We’re a little over a month and a half away from the MLB trade deadline. There is still enough time for your favorite team, and more importantly your fantasy baseball team, to make a move to get into the playoffs or the money. Here are three names from a fantasy standpoint that I think may help your chances come September. They are all pitchers and big name pitchers at that.
New York Mets fans have been on the proverbial emotional roller coaster since 2015. They were supposed to have the next Atlanta Braves rotation from the 1990’s with deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey but, due almost exclusively to injury, that hasn’t happened. Instead Syndergaard has shown flashes of dominance then gets hit with the injury bug. Harvey was lights out in 2015 but has progressively gotten worse since then. So much so, he’s now with the Cincinnati Reds.
deGrom is the, “last man standing”. He has been able to put together solid numbers striking out over 200 batters in 2015 and 2017, and is well on his way to 200 more this year. His ERA is 1.51 which is unheard of this late in the season. The problem is who he plays for which leads me to suggest the following:
Fantasy Advice – Sell (if you need Wins)
deGrom is going to get you strikeouts and has a low ERA. What he won’t get you is wins by virtue of playing on the 2018 Mets. The team simply does not score enough runs.
Fantasy Advice – Buy (if you do not need Wins)
deGrom is a three category pitcher (K, ERA and WHIP), which is something you may value over the lack of wins depending on your current roto standings.
Staying in the NL East, I want to throw out who I think is the best pitcher on the planet right now, Max Scherzer. “Mad Max” was in the conversation during draft season as to who is the best pitcher in baseball. You had the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Klueber and even Luis Severino in the debate but Scherzer is on a road all his own now.
Scherzer’s 163 strikeouts put him 11 ahead of Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros and his 11 wins leads Major League Baseball, one ahead of Kluber and Severino. His closest National League competition is a handful of players with 8 wins. Scherzer’s ERA sits at 2.09 through 18 starts.
Scherzer plain and simple is a stud. The Nationals are struggling a little bit more than expected, but eventually they should pull ahead and be in the playoffs whether as a division champion or a wild card team. Scherzer will have a major say in that push for the playoffs.
Fantasy Advice – Buy
All that being said, here’s where things get tricky. For all of the positives I mentioned about Mad Max, what will it take to get him? Target teams – fantasy teams in your league that is – struggling in the hitting categories. If you have a surplus of offense and a good number two, make an offer for him. All they can say is no, but if it looks like a win-win for both sides your fellow owner should consider it.
Herrera used to be the set up man for Wade Davis in Kansas City. When Davis signed with the Chicago Cubs last year, Herrera was given the closer job and did okay earning 26 saves but having an ERA over 4.00. This year is a different story.
Herrera has 14 saves for a team that has a total of 22 wins on the season. To add to his value, he currently has a 1.01 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched. As I’ve stated before from a good friend of mine, “even bad teams need to get saves,” and that’s the case with Herrera…
… or it was when I started drafting this article. Herrera is now on the Washington Nationals, traded in exchange for 3B Kelvin Gutierrez, OF Blake Perkins and RHP Yohanse Morel.
Fantasy Advice – Buy
Herrera will undoubtedly get more save opportunities on his new team and therefore, hopefully, more saves. He’s been in clutch situations before so the big stage shouldn’t be a factor with him. Clearly, the price went up in a matter of days. (Which is why I started recommending him in this article – to trade for him before the Royals did!) Review your roster and see what categories you can afford to scale back and trade an asset to acquire Herrera for his saves and low ratios.
The Minnesota Twins, as you may or may not know, aren’t doing so good this year. I too was drinking the Kool-Aid and unfortunately, it got watered down very quick. The injury bug hasn’t helped with Byron Buxton’s migraines and a fractured toe, Joe Mauer with another concussion and Ervin Santana yet to pitch. But the biggest disappointment this year has to be Miguel Sano.
Sano was an all-star last year and was supposed to be the third baseman of the future and supply the power the Twins desperately need. He is now at high single A trying to, “recapture his swing” and will be down there for the foreseeable future.
From a fan standpoint, it’s disheartening because you see all the talent in the world with this guy and the Twins have stood by him through thick and thin. From a fantasy standpoint you’re be even more upset because you wasted a pick on a guy, probably mid-round, who was supposed to get you at least 30 bombs and at least 90 RBI. Less than three months later, we are a long way from that happening this season.