Who To Watch: 7-25-2016
David Dahl, OF Colorado Rockies vs. Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo)
Dahl is a five tool potential star that has taken a little longer than many scouts expected to get here due to a multiple of injuries, but he is with the Rockies while they have the designated hitter in Baltimore. If he struggles, even in the short term, his major league time could be short lived for now only to return in August.
We have heard the typical, yearly rumors that Carlos Gonzalez could be traded while we have also heard that Charlie Blackmon is the more sought after player mostly due to his extra years of affordable team control. How Dahl handles his major league debut could provide the Rockies the additional confidence necessary to finally pull the trigger and trade CarGo or Blackmon. That process starts tonight in Camden yards in a park friendly to bats against a pitcher (Yovani Gallardo) that has a .296 batting average against.
Alex Bregman, SS/3B Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees (Michael Pineda)
Fantasy baseball players have been screaming for this day for weeks, Alex Bregman's major league debut. In 80 games between Double-A and Triple-A Bregman has hit 22 doubles, 20 home runs and a .306 batting average to go with a .406 on-base percentage and .986 OPS.
An interesting question that we are unlikely to see a resolution too this season is what position Bregman will ultimately play for the Astros. He is likely to play third base this season, but it shouldn't be an obvious decision in 2017. Bregman is a better defensive shortstop than Carlos Correa, but Correa is the future leader of the Houston Astros and he has worked extremely hard to stay a shortstop. If rumors are true he has been insistent that he wants to stay at shortstop even though he is a below average defender at the position. Manny Machado changed positions for the betterment of the Orioles while Derek Jeter did not for the Yankees when Alex Rodriguez was acquired. It will be interesting to see if Bregman plays shortstop when Correa gets a night off this season and how the Astros handle their two future stars in spring training.
Drew Pomeranz, SP Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander)
Pomeranz made his Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park debut last week against a National League team (San Francisco Giants) so it seemed a little less than "Must See" TV than this one does against the Detroit Tigers. That being said, Pomeranz was bombed, giving up eight hits and walking two while allowing five earned runs in three innings pitched against the Giants who are hardly an offensive juggernaut.
The Drew Pomeranz for Anderson Espinoza trade was controversial for a multiple of reasons. One, doubts about whether Pomeranz 2016 success has been a fluke. Two, concerns about how he will handle Boston, Fenway Park and the American league East. And third, Pomeranz has never pitched more than 96 innings in a season and he has already pitched 105 innings this season with as many as 60-75 innings still to go if the Sox can make a deep October run.
Tonight, Pomeranz faces his first American League team and it is at Fenway, where lefties often struggle. The Red Sox need Pomeranz to pitch like he has in San Diego to save face for President of Operations Dave Dombrowski and to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Noah Syndergaard, SP New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez)
Going back to June 22 versus the Kansas City Royals, in five starts and 26 1/3 innings pitched, Syndergaard has struck out 30 while walking eight, allowed 33 hits and 12 earned runs over those starts. Mixed in amongst four mediocre starts was a strong one against the Chicago Cubs, but three of those five starts he wasn't able to pitch into the seventh inning and he allowed at least seven hits in 4 of those 5 starts as well. Syndergaard is throwing with bone spurs in his elbow after pitching deep into October in 2015.
This is a matchup of two Wild Card contenders and that makes this "Must-See" TV, but Syndergaards recent performance adds additional reason to peak and see how he does tonight.
Jake Arrieta, SP Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez)
Like Noah Syndergaard, Arrieta has hit a bit of a hiccup recently. In five starts dating back to June 22, he has pitched 28.1 innings. In those starts he struck out 28 batters, allowed 30 hits, walked 13 and allowed 17 earned runs. His last start versus the Mets was very good, but he hasn't been the Jake Arrieta that was making a case to be the new best starting pitcher in baseball. Arrieta pitched 72 1/3 more innings in 2015 than 2014, which was by far his career high. Maybe he is feeling it as well.
The Cubs will make the playoffs regardless of how Arrieta pitches the rest of the way, but to win that elusive World Series ring Cubs fans will need Arrieta to be an ace and recently, he hasn't been up to snuff.
Staff Writer www.RotoExperts.com
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