Reds Fantasy Roundup: Week Twelve


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Upcoming Games:

June 17th: PIT @ CIN — Francisco Liriano vs. Mike Leake

June 18th: PIT @ CIN — Charlie Morton vs. Mat Latos

June 19th: PIT @ CIN — Jeff Locke vs. Bronson Arroyo

June 20th: PIT @ CIN — Brandon Cumpton (?) vs. Homer Bailey

June 21st: CIN @ ARI — Johnny Cueto vs. Wade Miley

June 22nd: CIN @ ARI — Mike Leake vs. Patrick Corbin

June 23rd: CIN @ ARI — Mat Latos vs. (??)

Position Player Recommendations:

1. Todd Frazier

Frazier has had an up and down season so far. He was one of the better players in baseball for the first 2 weeks of the season, but completely fell off of a cliff after that. However, after a disastrous May where he hit just .220/.340/.305 without a single home run, he seems to have turned the corner so far in June. So far this month, Frazier has hit a robust .326/.420/.512 with 2 homers (in back to back games) and 5 RBIs.

Frazier’s problem continues to be hitting away from Great American Ballpark. At home, he’s been a fine hitter, going .288/.386/.523 with 6 of his 8 home runs. On the road, however, he’s hit just .209/.302/.318 with 2 home runs. Part of his problem can be attributed to luck, as his BABIP is just .263 on the road, well below league average. However, he’s hitting the ball on the ground more, with a 44.2% groundball rate (as opposed to just 32.9% in 2012.) That is a bad turn of events for a hitter without much speed. He’ll have to start driving the ball more (he’s hitting just 16.6% line drives as opposed to 22.4% in 2012) if he’s going to resemble himself from last year.

However, as discussed before, he does appear to have found his bat in June. Against Pittsburgh’s slate of pitchers, he’s 6-10 (.600) with a homer. Against Arizona’s 2 slated starters (we don’t know who will be taking the suspended Ian Kennedy‘s spot) he is 3-9 (.333.) With 4 of his 7 games at Great American Ballpark, it seems like as good of  week as any to insert Frazier back into your lineup.

Week 12 Line Prediction: .300 average, 1 HR, 4 RBIs.

Final Recommendation: Start.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Zack Cozart

It’s been awhile since we’ve discussed Cozart as a fantasy relevant player. However, after a good May (.278/.305/.392) and a decent June (.255/.283/.392) he’s worked his way back into the discussion. Even with his bat improving lately, his OBP is still a killer, as his .271 mark on the year is remarkably bad. However, he gives decent pop (6 homers) and run production (28 RBI) for a shortstop. It’s worth noting that his stellar defense, and the lack of a decent replacement (nobody wants Cesar Izturis in the lineup for an extended period of time) will virtually guarantee him playing time. In standard 5×5 leagues, he’s actually been the 11th most valuable shortstop in the game, and his ownership has risen to a solid 40.9%, so he is worth a look. Keep in mind, though, that if your league counts OBP, his pop and run production may be virtually neutralized by his awful OBP.

Like Frazier, Cozart has had a decent amount of success against Pittsburgh’s starters. He has gone 4-14 (.285) with a homer against them. Against Arizona’s starters, he has only faced Wade Miley, and he has struggled mightily, going 0-7 with 3 strikeouts. It may be a bit of a reach, but I think that Cozart will have a fairly big week. Starting him is a risk, but one that could very well pay off.

Week 12 Line Prediction: .290 average, 1 HR, 5 RBIs.

Final Recommendation: Start.

3. Joey Votto

Joey Votto bounced back from an extended slump to post a solid week fantasy wise. He went .292/.414/.500 on the week, with a homer and 5 RBI. He is hitting a robust .315/.436/.504 on the season, with 11 homers and 33 RBIs. If you have had him on your bench because of his slump, it’s time to let him play.

Week 12 Line Prediction: .350 average, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs.

Final Recommendation: Start.

Pitcher Recommendations:

1. Johnny Cueto

Cueto is back! There’s not much that needs to be said about Cueto, so I’ll keep it brief. Cueto has been remarkable this season, going 3-0 with a 2.17 in his 6 games pitched this year. In his last start before going on the DL, he went 8 innings while allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6 Pirates’ hitters. He is a must start just about always.

Week 12 Line Prediction: 1 win, 0 losses, 7 IP, 6 Ks, 3 ER, 3.86 ERA.

Final Recommendation: Start.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Mat Latos

Latos gets two starts this week. While Latos has pitched well this season, going 6-0 (could very well be 11-0, he’s had 5 games blown for him) with a 3.08 ERA, he is outpitching his peripherals a little bit. His strikeout rate is at an all time low at 7.74 (way down from 2010, when it was 9.21) and his xFIP (3.59) is higher than his ERA. However, even with all of this, Latos is still a good pitcher.

Against Pittsburgh, Latos has dominated. Current Pirates hitters are hitting just .198/.309/.336 off of him in their careers. Arizona hitters have had a bit more success off of him, hitting .278/.347/.444 off of him, with Jason Kubel (2-5, 2 home runs) being the big culprit. Expect one great start and one decent start from Latos this week.

Week 12 Line Prediction: 1 win, 0 losses, 13 IP, 10Ks, 6 ER, 4.15 ERA.

Final Recommendation: Start.

3. Bronson Arroyo

Still not interested.

Week 12 Line Prediction: 0 wins, 1 loss, 6 IP, 2 Ks, 3 ER, 4.50 ERA.

Final Recommendation: Sit.

4. Homer Bailey

Although Homer Bailey got lit up a bit in his last start, he’s still been incredible this season. Bailey’s FIP is at an incredible 2.55 ERA (with an impressive 3.09 xFIP.) He’s even gotten a bit unlucky, with a .301 BABIP on the season. Bailey is a must start 90% of the time, and against a weak Pittsburgh offense, this is one of those times.

Week 12 Line Prediction: 1 win, 0 losses, 6 IP, 7 Ks, 2 ER, 3.00 ERA.

Final Recommendation: Start.

5. Mike Leake

While a win might be hard to come by, with the Reds facing off against the tough Liriano and even tougher Corbin, Leake should pitch solid against 1 terrible offense and 1 so-so offense. Use him well.

Week 12 Line Prediction: 0 wins, 1 loss, 12 IP, 6 Ks, 5 ER, 3.75 ERA.

Final Recommendation: Start.

Week 12 Score Predictions:

June 17th (PIT @ CIN): L, 4-1

June 18th (PIT @ CIN): W, 5-4

June 19th (PIT @ CIN): L, 6-1

June 20th (PIT @ CIN): W, 5-3

June 21st (CIN @ ARI): W, 6-3

June 22nd (CIN @ ARI): L, 2-0

June 23rd (CIN @ ARI): W, 6-4

Predicted record: 4-3

Thank you for reading! Comments are appreciated. 

Just a note, I will be on vacation next week, so this column will not be posted, and will resume in Week 14.