Hold or Fold

“Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird, fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you’ve known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again” ~ Alter Bridge “Blackbird”

RIP Tyler Skaggs. I hope you find your way. May it go well with you on your journey hence.

Hold ‘Em

Ender Inciarte and Johan Camargo

This is not a stat based projection. This is a Braves fan watching a tired club struggle defensively and realizing that playing time is going to be available. Markakis has taken a step backward this year. Donaldson and Riley are streaky.  As we discussed last week, Albies doesn’t hit much on the road (outside of Wrigley). Acuna is struggling with the routes in center field.

I’m not saying these guys are going to be starters. However, I do see a path to 2-3 starts a week for both players in the second half. Both have the track record to be worthy bench pieces who could provide surprisingly strong returns if the time is there. Acuna, Donaldson, Swanson and Riley are all right-handed bats. If the division or playoff races tighten up, Camargo’s versatility and switch-hitting and Inciarte’s defense and left-handed bat could see a lot of time against the right-handed divisional foes like Strasburg, Scherzer, deGrom, Syndergaard, Arrieta, etc in the second half.

Justin Smoak

This one IS stat-based. Maybe you see the fairly pedestrian numbers. I see by far the best plate discipline of his career with 44 walks and 49 strikeouts. His weighted on-base (wOBA) is currently a .351. His expected weighted on-base (xwOBA)? An elite .403. In other words, Smoak is patient and powerful, and quite likely to produce better results moving forward.

Luke Jackson (again)

Fangraphs ran an article the other day that Jackson’s improvements are real. Statcast has his xwOBA 32 points below his actual wOBA. He generates a lot of ground balls, and he’s had some bad luck. As closers go, he’s actually been pretty solid. Don’t believe the rumors. Jackson’s job is not in jeopardy.

Fold ‘Em

The following advice is not intended for dynasty or keeper formats. It is for yearly leagues only.

Mike Soroka

Soroka has been great this year. However, he is super young and likely to run into an innings limit of some sort. He also has an xwOBA 40 points higher than his actual wOBA, so he’s been pitching into some great luck (or defense). Either way, for the rest of this year you’re looking at fewer innings with possible regression. In yearly leagues, that’s a fold.

Fernando Tatis Jr.

He’s slick, he’s exciting, and he oozes talent. He also has a wOBA of .428 and an xwOBA of .339. He’s been incredibly lucky to produce as well as he has. The rest of the season could see him cool off in a big way. In yearly leagues, get the haul while you can.

Alex Colome

The anti-Luke Jackson. Nothing about Colome’s numbers supports his results. wOBA of .200. xwOBA of .321. Fold that “closer” tag for something useful and laugh when he blows up in someone else’s face.

 

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Seth Bias

Written by 

I'm Seth. I love baseball, especially the Braves, and rock n' roll on vinyl. Books, sandals and tacos too, though I find most of my money for those things going to vinyl these days. Once turned Prince Fielder into Justin Verlander and Paul Goldschmidt in a dynasty league. Also ashamed to say I once cut Jose Ramirez. I don't hate your favorite team unless your favorite team is the Nationals or Phillies. May or may not have cried when David Justice hit that home run in game 6 of the 95 World Series - though if you actually ask me, I'll claim I did not.

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