Fantasy Baseball Friday: Week Nine Preview

fantasy baseball friday

June is upon us and it’s moving month. I just made that up but I’m deeming June moving month. Players are starting to find their groove and the next four weeks is where you can start to separate yourself at the top of your league or make a push up the standings.

Waiver Wire Adds


Previously mentioned players who you should still look at:

Kyle Schwarber OF Was

Schwarber is someone who has dwarfed me in fantasy for years. His underlying numbers always seem to suggest he should be performing better than he actually is. I think a big part of it was he was always a platoon risk with the Cubs. For his career, he has a .661 OPS against lefties and a .852 OPS against righties, so it’s definitely warranted that he was a platoon guy. He started off the year platooning a bit with the Nats, but it appears he’s settled into an everyday role without platooning. He actually has a slightly higher OPS against lefties than righties, .771 vs. .751, respectively. He’s probably not going to help you much in batting average, but he’s a great power source. His expected stats are all higher than his actuals, meaning his xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA are higher than his batting average, slugging percentage, and wOBA. I’d look at Schwarber in almost any format, but especially most Roto leagues for power.

Anthony Santander OF Bal

Santander has come off the IL and appears to be picking back up right where he left off, continuing his solid play from 2020. I think a lot of people dropped him because he went on the IL early in the year so you could get a chance to pick someone up off waivers who was being drafted in the 13th round.

Tommy Pham OF SD

Pham got off to an abysmal start to 2021, and his ownership dropped down to about 50%. On the season he’s averaging 1.9 fantasy points per game, so he was deservingly dropped. Don’t look now, but over the last two weeks, he’s averaging 3.9 fantasy points per game with a .825 OPS and even three steals. This profile is too good to be on waivers, especially being a solid steals contributor in categories leagues.

Amed Rosario SS, OF Cle

As I write this Rosario is still considered day-to-day after being hit by a pitch on the hand, but in deep Roto leagues keep an eye on him. He could be a batting average and steals contributor going forward, and maybe even compile some runs hitting second for Cleveland. He was an exciting prospect back for the Mets but never panned out for them, but maybe he’s found his groove in Cleveland.

Starting Pitchers

Previously mentioned players who you should still take a look at:

James Kaprielian Oak

With Jesus Luzardo on the IL, Kaprielian is now the fifth spot in the A’s rotation, and in three starts he has a 1.53 ERA, almost 10 K/9, and is averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game. He gets two starts next week which is an added bonus, however, the second start comes in Colorado so it’ll be tough to roll him out there even though his first start is at the Mariners. Regardless, he’s worth an add if you need pitching help in the near term.


Diego Castillo TB

He was dropped a decent amount while on the IL and the Rays have been the Rays since his return using a few “closers.” But Castillo got the most recent save and I think it’s only a matter of time until he gets the “co-” removed as a label and is just the closer. Grab him before that happens and while his ownership is still deflated from his IL stint.

Hansel Robles Min

If you’re in a deeper categories leagues and need saves helps, Robles now has three saves in the last two weeks and picked up the most recent save for the Twins.

Two-Start Pitchers

Rich Hill (@ NYY, @ Tex)

Michael Pineda (@ Bal, @ KC)

Luis Garcia (Bos, @ Tor)**

Dylan Cease (@ Cle, Det)

Dane Dunning (@ Col, TB)*

Side note – I swear Dane Dunning is a two-start pitcher every week.

Mike Minor (Pit, Min)

German Marquez (Tex, Oak)

Vince Velasquez (@Cin, Was)**

Johnny Cueto (LAA, ChC)

Nick Pivetta (@ Hou, @ NYY)**

Merrill Kelly (NYM, @ Mil)

James Kaprielian (@ Sea, @ Col)*

Drew Smyly (Was, LAD)**

Logan Gilbert (Oak, @ LAA)


*one start in Colorado

**one start against a top five team in wOBA


Alec Bohm 3B Phi

Bohm is striking out a lot and not walking, which is a tough base to start from for a hitter. His wOBA is one of the worst in the league and while his xwOBA is higher than his wOBA, it’s still only .316 which would put him in the 36th percentile, still very below average. I think there are better days to come because, I mean, he can’t get much worse, but I’m fine moving on with the thought that maybe 2020 was a small sample size, lightning in a bottle for him and he’s going through a big sophomore slump this year.

Jorge Soler DH, OF KC

I think Soler might be one of the guys that is being negatively affected by the new, deadened ball this year. When he does make contact he still hits the ball really hard, but his home run to fly ball rate is so much lower this year, going from 22.9% last year to 8.5% this year. His ground ball rate has remained pretty consistent, but his line drive rate is down and his fly ball rate is up which might mean those really hard-hit fly balls are just not travelling as far this year and are resulting in more fly outs than home runs. He might need to lower that launch angle to get more line drives. But I’m not going to wait around for that to happen. Similar to Bohm, the strikeout rate and walk rate are really bad which doesn’t give him a good fantasy base to go off if he’s not hitting home runs.

Cole Irvin SP, RP Oak

Irvin doesn’t strike many guys out and his stuff is pretty below average in terms of generating swings and misses. His SIERA is 4.52 which is on the higher end especially in this year’s pitching environment, so I’m looking to move on from him.

Tyler Anderson SP Pit

I’ve liked Anderson so far this year, but unfortunately playing for a team that forgets basic baseball fundamentals (see below) is going to result in quite a few losses. To be a good Pirates pitcher this year you need to have elite stuff where you’re striking tons of guys out and Anderson just isn’t quite there.

Poor Anderson induces an inning-ending ground ball but his teammates forget that, uh, it’s always a force out at first base and that any runs scored are negated with said force out at first base with two outs and force him to extend his inning. Not a winning formula, Pittsburgh!

Matthew Boyd SP Det

I’m so over Matthew Boyd. Even though he currently has a 3.43 ERA I’m getting ahead of this and in any shallower leagues just drop him. He is not striking anyone out and his SIERA is almost a full run higher than his ERA.

Buy Low, Sell High

Buy low hitters:

fantasy baseball friday

I’d be genuinely excited about acquiring any one of the above in almost any format.

Buy low pitchers:

fantasy baseball friday

I’d bet you could get Dylan Bundy extremely cheap right now. There’s also a few closers you could try to low-ball on.

Sell high hitters:

fantasy baseball friday

I will say that Anderson is someone who seems to over-perform the underlying advanced stats, so save that one for your shallow leagues.

Sell high pitchers:

fantasy baseball friday

If you’re in a league with “less sophisticated” league-mates, John Gant could be the sell high of the decade.

Photo by Steven Ryan.

Fantasy expert, Adam Gruttadaro, is a guest contributor for Bat Flips and Nerds. Check out his website for more fantasy tips and follow him on Twitter.

While we have you, make sure you check out the excellent podcast with John McGee in conversation with one of the greatest pitchers on the planet. White Sox Lucas Giolito joined the Bat Flips & Nerds show. Click on the photo below.

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