In this week’s edition of Real Or Fake, we are going to discuss a topic that every guy has dealt with in his life (and maybe girls too), and that is beer goggles.
We all know how it works, you are out, you’ve had one or two…..dozen drinks and all of a sudden every lady in the place starts looking like Megan Fox, Olivia Munn, and Anna Kendrick. Unfortunately in reality they really look like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal.
The same can be said for Fantasy Baseball. There is a guy out there who is racking up a bunch of home runs, stolen bases, or mind blowing pitching performances and all of a sudden you start thinking they are going to be the next Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, when in reality it is really a player who can only keep it going for another few weeks.
Check out this week’s selections then follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
A.J. Burnett, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Burnett had two solid seasons for the Pirates in 2012 and 2013, before going to Philadelphia last season and struggling. He has returned to Pittsburgh and has given up just five earned runs in five starts and has struck out seven or more in three of those five starts. Burnett has good strikeout potential, but do you know how many times his ERA has been under 3.50 since 2006? Once. Do you know how many times he has won more than 13 games in his entire career? Twice! So while he is off to a good start as far as ERA is concerned, he still is yet to collect his first win of the year and he is due to have a pretty major correction. Burnett isn’t a dumpy fat girl that looks like a hottie after a bunch of drinks, but he is no more than a six.
Shelby Miller, SP, Atlanta Braves
A trade from the Cardinals to the Braves looked like it might hurt Miller’s value as the Cards have the best record in baseball and the Braves traded away most of their offense before the season started. Miller, however, hasn’t skipped a beat. In six starts he is yet to give up more than two runs, and he already has a 4-1 record. He had his best start of the season the last time out as he twirled a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts against the Phillies. I’m not here saying that he is going to win 20 games, but Miller looks like he is going to make St. Louis regret trading him. He’s off to a great start, and I believe that he is real.
Evan Gattis, 1B/C/OF, Houston Astros
Few players started the season worse than Gattis, as it was 20 at-bats before he collected his first hit of the season. On April 27 he was hitting .154 and had just one home run. Give yourself a pat on the back if you are an Evan Gattis owner who stuck with him through his awful beginning, because you are reaping the rewards of that patience. Since that day Gattis has awoken in a huge way, as he has hit five home runs and driven in 13 runs. He has hit a combined 43 home runs in the past two seasons, and with this latest hot streak I believe that Gattis has pulled his head out of his hindparts and is going to go back to be the guy we thought he would be in March. You won’t wake up next to Gattis in August and regret your decision, I promise. [Editor’s Note: If I woke up next to Gattis, I would be very scared.]
Kevin Pillar, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Pillar got off to a rough start as he was hitting just .250 after the first two weeks of the year, but he certainly has heated up since. In the last 10 games he has five multi-hit games, with three RBIs and three stolen bases. Pillar isn’t a huge home run threat but he could total 12-15 on the season. His strength is with his legs. He has stolen five bases to this point, and if healthy he stands to steal 25-30. Pillar looks to have the center field job in the palm of his hands in Toronto, and lately he’s either been scoring runs, driving them in, or stealing bases nearly every day. Ride out the hot streak while it lasts because Pillar looks to be on track to be a productive player, his value however is limited because of the depth of the outfield. If Pillar played a middle infield position I would be shouting from the rooftops about him, but for now it is just a slightly raised voice.
Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
One of the more anticipated rookies coming into the season, Pederson has not disappointed at all. In the first few weeks of the season he was putting up respectable production but wasn’t wowing anyone. Something clicked in the last nine days. Since April 27, Pederson has watched his batting average go down some but he has clubbed an insane seven home runs! Five of them have been solo shots so he hasn’t driven in as many runs as you’d like but the hot streak is amazing. He’s been striking out a bit too much, but he’s also walking at a solid rate which makes it better. Pederson flashed 30 home run power in the minors so this isn’t out of the ordinary at all, and while he isn’t going to hit seven home runs every 10 days, Pederson is as real as it gets.
Mike Leake, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Leake has been an average pitcher with a decent ERA but a below average strikeout rate throughout his career, and in the month of April it seemed like we were in for another season like that from Leake. However, in his last two starts he has thrown absolute gems. He has thrown a total of 16 shutout innings in those starts, both wins, and has walked just two guys combined. The Reds are treading water right now, and Leake is not a guy you want to jump on. I can see it now, one drink leads to another and all of a sudden you are chatting up Mike Leake. You are all like “hey Mike Leake, how you doin’!” Next thing you know you are taking the walk of shame and trying to trade him once this magic wears off or even heading to the waiver wire. Don’t be that guy, stay away from Leake.