new MLB DFS tools along with our daily and season-long projections, which should help out more times than not.
Now, enough of that. Let's dig into today's mailbag and see what's popping in the world of fantasy baseball.
@numberFire Who is a better bet at Closer? Ryan Madson in Oakland or Will Harris in Houston? #FantasyBaseball #WishIHadBetterOptions
â€” Sam Beall (@sambeall) June 17, 2016
This one rolled in right after our Friday mailbag went up, so hopefully we're not too late for you, Sam. Even though Will Harris' situation is a bit less steady than that of Ryan Madson, I still think I'd prefer him because the upside is immense.
Harris inherited the closer's role earlier this month, an acknowledgement of just how stupidly good he has been. Harris' skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is 2.46 as he has excelled in each of the pitching holy-trinity categories with a great strikeout rate, walk rate, and ground-ball rate. When you've got a guy who is pitching well, he's obviously less likely to lose the role down the line, and because he got the first crack at closer before Ken Giles, this should be his job to lose.
The Houston Astros have clearly had a disappointing season, but things are starting to look better overall. They're back up to 16th in our team power rankings, and they're 17-8 over the past four weeks. If this team catches fire like it did last year, that's going to mean plenty of save opportunities for Harris, and that's going to bring you the exact upside that you likely seek.
Just in case you need another name, now would be the time to invest in the Milwaukee Brewers' Will Smith. Smith has now logged 10 appearances since coming off of the disabled list, and he's starting to round into last year's form, in which he had a 2.39 SIERA for the season. Manager Craig Counsell said Smith could eventually regain his closer role once he can show that he's healthy again, and that time may not be too far off.
The other interesting aspect with Smith is the possibility of a trade. With the Brewers sitting 17.5 games back in the National League Central, they're in a position to sell, and they've got quality assets to move, including Smith. If he were to go to a better team with a less-certain closer situation, Smith would instantly be owned across the board in season-long leagues. It's not a bad idea to get out in front of that situation before it transpires and add him now.
@numberFire Profar or Baez rest of the year? In similar situations with their respective clubs. Wondering what you guys thought about each.
â€” Adam Faucheux (@Afaucheux70) June 20, 2016
You are absolutely correct in saying that the situations are similar as Javier Baez and Jurickson Profar are both part of loaded lineups with a lot of mouths to feed. For me, though, Baez holds a decent edge because of his individual talent.
Profar bests Baez in his plate-discipline stats, but that's about it. Baez's 28.9% hard-hit rate is well beyond Profar's mark of 18.6%, which makes Profar's .349/.379/.494 slash seem completely unsustainable. It's still early for Profar, so we don't want to make any sweeping generalizations, but it does seem as if Baez is the superior asset at this moment.
The other exciting thing about Baez is that he has actually been getting a bit better recently. His hard-hit rate over the past three weeks is 32.6%, and it bumps up to 37.9% over the past two. Baez has had success early in his career without the benefit of overwhelming batted-ball stats, and if he were to add that to his game, he would be an even more attractive fantasy asset.
Again, this isn't to downplay Profar by any means. We've seen other guys like Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara thrive in Texas without making quality contact every time they're at the dish. But Baez seems as if he's getting better, and that's a dangerous proposition in an offense as potent as that.
Want to have your questions answered in our mailbox? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire, or send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com.