Blue Jays Fantasy Strategy, June 4th Edition

 

Jays From the Couch looks at the Toronto Blue Jays player values in fantasy leagues

 

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Some things change, and some things stay the same, and sometimes both can happen at the simultaneously. Fantasy projections rarely lie, and things are beginning to equalize in MLB player rankings. The Blue Jays keep struggling to stay alive in the AL East, and yet J.A. Happ keeps rolling along ever improving his status in Fantasy rankings. His place in the rankings is not too surprising as he started the year ranked 147th. He has risen his stature to 77th in the league and keeps cruising along being one of the few bright spots in this 2018 version of the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

During the month of May his numbers were not amazing as he put up a pedestrian 4.29 ERA, but tallied 3 Wins and 29 strikeouts through 29 innings of work. 3 wins is decent, as the Jays only managed 9 total…so in retrospect Happ did produce ⅓ of the Jays wins in May. To add to his production, in comparison, Ryan Tepera and Tyler Clippard held down 1 and 2 Wins respectively with Clippard getting 2 saves. They didn’t hold much fantasy value in May, even with a strong beginning by Clippard.

 

From the other side of the ball

 

Although Curtis Granderson continues to be a feel good story this year he holds no fantasy value–Kevin Pillar is about the best thing we’ve got. He started the month hot, but has cooled off as of late. The good thing is he has put up enough doubles to lead the league and is still flirting with a .300 AVG. His stock has slumped this month dropping him to 132 in the rankings as of June 1, but with a 397 pre season rank…even with only a .222 AVG in May, every day you have him is still a bonus.

 

Justin Smoak is starting to improve as he was hitting a dismal .206 a couple weeks ago and has improved over the last week to a little better .235 and still holds a .249 on the season. That would not be horrible if his HRs were at 2017 numbers…but they are not. It is his RBIs and Runs that are keeping him even with his fantasy projections. So he is getting production in other ways which is promising. He is showing improvement but is still owned in 84% of leagues so if he is available, might be good store if you have room on your squad until (or if) he hits his stride.

 

Yangervis Solarte is the highest ranked Blue Jays hitter and is inside the top 100 for fantasy overall in Yahoo at 96. That is even after a .167 week and .220 month. Much lower than his season production but he is still leading the team in Home Runs and RBIs. He was a diamond in the rough early in the season but stat checkers noticed his ranking and have picked him up. Owned in 79% of leagues now, he does hold added value and could be a nice sub for your infield stars on off days.

 

Other than that, if you are a fantasy player who holds many Blue Jays players, you are likely getting frustrated by the likes of Josh Donaldson, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, Roberto Osuna and Marcus Stroman. Conversely, if you picked up Happ or Pillar early, or Solarte for that matter, you should be relatively happy with production as they are performing well above projection at this point. Kevin Pillar might even still hold some trade value if you tried to move him now before he slides too far…remember, he is barely hitting his weight over the last month and likely not hitting his wife’s weight over the last two weeks. If he did not lead the team in SBs or the league in doubles, he would have absolutely NO value.

 

In conclusion, in a league with rising stars available like Jorge Soler (owned in only 42%, with a 125 overall rank) or on the other side of the ball; Milwaukee’s Jeremy Jeffress is ranked 37th overall and available in 50% of leagues may be the biggest bargain currently. If you are a Jays fan and also want to win your fantasy league, they are making this season tough, and if you only keep a Jay around to make yourself feel better like I do, then you should be okay. Keep watching the rankings though, and shooting for fantasy gold. BW

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

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