Monday, April 14, 2014

Fantasy Focus: Update on Savvy Vets

My Savvy Vets fantasy baseball team has now completed 2 weeks of head-to-head competition.  I'm currently sitting in second place in my division with a record of 11-9.  I went 8-2 in Week 1, but dropped a 3-7 decision this last week.  The opposing team had a huge offensive week with Jose Abreu having two 2- HR games and Brian McCann another, which ended up trumping my 3 dinger game from Ryan Braun.  I would have won any other matchup in the league except one, and would have been 4-5 in that one.

So far, Savvy Vets has been spared the injury carnage that has decimated many fantasy teams, but yesterday, RHP Alex Cobb went on the DL after pitching a tremendous game on Saturday, which led to my first pickup decision of the season.  While there were no obvious aces available, there were quite a few interesting starters on the FA list to choose from.  I decided I wanted to pick up a SP who is scheduled for two starts this week which narrowed the field down to these choices:

Robbie Ross(LHP, Rangers)
Taijuan Walker(RHP, Mariners)
Wei-Yin Chen(LHP, Orioles)
Robbie Erlin(LHP, Padres)
Juan Nicasio(RHP, Rockies)
Bronson Arroyo(RHP, D'Backs)
Eric Stultz(LHP, Padres)

I quickly narrowed it down to the two Robbies, Ross and Erlin.  I like Ross a bit more as a current pitcher and I like the run support he gets with the Rangers.  I like Erlin's long term value and the park he pitches in, but I'm not as sure about his current performance and he may be run-support challenged.  I went for the immediate value and took Ross.

Ross has 2 years of MLB experience as a middle reliever, a role he has performed very well in for Texas.   He was a starter all the way in the minors putting up consistent K/9's of 8-9 and BB/9's of 2-3, very nice ratios.  Last year, his K/9= 8.37 and his BB/9= 2.74 which are right in line with his minor league record.  So far this year, Ross has two starts with an ERA of 1.79.  His peripherals don't look as good with 11 K's and 8 BB's in 10.1 IP, but he inexplicably walked 6 batters in his first start, so I expect his walk rate to come way down and setting into the 2-3 range.  His last start was better with a line of 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K's.  Normalize his BABIP and you have a very nice SP going forward.

I may decide to drop him after one week and stream in another 2-start pitcher,  but I am confident enough in him that I would not have a problem just keeping him either.  The other nice thing about him is he has RP eligibility which gives me the option of using him in an RP slot, which is an important consideration for my strategy of punting Saves to maximize W's and K's to work.

Robbie Ross is rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues right now.  He's my sleeper pick of the week!

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