During the preseason I made a strong case for selecting Clayton Kershaw as the top overall pick ahead Mike Trout in points leagues using total points, Z-score and FVARz. Kershaw edged out Trout across the board, but I’m sure that didn’t convince most of you to pull the trigger. Actually I’m pretty positive of this because Trout’s average draft position (ADP) was 1.3, while Kershaw’s ADP was just under 2 at 1.9. That means that there were a few of you that joined the dark side, but the rest of you just didn’t have enough balls. Let’s see if I made a jacka*s of myself taking such an outrageous stance.

With 659 total points, Kershaw currently leads all starting pitchers with 24.4 points per start (PPS). A quick note about total points. I am not accounting for any bonus points awarded for quality starts, complete games, no hitters or shutouts. Factor those in and he’s over 700! My preseason projections, which I used to base my recommendation of selecting Kershaw with the first pick, had him at 728 points for the entire season. That translated into 22.94 points per start. He’s currently a point and a half ahead per start projections. So he’s performing better than I had even anticipated. Do I hear an “I told you so” brewing?

There are only seven other pitchers with a PPS greater than 20. Zach Greinke (22.81), Jake Arrieta (22.11), Dallas Keuchel (21.81), Chris Sale (21.46), Madison Bumgarner (21.07), David Price (20.67) and Jacob deGrom (20.12).

But how is Mike Trout doing? Are his numbers strong enough to justify him being taken ahead of Clayton? Trout has 400 points (.731 PPPA). Not too shabby. However there are eight batters that have been even better. Paul Goldschmidt (474), Josh Donaldson (463), Bryce Harper (444), Joey Votto (432), Jose Bautista (425), Anthony Rizzo (424), Nolan Arenado (409) and A.J. Pollock (402). He’s not even the top batter. So how can he be the top overall? While Trout might not be the top point scoring hitter at the moment, he’s right near the top and has been so since entered the Major Leagues.

Here’s how I ranked the top ten players preseason:

Name FVARz Z-Score Points POS
Clayton Kershaw 4.495812365 3.487205998 728.22 SP
Mike Trout 4.458131052 3.296965116 509.34 OF
Andrew McCutchen 3.796682378 2.635516442 473.27 OF
Jose Bautista 3.718196092 2.557030156 468.99 OF
Miguel Cabrera 3.583307547 1.992325474 505.15 1B
Max Scherzer 3.435256746 2.426650379 652.23 SP
Felix Hernandez 3.413624147 2.40501778 650.68 SP
Craig Kimbrel 3.383495619 2.020073475 506.28 RP
Buster Posey 3.372531051 2.329315164 396.84 C,1B
Troy Tulowitzki 3.238738633 2.07510937 401.7 SS

 

Here’s how I’d draft the top ten right now factoring in 2015 year-to-date performances.

I said it preseason, and I’m saying it again now, Kershaw is the top pick in points leagues. Even though Trout is not the top scoring batter, I’d still be taking him in the two hole if I had the second pick. But knowing how most of you think, I’d be getting Kershaw with the second pick because you’re just too stubborn to pass on Trout.

What do you get when you combine a five time Pro Bowler from the Dolphins back in the 80’s with the most valuable player in fantasy baseball points leagues? Give up? Mark Clayton Kershaw. Had I said the toughest boxer of the 80’s with the player everyone considers to be the most valuable player in fantasy baseball points leagues, the answer would have been “Iron Mike Trout”. Before and after!

Most points leagues have just begun the playoffs or will be doing so next week. My league has two week playoff matches, which is a must, so we started this week. One thing I like to do is stay ahead of my opponent. I’m looking at next week while the current week has just begun. Are there any two-start streamers I can grab before my opponent? I might not start him, but at least I know he won’t either. Defense! At this point of the season it’s safe to drop players you just don’t see yourself playing in redraft leagues in order to stash one that you might. I dropped Neil Walker to stash Javier Baez and Andrew Cashner to stash Taylor Jungmann. Jungmann is slated to have two starts next week and has looked pretty good lately. Don’t say I told you so, when you snooze and your opponent does and he drops a 50 spot on you.

One other thing I’d like to mention. Full beards. That’s right full beards. Sorry Grey, as much as I love the stache, the full beard gets today’s spotlight. In my current top ten I have three pitchers. Kershaw, Sale and Bumgarner. You know what they all have in common? Full beards. Sale’s might not be as impressive as Bumgarner’s or as ugly as Kershaw’s, but he has one. Perhaps Felix Hernandez should consider growing more than that disgusting “Jim the anvil Neidhart in training” thing he’s got going on on his chin and go full beard. And I’m going to have to give similar advice to Stephen Strasburg. Cancel your membership to The Dollar Shave Club and let that puppy blossom! Stephen Strasbeard strikes out double digits batters like it’s his job. And coincidentally it IS his job.

beards

 
  1. Hans says:
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    Love the points league articles…

    10-team points league no bench. Once playoffs start Monday, no more pickups unless injuries occur.

