“That’s Amore!” National League East: I Just Can’t Stanton This…
If getting hit in the face wasn’t enough, Giancarlo Stanton faces more adversity as he’s set to miss at least one month of the season. It’s been a little over a week since Stanton had an early exit and it’s being felt not only in the Marlins organization, but on fantasy teams alike. Stanton started off hot hitting .284 in April with six home runs and 21 RBI. May saw a dip in average as he hit .185 with nine home runs and 23 RBI. Then, June appeared and Stanton exploded, slashing .344/.404/.800 with 12 HR, 23 RBI, and 18 R. This was the beginning of the monster season when he would finally reach the 40 HR plateau. There was nothing standing in front of this glorious season. Now, Miami sits 11.5 games behind division leading Washington, and 10.5 games behind the Wild Card leading Pirates and Cubs. Since June 27, the Marlins are 4-3. This isn’t bad, but the grind of the season is approaching. It’s make or break time, and the Marlins have to be scurrying to find a way to replace Stanton’s production. First up, Ichiro Suzuki. There’s no questioning Ichiro’s historical career, but at 41, he’s nowhere near the player who had ten straight seasons of 200+ hits. In 13 at-bats since Stanton went down, Ichiro hasn’t recorded a hit. It’s easy to say this season has been a train wreck since the get-go.
What are the options? It’s easy to waive the white flag, but there is a lot of baseball left. The best case scenario is Stanton returning for the July 31 three game series against the San Diego Padres. There won’t be a lot of time for a rehab assignment. Realistically, the powerful right fielder returns six weeks after surgery with a target date of August 11 in Miami against Boston. In the meantime, there are two outfielders that come to mind. Neither will give you anywhere near the production of Stanton, but they can both handle right field while giving the Marlins depth when Stanton returns. The first is Josh Reddick. I’ve stated that Reddick should be on the short list for many teams. Reddick has underrated power and is on pace for another 25+ home run season. He hit 32 home runs three seasons ago and would supply Miami with much needed power. Currently, Reddick is hitting a modest .288 with 11 HR and 49 RBI. He’s only accumulated 33 strikeouts in 285 at-bats, so he doesn’t strikeout as many times as the player he’d be replacing. Oakland is sitting at the bottom of the AL West and has to overcome the Astros, Rangers, and Angels to make a serious push for September. With the season almost halfway over, Reddick would cost the Marlins only $2mil of the $4.1mil he’s owed this season. He’s in a contract year and wouldn’t cost Miami many prospects. I would’ve had Billy Beane on speed dial the instant Stanton went down. If the Marlins truly believe they can contend for the playoffs Reddick would be first on my list.
The second option is Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra. Parra is also a free agent after 2015, but comes around the same price as Reddick at $3mil. Parra won’t offer the power of Reddick, but has put together a career year hitting .308 with 7 HR, 25 RBI, and 38 R. It’s no secret, Milwaukee will be sellers and Parra has been a name talked about within many organizations. After the season, Parra could be a player to re-sign as a fourth outfielder behind Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna.
If you are a fantasy owner of Giancarlo Stanton and are in need of another outfielder, I’d highly suggest looking at Josh Reddick or Gerardo Parra. There’s no question you won’t be able to replace the production of Stanton, but you could ease the bleeding to a minimum. Neither would come at a steep price, but Reddick would cost you a bit more than Parra. If you’re in a keeper or dynasty league, you could flip a few late-round draft picks. If you are lucky and have another outfielder to step into your starting lineup, but are still looking to make up for Stanton’s production, I’d keep my eye on these four players who could be available on the waiver wire.
Justin Bour, 1B, MIA
Bour is the current first baseman for the Marlins and has finally put it together in 2015. In 219 at-bats Bour is hitting .262 with 10 HR and 21 RBI. He’s been penciled in at cleanup and the chances for RBI will be there with Dee Gordon and Adeiny Hechavarria both posting OBP over .300. He’s on pace for 20+ HR and 50-60 RBI. He’s the perfect acquisition for those who are scouring the waiver wire for cheap power.
Juan Uribe, 3B, ATL
It feels like Uribe has been playing forever, and he’s putting together a pretty solid season at the age of 36. The third baseman was acquired from the Dodgers early in the season and is hitting .278 with 7 HR and 19 RBI. In the last two weeks, Uribe has 4 HR to go with 5 RBII, 5 R, and an OPS of .926.
Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL
I’m sure you’re asking why he’s on this list of players that could help replace Stanton. No, Gennett won’t supply much power, but he’s come alive of late. In the last seven days, Gennett has gone 11-for-28 driving in seven and scoring four. He’s available in many leagues after hitting .197 through the first three months of the season. He’s on a bad Milwaukee team and won’t lose playing time. If you’re looking for a cheap second baseman/infielder, Gennett could supply a spark and there’s no reason he can’t turn it on during the second half of the season.
