We're approaching the end of May, which means two full months in the books for Fantasy owners.
Do you have hard decisions to make entering Week 8? Do you have a question that needs answering? Our resident data analyst Al Melchior will stop by to answer your questions Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.
Feel free to submit a question now or stop by on Sunday afternoon.
05/23 Chat with Al Melchior
(05/23 17:00 PM) Good evening, everyone (well, it's evening here on the east coast). Let's get it started.
(05/23 17:00 PM) Skyler, Long Island, NY - I was offered Jose Reyes for James Shields. Should I accept?
(05/23 17:01 PM) Reyes could still turn out to be valuable given the shallowness of the shortstop pool, but I'd go with the dependability of Shields here. I think it's going to be hard to find a pitcher to replace his production, especially in H2H.
(05/23 17:01 PM) Dmitriy, Atlanta, Ga - I have a tough situation with my outfield. I have bj upton, josh hamilton, magglio ordonez, and colby rasmus starting with grady sizemore and carlos beltran on the bench. I am starting to dislike colby rasmus due to his lack of abs's and I am thinking about picking up brennan boesch who is looking like a stud. What would you do with my outfield situation?
(05/23 17:03 PM) I'm not sure what's wrong with Rasmus' ABs. LaRussa likes to shift lineups around, but Rasmus is getting pretty steady PT of late. I think everyone in your current OF will outproduce Boesch over the long haul. He has great power, but I think that batting average will sink sooner or later, and sink hard. Stash Boesch if you can, play him over Ordonez while he's hot, then put Ordonez back in when Boesch cools off. And Upton will rebound eventually.
(05/23 17:04 PM) Bob, Buffalo, NY - I Need a replacement for Rollins again. Furcal, Y. Escobar, Aviles and Alexei Ramirez are all available on the wire in my 12 team h2h league. Who's the best play this week?
(05/23 17:05 PM) Tough break with Rollins, but good news that Aviles is available. I like him the best of this group, and that would be the case even if Yunel were hitting.
(05/23 17:05 PM) bryan, Pittsburgh, Pa - Whats up Al? Love the chats!! I just dealt Magehee and Strasburg for M.Cabrera. Did I do ok in your opinion?.. .Figured I was selling high on magehee. Thanks
(05/23 17:07 PM) I don't think you'd be selling all that high on McGehee. I am a doubter no more. That said, yes, his power numbers and batting average will regress some, and I do like the trade in general. Cabrera is a stud at a stacked position, so it's worth sacrificing half a year or so of Strasburg plus McGehee to have him.
(05/23 17:07 PM) Mike, Boston - If the Reds are in a division race, will they limit Mike Leake's innings later in the year? Should I be trying to trade him post-allstar break?
(05/23 17:08 PM) Interesting strategy. I do think there is some chance of that -- both the Reds hanging in the race and (am I saying this?) Dusty Baker limiting his innings. I also think he could wear down and slump a bit in the second half. Give it a try and at least see what the market is.
(05/23 17:09 PM) Fox, Chambersburg, PA - 10 team mixed 7x7 roto (Net Wins) - #5 SP - Marcum or Cueto?
(05/23 17:09 PM) Tough choice, but then again, that's why you're asking, right? I'd give the nod to Cueto because of the Ks and a better chance at wins.
(05/23 17:09 PM) Benny B, Philly, PA - Should I drop Tejada or Alexei Ramirez for Aviles from K.C.? Or maybe someone else?
(05/23 17:11 PM) A bit of an overlap with the earlier Aviles question, but just to underscore how much I like him in Fantasy, the answer is yes. A couple of years ago, Aviles was very close to the top of AL shortstops in productivity, and now that he is healthy again, I like him about as much as anyone in the AL this side of Jeter.
(05/23 17:11 PM) col hogan, vancouver - whats with wandy rodriguez? he is killing me. i chose to take his 2 decent matchup starts this past week and sit a good start for kennedy. you know how that turned out. will he be a starter or a dropper?
(05/23 17:13 PM) A dropper. I don't know what's wrong with him, but clearly something is wrong. His Ks are down, even though there's no discernable difference in his velocity. I was looking at some pitch selection stats recently and noticed he's throwing the fastball less and the changeup much more. For whatever reason, he isn't trusting his fastball.
