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“The Wizard of Goz” HI-LO RECAP & FOUR MORE OPPORTUNITIES Week 7

The last six weeks I’ve rolled out 35 players, some were offered as trade bait (mostly SELL HI) and others as potential trade targets (mostly BUY LO). today you’ll see the recap of the hits and misses thus far.

player Hi/LO

call

Results SINCE Current

call

4-7 Jose Quintana LO Very erratic but had a few good games Buy LO with a return to form with warmer weather
Danny Duffy LO Lousy overall- on waiver wires across the land Buy LO to stash on bench ONLY
Cole Hamels HI Absolutely has been tremendous SELL HI- I’ll say it again – he won’t stay healthy
Patrick Corbin HI Absolutely has been tremendous SELL HI- but only because you can get lot in return
Brad Hand BUY Back to his lockdown self SELL HI- if you’re overloaded in SAVES
David Robertson BUY Has been okay but not back to 2017 self To be considered only in deeper leagues
Dillon Betances BUY He’s back on track Would be a good piece to acquire in a multi-player deal only
Brad Boxberger SELL Never has faltered- top 10 closer right now SELL HI- if you’re overloaded in SAVES
Joakim Soria SELL Iffy but hard to gauge due to Chisox woes Waiver wire pickup only
4-14 Jon Gray BUY Choppy at first but is now on track for a solid season despite the most recent calamity. BUY LO- will pay dividends especially if you can call the right shots
Julio Teheran BUY Absolutely & Positively back to his almost an All Star -self Hold Steady as an owner– price will be prohibitive as a buyer
Reynaldo Lopez SELL Slight regression but still remains a solid “play” This is a young guy that could run out of gas– SELL HI
Jesus Colome Coin flip Never has looked “good” but still notches SAVES SELL MEDIUM- someone will be desperate enough to think that he’ll turn it around
4-21 Chris Archer BUY ON and OFF, mostly the latter BUY LO and hope that he gets traded SOONER THAN LATER
Ivan Nova SELL Reality has set in – it’s been way more bad than good lately Would be a decent piece to acquire but at a cheapo price
Charlie Morton SELL Other than one major disaster this guy is AMAZING SELL HI but don’t be surprised if that whatever tonic is that Ground Chuck took– it could last the season
Raisel Iglesias BUY Guy’s a stud. CASE CLOSED. Even if the Reds lose 110 games this guy will save 30. IF YOU NEED SAVES– find a way to get this guy
A.J Minter BUY Mostly lights out but too wild. Will gather some saves BUY- but don’t go crazy, Braves bubble bound to burst
4-21 Brad Peacock BUY Results have been okay but he’s underused BUY LO- solid starter in waiting DON’T OVERPAY BUT GOOD SPECULATION MOVE
Chris Devenski BUY Has been a top five setup man BUY LO- Giles return to the living is a worry but I’ll take a chance on Devenski playing a key role when it’s all said and done
4-28 Kenta Maeda BUY Mediocre but good enough for the bottom of your rotation Could be a long year for the Dodgers. Consider only as a waiver wire pickup right now
Yu Darvish BUY Pitched one gem and then back to the doldrums BUY but only at a deep discount due to the medical menace factor
Clayton Kershaw SELL Never regained vintage form but still very good. Then he got hurt….. Stand pat if you own him if you can. BUY at a reduction only if you have faith that he’ll bounce back
Walker Buehler SELL Looks good but Dodgers understandably have this guy on a pitch count BUY medium in a redraft league but bear in mind he’ll be on an innings limit. In a redraft league pay deeper– this guy has top of rotation written all over him
Pedro Baez BUY Got lit up after a great start NO INTEREST
Kenley Jensen SELL Pretty much back to dominant self SELL HI- even if the Dodger’s wake up take someone very, very deep
5-5 Sonny Gray BUY Overall- still mired BUY LO- Yanks are on a mission, sooner or later this guy will be a contributor
Johnny Cueto SELL Two days after I punched the SELL HI ticket the Bad Elbow news came out BUY LO- find the antsy owner unwilling to wait 6 to 8 weeks in hope that Cueto can even pitch, never mind be the stud he was
Addison Reed BUY Been solid all along but still stuck in HOLDS role BUY LO- maybe Rodney isn’t washed up but in case he is, Reed will be ready
5-12 James Paxson BUY/

