Tout Daily: Time to Take Stock

This week’s question drew a lot of great suggestions:

Memorial Day Weekend is considered by many to be the first checkpoint of the season. What do you do to take stock of your team(s) now that we’re about two months into the season?

Ian Kahn (The Athletic, @IanKahn4): In a redraft league, I am starting my check in a bit earlier. What trades can I find that will help my squad round out completely. It’s also a time to spend some of those Fab dollars. It’s not too late to make your move. In Keeper/Dynasty, I am definitely looking to be on the early side to buy from teams that are starting to look towards the following season. It’s a ripe time to make moves to make your teams better.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): Now is the time to take a serious look at categories in roto formats in order to make adjustments. If you are falling too far behind in a certain area I would consider making roster moves (maybe a trade) in order to sure up a weakness by dealing a strength. It’s important to maintain a well-rounded team, but injuries, bad luck, and the performances of other teams in your league could alter your strategy to win at this point.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): I continuously look at the standings to assess my categorical strengths and weakness then compare to the talent of my players. If I have Tommy Pham – who I know many of us expect to be fine – and I’m running a little behind in AVG, then I’m not too worried. If I’ve leaned on Nick Castellanos and Marcus Semien to build a lead, then I might be more proactive about preparing for regression. I don’t really approach this as a “checkpoint” activity – we need to be doing it constantly to maximize our success.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): There are several things I do now… 1. I review my roster to see the ratio of overperformers to underperformers. This includes digging in on the metrics to validate current performances and reviewing all my IL players. This tells me whether I have upward or downward mobility. 2. I do the same exercise for the top few teams in the league (assuming I’m not one of them). 3. I review all the categories to see where I can make up ground and where I have strength to deal. 4. Finally, I remind myself that the best laid plans will be derailed by one pulled hamstring. I check the potential fallout from that injury, player-by-player, which usually ends up with several nights of alcohol abuse and uncontrolled weeping.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Count the number of players occupying my IL slots, cry, wipe my tears, and then cross my fingers those many injured players will return soon and provide the production I initially expected. That combined with a reversion toward pre-season projection levels from underperformers, and the hope is no action is actually needed and my team(s) will rebound and improve on their own.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): By this point in the season, injuries and lack of performance have undoubtedly affected me in some capacity. I am exploring trade opportunities, but I can’t count on making a deal. So I am focusing on accumulating depth at as many positions as possible. I am also thinking about the next crop of minor leagues that are likely going to get called up either due to injuries or MLB teams wanting to get them some experience. For redraft leagues, I am evaluating whether I have a realistic chance of making a playoff run so I am considering putting a star player on the market to try and capitalize on his value and maybe improve my roster in a couple positions. It isn’t early in the season anymore, so the time is now to make a move if possible,

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Good time to take an “honest” look at your team(s). We’re a little past the 1/4 point in the season. I addressed a trade I made in my advice from The Godfather column on RT sports this week. I was getting 3 out of 12 points in K’s and saves, and found an owner needed offense. I was able to trade Trevor Story for Aaron Nola and Anthony Reyes, so hopefully I can improve on my 4th place in the standings. Not a move I really wanted to do, but sometimes you have to be aggressive to get better!

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): Not much. Making moves all year whether in late May or early August.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): While I use every weekly FAAB to find opportunities to improve/repair my team on the margins, Memorial Day is about the first time I start taking my category standings performance seriously (except for SB and SV since this could particularly drive pickups). On teams that are struggling on Wins/Ks, I may be more aggressive in getting extra SPs in FAAB to allow for more 7-8 SP weeks (or more 2 start weeks among the 6 SP). There is unfortunately no quick fix for teams struggling in ERA/WHIP except a trade. For offense, if there is an imbalance (e.g., RBIs > R standing points), I may tweak my FAAB bids to value leadoff and high OBP guys a bit more.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I do some projecting to see if/where I have category opportunities to gain or risks of losses. I also look ahead to see where profitable trades might be possible down the road. I want to check my roster for obvious over- and under-performers, using skills-metrics analysis like Ron said.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): To Ron’s point, take a step back and look at YTD underperformers. It’s easy to draft somebody in the 10th round, auto-start them all year, and not even realize how poorly they’re doing (I fell into this trap with Avisaíl García last year). Also don’t just look at standings, but take stock of how BUNCHED the categories are directly above and below you. There’s a big difference between being 10th in your league in SB when 9th place has 15 more than you vs. having 5th-9th place all bunched up with just 4-5 more SB than you. If the latter, target bags to maximize points; if the former, maybe consider punting.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Memorial Day is a time to look at your team so see where you can realistically make some moves or trades to help with deficiencies, while not hurting your team in other statistical categories. I’m an active league manager, especially in my leagues to where I can conduct drop/adds on a daily basis. For my other leagues that are weekly drop/adds, it’s time to see where I have the potential to move up significantly in the league standings. Is that struggling starting pitcher going to continue to struggle the rest of the season, or will they get their act together going forward? This is the question that I am asking about everyone on my team.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Nothing magical about Memorial Day, except maybe other team owners may be more willing to make a deal than before. I look at other teams’ underperformers to see if I can find a deal that works and maybe consolidate some gains from my overachievers. I look at categories to see where the most volatility exists and see if I can approach that. In NFBC, I am just trying to incrementally improve each week w/FAAB. I have had one redraft team this year disastrously lose virtually all of its starting pitching and so started early finding a new strategy and trades that fit the strategy to grab some incremental points (I hope). In my one dynasty team, I am far more patient and really just look for ways to grab whatever improvement I can find, depending on what other teams think/want. I am always looking at the ILs and trying to decide who I might be able to trade now to get value down the road. Most of this work goes without clear decisions–but the first part of improving a team situation is knowing what you need and where you can afford to give something up in categories.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): Usually around Memorial Day, I’m deciding which sell-high candidates can go and what holes caused by cold starts genuinely need to be filled through deals. This year, all I’m doing is charting what days all my IL players are expected back and if I can legitimately hang on until then without really blowing up my team.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Whether I have a realistic path to the money. If not, what can I do to achieve something such as the 60 pt threshold in Tout or securing the best draft/reserve pick possible in a home league and live to fight another day.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Why wait till Memorial Day Ive made a trade DURING the draft!!!

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): My checkpoint dates are May 5 for individual categories, and June 5 for overall standings. By now you should have taken a deep look at the individual categories. Not only if you are deficient in a category – but more importantly, where you are clustered (the spots where there are the most points to gain OR lose). Seek out some trades or FAAB targets to assist with those targeted categories after May 5. As for the overall success of my team (standings), I don’t worry until the start of June. But after this weekend, I evaluate whether I need to increase or decrease team risk – either via trade, FAAB, or even who I play from the bench. By team risk – I’ll give an example. Take Luis Castillo. If in first place, I may try to trade for 60 cents on the dollar just to get some less variable expected production. If in 10th place, I may look to trade for him – buy at that discount, and hope he turns his season around. I won’t finish “in the money” unless I can buy low and hope it hits … so I’ll look for these opportunities. Its about overall risk for me after Memorial Day. It isn’t just about the “who to buy low on” – its about ‘whether’ you need to.

Eric Cross (Fantrax, @EricCross04): This is the time of year that I take a long, hard look at those “Band-Aid players” as I call them. Meaning, those players that you drafted fairly high that are vastly underperforming (Think Eugenio Suarez & Lourdes Gurriel). Is it time to rip the Band-Aid off with these guys? This is also the time to make a big push in categories you’re falling behind in. Wait any longer and you’ll have a difficult time making up ground.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I admit I looked at the standings earlier this season, perhaps because I wanted to see just how far behind I was in ERA and WHIP thanks to rostering Luis Castillo, Kyle Hendricks and Pat Corbin in SO many leagues. Thanks, fellas! Seriously it’s a good time, as others noted, to decide which categories you can make up ground in, realistically, and figure out how to fix. With struggling but proven hurlers the answer might be to wait for them to turn it around. Or build up other categories instead!

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): I don’t view the date as anything special. I think it’s a good time to start looking at at the standings to see where you set – should you make a move here or there – but I think it’s more about doing that each week moving forward versus using the holiday as a jumping off point to really get serious about making significant changes.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): A few others have said this, and I will add to the chorus. At this point of the season, you probably aren’t catching up in categories where you’re significantly behind. The best thing you can do right now is determine the places where you can climb up a few spots in the categorical standings, and where you can afford to lose a contributor without losing meaningful ground in others. It really is about playing the category game now that we’re a little less than one-third of the way through the season.