(05/23 17:13 PM) Ben, Ann Arbor - Justin Smoak is making Chris Davis look like Pujols. I've run out of patience. Are you still a believer? Any chance they bring back Davis?
(05/23 17:15 PM) Go Blue, Ben! Always good to hear from Ann Arbor. I am still a believer in Smoak, and I'm putting my money where my mouth is on this, because I've been keeping him active in the Podcast H2H league. I can't figure out why he isn't getting hits, because all of his indicators look very good. I'll give him at least another week or two. He's not striking out a lot or losing his power, so things can still turn around.
(05/23 17:15 PM) col hogan, vancouver - i am getting killed at rp. we are h2h 16team league. i have krod and rauch. i keep flipflopping due to matchups and guess wrong every week. i am not scoring enough at rp and am losing games because of it. who do i ride??
(05/23 17:17 PM) Clicked on Col. Hogan again...I would stick with Rauch. The tiebreaker here is the likelihood of save chances, and I just see Rauch getting more.
(05/23 17:17 PM) Bob, Buffalo, NY - Pick one: Marmol, Lindstrom or Aardsma?
(05/23 17:18 PM) I would go Marmol, Aardsma, Lindstrom. Lindstrom has been much better than I expected this year, but I still have some doubts, plus his team doesn't win too much, you know.
(05/23 17:18 PM) Bob, Buffalo, NY - Who is a better 2 start option this week Chacin or Cecil?
(05/23 17:20 PM) I like Chacin a little better here. Neither set of matchups suggests a big edge, so I'll go with the pitcher who I think would post the better numbers in a vacuum.
(05/23 17:20 PM) Jerry J., Drake, Co. - Hey Al, got a trade offer To ask about. Was offered King Felix for Matt Cain. It seems like a nobrainer but Seattle seems so awful is Felix really that much of an upgrade over Cain?
10 Team NL/AL H2H. Thanks
(05/23 17:21 PM) I think Felix is the better pitcher, but your concern about wins is obviously relevant. I do think the Ms are better than this, so I think Felix will be an upgrade over the course of the season. Not a big one, mind you.
(05/23 17:22 PM) Bob, Buffalo, NY - Wasn't Furcal due to come off the DL today?
(05/23 17:22 PM) Yes, he was. His return has been pushed to Tuesday now, though I have not yet heard exactly why they delayed it. He will be good to go in Week 8, though.
(05/23 17:22 PM) Mick, Philly, PA - What do you project Brett Gardner's long-term value to be, especially once Grandy returns?
(05/23 17:24 PM) I think Gardner is here to stay. The batting average has surprised me a little, but I think he can be used in mixed leagues (albeit deeper ones in H2H) because of the steals and on-base percentage. Those are legit.
(05/23 17:24 PM) Brian, Vancouver, WA - Trevor Crowe is my new hero, 2-4 with an SB today. He is my 5th OF in a 16 team league. Small game sample, true. Does he keep it up?
(05/23 17:26 PM) I think that is right about where his value is at -- 5th OF in a 16-team league. He won't have much power, but I think he can hit close to .300 with a high OBP and he'll help with steals. Sort of a poor man's Gardner, come to think of it.
(05/23 17:26 PM) Daddy, ATL, GA - Is trading Zimmerman for Gallardo good value?
(05/23 17:27 PM) I wouldn't do it. Zimmerman just keeps getting better and Gallardo is still too inconsistent to merit that much value in a trade.
(05/23 17:27 PM) Mario, Hamden, CT - Big Al, what's going on with Jose Guillen? Streaky as always, but is he going to keep hitting?
(05/23 17:29 PM) I think you answered your own question. Streaky as always. He simply will not keep this up. Guillen has not hit for extra bases at this rate in several years, and we know he goes on tears. In the end, though, he always winds up being a marginal Fantasy producer, at least in terms of mixed leagues.
(05/23 17:29 PM) David Wright, NY - Why do I strikeout so much this season?
(05/23 17:31 PM) David, I'm not sure about this one, though I recently heard an analyst on one of the Subway Series games (I don't remember which one) say that he may have tinkered with his swing too much to adapt to Citi Field. I'm not really sure I buy it, but it's as plausible as anything else I can think of.
(05/23 17:31 PM) Justin Upton, ARI - Will I finish season as top 5 OF?
