Each week, Collin Hager uses his HVaC Scoring System to let you know whom to start and drop this week in head-to-head fantasy baseball leagues. This week’s players to avoid:
Owners continue to rely on the Mets’ Curtis Granderson despite evidence that says maybe they shouldn’t. Over his four seasons with the Yankees, Granderson hit just .245, though he did hit 115 home runs. His highest average since 2008 has actually been just .262. Yankee Stadium was very friendly to him and allowed his HR/FB rate to jump over 20 percent. The change to Citi Field has led to a 10-point drop to this number early on this year. Owners also need to keep in mind that Granderson has not played in the National League, and in his first time around the circuit he has encountered a dramatic increase in the number of fastballs he has seen, the most since 2011.
Granderson approached .300 against fastballs last season (29 for 103).
For owners, the concern should not be the home run numbers, as those will come. But he is expected to be better than one deviation from the mean in runs and RBI and nearly seven in terms of H/PA. As a result, he checks in at No. 60 overall at the outfielder position. Those who are adding him now need to watch how he is able to adjust to pitchers the second and third time around, given they will likely be giving him fewer of the fastballs he has found success against.
Chase Headley, 3B, Padres
Headley has been able to sustain a BABIP of better than .319 every year since 2008, so the .236 mark he has put up this season should correct itself.
That said, his run and RBI projections are over one and over two standard deviations from the position average, respectively. The RBI category, in particular, is key for the position and should have owners holding back on him.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks
With a HR/FB of 12.5 percent, nearly twice his 2013 mark, Pollock is due for an adjustment.
Pollock is certainly making owners take notice and has been the most added outfielder across ESPN leagues in the last seven days. While he has not reached double-digit home runs at any level, expecting the .217 ISO mark to keep hitting home runs would be dangerous.
Garrett Richards, RHP, Angels
While the correlation of Richards’s FIP to his ERA makes sense, there are other numbers that raise concerns and bury Richards outside the top 75 pitchers the rest of the way. Richards’s 2.1% HR/FB rate is nine points better than his numbers last season and he is striking out two more batters per nine innings. Factoring in a five-point increase in his strand rate and a seven-point increase in his strikeout rate and this is very much a buyer-beware situation.
Jhonny Peralta, SS, Cardinals
Power will not be a problem, and Peralta’s projection of 11 equals the positional average. His RBI marks are strong as well. The concern will be expectations, as Peralta is outperforming them at this point. If owners are expecting an average shortstop the rest of the way, the fact Peralta will check in as a fringe starter should not be an issue. Expecting the player with a .233 ISO with a 17 percent HR/FB rate to continue will leave them disappointed.