    Which catcher for the next two weeks…
    Swihart, Gattis, Molina, Ramos

    Which hitter…
    Inciarte, Ed. Escobar, Piscotty, Moss, Werth

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Hans: Thanks. Gattis and Piscotty. Good luck…

  2. Chicken Dinner says:
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    I have a log-jam with Abreu, Votto, Rizzo, Sano and Carpenter. Can’t decide who to bench. Can I really sit my number one pick (Abreu) in the playoffs. Also, don’t like bench bats but I can’t drop one these guys. Trade deadline passed. No one in my league trades anyway. I couldn’t give these guys away.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: Well you sure as shit can’t sit Votto or Rizzo. Sano has been great (0.680) PPPA. That’s better than both Carpenter (0.589) and Abreu (0.6.34), but his strikeout rate is alarming (36%). If your league doesn’t penalize for strikeouts, I say sit Carpenter. If it does, you need to look at the matchups. Also look at how many games each player has that week. Perhaps sit the one that plays the least games that week. Keep an eye on Sano’s hamstring issue. I can think of worse problems to have…

  3. PED Inc says:
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    Great stuff man! Thanks.
    I’ve been locked into one of four if our playoff spots for a few weeks now so ive just been stashing and trying to project starts for the playoffs the week of the 14 and championship the week of the 21st.
    My question for you is what do you make of Stroman and his return? Worth a playoff stash?

    My current pitching staff, 10 team H2H

    Kershaw (yes with the no. 1 overall pick, I listened
    Greinke
    Scherzer
    Salazar
    Tyson Ross
    Pineda
    Severino
    Jose fernandez
    Rasiel Iglesias

    Also on the wire is Fiers, Hutchison, Shoemaker.
    Thanks buddy!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @PED Inc: Thanks! How many SP can you start each week?

      • PED Inc says:
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        @malamoney: five SP slots per week and two RP spots per week.

        My RP’s are
        Jansen
        Tolleson
        Iglesias

        Several other closers on the wire such as Giles and Jepson

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @PED Inc: Well you are starting Kershaw, Greinke and Scherzer every week regardless. That leaves to spots. I actually just grabbed Stroman in my league. Not sure I will start him as we only start 4 SPs, but I’d rather him on my roster than my opponents. If you have to drop one of those pitchers, I guess it would have to be Ross. Unless you have another bench bat you can dump.

          I am surprised Giles is available…

          • PED Inc says:
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            @malamoney: Thanks bud! Pitching is at a premium in this league, I was thinking my drop would either have to be Ross, Tolleson, or Hosmer.
            The rest of my team looks like this…
            Schwarber
            Zimmerman
            Rendon
            Correa
            Frazier
            Harper
            Cargo
            Piscotty
            Springer
            Hosmer

            I really don’t see a need to carry Hosmer with Frazier and Zimmerman.

            • malamoney

              malamoney says:
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              @PED Inc: For what it’s worth, Hosmer has the higher PPPA (0.667) over Zimmerman (0.638)

  4. Clint says:
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    Need you to settle something I asked this morning on Grey’s daily update him, J-Foh, & SON disagree on. ROS, considering possible benching due to the Royals clinching so early, would you stick w/Carpenter or drop him to pick up Morales for the playoff run? Grey likes Carp, SON likes Morales but barely ($9.5 vs %8.7), and J-Foh said Morales straight up. Your ROS ranks a while ago clearly went Morales so I’m curious if you still lean that way?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Clint: Morales

  5. PeteRosesRevenge says:
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    10 team H2h non keeper league one more week of regular season then playoffs

    I have Kluber, Perkins, Lynne, and Carlos Marinez i was thinking of dropping all but Martinez

    Thinking about picking up Severino a random two start and a RP, Smardjuia is still out there as well but he killed me all year dropped him a couple weeks ago

    rest of my rotaion is bauer, ross, smyly, loriano, nola, papelbon and toleson

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @PeteRosesRevenge: You can’t drop Kluber. He will possibly pitch again this season, and if he does, it might be during the finals. You’ll want him active if that is the case. I’m not sure who the drop is between Perkins, Lynn and CarMart. With Tolleson and Papelbon, you can get by at RP, but if one of them gets hurt, you’d be in trouble. And you shouldn’t drop CarMart. Especially if he has RP eligibility in your league. But I would want to get Severino on your team. I guess the drop is Lynn since he’s out at least another week. I’m only starting Samardzija on a two-start week where both of his starts are favorable…

      • PeteRosesRevenge says:
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        @malamoney:

        Thanks I dropped Perkins and added Servino yesterday…Your right I will hold a little longer on the others looks like Kluber and Lynne’s status are more optimistic now.. Tolleson makes me nervous though need to find someone else

  6. Richard says:
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    Comparing your preseason top 10 to your in season top 10, what exactly has Buster Posey done to merit dropping out of the top 10? He’s been better than the preseason predictions at a really thing position.

    I won’t say I’d draft him in the top 5, but I think I’d rather have Posey than Sale/Bumgarner (SP is so deep), Arenado (maybe, he’s had a really great year and he’s got the Coors thing going for him), and Bautista (he’s getting into his late 30’s).

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Richard: Posey came in at 11, and I’d have no problem taking him over Bautista. Especially considering position scarcity. The only reason I might not take Posey in the first round is because you don’t have to. You can get him in the second. Pitching might be deep, but Sale/Bumgarner and few others are a premium at their position. Great comment. Thanks…

      • Richard says:
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        @malamoney:

        That’s a fair point on not having to take Posey in the first round, but then you probably don’t have to take Sale or Bumgarner in the first round either. And I’m guessing if Posey’s at #11 on your list Scherzer is #12? Or does his 2nd half tank job, age and lousy run support drop him a bit further?

        Are the point totals in the 2nd chart year to date or are they projections for next year?

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @Richard: They are YTD projections.

          Scherzer is in the top 15. I don’t have my spreadsheet handy. Here’s how I do things. I rank all of the players. This ranking also dictates where I think each player should be drafted. Then I look at ADP for each player to figure out when I’d need to draft a player to get them. Last year Posey had an ADP of the 4th round. I had him pegged as a first rounder. I took him in the 3rd, getting great value for my pick. If I have a player ranked as a 6th rounder and he has an ADP of more than 1 round earlier, then I forget about that player…

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