Week 6 Fantasy Baseball Rest-of-Season Projections: Trendsetters

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A player’s overall body of work seldom tells you anything. With so many ups-and-downs throughout a player’s career, trends are the only reliable measure of where he is at that point. Trends aren’t always that easy to spot. It’s easy to look at someone like Kevin Slowey or James Loney and say that guy is overachieving but what can we realistically expect from them? It’s equally as easy to look at R.A. Dickey and say that he’s done but what can fantasy owners actually expect from him? Let’s take a look at what recent history can tell us.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Kevin Slowey 45 delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park Howard Smith USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Slowey: 1-2, 1.81 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 36 K/8 BB

Slowey has been one of the most added players in fantasy the last two weeks which is highly impressive for a pitcher with a 4.44 career ERA who plays on the worst team in baseball. At the same time, those career numbers are a bit deceiving. Slowey’s career problem can be compounded to one word – injuries. In injury plagued seasons in which he pitches under 100 innings, Slowey has around a 5.30 ERA. In the two seasons he’s played over 150 innings, his ERA is a much more solid 4.21. With a move to the National League, that translates to about 3.97, a serviceable ERA albeit the average for an NL pitcher. Even with his struggles, his career WHIP is a passable 1.27 while his career best was 1.15 in 2008. Slowey has also given up a lot less hits, just 6.9/9 this season after owning a 10.2 H/9 over his career. Playing in the big Marlins park, his home run total is also way down from 1.4/9 in his career to 0.6/9 in 2013.

Fearless Prediction: 8-11 W, 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 140 K

Read More: SJN’s Fantasy Baseball Projections

R.A. Dickey: 2-5, 5.06 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 38 K/22 BB

While Dickey has had some problems getting adjusted to the American League, I’m not ready to write off last year’s NL Cy Young winner on a few rough starts. Dickey’s ERA is severely hurt by his Apr. 7 start against Boston and May 4 start against Toronto in which he allowed a combined 14 runs. Take those two starts out of the equation and his ERA is actually 3.00. Even with a couple MPH off his knuckler and a significantly higher walk total than we’re used to, he has done well enough to own a 3.00 ERA in games he isn’t getting destroyed in. A move to the AL or not, I can’t imagine a guy with a 0.8 HR/9 and 2.2 BB/9 over his last three seasons suddenly becomes a 1.5 HR/9 and 4.1 BB/9 guy the following year. Certainly it’s hard to expect a run at Cy Young this season but if he can get his neck and back problems that have plagued him all season under control, there is no way R.A. will continue to allow homers and walks at the pace he is now.

Fearless Prediction: 11-11, 3.70 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 160 K

James Loney: .381 BA, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 14 R, 1 SB

So a guy who went universally undrafted goes on a hot streak and everyone starts getting wildly optimistic. Stop it. There was a time when James Loney was a solid, albeit far from great, fantasy option. From 2008 to 2010 he averaged a .279 BA, 12 HR, 89 RBI, and 69 R. Very Keith Hernandez of him. Unfortunately, like Keith Hernandez, that time is gone. In 2011 his production dropped to 12 HR, 65 RBI, and 56 R and last season he batted a mere .249 with six home runs, 41 RBI, and 37 R. His current numbers put him on pace for around 90 RBI and 75 R. Of course, that’s only if he keeps his ridiculous .381 BA. I think Loney is a solid real-life player but anyone that expects him to help their fantasy team is wildly mistaken.

Fearless Prediction: .270 BA, 7 HR, 62 RBI, 50 R, 4 SB

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.