C.J. Cron, 1B/DH, LAA
Throw Cron into the same category as Gennett. He’s the other player I drafted in League 3 that was released early in the season. Cron was projected to put up solid numbers while DHing for the Angels. It hasn’t happened. The first three months, Cron hit .185 with a sad two home runs and seven runs batted in. Last week, Cron has finally put it together hitting .409 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, and 5 R. As with Gennett, Cron could be another MVP of the second half of the season. Of course, buyer beware.
Week 13 Fantasy Studs
Cameron Maybin, CF, ATL – Maybin has been a gem to owners that took a risk on him. He’s put together a career year hitting .294 with 7 HR, and 39 RBI. He’s scored 34 R and added 15 SB. You can’t do much better whether you drafted him late or scooped him off of waivers. Last week, Maybin turned it on hitting .375 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He added two stolen bases.
Justin Bour, 1B, MIA – Again, he’s been hot and absolutely destroyed pitching in Week 13. He hit a solid .316 with 4 HR and 8 RBI in four straight days. He’s hitting fourth in an order that features speed at the top of the lineup. He could turn out to be an absolute steal.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, PHI – Finally, the Phillies have a player to smile about. Odubel Herrera started off hot, but fell off after the first month of the season. Now, it’s Hernandez who has come alive, of late. Last week, Hernandez hit .433 with 4 RBI, 6 R, and 5 SB. It’s tough to find speed, but he’s a guy that could help you in that category. Fantasy minds everywhere are hot on the trail. If he’s there, get him now.
Bryce Harper, RF, WAS – He’s been on this list week-after-week and there’s no stopping him. He’s slashing .347/.474/.508 with 25 HR, 60 RBI, and 58 R. The production continued last week as Harper hit .450 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, and a stolen base. He’s easily on pace for 40 HR, 100+ RBI, and 100+ R. It’s safe to say, he’s no longer overrated.
Drew Storen, CL, WAS – He’s saved 25 games this season with 37 K and a fantastic 1.97 ERA. He wasn’t one of the top five closers to come off the board and was more of a value up to this point. Last week he was 2-for-2 in save opportunities, allowing zero runs. He’s on pace to come close to breaking his career high of 43 saves from 2011.
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WAS – He’s playing for a huge payday and he’s been nothing short of exceptional. He’s 7-4 with a [77:20] K:BB and a 3.04 ERA. He could be a pitcher to eye as the season progresses and you’re setting your roster for the playoffs. Last week, Zimmermann went 2-0 with 14 K-to-1 BB and a 0.61 ERA.
Cole Hamels, SP, PHI – It’s a shame his record doesn’t reflect the success he’s having this season. He’s on a horrible team, but for Hamels’ sake he will more than likely be moved by the end of the month. He’s a pitcher I’d love to have. On the season, Hamels is 5-6 with a 1[19:35] K:BB and a 3.02 ERA. In two starts last week, Hamels pitched 14.0 innings striking out 13 while walking only one. It’s a shame he had no decisions in both starts. Stranger things have happened, but could he be in the mix for NL Cy Young?
Steven Matz, SP, NYM – Meet the Matz! If his debut against the Reds wasn’t good enough, Matz followed it up with an 8-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Matz threw 6.0 innings of scoreless work with eight strikeouts and only two walks on 101 pitches. He’s been the real deal since his callup and adds to the mass amounts of young arms the Mets have.
Favorite Matchups Week 14
Matt Wisler: [@MIL & @COL] Wisler was the top Padres pitcher acquired in the Craig Kimbrel deal. He was on my list of Minor League Maestros: NL Pitchers 2015. Wisler has been nothing short of solid since his call up, and I saw one of his last minor league appearances for AAA Gwinnett against the Indianapolis Indians on June 12. He’s not going to overpower anyone with a 95+ MPH fastball, but he has great movement on his pitches and knows how to hit his spots. In his first three starts, Wisler is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA and an 8:5 K:BB. He’s still learning Major League hitters, but gets two good matchups this week against a struggling Brewers team and a mediocre Rockies team.
Jose Fernandez: [vs. CIN] Returning from Tommy John surgery, Fernandez made his season debut July 2 against the San Francisco Giants. Fernandez made his owners smile, throwing 6.0 innings of three run baseball with six strikeouts and zero walks, only needing 89 pitches. He looks healthy and will be on an innings limit, but he’ll provide much needed production to all fantasy teams. This week, he gets a Reds team that will be a good challenge for Fernandez against the likes of Joey Votto.
Doug Fister: [vs. CIN & @ BAL] He’s finally healthy, and Fister is a safe bet this week. He gives his owners two starts and both should be wins. He’s pitched over five innings in all but one of his 10 starts. He’s given up more runs (3+ runs in five starts) than you’d like, but he’s still finding ways to keep Washington in games. With the lineup Washington features there’s no doubting Fister’s ability to get wins.
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