Sorare MLB: Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades

Sorare MLB: Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades

This article is part of our Sorare MLB series.

After a couple of fun weeks of looking at Sorare from different perspectives, I'm getting back to the usual business as we near the halfway mark of the MLB season. If you haven't been assessing your Sorare lineups on a regular basis, the approach of the halfway mark should get you in that headspace. I'm here to help. Here are my Upgrades, Holds and Downgrades for your Sorare lineups this week.

Upgrades

Heliot Ramos, SF ($18.13): Last year, Ramos excelled a Triple-A, but when the Giants gave him a shot in the big leagues, he struggled. This season, he crushed Triple-A pitching again, earning another opportunity in the majors. He's not looking to return to the minors again. The 24-year-old has slashed .310/.388/.545 with nine homers in 38 games. Ramos has put up multiple games of over 30.0 Sorare points in June and has shown no signs of slowing down. It's clicking in MLB this year, and Ramos is now inked in as San Francisco's centerfielder.

Framber Valdez, HOU ($6.32): Valdez has had an up-and-down season, but he has a 3.38 ERA over his last five starts, including a complete-game gem against the Angels that registered 43.0 Sorare points. Most importantly, his greatest skills remain in place. The Dominican pitcher is not just great at keeping the ball in the park, but keeping it on the ground. He's allowed a mere 0.73 homers per nine innings, right in line with his career rate of 0.74 homers per nine. Additionally, his groundball percentage is 62.1, which is remarkable but nothing new; this would be the sixth time in seven seasons he put up a groundball rate over 60 percent. Valdez has induced 16 groundball double plays, which is most in MLB even though he's only made 12 starts.

Miguel Rojas, LAD ($3.06): Recently, Rojas notched 17.0 Sorare points in a three-hit effort. Granted, the shortstop was at Coors Field, but the reason Rojas is in this section is the same as the reason why he was in the lineup getting a chance to tee off at Coors. Opportunity knocks for the veteran infielder, as Mookie Betts' broken hand is going to keep him out 6-8 weeks. Rojas will be starting at shortstop in his stead, meaning his opportunity to accrue plate appearances, and therefore Sorare points, has soared. Don't expect him to do a Betts impression, but upgrades come in different flavors.

Spencer Horwitz, TOR ($1.83): Trying to straighten out a struggling lineup, the Blue Jays have moved some players around and shipped some players out. With Davis Schneider a starting outfielder and Cavan Biggio a Dodger, Horwitz is now atop the depth chart at second base for the Blue Jays. He's not playing against his fellow lefties much, but in his limited MLB career he has an .808 OPS versus right-handed pitchers. To date, he's been more of a guy who gets on base than someone who delivers power and counting stats, so his Sorare point totals don't wow you. However, he's playing regularly, and a guy who previously was off the radar suddenly has real upside.

Holds

Zack Wheeler, PHI ($33.82): Wheeler was tuned up by the Orioles in his last start, but I am here to suggest you keep the faith. He allowed four home runs in that start, but after that start, he's still allowed just 0.98 homers per nine innings on the season. Clearly, that outing was anomalous. Wheeler had five starts of 27.5 Sorare points or more prior to that. Last season was his first with the Phillies in which he finished with an ERA over 3.00, and he had a 3.15 FIP while doing so. Great pitchers have off days. Don't sweat it.

Jurickson Profar, SD ($12.97): Profar's hot start to 2024 seemed likely to be of the "Okay, fun's fun, but let's be realistic," variety. He's started well, but in time would regress toward what he's always been, which is a slightly below average hitter. Well, after picking up two more hits Wednesday, Profar has slashed .323/.420/.485 on the season. He has an .856 OPS over the last three weeks, and while that would represent a dip from his overall numbers, it's certainly not a "crashing to reality" dip. Games with hefty Sorare points have not been commonplace, but if a guy who has been regularly delivering 5-to-9 Sorare points per game intrigues you, Profar has held steady, so you should hold as well.

Downgrades

Jared Jones, PIT ($26.58): While Paul Skenes has somehow managed to exceed expectations, his fellow rookie hurler in Pittsburgh is getting his first taste of MLB struggles. Jones has a 5.34 ERA over his last five starts. Now, he hasn't had any brutal games from a Sorare perspective, his 2.5 points against the Tigers are his low in that stretch, but this is a pitcher who started the season with five games in a row with at least 24.0 Sorare points. He has a 3.88 FIP, and notably his home ERA (2.14) and road ERA (5.59) tell two different stories. Obviously, dealing with rookie pitchers means more unknowns than dealing with established MLBers. We now have reason for skepticism on Jones, something that wasn't there during his outstanding run to start the season.

Bryson Stott, PHI ($19.92): Stott's 18 stolen bases this year are nice, representing a potential for him to build upon the 31 bags he swiped in 2023. The problem is that last season those 31 stolen bases were paired with 15 homers and 32 doubles. He picked up his 10th double of the season Wednesday, raising his slugging percentage to…a lackluster .365. Over the last three weeks he has a .595 OPS, and in June he has more games with zero or fewer Sorare points than double-digit outings.

Josh Naylor, CLE ($14.02): With 19 home runs already, Naylor is going to fly by his career high of 20…probably. I offer equivocation because the slugging lefty has a .630 OPS over the last three weeks. It's a little awkward to call Naylor a downgrade after he went yard twice Wednesday, but his three hits got his average on the season up to .237, so my overall point still stands. He's still popped a couple homers for big Sorare points, but otherwise, single-digit outings abound, mixed in with outings with negative Sorare points. Naylor's OPS jumped from .771 in 2022 to .843 in 2023, mostly because he went from a .512 OPS versus lefties to an .821 OPS against lefties, as his numbers against righties actually decreased slightly. He's back down to a .686 OPS against southpaws this season.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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