2014 winner of the FSWA’s Baseball Article of the Year award. He followed that up by being one of the three finalists for the FSWA 2015 Basketball Writer of the Year award. Benjamin was a featured writer for the DraftKings Playbook, a podcast host and writer for RotoWire, a daily fantasy expert at Scout Fantasy and one of the featured writers and webcast hosts at RotoCurve. He is a frequent guest on Sirius XM Fantasy talking about both season long and daily fantasy sports topics.
- Trevor Bauer v. Dylan Bundy
Bauer: He has looked awesome to start the year. Unlike other pitchers, Bauer is throwing 100 pitches per outing which has allowed him to go deep into games, something we love for fantasy. Bauer has had elite strikeout ability, also something that we love. He had well over a K per inning last year and is on pace to do it again in the early going. Bauer’s numbers so far are ahead of his norms. He has pitched to a WHIP of 1.30-1.40 each of the last four seasons and currently, he is barely over a WHIP of 1. Bauer is pretty good, but he is not normally as lights out as he has been to start the year. Lefties are the better way to attack him. They have always had a higher average, higher WHIP, and most of the home runs he allows. Baltimore is striking out at a very high clip to start the year though, so this is a spot where Bauer could continue to roll.
Orioles: With Trumbo and Schoop banged up, this offense is a lot weaker. Manny Machado is the most feared hitter and he is heating up. Machado has hits in 9 of the last ten games and multiple hits in 5 of those including a two-homer game last time out. The two lefties are interesting here too. Both are very hit or miss, literally. Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez are both above average against righties. They both have power, but both also strikeout often. They are one-offs looking for a HR at best. The other bat worthy of note is Trey Mancini. He and Machado have done much of the damage for this offense early on. Machado is definitely in play as he is smoking hot right now. As for the rest of the team, at best you are hoping you catch a HR from a Davis or Alvarez. Lefties did hit 16 in a little over 80 innings off of Bauer last year or about one every fifth inning of work.
Every week we are going to take a look at the comings and goings of MLB players from the disabled list. Being on top of this can help us steal useful players over the waiver
Kendrys Morales(Blue Jays)- He is eligible to come off the DL on April 20th and it looks like he will be able to do so and slip right back into a lineup that needs him while it waits for Josh Donaldson as well.
Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays) - Outfielder is on assignment and working his way back to the big club. They are pretty solid in the outfield right now as Teoscar Hernandez is starting to break in and they already have Granderson hitting well. They are in no rush with him, but we should see him by end of April/Early May.
- Jameson Taillon v. Jake Arrieta
Taillon: A healthy cancer-free Taillon is off to an amazing start this year. Guy had a rough year with a very big health scare keeping him out awhile. He is a big-time prospect, so what he is doing now is not unexpected. Taillon is an extreme groundball pitcher. He induces tons of weak contact. He has some strikeout upside but is not elite in that respect. He does go deep into games due to the grounders he induces and he does tend to limit the damage. The strikeouts have been there this year so far, but he is not a big-time strikeout guy which is really my biggest beef with him. The park shift is not ideal, but I do not consider the Phillies a lineup I am scared of.
Phillies: Not much to love here with them against Taillon. The hits that do come are likely to be roped ground ball singles and I’m not sure they can put enough of them together to make something happen here. Taillon is better than the numbers showed last year and I totally buy into this solid start to 2018 for him. I guess lefties do have a tad better chance against him, but I’m not a huge fan of the best left-handed bats here like Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana and Nick Williams. Rhys Hoskins hits both handedness of pitcher well too, but like I said. If best case scenario is guys ripping some singles through the infield, I’ll look for a better spot to target.
Tanner Roark v. Steven Matz
Roark: He was very good in 2016, followed it up with a down year last season. He is below K per inning, but has a lifetime ERA of 3.41 and a lifetimes average against of .240 with a WHIP under 1.20. All of these things are pretty god. Roark is not a guy who I expect to get lit up, but he also is unlikely to shut anyone down. He’s a slightly better than league average pitcher. In the right spots he could have upside and in the worst spots, I would avoid him, but probably not go heavy against him. Even last year when he was not his best, he was still tough on righties with just a .220ish average allowed and a WHIP below 1.10. Lefties were the ones who killed him. They hit .284 with a 1.63 WHIP and 15 homers in 86 innings of work against them or one homer every 5.5 innings. That is how you attack him.
Cole Hamels v. Jake Faria
Hamels: He is not the pitcher he once was and the numbers are proving it. He is still very tough on fellow lefties as they hit just .161 against him, but you can attack him with righties as that has always been his weaker split.