Tyson Ross (SP - SD) - The Padres and Indians game was rained out on Monday so Tyson Ross will have his start pushed to Tuesday. Ross struggled a bit in his debut against the Dodgers last week, throwing just 60 of his 100 for strikes over the course of five innings while walking four. Ross broke out in the second half last year, putting up an ERA of 2.95 with a wOBA against of just .259. Ross benefited from a .282 BABIP in 2013, which will likely cause his 1.17 WHIP to creep closer to his career average of 1.40 in 2014. He saw his fastball jump up 2 MPH last year, which helped drive a 5% increase to his SwStr% and 10% increase to his strikeout rate. In his first start of the year, his velocity was back around his pre-2013 levels, at around 92 MPH. If he can't regain the velocity he showed last year, he might have difficulty repeating the success he saw in 2013.
Trevor Rosenthal (RP - STL) -Trevor Rosenthal struggled with his command in a non-save situation on Monday. Coming into the game with a 5-1 lead, Rosenthal gave up two lead-off walks and eventually two earned runs while retiring the final three batters he faced to finish the game. It was drizzling rain for much of the day, so it's possible Rosenthal was simply losing his footing on the mound, leading to the walks. Pitching in non-save situations sometimes leads to rough pitching performances for closers when the there's no adrenaline pumping with the game on the line. Once Rosenthal loaded up the bases, he looked more like his regular self. Despite the shaky performance, Rosenthal remains one of the best options available at the position this year. His 96 MPH fastball helps generate a swinging strike rate near 14% and a strikeout rate north of 30%, while his excellent control limits his walk rate to just 6%.
Tony Cingrani (SP - CIN) - Cingrani struggled with his pitches on Monday afternoon in a rain-soaked road game in St. Louis. He threw 88 pitches over four innings and gave up three runs, three hits and walked four batters. For a starting pitcher, Cingrani throws his fastball a remarkable 82% of the time. In order to have sustained success at the big league level, he's likely going to need to develop secondary pitches that he can use to keep hitters off-balance. Despite posting an ERA of 2.92 last year, his DIPs suggest he benefitted from good defensive plays behind him and some regression to his ratios is likely. Another red flag for fantasy owners is his 45% flyball percent he posted in 2013. Cincinnati has one of the most favorable hitting ballparks in the league, which led to Cingrani's high 13% HR/FB ratio. Cingrani will need to limit his walks and flyballs to find the same level of success he enjoyed in 2013. Developing his secondary pitches would help a little too.
Michael Wacha (SP - STL) - Wacha got the win on Monday after limiting the Reds to just one run over six innings while scattering seven hits, walking one, and striking out three. While there could be some regression to his strikeout rate this year, Wacha's excellent control and plus change-up will continue to help him keep his ratios low. In two, albeit brief, years in the minor leagues, Wacha never posted a WHIP above 1.00. Through his first 14.2 innings in 2014, Wacha has yielded just one run, walked just two batters and has struck out ten. He appears well on his way to build upon his 2013 K/BB ratio of 3.42. Wacha's upside is sky-high and he gets to face the Cubs this weekend.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS - COL) - The top shortstop in the game hit his first homerun of the season on Monday night. Tulowitzki has started off the season red-hot and his now batting over .400 on the year. When he's healthy, he's one of the most productive offensive players in the fantasy game. Tulowitzki's value is even higher in shallow leagues, where a talented replacement shortstop is a little more readily available on waivers than in deeper leagues. This is meaningful because if you can slot in a decent shortstop into your lineup on the days that Tulo misses due to injury, the combined value at your shortstop position will be off the charts. Tulo has put up first or second round caliber numbers the last few seasons despite missing between 20-40 games. Owners who can get decent numbers from a bench player for the 20-40 games while Tulowitzki is out are at a significant advantage over any other team in their league. For his career, the superstar has posted an elite .377 wOBA as well as a fantastic .216 ISO.
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