From 91 wins in 2013 to 12 games under .500, it has been a terrible first half for the Texas Rangers. Riddled by injuries, the former AL West powerhouse will be sellers at the trade deadline. A new Texas Rangers closer will emerge as teams inquire about position players and current fireman Joakim Soria. With the All Star break approaching, ROTOscouting will continue to forecast future MLB closers around the league before deals go down.
The Padres are headed for another ugly season, highlighted by the recent firing of GM Josh Byrnes. They currently sit 12 games back of the Giants, have one of the worst run differentials in the league (-58), and no way of making the playoffs. The Friars will be sellers at the trade deadline, so who will be the next San Diego Padres closer?
Last week, the spotlight was on the Dodgers bullpen blowing chances to catch the Giants. Since then, however, the NL West leaders have lost eight of ten. While Los Angeles has pulled within four games, Sergio Romo, the SF Giants closer, has exploded for seven earned runs and eight hits in his last three outings. The Giants’ bullpen has been excellent this season, but the closer situation is deteriorating. It’s time to consider replacements for the pending free agent?
At 7.5 games out of first place and a 13-19 home record, the Dodgers are playing bridesmaid to the Giants in the NL West. With the league’s highest payroll, expectations couldn’t be higher this season. However the Dodgers’ bullpen has not lived up to the hype, nor justified their $33 million in combined salary. With closer Kenley Jansen throwing harder than ever, is there reason for concern given his short arm action from catching many years? Fantasy baseball owners have to identify future closers before injuries occur, which is why ROTOscouting continues to unearth treasures from MLB bullpens.
Detroit has a tenuous hold on 1st place in the AL Central entering the summer months. Among first place teams, they have the second worst run differential, worst home record and the entire division is well within striking distance (the last place Twins are five games out as of June 8). The Tigers’ bullpen has not done them any favors thus far and a shake up is imminent to make a deep run in the playoffs. ROTOscouting has been a man among boys in discovering future closers this season, and Detroit’s situation presents buy-low opportunities for fantasy baseball owners.
What a difference a year makes. From World Series Champions in 2013 to 4th place in the AL East, Boston is a team struggling to find traction in a wide open division. However the Red Sox bullpen has been a model of consistency, posting a 5.8 WAR in 2013 (3rd overall) and 3.1 WAR in 2014 (1st overall). Koji Uehara has been a dominant force in the ninth, but as he enters the final year of his contract (at age 39), the clock is ticking for him in Boston.
Cubs closers are not hot commodities in fantasy baseball leagues at the moment. Sometimes, managers need to dig deep to find future stoppers — even on teams with only seven save chances. ROTOscouting crowned Dellin Betances as the future closer in the Bronx in March and the fantasy community is finally beginning to catch on. Likewise we touted Jeurys Familia on March 31 and everyone else followed six weeks later. In last week’s MLB stock watch it was Jason Motte, and he’s already started out strong in his 2014 debut. This week features an incumbent on shaky ground and his possible replacements who have the pedigree and stuff to take over ninth inning duties.
Here at MLB stock watch, the value of players rise and fall. Pegging Randal Grichuk the day he was recalled was bittersweet as a slow start to the center fielders career resulted in a demotion back to Triple-A. A few weeks back, this series pegged Kyle Blanks as a players whose stock was up. Apparently, the Athletics agreed, trading for the right-handed hitter to play some outfield and first base. The baseball landscape including fantasy baseball values are in constant motion. Mike Newman (pinch hitting for me last week) provided an update on well-known prospect risers last week and the fantasy staff helped spend fantasy owners’ FAAB dollars on hitters and pitchers. This week, we’ll speculate on a trio of pitchers including a former closer returning to St. Louis, a “fringy” pitching prospect deserving of more attention and a struggling Triple-A arm for the Dodgers worth adding on the cheap.
ROTOscouting knows fantasy managers don’t have time to scour depth charts, so this series brings the fantasy diamonds to an owners’ doorstep.This week’s MLB stock watch features a pair of toolsy outfielders buried on prospect lists and a Rays’ pitcher whose value is warming along with the weather. In each case there is reason to invest based on talent, opportunity, and organizational precedent.
Adding pitching prospects to a fantasy roster is always a precarious thing as owners expectations are wildly out of line with actual performance. This week’s FAAB top targets profile three young prospects whose talent and opportunity for playing time mitigate the risk. With the first wave of top pitching prospects expected to be promoted soon, it’s time for dynasty fantasy baseball bottom dwellers to stash a trio of top arms before contenders wise up.
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