Hello OPSers!  Hold up; we need a better name than that.  That sounds like we like to add lots of Post Scripts to our letters, but it’s a surprise or we work for UPS but there was a typo.  Someone think of something better, I implore you.

Anyway, I hope all your teams are dominating; I’m lucky enough to be doing really well in my home league; the rest, eh, not so much.  Still, I’m not deterred.  I’m looking at some trades but I don’t really like to assess the standings until the end of May.  Because by then we should have a month of good weather hitting (and pitching, though I don’t really talk about pitching here as there are better sources, like JB) and know if guys are who we thought they are(LINK).  Man, that never, will ever, get old.

What is getting a little old to me?  The Cubs and their zany road threads.  Joe Maddon might be too loose.  Every time I watch the Cubs they show them getting off the bus in their crazy threads (check them out!).  It’s definitely hilarious but as a longtime cursed Cubs fan I worry.  It’s like they are all rookies when I don’t think any of them are (correct me if I’m wrong, wait, don’t make me look bad, keep it to yourself).

I figure this week we’ll look at the some of the top OPS hitters by position and some slumping guys to acquire.  Note: all stats through May 3rd.  Let’s dive in!

Catcher:

Best: Welington Castillo.  He’s just crushing it.  Seven Homers, 14 RBIs, .930 OPS.  The OPS will probably come down but I have him for 25 HRs on the season, with the possibility for 30 at this point.  If you own him, set it and forget it.

Upside play: Nick Hundley.  He had a concussion but is back.  .930 OPS thus far.  Go get him if you need catcher help.

First Base:

Best: Anthony Rizzo.  Not much to say here, except he’s only hitting .242.  So he has room to improve on .988 OPS, eight HRs, 26 RBIs and two steals to boot.

Go Get: Edwin Encarnacion.  A lot of writers (Including many on this site) have been touting acquiring Jose Abreu but I like E2 better (My friends and I call him E2 or E-Squared.  I get he used to make a lot of errors so the E5, but we had a science teacher named Blaine Bowers, who wanted us to call him B-Squared.  So that’s why Edwin will always be E2 to us).  Better offense, better park, sweet home run trot.  He comes with more risk, sure, but this game is about taking risks.  See if you can acquire him cheaply before he goes on a binge.

Also look at: Stephen Piscotty.  He has four HRs and an .841 OPS with that sweet 1B/OF combo.  I liked him a lot going into the year, and like him even more when he hasn’t gone off.  Yet.

Second Base:

Best: Robinson Cano.  His nine HRs are baller, but I don’t love his .902 OPS.  I like it, but feel it should be higher.  Explore trading him as he has that sweet, sweet name value.  He didn’t go for a reasonable price in most preseason drafts so I didn’t get him, but I wanted to exactly for this case.  He starts out hot, the part-time guys in your league know his name, and you trade them Cano and Jake McGee for Paul Goldschmidt (wishful thinking maybe but worse trades have happened).

Consider: Jonathan Schoop.  Got a lot of love from Grey in the preseason but he hasn’t been great to the tune of 4 HRs and a .682 OPS (does he think he’s Michael A. Taylor?).  He’s probably been dropped in your league, and if so, and if you have the room, grab and stash.  Not grab the stash, which you should leave right where it is.  You know who you are.  I’ll be home soon.  Or will I? (Wow that took a weird meta turn.  I felt a little like Jim Gaffigan talking about food).

Shortstop:

Best: Trevor Story.  10 HRs, .966 OPS.  Not much to be said but I own him and I’m not trading him.  The experts all say sell high and I ask, for who?  And…crickets.  From what I’ve watched the guy is a hacker but with 30 HR power at SS I ask, what’s the prob, Bob?

Furthermore when everybody is saying sell high, that’s a bad sign.  Like everyone saying trade for Abreu.  One of the greatest things I picked up from this site was the idea that, when everybody zigs, you zag.  Why I said just a few lines up to go get Encarnacion, cause no one is talking about him.

Keep on keepin’ on: Aledmys Diaz.  I don’t own him anywhere (because I own Story) so I don’t know a ton about him.  25 years old, he’s only been in major league baseball since 2014 and is already in the majors.  Dang.  Leading the league in OPS at 1.124 to go along with five HRs.  Double dang.  He didn’t exhibit a ton of minor league power , so figure that OPS to come down, but above .800 OPS with 10-15 HRs the rest of the way is sweet, savory goodness.

Third Base:

Best: Where the money players are AT! Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Todd Frazier.  If you don’t have one of these guys at third base, then you probably aren’t doing that well.  Or maybe you owned the rest of the draft.  If so, bully for you.  Still go get one of those guys, stat!  (See if they’ll take Cano).

Consider: Trading for Maikel Franco.  Owner of Spring Training 2016, Franco has started slowly.  The exact right time to go get him is now.  Philly is a cold place, but it’s starting to warm up.  So will Franco.  He’s better than a .736 OPS, still has four HRs so far, and I have a feeling (not a gut feeling, because if I have a feeling in my gut it is usually from eating Taco Bell covered in Fire Sauce.  Don’t care about people who hate on Taco Bell, after midnight there is no better bad-for-you-but-so-good fast food) he’s about to go off.

