Week 7 of the Fantasy Baseball season provided a fantastic pitching week with great performances from aces Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard. I’ll go more into detail below on Syndergaard, who finds himself at the top of the “3 Up” list, as recommended last week in the Week 7 Two-Start Pitchers. On the flip side, we’ve seen some big time pitchers from the past few seasons continue their struggle in 2016: Matt Harvey, Chris Archer, Dallas Keuchel, Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber and Sonny Gray.
On a weekly basis I’ll be providing a recap on the past week in Fantasy Baseball and the outlook for the upcoming week. Here’s your Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Recap and advice for Week 8.
1. Noah Syndergaard, SP, Mets (Last Week: 14 IP, 2 W, 21K, 0.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 2 QS)
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 23, 2016
Analysis: Noah Syndergaard, the recently named NL Player of the Week has been lights out for the Mets in 2016. So far this season he’s 5-2 with a 1.94 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and sports a fantastic 76:9 K:BB ratio. He’s on pace for 19 wins and 242 strikeouts, and is top-10 in the NL in Wins (5), Innings Pitched (60.1), Strikeouts (76), ERA (1.94) and WHIP (0.98). In a recent Wall Street Journal article, they detail his unbelievable success using his slider versus left-handed hitters; “Syndergaard has thrown his slider 58 times to left-handers this year. In response, they have mustered a grand total of one hit. On the other 57 occasions, batters swung and missed 24 times, fouled it off 10 times, took five strikes and put five in play. The remaining 13 were balls.” The sky is the limit for Syndergaard, he’s already one of the top starting pitchers in baseball at 23-years-old and atop a loaded Mets rotation.
2. Zack Greinke, SP, DBacks (Last Week: 15 IP, 2 W, 14K, 2.40 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 2 QS)
Analysis: DBacks high priced starting pitcher Zack Greinke was off to a very slow start to the 2016 season in April, sporting a 5.50 ERA, 31:9 K:BB ratio, gave up five home runs and opposing hitters hit .303 off him during the month. He’s taken big strides in the month of May, lowering his ERA to 4.59 overall and improving his record on the season to 5-3. Fantasy owners had every right to freak out in the month of April after the ridiculous season Greinke put together in 2015 going 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA, striking out 200 and opponents only batted .187 off of him. He appears to have straightened it out and it will pay off for those fantasy owners that were patient through the April struggles.
3. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers (Last Week: .385 AVG, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 8 Runs, 1 SB, 1 BB)
— MLB (@MLB) May 18, 2016
Analysis: Ian Kinsler has had an outstanding start to the 2016 season and extended his hitting streak yesterday to 10 games. On the season he’s batting .313 wth 10 home runs, 24 RBI and an MLB leading 40 runs scored. He’s only one home run from matching his total of 11 last season and is on pace for 38 home runs, 90 RBI and 151 runs scored. For fantasy owners that took a shot on Kinsler in the middle rounds of drafts he’s paying off big time. So far in 2016 he’s putting up top-10 overall fantasy numbers across the board and only trails Astros José Altuve at the second base position. Kinsler is in a great spot in the powerful Tigers lineup, he’s a top second base option the rest of the way.
1. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins (Last Week: .048 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 SB, 3 BB)
— Chris Towers (@CTowersCBS) May 23, 2016
Analysis: The month of May has been extremely unkind to Marlins power hitting outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. He’s batting .162 with three home runs, six RBI, eight runs scored and 30 strikeouts in 68 plate appearances this month. The strikeout numbers have been insane, with 17 in the last six games and 20 in the previous nine games overall. As CBS Fantasy Writers Chris Towers details in a recent article, now is not the time for owners to panic:
Unless there is something really wrong with Stanton, he’s going to snap out of this at some point. As bad as he has looked, it’s important to remember it’s just two weeks. There are still more than four months left in the season for Stanton to start racking up homers and RBI, and his track record suggests he will. In a big way. You don’t want to sell him at the nadir of his value and miss out on that.
2. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Tigers (Last Week: 12.2 IP, 2 W, 12K, 6.39 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 0 QS)
— ESPN Fantasy Sports (@ESPNFantasy) May 23, 2016
Analysis: Jordan Zimmermann came over to the Tigers after signing a huge 5 yrs/$110M contract this past offseason. On the field he’s been great so far going 7-2, with a 2.52 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 40:11 K:BB ratio in 60.2 innings pitched. The reason he’s included in the “3 Down” this week is based on the injury he sustained on Sunday. The Tigers seem concerned as this would be a huge hit to their pitching staff if he were to miss a substantial amount of time. He’s the clear ace of the Tigers and fantasy owners will need to monitor the injury situation closely.
“So we’re going to hold off on anything concerning Zimm until we get a diagnosis,” Ausmus said. “You certainly don’t want to see the guy who has been your best pitcher all year get injured but we’ll reserve judgement until we know exactly what it is. We know it’s the groin but we don’t know how severe.”
3. Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros (Last Week: 12.1 IP, 0 W, 11K, 7.30 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 1 QS)
What happened to Dallas Keuchel? He's heavily assisting in the annual ruination of my League of Dorks team and I never saw it coming.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 22, 2016
Analysis: Like a good amount of other aces in 2016, reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel is off to a rough start to the season. After going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 216:51 K:BB ration in his Cy Young Award winning season he’s dropped to 2-6 with a 5.92 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and 53:26 K:BB ratio over 62.1 innings pitched through his first 10 starts. The month of May hasn’t been kind to him as opposing hitters are batting .323 and have already taken him deep five times in May. The preseason AL West favorie Astros have struggled all season finding themselves in last place with a 17-28 record. The Astros will need Keuchel and others to turn things around in a big way soon or this season with a very talented Astros roster will be all for nothing.
Two-Start Pitchers for Week 8:
Here’s a Fox Sports Fantasy article that will help provide the run down of two-start starting pitchers for Week 8. Two-start pitchers can be huge in head-to-head fantasy matchups, providing twice the opportunity to rack up wins, strikeouts and quality starts. Here are my thoughts on pitchers scheduled for two starts in Week 8.
- Three I like:
– Jimmy Nelson, MIL (@ ATL, vs. CIN)
– Chris Sale, CWS (vs. CLE, @ KC)
– Julio Teheran, ATL (vs. MIL, vs. MIA)
- Three I don’t like:
– R.A. Dickey, TOR (@ NYY, vs. BOS)
– Doug Fister, HOU (vs. BAL, @ LAA)
– Adam Wainwright, STL (vs. CHC, @ WAS)
Recap from Week 7 Two-Start Pitcher Picks:
- Three I like:
– Clayton Kershaw, LAD (vs. LAA, @ SD): 8 IP, 1 W, 11K, 1.13 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 1 QS
– Marcus Stroman, TOR (vs. TB, @ MIN): 13.1 IP, 1 W, 5K, 5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 1 QS
– Noah Syndergaard, NYM (vs. WAS, vs. MIL): 14 IP, 2 W, 21K, 0.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 2 QS
- Three I don’t like:
– Phil Hughes, MIN (@ DET, vs. TOR): 12.1 IP, 0 W, 1K, 2.92 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 2 QS
– Michael Pineda, NYY (@ ARI, @ OAK): 11 IP, 1 W, 15K, 6.55 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 1 QS
– Yordano Ventura, KC (vs. BOS, @ CWS): 11.2 IP, 1 W, 8K, 5.40 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 1 QS
*Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw was projected for two-starts in Week 7, but only ended up starting once on Tuesday. Kershaw is projected to start twice in Week 8 and is again a strong play.