Grading the Mookie Betts Trade

Los Angeles Dodgers- Receive Mookie Betts and David Price

The Dodgers are perennial contenders year after year.  Losing three straight times in the postseason to the eventual champions. They were very open about doing what it took to add another impact player.  They were in on Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. When they got Scott Boras’d (that’s a thing now) on all of them it was time to go after a team looking to begin a rebuild in the Boston Red Sox.  

Betts was not going to re-sign with Boston.  The Red Sox saw the writing on the wall and it was time to get what they could out of their All-Star.  The Dodgers didn’t hesitate when they saw the opportunity. Moving top prospect Alex Verdugo as well as a picking up a portion of the David Price contract has allowed the already talented Dodgers to become a legit SUPER team. 

Grade: A++++++

Boston Red Sox- Receive Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol #53

I understand that Boston fans are angry but they should really look on the bright side of the situation. Alex Verdugo immediately puts himself in the starting lineup for the Red Sox for years to come. 

Verdugo, 23, is a future star in Boston.  In 2018 mlb.com called him “One of the best pure hitting prospects in baseball”.  The Dodgers loaded roster was unable to find consistent AB’s for Verdugo but when he played he excelled.  He is not just just a hitter either, Verdugo has one of the highest rated arms in baseball, which should fill in nicely in right field.  

So, who is Brusdar Graterol?

Graterol, 21, is currently the #53 overall prospect in all of baseball.  He brings a ridiculous fastball that will consistently stay in the triple digits. He has dealt with injuries over the last two seasons but his plus arm should make him a candidate for a bullpen role.  With the Red Sox severe need for bullpen pieces they may have a future closer on their hands.  

Boston loses the trade because they lost the best player, but really did they do that bad? I say no. If they were not going to re-sign Betts, this isn’t that bad.

Grade: B-

Minnesota Twins- Kenta Maeda

The Twins need pitching.  Behind Jose Berrios there is not much that you can depend on in the Twins rotation.  Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill and Michael Pineida are the probables behind their star.  Adding Maeda gives the Twins another guy that has proven himself in the rotation as well as out of the bullpen. 

The Twins gave up a prospect they didn’t see a future in and added depth in a place they needed it most.  Solid job.

MLB DFS Breakdown August 13 2019- Brewers crush reeling Perez

Pitcher Spotlight- Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

Jack Flaherty is priced at just $9,000 versus the Kansas City Royals, making him the seventh highest price pitcher on the slate.  At such a low-price Flaherty is a bargain for all DFS players. Jack has been on another level since the All-Star break.  Flaherty has totaled over 18 fantasy points in seven straight starts, including his two most recent starts where he scored 35 and 36 versus the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.  

One of Flaherty’s biggest problems has been giving up power which the Royals as a team don’t bring a lot of those concerns.  As a team they only have an ISO of .160.  If Flaherty can avoid the power of Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier he should be ripe for another high scoring outing. 

Potential Stacks- Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels

The focus for my stack will be on the Milwaukee Brewers.  Martin Perez has become the Martin Perez of the last few seasons over the last three months his ERA has ballooned to a 6.67ERA during the second half of the season. Perez has given up a ton of power to righties the entire season, a .459 slugging percentage has led to a lot of short outings.  Perez combined with the struggles of the Minnesota bullpen should put the Brewers in nice spot for a four-man stack. I am going to build my lineup around Keston Huira, Ryan Braun and Mike Moustakas can all be affordable along with some plays from the Dodgers against the regression of Jordan Yamamoto.

Sneaky Stack- Philadelphia Phillies

Attacking the struggling Jose Quintana is a great option for underpriced power.  Rhys Hoskins is underpriced at just $4.1K, if you pair him along with Jean Segura and Scott Kingery at the top of the lineup you can stack some top-level pitching with the stack. 

Lineup Build-

P: Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Caridinals, $9,000

P: Joe Ross, Washington Nationals, $5,500

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000

1B: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,700

2B: Keston Huira, Milwaukee Brewers, $5,000

3B: Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,400

SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,000

OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers, $5,400

OF: Lane Thomas, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,300

OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers, $4,700

Each teams most important player down the stretch!