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): There is still 70% of the season left. Some players got off to bad starts and some got off to great starts but for me it’s about being honest. Where can I make up ground? What is lost cause? If something is a lost cause can I get away with ignoring it and trying to win all the other categories? I’m not panicking about a team until mid to late June, it’s a long year and you can find difference makers until then that can change the tide of your season.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): I don’t think Memorial Day is a one-size-fits-all day to do this; in a points league it’s a lot more critical to do the check-in sooner (and more frequently), lest you dig an inescapable hole. In a Roto league, I’m mostly looking for categorical excess or shortcoming, especially extreme. There’s a guy in one of my leagues with an 11-save lead on the pack, and that’s more than 35% of his total Roto score, and the deeper we go in the year, the tougher it’s going to get for him to find a market for his saves excess (the league also typically devalues saves). In a points league, I’m getting a read for whether my team has over or underperformed and why, and whether what I’ve got is likely to maintain or provide the necessary rebound for where I’m at in the standings.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): This is the time of the year that I start to shift my thinking from pure value to specific categories. I’d love to stay value focused until August, but at that point I’m sometimes too far back in some categories to make up ground. Hopefully I’m not desperate in any category, but that’s rarely the case.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): In a redraft league in a normal year, I start looking at categories where I can make gains and looking at other teams to find mutually beneficial trades. This year, however, my teams have been decimated by injuries, so I’m deferring the process a couple of weeks. Then i hope to have more information regarding who’s going to be available on my existing roster.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Memorial Day weekend is actually a good time to do a deeper dive on the teams that could be contenders. Particularly for someone like myself who loves Draft SZN and has more teams than a person needs. I’ll take progress notes so that I can take a look at the end of the month – each and every month until the end of the season – to see if there are major shifts in categorical deficiencies. The revolving door of the IL these first couple of months makes it more difficult, which means we need to be more diligent than ever when assessing FAAB replacements.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): There are so many things that can be done but at Memorial Day, I try to take a dispassionate look at the over and underperformers on the roster. Is the guy who is so much better than projected someone who we can count on to continue that type of performance? Is someone we believed in during draft season slacking because of injury or bad luck or do we have to make moves to account for that lack of production. This honest look at players should direct the strategy at least in significant part

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Most of the work I do now is with my keeper/dynasty teams. It’s time to tear off the band aid in the leagues where I’m out of it and start looking at the rebuild if I haven’t done so already. This doesn’t mean I need to rush out and make a trade tomorrow, but I do want to start studying other people’s rosters. In redraft, this is normally a good time for me to reassess teams’ organizational depth, and see if there are prospects who have moved up or down in their rankings from Opening Day, particularly in leagues like Tout where you’re allowed to stash non-MLBers. It’s a little more difficult this year given that I haven’t gotten any in person looks at the minors and they started late, but the cadence of the major league regular season hasn’t changed so this is still the time to do it.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I take a much deeper look at the standings and what moves I could make to move up in some of the roto categories. If it is in a trading league, I would see if there is any team that needs something that I have an excess of to see if a trade can be made to help both fantasy managers.

Lou Blasi (Fantistics, @LouBlasi): Tout’s H2H Points league presents some unique challenges here because you can’t easily identify that you are weak in a particular column for example, so I am comparing my roster to the free agent pool and trying to identify the improvements that I can make through claims. I also self-scout to see where my potential surpluses are, and to try and identify my needs, but again in H2H points, that probably comes down to roster spots that I can improve rather than looking for more SBs for example as you can in Roto leagues and leagues based in column scoring. Then I try to see where my surpluses fit a need for a potential trade partner.

Nando Di FIno (The Athletic, @nandodifino): I’m still sticking to my guns at this point. Just last week in an AL-only league, I added six points, thanks to a few players slowly starting to turn things around. I’ll still try and trade for players I like who the rest of the world may not be on yet (Ha-Seong Kim, for instance), but otherwise I’m just trying to set mart lineups, keep the end of my bench in good shape and remember why I drafted these underperformers in the first place.

Jock Thompson (Baseball HQ, @JOCKatHQ): Draft and Hold is tough right now, esp in a season such as this one. I just sit back and grit my teeth at the productive / healthy names that went undrafted by our league in March.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): I think Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on your teams. I probably spend way too much time looking back at my team’s draft results but I think it’s helpful to learn from your mistakes. Specifically in category leagues, you have a decent idea of where you stand, what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re strong in saves or steals, trade from a strength to boost a weakness. If you play in a H2H points league, it’s more positional scarcity rather than statistical scarcity. If you’re strong in the outfield or starting pitching, maybe shop those positions to help your biggest positional weakness.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Depending on league setup, it’s time to address clear needs whether it’s speed, saves, ratios, etc. In formats allowing trades, find someone in the standings who possesses what you may need and hope you can offer them something of value in return. It’s also time to figure out if a draft pick’s worth holding onto or finding the pivot, despite the litany of injuries across the sport. If it’s speed, time to get Jon Berti with a clear path to playing time. Saves, start targeting the guy behind the guy or player getting more high leverage chances (Kyle Zimmer, J.P. Feyereisen, Carlos Estévez, etc.). Last, but not least, mine who will be selling at the trade deadline. A Pirates hitter like Bryan Reynolds could receive a major boost in value heading to a team like the Yankees for instance. They will be trading Richard Rodríguez at some point too. Do not migrate to football prep yet, stay the course in our marathon. There’s time to make a move in the last three legs of the season.

Seth Trachtman (NBC Sports Edge, @sethroto): The approach is dependent on the league format and scoring. For a rotisserie-scoring league with in-season pickups or trades, it’s a great time to assess where I am in each category and look at possibilities of either improving or disregarding categories (for example wins and strikeouts vs. saves). For a keeper league, it could be time to go for the gold with a trade, or dump and play for next year if I’m out of the running. This is also a great opportunity to trade over-performing players if I feel they can’t keep up their pace over the latter four months.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): At this point in the season I’m concerned primarily about depth, particularly on the pitching side. It seems to me there’s much more of a drop-off from starting-level players to what’s generally available on the waiver wire on the pitching side than there is on the hitting side. Also, losing 1/9 of your lineup when a pitcher goes down is a bit more challenging to overcome than losing 1/14 of your lineup if a hitter goes down (esp since Pitchers contribute in at most 4 categories, and 2 of those are ratio categories that can easily become dumpster fires). If forced to look to the waiver wire on the hitting side, I have a slight preference for players with multi-position eligibility since they give you more flexibility to deal with the inevitable future injuries. Category-wise, just comparing where I am in the standings to my preseason expectations and scouring other teams’ rosters for potential trade partners to make up for perceived shortfalls.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): After two months, you can start to take the standings seriously and should have a pretty good idea as to your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Now is the time when I closely examine each roto category to determine where I can quickly gain or lose the most points and whether or not I can afford to downgrade in a certain category to address an area of need via trade. My focus when it comes to either the waiver wire or the trade market becomes more category-specific. I’m not a fan of punting categories but if you are considering punting, now is an ideal time to make that decision. Thanks to widening category separation, the longer you wait, the fewer teams will be interested in trading for your one speed source or one reliable closer.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Memorial Day weekend is usually my first deep dive look at the standings in a category by category basis. It’s time to to study where points can be gained and if I’m not careful points can be lost. I also remind myself as I make trades or waiver moves this time of year that these moves should be made to improve categories and not necessarily a position. For example, If i need SBs my mindset should be to acquire a player who can provide SBs, regardless of position.

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): In addition to taking a closer look at the standings, this is the time that I begin a more rigorous process of looking at the underlying numbers for more established players that have underperformed to this point. Where has Christian Yelich’s power been? How about Gleyber Torres? Are there any signs in the underlying numbers that they can’t meet their initial projections (pro-rated, of course) over the rest of the season? I find it a little bit easier to separate Fact from Fluke now that we’re one-third of the way through the season.

Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): To be honest, I’m checking my standings across all leagues virtually every night, so this mile marker isn’t one that comes with a great deal of reflection or time spent evaluating. Fantasy baseball consumes a good chunk of my life, so I’m well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of my various teams. I might talk trade here or there, or take a really hard look at any teams doing poorly to see if I should abandon a category, but for the most part this is just an arbitrary endpoint. Overreacting and shuffling your roster too much based on two months is ill advised. I’m basically trying to stay the course at this time while steadily improving my team via the waiver wire.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): While I agree with the notion of paying constant attention, there are a couple of reason to spend a little more time putting your team(s) under the microscope at this time of the season. The first is many of your competitors are doing it and you should be prepared to enter trade discussions. The other is math as the standings in roto leagues are now realistic in the top to bottom distributions in the ratio and counting categories historically settle about two months into the season. This makes doing the “category math” more practical (I can lose points here to gain there, etc.).

Tout Wars FAB Report: May 30

This is the odd week where AL and NL only bidding was busier than the Mixed Leagues.

Remember, you can see the rosters, standings and all the moves for each league by clicking on the header of each format.

American League

GHolland, KCChris Liss 161
KMiddleton, SeaPatrick Davitt 99
RRefsnyder, MinJeff Erickson 47
JMartin, TexMike Podhorzer 32
KZimmer, KCLarry Schechter 23
JBrentz, KCJason Collette 22
JLamb, CWSRyan Bloomfield 14
BZimmer, CleMike Gianella 14
KDavis, TexMike Gianella 12
JNottingham, SeaDoug Dennis 8
MFord, NYYDoug Dennis 8
KAkin, BalRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 3
KGarlick, MinJason Collette 3
KWong, LAARick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
ZShort, DetJason Collette 2
ABemboom, LAAJason Collette 1
RMcKenna, BalMike Gianella 0

National League

KTom, PitScott Wilderman 34
MWilliams, FAPhil Hertz 24
VGutierrez, CinScott Wilderman 23
KFarmer, CinTodd Zola 17
TJankowski, PhiDerek Carty 13
JDevers, MiaGrey Albright 12
RTepera, ChCSteve Gardner 11
JCamargo, AtlCraig Mish 9
PWisdom, ChCTodd Zola 3
RTorreyes, PhiDerek Carty 2
WRivas, SDScott Wilderman 1
SAlcantara, ChCCraig Mish 1
CRandolph, PhiGrey Albright 1
CEstevez, ColDerek Carty 1
SHoward, PitScott Wilderman 0
RSuarez, PhiPhil Hertz 0
PJohnson, SDFred Zinkie 0
MSchrock, CinDerek Carty 0
KLee, NYMTristan H. Cockcroft 0
JDuplantier, AriPeter Kreutzer 0

Mixed Salary Cap

CMartinez, StLJoe Pisapia 47
MKelly, AriMichael Rathburn 39
JBerti, MiaScott Swanay 35
KAkin, BalCJ Kaltenbach 33
RRefsnyder, MinScott Pianowski 31
TStephenson, CinJeff Zimmerman 27
RStripling, TorIan Kahn 18
RTepera, ChCScott Pianowski 7
ESosa, StLScott Pianowski 7
CPinder, OakIan Kahn 7
LUrias, MilBrent Hershey 7
KZimmer, KCBrent Hershey 6
NMazara, DetCJ Kaltenbach 2
GHeredia, AtlDerek VanRiper 0

Mixed Draft

JFeyereisen, TBSeth Trachtman 66
ACobb, LAAGreg Ambrosius 51
VGutierrez, CinTim McLeod 42
MBeaty, LADGreg Ambrosius 33
KBubic, KCD.J. Short 20
HCastro, DetPerry Van Hook 17
SDuggar, SFPerry Van Hook 17
LSims, CinScott White 17
RRefsnyder, MinScott White 17
GPolanco, PitRay Murphy 15
PFry, BalTim McLeod 11
HKim, SDTim McLeod 9
JKowar, KCTim McLeod 6
GHeredia, AtlCharlie Wiegert 6
HRamirez, CleAdam Ronis 6
DJansen, TorRay Murphy 5
KMiddleton, SeaPerry Van Hook 3
ESosa, StLShelly Verougstraete 2

Head to Head

VVelasquez, PhiClay Link 57
CWalker, AriAndrea LaMont 55
JProfar, SDAriel Cohen 22
ELongoria, SFAndrea LaMont 20
JPederson, ChCGreg Jewett 18
ELauer, MilGreg Jewett 18
JGant, StLAriel Cohen 18
WAdames, MilNick Pollack 17
JFuentes, ColNick Pollack 17
VCaratini, SDAndrea LaMont 15
DPeterson, NYMAriel Cohen 13
SHoward, PhiRyan Hallam 12
GCanning, LAANick Pollack 11
JDiekman, OakAriel Cohen 8
EOlivares, KCGreg Jewett 7
OHerrera, PhiRalph Lifshitz 6
FGalvis, BalRalph Lifshitz 5
BMiller, PhiRalph Lifshitz 5
TWilliams, ChCRalph Lifshitz 5
HKim, SDNick Pollack 5
JFleming, TBAndrea LaMont 3
YPetit, OakRalph Lifshitz 2
YGomes, WasLou Blasi 2
CRaleigh, SeaGreg Jewett 1
JAguilar, MiaClay Link 1
FMejia, TBPaul Sporer 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

AviGarcia, MilJennifer Piacenti 103
PSmith, AriAlex Fast 75
BMiller, PhiAl Melchior 44
CHernandez, CleAlex Fast 30
TGonsolin, LADDoug Anderson 23
WAdames, MilDoug Anderson 21
AChafin, ChCJennifer Piacenti 18
LWebb, SFRon Shandler 18
MTaylor, KCAndy Behrens 16
MKelly, AriDoug Anderson 16
JRomano, TorBrian Entrekin 13
WFlores, SFRon Shandler 9
JDunn, SeaBrian Entrekin 7
LTrivino, OakRon Shandler 5
JFeyereisen, TBAl Melchior 3
DJansen, TorBrian Entrekin 2

Tout Daily: A Pair of Aces

Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were the only pitchers pegged twice by the Touts as Period 2 draws to a close. Three more Golden Tickets are on the line, with a tight battle for all three spots.

Here is the Leaderboard:

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Kevin Gausman – I need a golden ticket miracle tonight, so I have to go cheap and roll with Kevin Gausman at $7,200. He’s pitched well this season with a 4-0 record, and 1.66 ERA, and a 0.80 WHIP. He also has more strikeouts than innings pitched.

Hitter: J.D. Martinez – This is an interesting game tonight with the Red Sox at home, taking on the Atlanta Braves. In his past 10 games played, Martinez has 2 home runs and 5 RBI. I like him at $5,800 tonight.

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty)

Pitcher: Max Scherzer – With deGrom likely to be limited, Scherzer is the clear top option tonight. He faces a depleted Reds offense (Votto, Senzel, Moose all on the IL) that is rolling out with several dead spots and plenty of extra strikeouts. They take a big park hit, and Scherzer has the longest leash on the slate.

Hitter: Amed Rosario – Skubal is the worst pitcher on the slate and this game has the second best hitting weather. Rosario is hitting second, will hold the platoon advantage, and gets a SB boost against a pitcher that is easily exploitable on the base paths.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Aaron Civale – I’m saving a bit of money here with Civale. He gets an easy matchup against the Tigers in Detroit. Cleveland, typically, lets their starters go pretty far into games and the Tigers are an easy target.

Hitter: Amed Rosario – In the past 10 games, Rosario has hit .316 with two double and two stolen bases. While I like Skubal for the long-term, give a red-hot hitter against a younger pitcher still trying to figure things out.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Jacob DeGrom – calculated risk since he’ll probably be on pitch count coming off DL, but that might keep others from using him. hopefully 6 plus scoreless innings with 10 plus K’s against week Rockies road offense!

Hitter: Mitch Haniger –

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Kevin Gausman – His Draftkings price of $7,200 is the 15th-highest among pitchers even though he’s averaging the third-most points. Huh? Gausman is a no-brainer pick.

Hitter: Aaron Judge – Judge has torched southpaws this year to the tune of a .400/.689/1.189 slash line and he gets to face an inconsistent Steven Matz.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Max Scherzer – So many holes in that Reds lineup … I’ll pay the freight for vintage Max tonight.

