The opposite of my “Warm Front” articles, this article will expose the players in this slate who are cold as of late and aren’t in great spots to turn things around – ultimately players you might want to avoid. Slumps are very prevalent in the MLB and can give you an advantage if you are able to avoid them. I will touch on players who are above the $3,200 level as they are more likely to hurt your lineup.
Rougned Odor (2B $3,300) vs. Hector Santiago @ Globe Life Park
Odor carries a rough .183 average coming into this matchup and has certainly shown signs of a slump going 3 of his last 26. Over his last game 17 games started, he has only eclipsed 10 FDP 3 times and has yet to go yard in the same amount of games. In addition, he only has 3 XBH’s in those last 17 games with only 3 RBIs and 3 BBs. Simply put, he really isn’t doing much of anything which is why you have seen his price drop to what it is currently. Looking specifically at his matchup with the lefty Hector Santiago tonight, it only gets worse. In his 21 ABs against lefties this season, he only has 2 hits, both singles giving him a .095 average. While I’m sure his right hook is still very effective, his bat surely isn’t and is one you will want to avoid until he shows signs of his 2016 self.
Manny Machado (3B $3,500) vs. Alex Cobb @ Camden Yards
Manny is off to a very slow 2017 season and currently holds a .188 average. He has burned me and I’m sure you as well, various times this year when it appeared he was in great spots but just hasn’t found his grove. Over his last 15 games started he only has 9 hits, only 2 of which are doubles and 2 being dingers. He has only hit 3 home runs this season which is certainly disappointing playing most of his games in a hitter’s park and simply knowing what he can potentially do in a potent Orioles lineup. He has struck out 14 times against righties this season and will see such a pitcher in Alex Cobb tonight. While I do think Machado will surely pick it up soon, I do not feel comfortable rostering him at this current price tag ($3,500) until he shows he is out of this early season funk, something many good players go through (see 2016 Anthony Rizzo). For you BvP advocates, Machado is only 1-15 against Cobb in his career, which only makes me not want to roster him even more.
Kyle Schwarber (OF $3,500) vs. Tyler Glasnow @ PNC Park
Big Schwarb is not exactly living up to expectations to start this season in terms of his bat as he is batting only .224 and is 6 for his last 31 with only 1 home run and 2 doubles. Schwarber exploded onto the scene last season until a collision with Dexter Fowler ended most of his 2016 campaign. Now, he is batting atop the cubs lineup which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for RBI opportunities, which certainly limits his upside. I understand that he is the probably the best option in the cubs lineup to leadof f(besides Albert Almora IMO) due to his great plate discipline (.359 OBP) and bat, but I would feel much more comfortable rostering him if he is batting 3rd 4th or even 5th, where he can produce runs consistently. He doesn’t steal bases and obviously his batting average isn’t up to par so his value basically comes from him hitting home runs, which he only has 3 of. As much as I like Schwarber and his ability, I don’t think he has great value batting in the lead off spot or maybe not as much value as his price tag suggests.
Having said all of this, Schwarber is an interesting position tonight against Glasnow who is locked in to walk at least 2 batters and give up some runs as he has been rather inefficient so far. Schwarber is 1 for 3 against him with a double and with Kris Bryant finally heating up, he may not be too bad of a play but I still think you can find better value in that $3,500 level.
Jayson Werth (OF $3,600) vs. Tyler Chatwood @ Coors Field
Werth’s price tag has all to do with the game being in Coors Field and having an 11 projected run total. In his last 7 games started, Werth has yet to produce over 10 FDP and has only 3 hits in those 7 games, and only 1 was an XBH (double). He really hasn’t done much at all this season aside from some decent games a few weeks ago. This will mark the 3rd game in this Nats v Rockies series at Coors and Werth has gone 1-7 with only 9 total FDP despite his favorable peripherals. Werth could very well be a good GPP play and part of your Nationals stack but I’m not a fan of him for cash games due to his lack of production lately. Werth is player who can prolong a slump for a pretty big period of time, thus causing my worries with him.
Jay Bruce (OF $3,600) vs. Julio Teheran @ CITI Field
I am smelling a slump with Mr. Bruce here and his recent numbers might suggest the same. Going 2 for his last 16, Bruce has run into somewhat of a wall after a 54 point game against the Phillies a week ago that included 2 bombs. Part of this slump could involve him playing at home in CITI Field whick ranks 3rd last this season in home runs allowed, which obviously doesn’t bold well for his value seeing as he is mainly a home run hitter. Bruce will face a righty tonight whom he is much more effective against this season batting .340 with 5 dingers but is 3-21 against Teheran (2 HRs). Similar to Werth, his price tag is a little too high for cash games in my opinion against a pitcher who has only given up 2 homers in 30 innings pitched at CITI Field. He could be an interesting GPP play simply because he can go yard whenever due to his power, but I would advise staying away from him in cash games.