SELL

Stock will never be higher- arguably has pitched the top two games this season BY ANY STARTER SELL HI- it takes big stones but if you’re looking to make a blockbuster this is the JUICE you’ll need
Jake Odorizzi BUY Stable but nothing noteworthy BUY LO- this guy is just a spare part you can acquire in a bigger swap
Luis Castillo BUY finally pitched a good game! BUY before the price escalates
Chad Bettis SELL Finally got whacked! Hope he rebounds and SELL for whatever market will bear
Francisco Liriano SELL Finally got whacked! Hope he rebounds and SELL for whatever market will bear

WEEK 7 RISERS and DIVERS

SELL HI

Miles Mikolas (CARDS)- When was the last time an American born player migrated from the Japanese League and be successful in the SHOW? Trick question since the answer is an unequivocal…..NEVER.

Let’s follow the long and winding road for the R.O.Y candidate who was drafted as a Padre: three stops at A ball including the, you can’t make it up, Fort Wayne Tin Caps; two different stints in AA and two different stints in AAA, the last one as a Texas Ranger farmhand. The early years were bullpen years, mostly as a lockdown closer and he even got the call, for mop up duty, by the Padres as a 23-year-old before finishing the year in the minors. After spending another solid year at AAA the Padres traded him to the Rangers who converted him to a starter. In ten starts he did manage to pitch 57.1 innings but got drilled (ERA 6.44, WHIP 1.43) and spent the rest of the season pitching well in the hitter friendly PCL. Didn’t matter since the next year, the 26-year-old headed to Japan. The results were outstanding– ERA 2.18/WHIP<1.00/8Ks per 9. The only “issue” was that he only made 62 starts in three years. But last year was the high water mark in innings pitched (188) with a measly 23 walks as opposed to 17 Ks–that is dominant. It’s also JAPAN.

This year has been frankly stupendous, but is it a mirage? Seven starts and a 5-0 record and we’re talking a possible serious solution to the Cardinal lack of a #2 starter problem. After allowing four runs in each of his first two starts the large Greek (listed at 6’5″ and 220 lbs) has only allowed five runs in his next five starts! NOT A MISPRINT. For the season he’s piled up 46.2 IP, an ERA at a lowly 2.51 and has only walked three batters. Also NOT A MISPRINT. After reading that I double checked his stats in the minors and overseas and, sure enough, he’s always had excellent control and a reasonable K rate. This year his K rate is rather low 7K per 9 but who cares? Next thing to check was BABIP- bearing in mind that MLB average usually hovers around .290. So far in 2018 it’s at .257 which is low but not super out of whack. This is a quandary situation- maybe this guy is FOR REAL??

Even if I am a Braves fan I am cheering for this guy. Comebacks like this are pretty rare if not impossible. And there’s the key word– impossible. My book says that AS AN OWNER the smart play is thank him for the memories and to offer this guy on a block the size of what was formerly known as THE TITANIC.

Accuracy Update: call it the jinx factor if you’d like but the day after I ordered the SELL HI on Miko, he had his five game skein of excellence disrupted with a 4.2 inning stinker in Minnesota….just saying

C.C Sabathia (YANKS)- Even if it is in regards to a Yankee, it makes me sad to see a guy that used

to downright blow smoke relegated to a slop baller. But then again it’s all about results and being in the right place at the right time. Of course, that place is the Bronx Bandbox, even if C.C is a lefty, the summer heat will cause an increase of balls finding the seats.

