Fantasy owners still managing their Fantasy Baseball teams must still be playing for something, making lineup decisions that much more critical.
Our Scott White stops by to answer your Fantasy questions on Sunday, August 8 at 5 p.m. ET.
Feel free to send him a question now or stop by on Sunday.
08/08 Chat with Scott White
(08/08 17:03 PM) Rainy day here in South Florida, but plenty of games going on in other parts of the country. Let's get right to the questions.
(08/08 17:03 PM) B.B., Pasadena - Good Afternoon Scott,
I have three pitchers with two starts this week and I need to select two of them. R. Romero, R. Dempster, and A. Sanchez. Could you rank them for me. Thanks
(08/08 17:08 PM) Romero has bounced back from his cold streak at the end of the first half to post a 2.05 ERA over his last four starts. He's still pitching deep into games and striking out almost eight batters per nine innings, so he's pretty close to being a must-start even during one-start weeks. Dempster has pitched much better than his record indicates, and I trust the individual player over the supporting cast. Even though Sanchez pitched a shutout recently, I'll take Dempster over him.
(08/08 17:08 PM) Brian, long island NY - I have Mike Stanton in a 12 team head to head keeper league. What do you think of him for the rest of this year and for the future? I like him but I am undecided about offering him in a trade for an ace pitcher.
(08/08 17:11 PM) A 12-team Head-to-Head league? I can't imagine him having much keeper value in such a format -- not unless you guys are keeping upwards of 15 players. For the rest of this year, I imagine he'll continue to do what he's been doing -- homering at an above-average rate but batting around .230 because he's striking out so often. If that happens, he won't be an early-round pick next year. He might go off the board as early as the 12th or 13th round because of his upside, but if you're only allowed to keep four or five players, why would you keep a 12th-rounder? Good luck getting an ace pitcher.
(08/08 17:11 PM) Abraham, Scottsdale - Pick one for the rest of season. Dominic brown. Dexter Fowler or Adam Jones
(08/08 17:15 PM) Assuming speed counts for something in your league, I'll go with Fowler over Jones. Fowler has been racking up the extra-base hits since returning from the minor leagues and has shown more power as well, slugging .491 going into Sunday. And we already knew he was the base-stealer. Jones will probably give you more home runs, but he's streaky beyond belief and a nightmare to use in Head-to-Head leagues. Brown already isn't playing every day and will probably be a reserve (assuming he doesn't go back to the minors) when Shane Victorino comes off the DL, making him a distant third choice.
(08/08 17:15 PM) David, Atlanta, GA - I have both Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano on my roster and they face each other next week. Would you consider both of them must starts in a 10 team mixed league or would you sit one hoping the guy you start picks up the win. In that case who would you start?
(08/08 17:19 PM) Yeah, I try not to mess around too much in that sort of situation. If you have two must-start pitchers, as Floyd and Liriano have been over the last couple months, they're must-starts no matter who they're facing. I realize only one of them can get a win if they're facing each other, but why take a chance on picking the wrong one? Both have been too hot to guess with any sort of confidence, and it's not like you're going to get wins from all five of your starting pitchers anyway. I suggest you keep it simple and keep the must-starts starting.
(08/08 17:19 PM) Dan, San Diego - Is Chris Johnson for real? Would you bench Pablo Sandoval in a 5x5 and replace him with Johnson. Thanks
(08/08 17:22 PM) I can't say for sure just how streaky Chris Johnson is because, hey, his career just started, but by looking at his peripherals -- specifically, his 33-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- I'd guess he's on the more exaggerated side of streaky. It'd certainly make sense -- he's not going to hit .355 the rest of the way. Still, he has legitimate pop and is a fine stopgap for now. I wouldn't cut Sandoval for him, but I wouldn't shy away from benching him for him right now.
(08/08 17:22 PM) Jerry Gao, Philadelphia, the World Series place - Matt Cain, John Danks, Roy Halladay, Evan Meek, David Price, Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson, CJ Wilson, and Barry Zito, for the rest of the year? Or should I go and trade for another ace or reliever?
(08/08 17:24 PM) Halladay is a legit No. 1. Price is a legit No. 2. Cain is a No. 2 serving as your No. 3. Danks is a No. 3 serving as your No. 4. Wilson and Zito are both fine No. 5s. I'm assuming this is a Rotisserie league, in which case I'd prefer a legitimate third closer over a possible one in Meek, but otherwise, I can't imagine you're having too much trouble in the pitching categories.
