The season hasn’t even started, and I’m so exhausted from trying to predict what’s going to happen this year that I thought I’d change it up a little for the last week of the pre-season. This time, I’m starting with what I think won’t happen and working backwards, and ending up with things that could happen but almost certainly won’t. Or something like that. Sometimes I think with my heart instead of worrying about numbers when I’m looking at fantasy baseball, but if there’s a time in fantasy baseball to let your emotions take over, it’s probably when you’re talking about deep-league dart throws.  All I know is that I’m sick of KNOWING that there will be a Tommy Pham out there every year, but not being able to figure out who the heck it is. Although, I believe I did tell you to pick up Tommy Pham in early May last year, so even you shallow-league types never know when you’ll pick up an interesting kernel of info from us deep-league freaks. Just sayin!

We’re gonna stay in the American League today, with some NL thoughts to come next week, perhaps. So here are some deep-league predictions for 2018, some much sillier than others, AL version:

Shane Greene is still the Tigers’ closer in August, and is comfortably in the Top 10 on the AL saves leader list.

Ditto Blake Treinen for your Oakland Athletics.

Matt Andriese, who didn’t crack the top 500 in NFBC ADP this year, is owned in over one-third of CBS Sports leagues by mid-June.

Ben Gamel takes longer than expected to recover from his strained oblique, but once he does, hits the ground running and gets serious All-Star game consideration.

On May 15th, Mallex Smith will be among the top 3 MLB stolen base leaders.

Even after missing time with his hand injury and serving his suspension, Yuli Gurriel manages to top his numbers from last year, hitting an even .300 on the year with 20 homers, 75 runs, and 80 RBI.

Aaron Sanchez stays blister-free all year and ends up being a 15-game winner.

James McCann outproduces five of the ten AL catchers who are ranked ahead of him in fantasy.

Instead of regressing, Yonder Alonso actually builds on his 2017 power numbers and by the All-Star Break has us all wondering why we didn’t draft him in every league.

Zack Cozart stays healthy all year and winds up as a top-5 AL-only shortstop (then gets comically overdrafted the following year, when he only qualifies at 3B).

  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Love that Mallex pick. I keep wavering between him and Leonys for a random 30+ SB bet at the end of the draft . . . seems like Mallex is the fav?

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: I’m liking both as speculative deep-league speed for now, though Mallex seems to have surged ahead since he’s finally made it into a couple spring games (and is running). I think I own him everywhere I can, so it’ll be a bummer if he crashes & burns — but still an easy drop if it comes to it since I basically paid nothing for him.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Laura Holt: Exactly. I’m drafting a keeper 12er mixed this weekend + gunning hard for Acuna . . . Mallex seems like the perfect “last pick or two of reserve round” grab to plug into Acuna’s OF spot until he’s up. Gotta assume he’ll back an impressive SB count for at least April, if nothing else . . . his whole game is SBs.

        • Laura Holt

          Laura Holt says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Yeah, it’s always weird drafting I guy you KNOW doesn’t have a solid hit tool, but the Billy Hamiltons of the world remind us how big a discrepancy there can be between fantasy value and real-life value! I mean, when you’re thinking from a fantasy perspective, it’s hard to imagine a big-league club trotting out a guy like Denard Span or Nick Markakis most days… even though I suppose it might actually make logical sense in the real world of major league baseballl.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Drafting Yonder, Gamel, Greene, Treinen and Andriese wherever I can and/or applicable, so I appreciate this post…

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Grey: Thx! And complete coincidence, of course, that I’m holding the NL version of this post until after our draft.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, that didn’t go unnoticed

  3. Nice post watching Sanchez also

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: Thanks Al… I somehow haven’t drafted Sanchez this year and I’m definitely thinking I may regret it!

  4. Fister Furbush says:
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    I like those predictions! Especially the one with Ben Gamel.

    Now, I drafted this team a week ago and I’m a little worried at the lack of hitters. I could trare one of my starting pitchers for a hitter…what do think?

    C. W. Castillo
    1b. Santana
    2b. Altuve
    3b. Moustakas( J.Turner out)
    SS. Gregorious
    OF. Yelich/Castellanos/Taylor
    Util. Cruz/Schwarber

    SP
    Severino
    Syndergaard
    Archer
    Paxton
    Weaver/Fulmer
    RP. W.Davis/ A. Bradley.

    Thanks!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      @Fister Furbush: Love that pitching staff, but I’d definitely try to move someone (for me it’d be Archer) for a decent bat, especially if you can make a significant upgrade at 1B or 3B.

  5. Mark says:
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    Bold prediction for deep leagues….

    Wilmer Flores Mets best Power hitter.

    Left for dead Vince Velasquez top 5 in NL for k’s.

    Jorge Soler struggles to hit 15 homeruns and given his walking papers come June.

  6. Thesportsguy says:
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    10 team AL 5×5 but we use net runs (Runs minus Hr) which I highly recommend.. helps increase value of lead off and number 2 hitters…

    Need a price estimate on Gordon…we have some limited keepers so a little inflation but only 3 guys kept per team…

  7. BJFOHOHL says:
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    This post feels like you wrote it on the back of a napkin. I kid I kid. In my AL only dynasty I own Yonder, Greene, and Mallex. I just missed Andriese, but instead went after the closer of the future for TB in Jose Alavarado. Interestingly we did saves plus holds in the NL and AL only leagues and the more I think about it the more I like it. One, it doesnt over value closers and doesn’t create a saves frenzy and instead focuses on starters and creating a top to bottom pitching group geared towards ratios and relevance. Two, well I haven’t figured out two. Also did you talk to Mr. Laura Holt about the Reds game. Ive already marked my calendar with a heart.

  8. BJFOHOHL says:
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    Answer your comments!

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