The results so far have been unexpectedly good- ERA 2.23, WHIP 1.02 and an almost identical BABIP of Mikolas (.255). Unlike Mikolas he’s been on a short leash, hence the 2-0 record and ten less innings pitched in the same amount of starts (7). I was also surprised to find that like a humongous bottle of fine wine C.C has improved (ERA-wise) every year since the catastrophic 5.28 he posted in pinstripes in 2014. So here he sits at 37 years old with over 3,353 innings under his prodigious belt, what to do? SELL SELL SELL.

BUY LO

Jeff Samardzija (GIANTS)- Unless you have brass balls or are a died-in-the-wool Notre Dame/ S.F Giants fan skip down to the next iffy option. It goes like this as far as HALF EMPTY portion of the production, the early season woes are due to rustiness which was due to injury. To be concise this guy is ordinarily a good pitcher. Even in the Giants dumpster fire of ’17 he struck out 203 batters, only walked 23 and had an excellent WHIP, 1.14. But there was the lousy 9-15 won/loss record and a fat 4.42 ERA. Those stats were CY worthy compared to this years five start, 23 innings pitched fiasco. And let’s not overlook the detestable ERA (6.94) and predictably bad WHIP (1.71).

Okay, so do yourself a favor and think of the guy whose name I can’t pronounce and can only spell with help, as the guy who has found ground zero. He’s gonna turn it around. BOTTOM LINEthis is the epitome of the low risk/ big reward kind of play that is a backbone of the HI/LO scam.

DESPERATION SPECIAL

Matt Harvey (REDS)-

sometimes the fork in the road leads to the promised land, other times you end up on a last place team. Welcome to Matt Harvey’s nightmare…or not. It’s been quite a while since this Nutmegger (aka from Connecticut) has been relevant other than on PAGE 6 of the New York Post. The guy has a penchant for drop dead gorgeous models and, oddly, ugly, dropkick dogs. But can he pitch?

This guy has been plagued by injuries–missed all of 2014 with Tommy John Surgery but bounced back well in 2015 posting career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts as well as an outstanding 2.71 ERA. This guy was back on the mountain and then came the shoulder woe or more specifically a nerve issue in his wing (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome). Not a great situation for regular people REALLY REALLY BAD FOR PROFESSIONAL PITCHERS.

So after a lost cause of a 2016 season (ERA 4.86 in only 92.2 innings) away he went and had the surgery in 2017. Seven months later he was on the mound and the results were way worse. Amazingly he pitched the exact same amount innings but his ERA balooned to 6.87 and his usual exceptional control were gone the way of the dinosaurs. we are not even going to get into all the NYC related drama that this guy mostly brought upon himself. This year’s hope in Spring Training never materialized and hence the demotion/trade to that lousy team in Ohio. Only in an NL only or absurdly deep league would this guy be available for BUY LO. Let’s call this the longest of long shots and consider the fact that by default he could be the Red’s “ACE”!! Let’s also tell it like it is–no pitcher has EVER REGAINED FORM from this by baseball standards radical surgery.

The only reason I’ll offer this headcase/ medical menace as an alternative is that this guy is mean, this guy is a Bulldog and of course, this guy hails from my home state. Stranger things have happened…..

SO LONG FOR NOW

GOZ

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Our guest this week is Andy Macuga former Head Coach of Borrego Springs High School in San Diego. Andy is also a veteran owner in Major League Fantasy Sports leagues covering baseball and football.

Intense sports lover . a writer who specializes in creative non- fiction almost always challenging the status quo. I've suffered but remain a staunch Atlanta Braves fan and this year became a seasons ticket holder with the Atlanta Falcons (Mercedes Benz Stadium is AMAZING!) . Very proud of my wife Kerrie and awesome children Christianna and Trai Van. Hoping to retire in a few years at the most and to finally get my golf game to the next level more than likely in a warmer climate...lastly I'm looking forward to contributing as a staff writer and being "on air" for Major League Fantasy Sports this season

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