As the MLB season winds down it is time to find out which teams are prepared for a playoff push or just to get pushed.  There are five teams on the outside of the National League playoffs that will need contributions from players that can give them that push.  Who are they?

St. Louis Cardinals- Paul DeJong

The St. Louis Cardinals have lacked a power bat in their lineup since the departure of Albert Pujols.  Marcell Ozuna was supposed to be that player but has not shown the power of his previous season in Miami.  DeJong’s productions can be a huge contribution to a St. Louis order that tends to struggle to put runs on the board. During the month of August his contributions have been minimal despite the Cardinals beginning to show life winning nine straight games at one point.

As the Cardinals continue to fight their way to a potential wildcard they will need the productions from one of their most powerful forces in the lineup.  Being a player that put his name on the map in 2017 with a ridiculous .333 ISO he has the potential to make a serious impact in the middle of the St. Louis order.   If he can’t pickup the power statistics St. Louis will have a problem scoring runs down the stretch, especially if MVP candidate eventually comes back down to earth.

Milwaukee Brewers- Cory Knebel

The Milwaukee Brewers added a lot of power during the trade deadline.  They didn’t however address one of the needs many thought they would, their starting rotation.  Instead the Brewers will look to get what they can from the rotation and have their strong bullpen figure out the backend.  All-Stars Josh Hader and the reborn Jeremy Jefferess have done their part to keep the Brewers in the race.

2017 breakout Corey Knebel has not found his form during the second half of the season.  He currently holds a second half ERA of 6.75 and has become a liability on the mound.  Knebel has not only had issues with walks but players are have been hitting him hard with a hard hit percentage 11% higher then 2017.  For the Brewers to find their way into the playoffs they will have to rely on their bullpen for 3+ inning most nights.  Knebel returning to his All Star form is the key to their success.

Colorado Rockies- Wade Davis

Positive, Wade Davis has 35 saves in 2018.  Negative, Wade Davis has a 4.99ERA.  The biggest off season signing for the Rockies has had an up and down first season with Colorado but his playoff experience is going to be huge for the young club over the final few weeks of the season.

Davis has seemed to find his way over his last five appearances picking up 3 saves and not giving up a single run in that span.  Those appearances brought his August ERA down to 9.82.  He has to build off of those games as the Rockies have little to no room for late inning blow ups down the stretch.  Davis and the other Rockies bullpen arms have to hold on to leads in order to make them a real threat in the both the wild card and the division hunt.

Los Angeles Dodgers- Walker Buehler

With the lose of Kenley Jansen for an unknown amount of time the Dodgers will have need someone to step up at the backend of the bullpen.  They will also need their starters to step up for more innings down the stretch.  With four veterans Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood in the rotation the one guy that will need to give them a little more length is star prospect Walker Buehler.

Over his last three August starts Buehler has shown the promise that Dodgers brass have banked on coming into the season going 2-0 with a 1.47ERA.  He has also given six innings per start which is all you can ask of a young pitcher down the stretch.  If Buehler can continue to produce solid outings the Dodgers could be in a great spot to overtake the unproven Arizona Diamondbacks in the West.

Philadelphia Phillies- Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana was a surprise offseason signing from the young and thought to be rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies.  His defense and power seemed like a perfect fit for a time on the rise in the NL East.  To the surprise of many in the baseball world the Phillies have been in the thick of the race the entire season.

Santana will have to be the force in the order that the fighting Phils thought they had signed in order to make the playoff push.  With Rhys Hoskins taking on the role of offensive leader, it will be up to Santana to produce enough to force pitchers to throw to Hoskins or pay the consequences.  While Santana has provided some power with 18 homers on the season, the Phillies need to have more consistency day to day.  A .218 average from your four hole hitter will not scare teams enough to pitch to the hotter bats in the lineup.  If Santana can’t find a way to produce the lineup depth for the Phillies ends very quickly.