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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

NL Player Analysis - July 23, 2014

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals - Carpenter hasn't quite lived up to the lofty preseason standards he set for himself after his MVP caliber 2013 season, but the second baseman has been a good fantasy asset for owners this season. He launched a leadoff homer, his fifth homer of the year, and drove in his 35th run while going 2-fo-3 at the plate Tuesday. Hopefully this can be the game that get carpenter rolling, as he was 0-for-12 since the All Star break. Carpenter has seen a dip in his ISO over nearly 70 points, which can be partially contributed to his GB rate being a few percentage points higher than last year. While Carpenter is by no means a...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

AL Player Blog- July 23, 2014

Chase Headley- The Yankees made their first offensive addition of the 2014 trade season by acquiring Chase Headley for the stretch run. Headley will now be available in AL-Only formats for pick-up so getting an idea of whether his July streak is sustainable. I'd say that it doesn't seem likely that Headley will provide much value for fantasy owners moving forward in his new surroundings. Despite his current hot streak, Headley has managed not to take a walk for the entire month of June to date. While it is nice to see him batting .308, a matching .308 on base percentage is not convincing that he is "figuring it out" at the plate. This is particularly true as his BB...

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Neil Parker

Neil Parker

AL Player Analysis - July 21

Dustin Pedroia didn't reach base in the Red Sox's 14-run outburst against the Blue Jays Monday night. He was held hitless, bringing his slash line down to .272/.339/.368. Pedroia has four home runs and two stolen bases on the season, which lands him in two-category-contributor territory. Only 30 of Pedroia's 107 hits have gone for extra bases. Hand injuries have plagued Pedroia's pop dating back to 2012, and his wOBA has dropped significantly this season. It sits at a lowly .316. He received a cortisone injection in his left wrist Tuesday, April 15, and also injured his right hand Friday, May 30. Pedroia was drafted high this spring and is posting his worst season statistically. His name carries a lot...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

NL Player Blog- July 22, 2014

Gregory Polanco- Gregory Polanco is becoming one of the poster boys in 2014 for my "shiny new toy syndrome". In every league, owners overvalue prospects to the determent of older, more proven assets. Polanco was widely thought of as a "can't miss" prospect, and he still has that potential. The problem is that his 2014 season has not produced the major league statistics anticipated by many. There have been two fairly large-scale issues with Polanco. The first is that he has been unable to produce at even a reasonable rate against left handed pitching. He is striking out 31.1% of the time versus lefties while walking only 6.7% of the time. This is double the rate of strikeouts and half...

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Derek Carty

Derek Carty

AL Player Notes - July 21, 2014

Justin Masterson -- Masterson threw 71 pitches in a rehab outing on Sunday, allowing two runs on 5 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts. Masterson, who has been a major disappointment this year, has been on the DL with right knee inflammation. He holds a 5.51 ERA with a 5.1 BB/9 and 4.05 xFIP. He has struggled to get ahead of hitters (55.1% first-pitch strike rate) and find the strike zone (43.6%), both of which are career lows. He's been bothered by the knee since his second start of the year, so that could be the reason he's struggled so much. Lacking stability on your back end can certainly cause a pitcher to lose control, so it'll be interesting...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

NL Player Notes - July 21, 2014

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP-SD). Despaigne flirted with history on Sunday afternoon, as he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning against the Mets. Unfortunately he gave up two hits and a run in that inning, thereby losing both the no-hitter and the chance at a win. Despaigne walked 3 and struck out 5 on the day, while lowering his ERA to 1.31. However, Despaigne's FIP is 3.6 and his xFIP is 4.14, indicating that regression will not be kind when it hits. The biggest issue is Despaigne's strikeout rates. Unless he can increase his 6.0% swinging strike rate and 11.9% K rate (which he may be able to do, given that his current rates may be affected by the small sample...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

AL Player Analysis - July 20, 2014

Chris Dickerson (OF-CLE) - Since being acquired and subsequently called up by the Indians earlier this month, Chris Dickerson has been on a tear. The 32-year old outfielder is now with his 5th team in 9 years and has filled in admirably in the absence of Michael Bourn. In the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dickerson powered the Indians offense by clubbing 2 solo homeruns. Since being called up, he's hitting .435/.480/.739 and will continue to see plenty of time against right-handed pitching as long as he can keep hitting. Dickerson has always been more of a free-swinger but he draws walks at an above average 10% rate and has significantly improved his contact rate this season. He's...

