Fantasy Baseball: Can Francisco Liriano Salvage His Season And Yours In Houston?

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 14: Francisco Liriano
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 14: Francisco Liriano /

Fantasy Baseball: Can Francisco Liriano Salvage His Season And Yours In Houston?

The Astros made a final push to improve their team, acquiring the veteran lefty to bolster their rotation. Here is the deal that brings Liriano south of the border:

Astros Get
LHP Francisco Liriano
Blue Jays Get
OF Teoscar Hernandez, OF Norichika Aoki

Liriano was 6-5 with a 5.88 ERA in Toronto this season, though he may have been a victim of some bad luck. His peripherals aren’t terrible, but he also is not the pitcher he was a few years back. That ERA would be the worst of his career if it holds up. However, Liriano struggled in Pittsburgh last year before the trade to Pittsburgh where he posted a 2.92 ERA in eight starts down the stretch.

The good news for the Astros is that Liriano gave up just two runs in eight innings in his only previous appearance in Minute Maid Park. He is also 34-24 in his career after August 1st, so Houston got him just in time.

Liriano is worth a look in leagues of 12 or more just on the chance that he gets back on track. The A.L. West has more pitcher-friendly parks and less offensive power than the A.L. East. That alone should raise his value a little. He should be a solid source of strikeouts down the stretch.

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The loser in this deal is likely to be Collin McHugh once Lance McCullers Jr. returns from the disabled list. The fifth spot could be a competition between McHugh and Liriano unless the team elects to use six starters down the stretch.

The open slot in the Toronto rotation will likely keep Cesar Valdez in the rotation until the return of Aaron Sanchez. Valdez and Joe Biagini will remain nothing more than streaming options in favorable matchups.

Norichika Aoki is far from the standard type of player that you would usually see going back to a rebuilding team. The 35 year old Japanese import is hitting .272 with two homers and five steals in 202 at bats this season. Aoki is a career .285 hitter and can provide speed at the top of the order. However, Aoki’s role in Toronto wont be much different than it was in Houston. He wont be taking time away from Kevin Pillar or Steve Pearce anytime soon.

Teoscar Hernandez hit .230 with four homers in 100 at bats for Houston last year, but he has not been able to find any time in a crowded outfield this year. He is hitting .276 with 12 homers and 12 steals at AAA, so he will likely get a look for the Jays later in the year. When he does, he will be worth a look in deeper leagues if he can carve out a regular role.

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