Joe’s Rossier

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After hitting the minors for a good while, Joe Ross returned to the Nationals rotation in the heavy rain and produced a sterling 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Mariners on Tuesday night. The main complaints about Ross have been surrounding his questionable Fastball command and lack of a proper third pitch. Seeing this line will make you think it’s been fixed and Ross is en route to an incredible 2017 campaign. Yeah…not really. I watched a heavy amount of this start and there was plenty of great luck going Ross’ way, like groundballs on poor pitches resulting in double plays, bad Sliders that were swung through purely on being vastly different than what was expected, and a Changeup that induced little confidence. Sure, it was raining a bit and this may have been a cause for some of his struggles, but outside of a good handful of well executed pitches, I didn’t see the polish I was hoping to find from Ross in this outing. I think he should still be owned in all 12 teamers, but I’d sell if someone is buying.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Closing Time 5/24: Ranking the Top 30 Closers Every Wednesday

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For the first time all season, we have no new names on Closing Time, which is crazy considering we are almost 2 months into the season. With injuries up roughly 50% this year, it’s been rough finding consistency, especially in the pitching department. These should be the same names week in and week out for a while, outside of the absence of Edwin Diaz, who I’d expect to be back in the closers role by the end of the week or early next week at the latest.

TIER 1: Nothing Compares 2 U

1. Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers)—Pedro Baez, Josh Fields

2. Craig Kimbrel (Boston Red Sox)—Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree

3. Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies)—Adam Ottavino, Jake McGee

4. Wade Davis (Chicago Cubs)—Hector Rondon, Carl Edwards Jr.

Hitter List 5/23: Ranking the Top 150 Batters ROS

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Every Tuesday during the season, we are releasing a list of the best batters in fantasy baseball that’s designed to be similar to Nick’s list of Top 100 Starting Pitchers that comes out each Monday. Our objective is to give you the most current rankings of who we see as being the top 150 hitters league-wide for the rest of the season. They take into account expectations going into the season and production to this point, as well as recurring trends and streaks, as a way of analytically extrapolating who will bring you the most fantasy dividends throughout the year. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from batters for all of 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.

Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.

Zack Greinke’s Eephus + The Nastiest Pitching GIFs From Monday’s Games

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Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Half Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Zack Greinke’s Eephus – Okay, this pitch is more like a slow-Curve than a true Eephus, but the Arizona scoreboard called it that and I’m going to roll with it. Greinke had a fantastic evening against the White Sox and he wanted to show something new in the ninth inning to Yolmer Sanchez. I think it did the trick.

Batter’s Box: Always Remember – Sano Means Sano

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So Miguel Sano has had quite the season so far, hasn’t he? We all knew the power was legit, we’ve known that since he first showed up in the majors, but the average has been a huge surprise for Sano owners. He continued that on Monday night, going 4-6, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI as the Twins pounced the Orioles. So the question is, is Sano legit? Well, he is to an extent. Sano made a change this season in where he places his hands on the bat, and it seems to have helped him. Now, he’s not a .300 hitter, he strikes out far too much for that, and his .479 BABIP is absolutely absurd, so there will be a regression, but I think Sano is a better hitter than he was last year. He’s not a .236 hitter anymore, I think he’s closer to a .250 hitter with great power. I’m thinking he easily gets 30 home runs and has a shot at getting close to 40 while batting around .250 the rest of the way. Now, if someone wants to give you the world for him and thinks the average is legit, sell high, but aside from that, enjoy the production.

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:

Earning His PineStripes

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With all question marks surrounding Michael Pineda in March as we tried to decipher what kind of pitcher he would be, he sure has been fantastic and continued the narrative tonight with a line of 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Royals. In the preseason, the analysis was universal: his peripherals look great, but we can’t trust that he’ll be able to avoid the longball and his Fastball gets crushed way too often, as he’s hittable inside the zone. What’s crazy here is that Pineda still has a Home Run problem – 23.4% HR/FB on the year! – but he’s carrying a 3.35 ERA regardless as everything else has been so good. He’s showcasing a 10.23 K/9, 1.51 BB/9, and 27.8% hard contact entering Monday night’s matchup. Now, the big change here is a BABIP that was above .330 for two straight years that has fallen to just .269, while his LOB rate is at 82.2% (compared to hovering around 70% in 2015/16). I don’t expect him to keep those numbers down, which means that ERA would rise closer to his 4.09 FIP, but if the HR/FB rate drops as well a 3.50 ERA is possible. I’d certainly take that from Pineda with his K/BB numbers and I’d value him as such moving forward.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

The List 5/22: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

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Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.

Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:

Batter’s Box: An Unexpected Canha Worms

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Oakland OF Mark Canha has been on the warpath to redeem himself ever since getting the call to come back up to Oakland on May 9. After hip surgery that ended his season last year, he appeared in six games with the As to start 2017 but went an abysmal 2-19 with six strikeouts so the brass optioned him to Triple-A Nashville in mid-April. Three weeks later, Canha got another shot in The Show and has been crushing it over the last two weeks. He’s batting .379 this month with a tasty slugging percentage of .862. He went 4-12, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB, K this weekend and was a measly single away of hitting for the cycle Friday night, providing extra-innings heroics to beat Boston with a walk-off home run. Saturday saw him homer as well: that’s three in five games. Eleven days can change a lot: keep an eye on whether Canha can become the Michael Conforto story of the Bay Area if he keeps the playing time his bat is earning him lately.

Let’s take a look at what else happened hitting-wise around the league: