You can finally stop girding your loins – we’ve reached the final division in this position battles series. For reference, we’ve already covered the AL EastNL East, AL Central, NL Central, and AL West. Anyway, here’s some of the position battles to watch in the NL West:

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Center Field: Story time! I just had an in-person draft this weekend for my long-time hometown keeper league and one of the guys in this league loves to pick players with funny names. The best thing is that it kind of works since he ended up with Buster Posey years ago and now has Xander Bogaerts as one of his minor leaguers. Anyway, he picked Adam Eaton because he was hungry “mmm…Eaton.” Needless to say, Eaton will miss the first couple of months while Gerardo Parra covers center field, but my friend probably lucked out again.
  • Fifth Starter: Tyler Skaggs was optioned to the minors, so that leaves Randall Delgado and Patrick Corbin. I’d love to see Delgado have the job, given his upside and pedigree, but it looks like Corbin may start with the job due to his previous experience in the majors. These guys are only worth a look in deep leagues at this point, like 20,000 leagues under the sea deep.

Colorado Rockies

  • Third Base: Stud muffin prospect Nolan Arenado might be wishful thinking at this point, so that narrows this field to Jordan Pacheco and Chris Nelson. From my understanding, Pacheco looks to be a super-sub, kind of like a BLT, while Nelson gets the job by default, the two sweetest words of the English language. By the way, can you tell that I just ate and still have food on my mind?

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Fifth Starter: I discussed this a couple weeks ago on the Razzball podcast and said that Ted Lilly, aka “Serial Killer” as he’s known to Cubs fans, will murder the competition (at the time I though this competition was Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, and Chris Capuano). Sadly, he’s only murdered his ERA. Somehow, Hyun-Jin Ryu is now involved in this battle, while Billingsley is a lock for the rotation. Color me confused (which color would that be?). I don’t see how the Dodgers wouldn’t put Ryu in the rotation, considering the contract they handed to him, but money grows on trees in L.A., so who knows? I’d have to think Ryu makes the rotation and jaywrong covered him in voyeuristic detail here.

San Diego Padres

  • Second Base and Third Base: Logan Forsythe and Jedd Gyorko were battling over second base and then Chase Headley conveniently (for non-Headley owners) got injured. It looks like Gyorko will play at second base, while Forsythe will play at third base. When Headley returns in a month, I expect that whoever is playing worse will lose their starting spot. My imaginary money is on Gyorko to be a hit. See what I did there?

San Francisco Giants

  • Closer: Sergio Romo is technically the closer, but I have to qualify it because Botchy is tempted to deploy Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt into the mix. That they’ll all help your WHIP, ERA, and strikeouts is a consolation prize if this turns into a headache. What say you, bandwagon Giants fans?
  1. JoeG says:

    Looking for Middle Infield help
    13 team mixed 6×6 roto,with Daily Moves
    I have: 2b-Keppinger-2b
    Bench: ss-Yunel Escobar
    Free Agents:ss-Luis Cruz, ss-Eduardo Nunez, ss/2b-Cliff Pennington,ss-Mike Aviles

    I could move Rutledge to 2b 5 games in, are any free agents a better Starter then Keppinger or better backup then Escober?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @JoeG: Assuming the 6th category is OPS, I’d stick with what you have. Those free agents could really hurt your OPS and aren’t significantly better than Keppinger/Escobar without that category.

  2. BSW says:

    Mr. Jacks,
    12 team 6×6 with OPS. Mr Albright notes that my team may be a little light on OPS.
    Can you make any suggestions on who to shop/target? My starting line is as follows:
    C Miguel Montero, Ari C
    1B Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
    2B Ian Kinsler, Tex 2B
    3B Miguel Cabrera, Det 3B
    SS Elvis Andrus, Tex SS
    OF Adam Jones, Bal OF
    OF Desmond Jennings, TB OF
    OF Shin-Soo Choo, Cin OF
    UTIL Hunter Pence, SF OF

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @BSW: Maybe you could trade Andrus for a SS with a better OPS? I think you would be ok in steals without him. Not sure who would be willing to swap an SS though… Other than that, I like your offense.

