Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Friday 7/29/16

Collin McHugh has increased his swinging-strike rate dramatically as the season has gone along. Should he be a target in MLB DFS?

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 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.

I've gone back and forth on this puppy about 30 times, probably indicating that this is, at least, a fair trade. You're giving up a lot, and Aaron Judge is a superb asset to have, but Nomar Mazara's age is enough to push this one over the top for me.

Even though Mazara's already in the big leagues, he's actually three years younger than Judge (exactly three years, too, as they both have an April 26th birthday). Mazara's 26.5% hard-hit rate in his first 388 big-league plate appearances leaves a decent amount to be desired, but that's a number he has posted while being 7.9 years younger than his competition. Judge, on the other hand, is only 2.6 years younger than his mates in the International League.

This means we should expect Mazara's peripheral stats to continue to improve the more experience he gains. Rougned Odor also had less-than-stellar batted-ball stats his first year in the league, and now he's seventh in the league in hard-hit rate over the past 30 days at the ripe age of 22. Age matters, and we should be adjusting for it in our evaluations.

Because Matthew clarified this is a saves/holds league, giving up Hector Rondon is less than ideal, given the Chicago Cubs' forward-looking potential and the New York Yankees' roles as sellers. However, you'll still be getting two assets who can help you both now and in the future, so this is a trade I would most definitely make.

That's a painful cutoff because there are a ton of super interesting pitchers (Kenta Maeda, Vincent Velasquez, and Steven Matz) right at that $9,000 cutoff. My money here would be on Collin McHugh.

When you want to find a pitcher who's about to scorch the Earth with some strikeouts, peep his swinging-strike rate. McHugh's is 12.9% since May 19th, and that includes three starts against the Los Angeles Angels, who avoid strikeouts like the plague. His strikeout rate in that span is 26.1%, but it could be even higher against a high-strikeout foe. That's what he gets tonight in the Detroit Tigers.

Even though the Tigers can punish pitchers in a hurry, they also hold a 21.7% strikeout rate against righties for the year. They don't walk much with a 7.4% rate, so you basically just need McHugh to avoid the longball. That's clearly not a given, but it doesn't put a cap on his potential.

If I'm paying down at pitcher, I still want a guy with upside. McHugh has that, so he's a worthy play on a slate with deep pitching options.

It's not crazy at all. In fact, that's just general good practice when it comes to stacking. If there's a high-priced stack that figures to be fairly chalky, you almost need to fade them just because the variance in hitters for MLB DFS is so high.

With a batter, your sample size in each game is going to be -- give or take a few -- four plate appearances. Mookie Betts and David Ortiz will have their 0-for-4 nights, even if they make hard contact all four times. A player or a stack coming with high ownership implies that there is an element of predictability involved with them, and that predictability is completely non-existent with hitters in MLB DFS.

It's less of a necessity to fade the chalk when the pricing is more relaxed than it is with the Boston Red Sox. A low-priced team can give you the flexibility to pay up at a less volatile position -- pitcher -- making the upsides there more desirable. But, Brett, you're absolutely justified in fading the Red Sox tonight, and implementing a similar strategy going forward could pay solid dividends.

It's definitely not a fluke. Aaron Altherr is a quality baseball player, and as long as his elbow injury doesn't impact him any more, he could be fun to track this season.

Altherr mashed all of last year, no matter what level he was at, ascending from Double-A to the majors. His composite slash was .281/.360/.488 in 650 plate appearances with 19 home runs and 22 stolen bases, showing that he's a pretty diverse asset who could be a solid player in an improving offense.

Altherr has fantasy baseball value just because he's hitting in the middle of the order for a team in a favorable park for offense. When you add in the individual talent he showed last year, you can see why this would be a guy you'll want on your radar for the next few weeks.

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