So that was a weird trade deadline, huh?
Several players thought to be on the move remained in place, with the Yankees shockingly dealing Jordan Montgomery (more on him in a minute) to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader, currently in the IL, and the Mets trading JD Davis and three others for Darin Ruf. The Padres seemingly sold all of their minor leaguers to acquire Juan Soto, Josh Hader, Brandon Drury and Josh Bell to build their own fantasy team.
San Diego’s aggressiveness made it by far the most impressive draft deadline (especially for fantasy purposes, though Houston is credited with acquiring Trey Mancini), but Roto Rage will focus on the fantasy impact of pitching deals and how their moves will affect their value.
Meet Monty in St. Louis
Since going 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA and a .216 opponents’ average over his first 13 starts, Montgomery has struggled mightily. Before taking a hit on Saturday against the Yankees, the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft and surprisingly dealt him to the Cardinals, the lefty hadn’t won since June 17 and was 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA in to his past eight starts.
Despite his recent struggles, Montgomery entered the weekend with the seventh-best walk rate (4.9 percent) in the majors, as well as the 10th-best strikeout rate (14 percent) and 13th-best called-plus-swinging-strikeout rate ( 30 percent), both career ratings. He also ranked 21st in WHIP (1.10), and his .269 BaBIP indicates he was unlucky (as does his 3.62 xFIP).
Biggest plus: Montgomery gets a stadium upgrade by ditching hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium for pitcher-sanctuary Busch Stadium. His new team comes with a Gold Glove infield of Nolan Arenado, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt, which should only help a pitcher who uses his sinker about 40 percent of the time. Barring injury (and he’s been injury-prone throughout his career) or layoffs, Montgomery could be in line for seven of his next eight starts in St. Louis. Louis, and half of those starts could come against teams with sub-.500 records.
It was surprising to see the Bombers trade Montgomery, but fantasy managers should be happy he landed in St. Louis. Louis.
Jose Quintana was the third-best pitcher in ESPN leagues this week, and he backed that up Thursday by allowing one run over six innings and striking out seven while earning a no-decision in his Cardinals debut. He is 1-0 with a 0.48 ERA, 15-4 strikeout-walk rate and .148 opponents average in his last three starts (two with the Pirates), and has allowed more than three earned runs in just four of his 21 starts in this time of year (and two or less in 15 of those outings). He won’t dominate, but, like Montgomery, Roto Rage likes his chance to succeed in St. Louis. Louis.
Among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched, Frankie Montas ranks 18th in strikeouts per nine (9.37) and 25th in ERA (3.18) while going 4-9 with a .233 opponents’ average. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 of his 19 starts. The numbers are impressive, but Roto Rage isn’t sold on Montas’ move to Yankee Stadium — not after spending the past six seasons pitching in the majors’ biggest ballpark and posting a 5.01 ERA away from Oakland this year.
Tyler the hero
Before making his Twins debut on Friday, Tyler Mahle was 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA in his first 19 starts while striking out 9.83 per nine (11th best in the majors) and walking 3.36 per nine (fourth worst mark in MLB). The move from Cincinnati to a more pitcher-friendly park (with a much better team) should help the 3.22 xERA materialize.
Noah is changing
Former Met Noah Syndergaard is averaging a career-low 7.0 over nine innings and has pitched six or more innings in just seven of his 16 starts this year. He’s been respectable for the Angels (5-8, 3.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP), but he’s far from a difference maker. It’s unlikely he’ll suddenly become a fantasy for the Phillies either.
THE SEA as they fly
Luis Castillo had a solid season with the Reds’ basement-dwelling team (4-4, 2.86 ERA, 9.5 K/9, .201 opponents’ average) before being shipped to playoff contender Seattle. It seems like a winning combination.
Odorizzi on the eyes
Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.75 ERA, including 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA and .195 opponents average over his past nine starts) went from one great situation in Houston to another in Atlanta, making his first start for the Braves on Saturday. With Roto Rage favorite Spencer Strider likely facing an innings limit at some point, Odorizzi should have plenty of opportunities to be a viable fantasy option during the final months of the season.
Jose Miranda 3B, Gemini
In 27 games since June 28, he is 31-for-93 (.333) with six homers, 28 RBI, 16 runs and a .951 OPS. He had at least one RBI in 15 of those games.
Blake Snell SP, Padres
He hasn’t lost since June 25, going 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA, 49 strikeouts and a .202 opponents’ average and .632 OPS over his last six starts.
Anthony Santander OF, Orioles
He entered Friday on a 14-game hitting streak, going 21-for-56 (.375) with four homers, 13 RBIs, nine runs and a 1.114 OPS. He has had at least one RBI in each of his last seven games and 10 of his last 12 games.
Merrill Kelly SP, D’backs
Before taking the mound Saturday, he was 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA, a 33-8 strikeout-walk rate and a .168 opponents’ average over his previous six starts.
Patrick Sandoval SP, Angels
July was not kind to the lefty, who took the mound on Friday, as he went 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA, 4.01 walks per nine and a .317 opponents’ average. The good news: His FIP and xFIP were far lower than his ERA.
Ryan Mountcastle 1B/OF, Orioles
He hasn’t played since July 3 and is just 5-for-46 (.109) with six RBIs, 15 strikeouts, a .189 OBP and a .319 OPS in his first 12 games since the layoff.
Marco Gonzales SP, Mariners
He’s allowed 18 earned runs in his past 24 innings (four starts) en route to a 6.75 ERA and .337 opponents’ average. Six homers allowed in that span.
CJ Cron 1B, Rockies
In his first 14 games since the All-Star break, he went 9-for-58 (.155) with one homer, 20 strikeouts and a .438 OPS. He only walked three times.
- Despite being winless since May 17, Giants’ Alex Cobb (21.7 percent owned) dropped his ERA from 6.25 on May 23 to 4.08 after going 0-4 with a 2.86 ERA and .217 opponents average in last 10 starts. He allowed more than three earned runs just once in that stretch, and two or fewer six times.
- The Brewers’ Kolten Wong, at a chilling 66.6 percent of ESPN rosters as of late Thursday, entered the weekend first in the majors in batting average (.429), third in runs scored (12) and OBP (.490) and sixth in slugging percentage (.714) and OPS (1.204) since the start of the second half. He also had an 18 percent strikeout rate and a 10 percent walk rate.
- Joey Gallo wears No. 12 with the Dodgers in honor of the 12 hits he hopes to hit the rest of the season.
- In nine appearances since July 9, the Yankees’ Clay Holmes is 1-3 with a 9.35 ERA, one save, three saves, 11 strikeouts and a .257 opponents’ average. During this difficult nine-game stretch, he also walked nine after allowing just five free passes through his first 37 plate appearances. In those first 37 outings, he was 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA, 39 strikeouts and a .165 opponents’ average while collecting 16 saves in 17 chances.
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