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Neil Parker

Neil Parker

NL Player Analysis - July 19

Todd Frazier stole his 15th base of the season yesterday afternoon. With 19 bombs, over 50 runs and RBIs, and a plus-average, he has proven to be the only five-category contributor at his position. Reds Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto are injured, yet Frazier continues to fill the stat line. His 23.2 percent LD% correlates with his .323 BABIP, and suggests there aren't glaring signs of regression ahead. In the heart of the Reds' lineup, Frazier will continue to get plenty of RBI opportunities. Although, everything checks out and Frazier is having a fantastic season, the Reds' lineup can be had. Frazier's year-end numbers will be high-end, but expecting him to continue his current pace could be asking a lot....

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Notes- July 19, 2014

Xander Bogaerts- BOS- Stats- During the Break, Scott Boras was quoted as saying he still had confidence in clients Bogaerts and Stephen Drew. With Bogaerts, Boras has reason to think that he will break out of his slump before too long. Through May 31, Bogaerts was hitting .304 but with a .394 BABIP. Then regression to the mean hit hard and fast. For the rest of the first half he hit .134 with his BABIP at .161. This has left his BABIP for the season at .302, which means that the regression should be mostly wrung out. Bogaerts' Batting EYE of .34 is down a little from his .38 mark in his brief regular season appearance with Boston last year....

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - July 14th, 2014

Enrique Hernandez - Hernandez is a pretty interesting case, as he kind of slipped off the radar for a few years after being drafted in the 6th round (with a $150K bonus) of the 2009 draft out of the American Military Academy in Puerto Rico. He performed fairly well in Rookie ball and Short Season ball at ages 17 and 18 before being promoted to low-A in 2011 at age 19. He continued to show glimpses of some ability, especially in terms of making contact, as the Astros promoted him a level a year rather consistently. He was cruising along at roughly a 260/300/400 pace at each level of the minors, showing only flashes of any ability that would ever...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

NL Player Analysis - July 14th, 2014

Johnny Cueto (SP - CIN) - Johnny Cueto finished off the best half-season on his career on Sunday at home against the Pirates. Unfortunately, he lasted just 6 innings and yielded 3 runs on 5 hits while tallying 7 strikeouts. On the season, Cueto has given up 2 or fewer earned runs in all but 4 of his 20 starts, which has translated to a phenomenal 2.13 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. Had he not started Sunday, he certainly would have deserved to start the All-Star game for the NL side. Now that the first half of the season is in the books and we begin looking to the second half, can he sustain the same level of success as the...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

NL Player Notes - July 13, 2014

Jimmy Nelson (SP-MIL). Nelson did not prove to be the savior the Brewers were looking for. He got absolutely drilled by the Cardinals in a 10-2 drubbing on Saturday, giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 over 4.1 innings. I would not abandon ship on Nelson immediately, however, as his peripherals are strong and today's result could be attributable to first start back in the majors jitters. Nelson has demonstrated elite strikeout ability, with a 26.5% K rate in AAA and a 24.0% K rate in 2 major league starts. He has exhibited a propensity to walk more hitters in the majors (12.0% BB rate in the majors versus 7.4% in...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

AL Player Analysis- July 12th, 2014

(David Robertson CL-NYY) David Robertson had to follow the legendary Mario Rivera and has been successful this year in a way that would make the Sandman proud. Robertson picked up his 23rd save today striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in the 9th. Sporting a terrific 16.26 K/9 inning rate and inducing ground balls at a 52% clip, Robertson's 1.19 xFIP points to even a stronger 2nd half. Certainly his 2.76 ERA will regress in a positive direction. While his 93 mph fastball has late life, it is his strong curveball that has been the bellwether of his arsenal. Even more troubling for hitters, Robertson has mixed in a change that has been a great out pitch...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

NL Player Analysis-July 11th, 2014

Jake Arrieta (SP- Cubs) Jake Arrieta pitched another quality start today giving up 4 runs (3ER) on 4 hits and 3 walks with 6K's in a no decision effort. The Cubs rotation was filled with question marks coming into the season, but they have certainly found an answer in the 28 year old Arrieta who they picked up from the Orioles in 2013. He is averaging 9.77 K/9 innings with a 9.2% swinging strike rate fueled by major improvements in his fastball placement and especially in the effectiveness of his cutter. He has been a bit lucky with a .285 BABIP and an 80.1% LOB rate but with his stuff and a 50.5% GB rate he has the tools to...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