Hitter: Adalberto Mondesi – I’ve been waiting all year to get him in my season-long lineups. At a mere $2500, he seems like a fantastic bargain — even from the No. 7 spot.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Cole Irvin – Hail Mary time — going doubly cheap at SP. Irvin’s punchies have faded lately, but the Mariners fan a ton. As do the Tigers, hence Aaron Civale as well

Hitter: Alex Verdugo – Screw it, having some fun tonight, even though I expect Morton to pitch well, going to pigpile Boston bats and Verdugo is best bargain.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Corbin Burnes – I run the risk of Tatis tattooing one, but no Grisham or Machado, and I get a relative discount at $9.1K on this loaded SP slate.

Hitter: Luke Voit – Voit against a recently struggling lefty in Steven Matz for $4K seems like a pretty good price to me.

Tout Wars FAB Report: May 23

In what might be a harbinger of the next few weeks, Sunday night was a busy one, with multiple triple-digit bids. All six Tout Wars leagues using FAB are covered. The OnRoto site for each league is accessible b y clicking on the league heading. You can see all the moves, rosters and standings.

American League

DSantana, BosLarry Schechter 424
TWalls, TBPatrick Davitt 339
JFeyereisen, TBRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 44
OMiller, CleRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 44
MBrosseau, TBJeff Erickson 17
LBarrera, OakJason Collette 15
JKowar, KCRob Leibowitz 7
PFry, BalRob Leibowitz 6
KBubic, KCRyan Bloomfield 5
LRobert, CWSChris Liss 5
DMendick, CWSDoug Dennis 5
CSulser, BalDoug Dennis 3
GCrochet, CWSJason Collette 2
CChang, CleMike Podhorzer 1
KPlawecki, BosPatrick Davitt 0
BShaw, CleDoug Dennis 0
ROHearn, KCMike Gianella 0

National League

WAdames, MilPhil Hertz 795
APujols, LADScott Wilderman 245
SKazmir, SFScott Wilderman 129
CMartin, AriSteve Gardner 98
ESosa, StLBrian Walton 25
BBoxberger, MilPeter Kreutzer 14
SReidFoley, NYMPeter Kreutzer 14
BGamel, PitDerek Carty 12
CMaybin, NYMTristan H. Cockcroft 8
BDrury, NYMGrey Albright 6
JFargas, NYMCraig Mish 5
RBleier, MiaPeter Kreutzer 4
CTucker, PitPhil Hertz 2
AKnapp, PhiTodd Zola 0
JCurtiss, MiaPeter Kreutzer 0
WDifo, PitDerek Carty 0
ASenzatela, ColDerek Carty 0
LThomas, StLSteve Gardner 0

Mixed Salary Cap

WAdames, MilEric Karabell 80
DSantana, BosEric Karabell 69
MZunino, TBIan Kahn 64
AManoah, TorJeff Zimmerman 41
TWalls, TBJustin Mason 33
AGomber, ColZach Steinhorn 33
CPoteet, MiaJeff Zimmerman 33
JFuentes, ColMichael Rathburn 33
TSkubal, DetJeff Zimmerman 26
NMaton, PhiScott Engel 25
GCooper, MiaZach Steinhorn 23
HCastro, DetScott Engel 16
JFeyereisen, TBEric Karabell 15
KBubic, KCScott Engel 11
TChatwood, TorIan Kahn 11
SHoward, PhiDerek VanRiper 11
MDubon, SFBrent Hershey 9
CMartin, AriBrent Hershey 9
TNido, NYMScott Engel 7
YDaza, ColScott Engel 7
BKeller, KCJeff Zimmerman 6
JUrena, DetScott Engel 5
EHaase, DetMichael Rathburn 5
DRuf, SFJeff Zimmerman 1
BGardner, NYYIan Kahn 1

Mixed Draft

MFulmer, DetMichael Beller 121
SHoward, PhiMichael Beller 89
CPinder, OakRudy Gamble 48
BMiller, PhiMichael Beller 43
DSantana, BosScott White 37
OHerrera, PhiRay Murphy 32
WAdames, MilRay Murphy 32
AGomber, ColGreg Ambrosius 29
ADickerson, SFSeth Trachtman 25
MTaylor, KCRudy Gamble 18
JSchoop, DetRudy Gamble 18
CMartin, AriTim McLeod 16
JLyles, TexD.J. Short 5
ABarnes, LADMichael Beller 1
OMiller, CleShelly Verougstraete 1
DHudson, WasScott White 0
ELongoria, SFScott White 0

Head to Head

JKaprielian, OakRyan Hallam 71
CPoteet, MiaRalph Lifshitz 67
JWendle, TBAndrea LaMont 66
DSantana, BosGreg Jewett 54
LGurriel, TorNick Pollack 51
BDalbec, BosAndrea LaMont 18
AGomber, ColGreg Jewett 18
CIrvin, OakClay Link 18
TStephenson, CinGreg Jewett 15
GCooper, MiaAriel Cohen 13
JArrieta, ChCAriel Cohen 13
DNunez, ColChris Welsh 12
MKelly, AriAriel Cohen 12
TSkubal, DetChris Welsh 11
YDiaz, TBAriel Cohen 8
IKennedy, TexNick Pollack 7
KBubic, KCRon Shandler 2
EHaase, DetAndrea LaMont 1
KBubic, KCClay Link 1
LGarcia, CWSAriel Cohen 1
TNido, NYMNick Pollack 1
RWeathers, SDAndrea LaMont 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

VBrujan, TBAndy Behrens 67
AGomber, ColJeff Boggis 46
JKaprielian, OakBrian Entrekin 41
TWalls, TBJake Ciely 41
GCooper, MiaBrian Entrekin 34
STurnbull, DetJennifer Piacenti 31
FGalvis, BalRon Shandler 23
MZunino, TBAndy Behrens 23
CMize, DetJim Bowden 22
TRogers, SFRay Flowers 22
TSkubal, DetChris Towers 21
AEaton, CWSAlex Fast 20
JNaylor, CleChris Towers 17
BDalbec, BosDoug Anderson 14
MFulmer, DetBrian Entrekin 13
JGant, StLRon Shandler 11
AOttavino, BosRon Shandler 11
AManoah, TorJake Ciely 10
TChatwood, TorDoug Anderson 7
TLarnach, MinBrian Entrekin 6
MRojas, MiaChris Towers 3
KBubic, KCRon Shandler 2

Tout Table: Bullish on Castillo

Last week, the Touts opined on five surprising arms, this week we’ll flip the script and discuss half a dozen hurlers not et meeting expectations.

Which of this six are you most looking to acquire and who do you want no part of the rest of the season among Luis Castillo, Patrick Corbin, Dylan Bundy, Kenta Maeda, Kyle Hendricks and Charlie Morton?

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): I’m definitely looking to acquire Luis Castillo the most out of the six (and to be fair would have said this before yesterday’s 11 strikeout game). A majority of the problems that Luis Castillo appears to be having are mechanical; problems that I believe, with a few tweaks, could be fixed. Before yesterday’s start, Castillo was still at the top of the 2stk% leaderboard. He was getting ahead, he just wasn’t executing. He should be able to execute more consistently moving forward. The person I’d least likely acquire out of this list, as much as it hurts me to say, is Dylan Bundy. I see ace upside amongst all the other candidates, and I’d theoretically worry the most about Bundy when it came to injuries and strikeout upside. I’m aware that Hendricks doesn’t have much strikeout upside as well but it would surprise me to see 180+ IP from Bundy, it would not surprise me to see that from Hendricks.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): I think I’d be interested in acquiring most of them outside of Charlie Morton because of health concerns. Dylan Bundy and Luis Castillo would be the top of my list of who to try and go get.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): Easy snap pick of Luis Castillo. Besides 2020 (which hardly counts), he’s always started ice cold before finishing with premium production. All the components of his past successes remain present. I think Corbin is the guy I most want to avoid simply because the production was always so narrowly built around elite slider manipulation. The fastball has declined to unusable which is hurting his slider outcomes too.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): I’ll take a stab at Bundy. There are worse sins than giving up 13 ER to the Dodgers + Red Sox, which pushed his ratios up of late. No drop in velocity, but the slider is only getting solid rather than amazing results as it did in 2020.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): Honestly I haven’t paid attention to any of these guys except Hendricks, because I own him on a team. I am concerned, but one game he got bombed was after missing a turn so perhaps he was rusty, and subsequently there was a game with a lot of lucky hits, and several good games as well…so I am not panicking about him and would “buy low” if given the chance.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Another Castillo fan. He probably had the biggest upside at the beginning of the season. The May 18th start with 11 K’s in 5 innings is a promising sign.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Castillo for me, too. Ryan Bloomfield recently analyzed Castillo’s slow start and did some clever research into game-time temperatures, finding that Castillo struggles in cold starts, and his first few included some that were at or below freezing. Summer’s gotta come sooner or later.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): Definitely Luis Castillo. Most of the issues for the Reds ace have been mechanical, and possible mental due to a rough start. Castillo holds the highest O-Swing percentage of his career and has a track record of starting slow. I will avoid Corbin, who has always walked a tightrope due to his success being built around one pitch (slider). Now that the fastball is further deteriorating, the slider will be less effective.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Hendricks will come around Maeda appears injured

