Fantasy Baseball

2016 Fantasy Baseball Pitching Planner Week 20: Brave the Elements


Credit: Doug Anderson

Credit: Doug Anderson

You know the part in some movies where the nerd who gets constantly bullied takes a stand? When the nerds form alliances and finally get their revenge on the bullies?

Just think of the Braves relative to the fantasy baseball pitching & streaming community as those nerds. They’ve been picked on for the first few months of the season, and rightfully so. Their offense had been abysmal outside of Freddie Freeman and were an automatic stream for 90% of the pitching world in my pitching planners.

Well, the nerds have had their renaissance lately and cannot be picked on by just anyone anymore. This isn’t a case of me being a ‘homer’, as those who have followed the pitching planner throughout the year would see many passively mean comments towards my favorite team. (“2021 World Series champs” and “the Trading Post” are common in my vocabulary when discussing the Bravos.) Something has clicked here in the second half looking at the stats: 5th in wRC+, 7th in wOBA, 5th in AVG, and 4th in BB/K.

Many people would accredit this to the arrival of Matt Kemp in the trading market, but he has played poorly since joining the team. His presence at cleanup might be helping Freeman, who has seen a home run spike lately. Ender Inciarte is starting to look like the leadoff batter they salivated over in the trade they made with Arizona. Erick Aybar, Nick Markakis, and Adonis Garcia are on absolute fire right now as well.

For daily fantasy goers, this information needs to be used to build contrarian lineups in tournaments. Nobody is thinking about Braves stacks and right now 1-5 in that order is raking. Avoid pitchers (especially righties) against them until they cool off. Honestly, avoid the games altogether – just have no exposure to the Braves games. Invest your money in more known commodities.

For season-long players, do NOT let this affect how you stream. This offense has a much larger sample size of sucking than they do of not sucking thus far in 2016. All good things in baseball must regress to the mean at some point and the mean for the Braves offense is below average. This week I will specifically point out some pitchers who face the Braves and if I’m concerned or not with the start.

Theme of the Week: Don’t bully the Braves… As much

Fantasy Baseball Pitching Planner

If you have any questions regarding reasoning behind rankings, feel free to reach me on Twitter @therealwody or on our Facebook page. I know I kept it short and sweet this week, but don’t think that I took the rankings half-heartedly!

Set & Forget – Sure-Fire Starters

  • Jose Fernandez (@CIN/@PIT)
  • Noah Syndergaard (@ARI/@SF)
  • Carlos Carrasco (CWS)
  • Jake Arrieta (MIL)
  • Chris Sale (OAK)
  • Corey Kluber (CWS/TOR)
  • Madison Bumgarner (NYM)
  • Jon Lester (MIL)
  • Johnny Cueto (NYM)
  • Yu Darvish (OAK)
  • Jose Quintana (@CLE/OAK)
  • Jacob deGrom (@SF)
  • Gerrit Cole (MIA)
  • Max Scherzer (@ATL) – Okay the Braves offense is not playing well enough to sit Scherzer. Shoot, no offense is really. With double digit strikeouts in three of his last four games, one might say that Mad Max es en fuego.
  • Felix Hernandez (@LAA/MIL)
  • Kenta Maeda (@CIN)
  • Rich Hill (@PHI)
  • Chris Archer (SD)
  • Adam Wainwright (@PHI)
  • Jeff Samardzija (PIT/NYM)
  • Stephen Strasburg (@COL)
  • Masahiro Tanaka (@LAA)
  • Carlos Martinez (@HOU)
  • Jameson Taillon (@SF)
  • Cole Hamels (@TB)
  • Tyler Skaggs (SEA)
  • Scott Kazmir (@PHI/@CIN)
  • Matt Moore (PIT/NYM)
  • Marco Estrada (@NYY)
  • Jaime Garcia (@HOU)
  • Mike Leake (@PHI)
  • J.A. Happ (@NYY)
  • Zack Greinke (@SD)
  • David Price (@DET)
  • Michael Wacha (@PHI)

