Roto Rankers

Episode 26 - Josh and Marshall are back with another episode of Fantasy Never Sleeps. They discuss Marshall’s trip to Coors Field, the trade deadline, and players to go after for the rest of the season.

Episode 25 - Josh and Marshall are back for another episode of Fantasy Never Sleeps. They discuss, Derek Jeter, as the most interesting man in the world. They play a couple rounds of, “Fair or Foul,’ and review there preseason white board bets.

Episode 24 - Marshall and Josh return for another episode of Fantasy Never Sleeps. With the season just over the halfway point, the duo reviews their preseason predictions and has a chance to make changes.

Roto Rankers Outfield Rankings: June Edition
  1. Mike Trout
  2. Andrew McCutchen
  3. Gincarlo Stanton
  4. Carlos Gomez
  5. Jose Bautista
  6. Bryce Harper
  7. Yasiel Puig
  8. Ryan Braun
  9. Justin Upton
  10. Jacoby Ellsbury
  11. Jay Bruce
  12. Adam Jones
  13. George Springer
  14. Nelson Cruz
  15. Starling Marte
  16. Jason Heyward
  17. Shin-Soo Choo
  18. Yeonis Cespedes
  19. Alex Rios
  20. Billy Hamilton
  21. Jason Werth
  22. Hunter Pence
  23. Carlos Gonzalez
  24. Michael Brantley
  25. Gregory Polanco
  26. Matt Kemp
  27. Brandon Moss
  28. Curtis Granderson
  29. Coco Crisp
  30. Brett Gardner
  31. Melky Cabrera
  32. Alex Gordon
  33. Josh Hamilton
  34. Mark Trumbo
  35. Christian Yelich
  36. Charlie Blackmon
  37. Matt Holliday
  38. Desmond Jennings
  39. Khris Davis
  40. Rajai Davis
  41. Ben Revere
  42. Eric Young Jr.
  43. Austin Jackson
  44. Wil Myers
  45. Oscar Taveras

Hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July weekend.  It’s a good time to celebrate Merica with friends, family, grilling, drinks, boating, and fireworks.

Speaking of fireworks, Theo Epstien and Billy Beane came together and agreed to a blockbuster deal.  And it was a big one! Included in the deal were Cubs’ ace, Jeff Samardzija, and rejuvenation project, Jason Hammel, in exchange for the A’s top two prospects, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with the promising young, but flawed pitcher, Dan Straily, and a PTBNL or cash.  Uber prospects like Russell aren’t often moved, but when they are, they make waves and bring in big talent.  And that is exactly what Oakland did by adding two good pieces to a solid rotation with a couple question marks.  The A’s are already the best team in baseball to this point and would now appear to be going all out for a ring.  On the surface at this time, the deal appears to be good for both sides. But regardless of the outcome, it will be fun to watch.  Now, let’s discuss our June outfield rankings.

The only real movement at the top - outside of minor tweaking here and there - is the addition of Bryce Harper back into the top 10 at number six. We discussed him at length in our latest podcast, so feel free to check it out.  But, he showed off his massive power in his rehab assignment by hitting three home runs in a single game.  His thumb appears healthy at this time.  However, the injuries have continued to mount on the young star.  We just hope they don’t add up on him enough to hinder his talent. At this time, though, get him back in your lineups and enjoy it.

Another young star has burst onto the scene in a big way over the past two months by accumulating 39 runs, 17 home runs, 46 runs batted in, 4 stolen bases, and an on base percentage of .350 through just 69 games.  In doing this, George Springer has silenced his critics and proven that he could adjust to major league pitching.  He is now a top 15 outfielder rest of season for us. We may see the same type of inflation from a couple other young outfielders next month in Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras, who were both called up in the past month. They should be owned in all formats.

From promising youth to a crusty veteran, we now take another look at Nelson Cruz, our first Most Interesting Man in the World, for you podcast listeners.  He has slowed down a little as of late, posting a June triple slash line of just .215/.282/.364 after putting up .339/.388/.748 in May. His overall numbers appear great still, so he might be a guy that you can sell high. To further the point of his possible over-valuing thus far, he has played more than 128 games just once in his career, and at 34, we don’t expect him to complete this season without some sort nagging injury. Even with the regression, he still deserves his spot inside the top 15, because he appears to be as good as ever playing in Baltimore. And he continues to produce, hitting another 5 home runs and stealing his first base of the year last month, but his numbers look much better than what is to be expected from now on. Through the first halfish of the season, Cruz has been a fantasy star returning much more value to his owners than his preseason value.  But if you want to really cash in on that crazy value, trade him.