Outfield:

Best: The usual suspects of Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts, and Ryan Braun have been doing what they do, which is dominating.  No shockers there.  Mark Trumbo and Dexter Fowler, however, are.  Most figured Trumbo would hit home runs but not hit as well as he has with his .993 OPS.  That’s coming down.  But ride him ‘til the wheels fall off.  I always wanted to do this.  I had an ’81 Buick growing up and I did my damndest to do this, taking all curbs, hitting all potholes, doing donuts in empty parking lots.  Did not happen.  Rap music lied to me.

Fowler, owner of the 2nd best OPS in baseball (minimum 50 PA) at 1.075, will not continue to have an OPS over one.  But he will rack up runs and steals, and at worst finishes with an OPS above .825.  No reason not to keep playing him unless you can get a haul for him.

Go Get: Michael Brantley.  His value could never be lower, as he hasn’t done jack since coming off injury.  He’s still a talented player, played 157 games last year (and 156, 151, 149 the three years prior), so the injuries don’t worry me.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go 15/15 with a .830 OPS the rest of the way.

Another go getter: Randal Grichuk.  Stinky and evil .666 OPS thus far.  At least he has four HRs to show for it.  Good signs: striking out 6% less (albeit still 25.8% of the time) than last year and walking 3% more.  For a guy who has hit 18 (A ball), 22 (AA), 28 (AAA & Majors), and 17 (Majors) HRs the homers are on their way, as is an improvement to his OPS.  I see him getting to an .815 OPS and 17 HRs the rest of the season (and those numbers are on the low end).  Not to be confused with the Low End Theory, one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. RIP Phife.

Well that’s all for me; leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or agree to disagree. Agreed!  Ask some questions, I’ll try to help and have a good rest of your weekend Razzballers and 6 Razzballettes.

  1. Fungazi says:
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    Good stuff, like your opinions especially about not selling Rockies MIs. Memories of a friend’s 1980 Cougar that he was scrapping and spent the whole month running that thing into every post, sign, mailbox and garbage can we could see.

    • Phil B.

      Phil B. says:
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      @Fungazi: thanks! I always said my Buick drove like a boat and the corners were rounded. The steel bumpers took a bruising. Those were the days…

  2. Raindoggg says:
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    That’s great stuff above…..not your run of the mill content…….good job……and hmmmm I always thought maybe it was E5 due to the syllables….En car nac i on…….

    On a question note……I’m in first right now with a fairly healthy lead and doing mostly equally well in all categories but I think I could land Grichuk fairly easily if I wanted to…..would he be an upgrade do you think over Dom Santana or Melvin?..

    • Phil B.

      Phil B. says:
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      @Raindoggg: thanks! Figure I’d switch it up a bit. I just dropped Domingo in my home league for Ozuna. I would’ve done the same for Grichuk. Definitely for Upton.

  3. The Harrow says:
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    uh, i’m quite sure Grey would say to trade for E5 if asked, it’s not you are actually reaching on that, say, like saying buy mark teixera would be or anything.

    • Phil B.

      Phil B. says:
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      @The Harrow: I am saying go get him as an alternative to Abreu. I can’t speak for anyone else. Might be harder now as E2 had a 6 RBI game after I wrote this but still in OPS leagues I think he represented a buy low opportunity.

      • The Harrow says:
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        @Phil B.: abreu/E5 ranked very closely preseason as well, both here and ADP.

        • Phil B.

          Phil B. says:
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          @The Harrow: . What I was saying is that I’ve saw many sites, including this one, tout acquiring Abreu on the cheap, which I agree with. I saw none touting acquiring Edwin for cheap after his slow start. Most of the leagues I am in have owners that read a lot of different sites as well so I want to try and provide some alternatives to popular opinion, which is what’s great about Razzball and why I like writing for it.

  4. jal179 says:
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    So you’d trade Goldy for Rizzo straight up?

    I’m a Goldy owner and am beginning to worry more than a bit about this slow start. He’s dug himself a decent AVG hole to dig himself out of. Funny thing is I drafted as I felt his floor was so high. I know it’s early but his second half was not quite as elite and has seemed to have carried over to this season.

    Can anyone comment on Goldy’s slow start– anything to worry about? Walking rather than hitting so far…

    • Phil B.

      Phil B. says:
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      @jal179: I had Goldy and Rizzo 1 and 2 in my preseason rankings, so I liked them both a lot. I do agree in Goldy’s high floor, and still do. Runs and RBIs Rizzo is going to be better, just cause that Cubs offense is so good. Goldy is walking at the best rate of his career; that could be a result of the lack of talent around him. His 6 HRs and two(that’s crazy low) doubles seems like a bad April; I wouldn’t doubt he heats up as the summer goes on.

      So long story short, if you need runs and rbi’s, I’d rather have Rizzo. In avg league, Rizzo again. OBP or OPS it’s a wash.

    • Phil B.

      Phil B. says:
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      @Phil B.: @jal179: Also digging a bit deeper Goldy from 2013-16 had HR in Mar/Apr of 5,4,5,6. 2015 he had a ridiculous May with 10 HRs. He’ll come around.

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