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I have a lot of Hendricks, Maeda, and Morton, so make your best offers! I think Luis Castillo had a tough result last night with a 3-run HR that barely cleared the wall at GABP, but otherwise looked terrific with 11 Ks in 5 IP. I don’t like Corbin right now. I do like Bundy. As for my trio, I just have to hope they can turn it around (heck, I’d take 2 of the 3). Heck, I’d take 1 of the 3.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I’d be good with acquiring all of them. It’s May. Talent wins out. Castillo fanned 11 in his most recent outing. He seems to know what he’s been doing wrong. I trust him a bit more than the others on a “stuff” basis. Hendricks lacks the “stuff” but he seems to have already figured things out. Don’t panic with proven arms.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): There will be some great statistical analysis of Castillo within these answers, so I can keep mine short and just say that we have seen this before from him. He has a tendency to improve with the weather, and this year could end up being his most extreme version of that trend. His upside is just much higher than that of the others. FWIW, I would also be happy to acquire Bundy in a trade. On the negative side, I don’t want any part of Corbin. The strikeouts aren’t there. I’ll be very surprised if he is consistently effective the rest of the way.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): I will take Luis Castillo and pass on Charlie Morton

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Luis Castillo’s fastball velocity has returned and his last start proves his strikeout stuff hasn’t left him. While I expect his strikeout rate to rebound, he doesn’t even need it to for his ERA to drop substantially, as his SIERA sits more than 3 runs below his actual ERA. So he’s the clear target of the six. Without that otherworldly slider and merely a pretty good one, Patrick Corbin has lost his well above average strikeout ability and has become nothing more than streamer material in shallow mixed leagues.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CTowersCBS): I’m not avoiding any of them. At this point in the season, I’m simply not changing my mind too much about a player unless I have a very good reason not to, and I don’t have a particularly good reason to do so with any of them. So I’d love to acquire Castillo, Bundy, Maeda, Hendricks or Morton at a discount. It’s a bit harder to do with Corbin, because I was already pretty pessimistic about him coming into the season and the buy-low window may have already passed. But if I have him on my team, I’m not rushing to try to move him, either.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Buying on Luis Castillo and avoiding Charlie Morton. With Luis Castillo, he’s a player to pick up and stash until he rights the ship. There were signs that he can do this with his most recent outing of 11 strikeouts. Once you possess the skill, you own the skill, and Castillo owns the skill. He was a top 40 draft pick in most 2021 fantasy baseball redraft leagues. With Charlie Morton, the strikeouts are decent, but at age 38, he’s in serious decline. He will kill you in ERA (5.08) and WHIP (1.44).

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): I’m firmly in the Castillo camp, with Tuesday’s start showing exactly why. His struggles have been a bit of a mystery, but if you want to shoot for the moon, he’s the pitcher you should be going for rather than Maeda or Hendricks, who aren’t going to blow anyone away and rely a lot on location and command. The peripherals with Bundy are pretty nice too, so this would be a prime time to buy on him after two bad starts. Like others have said, Morton is the one to avoid. Effectiveness in decline and it’s not like he has the history of being a pitcher you can count on for a full season.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Luis Castillo is the pitcher I would try to acquire. Even with a 7+ ERA is xFIP still sits in the 4’s meaning he’s pitched to some bad luck as evidenced by a career high .391 BABIP against him. His velocity still sits in the 96-97 mph range and he is still using all 3 of his pitches and his hard hit rate is 7% lower than last season. He’s too talented not to turn it around. I’m avoiding Patrick Corbin. K rate is down, wlak rate is up, HR/9 rate is up and 6.10 ERA is matched by his 5.99 xFIP and he’s pitching to less soft contact that at any point in his career. No thanks.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I want no part of Patrick Corbin. I didn’t want him before the season, so why start now? The only league that I would consider him would be a shallow league where I had a comfortable lead in ERA/WHIP and can choose which matchups to play him in. Essentially, he is Chris Archer ’18-19 for me. As for who I would want the most – it would be Luis Castillo. He may be close to the level in a trade market that I could take a flyer on him for a struggling team without giving up anything close to what I had paid for him. He leads MLB in BABIP, and has a poor strand rate – so a bounceback has a good percentage chance of occurring. A prime trade target for a team that needs a boost …

Dr. Roto (FullTime Fantasy, @DrRoto): I will take a shot on Luis Castillo, hoping his last 11K start can catapult him to some sort of success. I will pass on Corbin. K rate is down and shoulder injuries

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Castillo, Maeda, Hendricks and Morton I would consider adding via free agency if dropped. I would consider trades for them, but only with low leverage players. I don’t want any part of Bundy or Corbin! I think Castillo offer the biggest upside.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): On the plus side, it’s Luis Castillo by a mile. No need to repeat all the reasons that everyone who answered before me already pointed out. Conversely, I have zero interest in Patrick Corbin. This downside was always well within his reasonable range of outcomes, and I just don’t see how you trust him at all given the production he’s allowing with both his slider and fastball.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): I know it’s obvious (based on all the other answers so far), but it’s Castillo and I’m not sure it’s close. His DRA and xERA are significantly better than his ERA and while it’s not all misfortune, he hasn’t nearly been the disaster his surface numbers look like. Strikeouts drive the earnings bus for pitchers in fantasy, and he’s an elite pitcher in the category when he’s on. Corbin is my avoid. His velocity was up in his May 13 start against the Phillies but dropped down again against the Cubs. I don’t know if there’s an injury lurking here but I don’t want to invest any trade capital to find out.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): Even before his 11K game, my pick was easily Luis Castillo. His struggles have been mind boggling (maybe he is tipping his pitches?) and I will buy elite stuff every single time. I’m staying for away from the NL East guys, Corbin and Morton. I was scared of both coming into the season and their starts, obviously, have not changed my mind.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): My favorites to try and acquire from that group are Luis Castillo, Charlie Morton, and Dylan Bundy in that order. Each of those three starting pitchers ranks top-12 in ERA-FIP among qualified starting pitchers. Castillo’s most recent outing reinstilled my confidence in his changeup, which was one of his biggest issues this season. Patrick Corbin is the name I’d least be looking to acquire. While the velocity has been up this season, so are his walks and hard-hit rate against. If he strings a few more decent starts together, I would be looking to sell Corbin.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): As long as you’re not lacking in strikeouts, Kyle Hendricks is a fine buy-low trade target. He’s coming off his best start of the season and I simply refuse to believe that a guy who has been one of the most consistent starting pitchers in the game over the past seven years has all of a sudden lost his ability to pitch at a high level. Note that his .341 opponent BABIP is by far a career-high and could help to explain his career-worst 11.8 H/9. I’ve never been a fan of Dylan Bundy and viewed him as overrated heading into this year. Aside from last season’s impressive 11-start sample, Bundy has been a below-average starting pitcher throughout his big-league career and his home run issues have resurfaced this year (7 HR allowed in just 43 1/3 innings). At this point, it might be too late to trade him for anything close to his preseason value, but if you can still swap him for a top-60 SP, I’d make that move.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): Luis Castillo is one I would look to acquire. There’s been some bad luck, but some encouraging signs in the last start with increased velocity and 21 swings and misses. Dylan Bundy is also one to acquire. He struggled in his last two starts against the Red Sox and Dodgers, which are two of the best offenses. A lot of the underlying numbers are good and he has an xERA of 3.56 and I can tell a lot of the people with Bundy are frustrated.

Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): I like pretty much everyone listed here as a buy-low in a trade — minus Corbin — but Castillo and Bundy in particular. The Reds’ defense is bad and will continue to hinder Castillo, but I’m confident the whiffs on the changeup will be there. Castillo’s fastball velocity should tick up a little as the season progresses as well. Bundy is perhaps an even better target since his acquisition cost in a trade is significantly lower. Wins will remain tough to come by with Mike Trout out, but Bundy has been abnormally unlucky in that regard to this point. Things look mostly fine for Bundy under the hood.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Gratuitous plug #2, like last week, I thumbnailed each pitcher in my Z Files on Rotowire. Unlike last week, hopefully these guys won’t succumb to injury like three of the five subjects last week. Anyway, like everyone, I’m on Castillo refinding the magic on his changeup. Secondarily, give me Bundy who was fine before betting shellacked by the Dodgers and Red Sox. I’m also most leery of Corbin since it’s all about his slider and a reversion to form is hindered by the fifth most innings since 2017. That said, Maeda has me baffled and I’m beginning to buy the narrative he benefited more than most from the soft Central region last season, leading to unreasonable expectations.

Tout Daily Picks: Pitching Smorgasbord

It’s Week 3 of Period 2 and here is who some of the participants are counting on in this week’s Tout Daily contest.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Zach Plesac – After a rough start to the season, Zach Plesac has righted the ship. He’s lowered his WHIP to 0.96. He has the potential to post 30 DraftKings points, but can also throw up a dud at -14.7 DraftKings points as he did over a month ago. Solid value at $8,000 tonight at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Hitter: Paul Goldschmidt – Paul Goldschmidt is on a 7 game hit streak and looks cheap at only $4,300 tonight.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Wheeler / Urias – Going big on pitching tonight, there’s multiple good choices. I went with two I think should get a lot of K’s, as the Marlins should be easy prey to Wheeler if he’s on and the Diamondbacks lineup should be one that Urias should have success with I’m hoping for at least 50 points from this duo.

Hitter: Hoskins – My most expensive player of my hitters tonight. It’s yough when you spend on pitching like I did, so you need some good value plays. Hopefully Hoskins takes Marlin rookie pitcher Neidert deep. Tommy Edman’s been in a mini slump, one the NL hit leaders could break out of it tonight at home against Bruker and the Pirates. Riding hot hands with Austin Riley and Nick Maton also. And Kyle Schwarber getting another revenge homer against the Cubs tonight! Hope the rain stays away so they play in some spots tonight, dont forget to make a final roster check!

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Andrew Heaney – Heaney is a boom or bust pitcher but he is facing Cleveland and I’m hoping for a boom.

Hitter: Andrew Vaughn – DK hasn’t caught up with Vaughn’s recent hot streak. Take advantage of the cheap price and the nice matchup against Ober.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella)

Pitcher: Patrick Corbin – The velocity is back and while the Cubs have hit lefties well I’ll take a cheap shot that Corbin’s recent gains stick tonight

Hitter: Austin Riley – The Mets are going with a bullpen game, so Riley’s a worthy attempt to exploit a team that’s had to go to the well with their relievers of late.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – Most expensive pitcher on the slate but worth the price facing a Royals offense that ranks in the bottom third of the majors in both runs scored and OPS.

Hitter: Brandon Lowe – Sports a .910 OPS versus right-handed pitching this year and should find success against an inconsistent Matt Harvey at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Justin Dunn – As a second pitcher on DK, why not pay down this far to fit in bigger assets elsewhere? He just needs to go five innings and keep the damage to a minimum, something he should be able to do against a Tigers offense that has a .298 wOBA with a 27.4% strikeout rate against right-handers this season. Maybe he racks up five or six Ks and grabs the win. Not too shabby for $6,300.

Hitter: Martin Maldonado – Another fantastic paydown at a throwaway position in DFS. For $2,100 he can give you a zero and it won’t hurt. On the upside, he hits lefties better than righties and if you like a little BvP, he’s 7-for-14 with one HR and four RBI against Manaea in his career. You’ve got nothing to lose at this price.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Patrick Corbin – Patrick Corbin is the Spanish Inquisition of pitchers this year. No one expects him to do well. (Except for Mike Gianella, apparently.)

Hitter: Yermin Mercedes – Should have similar success hitting vs. a pitcher making his MLB debut as he did with Willians Astudillo. Look for another dinger.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Zack Wheeler – My top ranked guy on the board

Hitter: Joey Gallo – Wanted Joey Callo, but Joey Callo is dead.

Tout Table: Evaluating Five Surprise Pitchers

Asking the Touts to put their pitching evaluation chops on display is always a recipe for success, and the did not disappoint.

Which surprising arm has the greatest likelihood of maintaining success and which is slated for the biggest fall among Matthew Boyd, Danny Duffy, Taijuan Walker, Huascar Ynoa and Kyle Gibson?

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): Taijuan Walker has seen a bump in velocity over the offseason that has paid dividends so far this year, however he has been getting into (and escaping trouble) after getting to the fifth and sixth innings, in addition to handing out too many free passes. This is something he will need to overcome in order to maintain his early season success. I believe there is true improvement here, but I believe we are likely to see a backslide for Walker leaving him closer to the 3.75-4.00 ERA mark than his current 2.20. On the other hand, Kyle Gibson looks like he may be able to maintain his current level of production. He is tossing his new cut fastball 14 percent of the time with 38.5 percent whiff rate that is making his slider all the more effective (51.3 percent whiff rate). Gibson uses his sinker to keep hitters honest and he seems to have a recipe for success that could sustain to a degree, but still expect regression to mid-3’s at minimum.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): I’m a simple man. I see Matthew Boyd in the prompt, I’m going to go ahead and write about him. What made Boyd stick out a few years ago was …well the HR’s he gave up but also the incredible amount of swing and miss that came with his slider. Here we are now in ’21, the HR issue has largely been abated but the swing and miss is largely gone thanks to a change in approach (no pun intended). If Boyd can utilize that SL the way that he has in years past while maintaining the gains he’s made with the CH, I think he could not only maintain the success he’s currently having but actually build on the pitch. In terms of who is slated for the biggest fall, I think you could theoretically say Boyd as well! If the SL doesn’t return to form and the CH starts to get barreled up a bit more, goodness knows that defense isn’t going to help him, the fall from grace could be quick. If I can’t choose the same guy twice, I think I’ll go ahead and say Kyle Gibson. There’s a bizarre irony to the fact that the new pitch, the cutter; arguably responsible for a lot of his success, is by many metrics his worst pitch. I think pitching in TEX is certainly going to help him mitigate the long ball but a sinker led arsenal like his can always regress quick.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): xERA to date: Ynoa 3.23; Gibson 3.82; Duffy 4.01; Walker 4.20; Boyd 4.56. xERA projection for balance of the season: Gibson 3.97; Walker 4.20; Boyd 4.27; Ynoa 4.38; Duffy 4.53. Back of the envelope, this narrows it to Gibson and Ynoa. Gibson has had little room for error over his career and seems less than likely to me to maintain at anything under a 4.00. Ynoa–you have to like that 3.23 so far, but it isn’t really enough innings just yet. The 4.38 projection gives me pause, but it has been coming down from a hideous number at the start of the year. And if we really want to look at a longer track history, well, the others on this list have that and it is not all that pretty. I expect all of this list to have a 4.20+ xERA for the balance of the year, except Ynoa. I have no idea if Ynoa can sustain it, but right now, Ynoa has it all going on, and it isn’t the smoke/mirrors of the other pitchers on this list. So until proven otherwise, put me in the Ynoa camp.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): This is a meaty prompt. I think we all could burn 1500 words easily on this topic so I’ll try to keep it very basic. I have Duffy projected to be the best of this bunch so long as he maintains his velocity – a 3.85 ERA and 9.50 K/9. Boyd projects the worst – a 4.90 ERA and 8.25 K/9. The cratered whiff rate is both incredibly worrisome and also a potential source for positive regression that I’ve not accounted for in my projection. Gibby is next worst – a 4.65 ERA and 7.9 K/9. Walker is the hardest to eval because his success these past partial seasons has been tied to a very low BABIP. His peripherals are those of a high BABIP pitcher. I think he’ll collapse entirely (sell, sell, sell), but my projection splits the difference at a 3.65 ERA and 8.5 K/9. Ynoa, with his lack of track record, could fall anywhere. The K’s appear to be real. I worry about walks and workload.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I’ll take Ynoa, but with an ERA nearer 3.50 than 2.50, as it is now; too much luck there. There are reasons to like Boyd in this crew, as you’ll see in many of the other comments, but he’s burned me too many times for me to recommend him. That will probably mean a Cy Young this season. Duffy is much the same for me. I had him on a couple of rosters back in 2014 and hung on too long. Gibson seems much the most likely to crater—meaning an ERA over 4 and a WHIP in the mid-1.20s to low 1.30s..