(08/08 17:25 PM) Sal, Lodi, Nj - Leo Nunez job in jeopardy or just rough patch at the moment? should I worry?
(08/08 17:28 PM) Who's going to replace him? Clay Hensley? Will Ohman? I don't see it. Nunez has the stuff of the closer and, even with the rough patch, a respectable 3.23 ERA. The back-to-back blown saves aren't pretty, but he converted 10 straight before then during a huge month of July. He's still a respectable No. 2 Fantasy RP who has performed more like a No. 1 most of the season.
(08/08 17:28 PM) Darryl, Detroit - Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta at SS the rest of the way?
(08/08 17:31 PM) I'm down on Drew, but mostly because I was so high on him to start with. I was down on Peralta from the beginning. His high strikeout rate wasn't worth the occasional 20 homers he would deliver. And now that he's no longer coming close to 20 homers, I don't see the upside. Drew has disappointed power-wise, but at least he can still get hot and hit .280 or so.
(08/08 17:32 PM) David, Tustin. CA. - What's your opinion of Adam Lind? Is there any upside this season?
(08/08 17:35 PM) Well, I haven't cut him in my shallowest league (10-team Head-to-Head), if that tells you anything. I've thought about it and come close to doing it, but I haven't done it yet. The fact he has two homers and about a .290 batting average over his last 11 games makes me want to see a little more. I know his talent is for real, and if he gets over this hump and makes the adjustments he needs to make, I'll be glad I held on to him. I don't think it's absolutely vital that you do, though. If you drop him, he won't necessarily get snatched up right away.
(08/08 17:37 PM) Dandy Don, Dallas - Looks like Garcia is getting inconsistent and the Cards are limiting his starts. Is he finished as a to pitcher this year?
(08/08 17:40 PM) I wouldn't say he's done as a Fantasy pitcher, but the drop-off was inevitable, if for no reason because his WHIP wasn't nearly as spectacular as his ERA. Throw in the fact he's a rookie and missed most of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and the Cardinals would be crazy not to limit his innings, especially if they plan on using him as a starter during the playoffs. He's not done, no, but he's not nearly as trustworthy in Fantasy as some people would have you believe. Sell high if you still can.
(08/08 17:41 PM) Gary, North Dakota - I haver a bad feeling about Jeff Niemann. He got scratched and the ever-tepid Joe Maddon will probably have him slotted for the DL or on a 70 pitch count. Would you dump him for Dan Hudson?
(08/08 17:43 PM) Even if Maddon does one of those things, dumping Niemann is an extreme reaction. He's currently the 20th-ranked pitcher in Head-to-Head leagues, so when healthy, you're going to want him active. If you don't have a bench, a DL slot or any way to stash him during an extended absence, you could think about releasing him, but in most cases, you shouldn't.
(08/08 17:44 PM) Jeff G, Voorhees - Scott Posednik, Martin Prado, CJ Wilson, and Ryan Zimmerman for Chone Figgins, Placido Polanco, tim lincecum, and mark texeira. good trade?
(08/08 17:48 PM) Pretty bad, actually -- and I'm usually good at finding ways to justify trades. One team is getting two studs in Teixeira and Lincecum. The other is getting only one in Zimmerman -- and he's the least of the three studs. I suppose you could argue Prado has performed like a stud this season, but he's on the DL and really isn't that different from Placido Polanco, who's going to the other team. Even between the speedsters, the advantage seems to go to the first team. Figgins is more valuable than Podsednik since he plays the weaker position. I'd say the team that gets Figgins, Polanco, Lincecum and Teixeira comes out significantly ahead in this deal.
(08/08 17:49 PM) Admiral Lrrr, Omicron Perseei 8 - Hey Scott. For the rest of this year and beyond, do you prefer Chad Billingsley or Clay Buchholz?
(08/08 17:51 PM) I used to like Billingsley because of his strikeout potential, but he doesn't seem to be making any progress. He still walks too many batters and has become more hittable. Buchholz doesn't strike out as many batters, but at least he's moving in the right direction. He could be a near-ace for the Red Sox and is the better Fantasy option for both this year and beyond.