  3. MessyF says:

    Hey Tom – thanks for the write up!
    Can you let me know what you think of my draft? 16team H2H OPS league…

    C Salvardor Perez
    1B Ike Davis
    2B Jordany Valdespin
    SS Everth Cabrera
    3B Brett Lawrie
    CI Ryan Howard
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Adam Jones
    OF Shin Choo-Soo
    OF Norichika Aoki
    U Carl Crawford
    Bench Lance Berkman

    SP Kershaw
    SP Smardjazida
    SP AJ Burnett
    SP Niese
    SP Teheran
    SP Shelby Miller
    SP Felix Dubront
    RP Tom Wilhelmsen
    RP Huston Street
    Bench Brandon Beachy

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @MessyF: Thanks! It feels like a lot of risk between potential injuries and guys not living up to their potential, although that’s inevitable in deeper leagues. Should be fine in a 16 teamer.

  4. Fooch says:

    If the Dodgers hold a Thunderdome competition where 5 men enter but only 2 leave, who wins? Ryu, Billingsley, Lilly, Capuano, or Harang?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Fooch: Trick question: Ted Lilly doesn’t allow for survivors.

  5. Robby D says:

    Anyone know when Lohse will become available for NL only leagues now that he signed with Milwaukee?

    • Robby D says:

      @Robby D: I could use him in that pitching depth

      • Tom Jacks

        Tom Jacks says:

        @Robby D: Not sure, but I would think ASAP since players have already started to be added to the DL.

  6. JoeG says:

    Thanks for the info, yes its a ops. Heres the rest of my team please rate:
    4th Pick in a 13 Team Mixed 6×6 Roto Daily Snake Draft.

    C Miguel Montero, Ari C
    1B Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B
    2B Jeff Keppinger, CWS 3B, 1B, 2B,
    3B David Freese, StL 3B
    SS Jose Reyes, Tor SS
    2B/SS Josh Rutledge, Col SS
    1B/3B Mike Moustakas, KC 3B
    OF Ryan Braun, Mil OF
    OF Jay Bruce, Cin OF
    OF Starling Marte, Pit OF
    OF Leonys Martin, Tex OF
    UTIL Todd Frazier, Cin 3B, 1B
    UTIL Denard Span, Wsh OF
    P Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP
    P Jaime Garcia, StL SP
    SP Adam Wainwright, StL SP
    SP Chris Sale, CWS SP
    SP Zack Greinke, LAD SP
    SP Mike Minor, Atl SP
    RP Ernesto Frieri, LAA RP
    RP Steve Cishek, Mia RP
    RP Mitchell Boggs, StL RP
    Bench Lonnie Chisenhall, Cle 3B
    Bench Andrew Cashner, SD RP, SP
    Bench Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD SP
    Bench Tyler Colvin, Col OF, 1B
    Bench Yunel Escobar, TB SS
    Bench Gerardo Parra, Ari OF
    Bench David Phelps, NYY SP, RP

    Was thinking about cutting Phelps for either L.Cruz or Ed Nunez for SS

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @JoeG: Your pitching is solid. I’d like to see more power in your utility spot than Span, but maybe that’s what you were thinking with Colvin. I don’t have a problem with cutting Phelps, but would prefer it be for a power OF/U. Other than that, no major issues with your team.

  7. Hawk says:

    10 team mixed 5×5, standard roto keeper. 15 hitters, 10 pitchers. We keep 12 – kind of a mini-dynasty league. I go 7 starter / 3 closers.

    We have Sabathia, Gallardo, Latos and Samardzjia. Our other 3 starters, are Hughes, Cashner, Tillman.

    Should I consider dropping any of those for Lohse?

  8. Hawk says:

    Oh, forgot. Tillman is an injury replacement for Hughes. We also have Marco Estrada.

    So Hughes, Tillman, Estrada, Cashner…toss any of those for Lohse?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Hawk: I really don’t trust Tillman and I like Lohse in the NL, so I’d swap them.

    • Robby D says:

      @Hawk: Lohse for Tillman is the best you can do.

  9. Eric B. sans Rakim says:

    In general, who would you like best as a MI in a 12-team 5×5 Roto team with AVG and OPS: Valdespin, Segura, or Gyorko?

