One of, if not the biggest theme of the season and one we will touch on plenty in this release of the Fantasy Baseball Top 250 Rankings, is starting pitching busts.
So many of our Top-25 starting pitchers have been, well disappointing is a nice way of putting it. Trust me I could have used many choice words here, but this is a PG site folks.
I have talked about Matt Harvey, Francisco Liriano and Chris Archer before, so no need to go there again. Just want to remind you of their struggles and despite Harvey and Archer looking better lately, we are not out of the woods yet with either one.
Liriano on the other hand, woof! Mentioned him last week and even though he pitched pretty well against the Cardinals, he is still walking way too many batters for him to continue to have success.
This week we are only going to have a Stock Down discussion. As many of the adjustments I made to my rankings were moving a lot of star players down my rankings, mostly pitchers that we had high hopes for. Yes, there were subsequent moves for other players to rise in the rankings, but not significant enough to discuss.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
This is not the Buster Posey we are used to seeing. His batting average is more than 50 points lower than his career average. On top of that his run and RBI totals are below his normal pace too. Some of this might have to do with the fact that the rest of the Giants offense, besides Brandon Belt, does not really scare anyone.
I still have him ranked as the No. 1 catcher going forward, because I do think he will eventually rebound a little, mainly due to his BABIP correcting itself. But he no longer has that huge advantage he once did over the rest of the catchers.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Houston Astros
Man on man, where to begin here?
As an owner of him, I just keep thinking, OK the next time is it. He’ll bounce back and be the pitcher we saw in 2015.
I’ve been waiting for next time all season it seems and he now sits with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP after 14 starts.
Some will point to his FIP and xFIP which are in the mid-threes and say there is some correction coming, probably mostly because of his slightly inflated BABIP. But I’d also be quick to point out he is allowing more home runs this season than in the previous two and his hard-hit ball rate is up to 30-percent, up from 20 and 19 in the previous two seasons.
All in all, I want to buy into a rebound for him, but for now he keeps sinking in my rankings with each poor start.
Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Stroman was not great to begin the season, but he wasn’t horrible either. His up and down performances kept him pretty steady in the ranks most of the season.
A stretch of three starts here lately though, where he has allowed 17 earned runs in 16.1 innings, has my confidence in waning.
James Shields, SP, Chicago White Sox
The largest drop in the rankings this week. Shields has two things not going for him now.
- He isn’t a good pitcher anymore
- Now he is pitching in the AL again
When he was still pitching in San Diego, I thought maybe there was a chance he turned things around since he got to face some softer offenses, especially with the pitcher in the lineup.
Now back in the American League, I think he is going to be mediocre at best. His first two starts in Chicago have not been promising, that’s for sure. He has allowed 13 runs in just seven innings of work and only struck out three. He’s not that bad, but he clearly is not very good anymore.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
Tulo suffered a setback in his rehab last week when he was playing in an extended spring training game.
Now there is no timetable for his return and he has not even restarted his rehab.
This combined with his poor play overall to start the season and he dropped significantly in the latest rankings.
Billy Burns, OF, Oakland Athletics
This one hurts. I had really high hopes for Burns this season.
Instead Burns has gotten off to a horrible start. He is currently batting .247 on the season with 12 steals, 26 runs and six RBI. Yes that’s right I said just six RBI. We weren’t expecting a lot of RBI from Burns, but come on, six?
Even with the lack in RBI, what you were really hoping to get out of him was a good average and steals. The 12 steals is fine, actually tied for eighth most, but he is now in a horrible slump 7-44 over the last 12 games and hasn’t stolen a base in even more time. Worst of all he is losing playing time, only starting once in the last four games.
Burns actually is close to being completely knocked out of the Top 250 if things don’t get better soon.
Fantasy Baseball Top 250 Rankings
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