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): My projections have them graded on an ERA equivalent talent as Duffy (3.41 ERA), Ynoa (3.44 ERA), Gibson (3.75 ERA), Boyd (3.81 ERA), and Walker (3.95 ERA). With Ynoa and Duffy so close, I’ll go Duffy based on I think he could throw more innings.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): Fall goes to Kyle Gibson and Mattew Boyd for me

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): I’ll go with Ynoa. Unlike the others, he’s the new kid on the block, and the bumps are going to come as the scouting reports grow.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): Huascar Ynoa is going to regress as his 2.09 ERA is not sustainable with his .221 BABIP against and 91% LOB%. His xFIP of 3.07, is more sustainable. Love the almost 10% K/9 rates which we saw from him in the minors, the plus has been his ability to pound the strike zone with a BB/9 rate that has dropped from the low 4s to only 2.01 this season.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Taijuan Walker will be the most likely to maintain it. He’s enjoying the best strikeout rate of his career at 24%, with an uptick in CSW and SwStr% even from last year’s excellent rates. His fastball velo is up a MPH from last year too. Those skeptics will point to his not as good 11% walk rate, but 6 of 18 walks thrown this year came from a single start in Chicago with cold weather, so I’ll give him a pass. Kyle Gibson to me is most likely to regress. His SIERA is above 4, HR/FB% looks really lucky at 7%, and he has pitched to a .244 BABIP. I smell blow-up.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Taijuan Walker is the pitcher with the best chance of maintaining his success. After struggling with injury and inconsistency he has maintained his strikeout and walk numbers from last seasons mini-breakout while greatly reducing his HR rate (from 1.35 HR/9 to a miniscule 0.22). His fastball velocity is up slightly from years past and his slider has remained a consistent pitch for him. However his success over the last 2 seasons does coincide with his development of a split finger fastball which he uses almost 14% of the time. The addition of that 3rd pitch bodes well for his maintained success. Kyle Gibson is the most likely to regress. He is 33 years old with a lifetime 4.48 ERA and 4.10 XFIP. Currently his ERA sits at 2.28 with a XFIP of 3.80. However keep in mind his BABIP is currently a career low of .244. When that number starts to approach his norm (career BABIP is over .300) Gibson numbers will begin to falter.

Jon Hegglund (Baseball Prospectus, @JonHegglund): I don’t think Gibson will continue his current dominance, but I do think he’s made some meaningful and sustainable changes to his arsenal–namely, the addition of a cutter as a primary pitch. He’s also coming off a healthy offseason after several years of battling with ulcerative colitis–a disease that completely sap one’s energy for weeks at a time and make it difficult to keep up levels of fitness and strength required for major-league pitching. I can see him finishing with an ERA in the high 3s and a WHIP around 1.25. On the flip side, it’s hard for me to see Ynoa keeping this success up once the book gets out on him. It could be a legit breakout, but I’m not buying in just yet.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): It’s as simple as looking at the gaps between ERA and SIERA. Mathew Boyd’s is the largest gap, suggesting he’s due for the most significant regression. His strikeouts have disappeared, so if he’s not preventing runs, he’s doing absolutely nothing positive for fantasy teams. Deadened ball or not, no one could maintain a 1.9% HR/FB rate. Huascar Ynoa is the only pitcher of the five whose success is (mostly) legit, as his ERA-SIERA gap is by far the smallest, while his skills are strong. As a two-pitch pitcher, there’s clearly risk here, but he hasn’t had to ride as much of a luck wave so far as the other four.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): I know he’s had a few bumps recently but I’m going to with Danny Duffy as the most likely to maintain success. His fastball is averaging 93.7 MPH this season, which is his highest since 2016 when he pitched to a 3.51 ERA. Also, we’ll probably see some regression here but Duffy’s 14.2% swinging strike rate is tied for 14th among qualified starting pitchers. I really like what I’ve seen in his resurgence. I’ll take Taijuan Walker as slated for the biggest fall. He saw a nice velo bump early in the season but that’s come back down plus he still walks too many and doesn’t generate enough whiffs to mitigate that. Walker has also only allowed one home run this season, which will change as the weather heats up across baseball.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): As much fun as it has been to see Ynoa pitch (and hit) this year, he easily is the guy most likely to fall the farthest. He is a two-pitch pitcher (four-seam/slider) and has one of the largest discrepancies between his ERA and FIP. Also, facing the Phillies, Nationals (without Soto), and the Cubbies really helped out at the beginning of the season. I think Duffy has the chance to keep up (or at least very close) his current pace. The bump up in velocity added to the fact he gets to face the AL Central regularly seals the deal for me.

Chris Liss (Rotowire, @Chris_Liss): Boyd was good in 2019, pitched hurt last year. I see him keeping it up, but the Tigers won’t offer much support. Walker was a good prospect, finally healthy, added velo. Probably take him. Ynoa has less track record, and the two older vets are more likely to regress closer to career norms IMO.

Scott Wilderman (OnRoto, @): The first thing I look at is BABIP, then HR/FB, then other ratio stats – K/9, BB/9. Boyd and Walker are going to plummet — both have unsustainable BABIP and HR/FB. Boyd doesn’t strike out enough batters to weather those indicators reverting to mean, and Walker walks too many. Gibson is just a little behind them — his WHIP is on it’s way up and his K-rate is a little low for today’s game. Duffy’s HR/FB is going to jump, so I would expect his ERA to rise, but he’ll be serviceable. Ynoa is the most likely to maintain decent numbers. One caveat, though: for any individual pitcher, there is a sample size problem with BABIP and HR/FB. Some pitchers will post unfathomable BABIP or HR/FB numbers over a full season. We just don’t know which ones.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): Some common themes abound with all the pitchers. High left-on-base rates, suppressed BABIP, extreme lower HR/FB percentages for most of them and for the veterans of the group with the exception of perhaps Duffy, not seeing any changes in pitch quality. Gibson, Boyd, and Walker are all sell high types who are bound to regress and we may have already seen their best. I agree that Boyd, the fly-baller who doesn’t miss bats who has had HR/FB rates closer to 20% for the past two seasons is likely to be the hardest hit. Ynoa, the youngster of the group, is throwing strikes for the first time since A-ball. I think we’re seeing “first-time-through-the-league” success with him and already giving up home runs with great frequency. Duffy is the one intriguing pitcher to me. He has shown skills in the past to keep his walk rates solid and is doing that now. Whenever he has accomplished that, he’s managed ERAs under 4.00, but that was 2016-2017. I’m also seeing slight upticks in velocity of his pitches across the board. Yes, we’ve likely seen his best too, but it might be an overall solid season. Of course, one can’t ever trust him to stay healthy, so there’s that too.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I think Ynoa and Duffy have the best chance of sustaining, since they’ve both experienced fairly dramatic increases in their fastball velocity which has resulted in pronounced changes to their underlying skills. Ynoa is due some BABIP regression but should still maintain a good ERA. Control has been his major issue in the past, but he’s generating more chases outside the zone, which will help limit the walks. Duffy probably looks the most sustainable with very strong skills across the board (o-swing, SwStr, z-contact) stemming from his velocity increase. Gibson is probably next, since his cutter has helped improve a major weakness (contact in the zone and reliance on hitters chasing), though he’s due some HR/FB regression. Both Walker and Boyd are the least likely to sustain, I think, since they’re benefiting from some luck (BABIP, HR/FB) that should regress as the season continues. Walker also has control issues and they’re both below average across K% metrics.

Michael Rathburn (Rotowire, @FantasyRath): Taijuan Walker has been extremely lucky this year. His low k rate, high b rate, and low hr rate all point towards a pitcher looking at serious regression. Also his XERA and XFIP differentials are one of the highest for all qualified starting pitchers. I like Duffy to keep it going. His high k rate, low bb rate and high BABIP suggest he will maintain success.

