Fantasy Baseball: Scoop or Poop

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Fantasy baseball is in full swing and fantasy GM’s are beginning to get a real idea of what certain players’ values are.  Should I start him every day?  Is it time to start looking to upgrade at any position in particular?  Answers to these questions are getting a bit clearer.  There is one big question fantasy general managers are asking themselves.  If you play fantasy baseball, there is a good chance you are asking yourself this very question right now...who should I add, and who should I drop?

Photo courtesy of stltoday.com
I’m going to go through a few players, some batters and some pitchers, and let you know whether you should add or drop that player.  These suggestions are not to be painted with a broad brush.  Whether you play in a deep league, shallow league, points league or roto leagues, there will be names you should monitor.  I’ll be specific so you can make decision based on the league you play in.  


Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, fantasy general managers of all ages, I present to you.... SCOOP or POOP…



SCOOP


Albert Pujols

This is more of an add for head to head points leagues.  If you play on a deep points league (14 teams or more) or you have deep rosters, it is time to add the Machine.  Pujols has been quietly productive this season.  He had 15 RBIs in April and has walked nearly as many times as he has struck out.  Pujols’s walk rate is up over 5% last year.  In points leagues walks are valuable.  


He is seemingly healthy after dealing with a few injuries over the years.  His hard-hit rate is higher than last season and his launch angle is also improved.  If you’re worried about when Ohtani comes back...don’t.  Pujols has been playing first.  I think Justin Bour loses playing time when Ohtani returns.  Albert Pujols won’t be the reason why you win your league, but if you are looking for help at the bottom of your roster you can do a lot worse than the future Hall of Famer. 


Shin-Soo Choo

The Texas Rangers veteran is only 57 % owned in ESPN leagues and I don’t know why.  He needs to be owned in all points and 12 team category leagues.  Choo has always been a solid hitter who walks.  Hence his added value in points formats.  But his 2019 is shaping up to be one of his best.


MLB T-shirts at Fanatics.comShin-Soo Choo’s surface stats speak for themselves. The lefty is batting .330 with 21 runs scored.  He has also hit four homers and has stolen two bases.  When you dive into his batted ball data certain things stand out.  Choo is hitting the ball harder than he did last year.  His hard hit percentage is up nearly 12% and Choo’s exit velocity is up 4%.  Makes sense that when you hit the ball harder your stats improve.  I mentioned before that he has always been able to take a lot of walks, but this year he is also striking out less.  Choo’s K% is resting at 18.8%, which is about 5% better than last year.  If Choo is available in your league...add him!


Brian Goodwin

You may have never heard the name Brian Goodwin.  I mean the fantasy baseball diehards have, but for those who are not complete psychopaths let me inform you.  Goodwin isn’t owned in many leagues around all platforms, but I think if you play in 12 teams or deeper, no matter the format, the Angels outfielder needs to be added. 


Goodwin has bounced around over the last handful of seasons, but in 2019 it seems like he has found his home.  All of Goodwin’s batted ball data looks great.  His expected batting average, his expected slugging percentage, and his weighted on base average is up from last year.  That is probably why he has a very healthy .321 batting average.  Goodwin’s plate discipline has improved so far this year as well.  He is striking out less and walking more.  Both are very good indicators that he may be onto something in the batter’s box.  It also doesn’t hurt that he will be batting close to the superstar Mike Trout.  Time to add Brian Goodwin to help your lineup.


Luke Weaver

Weaver was in the trade that brought Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis.  He is a former Round 1 draft selection.  If you need starting pitchers, you may not have to look much further.  Weaver could be your guy. 


It wasn’t long ago when he was a must start option in St. Louis.  Weaver was so good in 2017 that he went into last year’s draft season as the sleeper darling.  Well he didn’t perform in 2018, so he was basically forgotten this year.  Weaver has brought up his strikeout percentage to 26.9 and his walk rate is down 3%.  I think 2019 will look a lot more like his 2017 season instead of his 2018 season.  So now is the time to add Mr. Luke Weaver.


Martin Perez

Perez looks like a completely different pitcher this year.  Some say he even looks like Johan Santana.  The comparison is lofty to say the least, but he is pitching better than he ever has in his entire career.  The lefty from Minnesota is starting to turn heads and I think it is for good reason.


Fresh off a dominant performance, Perez is raising his fantasy value.  This year Perez has come out throwing 97 - 98 MPH, which is about 5 MPH more than the past years.  That increase in velocity, and some improvements to his change up has led to him striking out more batters.  Perez is holding a 20.4 strikeout percentage, which a 7 % increase from his career average.  With the recent improvements to his game Perez has also lowered his hard-hit rate by 10 %.  Perez has thrown close to 200 innings in the past, so you can see him contributing all through the summer.  If he can sustain these metrics and give you the innings, Perez could be a league winner.  Add the lefty right now.  Seriously, close out this article and go add Martin Perez, then come back and read all the great articles on the website. 



POOP

Yasiel Puig

One of the Syndicate’s fantasy writers mentioned that Puig is all about the moola and doesn’t care about his performance.  Well Puig is playing like that is the case.  The outfielder is hitting a dreadful .184 this year.  In points leagues he has been a hole in your lineup the entire season.  If you are in a very deep league I wouldn’t drop him, but that’s the only format I’m holding onto him.  Puig’s wOBA is in the bottom 7% of the entire league and his expected batting average isn’t much better that his actual batting average.  That means that he isn’t unlucky, just bad.  If the free agents in your league have any potential, I’d make the switch.  It is time to dump Yasiel Puig.


Mallex Smith

This may come as a surprise for any rostering Smith in category leagues because he has already swiped eight bags.  But then again, the Seattle Mariners did just send him down to the minors, so maybe it isn’t all that outlandish.  I think it is safe for you to look in the free agent pool to replace Smith.  Smith was batting below the Mendoza line while he was in the big leagues.  He doesn’t give much to your lineup other than his speed, so he will always have elite stolen base potential.  I guess if you're needy for steals hold on for a little longer.  As of now I would drop him, but keep him on your watch list in case he gets called up quickly. 


Jose Leclerc

Coming into the 2019 season I really like Leclerc.  I thought he had a hold on the closer role, and he had good stuff.  Things haven’t gone that way at all so far.  He has been awful.  Leclerc has an ERA over 8 and a WHIP over 2.  His pitching data doesn’t provide much optimism.  Leclerc’s strike out percentage has fallen 13% and batters are hitting him hard.  His hard-hit rate has nearly doubled from last season.  He has recently been removed as the team’s closer.  I do believe he will get that back but, in the meantime, flush Leclerc and find someone new. 


Brian Dozier

This one is way too easy.  If you look at Dozier’s numbers, it is clear as crystal that his skills are diminishing.  Between his lack of productivity and the young infielders the Nationals have in their organization, it is time to pinch Dozier off and go about your business. 


Craig Kimbrel/Dallas Keuchel

Unless you are in a very deep league or have deep benches, it is time to drop these two off.  No one can explain why these two all-stars are still free agents.  Without any indication that either pitcher will sign, I think it is best to scour the free agent market in your fantasy league and get players who are actually on MLB teams.


I hope this helps fellow fantasy general managers.  And I hope that the reference isn’t too gross for anyone.  I may be over 30 years old, but I guess I don’t act my age.  **Insert shrug emoji**



Follow Matt on Twitter @Matty_wests1de

Go to bostonsportssyndicate.com to check out our fantasy staff’s positional rankings

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Fantasy Baseball: Scoop or Poop
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