Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Busts: Nick Swisher, Kevin Gausman, more

by Tim Heaney on June 13, 2014 @ 07:51:29 PDT


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1B/OF Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians

1B/OF Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians

Just activated from the DL, Swish could be a boon to CI- or OF-pining, OBP-playing owners. He has hit 20-plus homers in each of his first nine seasons, so he should come close to reaching that the rest of the way. That's a fine pace on which to hop.

SP Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles

Maybe Miguel Gonzalez (oblique) can stay in the minors or at least out of the rotation for a bit longer. Gausman's two outings in June (13 innings, two ER, nine K, three BB) may finally be what locks him into the starting five. If he sticks, he faces the woeful Tampa Bay Rays next week.

OF Will Venable, San Diego Padres

Five of the seven hurlers the Fathers face this week are right-handed, so he should remain in the lineup to try building off his recent pair of two-hit games. He may be slowly returning to playability in deep-mixed contests.

C-1B Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners

Using someone at a fantasy catcher slot that doesn't play there in reality is a fine advantage to gain on your competitors. Montero has rediscovered his pop at Triple-A Tacoma and could have a late breakthrough soon.

RP Jeurys Familia, New York Mets

Jenrry Mejia (back) left Thursday's contest. If he faces a stint on the disabled list, Familia would take over Mets saves.


Players losing value, potentially drop candidates

OF Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies

John Mayberry Jr. is making noise to be in the lineup every day, which could be disastrous for Brown. He's hanging by a thread by hitting an empty .270 so far in June, but a few more bad games could doom him.

SS J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles

Surely the power will be coming, right? His 6-for-40 (.200) June with just one RBI says you should at least keep him on the bench until he shows something.

Matchup notes

OF B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals (June 19-22)

In 2014, Atlanta's road trips don't typically produce much offense. In that vein, the Nats hold one of the best season-long pitching lines in their host park. B.J. Upton rarely contributes at the dish. But in 39 June at-bats, even with a shoddy .179 batting average, Bossman Junior has two homers and two stolen bases and two steals -- the two places for which you still hold out hope for him. Chiefly for this quartet of games, he's 16-for-57 lifetime at Nationals Park (.281). As your utility piece or fifth starting outfielder, you could do worse.

2B Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (June 20-22)

Surprisingly, the O's rank near the bottom of the majors in runs scored at home. Camden Yards usually facilitates that number. The rookie keystoner has followed that trend, clipping at .261 away from Baltimore (.733 on-base-plus-slugging) and .176 by the warehouse (.454). All five of his homers have been hit on road trips, too. Now with a patchwork rotation, the Yanks dwell near the basement in home ERA. It's the perfect AL East storm.

3B David Freese, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Texas Rangers (June 20-22)

The Rangers, whose staff rivals the Bronx Bombers' in ineptitude, have been among the teams smacked hardest by right-handed bats. Their troubles don't subside by much away from Arlington, either. While he has displayed no real favorable split depending on location and has not cleared the fences at the Big A so far, Freese, contrary to career trends, has hit right-handers (.254) better than lefties (.115) at home. Now playing every day at the hot corner, Freese's stealth value this week could help reignite his season.

Click to line up your starting pitchers....

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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