2016 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Final: August 25, 2016

The AL MVP debate is in full swing. You have the so-called defending champion of each of the past five seasons in Mike Trout. He currently leads the AL in wins above replacement (WAR) and has done that in every season except 2015. Yet, he has only taken home one MVP award during that time. Others like Miguel Cabrera and Josh Donaldson have taken home the trophy in spite of Trout’s dominance. 2016 is shaping up to be one of those seasons as Houston’s Jose Altuve is putting up historic numbers.

Altuve leads the big leagues in batting average, hits, and OPS+, but he trails Trout in that all important WAR score. That being said, the Angels are languishing in last place in the AL West while the Astros are still involved in the wild card chase. Trout is having somewhat of a comeback of sorts as he is hitting .316 with 82 RBI. With a normal September he should surpass 100 RBI, 120 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. He also has an outside shot at reaching 30 home runs.

Of course, Altuve should also eclipse 100 runs scored and 100 RBI on the season. He will also surpass the 200 hit barrier for the third season in a row and will finish second in the AL in stolen bases. He is on a pace to steal more than 30 bases on the season. So, let the debate continue. Should the award go to the best overall player or should it go to a player that has had an impact on the pennant race?

If you read one thing 

The baseball regular season has become more and more irrelevant in terms of postseason success since the advent of the wild card. When baseball had four divisions you could almost count on the team with the best regular season record winning the World Series. That hasn’t happened often since the year 2000. The Cubs are hoping to end that trend as they have six more wins than the next closest competitor. They have a 14 game lead over the second place Cardinals.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have done a terrific job of putting together a roster that should be able to navigate their way through the playoffs. They have a terrific playoff rotation in the making and a deep bullpen to go with it. Kris Bryant is on his way to the NL MVP award and there are other talented hitters in the lineup. It will be interesting to see what happens once October comes.

We kind of expected…

Victor Martinez had a troubling 2015 campaign and the Tigers had already signed him to an expensive extension. Fortunately for the Tigers, Martinez has come back with a vengeance. He ended up with another three hits on Thursday. He is up to 75 RBI on the season and is hitting a cool .304 on the season. He has an outside chance of collecting another 100 RBI season.

We didn’t expect…

The Tigers James McCann was starting to gain the reputation of another solid backstop that struggled at the plate. He has been hot lately and had another great night on Thursday night. He had four hits including his 11th home run on the season. It is a little late for him to put up great numbers this season, but he might sneak in as many as 15 home runs and 60 RBI. That includes some time he missed early in the season. He could be a fantasy regular as early as 2017.

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