Whit Merrifield

Week 14 fast characters (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

Greetings, friends and welcome to week 14 of the Fantasy Baseball Quick Grades series. We have officially managed it through the first half of this season. I hope all of your fantasy teams stay at least competitive as we enter the dog days of summer and the incoming distraction that is the NFL. These are our last fast classes before the All-Star break. There will be no fast grades next week due to the short week, but see you after the break!

I went through how the grades for this series are calculated in week 1, and I will connect to that breakdown each week instead of filling this room with a long explanation each time. If you are interested in knowing my process or just want to talk baseball, feel free to contact Twitter @mikeMaher. I respond to tweets, and my DMs are open. Here is a link to the week 1 piece with a full overview of Quick Grades:

Week 1 fast characters (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

I adjusted the formula a bit this week, so you see some higher and lower marks in the Matchups section. This is accounted for in an adjustment of the overall grade, so you should not see too much difference from week to week. You will only notice more discrepancies in the Matchups section if you compare this week with the previous 13 or so weeks. Just an update to the process that you probably do not care about, but I’m about transparency. At the top of the points overview with grades over 90, we have it Whit merrifield, Fernando Tatis Jr.. (as usual), Ozzie Albies, Steven dews, Trevor Story, Bo Bichette, Three turner, Bryce harps, and Manny Machado. Turner hit the 90s despite having a Matchups rating of 10, the lowest given this week.

Let’s now get to the rest of week 14 grades and notes.

Take a look at today’s MLB Solo Shot competition at DraftKings >>

Week 14 Hitter Grades

Note: This table is on three pages (see button at the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!

Team flows

  • Tea Arizona Diamondbacks has the best Matchups rating this week, with a 25. They are scheduled to face six right-handers, so Josh reddick is someone who works and watches in deeper formats. Christian walker is available in more than 70% of the leagues, and Josh rojas is available in more than 50% of the leagues.
  • Tea Toronto Blue jays has the second highest Matchups rating, but most of Toronto’s offense is already posted in most leagues.
  • Andrew Vaughn has warmed up and actually played recently. The White Sox play six games, with three in Minnesota and three in Baltimore, and they have five plus matchups out of the six for a Matchups rating of 24, the third highest this week.

Fades of the week

Notes

  • Jesus Aguilar started the year strong with lots of RBI, but he has been striped and has slowly lost playing time Garrett cooper. His 47.15 is the low grade of the week.
  • Trey Mancini homered on Friday but has otherwise been ice cold at the plate. His 11.50 wOBA rating is the same as Baltimore’s Matchups rating, and both contribute to Mancini’s overall rating of 50.85, which is close to the bottom of this list.
  • Bryce harps has three home runs in his last three games. He also has 14 home runs this season, and every single one of them has been a solo shot. Brutal.

Week 14 Pitcher Grades

Below you see a grid of probable starters, their matchups and ratings. The grade is on a scale from 0-100, and here is what these numbers mean.

These grades assume that you are in 10 leagues of varying size and format, with a good mix of shallow, deeper, score and roster / lineup sizes. The score for all these players corresponds to how many leagues I would start a pitcher in if I had him in each league. So, a pitcher with a score of 100 means I will start him in all 10 leagues. A pitcher with a score of 50 means I will start him in five leagues. Zero, zero leagues. Have it? Great.

Note: The starters below are grouped alphabetically by team and schedule, and the table is on two pages to keep the length manageable (you can click to see the other page at the top right).

Notes

  • Max Fried has something quiet been on a strong run. He lowered his ERA by almost an entire race in June thanks to three quality starts and a five-inning victory over the Mets where he allowed two earned races after returning from the injury list. In week 14, he gets the Pirates and Marlins on the road in a two-start week. I’ve been tough with Fried this year, but I regain confidence in him and shoot him up in most of my leagues for these two starts.
  • This is another week to fade everything off Orioles appetizers. Not only are they all, you know, not very good, but they have six games against the Blue Jays and White Sox this week. Even if you’ve desperate for deeper leagues, you can look elsewhere for streaming options.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez has thrown three straight quality starts lowering its ERA from 6.21 to 5.42 on the season. It’s still not very good, obviously, but FIP, xFIP, SIERA and xERA are 3.48, 3.38, 3.48 and 3.38 respectively. I’ve avoided him the last few weeks outside of deeper leagues while I’ve been waiting for things to hopefully level off, and it looks like they finally are.
  • Luis Castillo has four quality starts in a row and will start against Royals and Brewers this week. There’s always a risk with Castillo at this point, as his 5.08 ERA and 10 losses indicate, but he ultimately rewards fantasy leaders who stuck with him through his tough start to the year.
  • Jon gray gets two starts this week, with an excellent matchup (Diamondbacks) and not so good matchup (Padres). But both starts are at least on the way from Coors Field.
  • Aaron Nola was lit in seven races on nine hits in his last start, but he managed to knock out 11 strokes in the process. Phillies is a mess pretty much right now, and Nola has been incredibly inconsistent. There is risk, but I start Nola in most leagues because of his upside in a two-start league. I prefer a second game that was not the Red Sox at Fenway Park, but I do not plan.
  • Blake fast, who was scratched from his last start and landed on COVID-19 IL with an illness, starts at home against the Rockies this week. If he was on his way, especially in Coors Field, his character would probably be half of what I have above.
  • The year is 2021. Adam wainwright is about 200 years old and has thrown six straight quality starts. He meets the Giants in San Francisco this week. The Giants are also very good in one way or another. None of them should do what they do in 2021, but they do. I’ve given up on understanding how Wainwright does this. His expected numbers back up everything he does. His Statcast page, although it’s pretty meh, really has nothing alarming other than Whiff & and the fastball speed.
  • In my last Statcast review, I was surprised to hear that Ryan yarbrough still has the lowest Hard Hit% in the league, at 26.2%. Other starters in the top 5 were Corbin Burnes (28.4%) and Zack Wheeler (29.8%).

That’s it for this week. Again, if you have any questions, feedback or queries, hit me on Twitter!

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Mike maher is an editor and featured author on FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archives, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and his visit Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.

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