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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Week 7

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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Week 7

It's May 14th, the season is more than six weeks old and the Nats are finally playing great baseball. As fun as it is to follow a team that seemingly can't lose, it's also still important to focus on your fantasy team (if you care about winning, that is). This is the time of year when apathy starts to set in for fantasy owners who have gotten off to slow starts, and it's up to you to take advantage.

It's never easy paying close attention to everything going on throughout Major League Baseball during the grind of the regular season, but don't let that keep you from putting forth your best possible roster. As always, we're here to help. It's your team, and your decisions you ultimately have to deal with, but that doesn't mean you can't turn to us for advice every once in a while.

NOTE: Don’t expect to see guys like Bryce Harper or Trea Turner mentioned too often. They are clear must-starts every week. Don’t overthink it.

Week 7 (5/14-5/20)

One Nationals pitcher to start: Max Scherzer

Yes, this is the most duh advice we could possibly give. Obviously, you're starting the number one player in most fantasy scoring formats this season. This is mainly to highlight the fact that there are no borderline playable starters on the Nats worth using this week.


The rotation as a whole has been great this season, but with only five games on the docket and all coming against the Yankees and Dodgers, this is a week to avoid everyone but the studs.

One Nationals position player to start: Pedro Severino, C

With Matt Wieters hurting, Severino has a clear opportunity to get most of the starts, and that rings especially true given the matchups this week. With only five games, Severino could find himself with every catcher at-bat this week, and he has ranked against lefties all season long with a .389 batting average.

Catcher has been a notorious wasteland in fantasy baseball this season, so anywhere you can find quality at-bats is worth looking into. Severino almost certainly isn't owned in your league, and he should provide value over the next five games at least.

One Nationals pitcher to sit:  Jeremy Hellickson

Hellickson has pitched well this season, especially during the month of May so far. That said, it's been well-documented that Dave Martinez wants him to avoid facing opposing lineups for a third time through the order, and the limit on his innings is probably too much to overcome for him to be valuable in a one-start week.

Innings are the biggest market inefficiency in Major League Baseball right now, and starting a pitcher who is all but guaranteed to give you fewer than six innings in a given week isn't the way to exploit the current status quo.

One Nationals player to sit: Matt Adams, 1B

We recommended him last week, but this week we're singing a different tune. Not only are the Nats facing tough matchups in their limited number of games, but it's likely that three of their five games will be started by lefties. As dominant as Matt Adams has been this season, and it has been quite impressive, he has still struggled against southpaws, hitting just .250 with just one of his home runs.

It's fair to want to keep riding his hot streak while he's seeing the ball so well, but you have to play the odds here, and his numbers against lefties just aren't worth using in most lineups.

Any 2-start pitchers for the Nationals this week?

Nope. The Nats get both Monday and Thursday off, meaning they only play five games this week, so each pitcher will get just one start.

Any 2-start pitchers worth streaming around MLB this week?

Jack Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals is my favorite option this week. One of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Flaherty is only as available as he is in most leagues due to a lack of opportunity in the Cardinals starting rotation. Now that a few of their pitchers are banged up, Flaherty is back in the big leagues.

He's the type of guy whose talent you trust in, regardless of Major League experience or matchup. In a week where a talent like that takes the mound twice? Sign me up, and hope that he performs well enough to earn consistent starts going forward. 

One player you might not realize you should pick up: Seung Hwan-Oh, RP (Blue Jays) 

Oh hasn't been the clear option to replace Roberto Osuna (who was recently arrested)  just yet, but he seems to be the more talented reliever over Tyler Clippard, and he has far more closing experience. The fact that he hasn't gotten the ninth-inning opportunities just yet means he might be available in your league, and if he is, he's worth a speculative add.

Saves are often difficult to come by in competitive leagues, so any time a guy comes along who could end up in the closer's role for a quality team, he's worth owning in all but the shallowest of formats. If he's available, pick him up right away, and if he continues to not earn save opportunities, he'll make for an easy drop the next time you need a roster spot.

One player you might not realize you should drop: Aaron Hicks, OF (Yankees) 

Hicks has been a popular sleeper candidate for a couple of years now, and early on this season, it appeared 2018 might be the season it finally happened. Unfortunately for him, as has been the case all too often, he found himself dealing with an injury right as he was getting hot. Now, he's struggling to find his stroke again.

Hicks is batting just .213 on the year, and his four stolen bases and spot in the best lineup in baseball aren't nearly enough to overcome his slump. Keep Hicks on your scout team in case he starts to get hot again, but for the time being, consider him very droppable if you're looking to make a change in your outfield.

MORE NATS NEWS:

- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?

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Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounds off on Max Scherzer's stance that players already took a pay cut

Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounds off on Max Scherzer's stance that players already took a pay cut

One days after Nationals ace Max Scherzer released a statement saying MLB players had no reason to engage the league in further compensation reductions, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounded off on the stance.

Scherzer, a member of the players’ union’s eight-member executive subcommittee, said in his statement Wednesday that players had already negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries. “There’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received,” he said.

[RELATED: Scherzer continues to steer union on a united front]

Kay took to his ESPN radio show Thursday to say Scherzer is incorrect.

“The one thing that I want to amplify, I’m not on either side. The players are taking a chance by playing during a pandemic, the owners are taking a financial chance,” Kay said. “But when the players, and this is something that Max Scherzer said, when the players say they’ve taken a pay cut … Stop! You have not taken a pay cut. You have not worked. You have not played. You don’t deserve to get paid. That’s all there is to it. So that’s not a pay cut.”

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The original pay cut Scherzer was referring to is the deal negotiated between the league and union in March, which prorated player salaries. But a recent proposal from MLB owners would further reduce salaries, placing them into tiers where the highest-paid players would have their salaries cut the most.

Under the new proposal, Scherzer would make around $4.333 million of his $28,777,759 million base salary. Stephen Strasburg would make just $5.313 million of his $35 million base salary.

Kay contends the original deal from March wasn’t a pay cut.

“You can make the argument, ‘Well, it’s guaranteed money.’ Well, the owners aren’t locking you out. The virus is locking you out,” he said. “We’re not playing baseball because of health concerns, because people are dying all around the country to the tune of over 100,000 people. Please don’t say you took a pay cut. You didn’t take a pay cut.”

Kay added that he is contracted to work 135 Yankees games this season for YES Network, but said he wouldn’t look at it as a pay cut if games were canceled and he wasn’t paid.

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Nationals' Sean Doolittle makes statement on death of George Floyd

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Nationals' Sean Doolittle makes statement on death of George Floyd

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle released a statement on Twitter on the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd, a black man, died in police custody after a police officer kept his knee on his neck for several minutes. His death has sparked civil unrest in Minneapolis, MN and in several other areas across the country.

Doolittle's screengrab text read: 

Racism is America's Original Sin. It was here before we even forged a nation, and has been passed down from generation to generation. And we still struggle to acknowledge that it even exists, much less atone for it. The generational trauma of racism and violence is killing black men and women before our eyes. We are told it is done in the name of, "law and order", but there is nothing lawful nor orderly about these murders.

My heart is heavy knowing that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others should still be alive. We must not look away from the racism and the violence. We must never condone racism or extrajudicial violence in the name of "law and order." We must take action and call it out for what it is. We must recognize our shared humanity and atone for our Original Sin or else we will continue to curse future generations with it. RIP George Floyd. 

Earlier this week Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was among several athletes that tweeted about Floyd's death.