Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline Tracker: Josh Hader to Brewers; a park change could benefit Trey Mancini

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and we could see a flurry of activity just before the clock strikes 6:00 PM ET on Tuesday, August 2nd. Here’s where we’ll break down all the highlights from a Fantasy Baseball perspective.

This seemingly modest deal could actually have an impact in Fantasy given how consequential the park change is for Mancini’s momentum. He pulls the ball in the air more than the average hitter (about 25 percent of the time, according to FanGraphs), which would normally be a good indicator of power, but the Orioles have, of course, moved the left field fence this year. Minute Maid Park, meanwhile, is best known for the short porch in left field. The seats couldn’t be further apart for that section of the outfield fence — we’re talking dozens of feet — and fittingly, Statcast suggests that Mancini would have more than twice as many home runs, 22 total, if he had played all of his games in Houston this year.

He won’t play everything his play in Houston even now is worth noting, but he’ll play enough to be a top 40 outfielder moving forward.

Props to Montas, of course, going from the team with the worst record in the AL to the one with the best. As good as the rest of his stat line looked, his 4-9 record only made him the leagues 52nd best starting pitcher in points and 46th best in 5×5. He could have been 9-4 if he had been with the Yankees from the start, and I would expect him to be among the 25 starting pitchers down the stretch. Of course, there’s also the matter of him going from one of the best pitcher’s parks to one of the worst, but that won’t affect him as much as his 5.01 road ERA would have you believe. For a full explanation of why, as well as a review of perspectives (namely Ken Waldichuk’s) that go in the opposite direction, click here.

Hader will continue to do his thing, just for a new team. The Padres are just as in contention as the Brewers, so he remains as prolific a reliever as ever. The bigger question is who closes for the Brewers now. Rogers seems like an easy choice, but the Padres just removed him from the role after an ugly July in which he allowed 10 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. So a better bet might be Devin Williams, long thought to be the closer in waiting with his Airbender changeup (h/t @PitchingNinja) and a career 14.7 K/9.

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With Rogers pitching left and Williams pitching right, it could become something of a watershed, but the Brewers will want to make sure Rogers is right before going down that road. We should all be rooting for Williams to take the role immediately. He has closer potential in the top three.

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To make up for the talent gap between the two lefties, the Brewers also acquired Esteury Ruiz, Dinelson Lamet and prospect Roberto Gasser. The most interesting of these names for fantasy purposes is Ruiz, who put up monster numbers in the minors before his promotion just before the All-Star break, highlighted by 60 stolen bases in 77 games. He didn’t do much with the big club, and the Brewers actually drafted him right away. Still, he could end up getting the starting center job from Tyrone Taylor.

Castillo will enjoy a significant park upgrade with this move, which you could argue makes less of a difference for a pitcher who consistently ranks in the top five in ground ball rate. But Castillo has faded his multi-seam sinker from the four-seam in recent weeks — a change that has produced positive results overall, taking his K/9 from 7.8 before May 31, when he first increased his use of the four-seam, to 10 ,1. However, it has made him less ball-oriented, and consequently, he has a 3.64 ERA at home this year compared to 2.09 on the road. So what does that mean, practically speaking? They should probably treat Castillo as a top-20 starting pitcher in Fantasy. For a more complete unfolding of this business, click here.

Peralta has already lost control of his everyday role with the Diamondbacks, and that certainly won’t change with a team like the Rays. He is, after all, batting .268 with an .823 OPS against righties compared to .114 with a .462 OPS against lefties, which at least gives him some benefit in daily five-outfield leagues. His acquisition means Josh Lowe is back in the minors, not that the former top prospect has contributed anything of value. It also helps clear the way for the Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll, however slim his chances of making his debut this year have been.

The trade likely means the Yankees are giving up Joey Gallo as more than a starter, and things could get even tighter when Giancarlo Stanton returns from his battle with Achilles tendonitis. So far, though, Benintendi looks like an everyday part of the lineup, having already started against lefties since arriving. He’s been serviceable in Fantasy this year due to his high batting average, but he’s been even more empty than in years past. It’s possible he’s trying harder to pull the ball now, aiming for the short porch in right field, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that.


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