It’s finally time, baseball is back. Drafts are done and you all won your leagues already. Wrong, you don’t win at the draft. Now the real work starts. Working the wire and staying on top of matchups is what brings home the trophy. So how do you do that? I’m glad you asked. Don’t over react to the way a guy starts the season, hot or cold. Too often we are tempted to put way more stock into the first two or three weeks of the season than we do for any other two or three week stretch. Don’t be that guy or gal. This is especially important with “stud” players who struggle out of the gate. You drafted them highly for a reason so don’t be too eager to cut bait. Baseball is a beautiful, weird, fluky game where tenths of a second or an inch can be the difference between an out or a hit. In a few weeks or so we’ll take a look at who’s start is legit and who isn’t. But basically it will boil down to the process behind the results. Don’t panic if one of your top guys puts up a couple zeros to open the season. If a guy is crushing the ball but always right at the defense, you just have to be patient. Eventually those will start turning into hits and hits are points. Now I know that this isn’t specific to points leagues, but the general principle still holds true.
In points leagues you want to maximize the number of starts you get. If you’re in a league with weekly lineups, two start pitchers are worth their weight in gold. In leagues with daily moves I like to keep a spot in my rotation just for streaming. Streamonator is invaluable for identifying under the radar guys and I can’t recommend it enough. We’ll know more soon but the Pirates, Indians and Rockies outside of Coors look like teams to target. Don’t be afraid to stream one of the less sexy names who may not be piling up the Ks but is piling up the innings.
It’s always a good idea to see how many off days a team has. It won’t be the number one criteria but it can break a tie if you have a couple guys you’re looking at. If you’re rolling out any platoon players check to see the split between lefties and righting on the mound. As always, give a boost to any hitters with a series in Coors. This week that’s the D Backs. Don’t forget to pop over to Hittertron and see what the projections say. Power is king in points leagues but dingers can be tough to predict. Look for guys who are getting playing time and minimizing Ks. Those are your best bets to fill in.
Guys to Watch
This early in the season not a whole lot has changed from preseason. Until we get a few meaningful games we won’t really have much to go on. What we’re looking for now is how the platoons start to shake out and who winds up winning an everyday job. The opening day lineup choices are interesting, but it’s still only one game so they may end up not meaning much. Every year there are guys who come out of nowhere to post strong fantasy seasons so make sure you’re checking for that. I like sorting based on the previous couple weeks to see who’s heating up. After all, past results are an indicator of future success.
Anyhoo, here are a few guys I’ve got my eye on based on the way they ended spring training:
As long as Dustin May has a rotation spot he is worthy of being in your lineup. Grey doesn’t expect more than 15 starts but when he’s on the mound he should deliver.
Tarik Skubal has plenty of upside and will open the year in the rotation.
Tejay Antone will start the season in the pen. He has value there as a multi inning guy but if he can crack the rotation his value could skyrocket.
If Bobby Dalbec can hold onto a full time job at first base he should rack up the points with his power. The strikeouts certainly aren’t ideal but the risk is worth it.
Chris Owings got the opening day start and showed out. That’s definitely a situation to monitor closely going forward. Grab him in a deep league if you have a bench spot but don’t get too crazy with it because I don’t trust Bud Black to keep him in the lineup.
I’m interested to see what Kyle Isbel does with a job. He was a well regarded prospect who had his development derailed by injuries. Expect some growing pains but he could be an asset in deeper leagues. He could chip in some steals as well so that’s multiple avenues to points.
Yu Chang has the opening day job at first and well, it remains to be seen if that was just an opening day thing or if Jake Bauers will be the guy. Bauers hasn’t been good so maybe it’s time for Chang Gang to take over.
If you need temporary help check out Tim Locastro for your deep league needs. The bomb today was nice, but I’m not sure that’s something we should expect regularly.
Travis Shaw is a blast from the past but has the power for points leagues. As long as the Brew Crew slots him at the hot corner he’s interesting.
Question? Comments? Drop them here or hit me up on Twitter @deltaxi1842