(05/23 17:32 PM) I'm sorry, Justin, but I really don't think so. Last year's .300 BA was a total fluke, so your slow start hasn't surprised me too much. In time, you can hit that level, but I think you are still at least a year or two off.
(05/23 17:32 PM) Kevin Youkillis, BOS - Would u rank me In the top 5 for 1B and 3B this season?
(05/23 17:33 PM) I would without question. What's the deal with all these players chatting on game day anyway?
(05/23 17:33 PM) Paul, RI - I have 7 outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Vernon Wells, Jason Bay, Nick Markakis, Carlos Beltr�n (DL), �lex R�os and Hunter Pence. I have 3 outfield slots & one Utility. I would like to just have 5 total outfielders. I like to drop or trade 1 player know and when Beltran comes off the DL, any suggestions. I would like to make some room to pick up some infield help.(10 Team standard H 2 H
(05/23 17:35 PM) I like Beltran and Pence the least of this group. For Beltran, it's simply a matter of risk, not knowing what you'll be getting when he returns. I think Pence has been overrated for a couple of seasons now. Unless you are among the power elite, I like to see a little more gap power from my players at the OF and CI positions.
(05/23 17:36 PM) Evan Milne, Rendon TX - Should I trade Manny Ramirez in my H2H points league for OF such as BJ Upton or Nick Markakis?
(05/23 17:37 PM) I wouldn't. I know Upton and Markakis are better bets to pick up more ABs, but I don't think either will come close to Manny's per-game production.
(05/23 17:37 PM) Justin, Indianapolis - Hey Eric, Who do you like more for week 8 Borbon or Raji Davis?
(05/23 17:38 PM) Hope you don't mind me taking Emack's question. I like Rajai here, because I just think Borbon will continue to scuffle until he becomes a little more selective (not that Davis is all that patient either, though).
(05/23 17:39 PM) Dan, Cincinnati, OH - Please rank in order for the rest of the year which SP/RP is best to have: J. Ely, D. Holland, C. Richard in a std CBS H2H league.
(05/23 17:40 PM) Richard, Holland, Ely. All good options to have, though, even without the RP eligibility. Richard and Holland are close, btw, but Richard has really taken to pitching in PETCO, while I worry a bit about Holland getting lit up in Arlington from time to time.
(05/23 17:40 PM) Tim, Lancaster,PA - Which side would you favor in this deal, H2H league : Mark Reynolds and Ted Lilly for B.J. Upton and Jaime Garcia ?
(05/23 17:42 PM) I want Reynolds and Lilly. It might be a push on the pitching side, but even with Upton likely to bust out of his early-season doldrums, Reynolds is a more proven producer.
(05/23 17:42 PM) Alberto Callaspo, KC - Am I the second coming of Ben Zobrist in terms of fantasy impact?
(05/23 17:44 PM) Hadn't thought of this comparison, but I can see it with Callaspo's budding power. Actually, they're pretty different hitters, though. Callaspo will hit for more doubles and will post a higher batting average than Zobrist on a consistent basis. I would still rather have Zobrist, especially in Roto, because I do think the homers are coming, but Callaspo won't be too far behind.
(05/23 17:44 PM) Chong, St. Louis, MO - What is Jason Heyward's draft position next year? Is he among the top 5 options in a non keeper league? What about Brett Gardner, can he be a top option like Jacoby Ellsbury?
(05/23 17:47 PM) I think that may be a little high for Heyward for next season, but I could see him going in the first three or four rounds. Gardner will not be Ellsbury, though as I've mentioned, I think he is a legit mixed league OF.
(05/23 17:47 PM) Tom, Pitt, Penn - Crazy to start Harang this week against Pittsburgh and Houston?
(05/23 17:48 PM) I did, and in a mixed league to boot. He is always a risky start, but if you can't start him this week, when can you? And with that risk comes some upside when he is on.
(05/23 17:48 PM) torn, Boston - Who would you rather have, Peavy or Beckett?
(05/23 17:49 PM) Ouch. I would rather have Beckett, though both are causing owners a lot of pain so far. If Beckett can get right, though, I expect him to be a top starter again at some point this season.
(05/23 17:49 PM) Jason, MN - What should I do with Kubel? I'm in a 10 team mixed league with Jose Guillen and Jonny gomes as the next best options? Stick with him or ditch for one of those guys?