(08/08 17:52 PM) Bill, NJ - Snyder, Yadier, or 2 hr debut JP at catcher to replace Santana. Points league no k penalty. Thanks
(08/08 17:54 PM) I'd take J.P. Arencibia over Yadier Molina regardless, but in a league that doesn't penalize strikeouts, it's a no-brainer. Molina's one real advantage is his high contact rate, and Arencibia's one real disadvantage is that power-hitting rookies often struggle to make contact. Remove that variable from the equation, and Arencibia's upside makes him the clear favorite. He has as much power potential as any catcher in baseball.
(08/08 17:55 PM) Jason, NY - hey scott, i was offered ryan howard and swisher for ludwick and votto. Whats your take on that trade?...and will Howard be out for long?
(08/08 17:58 PM) If Howard was healthy, I'd probably do it because I think Swisher is a significant upgrade over Ludwick, who hasn't come close to being a 30-homer guy since his breakout 2008. But Howard isn't healthy, and you never know with ankle injuries. He might return in 10 days; he might not return until September. I'm not sure Swisher is enough to make up for the loss of Votto during this crucial time of the season, so I'd probably stand pat.
(08/08 17:59 PM) Juan, Seoul, Korea - Who should I drop for JP Arencibia? Zito? Ellsbury? Guerrero? Billingsley? Garcia? I already have Mauer, Is it bad idea to use Arencibia as Util?
(08/08 18:03 PM) Yeah, I wouldn't start Arencibia at utility. I wouldn't start any catcher at utility unless I was hoping to trade him and couldn't get him on my roster any other way. Surely, you can find a decent first baseman or outfielder -- someone who'll actually play every day -- to man that position instead. If you still want Arencibia, Zito would be the guy to drop since he's too inconsistent to trust on a week-to-week basis, but again, if you don't plan on starting Arencibia and don't think you could get a pitcher better than Zito in exchange for him, you should probably just sit tight.
(08/08 18:03 PM) Adrian, NC - So what are your feelings on Daniel Hudson?
(08/08 18:05 PM) He's a good prospect but has been inconsistent to start his major-league career. I'm not sure two good starts with the Diamondbacks is enough to win me over, especially since he averaged only 4.6 strikeouts per nine innings in them, but if I wasn't satisfied with my pitching and had a flexible roster spot, I'd take a flier on him.
(08/08 18:06 PM) Mike, Detroit - Hey Scott, i hate the fact that felix hernandez gets so little run support, even though he pitches so well. I was offered lester for king felix and i am considering taking it...whats your take?
(08/08 18:08 PM) Depends how much you value wins. Sounds to me like you do. I think it's safe to assume the Red Sox will win more games than the Mariners the rest of the way, and it's not like Hernandez has a huge advantage over Lester performance-wise. In fact, Lester is better in some ways. I think that's a fine trade to make if you're looking for more wins.
(08/08 18:08 PM) Braves fan, Atlanta - Starlin Castro is playing pretty well. I picked him up when Furcal was hurt. I really have no faith in Furcal staying healthy. It appears that he's cashed it in for the year with the Dodgers reeling. What are your thoughts on Castro?
(08/08 18:13 PM) Um ... OK. I've seen nothing to make me think Furcal is throwing in the towel for the season. In fact, manager Joe Torre and trainer Stan Conte both think he should be ready to go Tuesday. I'll admit he has an injury history, which is why having a backup like Castro is nice, but let's not turn the page yet. Castro is a good contact hitter for a 20-year-old. I've seen comparisons on him range from Edgar Renteria to Derek Jeter. Renteria seems a little more plausible to me, which is why I'm not going head over heels for the guy. He should be a decent Fantasy option, especially since he plays shortstop, but if you're looking for homers or steals, you can't expect to get them from him -- at least not right now.
(08/08 18:13 PM) Jim K, Brookfield, il - I got closer problems. Available closers are Jenks, Aardsma, Lindstrom & Street. Or I could use Carlos Zambrano or Justin Masterson each with two starts this week in that slot. What do I do?
(08/08 18:15 PM) I think Zambrano could turn out to be a valuable piece for you since he qualifies at reliever, but I wouldn't trust him in his first start back in the rotation. I'd go with Jenks and Street. Both have had their struggles recently, but both pitch for good teams and will get their chances. That's all you can ask when your options are limited.
