Closing Time: Jameson Taillon's struggles make him a fantasy trade target

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon had another rough outing, this coming against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Jameson Taillon is a great story, and I remain a believer in the former No. 2 pick, who still benefits from a good pitcher’s park (although the Pirates’ defense has been poor, and Francisco Cervelli’s pitch framing has taken a major step back). Over his last four starts, Taillon has allowed 23 earned runs over 17.0 innings, good for a 12.18 ERA and a 2.24 WHIP despite a 9.0 K Rate. Taillon’s season 4.74 ERA is way off his 3.52 FIP, so he sure looks like a buy-low candidate (ZiPS projects a 3.67 ERA over the rest of the season). His .368 BABIP seems unlucky as well. But Taillon has allowed 18 runs over his last two starts, and that came against a mediocre Reds offense and a bad Giants one, so fantasy owners don’t want to hear excuses.

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Quick Hits: Amed Rosario is one of the best prospects in baseball and was just called up by the Mets and should be added in all fantasy leagues. He’s owned in just 40% of Yahoo leagues…It took a replay to overturn an out into a double, but Evan Longoria hit for the cycle Tuesday nightMax Scherzer hit his first career homer before leaving with a neck injury. The early word is he’s expected to make his next scheduled start…With Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list, Eduardo Nunez becomes a must-add (and start) for the time being…Freddie Freeman will return to first base permanently, which is essentially a best case scenario, as he’ll go back to playing the easier position (and safer health wise) while retaining 3B eligibility in 2018…Johnny Cueto has been diagnosed with a flexor strain. He’s been one of the biggest fantasy busts this year and can be dropped in all leagues.

The Boston/Cleveland game might have been the craziest of the season so far, as Chris Sale and Carlos Carrasco combined to give up 12 earned runs in 6.2 innings. There was also a walk-off three-run homer after Austin Jackson made possibly the catch of the year…The Giants’ three homers matched their season high. That’s not good considering the record-setting rate of home runs this year.

Justin Smoak is on pace to finish with 47 homers, while Nolan Arenado is on pace to record 144 RBI (Carlos Gonzalez is on pace for 41 RBI)…Sean Manea looked like one of the better DFS options Tuesday given his price and matchup, but thanks in part to an untimely error, he didn’t last past three innings…Joey Gallo hit two more homers Tuesday (including this bomb to center). He’s on pace to finish with the worst batting average ever by someone with 40+ homers.

Jimmy Nelson quietly has the sixth-best FIP (3.12) and seventh-best WAR (3.7) among all starters this season. He continues to be one of the biggest fantasy steals of 2017…Steven Matz figured to either be dominant or hurt, but he’s been healthy of late and incredibly ineffective. He’s allowed a whopping 24 earned runs over his last five starts (18.1 innings) and owns an anemic 6.9 SwStr% on the year…Shane Greene could be a top-tier closer moving forward, yet he’s owned in less than 50% of leagues right now. Brad Ziegler has less upside, but if you need saves, grab him as well (owned in less than 25% of leagues).

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