Fantasy Baseball Final: August 18, 2016
It’s a tremendous thing when performance meets expectations. There was no team more hyped in the preseason than the Chicago Cubs and for very good reason. They had a dynamic offense on paper, a top notch rotation, and a very deep bench. The only possible Achilles heal would have been their bullpen. When they acquired Aroldis Chapman in July that weakness became their biggest strength.
Chapman has six saves in eleven games since going to the Cubs. He’s finished eight games since becoming a Cub with a sparkling 0.93 ERA. He has certainly done his part, but they may just have the NL MVP in Kris Bryant. He leads the NL in WAR and that doesn’t even include his five for five performance with two home runs and five RBI.
If you read one thing…
I used to give Bud Selig a hard time for a number of decisions he made during his tenure. Having the all-star game count still has to go down as one of the most foolish decisions in sports history. The decision to add the wild card to the playoff landscape was one of the better ones. When you look at the standings, only two divisions are legitimately in play as we move closer to September. The AL East has a nice three team race going and the Dodgers and Giants are battling it out in the NL West. Otherwise, it will take some epic collapses to make the other divisions competitive.
Yet, there are four teams in the American League within 3.5 games of the wild card spots and five teams are within four games of the wild card spots in the National League. So, teams have something to play for and fans have something to root for. For fantasy players, it means more teams will continue playing their best players through the end of the fantasy season.
We kind of expected…
Joey Votto is a machine. No, he didn’t have a brilliant game on Thursday night (0 for 2 with two walks), but after a slow start he has his average over .300 and is on pace to draw well over 100 walks for the fourth time in his career. His .427 OBP represents a bit of a disappointment for the Canadian slugger. He might be on the move in the offseason as it would give the Reds a chance to get out from under his contract and him an opportunity to contribute to a winner while he’s still on top of his game.
We didn’t expect…
Ryan Howard is done as a contributing player on a competitive team. He’s split first base this season with Tommy Joseph and still has not eclipsed the Mendoza line this season. Yet, he has 19 home runs on the season and it isn’t a stretch to think he can get to 25 home runs before the season. 25 home runs and 60 RBI seems paltry compared to the days when he was hitting 50 bombs and driving in more than 100 runs, but he might have a little left in the tank.
- Raisel Iglesias (2)
- Jeanmar Gomez (32)
- Aroldis Chapman (27)
- Francisco Rodriguez (34)