Unexpected Aces: Porcello, Duffy, Keuchel and Simon. Will Their Success Continue?

Last week we talked about some pitchers who have come out of the blue to deliver excellent results this year. In that article we covered Tyson Ross, Jake Arrieta, Garrett Richards and Tanner Roark (read it here). But those guys are not the only unforeseen fantasy aces to burst onto the scene in 2014. This week we will evaluate several more to see if their success is the real deal or if they will regress in the future. Let’s get right to it…

Alfredo Simon — Cincinnati Reds

12 Wins, 85 Ks in 138 innings, 3.07 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

Simon’s pretty stats have him ranked as the 24th best starting pitcher in 5×5 fantasy leagues so far this season. After several disappointing years in Baltimore the Orioles released Simon and the Reds picked him up off the trash heap. Nobody knew it at the time, but that move has been a tremendous success for the Reds. Simon put up a brutal 5.18 ERA over 184 innings with the Orioles, but as a Red he has delivered a magnificent 2.92 ERA in 286 innings. What a huge difference! Why did that happen? Did Simon suddenly become a better pitcher or are there other reasons? Well, some might say that going from the AL East to the NL Central is the reason why, but I don’t think so. For one thing, the competition in the NL Central is every bit as good or better than the AL East the last few years. Both Wild Card teams came out of the NL Central last year and it could happen again this year with 4 of the division’s 5 teams well over .500 and close to claiming the Wild Card. Getting to face the pitcher instead of a DH does help, but not nearly enough to explain the difference in Simon’s performance. Continue reading

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#TDGX Trade Deadline Strategy: Standing Pat

The trade deadline is quite frankly the main reason I enjoy playing fantasy baseball. I love trading. Who doesn’t love trading? Bring me to them, I’ll make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse. The art of the deal – the process of finding common ground on an agreement that improves your team (cough while diminishing your opponent cough) – is the most challenging and riveting dynamic of the game. And when you add in the ticking clock of a looming deadline as an increasingly-prominent-by-the-minute variable it kicks things up another couple notches. The thrill of the hunt, and so forth.

I can’t recall ever standing pat at a trade deadline in any league I’ve played in ever. That is, until this trade deadline in TDGX, anyway. Yep. I sit in fourth place as of this writing, and the clock just ticked past the deadline with no frantic last ditch efforts by m to acquire X, Y, and Z pieces to make my run at glory down the stretch. So why’d I do it? Why’d I let this golden opportunity to chase the inaugural league flag slip through my twiddling fingers?

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Prospect Talk: Deep Diving

It’s been a while since we took a look at some lesser known prospects around the league, that should be pertinent to mid- and deep-leaguers. It’s likely that for those in deep leagues, some of these guys will be owned, but for others they’re names to keep track of as the season wears on. There’s even two names from the 2014 draft, for those of us who aren’t allowed to get to them until the offseason!

Jacoby Jones – SS – Pirates

Generally, when a prospect jumps to full-season ball and sees their strikeout rate rise by five percentage points and their walk rate right only two and a half points, you think… that’s good, but not great. Jacoby Jones has been great in his Low-A debut, though, slashing .285/.348/.466 and playing an inconsistent shortstop. The defense is less of a concern to us than to actual talent evaluators, but his ability to stick at the games toughest position is going to have an effect on his long term value, so it should be noted.

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#TDGX Transaction Report: Second Basemen on the Move

You’ve been following TDGX. You love TDGX. We all love TDGX.  And every week here at The Dynasty Guru, I am going to be bringing you commentary from our flagship experts’ league, directly from the participants themselves.

The goal here is to give you insight into the moves made by our group of experts so that you can use this information the next time you need to make a trade or prominent FA move in your league. So let’s not mess around with too much longer of an introduction. We’re going to break this up into three sections: trades, major league additions, minor league additions.

TRADES

Mike Rosenbaum trades Howie Kendrick to Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau for Devon Travis and Steven Matz.

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Trader’s Corner: Deadline Deals

As exciting as the MLB trade deadline was for all of us last week, it’s equally exciting for fantasy owners when their league trade deadline draws near. Over the next two weeks, we’ll look at a few moves that readers have made and give you the chance to vote on which side won each deal. As always, you can send in your pending or completed trades to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. Please include as much relevant info as you can so your trade can be assessed fairly. I’m really excited about how many trades have come in this year and we may even have enough to do something similar in the offseason, since we all know there really is no offseason in dynasty leagues. Speaking of which, if you’re not already listening to the TINO podcast with Bret, Ben, Craig, and Mau you are really missing out. It’s a fun way to keep up on the dynasty league news and hear their opinions/analysis on all things dynasty.

Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Unexpected Aces: Arrieta, Roark, Ross and Richards. Can They Maintain Their Success?

The season is now two thirds over and it is a good time to look at the newest and most surprising members of the Ace Pitchers’ Club. Last year at this time you had never heard of these guys, and the ones you had heard of you didn’t think were very good. But things have changed in a hurry and they are all premium assets for your fantasy team now. Let’s take a look and see why these guys got so good so fast and predict if their success will continue…

Garrett Richards — Los Angeles Angels

11 Wins, 143 Ks in 144 innings, 2.74 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

I love me some Garrett Richards. Out of all of this year’s breakout pitchers he is my favorite. The 26 year old is a great reminder that most elite pitchers were not elite from day one. Unlike Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey, most aces start their careers off slowly and ramp their way up the ranks until they finally reach the upper echelon. My favorite pitching stat is K%-BB% and Richards’ went from an awful 3.2% in 2011 to a still awful 4.1% in 2012 to a Continue reading

Digging for Diamonds: Red Sox Pitching Prospects

Ah, the trade deadline. Usually one of the more disappointing days of the year in terms of media-investment-to-things-that-actually-happen ratio, this year’s deadline was bursting at its jolly seams with big, dramatic moves right up ‘til the clock struck 4:00 EST yesterday. And right at the center of the frenzy was my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. The Sox traded off a staggering four-fifths of their Opening Day rotation before this year’s deadline, leaving open the question of just who will pitch in Fenway going forward. So let’s revisit some of the top names on Boston’s depth chart (and welcome a new name to the list) to check in on what value – if any – fantasy owners should be placing on the queue of potential future Sox rotation candidates. The player’s pre-season rank on our Top 500 list is in parenthesis.

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