So I’m the only one who missed both the predictions post and the bold predictions post. I swear it’s not my fault, really (attn: our outstanding editor, Mr. Jay) as it’s tax season, and I’m an accountant so get ready for my predictions. Did you know that tax day is actually April 17th (not the 15th) his year? Well it is, so good for you procrastinators but crappy for me and my fellow accountants; who isn’t looking forward to working two extra 15 hour days? Me, that’s who. But I digress…we’re here to talk about fantasy baseball, not bitch about work (that’s what we have spouses and co-workers for, amirite?)
It’s a weird time right now; I’m excited for the season to start but Spring Training is over so there aren’t any stats to look at that haven’t already been looked at. The best part is that we can look back on it at the end of the season and laugh at how wrong I was. Same goes for you, dear reader. Put your predictions in the comments and we’ll look back and review at end of season. Five internet dollars for the most accurate!
AL OPS MVP: Mike Trout. He went 92/33/72/22/1.071 in only 114 games. Are you serious? You take him because he has the highest floor in fantasyland (Highest Floor should be Towlie on South Park’s best friend).
NL OPS MVP: Nolan Arenado. Is enough made about him knocking in 130 RBIs three straight seasons? Regardless of what stadium he plays in Nolan knows how to knock guys in. I won’t argue taking him second after Trout in snake drafts and if given the opportunity I will.
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber. He’s won’t be on any of my teams unless I trade for him mid-season because I need pitching, but he’s great and all.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer is my #1. It’s close at the top with Kershaw but Mad Max went to Mizzou, and I went to Mizzou, so with no further analysis whatsoever he gets the nod. Though if you follow this site you aren’t drafting any of the top tier Pitchers on your team (but you might trade for them*).
ROY NL: Lewis Brinson. Starting off hedging; this will probably not happen but he’s starting and will hopefully hit leadoff. If he wins the award (fingers crossed) let’s hope he has a better (fantasy) career than the last Marlin to win ROY, World Series winner Mr. Chris Coghlan. Coghlan carved out a nice career for himself but pales in comparison to the subsequent NL winners. It’s a list of superstars (in order from 2010-on): Buster Posey, Craig Kimbrel, Jose Fernandez (RIP), Jacob de Grom (did not remember him winning), Kris Bryant, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. If Brinson can join that group his keeper and dynasty owners are going to be very, very happy.
ROY AL: Miguel Andujar. So you’re telling me Chris Drury is standing in the way of him? C’mon now. Coupled with Greg Bird also being out and Cashman saying Andujar’s going to play some at first base this year. He’s starting in the minors but it won’t be long until he’s back up and hitting. He showed the best power of his minor league career last year with a .185 ISO at AAA, and his minors HR totals have gone 8, 12, 16, and that’s trend I like. Our own Prospector Ralph has him as the #26 overall prospect. Only 23, he should be in the Yankees lineup soon.
Sleeper: Jose Martinez. He got love from me last week and will continue to do so as long as he plays and is productive; those really are the only requirements for fantasy purposes, everything else is just window dressing.
Bust: Shohei Ohtani. This one makes me sad as I know people with Angels season tickets who occasionally take me and I’m excited to see him pitch live. Furthermore I don’t think he’ll be a bust after this season but right now his hype meter is too large; let’s say he finishes with 11 wins, 3.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 165 Ks. Pretty good, but not worth where he’s being drafted.
Infatuation: Anthony Rendon. I’ve tried to own him everywhere; Grey convinced me. Really, what’s not to like? Yeah, he’s dealt with injuries in his past and missed half the 2015 season; but in 2014 he played 153 games, 2016: 156, 2017: 147. His stat lines those years:
The only numbers of those I don’t like is the OPS in ‘16; this season he’s hitting in the middle of one of the best lineups in the majors so should rack up counting stats; I have his floor at 25/10 with a little room to grow; I drafted him* in the Razzball Writer’s League at the turn in the 3rd/4th rounds.
Come Back: Kyle Schwarber. Let’s review; drafted 4th overall in 2014, went from AA to the majors in 2015; injured all of 2016 due to a fluke outfield collusion and came back to help the Cubs win the World Series; had a terrible 2017 season where he struck out 30.9% of the time with a .211 average. But I like the 30 homers, 12.1% walk rate, a .256 ISO and a .244 BABIP. Well I don’t like a .244 BABIP, but it help us understand his .211 average. So let’s say in 2018 he improves just a tad; I like him to the tune of 75/30/85/3/.840 and that plays as a #3 OF at worst. Also, he’s had a solid spring with four homers, four steals and a 1.080 OPS.
MVFH: Michael Conforto. Those of you who were in on him last year were only a year too early due to injury. He was on fire until the shoulder. He’s going to breakout in a big way this season and provide great value for where he is being drafted. Mark it down. You want reasons? Very similar to Schwarber, Conforto was pick 10 overall in 2014, made it to the majors by 2015, and went 72/27/68/2/.939 OPS. Yes, please. He had offseason shoulder surgery but he’s already back this spring and while he will start on the DL and may not be ready until May 1st, he should still be stashed everywhere.
*In the Razzball Writer’s League which you can view here, I traded Ken Giles and Anthony Rendon for Clayton Kershaw. I’m big on Rendon (see above) but I already have Devers at 3B and Mancini, Yonder Alonso, and Rhys to fill in at CI) and have closers to spare. My SPs are Wood, Stroman, Wacha and Chase Anderson (but I’ll play the streaming game as best I can in an expert league) So why not add a top 3 SP? You guys out there like the deal? Or hate it? Whatever your feelings I’m ready to start analyzing stats so without further adieu, let’s start the season!!!