Of Note…Slants, Lester in ’18, Bullpens?
In depth weekly Fantasy Baseball musings…
by Chuck Anderson
Fantasy baseball information comes in many shapes and sizes… The limitations in its value come from remembering the source. I take ESPN advice with a grain of salt. They believe a “standard league” is 10 teams. I wouldn’t even play in a league that small. Half the All-Star team is not supposed to be on the waiver wire. CBS Sportsline advice is tainted as well. Their analysts are head-to-head guys. I have no issues with it, except they generally play only three Outfielders. Have you ever seen an MLB roster with only three guys that play on the grass? There is still a lot of info to be gleaned from various sources around the web and on iTunes. But make sure you always take into account the slant. My column last week ran down how shallow the Outfield looks for next year. Then Adam Aizer (CBS) dropped Scott Schebler… See what I’m saying?
The biggest fantasy baseball question for next year is…what happens to Pitching value now? We can assume that elite pitching will go up in value. Kershaw, Sale and Scherzer are likely to be top 10 picks. Some other near-studs will surely fall in the early rounds (Klubot, MadBum). The middling guys and their range of picks will be very curious to me. Will the safety in the bats outweigh the uncertainty on the bump? I have told multiple competitors not to whine about Lester, “At least he’s pitching.” But will you take Lester over the likes of Daniel Murphy or Nelson Cruz to guarantee you have some Pitching? A lot of these pitchers will not look great on paper by year’s end. Yet we still need to draft nine or ten Starters in many Leagues. In Keeper Leagues, I’d plan accordingly and have a couple hurlers to choose from going in.
Isn’t there some irony in the two worst bullpens in baseball being the Twins and the Nats? They’re both meeting or exceeding their expectations. I thought the Royals and Indians had taught us, you win with relief pitching… But then again, they’re both underachieving.
Some guys just can’t win. When Daniel Murphy hits .340 with 25+ HRs and well over 220 combined Runs and RBI again this year, the fantasy community will obviously still see him as a bit player. The excuse going into ’17 was that ’16 was a fluke. Look closely at his numbers and then tell me it was fluky.
I have always maintained that the Cubs were mishandling Schwarber. Playing guys out of position, long-term, is never advisable. Now that the pitching in Chicago leaves a little to be desired, my point is being verified. The Cubbies could have another viable option or two for their Staff if they would’ve traded the bulky slugger at his highest value.