(08/08 18:16 PM) Tim, NC - Is Airamas Ramirez done and does he have any trade value? What kind of Starting Pitcher could you expect to get in a trade. Looking maybe to package him with Phil Hughes or Z Greinke, maybe even throw in B Jenks.
(08/08 18:19 PM) No, I don't think he's done. He dealt with some soreness in his thumb recently, but he homered Wednesday, doubled Sunday, and has at least one hit in each of his last five games. I'd still like to have him starting at third base for me, especially if I recently lost Kevin Youkilis. If you packaged him with Greinke or Hughes, you could maybe trade up for a Justin Verlander or a Francisco Liriano. You'll have to ask yourself if it's worth it.
(08/08 18:19 PM) Mike Wallach, Sturbridge Woods - Should I trade high on Buster Posey considering that he's probably not going to keep it up?
(08/08 18:21 PM) Not going to keep it up in what way? He has the pedigree of a stud and the upside of a stud, so I'm pretty confident he's a stud. Maybe he won't maintain his .344 batting average the rest of the way, but a stud's a stud. I don't see his trade value declining much. I'd only trade him if I had a Joe Mauer or Victor Martinez type to start instead.
(08/08 18:21 PM) russell, pittsburgh - Hey Scott, for the next 2 weeks, which 4 out of these 5 SP, would you start? Galvin Floyd, Stephen Strasburg, David Price, Matt Garza and Francisco Liriano.
(08/08 18:23 PM) Without knowing off the top of my head who makes two starts NEXT week, I'll go with Floyd, Price, Liriano and ... Garza. Yeah, Garza. I can understand the temptation of starting Strasburg, but we don't really know how he's going to respond to this injury. Two weeks is a long time to get
stuck with a guy who doesn't pan out.
(08/08 18:24 PM) Ruby, SC - Rank these guys in a H2H points league on CBS (10-team): John Jay, N Walker, Tabatha, Ian Stewart, LaPorta? Thanks Scott. Ruby
(08/08 18:28 PM) At first, I regretted picking this question because I have no idea who Tabatha is. But after staring at it for a few seconds, I realized you must mean Jose Tabata. Now that the moment of panic is over and I can think clearly, I will say Stewart, Walker, Tabata, LaPorta and Jay. I would rank Tabata higher in some formats, but I'm not sure how well his skill set translates to Head-to-Head. None of the five are particularly exciting to me in a league that shallow, though.
(08/08 18:28 PM) Nick, Pittsburgh - What to do with Greinke? Do I trade him or hold on to him?
(08/08 18:30 PM) He has been prone to the occasional bad start this year, but he has still pitched like an ace more often than not. I feel like most people will look at his 7-11 record and 4.14 ERA and run away screaming, so I'm not sure you can get full value for him. You're better off holding on to him and hoping he can avoid those ugly starts going forward.
(08/08 18:30 PM) Mike, New York - I just lost Youkilis for the season, what do you think of Johnson from Houston to pick up for rest of season? Any other corner IF you think can fill the void?
(08/08 18:33 PM) Chris Johnson is probably your best bet for now, but as I implied earlier, I don't know how long you can trust him to perform at this level. Edwin Encarnacion has homered at a good rate and is available in most leagues, so I'd keep an eye on him. Alex Gordon is more of a long shot, but he has at least homered more since returning from the minors. You're well aware of his upside, I'm sure, so I'd check back on him every once in a while.
(08/08 18:33 PM) Matthew, Florida - Hey Scott, I have been offered Josh Johnson and T. Hunter for J. Bautsita and U. Jimenez. I'm one game out of the division and need to make a better choice. I have asked EVERYBODY, but they all say ask an expert..... here i am
(08/08 18:35 PM) I'd stick with what you have, Matthew. Jimenez seems to have come out of his slump and should be about the same as Johnson going forward (in fact, if anything, Johnson is due for the slump). As for the outfielders, I don't trust Hunter to stay healthy at his age. Meanwhile, Bautista has emerged as the No. 1 outfielder in Fantasy, and I think by now we can all agree his power is legitimate.
(08/08 18:38 PM) Enjoyed it, guys. Best of luck to everyone with trade deadlines approaching. A good deal (or series of deals) could change the entire playoff picture, so get creative out there. Talk to you all again soon.