AL Player Notes - July 12, 2014

Miguel Gonzalez (SP-BAL). Gonzalez had a solid outing against the Yankees on Friday night, tossing 8 innings of two run ball in a no-decision. Gonzalez gave up only 6 hits and walked none, while striking out 5 in reducing his ERA to a still-unsightly 4.04. As ugly as Gonzalez' numbers are, and despite the solid outing tonight, he is far outpitching his peripherals, which indicate that his ERA should be more than a run higher (his FIP is 5.20). Fantasy owners are advised to stay far away - either Gonzalez will lose his spot in the rotation to Kevin Gausman (who has outpitched Gonzalez to this point and has much more upside) or he will continue to put up numbers...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

AL Daily Notes - July 11, 2014

Michael Brantley (OF-CLE): In the middle of his breakout season, Michael Brantley logged a 2-for-4, 1-run, 2-RBI night to lead the Tribe over the Yankees. Brantley now has a .911 OPS and a .398 wOBA to go with 14 homers, 10 steals, 61 runs, and 62 RBI in 87 games. This is a legit breakout and Brantley has turned himself into an elite fantasy OF. He is hitting more linedrives, carrying an EYE near 1, and maintaining and otherworldly 3.7% swinging strike rate. While the power has improved, I do think the 17% HR/FB rate (up 11% from career norm) is slightly fluky, as his speed off of Bat is down 1 MPH from last season. I project 6-7 homers...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

NL Player Notes- July 11, 2014

Jeurys Familia- NYN- Caution- Familia officially has a tired arm and his use might curtail some. Hopefully this isn't connected with his appearance on July 4th. Familia had been getting into a lot of games but hadn't been worked that much. In his 10 outings before July 4th he had only exceeded 16 pitches once. However, on Independence Day he threw 45 pitches and only 24 of them were strikes. He only got 5 outs in that outing. That's a big jump in usage, and one when it appears he was struggling. Keep a close watch to see if it looks like an injury was sustained. Bryce Harper- WAS- Cold- Harper is 4-for-32 since coming off the DL. He is...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Player Analysis-July 9th, 2014

Jason Kipnis-Indians-2B Jason Kipnis was 2-7 with a run scored in the loss to the Yankees. Kipnis has been a disappointment to many fantasy owners who expected him to build on his breakout 2013 season. Kipnis is slashing .251/3/23 over 247 AB'S. Kipnis has seen a decrease in his walk rate and an increase in his GB%, which have hurt his BA. Kipnis saw a spike in his HR/FB% in 2013 and has not had the same success in 2014. By no means would I give up on Kipnis, but do not expect the 2013 version of Kipnis going forward. He will be more in line with 2012 Kipnis. Brandon McCarthy-Yankees-SP Brandon McCarthy worked 6.2 innings, giving up 1 ER...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Daily Notes - July 10, 2014

Jean Segura (SS-MIL): Jean Segura continued his 2014 struggles with another 0-for-4 night. There are a number of ways to capture Segura's ineptitude at the plate, but the fact that his wOBA has plummeted 74 points from last season says a lot. His power and speed have decreased significantly as well, and, Segura is starting to lose some AB's against lefties thanks to his .197 wOBA against them. The ingredients are still there for him to be a top-5 SS, but he is nowhere close to that at this point. With the leg injuries reappearing, those in re-draft leagues are advised to test the market to see if the name value will net you a solid return. Keeper/dynasty leaguers are...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

July 9th NL Player Analysis

Vidal Nuno, Arizona Diamondbacks - It's probably safe to say Nuno enjoys pitching in the NL already as he was great in his first start since being traded by the Yankees to Arizona. He threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. After posting a 5.42 ERA and 5.15 FIP in 14 starts in the AL, Nuno gets a nice value boost heading to the DH-less NL. He has posted good starts now in three of his past four outings since getting shelled by the A's on June 15th, and will look to continue his success next time out for the Diamondbacks. He's worth a look as a spot starter mainly due to him being in the NL...

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Key Articles
Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

May Pitcher Rankings 2014

In our continuing series on player recommendations, today we take a look at the pitchers who are deviating from their projected production. The past has shown us that pitchers have a more difficult time reverting to their historical mean. Especially...

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