Cleveland Indians Fantasy Report: Week Nine
Week Eight was good to the Tribe, will a trip to Kansas City help get them move up in the division?
A 4-3 week for the Cleveland Indians hasn’t done much for their standing in the AL Central, but it has done wonders for their perception around the league. According to Fangraphs.com, they have the best rest-of-season winning percentage.
Let’s hope that Week Nine will see a move up in the standings as well as continued excellence from their leadoff hitter, Jason Kipnis. Record breaking month propels Kipnis 51 hits. Many qualified hitters don’t have this hits on the two-month-old season. A .430 average on the month is 49 points better than the next hitter. A OBP of .515 is absolutely bonkers. He scored 30 runs on the month. But because you’re reading this, the hot streak that Kipnis is on is no surprise or news. You come to me for advice and when it comes to Kipnis, all I have to tell you is to stay the course. You will never get equal value for him, so shopping him like a normal “sell high” is out of the question. Those that are own Kipnis are going to ask for a fortune, so buying is unlikely. Hold onto him if you have him. Hope that when he comes back to earth (and he is going to, it’s only a matter of time), it’s not a bottom out fall and you continue to have the best second baseman on your team.
May 24, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians center fielder Michael Brantley (23) hits a pitch that went for an error on Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (not pictured) during the sixth inning scoring two runs at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Brantley’s bottoming out helps buyers A two-week free fall slash line of .208/.273/.292 has inevitably dropped Michael Brantley’s value. Nothing has been raised as concerns in regards to his health, so this seems to simply be a slump. Brantley’s career numbers in the month of May are the best, but they are no too out of line with everything else. A BABIP of .280 points to simply bad luck, especially when you consider his BABIP for April was .357 and his career number is .311. Buy low on Brantley. He only has 4 home runs but with 17 doubles, a league-leading number, he is still producing. Get Brantley before he goes off.
Cookie Carrasco clobbers the Rangers I told you a couple weeks ago that I will let you know when I get something wrong, and sitting Carrasco last week was one of them. He went eight innings, striking out eight and giving up one run. Carrasco is having a sneakily good season, going 6-4 with 66 strikeouts, an outstanding 10.4 K/9, and a 1.18 WHIP. His 4.24 ERA probably has fantasy owners concerned, but he has a 2.67 FIP, showing that he is pitching much better than that ERA.
His defense is not helping him, but with it being June now, Francisco Lindor should be on his way up soon and the trade market will start taking shape, meaning reinforcements are on their way. Carrasco will have a 2-start week this week, going Tuesday against Kansas City in Kansas City and Sunday against Baltimore at home. Buy in while you can, that K/9 rate will continue.
Week Nine Pitching Preview!!
Only one 2-start pitcher this week in Carlos Carrasco means a must start for him. Shawn Marcum will get the call on Friday after a great win last Saturday against Seattle. Danny Salazar had a shortened outing on Sunday against Seattle which could be a buying opportunity in some leagues. He continues to have an up and down year but will continue to rack up the strikeouts.
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Kansas City will have Jeremy Guthrie start out the three-game series on Tuesday. Danny Duffy is slated to start Tuesday after coming off the DL and Chris Young pitches against Cleveland for the first time this year. Young is having another stellar year, sporting a 0.86 WHIP and a 1.55 ERA over 40.2 IP. Duffy being a lefty would point to a Raburn sighting, and another home run off a lefty on Sunday would help solidify his DFS standing as lefty killer.
Baltimore comes to town for a weekend series and will pitch Chris Tillman on Friday, Ubaldo Jimenez comes back to Cleveland on Saturday, and the always interesting TBD on Sunday. Tillman has had a rough year, posting a 5.59 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and a 2-6 record. Ubaldo has had a better year than Tillman, going 3-3 with a 3.14 ERA and a 8.2 K/9. Look for a good weekend for the Indians hitters.
If you haven’t checked in on him yet, see whether you can add Francisco Lindor to your roster. Flipping the calendar over to June doesn’t mean much, but it does for the Super 2 deadline. Lindor has a .249/.327/.348 slash line in Triple-A Columbus with one home run and eight steals. I expect the average to not be too far off but he is a power/speed threat and will get to 10/20 for the year.
Because I have to select one member of the roster to sell high, that choice is Kipnis. He has gone two weeks without a steal and some could be looking for more speed. Maybe if you’re a Kipnis owner, Dee Gordon is someone you could get. His projected steals will help carry you over for the rest of the year.