Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Monday 6/27/16
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 Which players should we be buying on if given the opportunity?
— Duke Silver (@_Ron_Swanson) June 27, 2016
The list of dudes who could fit this description is not short, but we're going to trim it down to my four favorites at the moment. We'll start things off with pitchers as there are a pair on the same team that we should be noticing in the Houston Astros' Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh.
Keuchel was getting absolutely wrecked earlier this season, and it was in a way where even his peripherals looked bad. In his start on May 22nd, though, he started to use his slider more often, and it has led to some nice recoveries across the board. His SIERA in seven starts since then is 2.84, and he has picked his strikeout rate back up to 22.7%. His ERA over that same span is 5.24, but it doesn't appear likely that his struggles will persist much longer. His owners are likely less than pleased with the reigning Cy Young Award winner, so acquiring him shouldn't be too terribly difficult.
McHugh's turnaround came just three days before Keuchel's when he struck out eight on May 19th against the Chicago White Sox. Over his past seven starts, McHugh has a 13.9% swinging-strike rate, giving extra weight to his 26.8% strikeout rate and 5.5% walk rate. You can actually get him for free a lot of places -- he's only 36.2% owned in ESPN leagues -- but he'd be a worthy trade target, too, if he's not on the wire.
For hitters, we can stick in the same division and give Shin-Soo Choo a look-see. By this point in the year, his owner is likely extremely frustrated with Choo's fragility (not that I'm speaking from horrible, head-throbbing experience or anything) and ready to sell high with his hot start off the disabled list. If they budge at all, I'd pounce. His hard-hit rate this year is 40.8% with a 4.1% soft-hit rate, and he has dropped his strikeout rate to its lowest mark of his entire career. He contributes pretty much across the board for roto leagues, and his leadoff spot is huge for points leagues. No matter what format, and no matter what depth of the league, I'd be making inquiries immediately.
There are some big-time annoyances around Anthony Rendon right now -- namely Dusty Baker's refusal to bat him at an adequate spot in the batting order -- but I'd still be trying to snatch him up. Everything about Rendon's peripherals, from his 40.6% hard-hit rate to his below-average strikeout rate and above-average walk rate, says he should be hitting better than .253/.334/.397. And it's way better than that of a number-seven hitter. It seems like only a matter of time until he absolutely catches fire, and then the Washington Nationals will have no choice but to bump him back up in the lineup.
There's one last guy who should be high up on this list. That would be Jonathan Schoop. But something tells me we'll be getting to him soon enough.
@numberFire thoughts on Schoop? He's very intriguing to me. Has gotten better each month of the season.
— Adam Faucheux (@Afaucheux70) June 27, 2016
Oh, hey. That worked out well. It's almost as if it was planned.
Outside of Adam's correct assessment of Schoop's improvements, he's also getting higher run in the order, something we need to account for as much in season-long as we do DFS. With Schoop oscillating between hitting sixth and second in one of baseball's best offenses, he's a person we need to own if possible.
Schoop's bump in the order comes because he has been spewing silliness the past few weeks. Since June 6th, Schoop has upped his hard-hit rate to 34.4% with just a 14.8% soft-hit rate while also cutting his strikeout rate to 19.5%. When you mix his perfect situation with his new tasty peripherals, Schoop is going to be a top-tier fantasy option going forward.
Schoop is still just 63.4% owned on ESPN and 64% on Yahoo!, so you may be able to get him for free. But with the legitimate improvements to both his talent and situation, it's enough to buy him via trade if you must. Either way, check out his situation in your various leagues to see what the best course of action may be, and then strap in for what could be a fun ride.
Want to have your questions answered in our mailbox? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire, or send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com.