Another week down the drain, and we’re back once again with another Interrogate the Industry. This week Jake Ciely joins us for some Fantasy Baseball questions and opinions on pop culture. I may disagree with him slightly on the Game of Thrones comment, but we will save that for another day. Week 8 had another typical set of ups and downs primarily wrapping up with a No-Hitter being thrown by Josh Beckett. While players like Edwin Encarnacion, and Nelson Cruz kept their power surge going, some other players showed signs of life this week too, namely Chris Davis and Justin Upton.
Now that the Holiday weekend is over, and some of the craziness of life settles down, I will be able to write more and continue on with my other series “3 up, 3 down” as well as some Fantasy Football over at fakepigskin.com so keep your eyes peeled, have a great week 9, and keep those questions coming! Remember you all are fueling these articles in many ways and thanks again for reading. Oh Yeah…if you missed it, or feel like listening to me on a podcast be sure to check it out here The Fantasy Forecaster.
Interrogate the Industry #4
Fantasy Contributor: Jake Ciely
Sr. Editor at football.com
contributor at RotoExperts
1. Are there any Starting Pitchers you are on the edge about, or considering dropping even though they were initially ranked somewhat high. (Liriano or Masterson for example)?
Jake Peavy should be long gone at this point. Most were higher on Peavy for 2014 than I was, and he was a serviceable back-end SP last year given the wins and WHIP. Those aren’t helping this year, and in fact, the WHIP is hurting. Peavy has an ERA well over four and a WHIP around 1.50. Give me the barf bag now. The main problem is his career worst SwStr% of 7.8, and there is no reason for optimism. At best, we’ll get a low-4.00 ERA with a 1.30-1.40 WHIP and a mediocre strikeout total. You can find better.
2. Would you pick up Oscar Taveras now if he is available on the waiver wire?
Not to quantify it, but it depends on the league. In a 10-teamer, no. Let’s say Taveras gets the call in a few weeks. What will we get? Likely, an average around .280-.290 with less than 10 homers and a handful of stolen bases. Unless your bench is extremely deep, that isn’t better value than anyone rostered. In a shallow 12-teamer, I’d even hesitate. Like George Springer – and let’s not forget Mike Trout did the exact same – the fantasy impact was minimal to start. Yet, if you grab a talent like Taveras, you’re not going to want him on the bench. The best thing I would say to do is grab Taveras, even in 10-teamers if you have aggressive owners – and trade him! Taveras’ value will never be higher than right before the Cards call him up.
3. Of these hot players which one do you buy into the most? Also rank them for rest of season.
Charlie Blackmon, Brian Dozier, AJ Pollock, Seth Smith, Derrick Norris, Dallas Keuchel, or Alexei Ramirez
Dozier and Blackmon both will provide value all year long, but I have been tootin’ the Keuchel horn for weeks now. The reason you can believe in Keuchel is that all the metrics prove he’s not a flash. Sure, that’s tough to swallow after last year’s numbers, but Keuchel’s xFIP is actually lower than his great ERA. Let’s check those numbers: 11.5 SwStr% (terrific), 14.1 LD% (great), 66.5 GB% (wonderful), 18.0 SOBB* (glorious). Keuchel is one of this year’s breakout pitchers, and if owners are worried that he’s a fluke, buy him now!
*SOBB is StrikeOut % – Base on Ball % that I created over two years ago. Fangraphs just jumped on board recently and added K-BB% to their listed stats.
Rank: Dozier, Ramirez, Keuchel, Blackmon, Pollock, Smith, Norris
4. Who hits the most Homeruns at end of the season? Chris Davis or Jose Abreu and why?
Seeing as how I said Jose Abreu was one of the few hitters than should near 40 home runs, I should stick to my guns even with his being on the DL. And why not stick to my guns? Abreu had 15 home runs in 44 games, which would put him in the mid-50s! I expected a decrease in power to start (his .335 ISO is elite), but even so, 40 is still in reach. Davis was not going to repeat last season, even though 40 looked to be a reasonable goal as well. Even though Davis is back from injury and looking healthy, he’s still more than half behind Abreu, and even with a few extra games, I don’t see Davis making up enough ground. Pencil Davis in for mid-30 homers, close to 40, but Abreu at 40 or better… unless that ankle becomes a serious issue of course.
5. If you had to risk losing a limb on someone else enjoying a TV Series they hadn’t seen before, which show would you choose? Why?
The all-too obvious answer, especially now that it’s back on TV, is 24. Jack Bauer is a god among men. Chuck Norris wears Jack Bauer pajamas, while nestling in his Bauer snuggie with posters of Bauer above his bed. There’s your action show. I’m not stopping there because I’m a TV junkie (over 50 on my DVR queue list… although, to be fair, not all happen during the same TV season). Comedy? Call me crazy, but if you do, you’re just a hater… Big Bang Theory is easily the funniest show going. And to wrap it up, your non-traditional show is Supernatural. There have been a few hiccups the last few seasons, but the show is so good that it can overcome those missteps in writing. The dialogue, chemistry and whit in that show are hard to match. Oh, wait, Justified too. Tremendous writing. (FYI – Homeland and Game of Thrones… overrated!).