Cubs

Fantasy baseball pitchers stock

Fantasy baseball pitchers stock

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Greg Holland, RP, Royals: There are plenty of relievers the Royals could use to fill in for the departed Jonathan Broxton, but Holland is getting first chance and he's already converted one save. Holland has the swing-and-miss stuff you want for this gig (56 punchouts in 40.2 innings), though a bloated walk rate (23 free passes) needs to be corrected. At the end of the day we'll bet on him, since it's not hard for any capable major-league reliever to handle a save job if it's just the ninth inning. And we'll also note that his control wasn't as big an issue last season.
Dan Straily, SP, Athletics: It's an embarrassment of riches in the Oakland pitching system right now, with Straily the latest to drop (he'll start Friday against Toronto). The hard-throwing righty has a zesty 11.4 K9 rate at two levels this season, and he's only walking 2.4 batters per clip. Best of all, those ratios were static at both Double-A and Triple-A, a good sign that Straily is ready for The Show. Go ahead and dial up the 22-year-old right out of the box, especially considering the forgiving nature of the Oakland ballpark.

Kris Medlen, SPRP, Braves: Medlen was sharp in his return to the rotation (5 IP, 1 R) after a solid season in the Atlanta bullpen (2.43 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). It's always nice to have a starter on your roto roster who qualifies at both spots - the flexibility comes in handy - and Medlen will be a heavy favorite on the weekend when he faces Houston's stripped lineup. Medlen's ground-ball rate has hit a major spike this year, which is a precursor to future success.

Hold
Jason Vargas, SP, Mariners: If you have the freedom to stream him for the home starts only, there's a decent return coming your way: 2.63 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 53 strikeouts over 72 innings. All offense is knocked dead on contact in Safeco Field, and it's been more extreme than ever in 2012. Just make sure you flick the switch on the road, where Vargas has a 4.67 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP - his mistakes aren't hidden in less-forgiving parks.

Sell

Jonathan Broxton, RP, Reds: Dusty Baker is the type of manager who's very good and consistent with his closers, so Aroldis Chapman will keep the ninth going forward. Broxton might get the save chances on days where Chapman needs a rest, but this isn't expected to be a shared job. In short, Broxton's value just about expired the day he was shipped back to the NL. 

Barry Zito, SP, Giants: He's been ineffective in six of his last 10 turns, including the Thursday mess that's in progress as we go to press. Zito clearly has no faith in his batting-practice fastball, which means batters can sit on his breaking stuff (and pass on it if they like). When Zito has full command of the off-speed pitches, he can still skate by. If he's not letter-perfect in this area, he gets knocked all around the park. Move along.

Derek Lowe, SP, Free Agent: The Indians finally cut the cord on the struggling Lowe (5.52 ERA, 1.69 WHIP), and the veteran can't argue bad luck here. The league is batting .321 against him and he's given up more walks than strikeouts (always a troubling sign). Even if a contender decides to kick the tires on Lowe, you should kick him to the curb in any format, even AL-only pools. There's nothing left in the tank.

Roy Oswalt, RP, Rangers: Arlington is always a good place to hit, but especially when Oswalt is on the mound (6.49 ERA, .358 BAA). The Rangers made a mistake when they came to Oswalt with a lucrative midseason package. Recent acquire Ryan Dempster should put up a better fight, but don't be surprised if his ERA is over four for his duration in the American League. Power hitters thrive deep in the heart of Texas, especially from the left side of the plate.

Hot Stove: AJ Pollock could be the player to fill the Cubs needs

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USA TODAY

Hot Stove: AJ Pollock could be the player to fill the Cubs needs

Six players turned down qualifying offers in baseball, and they are quality names in LHP Patrick Corbin, C Yasmani Grandal, OF Bryce Harper, LHP Dallas Keuchel, reliever Craig Kimbrel and OF A.J. Pollock. It’s the last name that piqued the interest of Cubs Insider Tony Andracki, who told me on our Hot Stove show on Facebook Live Tuesday at 12:30, that while all eyes are on Harper, Pollock is a player who could fit the Cubs’ needs. 

“The interesting name is A.J. Pollock, depending what the market is for him, because he’s a guy that when he’s able to stay healthy, and he hasn’t really been healthy for about five years now, but when he’s able to stay healthy, he’s a dynamic player who would really shake up that offense, and he’s also a leadoff hitter,” Andracki said. “The Cubs need a stable leadoff hitter and he’s a guy they could look at.”

Hot Stove

Time for your weekly dose of HOT STOVE! 1. The White Sox are shopping Avi Garcia...to make room for Bryce Harper? 2. BIGGEST Takeaways from the GM Meetings. 3. Will we be celebrating an Eloy 'Rookie of the Year Award' after next season?

Posted by NBC Sports Chicago on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pollock has played in only 469 games over the last five seasons. He played 113 in 2018, and batted .257 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI, and broke his thumb in May. His all-star season was in 2015, when he played in 157 games, hit .315, had 20 home runs and 76 RBI. Pollock turns 31 on December 5. 

If the Cubs were to sign Pollock in the current circumstances, they would have to give up their pick after Competitive Balance Round B in the June 2019 First-year player draft, and $500,000 of their international bonus pool money. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, a team signing a player who turned down a qualifying offer would have to give up a supplemental first-round draft pick. 

NBA Power Rankings: Breakout stars re-shaping the league

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USA TODAY

NBA Power Rankings: Breakout stars re-shaping the league

As we near the 15 games played mark, the league's top teams (and some of the struggling ones too) are being aided along by new developments in the playing styles' of their talent.

The Bulls have struggled mightliy with a large batch of regulars missing time but have seen tremendous growth from Zach LaVine, as well as rookies Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison. 

Over in the West, the Houston Rockets found out that success is not so easy to translate over to the next year. Their defensive efficiency has fallen and their offense has been largely ineffective, and it is no doubt connected to the loss of their defensive-minded wings in Luc Richard Mbah Moute and Trevor Ariza. It is not all on his shoulders, but the Carmelo Anthony experiment seems to be coming to an end just as quickly as it started. 

With the Bucks, Nuggets, Raptors and Sixers—following the massive news of the their Jimmy Butler acquisition—all looking to be real challenegers to the Golden State Warriors, the regular season wins race will be a little more interesting than usual. Home-court advanatge in the NBA Finals could be the difference between taking the Warriors 6+ games or being swept. 

So keep an eye on who is maintaining contol of the NBA's overall No. 1 playoff seed as the Dubs head into a tough three-game road trip in Texas. In this week's NBA Power Rankings, we take also take a look at which player has been on the verge of a breakout season for each team here.