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): The question is based on the idea that all these guys are over their heads right now, and they are, but some are more over than others. We don’t know about Ynoa’s head, where it’s at, because his track record is short, but we know he’s allowing homers and he’s only got two pitches, so at some point he’s going to break. We also know that Matthew Boyd is striking out fewer and walking fewer without a noticeable change in velocity, a low HR rate and a low BABIP rate. He’s my pick to fail most, when the hits start falling. Danny Duffy, on the other hand, is striking out more and walking fewer while allowing fewer homers. Gotta like that. The velo is up a little over last year, but not over his career norms, so this seems more like an change in approach that’s working. Or a soft schedule. Walker and Gibson will come back to earth, but shouldn’t be a disaster.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): The toughest part of this question is that it seems a rest-of-year query, but making the decision based on the short term — especially in mixed leagues — might be wisest. Ynoa’s skill set has its limits and his expected stats are way off of reality, but his 96-97 mph fastball/slider mix is getting the job done today, and there’s merit to the “juice-the-orange” angle when gauging similar examples like these. At the same time, he’s probably also the one with the lowest floor when hitters eventually figure him out. Full year, I’m going gut feel: Walker keeps it up, and Boyd, whose stat line is littered with warning signs, collapses.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Staying healthy, which has been difficult for these guys, is the big question when talking about the rest of the season. But I think the biggest upside would be Walker. He has the stuff to put up good numbers in strike outs, ERA and Whip, and the Mets should give him the run support to get 10-15 wins.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): The main criteria I’d suggest for a comparison like this: (1) age/track record (i.e. – how familiar are hitters with them), (2) whether they’re recovering from an injury, (3) whether they’ve added a new pitch or made a significant change to their pitch distribution that hitters may not yet have adjusted to, (4) whether they’ve added velocity, and (5) how much “luck” (as defined by the difference between their actual stats and their expected stats) has had to do with their early-season success. Given that, for this group I think Boyd and Duffy are most likely to maintain their early-season success, followed by Gibson, with Walker and Ynoa least likely to do so.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Don’t believe any of these pitchers fall completely out of the realm of fantasy relevancy but I do think it’s highly likely that Matt Boyd will have some rough stretches forthcoming. A guy with a career ERA of nearly 5.00 sitting below 2.00 along with a 4.90 xFIP and a career-low strikeout rate (17.9%) is bound for some trouble. It doesn’t help that he plays for one of baseball’s worst offenses who rarely provide their starters with ample run support. Though Danny Duffy has a similar career profile, his success will likely be sustained. Velocity back up to his heyday, lowest barrel rate in years and just fantastic control overall. He’s the one from this group I have the most confidence in going forward.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Gratuitous plug alert: I dissected each hurler in my latest Z Files and concluded Duffy’s velo bump bodes well for continued success while I’m cautiously optmistic Taijuan Walker is still getting better post TJS since last season was only two months of action. On the other end, despite an increase in strikeouts compared to last season, I’m most concerned about Kyle Gibson.

Tout Wars FAB Results: May 16

Each Sunday, we’ll post the results of the FAB runs from the six Tout Wars leagues using Free Agent Budget for weekly pickups.

Standings, rosters and all the moves from each league can be accessed by clicking on the header for each league.

American League

HRobles, MinMike Gianella 69
JMarmolejos, SeaMike Podhorzer 57
JKaprielian, OakRyan Bloomfield 42
ZBritton, NYYChris Liss 32
EJimenez, CWSChris Liss 31
JQuintana, LAAMike Gianella 25
SHentges, CleMike Gianella 21
SHaggerty, SeaMike Gianella 18
JLamb, CWSRob Leibowitz 18
KGutierrez, KCMike Gianella 17
RMcGuire, TorJason Collette 11
AKay, TorJason Collette 5
TWade, NYYRob Leibowitz 4
JRogers, DetJeff Erickson 2
JSborz, TexRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
DSteckenrider, SeaJason Collette 2
EHaase, DetMike Gianella 1
DMendick, CWSPatrick Davitt 1
EOlivares, KCMike Podhorzer 1
KAllard, TexPatrick Davitt 0
DGuerra, OakDoug Dennis 0
TanScott, BalDoug Dennis 0
AIbanez, TexRyan Bloomfield 0

National League

WCraig, PitSteve Gardner 83
YTsutsugo, LADGrey Albright 47
WCrowe, PitSteve Gardner 41
JFamilia, NYMSteve Gardner 30
MPina, MilSteve Gardner 27
HHembree, CinFred Zinkie 25
BOGrady, SDPhil Hertz 22
AYoung, AriTristan H. Cockcroft 21
SFrankoff, AriScott Wilderman 7
ABradley, PhiBrian Walton 5
JHolloway, MiaScott Wilderman 3
CPoteet, MiaGrey Albright 3
TNido, NYMPhil Hertz 2
JSanchez, MiaTristan H. Cockcroft 1
AChafin, ChCDerek Carty 0
TWolters, ChCTodd Zola 0
DLeyba, AriScott Wilderman 0

Mixed Salary Cap

HRobles, MinIan Kahn 65
OHerrera, PhiCJ Kaltenbach 62
MBeaty, LADDerek VanRiper 57
JChoi, TBBret Sayre 42
LWebb, SFJeff Zimmerman 37
JPCrawford, SeaIan Kahn 22
TWard, LAAZach Steinhorn 22
JIglesias, LAABrent Hershey 21
JKaprielian, OakBrent Hershey 11
TCahill, PitJeff Zimmerman 11
RTellez, TorJustin Mason 8
BHamilton, CWSIan Kahn 5
SCoonrod, PhiScott Pianowski 3
VBrujan, TBDerek VanRiper 1
JDunn, SeaDerek VanRiper 1
AAdams, SDBret Sayre 0
MPina, MilJeff Zimmerman 0

Mixed Draft

JPolanco, MinRudy Gamble 157
TShaw, MilGreg Ambrosius 77
MBeaty, LADGreg Ambrosius 44
EGonzalez, PitGreg Ambrosius 32
VVelasquez, PhiTim McLeod 27
HRobles, MinScott White 27
DVarsho, AriRudy Gamble 23
JFuentes, ColPerry Van Hook 23
RStripling, TorRay Murphy 22
KPillar, NYMD.J. Short 20
MAndujar, NYYRudy Gamble 19
TWard, LAAAdam Ronis 12
DDahl, TexAdam Ronis 12
STurnbull, DetD.J. Short 10
MMaldonado, HouTim McLeod 8
JKaprielian, OakRay Murphy 8
AYoung, AriPerry Van Hook 7
YDaza, ColPerry Van Hook 4
ZDavies, ChCTom Kessenich 2
KNewman, PitSeth Trachtman 1
KLee, NYMD.J. Short 1
MGonzalez, BosTom Kessenich 1
JChoi, TBTom Kessenich 1
TChatwood, TorScott White 0
FGalvis, BalShelly Verougstraete 0
MZunino, TBShelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

LGilbert, SeaFrank Stampfl 72
JHarrison, WasDan Strafford 65
TRogers, SFGreg Jewett 54
JLester, WasAriel Cohen 43
MFulmer, DetAndrea LaMont 28
GCanning, LAAAndrea LaMont 23
NHoerner, ChCFrank Stampfl 23
JVillar, NYMAndrea LaMont 22
WAstudillo, MinGreg Jewett 18
RHill, TBNick Pollack 18
SCastro, WasAndrea LaMont 14
LGarcia, HouAndrea LaMont 14
HBader, StLRalph Lifshitz 11
BCrawford, SFGreg Jewett 9
JHeyward, ChCAriel Cohen 8
JLuplow, CleAriel Cohen 3
AManoah, TorClay Link 2
ARosario, CleClay Link 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

LGilbert, SeaJake Ciely 143
JPolanco, MinAl Melchior 63
TONeill, StLJake Ciely 33
SMcClanahan, TBJake Ciely 33
MPerez, BosJennifer Piacenti 29
NGoodrum, DetDoug Anderson 23
GRichards, BosAl Melchior 22
JPederson, ChCRon Shandler 21
DDahl, TexRay Flowers 17
SHentges, CleJeff Boggis 16
VCaratini, SDAl Melchior 12
JHapp, MinRon Shandler 5
ABummer, CWSDoug Anderson 1