Connect with us

Baseball Writers

Memorial Day Studs and Duds from the Mad Professor

Happy Memorial Day from high atop MLFS HQ Tower!  Today I offer some brief thoughts on some SP who are giving us headaches.  Is it time to end the love affair and send them to Hanley’s island?

The Dog Days of Summer occur roughly from 3 July to 11 August.  The Dog Days of Fantasy Baseball occur, well, right about now.  Draft Days are history.  Your rosters have been set.  Unless you are in shallow leagues, there is little on the FA or waiver wire to pick up.  Maybe you can snap up a prospect who makes an impact. (Check out our MiLB articles by Todd Nevin and Bryan Luhrs.)  Maybe you can wait until the trade deadline and use those FAAB dollars you’ve been holding to snag a player.  But, for the most part, it’s been shown that most of the money in most leagues is set—barring a deadly interleague trade or an injury to a star.

In DFS and weekly H2H leagues, there is still a lot of good info out there if you rework your roster every week. Look no further than my MLFS colleagues Cole Freel and fellow staff old fart, Joe Iannone for weekly wisdom here.  (Rumor has it that J. Gozzi is banging on the door of the old-fart clubhouse.  He has not yet earn his pledge pin, though.  So, he can keep wearing the little boy pants a bit longer.)  Bzdek’s weekly bullpen briefing will keep you up to date on potential pickups if you can beat your fellow managers to them.

If those are not signs of the Dog Days of Fantasy Baseball, let me offer one more observation:  Fantasy Football articles are out. Nuf sed.

On that note, and before turning to do what MLFS pays me all this money to do (it really sucks to have to decide which new yacht to buy every month…), let me give a shout out to my MLFS Football colleagues.  Coach Mike Riggall, John Gozzi, Geordie Easterbrook, and James Wilk are already whaling away.  Pay attention to these guys: you might learn something.  Seriously, all good stuff and there is not a handsomer, more charming bunch of football authorities out there.  They are just as handsome as last year.

Now then…  back to what I do.  This week, I’m looking at some guys who may be done in terms of real fantasy value.  I also offer some advice on a couple of solid SP pickups that still may be available.

Right now, the carnage is piling up.  SURPRISE! Kershaw is on the DL until Thursday.  The Dodgers are being cagey about when he’ll return.  How much did he go for in your league?  Other SP studs who have been keeping him company on the shelf include Carlos Martinez, Robbie Ray, and MadBum.  Meanwhile, Andrew Miller is back on the 10 day DL.  The carnage could be worse.  Still, that is a nontrivial amount of fantasy money off the books.

Charlie Morton continues to impress.  So does Patrick Corbin.  Sean Manaea has come back down to earth. After a Thanos-like devastation of Boston and Houston, he has done Thanos-like damage to your pitching stats (he has given up 21 ER in 25 IP since then).  Dylan Bundy seems to be righting the ship (his ERA has gone up essentially with every start).  If you were going to try to sell Manaea or Bundy high, your window is closed. Chris Archer’s K/9 is no longer great and his ERA remains high.  Pundits say he needs to be traded.  Maybe he’s just not that good?  He is clearly a buy low candidate if you can get another owner to lose the twinkle in his or her eye. Meanwhile, Lucas Giolito, the best pitcher on the White Sox staff in spring training seems intent on pitching batting practice for opposing teams.

There are some guys to snap up out there if you have not done so already.  The most obvious candidates are Flaherty and Reyes on St. Louis. IF they are still available in any of your leagues, you are lucky and your colleagues are dumb.  Snap them up now.  Wade LeBlanc is a solid acquisition in Seattle.


Flaherty and Reyes are no secrets.  They’ve been celebrated as outstanding prospects.  Reyes, of course, has been hurt.  Word has it that he is due to debut on Wednesday against the Brewers.  He has been “rehabbing” in the minors by allowing no runs over 4 starts and generating 44 K in 23 IP.  You might pick him up.

Word is out on Flaherty (59% owned in Yahoo!).  LeBlanc, however, is ONLY 12% owned in Yahoo! Leagues.  Maybe there is a lot of pitching out there.  But, there is not a lot of better pitching out there.


Flaherty 2 5 29 9.51 2.76 0.261 16.46 4.28 12.50% 45.80% 41.70% 37.50%
LeBlanc 0 5 40 6.98 1.58 0.277 14.55 3.59 18.90% 36.10% 45.10% 27.60%

To give perspective on their performances, here are the league averages thus far:

69 8.05 2.08 0.271 15.35 3.87 16.50% 39.70% 43.80% 31.30%

They each are beating league averages in important categories.  Flaherty is better at K’s but LeBlanc walks no one.  LeBlanc gives up more line drives, but his hard hit rate is lower.  Both are solid performers and—importantly—are delivering solid results while operating at or about the league BABIP.