Dream Stream – Streaming Options to Employ

  • Hisashi Iwakuma (MIL)
  • Tanner Roark (@ATL) – Now here’s a fella that could fall a little down the rankings. Yes, he’s been fantastic this year as far as value goes. Likely on waiver wires in May, Roark has pulled a 2014 season on us again. These are the kinds of pitchers that the Braves have been beating up in the second half – non-overpowering righties with high groundball rates. However, as I write this, I am getting notifications on my phone saying that he only gave up one run in 7 IP this Sunday evening. Hmm… I will keep him in the stream section.
  • Danny Duffy (@DET/MIN)
  • Dylan Bundy (HOU)
  • Justin Verlander (KC/BOS)
  • Drew Pomeranz (@CLE/@DET)
  • Bartolo Colon (@ARI/@SF)
  • Joe Musgrove (@BAL)
  • Kevin Gausman (HOU)
  • Kyle Hendricks (@COL)
  • Zach Davies (@SEA)
  • Collin McHugh (@BAL)
  • Matt Shoemaker (SEA)
  • David Phelps (@CIN/@PIT)
  • Michael Fulmer (BOS)
  • Andrew Cashner (@CIN)
  • Ervin Santana (@ATL/@KC) – Here’s an interesting case as Santana is also a guy that the Braves could touch up a bit. However, Santana has been on a good run himself the past few starts and also gets a second start against a relatively weak Royals offense. Start him with confidence in most leagues for both starts.
  • Dallas Keuchel (STL/@BAL)
  • Jake Odorizzi (TEX)
  • James Paxton (@LAA)
  • Steven Matz (@SF)
  • Braden Shipley (NYM/@SD)
  • Adam Conley (@CIN)
  • Steven Wright (@BAL/@DET)
  • Chris Tillman (BOS)
  • Rick Porcello (@DET)
  • Marcus Stroman (@CLE)
  • Robbie Ray (NYM/@SD)
  • Ian Kennedy (@DET/MIN)
  • James Shields (OAK)
  • Jason Hammel (MIL/@COL)
  • Tyler Anderson (CHC)
  • John Lackey (@COL)
  • Daniel Norris (KC/BOS)

Bet & Regret – Streaming Options to Avoid

  • Cody Reed (LAD)
  • Sean Manaea (@TEX)
  • Homer Bailey (MIA)
  • Trevor Bauer (TOR)
  • Blake Snell (SD)
  • Vince Velasquez (LAD/STL)
  • Mike Fiers (@BAL)
  • Jon Gray (WSH)
  • Lucas Harrell (OAK)
  • Anthony DeSclafani (MIA/LAD)
  • Jose Berrios (@ATL) – Berrios hasn’t looked great in his second stint back with the major league club this season. I’m still confident in his long-term ability, but it might be time to cut bait in redraft leagues as much as it pains me. I have shares of him in a couple of leagues and using this start against Atlanta as his last chance to show his worth. Bad start this week constitutes a drop in 12- team leagues.
  • Michael Pineda (TOR)
  • A.J. Griffin (@TB)
  • Matt Andriese (TEX)
  • Kyle Gibson (@KC)
  • R.A. Dickey (@NYY/@CLE)
  • Archie Bradley (@SD)
  • Carlos Rodon (@CLE)
  • Drew Smyly (SD/TEX)
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (@BAL)
  • Josh Tomlin (BOS/TOR)
  • Francisco Liriano (@CLE)
  • Jerad Eickhoff (STL)
  • Doug Fister (STL)
  • Jeremy Hellickson (LAD)
  • Gio Gonzalez (@COL/@ATL) – So what’s worse than a start against the Braves these days? A start at Coors Field against a hot-hitting Rockies team. Gio drops super low this week, but don’t drop the guy. Gotta remember that this is a weekly rating system, not at all indicative of where they rank ROS. Check out our rankings articles for that!
  • Yordano Ventura (@DET)
  • Wade LeBlanc (@LAA/MIL)
  • Brandon Finnegan (MIA/LAD)
  • Jimmy Nelson (@CHC)
  • Wade Miley (HOU)
  • Edinson Volquez (MIN)
  • Ryan Vogelsong (@SF/MIA)
  • Tyler Chatwood (CHC)
  • Dan Straily (MIA)
  • Zack Eflin (STL)

About Tyler Thompson

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