Baseball is officially back! We are about a week into this season so far and if you aren’t in first place in your leagues you might as well give up. Abandon everything you believed before the season started and trade Shohei Ohtani for Steven Kwan. Jesus Luzardo is winning the CY Young and the Brewers’ starters are washed up. Back in reality, it is massively important to not overreact to the first few games. If your team has yet to steal a base, that does not mean you need to go chasing the top speed only guy on waivers. However, if you know that SBs were a roster deficiency already, do not allow yourself to fall too far behind.
The goal of this column weekly will be to evaluate some plus matchups for the week ahead to plan for your waiver wire adds and to find teams to target that allow SBs. However, with so few games already, we are at mercy of opponents more than anything. So try not to react too much to these early-season numbers.
- The Twins have allowed 5 SBs thus far, most in the league but 3 of those came yesterday against the Dodgers
- The Guardians allowed 4 thus far but they also faced the Royals who will likely be among the league leaders in SBs
Until we get more data we are flying somewhat blind. So here are some notes based on the first set of games.
- Luis Robert and his 4 steals lead the league. If he runs at a pace where he could reach 25-30 SBs he could be a top 5 pick next season
- Keep an eye on Jose Siri, he is likely available in many leagues and has already attempted 2 steals. If he can win the full-time CF job he could be a nice source of speed and power
- Santiago Espinal has reached 10+ SBs in the minors previously and appears to have stolen the 2B job from Cavan Biggio. The Blue Jays have shown a desire to run so Espinal could be a nice steals source with a decent average
- The Mets have somewhat shockingly been aggressive thus far with 7 SB attempts. Brandon Nimmo has a ton of speed but has never translated that into big SB numbers but keep an eye on him going forward
- The Angels have been thrown out 4 times already on 6 attempts. With David Fletcher going on the IL Tyler Wade may see more playing time and if he does could be a SB monster. He’s someone worth looking to add
The moral of the story early is always not to panic and trust your preseason grading but in roto leagues, SBs can be tough to come back from if you dig yourself an early hole. Make sure you know your teams’ strengths and weaknesses and if you expect SB to be a season-long weakness don’t hesitate to jump on one of these potential early-season gems.