If you recall, Sean Manaea was playing with the house’s money as he benefited from a BABIP that was 100 points below the league average.  He has come back to earth.

One last guy to keep an eye on: Carlos Rodon is due to return from a concussion-led trip to the 60 day DL. Over three years, he boasts a 9+ K/9 ratio and can help your counting stats as well as ratios.  I suspect folks will hesitate to see how he returns from being hit in the head by a line drive.  If you have room on your roster, you might grab him to see if he returns to form.  He’s currently owned in only 8% of Yahoo! leagues.


Best wishes for the start of summer.

Are you looking for a better experience? Fantasy Football League Openings 2018

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday May 27th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #122 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will discuss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.

Our guest this week is Bryan Luhrs. Bryan is a writer with Bryan focuses on the minor leagues and he also is the owner of Real Deal Dynasty Sports.

Unrepentant Red Sox fan and all things Boston. Deflategate was a joke. Boston Latin School is awesome. Harvard and Johns Hopkins alma maters... Besides that... Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law at Washington and Lee University. Wrote for Ron Shandler's Shandler Park for two summers and have been on board with MLFS since 2011. Been at Washington and Lee since 1990 with a brief hiatus (2010-2013) in the Middle East. Currently developing that last word in Fantasy Baseball analysis. Married to Flor, Dad to William and Alex, and adopted daughter Reem. Soon to be father and law to Meaghann. Alpha male to the world's super-pup, Humphrey. Life is not bad.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Help Support Our Growth!

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #160 5/16/2019 Host Cole Freel, Co-Host Kyle Amore

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #161, 5/19/2019 Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone, Guest Bryan Luhrs

Radio Show Feed

Blog Authors

Ben WardiBen Wardi

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

Brandon ZimanBrandon Ziman

Grew up playing baseball since I could hold a bat. Played baseball through high school and college. Somehow became a Yankee fan even though I ...

Brian Roach, JrBrian Roach, Jr

Baseball fan through and through. Follows every team, every player and every transaction. Graduated Lasell College in 2013. Covers high sc...

Bryan LuhrsBryan Luhrs

Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I ...

Cole FreelCole Freel

Bachelors in English and History from Indiana University. Borderline-Obsessed Fantasy Baseball Writer who also dabbles in Football, Basketball...

Corey D RobertsCorey D Roberts

Owner and creator of Major League Fantasy Sports. We will provide you with the best tools to be successful in your leagues no matter if ...

Geordie EasterbrookGeordie Easterbrook

I’m a former pitcher from upstate New York, and a proud Demon Deacon. Go Deacs! I’ve been playing fantasy football and baseball for the be...

James WilkJames Wilk

I grew up a Dallas Cowboy's fan in Washington Redskins' country, but I currently reside in Florida. I have played fantasy sports since 1999,...

Joe IannoneJoe Iannone

I'm an accountant and an amateur writer of fiction and sports commentary, mostly baseball. I've been a student of the game of baseball since...

John GozziJohn Gozzi

Intense sports lover . a writer who specializes in creative non- fiction almost always challenging the status quo. I've suffered but rema...

Josh HoukJosh Houk

Certified Sports Fanatic: Everything Cleveland sports and all the happenings around classic sports. Full time program manager in construc...

Kevin BzdekKevin Bzdek

I've been playing fantasy baseball for 14 years. I am also an auditor and CPA, where I analyze information on a daily basis. Combined, my pas...

Kyle AmoreKyle Amore

I'm a former collegiate and semi-pro baseball player. I underwent successful Tommy John Surgery in 2008, and can give a wide-range of tips on...

Mark RushMark Rush

Unrepentant Red Sox fan and all things Boston. Deflategate was a joke. Boston Latin School is awesome. Harvard and Johns Hopkins alma mater...

Matt BarkmanMatt Barkman

A/S/ the old school AOL instant messenger days...
Elementary Physical Education by day, chasing around my 1 and 2 year old boy...

Mike RiggallMike Riggall

I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years includi...

Nick GehlbachNick Gehlbach

Husband and father of three. Have a love of all things baseball. When not burying myself in baseball (especially fantasy) I enjoy fish...

Todd NevinTodd Nevin

A business analyst by day, pursuing all things baseball by night. My favorite day of the year is opening day and my favorite sound is the crac...

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show, Episode #161, 5/19/2019…

Yesterday from Corey Roberts's Twitter via

Help Support Our Growth!

More in Baseball Writers