(05/23 17:51 PM) If you don't have a place to stash Kubel, I would stick with him over Guillen and Gomes. However, if you do have a reserve slot available, use it on him, because at least for right now, Guillen or Gomes would be more productive options. I do think Kubel will bounce back, but I would want to see a week or two of some power production before taking him off reserves.
(05/23 17:51 PM) Billy, Grand Rapids - Hi Al-
Would you trade Jeter for Choo, I already have Elvis on the bench, and it is a OBP league.. Thanks !
(05/23 17:53 PM) Since you have Elvis on the bench, I would pull the trigger on this. If you didn't have one of the AL's second-tier SS guys already rostered, I would not give up Jeter, so that really is the critical variable here.
(05/23 17:53 PM) Lou, Houston - Do you see Dlee or berkman heating up any time soon? I need their Ops!!
(05/23 17:55 PM) D. Lee - I'm not so sure. He has really become a streaky hitter, but I am much more secure in expecting a comeback from Berkman. His contact and power numbers are right around his recent norms, and his average is just much lower than it should be.
(05/23 17:55 PM) snappers, staten island ny - I traded Becket currently on dl for Starling Castro. Do you see Castro making an impact with Cubs this year?
(05/23 17:56 PM) Sure, though I think a lot of people overestimate what kind of batting average he will sustain. I don't see him as a .300 guy in his first season, but I think he will be at least as productive overall as Theriot, for example, which is not too shabby for such a young player. He certainly should beat out Theriot for steals.
(05/23 17:57 PM) Carlos Santana, Cleveland - When am I coming up to play some MLB? Everyone says I have power. How many homers do you predict from me?
(05/23 17:58 PM) I would expect to see you at my local big league ballpark within a month or so. In the half season (roughly) that you'll play, I think we're looking at about 10 dingers. Too bad you will be playing in such a bad hitters' park.
(05/23 17:58 PM) Kip, NYC - I just picked up Cervelli due to Posada's injury. Would you stick with him or pick up barajas or Olivo? have a good day.
(05/23 17:59 PM) On a catching trend now...I would play Barajas over Cervelli. I do like Cervelli for deeper leagues, but compared with Barajas, it's not very close really.
(05/23 18:00 PM) Dave, Ann Arbor, MI - Can you rank according to most wins? Romero, Braden, Marcum, Webb?
(05/23 18:01 PM) Marcum, Romero, Braden, Webb. I really don't know how much we will see of Webb this year, and his performance is a big unknown at this point, too. I like Marcum and Romero over Braden, independent of run support, but pitching for Oakland just sets Braden further back in the pack.
(05/23 18:02 PM) Petie, CO - Should i be looking to sell high on Jimenez. are you worried about his high pitch counts at all?
(05/23 18:04 PM) That's something I should look at a little more closely, though I'm not too concerned about his workload at this point. And I like Jimenez about as much as any young pitcher right now. Anyone who can help with strikeouts, keep the ball down so consistently and pitch for a Rockies team that I think will improve has the potential to be absolutely dominant in Fantasy.
(05/23 18:04 PM) josh, illinois - Will CArlos Guillen be an improvement over either Hardy or Perallta at my middle infield spot?
(05/23 18:05 PM) I definitely think so. He will clobber them in batting average and I think he may still have a little power left in the tank -- and it wouldn't take much to outproduce either Hardy or Peralta in any event.
(05/23 18:06 PM) ted, boston - I have Ian Kinsler and Dan Uggla at 2b, and need to make a trade for either an OF or a top SP..Who would you trade?
(05/23 18:06 PM) Trade Uggla. He's not exactly a fluke, but I do think you would be trading him at top value right now. Even at his best, Uggla's value is a lot easier to replace than Kinsler's.
(05/23 18:07 PM) Dexter, WA - When is Wallace getting called up or Alveraz?
(05/23 18:09 PM) As with a lot of the other top prospects (e.g., Strasburg, Santana), I would expect to see both of these players sometime in June. It helps both of their causes that it won't be hard to bump a player from the big league depth chart in Toronto and Pittsburgh, respectively. Overbay needs to make way, and the Pirates have several options for shifting players around.
(05/23 18:09 PM) Gearge, NY,NY - Two starter Moyer or Kakami? Also, A. Simon left hurt. Who do I grab, if anyone?
