Cleveland Indians Fantasy Report: Week Eight


Week Seven was good to the Tribe; Maybe Week Eight will bring good tidings too

A second baseman on an incredibly hot streak plus an almost MVP going for a batting title again plus the reigning Cy Young winner looking like his old self. Add it all up with a dash of regression to the mean and out comes a five-game win streak. Let’s take a look at the fantasy performances in Week Seven before the look ahead.

Kipnis keeps on kicking

If this is how Jason Kipnis will perform on a “cold streak,” sign me up. Through the last week, Kipnis is hitting for a .333 average and an OBP of .363, a solid week for anyone that wasn’t going over .400 for the rest if the month. A little less power (two doubles and a triple with no homers) and no steals makes fantasy owners a little twitchy that he might be coming down from the ridiculous stretch he was on. This could be a good thing for fantasy owners: a chance to sell high on Kipnis before regression to the mean does too much to his average. Maybe go after Brian Dozier or Ian Kinsler: two underperforming second basemen that owners might have soured on. Kinsler hasn’t hit a home run yet while Dozier’s average and lack of steals might be causing his owner to sell. Kipnis could get one of those and a pitcher to help fill out your roster.

More from Away Back Gone

Slumping Santana is super streaky

May 12, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman

Carlos Santana

(41) reacts to a called strike during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A move to the second slot in the lineup is what sabermetric scholars have been calling for years for with Santana, but it doesn’t seem to have the results that most would like and/or want. Santana has been hitting second for 15 games now and has a .190 average while on base at a .296 clip. While he continues to get on base at a decent rate, with 10 walks in 71 plate appearances, he has hit for little to no power (three doubles, one home run with nine RBI). He’s also struck out 14 times since moving up.

Though I doubt a move back down the lineup is likely, Santana is capable of doing much more damage. I imagine owners are getting tired of the strikeouts and lack of power. Carlos’s versatility is still a plus, and the OBP will continue to be there for owners all year. He will be useful year in and year out, and if you happen to play in a league where Santana has catcher eligibility, he is a top 5 option still. Go after Santana if he’s available. He is the 4th ranked 3B on ESPN, so that’s more than likely where he is being played. Offer up the hot hitting Mike Moustakas for Santana a pitcher and enjoy the 20 or so home runs he will hit for the rest of the season.

May 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher

Corey Kluber

(28) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

More Cy Young and Cyborg performances for Corey

A shoutout is needed for whoever reset the Klubot back to factory settings. Coming off his 2-start week, Kluber saw one win, 19 strike outs, and only two earned runs given up. He was robbed of a win on Monday in Chicago, which is not unlike what we saw early this year, but it was mostly the offense’s fault for not scoring more than one run. Kluber struck out 12 in nine innings, but a wild pitch scored a run and the Tribe lost the game in the 10th inning. It’s hard to pitch better than what Kluber did and he seems to have fixed whatever ailed him earlier in the year. Feel free to start him from this point forward, including a start against the Mariners this week in SafeCo.

Week Eight Preview!!

Another seven game week means two more 2-start pitchers, though these might be the droids you’re looking for. Shawn Marcum gets the call on Monday against the red hot Rangers and is currently scheduled for a start on Saturday, but with T.J. House being activated from the DL and optioned back down to Triple A Columbus, Marcum has a short lease. House could easily be maneuvered to start that game Saturday. Start Marcum with caution this week. The other 2-start pitcher for the Cleveland Indians this week is Danny Salazar, and he should be on must start lists regardless, so enjoy the added stats this week if you have him.  Carlos Carrasco, Kluber, and Trevor Bauer continue to round out the rotation, but consider sitting Carrasco this week in fantasy against Texas.

Texas brings Phil Klein in spot start duty for the injured Ross Detweiler on Monday, Wandy Rodriguez Tuesday and Colby Lewis on Wednesday. Klein has only started one game this year, throwing 5 1/3 against Boston in a 2-1 win. He’s struck out seven batters in only 10 innings this year. Rodriguez did not fair well against Cleveland, only going 4 2/3 innings and striking out two while giving up five runs. Lewis, as well, did not have much success against Cleveland this year, giving up six runs while having better luck in striking out seven. Start all your hitters against this group.

Cleveland travels to Seattle for a four-game set with the Mariners after the game on Wednesday. They face James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias, and J.A. Happ in the series and luckily avoid Felix Hernandez. This is an underwhelming group and even with the spacious SafeCo Field pushing some flyballs into flyouts. With two lefties on Saturday and Sunday, it’s expected that Brandon Moss/Michael Bourn/Michael Brantley will see some days off at the end of the week.

Buy Low

This is an unconventional buy low, since many may him stashed, but if someone dropped him, pick up Yan Gomes now while he is available. He just came back on Sunday after being on the DL for six weeks. He has great power potential and could hit .280 on the year, something we rarely see out of the catcher position.

Sell High

A two HR week could raise Brandon Moss‘s value enough to get you some good value in a trade. Though I do think Moss could see 30 HRs this year, it looks less likely with every big swing and miss. With 40 strike outs already on the year, Moss is showing that he is as expected: a big power bat but with a lot of punch outs. Maybe someone is looking for a power infusion.

Next: Weekly Wroundtable: The Fate of Jose Ramirez