Matt Adams gets newfound attention. Max Moroff continues to rake in the minors.
The Dynasty Guru Experts League is a 20-team (40-man roster) 5x5 rotisserie dynasty league founded by BP managing editor Bret Sayre in 2014. It is intended to satisfy the deep-league needs of all, down to just the right amount of Alexi Amarista. We roster 23 starters (C/1B/2B/3B/SS/MI/CI, along with two additional utility hitters, five outfielders and nine pitchers). We also roster seven bench slots and have 10 spots designated for minor leaguers, although a quick scan of the league finds that most teams utilize most of their bench spots for additional prospects. That means that there are an additional 100-120 prospects that are rostered above the 200 spots reserved for them.
These write-ups are intended to pair nicely with Mike Gianella’s Expert FAAB Review, as we will look at each week’s TDGX free-agent acquisitions, as well as include thoughts on every major trade that occurs during the season. The yearly budget for free-agent transactions is $100, with $0 bids allowed for major leaguers and prospects.
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Castellanos has been a big disappointment. Will that change with an adjustment?
During the pre-season I spouted several things that, at least so far in the few months since, have proven to have been damned, dirty lies. One of these things was that Nick Castellanos was gonna be a Guy. The pedigree as an elite hit-tool guy was there, I noted, and at 6-foot-4, 210 with a rapidly heightening launch angle, he was a perfect candidate to break out in a big way.
It's a rough week in the NL, where no one with two scheduled outings is worthy of automatic, fore-sure, consecutive starts. Carlos Carrasco and Chris Sale, conversely, are ready to pitch two.
Every Friday, we preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that gives enough insight to make educated lineup moves and FAAB decisions over the weekend. As the old wrestling promoters would always say, “Card Subject to Change," because lots can happen between the time this goes up and first pitch. Unfortunately—weather, injuries, and tinkering managers make this less than a science. I’ll do my best, though, and should new information present itself after this posts, we can go over it in the comments. We’ll crowdsource this as well, so if you hear anything, feel free to comment and we all can offer our takes, hot or not.
Here’s how this works. The pitchers will be split by league using these categories:
Through 33 games, the Detroit Tigers stalwart is having his worst season since he broke in as a 20-year-old in 2003. He just turned 34, but have physical issues caught up the likely Hall of Fame slugger?
For more than a decade, Miguel Cabrera has been one of the truly elite hitters in all of baseball. Despite consistently great performances, fantasy owners in recent seasons have been wary of using first-round picks (or equivalent money in auctions) on the future Hall of Famer, with concern for his imminent decline engrained in discussions of his value. Repeatedly, he’s proven that kind of talk to be silly, and that he’s still an elite hitter. Still, time eventually catches up with all of us, and even Cabrera isn’t immune to the aging curve.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering how Cabrera has struggled to start the season. At least, he’s struggled relative to the standards he’s set for himself. Through his first 139 plate appearances, he is hitting .264/.360/.430 for a TAv of .267. Prior to this season, his lowest TAv not including his rookie year was .295, and that was way back in 2008. He’s ranked as the 32nd first baseman on the Player Rater, right between Mike Napoli and Wilmer Flores. To put it simply, this is not the kind of performance at the plate that we’ve come to expect from Cabrera. Is this the start of that decline we’ve long been worried about—or is it just a blip on the radar?
Bo Bichette continues to look like the real deal. Others, such as Yeyson Yrizarri, look to be in trouble.
Ah, late May, one of the more awkward times in the dynasty calendar. If your team is good, you’re likely trying to prey on would-be contenders who are realizing they need to pack it up. If your team is awful, you’re likely getting a head start on scouting the 2017 crop of prospects. If you’re stuck in the middle, well, you know you have about 6-8 weeks left to make some big decisions.
Because we’re sort of in no-man’s land, it is be a good time to look in on a few of my favorite dynasty sleepers from the “next 112” list I published in mid-March. Are the samples too small to draw super-meaningful conclusions? Of course. But since these guys were sort of on the periphery of fantasy relevance in most leagues anyway, we can be a little quicker to cut bait or invest than we would be with more-established names.
Anthony Alford gets a chance with the Jays and Jared Hoying gets one with the Rangers.
The over-under for the number of starting pitchers featured in the Deep League Report each week is 0.5. This week, we have 3.5. Hope you pounded the over. On the offensive side, we have a couple of players on opposite sides of the same platoon trying to take playing time from each other, and a veteran infielder with a good-glove, no-bat reputation tearing the cover off the ball. This game, it’ll make you cry. Seriously. There’s a link to some sincere tears in the NL-only section. Let’s get going.
Koda Glover has a firm grip on the Nationals closer job—for now. Keep your eyes on Brad Hand in San Diego in case Brandon Maurer falters. Be patient with Edwin Diaz in Seattle; he'll soon be closing again.
It was something of a quiet week in reliever land, which has been a rarity in 2017. There were still a few notable happenings, of course, and the quiet does give me a chance to highlight some situations that would otherwise be put on the back burner. Before we get to that, though, another reminder that you can keep up with bullpen changes at the Closer Grid. As always, recent changes are highlighted in yellow. Now, on to the fun stuff.
Smoak is having his best season—but how much fire is behind his new success?
The Buyer’s Guide is a weekly column designed to help fantasy owners assess a player who sees an increased level of interest during a given week. This column will focus on players who generally have lower than 40 percent ownership rates across various leagues.
It’s possible you’re in a position where you’re looking for a first baseman to plug into your fantasy lineup. Freddie Freeman owners are in that camp. There’s also a small list of players at the position who should either shortly return from injuries or are dealing with nagging aches and pains (Eric Thames, Greg Bird and Yonder Alonso). If you find yourself in the market for a first baseman, is Justin Smoak a player you should look to invest in?
The Three True Outcomes podcast is back to chat about the state of the podcast, the state of the game, and how both impact (or don't impact) Scoresheet.
The Three True Outcomes podcast is back to chat about the state of the podcast, the state of the game, and how both impact (or don’t impact) Scoresheet. From MLB roster construction to the run scoring environment, we spend some time talking about how the trends in MLB might impact Scoresheet strategy and suggest a few updates and alterations to improve Scoresheet in response to these trends.