The back of our rankings should be handled as preference and need-based, as the difference between them is very small.  Feel free to interact with us regarding these ranking and other fantasy baseball talk on Twitter (@rotorankers). Also, subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on iTunes!

Roto Rankers Third Base Rankings: June Edition
  1. Miguel Cabrera
  2. Evan Longoria
  3. Adrian Beltre
  4. Josh Donaldson
  5. David Wright
  6. Anthony Rendon
  7. Todd Frazier
  8. Kyle Seager
  9. Pedro Alvarez
  10. Matt Carpenter
  11. Ryan Zimmerman
  12. Aramis Ramirez
  13. Manny Machado
  14. Pablo Sandoval
  15. Nolan Arenado

After battling injuries and a slow start, Adrian Beltre put together a solid June stat line of 14 runs, 4 home runs, 22 runs batted in, 1 stolen base, and an on base percentage of .412.  This puts the 35 year old right back on track for what we projected him during the preseason.

On the other hand, Josh Donaldson put together a June to forget and moves behind Beltre.  His fantasy line was an ugly 8/3/15/2/.222.  That is an on base percentage, not even a batting average.  We still really like Donaldson, but as we’ve discussed in recent podcasts, he was due to regress.  And we are seeing that now.  Hang in there, though, because he’s not this bad.  Just know that he’s also not what he was through the first two months.  He falls somewhere in between those extremes.

David Wright’s recent rotator cuff bruise has us slightly concerned, but knowing that he has been dealing with the injury for several weeks gives us reason for his lack of power recently.  The Mets say he will not require a DL stint and should be back by this weekend.  Still, with this news and the slow start, he falls another spot, at least until we see him healthy and producing again.

If I asked you if you wanted a full season pace of 103/34/91/24/.356 in your third base position, you would ask where you sign up, right?  That is a healthy, David Wright stat line and it’s being done by the Cincinnati Reds third baseman, Todd Frazier.  He’s out-producing himself, been a bit lucky and those stats won’t continue, but he’s established himself as a legit fantasy option.

Returning from injuries, Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado, slot into the back of our rankings. Machado has technically been back for a month, but is just now starting to look healthier and Arenado will soon return.  Both are interesting options with low ceilings in the short term.  Sure, Machado’s long term value is much higher, but we need to see more from him for a longer period in order to return to his former prospect slobbering glory.  Arenado has the home park and lineup that you want.  He also looked really good before the injury.  We hope to see more of that upon his return. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@rotorankers) and subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on iTunes.

Episode 23 - Marshall and Josh return for another episode of Fantasy Never Sleeps. The crew answers twitter questions and then discusses the, “Most Interesting Man in the World.” The gang talks about Tim Lincecum’s 2nd career no hitter and his favorite In & Out order. All this and more in another episode of Fantasy NEVER Sleeps.

Roto Rankers Shortstop Rankings: June Edition
  1. Troy Tulowitzki
  2. Hanley Ramirez
  3. Dee Gordon
  4. Elvis Andrus
  5. Jose Reyes
  6. Jean Segura
  7. Ian Desmond
  8. Starlin Castro
  9. Ben Zobrist
  10. Alexei Ramirez
  11. Jimmy Rollins
  12. Alcides Escobar
  13. Asdrubal Cabrera
  14. Everth Cabrera
  15. Jonathan Villar

While most of the world is consumed by the World Cup, we are still here for you baseball fans.  Baseball may not be the most popular sport any longer, but it’s still the best. We are, however, excited that the Americans have made it through the Group of Death and into the Knockout Round. Good luck next Tuesday, July 1st, as they take on Belgium 3pm CST. USA, baby!

Returning to form, the past month has provided some improved numbers for the following shortstops: Elvis Andrus, Jose Reyes, Ian Desmond, and Starlin Castro, who struggled a little early in the season. As we warned in our May rankings, these players would get it together and it’s starting to happen.  They are all basically right in line with where we had them in the preseason.  Look for that to continue.

There is one name we profiled last month that is still trying to find his hot streak. A guy we thought had the talent and ability to get on base and steal 50+ bases, Everth Cabrera, is not currently in the top 25 among shortstops.  We are not giving up on him, but there is much more doubt now than there was in our last rankings.

Dee Gordon continues to run and score and hit and get on base.  But mostly run.  He leads Major League Baseball in stolen bases, easily, with 40.  He is winning that category for his owners right now.  Outside of the top two, Tulowitzki and Hanley, there isn’t a shortstop that we would rather have in our lineup than Gordon. No, we don’t believe he will quite reach the 80 stolen bases that he is currently on pace for, but is anyone complaining about 65+ stolen bases out of their shortstop? Neither are we.