(05/23 18:11 PM) Kawakami over Moyer. I'm actually a little surprised he is available, but then again, I don't know your format. As for Simon, how about Carlos Villanueva? I think the Brewers will have to give him a chance eventually, and if nothing else, he'll give you lots of Ks.
(05/23 18:11 PM) Nelson, Bensalem, PA - Hi, Al. Do you think Randy Wolf is done or can he rebound, along with his team?
(05/23 18:13 PM) I see no reason why Wolf can't rebound. He has had some good starts, and he's been pretty steady on the whole over the last couple of seasons. As for the Brewers overall, I'm not as sure. They need more depth in their rotation -- would love to see them give Estrada a try -- and they need to deal with the Hoffman situation.
(05/23 18:13 PM) Jake, Marshfield, WI - Love your work! I had trade has been offered to me. I would trade Ryan Howard, Travis Snider, BJ Upton, and Jimmy Rollins. I would be getting Adam Lind, Miguel Cabrera, and Soria. I have Capps and no one else at closer in a 10 team mixed league H2H. Should I take it?
(05/23 18:17 PM) Thanks, Jake. Yes, I would do this one. I like getting Cabrera for Howard, and while both Lind and Upton will rebound, I like Lind's upside much more, so you're ahead there. Snider is a borderline guy in a 10-team league, so that leaves you with Rollins for Soria. I think you've earned enough surplus on the rest of the trade to take the chance on losing Rollins' production to get a very good closer (even if he's with a bad team).
(05/23 18:17 PM) Chris Davis, Texas - Any chance of myself or my good friend Chris Ianetta getting back to the majors any time soon?
(05/23 18:18 PM) Chris, I like your friends' chances better. There have been several reports that the Red Sox are interested in Iannetta, but that aside, I don't see Miguel Olivo as a long-term obstacle to his progress as a big-league catcher. I do like your power potential, but it will be harder to displace Smoak, despite his early struggles.
(05/23 18:19 PM) Tom O'Reilly, Ft Worth Tx - Should I trade Mark Teixeria for Kevin Youkillis and Tim Hudson? H2H points league
(05/23 18:20 PM) Yes. I like this deal, especially in H2H. Youk has been killing it of late, and I think he can keep this up. Even with Tex heating up, I don't this is as too much of a downgrade, especially to get a reliable SP like Hudson.
(05/23 18:20 PM) Ryan Zimmerman, WAS - Me or David Wright? Im thinking me since David Wright strikeouts so much
(05/23 18:21 PM) Bingo. As Wright's K rate trend keeps heading in the wrong direction, Zimmerman is improving across the board.
(05/23 18:21 PM) Grady Sizemore, CLE - Will I ever be back to 1st round player or just scrub for rest of my seasons in MLB?
(05/23 18:23 PM) I don't think you'll be back to first-rounder status. There's just been too much regression since what now is looking like an early peak. Sizemore will be no scrub once he can return healthy, but I don't think he'll ever hit for a high enough average again to merit such a high draft pick.
(05/23 18:23 PM) Mike, LV - Do you like Freese or Edwin E. long term?
(05/23 18:26 PM) Encarnacion over Freese. Both came into this season very underrated, but with Encarnacion having been out and Freese getting off to such a good start, I think there's a perception now that Freese is a little better than he is. I like Encarnacion's power more and Freese's batting average won't stay high enough to compensate for the difference.
(05/23 18:26 PM) josh, detroit - Should I drop Martin Prado for Big Z?-Thanks
(05/23 18:28 PM) I wouldn't, though I would have given a very different answer back in March. Prado is a very good hitter, and I don't see him tailing off from what he has produced so far this year. I saw Zambrano as a major comeback threat going into this season, but I wouldn't want to deal with the continued uncertainty around him -- not just around his role, but his performance, which has been hard to peg the last couple of years.
(05/23 18:28 PM) masshole, MASS - Asdrubal is now hurt, who is the best replacement? Castro, Prado, O-Dog, Scutaro, Desmond, or Orlando Cabrera?
(05/23 18:30 PM) Continuing on a theme here...Prado is the best of this group, given his proven ability to hit well over .300 and provide some power as well. I actually like Castro next best, especially for Roto, because of the steals.
(05/23 18:30 PM) Folks, that's all of the questions for now. Time to deal with the Sunday wrap-ups and the night game. Good luck next week.