HERO OF THE WEEK
Lonnie Chisenhall (CLE) 1B/3B (75% owned)
Chisenhall was tied was first in runs (8), tied for first in home runs (4), and led all batters in RBIs (13) while hitting .583 over the past seven days. These impressive numbers stem from his monster Monday in Texas where he slugged three home runs and 9 RBIs. On the year, Chisenhall has a triple slash line of .393/.438/.619 and if he keeps hitting like this, he's going to remain in the line up every day whether Carlos Santana healthy or not. Chisenhall showed solid power before his explosion and any fantasy owner that took a risk on him early have been rewarded so far. However, now is the perfect time to sell high on Chisenhall. The Indians third baseman currently has a BABIP of .428- which is crazy unsustainable no matter what Chisenhall's career BABIP is (it's .308). Chisenhall was always a decent prospect but never really showed anything in the majors until a few weeks ago. So what Lonnie Chisenhall is doing is not a complete fluke, but something similar to what Alex Gordon of the Royals did a few years ago. However, when a lot of your value is tied up in batting average, and that average is going to drop quickly, sell, sell sell.
Tanner Roark (WAS) SP (51% owned)
Over the past seven days, Roark has 15 strike outs in 14 innings, and a 1.29/0.71 ERA/WHIP to go along with two wins. On the season, Roark is the 25th best starting pitcher with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Roark has a K/9 of 7.02, which isn't that great for fantasy purposes, but you can get away with it in the majors when you're BB/9 rate is only 1.94. I don't think Roark will finish as a top 25 starting pitcher, but he certainly is good enough to keep up these solid numbers all season. While he has a low BABIP (.261) and an ERA lower than his FIP (3.41), logic dictates your ERA will rise; however, Roark doesn't walk anybody or give up home runs. So while I believe the ERA will rise a little, it won't rise significantly to the point where you have to cut him. If someone in your league believes he's destined for superstardom or will be better than what he's doing now, then sell as fast as you can. However, he's probably going to be this level of good all year, which is extremely valuable to your fantasy baseball team, especially if you just picked him up in free agency.
BUY LOW OR SELL HIGH?
Normally this section is reserved for "ROSTER DOCTOR" however I can only recommend so many players over the course of a couple of weeks. Feel free to check out my other articles if you need to pick someone up. This is a list of players that are either performing great or performing terribly, and whether you should stand pat with them, or sell as fast as possible.
* Justin Verlander (DET) SP (97% owned): SELL, SELL, SELL
The former Cy Young winner and MVP is currently boasting a 4.61 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP. He also only has 67 strike outs in 91 2/3 IP. Normally, with proven players who are just performing poorly (which is basically my Struggling Player to Stick By segment) I would recommend to stay the course and just wait out the terribleness. However, this is now Verlander's second straight season where's he's just horrific. There's also precedent for this sort of demise, just look at San Francisco's Tim Lincecum. He's also a former Cy Young winner who lost it all very quickly. Verlander was always a pitcher who threw it up in the zone, but he could get away with that when his fastball was averaging 96 mph and he could get it up to 100. However, his fastball velocity is down, and major league batters can very easily hit a 92 mph fastball up in the zone.
* Mark Buerhle (TOR) SP (89% owned) Sell High
Buerhle is the 16th best starting pitcher this year. A lot of that has to do with his 2.28 ERA, but it's mainly because of his league leading 10 wins. As a long time Chicago White Sox fan, Mark Buehrle will always hold a special place in my heart, however, even I know to sell high. Truthfully, Mark Buerhle will be fine for the rest of the year, but the reason to sell now is because you can probably get crazy good value for him. I'm in a public league and Michael Wacha for Todd Frazier and Mark Buerhle was accepted and then sent over for a league vote. The trade was actually vetoed because the other owners in this league are dumb and thought Buerhle was a better pitcher than Wacha, so the addition of Todd Frazier was overkill. The point is, I guarantee you there is at least one dumb owner in your league you can take advantage of.
* David Wright (NYM) 3B (98% owned) Buy Low
David Wright is currently the 14th best third baseman behind guys like Lonnie Chisenhall, Todd Frazier, and Casey McGahee. However, Wright was universally ranked as a top 5 3B in every league and was generally taken as a second or third round draft pick. He has a long track record of ending the season as a top 5 third basemen, and there's no reason to think he won't end up one by year's end. He's just too good to be putting up these mediocre numbers.
HOW DO I GET STATS?
I was talking to my friend the other day who was dominant in all of his offensive categories, except for runs. He wasn't quite sure what exactly he could do. I thought the question he posed was a great fantasy article, so I decided to include in this post. Here's you can get....
Trade for them. If you don't have an elite runs guy now, you're not going to find one on the waiver wire. The only waiver wire suggestion I can give you is Denard Span who is 21% owned, but you're better off trading to get runs. Or just punt the category entirely.
An easy stop gap for WHIP, and even ERA is to pick up dominant set up men with crazy high K/9. You're sacrificing wins when you do this strategy, but at least you're helping yourself in 3 out of the 5 pitching categories. Guys to pick up that fit this bill are Dellin Betances (NYY), Wade Davis (KC), and Neil Ramirez (CHC).
There are always guys in free agency that are great in batting average and nothing else. Don't ever trade solely based upon batting average. Guys in free agency who should hit above .300 are Nick Markakis (46% owned), Kendrys Morales (41% owned), and Tommy La Stella (4% owned). It's especially helpful to look for guys who don't strike out.
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