The back end of these rankings are pretty ugly. Because of this, we prefer high upside guys like Villar over some of the really boring, but possibly safer options.  Either way, only own the required number, no more than that.

As always, please follow and interact with us on Twitter (@RotoRankers) and subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on iTunes!

No Shit, Shart, Two Start: Week 13

No Shit

Chris Sale CWS @ BAL (Wei-Yin Chen), @ TOR (Mark Buehrle)
Zack Greinke LAD @ KC (Jeremy Guthrie), vs. STL (Lance Lynn)
Clayton Kershaw LAD @ KC (Danny Duffy), vs. STL (Shelby Miller)
Felix Hernandez SEA vs. BOS (John Lackey), vs. CLE (Josh Tomlin)
Yu Darvish TEX vs. DET (Drew Smyly), vs. MIN (Kyle Gibson)
Jeff Samardzija CHC vs. CIN (Alfredo Simon), vs. WAS (Gio Gonzalez)
Gio Gonzalez WAS @ MIL (Matt Garza), @ CHC (Jeff Samardzija)

Shart

Lance Lynn STL @ COL (Jhoulys Chacin), @ LAD (Zack Greinke)
Shelby Miller STL @ COL (Jorge de la Rosa), @ LAD (Clayton Kershaw)
Jose Quintana CWS @ BAL (Miguel Gonzalez), @ TOR (Drew Hutchison)
Mark Buehrle TOR vs. NYY (Chase Whitley), vs. CWS (Chris Sale)

Two Start

Aaron Harang ATL @ HOU (Scott Feldman), @ PHI (David Buchanan)
John Lackey BOS @ SEA (Felix Hernandez), @ NYY (Chase Whitley)
Matt Cain SF vs. SD (Andrew Cashner), vs. CIN (Alfredo Simon)
Tim Hudson SF vs. SD (Jesse Hahn), vs. CIN (Homer Bailey)
Alfredo Simon CIN @ CHC (Jeff Samardzija), @ SF (Matt Cain)
Nate Eovaldi MIA @ PHI (Roberto Hernandez), vs. OAK (Drew Pomeranz)
Homer Bailey CIN @ CHC (Jake Arrieta), @ SF (Tim Hudson)
Alex Cobb TB vs. PIT (Edinson Volquez), @ BAL (Chris Tillman)
Chris Archer TB vs. PIT (Jeff Locke), @ BAL (Wei-Yin Chen)
CJ Wilson LAA vs. MIN (Kyle Gibson), @ KC (Jeremy Guthrie)
Andrew Cashner SD @ SF (Matt Cain), vs. ARZ (Wade Miley)

Episode 22 - Marshall and Josh return for another exciting episode of Fantasy Never Sleeps. They discuss week 12 fantasy topics of the MLB season. They introduce another segment of, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” They also answer twitter questions then play a round of, “Buy Low or Sell High.” They finish with, “No Shit, Shart or 2 Start,” telling you which two-start pitchers will shit the bed this week.

Roto Rankers Second Base Rankings: June Edition
  1. Jason Kipnis
  2. Robinson Cano
  3. Brian Dozier
  4. Jose Altuve
  5. Ian Kinsler
  6. Dustin Pedroia
  7. Dee Gordon
  8. Anthony Rendon
  9. Ben Zobrist
  10. Matt Carpenter
  11. Daniel Murphy
  12. Chase Utley
  13. Aaron Hill
  14. Howie Kendrick
  15. Martin Prado

With Jason Kipnis back and healthy, he assumes the top spot in our second base rankings again. He has yet to get hot, but it’s sure to happen at some point.  Now is a good time to buy low, because if it starts to click for him, you’ve waited too long.

A very popular topic in our positional ranking narratives, Dee Gordon, is discussed again. He continues to run, tallying 39 stolen bases through 71 games. And to our surprise, the rest of his stats are holding up well enough to carry legit fantasy value. The weight gains and other offseason improvements appear to be working. We are starting to truly buy into the player he has become.

On the other side of the coin, we have a couple very established stars that continue to disappoint through nearly half of the season. The first and most surprising of these veterans is Dustin Pedroia. He’s shown some signs of life, but remains outside of the top 10 second baseman (12th). As long as there is no lingering injury issues, he should return to form through the mid-summer months. Ben Zobrist is the other. Age may be catching up with Zobrist, as his overall stats have declined over the past few years and the pattern appears to be continuing in 2014. We still see plenty of value in both of these players, but they are not without concerns.

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