    • Eric B. sans Rakim says:

      @Eric B. sans Rakim: That is, assuming Gyorko starts out the season at 2B. Yahoo league, and all that.

      • Tom Jacks

        Tom Jacks says:

        @Eric B. sans Rakim: I’d rank them as: Gyorko, Segura, Valdespin.

  10. Hi again Tom, here’s what I ended up with in my 10 team H-t-H 7×7 (Add in OPS, Total Bases, Batting Avg against, Losses).

    Its not quite the same as a pure 5×5 OPS league (Walks are great and all but don’t count for Total Bases and AVG remains a cat) I figured I’d get your take if you don’t mind! I also tried to get a strong rotation with good BAA guys that play on strong clubs (don’t want Losses) as this is key.

    C Jesus Montero
    1b Prince Fielder
    2b Daniel Espinosa
    3b Paul Sandoval
    Ss Starlin Castro
    Mi Joshua Rutledge
    Ci Paul Goldsmidt
    O1 Mike Stanton
    O2 Adam Jones
    O3 Shin-Soo Choo
    O4 Hunter Pence
    O5 Nickolas Markakis
    Util David Ortiz

    Corey Hart
    Jurickson Profar

    S1 Yu Darvish (accidental click, but I wanted a SP here anyways)
    S2 Mat Latos
    S3 Matt Moore
    S4 Brandon Morrow
    S5 C.J. Wilson
    S6 H.J. Ryu


    Mariano Rivera
    Rafael Betancourt
    Tom Wilhelmsen
    Steve Cishek
    Kenley Jansen

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Elijah: I really, really like your team all around. Not much else to say other than good job.

      • @Tom Jacks:

        Thanks, I owe you one for the Ortiz and Corey Hart picks.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:

          @Elijah: No problem – hopefully it works out. I’m getting at least one of them in every league.

  11. snow says:

    HI, can you give me your opinion on how i did with my draft? This is a 12-Team 6×6 with OPS league.

    Matt Wieters
    Mark Trumbo
    Josh Rutledge
    Will Middlebrooks
    Ian Desmond
    Mike Trout
    Andrew McCutchen
    Carl Crawford
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Adam LaRoche
    Torii Hunter
    Ichiro Suzuki
    Adam Eaton

    Yu Darvish
    Chris Sale
    Chad Billingsley
    Sergio Santos
    Jaime Garcia
    Kyuji Fujikawa
    Mike Minor
    A.J. Griffin
    Jeremy Hellickson
    Hyun-Jin Ryu


    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @snow: Love the offense. Pitching seems somewhat iffy – I love Darvish and Minor, but worry about some of the others. Should be ok as long as you keep a close eye on them and the waiver wire. I usually go heavy on hitting though, so I’m glad you are heavy on hitting rather than pitching.

  12. Jay

    jaywrong says:

    As a Padres homer, I agree. Gyorko is there to stay. If Everth is struggling, I’d expect Forsythe to drain AB’s from him when Headley returns. You agree?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @jaywrong: Good times. Yeah, I agree on Forsythe.

  13. Dave the Barber says:

    Hey Tom,

    When does ESPN update its player eligibility? I have Chris Carter and he is starting the season in the OF. Will I have to wait for him to play 18 games or will they update it before March 31st?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Dave the Barber: I believe he’ll need 10 games this season to qualify there.

  14. The Turk says:

    Love my hitters. Love my SP’s. Regretting my second RP choice. C. Perez. Looking to jump on the next closer in the making (like, say, Boggs …. wHo I missed in a late round of draft). Any thughts on guys who might be on a short rope, guys with injury concerns … ? I suppose that while Casilla and Affeldt may be “in the mix”, they will get few save opportunities.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @The Turk: Yeah, I’d just keep a close eye on Detroit with whoever they go with and the Cubs to see when Kyuji will get a shot at closer. The Mets and Houston closers could switch as well.

  15. Jeff says:

    Nl only. 5×5. Keeper league no salaries 10 teams.

    Question of which direction to go. Keep romo and pick up saves in draft? There will be about 7 closers available. Or freeze Pedro Alvarez and pray as power and everyday players limited in draft
    or go for bags and keep Cabrera?

    Here are my 9 for certain freezes

    I Davis
    Arenado if he sticks

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