The Fake Baseball Stock Report 6.1.16
June 1, 2016 | Justin Klein
CC Sabathia was great in the month of May in his 4 starts. Although he went 2-2, he allowed only 3 earned runs while notching a 25:5 K:BB ratio across 26 innings pitched. That’s 4 QS in 2 starts and a very impressive 5:1 K:BB ratio that helped CC lower his ERA to 2.85. While he’s been a little bit lucky, CC’s 3.18 FIP is still very solid and much better than anything he’s shown in years. Maybe it’s just the optimist in me, but perhaps the fact that Sabathia is no longer an alcoholic is having a positive impact on his pitching. I imagine anyone who abuses alcohol would be worse at their job, especially people that are professional athletes. The HR/9 of 0.38 and the HR/FB ratio of 4 are going to come up. The value in Sabathia ROS will depend on how he handles those rises. I think that he can successfully limit the damage and be of use in most 12-team leagues and larger as a SP3/4 type. It certainly helps that C.C. has great numbers against some of the dominant offenses in his division. Currently available in 70% of Yahoo leagues, I think that Sabathia is worth owning during this hot stretch and likely much longer. Worst case scenario, you can always drop him if he falters. His next matchup will be against the Orioles on Sunday, and although it’s a tough one, he recently blanked them for 7 innings while striking out 6 in a win.
Nathan Karns has been nearly as impressive as Sabathia this season as he’s posted a solid 8.90 K/9 to go with a 3.43 ERA, 3.59 FIP and 3.71 xFIP. While Karns left a pitcher-friendly stadium in Tampa Bay, his new home at Safeco Field is even better for him and our purposes in the fake game. Although Nate’s next start will be at Globe Life Park at Arlington against the Rangers, I will be deploying him in all of the leagues where I own a share. Available in 62% of Yahoo leagues, I like Karns to continue what he’s been doing. The ratios will likely be solid but not impressive. That said, they will be joined by a ton of K’s and a good amount of wins. If those are things that your fake baseball team could use and Karns is available, you should add him now.
Mike Napoli has quietly been wreaking havoc on American League pitching as he’s now racked up an impressive 32/11/36/2/.229 line thus far this season. Well, the batting average isn’t impressive, but everything else is, as the HR are plentiful and the counting numbers are abundant. Currently available in 53% of Yahoo leagues, Napoli is extremely versatile as he possesses 1B, OF and Utility eligibility. If you need power help anywhere, or some help in the OF or at CI, Napoli is a solid addition. While the average will hurt, he’ll help you everywhere else. Because he has been hitting cleanup in the Indian’s batting order, this should continue as long as he’s healthy. Not only will the power be there, but the counting numbers should be very good as long as he has a solid spot in the lineup.
Brad Boxberger has reinjured his left oblique and been placed back on the DL in his first appearance since returning from the DL. This is rather unfortunate as Boxberger had missed the first 2 months of the season after having core muscle surgery this past spring. Not only did he hurt the same muscle, but it was on the same side of his body where he had the surgery. This puts Boxberger back on the shelf for a minimum of several weeks and perhaps months. If Alex Colome was dropped as a result of Boxberger returning, you should scoop him up. As for Brad, I dropped the one share that I had; I couldn’t afford to DL him because those spots were already filled with better players and I needed the bench space. I would suggest you do the same unless you have an open DL slot or ample bench space.
Kolten Wong continues his bagel parade (hat tip) as he’s now gone hitless in 7 of his last 10 games. While he was on the bench for 2 of them, he made a pinch hit appearance in one and only notched 4 hits total in the other 3 contests. While he’s still just 25 years old, this season has been a nightmare for Wong and his owners in the fake game. He’s not hitting for average or for power, and he’s barely even running too. At this point, if you’re still holding Wong in redraft leagues you’re likely waiting for something that doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. As for deeper leagues and dynasty leagues, you may need to look elsewhere as well. The fairly cheap contract extension (5 years for 25 million) Wong signed in the offseason is making more and more sense for him as he at least locked up some guaranteed money. It’s rare that the Cardinals swing and miss on contract extensions, but this was one that carried little risk. If you are still holding out hope that Wong will turn it around (40% of you in Yahoo leagues), I suggest you come to terms with his failures and move on. It’s probably not going to happen, and that ceiling isn’t nearly as high as we thought it was.
Yasiel Puig has recently been dropped in a couple of my hyper competitive 12-team leagues, which just goes to show you how little faith there currently is in him. You can’t really blame them, as Puig has posted an underwhelming 21/5/20/4/.239 line thus far this season. Although Yasiel has been a little bit unlucky in the BABIP department, he’s hit the ball with much less authority this season as well. His soft contact % is up, his line drive % is down and his ISO is way down. Plus his BB% is a measly 4.6%. While I expect Puig’s average to come up a bit, I think it’s unwise to expect him to take large steps forward in other areas too. Yasiel has flashed elite skills, but he hasn’t shown them consistently for nearly 2 seasons. If you are still rostering the troubled Dodger OF as 91% of you in Yahoo leagues currently are, it may be time to cut bait. If you can get anything for him via trade, you should do so; otherwise, there’s probably a player that can be of more use to your fake team on the waiver wire at this point.
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